November Newsbits 2008

By Naomi Graychase

November 19, 2008

Mobile users want more speed; Google CEO Eric Schmidt turns down Obama appointment; O'Reilly cancels iPhone developer conference; Digi releases 802.11a/b/g embedded core module; Boingo adds 25 new airports; and more.

Smartphone users want faster Web access, easier social networking navigation and would gladly suffer mobile advertising if it meant free online content.

Data from several Azuki Systems surveys show that mobile device users are spending a significant amount of time talking, texting, e-mailing and Web surfing. Yet 80 percent of those polled wish it was easier to get online data and use rich media, such as video conferencing.

The results show that mobile device vendors need to improve the Internet experience, according to Azuki.

“Due to innovative new devices, support for interactive, personalized and content services will be crucial," John Tremblay, co-founder and VP of marketing, Azuki, told InternetNews.com. "Hot items on consumer ‘wish lists’ include easier ways to access more snackable [quick and easy to get] forms of media and a more seamless mobile social networking experience." For the full story, click here.

November 13, 2008

InternetNews reported Monday that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has removed his name from the list of candidates for the job of government CTO that President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to create.

Appearing on the CNBC's show "Mad Money with Jim Cramer," Schmidt, who is serving as an economic adviser for Obama, told the host that he would not take the job if it were offered to him.

"I love working at Google, and I'm happy at Google, so the answer is no," Schmidt said.

If Schmidt is to be taken at his word, that removes one of the top contenders for a position that--when announced by Obama in his campaign platform--sent a clear signal to many observers that technology would be a top priority in his administration. For the full story, click here.

**

While introducing himself to a packed hall of iPhone developers and entrepreneurs last week, Raven Zachary briefly mentioned one piece of bad news; an upcoming developer event he was supposed to co-chair later this month, had been canceled. For more, click here.

November 12, 2008

Minnesota-based Digi today introduced what it calls "the industry's first 802.11a/b/g embedded core module for secure wireless networking and integrated application processing."  The the ConnectCore Wi-9P 9215 enables customers to network their devices in either the 2.4 GHz band or 5 GHz bands. 

"The 5 GHz frequency range of the 802.11a Wi-Fi standard is relatively unused," said Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Digi International in a press release today. "This prevents signal interference from other devices like cordless phones and microwaves. The ConnectCore Wi-9P 9215 is the only embedded core module available that allows customers to easily network enable their devices in this band."  

The ConnectCore Wi-9P 9215 Digi JumpStart Kit (399) is available now. The ConnectCore Wi-9P 9215 module ($119, minimum order 1,000) is also available. More details at: www.digiembedded.com/ccw9p9215.

November 10, 2008

Boingo Wireless announced today that it has acquired Opti-Fi Networks, a limited liability company from Parsons Transportation Group and ARINC, that provides Wi-Fi infrastructure implementation and management for airports around North America. 25 new airports will be added to Boingo's network, including Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF), Edmonton International Airport (YEG), El Paso International Airport (ELP), and Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO).

Boingo says it is the largest operator of airport Wi-Fi networks in North America. It offers pay-as-you-go and subscription-based access services at 55 airports, including the ones added today.
 
Airport visitors can purchase Boingo AsYouGo day passes for $7.95, or a subscription to Boingo Unlimited, a monthly account that provides unlimited Wi-Fi access to thousands of hotspots throughout the Americas for $21.95 per month. The newly acquired hotspots also work with Boingo Mobile, Boingo's worldwide service for Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones and tablets that costs $7.95 per month.

November 5, 2008

An FCC sign-off on the Alltel acquisition means Verizon will become the No. 1 U.S. carrier, while Sprint's WiMAX effort also gets a major thumbs-up. For the full story, click here.

**

One highly touted area of President-elect Barack Obama's platform has been his pledge to appoint a chief technology officer for the nation -- a move that may have dramatic implications for driving sweeping changes in tech policy and the country's economy.

"The big question is, specifically, where does this person fit in this hierarchy in the administration?" said Andrew Rasiej, founder of Personal Democracy Forum, a conference and Web site that tracks how technology is influencing politics.

"Is it a cabinet-level position, like a national security advisor, who sits at the right or left hand of the president and advises him on all kinds of tech issues? Or is it an administrative position, buried in the general services administration without impact on other agencies? Or is it someone who works hand-in-hand with the White House chief of staff, or with legislative aides to the president?"

For the rest of the story, click here.

**

Barack Obama soared to victory in the U.S. presidential election Tuesday night with a promise of change. But with the new administration not taking office until Jan. 20, the tech industry has some time to weigh the election's outcome. InternetNews.com considers the impact of an Obama Presidency on the IT and Internet industries' agendas. Click here for the full story.

November 4, 2008

Today's election, the culmination of a two-year campaign that has generated unprecedented media attention, has lit up the Web in a way that would have been unimaginable in 2004.

The proliferation of online polling and politically-themed social-media content--from the candidates' own Web sites to the ceaseless barrage of micro-rants on Twitter--have stamped this election with an unmistakable Web 2.0 imprimatur.

Consider YouTube, Google's popular video-sharing site. YouTube staked its claim in the political arena during the primaries, when it partnered with CNN to host a debate among the candidates of the two major parties. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. For the full story, click here.

**

Reuters reported Tuesday that Comedy spoofs by Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert have made the U.S. presidential race a made-for-television event, but on Tuesday many voters will turn to the Internet to watch election night coverage.

Major media organizations expect record-breaking traffic on their websites as they follow results in the race between Republican John McCain and his Democratic opponent Barack Obama.

Cable network Current TV is taking its coverage a step further, relying entirely on Web users to provide its news content. For the full story, click here.

**

Long term evolution technology (LTE) took a small but important step forward this week as Motorola completed the first over-the-air data testing sessions in 700 MHz spectrum, an achievement that Motorola said keeps the 4G technology on schedule to arrive in the second half of 2009.

"This testing milestone is proof," Tom Gruba, senior director, marketing, wireless broadband, Motorola, told InternetNews.com. Motorola expects to deliver a commercial LTE device for early deployment next year. Next up are device testing trials with carriers and additional field testing, said Motorola.

The news comes as carriers and mobile device makers compete to provide faster and most reliable network speeds for increasing demand of mobile data services. The wireless carrier with the fastest, cheapest and most robust network will pull in more customers, sell more mobile computing devices and reap financial rewards from more innovative mobile applications and services, according to experts. For the full story, click here.

 Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi Planet.com.



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