wi-fi stories

 
Listen up, kids: stay in school. Learn algebra. It may seem utterly useless, and 415.8 / x = 4.2 percent of the time, it is. But just wait until you're trying to play a game or stream a video over a terrible wireless connection, 'cause with the magic of algebra, you can boost your Wi-Fi speed by a factor of 10 or 20 or more.
 
Competition for the most interesting toaster is tight these days. They can look inexplicable — like a defibrillator. Or, they can entertain, like one that launches your toast onto your plate. We could go on, but instead here's a toaster concept that might actually do something useful: printing a disposable weather report on your morning slice.
 
Wi-Fi enabled asses you say? This is the type of news that doesn't phase us anymore. It's perfectly sensible that visitors to the Kfar Kedem (Village of Yore) theme park in Israel need Wi-Fi, so park owners attached routers to the back of five of the park's donkeys, offering a different take on the idea of "mobile Wi-Fi."
 
Want to know why your cell phone service sucks all the time? Phone companies will tell you: it's bandwidth, man. The wireless spectrum is getting crowded and there's just not enough room. What's needed is a new way to cram more data into the same amount of space, and the solution might be to twist multiple light beams together into a vortex.
 
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't use this space to simply describe a new product, in this case two new products — the new Buffalo AirStation WZR-D1800H ($179.99) 802.11ac router and its sibling, the WLI-H4-D1300 wireless media bridge (also $179.99), which went on sale last week. But I'll make an exception for these two products, the first commercially available Wi-Fi 802.11ac gear. Aka "gigabit Wi-Fi," these and other pending 802.11ac gear promises to deliver Wi-Fi transmitted content at between 1.3 and 1.75 Gbps, around twice as fast as today's fastest 802.11n routers. Why the exception? Because these products portend a momentous change in our wireless communications lives. I'll explain this hyperbolic pronouncement — and what a "wireless media bridge" is — after the jump.
 
Trust me, all of your neighbors have already figured out that the password to your Wi-Fi network is the name of your cat, and they're busy pirating movies and software and when the MPAA breaks down the door you're the one who's going to a labor camp in Siberia. Don't let this happen to you, install wallpaper that keeps your Wi-Fi contained.

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