Selasa, 30 November 2010

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Delta expands WiFi access to select regional jets

Good news, frequent (and not so frequent) fliers. In addition to offering free Goggle-sponsored WiFi on its long-range flights this holiday season, Delta has announced plans to expand Gogo internet access to many of its regional jets, beginning in January. The company says that it should have this next wave of upgrades done by the end of 2011. This will definitely come as a relief to those of us who will be enjoying hours-long "regional" flights in the new year, either on Delta planes or those of its regional partners (including Shuttle America, Comair, and Atlantic Southeast). The expansion will apply only to aircraft with a first class cabin -- you know, the spacious compartment you pass through before being herded into the back with the rest of us schlubs.

Google TV receiving an updated Netflix app?

One of the many gripes about Google TV so far has been the ancient version of Netflix's Watch Instantly app it shipped with, but Scott Greczkowski from Satellite Guys appears to be the first to receive a new version on his Logitech Revue. Pictured above, it seems to reflect one of the (many) versions of the PS3 Netflix app, with queue management and search functions available. Android Central notes that the last update arrived less than a week after the date of the build and this one is marked November 22 so hopefully it should arrive any day now, until then check out the video (embedded after the break) or more pics at the source link.

iOS 4.2 supports new tech to reduce network congestion, Nokia Siemens says

One of the world's top suppliers of cellular infrastructure, Nokia Siemens, has dropped some juicy knowledge today that Apple's new iOS 4.2 update supports a technology called network-controlled fast dormancy that better optimizes how the phone connects to the network. The company touts that it's a win-win -- better battery life, less unnecessary network utilization -- and also points out that Nokia implemented the technique in all of its smartphones starting earlier this year. Since network-controlled fast dormancy is a feature that benefits the network itself as much as it benefits the individual user, knocking out two power players like Nokia and Apple (over half of new smartphone sales, NSN points out) should make a big dent.

Interestingly, NSN seems to have arrived at this discovery through "tests" it conducted, not by working with Apple on implementing it. Sure, we don't pretend to know all the interactions that occur between manufacturers, carriers, and suppliers during a phone's development, but it certainly seems to us that Apple would benefit by engaging infrastructure companies early and often as these baseband updates come together -- particularly as it seeks to keep a tight lid on the very congestion issues that network-controlled fast dormancy is designed to help eliminate. Either way, it's interesting to see how quick Nokia Siemens was to probe for the change this time around.

Verizon launching LTE on December 5th, two transforming 4G USB modems hitch a wild ride

Sure, Verizon's holding a press conference tomorrow, but unless they've got a secret LTE smartphone or tablet (we can only hope) we've got a fairly good idea what the company will say. We're hearing Verizon will flip the switch on its LTE network on December 5th, unveil a pair of hot new USB modems to take advantage of those supposedly stellar speeds, and launch the SIM cards required to make LTE function in the first place. The gadgets include the LG VL600 thumbstick we've seen before, but also this marvelous-looking Pantech UML290 key, which has not only a slick swiveling case but also a dual-jointed USB port beneath. We doubt we're going to have any trouble getting this one plugged into even the slimmest of port-abhorring slimline computing machines. See where one of the SIM cards goes in the gallery below.

Update: The populace has spoken, and "sexy" is no more. Shall we call them "transforming" modems, then? They most certainly are.

[Thanks, Anonymous and JT]

AirSync for doubleTwist brings wireless syncing to Android phones

Been looking for the perfect thing to boast to your iPhone-owning friends about? Well brace yourself, because doubleTwist has just gone wireless with its latest update, introducing a feature called AirSync which allows Android users to keep their media collection simpatico sans cabling. The new app for PC and Mac boxes couples with its Android counterpart (along with a new AirSync component) and lets you do most of your management without needing a wire between your phone and computer. The desktop application and DoubleTwist player for phones won't cost you a thing, though AirSync itself is $0.99 on the phone for the first 10,000 buyers, and then jumps to $4.99 a shot.

Setup is relatively painless, requiring just a passcode from your phone which is input on the PC side. From then on, whenever you've got the app open and your device in range, the content stored on the phone will appear in your DoubleTwist list just as if you'd plugged the phone in (similar to the Windows Phone 7 / Zune wireless sync). We took AirSync for a ride with our Mac and Droid Incredible, and everything seemed to work fine, though we did notice a few bugs (one that was pretty major) that need worked out. Firstly, you'll probably want to just start fresh with syncing your collection -- we made the mistake of trying to pick up where we'd left off and accidentally wiped the content stored on the phone. We also noticed issues with the application trying to sync or update your database while listening to music; more than once our playback abruptly stopped when the app was attempting to talk to the phone. Syncing can also be pretty slow depending on your connection -- really slow if you've got a big collection.

Despite those complaints, AirSync (and both the doubleTwist Android app and desktop client) are incredibly slick solutions to a problem plaguing lots of smartphone users. The company obviously has just begun its work with the app -- and it's clear that there are kinks to work out -- but the dream of a wireless future for Android users just got a lot closer to reality.

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