Stolen APs

I have two access points stolen from one of my clients, a mid-size hotel somewhere in the Bay Area. Six days later, the thief decides to connect one of the access points to his network. Of course, the access point reconnected to my cloud controller giving me complete access to the stolen unit. Just to mess around with the dumb thief, I decided to change the Wi-Fi password of the access point. I also changed the SSID to “Stolen from xxx hotel.” I’m sure his neighbors are delighted to see such a unique SSID. And one more thing, I turned on the “locate” feature causing the access point to blink every second. I hope the thief sleeps through fine with a blinking blue light at night.

Amtrak’s Wifi

You knew WiFi on trains and buses were not good. What you didn’t know is they are really bad, according to a review by Dan Berman of “In some stretches between DC and New York, you basically don’t have the Internet at all.”

WiFi on 900 Mhz

A couple of researchers (hackers) have been able to transmit WiFi signals on the 900 Mhz amateur ham radio band. Signals were successfully received as far as 20 miles away. But due to the technological approached being used using frequencies on the noise floor, the top speed is only achieved at 56 kbps, reminiscent of the dial modem speeds of the past. Nevertheless, the range is quite impressive. Read the rest of the article.

Vending Machines with WiFi

BT Global Services and Coke are partnering to provide WiFi access on vending machines in rural parts of South Africa. Locals will be able to check their emails while being refreshed by Coke. Novel idea. Does it mean that “water cooler” talk will be replaced by “vending machine” talk? Probably not. I see a potential business here for others to provide an internet vending machine for tourists stuck in remote tourist spots.

The New and Kindlier Kindle

It’s kindlier to the pocket that is. I’ve never paid much attention to Amazon’s Kindle products because I thought it cost too much. It’s an extraordinary product. No doubt. Recently, Amazon made an announcement that raised my eyebrow. The price of the latest Kindle is now just $189. It’s still somewhat pricey, but that’s my opinion. In addition, there is WiFi-only Kindle for only $139.

With the 3G wireless, you can download and start reading books in 60 seconds. The screen has no glare in direct sunlight. A single charge can last one month. It can store up to 3,500 books and it weighs only 8.7 ounces. If you ever run out of space, you can delete books with abandon and Amazon will allow you to re-download your books at anytime for free.

The 3G network works in the US as well as abroad. There are no monthly fees. Getting a Kindle with 3G Wireless access at $189 is nice to have, but the Kindle WiFi-only at $139 is simply irresistible.

Check out the latest Kindle.