Researchers Double WiFi Capacity at Half the Size

Last year, researchers from the University of Columbia invented a full-duplex radio IC (integrated circuit) for super-fast WiFi reception and transmission using two antennae. Now, the same team have developed their system to function on a single antenna, which delivers the same wireless speeds but at half the size, marking the first time that anyone has integrated a non-reciprocal circulator and a full-duplex radio on a nanoscale silicon chip. The team’s work is showcased in a new Nature paper entitled “Magnetic-free non-reciprocity based on staggered commutation”.

“This technology could revolutionize the field of telecommunications,” Harish Krishnaswamy, Electrical Engineering Associate Professor at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and director of the Columbia High-Speed and Mm-wave IC (CoSMIC) Lab, said in a press release. “Our circulator is the first to be put on a silicon chip, and we get literally orders of magnitude better performance than prior work. Full-duplex communications, where the transmitter and the receiver operate at the same time and at the same frequency, has become a critical research area and now we’ve shown that WiFi capacity can be doubled on a nanoscale silicon chip with a single antenna. This has enormous implications for devices like smartphones and tablets.”

The technology has been years in the making, with the researchers struggling to “break” what is known as Lorentz Reciprocity, which restricts to electromagnetic waves travel in two directions.

“Reciprocal circuits and systems are quite restrictive because you can’t control the signal freely,” PhD student Negar Reiskarimian, lead author of the Nature Communications paper and developer of the circulator, added. “We wanted to create a simple and efficient way, using conventional materials, to break Lorentz Reciprocity and build a low-cost nanoscale circulator that would fit on a chip. This could open up the door to all kinds of exciting new applications.”

In order to break Lorentz Reciprocity, the team eschewed the usual use of magnetic materials – which are effective but either are expensive or are incompatible with silicon chip technology – in favour of a new design of miniature circulator that is able to rotate signals around the capacitors, via switches, to lose reciprocity.

“Being able to put the circulator on the same chip as the rest of the radio has the potential to significantly reduce the size of the system, enhance its performance, and introduce new functionalities critical to full duplex,” PhD student Jin Zhou, responsible for integrating the circulator with the full-duplex receiver, said.

The researchers are currently working on improving the system in anticipation of any potential implementation in, say, smartphones and computers.

“What really excites me about this research is that we were able to make a contribution at a theoretically fundamental level, which led to the publication in Nature Communications, and also able to demonstrate a practical RF circulator integrated with a full-duplex receiver that exhibited a factor of nearly a billion in echo cancellation, making it the first practical full-duplex receiver chip and which led to the publication in the 2016 IEEE ISSCC,” Krishnaswamy said. “It is rare for a single piece of research, or even a research group, to bridge fundamental theoretical contributions with implementations of practical relevance. It is extremely rewarding to supervise graduate students who were able to do that!”

 

Facebook is Testing a Super-Speed Wi-Fi System

When it comes to technology, Facebook wants to be standing at the front of innovation with creating tools to help blind people make sense of their news feeds and their free internet service being used around the globe, but if you really want to see something then you should check out their super-speed wi-fi system they have installed at their campus.

Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, California has a super wi-fi. What do we mean by a super wi-fi? Well, anything that servers speeds of over one gigabit per second would count as super. This means its more than 100 times the average speed of a typical house’s internet speed in the US!

Facebook doesn’t want to stop there, looking to expand the test to a large scale system in downtown San Jose later this year and then in other areas around the world. Jay Parikh, head of infrastructure and engineering at Facebook says that rolling over other high-speed options, such as Google Fiber, can prove to be difficult in urban areas, so creating a wireless infrastructure would be both cheaper and easier to deploy.

The problems title is named Terragraph and is based on the technology known as WiGig. By placing WiGig hubs on light poles and common street furnishings, Facebook hopes to create a fast wireless network that anyone can use to send and receive information on the 60 GHz radio waves the systems designed around.

Samsung Hosting a Meeting to Standardize 5G Standards

We’ve all heard about 3G and 4G, the standards that define the technology that has helped shape mobile communications and mobile phones for the last generation. Samsung looks to get ahead with the next generation by hosting a meeting in hopes of standardizing standards for the next generation, 5G.

Hosting the 3GPP RAN (3rd Generation Partnership Project – Radio Access Network) group, Samsung Electronics hopes that the meeting taking place in Busan, Korea, will help encourage companies to “discuss ways to support the effective integration of new services such as IoT (Internet of Things) into 5G, and measures to ensure the compatibility of 5G technologies”.

5G is not a new technology, having been in development by Samsung since 2011, but with more and more companies looking to have the first standards ready for June 2018, we could soon see a network that could see speeds of 1.2 Gbps for moving vehicles and 7.5 gigabytes for anyone who stands still for a minute.

With companies looking at rolling out the technology for 2020, the meeting hopes to cover everything from energy and cost efficiency to security and availability, all key factors in releasing a successful piece of technology that people not only accept and pick up but support years down the road.

Inateck Headphones Roundup Review

Introduction


Picking the right headphones can be quite tricky, but with a great range of versatile and reasonably priced headphones in their range, it seems the Inateck has got you covered. Today we’ll be taking a look at three of their latest sets, all of which come targeted at a slightly different part of the market. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help guide you in which ones offer the best performance, features and value for money to suit your own needs.

Inateck produces a huge range of products, such as mobile accessories, USB hubs, hard drive docks, laptop bags and so much more. They’ve had great reviews in the past and their brand continues to grow in popularity, so I’m looking forward to testing out these headphones today. In the eTeknix office, we have their new Aries Dynamic Driver In-Ear Headphones (BH1101), the Taurus Wireless Sport Headset (BH1001) and the more affordable Wood In-ear Hi-Fi Headphone BH1105’s. They all have some a little unique about them too, so it’ll be interesting to see which  ones offer up the best options and performance overall given their respective price ranges and target audiences.

Aries Dynamic Driver Headphones

“Built in modern aluminum-housings and classic premium genuine wood, Inateck Aries BH1101 likes more like a work of art. 22 cored anti-oxidized cooper wire can better extend its service life. Furthermore, the PU Aluminum Foil cable makes it sturdy and tangle free.”

Wood In-ear Hi-Fi Headphone

“What is the most important thing to headphones? A well-rounded and clear sound! BH1105 is not only superbly balanced but also offers awesome bass, trebles and ear protection. The Zebra Wood pumps up your sound to an orchestral-like level. Bring a concert with you wherever you go.”

Taurus Wireless Sport Headphones

“Inateck Sport Bluetooth headset-BH1001 provides a comfortable, curved fit. Its magnetic design allows the two ear buds attract with each other, forming a circle that could hang on your neck to avoid falling down or losing when you finished exercising.”

The packaging on the headsets/headphones is pretty simple, with a minimal waste box and some stylish representations on the front.

Around the back, quite simple again and a few major specifications on the Aries and Taurus boxes.

Wireless Passwords Could Be a Thing of the Past Thanks to MIT Research

 

A new wireless technology in development by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab could allow us to finally say goodbye to the Wi-Fi password.

The technology, currently named Chronos, is capable of allowing a single wireless access point to detect the location of networked users to tens of centimetres in accuracy. This immediately has a number of possible applications, one of which could allow wi-fi networks to be limited in access to only those within the building, as well as smart home applications such as tracking people’s movement and adjusting temperature and lighting as they move.

Chronos works by computing the “time of flight” of a wireless signal with an average error of just 0.47 nanoseconds according to MIT, which when multiplied by the speed of light allows Chronos to accurately detect not only the angle from the access point a user is at, but also their distance from it. Comparatively, existing wi-fi devices lack the bandwidth to accurately measure the time of flight of a signal, so in order to detect the locations of users, multiple access points were required for triangulation.

It was discovered after MIT Ph.D. student Deepak Vasisht observed that the signals travel through the air at a different frequency than within a Wi-Fi device that is being detected. He and his team were then able to exploit this difference in signals, testing their new algorithm in a two-bedroom apartment containing four people, where Chronos could accurately detect the room a user was in 94% of the time. When tested in a cafe, the detection rate of in-store customers compared to out-of-store hijackers was 97% accurate, which could allow wireless passwords to be rendered redundant in such cases, as only those in the store can connect to the network.

Whether this will truly be the end of the wireless password is unlikely, as there will always be a call for a higher level of security on many networks. For lightly restricted public networks, though, this technology could be a godsend, without requiring businesses set up a complex multi-access-point solution. A paper summarizing the study of the technology was presented last month by Vasisht at the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation.

Underwear Designed To Protect Your “Crown Jewels” from Phone Radiation?

Technology has a way of scaring people, from the original fears that the TV would create a horde of mindless zombies to the argument that video games promote violence. One of the oldest fears though is with wireless technology, something that is relatively modern in the world, and the effect that it may have on our bodies given how recent its mainstream usage has become. Don’t worry though because a company has come up with some nifty underwear to help protect you from your mobile phone radiation.

Kronjuwelen (translated as “crown jewels”) is the German startup responsible for the underwear in question, a set of clothing designed specifically to protect men’s nether regions from the effects of mobile phones radiations.

The underwear itself is lined with “protective silver threads”, designed to absorb 70 percent of WiFi signals and 98% from your mobile phone. With four different sizes (but sadly only one colour) the underwear comes in at $32. The four co-founders state that they don’t want to “live with these potential risks anymore”, with the disclaimer that they are “neither radiologists, physicists, nor cancer researchers, and we cannot finally determine the risks of mobile phone radiation.”

Better safe than sorry, especially when your future family may be involved seems to be the policy behind these boxers and I’m certain that others will feel the same way. With some studies showing abnormalities in sperm counts following on from exposure to wireless signals (please note there is no scientific consensus on if wireless signals do in fact affect sperm concentrations), some people will sleep better knowing that their future is safe with a silver lining.

Win a Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Mouse!

Are you looking to win the greatest PC mouse ever created? We’ve teamed up with the good people at Logitech to give one lucky winner (UK) the chance to win this incredible gaming mouse. Equipped with the latest wireless technology, the G900 offers up flawless performance that’s even faster and more accurate than its rivals, and that includes wired models!

Ultra light, fast, accurate and ready to take the competitive gaming world by storm, the G900 Chaos Spectrum is a fantastic mouse. It can be used wireless and wired, comes with a fully ambidextrous design, modular buttons, a 1ms report rate, and one of (if not the) best sensors on the market.

Features

  • 6-11 programmable buttons (depending on side button configuration)
  • Lightweight hyperfast tilt scroll wheel
  • Customizable RGB Lighting
  • Metal pivot main key design
  • Metal spring button tensioning system

Tracking

  • Resolution: 200 – 12,000 dpi
  • Max. acceleration: >40G*
  • Max. speed: >300 ips*

* Tested on Logitech G240 Gaming Mouse Pad

Responsiveness

  • USB data format: 16 bits/axis
  • USB report rate: 1000 Hz (1ms)
  • Wireless report rate: 1000Hz(1ms)
  • Wireless technology: Custom 2.4GHz
  • Microprocessor: 32-bit ARM

Physical Specs

  • Length: 130mm
  • Width: 67mm
  • Height: 40mm
  • Weight: 107 grams (mouse only)

Glide

  • Dynamic coefficient of friction**: .11 μ (k)
  • Static coefficient of friction**: .17 μ (s)

**Tested on wood-veneer desktop

Durability

  • Buttons (Left / Right): 20 million clicks
  • Feet: 250 kilometers

Want to know more about the G900? Check out our full review here and check out the official Logitech product page here.

“In high-pressure moments, latency can be the difference between winning it all or losing. With millions on the line, top eSports professionals can depend on G900 Chaos Spectrum. Featuring a 1-millisecond report rate and our highly optimized 2.4GHz wireless connection, Chaos Spectrum delivers incredible responsiveness for competition-level twitch targeting.” – Logitech

To enter, just fill out the form below. Good luck!

Win a Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Mouse!

Android Pay Is Coming To The UK

These days your phone can replace a lot of things, from your contact list to your camera, they do it all. With thanks to Android, you may get to tick another thing off your list with several major banks in the UK starting to accept Android Pay.

Currently, the financial institutes that support Android Pay are the following:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • M&S Bank
  • MBNA
  • Nationwide

It won’t stop there with Android’s blog posting that the list will grow thanks to “new banks being added all the time”. Android pay will be accepted anywhere in the UK that supports contactless payments, meaning your weekly shopping trip or even your lunch treat could soon be provided by your mobile phone.

If that wasn’t enough the feature will also be supported in several apps, such as Kickstarter, JD Sports and Deliveroo while other the API that lets developers add the feature has been adjusted to make it easier to include the feature in any app’s that want you to pay for with your phone.

With 1.5 million registrations happening in the US each month for Android Pay, the success of the system could only grow by adding it to other countries and it looks like Apple Pay and other contactless systems may have a fight on their hands for which phone you use to pay your lunch bill.

Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Mouse Review

Introduction


The world of desktop mice is very competitive, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in the office, a stay-at-home gamer or involved in eSports, when it comes to buying a new mouse, you’re going to want the best mouse you can possibly get, assuming you’ve got the budget of course. Enter the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum, said to be the most innovative and best-performing mouse on the market, not just in terms of what Logitech has created before it, but even compared to their many rivals high-end products too. This is a bold claim and it’s something we’re eager to test today, so let’s take a look at what the G900 has to offer.

Professional Grade Wireless

“In high-pressure moments, latency can be the difference between winning it all or losing. With millions on the line, or just some e-cred with your buddies, PC gamers can depend on the G900 Chaos Spectrum to get the GG. With a 1 millisecond report rate, and our highly optimized 2.4GHz wireless connection, the G900 Chaos Spectrum outperforms the competition’s solutions, even the wired ones!” – Logitech

Advanced Optical Gaming Sensor

“The G900 Chaos Spectrum utilizes the PMW3366 optical gaming sensor, which is widely regarded as the best optical sensor on the market. The PMW3366 sensor precisely translates hand movement onto the screen, even at high-sensitivity. It delivers exceptionally accurate and consistent responsiveness at any speed across the entire DPI range (200-12,000DPI) with zero acceleration and zero smoothing thanks to Delta Zero technology.” – Logitech

Wireless has often been a sticking point for competitive gaming, as it has a history of lower latency, problems with interference and more, but Logitech has thrown every bit of research you can think of at their new design and the end result is a wireless mouse (although it can be used wired mode also) that has the lowest latency on the market, even compared to wired mice, the most consistent signal even in the most demanding scenarios, an ultra-light design and none of this has come at the compromise of features, as the G900 is one of the best equipped and most feature packed mice you’ll find.

Fully programmable buttons, Logitech’s legendary adjustable scroll-wheel, one of the best sensors on the market, a fast processor and premium grade switches. Of course, the most important thing here in my eyes is that it weighs just 107 grams, which is virtually nothing for a mouse and even more so for a wireless mouse! There’s nothing more we could ask for in a mouse, so let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

Features

  • 6-11 programmable buttons (depending on side button configuration)
  • Lightweight hyperfast tilt scroll wheel
  • Customizable RGB Lighting
  • Metal pivot main key design
  • Metal spring button tensioning system

Tracking

  • Resolution: 200 – 12,000 dpi
  • Max. acceleration: >40G*
  • Max. speed: >300 ips*

* Tested on Logitech G240 Gaming Mouse Pad

Responsiveness

  • USB data format: 16 bits/axis
  • USB report rate: 1000 Hz (1ms)
  • Wireless report rate: 1000Hz(1ms)
  • Wireless technology: Custom 2.4GHz
  • Microprocessor: 32-bit ARM

Physical Specs

  • Length: 130mm
  • Width: 67mm
  • Height: 40mm
  • Weight: 107 grams (mouse only)

Glide

  • Dynamic coefficient of friction**: .11 μ (k)
  • Static coefficient of friction**: .17 μ (s)

**Tested on wood-veneer desktop

Durability

  • Buttons (Left / Right): 20 million clicks
  • Feet: 250 kilometers

The packaging is quite compact with a nice image of the mouse on the front, as well as the usual branding.

Around the back, a quick rundown of the major features such as the 1ms wired or wireless report rate, 107g weight, sensor and button configuration.

The slip cover comes off the box, revealing a durable presentation box.

It opens out to reveal the mouse prominently displayed and surrounded by lots of custom cut protective packaging.

Under the mouse, all the required accessories.

There’s a lightweight braided cable for using the mouse in wired mode or to simply charge the mouse. There’s also a wireless dongle and additional side buttons.

The ambidextrous mouse allows you to remove the side buttons and swap it between true left/right-handed modes, or even configure it to have dual side buttons to suit your taste. The dongle is a simple USB device but also comes with a block that can be used as an extender, which we’ll see in action shortly.

Radio Attack Lets Hackers Drive Away Your Car

When it was revealed I couldn’t believe my eyes. Someone walks up to a car and its locked, someone else walks up and can instantly get in and at the press of a button start the engine, no key required. Wireless key technology is now employed in cars all over the world and allows for users to avoid the hassle of finding their car keys, sadly it looks like a radio attack lets hackers do exactly the same thing without you even knowing.

A group of german vehicle security experts have studied how the radio hack uses your keys to break into your own key. The whole principle of wireless keys is that the engine and the doors will only work when the keys are within a certain range of the vehicle, this means that if you aren’t near your car it’s just an expensive piece of metal and technology.

Munich-based automobile club, ADAC, tested a hacking technique that uses the principle of “amplification” to fool your car into believing that the keys are actually closer than they actually are. In total, their study found 24 different vehicles were vulnerable, and it wasn’t just one manufacturer that was involved, 19 different manufacturers were vulnerable to the radio attack. What does this mean? Using this kind of attack someone can walk up to your car, and using a small pocket amplification device, unlock and drive away your car. No alarms,

What does this mean? Using this kind of attack someone can walk up to your car, and using a small pocket amplification device, unlock and drive away your car. The total cost of this hack? $225 for the device. Compare that to the cost of the Audi A3, A4 and A6, Ford Galaxy, Mitsubishi Outlander, Renaults Traffic and countless other models that are vulnerable to this attack.

The technique works by “amplifying” your keys signal. In reality, what happens is the key fobs signal is relayed through a pair of radios. Is this an example of technology being made too smart, at the cost of security, in order to save us a few seconds of inconvenience?

ASUS Travelair N Wireless 1TB Hard Disk Review

Introduction


When it comes to storage you can either go the ordinary and boring route, or you can opt for something that breaks with the norm with more features than you would expect. I’m taking a closer look at ASUS’ Travelair N today which is a portable USB 3.0 hard disk drive that also works wirelessly with a built-in access point, comes with an SD card reader built-in, and has One-Touch NFC capabilities on top of the 1TB storage capacity.

The ASUS Travelair N ‏(WHD-A2) is a 1TB portable USB 3.0 hard disk drive at heart and that in itself isn’t without. You can easily carry 500 movies, thousands of photos, songs, and files with you where ever you go. An ordinary portable drive has some limitations on the road, mainly the connection interface. What if you would like to access the drive from your mobile phone or tablet? What if you are far from a power outlet? Well, that is no problem with the Travelair N that comes with built-in wireless network capabilities and a battery.

Using the 2.4GHz band, the Travelair N can connect to pretty much any wireless devices available. It is compatible with IEEE 802.11b, g, and n-style connections which cover the entire spectrum of the wireless band. The antennas are internal, so you don’t need to worry about connecting them or breaking them off either. The Travelair N uses enterprise-level WPA2 wireless security to connect with your smart phone or tablet, ensuring all of your content is kept private and secure.

Not only does it come with built-in wireless capabilities, the drive also features a built-in 3300 mAh battery that is rated for up to 8-hours usage. This should be plenty of time until you’re near a charging ability again.

And no, ASUS didn’t stop here and added more features to this drive. The Travelair N supports NFC technology for instant one-touch connection to supported devices without any configuration needs. Simply touch your NFC-supported smart phone or tablet to the drive and you can browse your media library and files straight away.

The final feature of the drive itself is the built-in SD card slot that lets you back up your data from memory cards with simple steps. This is the perfect solution to empty the memory cards onto a larger storage medium and keep shooting those photos while you got the opportunity.

ASUS created the AiDrive companion app which is available on almost any platform: iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android devices. The app features an intuitive user interface to let you quickly and easily view and share your photos, videos, and files.

The Travelair N can connect with up to five devices simultaneously when transferring files and up to three devices when streaming movies in HD quality. This allows you to easily share a single drive between multiple systems, devices, and people.

A portable drive needs to have a better resistance to environmental hazards and the Travelair N features an IP43-rated water-resistant design. This should guarantee a protection from accidental splashes and spills onto the drive.

With all the talk about USB 3.0 for PC connections and wireless for mobile devices, we shouldn’t forget that we also can connect a drive like this to all our other smart devices with USB or wireless capabilities, may they be gaming consoles, smart TVs, or something else.

Feature Highlights

  • One-Touch NFC for easy connection
  • Integrated SD Card reader expands storage capacity
  • Connect up to five devices simultaneously
  • Splash-proof design with IP43 water resistance
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use companion app

Package and Accessories

ASUS packed the Travelair N in a horizontal shaped box which is unlike most that come more square. That’s very fitting for a drive like this that is anything but ordinary. The front will let you know what you purchase in a simplistic design including features and capacity.

On the rear of the box, you find a lot more details to the different functions such as environmental protection, wifi, and NFC.

Inside the box was a USB 3.0 cable, a warranty card and safety notice as well as the quick start guide. Normally there would also be an AD/DC power adapter for charging purposes, but that was missing in my review sample.

E-Blue Mazer Type-R Wireless Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Today we’ll be taking a look at the new Mazer Type-R Wireless from E-Blue. While you may not have heard of E-Blue, they’re one of the quickest growing names in the business right now, having expanded into more global markets each year since they started back in 1999. Right now, E-Blue is working on opening around 600 eSports cafes in China, are sponsors of the well-known EDG Gaming League of Legends champions, and so much more.

“Our mission is to bring stylish, trendy and high-quality products to the worldwide end-users. We believe that there are many good products in the market but they are in unreasonable price to the end-user and also there exist many low-graded of products with bad quality and in low price to a big group of user. But these two types are not the most desired and demanded to the customers. They desire the products more trendy, under reasonable price and good quality with high durability. This is how e-blue insist to keep such principle as the main mission.” – E-Blue

While they do offer up a few high-end peripherals, their core market is getting good specification hardware into gamers hands at a price that is very affordable. There’s a very competitive market right now for affordable gaming and I’m sure many of you will agree, we don’t all have £100+ for a new keyboard or gaming mouse.

Equipped with an Avago optical sensor, capable of 500/1200/1800/2500 DPI, wireless technology (via USB dongle), and a stylish design, the Type-R certainly seems interesting. As with any other E-Blue product we’ve ever seen, its also exceptionally well packaged and the box gives us a great look at the actual mouse design.

Around the back, a quick rundown of some more technical details, such as mac/PC compatibility and battery requirements (2 x AA).

In the box, you’ll find the Type-R mouse, obviously, as well as the wireless USB dongle, which is nice and compact, two batteries, and the user manual.

Tenda AC15 Dual-Band AC1900 Gigabit WiFi Router Review

Introduction


Tenda might be a company that is mostly known for the entry-level products at lower speeds, but they also got some top of the line devices that easily can compete with anything else on the market. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tenda AC15 which is an AC1900 Smart Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi router.

Tenda designed the AC15 with the smart home in mind and as such the router brings a lot of features that can make your everyday digital life a lot easier. Starting with the dual-band AC1900 technology we know that we have a strong router in our hands that will deliver some of the best possible wireless network speeds. The AC15 also features beamforming technology that helps to boost the range of the high-powered amplifiers and external antennas.

The AC1900 standard defines a total speed capability of the router up to 1900Mbps where it is capable of delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently. The Beamforming+ technology helps to achieve the best connection with each device as it locks onto a device’s location and strengthens the signal in that direction rather than blasting it equally in every direction.

The router is equipped with 3 external dual band antennas with a 3dBi strength. Sadly the antennas aren’t replaceable, at least not without taking the unit apart, but they should offer plenty of performance for small to mid-sized homes.

Tenda built the AC15 router around a Broadcom dual-core processor and equipped it with DDR3 memory, but the specifications page does not reveal which exact processor nor how much memory it has. That might, however, be something we can find out through the user interface or by opening it up.

Next to the obligatory WAN port, Tenda equipped the AC15 router with three more Gigabit Ethernet ports for your wired network devices. It also features a USB 3.0 port for easy storage and printer connections which then can be shared to any device that you want via your network. This also allows you to create a personal cloud system and that’s even an easy task to do thanks to Tenda’s personal cloud system. We’ll have a close look at that when we got to the user interface.

There is an ever-increasing concern what effect WiFi signals can have on us humans and it’s better to be on the safe side than sorry. Whether this is a concern to you or not, the Healthy e-life functions in the router allow you to dim the LEDs as well as turn the WiFi signal on and off by a user defined schedule. Why should you be bothered by blinking lights and wireless signals when you aren’t home or asleep. Might as well turn it off, which also saves on the electricity bill.

The initial setup and further configuration of Tenda’s AC15 is a breeze as you can do it from any device, whether it’s wired or wireless. You can either use the easy web setup wizard or use the available Tenda apps. Once setup, you have a powerful wireless router that supports IPTV, VPN, FTP, DDNS and DLNA among others.

Feature Highlights

  • Ultimate 11ac speed of up to 1900Mbps, delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently.
  • Broadcom dual-core processor with DDR3 memory for multi-client with responsive performance and fast speed.
  • Beamforming+ technology boosts range for the 802.11ac WiFi devices.
  • High powered amplifiers and three external antennas for whole-home coverage.
  • USB3.0 for personal secure cloud and printer sharing.
  • Smart managements of WiFi schedule, LED indicator and power saving all are for your healthy E-life.

Package and Accessories

The retail package for the Tenda AC15 router is a beautiful full-coloured one. The front teases the features and the units design with its eye-catching and bright design.

The rear of the box has some more information on the routers usage scenarios as well as more information about the features.

The full network specifications can be found on the side of the box, so you know what you get before you make the purchase.

The router itself is wrapped with a plastic cover to protect it from scratches. There’s also an extra SSID and password sticker on the plastic which you can remove and place somewhere else for safe keeping.

There’s an install guide, GNU license notice, and a wireless standard certification included, but the last two are more for legal reasons.

Besides the router and the manuals, we also find a power adapter, an RJ45 LAN cable and the foot for the router inside the box.

 

Mac Update Disables Ethernet

In this day and age, most laptops and devices come with a wireless adapter built-in, even the latest Raspberry Pi includes wireless. This is lucky for when you can’t get to the router in your house, or the cable just won’t reach your favourite seat, or when your ethernet connection is disabled by an update.

Some people found this out the hard way this morning when Apple published an update over the weekend which disabled the ethernet port in the El Capitan distribution of their operating system. The reason for the disabled port? An update for the System integrity protection system, a system designed to keep your computer secure by disabling malicious kernel extensions (kext) (the equivalent of drivers for Windows or Linux users). Sadly a small update blacklisted the ethernet ports kext.

While an update was quickly released to fix the issue, some people still had the issue of it disabling their system before they were able to update to the latest version. The idea is that it’s all done behind the scenes, without you having to select the update or even know about it, kexts are updated silently. These updates run even if you have disabled the standard automatic update.

Do you use cabled connections or are you constantly on the wi-fi? Could you live with the other? What would you do if someone accidentally disabled the wireless in your computer, laptop or even your phone?

Raspberry Pi 3 Includes Wi-fi and Bluetooth

Computers are weird things, they get smaller each year and yet still their power and what each of them can do increases every time we blink. A prime example of this is the recent surge of mini-computers, with some hardware being as small as your phone while also letting you add and customise to your heart contents. From touchscreens to the next generation of robot wars, the small component has inspired a generation but without wireless technology, it seemed to lack something. That could change with an FCC document showing that the next generation of Raspberry Pi may solve that problem

First let’s be clear, you can connect the older Raspberry Pi’s to the wireless network but you needed to buy a wireless dongle, which means another thing you can forget and a USB port that you’ve got to take up in order to use it. The documents show that not only will the next Raspberry Pi include everything you need for wi-fi connections but it will also include Bluetooth.

The documents don’t really show that much difference, with everything else pointing to the same specification as the Raspberry Pi 2, but that doesn’t mean it won’t change.

Do you use a Raspberry Pi, or maybe something similar and if so what do you use it for?

Samsung Printer Orders Itself More Ink When It Starts To Run Low

Amazon is a company known for being at the forefront of technology. With everything from their online streaming service to their hopes for drone deliveries. One of Amazon’s key selling points is their “Prime” service, offering you access to their online video collection and free one-day delivery. One of the lesser known features is the ability to re-order something when you get low, something that can now be built into technology.

Amazon announced its “dash” feature some time ago now, with the press of a button re-ordering your much needed supplies. Covering everything from your washing up and laundry supplies to your office needs, it would now seem that Samsung has caught on and built the function into some of their new printers.

While most printers monitoring ink levels, Samsung’s latest will go that step further and re-order more ink when you start to run low. With the orders at which you re-order cartridges adjustable it won’t be a case of one size fits all, even for your printing habits with hand ins and report deadlines destroying the ink that you thought you had in the printer.

With more and more devices offering the “dash” feature, all you have to remember is to pay and put the replacement where it’s needed. The service means that users don’t have to remember to re-order items, with everything from shaving foam and kitchen roll to Gatorade and nappies being supplied at the press of a button and soon, just by you finishing that last pack you had put away in the cupboard.

ASUS Agrees to Regular Security Audits

ASUS are a well-known brand for technology, creating everything from laptops to gaming mice. One thing people may not realise is that ASUS are also a maker of wireless technology, something that has unfortunately gotten them into trouble in the past.

ASUS, a Taiwanese manufacturer of hardware, once stated that their devices could “protect computers from any unauthorized access, hacking and virus attacks”. This is something you should never say, for anything, especially computer security. As a result of this, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) found several flaws in their routers security, some of which were described as critical.

Using the security flaws, it would have been possible that people could gain unauthorised access to the web based control panels, granting you access to information regarding the wireless network and the possibility to even install viruses or malware directly to the router.

This history of bad security should change now though with ASUS agreeing to the FTC’s condition that it subject itself to biannually security audits of its software, while also notifying its users when the latest update is available. It will also cost them in the future if they decide to make another “promise” which turns out to be false, with each violation costing them a staggering $16,000.

Oral-B Genius: A Toothbrush With Apps

We love technology, sometimes a little too much. The internet of things exposes a whole new way to look at the world, with cameras being viewable from all over the world and “smart houses” causing major problems with each glitch. So what could become “smart” next? How about your toothbrush?

Welcome the Oral-B Genius, a new toothbrush that not only helps you clean your teeth but also points out all those bad habits you might have when it comes to brushing your teeth. The recommendation is that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes a day, at least twice. Some people aren’t as patient as that and either rushes through it or miss out on the morning or evening brush every couple of days. The SmartSeries by Oral-B looks to help people increase their brush time by making it an experience they want to do, letting you see the news or your daily calendar on your phone while you brush.

Not only does the toothbrush connect to your phone to give you all the news and weather but the inbuilt pressure senses give you a warning when you push that little bit too hard on your teeth. The latest model, the Genius, contains all this and more. The added feature is the use of the “Position Detection Technology” that lets the app know where in your mouth you are brushing, telling you where you are overfocusing and where in your mouth you need to spend more time.

If this wasn’t enough for you the phone has to calculate your teeth’s position. The solution they found was to use the smartphone’s camera to identify your face and then calculate your teeth based on the image and your brushing data.

Didn’t feel bad about occasionally skipping brushing your teeth? I wonder how long it is before the app’s updated with a guilt feature, anything that reminds us just how bad we are for not caring enough about our teeth.

ASUS Announces RP-AC68U Wireless Repeater

Even with the best of routers, you can run into trouble with insufficient coverage on your wireless networks and that is where repeaters come into play. Mostly we see small repeaters that plug directly into the wall socket and aren’t much bigger than a socket and switch put together, but ASUS’ latest repeater dubbed the RP-AC68U breaks with that norm.

The newly presented ASUS RP-AC68U is a dual-band wireless AC1900 repeater shaped like a pillar and with a list of advanced functions that make it stand out even more from the crowd. The stylish RP-AC68U features four internal high-performance antennas (3 transmit, 4 receive) and allows users to easily extend coverage of an existing 802.11ac Wi-Fi network with fast speeds of up to 1900Mbps.

The rear of the wireless repeater shows just how much this repeater goes out of the norm as it comes with five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports built-in as well as a USB 3.0 port for connecting storage devices to your network. The USB port supports ASUS AiCloud and can act with simple NAS functionality and as your own personal cloud server with apps available for both iOS and Android devices. The RP-AC68U can also be used in Access Point mode to add ultra-fast Wi-Fi convenience to any existing wired network.

The illuminated red accents can be turned on or off by a convenient touch sensor incorporated in the ASUS logo on the front and the installation and setup is just as easy. The repeater features a simple one-touch setup with WPS and it has LED signal strength indicators for both bands. This allows you to easily find the optimal placement for the repeater.

Pricing and availability are yet to be announced. It surely won’t be the cheapest repeater on the block, but it also provides a lot more functionality than we’re used to from such devices. It is as close as it can be to a router without being one.

ASUS Announces Travelair AC Pocket-Sized Wireless Flash Drive

ASUS has created a few products out of their norm lately and I think it’s nice to see them breaching into new product categories, especially when they create things that aren’t all that common yet. The newest product to be announced is the Travelair AC which is a pocket-sized wireless flash drive.

The ASUS Travelair AC features 802.11ac wireless network connectivity which easily is 3 times faster than the legacy 2.4GHz band that a lot of such devices operate on. The faster wireless connection doesn’t just provide better copy and streaming speeds, it also allows your devices to stay on a single network for less hassle.

Basic 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless connectivity is just one of the features in ASUS new portable flash drive as it also feature NFC technology for instant connection to NFC-enabled mobile devices for an even easier setup. The Travelair AC features 32GB built-in memory which in itself isn’t much, but it can be easily expanded through the built-in SD card reader.

The flash drive also features a micro USB connector for a wired connection to non-wifi devices as well as to charge the built-in 3000 mAh battery.

ASUS added a dual wireless functionality to the Travelair AC, so you won’t lose your internet connection when using this wireless flash drive. You simply connect the Travelair AC to your router and any device that connects to the drive will also automatically get the signal forwarding to your internet connection. Naturally this support also includes WPA2 security for secure connections both ways

The ASUS AiDrive app for Android, iOS, and Kindle devices allows for easy setup and connection, but the drive is also compatible with Windows and Mac OS devices. The built-in battery should provide up to 10 hours of multimedia content streaming to Wi-Fi-enabled devices per charge which should be enough for even the longest trips.

Pricing and availability of the ASUS Travelair AC are yet to be announced.

Specifications

  • Wi-Fi standards: IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz & 5GHz
  • Storage capacity: 32GB
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Micro USB, NFC
  • OS Compatibility: iOS 7 or higher, AndroidTM 4.0 or higher, Kindle Fire HD and HDX, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.6 or higher
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • Colors: White
  • Size: 86 x 86 x 21mm
  • Weight: 120g

Nitero Promises Wireless VR in 2016

One of the big features in 2016 will be virtual reality or VR. Virtual reality is the idea of becoming so immersed into an experience that it seems like you are actually there. The Oculus Rift is arguably the most well-known device to give you this experience, the downside of the experience is traditionally the need for cables. This could all change thanks to Nitero who are working on a solution for wireless VR.

If you wanted to send large amounts of information to a device you have two approaches, you can either send it via a cable, which limits movement but allows you to send data very quickly and at high quality, or you can send it wirelessly. Sending data wirelessly leads to signal issues and tends to be slower, meaning new technology like virtual reality tends to work more on wired connections.

Nitero CEO Pat Kelly is so confident that his company can release a product, with a hardware partner, in the second half of 2016 that involves a wireless VR device, that only “a meteor hitting the Earth” could stop them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M065tVhG1q8&feature=youtu.be

Using 60GHz wireless and video compression techniques (similar to an approach Netflix is using to help stream their library to you), Nitero are looking to send virtual reality data with a “latency in the order of 100’s of microseconds”.

Being able to use new technology is great, not being held back by the cables that will entangle and prove a threat to your safety.

D-Link DIR-890 AC3200 Ultra Triple-Band Wi-Fi Router Review

Introduction


When you pick the router you want to own, you can either pick an ordinary router for your setup or a great one if you want just a little more. But there is also a third option and you have the choice to go for something extraordinary. Today I’m taking a closer look a router from the last category as I’m having D-Link’s impressive DIR-890L AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi router in my testing area.

The DIR-890L brings impressive performance via three bands instead of the normal two bands, and it also comes packed in a stylish design with six antennas for maximum range, coverage, and speed. D-Link’s DIR-890L has a futuristic kind of design that somewhat resembles a drone or spaceship. A lot of the times this kind of designs can go too far, but D-Link seems to have nailed it and hit just the right spot between normal, futuristic, functionality, and design. It looks great!

We get more and more smart devices in our homes and that is something that increases exponentially the more people live in the household. We have smart TVs, smartphones, laptops, tablets, game consoles, computers, and much more. All of these need an internet connection through our one and only entry and exit point, the router, which means that we quickly can reach limits around the available bandwidth and channels, and we experience bottlenecks and lag.

Traditional routers have a 2.4GHz band for up to 600Mbps throughput that is suited for surfing, emails, and instant messaging as well as the newer 5GHz band that has a little less range but a lot more performance. D-Link added one more on top of that in the DIR-890L AC3200 router, they added a third band. The third band is another 5GHz band, freeing up some space on the first one by balancing the connections out. It also prevents slower connected devices from bottlenecking the band from faster ones. Each of the 5GHz bands has a maximum throughput of 1300Mbps which gives the DIR-890L a total wireless throughput of 3200Mbps. Effectively this is like three routers in one.

As mentioned above, not all wireless bands are the same, but that isn’t something you need to worry about with this router. The Smart Connect Technology allows the router to choose from the three Wi-Fi bands and automatically connect each device on the network to the best and clearest band available at the time of connection.

The Smart Connect feature is awesome as it manages everything itself and removes any worry from the user’s end what band to pick and choose from. You can still choose to use each band separately with their own individual SSID name and password settings should you wish to do so.

D-Link gave the DIR-890L six antennas and the router features beam-forming technology to improve coverage. With this technology, the router can direct the bandwidth in the direction of the devices connected and thereby give you a better overall connection experience whether you stream your movies, Skype with friends, or play online games.

The six antennas are adjustable in almost all directions, except down. So unless you want to place it upside down, then you can’t have it look like a spider on six legs as some of you probably already imagined. It is not something I would recommend doing as it would place the vents upward and allow for more dust to settle inside the router. You sadly can’t replace the antennas with aftermarket ones on the Ultra AC3200 and that might be a downside for some people.

The router naturally also features wired connections and not just wireless ones, although the wireless features are the selling point in this router along with the great hardware base. You get one WAN port for the internet connection and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for your LAN. The DIR-890L also comes with one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port for file sharing from external storage drives or creating a network printing environment from your old USB-based printer. The D-Link share port allows all this with ease and also allows you to use the built-in DLNA server and stream to compatible devices.

D-Link also packed the router full of useful software features such as parental controls, blocking of unwanted devices, internet activity monitoring, and Wi-Fi guest networks. Intelligent Traffic Prioritization selects the fastest Wi-Fi for every device and prevents older devices from affecting optimal performance. VPN setup and all common features such as NAT and port forwarding aren’t a problem for the DIR-890L either.

There are a lot more features, but we’ll see them on the following pages when we take a look at the user interface and options. If all that shouldn’t be enough, or you just don’t like the interface for some reason and would like something else, then you can flash the router with DD-WRT, the open-source router firmware. The D-Link AC3200 Wi-Fi Router should be fully compatible with the open source Linux-based router operating system.

If all that shouldn’t be enough, or you just don’t like the interface for some reason and would like something else, then you can flash the router with DD-WRT, the open-source router firmware. The D-Link AC3200 Wi-Fi Router should be fully compatible with the open source Linux-based router operating system.

All this requires some power to run and that comes from a 1GHz dual-core processor that has no trouble keeping up the data packets for your gaming sessions or 4K media streaming. Speaking of 4K media streaming, the DIR-890L is a Nvidia GameStream-Ready product and certified for optimal compatibility with the newly released Nvidia Shield 4K Android TV Console.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

A Premium router also needs a premium package, and the D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router has that. The huge box has a premium finish and is made from thick cardboard. The outside has a full-colour print with the router itself and the name on the front.

The rear of the box displays the main feature highlights in a graphical way, easy to see, read, and understand.

It isn’t just a folded box around an inlay either, but a real box where you lift the cover up.

Inside you see the beautiful router right away, safely secured and with the accessories packed in the boxes on either side.

Inside is a power cord, AC power adapter, and an RJ45 LAN cable to connect your new router.

There’s also a beautiful Quick Install Guide to help you get started, a configuration card with all the default settings and room to write you own as well as an extra sticker with the defaults for you to place where it is convenient.

Dell Demos Wireless Monitor With Phone Charging @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Monitor technology has progressed at an exponential rate and the future looks very promising with OLED, and Quantum Dot displays around the corner. However, one of the more unusual developments is a 23-inch 1920×1080 wireless monitor by Dell which allows you to mirror your screen on any Android or Windows device via Miracast and Bluetooth. Not only that, the stand has an integrated wireless charging sensor which supports both QI and PMA standards. When testing this functionality on my own handset, it became apparent that the pad has no problems with unibody design handsets, or devices with a glossy back cover.

The monitor will go on sale March 31st with a retail price of $429.

More iPhone 7 Details

Every year we see another selection of technology released, sometimes contain new technologies and sometimes old technologies are continued into the next selection of hardware released. One market that keeps moving forward is the mobile market and Apple looks to continue with its iPhone 7. With rumours about it being waterproof spreading, it was only a matter of time before we got more iPhone 7 details, something we now have.

A source that is said to have had knowledge of the plans detailed several features that have long been rumoured. The big one will be that the iPhone 7 will come without the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and will instead use a propriety headphone jack built into the lightning port and created in collaboration with Wolfson Microelectronics. With rumours flying around since their patent application for the new headphone connection, the new system is said to feature noise-cancelling technology created by Wolfson Microelectronics both within the phone and the headphones themselves in order to help reduce background noise. The source continued to say that other companies would need to buy a licence to use the technology within their own models.

The source states that they are also putting in wireless charging technology (after considering it in their last two iPhones) into the iPhone 7, alongside the new waterproof status that its said to carry.

While it is still several months before the phone begins production, many iPhone users will no doubt worry about the need to buy expensive headphones or an adapter in order to listen to music on their iPhone without wireless headphones.

Harmon Kardon Expands Omni Wireless Speakers Range @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Since the arrival of the Sonus wireless music system, audio manufacturers including Bose and Harmon Kardon have been trying to offer a legitimate alternative. Harmon Kardon’s Omni range of wireless speakers has just received a substantial update and now includes the Omni 10+, Omni 20+ and Omni 50+. Additionally, the company is producing the OmniBar+ soundbar and Adapt+ accessory which allows you to setup multi-room speaker configurations with your existing hardware. The speakers also support audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz and capable of streaming music from popular services like Google Cast. On another note, the speakers incorporate Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and standard audio out connectors.

Pricing starts from $199 for the Omni 10+ all the way up to $999 for the OmniBar+. This is quite an expensive proposition although high end audio solutions usually incur a hefty cost.

Razer Orichi Mobile Bluetooth and Wired Hybrid Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Razer is one of the most recognisable gaming brands on the market, having a huge range of mice that are suited for virtually any kind of gaming environment. Their latest mouse, the Orichi, is certainly a bit different from the usual crop of Razer gaming mice, but that doesn’t mean we’re not expecting great things from it. The Orichi features a compact design, making it ideally suited for those who travel a lot. Having a huge gaming mouse isn’t always ideal when you’re playing on a notebook, or even if you just have limited space, or simply prefer a smaller mouse. The benefits are obvious, as a smaller mouse is lighter and much easier to store, but has the cut-down size affected the performance.

Bluetooth technology is great and virtually any modern laptop comes equipped with it, meaning you’re no doubt already capable of quickly connecting the Orichi and getting into the action. Of course, when it comes to gaming competitively, there are many who refuse to use wireless tech, but don’t worry, as the Orichi comes with a dual function and can be used in a wired mode for lightning fast response times.

“Engineered with Bluetooth 4.0, the Razer Orochi is designed for portability and is the ideal companion for gamers who are always on the move. Switch conveniently to the wired mode to experience gaming-grade performance, control, and accuracy at a blistering 1 ms response time.”

Equipped with an 8,200 DPI laser sensor, wired and wireless modes, extra long battery life, 16.8 million colour RGB lighting and more, the Orichi is certainly well equipped. Let’s jump in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

The packaging follows the usual Razer theme of black and green, as well as a nice image of the mouse on the front of the box, and a few major features detailed along the bottom.

Around the back, we can see more features, such as the dual function wired/wireless, fully programmable buttons, RGB lighting and the ambidextrous design.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you ready to play. There’s all the usual documentation, some cool stickers, a protective carry pouch, USB cable and two Duracell AA batteries.

Raumfeld Adds Google Cast And SoundCloud Support to Wi-Fi Speakers @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Raumfeld is one of the most respected audio companies in the world and renowned for creating beautiful wireless speakers which sound absolutely phenomenal. Their range spans across various sizes and designed for use with a home cinema setup. The majority of Televisions exhibit tinny, lifeless speakers which have a dull complexion even at prices in excess of $1000. As a result, dedicated soundbars which fit on top of a TV’s stand is an essential purchase for people targeting the best possible experience. In this particular field, Raumfeld are masters and constantly striving to manufacturer the highest grade of speakers around. While talking at great length about the company and their products, I inspected the workmanship of a number of speakers and was completely in awe of the build quality.

Not only that, Raumfeld is adding Google Cast support which allows users to stream music from popular apps such as Pandora and Google Play. On another note, SoundCloud functionality is also on its way and enhances the flexibility of Raumfeld’s product range

Max Boit, general manager at Raumfeld said in a press release:

“Raumfeld prides itself on manufacturing streaming speakers that sound as good as traditional premium hi-fi speakers,” 

“The integration of Google Cast allows us to offer the same hi-fi sound quality and the convenience of multi-room from a vastly expanded range of sources.”

Sadly, due to the nature of CES’s show floor, I wasn’t able to listen to the speakers although Raumfeld invited me to a private showing and we will be sure to provide an update on our thoughts.

https://youtu.be/at8gA-BNMDE