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News tagged: hardware


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by Karl Bode 09:12AM Tuesday Sep 02 2014
SoftBank will take advantage of their new Sprint ownership stake by selling robots at Sprint stores sometime next year, notes Bloomberg. SoftBank's "Pepper" robot, available in Japan for 198,000 yen ($1,900), is about four feet tall, dances, makes jokes, and "estimates human emotions based on expressions" according to the report.

"We will sell Pepper in the United States within a year after gathering information in Japan," insists SoftBank robotics CEO Fumihide Tomizawa. "I won’t be surprised if Pepper sales will be half to business and half to consumers." There's no word yet on pricing for Pepper here in the States, though you can learn more about the robot here (the video of the June unveiling is worth a look).

37 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:33AM Tuesday Sep 02 2014
Verizon's ActionTec routers have never been what you'd call cutting edge, the company taking an extraordinarily long time to even offer 802.11N Wi-Fi functionality (and when they finally did, only offering 2.4Ghz).

Now Dave Zatz has noticed that Verizon FiOS customers will finally be getting newer gear, some FiOS Quantum customers getting the new Greenwave G1100. The G1100 offers everything up to 802.11ac, and looks to have integrated Zigbee home automation support.

Users in our forums suggest Verizon's purging old router inventory by providing their older ActionTec routers free with upgrades to 50 Mbps speeds or higher.

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by Karl Bode 11:00AM Friday Aug 29 2014
A TiVo support note first spotted by Dave Zatz is the first to highlight Comcast's looming migration away from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4. According to the note, Comcast is transitioning its systems in Augusta, Georgia, from MPEG-2 format to MPEG-4, meaning "that cable channels in this region will not be viewable on older equipment that is incompatible with the new format." I contacted Comcast who confirmed that they were migrating HD channels from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 in Augusta (SD channels will remain on MPEG-2), which the company notes will provide a "much more efficient use of bandwidth." The company could not offer any information on upgrade timelines for other markets.

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by Karl Bode 08:33AM Friday Aug 29 2014
We've come quite a way from the era of clunky 300 baud modems: Intel this week announced they've built the world's smallest modem. The company's XMM 6255, with an area of just 300 sq mm, is a standalone 3G radio intended to be embedded into all manner of connected devices around the home.

"It's not just about the size of it," Intel insists. "What Intel is really doing is going after a significant stake in the Internet of Things market, where connectivity is most important."

According to the Intel announcement, the penny-sized modem utilizes the Intel SMARTi UE2p dual-band single transceiver delivering 7.2 Mbps downstream and 5.76 Mbps upstream speeds.

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by Karl Bode 12:23PM Thursday Aug 28 2014
After months of speculation bordering on the nauseating, we appear to have a somewhat hard date for the release of the new iPhone(s) and Apple's long-awaited iWatch: September 9. ReCode had already discovered that the two different-sized iPhones would be revealed on that date, and now states the iWatch will be unveiled as well at the same media event. The iWatch is expected to have significant integration with Apple’s HealthKit health and fitness platform, as well as with Apple's home device integration platform HomeKit.

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by Karl Bode 06:41PM Tuesday Aug 26 2014
California this week became the first state in the country to pass a law requiring that cell phones include so-called "kill switch" functionality to deter theft, enabled by default (the full law is here, pdf). Minnesota passed a similar law earlier this year, but in that version of the law, the functionality is turned off by default.
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by Karl Bode 04:26PM Tuesday Aug 26 2014
TiVO this week expanded their device portfolio with a $50 unit that the company hopes appeals to cord cutters. The new TiVO Roamio OTA DVR features four tuners, a 500 GB hard drive and the ability to record and manage over the air broadcasts. TiVO's obviously not the first to this idea; a company by the name of Simple.TV has been offering a similar product for years, though their current device comes in at nearly $200. "TiVo is devoted to making the best possible cable TV user experience available through our operator partners and in retail, but we recognize some viewers opt not to receive the benefits a subscription with a cable provider offers," states the company.

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by Karl Bode 09:57AM Tuesday Aug 26 2014
While the company lead the speed race a few years ago, a certain complacency has fallen over Cablevision in recent years. The company has stopped competing as fiercely on price against Verizon FiOS (which has stopped competing on price in turn), with executives recently stating they weren't going to get caught up in "speed contests."

However, users in our forums notice that Cablevision is up to something with their speed tiers, even if it's nowhere as interesting as Verizon's recently decision to make all FiOS tiers symmetrical.
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by Karl Bode 01:05PM Monday Aug 18 2014
While Comcast certainly has its faults, the cable giant has led the way when it comes to IPv6 deployment while many larger ISPs have napped. Comcast recently announced they've officially completed their residential IPv6 deployments, and around 30% of their customers are now actively running IPv6.
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by Karl Bode 12:32PM Thursday Aug 14 2014
For years our users have complained of phantom Comcast charges -- especially Comcast's tendency to charge customers modem rental fees even when they own the modem. Another classic Comcast blunder is the tendency to charge users for unreturned equipment fees -- even when all of the equipment has very clearly been returned.
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by Karl Bode 02:53PM Wednesday Aug 13 2014
If you've been having problems accessing DSLReports.com and a flood of other websites this week, you're not alone. The problem, as it turns out, was experienced by tier-one and last mile ISPs alike across much of North America.
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by spamster 06:01PM Thursday Aug 07 2014
When I first came across FreedomPop advertising their free services, I naturally figured that it was too good to be true. After all, how can a cell phone company be successful if they don't charge for their services? At the time, I didn't bother to look into it any further until I came across an ad for their reconditioned Wi-Fi router from Newegg for only $15, which included 500MB/month of usage for free.
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by Karl Bode 06:30PM Tuesday Jul 29 2014
About a month ago, news leaked out that Google was working on an updated version of the set top box units used for their Google Fiber deployments. Now Dave Zatz has a little more detail on the device(s), which will retain the sleek, black styling of the current units.
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by Karl Bode 04:53PM Friday Jul 25 2014
Last month Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (pdf), which aims to make unlocking one's cell phone technically legal again, even if it doesn't fully address the myriad of problems with the DMCA. In January of last year unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list.
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by Karl Bode 08:29AM Thursday Jul 24 2014
As I noted last month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been cooking up a new open-source firmware that the group claims will make it easier for users to more securely share their Wi-Fi connection. The EFF's new firmware is now available for download, though the group warns the firmware (based on the CeroWRT fork of OpenWRT) is a "work in progress and is intended only for developers and people willing to deal with the bleeding edge." If any of our numerous bleeding edge readers are willing to experiment with the firmware, we'd love to pay you to share your thoughts with the DSLReports community.

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by Karl Bode 09:25AM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
The inventory issues that plagued Comcast's deployment of their newish X1 set top box late last year are a thing of the past, and the company is speeding up deployment of the more sophisticated set top. “Our X1 additions nearly doubled this quarter, and we are looking again at further increasing the eligibility,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said on this weeks earnings call with analysts and the media. Comcast has long offered the set top to triple play customers, and recently started offering it to double play customers.

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by Karl Bode 04:34PM Tuesday Jul 22 2014
Back in March I pointed your attention to a study that noted just 30% of all consumers had even heard of 4KTV, and of that 30%, less than a third actually had a 4K set. Four months later and a new study notes that of broadband users, just 17% have any idea what 4KTV is.
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by Karl Bode 08:14AM Monday Jul 21 2014
Multichannel News has uncovered an FCC filing that suggests TiVO and Comcast are working together on a new set top box that would eliminate the CableCARD. An FCC filing doesn't get into technical specifics or illustrate clearly how this new implementation would work, but most assume it would involve some downloadable version of video security. "This agreement demonstrates that the marketplace is working to provide innovative device solutions for consumers to access MVPD services and thereby advance the Commission’s navigation device goals,” Comcast and TiVo state in the filing. Comcast says they'll offer the tech to other cable companies 'on commercially reasonable terms."

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by Karl Bode 10:40AM Thursday Jul 17 2014
Last month Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (pdf), which aims to make unlocking one's cell phone technically legal again, even if it doesn't fully address the myriad of problems with the DMCA. In January of last year unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list.
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by Karl Bode 05:12PM Thursday Jul 10 2014
Last month Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (pdf), which aims to make unlocking one's cell phone technically legal again, even if it doesn't fully address the myriad of problems with the DMCA. This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Leahy and Grassley approved the bill, pushing it closer to a broad vote (and a gauntlet of lobbyists who'll try to water it down). "Enabling consumers to unlock mobile devices will improve competition in the wireless market by making it easier to switch from one carrier to another," says consumer group Public Knowledge of the bill. "It is an important first step toward a fuller discussion of DMCA reform."

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