Taking a delicious look at the Charbroil Simple Smoker
Published in Gadgets

Connected products are a big thing now and have been for a while. We have seen everything from lightbulbs to egg trays that have some sort of internet connection and notification service. We have been very concerned about the rapid growth and relative insecurity of these products for since they hit the scene. Recently we read about a new connected product from Char-broil that caught our attention. It is a WiFi connected smoker line. We were very intrigued by this for multiple reasons and reached out to them to see if we could arrange a simple of one. Char-broil was nice enough to send us their Simple Smoker to play around with. We took it for a spin over a weekend and can give you some insight into how well they work.

A common feature in today’s society is the cat. We see them all over the internet and when we chose to go outside we see them in our neighborhoods. What would happen if someone mobilized that arm of felines to do their bidding? I am not talking about mind control or a real army of cats here. Instead I am talking about simply outfitting some of these animals to collect WiFi data and report back. Think this is crazy? Well if someone can do it with a Google Street view car, why not with an animal as small and inconspicuous as a cat.


According to the security expert Michael Horowitz, who published a great article about it in the Computer World, a service for backing up data from Android devices allows Google to simply find out passwords of its customers whenever they wish and wherever it is "needed". Horowitz believes that this is a result of the way in which Android devices store user passwords, which isaccording to him made purposely that way, just so that we can lose the security that would lead to "too much" privacy.


One thing that I find sadly funny is when one company accuses another of patent abuse. It is one of those statements that really spells out just how disingenuous most corporations are. However as a rule, most large corporations have people that are paid to mask the truth at least to come degree. In today’s episode of pot meets kettle we find Microsoft accusing Google of patent abuse after winning a victory against Google in court. Google (through Motorola) was trying to get certain Microsoft products banned from import.


There is no doubt that the mobile market has gotten huge. Everyone is building devices to enable, extend, accessorize, and maximize the mobile experience. Mobile data usage (which really means media consumption) has gone through the roof. What is interesting about the usage numbers is that they are not all 3/4G in most cases the data is flying over public or private Wi-Fi networks. This has opened up a market for a new class of device and as you might imagine manufacturers have stepping into fill this need. The first generation was all about getting the media to your device, but was limited in a couple of ways; you could not expand the memory and also there was no way to prevent battery drain on the device you were using to access the media. This is where the second generation comes in; devices with media ports instead of fixed memory and also the ability to charge your mobile device. Today we are taking a look at the ADATA DashDrive Air AE400; let’s see what it brings to the table.


When wireless networking was first introduced it was a very cool concept and people bought into it. The problem was that it was also about as slow as dial-up internet was. The good news is that all technologies advance and wireless was non exception. Once the idea caught on we quickly ramped up in speed, but wireless was never quite able to keep up with a wired connection. We saw these connections leap ahead by a factor of 10 while wireless had small incremental speed jumps. All of that changed in 2011 when researchers built up the next specification for wireless speed, 802.11ac. This speed increase more than doubled what wireless was able to do previously. Suddenly wireless was just as fast as a wired connection (in theory). We have a few routers and adapters in the lab and will be taking a look at them. Today we are going to show you the TRENDNet TEW-812DRU AC1750 dual band wireless router.


802.11ac wireless was introduced at CES 2012. Unfortunately when the devices were launched there were no adapters to support it. This meant that people were buying expensive wireless products without having any way to support the speeds they were capable of. Fortunately at CES 2013 a couple of manufacturers started releasing 802.11ac adapters. However, there are two schools of thought about how to implement these adapters. We will be taking a look at both in the next couple of weeks, but we will kick things off with a look at the USB 2.0 NETGEAR A6200 Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi Adapter. Let’s dive in and take a look.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 18:59

Apple computers with Gigabit Wi-FI


This year's edition of Apple Mac computers could have support for faster Wi-Fi wireless networks. Apple has in a new beta version of the upcoming operating system upgrade OS X 10.8.4 implemented support for 802.11 ac standard that supports data transfer rates up to 1.3 Gbps in the local wireless network.


When it comes to technology there are things that we as consumers just expect to work. We do not have the time, or even the inclination, to worry about the details on these items, we just want to plug them in and go. One of these is our networking products, and in particular wireless networking. We see a device with the letter “n” on it and we automatically assume it is going to give us 300Mbps (Megabits Per Second). The problem with this approach is that wireless technology is as varied as versions of Windows 7 (another item we lump into one group… but that is another article) and cannot all be lumped into one category because of a specification number or letter on the box. With this in mind we are going to talk about some of the major points of wireless networking and how to spot the pretenders from products with real performance.


Researchers at several prestigious universities like MIT, the University of Porto in Portugal, Harvard, Caltech and the Technical University of Munich, have managed to increase the throughput of existing wireless networks by ten times. They have done it without adding base stations, expanding bandwidth range or boosting the power of the transmitter. Instead, they used a mathematical formula that eliminates the need to re-send lost packets, which are blamed for network congestion and the reduction of useful bandwidth.