Results tagged “WiFi” from kwc blog

Eye-Fi WiFi card for cameras

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I went to an Eye-fi demo in November [yes, I'm behind] and its been on my wish list ever since. It's a 2GB SD card and wireless card in one. In essence, it hooks your camera up to the cloud that is the Internet -- you can even send photos directly to Flickr (and many more). This is a huge time saver for me: I have scores of photos that never make it to Flickr because I am too lazy. It is also the final piece of the puzzle for cloud-computing photography: take photos, find any computer with a Web browser, and edit online. You don't even need to own your own computer anymore. It can even automatically rename your photos based on your location (no more 'IMG_1235' image titles).

There are already many, many reviews of this device on the Web, so I'll quickly get out of the way some questions that I still had going into the session:

  • What about compact flash?: the Eye-Fi will work with a SD-to-CF adapter, though the range may be less due to the way the antenna is obstructed
  • Can you control privacy settings for Flickr, i.e. upload private?: Yes
  • What about wireless networks with logins? (e.g. Google WiFi): you're outta luck here. In the future they plan on adding this as a 'premium' feature.
  • Can it auto-delete successfully transferred photos, i.e. become an infinite-storage-capacity card if you're on a network?: 'unloading' may be a feature they add in the future.
  • Can it use WiFi geolocation services like Skyhook?: they may add this in the future, possibly as a paid feature

At the demo I went to, the presenter took shots of us with his SLR that almost instantly showed up on his laptop screen. The claimed transfer speed was 2Mbit/s, though they hope to ramp it up to 4-8Mbit/s with some firmware updates. The range is ~45 ft indoors, though this will vary significantly. You get all of this for only 5% more battery usage.

Eye-fi is very focused on the consumer demographic. They worked hard on some slick packaging and streamlined setup, going as far as attempting to ID your camera so that the setup can tell you if you need to adjust any camera settings and also attempting to guess your WEP key. The consumer focus also means compromises: they chose to go with a 2GB SD card instead of 4GB+ SDHC cards to eliminate any confusion over compatibility; they only transfer JPEG images (no RAW, MOV); it won't attach to ad-hoc networks, and they don't offer a compact flash form factor. If you want to take it into the field you'll probably have to purchase a USB WiFi basestation for your laptop.

Most of the management of your Eye-fi card is via an Eye-fi Web page. This page lets you configure multiple WiFi access points with your card as well as setup your transfer settings. The card can upload directly to sites like Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, etc... or to your computer, or both.

There are professional alternatives to the Eye-fi. Canon SLR users can get the WFT-3a grip, which adds wireless transfer to Canon SLRs with much greater transfer range than an Eye-fi, but at a steep cost: $750. At $100, the Eye-fi is a bargain and adds many features (i.e. Flickr, Smugmug) that you generally don't see in professionally-oriented accessories.

Wireless Caltrain in September

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It looks like September is the target date for wireless on Caltrain. This isn't as tempting as it once was as my Caltrain commute is a lot shorter nowadays, but there does appear to be a benefit for even those that don't crack open their laptops:

One side benefit is the technology may help Caltrain and commuters track trains using Global Positioning System, Caltrain spokesman Jonah Weinberg said.

I've always been annoyed that the digital announcement boards at Caltrain rarely tell you anything useful about the train schedule. Most often they show ads for Caltrain service; rarely they tell you when Caltrain will be late. If this would allow Caltrain to more frequently provide time estimates for trains, or if it would allow me to have an online tracker that could tell me when I needed to leave the office, that'd be fantastic.

Caltrain aims to bring the office on board - Examiner.com

Wireless Caltrain?

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Caltrain has successfully tested a proof of concept for wireless Internet on its trains. I'm a bit torn over this, but not too much. In the past I've felt that I'm much more productive while programming on Caltrain because I don't have Internet connectivity -- I can focus on programming instead of answering e-mail or surfing the Web; however, my Caltrain trips are pretty short now, so I don't work on the train anymore.

Instead, I treat the train as my 15 minutes of morning entertainment and 15 minutes of cooldown after work, long enough for a podcast or a chapter of a relatively easy book. Without wireless, I would have to make sure that I 'sync' anything that I might want, i.e. plugin the iPod/PSP or get the right book off the bookshelf. But sometimes I get on the train and find that I'm too tired to read the book I selected or I forgot to put the latest Daily Show on my PSP. Wireless on the train would allow for "just in time entertainment": go straight to the train station and stream whatever content I want directly to my laptop or PSP. I imagine I could even try and figure out how to play some multiplayer Nintendo DS on the train. Hopefully others will find this announcement exciting, as Caltrain could use some stronger ridership -- but not too strong, because I don't want a bunch of people hogging my bandwidth ;).

Caltrain Wireless FAQ

I'm covered

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Google has a map of the Mountain View wifi access points they've put up. They've also marked areas that aren't yet covered -- most areas are, and I'm glad to see that most places I generally go with laptop are in the green.

Free-Fi

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Our little city of Mountain View is going to be the first city to receieve free city-wide Google wireless. Just think, I could convert my R/C to run off of 802.11.

Best SSIDs

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Slashdot | Best Wireless SSID's You Have Seen?

Hmm, my personal favorites (b/c I was there when they were chosen) are "Network Not Found" and "Network Disabled". I was in a meeting where we were instructing someone how to connect to our wireless network, and the Windows status message popped up saying, "Connected to 'Network Not Found'," at which point he said, "It's not working."

Y! Maps got Wi-Fi

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In the never-ending battle between Yahoo and MapQuest, I now give the edge to Yahoo, which is including Wi-Fi hotspot locations on their maps:
- Mountain View

It is unclear to me how they are getting this data -- you won't find your neighbor's access point listed on it, and some retail locations I know of are missing (Dana Street). They do have every Starbucks and McDonald's listed (sometimes twice), along with apartment complexes, miscellaneous stores (Borders, Apple) and coffee shops.

This is good advertising for those retail chains and apartment complexes. It also means that the next time I visit Boston I won't have to walk up and down Newbury Street with my signal strength indicator trying to find a place to drink coffee :) (Boston Wi-Fi map).

(via asa)

802.11 News

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- Nothing like typing on a keyboard while chowing down on a greasy Big Mac and Fries (coming to a SF 101 McDonald's)

- Now that Linksys has updated their 802.11g drivers to match the spec, you can finally get your 802.11a/b/g card and surf in bliss

Portable WiFi Server

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Sony has a portable 802.11b file server available in Japan. In addition to supporting most major file protocols (CIFS/SMB, NFS), it can also act as an ethernet bridge. You can also install any other Linux software you can get your hands on. Joi Ito's got one and claims it has about 9 minutes of battery life. The specs seem very similar to OpenBrick. If you're in Japan you can order one here.

Looks like Sony beat Intel/Roy Want to market with personal portable servers, but I hope Intel hurries up with one that runs for more than 9 minute sans power adapter.

802.11g Official

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