FCC loosens outdoor power restrictions on 60GHz spectrum

DNP FCC loosens restrictions on 60 GHz spectrum, could enable cheap rural broadband

In response to industry petitioners, the FCC is easing outdoor power restrictions on the unlicensed 60GHz spectrum, which could bring faster broadband to rural areas and cost-effective backhaul solutions in urban settings. This ruling change would permit outdoor devices to deliver high-speed data over greater distances -- around a mile at 7 Gbps, all told -- and "enhance" the unlicensed utility of the 57-64GHz spectrum. While this is the same frequency WiGig uses, indoor power restrictions haven't changed any. Because this spectrum is unlicensed, it means that basically anyone can use it as long as they follow the FCC's rules; no funny business, please.

[Image credit: Rennett Stowe / Flickr]

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Via: Ars Technica

Source: FCC

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BearExtender has two new WiFi signal extenders for your Apple laptop

BearExtender has two new WiFi signal extenders for your Apple laptop

Stop worrying: BearExtender is not in the business of enabling the bear population, but rather WiFi signal strengthening. The company's two latest products -- the BearExtender 1200 and BearExtender Turbo (how's that for a name?) -- offer that service in two different flavors. The 1200 is a much stronger version of the company's previously released BearExtender, adding "70 percent more power" to signal boosting, while the Turbo is specifically designed to bring 802.11ac functionality to Macs. Both arrive this fall, with the 1200 ($50) landing in mid-August and the Turbo (not priced yet) available in October. Again, neither is designed to extend the reach of murderous bears, nor is the Turbo designed to speed up said murderous bears. That said, it's best to keep an eye out and stay vigilant.

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Source: BearExtender

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Watch a Google Project Loon launch Friday, witness the cloud navigate clouds

DNP Watch a Google Loon launch, watch the internet navigate clouds

Fancy yourself a balloon maven? Well, tomorrow, Maker Camp's Field Trip Friday event is going to Google X for a Project Loon launch. Don't worry, you're invited too. Starting at 2PM ET, Make is interviewing those who've made stratospheric internet-distribution possible, via a Hangout on the magazine's Google+ page and its YouTube channel. What's more, the girl who floated Hello Kitty into space, Lauren Rojas, joins Maker Camp's festivities on Friday. To kill time between now and then, we suggest contemplating the whole "cloud in actual clouds" thing, it's kept us busy for a while.

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Source: Maker Camp (Google+)

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Goodspeed flat-rate hotspot service now supports China Unicom

Goodspeed flatrate hotspot service now supports China Unicom

Uros' Goodspeed hotspot service offers sanely priced international data, but it hasn't been available in China so far -- that's not much help when visiting friends in Fuzhou. Travelers won't have to fret, however, as Uros just unveiled a network agreement with China Unicom. Goodspeed's €5.90 ($8) daily rate now supplies a modest-but-usable 500MB of 3G data throughout large parts of China. Visitors will also need to pay Goodspeed's usual €9.90 ($13) monthly fee and buy the €269 ($353) hotspot, but they're still looking at big savings over conventional data roaming. Those planning Chinese expeditions will likely want to give the service at least a cursory look through the source link.

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Source: Goodspeed

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Satellite startup Kymeta announces $50 million in funding from Bill Gates and other backers

DNP  Satellite startup Kymeta announces $50 million in funding from Bill Gates, other backers

It's been nearly a year since Intellectual Ventures announced its satellite communications spinoff Kymeta, but a recent round of funding from heavyweight backers is about to give the company some serious momentum. In a press release today, Kymeta announced $50 million in Series C financing from Bill Gates, Liberty Global and Lux Capital, among other high-profile investors. The company, which is developing a portable satellite broadband receiver under the mTenna brand, currently counts Gates among its board members. Though its products have yet to hit the market, Kymeta's A-list backing has generated significant interest in its tech, which utilizes metamaterials to deliver stronger broadband signals in a more affordable, energy-efficient package. The company is already in talks with several service providers, and this latest influx of cash should only help expedite development agreements and a commercial launch.

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Via: GeekWire

Source: Kymeta

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US reportedly uses security agreements to intercept data from undersea fiber optic lines

Fiber optic lines

The US government has clear incentives to safeguard against internet attacks coming through undersea fiber optic lines, but the Washington Post now hears that they're stretching the law to make this happen. The newspaper claims that federal agencies push foreign fiber operators into Network Security Agreements that, while public, are used for eavesdropping that isn't covered under their terms. In the case of an old deal with Global Crossing, the telecom firm had to allow short-notice government visits and even keep top executives in the dark. The FCC reportedly serves as the bargaining chip, delaying cable licenses until providers agree to the terms. Government officials maintain that their surveillance is legal, although that's cold comfort -- the New York Times and Wall Street Journal both allege that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has reinterpreted laws to let the NSA collect more information than it would otherwise.

[Image credit: JL Hopgood, Flickr]

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Source: Washington Post

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EE details shared and PAYG data plans, NFC payment service, new router

EE details shared and PAYG data plans, NFC payment service, new router

There was only one form of bacon present at EE's breakfast event today, but plenty more to chew on, as the UK 4G provider shed light on its new shared plans and PAYG data-only offerings. The sharing scheme, launching on July 17th, will put up to five devices on one bill and allow them to feed from the same data allowance. Starting with any regular contract, you can add other phones or devices at any time. Snagging another phone SIM for one year costs £12 per month, or £17 if you only need it for 30 days -- you can also get handsets to go with those SIMs for additional dinero. Every phone plan you tack on includes unlimited calls and texts, but if you only need a SIM for data, it'll cost £5 each month on a two-year contract, £8 for a 30-day commitment, and more if you want a USB dongle, MiFi hotspot or tablet on top. EE had plenty more to tell us, so head below the fold if you're up for the full rundown.

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FCC approves Google’s white space wireless database

FCC approves Google's white space wireless database

Google may have been on pins and needles while the FCC scrutinized its white space wireless database over the spring, but it can relax this summer -- the FCC has given the database the all-clear. The approval lets Google serve as one of ten go-to sources for white space devices needing safe frequencies in the US. It also lets those with interference-prone devices, such as wireless microphone users, register the airwaves they consider off-limits to white space technology. The clearance won't have much immediate effect when very few Americans are using the spectrum, but it's a step forward for rural broadband rollouts and other situations where long-range, unlicensed wireless comes in handy.

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Via: SlashGear

Source: FCC, Google

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AT&T to open Foundries in Atlanta and Dallas that focus on home automation, device-to-device tech

AT&T to open Foundries in Atlanta and Dallas focused on home automation, devicetodevice communication

AT&T launched its first Foundries primarily as mobile app incubators, but the carrier is switching focus tonight: it just unveiled plans to open more hardware-oriented Foundries in Atlanta and Dallas. Most Atlanta-based projects will expand AT&T's Digital Life home automation service, with connected cars and U-verse also receiving a boost. The Dallas Foundry complements an existing presence in the city, but will pay attention to the internet of things and other forms of machine-to-machine chatter. In either circumstance, collaboration will be key. The Atlanta location will sit right next to Georgia Tech, while hardware makers at the new Dallas office can get software help at the original Foundry one floor down. The two new locations won't open until a few months from now, but the Foundry program's healthy track record suggests that patience will be a virtue for interested developers.

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Source: AT&T

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