Tech Briefing July/August 2013
“More options for in-flight broadband are likely to increase competition, improve the quality of service, and lead to lower prices.”
Faster, Cheaper, Better In-Flight Wi-Fi
As more airlines and more aircraft offer Wi-Fi services, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing rules to make in-flight Internet faster and cheaper. The commission is considering an air-to-ground mobile broadband service that would share the same spectrum used for satellite communications. “More options for in-flight broadband are likely to increase competition, improve the quality of service, and lead to lower prices,” the FCC said in a statement.
NYC Subway Goes Online
Not to be left behind, the New York City subway system is making a major push so its riders can make voice calls, send texts and shoot out emails. Earlier this year, wireless service was added to 30 stations, bringing the total to 36. Those stations each serve about 7 million riders a year. Now you don’t have to worry about making eye contact. Just stare at your phone.
Surround sound not enough for your home theater experience? How about surround screen? Korean electronics giant LG has begun rolling out 55-inch, curved OLED television screens with “astoundingly vivid and realistic images.” That IMAX-like experience will cost you, though. The TV, initially available in South Korea, comes in at about $13,500. No word on U.S. availability.
You don’t, as Bob Dylan sang, need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but you might want a better idea before you make plans or dash out without an umbrella. You might even find out just how bad your allergies are going to act up. The following apps work for Apple and Android, plus other phones where noted.
The Weather Channel brings you the current conditions, hourly changes, and a 36-hour and 10-day forecast. Plus the app gives you an alert when snow or rain are expected in your area with a time forecast as well, so you don’t have to even look up at the sky. Free. BlackBerry. Windows.
Yahoo Weather, in conjunction with Flickr, provides a lovely photograph of your vicinity that matches the time of day and weather conditions to go with the forecast. Flick up for the hourly and five-day forecast, and more details, such as precipitation. Free.
AccuWeather provides all the details for your locations, plus severe weather alerts and customizable lifestyle forecasts for specific health concerns and outdoor activities. Windows 8 users can set it up so the forecast, with an appropriately themed photograph, shows up on the lock screen. Free. Platinum $3. BlackBerry, Windows.
If you want a weather forecast for your exact location, Nooly–Micro Weather promises to deliver the goods, predicting the exact time rain will start or a thunderstorm will hit. Predictions are for an area of 0.4 square mile. The local forecasts are limited to the U.S. and southern Canada for now. Free.