How did I miss this? I should have been well aware of this Nabaztag bunny last year. I will immediately adjust my RSS feeds so I’m get the appropriate level of gadget news and this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.
The latest Wi-Fi bunny, Nabaztag/tag, has a few more features than the original, including a bellybutton and and RFID reader. But, both can do all sorts of cool, internet connected type things. Best of all is the API. What’s better than a programmable bunny? Oh, so many possibilities.
Just one example is this Nabaztag/tag enabled build status notification. It helps a group of software developers know if their current projects are being built without errors. The bunny is in tune with their CruiseControl continuous build system. Good builds mean a happy bunny. Problems in the build process make the bunny sad–and nobody wants a sad bunny around the office.
T-Mobile would have been better served by holding off on announcements for a couple weeks. Lately, its been all iPhone all the time and there is little anyone can do to get people to line up outside of their stores short of giving iPhones away for free. Nonetheless, T-Mobile’s new cellular/Wi-Fi service Hotspot @Home, is kind of a big deal.
For an introductory rate of $10 per month, T-Mobile customers with one of T-Mobile’s hotspot ready and a wireless broadband connection at home can ditch their land line (or VoIP) phone. The phone will work seamlessly on either the Wi-Fi or cellular network so calls that start on either network can continue on the other. Wi-Fi minutes are unlimited and free regardless of what hotspot is used. As a bonus, all of T-Mobile’s hotspots are free for phone calls with this plan.
For many people this could be a great deal. Anyone who maintains a phone at home because cellular coverage is poor or nonexistent in their abode will be a natural for this. People that spend a fair amount of their time within range of some sort of Wi-Fi will also find this useful. As the article referenced below points out, globetrotters could also get big savings over international roaming charges with this service.
Hotspot @Home can be added to any qualifying T-Mobile plan. Qualifying appears to mean any plan that costs $39.99 or more per month. If you don’t have a wireless router at home, T-Mobile will set you up with one almost for free (rebate involved). There are only a few hotspot ready phone models available from T-Mobile at this time, but that is likely to change.
This is certainly not an iPhone killer. Cingular, however, could learn something here. If they don’t already have something like this in the works, they should. The iPhone already moves from cellular networks to Wi-Fi for data connections, it does not seem like that much of a stretch to do the same for voice.
via The New York Times
Time Warner Cable and fon are entering an agreement that will allow TWC broadband customers to set up fon routers on their connections.
fon customers install a special fon router that splits their broadband connection so that the subscriber gets their internet while a slice of it is available as a public hotspot. As consideration for serving as a wifi hotspot, fon users can use other fon hotspots for free while they are out and about. Those who don’t have a fon router at home can pay a nominal fee to access a fon hotspot.
You might remember that I wasn’t too hot on fon’s recent campaign to give away routers to people situated near a Starbucks. This was mostly because I thought that ISPs (like Time Warner) might be more likely to enforce their terms and conditions that disallow sharing if they knew the subscriber was turning a profit. This deal, while details are still sketchy, would solve that problem since Time Warner and fon would be splitting the fees and cutting the subscriber out of the action altogether.
There could be a huge benefit to the subscribers here in that, according to the BusinessWeek article, Time Warner has 6.6 million broadband subscribers. That could represent a huge increase in the number of fon routers out there one could connect to. The more hotspots, the more likely one might be able to find one where they need it.
fon is offering free wireless routers to anyone near a Starbucks or other café type place. They will also split the loot from the customers you skim from the T-Mobile hotspot with your strategically placed router. This violates the terms of service for just about any home broadband provider. Now, violating those terms of service to share your broadband for free doesn’t seem all that bad. But doing it for profit seems like it might end in a lawsuit. Remember when London Terrace Towers was sued for reselling the super’s bandwidth?
If you’re in a real sharing mood, why not just give it away? Join up with nycwireless or similar organization in your area.
Podlinez will play the most recent episode of any podcast on any phone. Each podcast is assigned a phone number. When it is dialed, the podcast starts playing after a short announcement. Nice work, if anyone from Podlinez happens to be reading, here are a few unsolicited feature requests:
- A searchable directory. 15 pages of podcasts are a lot to sort through. One should not have to enter the full feed URL of the podcast on the home page to see if it is already listed either.
- A mobile accessible directory. Podlinz will really shine when one has some time to kill while not near a computer. An optimized site for mobile browsers, some form of search that uses SMS or even a audio directory would be great.
- Keep more than just the last episode of a podcast on hand.