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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Will Wifi Be Apple iPod's Sales Driver?

The Apple iPod's sales growth have cooled to their slowest since the product was launched, but a research note from investment bank Piper Jaffray, and obtained by respected Mac news site MacNN, believes Apple will be able to use Wifi technology to drive sales on through the iPod's next generational shift.

The research note, authored by Gene Munster, predicts cheaper iPods equipped with Wifi and multi touch (already seen on the iPod Touch) making it the number one platform for mobile Wifi usage. He writes "With 70 percent market share, we believe Apple is in the driver's seat in terms of transforming the portable music market into a portable computing market."

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Got a question about Wifi?

Do you have a problem or query relating to Wifi or wireless networking? Maybe we can help! Send your questions to wifiquestions@uretopia.com and we will pick the best ones to answer on this blog.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Is there Wifi (Wireless Internet) At Butlins?

We got an email to ask if we knew if wifi access was available at Butlins holiday camps. We did a bit of digging, and the answer is yes, wifi is available at Minehead, Bognor Regis and Skegness. So whilst the kids are busy with the cool shows, like Chico, and other activities, you can nip online.

Find out more about Butlins by visiting their website...

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Play Chess Online using Wifi and Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii has been a smash hit but it's been a little short on titles that actually make use of the onboard wifi connection for online gaming. Hopefully 2008 will change all that and one game aiming to do just that is Wii Chess. Wii Chess uses "loop express", a conversion of the loop chess engine which ranked 3rd in the 2007 World computer chess championship in Amsterdam.

It has 10 levels of difficulty and will allow you to play anyone, anywhere using your wifi and internet connection.

Check out Chess on Wii

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Can Wifi Trangulation Supplement GPS?

Interesting piece over at Ars Technica about how Wifi triangulation - working out location by measuring signal strength between public access points - can give better, more accurate readings than GPS in dense built up areas.

Visit Ars Technica for more information

More about Wireless Triangulation

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What is Metro Wardrive on Nintendo DS?

Metro Wardrive, as far as I can tell, is an intriguing new homebrew game for the Nintendo DS where the gameplay is affected by the wireless access points around you. So you're playing the game, and device looks for access points near you and uses them, making them represent enemies in the game.

It sounds very cool - having a unique gameplay experience dictated by the actual real life location you're in - although I can only imagine it's a little boring if you live out in the country with no access points / enemies for miles!

Visit the developer's homepage for more information on Metro Wardrive

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Monday, January 14, 2008

What is the WowWee Rovio?

Rovio was unveiled at CES last week and is a cool new Wifi enabled robot / toy / surveillance device from WowWee - the makers of the popular Robosapien range.





The futuristic looking robot has a camera and microphone integrated, and using the wireless connectivity from any browser, you can control him, moving him around your home or office and see for yourself what's going on. He has a docking station which he can find his way back to and charge himself up in.

The first thing that occured to me is, can this thing traverse stairs or is it limited to one floor of your home (I assume it is). It's cute idea, but I'm not sure how much use it is as a serious surveillance device, or how much fun it could be in trying to be too many things, it actually ends up limited its own appeal.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

3 Skypephone Reviewed



3 recently launched the Skypehone. I was keen to check it out and managed to get hold of a pair to put them through their paces.

What's in the box?
  • 3SkyphePhone
  • Earphones
  • USB Cable
  • Driver CD
  • Manuals
My first impressions of the handset is that it feels quite basic. That's not at all a derogatory statement though. Many of us have grown used to ever more complicated handsets which are weighty and slow to navigate through. This is light in the hand and very spritely to use, with menus very responsive to key presses and simple to understand.

The big feature of this phone is an integrated Skype application, launched from a prominent Skype button on the keypad. From Skype you can make free calls across 3's data network, as long as you have bought phone credit within the last month or are on a contract. Your free calls allow you to phone any other Skype user on a computer, or other users of the Skype phone.

I tested it out and the quality was generally pretty good. The application itself was fairly similar to the desktop version which makes it very easy to use. Even if you haven't used Skype before, it's quick to pick up and creating a new user account is very quick.

As a regular Skype user myself, I was disappointed to find that when I logged in, it didn't pick up my SkypeIn number, and incoming calls receiving through SkypeIn weren't picked up - only from other Skype users. The ability to basically have unlimited call time between Skypephones or Skype users is great and is probably why there's the option to buy the Skyphone as a twin pack, so close friends and partners can take advantage.

The phone has a decent enough 2mp camera, which I used to take this picture below.


Other onboard stuff includes a media player, internet browser, Java for downloaded games and apps, and organiser utilities. It comes with a USB cable which allows it to be charged down the wire, and the bundled software that lets you use it as a USB modem. Thanks to its HSDPA (3.5g) download speeds, it's great for getting broadband on your laptop wherever you are.

The 3SkypePhone is available on Pay as You Go and contract deals from 3. If you use Skype have a plenty of contacts, this phone is going to be perfect for you. It's worth pointing out also that Skype is also available on selected X-Series handsets from 3.

Goto the 3 Homepage for more information

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Wireless Trends for 2008

How will the wireless world impact upon you and your technology this year? Fortune magazine has put together a (US centric) list of its predicted top 10 wireless trends for 2008.

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