Serving jetsetters at LAX just wasn't enough for Xcom Global. Engadget's personal favorite when it comes to snagging international data before leaving the States is now opening up shop in the Big Apple -- a wise move for increasing its presence in a market where loads of humans are doing business in nations other than the United States. Xcom's calling its new venue a "satellite customer service center," enabling flyers to swing by before they depart JFK (or LGA, we guess) and pick up a global MiFi. Rather than being positioned within an airport, this one's located near Grand Central Station at the offices of Amnet New York on Madison Avenue, and in case you've forgotten, $12.95 per day (and up) can snag you a wireless data device capable of connecting in some 195 countries. Oh, and you can return the device to the same store or via your carrier of choice. Still trying to wrap your head around it? Have a look at our review.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Clearwire's hardly throwing in the towel after that whole "WiMAX" thing; instead, the outfit has its sights firmly set on bringing TDD-LTE to the masses here in America, starting with an initial rollout in early 2013. A release put out today confirms that New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle will be among the 31 cities where the company will launch the aforesaid network, though there's no breakdown on which of those metro markets will be forced to wait until "mid-2013" to get served. Speaking of, Clearwire's making no bones about the fact that "high demand hot zones" will be the ones targeted initially, and in a bid to outshine those LTE networks already live, President and CEO Erik Prusch is suggesting that his firm's 4G network "will show that not all LTE networks are created equal." Bold words, sir.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
[Thanks, Shawn]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Those were the words spoken to me just weeks ago by the absolutely precious owner of Litia Sini Beach Resort on the extreme southeastern tip of Upolu. For those unaware, that's Samoa's most populous island (~135,000 people) -- a sliver of lush, mountainous land dropped almost perfectly in the center of the Pacific Ocean. I chuckled a bit upon hearing it, immediately realizing that I had a connection in the palm of my hand that was 20, 30, perhaps even 40 times quicker than what this business owner was relying on. She paused, as if to collect her thoughts before going into a familiar spiel about the resort's amenities, and then drew my attention to the display of her laptop.
"We only have dial-up here. You'd be shocked at the speeds. [Laughs.] But it's okay -- as long as I can send and reply to email, I'm fine with it."
I nodded my head in understanding, immediately thinking that this must be in reaction to the catastrophic tsunami of September 2009, caused by a magnitude 8.1 submarine earthquake that hit barely 100 miles from the very spot I was sitting. It was the largest quake of 2009. The entire resort was leveled. Dozens upon dozens were killed. And here we were, over two full years later, and the evacuation schematics are still in "draft."Permalink | | Email this | Comments
"It's still a draft for now, but this is the new tsunami evacuation plan that we're working on. Soon, we'll have this in each fale. It's taking a bit of time to get right, as the drawings are actually done in New Zealand."