New York City Turning Pay Phones Into Wireless Hotspots

NYC Turning Pay Phones Into Wireless Hotspots

Remember the last time you used a pay phone? Yeah, neither do I. And it looks as if New York City is thinking the same thing as they’re working with pay phone and broadband companies to turn those old boxes into free wireless hotspots by using “military grade” antennas to spread the signal. Currently the city is running a pilot program with ten different boxes. There is currently one in Queens, two in Brookland and seven in Manhattan. If you would like to view the full list of free wireless hotspots check out this Tumblr post.

Installing one of these boxes costs roughly $2,000, which is being paid for by Van Wagner Communications. Van Wagner owns most of the city’s pay phones and would like to spread these boxes to more of NYC’s 13,000 pay phones. And while they aren’t running ads as of now, this is very likely to happen in the future to make these hotspots profitable. All future support for these wireless hotspots will be paid for by Van Wagner and other communication companies in the city.

To me, this is a great solution for reusing old pay phones. Since the mobile age is in full effect most of us rely on our mobile devices for communication and rarely find ourselves needing to use a landline or pay phone. And with all of the cell phone congestion in New York City, I think this plan will benefit everyone, even wireless carriers. What do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment on this post.

Source: Gigaom
Image Source: ishane

Motorola Droid Does Not Support Wi-Fi And USB Tethering

Most of the Motorola Droid owners must be happy with their phone getting the Android 2.2 update soon. Android 2.2 brings with it tons of speed improvements, and some new notable features including native tethering,Motorola Droid and mobile hotspot. Users who were hoping to enjoy these 2 new features on their Droid are sadly out of luck.

Verizon has confirmed that the Motorola Droid lacks the hardware to support mobile hotspot, and tethering. The official Verizon spokesperson said that :

The Droid by Motorola doesn’t have [the] hardware to support a Mobile Hotspot. With tethering there is no Connection on the PC side that will allow you to tether the device so the answer is that option isn’t part of this update.

The Android 2.2 (Froyo) update for the Motorola Droid will begin in the upcoming few weeks. Motorola and Verizon have already released the software update for a small test group. However, users should keep in mind that many users are already using Wi-Fi tethering and USB tethering on their Droid by hacking it.

Find Free Wifi Hotspots with WeFi

[Windows, Mobile and Mac]wifi-ico Since I have a netbook and occasionally take it on the road, I decided to try out WeFi. The WeFi application and web service promises to help you locate wifi hotspots and connect you to thousands of other WeFi users. Here’s what they say about the service:

WeFi is dedicated to helping you find, connect, and enjoy Wi-Fi anywhere around the world. We provide the tools that allow our community to map the global Wi-Fi network. Our dedicated community has already discovered over 60,000,000 access points around the world. Join us today and help us map the next million!

I downloaded the 8mb installation file and started the install process. I found that there are a few places that you might want take a closer look at during the install.

The first installation options default to installing a toolbar and new default search in your web browser. When I see options like these, I nearly always opt out. I hate toolbars and I’m happy with my search providers.

wefi-install-options

Just when I thought I was done with the junk programs they wanted me to install, one more option popped in. I can’t tell you how much I dislike added shopping applications like the Price Gong offer they served up.

wefi-price-gong

After getting through the options above, the software starts installing and you’ll see a cute animation with the little WeFi creature running past store fronts. It’s a little too cute. At that point, I was wondering if this was a serious company delivering a real product.

wefi-cute-install-animation

One final setting popped up after the little running logo. I decided that I definitely did not want to allow WeFi to automatically connect me to networks. I like to look them over before I allow my netbook to connect to strange new hotspots.

wefi-auto-connect-option

The final step was to actually create an account with WeFi. They step you through the sign-up and only require an email address in addition to letting you choose your username and password. Once that’s out of the way, the main WeFi interface finally launches.

wefi-interface

After playing with it for awhile, I decided that I liked the WeFi interface because it was very similar to most instant messenger clients. Below is a video showing you a little bit about how it works.

Link to video at Youtube

Download WeFi

http://www.wefi.com/

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I didn’t like the offers for the toolbar, the change to default search and the shopping assistant. However, I did like the fact that WeFi does offer an easy way to discover new hotspots and get in touch with other WeFi users. I have mixed feelings about it at this time, but I won’t tell anyone to stay away from WeFi.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Create Your Own Wifi Hotspot – Connectify Updated to 1.0

connectify-program-icon A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new free application, called Connectify. It makes use of an unfinished feature in Windows 7 which allows you to create a personal wifi hotspot that can be shared with others.

* Please note that this application only works in Windows 7. You will also have to register at the Connectify website with a name and email address.

New and improved!

Recently, Connectify has been updated with a few minor features to bring it up to Version 1.0. The new and improved features include improved notification tray icons, support for more wireless cards, improved memory management, recovery from sleep/hibernate, support for multiple Windows accounts and more.

Why do I need Connectify?

I can think of at least two cases where Connectify would be nice.

If you don’t have a wireless router in your home, you won’t need one with Connectify. Any PC with a wireless card, that’s hooked up to the internet, can become a local wifi hotspot. Now you can broadcast the internet to your Xbox or wifi enabled phone or other devices.

If you happen to be at an airport or an internet cafe, you can share your connection and possibly help someone avoid being charged with a connection fee. Just don’t tell anyone that I said you can do this. I don’t know if it’s legal in all cases.

How to use Connectify

● Download the Connectify client
● Install it
● Look for the Connectify icon in the system tray

connectify-icon-no-wifi
● Click on the icon once to open it

connectify-update

● Set the wifi name
● Set a password of 8 characters or more
● Select either Local or Wireless in the pull down (your current internet connection)
● Select either Access Point or Ad Hoc in the pull down (the new hotspot)
● Click the “Start Hotspot” button

As you can see, I’ve created a wifi hotspot named “skynet“.

Once it’s live, anyone with your password can connect to your hotspot. Connectify even identifies PCs and devices that are connected to it. You can see them in the window labeled “Connected Clients”. If you double click on a connected client, you can change the little icon next to it to make it easier to identify at a glance.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

If you would like to share your internet connection wirelessly in your home or on the road, you could not ask for an easier way to do it. I have no problems giving this app a good recommendation.

Recommened Softwrae

Techie-Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

How to Create Your Own Wifi Hotspot in Windows 7

connectify-program-icon A few weeks ago, a new application, called Connectify, appeared on the net. It made use of an unfinished feature in Win7 to make it easy to create personal wifi connections that can be shared with others. Please note that this application only works in Windows 7.

Recently, Connectify has been updated so that you can name the wifi connection that you create. Here’s how it works.

● Download the Connectify client
● Install it
● Look for the Connectify icon in the system tray

connectify-icon-no-wifi
● Click on the icon once to open it

connectify-client-settings
● Set the wifi name
● Set a password of 8 characters or more
● Select either Local or Wireless in the pull down
● Click the “Start Hotspot” button

As you can see, I’ve created a wifi hotspot named “Sky.net”. In this case, I’m fairly sure it won’t become super-intelligent and try to destroy humanity. (see wikipedia about skynet)

Once it’s live, anyone with your password can connect to your hotspot. Connectify even identifies PCs and devices that are connected to it. You can see them in the window labeled “Connected Clients”. If you double click on a connected client, you can change the little icon next to it to make it easier to identify at a glance.

Recommened Softwrae

Techie-Buzz Verdict: If you would like to share your internet connection wirelessly in your home or on the road, you could not ask for an easier way to do it. I have no problems giving this app a hearty recommendation.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 4/5

Search and Find Free WiFi Hotspots With Wifi.com

Travelling and looking to find a free WiFi connection? Wifi.com is the solution you are looking for, it will allow you to search and find Free WiFi hotspots around your location, allowing you access to the internet, without having to pay hefty amounts to commercial WiFi providers.

free_wifi_hotspots

Wifi.com works similarly to previously mentioned Free Wifi Hotspot finder. It searches the surrounding areas and displays the best available options for accessing WiFi connections free of cost.

Continue reading Search and Find Free WiFi Hotspots With Wifi.com

Find Free Wireless Access Points With Free Hotspot [Free WiFi Hotspots]

Imagine a situation where there are about 30 minutes for you to board a plane which would take 6 hours to your destination and you just remember that you forgot to email a important presentation due in 2 hours. What would you do in such a situation? Would you buy wireless access to surf the Internet for just 10 minutes while you can email the file? If you decide to do that then let me welcome you to the club of people who waste money when they could have save it.

Why pay when you don’t have to?

free-hotspots-logo This is a question Free Hotspot a service that helps you to find free WiFi access points asks to its users. Why not find a free WiFi access point and save yourself some money.

As the name suggests Free Hotspot maintains a list of free WiFi Access points across the world which are free to use, all you have to do is enter your zip code, city name, state or area name along with the country you are in and it will show you a list of free hotspots available.

Continue reading Find Free Wireless Access Points With Free Hotspot [Free WiFi Hotspots]