1. Tech

    British Library Wi-Fi Blocks Access to Shakespeare’s Hamlet Due to Violent Content

    Author Mark Forsyth was writing his latest book in the British Library when he needed to cite a line from Hamlet. Too bad the British Library decided he wasn't allowed to do that because the play is too violent! Kids could get the wrong idea about poisoning their brothers or uncles, you see.

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  2. Tech

    Google Will Provide Better Wi-Fi For All Starbucks Locations

    Between being able to monitor our email inboxes, chat logs, and even our Internet history, Google knows almost everything about us -- why not add our coffee preferences on top of that? Because today Google released a blog post saying that starting in August, they'll be in charge of the Wi-Fi connection for all 7,000 Starbucks locations nationwide.

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  3. Tech

    New York City Offers Free Wi-Fi in 32 More Parks With Purpose-Defeating 10-Minute Limit

    Offering free Wi-Fi in public parks is a great thing for cities to do because it can help underserved citizens get online, but also because it's just hella convenient. New York City already has free Wi-Fi in a number of parks thanks to a deal with AT&T, but they're expanding the program through a new deal with Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Unlike the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots -- which are free all the time for everyone always -- the Time Warner and Cablevision parks will have a 10-minute daily limit on free access. You're doing it wrong.

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  4. Tech

    North Korea Builds Its Own Tablet, Fails to Include the Internet

    North Korea has come out with what's basically its own version of an iPad: The Samjiyon. Unlike the iPad, which is used to access the Internet to get movies, books, and music in addition to communications and basic web-browsing, the Samjiyon does not get Wi-Fi, and is instead basically a touchscreen tablet devoted to delivering government propaganda and also slingshot games, because North Korea.

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  5. Tech

    Watch Your Hands: Wi-Fi Can Act as Motion Controls

    The Xbox One's Kinect may be watching and listening at all times, but it's still just mostly staring straight ahead at your couch. But motion controls have taken a step forward, as a team of researchers at the University of Washington have developed a system dubbed WiSee (pronounced "We See") that uses Wi-Fi radio waves to detect human movement and gestures. While motion controls are nothing new, utilizing Wi-Fi makes it possible to pick up motions without motion sensors pointed at the user, anywhere within range.

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  6. Science

    Great Work, Internet! We’re Getting a Tesla Statue That’s Also a Time Capsule and Wi-Fi Hotspot

    In spite of being dead, Nikola Tesla is having a pretty good year. His New York lab was just purchased by a group of admirers looking to turn it into a museum, he could be getting his own cartoon, and now there will be a statue built in his honor in Silicon Valley. And not just any statue -- this one will double as a Wi-Fi hotspot, triple as a time capsule, and it could even be going to Mars in 2043.

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  7. Tech

    Why Google Glass Does Not and Can Not Have a Cellular Connection

    Google Glass is going to do a lot of interesting things. Wearers will be able to get turn-by-turn directions, instantly share videos and pictures with the world, carry on video calls, and get information about the world while still looking at the world... as long as you have your cell phone or there's a Wi-Fi connection. It would be great if Glass was a completely standalone device, but it would need its own cellular connection for that. There is not, and won't be a cellular connection in Google Glass, but there's good reasons for that -- like FCC regulations, and people's irrational fear of cancer.

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  8. Tech

    Correction: Maybe the FCC Isn’t Planning Free “Super Wi-Fi” After All…

    Yesterday, I wrote about a story in The Washington Post that said there was an FCC plan to offer free "Super Wi-Fi." This morning Techdirt is saying that The Washington Post -- and by extension everyone else -- is wrong, and tried to clear things up. It turns out the story is a combined misunderstanding of a few things going on in the world of the FCC and the broadcast spectrum.

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  9. Tech

    Google Gives New York’s Swanky Chelsea Neighborhood Free Wi-Fi, Is Doing It Wrong

    As sure as day passes into night, it seems that the rich get...well, not richer, exactly, but in New York today, plenty of them got word that they would be able to drop at least one bill. That's because the city's Chelsea neighborhood -- home to some of the cities highest-end shopping and most expensive apartments -- is about to get free Wi-Fi courtesy of Google, whose New York headquarters are in the neighborhood. With this move, Google has raised getting public relations credit for doing what amounts to absolutely nothing to an art form.

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  10. Weird

    Boeing Uses Potatoes as Human Substitutes to Test Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi on airplanes is great as an idea, but the sad reality is that W-Fi on airplanes is actually terrible. Anyone who tries to connect their device to an in-flight Wi-Fi connection is in for a spotty, frustratingly slow experience, and as more people start using Wi-Fi enabled devices, it's only going to get worse. Boeing wants to improve in-flight Wi-Fi, so they've begun a new process for testing signal strength using sacks of potatoes as stand-ins for humans. Makes sense. As far as most airlines are concerned, we're all just sacks of potatoes anyway.

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  11. Tech

    Researchers Boost Shared Wi-Fi Signal Strength Up to 700%, Coffee Shop Patrons Rejoice

    Having access to wi-fi in places like coffee shops is wonderful, unless those places get crowded with other people using the same wi-fi connection. That's when speeds drop and problems begin. It's almost enough to make you want to carry around your own hotspot, but thankfully researchers from North Carolina State University have a new way to increase wi-fi speeds up to 700% on crowded networks.

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  12. Science

    A Bit of Algebra Makes Wi-Fi Go Much Faster

    You may be reading this while you're slowly updating a Steam game or watching a buffering Netflix show on your PS3 even though you pay for a fairly speedy Internet. Regardless of how far we've come regarding Internet speed, and how our phones can watch television shows while we wait in line at the bank, there's always something left to be desired when it comes to Internet speed. The maximum speed provided by an Ethernet cable is often preferred to the ease, but slower maximum available speed of a wireless signal, but with the addition of a bit of algebra to clear of network clogging, Wi-Fi signals may become much faster without the addition of any new hardware.

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  13. Tech

    JetBlue to Rollout Free In-Flight Wi-Fi That Doesn’t Suck in Early 2013

    JetBlue wants to give you free Wi-Fi service during your flight starting next year. Well, it'll be free until the new service is installed on 30 JetBlue planes, which seems like a weird benchmark. Maybe that's why we're not running a major airline. Perhaps even more important than being free, JetBlue has set one very clear goal for the service, due to start in the first couple months of 2013: It must not suck. That would certainly set it apart from current in-flight Wi-Fi offerings, the bar for which is set so low that it is functionally a ditch.

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  14. Tech

    Judge Rules Subscribers Not Required to Secure Wi-Fi to Prevent Piracy

    The problem inherent in a number of ongoing copyright infringement lawsuits is that they rely on the spurious reasoning that an IP address can be directly connected to a person. In reality, an IP address is just a label given to a device accessing the Internet. By this logic, when someone doesn't secure their Wi-Fi connection, and piracy occurs through it, the whole illegal matter will trace back to the subscriber. A judge in California has now ruled that subscribers have no legal duty to secure these connections, meaning they're not liable for said piracy.

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  15. Tech

    Israeli Biblical Times Theme Park Turns Donkeys Into Wi-Fi Hotspots

    At Israeli theme park Kfar Kedem, you can get a realistic taste of what it was like to live in biblical times. This was a simpler era, when there were no antibiotics, being stoned to death was a very real possibility, and livestock just strutted around city streets like they owned the place. Yes, living in biblical times sucked. The managers of Kfar Kedem seem to have acknowledged the problems inherent in building a theme park around the idea of visiting a time when everything was just measurably worse than the world we actually live in, and have begun adding some modern amenities to the experience. Now, when you visit Kfar Kedem, the donkey you are riding around the park will also be a convenient Wi-Fi hotspot. Just like in the Bible!

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