Entries categorized "Wireless" Feed

Computer on a Stick #chromebit

Asus Chromebit for EUR 95 available in July 2015

WE HAVE OLD television screens and PC monitors that would benefit from the Asus Chromebit.

The simple device turns any television with an HDMI slot into a low-end PC. The dongle is no larger than my highlighter pen and comes in three colours (not pink or purple). It uses Google's Chrome OS which means it comes with 2MB of RAM and 16 GB of SSD capability. [1]

The Chromebit dongle has a swiveling head, so it will have no problems plugging into awkward HDMI locations. Power comes from a relatively modest Rockchip processor. It has both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. And its USB 2.0 port means I could plug in a keyboard.

1. Richard Nieva -- "Google Pushes Chrome OS software, with or without Chromebooks" on CNET, March 31, 2015.

2. Google Chrome Blog -- "More Chromebooks, for Everyone", March 3, 2015.

One Dongle Five Devices Thirty Gigs

OUR HOME CONTINUES to pull its internet connectivity from a small O2 Hotshot dongle in a window (in the photo) facing masts two to six miles away. And the little dongle shares the data with a Kindle, a Chromebook, an iPhone, a Surface and a Lumia phone.

Lumia photo of O2 Hotshot at night.

Several other devices occasionally try to connect but the Huawei Hotshot limits itself to five devices. It works well, even after Three Ireland took over the provision of services.

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We Couldn't Find Wireless Devices

We Couldn't Find WirelessScreenshot from my Microsoft Surface.

THE ONLY SNAG I have encountered after 70 days of using the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 as my primary laptop happened one day when "We couldn't find wireless devices on this PC". I knew I had a problem because both Bluetooth and WiFi functions were offline.

Solving the problem was very simple. I didn't have to ask Google for help, I just searched for the answer on my Surface. I explained what I did as part of an Audioboo.

A Surface Snag


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Disappointed with 2G @O2irl Mifi

O2 2G
Photo of @topgold's O2 Hotshot snapped with Lumia.

[UPDATED 28 May below the break.]

FOR MORE THAN three years in County Tipperary, I used an O2 Hotshot to enjoy solid 3G service. But since early May, my service consistently downshifts to 2G after 10 minutes of use.

I need to figure out what has changed because when my connectivity rolls back to 2G, only my email works. I have become dependent upon multi-socket broadband while using a host of cloud services. Those critical services simply fail to work when the connection speed drops to 2G.

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Struggling with Mobile Data Limits

Over my limitScreenshot from @topgold's Nokia Lumia 925.

THERE SHOULD BE NO reason that I need to use more than 2 GB of data each month with my mobile phone because I know what apps are the most data-intensive. I overshot my data limit this month because I tethered my laptop for an hour and I watched more than two hours of HD YouTube videos this month.

I needed tethering for a few simple laptop tasks and failed to kill both Windows Updates and an automatic Camtasia download. Those two things resulted in a 380 MB payload within a 20 minute period and that pushed me through my monthly mobile data limit. More importantly, it means my monthly O2 bill sits comfortably above €140, double the amount I normally budget for my account. Telefonica Ireland benefits directly.

I'm confident that my Nokia Lumia won't try to pull any more data over the air because I have set up Data Sense to automatically throttle the phone's over the air data usage once I reach 85% of my account limit. The screenshot on this blog post shows what happened when I removed the software switch and permitted normal email services to run with five different accounts on my phone.

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Car Hacking with Boston Brakes and More

The Hastings Car Crash@topgold grabbed the Michael Hastings shot from AboveTopSecret.

WHILE LIVING IN GERMANY, I drove slowly by several high-speed Autobahn accidents involving mangled Mercedes Benz cars. It was unusual to see one explode at high speed and burn like Thermite (as Michael Hastings' car appears) so I'm deeply intrigued by the theory of a car hacking incident.

Former Marine Gordon Duff has shared information about the “Boston Brakes” technique, in which “drive by wire” cars like the Mercedes in the shot, can be manipulated remotely to simulate an out-of-control accident. [1]

I set up a news alert to follow this story and got some very interesting scenarios from Richard Clarke, the former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism. [2] Clarke confirms intelligence services have successfully tested the “drive by wire” concept. [3] I've used Audioboo to talk about the on-board diagnostic unit and how it's possible to hack one to control a new car.


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Discovering How Much Streaming Uses on Mobile

My major summer snagScreenshot of unsuccessful wifi connectivity at work.

BECAUSE I DEPEND UPON wifi connectivity on my work laptop, I have discovered how much over-the-air data connectivity actually costs. That's because my work laptop doesn't connect to the campus wifi node and I'm tethering from my personal O2 account to compensate.

For a week, I used my Hauwei E586 Mifi as my wifi service but the combination of serving YouTube, BBC iPlayer and RTE Jr streams at home along with my normal daytime browsing means I use an average of 1.32 GB of O2 data every day. We have 30 GB of data on a reasonably priced O2-Ireland account and don't want to run up more than the contracted data services.

I've resorted to turning off all the two tablets in the house at night and ensuring the smartphones have Wifi shut down at night as well because they were updating software, downloading the Guardian and getting email syncs when we didn't need them. Along the way, I've learned how data-hungry video streaming services really are.

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No Internet Access with Three Mifi

Three ConnectedBernie Goldbach in Cashel having problems with the Three Mifi at left.

I THINK MY WINDOWS laptop has a dodgy internet adapter inside because I'm having headaches with my Three Ireland Mifi internet connection lately.

I'm blogging this problem because I know several wifi experts read my musings. Here is my plan.

1. I have restarted the E586 router several times, waited for it to boot up and connect to my laptop. Unlike my O2 E586, it shows "connected" most of the time.

2. I have deleted the applicable network profile on my W7 laptop.

3. I have uninstalled the wireless adapter driver and discovered some remnants of a T-Link adapter tha might be causing issues.

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