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Wi-Fi Toys: 5 chapters free online, 10 more to go - One third of Wi-Fi Toys is available for download as PDF or adapted for the web. If you're new to Wi-Fi, Chapter 1 is a great start. Even if you don't want to make your own cables, it gets you quickly up to speed on why good cables makes all the difference. All the other projects are great fun and useful too! Chapter 1, The basics and making a cable Chapter 3, Build a Wi-Fi cantenna Chapter 5, Wardriving intro, setup, and discovery Chapter 11, Citywide games using Wi-Fi Access Points Chapter 13, Go long with Wi-Fi (10 miles or more!) Find them all in the Contents....
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Boosting cell reception with an amplifier - I've been spending more time on EVDO lately, what with highway-speed availability and in-car use. Cellular is supposed to cover the city and highways that we drive on most. But due to mountains, hills, and buildings, dropped calls are still common. Having a weak signal is particularly frustrating while using cellular internet because it means s-l-o-w-e-r speeds. That's where a cell amplifier can come in handy. I took a look at a few different applications and different amplifiers and wrote up this "How 2.0" for Popular Science. By the way, to really see the signal on your cell phone (or RSSI) check out this PDF for your phone's field test debug mode. It doesn't list some phones like mine. So if you have a Palm Treo 700w type "#*#33284" and press the green Send/Phone butto...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Exploring the impact of a wireless renaissance in Tibet - Hacking the Himalayas is a four part series on NPR from tech journalist Xeni Jardin. She explores how Tibetan exiles are reconnecting with their past and embracing the future partly from a growing wireless mesh network. Technicians have to monkey-proof the system. Literally from monkeys swinging on antennas! Meanwhile, buddhist monks are emailing each other from their temples and others are reaching out internationally with websites telling their story. One monk speaks about the interconnectedness of all things and how wireless further enables that concept. "Communication is very good." Read Xeni's press journal for a closer look while listening to each story. ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Marconi and the early years of wireless: SOCALWUG Meeting July 27th 2006 - This Thursday is our monthly So. Cal. Wireless Users Group meeting. And this time we are looking back at wireless history with a presentation by Frank Keeney on wireless pioneer Marconi "Guglielmo Marconi in 1901 proved that wireless waves were not affected by the curvature of the Earth, he used his system for transmitting the first wireless signals across the Atlantic between Poldhu, Cornwall England, and St. John's, Newfoundland. I'm sure most of us remember the centennial celebration in 2001 of Marconi's achievements. On a recent trip to Cornwall England last month, I visited both the Marconi Poldhu and Lizard Point wireless stations where Marconi performed his early experiments. In order to make this transmission over the Atlantic tremendous obstacles needed to be overcome." Join us in person or by internet video at the So Cal Wireless Users Group this Thursday 07/27/06 at 7pm (Pacific)....
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Lowe's Wi-Fi Hacker Gets 9 Year Jail Term - It was one of the first data intrusion arrests related to the use of Wi-Fi. Albeit as a conduit into a network to commit a crime, not in and of itself. The two hackers in this story went wardriving back in 2003 and found an open Wi-Fi network in a Lowe's store. They went back later and, using the Wi-Fi network, installed a program that would collect credit card numbers, eventually, from all the Lowe's stores. This Wired news article recounts the incident and tells how one of the hackers, Brian Salcedo, was sentenced to 9 years in prison just for the attempt. They didn't succeed since the FBI was watching the parking lot the night they installed the credit-card-stealing code. Ealier this week an appeals court upheld the sentence saying that the intention to steal a lot of card numbers and sell them was severe enough to warrant the longer sentence, even though they didn't actually see any credit card numbers. We haven't had a high profile hacker in jail since Kevin Mitnick. I...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

San Francisco Municipal Network Hearing Alternatives - Yesterday, a Special Meeting was held by the city of San Francisco to revisit the plans for their city-wide Wi-Fi project. Testimony was heard from Esme Vos of Muniwireless, Greg Richardson of Civitium, Emy Tseng from TechConnect's Digital Inclusion Program, and "members of the public": Ralph Muehlen and Tim Pozar of SFLan; Bruce Wolfe; Andre Chan, UC Berkeley; Doug Loranger, SNAFU; David Fierberg, SEAKAY; James Chaffee; Carlos Rios, NextWLAN; Kimo Crossman; Bill Colquitt; Peter Warfield; Chris Ruth; Ron Vincent, DTIS. A few key points that were brought up about the current plan for a Wi-Fi network: -Frequency issues and interference problems inherent wit...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

RFID Toys: Unlock your front door with a wave - Make your own contactless deadbolt. This free chapter from the ExtremeTech book "RFID Toys" shows you step-by-step how to add RFID to an electronic deadbolt resulting in a door you can just wave your keys past to unlock. Neat! (via Digg) Download PDF ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

WeyeFeye sign - In the wake of Sean Bonner's cloud of controversy over the blog gangsign, and ensuing wiki sign, I wanted to make up a WiFi sign. Sean's wiki sign requires 2 people to collaberate in wiki fashion, of course. And is admittedly more legible, if unsafe for daytime TV. But hey, wifi nomads rejoice, we're all mobile, independant, and, while not driving, can show the love. (via boingboing)...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Warflying in the New York Times (as an aside) - Remember Warflying from a couple years ago? Back in 2004, some pals of mine performed a few Wi-Fi experiments over Los Angeles for the now off-air Next@CNN (WMV video). During the flight we not only scanned for networks, but we created the first ever air-to-air Wi-Fi video conference. Well, the map we made using Netstumbler is featured in this Times article on "piggybacking" on neighbors' Wi-Fi networks. The map clearly shows the route the airplane flew over Los Angeles. But the GPS "breadcrumb trail" is actually made up of more than a thousand individual wireless access points discovered on the flight. These things are pretty much everywhere in LA. (via WNN) ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

SOCALWUG video online and ready to download! - Here's the latest video from SOCALWUG. In the January 2006 meeting, Frank Keeney and Mike Outmesguine opened the meeting talking about the Suitsat ham radio project, VOIP phones, RFID, and the MB-8000 EVDO/Wi-Fi mobile hotspot running the meeting's internet uplink. We continue with a presentation from author Carl Weisman from 5G Wireless Solutions chatting about all things wireless and discussing his company's technology and participation in the growing municipal wireless trend. We close out the meeting with Baron Miller from Signalwide showing us one of their cellular boosters and talking about how it works to draw in weak cellphone signals. Download WMV file (95 MB, 1 hour 30 minutes) ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

So. Cal. Wireless Users Group hosts 50th meeting! - Fifty, 50, L, 110010, 0.5c, 0x0032, nun. However you express it, this month marks SOCALWUG meeting number fifty! I never imagined what started as a wild idea posed by two Wi-Fi enthusiasts would become practically an institution spanning several years. Frank Keeney and I hosted the first meeting in May 2002. See a list of all the events. For our next meeting, we lined up 5G Wireless to showcase their muni- and campus-wide Wi-Fi solutions. 5G promises in-building coverage and wide area access from a single pole mounted installation. They will tell us how they achieve this feat and will give us a glimpse into their plans addressing the growing municipal wireless trend. When: Every Fourth Thursday 7:...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Vivato Ceases Operations - A Vivato spokesperson confirms the ceasing of operations with Glenn Fleishman over at Wi-Fi Net News. Vivato is best known for the switched access point that was designed using phased-array technology and beam-steering to communicate intelligently with outdoor clients over 1 kilometer. There was also an indoor switch that would theorectically light up an entire office floor with a single access point panel. Although the technology and early demonstrations were very promising, the company could not meet performance and price demands in the fast-changing Wi-Fi market. Competitors quickly adopted 802.11g and MIMO to meet the increasing wireless bandwidth demands of enterprise users. Vivato engineered an awesome technology for the private sector (phased-array is most often used in military radar systems) but it just never quite took off....
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

MSNBC Blogads buy and video teaser - Last Saturday morning, everyone in the blogosphere woke up to the news that MSNBC had purchased advertising on 800 blogs. This was the largest single blogad buy in history. The promotion is for a special day of TV programming taking place on Wednesday, December 14th. The Wi-Fi Toys site was included on the ad buy, you can see the snazzy neon graphic under our "Sponsors" heading. Although MSNBC's intent in purchasing the blogads was to gain TV viewers, most of the press around "Digital Day" has been about the massive blogad buy and not about the content of the shows. To help raise awareness of the topics being covered on December 14th, MSNBC has put together a special video teaser tape for Digital Day in iPod and Sony PSP video formats. It starts with "I'm Keith Oberman. Thanks for downloading me." (snigger!) The subjects being covered on Digital Day range from vir...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

RFID book Spychips review and rebuttal - RFID is evil and will destroy your privacy and standard of living. -OR- RFID will make things cheaper, more plentiful, and keep store shelves stocked full of new Xbox360 games. There are two sides to the RFID story. RFID == EVIL is the stance taken by privacy advocates and is the premise of the new book 'Spychips'. While RFID == GOOD is touted by the RFID industry and big box stores. Of course, reality lies somewhere in-between. But until RFID is proven and/or disproven in the marketplace, the debate will rage on. 'Spychips' and 'Spychips-Rebuttal' (PDF) is but one baby step towards an answer. Read a review...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Gamers take note, Xbox 360 gets hardcore fansite - If you are into gaming, you surely heard that the Xbox 360 is about to hit store shelves. But the folks over at Joystiq.com have gone one-up on their 48-hour geekfest and started a fansite that also happens to redefine the meaning of fanboy to be gender-neutral. Xbox360Fanboy.com is heavyduty Xbox news. They've already started talking about hacking the embedded TSOP chip, getting into long-tail economics with HD movies, and, oh yeah, I think they talk about games. With all of the media-convergence potential that Microsoft will bring into the digital living room via the Xbox 360 (it's their first serious play into home invasion...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Do forensic printer marks slow down printers? - Oh man, this is annoying. I bought a blue LED light today to see the printer dots for myself. As expected, they showed up scattered all over the printed page (see image: black spots are printed dots in the "blank" space of the page illuminated by a blue LED light in a darkened room.) But what REALLY pisses me off is that the dots are also printed on the BACK OF THE PAGE! You see, I have a duplex color laser printer (HP 4600dn) which can print on both sides of the paper. One of the annoying things I discovered early on with this printer is how it prints single-sided jobs: it actually prints out (what I once believed was) a blank sheet, then sucks it back in the feeder and prints the content on the back of the page. (If you are doing letterhead, you have to put the paper in upside dow...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

EFF decodes how your printer spys on you - What started as an inquiry into an article by PC World rapidly became a revelation into how your color laser printer could be spying on you. Following up on the article, members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation wondered how their printer could be relaying information to government and law enforcement. Well after several months of sleuthing and donated pages from volunteers' printers around the world, the EFF announced the results of their findings. Using a coded series of micro-sized yellow dots that it prints right along with your page, many modern printers are recording the date, time, and serial number of the printer. The government says this is to prevent counterfeiters from printing currency using a high-res color printer (much like the government software that is now embedded into Photoshop). But the privacy implications are c...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

UPS and FedEx show shipping disruption - UPS: Affected areas by Zip Code (Click for larger image) FedEx: Closeup of New Orleans (Click for larger image) It is hard to imagine the scope of geographical areas directly affected by Katrina. I have been looking at satellite imagery, lists of cities, Google Earth mashups, and even newspaper illustrations. Yet, while checking on a shipment, I happen...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

FCC coordinating tech aid for Katrina disaster - Xeni Jardin posted this notice on the tech blog, BoingBoing: Some quick notes from a conference call that just took place, hosted by the FCC about how to coordinate resources and personnel from internet/wireless private industry to help get communications networks up and running in in gulf states. Lack of communications systems has been identified as a critical issue holding back aid, missing persons, law enforcement, etc. in crisis areas. FCC personnel are working throughout the weekend to coordinate these efforts with private industry, with wireless technology groups, FEMA, and state governments in Mississippi, Louisiana, etc. One of the challenges they face in this effort is fact that the coordination effort involves multiple layers of bureaucracies - also, that there has been no central point for directing available assets offered by private industry. Participants on the call included folks from Cisco, Intel, and wireless organizations. ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

FSM on your Google Sidebar - I've been trying out the the new Google Desktop Search 2 Sidebar and found a couple neat things about it. Apart from the nifty search capabilities, you can customize the panels in the Sidebar. The Sidebar seems to use Microsoft .Net and relies heavily on ActiveX. Using the "Add Remove Panels" option you can create a panel for any ActiveX component installed on your Windows system. I've been trying several with limited success. But my favorite is adding Macromedia Flash movies straight into the panel. Flashinsider has the step-by-step. But if you want the Flying Spaghetti Monster or maybe AllYourBase, replace the URL with the link or hard drive path directly to the .SWF file. like these http:/...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Magazines created for the Sony PSP - Mainstream and niche publishers are going after readership from Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) owners who are all gamed out. Afterall, how many times can you race a rocket-powered hovercar through futuristic landscapes while listening to mind-bending trance? Downloadable PSP "magazines" seem to be dominated by pictorials of underdressed women pulled from magazines like Maxim and Sports Illustrated. Yet, others are creating original content and/or reformatting content onto the PSP. The PSP Mag is one such PSP-zine that delivers some useful, interesting, and fun content in the form of pictures, music, and video formatted to view on your PSP. They also distribute a "Mag Only" version that omits the audio/video content. All you do is download a 20-30 MB zip file and unzip it onto your PSP memory ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Kill your Windows Update nag screen (until you reboot) - When you decide to install Windows Updates (which is a GOOD. IDEA.) Your system will pester you every few mintues to restart and will even restart automatically if you aren't around to click on [Restart Later] every 5 minutes. This tip shows you how to stop the service that controls the nag screen until its a good time - like when you are between hotspots. Read ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

New World Record for Wi-Fi Distance: 125 Miles - My pal Frank Keeney tells me that the world record holders for the longest distance for an unamplified Wi-Fi link (55.1 miles at 30mw) blasted through their own year old record today at the Defcon Wi-Fi Shootout. Team PAD shot their signal a distance of 125 miles from outside Las Vegas, Nevada to a location near St. George, Utah, winning them a new record in the "unamplified" category at the shootout. This possibly qualifies them for a new Guiness record as well. Frank is the founder of wlanparts.com that provided the Wi-Fi gear to Team PAD. He tells me they used the Z-Com 325hp+ PCMCIA cards running at a built-in power of 300 mw on each end of the link. The cards wer...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Space Shuttle Docks to ISS, Astronauts call help desk for Microsoft Excel support - While watching NASA TV this morning, I heard Mission Control send this ground to space tech support: "The swap list can be found two ways, if you're looking at the file under the K drive, the Excel file, there's a separate tab that gets you to the swap list " Those darned tabs will get you every time in Excel. Even in space!...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

Shuttle prepared for launch - NASA has their live feeds of the Shuttle launch up and running. I'm also tuned in to NASA TV: channel 376 on DirecTV. (Thanks, Frank) Link ...
Feed Source: www.wifi-toys.com

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