Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


Verizon Will Slow Data Speed for Top 5% of Data Users

Posted by JenThorpe at 8:05 PM on July 27, 2014

Verizon logoVerizon Wireless has announced that they will be slowing data speeds for certain customers. This slowing down will start in October of 2014. It won’t affect all users the same way. They are focusing on the customers who use the most data.

It ties into Verizon Wireless’ Network Optimization policy (which was created in 2011). The purpose of the Network Optimization policy is “to ensure that all data customers would have the best network experience”. Something new has been added to the Network Optimization policy that will go into affect in October of this year.

The new change will affect a specific group of Verizon Wireless customers. From their statement:

Starting in October 2014, Verizon Wireless will extend its network optimization policy to the data users who: fall within the top 5 percent of data users on our network, have fulfilled their minimum contractual commitment, and are on unlimited plans using a 4G LTE device. They may experience slower data speeds when using certain high bandwith applications, such as streaming high-definition video or during real-time online gaming, and only when connecting to a cell site when it is experiencing heavy demand.

The slowed speed will not be a permanent thing. The top 5 percent of data users will only experience it when they are using a cell site that is currently at peak usage. When the cell becomes less busy, the normal bandwith speed will return. Verizon doesn’t consider the slowed speed to be “throttling”.

Wimbledon comes to YouTube

Posted by Alan at 6:20 AM on June 22, 2013

It is the biggest time of the year for tennis fans, as the annual Wimbledon tournament has rolled around once again. This year the showcase of the sport can be watched, not only if pay the money and fly to England, not only on your TV, but also right on you computer — or a set top box with the right app.

Google, through its YouTube subsidiary, has announced that users will be able to “catch the key moments of the tennis, interviews, behind the scenes and press conferences throughout the Wimbledon fortnight. You can also relive all the glory days of Wimbledon’s golden moments, such as one of the greatest matches ever played”.

youtube wimbledon

The action kicks off this Monday, June 24th, and will be free for customers. To pull this of, the video service partnered with Rolex to sponsor the coverage. Catch the action at http://www.youtube.com/user/Wimbledon.

Altair’s LTE Chipsets are Certified by Verizon

Posted by JenThorpe at 11:20 PM on February 17, 2013

AltairAltair Semiconductor is a start up company that is based in Israel, near Tel Aviv. The company has been around for seven years, and has offices around the world. They develop LTE single mode chipsets. The market is quickly moving towards LTE, and Altair Semiconductor is ready to meet that need.

The LTE chipsets made by Altair Semiconductor are in phones right now. They are the first LTE chipsets to be certified by Verizon for use on the Verizon network, and are in the process of certifying with AT&T as well. Altair also makes LTE chipsets that can be used in tablets and LTE USB dongles. Their “sweet spot” is in MTM applications, where a machine communicates directly with another machine and needs to send data from one to the other. Altair Semiconductor has products that are available in the USA, Europe, Asia, and India.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and the Tech Podcast Network and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast and The Noodle.mx Network.

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Want a Sneak Peak of the HTC Droid DNA? Verizon Has Announced One

Posted by Alan at 8:47 AM on November 11, 2012

The new Android phones continue to come out at an amazingly fast rate. While you may have just begun to lust after the Nexus 4, which will be out in a few days, another phone is already about the be launched. The HTC Droid DNA may not be a “flagship” Google phone like the Nexus line, but it promises some great thing.

Aside from the upcoming LG  Nexus 4, the HTC Droid DNA will be one of the first phones to come with the new Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, which packs a ton of feature updates such PhotoSphere.  Reports are also indicating a 5 inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel primary camera, polycarbonate matte case and of course LTE.  All of those specs remain unconfirmed at this point, but they come from multiple sources.

Verizon plans to unveil the new handset at an event Tuesday morning in New York City, but now they have quietly pushed out another announcement as well.  A day before their NYC show, they will be holding a special live unboxing tomorrow, November 12th.  The page explains that users will need to “add Verizon Wireless to a circle on Google+ for an exclusive invite to our Hangout on Air Unboxing Event.”  Are you looking for a new phone?  Which would you prefer, the Nexus 4 or the HTC Droid DNA?  Or are you planning to go with a different device?

Samsung Galaxy S3 Update

Posted by tomwiles at 3:30 PM on October 21, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3About a month ago I retired my trusty Sprint Evo 4G (original Wimax version) and got a Samsung Galaxy S3.

My initial impression of the Galaxy S3 was quite positive. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time now with the Galaxy S3, so I want to give a bit of an update on my experience with it. I drive a truck over the road and also use it as a podcast aggregator and playback device, so I am spending even more direct time with my phone than the average consumer might.

The Sprint version of the S3 is currently using the so-called “Ice Cream Sandwich” Android 4.04.

Battery life is excellent compared to the three previous smartphones I’ve had over the past several years using the stock battery that came with it.

The large 4.8” inch AMOLED LCD high resolution touchscreen is superb, with excellent color saturation. The extremely thin form factor allows me to easily carry the phone around in a front pocket.

Performance remains excellent even though I’ve installed several dozens and dozens of apps. App performance is rock solid. I had many of the same apps on my HTC Evo that would sometimes crash or cause problems that run perfectly on the Galaxy S3. I attribute this performance increase to more primary phone memory and perhaps better overall hardware design architecture. It’ likely that people that experience problems with certain apps are really experiencing lack of enough physical memory in their device in the same way that desktop computers experience fewer crashes and more overall stability when they have more physical RAM in which to execute the program code.

The Galaxy S3 has excellent WiFi performance. Connected to a Verizon MiFi 4G WiFi hotspot the WiFi has no slowdown issues even when simultaneously using Bluetooth.

The Bluetooth functionality works pretty well overall, but not quite as good as the HTC Evo. I have a JVC Stereo-Bluetooth-capable stereo in my pickup that functioned just fine with the Evo in speakerphone mode that doesn’t work properly with the Galaxy S3. I can hear callers through the stereo speakers but they cannot hear me through the return channel microphone. I don’t know if there is a Bluetooth version number conflict that could possibly resolve the problem via a JVC firmware upgrade, or if the problem might be resolved when Sprint and Samsung release the next “Jelly Bean” version of Android for the Sprint version of the Galaxy S3.

This problem with the S3’s Bluetooth not working properly with my JVC stereo is even more perplexing, since it works perfectly well with the other Bluetooth devices that I own, including a Tango TRX high fidelity Bluetooth stereo speaker that also can work as a speakerphone.

Overall I’m extremely pleased with the Galaxy S3. This is one of the most amazing pieces of technology I’ve ever owned.

In my opinion, the Galaxy S3 is currently the best phone on the market today.

Verizon Touchscreen Jukebox

Posted by Alan at 12:50 AM on February 8, 2012

This year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Verizon unveiled something cool and unexpected – a touchscreen photo jukebox.  This isn’t what you would expect from the words “Verizon touchscreen”.  It’s actually a touchscreen jukebox with karaoke and a photo booth. all rolled into one large LCD screen.  The whole thing runs on the Verizon 4G LTE network so there are no wires involved in this setup.  It’s a plug-and-play setup.

TPN’s own Jeffery Powers stopped by the Verizon booth and got a first-hand demonstration of how it works.  The touchscreen allows for seamless scrolling through all of the music, but even better, you can snap a photo and immediately upload it to email, Facebook, or other locations.  The photo editor has multiple filters to allow the user to choose the exact photo they want.

Users may or may not like the fact that their video is also captured during karaoke, but that aside, the device is available right now, although it’s probably more for the bar than the home.  Users can even access the device from their phone, so there’s no need to walk over to the touchscreen.  Head over the Verizon Innovation site for more info.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Android 2.3 Gingerbread May Finally Reach the Droid X

Posted by Alan at 10:00 AM on May 7, 2011

motorola droid x

It looks like the Motorola Droid X may FINALLY get the latest and greatest Android – 2.3, also known as Gingerbread.  Supposedly Verizon received Motorola’s build about a month ago, but rejected it.  Now it’s rumored that Motorola’s second try has been given the green-light by the wireless overlord.  This news hasn’t been officially confirmed or denied by either Motorola or Verizon.

If it’s true then the rollout would likely begin in the next few days.  So far no users have reported receiving the update.  The Droid X currently runs Android 2.2.1 and system version 2.3.340 and still claims it is up to date when asked to check for updates.

For those users who have rooted their device and are running an unofficial version of 2.3, you can find instructions on an upgrade path over at MyDroidWorld.  Those running stock devices should begin making periodic checks for updates as it may available that way before being pushed.

Flixwagon Mobile Video Broadcast and Social Networking Platform

Posted by tomwiles at 5:11 PM on February 2, 2011

Arie Offner and Roy Ginat present Flixwagon (http://www.flixwagon.com/), a mobile video broadcast and social networking platform. The product is aimed at business and corporate users. Verizon will be soon launching the Flixwagon Android application for selected Verizon Android phones.

Interview by Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com and Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.Com.

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The Verizon 4G LTE HTC Thunderbolt

Posted by Alan at 1:32 AM on January 26, 2011

At CES 2011 Verizon was showing off the brand new HTC Thunderbolt, which will run on their 4G LTE network – the next generation network that is currently being rolled out.  With this new super fast network the device will be capable of such things as real-time multi-player online gaming.  The Thunderbolt will feature an 8 megapixel camera, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 1 GHz processor, 40 GB of internal storage, a 4.3″ screen (the same size as the Droid X), and it even features a kickstand (like the HTC EVO).

Like many things seen at CES, pricing and launch dates are not yet available.  In the video they also mention a couple of duel core mobile devices which will be coming out soon.  Exciting stuff.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.
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Verizon And HP Introduce 4G Notebooks

Posted by Alan at 7:54 PM on January 6, 2011

Today Verizon partnered with HP to announce their new 4G LTE laptops – HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr Notebook PC and the Compaq CQ10-688nr.  They are claiming that customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G Mobile Broadband (LTE) coverage areas.

The Compaq CQ10-688 will offer a 10.1 screen, an Intel Atom N455 CPU, digital card reader, webcam (undisclosed resolution), and a veriety of connection options (presumably USB and HDMI).  It also boasts an 8.5 hour battery life.

The HP Pavilion dm1-3010 comes with an 11.6 inch screen, HP CoolSense technology (which they claim “combines advanced hardware and intelligent cooling software for a notebook that feels noticeably cooler”), a 1080p display, a 320 GB hard drive, digital media card reader, HDMI port, Dolby sound, GPS, and battery life of a stunning 9.5 hours.

Both the HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr and Compaq CQ10-688nr can be turned into mobile hotspots to allow other WiFi enabled devices to connect to their integrated “Internet Connection Sharing application”.

Like many things on display at CES there is no pricing or release date as of yet.  The HP certainly grabs a lot more attention than the Compaq, which seems completely average except for it’s LTE connectivity.  The HP is the real powerhouse here, but it’s likely there will be a noticeable price difference.  I don’t expect it to be too long before these are on the market – my guess would be mid-2011, but that’s just a guess.