Report Indicates Mobile Devices Dominate Airport Wi-Fi: iOS Leads the Way

  • A year ago, laptops made up two-thirds of Wi-Fi connections at airports. Today, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets comprise 59 percent of the total, reveals new data released this week by Boingo Wireless.
  • Boingo suggests that laptops are not going away — in fact, their numbers have doubled since 2007 — it’s simply that mobile devices are proliferating at a faster rate, fueled by the launch of the iPhone in 2007 (Apple’s iOS dominates the mobile segment with 83 percent of total devices on Boingo’s network).
  • Not surprisingly, the report suggests similar findings for inflight Wi-Fi, as offered by the likes of Gogo. In the air, iPads make up more than one-third of connections, along with 41 percent for PCs and 20 percent for Macs.
  • According to All Things D: “Mobile devices are also gobbling up a lot more data than they did just two years earlier, Boingo said. On a monthly basis, the average mobile device consumed 211 megabytes of data in June, compared with 114 megabytes in May 2009. And the devices are also consuming that data in less time, gulping an average of 8.9 megabytes in every 10 minutes of use, compared with 3.7 megabytes in the same period two years earlier.”

Will Future Intel Chips Provide MacBooks with Infinite Battery Life?

  • Intel introduced its new Haswell architecture this week at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The Haswell technology is a few generations away, but is already impressing analysts.
  • John Brownlee, writing for Cult of Mac, explains that Haswell was created using a 22 nanometer 3D transistor process, which makes possible ARM-like power consumption on an x86 chip. “That means all day battery life, as well as ten days of connected standby,” writes Brownlee.
  • The architecture reportedly uses up to 20 times less power than current Intel chips, and can actually run on a solar cell, suggesting that future MacBooks would theoretically have no constraints on battery life.
  • According to Brownlee, the Haswell architecture has some serious potential: “You think those new Sandy Bridge MacBook Pros are beasts? Just wait a couple years. That’s when Apple will be able of releasing bleeding edge MacBooks capable of not only running for 24 hours on a single charge, but of recharging their cells as they run by sucking up the ambient light in the room around them. Wow.”

New LG Stereoscopic 3D Laptop has Dual Camera Webcam

  • LG announced its A530 3D notebook with 15.6-inch stereoscopic display and built-in 3D webcam this week.
  • The A530 features native YouTube support and 3D Space Software, a built-in editing suite for 3D content.
  • The notebook’s options include Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors with up to 8GB of RAM and a choice of two graphics cards: an Nvidia GeForce GT 555m with either 1 or 2GB of built-in memory.
  • “The screen also has what the company calls Film Patterned Retarder technology, which it claims produces brighter and flicker-free images compared to screens that use shutter-style glasses,” reports Digital Trends.
  • No price announcement yet, but the device is expected to ship to Europe later this month.

Toshiba Glasses-Free 3D Laptop Available this Month

  • CNET offers a largely positive hands-on review of Toshiba’s new glasses-free 3D laptop, the Qosmio F755.
  • A prototype of the 3D laptop was awarded CNET’s “Best of CES” award in January and Toshiba wasted little time bringing the concept to market (the post includes a video review of the prototype from CES 2011).
  • The $1,699 Qosmio F755 will be available in the U.S. starting August 16.
  • Toshiba’s new laptop “has a 15-inch 1080p display that uses special eye-tracking software to track the viewer’s head movement and adjust the stereoscopic image accordingly, via the built-in Webcam.”
  • Features include an Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU, 6GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GT540M, a 750GB hard drive and a Blu-ray-RW drive.
  • According to CNET: “Blu-ray content in 3D looked excellent, but took a resolution hit. Like a 3D TV, it requires a few moments to orient your eyes, especially if you’re not used to watching 3D content. But the eye-tracking allowed for a reasonable amount of freedom of movement, and the 3D effect worked from an off-axis side view.”

Review: Critics Chime In on New MacBook Air

  • Apple introduced its new MacBook Air last week (in 11.6 and 13.3-inch versions, starting at $999) and announced it would discontinue the iconic white MacBook. Gizmodo reports that critics across the board are enamored with the new ultra-thin device. This meta-review provides clips from six notable sources.
  • Laptop Mag (11-inch): “As an ultraportable, the Air is superior in almost every way.”
  • CNET (11-inch): “…if you’re looking for a small, fast MacBook and don’t mind paying a higher price for superior design and performance, the 2011 11-inch MacBook Air is flat-out the fastest ultraportable we’ve ever used.”
  • TIME (13-inch): “I keep trying to stumble across a task or two that will prove that an Air is just too wimpy for some folks, but I’ve failed so far.”
  • PC Mag (13-inch): “The Air 13-inch (Thunderbolt) is perfectly adept at running any video and photo editing software package, compiling a huge database, or watching a 1080p video clip.”
  • Engadget (13-inch): “Keys are more springy than before, more solid and responsive than the somewhat loose, flappy ones on the last generation… It continues to impress when it comes to contrast, brightness, and viewing angles… The 2011 MacBook Air addresses nearly every concern anyone could lob at its predecessor.”
  • TechCrunch (13-inch): “With just the right combination of portability and power, it is hands-down the best computer I’ve ever owned.”

Acer Announces Social Networking Hot Button for New Laptops

  • Acer has announced that the new Gateway NV and ID series laptops will provide one-touch access to social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
  • Social networking hot keys will activate integrated widgets that enable activities such as status updates, message posting, uploading media and more.
  • However, some laptop makers — including HP and Dell — suggest that hot buttons could potentially overwhelm users, and prove to be an unnecessary feature when software could easily do the job (in some cases, such keys are even being removed from business laptops).
  • Computer users spend on average one out of every six minutes of online time on social networks, according to comScore.

Free VUWER App Tracks Stolen Macs

VUWER (Vanderbilt University Web Enabled Recovery) is a free, open source, Mac OS X background app that assists in the tracking of stolen Macs. The app checks a web or remote computer account at regular intervals, in the background without disrupting use. If a computer is stolen, the owner can change the message that VUWER reads in order to track vital information.

VUWER can collect screen capture images of what the thief is viewing. It can also activate the iSight camera to capture images of who is in front of the Mac and capture geolocated IP address information. This information is forwarded to the owner silently, in the background, without the thief catching on.

Additionally, VUWER is written in Applescript, so it is simple to modify.

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