Ryan Knutson and Shalini Ramachandran on the “WifiForward” coalition:

Last year, mobile users in North America consumed an average of about 1.4 gigabytes of data a month, and that number is expected to grow to 9 gigabytes a month by 2018, according to Cisco Systems Inc.

Even more growth is expected over Wi-Fi. About 57% of all mobile data traffic in North America is currently carried by Wi-Fi, and by 2018 that figure is expected to increase to 64%, according to Cisco. All that data congests Wi-Fi networks, too, one of the reasons why WifiForward wants to free up more spectrum.

Did not realize the Wi-Fi numbers were so high — and rising.

Christopher Mims:

For five years, researchers have toiled over an obscure bit of fundamental internet infrastructure that promises to make the connections to our mobile devices faster and more reliable than ever, and if you’ve already downloaded Apple’s iOS 7 to your iPhone or iPad, you could be using it already.

It’s called multi-path TCP, and here’s why it matters and how it works: At present, if your phone or tablet is connected to Wi-Fi and a cellular network at the same time, it can only use one or the other connection to transmit data. But what if your Wi-Fi connection or your 3G connection drops? Whatever data was being transmitted—data for an app, a webpage, an iMessage—will fail to arrive, and you have to try again, usually after getting a frustrating error message or a blank page. Just as importantly, if one of your connections to the internet slows down, or speeds up, your phone has no ability to use its other connections to its advantage, leading to a poorer and slower experience overall.

Makes sense: the pipe shouldn’t matter, the connection should.


Apple devices are still reigning above the clouds, following the tablet trend with the iPad being the device of choice. Among all mobile devices being used to connect through Gogo, 84 percent carry Apple’s iOS operating system while 16 percent carry the Android operating system. If you look only at the smartphones our customers are using, the iPhone makes up 73 percent and all Android devices make up 26 percent, with Blackberry and Windows based devices each making up less than 1 percent of devices being used in air.

Android is winning. 

But really, the BlackBerry and Windows Phone numbers are just pathetic. 

[via Daring Fireball]

Remember last November when, out of the kindness of their hearts, Google started allowing people to opt-out of wireless access point collection? All you had to do was append “_nomap” to the end of your SSID.

It was such a seamless and elegant solution. Surely, everyone started doing it, right?

I’m with Jason Irwin — I haven’t seen a single “_nomap” SSID in all the places I’ve been in the past six months. Not one. I doubt anyone has.

I initially joked that usage would be .01 percent of the 10 percent that actually understand what to do. I’m pretty sure it’s actually far less than that.

The point, six months later, remains the same: this was a total dickbag move on Google’s behalf. It’s not the collection of the SSIDs (which others, including Apple, do as well) that’s so bad. It’s the notion that Google was giving everyone a choice with their opt-out. It was a false choice. No one was ever going to opt-out — certainly not the way Google implemented it. 

"Greater Choice"

Late last night, I linked to a blog post Google put up and jotted down some initial thoughts. Given the response (thousands of views, 100+ notes, etc.), I thought it was only fair that I elaborate a bit.

Google’s post is entitled “Greater choice for wireless access point owners”. It outlines new opt-out functionality for Google’s location database. I ripped into the post — as did several others — not so much because of the feature itself, but because the post is misguided and disingenuous. In my view, it is probably the worst post Google has ever put on their blog. And that’s saying something. 

First of all, this is a post that should not have been written — at least not in the way that it was. Google is building their location database using WiFi hotspots, likely including yours if you broadcast your SSID (your router’s name). Apple does the same thing. So does Skyhook (which is suing Google for ditching their location database to build their own). So do others. It’s a good idea. And it makes locations services much better.

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Anonymous asked:

You mentioned that you bought a Kindle Touch. Did you go with the 3G model? Just curious..

Nah. I have a 3G Kindle right now (2nd generation), I rarely use the 3G — just to download new books and sync occasionally. And I only ever use it because that device didn’t have an option for WiFi at the time. 

Paying an extra $50 for 3G seems silly (though it is a good deal if you’re going to use it a ton since there is no monthly fee, obviously). The bigger issue though is that 3G drains battery life much quicker. That’s the big reason I turn it off by default on my current model. 

How nice, Google is allowing you to opt out of having your wireless access point (read: your wireless router) included in their Google Location Server (read: their giant location database). All you have to do is append “_nomap.” to the end of your SSID.

That’s great — 99% of the people who will want to do this will have absolutely no idea what any of the above paragraph means. 

I mean, this entire post is a joke, right?

Please tell me this is a joke. 



CoffeeCompany WiFi headlines.

Holland’s largest chain of coffee shops is called CoffeCompany. They wanted to attract more students, so they installed WiFi in some of its stores near universities. The problem is, lots of students just come into the store for the WiFi but hardly look at the menu.

So CoffeeCompany decided to move the store’s menu into the WiFi menu of customers’ laptops. They periodically changed the wireless network name from the normal “CoffeeCompany” to hard-selling headlines. So as students looked for a network, they found menu lines such as “mmm….YummyMuffinsOnly1,99″

This is beyond awesome.

The WiFi was rock-solid during the WWDC keynote. This shocked me for two reasons.

1) It was awful during Google I/O just weeks before in the exact same venue.

2) I had never seen so many MiFis listed in my life.

For all the talk of copying this week, Google absolutely needs to copy whatever Apple did here.