Tagged in: WiFi

Is WiFi Slowly Killing You?

Wireless connectivity has fast become a necessity, wouldn’t you say? No one likes dragging around bulky cables wherever they go – along with their laptops. As much as we dread it, WiFi has a bad side too. It offers you portability, but it also brings with it some side effects.
So, What’s The Big Deal

Wireless routers and modems send signals to our computers. These signals are powerful enough to pass through walls via electromagnetic radiation. You can very well imagine that if these signals are powerful enough to penetrate walls, what are they doing to our bodies? Having a wireless router in your home or office exposes you to this radiation.
One of the problems is that no one ever turns off the router, thus the exposure to radiation is literally 24/7. Hence, we are constantly having an over-exposure to EMF (Electro Magnetic Frequency).
Isn’t WiFi Tested To Be Safe?

They kind of are. They emit electromagnetic radiation in low frequencies, which is safe up to a point. The problem arises, though, when we consider the fact that these EMF were not meant to be used 24/7 in our homes and offices. You would also like to know that WiFi modems pass on radio signals with equal frequency as that of microwave ovens.
So These Rays Are Cooking Us?
Not really. However, there is sufficient research that reveals that extended exposure to EMF waves can cause memory loss, brain damage, and also tumors. These low EMF seem to lower our body’s energy field, leading to fatigue and in extreme cases, cancer.
Can It Make Me Sick?

Many people are having health-related issues due to exposure to these rays. Symptoms vary and include dizziness, headaches, irregular heartbeats, and digestive problems. Some people even claimed to get instant relief when they turned off WiFi or left an area full of WiFi signals.
Heads Up

An ‘interesting’ study was conducted in Denmark. A few Danish students took 400 cress seeds and split them between 2 rooms. Both were subjected to same care and conditions with one exception: seeds in one room had two WiFi routers placed next to them. After 12 days, it was observed that the seeds exposed to WiFi signals had failed to sprout while the others had sprouted normally.
Perhaps, it’s time we bring about healthy and much-needed necessary changes in our lifestyle. Technology is good, but too much of anything can be bad. The dangers of these massive energy fields are just too much to ignore. When not in use, just unhook the routers. Your body can do without the over-exposure to these rays.



Wireless Charging Is Here! Say Goodbye To Cables

Times have changed and so have the lifestyles of people. Now for everything, we turn to technology. It’s like everyone is dependent on gadgets for their daily needs. This intense use of equipment drains batteries, of course, which then requires charging cables to resurrect the powerless devices. This certainly is a tedious process, no? Imagine how hassle free your life would be if you could recharge your devices with the help of WiFi signals?

A recent report published in Wired demonstrates how a router can successfully transform WiFi signals into DC power. Researchers did this all with the help of some sensors and tested them on a number of electronic equipment.

For this experiment, the researchers wanted to use the conventional WiFi system and therefore updated the software of the router so that it can work as a wireless source of power and a traditional router at the same time. It charged the sensors nearly 28 feet away while the temperature sensor was 20 feet away and camera was 17 feet away.
Though the figures are quite amazing, they might be affected by the limit imposed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commissions). The limitation is currently one watt for wireless routers. While the charger of a MacBook Air is 45 watts, a charger of an iPhone is 5 watts. Therefore, there is a need for alterations in the FCC for this wondrous technology to work efficiently.
The team of researchers working on this project has been checking these routers by installing them in a couple of houses in Seattle. They are also working with some partners who build hardware to bring this technology into reality.
Though not many people are using WiFi charging at the moment, there is a huge potential for it to grow down the road. Since bringing a charger around with you all the time can be too much work, it’s time to switch to an easier and more convenient solution to charge your gadgets while you roam around.

Existing wireless chargers are not adaptable because of their size. In addition to this, the wireless power suppliers restrict the device’s movement and make you bound to sit and wait for it to charge, which requires a lot of time and patience.
To sum it all up, the technology used in these wireless chargers make it a reliable and practical solution compared to the ones that we already have.



What You Need To Know About Microsoft WiFi

Since its inception, Microsoft has been introducing revolutionary services that make the company a market leader in its field. This time around, it’s all set to come up with another groundbreaking service i.e. Microsoft WiFi. Microsoft aims to bring in an innovative WiFi service that would allow millions of users to access the Internet.
Microsoft recently confirmed in a statement that it has been working on this new, hassle-free service. And then there was this tweet that outted Microsoft’s newest site:

Though the service is still a work in process, let’s try to get an idea about what it has to offer. The highlights of Microsoft WiFi include:
Cross-Platform Access

With this amazing new service, any phone that runs any operating system (OS) would be able to connect to the Internet. The official website of Microsoft WiFi posted some information about the service which stated that this feature will be available for all the mobile sets, irrespective of their OS. The download links for this app were available for Mac, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone and Android, according to Venture Beat – a business and technology website.
Interactive Map
Microsoft is also devising an exclusive map for its WiFi service where users will be able to locate hotspots in their vicinity with the help of an interactive map. To make it more convenient for consumers to find the closest WiFi spots, the company will be installing more than ten million hotspots in 130 countries worldwide.
Microsoft has decided to keep its WiFi service exclusive for some users only. The criteria for those to whom this service would be available include:

  • Those who are already using Skype WiFi
  • Those who are working with any Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise affiliated companies
  • Those who are entitled to an exclusive Microsoft WiFi services

All in all, this seems to be a good initiative by the software company. The new service will enable hassle-free Internet connectivity to millions of people across the globe. However, there are many questions that still need to be answered such as will this WiFi be made available to everyone? How can the threats of malware and other viruses be reduced?
Unfortunately for now, we’ll have to wait for Microsoft to release some more updates.


Why You Need The Pizza Button, Now!

Mouth-wateringly delicious, dripping with cheese, loaded with your favorite toppings. Yes, it’s a pizza, and it could be just a click away! All thanks to the pizza button, an invention that is bound to increase the speed at which you take a bite of your favorite slice.
La Comanda, an Italian start-up, came up with this brainwave of an idea at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It is launching a prototype of Click’N’Pizza, a device that ensures a one-click pizza ordering experience.
“Pick your hungriest pizza, and the Pizza Button will order it for you!” is what the makers promise pizza lovers. This genie-like graciousness is bound to appeal to customers who want their pizza fast, and with the least amount of resistance.

The initial stage of the process involves customizing your order via an app. You can then press a unique button that doubles as a refrigerator magnet. Tada! Your pizza ordering is done. You can further customize your order by turning the button. This will display the total time that you have to wait for your pizza. In addition, the same display can showcase promotional information or unique offers from your pizza vendor. For example, on your birthday, you may get a special discount courtesy of the pizza button.

The pizza button is compatible with your home’s WiFi settings and can, therefore, store multiple locations for easy and efficient delivery. It has a battery life of 10 days and can wait for you to be hungry before ordering. Charging will take place via a standard USB cable.

Buzz around town is that La Comanda has managed to secure a deal with Pizza Hut, one of the most popular pizza franchises in the world. Efforts are under way to augment the chain by the use of the button, and customers have been promised one-click order ease by the summer of 2015.
While this app may seem revolutionary, it’s certainly not an original idea. In 2012, a similar solution was proposed in Dubai and was called the VIP fridge magnet. However, the novelty of the pizza button continues to be its utility rather than the uniqueness of its underlying concept.



Top 5 Features Of Android 5.1 You Should Know!

Having some boastful new and improved features, Android 5.1 is relatively a decent update of Android 5.0. Although the update might be minor, but here are our top five features.

  1. HD Audio Calls


Crystal clear audio phone calls are now a reality as Google introduced the HD Audio Calls feature in Android 5.1. However, to use this feature, your device needs to be compatible. One of the mentioned devices in Google’s blog post is the Nexus 6 on T-Mobile or Verizon. Also, your device should have strong signals so that this feature can function without any glitch.

  1. Device Protection


Although this feature is only available in the Google Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and new Android 5.1 devices, it’s an excellent feature for people who care about their privacy.
Device Protection is basically designed for users to secure their smartphones without any loopholes. This feature will automatically be active for users who utilize security features like a PIN Code. Even when the phone is factory reset, it will remain locked unless the user password is entered.

  1. Quick Setting From Lock Screen


Previously, the only thing you could do from a locked screen was make an emergency call, but in Android 5.1, you can drag some settings option down on your locked screen as well. This feature can be easily utilized through Android 5.1 even if the phone is protected by a PIN code. Features like WiFi, Bluetooth, flashlight, and airplane mode can be activated quickly this way. An extra layer of customization is added through this feature as it enables users to hold on the icon of a quick setting and remove it from the drawer.

  1. Priority Mode Turned Off Until Next Alarm


This amazing feature of Android 5.1 allows users to set what kind of notifications should be allowed to make audible sounds so that the user is not disturbed during sleep. For this reason, a feature called Priority Mode was added in Android 5.0. One had to manually set it on and off to utilize it. In Android 5.1, priority mode is set automatically when the next alarm goes off.

  1. Smart WiFi Connections


In previous versions, one had to manually select WiFi with stronger signals. In Android 5.1, things get much easier as it will not connect with connections with weaker signals.



The Physics Of Putting Your Router In The Right Spot

We all know the frustration when you’re streaming your favorite show when all of a sudden the video stops because the WiFi signals are too weak or non-existent. Some people know where the sweet spot is located in our homes to enjoy uninterrupted Internet access, but the rest of us might have to move from one room to another in order to get a good signal.
More, probably more than ever, how happy you are in your home can be correlated with the quality of your WiFi connection in your house. In most homes, the wireless router is placed in the most convenient location, usually where the Internet service enters the home. If we know that positioning the device properly determines the strength of the signal throughout the house, we would give it some special thought and choose its final resting place more logically.
To find out the ideal place for the router, Jason Cole, a PhD student studying physics at Imperial College London, began to investigate the science behind optimum signal strength in a home. Too tired of the constant trial and error routine, he calculated and figured out the formula for placing the router to get the best WiFi signal.

Like most of us, Jason also suffered from the same dilemma. To put an end to the suffering, he put his mathematical genius to work. What he actually did was he used the Helmholtz Equation and created electro-magnetic intensity maps after giving his walls certain refraction values based on his WiFi antenna positioning.
Digesting the science of his experiment is a lot and makes you wonder why you didn’t pay attention during your math class in high school. But for better understanding, here is an easy explanation of what he did.
At first, he created a layout of his apartment using Metlab. Sketching a floor map of his flat helped him determine the exact strength of the Wi-Fi signal. At the end of the exercise, he found out that only few wonky signals managed to reach the location where his computer was placed. There is no doubt that the signals kept on dropping below the tolerated limit.
After this, Jason adjusted the position of the router. At the same time, he kept observing the signal flux map closely, to be sure if adjusting the router can solve the issue.

Still not satisfied, he took help from the Helmholtz equation this time, using the walls of the room as boundary conditions. The 2D Helmholtz equation helped him model the EM waves which propagate through time and space. This allowed Jason to check the propagation of WiFi signals using the Metlab layout created previously for tracing the path of the signals emitted by the router.

In his flat, the perfect place to put the router was in the center. Placing the device in the middle caused the WiFi signals to be distributed equally. Having said that, placing the router in the middle of the home is not always a feasible option for people.
After taking help from various mathematical theories and concepts, Jason was still not satisfied until he received the feedback from people who followed his blog. This made Jason realize that he could not rule out imaginary components from his experiment which were absorbing the signals. Taking help from Maxwell’s equations, he found out the ideal place to position his router for perfect and uninterrupted WiFi signal reception.
His experiment gave a very logical conclusion that signal strength is inversely proportional to the distance of your computer/laptop/tablet/phone from the router. After his findings, Jason took his experiment a step further by developing an Android app to help other people with this problem. This app allows users to see a simulated diagram using the floor plan of their own houses regarding how the electro-magnetic waves will be emitted from the router.
Unless you wish to snake ethernet cables around your house, figuring out the best place for your router is as simple as downloading Jason’s app!


Unbelievable But True: Deaf Guy Hears Wi-Fi Sounds! 

What could be stranger than the thought of a deaf who can actually hear “Wi-Fi”?! He is a London based writer, Frank Swain. In his early 20’s, he was diagnosed with hearing loss symptoms. Doctors advised him to use hearing aids so that he may be able to hear properly.
Mr. Frank tells that he was inspired to hack his hearing aids from the day he got his hearing devices. In the next two years, he and a sound artist, Daniel Jones made a device that can make Wi-Fi signals audible. This device was called Phantom Terrains. They both received a grant from UK innovation charity.
Phantom Terrains was compatible with Swain’s iPhone. Interestingly, his phone was able to catch signals which are nearby to collect details. These details consist of the name of the router, signify the signal strength of the Wi-Fi device, and also specify the distance.
The details are obtained in a specific sonic tone. Every detail has its particular tone which is associated with the phone. The details are caught with the help of a Bluetooth hearing aid. This specifies that Mr. Frank will always be able to catch these kind of signals as long as he carries his phone with him.
He also made a map and a specified audio. He wanted to show when he takes a walk around the BBC broadcasting House in Central London how internet sounds like.
When Mr. Swain was interviewed regarding this extraordinary ability, he said “The information received is converted into sound signals which are then received on the phone. Signals coming from detached places are concentrated, while the strong signals coming from nearby places bear their own network ID which is then converted to looped melody”.
He further explained, “The received audio is then connected wirelessly over a Bluetooth to a pair of hearing aids. These devices are specially designed to mix the normal outcome given by the Bluetooth and the audio received.” According to him, this kind of preparation supports him in hearing the Wi-Fi sounds in his usual hearing.
In this rapidly changing competitive environment, we come across various new technologies. However, this man has believed that everyone will have an urge to wear an earpiece connecting them to their smartphone very soon. He said: “We are striving to reach up to a level where we will be actually able to interact with our devices.”
He looks at an individual level and he has analyzed that his project will help people who are suffering from hearing loss. The use of this device can help them change their thoughts about their impairment while enhancing their positive attitudes towards life.

How Lollipop 5.0 Has Reinvented Android

Right now, Lollipop is moving to most of the Nexus based devices, and a few LG and Motorola ones. It is up to the device makers such as HTC and Samsung to test and produce in the forthcoming months or weeks. Here are some of the improvements of the Android Lollipop, making it highly adaptable and powerful:
Simple Setup
With the Lollipop, Google has simplified device setup which was pending since the previous Android versions. By connecting to the cellular network or Wi-Fi, Android will start downloading updates instead of awaiting the completion of the setup, as it would be previously. By installing Lollipop, all you need to enter is your email ID and password and start setting your Google user profile on the new device. The process also supports NFC transfer with which you can tap your former NFC device to the new one for transferring your apps, profiles and settings.
The most notable improvement of the Android Lollipop in the setup procedure is the capability to restore the device from a particular backup. Instead of downloading every setting and app automatically according to your Google profile, you can now restore from the profile of the particular device. Choose the backup profile which will let you personally choose the apps that are related with that profile you want to install in your upgraded device. This feature is especially useful for all who use different Android devices, allowing them to keep different groups of apps on every device.

Substantial Design: A New and Fresh Face
Lollipop brings an appropriately named visual renovation of the user interface with its material design. This re-imagined appearance is more fluid, cohesive and vibrant. The effect of the Material Design is experienced all along the OS, right from the re-imagined menus and navigational buttons to the Google portfolio of the stock apps. The new unified esthetic has made the entire OS look a perfect fit!
Flit your way around the Lollipop and you will see that the edges and surfaces with the shadows readily reveal the touch to trigger actions which make way for richer and colorful apps with contrasting visual cues and transitional animations which make for intuitive navigation. This also represents a shallower OS, as opposed to the deep and confusing menus of the past, with more of the required items on the surface.
The Material Design offers developers the tools for creating a singular experience across various sizes of devices. While the Android tablet capability represents more of a huge phone, it is evident that Google wants to enhance this based on the Lollipop developer guidelines. The stress is on uniformity which shows in Google bringing out its Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus 6 smartphone, thus allowing developers to cater the newest smartphone and tablet simultaneously. The Material Design must expand this unified experience to the accessories and more.
Notifications, App Drawer and Lock Screen
A few of the most noteworthy enhancements can be noticed among the main elements of Android – the lock screen features, app drawer and the notifications bar.
The new lock screen option from Android offers a fast view of the unread notifications that can be swiped downwards for revealing more content, tapped twice in order to open or even just swiped away. Users can regulate the notifications, in case of any, which you want to be shown on your lock screen by moving to the settings in the efficient Sounds and Notifications section.
In case your device is protected with any password or PIN, you may select to display only the topmost line of your notification rather than the sensitive content which is defined either by the app developer or the user. As was the case with the former versions, the feature of the screen lock also offers instant accessibility to the alerts or notification bar, camera and different user profiles of the device.
The notification bar of Lollipop can be now swiped downwards once for the top line visualization of the notifications and the relevant Google Now cards. You can even swipe it down twice, with 2 fingers instead of one, for revealing Bluetooth, location settings and Wi-Fi, including toggles for the airplane mode, flashlight and rotation lock.

How to Turn Your iPad and iPhone Into Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

It is often experienced by us that we are stuck in preparing our presentation, and suddenly, devices like the USBs, remote control, or all those sagging devices just disappear. Of course, every other person may wish to control things by their mobile devices in a manner that those are user-friendly and flexible to handle.

However, it is time that you don’t need to worry about these things anymore! Now, there is a special app available at iPhone App store which can be used with your iPod, iPhone or your iPad. Designed by Zeng Rong, this app is called Remote Mouse. The main advantage of this app is to act like a mouse. It performs duties a mouse performs when you want to control your presentation from your personal computer or Mac. This helps in turning the iPhone into a wireless mouse and keyboard.
You can make it work by simply scrolling, clicking, dragging, or double clicking in portrait or landscape mode. You can even make use of the key combinations which are customized in the iOS default keyboard. To work with this app, you need to connect your device through 3G or Wi-Fi connections.
To turn your iPhone or iPad into a mouse, here are some important steps to follow:

  • The Wi-Fi should be turned on in both the devices. Make sure it’s properly working. Once you have checked this, you need to connect the LAN of your computer to your device. Also, make sure both devices are connected to the same router.

  • Now, download the “Remote Mouse” app. When you have installed the app on the computer, sync the PC with your phone. It may be possible that the computer firewall might block the app. In this situation, choose the “Do not block” option. In case you block the device, you will be unable to use it.

  • When it is completely installed, then run the app.

  • The next step is to input your computer’s IP address on your phone. Once this is done, select the “CONNECT” option.

Now, you can control your PC with your mobile. It is similar to right click, if you tap with two fingers. Besides this, you can also switch to the full screen mode by rotating on the left. Likewise, if you want complete touchpad of the mouse, you can rotate to the right.
If you have lost connection, then you can reconnect also. Place your iPhone upside down. After this, you can select “DISCONNECT” so that the connection menu is available.
If you are having problems even after trying to turn your device into a wireless mouse or keyboard, then check with some situations and make sure you have followed these instructions correctly:

  • The Remote Mouse is running on the computer

  • Make sure your Wi-Fi is turned on, is correctly installed and working properly.

  • The computer and the mobile devices are connected within the same LAN or router.

  • Access for the Remote Mouse has been granted on computer’s firewall.