SAN FRANCISCO--Could changing phone systems pay a big-league baseball player's salary? To hear Bill Schlough, the CIO of the San Francisco Giants tell it, the answer is a definite yes.
Last winter, the team migrated to a new $1 million-plus VoIP telecommunications system from ShoreTel for its ballpark, AT&T Park, abandoning its legacy system, which--ironically--was provided by AT&T. According to Schlough, the old system cost $490,000 annually, while the new setup for the 457 phones at the ballpark run the team just $135,000 a year.
Given that the minimum salary for Major League … Read more
Happiness is a wireless printer. Seriously. I just beamed a document to the Wi-Fi laser in my closet, and I've never been happier. (Says a lot about my psyche, huh?)
Anyway, Staples has the recertified Brother HL-2170W laser printer for $69.98 shipped. That's pretty fantastic, given the printer's $149.99 list price.
Two catches. First, it's a refurb. But according to the Staples product page, you get a full one-year warranty from Brother, so that's hardly a catch at all. Second, that price is after a $30 mail-in rebate, which actually comes in the … Read more
Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Dell, and Panasonic are among several companies teaming up to form the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, a group that will push a new wireless standard for transmitting data over short distances at gigabit speeds.
The new WiGig standard will transmit data at around 6 gigabits per second, which is much faster than current versions of Wi-Fi. The speedy wireless technology should easily be able to deliver high-definition video between computers and TV set-top boxes.
But because the technology only transmits over shorter distances, it will primarily be used within a single room to provide wireless connectivity between home … Read more
Remember the 4GB Zune deal from a couple weeks back? It's still available, but now there's an even better one: Newegg has the refurbished 8GB Zune player for $79.99 shipped with a free Microsoft Zune Car Pack.
So let's do some math. A new 8GB Zune player sells for $139.99. The Car Pack costs $69.99. Carry the one...that comes to around $210. Your out-the-door price: $80. Nice!
A quick refresher course in Zune goodness: this flash-based player offers a 1.8-inch screen, an FM tuner, Wi-Fi file sharing and syncing, and compatibility with … Read more
Verizon Wireless on Wednesday announced a new portable hot spot device that creates a Wi-Fi connection for wireless devices. The MiFi (get it...MiFi?) will deliver the carrier's 3G wireless network to up to five gadgets including laptops, Netbooks, gaming devices, and cameras. Of course, you could connect a Wi-Fi-enabled Verizon phone like the Samsung Omnia, but the good news is that you're not limited to just the carrier's handsets.
Made by Novatel, the MiFi has integrated CDMA (EV-DO Rev. A) and Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) radios. It sports a simple rectangular design in basic black. And … Read more
On today's show, we have a lot to apologize for, but don't hold your breath because it ain't happening. (It's all just a desperate plea for more voicemail.) The short version is this: Kindle DX is ludicrously expensive, Blu-Ray is catching on but totally shouldn't be, and Craigslist is officially a pimp.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 968
Kindle DX unveiled: 9.7-inch screen (2x area), $489, summer ‘09 delivery, integrated PDF, textbook emphasis, Times, Globe, and Post all “testing” it http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10234355-93.html http://bit.ly/iyLfo
What to … Read more
Multifunction printers are insanely handy. You can make copies--color copies--without having to run to Kinko's. You can send faxes like it's 1995. You can scan documents for electronic storage. Oh, and you can print.
Indeed, the only thing better than a multifunction printer is a wireless multifunction printer, one you can stick in a corner, a closet, or wherever. Like, say, the Lexmark X6675, which Buy.com has for $85.99 shipped.
These are new units, not refurbs, and you don't have to monkey with any rebates. Nor do you need an Ethernet or USB cable (though … Read more
SOMEWHERE OVER PENNSYLVANIA--I know in-flight Wi-Fi isn't really new anymore. But, it's my first time and, like many before me, I can't resist using the opportunity to send my missives out to the world.
It's particularly liberating after spending the last two hours trapped on the tarmac at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. OK--perhaps trapped isn't the fairest verb to describe any existence where there is water, sanitation facilities, and live satellite TV. Still, as we waited for a runway to clear, we had no way to get food or connect to … Read more
NICE, Calif.--As a San Francisco-based Internet junkie, I can't count the number of times I've been in groups with almost as many wirelessly connected Mac laptops as people.
So the scene in front of me shouldn't be new: four people, three connected Mac laptops.
But there's something completely novel going on: I'm visiting my in-laws at their off-the-grid, mountaintop house in Northern California, about four hours northeast of San Francisco. And I can say with absolute certainty that this is the first time such a scene has played out here.
How do I know? Because it's been less than two weeks since my in-laws, Tyler and Donna, had Internet installed on their property for the first time--in their case, the only available option was satellite--and it's been just hours since I personally set up their wireless network. In other words, Wi-Fi is a newly arrived house guest, and judging by the concentration on their faces, the occasional smiles, and the superlatives coming from their lips, it's a very welcome one.
For years, my wife and I had been trying to get her parents to cotton to the idea that their lives, at 4,000 feet, surrounded by national forest and steeped in the necessities of growing most of their own food, could be improved by getting online. But they'd gotten by just fine, thank you, for more than 30 years, without even a television.
Now, suddenly, there is a Wi-Fi network set up in their house, and I could see my in-laws' lives changing before my eyes.
For example, Tyler said excitedly to me one morning during my visit that he'd figured out how to use e-mail and the Web to do many of the things that used to require him to stop at the post office and get stamps.
"That's the end of snail mail for me," Tyler told me. And, he added, no more catalogs would be cramming their P.O. box.
Working so much better now My wife and I had conveniently--and coincidentally--managed to time our last visit to the mountain with the HughesNet satellite installation. But as I wrote previously, those first baby steps didn't go so well.
Thanks to glacially slow initial download speeds, the unexpected realities of a 200MB daily download limit, and the necessity of loading countless Windows updates onto their 2-year-old, Internet-chaste PC, we had retreated the mountain almost embarrassed by how badly it had gone.
So, I set out to make it all better by bringing them a refurbished MacBook, pre-configured at home with everything they'd need for a happy Internet life. I even unhooked my home Wi-Fi network and donated it to the cause. … Read more