Global Wireless Intelligent MiFi Hotspot

The good: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot has a compact, straightforward design. It offers dependable and fast Internet coverage, and the rental plans include unlimited data use.
The bad: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot can’t cover multiple countries with one device. The rental service can be expensive given the multiple extra fees.
The bottom line: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot is pricey, but if you need reliable Internet coverage abroad, the cost will be worth it.
I spent last week in Barcelona, Spain, covering the annual Mobile World Congress wireless extravaganza. Though it’s great to be in a city like Barcelona, working outside the United States poses logistical challenges. For me it’s not about the money or the language, but rather about finding enough Internet access (that’s something you really need when writing online content).
When I’m in Spain, I can’t use a CNET-issued Sprint wireless card because Europe doesn’t use CDMA technology. But even if I had a GSM card from T-Mobile or AT&T, the roaming rates would be killer. Indeed, uploading photos and videos would consume a lot of bandwidth that my expense report couldn’t handle. In the past few years I’ve found Internet access where I could, either in the press room or at my hotel, but company press conferences always posed a problem. Not only is the Wi-Fi usually incredibly weak, but also you have to battle scores of other data-hungry journalists for a signal.
Fortunately, XCom Global provided a better solution this year. Along with my usual gear, I was able to bring one of the company’s MiFi Hotspots. It’s not an overstatement when I say that thing was a lifesaver. I continually had Internet access wherever I went–even at a press conference that was partially underground–and the speeds were more than sufficient for everything from tweeting to publishing a slideshow.
Design
The MiFi and its parts come in a convenient carrying pouch that measures 7.25 inches long by 5.5 inches wide by 1.75 inches deep. I could fit it easily into my laptop bag when traveling and when walking the show floor. Inside the bag was the compact MiFi device (3.86 inches long by 2.44 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep, weighing 2.86 ounces), an extra battery (more on that later), a power cord, and the necessary plug adapters for traveling abroad. The MiFi uses a standard Micro-USB port for charging, and there’s a microSD card slot that can support cards of up to 16GB.
Using the device is beyond easy. Just turn on the MiFi and point your laptop or smartphone to the wireless network. Though the network will not be secured at your first connection time, you can secure it with a password later. Either way, you’ll connect automatically the next time you use it.
Performance
The MiFi can support up to five devices at one time, though I used it only with my laptop and an iPhone. In either case, the connection speeds were quite fast (for Spain, XCom promises a speed of up to 7.2Mbps). In fact, it took just a couple of minutes to upload a 16-photo slideshow of HTC’s Flyer tablet. And that was done while crouching on the floor of a theater at HTC’s press conference.

The good: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot has a compact, straightforward design. It offers dependable and fast Internet coverage, and the rental plans include unlimited data use.The bad: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot can’t cover multiple countries with one device. The rental service can be expensive given the multiple extra fees.The bottom line: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot is pricey, but if you need reliable Internet coverage abroad, the cost will be worth it.I spent last week in Barcelona, Spain, covering the annual Mobile World Congress wireless extravaganza. Though it’s great to be in a city like Barcelona, working outside the United States poses logistical challenges. For me it’s not about the money or the language, but rather about finding enough Internet access (that’s something you really need when writing online content).When I’m in Spain, I can’t use a CNET-issued Sprint wireless card because Europe doesn’t use CDMA technology. But even if I had a GSM card from T-Mobile or AT&T, the roaming rates would be killer. Indeed, uploading photos and videos would consume a lot of bandwidth that my expense report couldn’t handle. In the past few years I’ve found Internet access where I could, either in the press room or at my hotel, but company press conferences always posed a problem. Not only is the Wi-Fi usually incredibly weak, but also you have to battle scores of other data-hungry journalists for a signal.Fortunately, XCom Global provided a better solution this year. Along with my usual gear, I was able to bring one of the company’s MiFi Hotspots. It’s not an overstatement when I say that thing was a lifesaver. I continually had Internet access wherever I went–even at a press conference that was partially underground–and the speeds were more than sufficient for everything from tweeting to publishing a slideshow.DesignThe MiFi and its parts come in a convenient carrying pouch that measures 7.25 inches long by 5.5 inches wide by 1.75 inches deep. I could fit it easily into my laptop bag when traveling and when walking the show floor. Inside the bag was the compact MiFi device (3.86 inches long by 2.44 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep, weighing 2.86 ounces), an extra battery (more on that later), a power cord, and the necessary plug adapters for traveling abroad. The MiFi uses a standard Micro-USB port for charging, and there’s a microSD card slot that can support cards of up to 16GB.Using the device is beyond easy. Just turn on the MiFi and point your laptop or smartphone to the wireless network. Though the network will not be secured at your first connection time, you can secure it with a password later. Either way, you’ll connect automatically the next time you use it.PerformanceThe MiFi can support up to five devices at one time, though I used it only with my laptop and an iPhone. In either case, the connection speeds were quite fast (for Spain, XCom promises a speed of up to 7.2Mbps). In fact, it took just a couple of minutes to upload a 16-photo slideshow of HTC’s Flyer tablet. And that was done while crouching on the floor of a theater at HTC’s press conference.

Global Wireless Intelligent MiFi Hotspot

The good: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot has a compact, straightforward design. It offers dependable and fast Internet coverage, and the rental plans include unlimited data use.
The bad: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot can’t cover multiple countries with one device. The rental service can be expensive given the multiple extra fees.
The bottom line: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot is pricey, but if you need reliable Internet coverage abroad, the cost will be worth it.
I spent last week in Barcelona, Spain, covering the annual Mobile World Congress wireless extravaganza. Though it’s great to be in a city like Barcelona, working outside the United States poses logistical challenges. For me it’s not about the money or the language, but rather about finding enough Internet access (that’s something you really need when writing online content).
When I’m in Spain, I can’t use a CNET-issued Sprint wireless card because Europe doesn’t use CDMA technology. But even if I had a GSM card from T-Mobile or AT&T, the roaming rates would be killer. Indeed, uploading photos and videos would consume a lot of bandwidth that my expense report couldn’t handle. In the past few years I’ve found Internet access where I could, either in the press room or at my hotel, but company press conferences always posed a problem. Not only is the Wi-Fi usually incredibly weak, but also you have to battle scores of other data-hungry journalists for a signal.
Fortunately, XCom Global provided a better solution this year. Along with my usual gear, I was able to bring one of the company’s MiFi Hotspots. It’s not an overstatement when I say that thing was a lifesaver. I continually had Internet access wherever I went–even at a press conference that was partially underground–and the speeds were more than sufficient for everything from tweeting to publishing a slideshow.
Design
The MiFi and its parts come in a convenient carrying pouch that measures 7.25 inches long by 5.5 inches wide by 1.75 inches deep. I could fit it easily into my laptop bag when traveling and when walking the show floor. Inside the bag was the compact MiFi device (3.86 inches long by 2.44 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep, weighing 2.86 ounces), an extra battery (more on that later), a power cord, and the necessary plug adapters for traveling abroad. The MiFi uses a standard Micro-USB port for charging, and there’s a microSD card slot that can support cards of up to 16GB.
Using the device is beyond easy. Just turn on the MiFi and point your laptop or smartphone to the wireless network. Though the network will not be secured at your first connection time, you can secure it with a password later. Either way, you’ll connect automatically the next time you use it.
Performance
The MiFi can support up to five devices at one time, though I used it only with my laptop and an iPhone. In either case, the connection speeds were quite fast (for Spain, XCom promises a speed of up to 7.2Mbps). In fact, it took just a couple of minutes to upload a 16-photo slideshow of HTC’s Flyer tablet. And that was done while crouching on the floor of a theater at HTC’s press conference.

The good: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot has a compact, straightforward design. It offers dependable and fast Internet coverage, and the rental plans include unlimited data use.The bad: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot can’t cover multiple countries with one device. The rental service can be expensive given the multiple extra fees.The bottom line: The XCom Global MiFi Hotspot is pricey, but if you need reliable Internet coverage abroad, the cost will be worth it.I spent last week in Barcelona, Spain, covering the annual Mobile World Congress wireless extravaganza. Though it’s great to be in a city like Barcelona, working outside the United States poses logistical challenges. For me it’s not about the money or the language, but rather about finding enough Internet access (that’s something you really need when writing online content).When I’m in Spain, I can’t use a CNET-issued Sprint wireless card because Europe doesn’t use CDMA technology. But even if I had a GSM card from T-Mobile or AT&T, the roaming rates would be killer. Indeed, uploading photos and videos would consume a lot of bandwidth that my expense report couldn’t handle. In the past few years I’ve found Internet access where I could, either in the press room or at my hotel, but company press conferences always posed a problem. Not only is the Wi-Fi usually incredibly weak, but also you have to battle scores of other data-hungry journalists for a signal.Fortunately, XCom Global provided a better solution this year. Along with my usual gear, I was able to bring one of the company’s MiFi Hotspots. It’s not an overstatement when I say that thing was a lifesaver. I continually had Internet access wherever I went–even at a press conference that was partially underground–and the speeds were more than sufficient for everything from tweeting to publishing a slideshow.DesignThe MiFi and its parts come in a convenient carrying pouch that measures 7.25 inches long by 5.5 inches wide by 1.75 inches deep. I could fit it easily into my laptop bag when traveling and when walking the show floor. Inside the bag was the compact MiFi device (3.86 inches long by 2.44 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep, weighing 2.86 ounces), an extra battery (more on that later), a power cord, and the necessary plug adapters for traveling abroad. The MiFi uses a standard Micro-USB port for charging, and there’s a microSD card slot that can support cards of up to 16GB.Using the device is beyond easy. Just turn on the MiFi and point your laptop or smartphone to the wireless network. Though the network will not be secured at your first connection time, you can secure it with a password later. Either way, you’ll connect automatically the next time you use it.PerformanceThe MiFi can support up to five devices at one time, though I used it only with my laptop and an iPhone. In either case, the connection speeds were quite fast (for Spain, XCom promises a speed of up to 7.2Mbps). In fact, it took just a couple of minutes to upload a 16-photo slideshow of HTC’s Flyer tablet. And that was done while crouching on the floor of a theater at HTC’s press conference.

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The new verizon iphone dissected

If you’re considering getting the new Verizon iPhone, you may want to check out reliable teardown site iFixit. Although the exterior of the new phone may look the same as the old, the interior shows significant differences.

The New Verizon iPhone Dissected

A few notable distinctions (click through for the whole report):

  • The SIM slot is gone: “According to Apple, the SIM card and SIM tray were the only user-serviceable parts in the AT&T iPhone 4. Apple now says ‘iPhone does not contain any user-serviceable parts.'” (But don’t worry, iFixit promises to remedy that ASAP.)
  • As you may have heard, the new iPhone comes with “indestructable” screws called Pentalobe screws, an attempt to prevent the consumer from taking it apart: Solutions 1 or 2.
  • The new battery is lighter: “It shrunk from 26.9 grams to 25.6 grams.”
  • The vibrator has been completely made over: “Our tests show that the new vibrator has quieter, softer feel, and makes a better sound when on a table.”

The new verizon iphone dissected

If you’re considering getting the new Verizon iPhone, you may want to check out reliable teardown site iFixit. Although the exterior of the new phone may look the same as the old, the interior shows significant differences.

The New Verizon iPhone Dissected

A few notable distinctions (click through for the whole report):

  • The SIM slot is gone: “According to Apple, the SIM card and SIM tray were the only user-serviceable parts in the AT&T iPhone 4. Apple now says ‘iPhone does not contain any user-serviceable parts.'” (But don’t worry, iFixit promises to remedy that ASAP.)
  • As you may have heard, the new iPhone comes with “indestructable” screws called Pentalobe screws, an attempt to prevent the consumer from taking it apart: Solutions 1 or 2.
  • The new battery is lighter: “It shrunk from 26.9 grams to 25.6 grams.”
  • The vibrator has been completely made over: “Our tests show that the new vibrator has quieter, softer feel, and makes a better sound when on a table.”
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shortcut fix scratched window with toothpaste

ApartmentTherapy reminds us of a fine fix for scratches on glassy surfaces like mirrors and windows—toothpaste!

Shortcut: Fix a Scratched Window with Toothpaste

All you need is a lint-free cloth, a non-gel toothpaste (one with baking soda is even better), and a damp cloth.

1. Clean the glass well and dry it using a lint-free cloth.
2. Apply a dollop of toothpaste to a soft cloth and rub it into the scratch using a circular motion.
3. After buffing for 30-40 seconds, wipe the toothpaste off with a damp cloth.
4. Dry again with the lint-free cloth. Repeat if needed.

Rule of thumb: the scratch should be visible but not large enough to catch your thumbnail.