Google To Launch Wireless Service With Pay-As-You-Use Data Plans

Read original story on: The Verge

Earlier today, Google unveiled its new cellular service Project Fi, which leverages Sprint and T-Mobile’s wireless networks to offer mobile bandwidth under a new pricing scheme where subscribers only have to pay for the amount of data they used. Subscribers will pay $10 per gig of data on top of a $20 base for unlimited talk/text, and whatever data they don’t use will be credited to them in the next pay period. Moreover, it will also let users make calls over WiFi.

Despite Google cautiously rolling out this service, starting with availability on Nexus 6 smartphones only, it will undoubtedly push the Internet giant further into telecom market and further disrupt the wireless industry, already locked in a price war over data plans.



TechWreck: Hackers Hijack Nanny Cams

Nanny cams can be a handy tool for parents monitoring their children; however, they do have their drawbacks if proper precautions aren’t taken. In recent cases, these devices have been hacked, allowing uninvited guests to see into the house and even speak: professional nanny Ashley Stanley was startled when a man began making comments like “Oh, that’s a beautiful baby” and “That’s a really poopy diaper” as she cared for one-year old, Samantha.

But how are these hackers gaining access to these IP cameras that are protected by WiFi passwords? Not only does WiFi have its own security settings, but the router does too. It is important that passwords that are tough to crack are set up for both of these devices in order to ensure security and privacy.

Popular wireless IP camera, Foscam has received a lot of backlash for these technical incidents as they sell 50,000 to 60,000 cameras each month. However, security and privacy issues aren’t limited to cameras. For the connected device industry to really take off, manufacturers will need to address consumer concerns about security, and educate users about taking proper precautions.






PayPal Makes the Smartwatch Smarter

As if Starbucks needed to make it easier to part with $6 for a latte, the coffee giant has volunteered its San Jose location, on PayPal’s campus, to become a pilot tester for PayPal’s new wireless payment system built for the Samsung Galaxy Gear line.  The process sounds simple – the user’s name and photo pop up on the computer at the register, a push notification is sent to the watch when the sale is rung up, and the user confirms payment with a tap.  Bluetooth LE technology is already making our lives easier and more exciting, and this payment system is a realistic vision of a potentially very near future.

Zact Makes Pay-As-You-Go and Pay-What-You-Want Work for Mobile

You probably use a cell phone operating on a plan supplied by a large carrier, allowing you a certain amount of network usage a month.  Or maybe you have an unlimited plan.  Either way, you’re probably paying quite a bit for the privilege.  Today, a new service provider, Zact, launched as an overlay of Sprint’s network to allow customers extremely granular control over their cell phone plans from within a traditional mobile app.  The app requires a great deal of OS integration, so don’t expect to use Zact with an iPhone in the near future.  The best part of Zact’s service is the realtime control (from the Zact app) of the phone’s access to the network, allowing remote shutoff of any app’s data access, and on-the-fly purchases of texts, minutes of talk, or data.  All of this is paired with a “pay for what you use” ethos that will issue refunds of the value of any unused purchases, even with purchases of unlimited service.  It will be interesting to see, with its deep OS integration, if Zact will enter the ad sphere, offering extremely immersive ad experiences as a part of certain service tiers.

AT&T 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Unite Available February 8 For $0.99

AT&T’s second touchscreen LTE mobile hotspot, the Sierra Wireless device called Unite, was announced today just four days before it is available for purchase through all conventional AT&T channels. With a 2.4″ touchscreen display that prominently features data usage and Wi-Fi information on the home screen, Unite is primed for customers looking to expand their wireless connections beyond the traditional grid. The device boasts 10 hours of battery life with regular use, along with ten days of standby, for customers who need the device for long stretches of time away from the desk. It’s just one way to stay connected on the go, and for $0.99 represents AT&T’s attempt to bring its LTE and wireless plans to the budget-conscious marketplace.