New York City's Wi-Fi kiosks have provided users with $15 million worth of free internet service

The 934 Link kiosks that dot the New York City landscape have provided a ton of free data to New Yorkers. The kiosks started operations early last year, and since that time period over one petabyte of data has been employed by mobile device owners in the Big Apple. Based on current rates, that is equivalent to more than $15 million of broadband internet connectivity that has been received for free in New York City.

To give you a better idea of how much data that is, one petabyte is equivalent to one million gigabytes. The amount of data that New Yorkers have used, thanks to the kiosks, is …


Samsung Galaxy S8 Active clears Wi-Fi certification on its way to AT&T

The rugged version of Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to arrive at AT&T any moment now. We’ve been hearing about the smartphone for two months now, so there’s no doubt the Galaxy S8 Active will make its debut in the United States very soon.

The smartphone has been spotted on User Agent String last week, and now it’s been listed at Wi-Fi Alliance with the same model number: Samsung SM-G892A. The smartphone has received its Wi-Fi certification, which means it’s one step closer to market release.

Aside from the model number, no other information about the …

Seven Moto devices receive their Wi-Fi certification; all seven are powered by the MT6737 SoC

Seven Moto handsets, each powered by the MediaTek MT6737 chipset and running Android 7.0 or 7.1.1, have received their Wi-Fi certification by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The seven model numbers include the XT1770, XT1772, XT1773, XT1724, XT1725, XT1726 and XT1721. The MediaTek 6737 SoC is a power sipping chip that uses less than half the usual amount of energy to run GPS based features. It also slices energy use by 33% for gaming and video. It is equipped with a quad-core CPU and the Mali-T720 MP GPU. The chip supports 3GB of LPDDR3 and LPDDR2 RAM.

So as you can see, these seven models are not going …

Wi-Fi access to Netflix, Instagram and Snapchat blocked in Toronto District schools…but will it help?

We all know how distracting social networks can be at school. And, if a simple Snapchat update can make a mess in the learning process, as happened in a Kansas school a few years ago, what else could go wrong when we also add Netflix, Instagram, and other apps, in which today’s teenagers spend a solid amount of time? 

Some of the schools in Toronto District have discovered one of the possible answers to this question: heavy usage of social media apps can simply block the school network. This is the reason why the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has shut …

Comcast's new XFi service allows subscribers to control their home Wi-Fi service

Making sure that your handset is connected to your home Wi-Fi signal can certainly save you from using all of your high-speed cellular data each month. Even if you have an unlimited data plan, using home Wi-Fi can save you from crossing the threshold that will set off the throttling of your data speed during periods of heavy traffic. This morning, in an effort to improve the home Wi-Fi experience, broadband and cable provider Comcast has launched XFi. This is a new service that is available for free to 10 million of the company’s Xfinity internet subscribers.

With the help of an app installed …

The unannounced Samsung Z4, powered by Tizen, receives its Wi-Fi certification

Just the other day, we told you that the already released Samsung Z2, with Tizen 2.4 inside, had been certified by the FCC. This would seem to indicate that the Z2 will soon be making its way to the states. But Samsung has a more up to date Tizen powered phone in the works. The Samsung Z4, featuring Tizen 3.0, has just received its Wi-Fi certification. The model number listed on the certification is SM-Z400Y/DS, which indicates that there will also be a Dual SIM (DS) variant of the handset.

Previous rumors revealed that the Z4 will offer 4G LTE connectivity, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (single band). …

The refurbished Note 7 gets a Wi-Fi certification, but so does the original one

The Galaxy Note 7 was one of the top letdowns of last year. A solid device with some rather dangerous flaws in the battery, it became one of the biggest disappointments of the year. But since Samsung knows what went wrong already, it decided that it can go for another round with its latest Note and offer refurbished devices with new batteries.

And while we know that we’ll be getting refurbished Note 7 phablets at some point, we don’t know when exactly. However, the day we get the Note 7 with a new battery might be drawing near, as it has just been Wi-Fi certified.

It’s no surprise …

Google Home successor could feature built-in Wi-Fi router

Less than a year after Google unveiled its Assistant-powered Echo competitor, Google Home, there are murmurs that the Big G is working on a new iteration of its home speaker, and that it’s aiming to kill two birds with one stone with the new product.

An anonymous tipster speaking to the Information claims that Google’s next Home device will come with an integrated Wi-Fi router, which means that you won’t be needing another one. However, since most people already own a wireless router, the source claims that the Home speaker will be able to use existing routers to …

Microsoft's Skype WiFi apps and service to be discontinued on March 31

Microsoft recently confirmed Skype WiFi service would be discontinued on March 31. Starting April, Skype WiFi application for Android and iOS will no longer be available for download.

However, in case you plan to continue to use Skype WiFi app on any of your mobile devices, then you should know Microsoft has thought about that too, and will not allow you to do so.

After March 31, neither mobile application will be able to find and use hotspots. The good news is you will still be able to use your Skype Credit for calls to mobiles and landlines.

According to Microsoft, the discontinuation …

Wireless security keys and Android 2FA

Google added support for wireless U2F cards in a developer version of Google Authenticator back in December. There was an unofficial demo at the Github website that showed how it would work (but it didn’t actually work) and the folks at Fidesmo, a company that sells U2F cards, found the APIs buried in the Google Authenticator app. We knew that something would be happening and we just needed to wait for it.

2FA-USB-Key-Wireless-security-Android

Well, such support has now been expanded, and you can use a wireless security key as a two-factor token when you add your Google account to a phone and U2F works in the Chrome browser independently even without the Google Authenticator app installed. This is a pretty cool thing!

And the way Google is handling it all is pretty cool, too, especially for developers. Rather than have a set of APIs that developers need to use to let users log into their apps and services with a wireless key, the routine is an intent built into the Google Authenticator app. All a developer needs to do is ask for the two-factor token and the Android system takes care of the rest. That means there is no waiting for developers to support anything and it will just work. It doesn’t look like the APIs to use the wireless signal for authentication have been opened up for other developers just yet, but we hope that’s in the works so apps like Authy will be able to support the feature, too.

These. A U2F key is a USB device that can be used as an authentication token. The name stands for Universal Two Factor because it’s a standard that anyone making the keys and anyone making a thing that can use them to authenticate is able to incorporate so everything works everywhere. They are a secondary authentication method for people who use two-factor authentication on their accounts.

You should already have two-factor authentication set up on accounts that have the option. It’s the easiest way to make sure that someone can’t get in and use services in your name without your password and another thing that proves they are you, like a time-sensitive code sent to an app on your phone. A lot of services use two-factor authentication, and setting it up on your accounts will be slightly different for each service. But in the end, it means that when you want to login to something the first time from a new place or a new phone or computer, you need to provide something in addition to your password.

Using a security key can be your main way to authenticate, but even if you would rather use an app or SMS it makes for a great backup in case you lose your phone and need to log in on a computer you’ve never used to change your password. Adding a security key to a Google account that uses two-factor authentication is easy.

Once you have added a security key to your account, it works on Android as long as it is NFC or Bluetooth capable. We’re not sure if there are any plans to enable U2F over the USB port, but at the time this was written that didn’t seem to be supported. There are several different manufacturers of USB security keys that have a wireless option and they all should work the same as long as they use the U2F standard. The one we like and recommend is the YubiKey NEO.

It works as described here with U2F for your accounts, and it can also support OTP (One Time Password) for services that use it, like LastPass. And you can support both U2F and OTP at the same time by using a utility from YubiKey and these instructions.

Using an NFC or Bluetooth security key as your sole 2FA device on Android isn’t recommended. It can be done, but there is no reason to not use authenticator tokens through an app, too. But it is a secondary way to have access to all of your 2FA protected accounts and it looks like it’s going to be well supported on Android going forward. Buy in Amazon.