Top 5 Tech Toys Of 2009 And 5 More On The Way

Top 5 Tech Toys Of 2009 And 5 More On The Way 

2008 was a good year for gadgets, and we’re hoping that ’09 will be just as impressive. We’re only a month in so far, but Palm, Dell, Sony and even Amazon have all dropped hints about what the companies have in store. We’ve collected the five big announcements that have us drooling, as well as five more that we’d like to see happen before 2010.

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Faster Wireless to Compete with Speed of Fiber

Faster Wireless to Compete with Speed of Fiber

 Researchers at Battelle used off-the-shelf optical telecommunication
components to create a faster millimeter-wave device.

There’s no shortage of demand for faster wireless, but today’s fastest technologies–Wi-Fi, 3G cellular networks, and even the upcoming WiMax–max out at tens or hundreds of megabits per second. So far, no commercial wireless system can beat the raw speed of optical fiber, which can carry tens of gigabits per second.

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WiMAX Movement to Transform the Internet

 WiMAX Movement to Transform the Internet

WiMax promises a whole new kind of fun on the web

As US technology giants including Google place a multi-billion dollar bet on WiMAX, backers of the wireless data-streaming format say it will radically change mobile Internet use.

A WiMAX network of the kind to be deployed across the United States by a joint venture dubbed Clearwire may render cable or phone line Internet obsolete and set the stage for free Google mobile telephones supported by advertising.

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2008 International Broadband Rankings

2008 International Broadband Rankings

The US finds itself in at an unremarkable 15th place

The US broadband policy environment is characterized on the one hand by market fundamentalists who see little or no role for government, and see government as the problem; and on the other by digital populists who favor a vastly expanded role for government (including government ownership of networks and strict and comprehensive regulation, including mandatory unbundling of incumbent networks and strict net neutrality regulations) and who see big corporations providing broadband as a problem.

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Intel’s 60 Mile Long-Range Wi-Fi

 Intel’s 60 Mile Long-Range Wi-Fi

Intel has found a way to stretch a Wi-Fi signal from one antenna to another located more than 60 miles away.

They recently announced plans to sell a specialized Wi-Fi platform later this year that can send data from a city to outlying rural areas tens of miles away, connecting sparsely populated villages to the Internet. The wireless technology, called the rural connectivity platform (RCP), will be helpful to computer-equipped students in poor countries, says Jeff Galinovsky, a senior platform manager at Intel. And the data rates are high enough–up to about 6.5 megabits per second–that the connection could be used for video conferencing and telemedicine, he says.

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