Linux Foundation Launches Industry Collaboration with Magma to Accelerate Deployment of Wireless Networks

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Linux Foundation announced that it will launch an open source industry collaboration focused on enabling a converged cellular core network stack, starting with the Magma open source software platform.

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Linux Foundation announced that it will launch an open source industry collaboration focused on enabling a converged cellular core network stack, starting with the Magma open source software platform. Previously open sourced by Facebook in 2019, Magma will now be managed under a neutral governance framework at the Linux Foundation.

Arm, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, FreedomFi, Qualcomm, the Institute of Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University, the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance, and the Open Infrastructure Foundation, will join the collaboration as founding members to accelerate the path to production use cases at scale.

Magma enables operators to build and augment modern and efficient mobile networks at scale. Magma features an access-agnostic mobile packet core, advanced network automation and management tools, and the ability to integrate with existing LTE networks with use cases across both virtual and container Network Functions (xNFs) including fixed wireless access, carrier Wi-Fi, private LTE and 5G, network expansion, and mobile broadband. A number of Magma community members are also collaborating in the Telecom Infra Project (TIP)’s Open Core Network project group to define, build, test, and deploy core network products that leverage Magma software alongside disaggregated hardware and software solutions by the TIP Open Core ecosystem.

By enabling automation of common network operations like element configuration, software updates and device provisioning, Magma reduces the complexity of operating mobile networks.

Magma enables better connectivity by:

Allowing operators to expand capacity and reach by using LTE, 5G, Wi-Fi and CBRS. Allowing operators to offer cellular service without vendor lock-in with a modern, open source core network. Enabling operators to manage their networks more efficiently with more automation, less downtime, better predictability, and more agility to add new services and applications. Enabling federation between existing MNOs and new infrastructure providers to augment mobile network infrastructure more efficiently. Supporting open source 5G technology and incubating future wireless network use cases like Private 5G, IAB, Augmented Networks and NTN.

“Arm is synonymous with a diverse technology ecosystem that underpins the compute, connectivity, and security required for solutions spanning cloud to edge to endpoint devices,” said Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Together with the Linux Foundation and Facebook Connectivity, Magma is helping to solve the very real challenge of providing feature-rich, cost effective access for worldwide mobile networks.”

“Bringing Magma to the Linux Foundation is a huge milestone as the Magma ecosystem of developers continues to grow,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, vice president for Facebook Connectivity. “We are excited to see the contributions and innovations from this collective group of industry players, and we look forward to celebrating Magma’s success as the project continues to scale.”

“Qualcomm Technologies strongly supports the evolution of the Magma core network efforts into a broader coalition among the key founding and contributing projects,” said Douglas Knisely, engineer, principal, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and OSA Advisory Board member. “This effort builds on the collaboration activities and code contributions from OAI into the Magma project and promotes the harmonization of a common 5G Core Network reference architecture, internal structure, APIs, and interfaces for all of the emerging 5G open source projects in the industry.”

“Magma is one of the most exciting projects I’ve seen in years. In our world, connectivity is directly linked to progress, and Magma’s mission to improve network access for the under-connected is inspiring and meaningful,” said Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director, Open Infrastructure Foundation. “The Open Infrastructure Foundation helps build communities like Magma who are writing the software that powers production infrastructure, and we look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of the Magma community, bringing Magma to new markets.”

“The OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) is excited at the prospect of seeing Magma deployed in a number of use cases in wireless networks. The OSA has accompanied the Magma development efforts since the very inception of the project by not only providing the base code from OpenAirInterface for some of the components of the 4G core network but also by regularly and constantly developing new features,” said Irfan Ghauri, Director of Operations at the OSA. “The OpenAirInterface community will continue to participate in the ongoing efforts at developing and testing functionality for Magma alongside other partners. We look forward to the great success this initiative is on track to accomplish in deployments in various wireless use-cases.

“We are excited to collaborate with our peers on a global cause of connectivity and open source software,” said Arpit Joshipura, GM Networking & Edge at the Linux Foundation. “Hosting this important project on behalf of the open source community allows us to bring open applications and network functions to end users.”

The Magma community will host a virtual Magma Developers Conference today beginning at 8:30am PT to highlight the growing community and how the platform enables service providers and systems integrators to deploy faster and more efficient networks. The schedule includes Magma use cases, a 5G demo, and other talks about the state of the project. Get involved with Magma by joining the project on Github.

About The Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and industry adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.

Media Contact
Jil Lovato
[email protected]
The Linux Foundation

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Atlas Ocean Voyages Named Approved Supplier Of Cruise Planners

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that the luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand has been named an approved supplier of Cruise Planners, the nation’s largest home-based Travel Advisor franchise network and an American Express Travel Representative.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that the luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand has been named an approved supplier of Cruise Planners, the nation’s largest home-based Travel Advisor franchise network and an American Express Travel Representative. Cruise Planners’ Travel Advisors can now recommend Atlas’ new and distinctive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences to clients seeking an all-inclusive, luxury adventure in remote, bucket-list destinations around the world. Launching in July 2021, Atlas’ first newly constructed, 196-guest, expedition ship, World Navigator, will bring travelers on transformative journeys to some of the world’s most coveted and off-the-beaten-path locales. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

“Atlas Ocean Voyages is extremely pleased to be on Cruise Planners approved suppliers list since Cruise Planners Travel Advisors are tapped into the pulse of the market; are well-trained franchise owners; and have state-of-the-art sales tools,” said Brandon Townsley, Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships of the luxe-adventure cruise brand. “Cruise Planners’ award-winning Travel Advisors can recommend Atlas to clients who have seen it all and done it all. Atlas’ World Navigator will bring travelers on captivating luxe-adventure journeys for their highly anticipated return-to-cruise.”

“We are delighted to add Atlas Ocean Voyages to Cruise Planners’ rich portfolio of cruise vacation options,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder of Cruise Planners. “We know there is a pent-up consumer demand for small ship and luxury travel options and our partnership with Atlas Ocean Voyages is another example of how we seek out the most distinctive and compelling travel experiences for our clients. We are confident our travel advisors will continue to provide savvy travelers with the best possible vacation options and love the unique destinations such as Ukraine, Bucharest, Egypt and The Holy Lands itineraries – to name a few.”

Atlas’ signature All Inclusive All The Way provides guests a complete and seamless experience by including complimentary round-trip air travel, a choice of a shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, polar parkas, emergency medical evacuation insurance, premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, Wi-Fi, L’OCCITANE bath amenities, and regionally inspired gourmet dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas’ Plan With Confidence flexible travel policy provides travelers a 100 percent refund of deposited funds up to 91 days prior to sailing. Plus, they can change their reservation as many times as they want, up to 15 days before their voyages’ sail date. They can even change their destination and sail with Atlas in another part of the world or choose to cancel at least 15 days or more prior to the departure date and be assured of a 100 percent future cruise credit.

About Cruise Planners
Cruise Planners, the nation’s largest home-based travel advisor franchise network and an American Express Travel Representative, has more than 2,500 franchise owners who independently book vacations and travel experiences for their clients. Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., since 1994, Cruise Planners supports its network of franchise owners with innovative marketing, booking and technology tools, professional development and training with the industry’s top executives. Cruise Planners has been named the No. 1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 18 consecutive years and was on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line, many land vendors and maintains a philanthropic drive earning an International Franchise Association FranTech Award for innovation and Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly. Please visit http://www.cruiseplanners.com, for more information.

About Atlas Ocean Voyages
Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in exciting and awe-inspiring moments in less-visited, bucket-list destinations. At 9,930 GRTs, World Navigator fosters a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and features the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art design.

World Navigator is Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021. World Navigator will be joined by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Atlas welcomes travelers to ‘come back to something new’ in the brand’s new marketing campaign “At Last… Atlas” (www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/itstime.) Please also follow Atlas Ocean Voyages on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AtlasOceanVoyages), Twitter (www.twitter.com/atlascruises), Instagram (www.instagram.com/AtlasOceanVoyages), and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/atlascruises). Travel Advisors can call 1.844.44.ATLAS (1.844.442.8527) to book their clients on an unforgettable luxe-adventure expedition.

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OneClock Raises $250K in 24 hours for the Launch of its Modern Minimalist Timepiece on Kickstarter, Featuring AI-curated Compositions by Grammy-winning Artist Jon Natchez

BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — This week, OneClock (www.oneclock.co) launched a minimalist analog timepiece designed to gently lift you out of sleep with science-based musical compositions.

BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — This week, OneClock (www.oneclock.co) launched a minimalist analog timepiece designed to gently lift you out of sleep with science-based musical compositions. Conceived as a replacement for sleep-disrupting smartphones and clocks with jarring alarms, OneClock offers a simple, elegant solution for those wanting to get tech out of their bedroom and wake up better.

In under 24 hours, OneClock raised nearly $250k, smashing their initial goal of $20,000 on Kickstarter.

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OneClockOneClock

OneClockOneClock

OneClock is designed in Boulder, CO, and features a precision machined aluminum enclosure, solid wood front and back, and a low glare glass face. The clocks are built by hand in Denver, using high quality, long lasting parts, including a Swiss-designed stepper clock movement — technology borrowed from the automotive industry.

“We designed OneClock to be as much a piece of art as a functional household tool,” says Howie Rubin, co-founder and designer of OneClock. “In our current culture of Amazon/Walmart convenience, the approach we took was unorthodox. We prioritized design and quality over price to create something that’s enjoyable to experience amongst other cherished heirloom objects in your home.”

Featuring custom compositions by Grammy-award winning musician Jon Natchez (The War on Drugs), OneClock is designed to wake you gently and reliably. OneClock’s AI music generator randomizes and remixes songs stored on the clock’s solid state memory so that you never hear OneClock’s songs the same way twice. Ever.

Research has also shown a clear link between technology use before bed and compromised sleep that affects overall health and wellbeing. With no bluetooth, no WiFi, no apps, no snooze button and no connectivity, OneClock was purposefully designed to keep technology out of the bedroom and to promote healthy sleep habits.

Sleep researcher and OneClock team member Josiane Broussard, PhD, says “As a sleep scientist for the last 15+ years I can say that very little research focuses specifically on waking up and physiological changes associated with something that every single human does every single day. I was able to use the OneClock and absolutely love the design and the beautiful, calming music. I plan to put one in each of my inpatient sleep study suites in the lab.”

OneClock is available for preorder via Kickstarter.
Launch pricing will range from $192 – $279 (up to 45% off the $349 retail price).

Learn more about the team behind OneClock here. Listen to a sample of the tones used here. You can download images and information from the OneClock press kit, or reach out directly for sample requests.

Media Contact
Rhian Humphries
408-412-2957
[email protected]

SOURCE OneClock

The best Wi-Fi range extender in 2021 – CNET

If you’re still working or attending school from home due to the ongoing pandemic, you’re probably pushing your home’s Wi-Fi network to the maximum. And if you’ve set up your home office too far away from the router, you’ve likely learned the hard way that dead zones in particular can be a real pain.

If you’re still working or attending school from home due to the ongoing pandemic, you’re probably pushing your home’s Wi-Fi network to the maximum. And if you’ve set up your home office too far away from the router, you’ve likely learned the hard way that dead zones in particular can be a real pain. Luckily, a good Wi-Fi range extender can help.

The best Wi-Fi range extenders give your network a boost by receiving the wireless signal from your router and re-amplifying it farther out into your home. They’re simple to operate — just pick a good spot, plug it in and press the WPS button to sync it with your main router. In most cases, your wireless range extender doesn’t have to be the same brand as your router’s in order to work. There are plenty of options that are both solid and affordable.

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But don’t start thinking these things are interchangeable. I picked out some of the major manufacturers’ most popular, budget-friendly options and spent a few days testing out their wireless coverage. Most were underwhelming, which isn’t too shocking when you’re talking about a hunk of plastic that costs $30 or $40. One was an absolute standout, however, and strong enough for me to say that it’s the best pick for just about everybody. (Just note that I’m testing from home and working with a limited sample size of devices — once I’m able to test more, I’ll update this post accordingly.)


Best Wi-Fi range extender for almost everybody


TP-Link RE220 WiFi Extender

Ry Crist/CNET

At $35, the TP-Link RE220 was the least expensive range extender I tested, but that didn’t stop it from outperforming everything else I tested at every turn. It’s fast, it’s reliable, it works with just about every router out there, and it’s really easy to use. And, as of writing this, it costs even less than I paid for it — down to just $28.

Plug it in and press the WPS button to pair it with your home network, and it’ll begin broadcasting its own networks on the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. Both offered steady speeds throughout my entire home, including average download speeds on the 5GHz band of at least 75 megabits per second in every room I tested, along with strong upload speeds, too. The RE220 never once dropped my connection, and its speeds were consistent across multiple days of tests during both daytime and evening hours.

Nothing else I tested was able to match that level of performance, which makes the RE220 a steal at $28. All of that makes it a great choice for anyone looking to boost the signal to a back room that sits a bit too far beyond the router’s reach. Read more about improving your home’s Wi-Fi.


$28 at Amazon

Other extenders we tested

D-Link DAP-1620: This was the only range extender that ever managed to hit triple digits during my tests, with an average speed of 104Mbps in my bedroom during evening hours. Setup was just as simple as what I experienced with TP-Link, too. I was able to stream HD video, browse the web and make video calls on the extender’s network without any issue.

Network speeds were inconsistent though — and much slower in daytime hours, with a bigger dropoff than I saw with TP-Link. The device also dropped my connection at one point during my speed tests. The app was too finicky for my tastes, too, refusing to let me log in and tweak settings with the supplied device password, and ultimately forcing me to reset the device.

Software woes aside, the hardware seems pretty good with this range extender, and it has a dual external antenna setup. And since it’s not quite the newest model from D-Link, there’s a good chance you can find it on sale somewhere. One seller has it listed new on Amazon for about $40, but I wouldn’t spend more than $30 on it, given what the superior TP-Link RE220 costs.

Netgear WiFi Range ExtenderEX3700: It’s a dated-looking device, and it wasn’t a terribly strong performer in my tests. The 2.4GHz band was able to sustain workable speeds between 30 and 40Mbps throughout most of my home, which was strong enough to stream video with minimal buffering, or to hold a quick video call with a slight delay. But the 5GHz band was surprisingly weak, often dropping into single digits with only a single wall separating my PC or connected device from the range extender.

I wasn’t a fan of the web interface, either — it seemed more interested in getting me to register for the warranty (and opt into marketing emails) than in actually offering me any sort of control over the connection. There’s an app you can use instead, but it’s only available on Android devices. WPS button-based setup lets you skip all of that, which is nice — but still, with most outlets offering it for about $50, this is one you can safely skip.

Linksys RE6350: My speeds were consistent with the RE6350 — they just weren’t very fast.

By default, the device automatically steers you between the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, but with download speeds ranging from 10 to 35Mbps throughout all of my tests over multiple days, it might as well just default to the slower 2.4GHz band. The device supports automatic firmware upgrades, which is nice, but you can’t use the Linksys Wi-Fi app to tweak settings — instead, you’ll have to log in via the web portal.

On top of all that, the RE6350 seemed to be the least stable of all the extenders I tested, with more than one dropped connection during my tests. At about $50, that’s just too many negatives for me to recommend it.

How we tested them

Like lots of folks, I’m working from home these days, so I tested each range extender out on my home network, a 300Mbps AT&T fiber connection. My house is pretty small — just 1,300 square feet — but the router AT&T provided struggles to maintain a strong signal in the back of the house.

You can see the situation clear as day when you look at the average speeds in each part of the house. With my trusty laptop in hand, I moved from the living room where the router is located to the adjacent kitchen, then a hallway bathroom, then my bedroom, and finally, a bathroom in the very back of the house. In each room, I ran multiple speed tests and logged the results. Then, I repeated the process in reverse, connecting in the back bathroom and then working my way towards the living room. Finally, I repeated the whole process during evening hours and averaged everything together.

Sure enough, my average speeds plummeted in that back bathroom, the farthest room from the router. The overall average across all tests was about 60Mbps, but that’s overselling it. Upload speeds where typically in the single digits, and in most cases, my connection would drop after a few minutes in the room. In the worst of my four test runs, the average download speed in that back bathroom was just 15Mbps.

You’ll want a steady connection of at least 20Mbps in order to stream video and browse the web comfortably. Make that 50Mbps if you want to stream in 4K. Same goes for video calls, where you’ll also want sturdy upload speeds to match.

11 ways to make your Wi-Fi fasterSee all photos



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If that back bathroom were, say, a back office, I’d be miserable. That presented a clear mission for my test extenders. Which one would provide the biggest, steadiest boost to speeds in the back half of my home?

To find out, I plugged each range extender in one at a time and paired them with my router, connected my laptop to their extension networks, and repeated my speed tests. I placed them in the hall, halfway between the spots where I test in the hallway bathroom and the master bedroom, and close to the edge of where I’m able to get a strong signal from the router. A good range extender should be able to receive a solid signal from the router at that distance, then beam its signal out farther than the wireless network could originally extend.

In the end, each one was able to maintain my connection in that back bathroom without dropping me, but only TP-Link and D-Link were able to sustain upload and download speeds that were fast enough for full internet usage. TP-Link’s 5GHz band was the strongest overall, with an average back bathroom download speed of about 75Mbps and an average upload speed just above 50Mbps. I didn’t see much variance between test rounds, either, even between daytime testing and evening testing.

Speeds were strong throughout the rest of the house, as well, which suggests that the TP-Link RE220 offers the best range of the four, too. When I tried using the TP-Link range extender to make a FaceTime call, I was able to move throughout my entire house without seeing any dips in the call quality.

I’ll have a better sense of range once I’m able to resume full testing at our lab and at the 5,400-square-foot CNET Smart Home — but for now, all of that is enough for me to call the RE220 the clear winner here, especially considering that it’s the least expensive option I tested.

Other things to consider

Aside from my speed tests, I made sure to stream video in my bedroom on each extender’s network, and I made several video calls on each network, too. All four were serviceable, but the TP-Link RE220 was the only one that didn’t present any issues with my internet connection. My video was crisp and quick to load, and my video calls were clear as could be.

I also spent time playing with each extender’s settings. You shouldn’t expect much, but most will at least make it easy to change the extension network’s name or password. Some include app controls with extra features, too.

My top pick, the TP-Link RE220, makes it really easy to tweak settings via TP-Link’s Tether app on an Android or iOS device. Again, the features make for slim pickings, but you can check signal strength or turn on High-Speed Mode, which dedicates the 2.4GHz band for traffic from the router to the range extender, leaving the 5GHz free for your normal network traffic. That mode actually wasn’t as fast as sharing the 5GHz band like normal when I tested it out, because those incoming 2.4GHz speeds are limited, but it still might be a useful option in some setups.

As for setting a range extender up, you should know that it’s about as painless as it gets. Most, including all four that I tested, support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or WPS, which is a universal protocol that wireless networking devices can use to connect with each other. Just plug the signal booster in, press the WPS button, and then press the WPS button on your router within two minutes.

It’s also worth making sure that your range extender includes at least one Ethernet jack. If you can connect your wired device (like a smart TV) directly to it, then you’ll enjoy speeds that are as fast as possible.

Should I just get a mesh router?

One last note: If you’re living in a large-sized home, or if you need speeds faster than 100Mbps at range, then it’s probably worth it to go ahead and upgrade to a mesh router that comes with its own range-extending satellite devices. You’ve got more options than ever these days, including our top overall pick, Google’s Nest Wifi, as well as three-piece mesh network setups from Eero, Netgear Orbi and TP-Link that cost $250 or less. Any of those would likely outperform a standalone router paired with a plug-in range extender like the ones tested here.

For instance, I had a three-piece TP-Link Deco M5 mesh router on hand, so I set it up and ran some speed tests alongside the range extenders. The connection wasn’t quite as steady as what I saw when I tested a similar three-piece Eero setup last year, but my average speeds stayed well above 100Mbps throughout my entire house, even in the back. Better still, I didn’t have multiple networks and extension networks to jump between. Everything was consolidated to a single mesh network. Simple!

Spend a little more on a mesh router, and you can find one that supports the newest, fastest Wi-Fi 6 speeds, or one with an additional 5GHz band that you can dedicate to traffic between the router and the extenders. In 2021, we’ll start seeing routers that support Wi-Fi 6E, which adds in exclusive access to the newly opened, ultra-wide 6GHz band. I’ve got lots of info on systems like those in my full mesh router rundown, so be sure to give options like those a look, too.

That said, if all you need is for your current router to maintain a steady signal one or two rooms farther into your home, then a simple range extender will probably do just fine — especially if you buy the right one. For my money, that’s the TP-Link RE220.

Read more:

Google Nest Wifi review
The 3 fastest VPNs we’ve tested: NordVPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark compared

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Comcast doubles speed for Internet Essentials – CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Low-income subscribers to Comcast’s Internet Essentials broadband service will soon see their speeds double at no additional charge.

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Low-income subscribers to Comcast’s Internet Essentials broadband service will soon see their speeds double at no additional charge. The service, which currently offers 25Mbps downloads, will automatically be upgraded to 50Mbps starting March 1, the company said Tuesday.

Upload speeds will also go from 3Mbps to 5Mbps. The speed boost at no additional cost comes at a time when Americans across the country are still mostly relying on the internet to access school and work remotely.

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The Internet Essentials plan costs $9.95 per month and is available to qualifying low-income households. Families or individuals already receiving federal benefits through programs such as SNAP, Medicaid or WIC are eligible. This is the second time this year that Comcast has increased the speed of its low-cost service. It upgraded the service to 25Mbps from 15Mbps in March last year, just as most of the country was starting to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The upgrades are part of Comcast’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the company offered 60 days of its service free to college, elementary and high school students. It later extended the offer through June 30. The company also opened up its Wi-Fi hotspots free of charge. And in September it started the Lift Zone program to provide Wi-Fi access and educational resources to low-income areas.

Comcast started Internet Essentials in 2011 to help impoverished children who received free or reduced-price lunches at school get access to the internet at home. The program has been modified more than a dozen times to expand the eligibility requirements to include low-income veterans and people receiving public housing benefits. In 2019, the company opened up the program to all low-income households.

In addition to the low-cost monthly fee, Comcast partners with trusted community organizations to offer free digital-skills training. Customers can also purchase low-cost computers as part of the program.

Comcast’s initial response to the pandemic was part of a greater effort among more than 700 other wireless and broadband providers, including AT&T and Verizon. These providers all voluntarily signed on to the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected pledge. As part of this pledge, broadband and wireless companies promised to not charge late fees or disconnect service of customers who can’t pay their bills.

These companies then extended their pledge to June 30. At that time, Comcast also extended its offer of free Internet Essentials to qualifying households through the end of June. Though the free service offer ended in June, Comcast said it’s remained committed to helping low-income families during the pandemic stay online, with the hope of eventually eliminating the digital divide.

“We’ve been on a mission to address digital inequities in under-resourced communities through Internet Essentials for a decade and there’s never been a greater need than now,” Dave Watson, president and chief executive officer of Comcast Cable, said in a statement. “Our commitment has never been stronger, and we are dedicated to leveling the playing field and making a lasting impact for generations to come.”

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Alphabet Again Exits Drones: Others Again Jump In, Reports IDTechEx

BOSTON, Feb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In 2017, after four years of setbacks and crashes, Alphabet shut its project flying solar-powered fixed-wing drones in the upper atmosphere to beam the internet to those cut-off.

BOSTON, Feb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In 2017, after four years of setbacks and crashes, Alphabet shut its project flying solar-powered fixed-wing drones in the upper atmosphere to beam the internet to those cut-off. Facebook then exited its similar project, but the Chinese aerospace industry, Airbus, Boeing, and NASA are progressing them very well. Aloft for years, they will take 5G and 6G communications to everyone, perform surveillance, and more. Meanwhile, Alphabet, parent of the mighty Google, has now dumped its upper-atmosphere balloon version as well.

The Chinese even have a smaller solar drone Mei Ying that survives night and day at the weaker light at 4600 meters for fast establishment of a WiFi emergency-information network and for surveillance in remote regions. Later it may team with 6G upper-atmosphere drones and low-earth-orbit LEO satellites. See the new IDTechEx report, “6G Communications Market, Devices, Materials 2021-2041“.

“The road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped. So we’ve made the difficult decision to close down Loon,” Astro Teller, who heads X, the Alphabet subsidiary in 2021. His balloons in the upper atmosphere were to bring cellular connectivity to remote parts of the world where building a traditional mobile network would be too difficult and costly. Alphabet promised internet connectivity to everyone. This is Alphabet’s third drone exit because in 2020, they shut the wind-power project Makani based on a conductive tether to a large drone. SpaceX has just adopted that idea, promising product in two years.

The Loon helium-filled balloons were powered by solar panels. Artificial intelligence guided them, transmitting internet signals to ground stations and personal devices. The first commercial use was in 2020. With Telkom Kenya, 35 balloons were deployed to provide a 4G LTE network connection to a 31,000 square mile area, including Nairobi. Earlier, they provided cellular service to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

The business case for Loon has not materialized partly because there is competition from other companies such as Starlink from SpaceX and Blue Origin from Amazon, both of which use thousands of small LEO satellites.

However, a different type of inflatable from the Loon balloons is the unmanned airship, and this can compete with LEO satellites by holding position, carrying over ten times the payload at low cost. Lockheed-Martin and Thales Alenia use a large area of flexible photovoltaics on top, rolling to face the sun. Thales Alenia Space (the joint venture between Thales, 67% and Leonardo, 33%) and Thales signed a contract with French defense procurement agency DGA in 2021 for a concept study of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance applications using this Stratobus™. The first flight will be in 2023.

Raghu Das, CEO of analysts IDTechEx, says, “6G Communications may become an even bigger business than the 5G that is now rolling out worldwide. The Chinese have just sent up a satellite to study 6G physics in the simple environment of space. This is the virgin territory of terahertz electronics called “the terahertz gap”. Meanwhile, IDTechEx offers deep studies on 5G and its specifics, such as low-loss materials. For both 5G and 6G, the software, hardware, and materials opportunities are enormous. Despite this, only some of the giants are successfully participating.”

For more information on this report, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/6GComms, or for the full portfolio of 5G research available from IDTechEx, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/5G.

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Subscription and Consultancy products, helping you profit from emerging technologies. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

Media Contact:
Natalie Moreton
Digital Marketing Manager
[email protected]
+44 (0)122-381-2300

Social Media Links:
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/IDTechEx
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/idtechex/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IDTechExResearch

SOURCE IDTechEx

Cambium Networks is First to Market a Gigabit Outdoor Point to Point Solution Leveraging the 802.11ax Standard

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Feb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —Cambium Networks (NASDAQ: CMBM), a leading global provider of wireless networking solutions, today announced the new ePMP™ Force 400 series point to point system with gigabit speed fixed wireless connectivity in the Sub-6 GHz spectrum.

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Feb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —Cambium Networks (NASDAQ: CMBM), a leading global provider of wireless networking solutions, today announced the new ePMP™ Force 400 series point to point system with gigabit speed fixed wireless connectivity in the Sub-6 GHz spectrum. Service providers and enterprises can rapidly extend connectivity and expand capacity without the cost of licensed spectrum, expensive subscriptions or trenching fiber.

“The ePMP Force 425 is an amazing upgrade from the previous generation and the very first 802.11ax based optimized fixed wireless solution in the industry,” said Josh Luthman, President of Imagine Networks. “It gets us fantastic spectral efficiency, the hardware is unmatched, and we get to use the ePMP software we have been comfortable with for several years. The ePMP Force 425 also opens up numerous opportunities to leverage sub 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum in an affordable manner for various point to point applications.”

Network operators can extend coverage with cost-effective backhaul for enterprise access, fiber extensions, Wi-Fi access or CCTV networks with the ePMP Force 400’s flexible hardware design, 80 MHz channel support and improved over the air efficiencies providing up to 1 Gbps speed. The ePMP Force 425 is ideal for service providers looking to deliver high-capacity access services to residential and business customers. It also serves as a low-cost backhaul for MicroPoP’s and outdoor Wi-Fi access points that require high capacity at moderate range without the overhead of licensed microwave. With an integrated Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) port and optional Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) Optical Network Unit (ONU) module, the ePMP Force 425 also makes a great fiber extension to reach places where fiber cannot be cost justified.

“We were very impressed by the performance of the product and equally excited about the opportunities it presents us for extending broadband connectivity,” said Marijan Rengel, CEO of Pro-Ping Telekom. “The affordability of the platform, 1024 QAM modulation, flexibility of the hardware and ePMP user interface makes this an ideal choice for our network.”

“Cambium Networks listens to service providers and enterprise network operators, and we are pushing the envelope to develop affordable gigabit wireless solutions that deliver a low total cost of ownership,” said Sakid Ahmed, general manager of ePMP and cnVision business for Cambium Networks. “The ePMP Force 400 series, leveraging a leading 802.11ax technology platform from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., builds on top of the field proven ePMP fixed wireless architecture, and expands fixed wireless broadband capability without the overhead of licensed spectrum.”

“We are pleased to work closely with an innovative collaborator like Cambium Networks as fixed wireless solidifies its place as a powerful option for high speed internet access,” said Ganesh Swaminathan, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Delivering high performance 802.11ax capabilities to these offerings with the Qualcomm®Networking Pro 800 platform can ensure high-capacity, stable, and high-speed experiences for today’s most demanding environments.”

The ePMP Force 400 is a global product supporting specific channels dependent on local country regulations. The system includes an SFP port making it easy to extend the fiber network. With an innovative optional range extender attachment, the ePMP Force 425 can offer an additional 6 dBi of gain without installing a completely new dish. The new radios support LINKPlanner™ planning software, cnHeat™ heatmapping modeling tool, and the cnMaestro™ management system. The radios are IP67 rated for rugged outdoor environments.

The ePMP Force 400 is available in two variations:

Force 425 – equipped with a 25 dBi integrated dish antenna Force 400C – connectorized with two RP-SMA RF interfaces for dish or horn antennas

For more information, register to attend our free webinar “High-Capacity Enterprise Access & Low-Cost Backhaul: Introducing the ePMP Force 400 Series” on February 02 at 9 am US Central time.

Cambium Networks’ solutions are available through Cambium’s global network of partners.

About Cambium Networks

Cambium Networks empowers millions of people globally with wireless connectivity. Its products are used by commercial and government network operators as well as broadband service providers to connect people, places and things. With a single network architecture spanning fixed wireless and Wi-Fi, centrally managed via the cloud, Cambium enables operators to achieve maximum performance with minimal spectrum and low overhead. Cambium empowers a growing ecosystem of partners who design and deliver multi-gigabit wireless solutions that just work.

Qualcomm is a trademark or registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm Networking Pro Series 800 Platform is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Imagine Networks and Pro-Ping Telekom references are used with permission.

Media Contact:
Dave Reddy
Big Valley Marketing for Cambium
+1 (650) 868-4659
[email protected]

SOURCE Cambium Networks

CyberSecure IPS and Global Netwave Partner To Deliver Most Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solution Worldwide

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CyberSecure IPS and Global Netwave are pleased to announce their new partnership which brings a new, unrivaled level of cybersecurity to government, research, and education communities around the world.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CyberSecure IPS and Global Netwave are pleased to announce their new partnership which brings a new, unrivaled level of cybersecurity to government, research, and education communities around the world.

Global Netwave will offer CyberSecure’s Unified Cyber-Physical Protection suite as a featured part of its overall cybersecurity services, representing new expansion offerings while supporting CyberSecure’s international reach.

Tom Balint, CEO of Global Netwave states, “We are excited to be partnering with CyberSecure IPS as we believe their state-of-the-art security solutions will provide customers significantly improved security options. This also fits with Global Netwave’s goal of providing the best-in-class communications services to our customers.”

Government agencies and the research and education communities, which Global Netwave was formed to serve, require complex, customized, and cost-effective network technologies.

From a position of unique leadership in the cybersecurity industry, CyberSecure’s Unified Cyber-Physical Protection addresses both physical threats and digital dangers to network data for complete protection. This partnership with Global Netwave will provide a pathway to expand the UCP product reach across five continents and serve a new market of clients who can benefit from its patented protection suite.

Scott Rye, CEO and Co-founder of CyberSecure IPS, states, “Global Netwave is a full service data network services and solutions company with international reach serving key customers in our target government space as well as new territory for us in the Education and Research sector. There is so much opportunity and latent demand for our UCP framework in telecom and data centers; we are excited to work with Tom and his Global Netwave team.”

******************************************************************************

About Global Netwave
Global Netwave, LLC is an award winning IT company founded in 2009 due to overwhelming demand from government agencies and the research & education (R&E) community for leading edge data networking technologies. Global Netwave specializes in building high-speed fiber optic data networks, including DWDM, PON and Wi-Fi networks. Visit us at globalnetwave.com.

About CyberSecure IPS
We are the global leader in Unified Cyber-Physical ProtectionTM (UCP) solutions. We secure the most vulnerable yet overlooked areas of cyber security: attacks of physical network infrastructures and theft of critical network assets. Learn more at cybersecureips.com.

#AlarmedCarrierPDS #ManholeProtectionSystem #ManholeIntrusionDetection #Layer1networksecurity #CNSSI 7003 #InfrastructureSecurity #OTInfrastructure #CyberSecure
Media Contact:
Scott Rye

For more information, news and perspectives from CyberSecure IPS, please visit cybersecureips.com. Web links were correct at time of publication but may since have changed.

SOURCE CyberSecure IPS


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Orchid VPN review: It uses the tech behind Bitcoin to improve privacy – CNET

If I wanted to tell you why Orchid VPN is poised to be not only the next evolution of virtual private networks but also a futuristic answer to global online privacy threats, I could tell you its cryptocurrency-fueled decentralized bandwidth market makes it a blockchain-supported VPN-Tor hybrid ready to upend even the fastest, most secure VPN on the market.

If I wanted to tell you why Orchid VPN is poised to be not only the next evolution of virtual private networks but also a futuristic answer to global online privacy threats, I could tell you its cryptocurrency-fueled decentralized bandwidth market makes it a blockchain-supported VPN-Tor hybrid ready to upend even the fastest, most secure VPN on the market.

And that’s what I’ve been saying since March, but for most people (myself included) it still sounds like I’m speaking cyberpunk marketing gibberish. So, instead, I want to tell you about bootleg whiskey and outrunning the law. Hop in.

Orchid

LikeRaises the bar on VPN privacyHandles heavy media reliablyIntegrates with other VPNs

Don’t LikeSteep learning curveApp interface needs improvementSlightly unpredictable speeds

Now, if you were going to do any respectable amount of moonshining in the 1920s, you were going to need more than just a bubbling still and a handshake with the sheriff — you’d need a car. And not just any car. What you’d need is an unquestionably reliable machine with massive trunk space and hidden compartments. One that looked as unassuming as a church lady with a basket of biscuits, but one whose engine could — at the toe-tap of a pedal — roar to life with the fury of seven hells and leave cops wondering how to charge you with breaking the laws of physics.

Read more:The best VPN service of 2020

That’s how stock car racing was born. It’s also what the world of commercial VPNs looks like right now. VPN innovations are spurred by a competition to be fastest over long distances, to best hide your product (your data) and to offer the biggest bang per buck. Likewise, VPN companies can be aggressive in their hype-making — their businesses live and die by whether they’ve ever been caught selling you out to a G-man and you’ll find some of them bolster their reputations by swearing their competitors are all patsies.

The toughest part for you in all this, dear moonshiner, is that no matter how good a VPN might seem, you’re still confronted with the core vulnerability shared by every VPN: Since you can’t inspect the routes these VPNs travel and the servers through which your data passes, you’ve ultimately got to risk trusting one. For some of you, that trust is low-risk — you’re just looking for better online gaming or a wider streaming media library. For a slice of you, though, the stakes couldn’t be higher — evading censorship and government snooping in countries where VPNs are illegal can be a matter of life and death if you’re caught.

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While I can inspect the nuts and bolts of all these VPNs for you and dig up dirt on the people associated with them, even I can’t see the routes nor track all the shell companies behind their owners. Caveat emptor.

So imagine my face when this latest hot shot VPN rolls into my shop and I pop the hood to find not just an engine but a fractal of engines. Imagine my jaw dropping when I realize this thing isn’t just one souped-up privacy vehicle but a fleet of its competitor cars, each of which is autonomous and paid per mile in anonymized currency to carry a tiny piece of your product in a hyper-coordinated yet seemingly chaotic convoy.

That’s Orchid VPN. It’s changing the nature of VPNs as we know them and resisting all attempts at categorization using my normal testing and review process. No, it’s not ready for the mass market quite yet: It’s not as fast as our top-tier VPN speedsters and it isn’t as easy to handle for new users as some of our trusted standbys. And no, I can’t even give you a specific monthly cost.

But this is what the future of VPN tech looks like. And you gotta see it.

Speed: Reliable performance with data-heavy media

This is normally the part where I give you a slate of speed test scores about a VPN and compare it to its nearest competitor. But it’s hard to get a lock on average speeds for Orchid because it doesn’t test the same. Orchid’s service is unique in that its speed, its security and its cost are all inseparable and interdependent.

My normal speed testing routine includes extended multiplatform speed score averaging across at least five countries and a few oceans. Orchid’s normal client, however, isn’t yet fully available for Windows, so any attempt to average the scores would start out slanted. Also, Orchid doesn’t allow you to connect to a specific country the way other VPNs do. Instead, you’ve got to manually add a “hop” to another VPN server by pasting that server’s configuration file into a screen on your Orchid app. That VPN server can be selected from either from Orchid’s global pool of service providers or from your own current, non-Orchid VPN provider.

The structure looks a lot like Tor’s network, which obscures your traffic by letting you hop between user-run nodes. And while a multihop feature is a security boon in any VPN, it’s not going to give us an accurate baseline speed comparison.

What’s more, anyone can set up an Orchid node on the company’s bandwidth marketplace, meaning the speed of each node you connect to will vary based on what kind of connection its operator is working with. The person running the node also gets to set their node’s bandwidth price.

So I threw my framework out the window and decided to see how much this thing could handle.

Aiming to find the lowest likely base speeds, I loaded Orchid onto an Android device with less processing power than my normal MacOS testing device, connected to Wi-Fi and clocked a non-VPN speed of 372.47 megabits per second. Connecting to Orchid via a single US VPN hop, I pulled 45.5 Mbps. Not as fast as I’d hoped, but a perfectly usable connection speed for nearly any streaming media that yielded zero performance issues (for context, our Editor’s Choice ExpressVPN pulled an average US speed of 66 Mbps, during our last tests). Then I went beyond the default VPN connection and added another cross-country Orchid hop to California, pulling 28.9 Mbps and still streaming video.

A key feature of Orchid is that you can add a server of your choice to your list of in-app hops. So I manually configured an additional OpenVPN protocol hop which would double-ricochet my traffic from California to an OpenVPN server in London for a total of three hops. For any VPN with a multihop feature (especially one sending your traffic overseas and back), three hops should be enough to throw pretty much anything off your trail, but it will slow you down. Sure enough, I was stalled to a sputtering 2.9 Mbps.

Using 5G mobile data, I saw comparable speeds. I measured a non-VPN speed of 212.6 Mbps. With one US Orchid hop, I saw 13.84 Mbps. At two US Orchid hops, I saw 9.82 Mbps. Replicating the same trio of hops described above, I still pulled 1.83 Mbps.

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2:42

While you might be able to get some streaming services to work on the slower of those speeds, you shouldn’t count on it. I managed to get HBO Max playing on the slower of the two-hop connections, but it took a few tries. That may have been related to Orchid’s sluggish pace at making that first connection. There’s more lag than you normally find in a VPN app. Two-hop connections were even more touch-and-go about video calls, though voice calls and music apps held steady compared to what you’d see with other multihop VPNs, and I was able to play Netflix.

I was impressed. So, naturally, I tried to kill it.

Working on mobile data only, I took an elevator underground until I was directly beneath 290 feet of continuous-pour reinforced concrete framing enclosed by an aluminum curtain-wall system (in a very chic shade of 1960s turquoise blue), straining my connection until non-VPN test speeds were repeatedly under 60 Mbps. From this location, I kicked on Orchid, opened every data-sucking app I had, loaded media-intensive sites across multiple tabs in all the browsers and ran some tests.

No IP leaks. No DNS leaks. This version of the app may have its glitches, but even when I dragged Orchid all the way down to 0.7 Mbps and taunted it with intermittent signal disruptions, it never exposed my identity and I could still listen to Spotify before the VPN finally guttered out. Never mind speed. That’s performance.

Security: Brilliant combo of Tor privacy and VPN flexibility

One reason I was able to get streaming content on a multihop connection is Orchid’s own home-brewed protocol. While the backbone of its encryption is in the blockchain, Orchid’s protocol is specifically designed to travel on the back of WebRTC — the same technology your browser uses to facilitate high-quality video and audio calls. Not only does this give Orchid an advantage in streaming media content that you’d never be able to get using Tor, but it also makes your traffic look like just another video call.

Some privacy advocates will tell you that, given how opaque VPN corporate ownership is, you might as well just write off consumer VPNs altogether and stick to using Tor. They’re not entirely wrong. Decades have passed without government entities fully cracking Tor’s core technology and exposing users at will.

Tor has its limits, though. Tor traffic makes you stick out like a sore thumb to your ISP and network administrators. Sites can see it too and are often quick to block in-bound Tor traffic. Likewise, the CIA, NSA and FBI have all been known to camp out in Tor exit nodes or set up their own. If that weren’t enough, you can’t transport nearly as much data via Tor as you would a VPN, making voice and video calls nearly impossible over Tor’s network of volunteer-run nodes.

On the VPN side of security, the encryption we normally test with (and which we consider the minimum security you should expect of a VPN) is OpenVPN protocol. It’s generally considered by privacy gurus to be a healthy mixture of speed and security, and its popularity among consumer VPNs makes it a great control variable in testing. But OpenVPN is also getting up there in Internet Years, and has a history of being somewhat vulnerable if not deployed carefully.

Orchid’s protocol is similar to OpenVPN but based on blockchain and, as a decentralized network, Orchid is built to adapt to different types of protocols. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend any US-based VPN company, but decentralized blockchain encryption changes that altogether. Decentralized VPNs, in general, are the next step in end-user privacy tools because their nature prevents any single, central company from being able to keep logs of all of your activity.

And Orchid isn’t the only one out there. Mysterium, Kelvpn, Tachyon, BitVPN and Lethean are all decentralized, peer-to-peer style VPNs aimed at resisting censorship efforts by creating a nearly subpoena-proof network of bandwidth providers over which your traffic is scattered. Orchid is ahead of the field here in several notable ways, among them its contracts with other VPN companies, which allows users to travel on its partner VPNs’ networks.

Ready to upgrade to a mesh router? You’ve got lots of new options in 2020See all photos



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The quick and dirty blockchain explanation

If you really want to understand why decentralized blockchain is the next step for VPNs and why Orchid is brilliant, you’ll need to know what blockchain and cryptocurrency actually are. Despite the hype, it’s not that complicated.

A blockchain is basically just an encrypted, tamper-proof ledger for transactions. Everyone gets a copy of the ledger and everyone’s copy automatically changes when someone adds a transaction to their own. You build computer networks on blockchain tech when you need a trustworthy record of information that a lot of people are working with at once — financial trading, digital copies of paper documents, movements in food supply chains and global shipping, or art brokering.

The “block” is a block of data that is added to the ledger when a transaction occurs. The “chain” is the metaphorical ledger itself. Simple.

Cryptocurrencies work on blockchain. Just like paper money has its anti-counterfeiting designs, each unit of cryptocurrency has its verifiable blockchain. When a transaction occurs and a block is about to get added to the chain, a whole network of computers working with that chain jumps in to verify the transaction is legit by checking its math. The first computer to prove the block’s math gets paid.

That’s called mining. It’s how Bitcoin works. It’s also a process that takes too long — imagine standing at a grocery store register for 10 minutes while your cashier calls the bank — and sucks up way too much computing power. But there are thousands of types of cryptocurrencies. One of those is Ethereum. It’s faster because its verification process is different. Using Ethereum, Orchid developed its own cryptocurrency, called OXT.

In a 2018 explainer, CNET’s Stephen Shankland offers one of the clearest and simplest explanations of blockchain I’ve read. I’ve cribbed from him liberally here, but that same explainer was remarkably prescient.

“There’s lots of work to free blockchain from the problems of transaction speed and energy consumption, though,” he wrote. “One idea, ‘proof of stake,’ uses no significant computing power and looks to be the future for the Ethereum Project, which is responsible for the ether cryptocurrency.”

Proof of stake is how Orchid works. And Orchid’s currency, OXT, is based on Ethereum.

As Shankland explained, “ether has popularized a newer idea called smart contracts. These are programs that run on the Ethereum network and take automated if-this-then-that actions. For example, a smart contract could look for the highest bid in an auction at a certain time and automatically transfer ownership rights to the auction winner.”

That bidding system is also how Orchid works and bandwidth sellers are working in that automated, auction-like environment.

The price tag: Cryptohow?

This is normally where I compare costs between VPNs in the same league as the one I’m reviewing. I’d love to do that here. But Orchid again defies simple explanation. There’s no set monthly price and no one is in its league.

Instead, you pay for the bandwidth that you use in OXT and Ethereum, or ETH. The downside is that you’re subject to market changes, so it can be difficult to estimate long-term cost and you’ve got to figure out how it works. On the plus side, you’re only paying for what you use, you’re more anonymous than you would be paying by cash or card and even a heavy data user will find it pretty affordable.

Mercifully, Orchid made the process easier when it obliterated an enormous barrier to entry in July. It now lets you buy your cryptocurrency within the app in semidisposable accounts (think: burner phones but for cryptocurrency wallets) instead of jumping through hoops to set up and connect an outside cryptocurrency account.

To get started, you need at least $4 worth of OXT and $1 in ETH. At current exchange rates, that’ll get you around 60 gigs of VPN service. Not bad.

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1:49
App improvements needed for wider adoption

I plan to keep fiddling with this service until I know it inside-out, but Orchid has some work to do before I can recommend it as everyone’s daily driver VPN. Privacy hounds should absolutely give this a whirl and get a look at the future of VPNs. But for most of us, the onboarding is a little too complicated, the pricing too much guesswork and the learning curve still steep enough to be a major hurdle to adoption.

By itself, a crypto-financed hybrid VPN based on a bandwidth-trading market is already a hard pitch to make to the average person. This novelty of the underlying tech and its payment method mean the app’s designers are under even greater pressure to create a welcoming, intuitive interface.

The app launches smoothly and its interface is simple and attractively designed. The home screen has one button for connecting and another to manage your hops, while other functions are hidden in a three-bar menu in the top-left corner. While this simplicity aims to create an intuitive experience, I found it too minimalistic where I needed more information and too complicated in places where I needed clarity. The experience left me unsure if I’d done it right, tapping around the app searching for confirmation of some kind that I hadn’t missed a step or misconfigured a connection somehow.

The central button of the app is labelled with a universally familiar power icon that says “connect” when the app is opened, says “connecting” as it works and, when connected, changes to “disconnect.” Once connected, the Orchid icon and its connection status appear at the top of your phone’s home screen.

This would normally be fine design, but the option to stop or start Orchid from the device’s main screen rarely works as intended, the app sometimes freezes while attempting to connect, and sometimes it says it’s connected when it’s not.

To check for data flow, you can access the Traffic Monitor feature in the three-bar menu, but if terms like “TLSv1.2” and “UDP” don’t ring any bells for you, then that screen might not be useful. Glitchiness aside, if you’re new to cryptocurrency, you might also struggle trying to figure out how much currency you have within the app, how much you’re burning at any given time, how the unfamiliar in-app “tickets” work and how to gauge bandwidth value. We’re going to need a little more hand-holding here from Orchid to get us neophytes all onboard.

Likewise, as VPNs are loosely understood to be technology that takes us from one location to another, Orchid could help visually signal that we’ve used the app correctly and that our connection is active by telling us what city we’re now connected to on its main screen, and perhaps for how long we’ve been connected.

It’s not fair that the app interface has so much heavy lifting to do on behalf of the technology, but it’s Orchid’s best vector for removing adoption obstacles and getting more of us where we all need to be for our own good — on a decentralized VPN, leaving trust in the dust and outrunning the all-seeing eye of government surveillance.

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Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) recibe el reconocimiento de cinco estrellas de APEX

Este galardón, quizá uno de los más importantes del sector, se basa en los comentarios y opiniones neutrales de los pasajeros y en los datos recogidos a través de la asociación de APEX con TripIt® de Concur®.

Este galardón, quizá uno de los más importantes del sector, se basa en los comentarios y opiniones neutrales de los pasajeros y en los datos recogidos a través de la asociación de APEX con TripIt® de Concur®.

En la entrega de premios virtual “Future Travel Experience APEX Virtual Expo” de APEX, SAUDIA recibió el galardón de Aerolínea Cinco Estrellas.

Con una puntuación máxima de cinco estrellas, pasajeros de más de 600 aerolíneas han evaluado más de un millón de vuelos de todo el mundo. Estas opiniones y comentarios luego han sido verificados por una empresa auditora externa de forma independiente.

Respecto a este prestigioso título, el Director General de la aerolínea Saudi Arabian Airlines, su Excelentísimo Ibrahim Al-Omar dijo: “El equipo de SAUDIA trabaja con base a un principio claro de ofrecer un nivel de servicio ejemplar en cada momento. En la actualidad, estamos redefiniendo la experiencia a bordo de nuestros pasajeros y nos sentimos extremadamente orgullosos de nuestra trayectoria hasta el día de hoy, y de que estos cambios hayan sido tan bien aceptados”.

El Sr. Al-Omar también comentó: “Nos gustaría darles las gracias a todos los que eligen viajar con SAUDIA y estaremos encantados de volver a darles la bienvenida en uno de nuestros vuelos”.

“Enhorabuena a SAUDIA por su reconocimiento como aerolínea internacional Cinco Estrellas en la lista de APEX 2021, según los votos verificados de los pasajeros de miles de vuelos de Saudia a través de TripIt®”, dijo el Director General de APEX, Joe Leader.

Prosiguió: “Solo unas cuantas aerolíneas consiguen este reconocimiento de Cinco Estrellas de APEX, lo que refleja el enorme esfuerzo que dedican tanto en sus productos como servicios. La puntuación de los pasajeros de SAUDIA ha ido mejorando con cada actualización de la aerolínea a lo largo de los años. Algunos de los servicios que más admiro son la posibilidad de recibir toallas calientes en la clase turista, un servicio de zumos/agua único a bordo, una mayor oferta de entretenimiento durante el vuelo, una mejor conexión Wi-Fi, mejoras en los productos que se ofrecen durante el vuelo y un servicio mejorado al pasajero”.

SAUDIA ya había recibido la clasificación de cuatro estrellas de APEX en el año 2017.

Este año se celebra el 75.º aniversario de la galardonada aerolínea nacional de Arabia Saudita. SAUDIA fue una de las primeras aerolíneas que se fundó en la región de Oriente Medio.

En los últimos años, la aerolínea ha hecho una inversión considerable en su flota de 144 aviones de fuselaje estrecho/ancho, operando una de las flotas más nuevas de todo el mundo, ya que sus aviones tienen una media de 5 años de antigüedad.

La aerolínea vuela a más de 95 destinos en cuatro continentes y a los 28 aeropuertos nacionales de Arabia Saudita.

Tras cada vuelo, se lleva a cabo un protocolo de higienización y limpieza profunda de la aeronave.

Notas para los editores

Acerca de Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA)

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) es la aerolínea nacional de Arabia Saudita. La aerolínea es miembro de la Asociación Internacional de Transporte Aéreo (IATA, por sus siglas en inglés) y de la Organización Árabe de Transportistas Aéreos (AACO, por sus siglas en inglés).

SAUDIA es la Aerolínea Oficial del Campeonato ABB FIA de Fórmula E en las series de carreras eléctricas.

Para más información sobre Saudi Arabian Airlines, visite https://www.saudia.com/

Info – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1390339/SV_I_ES_APEX_5_Stars_Infographic.jpg

PDF – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1390340/3019945_ES_5_Star_APEX_SAUDIA.pdf

FUENTE Saudia


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SOURCE Saudia