GigaOm reports Cablevision is launching a WiFi only cell phone service called Freewheel next month. existing Cablevision Internet customers can add the unlimited talk, text and data for $9.95 a month. Others pay $29.95 a month. The service works with any WiFi access point but takes advantage of existing customers WiFi hotspots as well as CableWiFi participants like Comcast, Cox and TimeWarner. Only the Motorola Moto G for $99.95 will work with the service through preloaded apps.
Darren Kitchen and I chat with Sean Hollister about his experience trying Microsoft’s HoloLens and ask Ek from HockeyBuzz about the NHL putting GoPros on hockey player’s heads during the all-star game.
In response to whether Google is capable of offering decent customer support for a possible MVNO, I wanted to share my experience.
My general rule of thumb is that Google had fantastic support for anything they do where you pay them money directly. This includes Google Apps, the play store, Nexus devices, etc. In those instances I’ve had some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced in the tech world. It’s only in Google services like gmail and calendar where Google had nonexistent customer service (at least I haven’t found it).
This is why I have no doubt that a Google MVNO would have superb customer service. I also think they’d probably do a great job at disrupting the market with great process and bandwidth caps. Maybe they won’t even have bandwidth caps!
Peter Frazier wonders if Google as an MVNO would lead to free data on Chromebooks. Here’s his line of thinking:
“I wonder just how much data browsing is after subtracting away audio and video streaming?
If they took Chrome OS in a direction where the on board storage was beefed up, and Google Music was a lot smarter about caching your most played songs when on WiFi.
Throw in an option to only use video on WiFi. Now that were starting to see ‘download video’ from YouTube, you could expand the caching of some of your ‘watch later’ as well, and put more development time into that aspect of YouTube to make it a lot more seamless and the videos are just there.
Also they have the ‘low bandwidth’ option on phones, what if they brought that to Chrome OS as well in a HUGE way. Same content but using considerably less bandwidth.
I’m thinking if this was on their plan of attack for the last year, they ‘could’ provide an all you could eat data plan for a large portion, if not all, of our day to day browsing when you buy a chromebook. If they get the bit’s down enough, and adjust the advertising strategy on this class of Chromebook it in theory could be viable.
Microsoft conducted a 2 hour and 15 minute press conference this morning but did pack in a lot of announcements. First Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and 8.1 for the first year after release. Windows 10 also gets Cortana, the voice-activated digital assistant. Universal apps were highlighted including photos, maps and Outlook that are the same from phones to desktops. Microsoft demonstrated a touch-first version of Office for phones and tablets. We also got a look at Project Spartan, a new lightweight browser with shared note-taking, improved reading experience and built-in Cortana of its own. Skype is now integrated into messenger on Windows Phone. New release of Windows 10 goes to Insiders next week and comes to phones in February.
It’s Martin Luther King Jr. day in the US, so Tom gives his contributors the day off and hits the headliens regarding US infiltration into North Korea’s nets, Amazon making movies for theaters and Elon Musk’s plans for space Internet.
Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit
Today’s guest: Patrick Beja, DTNS contributor
The Next Web reports on the update to Google Translate for iOS and Android that is now a real thing. The update speeds up conversation mode for spoken word by automatically recognizing which of the two selected languages is being spoken without having to be told. The app also integrates WordLens to allow instant translation of well-lighted signs. This feature supports English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Facebook is launching a workplace social network called Facebook at Work on the Web iOS and Android. The Verge says anybody can get the app but your company has to have more than 100 employees and be invited into the program by Facebook. Accounts have their own logins but can be linked to a personal Facebook account though information is not shared between them. Facebook at work has no ads and does not track data though it is hosted by Facebook. It also doesn’t have an API right now so you can share documents but there’s no collaboration. It’s also free. For now.
Thought the Tizen OS was just for TVs and watches after CES? Oh no. GigaOM reports the Tizen-powered Z1 went on sale today in India for 5,700 Indian Rupees ($92). The 3G Z1 has a 4-inch, 800 x 480 screen, an unspecified 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM, and a 3.1-megapixel rear camera. The phone comes with three-months free subscriptions to services that streams Bollywood songs and movies.
The new dual analog-stick Nintendo 3DS will launch in North America and Europe on February 13th, 2015 with red and black models. Engadget reports North America will get the XL version while Europe will get both. Interestingly the system will not ship with an AC adaptoer but will be compatible with any AC adapter from previous 3DS or DSi systems. You can also purchase one separately. The new 3DS will play all existing 3DS games, like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.
According to Ars Technica, pre-orders at retailer GameStop begin tomorrow. Price in the US is $200, with prices for Europe not yet announced.
SpaceManPete42 was among many people who submitted the story about US President Obama posting a YouTube video about municipal broadband. The President will visit Cedar Falls, Iowa, which like Chattanooga, Tennessee, built its own fiber infrastructure and offers gigabit Internet. That would be against the law in some US States, so the White House is petitioning the FCC to end restrictions in 19 states that limit broadband rollout.