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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Comcast’s mesh Wi-Fi system, xFi Pods, launches nationwide

Comcast today is officially launching its own Wi-Fi extender devices called xFi Pods that help to address problems with weak Wi-Fi signals in parts of a customer’s home due to things like the use of building materials that disrupt signals, or even just the home’s design. The launch follows Comcast’s announcement last year that it was investing in the mesh router maker Plume, which offers plug-in “pods” that help extend Wi-Fi signals.

The company said that it would launch its own xFi pods that pair with Comcast’s gateways to its own customers as a result of that deal.

Those pods were initially available in select markets, including Boston, Chicago and Denver, ahead of today’s nationwide launch.

The pods themselves are hexagon-shopped devices that plug in to any electrical outlet in the home, and then pair with Comcast’s xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Gateway to help Wi-Fi signals extend to the hard-to-reach areas of the home.

The pods work with the Comcast Gateways to continuously monitor and optimize the Wi-Fi connections, Comcast explains, while its cloud-based management service evaluates the home’s Wi-Fi environment to make sure all the connected devices are using the best signal bands and Wi-Fi channels. Plus, the devices are smart enough to self-monitor their own performance, diagnose issues and “heal” themselves, as needed, says Comcast.

However, early reviews of Plume’s pods were mixed. CNET said the system was slow and the pods were too expensive, for example. But Engadget found the system had the lowest latency, compared with competitors, and helped devices roam more easily and accurately.

Comcast has addressed some of the earlier complaints. The pods are now much more affordable, for starters. While they’ve been selling on the Plume website for $329 for a six-pack, Comcast’s six-pack is $199. A three-pack is also available for $119, instead of the $179 when bought directly from Plume.

More importantly, perhaps, is that Comcast’s system is different from the pods featured in earlier reviews.

While Plume technology is a component of the new pods, they are not Plume devices, Comcast tells TechCrunch. Instead, Comcast licensed the Plume technology, then reconfigured some aspects of it in order to integrate xFi. It also designed its own pods in-house.

In addition, Comcast’s engineers developed new firmware and new software in-house to make it easy to pair the pods with a Comcast Gateway.

The Comcast xFi pods can be bought from its own website, the xFi app and in some Xfinity retail stores.

The xFi app (for iOS and Android) is also how customers can manage and view the connection status of the pods.

Comcast says it will make buying pods even easier later this year by offering a monthly payment plan.

The company has been upgrading its Wi-Fi offering in recent months as a means of staying competitive. Last year it launched the Xfinity xFi platform to help customers better manage their home Wi-Fi network with features like device monitoring, troubleshooting, “bedtime” schedules for families, internet pause and other parental controls.

Comcast declined to say how many pods were sold in its first trial markets, only that the response so far has been positive and boosted the company’s Net Promoter Score as a result.

Image credits: Comcast


Source: TechCrunch

Uber sued by former engineer for sexual harassment – CNET

Inappropriate comments and touching are some of what the female engineer says she endured while working at the ride-hailing company.
Source: CNET

Comcast gets into mesh Wi-Fi with xFi pods – CNET

Extend the reach of your Wi-Fi with Comcast’s new plug-in extenders.
Source: CNET

After Meltdown and Spectre, Another Scary Chip Flaw Emerges

A new processor vulnerability known as Speculative Store Bypass could expose user data on a huge swath of devices.
Source: Wired

An Ebola Vaccine Gets Its First Real-World Test

Scientists have known about Ebola since 1976, and the Democratic Republic of Congo has had nine outbreaks since then. But now one shot might beat it.
Source: Wired

Tesla Expands Its Model 3 Offerings—At a Steep Price

Elon Musk’s automaker is now offering more variants of its most important car, and making steady progress toward profitability. But that $35,000 price point remains just a promise.
Source: Wired

A possible Lando movie, Boss Key productions shuts down and Lethal Weapon drama (Stream Economy, Ep. 4) – CNET

Plus, a field trip to RuPaul’s DragCon LA and yet another rant from our resident curmudgeon, Mark Serrels.
Source: CNET

Epic Games will pump $100 million into Fortnite eSports competitions

Epic Games doesn’t want the party to stop.

The gaming company announced today that it plans to funnel $100 million into Fortnite eSports competitions for the “2018-2019 season,” a move which will undoubtedly drive talent and enthusiasm to the battle royale title.

The company announced the investment in a short blog post:

In the 2018 – 2019 season, Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions. We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different – we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.

Fortnite has had an explosive period of growth over the past several months since the release of its battle royale flavor following the popularity of PUBG, but Epic Games seems to be doubling down on ensuring the continued popularity of the recent multiplayer gameplay trend.

Unlike a lot of popular eSports titles, Fortnite is available across a pretty wide variety of platforms beyond just PC, with console and mobile flavors also available. Epic hasn’t released much in the way of usage numbers lately, but the game hit 2 million concurrent players in January and it has undoubtedly surged in popularity since then.

Whether the young title can continue to draw attention and crowds in the face of fresher talent  moving forward will depend heavily on streamers and eSports leagues continuing to show interest, but $100 million in investment in prize pools will almost certainly prove to be quite helpful.


Source: TechCrunch

Genealogy database used to identify suspect in 1987 homicide – CNET

Investigators in Washington state used the same technique that identified the suspected Golden State Killer.
Source: CNET

'Freedom from Facebook' urges FTC to break up social network's 'monopoly' – CNET

Advocacy groups want the world’s largest social network to spin off Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Source: CNET

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