Pure Wireless Digital Audio: WaveJamr from RadTech

I love my Apple TV. Not just because of the video it allows me to watch, but the music it lets me play from our iPhones or Macs using Airplay.

I really want whole-house audio (a la Sonos, without the ridiculous cost) and Apple's Airplay can help me do that.

I have a bunch of high-quality stereo speakers from a variety of sources (PC speakers, home stereos, etc.) that I can place all over my house, but the only way that I can get whole-house audio is to purchase and install an Apple TV in every room while outputting audio to each via the TOS (optical) audio connector on the Apple TV.

But I really don't want to spend $99 per room to make this happen - plus an additional $30 for a TOSLink adapter for each set of these analog speakers.

I got to thinking: how small can Airplay device really get? Maybe someone makes one?

So, I started trawling the Interwebs and here's what I found: nothing. (At least as far as Airplay goes.)

What I did find was a product in the form factor that I wanted, but one that uses Bluetooth instead of Airplay.

It's called the WaveJamr from RadTech.

Tether your Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 to your Mac

A while back I wrote a post about my experience searching for pre-paid mobile broadband. I ultimately chose Virgin Mobile USA as my provider but one thing that bugged me was that I had to use the MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot since there were no drivers for their USB dongles for OS X Lion.

I've always known that the MiFi could be tethered to a Mac using its USB cable, but I also thought that the drivers for Lion weren't available.

As it turns out, I get the best of both worlds with the MiFI.

Either the drivers were recently update during an OS X Software Update or I just plain missed the fact that you can tether the MiFi 2200 to your Mac running OS X Lion. (At least using 10.7.2. I haven't tried to tether using earlier versions of Lion.)

The process is simple:

Try Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband for Occasional 3G Data Usage

Nice, eh?For the past two years I've been using Verizon Mobile Broadband and while it works great most of the time, I don't use it often enough to justify the monthly fee (~ $60). So, when my contract was up, I decided to explore my options. Here's what I found.

How to Get Five Bars on Your iPhone All Over Your House

If you have an iPhone in the U.S., you won't be surprised to hear this: I love my iPhone but I'm not exactly happy with the AT&T Wireless network.

While it's an inconvenience to be out-and-about in New York City or San Francisco and not have cellular service, it's actually more of an inconvenience to be unable to receive calls when I'm in my home or office. I'm tired of the dropped calls and continually asking folks if I can call them right back from a landline (though the "landline" is usually Skype).

I finally decided to bite the proverbial bullet and go to my local AT&T Wireless Store to investigate the 3G Microcell. This is a device that you connect to your broadband internet connection and it acts like a mini cell tower in your home. According to the documentation it covers approximately 5,000 square feet.

I'd heard there was some special offer that mitigated a lot of the discomfort of paying for hardware to improve the service I already pay for. You can't learn about those offers online, though. For whatever reason, AT&T wants you to visit a retail store to learn more and complete the transaction.

Sure enough, the Microcell ended up costing me only $50 while my monthly bill remains the same. Here's the deal. 

Adobe is Running Scared from Evolving Standards

Buy this from SpreadshirtLike the iPhone and iPod Touch that came before it, the iPad runs the same slimmed-down version of Mac OS X complete with it's multi-touch controls, icons and menu bar.

The iPad also shares with its forebears a lack of support for Adobe's Flash. Flash is an application runtime environment (a nerdy way of saying "software that lets other software work") that competes with the native applications on the iPhone, so it would make business sense that Apple might exclude it from the native capabilities of the "iPlatform".

More likely however, is the fact that Flash is buggy, crashes often and can suck up CPU cycles like crazy.

Case in point: now that I'm running Google Chrome on my MacBook, I can see how often Flash crashes as the browser will remain functioning but indicate that the plug-in has crashed. These are crashes I used to blame on my browser - Safari, Firefox, Opera, Camino - all of them. Shame on me.

Given how maniacal Apple is about the user experience and stability of the iPlatform, it's a no-brainer for them to exclude Flash - competitive issues aside.

And now, with the triumvirate of the iPhone, iPod Touch and soon iPad, Adobe is getting a little uncomfortable. If there's one company that can utilize its momentum and marketing prowess to shift an industry from de facto standards to web standards, it's Apple - and in this case, that web standard is HTML5.

Apple did this for the Webkit rendering engine that now powers Safari and Mobile Safari, but also Google Chrome, Android and soon a variety of other Webkit-based browsers for mobile devices like BlackBerry. They did it for video with H.264 and soon, they'll do it for HTML5.