LOW-FI WI-FI?: What could be blocking your internet signal

VIJAY SHAH via TecNovedosos

Having unfettered and uninterrupted access to wireless internet, is for those of use in the developed world, now as essential as having a continuous supply of electricity, gas and other utilities. We increasingly spend much of our lives online, and the things we need to do, such as shopping and filling in government forms are moving online too. So when your wireless signal becomes weak or choppy, the frustration is palpable.

If you happen to have a rubbish signal, with constant disconnections or super-slow download speeds, it could be your provider, but it could be due to your surroundings. Presented below are some of the things in your home or office that might be interfering with the quality of your Wi-Fi. This article is based off a feature published in the Spanish-language site TecNovedosos.

 

Objects that cause the Wi-Fi to drop or fizzle out are often referred to as ‘interference sources’ or ‘wireless barriers’ in the industry. So what are these barriers and how can you solve the low fidelity of your wireless ‘fidelity’ and get back to happy surfing.

Firstly the cause might be a mirror or a metal surface in the locality. Metal has a high interference capacity, according to the technical support guys at top tech firm Apple. Indeed having flat metallic objects in the same room is by far the most drastic means of limiting the strength of your signal. So it’s time to give the full-length mirror the boot. Just don’t break it, unless you are keen on seven years of bad Wi-Fi luck.

Another leading cause of interference is bulletproof or toughened glass. Its thickness and reflective properties act as a means of soaking up and reflecting the radio waves that propel Wi-Fi. Unless you work for a top-secret agency or military complex, bulletproof glass is probably not going to be an issue for you, but for the average user, things like glass tables, desks, or fancy glass ornaments can cause major interference with the Wi-Fi signal, and you should either remove or replace these sort of objects to lessen the interference capabilities they have.

Web connections can also be affected by the presence of other appliances, especially fridges, washing machines and radiators. Their piping, which often contains liquids like water, can act as ‘sponges’ that drown the signals. The impact of white goods is considerably less than glass or metal, but this is something worth considering if you are browsing through IKEA’s latest sales on the laptop while in the kitchen, and the product pictures take forever to load.

While you’re in the kitchen looking for Wi-Fi signal thieves, you can also add your microwave oven, gas/electric oven and even baby monitors and drones to the suspects list. These devices emit electromagnetic waves that can impede the radio waves used by wireless internet. Both types of signal operate at a frequency of around 2.4 Hz, so can cancel each other out. Other suspects include webcams, cordless phones and the telly. Healthy technological competition this ain’t.

You should keep your router as far away from other electrical devices and shiny surfaces as much as possible. Most of the people I know keep their routers in the hallways or passages of their homes.

As the festive season approaches, you will be pleased to know that Christmas lights can also be a problem for the signal. As with microwaves, lights generate their own electromagnetic fields which can play havoc with Wi-Fi connectivity, so don’t go online while decorating the Christmas tree!.

The popular expression goes ‘the walls have ears’, well in the case of bad signal troubleshooting, if you live in a house that has stone, cement or brick walls, then it may be time for you to move out if you want a better signal, which given that most homes are made of these materials might make house-hunting a bit tricky. The thicknesses of modern construction materials can act as a barrier to getting the perfect level of connectivity. The best way to mitigate this is to keep your router on the same floor as where you go online, so if you do most of your internet activities upstairs, the router needs to be upstairs too. If you find your signal is still weak or negligible, try moving and experimenting with different positions and locations for the router. A good recommendation is to place the router in a high location above other objects in the room or passage it is situated in.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

La Publicación 🇪🇸, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/LaPublicacion

“Estos son los objetos que más suelen bloquear tu señal de wifi” – TecNovedosos/Grupo Editorial Grandes Medios (15 September 2018) https://www.tecnovedosos.com/objetos-bloquean-senal-de-wifi/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Wifi, Hotspot, Public, Travel” – mohamed mohamed mahmoud hassan, PublicDomainPictures.net/Bobek Ltd. License: CC0 Public Domain https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=261335&picture=wifi-hotspot-public-travel

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LUIGI: Has the green brother of Super Mario been killed off?

Tokyo – VIJAY SHAH via WIL JONES and Joe

Super Mario, the games franchise featuring an Italian plumber who rides dinosaurs and has a penchant for golden rings, has been an icon of the video games circuit since its explosion in popularity. As anyone who has played the games knows, Mario has a taller, greener brother named Luigi. While not as regarded as his shorter sibling, Luigi is the quintessential sidekick, always supporting his brother in his endless quests to liberate royalty from towers guarded by baddies.

But, according to online magazine Joe, Luigi has now passed away. Killed off by his creators, Nintendo, Luigi shuffled off his mortal Kart only yesterday, reports Joe, and fans have reacted in protest and faux mourning.

 

The late Luigi, known only by his first name, made his debut in the very first Mario Bros arcade game in 1983. He soon became a fixture in further versions of the series, popping up in Super Mario Bros, Mario KartSmash Brothers, Mario Tennis and Mario Party. While at first Luigi was kept firmly in the pillion seat, he got his first lead act in Luigi’s Mansion, released on the now-archaic Dreamcube, back in 2001. He also made the leap from computer screen to the silver screen when he appeared in the Super Mario Bros movie, earlier in 1993.

Word first got out that Luigi was, as they say in Italian “la storia” (history) was when Nintendo organised an event to mark the launch of Super Smash Bros Ultimate on the new Nintendo Switch console. In the trailer accompanying the event, Luigi’s demise is actually shown. The unfortunate plumber has an encounter with the Grim Reaper, who literally scares him to death while he appears to be trapped in some kind of prison cell. Luigi’s ‘soul’ is seen departing his body.

As fans on Twitter mourned his death, things have started to be a bit less straightforward it seems. Nintendo UK Versus claimed on the social network that “Luigi is okay”, but did not give any further details. Could it be that Luigi managed to escape the clutches of the Grim One? As we all know, the entertainment industry have a habit of ‘killing’ off their characters only to resurrect them by some twist of the tale. The mystery continues.

Luigi is ‘survived’ (maybe) by his partner Daisy, brother Mario, his alleged son Baby Luigi, and his evil alter-ego Waluigi.

SOURCES:

Ali Hassan Besher/Facebook.

“Nintendo has ‘killed’ Luigi, and it has not gone down well at all” – Wil Jones, Joe (8 August 2018) https://www.joe.co.uk/gaming/nintendo-has-killed-luigi-and-it-has-not-gone-down-well-at-all-193926

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Focus Photo of Super Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi Figurines · Free Stock Photo” – Pixabay via Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/focus-photo-of-super-mario-luigi-and-yoshi-figurines-163036/

BANKSY IN CALAIS: Secretive street artist leaves Steve Jobs painting at refugee camp

Calais, FRANCE
VIJAY SHAH via The Wrap

Guerilla artist Banksy, famed for his powerful street art laced with socio-political commentary, has resurfaced again, this time at the notorious refugee camp, dubbed ‘The Jungle’ in Calais, France, online magazine The Wrap and the New York Times reported yesterday.

As the debate on the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis reverberates across Europe and much of the world, the Bristol artist, famed as much for his guarded anonymity as for his works of many of which have sold for several thousand pounds, left behind an artwork on a wall in the Jungle, depicting the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, whose father was said to have emigrated from Homs in Syria to the United States shortly after World War II.

(c) Banksy via The Wrap

 

The technology visionary is shown in his characteristic black turtle neck top and denim carrying a sack over one shoulder and holding a vintage Apple monitor in the other hand. The look in his face mirrors the same of many Syrian and other refugees, who often face dangerous trips across open seas and walking thousands of kilometres to reach safety in Europe.

Job’s birth father, a Syrian named Abdul Fattah Jandali, met Job’s mother one summer in his native hometown and later emigrated to the US.

“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources, but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant,” Banksy said in a statement. “Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7 billion a year in taxes — and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

Nowadays, the debate about allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the United States has became increasingly negative, in comparison to places such as Germany and Canada, where refugees have been largely welcomed with open arms, including one planeload of refugees who were greeted by the Canadian prime minister himself. In the recent light of the tragic San Bernardino killings, where a foreign-born health service worker and his wife gunned down fourteen of their colleagues last week, and comments about banning Muslims from American territory made by presidential candidate Donald Trump, a recent poll among American state governors said that thirty-one were not open to allowing refugees to move to their states, according to The Wrap.

Banksy’s artworks, nearly always done in public areas using traditional stencils and paints have commented on everything from rampant consumerism, the credit crunch, politics, the war on terror to social media, celebrity culture and the British monarchy.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
bar Yehudit, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SMCADMAN
TheWrap, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TheWrap
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –  Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015) http://www.thewrap.com/banksy-creates-steve-jobs-portrait-to-support-syrian-refugees/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –  Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015) http://www.thewrap.com/banksy-creates-steve-jobs-portrait-to-support-syrian-refugees/

SAMSUNG SUR40: The future of the office?

Tables and technology…they are not your usual bedfellows. While technology is forever updating, reinventing itself with every coffee-and-biscuits brainstorm at Sony-Ericsson or Google, Inc., a table is something that has not changed in centuries. Putting it at its simplest, it is a flat surface with four horizontal legs. Nothing whizz-kiddy about that. Until relatively recently, the nearest a table got to being computerised was if someone came along and plonked a PC monitor and some wires on top. Maybe even a tablet!.

tmp_UWHS-Samsungs-SUR40-for-Microsoft-Surface_thumb841994204

Our technologically-driven and media-hungry society means that even the humble table is now being propelled screaming into the 21st century. As people desire a more technology-centric existence where the internet, documents, pictures etc are always on hand and easily accessible, the fake pine dinner table may soon find itself relegated to a dusty shed or the local charity shop.Interactive coffee tables have already been making special appearances at numerous fairs and expos, setting tech and gadget-watchers’ tongues collectively wagging.

Korean electronics giant Samsung is already leading the way with its range of televisions, PC screens, and is now heavily dominating the smartphone market with its Galaxy and Note offerings. The super-boffins in Seoul did not just stop there. They took a ordinary boardroom table, applied some high-tech knowhow, added a 40-inch PC with touchscreen and gave birth to the SUR40. A chief executive’s dream machine.

According to Shortlist magazine, the SUR40 is a forward, but relatively simple concept. The widescreen PC that serves as the tabletop is 4 inches thick, supported by what HEM presumes to be toughened aluminium or stainless steel legs that look like they were hastily borrowed from a Argos television stand. The touchscreen is made from patented ‘Gorilla Glass’ from Corning – the same fingerprint-proof tough material Samsung used for the Galaxy SII and SIII. In fact the screen is sufficiently strong to support a whole round of office teas.

The software inside the ‘table’ is very much au courant. PixelSense gives the LCD screen the ability to detect with infrared signals any object placed on or near the table, enabling a user to hold a video or Powerpoint presentation, flip it around and zoom in, using just a couple of fingers. The SUR40 can even read text placed face-down on the surface, making it ideal for saving and distributing documents to the whole team at your company’s weekly sales analysis.

(c) SlashGear

The SUR40 means no more costly and clunky projectors and laptops being carried from one room to another. It would have a positive impact on the environment too, as offices no longer have to prepare paper handouts for distribution to colleagues at meetings. As companies become increasingly keen on their green credentials and aim to save trees, the SUR-40 may be a high-demand item to help support corporate social responsibility objectives.

It could also be a feature of university seminars and may revolutionise teaching in schools . The cost however is a bit prohibitive. On online retailers like jigsaw.com SUR40s are selling for £9354.00 a piece, which includes the easy-to-attach legs, so you might want to hold to your desktop just a little longer. It requires some dexterity too, with Shortlist describing it as “akin to conducting an orchestra”. Its simple no-frills design and usability however could soon see it making an appearance at an AGM near you…and hopefully not at a branch of Barnardo’s.

See the Samsung SUR40 doing its stuff:

samsungs-next-gen-microsoft-interactive-surface-first-look-1cwfo2hXP6T2k