In our April Fools issue this year, I wrote about how Apple would be buying Iridium Satellite with an eye toward making the second-generation iPhone into a combined terrestrial/satellite phone (see "iPhone Goes International with Iridium," 2008-04-01). Little did I know that only three days later, the EE Times would report that a Finnish company called Elektrobit has rolled out the first reference design for a phone that combines terrestrial and satellite communications capabilities using the TerreStar networks. According to Gizmag, the handset is the only fully IP-based satellite phone using high-speed packet data; includes a touch screen and a QWERTY keyboard; and has integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, and GPS connectivity. Alas, it runs Windows Mobile, but on the plus side it doesn't have that massive antenna that Jeff photoshopped on to our hypothetical iPhone.
Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details
If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.
- iPhone Goes International with Iridium (01 Apr 08)