Vodafone to launch 3G signal booster


If mobile phone coverage is a problem in your household then you may be interested in the Vodafone Access Gateway – a little box that plugs in to any broadband line to create a boosted 3G signal.

Vodafone is saying that the device is the first of its kind in Europe. Unfortunately, it only works on the Vodafone network but I suppose that is understandable – they’re hardly likely to want to improve the signal quality of their rivals.

The Vodafone Access Gateway will be available for free with some phone plans, as a one off payment of £160 or for a monthly charge of £5. It can handle up to four calls at once so would be perfect for a family home.

Get yours from Vodafone from 1st July and never miss a call again because of lack of coverage.

Orange customer wins no phone signal lawsuit


An Orange customer named Tom Prescott is now £500 richer than a week ago, thanks to a court ruling in his favour.

He took out an 18-month contract with Orange, but found that he couldn’t get signal in either his home or his office. He then tried to cancel, but Orange told him it was his problem, not theirs. As you can imagine, he wasn’t too happy.

The court’s now ruled in his favour – saying that if you sell an 18-month contract to someone who doesn’t live or work in a place where you can provide coverage, then it damn well is your problem.

It could end up being a massive headache for the big phone networks as they suddenly become inundated with lawsuits. It also means that manufacturers of mini phone masts that exist in your home – called Femtocells – are suddenly rubbing their hands with glee.

(via News Wireless)

Carbon Hero – track your carbon footprint on your phone, no guitars in sight


Carbon footprints are difficult. They’ve received a lot of attention in the press, and they’re firmly stamped (no pun intended) on the public psyche, but they’re not actually very accurate. Given the complexity of power generation in modern life, it’s something that’s incredibly difficult to calculate, and very easy to underestimate.

This device, the Carbon Hero, was designed by an art graduate named Andreas Zachariah. It tracks your phone signal, and if you’re moving at train-ish speed, on a train track, then it assumes you’re on a train, works out the distance you travel, and gives you a number for your carbon footprint. Simple, right? Well, there’s about a billion things wrong with the idea…

Another wi-fi detecting thing – this time it's a SHOE


Clearly the next step in human evolution is to develop a sixth sense that makes the hairs on your arm stand up or your belly button flash green when in range of a wi-fi signal – but until then we’re stuck with rubbish novelty items to let us know when there’s some stealable internet nearby.

And now it’s wi-fi shoes. Or, at least, it’s a concept piece, in which a pair of trainers have had a miniature wi-fi detector stuck on them…