Starry's Kristen Thiede on Infrastructure

Last week, the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs held “Equity In and Through Tech: Moving from Conversation to Implementation” at the Ford Foundation in New York City. It was the official side event of the 60th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The event’s aim? Highlighting the importance of broadband and technology in achieving equity, specifically, gender equity within the tech space.

The event featured an inspiring lineup of speakers who work within the tech industry, as well as a series of “Mini TED-Talk” presentations by leading experts in the field. One of those experts was Starry’s SVP of Business Development and Corporate Strategy, Kristen Thiede.

Kristen led the audience in a discussion about innovations in infrastructure with respect to broadband and connectivity, and the differences between licensed and unlicensed spectrum. To hear her full speech, play the video below beginning at minute 26.

Your Connected Week No.2

Just in time for the weekend, we’ve gathered some of the week's most interesting Wi-Fi and Internet-related stories and packaged them up for your reading pleasure.

VR in the ER
VR is staging a big comeback in the gaming world, but it’s also poised to be a major factor in a less-expected space: the operating room (we know the title says ER, it just rhymes better). While it’s common for patients to be conscious during brain surgery, this week marks the first time a patient in France wore a VR headset during the procedure. By creating a controlled, artificial environment, neurosurgeons were able to map specific areas of the brain and perform tests that they previously could not. Because the patient’s vision was a particular concern, they created an environment with “luminous objects” and no single focal point to ensure his sight wouldn’t be impacted.

Just Add a Tiny Starry Station
In Barbie’s 50-some years, she’s held roles as an aerobics instructor, a flight attendant, a doctor, a surgeon... the list goes on. It appears her hard work has paid off, as she’s landed the ultimate (tiny) smart home. The multi-level, Wi-Fi equipped pad can be controlled from an app, and features motion-sensors and voice-enabled commands. Want to go down the elevator? Throw a party? Make pancakes? Simply tell the house, and it takes care of the rest. Barbie’s smart home goes on sale to the general public this fall. It’s still unknown if Ken has gotten his mancave.

Sidewalk Wi-Fi
An Android tablet is one of the last things you’d expect to find on a New York sidewalk, but that all changes as of this week. On Thursday, some of New York’s new public Wi-Fi hubs, which will begin replacing all of the city’s phone booths, were outfitted with the tablets. They’re intended to let people check emails, make phone calls, look up directions, find out about events in the area, and get other info. In addition to the tablets, the Wi-Fi hubs are also equipped with USB ports to let people charge their phones and other devices. The Wi-Fi signal from the hubs is said to reach an average of 150-feet, though some have shown a signal that travels much further.
(The Verge)

Smart is the New Swiss
A Strategy Analytics report shows that smartwatch production outpaced Swiss watch production for the first time. In Q4 2015, there were as many as 8.1M smartwatch shipments, compared to just 7.9M Swiss watch shipments. To put it in perspective, just 1.9M smartwatches were shipped in Q4 2014, only one year earlier; that’s a pretty remarkable increase. If smartwatches are becoming the new norm, does this mean we can just call them watches? Only time will tell.
(Tech Insider)

What were the Wi-Fi stories that helped you procrastinate this week?

Your Connected Week No. 1

Welcome to the inaugural installment of Your Connected Week, a roundup of some of the week’s most interesting stories—from the entertaining to the bizarre—revolving around Wi-Fi and Internet. We’ve gathered our favorites and packaged them up for your reading pleasure.

Presidents: They’re Just Like Us
In an interview earlier this week, POTUS and FLOTUS expressed frustrations with the White House’s spotty Wi-Fi service, even calling it “a little sketchy.” The president said they’re aiming to get “this whole tech thing” resolved before the next occupants move in, but that doesn’t do much to help Malia and Sasha in the meantime. We feel your pain, first family. (Digital Trends)

But why is he yelling Omaha?
Thanks to Google Trends, we now know what people were Googling during Super Bowl 50. Game start time was the top question, and, not surprisingly, quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Cam Newton were the most-searched players. Buffalo chicken dip emerged the MVP of the recipe category, as the most-Googled dish of the night. Mashable lets you relive the entire game and see top trends minute by minute. (Mashable)

No Valentine yet? There’s an app for that. Online dating service Hinge surveyed 1000 happy couples who met via the app. On average, participants exchanged messages with 16 eligible bachelors/bachelorettes and went on four-to-five dates before meeting their significant other. The survey deemed Sunday night the best time to soulmate search, with a 36% higher response rate than any other time of the week. Hop on your Wi-Fi and swipe right for love, people. (Hinge)

If you can't walk to work...
New Yorkers, rejoice. A new app called Subspotting is here to make your subway commute (slightly) better. Subspotting offers you information about all 469 subway stations, lets you know which ones are Wi-Fi enabled, and even gives you average cell reception based on your carrier. It also marks the overground stretches of each line so you can queue up that “Running 10 min. late. Sorry!!” text perfectly. (Gizmodo)

Wait. These Aren’t Raisinets.
For this weekend’s premier of Zoolander 2, Vue Cinemas in London is giving moviegoers the VIP treatment with on-demand prosecco service. Here’s how it works: Lucky patrons in “Press-ecco” seats will have access to private Wi-Fi hotspots; once logged in, they can order a glass of prosecco and have it delivered to their seat with just one click—and they don’t even have to be really, really, really, ridiculously good looking. (BT)

What were the Wi-Fi stories that helped you procrastinate this week?