This week, a few dispatches from the networking world:
Comcast, Circuit City Team Up
Comcast is dressing up like a retailer these days to attract potential Triple Play customers. In partnership with Circuit City, the cable service provider has launched two digital home boutiques in the Boston area.
These “Connect” stores offer a mix of products, services and expert support. Customers can view interactive demos, schedule home theater installations, and get help for ailing PCs and networks from Circuit City’s Firedog tech experts—in addition to signing up for Comcast’s digital cable, voice and Internet services.
Quality of Service Enhancements
Some welcome steps to improve the quality of home video over 802.11 wireless: Netgear promises to add quality of service (QoS) enhancements to its high-end RangeMax routers in June, according to a recent story by PC Magazine.
QoS is a technique that allows for the prioritization of various types of network traffic, so you can ensure critical applications like video and voice calls get the bandwidth they need. RangeMAX QoS will let users prioritize traffic by applications and devices, by assigning them each one of four priority levels (highest, high, medium and normal.)
Consumers Still Don’t Back Up
A surprise to me: One-third of consumers still aren’t backing up their digital media, according to a recent study by market research firm Parks Associates (“Managing the Digital Home: Installation and Support Services.”) In his May 7 blog, Parks analyst Kurt Scherf says most people are burning backups to CDs and DVDs—which by the way, aren’t safe from theft or fire. Maybe it’s overkill, but I back up to an online service, a thumb drive, and to my free Gmail backup service (e-mail myself important files.)
What—if anything—are you doing to protect your personal photos, beloved music and videos?
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Toni Kistner is a technology writer living in Cambridge, Mass. Her main focus is networking and wireless technology.