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August 15, 2005

FAQ Clarifies VoIP

"As the popularity of voice over Internet Protocol surges, and lawmakers put more pressure on Net phone providers to fully support 911 services, many consumers are asking what exactly they need to know about the technology.

"The key to making the most of VoIP is understanding its basic forms and what you might expect to pay for them. Here are the essentials."

Ben Charny. FAQ: Demystifying VoIP. News.com. Aug. 11, 2005.

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August 09, 2005

U. S. Borders Test RFID to Monitor Travelers

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has begun testing immigration documents laced with radio-frequency identification chips at five spots on the Mexican and Canadian borders.

"The goal of the technology is to speed up--if not automate--secure entry and exit of visitors at the nation's ports, according to a Homeland Security press release."

Anne Broache. Feds Test RFID Controls at U.S. Borders. News.com. Aug. 8, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. US-VISIT Begins Testing Radio Frequency Identification Technology to Improve Border Security and Travel. (Press Release.) Aug. 8, 2005.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Testing of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology at Land Borders Questions and Answers. (Press Release.) Aug. 8, 2005.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Fact Sheet: Testing of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology at Land Borders. (.pdf) (Press Release.) No date.

Beth Duff-Brown. Homeland Security To Launch RFID Systems At Border Crossings. Yahoo! News. July 28, 2005.

Related:
Jessica M. Vaughan. Modernizing America's Welcome Mat. Center for Immigration Studies. Aug. 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Cyworld Takes Hold of South Korea

"There's more to online social networks than matchmaking, and South Korea's Cyworld is showing the way.

"The online service blends homepage building and social networking with a host of other online activities, including Sims-like role-playing."

Jonny Evans. Koreans Find Secret Cybersauce. Wired News. Aug. 8, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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August 08, 2005

FCC Eases DSL Rules, Mandates VoIP Wiretaps

"Federal regulators on Friday eased rules governing high-speed Internet services offered by phone companies, saying they hope it will speed Internet growth.

"Handing a significant regulatory victory to the Bell companies, the Federal Communications Commission said the carriers no longer had to provide rival Internet service providers with access to their lines at reduced rates.

"The commission said the move would foster competition by putting phone companies on an even footing with cable companies and other sellers of Internet service and would provide more incentive for phone companies to upgrade their networks and offerings."

Stephen Labaton. F.C.C. Eases High-Speed Access Rules. The New York Times. Aug. 6, 2005.

See also:
Vikas Bajaj. New Rules on Net Service May Hurt Some Providers. The New York Times. Aug. 6, 2005.

Marguerite Reardon. FCC Changes DSL Classification. News.com. Aug. 5, 2005.

Federal Communications Commission. FCC Eliminates Mandated Sharing Requirement on Incumbents’ Wireline Broadband Internet Access Services. (.pdf) (Press Release.) Aug. 5, 2005.

Related:
Electronic Frontier Foundation. FCC Issues Rule Allowing FBI to Dictate Wiretap-Friendly Design for Internet Services. Aug. 5, 2005.

Federal Communications Commission. FCC Requires Certain Broadband and VoIP Providers to Accommodate Wiretaps. (.pdf) (Press Release.) Aug. 5, 2005.

Federal Communications Commission. FCC Adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Communications Assistancefor Law Enforcement Act. (.pdf) (Press Release.) Aug. 4, 2004.

Electronic Privacy Information Center. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. No date.

Update: Declan McCullagh. FCC Schizo on DSL, Wiretapping. News.com. Aug. 8, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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August 04, 2005

Nevada to Allow Wireless Gambling

"It won't be long before gamblers are shooting dice while queued up waiting to see their favorite comedian. Or playing poker and roulette under a poolside umbrella. Even a trip to the buffet will no longer keep casino patrons from playing slots.

"A law signed last month by Gov. Kenny Guinn made Nevada the first U.S. state to approve the use of wireless, handheld gambling devices at its hotel-casinos."

Associated Press. Casinos Wager on Handhelds. Wired News. Aug. 2, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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August 01, 2005

Apple Mainstreams Podcasting

"Ever since Steve Jobs returned to Apple Computer in 1997 after a 12-year absence, his company has thrived by executing the same essential formula over and over: Find an exciting new technology whose complexity and cost keep it out of the average person's life. Streamline it, mainstream it, strip away the geeky options. Take the credit.

"So far, Apple has worked this kind of magic on digital video editing, wireless networking, online music selling, RSS feeds (a kind of Web site subscription) and other technologies.

"Its latest attempt, however, will be music to an awful lot of ears. With its release of the free iTunes 4.9 software for Mac and Windows, Apple has just mainstreamed podcasting."

David Pogue. In One Stroke, Podcasting Hits Mainstream. News.com. July 31, 2005.

See also:
Ina Fried. New iTunes Hints at Coming Cell Phone Support. News.com. June 28, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Skype to Launch Video Beta

"Voice over IP darling Skype is slated to put its two-way video phone service to the public test in August, likely at the end of the month, internetnews.com has learned.

"Sources close to the company said Skype is slated to launch the public beta next month and that it has licensed compression codecs from On 2 Technologies, a video compression technology pioneer."

Erin Joyce. Skype Sets Video Beta Launch. InternetNews.com. July 29, 2005.

Related:
Always On. Fireside Chat: Tim Draper and Skype's CEO. July 20, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 20, 2005

K. Matthew Dames Gives Virtual Presentation

K. Matthew Dames, managing partner of Seso Group Digital Information Advisors and the executive editor of SNTReport.com and Search & Text Mining Report, is this month's speaker for SLA's Virtual Seminar series. Dames will present the second part of a two-part series on digital collaboration projects for information professionals, "Launching A Digital Collaboration Project." The second session is Webcast live at 2:00 EST on July 20.

(The first session was Webcast on July 6, and can be viewed via an SLA Replay.)

Attendance & Registration
Want to view Dames' presentation live? Check the SLA Virtual Seminar page for more information. If you have any additional questions, e-mail SLA at learning@sla.org or call the Professional Development Center at (703) 647-4925.

This session will be taped and available for viewing within one week of the Webcast.

Description
Whatever you call it – digital collaboration, social software, social networking – working across the Web is about more than technology or devices. Ultimately, it is about developing a community of practice where people readily share their information and knowledge, regardless of distance.

Many clients and end-users will suggest that the trend toward using digital collaboration lessens the need for librarians and other information professionals. Instead, the opposite is true: online information sharing increases the need for librarians as facilitators, researchers, and knowledge managers. With some work and initiative, technology-savvy Info Pros can position themselves inside their organizations as critically important team members at a time when their value is being questioned.

This two-part series looks at the tools and issues involved in creating an effective digital collaboration environment, and shares some ideas on how best to establish a digital collaboration initiative within an organization. The first part of the series, part of SLA's Virtual Learning Series, will explain the tools and terminology of digital collaboration, and how different organizations are using these tools to improve productivity and knowledge sharing.

Slides
K. Matthew Dames. Launching A Digital Collaboration Project. (.pdf, 1.8 MB) July 20, 2005.

Coming in August 2005
Stephen E. Arnold. The Google Legacy (Tetbury, Gloucester: United Kingdom. Infonortics, 2005)

Webliography

The American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Basecamp

Salesforce.com

Google Labs

Google Short Message Service

Google Mobile

Google Code

Blogger

Functioning Form. Battle for the Web OS. July 12, 2005.

Fred Vogelstein. Gates vs. Google: Search and Destroy. Fortune. May 2, 2005.

Charles Ferguson. What's Next for Google. TechnologyReview.com. January 2005.

Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled. Weblications. Dec. 20, 2004.

Troutgirl. Google Is Good for Web Dev. Dec. 18, 2004.

Kuro5hin. Web-Apps Are the Legacy of the Future. Oct. 25, 2004.

Jon Udell. Under Gmail’s Hood. InfoWorld. Oct. 22, 2004.

Kottke.org. GoogOS, the Google Operating System. April 6, 2004.

Topix.net Weblog. The Secret Source of Google's Power. April 4, 2004.

Tim O'Reilly. Inventing the Future. O'Reilly Networks. April 9, 2002.

Martha K. Heyman. Building Successful Relationships with IT Professionals. Information Outlook. April 2001.

PaulGraham.com. The Other Road Ahead. Sept. 2001.

Adam Bosworth. Microsoft's Vision for XML. Infoloom. No date.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Cingular's New Service Helps Fight Crime

"Cingular and BIO-key International have launched a service that lets officials check vehicle information, stolen vehicle reports, weapon registrations and outstanding warrants through RIM's Blackberry device or through Pocket PC-powered PDAs. They also can send text messages and e-mail for inconspicuous communications with dispatchers.

"The service uses Cingular's nationwide wireless data network and BIO-Key's PocketCOP software. In addition to interoperability with databases and computer systems, the partners paid close attention to security."

Colin C. Haley. Handheld Crime Fighting. Internetnews. July 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Intel Approves McCain Bill

"Intel late last week threw its support to a Congressional proposal that would allow municipal wireless network project"

"The bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) enables municipalities to spur development of publicly-controlled wireless networks.

"It runs counter to another bill, introduced in the House and strongly supported by the large telecoms, that prohibits such public-sector participation."

Mobile Pipeline Staff. Intel Supports Pro-Muni Wi-Fi Legislation. Mobile Pipeline. July 18, 2005

See also:
Roy Mark. McCain Bill Would Help Municipal Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi Planet. June 23, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Carrier, Middleware Provider Collaborate to Create Higher Value

"A gale force of new partnerships between carriers and mobile infrastructure providers is beginning to blow away roadblocks that slowed implementation of wire-less as a reliable, secure, and manageable platform for mission-critical enterprise applications.

"Carriers are joining with infrastructure players to extend the value of carriersˇ¦ networks while delivering the deep pockets and varied services the smaller mobile infrastructure solution providers lack.

"With these announcements, enterprise users are noticing that carriers and mobile middleware providers are changing their attitudes toward the enterprise, said Ken Dulaney, principal mobile analyst at Gartner."

Cases are mentioned in this article.

Ephraim Schwartz. Wireless Carriers Ramp Up Data Services. InfoWorld. July 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 19, 2005

TV Station Solicits Citizen Journalists

"Got a cellphone camera? You, too, can be a television journalist.

"The news staff of WABC-TV, the ABC affiliate in New York, started soliciting cellphone pictures and amateur video last week from people who witness a news event.

"The requests are being made on air by the station's anchors and on its Web site, 7online.com.

Joyce Cohen. Armed With Right Cellphone, Anyone Can Be a Journalist. The New York Times. July 18, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 18, 2005

The Future of Municipal WiFi Systems

"Pete Sessions, a Texas member of the House, believes in states' rights. But he also thinks that there are situations so extreme that Congress must slap down state and local government initiatives.

"One such case: localities that offer citizens free or low-cost Internet service. Idealists may view extending high-speed Internet as a boon to education, an economic shot in the arm and a vital component in effective emergency services."

Steven Levy. Pulling the Plug on Local Internet. Newsweek. July 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 16, 2005

In Taiwan, You Can Pay by Cell Phone

"A Taiwanese government-business alliance has been working on a contactless payment system designed for small purchases. On Thursday, the group announced its first major success: mobile phones made by BenQ that can be used in the capital city of Taipei to pay for public transportation."

"The Taipei Smart Card Corp. is offering 40 people a chance to try out the mobile phones for a test run beginning Sept. 1."

Dan Nystedt. Taiwanese to Pay for Subway, Buses by Mobile Phone . InfoWorld. July 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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EU Opens the Spectrum for Wireless

"This week, the European Commission (EC) in Brussels gave the okay for enabling use of 5GHz spectrum (specifically, the bands between 5150-5350 MHz and 5470-5725 MHz) for license-free use with wireless networks (what the EC calls RLANs, or radio LANs). The move will allow broadband Internet usage in the 25 member states of the European Union (EU) to "become faster and more widespread," according to a statement."

"Previously, the EC only allowed use of 2.5GHz spectrum, to prevent potential interference with other services using 5GHz, such as radar equipment. However, as more and more RLAN equipment is sold in the EU, the EC saw the 2.5GHz band becoming more congested. It says the new decision will ensure sufficient spectrum for new equipment for all member states."

Eric Griffith. Europe Opens Spectrum for Wireless Broadband . Internetnews. July 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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TransFlash Is Adoped as MicroSD

"SanDisk's TransFlash memory card format has been adopted by the SD Card Association as microSD, the group said Wednesday."

"SanDisk has promoted TransFlash to date as a memory expansion format for mobile phones. Because of its small size, it's better suited to mobile handsets than are larger cards, the company said.

"TransFlash slots can already be found in phones from Motorola, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Kyocera, and Sagem Communication, according to a SanDisk statement."

Martyn Williams. TransFlash Becomes MicroSD. InfoWorld. July 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 15, 2005

FAA Fights In-Flight Wirless Use

"Lawmakers yesterday urged federal aviation officials to keep a ban in place preventing the use of cell phones on airplanes because it is not clear whether the devices interfere with navigation equipment.

"A Federal Aviation Administration official said the agency won't lift its prohibition on the use of devices including cell phones, BlackBerry devices and two-way pagers, but passengers may be able to use them during flight one day."

William Glanz. Lawmakers Favor In-flight Phone Ban. Washington Times. July 15, 2005.

See also:
U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Bipartisan Opposition Voiced Against Allowing Use Of Cell Phones On Commercial Aircraft. (Press Release.) July 14, 2005.

U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “Cell Phones On Commercial Aircraft - A Nuisance Or Necessity” To Be Focus Of Congressional Oversight Hearing Thursday. (Press Release.) July 12, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior stories here and here on lifting the in-flight ban on cellphone use..

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Project Gizmo Rivals Skype

"There's a new, aptly named VoIP 'Gizmo on the Internet, setting out to compete with the phenomenally successful Skype.

"SIPphone.com Project Gizmo, launched earlier this month, is a SIP based PC-to-PC VoIP application with a basic feature set similar to Skype.

"There are Gizmo CallIn and CallOut features, which connect the application to calls coming from and going to the PSTN, as well as Gizmo-to-Gizmo calls. As a SIP-based application, though, Gizmo also lets users call other SIP-based applications."

Sean Michael Kerner. New Gizmo a Skype Killer?. WiFi Planet. July 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Congress Suggests 2009 for Digital TV Switch

"Millions of American television sets that receive only analog over-the-air broadcasts could go dark if not upgraded by Jan. 1, 2009.

"That deadline was suggested in a pair of hearings here Tuesday by members of the U.S. Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

"The committee is readying legislation expected this year that would require all American televisions to run on digital signals by the end of 2008. That would free up the analog, or 700 MHz, spectrum for other uses such as broadband services and communications for emergency workers."

Anne Broache. Digital TV Changeover Suggested for 2009. News.com. July 12, 2005.

See also:
Paul Davidson. Broadcasters Accept New Deadline for Digital TV Signals. USA Today. July 12, 2005.

Update: Gigi B. Sohn. Letter in Support of Hard Deadline for DTV Transition from Public Knowledge. Public Knowledge. July 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:30 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 14, 2005

Wireless Tracking Systems Trigger Privacy Issues

"Most of us know where we are on planet Earth - or close enough to make do. But sometimes we travel on business or for pleasure and suddenly wonder: Where am I?

"More and more, GPS - the global positioning system - is coming to the rescue. But the satellite-based system has one big drawback: Its signals can't reach inside buildings or down into the skyscraper-lined streets of major cities, where millions of people live or work.

"The result? One of the era's breakthrough technologies - tracking the location of everything from packages to cellphone users in distress - remains impractical to much of the population. Now that appears likely to change."

Gregory M. Lamb. Can You be Found Anywhere, Anytime?. Christian Science Monitor. July 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Technology Improves Mobile Phone Reading Efficiency

"For those who have squinted to read text on their cell phones, Stanford University researchers think they have hit upon a better way: Do it one word at a time.

"The technique, known as Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP, makes up for the tiny screens on mobile phones by presenting just one word at a time in the center of the screen for a fraction of a second before moving on to the next word.

"As a result, each word is far easier to read than is the case with standard presentations, in which a sentence or two of much smaller type scroll across the screen at a time."

Ina Fried and Michael Kanellos. Reading Phone Text One Word at a Time. News.com. July 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:04 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Shareholders Approve Sprint & Nextel's Merger Plan

"Shareholders of Sprint and Nextel Communications have approved the two operators' merger plans, which will create the nation's third-largest cell phone carrier.

"About 70 percent of Nextel's shareholders and more than 90 percent of Sprint's shareholders gave the planned deal the thumbs-up during separate votes Wednesday. Sprint's proposed purchase of Nextel for about $36 billion must still be approved by the Federal Communications Commission."

Ben Charny. Sprint, Nextel Shareholders Approve Merger. News.com. July 13, 2005.

See also:
David Twiddy. Shareholders Approve Sprint, Nextel Merger. Yahoo! News. July 13, 2005

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com prior story on Sprint and Nextel's merge.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Create a Roving Hot Spot

"When the Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., opened its gates last week to a location shoot for 'The Sopranos,' a new fixture was on display in the mobile dressing rooms - a roving Wi-Fi hot spot.

"With a device called the Junxion Box, the production company can set up a mobile multiuser Internet connection anywhere it gets cellphone service."

Johanna Jainchill. For Surfers, a Roving Hot Spot That Shares. The New York Times. July 14, 2005

(Editor's note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper's fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 13, 2005

Samsung, LG Bridge Wireless and VoIP Calling

"Internet telephone service tiptoed a few more ssteps into the wireless realm on Tuesday as Skype and Boingo unveiled a service to enable Voice-over-Internet calls over Wi-Fi hot spots, while Samsung and LG announced plans to develop mobile phones that combine cellular and Wi-Fi technologies."

"The new technology, known as UMA for Unlicensed Mobile Access, is designed to provide better call quality indoors, where cellular signals turn weak and short-range Wi-Fi signals are strong. UMA also may lighten the load on crowded cellular networks by allowing carriers to divert phone calls from their towers."

Bruce Meyerson. Samsung, LG Nudge Wireless-VoIP Calling. Yahoo! News. July 12, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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AZ School Shelves Textbooks for Laptops

"A high school in Vail will become the state's first all-wireless, all-laptop public school this fall. The 350 students at the school will not have traditional textbooks. Instead, they will use electronic and online articles as part of more traditional teacher lesson plans."

Associated Press. Arizona School Won't Use Textbooks. MSNBC News. July 11, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Study Proves Danger of Using Cell Phone While Driving

"A study of Australian drivers found that those using cellphones were four times as likely to be involved in a serious crash regardless of whether they used hands-free devices like earpieces or speaker phones that have been perceived as making talking while driving safer.

"The study, which is to appear in The British Medical Journal today, is the first of its kind to use actual crash data and cellphone records to show a link between talking on the phone and being seriously injured in an accident."

Jermy W. Peters. Hands-Free Cellphone Devices Don't Aid Road Safety, Study Concludes. The New York Times. July 12, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com prior story on using cellphone while driving.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

Feds Seek Access to In-Flight Conversations

"Federal law enforcement officials, fearful that terrorists will exploit emerging in-flight broadband services to remotely activate bombs or coordinate hijackings, are asking regulators for the power to begin eavesdropping on any passenger's internet use within 10 minutes of obtaining court authorization.

"In joint comments (.pdf) filed with the FCC last Tuesday, the Justice Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned that a terrorist could use on-board internet access to communicate with confederates on other planes, on the ground or in different sections of the same plane -- all from the comfort of an aisle seat."

Kevin Poulsen. Feds Fear Air Broadband Terror. Wired News. July 11, 2005.

See also:
Federal Communications Commission. Comments of the Department of Justice, Including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security. (.pdf) July 5, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Skype & Boingo Wireless to Combine Strengths

"VoIP provider Skype and wireless hot spot operator Boingo Wireless will unveil a new initiative Tuesday that combines each company's respective technologies.

"Skype is among the most popular providers of voice over Internet Protocol software for making inexpensive or free phone calls using the Internet. Boingo Wireless, founded by EarthLink creator Sky Dayton, makes available Wi-Fi technology to dispense high-speed Internet access (it's currently used in about 13,000 locations)."

Ben Charny. Skype, Boingo Tie up in Phone Deal. News.com. July 11, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Cell Phone Service Blocked in NY Tunnels

"New York's traffic tunnels went silent last week, figuratively speaking.

"Immediately after the terrorist bombings in London, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey abruptly cut power to the microcells that make it possible to use cell phones in the Lincoln and Holland tunnels under the Hudson River. Cell users in the heavily traveled tunnels, which connect Manhattan and New Jersey, lost service."

Leslie Cauley. NYC River Tunnels Lose Cell Service. USA Today. July 11, 2005.

Update: Reuters. Cell Phone Service Resumed in Two New York Tunnels. July 12, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:57 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

ICANN Agrees to Mobile Top-Level Domain

"Consumers will soon be able to recognize Web sites specially designed for use by mobile phones by the new '.mobi' suffix, which will be introduced alongside the popular '.com' and other top-level domain names.

The new suffix was approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at a Luxemburg meeting on Monday."

Lucas van Grinsven. New .mobi Suffix Points to Wireless Web Sites. Reuters. July 11, 2005.

See also:
Kieren McCarthy. Mobile Net is Go with .mobi Approval. The Register. July 11, 2005.

BBC News. Mobiles Get Net Home of Their Own. July 11, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:36 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 11, 2005

Virgin Mobile Predicts Change in Wireless Music Service

"Mobile phone operators need to suspend their fantasies of becoming pay-per-song providers if the wireless music industry is to take off Daniel Schulman, the head of Virgin Mobile USA said.

"As mobile operators look to sell mobile phones with digital music players consumers should be able to freely move songs from their personal computers to these phones, he said in an interview with Reuters late last week.

"Cellphones with digital music players are expected to be the next big thing in wireless, with consumers spending about $1.5 billion within three years buying songs to play on their phones, according to estimates from research firm Ovum."

Sinead Carew. Consumers Want Unrestricted Music Phones-Virgin. Reuters. July 10, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:02 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Sprint Rivals Blackberry with Goodlink E-Mail Service

"The rush to chip away at BlackBerry's dominance in mobile business e-mail intensifies further this week with Sprint Corp. introducing rival options from Good Technology Inc. and Seven Networks Inc.

"Good, which last month signed on Cingular Wireless to sell its service, also said Monday it is adapting its software to work with corporate e-mail systems based on IBM Lotus Notes and Domino in addition to Microsoft Exchange."

Bruce Meyerson. Sprint Adding GoodLink E-Mail Service. LATimes.com. July 11, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 09, 2005

Cell Phone Users Overwhelm Networks

"Reports that wireless networks became clogged Thursday morning during the horrific bomb attacks in London came as no surprise to people in the United States.

"As Londoners discovered on Thursday, an emergency puts enormous strain on wireless infrastructure.

"The question for governments and wireless companies around the world is: What can be done about keeping these networks up and running during an emergency?"

Michael Grebb. Crises Strain Cell-Phone Networks. Wired News. July 7, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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JupiterResearch Examines Municipal Wi-Fi Costs

"Based on surveys and conversations with cities and vendors, JupiterResearch has come to the conclusion that 'the average cost of building and maintaining a municipal wireless network is $150,000 per square mile over five years.'

"This number is part of a new report, entitled Municipal Wireless: Partner to Spread Risks and Costs While Maximizing Benefit Opportunities, available today.

"The report goes on to say that about half of the initiatives today to create city or county-backed wireless networks will not even break even, even if they charge end users as much as $25 per month in subscription fees."

Eric Griffith. Cost of Muni Wi-Fi is High. Wi-Fi Planet. July 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 08, 2005

Web Responds to London Attacks

"News and blogs sites in the United Kingdom were hard hit as word of multiple explosions in London Thursday morning had concerned surfers looking for the latest word.

"The four blasts, which occurred between 8:51 and 9:47 London time, claimed a growing number of lives, and injured scores more. Officials surmised it was an al'Qaeda-style terrorist attack timed to coincide with the start of the G8 summit in the U.K.

"Once again the blogs proved themselves an invaluable resource for first-hand accounts and images of the incident, as well as other blog owners who extended their best-wishes to those involved."

Jim Wagner. Web Traffic Spikes After London Bombing. InternetNews.com. July 7, 2005.

See also:
Vauhini Vara. Bloggers and Photographers Chronicle Chaos in London. WSJ.com. July 7, 2005.

BBC News. Blogs Respond to London Blasts. July 7, 2005.

Libe Goad. Flickr Pics Capture London Terror. PCMag.com. July 7, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Yahoo Launches SMS Search

"Yahoo on Thursday is launching more ways for users to retrieve search results from their mobile phones.

"The Sunnyvale, Calif., company is introducing an SMS (Short Message Service) option in which users can send a text message to grab specific search results in areas such as weather, stock quotes and local business information.

"It also is extending its broader Web search feature for mobile-phone browsers by supporting WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) 2.0-enabled devices, company officials said."

Matt Hicks. Yahoo Expands Mobile Search with Text Messaging. eWeek. July 7, 2005.

See also:
Gary Price. Yahoo Now Offering SMS Search Tool; Expands Reach of Mobile Web Search. SearchEngineWatch. July 7, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

TV Technology May Generate New Lawsuits

"Days after the Supreme Court weighed in on digital copyright infringement issues in the MGM v. Grokster case, select consumer electronics chains began stocking a product some predict could spark the entertainment industry's next showdown over intellectual property rights.

Andrew Wallenstein. TV Technology at Edge of Legal Frontier. Reuters. July 6, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on the MGM, Grokster decision.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Podcasting Poised for Big Future

"Market researchers and analysts continue to buoy up podcasting's future with latest figures suggesting a US audience alone of 56 million by 2010.

"Podcasts, which are only a year old, are online audio shows by amateurs and professionals which can be sent automatically to digital music players.

"The predictions also match those for growing digital music player sales."

BBC News. Podcasting Set for 'Huge Growth'. July 7, 2005.

See also:
Jack Kapica. Podcasting Audience to Skyrocket: Study. Globe & Mail. July 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Qualcomm Fights Back on Broadcom's Suit

"Qualcomm on Wednesday described the recent antitrust suit filed against it by communications chip vendor Broadcom as 'meritless,' and suggested that it may fight back with further litigation of its own.

"Qualcomm and Broadcom are already locked in another legal battle. In May, Broadcom sued Qualcomm for alleged patent infringement and filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in an attempt to ban the import of foreign-manufactured Qualcomm products, which Broadcom alleged infringed its patents. Qualcomm reiterated Wednesday that it believes Broadcom's patent infringement claims are 'without merit.'"

China Martens. Qualcomm Says Broadcom Antitrust Suit Is 'Meritless'. InfoWorld. July 6, 2005.

See also:
Reuters. Qualcomm Rejects Broadcom Claims, Eyes Legal Action. July 6, 2005.

Reuters. Broadcom Files Antitrust Lawsuit against Qualcomm. July 5, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on Qualcomm's lawsuit.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft, France Telecom Partner for Wireless

"Microsoft Corp. and France Telecom said on Wednesday the first product from their multimedia partnership was likely to be ready within a year and that they were confident of success in the venture.

"The world's largest software maker and France Telecom held a joint news conference in Paris to highlight that the partnership would initially focus on mobile phones using wireless technology and on bringing together voice, video and data over networks."

Reuters. Microsoft, France Tel Upbeat on Partnership Hopes. July 7, 2005.

See also:
Associated Press. France Telecom, Microsoft in Net Phone Deal. MSNBC News. July 7, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:31 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Arrest for Wi-Fi Trespassing

"Police have arrested a man for using someone else's wireless Internet network in one of the first criminal cases involving this fairly common practice.

"Benjamin Smith III, 41, faces a pretrial hearing this month following his April arrest on charges of unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony.

"Innocuous use of other people's unsecured Wi-Fi networks is common, though experts say that plenty of illegal use also goes undetected: such as people sneaking on others' networks to traffic in child pornography, steal credit card information and send death threats."

Associated Press. Man Charged With Stealing Wi-Fi Signal. Yahoo! News. July 6, 2005.

See also:
Alex Leary. Wi-Fi Cloaks a New Breed of Intruder. St. Petersburg Times. July 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:20 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 07, 2005

Disney, Sprint Plan Mobile Phone Service

"Milestones in a child's development usually include the first steps or a first word, but will the first cell phone call be next?

"Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday it will launch a mobile phone service next year aimed at families based upon its own line of phones, games and other family oriented entertainment.

"Analysts see it as pushing an industry trend to recruit ever-younger customers as cell phone penetration among adults approaches saturation. Disney will operate the phone service itself, buying wholesale network time from Sprint Corp."

Jon Van. Disney to Launch Mobile Phone Service. Chicago Tribune. July 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

LG to Use Palm OS for Smartphone

"Mobile phone manufacturer LG Electronics has agreed to use a version of the Palm OS designed by Palmsource in a future smart phone, which might be the first phone to use a Linux-based version of Palm OS that is currently under development.

"Palmsource interim CEO Patrick McVeigh had referred to a pending announcement of a new licensee last week during a conference call about Palmsource's fourth-quarter earnings results, in which the Sunnyvale, California, company swung to a profit based on a one-time gain.

"Wednesday's announcement solves that mystery, but does not address which version of Palm OS will appear in the phone."

Tom Krazit. LG Chooses Palm Operating System for Future Smart Phone. PCWorld. July 6, 2005.

See also:
Dinesh C. Sharma. LG Signs Up with PalmSource. News.com. July 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Wireless Teachnology: xMax

"A new communications tool that 'whispers' on busy radio channels could enable broadband Internet services for on-the-go wireless devices or hook-up homes that cannot yet get fast Web access, its inventor said.

"xMax, the latest innovation in broadband communications, is a very quiet radio system that uses radio channels already filled up with noisy pager or TV signals, said inventor Joe Bobier.

"The advantage is not only that radio spectrum can be used twice and that xMax needs no special radio band of its own, but especially that it can sit in the valuable low frequency bands which characteristically carry very far and through buildings."

Lucas van Grinsven New Wireless Broadband "Whispers" Below the Radar. Reuters. July 4, 2005.

See also:
Peter Judge. UWB-like xMax Squeezes Broadband - into Narrowband Channels?. TechWorld. July 2, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:20 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 06, 2005

K. Matthew Dames Gives SLA Virtual Presentation

K. Matthew Dames, managing partner of Seso Group Digital Information Advisors and the executive editor of SNTReport.com and Search & Text Mining Report, is this month's speaker for SLA's Virtual Seminar series. Dames will present a two-part series on digital collaboration projects for information professionals, with the first live session being Webcast at 2:00 EST on July 6. and the second live session being Webcast at 2:00 EST on July 20.

Attendance & Registration
Want to view Dames' presentation live? Check the SLA Virtual Seminar page for more information. If you have any additional questions, e-mail SLA at learning@sla.org or call the Professional Development Center at (703) 647-4925.

This session will be taped and available for viewing within one week of the Webcast.

Description
Whatever you call it – digital collaboration, social software, social networking – working across the Web is about more than technology or devices. Ultimately, it is about developing a community of practice where people readily share their information and knowledge, regardless of distance.

Many clients and end-users will suggest that the trend toward using digital collaboration lessens the need for librarians and other information professionals. Instead, the opposite is true: online information sharing increases the need for librarians as facilitators, researchers, and knowledge managers. With some work and initiative, technology-savvy Info Pros can position themselves inside their organizations as critically important team members at a time when their value is being questioned.

This two-part series looks at the tools and issues involved in creating an effective digital collaboration environment, and shares some ideas on how best to establish a digital collaboration initiative within an organization. The first part of the series, part of SLA's Virtual Learning Series, will explain the tools and terminology of digital collaboration, and how different organizations are using these tools to improve productivity and knowledge sharing.

Slides
K. Matthew Dames. Digital Collaboration: Tools & Terms. (.pdf, 2.7 MB) July 6, 2005.

Webliography
Covad. "The Ringing" (Flash movie; Flash Player required.)

Salesforce.com: Hosted customer relationship management tool, with contact management, marketing campaign budgeting and analysis, and mobile and wireless capability.

Bloglines: Hosted RSS and news aggregator.

37Signals: Developer of several hosted business tools, including Backpack (a collaborative online planner and to-do list), and the highly regarded Basecamp (hosted project management application).

Thomas Bleha. Down to the Wire. Foreign Affairs. May/June 2005. ("Once a leader in Internet innovation, the United States has fallen far behind Japan and other Asian states in deploying broadband and the latest mobile-phone technology.")

Heather Green and Robert D. Hof. Picking Up Where Search Leaves Off. BusinessWeek Online. April 11, 2005. ("The time-saving trend of "tagging" is luring legions of Web surfers -- and Yahoo! ")

Daniel Terdiman. Folksonomies Tap People Power. Wired News. Feb. 1, 2005. ("The job of tags isn't to organize all the world's information into tidy categories. It's to add value to the giant piles of data that are already out there.")

Technorati: A blog index.

SNTReport.com: Seso Group LLC publication that finds, filters, summarizes important digital collaboration news six days each week.

Search & Text Mining Report: Seso Group LLC publication that finds, filters, summarizes important news about the business, technology, and law of search and search engines. Published five days each week.

Micro Persuasion: Blog of public relations executive Steve Rubel.

GM FastLane: "The FastLane blog is where you can come to read the latest, greatest musings of GM leaders on topics relevant to the company, the industry and the global economy, and -- most of all -- to our customers and other car enthusiasts."

Charlene Li. Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal? Forrester Research. Nov. 5, 2004.

Mark Pilgrim. What Is RSS? O'Reilly XML.com. Dec. 18, 2002.

Jeff Tyson. How Instant Messaging Works. HowStuffWorks. No date.

Robert Kaye. Next-Generation File Sharing with Social Networks. O'Reilly Open P2P. March 5, 2004.

Miriam Rainsford. A Musician's Take on File Sharing, DRM, and Copyleft Licensing. O'Reilly Open P2P. June 10, 2003.

Wikipedia. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia bills itself as "the free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit."

JotSpot: A Wiki web application development through a " Microsoft Word style editing" interface. For a demonstration of JotSpot's capabilities, please see Jon Udell's Flash movie. (Flash Player required.)

Federal Communications Commission. Voice Over Internet Protocol: Frequently Asked Questions. May 24, 2005.

vSkype: Skype plugin that allows users to see who they are talking to while sharing applications, spreadsheets or photos in real time. (Windows only)

IPDrum. Its IPdrum Mobile Cable connects Skype to a mobile telephone via the mobile telephone network - allowing Skype users true mobility and worldwide calling for local rates.

Heather Wilson. Gaming for Librarians: An Introduction. (.pdf) VOYA. February 2005.

K. Matthew Dames. Commentary on New iTunes Cell Phone. SNTReport.com. July 5, 2005.

Fred Vogelstein. Gates vs. Google: Search and Destroy. Fortune. May 2, 2005. ("Bill Gates is on a mission to build a Google killer. What got him so riled? The darling of search is moving into software—and that's Microsoft's turf.")

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 09:00 AM | Send to a friend!

Time for Enterprise IM

"Enterprise instant messaging was one of those topics we thought was a no-brainer. Not only had we seen and embraced the productivity benefits of IM for editorial and management functions in our own (mostly) virtual enterprise. We also came across a few remarkable instances of organizational use of IM. Most notable was a fleet-wide deployment by the U.S. Navy that built operational communities of interest that performed beyond the call of duty.

"That was more than two years ago."

Jim Ericson. Enterprise IM: Needed, Neglected. Line56 News. June 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:47 AM | Send to a friend!

Time for Enterprise IM

"Enterprise instant messaging was one of those topics we thought was a no-brainer. Not only had we seen and embraced the productivity benefits of IM for editorial and management functions in our own (mostly) virtual enterprise. We also came across a few remarkable instances of organizational use of IM. Most notable was a fleet-wide deployment by the U.S. Navy that built operational communities of interest that performed beyond the call of duty.

"That was more than two years ago."

Jim Ericson. Enterprise IM: Needed, Neglected. Line56 News. June 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:47 AM | Send to a friend!

Time for Enterprise IM

"Enterprise instant messaging was one of those topics we thought was a no-brainer. Not only had we seen and embraced the productivity benefits of IM for editorial and management functions in our own (mostly) virtual enterprise. We also came across a few remarkable instances of organizational use of IM. Most notable was a fleet-wide deployment by the U.S. Navy that built operational communities of interest that performed beyond the call of duty.

"That was more than two years ago."

Jim Ericson. Enterprise IM: Needed, Neglected. Line56 News. June 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:47 AM | Send to a friend!

Deutsche Telekom Mulls T-Mobile Sale

"Deutsche Telekom AG is exploring whether to sell its U.S. wireless operation, T-Mobile USA Inc., a move that could fetch as much as $30 billion and alter mobile-phone markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

"As the German telecom titan faces a huge bill to upgrade the technology used by its U.S. unit to keep pace with rivals, Deutsche Telekom's management board has been debating T-Mobile USA's fate, according to people close to the matter. The company has told investors in private meetings recently that it expects to make a decision by December."

Jason Singer, et al. T-Mobile USA Could Go Up for Sale. WSJ.com. July 5, 2005.

See also:
Mark Landler and Ken Belson. A Dilemma for T-Mobile: Invest Heavily or Cash Out. The New York Times. July 5, 2005.

Boris Groendahl. Deutsche Telekom May Sell T-Mobile USA. Yahoo! News. July 4, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Broadcom Slapped Lawsuit on Qualcomm

"Communications chip maker Broadcom has slapped a lawsuit on wireless networking giant Qualcomm, alleging that its rival's use of third-generation patents violates U.S. antitrust laws.

"The complaint revolves around Qualcomm's Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology, which is implemented through the Universal Mobile Telephone Systems (UMTS) standard.

"Broadcom says that when international industry groups were hammering out wireless broadband standards, 'Qualcomm represented that it would license its WDMA patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (that is, so-called 'FRAND') terms.'"

Colin C. Haley. Broadcom Hits Qualcomm Over 3G Patents. Internetnews.com. July 5, 2005.

See also:
Reuters. Broadcom Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm. July 5, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:00 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Wireless Carriers Seek to Suspend E-911 Deadline

"Some of the biggest U.S. wireless providers have asked regulators to suspend a December requirement for 95 percent of their phones to support e911 technology that allows emergency workers to pinpoint callers' locations, according to the CTIA mobile industry group on Friday.

"While new phones coming from these providers all have location technology, consumers are not changing their cell phones as quickly as the FCC had expected when it set the deadline more than five years ago, the CTIA said."

Reuters. Carriers Seek U.S. Mobile e911 Deadline Suspension. July 1, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:22 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

New iTunes Cell Phone

Commentary by K. Matthew Dames, executive editor

Over the weekend, Engadget published pictures of the new iTunes-enabled cell phone that Motorola will offer soon to the public. A few thoughts occur to me. First, I am glad that Engadget was the source to break this story instead of a mainstream press outlet.

I could wax poetic here about the viability and legitimacy of the blogosphere, but I will not waste my breath nor your time. It should be settled by now that good blogs are as viable and legitimate as a good broadsheet in breaking and providing news.

Second, I thought about a keen comment Stephen E. Arnold made to me the other day, namely that he is amazed at the extent to which Apple seems to be eating Sony's lunch in the consumer electronics arena.

While it is too early to tell how well or poorly Sony's new NW-HD1 digital music player will do on the market, one cannot argue that Apple has dominated this space since it introduced the iPod in 2001. Further, Apple has been able to galvanize some level of consensus on digital music where previously there was none.

Additionally, by galvanizing the music industry on digital music, it beat Sony at its own game, on its own block: converging consumer electronics with consumer entertainment.

The reason Sony bought Columbia Records in 1988 was so that the Japanese company would control both the hardware and software ends of the home entertainment spectrum. That Apple -- a company that was written off for dead as recently as 1997 -- has trumped Sony in this area is an amazing story.

My third and final thought is, "Why would anyone want to listen to music from a sound source so awful sounding as a cell phone?" Just as I am amazed at the speed with which Apple has come up with a palatable solution in the digital music space, I am similarly amazed that the consuming public has settled for such awful sound quality.

The sound quality of AAC, Apple's proprietary sound format with which it encodes tracks in iTunes, is better than that offered by MP3. Making that comparison, though, is like comparing the horror you might feel if you dipped your new pair of Alden loafers into freshly chewed gum instead of a Labrador's curbside dump. Neither option should be reasonably acceptable.

Now, we're being offered the chance to move our compressed music from the iPod to a cell phone, an instrument on which James Earl Jones can sound hollow and feeble. I will concede that I am probably in the minority on this issue, but I'd like the digital music evolution to provide me ways in which I can improve the way my music sounds at an affordable price, rather than paying less for the sonic equivalent of the Labrador's curbside dump.

Engadget. Say Hello to the Motorola E790 Apple iTunes Phone. July 3, 2005.

See also:
Yuki Noguchi. Moving Beyond Ringtones. Washington Post. July 2, 2005.

Martyn Williams. Sony's Walkman Ready to Rival the iPod. PC World. July 1, 2004.

Alec Hanley Bemis. The Digital Devolution. Wired. July 2005.

Olga Kharif, et al. iTunes Phones: Finally, Some Noise. BusinessWeek Online. June 30, 2005.

Ina Fried. New iTunes Hints at Coming Cell Phone Support. News.com. June 28, 2005.

Arik Hesseldahl. Get Ready To Call iTunes. Forbes.com. December 16, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 09:00 AM | Send to a friend!

Live 8 Concert Sets World Records

"Live 8 has proved to be a triumph for technology, with millions participating in the event via the web and mobiles.

"Almost 27 million people texted in their support for a petition asking G8 leaders to double aid and cancel debts for the world's poorest countries.

"Millions watched the event online and recordings of Sergeant Pepper were on sale an hour after being sung live. But videos and audio of many of the acts were also available via BitTorrent file-sharing software."

BBC News. Net Fuels Live 8 Extravaganza. July 4, 2005.

See also:
Lars Brandle. Live 8 Shatters Records. Billboard Radio Monitor. July 4, 2005.

Michelle Meyers. Live Aid for the Internet Age. News.com. July 2, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Motorola Readies Linux Based Mobile Phone

"Motorola announced a new step this week in its plan to remake most of its mobile phone line with Linux, expanding use of the open-source operating system to midrange phones.

"The E895 is a flip-phone design that uses a version of Linux from MontaVista Software, said Cheryln Chin, vice president for Motorola mobile phone marketing. Motorola expects to begin shipping it in Asia in the fourth quarter of the year and in other parts of the globe after that.

"Motorola began selling Linux-powered mobile phones in 2003 but, until now, has used the OS only in high-end phones. Motorola expects to change that as software makers slim down Linux and hardware makers bulk up cell phone computing power, Chin said."

Stephen Shankland. Linux Moves Into Midrange Motorola Phones. News.com. July 1, 2005.

See also:
Linux News. Motorola Readies Tri-band Linux/Java Phone. June 27, 2005.

Stephen Shankland and Ben Charny. Linux to Power Most Motorola Phones. News.com. Feb. 23, 2003.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Gates: Search Still Needs Improvement

"Describing a future where everyone and every system is highly connected through wireless devices and Web services, Bill Gates said Friday there is still room for improvements in search engines and the Internet.

"Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect was speaking before a conference hall here packed with over 7,000 IT professionals, government officials and students. Gates is in Singapore for the day, following a trip to Thailand.

"'We have the availability of information wherever you go, delivered by the breakthrough of wireless networks' in the office and in public areas, he said."

Eileen Yu. Gates Calls for Better Search Technology. News.com. July 1, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 02, 2005

Sprint Lays Out WiMax Plan

"Sprint and Motorola said yesterday they would work together to develop technology for next-generation high-speed wireless technology.

"Known broadly as WiMax, these services are expected to allow people with laptops, personal digital assistants and other portable devices to connect to the Internet at speeds comparable to the broadband connections used in homes and offices.

"Sprint has a particular interest in WiMax technology. If its proposed merger with Nextel is approved, the combined company will hold a significant chunk of the needed spectrum in major cities to run the service."

Ken Belson. Sprint and Motorola Plan a Joint Effort on Wireless Technology. New York Times. July 1, 2005.

See also:
Colin C. Haley. Sprint Gets Lined up Behind WiMAX. InternetNews.com. June 30, 2005.

Ben Charny. WiMax Begins to Gel at Sprint. News.com. June 30, 2005.

To see WiMax related news, please link WiMax Networking News.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 30, 2005

Nextel Trials Non-WiMax Broadband

"While WiMAX wireless broadband technology edges toward widespread availability, Nextel said Wednesday that it will trial wireless broadband in the Washington, D.C. area that uses UMTS TDD technology.

"The technology, championed by IPWireless, also is being deployed throughout the Czech Republic by T-Mobile and in France by Orange. Nextel previously had trialed another competing wireless broadband technology, Flarion's FLASH-OFDM, in North Carolina. Both technologies that Nextel has trialed are mobile while even pre-standard mobile WiMAX won't be available for, at the very least, a year."

Mobile Pipeline Staff. Nextel To Launch Non-WiMAX Wireless Broadband Trials. Mobile Pipeline. June 29, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:23 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 29, 2005

New Haven for P2P Music Service

"While the technology has been vilified for making it easier to swap illegally copied music over the Internet, peer-to-peer software is increasingly being embraced by cellular phone manufacturers and service providers to help their nascent music businesses.

"Handset maker Nokia has reportedly developed peer-to-peer software that would allow sharing of text documents, photos and, eventually, music between its 6600 model phones.

"It's not just Nokia. Electronics maker Mitsubishi says it too has developed a prototype peer-to-peer phone. And three weeks ago, Canadian cell phone operator Rogers Wireless started using peer-to-peer software as a marketing tool for its music download service. Rogers lets users send the first 30 seconds of a song to a friend's cell phone. If the friend likes it, he or she can buy the rest of the song."

Ben Charny. Wireless: A Peer-to-Peer Music Asylum. News.com. June 28, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Brand X's Ruling Will Spur Wireless Broadband

"Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision (.pdf) stating that cable companies don't have to make their networks available to competitors will spur the popularity of wireless broadband, an executive for a wireless ISP claimed."

"'(The) ruling will inadvertently serve as a boon for wireless broadband providers,' Jeff Thompson, president of TowerStream, said in an e-mail interview. 'Cable companies can move forward and invest in their current networks and ISPs can start looking for true alternatives not controlled by competitors, such as WiMAX.'"

David Haskin. Supreme Court Decision Favors Wireless Broadband: Vendor. Mobile Pipeline. June 28, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Supreme Court. On Writs of Certiorari: National Cable & Telecommunications Association et al. v. Brand X Internet Services et al., Federal Communications Commissions and United States v. Brand X Internet Services et al.. (.pdf) June 27, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on the Brand X ruling.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Revision of WiMax's Bright Future

Are we too positive about WiMax's future? Here is an opposite opinion.

"The industry hype surrounding WiMax wireless has led many to believe that notebook computers capable of 70-Mbit/second access to the Internet over 30-mile distances are going to be available soon.

"The current WiMax market is based on orthogonal frequency division multiplexing wireless technology codified in the new IEEE 802.16-2004 standard (also called 802.16d) for point-to-multipoint network coverage over a distance of up to 30 miles at speeds up to 70 Mbits/s.

"For broadband mobility, a new IEEE standard, 802.16e, is being cobbled together, but we don't expect it to be approved before early 2006...Realistically, with 802.16e we can expect only about 15-Mbit/s maximum data speeds within about a three-mile radius from a basestation."

Will Strauss. WiMax Wireless: A Tale of Two Markets. EE Times. June 27, 2005.

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Nokia, Sun Lay Out Next Step For Handsets

"At the Sun Microsystems JavaOne Developer Conference this week both Sun and Nokia laid out their plans to enhance the Java environment for the next generation of handsets."

"Code-named the Star Project, Sun appears to be focusing on consumer content with the announcement that it will work closely with NTT DoCoMo to define next-generation data services and content for consumers.

"Nokia also announced that its Series 60 Platform handsets will be upgraded from its current CLDC (Connected Limited Device Configuration) to a more capable CDC (Connected Device Configuration) in preparation for improvements to Sun's MIDP (Mobile Information Device profile) Java profile for handsets."

Ephraim Schwartz. Nokia And Sun Prep Java For Handsets. InfoWorld. June 28, 2005.

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June 28, 2005

Sun Microsystems Extends Open Source Initiatives

"Sun Microsystems flung open the doors to its code with an extension of its open sourcing initiatives.

"Monday's announcements here at JavaOne, Sun's annual developer conference, included the open-sourcing of its application server and enterprise Java technologies, along with the introduction of a new spec for business integration. Executives promised still more code to come.

"Sun announced the release of code for Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0 and the Java System Enterprise Server Bus (ESB). John Loicano, Sun executive vice president for software, said the two projects would let developers help create the next generation of app servers."

Susan Kuchinskas. Sun Goes Large For Open Source. Internetnews.com. June 27, 2005.

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Ericsson, Sun Partner for New Java Solution

"Ericsson Mobile Platforms and Sun Microsystems Inc. are developing an integrated, multitasking Java technology-based solution on Sun's Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) HotSpot Implementation.

"The integrated solution is optimized with a full Java technology stack on platforms from Ericsson Mobile Platforms (Stockholm, Sweden). The multitasking Java technology environment will expand the utility of the mobile handset and drive new opportunities for operators, device manufacturers and developers to create new services that generate additional revenue streams."

EE Times. Ericsson, Sun Collaborate On Java For 3G Handsets. InformationWeek. June 27, 2005.

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iAnywhere's New Software Upgrades Mobile Devices

"Sybase Inc. subsidiary iAnywhere Solutions Inc. in late June will launch a new version of its Afaria mobile device management and security software that offers increased device support, better integration with Microsoft Corp.'s Systems Management Server 2003 and improved patch deployment capabilities.

"The latest version of Afaria is more tightly integrated with SMS 2003, allowing enterprises to manage PCs and mobile devices from a single console. The integration extends SMS 2003 support not only to devices based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system but also to units from Symbian Ltd. and PalmOne Inc. and to Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry devices."

Shelley Solheim. iAnywhere Tool Improves Management, Security of Mobile Devices. eWeek. June 27, 2005.

See also:
Mobile Pipeline Staff. iAnywhere Updates Mobile Device Management Product . Mobile Pipeline. June 27, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 27, 2005

Blackberry Battle Gets Ugly

"After months of negotiation, Research In Motion and NTP seem miles apart in figuring out a suitable deal for the BlackBerry maker to license NTP's wireless e-mail technology.

"The two have been locked in one of the largest patent infringement cases in history. But the sudden collapse of the talks still took investors and users of RIM's e-mail service by surprise. RIM lost more than $1 billion in value in two days, as many investors abandoned the stock amid the uncertainty."

Marguerite Reardon. Sending a Message to RIM. News.com. June 24, 2005.

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Group Creates Fuel-cell Guidelines

"An industry standards group that includes chip makers Intel and STMicroelectronics has published a document detailing the requirements a fuel cell technology would need to power a mobile PC, the group said in a Thursday statement.

"The new guidelines from the Mobile PC Extended Battery Life Working Group should help speed the development of longer lasting fuel-cell power sources for notebooks and other mobile computers, a development viewed as important for the growing popularity of Wi-Fi and other wireless Internet technologies."

Dan Nystedt. Group Creates Fuel-cell Guidelines for Mobile PCs. InfoWorld. June 24, 2005.

See also:
Michael Kanellos. Group Concocts Fuel Cell Notebook Guideline. News.com. June 24, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Cingular to Offer iTunes Phone

"Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. mobile service, is considering selling a Motorola Inc. cell phone that can play music using Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes music service, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

"Apple and Motorola said last summer they were working on bringing the popular iTunes service to mobile phones but Motorola has delayed unveiling its iTunes device so far amid analyst speculation about a lack of interest from operators."

Sinead Carew. Cingular Considering iTunes Phone - Sources. Reuters. June 24, 2005.

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June 25, 2005

Sony's Next Step: XM or Sirius?

"Sony Electronics, a unit of Sony Corp. said on Thursday that it has talked with XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. about music devices, though no satellite radio deals are in place."

Reuters. Sony Talked with XM, Sirius About Music Devices. June 23, 2005.

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Verizon Creates First U.S. 3G City

"Verizon Wireless is flipping the switch today on a new high-speed network that will allow users to watch music videos, download ringtones and access the Internet - from their laptop or on a phone - anywhere in the Seattle area.

"The technology, called 3G for third-generation wireless technology, has become status quo across Europe and Asia, but adoption has been slow in the United States. So far, Verizon Wireless is the only carrier to make a significant headway, having launched in 37 cities, including the Seattle and Portland areas today."

Tricia Duryee. Verizon Wireless Connects Seattle to 3G Service. The Seattle Times. June 23, 2005

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on Seattle's wireless access.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 24, 2005

PTO Rejects NTP's Claim for RIM's Case

"The NTP in seven of eight patents for a wireless e-mail system such as Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry service, throwing a legal settlement between the two companies into further turmoil.

"On Wednesday, the patent office issued what it calls 'non-final office actions' rejecting all the claims in two of NTP's patents, on the heels of a preliminary rejection notice for the claims in five of the patents earlier this year.

"Only one of the key patents at issue in the dispute over the BlackBerry service now contains valid claims in the eyes of the patent office, but that patent is under review as well."

Tom Krazit. US Patent Office Hands NTP a Setback in RIM Case. InfoWorld. June 23, 2005

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on RIM's Blackberry workaround.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

VoIP Services Shift to Mobile Phones

"Jayson Jepson pays 29 cents a minute to call London on his cell phone. Wouldn't it be great, the founder of Mint Telecom asks rhetorically, if it were more like 2 cents a minute?

"Now it is, courtesy of Mint and a growing corporate coterie selling cell phone versions of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software, which is used to transform Internet connections into inexpensive home or office phone lines.

"Mint began offering a $7-a-month cell phone service two weeks ago. Skype, Vonage, IP Drum and other operators using VoIP software have caused tectonic shifts in the traditional phone-service industry. Now these same interests are dialing into cell phones, primarily because a growing number have high-speed Internet connections rivaling the performance of broadband operators, whether it's over a third-generation cell phone network or based on Wi-Fi wireless connectivity."

Ben Charney. VoIP Cozies Up to Cell Phones. News.com. June 23, 2005.

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Radio on Mobile Phones

"A small deception is being practiced in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. In those cities, 300 people who might look like typical headphone-wearing commuters are listening to the radio while stuck in traffic or holding on as their overcrowded train chugs along in the morning rush hour. But they carry a secret.

"They aren't listening to music on their portable radios, nor playing podcasts of homebrewed radio programs on their iPods. They're grooving to the radio, all right, but it's flowing from an unexpected source: their cell phones."

Olga Kharif. Dial R for Radio on Your Cell. BusinessWeek Online. June 22, 2005.

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June 23, 2005

Wish List for Mobile Phones

"PC World's Grace Aquino has come up with a list of 10 things she believes manufacturers should do to make handsets work better. They are:

10. Improve the Design
9. Label Phones With the Model Name
8. Enable Every Aspect of Bluetooth
7. Add a USB PortˇXand Supply a Cable
6. Simplify the User Interface
5. Enhance the Speaker and the Microphone
4. Make It Easy to Unlock GSM Phones
3. Allow Data Backups on Carrier Servers
2. Improve Network Coverage, Especially for Voice Calls
1. Improve Overall Performance"

Grace Aquino. Top 10 Cell Phone Wish List. PCWorld. June 22, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Outlook for Wireless' Future

"Wireless technology has liberated the laptop computer. Now consumer-electronics makers are using it to untether everyday devices from cameras and cell phones to TVs and refrigerators.

"Right now, they're not so sure. They're only beginning to explore how to turn their products into wireless wonders. Many don't even know which features and applications consumers want. That's why a lot of the products that companies have recently introduced -- or that are in development -- "are just interesting toys, proof of concept," says David Chamberlain, an analyst with consultancy IDC."

Not only manufacturers, wireless networking and services providers also explore new services, technologies and business models to gain money from customers by offering cheaper prices.

Olga Kharif. The Future Looks Wireless. E-Commerce Times. June 22, 2005

See also:
Michael Sciannamea. Riding the Next Wireless Wave. The Wireless Weblog. June 22, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Roaming Between Wi-Fi and 3G

"Nortel Networks and Softbank Group's BB Mobile unit have demonstrated a system in Japan that allows mobile-phone users to roam between 3G (third-generation) mobile networks and Wi-Fi networks.

"Nortel and BB Mobile have conducted test calls while roaming between a WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) network and a wireless LAN based on IEEE 802.11 technology, also known as Wi-Fi."

InfoWorld Staff. In Brief: Nortel Demos Roaming between Wi-Fi and 3G . InfoWorld. June 22, 2005.

See also:
Peter Sayer. Motorola Adds Wi-Fi to 3G Phone for NTT DoCoMo. InfoWorld. June 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 22, 2005

CellPhone Takes Up Driver's Attention

"Using a cellphone -- even with a hands-free device -- may distract drivers because the brain cannot handle both tasks, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday."

"Imaging tests show the brain directs its resources to either visual input or auditory input, but cannot fully activate both at the same time, the team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found.

"'Our research helps explain why talking on a cell phone can impair driving performance, even when the driver is using a hands-free device,' said Steven Yantis, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences who led the study."

Reuters. Cellphones Take up Driver Attention, Study Finds. June 21, 2005.

See also:
John Hopkins University. Can We Really Multitask?. (Press Release.) June 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:33 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Orlando Unplugs Free Wireless

"Orlando leaders have unplugged downtown's free Internet service."

"City officials said the service worked well -- as many as 200 people using laptop or hand-held computers could log on at once to check e-mail or surf the Web from a wireless zone bordered by Orange Avenue, Eola Drive, and South and Robinson streets.The problem: Few people were interested.

"Despite daydreams of working and browsing the Internet while lounging on a bench at Lake Eola Park, only about 27 people a day, on average, accessed the free service. City officials said they couldn't continue to justify the $1,800-a-month expense."

Mark Schlueb. City Yanks Plug On Free Wireless Zone for Internet. Orlando Sentinel. June 21, 2005

See also:
Peter Rojas. Orlando Kills Free Downtown WiFi. Engadget. June 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:16 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft to Release PeaBody

"A low-cost smart phone from Microsoft code-named Peabody is nearing completion and will run on the recently released Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, an executive from the software giant said Tuesday.

"When the phone platform was first discussed in February, Microsoft planned to aim it at emerging markets such as India and China.

"But the company has since decided to offer it in all parts of the world, since 'everyone is interested in low costs,' said Ya-Qin Zhang, corporate vice president at Microsoft's mobile and embedded devices division."

Dan Nystedt. Microsoft's Peabody Smart Phone Nearing Completion. InfoWorld. June 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Skyhook's WPS Tracks Lost Mobile Device

"Skyhook Wireless Inc. rolled out a wide area positioning system today that uses Wi-Fi networks to locate the whereabouts of laptops, smart phones, and other mobile devices. The vendor claims that its product is the first positioning system to use Wi-Fi rather than satellite or cellular-based technologies.

"The technology, which Skyhook will market to device manufacturers and application developers, could be used to help companies locate stolen or lost mobile devices that contain sensitive information such as customer data."

"Skyhook's Wi-Fi Positioning System is a reference database of more than 1.5 million private and public access points located across 25 metropolitan areas in the United States. Skyhook's software client uses the database to locate devices within 20 to 40 meters."

Elena Malykhina. Another Use For Wi-Fi: Finding Stolen Laptops. Yahoo! News. June 20, 2005

See also:
Carmen Nobel. Startup Rolls Out Wi-Fi Alternative to GPS. eWeek. June 20, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:58 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Telemarketers Reach Out to Cell Phones

"After years of impunity, the United States' 190 million mobile telephone subscribers are now more likely than ever to encounter telemarketers - and they are finding there is not a lot they can do to stop this plague of unwanted calls.

"There was a rash of complaints to federal regulators 18 months ago when telemarketers were confused by new rules allowing people to transfer their home telephone numbers to cell phones, which then started ringing with telemarketing calls.

"Just about the only recourse a consumer has is to subscribe to the National Do Not Call Registry."

Ben Charny. The Curse of Telemarketing Plagues Mobiles. SiliconValley.com June 22, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Prepaid Wireless Plans Gain Popularity

"Prepaid wireless plans, once dogged with a reputation for targeting people with poor credit histories with extortionate calling rates, are getting a new look from some of the biggest US carriers.

"Reviving an old AT&T; Wireless brand name, Cingular Wireless late last month launched a revamped 'GoPhone

"In conventional prepaid, instead of having to sign a one- or two-year contract and pass a credit check, subscribers buy a phone and pay for calling minutes ahead of time, buying more minutes as needed or when paid-up calling time reaches its expiration date."

Peter J. Howe. Wireless Carriers Rethink Prepaid. Boston Globe. June 20, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 21, 2005

Skype: An Alternative Communications Network?

"Skype Technologies' strategy of welcoming third-party vendors is spawning numerous extensions to its popular Internet telephony service, which is beginning to branch into videoconferencing, data collaboration and mobile wireless calls.

"Santa Cruz Networks on Wednesday launched vSkype Beta, group videoconferencing and collaboration software that lets Skype users meet online with as many as 200 friends or business associates who also use Skype.

"On Tuesday, a Norwegian company, IPDrum, introduced the Mobile Skype Cable, a wire that connects a cell phone to a Skype-equipped PC in order to link Skype to the cellular network for mobile calls."

Stephen Lawson. Third-party Technologies Enhance Skype. PCWorld. June 20, 2005.

See also:
Robert Jacques. Skype Adds Videoconferencing to Arsenal. TechNewsWorld. June 17, 2005.

Sumner Lemon. Call Skype for Free From Your Mobile Phone. PCWorld. June 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Tropical Island Aims for Complete Wireless Coverage

"This tropical island off the east coast of Africa is best-known for its white-sand beaches, its designer clothing outlets and its spicy curries.

"But tiny Mauritius is about to stake a new claim to fame. By year's end, or soon afterward, it is expected to become the world's first nation with coast-to-coast wireless Internet coverage, the first country to become one big 'hot spot.'"

Laurie Goering. Tiny Nation Aims to be 1st 'Cyber-Island'. Yahoo! News. June 19, 2004.

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Intel Develops Compact Package for Networking

"Researchers at Intel have figured out how to integrate all the elements needed to connect to wireless local area networks into a compact package, the company is expected to announce Friday at The VLSI Symposium in Japan.

"Intel's ultimate goal is to build a communications chip that can connect to any type of network, be it a Wi-Fi LAN, a wide-area network based on the WiMax technology it is heavily promoting, or personal-area networks like Bluetooth or UWB (ultrawideband), said Howard High, an Intel spokesman.

"By 2007, the company expects to build an integrated chip with separate radios for the various networks, and hopes to eventually build chips with "cognitive" or software-defined radios that can connect to multiple types of networks on their own."

Tom Krazit. Intel Builds All-in-One Wireless Radio Package. InfoWorld. June 17, 2005.

See also:
Mark Hachman. Intel Research Merges Centrino with 802.11n . eWeek.com. June 17, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:52 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Google Comes Out with Friendly Search Mobile Device

"Google has had a site specifically geared towards the small screens on handhelds and smartphones for quite some time. However, until now, the sites that came up as a result of a search weren't necessarily ones that were very easy to display on a small screen.

"To deal with this problem, Goggle has added a new option to its mobile site. This allows users to specify that the sites that result from their searches must be mobile device-friendly.

"The Google mobile site can be found at http://www.google.com/xhtml."

Ed Hardy. Google Improves Mobile Search Site. Brighthand. June 20, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on Google's mobile search.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:23 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

Intercasting Launches Personal Publishing Solution

"The trouble with blogging is that bloggers are forced to think and compose at their desks.

"That is one view held by proponents of the latest twist on those Internet-based publications: mobile blogging.

"A handful of companies have begun offering software that allows people to read and write blogs on cellular phones. The concept, known in some circles as moblogging, lets bloggers take pictures, record sound and type in text while on the go."

Matt Richtel. Software Lets Bloggers Post via Cellphone. The New York Times. June 20, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on Rabble software.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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PalmOne Patches Treo 650

"PalmOne Inc. and Sprint Corp. have released a software update for the Treo 650 smart phone that enables Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking, so that users can use their smart phone as a modem with a Bluetooth-enabled laptop."

"The update also includes a fix to reduce the delay between when a user dials and a call is connected; new SMS sending options; and an upgraded VersaMail client, said officials."

Shelley Solheim. Sprint's Treo 650 Gets a Tuneup. eWeek.com. June 17, 2005.

See also:
Ed Hardy. Significant System Updates Released for Treo 650. Brighthand. June 17, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:15 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 18, 2005

Study Identifies Work/Life Trends

"In the future, you may not have to work at the office, but that doesn't mean you won't have to work as much.

"That's the upshot of a report released on Wednesday by staffing firm OfficeTeam. The firm's 'Office of the Future: 2020' study concluded that the future office will be increasingly mobile, with technology enabling employees to perform their jobs from virtually anywhere.

"But 42 percent of executives polled in the report said they believe employees will be working more hours in the next 10 to 15 years. Only 9 percent said employees would be working fewer hours."

Ed Frauenheim. Wireless Tech May Hinder Workers' Breaks. News.com. June 15, 2005.

See also:
OfficeTeam. Office of the Future: 2020. (Press Release.) June 15, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 17, 2005

AOL Sued Over Patent for Phone Call Alert

"America Online is facing a patent infringement suit filed by Klausner Technologies over AOL's Internet telephone services.

"The company contends it holds a patent for technology used by AOL Voicemail, AOL Call Alert, AOL by Phone and AOL VOIP.

"Specifically, it claims Dulles-based AOL is violating its intellectual property rights for technology that lets subscribers receive visual notification of new voice messages."

Jeff Clabaugh. AOL Sued Over Internet Telephone Technology. Washington Business Journal. June 15, 2005.

See also:
Colin C. Haley. AOL Sued Over Voice Platform. InternetNews.com. June 15, 2005.

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Google Launches Mobile Web Search

"Aiming to make search easier for users on the go, Google released Google Mobile Web Search on Thursday.

"The new service points users of Internet-enabled mobile devices to a special index of Web pages that have been optimized by their publishers for the small screen.

"The XHTML-based service takes advantage of the alignments of text, graphics and tables that mobile-aware publishers have created to make them easier to navigate on a mobile phone."

Susan Kuchinskas. Google Search For Tiny Screens. InternetNews.com. June 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:34 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Passengers Oppose In-Flight Cellphone Proposal

"Gayle James doesn't want the Federal Communications Commission to lift its in-flight ban on cellphones in airplanes, and here's why:

"'I was seated next to a very loud man who was explaining his next porn movie on his cellphone,' wrote James, of Shelton, Wash. ''Everyone on that plane was subjected to his explicit blabbering. Should cell use during flight be allowed, we had all better be prepared for a whole lot of air rage going on.'

"James's comments echo how many people -- from passengers to pilots -- feel about the FCC's proposal to allow the use of cellphones during flights."

Keith Reed. In-Flight Cellphone Proposal Hits Static. Boston Globe. June 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 16, 2005

Voice Over Wi-Fi on the Way

"Wi-Fi, despite opposition from vendors of competing technologies, will grow and add new capabilities, with voice over Wi-Fi services available in about two years, said speakers at the WiFi/VoWiFi Planet Conference and Expo.

"Voice over Wi-Fi, what conference organizers call VoWiFi, has some security and other challenges to fix, but a few organizations in health care, education and other industries are already experimenting with using Wi-Fi networks as the backbone of their phone systems, said Dave Danielson, vice president of marketing for Bluesocket Inc., a Wi-Fi security vendor."

Grant Gross. Voice Over Wi-Fi Takes Shape. InfoWorld. June 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Samsung Combines Bluetooth and Voice Recognition

"Samsung Electronics is marrying Bluetooth wireless with voice recognition technology in a new cell phone for the European market, it said Wednesday.

"The main feature of the SGH-E620 will be the ability to place calls by saying the receiver's name into a Bluetooth headset. Voice recognition software in the phone will match this with entries in the user's phone book and proceed to place the call.

"Samsung is launching the phone in Italy, France, Germany, and Russia in June and will expand sales based on market demand."

Martyn Williams. Samsung Handset Couples Bluetooth, Voice Recognition. InfoWorld. June 15, 2005

See also:
Business Wire. Samsung Unveils Bluetooth Voice Recognition Phone. (Press Release.) June 15, 2005.

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BT Bridges Mobile and Fixed-Line Networking

"BT Group is to launch a pioneering internet phone service that allows users to switch between mobile networks and fixed-lines using a single handset.

"The service, called BT Fusion, uses a specially-equipped mobile phone to access BT's fixed-line network when making calls at home or in the office."

"Customers subscribing to BT Fusion will receive a clamshell Motorola v560 mobile handset. An access point installed in the home, called a BT Hub, will switch the mobile phone to a broadband line using Bluetooth wireless technology."

BBC News. BT to Launch Fixed-Mobile Service. June 15, 2005

See also:
Cath Everett. BT Launches Combo Fixed-Mobile Handset. News.com. June 15, 2005.

Guy Kewney. BT 'BluePhone' Fusion is better than Skype because...?. The Register. June 15, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:37 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 15, 2005

Now You Can Use Skype by Cellphone

"An invention by a Norwegian start-up company allows consumers to use their everyday mobile phones to make free long distance Skype calls over the Internet, for the price of a local call.

"The company, called IPdrum, said on Tuesday its software enables consumers to call their own personal computer (PC) from any standard mobile phone and set up a Skype call over the Internet. Skype calls can also be received on that cellphone."

Reuters. Norwegian Start-up Opens Skype to All Mobile Users. June 14, 2005.

ArriveNet. IPdrum Will Bring Skype to Mobile Phone Users Worldwide. (Press Release.) June 14, 2005

See also:
Barb Dybwad. IPdrum Bridges Skype and Cellphones. Engadget. June 14, 2005.

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Internet Pioneers Reflect on Progress

"In 1973, two scientists began working on a design to bring together disparate networks that would allow computers to communicate with one another.

"More than 30 years later, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn -- whose work gave us the Internet -- are enjoying the fruits of their early labor. They were in San Francisco last week to receive the 2004 A.M. Turing Award, the computer field's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

"The men say that they couldn't have imagined the ease with which people can access billions of pieces of information, not to mention create it."

Bambi Francisco. Internet Inventors Reflect on Creation. MarketWatch. June 14, 2005.

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Digital Hospital Shows Success

"Less than two years ago, cows grazed on the Jacksonville, Fla., site of Baptist Medical Center South (BMCS). Today, physicians at the brand-new hospital make their rounds toting wireless devices to check lab results, view X-rays, update charts, order prescriptions and send and receive e-mail.

"At bedsides, nurses use wireless devices on wheels, or WOWs, to record progress notes and check doctors' orders. If they administer medicine or change a bandage, the supplies they use are electronically tracked and matched by bar code to individual patient records, enabling more accurate patient billing and automatic inventory replenishment.

"What's conspicuously absent everywhere is paper. And for a busy hospital whose staff has just a few weeks of experience working in a totally electronic environment, the overall atmosphere is strikingly tranquil."

Julia King. The Paperless Hospital -- Really!. ComputerWorld. June 13, 2005.

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June 14, 2005

Singapore to Launch 3G Drama Series

"A Singapore television station will air a romantic drama series on third-generation mobile phone handsets this month in what will be a first for Asia."

"The 30-episode Chinese drama series, produced by state-owned television firm Mediacorp and media regulator Media Authority of Singapore, will be released in three-minute episodes on 3G mobile phones at the end of June before being aired as a 90-minute television program by the start of 2006."

Reuters. Singapore to Air Asia's First Phone Drama Series. Reuters. June 14, 2005.

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Ericsson Tailors Cell Network for Planes

"Wireless device manufacturer Ericsson is putting out a new base station for in-flight usage, allowing air travelers to use their GSM cellphones on planes. The RBS 2708 base station avoids interference with the aircraftˇ¦s electronic systems, routing the calls to satellite to establish the wireless connection. The base stations will be available in 2006 at a price of about $131,000 per plane"

Barb Dybwad.
Ericsson Debuts In-flight GSM Cellphone Base Station
. Engadget. June 13, 2005

See also:
Ben Charny. Ericsson Touts Cell Network for Planes. CNET News.com. June 13, 2005.

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As Mobile Computing Rises, So Do Risks

"We prize mobile computing devices for the flexibility and convenience they provide, but mobility presents significant challenges for IT administrators charged with keeping their companies' data and networks secure—particularly as mobile devices and networks have grown more sophisticated and ubiquitous. What's more, the regulatory climate in which companies must operate is placing a greater demand on the control of corporate data.

"While these challenges make managing security on mobile devices a trickier proposition, there are ways administrators can help plug the holes that mobile devices have a way of opening in your company's security infrastructure.

"However, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, and administrators will have to take a long, hard look at each and every user—and device—accessing corporate data to ensure that all the gaps are filled."

Jason Brooks. Mobile Computing Risks Are Rising. eWeek. June 13, 2005.

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IBM Ramps Up RFID Programs

"Many giants of the computing world, like Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Sun Microsystems, have been vying to gain recognition as technology leaders in the drive to use radio tags to identify consumer goods. None has been more aggressive than IBM, which plans to start yet another marketing salvo Tuesday.

"The company's consulting practice, IBM Global Services, plans to announce that its consultants will begin selling advice on consumer privacy issues related to the use of radio identification tagging of consumer goods."

Barnaby J. Feder. I.B.M. Expands Efforts to Promote Radio Tags. News.com. June 14, 2005.

Related:
Bob Evans. Business Technology: Implementing RFID Is A Risk Worth Taking. InformationWeek. June 13, 2005.

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WiMax's First Step Into Industry

"Intel and Nokia have teamed up to back the development of mobile WiMax technology, and will work together to see that the technology is standardized soon, the companies said this week."

"WiMax, part of the IEEE's (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers') 802.16 standard, is a wide-area wireless networking technology that promises to deliver wireless broadband access over a range significantly greater than that of IEEE 802.11 WLAN (wireless LAN) technology, commonly known as Wi-Fi."

"Cooperation between Nokia and Intel will focus on IEEE 802.16e, a mobile version of the technology that will offer broadband Internet access to users on the move. This standard is currently under development. Intel and Nokia expect the standard to be finalized next year, they say."

Sumner Lemon. Intel, Nokia Team on Mobile WiMax. PC World. June 10, 2005

See also:
Sumner Lemon. Will WiMax Replace DSL?. PC World. September 21, 2004.

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June 13, 2005

Wi-Fi Interrupts Culture at Cafes

"The staff at Victrola Café & Art is sick of talking about Wi-Fi. Given the opportunity, as at a recent cupping in the back of the store to smell and taste the latest in-house roasts, the group prefers to talk about cafe culture, or how to create a nuanced light roasted coffee.

"But lately, the subject of Wi-Fi - specifically, the cafe's move to cut back on the free Wi-Fi connection it provides for patrons' Internet use - has been impossible to avoid. 'It's distracting,' said Jen Strongin, a co-owner.

"Victrola started providing free wireless access two years ago after customers asked for it. As in hundreds of other cafes, the owners hoped it would encourage regulars and infrequent patrons to buy more food and drinks. But there was also a disadvantage, staff members said: the cafe filled with laptop users each weekend, often one to a table meant for four. Some would sit for six to eight hours purchasing a single drink, or nothing at all."

Glenn Fleishman. Some Cafe Owners Pull the Plug on Lingering Wi-Fi Users. The New York Times. June 13, 2005.

See also:
Ken Belson. T-Mobile Adds Wi-Fi Hot Spots. The New York Times. June 13, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Will Social Networking Lose Its Appeal?

"Super-hyped social networking is exploding, with new ways to link up to others being added daily.

"Online social networking sites are offering a multitude of ways -- IM, e-mail, Web-based calling and video -- for members to get in touch with one another.

"It's not enough to allow people to contact one another, however. What many social networking sites are struggling with is, How do you facilitate social interactions without annoying users, big time?"

Olga Kharif. Is Social Networking Broken?. BusinessWeek Online. June 12, 2005.

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June 11, 2005

Business Software Alliance Describes Future Technologies

"Too much wine with dinner? In the future, your car might not start if you're drunk -- and it might automatically call a cab, notify your spouse and even reschedule business appointments early the next morning.

"That sobering vision of things to come could also include the ability to read important e-mails and other vital messages on television, wireless telephone or computers at work and at home.

"To Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, technology in the future promises better tools for sorting and managing important information -- from e-mails, instant messages, blogs and Web sites -- that will help computer users discard their digital junk."

Ted Bridis. Top CEOs Describe Future Technologies. BusinessWeek Online. June 10, 2005.

See also:
Associated Press. Video Interview with Business Software Alliance.

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In-Flight Cell Phones Concern Astronomers

"Using cellphones on aeroplanes could drown out faint radio signals from space, astronomers are warning. They told a US agency considering lifting in-flight restrictions on cellphones that special devices should be installed on planes to limit damage to research if the regulations change.

"US law currently prohibits aeroplane passengers from using cellphones because they may interfere with critical aircraft electronics. But the dramatic use of cellphones by passengers on the planes hijacked on 11 September 2001 spurred many people to petition the government to change this policy.

"Now two government agencies - which would probably both have to agree to lift the ban - are reviewing the issue."

Maggie McKee. Astronomers Criticise Plans to Allow Cellphone Use on Planes. New Scientist. June 2005.

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June 10, 2005

Gartner Identifies Over-Hyped IT Security Threats

"Don’t believe the hype about some of the computer security threats emphasized in industry and the media, two Gartner Research analysts said today.

"Lawrence Orans, a principal research analyst, and John Pescatore, vice president and research fellow, told attendees at the Gartner IT Security Summit in Washington, D.C., not to fear going ahead with projects that use voice over IP technology, Virtual Private Networks over the Internet and wireless hot spots.

"The computer-security experts also advised their audience not to waste time or money on products they don’t need to meet federal regulations and protect against malware on mobile devices."

Michael Arnone. Gartner: Relax About Overhyped Security Threats. FCW. June 7, 2005.

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June 09, 2005

Yahoo, Sprint Launch Mobile E-Mail Service

"Bidding to offer a low-cost alternative to the dominant mobile e-mail platform, Yahoo has teamed with mobile carrier Sprint Communications to offer mobile messaging for around US$3 per month.

"The two companies said the service would be available immediately in all markets where Sprint offers coverage. Yahoo's Web-based e-mail will be pushed to subscriber's mobile phones after they download software to their handsets.

"Customers will pay Sprint for the service as an add-on to their monthly subscription plans. The service will work with a range of phones that Sprint offers."

Keith Regan. Yahoo, Sprint Team on Inexpensive Mobile E-Mail. E-Commerce Times. June 8, 2005.

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BellSouth to Offer Wireless Service

"BellSouth is taking only a very tentative step toward offering what's known by many as 'naked DSL.' Rather than allowing its millions of existing DSL, or digital subscriber line, customers to opt out of local phone service, BellSouth will sever that link starting in August only in some markets in Georgia, where it will offer an experimental broadband service using WiMax wireless-access technology."

"WiMax is a more-powerful version of Wi-Fi wireless broadband that has a greater geographic range. The trial in Georgia will last for a year before BellSouth offers the service to a wider market."

"BellSouth's move comes nine months after the Georgia Public Service Commission ordered the phone provider to let customers buy broadband services without a phone service tie-in. The company received similar mandates in Kentucky, Louisiana and Florida."

Ben Charny. BellSouth Preps for Wireless 'Naked DSL'. News.com. June 8, 2005

See also:
Ben Charny. BellSouth May Shimmy Out of 'Naked' DSL. News.com. June 14, 2004.

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June 08, 2005

TiVoToGo Expands Service to Microsoft Devices

"TiVo Inc. on Wednesday said it extended its TiVoToGo portable video service to pocket computers and mobile phones running Microsoft software, as the television recording company beefed up its offerings in an effort to differentiate from its rivals.

"TiVo said TiVoToGo is now available on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers -- paperback-sized devices that can play digital music and videos -- as well as certain Windows Mobile-based Smartphones and PocketPCs handheld computers.

"The move improves on TiVo's TiVoToGo initiative, announced earlier this year, that allows users to shift recorded TV programs to a personal computer in the same home."

Franklin Paul. TiVo Mobile Video Service Now on Microsoft Devices. Reuters. June 8, 2005.

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Seattle Tops List for Wireless Access

"Maybe it's the rain that encouraged Seattle's residents to stay indoors, sipping their lattes and surfing the Web wirelessly, that made the northwest city this year's most 'unwired' city, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

"The study, sponsored by Intel Corp., showed that Seattle had more places for its residents to connect to the Internet via wireless, or Wi-Fi, hot spots than any other U.S. city."

Reuters. Seattle Tops List of Wireless Web Communities. June 7, 2005.

See also:
Tricia Duryee. Seattle No. 1 in "Most Unwired Cities" Survey. Seattle Times. June 7, 2005.

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June 07, 2005

Microsoft to Rival RIM With Mobile E-Mail

"Microsoft will give away software upgrades to give Outlook users access to wireless corporate email on mobile devices, in a move that could unseat mobile email leader Blackberry from Research In Motion.

"The Redmond, Washington-based software giant will make free upgrades available for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0 that will lift business email and other Outlook data from corporate computers, and automatically send it to mobile phones running on Microsoft Windows software."

Lucas van Grinsven and Reed Stevenson. Microsoft Takes Aim at Blackberry with Mobile Email. Reuters. June 6, 2005.

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United Gets OK to Install Wi-Fi Equipment

"United Airlines plans to announce today that it is the first domestic airline to receive approval from regulators to install wireless Internet networks on its planes.

"United passengers will not be able to take advantage of the service just yet. The airline is still at least a year away from having its in-flight Wi-Fi service up and running. When it does, sometime in mid- to late 2006, passengers will be able to check e-mail, send instant messages and surf the Web at 30,000 feet.

"Similar services are already available on international flights operated by Lufthansa and Japan Airlines, among other carriers Wi-Fi is also available in terminals across the country. Many airports, like LaGuardia in New York, charge a flat daily rate to use a wireless Internet connection, while JetBlue Airways offers free Wi-Fi at some of its gates."

Jeremy W. Peters. United Airlines Approved for In-Flight Internet Service. The New York Times. June 6, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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June 06, 2005

Virgin & BT Test Mobile TV Service

"Virgin Mobile and BT Livetime announced a partnership yesterday to pilot live digital mobile TV. The duo will work with Microsoft, Sky, Argiva and GCap Media to do a four-month trial run over the DAB digital radio network.

"The television service offers Virgin Mobile's customers access to live digital TV 24 hours a day, and features the UK's first mobile Electronic Programme Guide, so customers can see what's on now, what's on later, and even set an alert to remind them when a favorite program is about to start, up to a week ahead.

"Ultimately, Virgin Mobile TV will also let customers record their favorite programs to watch later on their mobile."

Jennifer LeClaire. Virgin Tests Mobile TV. TechNewsWorld. June 3, 2005.

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June 04, 2005

Intel Finds Cell Communication Chip's First Customer

"More than two years after introducing its first chip for cellular phone communications, Intel Corp. finally has a customer.

"The world's largest chip maker said on Thursday that mmO2 Plc. will begin selling a music phone that uses Intel's Manitoba chip, which was originally released in February 2003.

"Intel's Manitoba chip has been widely considered a failure, having attracted no customers amid heated competition with established players like Texas Instruments Inc.."

Daniel Sorid. Intel's Cell Communications Chip Finds a Customer. Reuters. June 2, 2005.

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June 03, 2005

Municipalities Evaluate Broadband Options

"Across the nation, suburbs, coastal beach towns and big cities all are debating the role government should take in making sure their citizens have access to the Internet.

"It is becoming an increasingly important conversation as the world begins to measure how advanced a country is, in part, by how many of its citizens have high-speed Internet access at home."

Tricia Duryee. U.S. Cities Weigh Broadband Access. Seattle Times. May 31, 2005.

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June 01, 2005

Mobile Gaming Poised for Growth

"One of the hottest-selling video games today doesn't feature photorealistic graphics, multiple plotlines or a Hollywood cast of characters. It's 'Tetris,' an old-fashioned puzzle game that has sold more than 2 million copies via downloads on cellphones.

"Mobile games like 'Tetris' are poised for rapid growth after years of being a novelty business.

"Jupiter Research estimates that U.S. sales of cellphone games will grow from just $72 million in 2004 to $430 million in 2009. IDC, which pegged sales at $345 million last year, projected that the figure would top $1.5 billion by 2008."

Alex Pham. Cellphone Game Industry Is Poised to Ring Up Big Sales. LATimes.com. May 30, 2005.

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BCE Slams Canadian VoIP Ruling

"The head of BCE Inc., Canada's No. 1 phone company, slammed the country's telecom regulator on Tuesday for its decision this month to limit what big phone companies can charge for calls made using Internet protocol technology.

"BCE chief executive Michael Sabia said the decision would mainly help big cable companies who don't need the protection, adding the regulator failed to appreciate how much voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone service will shake up the industry."

Jeffrey Hodgson. BCE CEO Slams Canadian Regulator on VoIP Decision. Reuters. May 31, 2005.

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May 28, 2005

Citywide Wi-Fi Plans Lack Foresight

"Philadelphia is venturing into the Wi-Fi frontier and liking what it sees. The big question is, will it feel the same way two years from now?

"The city's experiment to blanket its 135 square miles with wireless high-speed Internet access has been hailed by supporters as one of the most innovative projects in the country. But some experts caution that significant technical and business issues must be hammered out before citywide wireless networks can become a reality.

"Large cities such as Philadelphia and San Francisco see wireless broadband technology as a low-cost solution to providing broadband access to low-income residents."

Marguerite Reardon. The Citywide Wi-Fi Reality Check. News.com. May 27, 2005.

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May 27, 2005

Patent War Wracks Wireless Industry

"A wave of patent-infringement lawsuits continues to engulf the wireless industry and it has many wondering whether it will harm vendors and users alike.

"In the most recent a legal challenge led by Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Apple, HP and Netgear seeks to invalidate a 1996 U.S. patent granted to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), an arm of the Australian government. According to CSIRO, the technology covered by patent is used in every Wi-Fi laptop and mobile device."

Ed Sutherland. Is Patent Warfare Killing Wi-Fi? Mobile Pipeline. May 25, 2005.

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May 24, 2005

GAO: Feds Fail to Implement Wi-Fi Security Measures

"Wireless networks pose a growing computer security risk as the popularity of the technology proliferates in coffee shops, homes and workplaces, and federal agencies are not responding to the mounting threat, government auditors said May 17.

"Agencies do not have complete controls for securing wireless networks and nine have not issued any policies on wireless networks, according to a new Government Accountability Office report (GAO-05-383).

"Thirteen agencies have no requirements for setting up secure wireless networks and a majority fail to monitor the networks enough to stop outsiders from gaining access."

Daniel Pulliam. GAO: Wireless Internet Access Threatens Computer Security. GovExec.com. May 20, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Government Accountability Office. Federal Agencies Need to Improve Controls Over Wireless Networks. (.pdf) May 2005.

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May 23, 2005

Businesses Slow to Adopt Wi-Fi

"Wi-Fi hot-spot services are popping up everywhere, and wireless carriers say they're seeing steady increases in subscription and usage of Wi-Fi hot-spots. Yet even with tens of thousands of hot-spots available to mobile workers, analysts say adoption of the technology among businesses has been slower than expected.

"Last week, Nextel Communications Inc. joined the market with a new Wi-Fi hot-spot service designed especially for mobile businesspeople. The carrier teamed up with Boingo Wireless Inc. and Wayport Inc. to provide businesses with access to more than 7,000 hot-spots in airports, hotels, convention centers, retail stores, and other locations in North America.

"More than 80% of wireless carriers now offer hot-spot services, according to research firm Gartner, and some wonder whether the market needs another provider at this time."

Elena Malykhina. Businesses Have Lukewarm View Of Wi-Fi Hot-Spots. Advanced IP Pipeline. May 20, 2005.

See also:
Mobile Pipeline Staff. Nextel Launches National Hot-Spot Service. Information Week. May 13, 2005.

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May 21, 2005

Orange UK Launches Mobile TV Service

"Mobile phone operators should perhaps prepare themselves for a spate of lawsuits from subscribers bumping into lamp-posts after Orange yesterday became the first UK provider to announce that it would provide live television to its customers' handsets.

"Orange TV, which will run over the company's 3G network, will from Monday offer subscribers with a compatible handset an initial lineup of nine channels for a monthly fee of £10 on top of their normal bill."

Owen Gibson. Mobile Phones Become Mobile TVs as Orange Unveils New Service. Guardian Unlimited. May 20, 2005.

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May 20, 2005

Cellphedia: A Mobile Encyclopedia

"When you need a quick fact at the office, you can always lift your head above 'the cubes' and broadcast your request to your fellow workers -- or you can reach for your cell phone and send a message to Cellphedia.

"Inspired by Wikipedia, the all-volunteer, online community encyclopedia, and Dodgeball, a cell phone-based social networking service, Cellphedia allows its members to broadcast questions to its community and receive answers, all through a mobile phone.

John P. Mello Jr. Cellphedia Melds Facts with Mobile Smart Mobs. E-Commerce Times. May 19, 2005.

See also:
Rachel Metz. Put Some Wisdom in Your Pocket. Wired News. May 11, 2005.

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May 19, 2005

GAO Reports Insecure Wi-Fi Networks

"A hacker on a park bench could log onto dozens of U.S. government computer networks thanks to slipshod security standards at many agencies, according to a congressional report (.pdf) released Tuesday.

"The report by the Government Accountability Office found that few government agencies can ensure that their wireless networks are protected from unauthorized access."

Reuters. Government Says Wi-Fi Networks Not Secure. News.com. May 17, 2005.

See also:
William Jackson. GAO: Federal Agencies Lack Basic Wireless Security. GCN. May 17, 2005.

U.S. Government Accountability Office. Federal Agencies Need to Improve Controls over Wireless Networks. May 2005.

Matt Hines. Worried About Wi-Fi Security?. News.com. Jan 19, 2005.

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Amber Alerts Available on Cellphones

"The Amber Alert system is going mobile.

"Major wireless phone companies said Tuesday that they will begin relaying the bulletins about abducted children on phones with text-messaging capabilities.

"That means the alerts -- which already reach hundreds of thousands of motorists by way of electronic highway signs -- can potentially reach millions of additional sets of eyes out of the estimated 182 million wireless subscribers nationwide."

Sam Diaz. Amber Alerts Coming to Cell Phones. San Jose Mercury News. May 18, 2005.

See also:
Tracy Ford. Wireless carriers Partner on Amber Alert Text Messages. RCRNews.com. May 17, 2005.

CITA. Wireless Industry and The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children Team Up for Child Safety. (Press Release.) May 17, 2005.

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May 18, 2005

Free Mobile Service to Deliver TV to Phones

"One of the first advertising-supported television stations capable of delivering programming to cell phones is set to debut soon.

"An estimated 10 million cell phones with Windows' Media Player software inside will be able to receive and display programming from the Digital Music Video Network when it debuts in mid-June with Top 40 music videos, organizers said Tuesday.

"Rather than paying a monthly fee for the programming, all viewers need to do is wait through 15-second advertisements sandwiched between the music videos, and pay the data-service fee for downloading all those bits onto their cell phone."

Ben Charny. 'Free' TV for Your Cell Phone. News.com. May 17, 2005.

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May 17, 2005

XM Satellite Radio Surpasses 4 Million Subscribers

"XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. on Monday said it boosted subscribers to its pay- radio service by 33 percent in about 5 months to over 4 million and expects to have 5.5 million customers by the end of the year.

"Washington-based XM Satellite, No. 1 ahead of rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. as a provider of satellite nationwide talk, news and music stations, also said it is holding discussions with wireless carriers about offering some form of its radio service on mobile telephones."

Franklin Paul. XM Satellite Tops 4 Million Subscribers. Reuters. May 16, 2005.

Related:
Judy Artunian. Traditional Radio Fighting Wave of Competition from Digital Rivals. Chicago Tribune. May 16, 2005.

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Napster Sells Ringtones

"Digital music service Napster has unveiled a new store aimed at selling ring tones for mobile phones.

"Created in partnership with Dwango Wireless, the Napstertones service offers most ring-tone downloads for prices between $1.99 and $2.99. For now, the service is available to Cingular and T-Mobile subscribers, but the companies hope to make it more easily accessible through phone carriers' networks later this year."

John Borland. Napster Opens Ring-tone Download Store. News.com. May 9, 2005.

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May 16, 2005

Nintendo 'Revolution' to Arrive in 2006

"Nintendo will launch its new video game console sometime next year, missing the key 2005 holiday shopping season and putting it a step behind Microsoft in the battle for the next-generation game machine, a Japanese business newspaper reported on Saturday.

"The report comes two days after Microsoft announced that its new console, called Xbox 360, will be in stores in time for the 2005 year-end shopping season, giving it a head-start on the competition if Sony and Nintendo don't introduce their new consoles until next year."

Reuters. Nintendo to Launch New Game Console in 2006. News.com. May 14, 2005.

See also:
Nintendo. Nintendo Reveals Early Details About Revolution. (Press Release.) May 13, 2005.

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Competitors Set Sights on the iPod

"Is Apple Computer's iPod headed for a fall? Microsoft seems to think so, as Bill Gates waxed pessimistically about his rival's chances in an interview with Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung magazine this week.

"Sure, you have to consider the source. Microsoft is trying to get its own fledgling digital music store off the ground and it's been working with wireless handset makers to help make a dent in the portable music player market. So it's only natural to be a little suspicious.

"Then again, if you follow the Macintosh lifeline, it's easy to see how Apple's pride cost it crucial market share in its battle against IBM and its personal computer clones. Although Apple is experiencing a resurgence of popularity with its desktops right now, it obviously commands a much thinner slice of the overall computing market these days."

Rick Aristotle Munarriz. Gates Takes a Bite Out of Apple. The Motley Fool. May 13, 2005.

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May 14, 2005

Microsoft Unveils Next-Generation Gaming Console

"Microsoft has beaten its game console rivals to the starting line with the introduction of its new Xbox.

"The software giant unveiled the Xbox 360 during a pre-taped MTV broadcast on Thursday night, edging out Sony and Nintendo to become the first to reveal details of a new console."

Richard Shim. Xbox 360 Launch Gets Jump on Rivals. News.com. May 12, 2005.

See also:
CNET News.com Staff. Xbox Specs Revealed. News.com. May 12, 2005.

Steve Fox. Microsoft's Xbox 360 Takes the Stage. PCWorld. May 12, 2005.

David Becker. Microsoft Sets Date for Xbox 2 Debut. News.com. April 11, 2005.

Update: Todd Bishop. Xbox 360 roundup. SeattlePI.com. May 13, 2005.

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Gates: Cell Phones Will Beat Others for Music

"Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates sees mobile phones overtaking standalone MP3 players and views the raging popularity of Apple Computer's iPod player as unsustainable, he said in an interview published Thursday.

"'As good as Apple may be, I don't believe the success of the iPod is sustainable in the long run,' he said in an interview published in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung."

Reuters. Gates Says Mobile Phones will Overtake iPods. News.com. May 12, 2005.

See also:
Ina Fried. Gates Sees Big Dollars in Little Devices. News.com. May 10, 2005.

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May 13, 2005

Google Acquires Dodgeball.com

"Google has acquired social-networking service Dodgeball, as it continues its expansion beyond search.

"Dodgeball posted a notice on its site, saying it was acquired on Wednesday. The note did not reveal financial details but did say that Dodgeball's two co-founders are 'Google superfans.'"

Margaret Kane. Google Buys Social-Networking Service. News.com. May 12, 2005.

See also:
Stacy Cowley. Google Learns How to Play Dodgeball. PCWorld. May 12, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

IDC: PDAs Continue to Lose Ground

"Shipments of handheld computers declined for the fifth straight quarter amid growth of so-called smart phones and other devices combining organizer functions with cell phone capabilities, the research firm IDC said Wednesday.

"Worldwide shipments of personal digital assistants, or PDAs - which lack telephone capabilities - decreased to 1.9 million units in the January-March period. That's a 12.1 percent decline compared with last year's first quarter, and a 30.6 percent drop from last year's fourth quarter, Framingham-based IDC said."

Associated Press. PDAs Keep Losing Ground to Smart Phones. Forbes.com. May 11, 2005.

See also:
IDC. Handhelds Continue Decline As Converged Mobile Devices Surge Ahead, According to IDC. (Press Release.) May 11, 2005.

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RealNetworks Enters Mobile Gaming Business

"RealNetworks is entering the mobile gaming market with its $15 million acquisition of a European-based firm, executives said Wednesday.

"Seattle-based Real said it finalized its purchase of Mr.Goodliving on May 6. The Helsinki-based company distributes the Playman Sports series and the European-distribution rights for the mobile edition of Trivial Pursuit."

InternetNews.com Staff. RealNetworks Buys Into Mobile Games. InternetNews.com. May 11, 2005.

See also:
John Cook. RealNetworks Buys Finnish Mobile-Game Distributor. SeattlePI.com. May 11, 2005.

Associated Press. RealNetworks Buys Mr. Goodliving for $15M. Forbes.com. May 11, 2005.

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May 12, 2005

W3C Launches Mobile Web Initiative

"The Web's leading standards body has launched a ground campaign to promote its mobile Web protocols in the real world.

"The W3C, or World Wide Web Consortium, on Wednesday announced its Mobile Web Initiative, a new kind of working group that will concentrate on the application of the consortium's existing recommendations for Web content written for mobile devices."

Paul Festa. W3C Launches Mobile Push. News.com. May 11, 2005.

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May 11, 2005

Microsoft Releases Windows Mobile 5.0

"Microsoft launched its next generation Windows Mobile platform as it attempts to elevate its standing in the mobile space and tread into lucrative niche markets dominated by RIM's Blackberry and Apple's iPod.

"The platform, developed under the code name 'Magneto,' is the successor to Windows Mobile 2003 and offers more stability and reliability, as well as rich access to office applications and multimedia data from Windows-based handhelds, Gates said."

Paula Rooney. Microsoft Launches Windows Mobile 5.0. CRN. May 10, 2005.

See also:
Ina Fried. Gates Sees Big Dollars in Little Devices. News.com. May 10, 2005.

Shelley Solheim. Gates: Windows Mobile 5.0 Will Make Your Phone Smarter. eWeek. May 10, 2005.

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Digital Media Holds Promise for Stakeholders

"Still using your cell phone just to make phone calls? How passé.

"If the seers are correct, within a year your cell phone will be capable of live television, music downloads and playback, videogames, storing movie clips and viewing everything from photo albums to digital home movies. In short, more than you may have ever thought possible.

"Of course, there are high hurdles to clear before all this great stuff happens--complex rights agreements, conflicting technology standards and the sometimes fractious relationship between carriers and content providers--but everyone involved has a stake in making it work.

"How big a stake? It's almost too big to put a number on."

Lisa DiCarlo. The Only Exciting Thing In Tech?. Forbes.com. May 9, 2005.

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Tiger's iSync Changes Affects Mobile Devices

"Apple recently released Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4), which includes significant changes to iSync. This affects users of The Missing Sync, Mark/Space's synchronization software for various types of handhelds.

"The changes to iSync mean that The Missing Sync for Pocket PC no longer works. This was Mark/Space's original application for Pocket PCs, and is being phased out. Development has stopped on this application, and therefore it is not compatible with Tiger."

Ed Hardy. What Mac OS X Tiger Means for Handheld Users. Brighthand. May 5, 2005.

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May 10, 2005

Broadband Delivered Services Outpaces Broadband Adoption

"Consumer spending on broadband-delivered online services -- from streaming music and video to voice over Internet protocol phone calling -- more than doubled last year, according to a new report that bears promising news for telecommunications carriers as well as e-commerce companies and their content-provider partners.

"Research firm Point Topic said that at the start of 2004, the annual rate of consumer spending on what it calls broadband value-added services, or BVAS, was running at an annual rate of US$3.3 billion. By year's end, that figure had leapt to $6.9 billion worldwide.

"In fact, Point Topic said the data bears especially good news, since the growth of revenues and users of value-added services outpaced even the rapid expansion of broadband adoption itself."

Keith Regan. Report: Revenue from Broadband-Delivered Services Doubles. E-Commerce Times. May 9, 2005.

See also:
John Walko. Consumer Broadband Revenues Seen Doubling In One Year. InformationWeek. May 6, 2005.

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NYC Candidate Leverage Collaboration Tools

"It was inevitable. At some point one of us -- and by that I mean someone with a clue about technology -- would run for political office.

"I don't count Al Gore or Howard Dean, whose campaign raised vast sums when it discovered e-mail and e-commerce. I mean someone like Andrew Rasiej, one of four Democratic candidates vying for New York City's Office of Public Advocate, which advises the mayor on community relations and investigates complaints against city agencies.

"Rasiej's proposals rely heavily on developing universal Wi-Fi and wiring the subways for cell phones. He looks to the model of open source as a way for the citizenry to identify, report and fix problems -- for example, he says it's a fine idea if New Yorkers could use cell-phone cameras to report potholes to the proper authorities."

Adam L. Penenberg. The Techno Candidate. Wired News. May 5, 2005.

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Gartner: Wireless E-Mail Drives PDA Shipments

"The continuing popularity of wireless e-mail applications drove a 25 percent jump in first-quarter PDA shipments, according to new research from Gartner.

"All told, 3.4 million PDAs were shipped in the first three months of the year, up from 2.7 million during the same period last year. In addition, the average selling price (ASP) of $406 was 15 percent higher. PDAs are at their highest ASP since Gartner began calculating the metric in 2000."

Sean Michael Kerner. E-Mail Apps Power PDA Shipments. InternetNews.com. May 9, 2005.

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May 09, 2005

Telecom Fight Cities' Wireless Forays

"A number of U.S. cities are becoming giant wireless 'hot spots' where Internet users will be able to log on from the beach or a bus stop, a trend that is triggering a fierce backlash from telecom and cable giants.

"Free or discounted wireless service can spur economic development, improve police patrols and other city services and encourage Internet use in poorer neighborhoods, according to government officials.

"The trend has prompted an intense backlash from the large telecom and cable providers that sell most broadband access in the United States. At their request, 13 states have passed laws restricting cities setting up their own networks, and several others are considering such bans."

Reuters. U.S. Cities Set Up Their Own Wireless Networks. eWeek. May 4, 2005.

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May 06, 2005

DRM Costs Effect Mobile Music Services

"A tussle over antipiracy technology is looming over the young mobile phone content business, with big phone companies claiming that new music and video services could be derailed as a result.

"At issue is a set of technologies aimed at protecting music and other content from being indiscriminately copied after being sold through mobile phone networks, a critical component of the new content services if record labels and movie studios are to sign on."

John Borland. Anticopying Fight Mars Mobile Music. News.com. May 5, 2005.

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May 05, 2005

A Guide for VoIP in the Home

"A few years ago, a buzz began spreading about Internet telephony, a technology allowing telephone conversations to be made across the Internet rather than exclusively over regular phone lines.

"Such calls, made at little or no expense to the caller, were portrayed as a threat to the established phone companies. More recently, Internet phone technology - also known as voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP - made inroads into businesses using heavy-duty equipment from companies like Cisco.

"Now, thanks to providers like Vonage and others, it has found its way into the home."

Daniel Terdiman. Internet Phones Arrive at Home (and Some Need No Computer). The New York Times. May 5, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Congressman Criticizes EU's RFID Passports

"A key U.S. congressman who led post-Sept. 11 passport reforms told European diplomats last week that there was no need for European countries to put RFID chips in their passports and that Congress never required them to do so.

"Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, expressed dismay that EU countries were planning to employ a technology that was still unproven for use in travel documents that would add costs and delays to rolling out new, more secure passports."

Kim Zetter. Lawmaker Rips RFID Passport Plans. Wired News. May 4, 2005.

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May 04, 2005

Municipal Battle Over Broadband

"A hundred years ago, when Louisiana was still literally in the dark, residents of Lafayette banded together to build a city-owned electric utility where once there was little more than swampland. Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, it is hatching plans to lay out its own state-of-the-art fiber-optic broadband network.

"This time, the city's futuristic ambitions are challenged not by the rigors of geography but by obstacles of business: specifically, telecommunications giant BellSouth and cable provider Cox Communications, which claimed the region as their own years ago.

"After a legal skirmish earlier this year, the two sides are preparing for a citywide election slated for mid-July that will decide the issue.

Jim Hu and Marguerite Reardon. Cities Brace for Broadband War. News.com. May 2, 2005.

See also:
Marguerite Reardon. Lafayette Hits Snag in Fiber Build. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

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AOL Adds Multimedia to AIM

"America Online has overhauled its instant messaging application to combine voice and text conversations with games and file- and photo-sharing.

Last week, the Internet company began testing an early-stage IM application, called Triton, which eventually will be the foundation of AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM. Among its innovations, Triton features a unified chat box with 'tabs' for each new conversation and easy access to address book information.

Stefanie Olsen. AOL Tests Triton IM Software. News.com. May 3, 2004.

See also:
Juan Carlos Perez. AOL Gives AIM an Extreme Makeover. PCWorld. April 29, 2005.

David Worthington and Nate Mook. AOL Testing Next Generation AIM Client. BetaNews. April 26, 2005.

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Web Searches via Mobile Phones

"A few months ago, a group of friends in Austin, Tex., were dining out when the talk turned to the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament. Someone asked, When does the first round start? No one knew.

"So Mohit Goyal, a business analyst with a software company, opened his phone and typed in a few keywords. Mr. Goyal found the answer in seconds, and the group made plans to get together for the first-round game. 'I love the fact that no matter where I am, I can get this information,' he said.

"Mr. Goyal is an early adopter of technology, and his experience is most likely to sound too good to be true to most cellular users."

Lisa Guernsey. The Cellphone's Potential as a Search Tool Gets Tapped. The New York Times. May 4, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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May 03, 2005

Engadget Grills Gates

"We couldn’t pin him down for as long as we’d have liked, but Bill sat down with us at last week’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference for a one-on-one. The clock ran out before we were able to ask him about Portable Media Center, what smartphone he uses, and of course, getting knighted (among other things), but we were able to rap with him about the launch of the next Xbox console, whether or not Microsoft is going to come out with a competitor for the PlayStation Portable, and the future of Windows Mobile."

Engadget. The Engadget Interview: Bill Gates, Pt. 1. May 2, 2005.

Engadget. The Engadget Interview: Bill Gates, Pt. 2. May 3, 2005.

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ABC to Offer News on PSP

"In a one-two punch for PSP owners, ABC News and AtomFilms have both said they will offer free downloadable video content for Sony's new handheld.

"ABC News will soon offer video snippets on its Web site that can be downloaded and viewed on demand, similar to podcasted content popular with bloggers and owners of MP3 players. There is no word yet on exactly when ABC News will make its content available."

GameSpot Staff. ABC News, AtomFilms Offer PSP Video. News.com. May 2, 2005.

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Georgia to Equip Schools With iBooks

"The time-honored tradition of a teacher with an Apple on their desk has met the 21st century in Cobb County, Georgia. The Cobb County School District has given the go ahead to procure up to 63,000 iBooks for teachers and students in a largest ever one-to-one computer learning initiative called 'Power To Learn.'

"The first phase will begin as a pilot program this fall with the deployment of 17,000 iBook G4 laptop computers at four high schools. With continued school board approval, the program will be extended to all Cobb County high school and middle school students. All teachers K-12 will be provided with the laptops."

David Worthington. Georgia County Outfits Students with iBooks. Beta News. May 2, 2005.

See also:
Dawn Kawamoto. Apple Tries to Recover in the Classroom. News.com. May 2, 2005.

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May 02, 2005

Patents Become Valuable Property

"Mr. Stout, who has practiced patent law for 33 years, is a founder of NTP, whose only assets are a series of wireless e-mail patents granted to Thomas J. Campana Jr., the other founder, and whose only business is extracting licensing fees from companies.

"Started 13 years ago, NTP has used the staff at Mr. Stout's law firm to exploit those patents. In March, their persistence paid off. Research In Motion, the Canadian maker of the popular BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices, agreed to pay NTP $450 million to settle a long-running and sometimes bitter patent dispute between the companies.

"Mr. Stout said the settlement was a vindication of individuals over large corporations. And the settlement has emboldened NTP, which is pursuing additional licenses. Other companies, including Nokia, a rival of Research In Motion, have already signed licensing agreements with NTP."

Ian Austen and Lisa Guernsey. A Payday for Patents 'R' Us. The New York Times. May 2, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Study: TV Phones Common By 2010

"About 125 million consumers will be watching television on their mobile phone in five years from now, a new survey found on Thursday.

"Mobile television is not yet commercially available, but trials are carried out around the world, and consumers are expected to be able to pick up the first TV phones by the end of the year. Handset makers will sell 130,000 TV phones this year, rising to 83.5 million by 2010, research group Informa said."

Reuters. Survey: TV for Mobile Phones Set to Reach Masses. April 28, 2005.

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April 29, 2005

Verizon to Turn Off Free Wi-Fi

"Verizon Wireless is pulling the plug on its free wireless Internet access service that uses New York City phone booths as 'hotspots' for its DSL subscribers.

"The company's wireless unit says it will phase out the service over the next two months and begin concentrating on the deployment of a fee-based cellular Internet service for the metropolitan area."

Tim Gray. Verizon Wireless Cuts NYC Wi-Fi. InternetNews.com. April 29, 2005.

See also:
Bruce Meyerson. Verizon Pulling Plug on Free NYC Wi-Fi. Yahoo! News. April 29, 2005.

Russell Shaw. Verizon Wi-Fi(nished): Here are the Lessons for VoIP Services. ZDNet. April 29, 2005.

David Haskin. Verizon Has Met The Enemy And It's Themselves. Mobile Pipeline Blog. April 29, 2005

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 09:59 PM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

California Passes Bill to Limit RFID

"While civil libertarians battle the federal government's decision to embed RFID chips in new U.S. passports, a California bill is moving swiftly through the state legislature that would make it illegal for state agencies and other bodies to use the technology in state identification documents.

"The bill, which California lawmakers believe is the first of its kind in the nation, would prohibit the use of radio-frequency identification, or RFID, chips in state identity documents such as student badges, driver's licenses, medical cards and state employee cards. The bill allows for some exceptions."

Kim Zetter. State Bill to Limit RFID. Wired News. April 29, 2005.

See also:
Alorie Gilbert. California Bill Would Ban Tracking Chips in IDs. News.com. April 28, 2005.

Related:
Eric Lipton. U.S. to Alter Design of e-Passports. News.com. April 27, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Wiretaps Jump: Target Mobile Devices

"The number of court-authorized wiretaps jumped 19 percent last year as investigators pursued drug and other cases against increasingly tech-savvy suspects. Every surveillance request made by authorities was granted."

Devlin Barrett. Wiretaps in U.S. Jump 19 Percent in 2004. SFGate.com. April 28, 2005.

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Survey: Smart Phone Users Aware of Viruses

"Most people with smart phones are aware of emerging security threats to the devices, but many of them still keep sensitive data on them, according to a new study.

"In a survey of 300 American adults published Thursday, security company Symantec found that 73 percent of smart phones users knew about viruses and other attacks that target the devices, which marry PC-like features such as e-mail and Internet access to a mobile handset.

"In addition, more than 70 percent of respondents expressed some concern over the possibility of hackers stealing or corrupting confidential information stored on their smart phones."

Matt Hines. Smart Phone Owners are Savvy About Viruses. News.com. April 28, 2005.

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FCC To Mandate VoIP-911 Plan

"The Federal Communication Commission said it will move ahead with developing a plan to require emergency 911 calling capability on VoIP phones.

"The FCC's announcement to have 911 in place for all phones comes after Verizon and SBC already have stated that they will speed the process of providing VoIP access to 911.

"Despite such movement within the industry, FCC chairman Kevin Martin said he still will propose requirements for providers to ensure that the actions are going forward."

Elizabeth Millard. FCC To Require 911 for VoIP. NewsFactor. April 28, 2005.

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April 28, 2005

Nokia Launches Multimedia Phone

"Nokia on Wednesday announced a trio of new phones, including one that can store up to 3,000 songs.

"The N91 has an integrated 4GB hard disk and supports digital music formats including MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA, Nokia said.

"Additionally, the handset comes with a stereo headset with remote control. The N91, expected to ship by the end of the year, will also feature a 2-megapixel camera, e-mail support, a Web-browser and video-sharing capabilities, the device maker said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Nokia to Launch Phone that Stores 3,000 Songs. News.com. April 27, 2005.

See also:
Lucas van Grinsven. Nokia Takes Aim at IPod with Premium Line of Phones. Reuters. April 27, 2005.

Sascha Segan. Nokia's N91 Targets iPod. PCMag.com. April 27, 2005.

BBC News. Nokia Offers New Range of Phones. April 27,2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:59 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

April 27, 2005

Municipal v. Private Wi-Fi

"What if a wireless computer user could access high speed Internet anywhere -- for free? It would be just like turning on a radio and receiving a signal. That's what's happening in some areas, and others are exploring it across the nation."

National Public Radio. The Internet as a Public Utility. Talk of the Nation. April 25, 2005.

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Yahoo Mobilizes Nokia Phones

"Nokia has begun selling advanced cell phones with Yahoo messaging, search and Web browsing embedded inside, in a move to spur wireless data usage and sales of smart phones.

"The Finnish handset maker said Tuesday that the first three smart phones with Yahoo's popular software onboard are Nokia models 6680, 6681 and 6630, which are now widely available in Europe and Asia. Nokia said additional models will be unveiled on Wednesday."

Ben Charny. Nokia Makes More Room for Yahoo. News.com. April 26, 2005.

See also:
Andrew Orlowski. A Yahoo! Phone? Nokia Can Help. The Register. April 26, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:04 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

April 26, 2005

VIsually Impaired Shut Out of Mobile Revolution

"As technology has evolved, it's become lighter, smaller and more portable. For most people, that makes it more convenient. For millions of blind and vision-impaired people, it's anything but. Blind people need a way to communicate with the machines that surround them from automated tellers to ticketing machines at train stations and airports.

"Jay Leventhal, editor in chief of AccessWorld: Technology and People with Visual Impairments, and other experts on assistive technology say there's no reason that can't happen."

Vicki Smith. The Blind Struggle As Gadgets Proliferate. WashingtonPost.com. April 23, 2005.

See also:
Jay Leventhal. Do the iPods Have It? A Review of Apple's iPod. AccessWorld. March 2005.

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Blackberrys Become Painful

"Sandy Boyd's BlackBerry had become her passion. Now it has also become a source of pain.

"About three months ago, the National Association of Manufacturers vice president noticed that, as she started to type, the area between her thumb and wrist would begin to throb.

"Orthopedists say they are seeing an increasing number of patients with similar symptoms, a condition known as 'overuse syndrome' or 'BlackBerry thumb.' In some patients, the disability has become severe."

Amy Joyce. For Some, Thumb Pain Is BlackBerry's Stain. WashingtonPost.com. April 23, 2005.

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CTIA Opposes Oregon Cell Phone Tax

"Major cell phone lobbyists have launched a campaign opposing a proposed law for Oregon municipalities to collect a 5 percent cell phone tax.

"Late last week, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association sent letters to major Oregon lawmakers urging they defeat the tax. The proposed tax had been introduced earlier this year."

Ben Charny. Oregon Proposes Local Cell Phone Tax. News.com. April 24, 2005.

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April 23, 2005

The Missing Sync Now Available

"Software maker Mark/Space announced on Thursday the availability of The Missing Sync software for the T-Mobile Sidekick cellular device and Apple Computer's Mac OS X operating system."

Richard Shim. T-Mobile Sidekick, Mac OS X Sync Up. News.com. April 21, 2005.

See also:
Mark/Space. Mark/Space Ships The Missing Sync for Hiptop. (Press Release.) April 21, 2005.

Peter Cohen. Missing Sync comes to T-Mobile Sidekick. MacWorld. April 20, 2005.

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April 21, 2005

Ads Coming Soon to Mobile Devices

"Sprint sees many new opportunities emerging in mobile data services in the coming years, among them the chance to sell advertising on its mobile entertainment offerings.

"Sprint offers games, TV and other mobile content today that is fully supported by customer fees. It's not clear yet what form advertising might take, whether commercials inserted into shows and games or some other delivery method, said Paul Reddick, vice president of business development, strategy and planning at Sprint PCS.

"The carrier, which agreed late last year to acquire mobile operator Nextel Communications, also sees strong potential for location-based services and the use of handsets as electronic wallets."

Stephen Lawson. Sprint Sees Advertising-Supported Mobile Services. InfoWorld. April 19, 2005.

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Universities May Sponsor Nationwide Hot Spot

"Before it was the World Wide Web, the Internet started life as DARPAnet, a nationwide computer network that connected U.S. government with the nation's leading research universities.

"Although students and faculty members at virtually all universities and many school systems routinely access the Internet through their local networks today, gaining access from remote campuses is difficult.

"That's about to change through an initiative called Education First, a cooperative effort of two educational management organizations, based in Minnesota, and two Massachusetts-based wireless technology companies working to turn the entire educational community into one giant coast-to-coast hot spot.

Carol Ellison. Education Network Seeks to Become Nation's Largest Wi-Fi Hot Spot. eWeek. April 15, 2005.

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VoIP & Wireless Coming Together Soon

"What do you get when you combine Voice over Internet telephony, Wi-Fi wireless access and cell phones? Aside from an acronym-induced headache, you get yet another new telephone technology with the potential to concuss an industry already whipsawed by tectonic change.

"That may sound a tad dramatic, especially coming from a business known for tall predictions. Skeptics say it remains entirely unclear how and when VoIP, or Voice-over-Internet-Protocol phone service, will intertwine with cell phones and wireless Internet access _ or whether any part of the business will suffer as a result.

"And yet the appeal is obvious."

Associated Press. VoIP And Wireless: Destined To Converge. Advanced IP Pipeline. April 20, 2005.

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Verizon Launches Iobi Enterprise Tool

"Verizon Communications Inc. has unveiled tools to allow enterprise users to get their phone calls, e-mails and instant messages through a single Web-based portal.

"In an announcement yesterday, New York-based Verizon debuted its iobi Enterprise tools, which allow users to link voice and messaging services and to have real-time remote control of phone traffic, messaging alerts and other services.

"Iobi Enterprise can be accessed through a PC client, Web browser or voice portal. Workers can retrieve voice mails via their PC, forward them using e-mail and organize them with their e-mail service. Mobile workers can link their voice services with their daily schedules, enabling voice features to follow them as they travel."

Todd R. Weiss. Verizon Debuts New Iobi Enterprise Communications Tools. ComputerWorld. April 19, 2005.

See also:
Elena Malykhina. Verizon's Iobi Enterprise Lets Businesses Link Voice And Messaging Services To Numerous Devices. InformationWeek. April 19, 2005.

Verizon Communications. Verizon Simplifies Business Communications With iobi Enterprise. (Press Release.) April 18, 2005.

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April 20, 2005

Skype Goes Mobile

"A desire for wireless access will help drive the market for voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, according to speakers at the Voice on the Net Canada conference.

"Niklas Zennstrom, founder and chief executive officer of Skype, who spoke Tuesday to about 150 people at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, said Skype is working on VoIP clients that will operate on platforms like Symbian, Windows Mobile and Embedded Linux, adding dual-mode wireless handsets that work on both Wi-Fi networks – originally designed as local-area data networks using the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ 802.11 protocol – and cellular networks."

Greg Meckbach. Skype Reaches Out to Mobile Users. ITBusiness.ca. April 19, 2005.

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Vonage Links Up with Home Security Provider

"Vonage has teamed up with wireless security provider Alarm.com to tackle a common problem that has kept some consumers with home alarm systems from subscribing to Internet phone services.

"Alarm.com has begun marketing Vonage along with its own equipment in an effort to appeal to people who may want voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service but are already tied to a landline phone via their alarm systems."

Ben Charny. Vonage Cracks Into Market Dominated by Landlines. News.com. April 19, 2005.

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WiMax Service Will Offer 'Fixed Wireless'

"NextWeb, a Fremont Internet service provider, plans to announce today an Internet phone service that uses a wireless technology known as WiMax.

"The phone service will launch in cities across California next month.

"Certification of WiMax, a wireless technology backed primarily by Intel, is expected as early as summer.

"However, companies already are launching products using the technology."

Sam Diaz. WiMax Phone Service Coming. San Jose Mercury News. April 19, 2005.

Related:
Mike Musgrove. Intel Unveils Long-Range Wireless Technology. WashingtonPost.com. April 19, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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RFID Moves Beyond Government Apps

"Radio frequency identification (RFID) has been around for a while — some would argue 50 years — but has only now entered the mainstream.

"The technology uses radio frequency waves to transmit information about objects. RFID tags, tiny silicon-based devices, fundamentally act like bar codes. But the similarities end there."

John Moore. RFID's Positive Identification. FCW. April 18, 2005.

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Verizon Offers 'Naked DSL' in Northeast

"Verizon customers in 13 states can drop their wireline phone service while retaining their broadband connection, a spokeswoman for the regional telecom said.

"Standalone digital subscriber line (DSL), sometimes called 'naked' DSL, is aimed at subscribers who are happy with Verizon DSL but want voice service from a wireless carrier, Voice over IP startup or cable operator."

Colin C. Haley. Verizon Offers DSL Straight Up. InternetNews.com. April 19, 2005.

See also:
Matt Richtel. Some Verizon Customers to Get 'Naked' DSL. News.com. April 18, 2005.

Barb Dybwad. Verizon finally Gets Naked DSL, But is Still Too Modest Outside the Northeast. Engadget. April 18, 2005.

Jan Dawson. "Naked DSL" - Much More Important Than Many Realise. Ovum. No date.

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April 19, 2005

Wireless Popularity to Spur Mobile Device Growth

"BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. may just be in the early stages of its growth even though its wireless e-mail device is now the world's most popular, its co-chief executive said on Monday.

"Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said he believes growth prospects are strong because wireless data is by far the best way for companies to improve productivity."

Reuters. CEO: RIM's Growth May Just Be in Early Stages. eWeek. April 18, 2005.

See also:
Canadian Press. RIM Chief Bullish on Wireless. The Globe & Mail. April 18, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:25 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Cell Phone - Just for Spies

"Just by looking at it, you'd think that the Meganet VME Spy phone XP was just your like a typical Siemens or Nokia cell. It uses the exact same case. It acts just like a regular mobile phone, too--you make and receive calls and send text messages in a normal fashion.

"All's normal, that is, until the intelligence agent across town calls it, using a special code. You won't feel it vibrate, you won't hear it ring, in fact, you're not even using it. But now your phone is a bug, and the agent who called you can listen in on anything you say--on the phone or off-- to anyone."

Erik Larkin. Is Your Cell Phone Ratting on You?. PC World. April 14, 2005.

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April 18, 2005

U.S. Cell Phones to Get Visual Radio

"'Visual radio' is coming to the United States--and no, that's not just a newfangled name for a TV set.

"Radio giant Infinity Broadcasting is working with Hewlett-Packard to bring a kind of Net-enabled FM radio to U.S. markets, sending information such as album art, concert dates and buy-this-album buttons alongside broadcasts.

"The broadcasts will be aimed at a new generation of FM radio-enabled phones, as well as the digital information carried over cellular phone carriers' airwaves, rather than on the one-way FM broadcasts. The companies hope to turn the service into a new advertising and revenue source for traditional radio, which is facing increasing competition from satellite radio and Internet Webcasts."

John Borland. 'Visual Radio' Headed for U.S. Cell Phones. News.com. April 18, 2005.

See also:
Sue Zeidler. Infinity Plans to Broadcast to Cellphones in U.S.. Reuters. April 18, 2005.

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Controversy Over British Library's Wi-Fi Fees

"Wireless internet access at the British Library (BL) has come under fire after details of the service's provision emerged using the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

"Author and library user Heather Brooke has obtained the service agreement documents for wi-fi access at the BL, and is campaigning for costs to be slashed.

"Brooke is unhappy that wireless internet access at the St Pancras site is supplied by a private company and expensive to use."

Mark Chillingworth. British Library Wi-fi Access Under Fire. Information World Review. April 15, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Verizon CEO Claims Municipal Wi-Fi is Dumb Idea

"The head of the country's largest phone company ridiculed San Francisco's interest in building a municipal Wi-Fi network that is designed to offer cheap or free Internet service throughout the city.

"'That could be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard,'' said Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive officer of Verizon Communications, during a meeting with Chronicle editors and writers on Friday.

"Seidenberg said private companies like Verizon, which already run data networks, are much better positioned than government agencies to offer high- speed Internet service."

Todd Wallack. Verizon CEO Sounds Off on Wi-Fi, Customer Gripes. San Francisco Chronicle. April 16, 2005.

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April 16, 2005

Skype Enhances VoIP Services

"Skype has enhanced its popular voice-over-IP application with today's official public beta launch of two new paid-for features: SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail.

"Both have been available in limited tests but are now ready for widespread use for the Windows, Linux, Pocket PC and Mac OS X versions of the VoIP software, which has just reached the 100 million download mark and boasts 35 million registered users."

Sylvia Carr. Skype Spruced Up with Paid-for Services. Silicon.com. April 15, 2005.

See also:
Reuters. Skype Adds New Services for Internet Phoning. April 15, 2005.

Associated Press. Skype Nears 100M Downloads for Software. Forbes.com. April 15, 2005.

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April 15, 2005

Did Blackberry Maker Settle for No Reason?

"Research In Motion, maker of the ubiquitous BlackBerry, last month paid $450 million to settle a furious legal battle over five patents held by NTP. The markets welcomed RIM's decision to settle, boosting its stock 8% overnight, to $64.85. But RIM might soon regret that it ever made a deal.

"On Apr. 6, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office rejected one of the five patents NTP had accused RIM of infringing and gave a strong indication that the other disputed four might soon be rejected upon reexamination as well. The agency has been taking a second look at more than 2,000 claims made on a total of eight NTP patents, including the five that RIM allegedly infringed, ever since Arlington, Virginia-based concern sued RIM in December, 2002. After more than two years, the officials have rejected all 523 claims NTP made on three of those patents."

Lorraine Woellert. Did RIM Pay Too Soon? BusinessWeek Online. April 8, 2005.

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Stay in School

"Aomori University has started using mobile phones in what it calls a system to thwart attendance record cheats.

"Students attending classes must use a mobile phone to e-mail a college administrators's site a number their teacher will show them as the lesson begins.

"Administrators then randomly select five to 10 students who have claimed attendance and send them a reply."

Mainichi Daily News. College Uses Mobile Phones to Monitor Attendance. April 13, 2005.

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Land of 1,000 Lakes Snips the Wire

"Days after Philadelphia rolled out its plans to go wireless, Minneapolis unveiled plans to provide wireless Internet access to the city's business, residents, governmental officials and visitors.

"The city's RFP, to be issued Wednesday, is expected to call for a privately owned, $15 million to $20 million citywide wireless and fiber-optic network. Contracts are expected to be issued later this year. The service should be available to residents late in 2006."

Carol Ellison. Minneapolis Plans to Go Wireless. eWeek. April 13, 2005.

See also:
Carol Ellison. Philadelphia: Muni Wi-Fi's Worst-Case Scenario. eWeek. April 11, 2005.

Carol Ellison. Municipal Broadband Bills Come Under Fire. eWeek. March 16, 2005.

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CNet Publishes WiFi Primer

"Fast-paced innovation can be exhilarating, but it can also be a recipe for confusion.

"Take Wi-Fi, the popular wireless-networking technology that's taken the computer and consumer electronics industries by storm. The term specifically refers to a handful of standards approved by industry groups that has made wireless networking inexpensive and nearly unbiquitous in the latest gadgets and computers. The Wi-Fi standards use unlicensed radio spectrum to transfer data between devices, such as a laptop and a wireless-networking router.

"Wireless networking has become common in the latest computers and gadgets, with the tech that drives it morphing faster than you can say 'router.' But wireless-networking standards can be daunting: Some work together, some don't. Each has advantages and disadvantages. All are available in commercial products you can buy now. Get fluent in Wi-Fi speak so you can pick the gear that's right for you."

Richard Shim. FAQ: Wi-Fi Alphabet Soup. News.com. April 14, 2005.

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Intel Tests Wi-Fi at North Pole

Intel has rigged up a Wi-Fi hotspot just 80km from the North Pole, presumably so that Sir Ranaulph Fiennes and his ilk can check his email next time they take a little stroll across the ice-pack.

"The installation was designed as a test to find out what the limits of the technology are - as well as the limits of journalists' appetite for stupid press stunts."

Lucy Sherriff. Frozen Polar Waste Gets Wi-Fi Hotspot. The Register. April 14, 2005.

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April 14, 2005

Wireless E-mail on Smartphones by 2008

"Wireless e-mail connectivity will be a built-in feature on all smartphones by the end of 2008, according to a new report from Gartner that underscores the shift in the hand-held device market and portends massive future changes.

"Gartner said wireless e-mail is on its way to becoming a mainstream mobile application as common as voice communications among end users, but that several factors are hampering uptake of wireless e-mail for the time being."

Keith Regan. Report: E-Mail Coming to All Smartphones Soon. E-Commerce Times. April 13, 2005.

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April 12, 2005

More Cities Adopt WiFi Plans

"Nobody doubts the benefits of Wi-Fi broadband technology. No longer is a computer user tethered to a wire in order to surf the Web. All you need is to be within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, and thousands are sprouting up—at airports, parks, hotels, bookstores, coffee shops, college campuses. Business travelers rely on them. Students need them. Everybody with a PC likes them.

"The telecoms, while deploying Wi-Fi in ever more places, won't likely be solving the problem soon because they target lucrative, high-density markets to make a profit. Instead, municipalities have begun creating hotspots themselves, as a way to reach lower-density and lower-income areas that a profit-making company would ignore."

John Ness. Wi-Fi Clouds Arrive. Newsweek. April 18, 2005.

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Computers in Libraries' Presentations Available Online

"This page features links to World Wide Web sites, PowerPoint slideshows, and other electronic resources used in support of presentations at Computers in Libraries 2005. Links are provided at the discretion of presenters. Additional links will be provided as they become available."

Information Today. Computers in Libraries 2005: Presentation Links.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of these presentation links through a posting in beSpacific, edited by Sabrina I. Pacifici.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on K. Matthew Dames' presentation at the conference.

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Google Unveils Mobile Local Search

"Google has added a new service that enables cell phone users in the U.S. use a remarkably robust version of Google Local directly from a mobile handset.

"The new service, available now at local.google.com/local, is very similar to the local search service available via personal computer. "There are some differences between cell phone and [personal computer] results, but not enough in this particular instance to impact users," said Georges Harik, director of product management for Google."

Chris Sherman. Google Debuts Local Mobile. SearchEngineWatch. April 12, 2005.

See also:
Ben Z. Gottesman. Google Local Results Go Mobile. PC Magazine. April 12, 2005.

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April 11, 2005

Service Transforms Cell Phone into Payment Device

"When customers step into a cab from the Hello Taxi company in Brookline, Mass., they don't have to worry about fumbling in their pockets for cash, or about swiping their credit card in a moving vehicle, or even about finding their wireless fob to wave in front of a reader. To pay and tip the driver, passengers just say the last four digits of their cell phones, and then they can run.

"Hello Taxi is one of about 80 merchants in the Boston area working with a creative means of payment processing from a company called MobileLime. MobileLime CEO Bob Wesley says the service is much more than a payment method, as it also gives retailers real-time marketing, a cardless loyalty program and a CRM (customer relationship management) package.

Evan Schuman. Service Lets Customers Buy with a Phone Number. eWeek. April 7, 2005.

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April 09, 2005

Philly Unveils Public Wireless Plan

"The city of Philadelphia on Thursday unveiled a plan to transform its streets and neighbourhoods into a gigantic wireless Internet hotspot.

"If approved, the project (.pdf) will offer low-cost wireless broadband access throughout the city's 135-square-mile area. The city will build out the infrastructure and then sell wholesale access to Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and non-profit organisations.

"ISPs and other providers will handle all billing, marketing, customer service and the at-home equipment needed to pick up the signals."

Jim Hu and Marguerite Reardon. Philadelphia Pushes on with Wi-Fi Plan. ZDNet. April 8, 2005.

See also:
Michelle Chen. Philly to Defy Telecom Giants, Set Up Public Wireless Network. The New Standard. April 8, 2005.

Michael Hinkelman. Mayor Unveils Plan for City to Go Wireless. Philly.com. April 8, 2005.

John Hurdle. Philadelphia Plans First U.S. Citywide Wi-Fi Network. Reuters. April 7, 2005.

MuniWireless.com. Philadelphia Announces Business Plan and RFP: Interview with Dianah Neff. April 7, 2005.

Philadelphia Business Journal. Philadelphia Lays Out Plan for Wireless City. April 7, 2005.

Wireless Philadelphia Executive Committee. Business Plan. (.pdf).

Wireless Philadelphia Executive Committee. Request for Proposal. (.pdf).

Wireless Philadelphia Executive Committee. Fact Sheet.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Cellphones Capture Spiritual Memento

"The body of Pope John Paul II has lain in state this week in St. Peter's Basilica. But it has hardly been peaceful with 18,000 people shuffling by each hour - especially when the majority were Italians wielding cellphone cameras.

"The funeral rites for popes stipulated by John Paul in 1996 specifically prohibited photographing the pope on 'his sickbed or after death,' except for specially accredited photographers. Signs in St. Peter's Basilica also prohibit photography.

"But this week, the heavy air around the pope's bier has not been filled with prayer so much as with tiny popping flashes and clicking shutters."

Elisabeth Rosenthal. The Cellphone as Church Chronicle, Creating Digital Relics. The New York Times. April 8, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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April 07, 2005

Phling! Enhances Mobile Lifestyle

"There’s a new player in the mobile social software sphere: Phling! is a service for your cellphone that allows you to relay multimedia between your phone, your IM buddy list, and your home computer."

Barb Dybwad. Phling! takes P2P Approach to MoSoSo-ing. thesocialsoftwareweblog. April 4, 2005.

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WiFi Projects to Serve Mobile Workforce

"As more workers discover the joys of becoming connected and, simultaneously, untethered, IT execs are expanding WiFi projects to better serve this growing constituency.

"To accommodate a growing mobile workforce, more companies are installing wireless LANs (WLANs). While organizations initially deployed wireless on a trial basis or to meet the needs of just a few users, now they are making it a standard part of their IT infrastructure."

Drew Robb. Coping with a Mobile Workforce. CIO Update. March 30, 2005.

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April 05, 2005

Yahoo Moves Toward Multimedia

"Five years ago, a handful of companies with names like Pop, Pseudo and Icebox promised a future when original shows produced for the Internet would replace traditional TV viewing. The dot-com bust deflated those grand ambitions.

"But the vision of creating unique, interactive multimedia programming for a generation weaned on video games is very much alive at Yahoo Inc.

"The giant Internet portal isn’t talking about its plans for content. But analysts suggest a profound shift may be at work, with Yahoo using its enormous reach to force Hollywood studios, among other video creators, to produce programming with the Internet in mind."

Associated Press. Yahoo Raises Eyebrows with Hollywood Push. MSNBC News. April 3, 2005.

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Pope Embraced Modern Technology

"While Pope John Paul II will largely be remembered for his influence on social issues ranging from euthanasia to AIDS, he also earned a place in history as the first pontiff to embrace computer technology."

CNET News.com Staff. Pope's Influence Includes Technology Firsts. News.com. April 2, 2005.

See also:
Ben Charny. Pope to Ping the Faithful. News.com. April 6, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:13 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

MSpot Unveils Multimedia for Phones

"Start-up MSpot hopes to take on the fledgling satellite radio industry with a new service that delivers streaming news, talk and music programming to mobile phones.

"Palo Alto, Calif.-based MSpot is set to launch its MSpot Radio service on Monday, initially targeting customers of Sprint's PCS Vision mobile phone service."

'David Becker. New Service Brings Radio to Phones. News.com. April 3, 2005.

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April 04, 2005

SMS, E-mail Used to Announce Holy Father's Passing

"It took just minutes for the Vatican to alert the world's media of Pope John Paul's death -- using text messages and email so the 2,000-year-old Church could meet the new demands of real-time news.

"Just a quarter of an hour after the Pope was pronounced dead Saturday at 9:37 p.m., the Vatican sent journalists an SMS message alerting them to a pending statement."

Phil Stewart. Vatican Used SMS, Email to Announce Pope's Death. Reuters. April 3, 2005.

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April 01, 2005

'Ramble' Allows Blogging from Cell Phones

"A new technology expected to launch in April promises to turn cellular phones into mobile blogging tools.

"The application, called 'Rabble,' streamlines the now-cumbersome process for publishing text or images from a cell phone to a Weblog. It also creates a way to search mobile blogs for items of interest -- from homes for sale in a particular neighborhood to updated tour information for a favorite band."

Dawn C. Chmielewski. Mobile Phones as Blog Tools. San Jose Mercury News. March 31, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Microsoft Unveils Video Download Service

"Microsoft has launched a video download service that offers daily television programming, entertainment clips, and other digital content for viewing on Windows Mobile-based devices, it says.

"The MSN Video Downloads service draws on content from Microsoft partners such as CinemaNow, MSNBC.com, and TiVo, allowing subscribers to watch video on their smart phones, Pocket PCs, and Portable Media Centers."

Scarlet Pruitt. Microsoft Launches Mobile Video Downloads. PC World. March 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Contactless Chips: RFID by Another Name

"Conspiracy theorists and civil libertarians, fear not. The U.S. government will not use radio-frequency identification tags in the passports it issues to millions of Americans in the coming years.

"Instead, the government will use 'contactless chips.'

"The distinction is part of an effort by the Department of Homeland Security and one of its RFID suppliers, Philips Semiconductors, to brand RFID tags in identification documents as proximity chips,' 'contactless chips' or 'contactless integrated circuits' -- anything but 'RFID.''"

Mark Baard. RFID Cards Get Spin Treatment. Wired News. March 29, 2005.

See also:
Mark Baard. RFID Invades the Capital. Wired News. March 7, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Cellphones: Platforms for Services & Features

"Larry Azlin, a software engineer in El Cerrito, Calif., considers himself one of the lucky ones. His aging clamshell cellphone, a Motorola V60, seems to work just fine. But once he gives it some thought, it occurs to him that he does have a few complaints.

"His biggest complaint is that the phone insists on making noise at every opportunity.

"Mr. Azlin is hardly alone in being confused and confounded by his cellphone at times. Gone are the days when the most one expected from a mobile phone was to place or to receive a call."

Michel Marriot and Katie Hafner. It's Not Just a Phone, It's an Adventure. The New York Times. March 31, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 31, 2005

DirtyHippo Comes to U.S. Cell Phones

"A new Internet site for downloading cell phone software, DirtyHippo.com, could be the latest example of how U.S. operators are loosening their famously draconian control over what subscribers can download.

"London-based cell phone software vendor DirtyHippo, unveiled Monday, is owned and operated by Buongiorno Vitaminic, a European wireless data heavyweight. Its downloads, using the DirtyHippo brand name, are now available to Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile USA subscribers."

Ben Charny. DirtyHippo Wallows in Muddy US Mobile Waters. Silicon.com. March 29, 2005.

See also
Buongiorno. Buongiorno Expands to U.S. to Meet Demand for Personalized Mobile Content. Yahoo! Finance. (Press Release.) March 28, 2005.

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March 30, 2005

Wal-Mart Expands RFID Use

"While Wal-Mart greeters present this homespun image, behind the scenes at test venues like the Lewisville Supercenter the retailer is moving ahead with the state of the art in radio-frequency technologies and strategies.

"Wal-Mart is an established leader in RFID, and more than 100 suppliers comply with its RFID-enabled inventory processes. Products such as tissue, ketchup, and lettuce come into the Lewisville Supercenter on RFID-tagged pallets, cases, and crates. The technology provides faster, more-accurate information on inventory, which speeds store stocking.

"This year, Wal-Mart is looking to add mobility to RFID tag-reading in warehouses and simplify the process."

Laurie Sullivan. Wal-Mart Looks To New Uses For RFID. Information Week. March 25, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Patent in Blackberry Settlement in Play

"NTP Inc. has settled its wireless e-mail push patent disputes with Research In Motion Ltd. and Good Technology Inc., but that doesn't mean the licensing battle is over.

"NTP is in discussions with several other wireless e-mail push players, according to attorneys for the Arlington, Va., patent holding company.

"RIM, the Waterloo, Ontario, maker of the popular BlackBerry devices and enterprise server software, earlier this month said it will pay NTP $450 million to settle its patent disputes, while RIM rival Good Technology, of Santa Clara, Calif., struck a patent deal with NTP the week before that."

Shelley Solheim. RIM Settlement Doesn't End NTP's Patent Battles. eWeek. March 28, 2005.

See also:
Shelley Solheim. RIM, NTP Settle Patent Suit. eWeek. March 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Forrester: Usability Problems Curb Doctor Handheld Usage

"U.S. physicians are five times as likely as general consumers to use handheld computers, but less than a third of physicians who have mobile electronic medical records actually use them. That's the conclusion of a new report by Forrester Research that surveyed 1,331 physicians."

M.L. Baker. Doctors Using Handhelds, But Not for Medicine. CIO Insight. March 27, 2005.

See also:
Brian Fonseca. Medical Records' Digitization Offers a Quick Cure. eWeek. March 1, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 29, 2005

Grafedia Connects the Web and Offline World

"What if the internet extended beyond computers and high-speed connections, with web pages expanding down city streets and onto the sides of buildings?

"This is the vision behind an interactive new media project called grafedia, which enables folks to make the world their canvas by publicly posting e-mail addresses or keywords that, when punched into certain mobile phones or an e-mail account, retrieve corresponding images.

"Created by John Geraci, a graduate student in New York University's interactive telecommunications program, grafedia is part public art, part advertisement and part subversion. It's also a newfangled take on old-fashioned graffiti.

Rachel Metz. It's Not Graffiti, It's Grafedia. Wired News. March 25, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 28, 2005

Will PSP Replace Your Handheld?

"Sony has just introduced the Playstation Portable in the United States. This is a very impressive device with plenty of features any Palm OS or Pocket PC user would envy. But the Playstation Portable just isn't the device most current handheld users want, and they shouldn't waste their time thinking it is.

"I'm not down on the PSP, as it's usually called. It's a device that has a lot going for it. But, at the same time, it's focused on a target market quite different from the one that typically buys handhelds."

Ed Hardy. Why the Playstation Portable Isn't Going to Replace Your Handheld. Brighthand. March 25, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 25, 2005

PSP Begins Challenging iPod for Handheld Supremacy

"Hope you enjoyed your 15 minutes, iPod. Sony, the company that invented the modern handheld entertainment industry 20 years ago, moves to reclaim the throne with the Sony PSP, a media device that plays music, movies and games and looks great.

"Flat, encased in black plastic and metal and highlighted by a pair of clear plastic shoulder buttons the PlayStation Portable exemplifies the Sony's aesthetic: a savvy combination of state-of-the-art circuitry and techno-design that screams, 'Buy me!'"

Tom Loftus. Sony Gets it Right With New PSP. MSNBC News March 24, 2005.

See also:
David Becker. Game Fans Clamor for PSP. News.com. March 24, 2005.

Andrew D. Arnold. First Look: The PSP. Time.com. March 24, 2005.

Mike Musgrove. Sony Begins Handheld-Game Adventure. WashingtonPost.com. March 23, 2005.

IGN.com. Sony PSP: The Gadget. March 23, 2005.

Arik Hesseldahl. Sony PSP Great For Games, Not Much Else. News.com. March 23, 2005.

Jesse Antonio Vargas. PSP, I Love You: For Gamers, The Date Has Finally Arrived. WashingtonPost.com. March 23, 2005.

Susan B. Shor. PSP: Great for Gaming, Mediocre for Multimedia. TechNewsWorld. March 21, 2005.

David Becker. PSP No One Trick Pony. News.com. March 21, 2005.

Rob Pegoraro. Sony's PSP Wows, but Only if You Stick to the Games. WashingtonPost.com. March 20, 2005.

Update: Robert MacMillan. PSP: A Real Life Pause Button. WashingtonPost.com. March 24, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 24, 2005

UK to Equip Lampposts with Wi-Fi

"In what sounds like a tale from the heady days of the dot-com boom, a British company plans to roll out high-speed wireless networks and location-based services using street lampposts.

"Last Mile Communications says the humble lamppost can be used to provide broadband Internet access and also to store useful information about their location.

"On Tuesday, Last Mile announced that it will work with security company Qinetiq to commercialize its plans. Trials are scheduled for later this year at an undisclosed location, and Last Mile said it is confident that its service can be rolled out on a large scale."

Graeme Wearden. Lampposts to Provide Location-based Services?. News.com. March 23, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 23, 2005

Disney to Release Films for Sony PSP

"Sony's PlayStation Portable gained more support as a multimedia gadget, with Disney announcing plans on Wednesday to sell movies formatted for the sought-after device.

"Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment division said in a statement that it plans to release movies on the Universal Media Disc, or UMD, format used by the PSP shortly after the device goes on sale in North America next week."

David Becker. Movie Support Grows for PSP. News.com. March 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 22, 2005

Sprint Introduces Video Ring Tones

"Sprint is offering music video ring tones to customers who use some multimedia phones, the company said this week.

"The service is available now on Sanyo's MM-5600 multimedia phone and will be released for other multimedia handsets later.

"Customers will be able to download music videos and store them on their phones. The videos then play when subscribers get calls, Sprint said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Sprint: Forget Audio Ring Tones, Try Video Ringers. News.com. March 16, 2005.

Sprint. A First in the United States: Music Videos Now Rock Sprint PCS Vision Calls. (Press Release.) March 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Sony's PSP Focuses on Gaming

"Sony has often won big by thinking small. Portable gizmos such as the Walkman, the Discman and the Handicam helped make this company the consumer electronics power it is today. But until now, it hasn't tried to run that play with its most successful product of the past decade, the PlayStation line of video-game machines.

"That changes Thursday, when Sony introduces the PlayStation Portable -- PSP for short. This $250 device is Sony's answer to Nintendo's Game Boy and DS handhelds. It also represents yet another try by Sony to get into the portable-media market Apple's iPod owns."

Rob Pegoraro. Sony's PSP Wows, but Only if You Stick to the Games. WashingtonPost.com. March 20, 2005.

Related:
Tom Ham. With a New Toy, Plenty of Titles to Play. WashingtonPost.com. March 20, 2005.

See also:
Matthew D. Sarrel. Sony PSP. PC Magazine. March 17, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Survey: Cell Phone Porn to Rise

"Mobile phone users around the world spent $400 million on pornographic pictures and video in 2004, an amount that is expected to rise to $5 billion by 2010, despite the tiny screen sizes, a survey found on Thursday.

"The adult entertainment sector was one of the first media industries to take advantage of the World Wide Web, and its customers were the among the first to get high-speed Internet access for downloading X-rated films.

"In mobile communications, however, pornography might not do as well as on the fixed-line Internet, because the screens are small and download prices charged by telecommunications operators are high, research group Strategy Analytics said in a report."

Reuters. Cell Phone Porn Set for Sales Spike. News.com. March 17, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 21, 2005

BlackBerry Maker Settles Infringement Lawsuit

"Shares in Research In Motion Ltd. moved up sharply Wednesday after the company agreed to settle a potentially ruinous American patent lawsuit by paying $450 million US.

"The maker of the BlackBerry mobile e-mail device said that under the settlement of the three-year-old litigation, NTP Inc. of Arlington, Va., is granting RIM "an unfettered right to continue its BlackBerry-related wireless business without further interference from NTP or its patents."

Gary Norris. Research In Motion Stock Surges After BlackBerry Lawsuit Settled for US$450M. National Post. March 17, 2005.

See also:
Richard Shim. RIM Settles NTP Patent Suit. News.com. March 16, 2005.

Research in Motion. Research In Motion And NTP Agree To Resolve Litigation. March 16, 2005.

Michael Singer. RIM's BlackBerry Cleared For U.S. Markets. InternetNews.com. March 16, 2005.

Eric B. Parizo. Courts, Competition Can't Stop RIM's Dominance. SearchMobileComputing.com. Aug. 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Japan's Cell Phone Users Turn Pages

"Your eyes probably hurt just thinking about it: Tens of thousands of Japanese cell-phone owners are poring over full-length novels on their tiny screens.

"In this technology-enamored nation, the mobile phone has become so widespread as an entertainment and communication device that reading e-mail, news headlines and weather forecasts -- rather advanced mobile features by global standards -- is routine.

"Now, Japan's cell-phone users are turning pages."

Yuri Kageyama. Japan Cell-phone Users Turn to Literature. Boston.com. March 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 19, 2005

Mobile Internet Requires Better Web Design

"A mass market exists for the mobile Internet, but it will remain untapped until designers make simpler Web pages that can be viewed properly on handsets, the inventor of the World Wide Web said.

"'(The mobile Internet) will be a huge enabler for the industry ... and for big profits,' Tim Berners-Lee told a seminar on Thursday on the future of the Web. "

Daniel Frykholm. Web Design Hampers Mobile Internet, Pioneer Says. Reuters. March 17, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 18, 2005

K. Matthew Dames' Presentation on Social Software

On Thursday, K. Matthew Dames, SNTReport.com's executive editor, co-chaired the "Communities & Collaboration" track at Computers in Libraries 2005. Dames also gave the first presentation in that track, "Social Software 101," which is available in .pdf format below.

Editor's Note: I was very excited about this conference because I believed that the program Steven Cohen and I created contained some of the most valuable material in the entire conference. From the feedback I have received thus far, it seems that the attendees left each session with a lot of fresh ideas about using digital collaboration tools in their workplaces. If today's organizers and speakers were able to spur some of our audience to begin testing these tools for personal use, seek to implement them in the workplace, or merely spur enough curiosity to warrant further investigation, the track was a success.

I would like to thank all the people that attended Computers in Libraries 2005, and I also would like to congratulate Information Today on its 20th year as organizer of CIL.

There are some people, however, for which I reserve a special thanks. Thank you to Will Richardson (editor of Weblogg-ed), Aaron Schmidt (editor of Walking Paper), Michael Stephens (editor of Tame the Web), Megan Fox, and Blake Carver (editor of LISNews.com) for contributing a wealth of rich content and ideas to Thursday's sessions.

Thank you to Nancy Garman, Information Today's Director of Conference Program Planning, and Jane Dysart, CIL 2005 program chair, for their organizational guidance.

And a huge thank you to Steven Cohen, editor of Library Stuff. It was an honor working with you, a pleasure to finally get to know you, and I sincerely hope we can work together again to advance the information sciences and the profession called librarianship.

K. Matthew Dames. Social Software 101. (.pdf). March 17, 2005.

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FAST Launches Search for Mobiles

"Searching from a mobile device is about to get a whole lot easier, thanks to a new mobile search service from FAST. Called 'amsearch,' the service promises to provide mobile users relevant search results from within their carrier's networks, including applications such as ringtones.

"The msearch initiative is based on FAST's Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP) and empowers mobile carriers to deliver search results from within their own network's content as well as going outside of their network when appropriate to deliver relevant results."

Sean Michael Kerner. FAST Into New Mobile Search. InternetNews.com. March 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 17, 2005

Mobile Phone Makers to Embrace VoIP

"With cost-saving voice over Internet telephony taking off and replacing wired phones, makers of cellular phones are taking notice. Cell phone heavyweights Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Nortel Networks and others are incorporating VoIP into the cell phones, chips and wireless network equipment they manufacture or design, executives said here at CTIA Wireless 2005, a major North American wireless trade show.

"VoIP is the basis for Internet phone services, popularized by commercial VoIP provider Vonage and free peer-to-peer phone service provider Skype. VoIP calls are digitized and routed over networks using the Internet Protocol (IP), which is the backbone of the Internet. So far, VoIP calls are unregulated, a major factor that can keep VoIP calling plans at half the cost of traditional phone services.

"Major cell operators--many of which already make extensive internal use of VoIP to cut down on the cost of their own operations--are now making plans to extend VoIP calls from the network core to the handsets. This push coincides with wireless broadband networks the operators are now building, which can transmit the data bits fast enough, and with more accuracy, to make VoIP calling on cell phones a reality."

Ben Charny. Cell Phone Makers to Adopt Internet Calling. News.com. March 15, 2005.

See also:
Maribel D. Lopez. Commentary: Net calls? Not So Fast. News.com. March 8, 2005.

CNET News.com Staff. Overload for the Wireless Industry?. News.com. March 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 16, 2005

BlackBerry to Include AOL, Yahoo IMs

"BlackBerry maker Rearch In Motion is broadening its menu of instant-messaging options.

"New services for the iconic handheld communications device include instant-messaging offerings from Yahoo and America Online, the companies announced on Monday in conjunction with the CTIA Wireless show in New Orleans. RIM also announced software deals with Sybase and High Tech Computer.

"The BlackBerry will be preloaded with Yahoo's IM software 'in the coming months,' the companies said, without getting more specific. Yahoo Messenger users will have full wireless access to their contacts and be able to carry on multiple chat sessions."

Dinesh C. Sharma. RIM to Bring AOL, Yahoo IMs to BlackBerry. News.com. March 14, 2005.

See also:
Tony Smith. RIM Signs IM Pacts. The Register. March 14, 2005.

CNET News.com Staff. Overload for the Wireless Industry?. News.com. March 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 15, 2005

VoIP's Hidden Charges

"I am a huge fan of all-you-can-eat buffets. Quite shamelessly, I'll pile up my plate with an embarrassing mound of various foods--talk about heaven.

"However, I do get ticked off when I find that I'm being charged for things I wasn't expecting--soft drinks, multiple mugs of coffee, and dessert, for example. It's not that I mind paying for these extras; I just like to know what's included and what isn't.

"In the world of Voice over IP phones, you'll face a similar situation. You'll find lots of terrific all-you-can-eat monthly plans, but almost all have hidden extra charges."

Aoife McEvoy. The Hidden Costs of Cheap Phone Service. PC World. March 8, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 14, 2005

RIM Rivals Sign Patent License Agreement

"NTP and Good Technology have reached a patent-licensing deal, turning up the heat on rival Research In Motion, which is embroiled in an infringement suit with NTP.

"NTP, a patent-holding company, and Good Technology, a wireless communications specialist, announced the licensing agreement Friday. The deal gives Good access to certain of NTP's patents for the life of those patents, which begin to expire in 2012. The arrangement 'covers certain products and equipment but excludes network communications services,' the companies said in a statement."

Richard Shim. RIM Rivals Ink Licensing Agreement. News.com. March 11, 2005.

See also:
Good Technology, Inc. Good Technology and NTP Enter Into License Agreement. Yahoo! Finance. March 11, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Forrester Surveys Potential VoIP Users

"During the past year, multiple system operators like Cablevision Systems, specialty Net phone operators like Vonage and traditional telecom providers like AT&T; and Verizon Communications have introduced a new, cheaper generation of consumer voice services based on Internet Protocol.

"Have consumers noticed? To find out, Forrester surveyed 1,132 online U.S. households to gauge their awareness and interest in services based on voice over IP technology."

Maribel D. Lopez. Commentary: Net Calls? Not So Fast. News.com. March 11, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 12, 2005

AOL Presents VoIP Plans

"America Online will launch an Internet phone service within a month, company CEO Jonathan Miller said Tuesday.

"As previously reported, the service will use an adapter to link ordinary handsets to a broadband connection. The service can also be accessed through a PC and will be integrated with AOL's popular instant-messaging and e-mail software, Miller said in a presentation here at the Voice on the Net, or VON 2005, conference. He added that wireless options are planned down the road but did not provide a time frame.

"There's a lot of money at stake," Miller said. "It's a big, big business, and everyone has to pay attention to it."

Jim Hu. AOL Unveils VoIP Plans. News.com. March 8, 2005.

See also:
Jim Hu. AOL: You've got VoIP. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

John Pallatto. AOL Readies Internet Phone Service. eWeek. March 8, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 10, 2005

Social Aspects of Wireless Computer Gaming

"A new generation of handheld games machines is expected to do for gaming what the iPod did for music: take our favourite digital pastimes away from the computer and out into the everyday world.

"Where computer games were once a solitary affair, restricted to the home and prone to stifle social skills, the new handsets are about to take button-mashers and inter- active entertainment on the road.

"Train carriages, bus stops and the workplace are the new battlegrounds, where players can now compete against one another. There are even lessons for the schoolroom. Welcome to the mobile games club, which can convene anywhere, at any time.

Stuart Andrews. Welcome to the Mobile Social Club. Times Online. March 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 03, 2005

AIM Extends its Outlook

"America Online Inc. on Monday rolled out a beta of AIM Sync, a tool that effectively turns the Outlook e-mail client into a massive Buddy List. With AIM Sync, AOL adds presence awareness to Outlook by allowing users to see a contact's availability when users address a new e-mail in Outlook.

"The software embeds the AOL Running Man icon into the "To" field next to the e-mail address."

Ryan Naraine. AOL Takes AIM at Outlook. eWeek. Feb. 28, 2005.

See also:
Anick Jesdanun. AOL Integrates Buddy Lists with Outlook. The Boston Globe. Feb. 28, 2005.

Edward C. Baig. AOL Instant-Message Service to Expand. USA Today. Feb. 28, 2005.

America Online Inc. The AOL Instant Messenger ''AIM'' Service Teams with Top Sites and Services to Help Users Connect and Communicate in Real Time. (Press Release.) Feb. 28, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 02, 2005

Skype Adds Messaging

"A free feature that lets users send short text messages to mobile phones from internet phone service Skype is now being made available. Prior to last week, people downloading the Skype software could only receive short message service (SMS) messages, which are text-only and a maximum of 160 characters.

"By closing the message loop, Skype has outdone Yahoo!, AOL and Microsoft, which make the most popular instant-message software. AIM, Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger only allow the sending of SMS, according to Marcus Williamson, managing director of Connectotel, which is providing Skype with the short-message service."

Ben Charny. Skype Launches Free SMS Service. silicon.com. Feb. 25, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 01, 2005

Wireless Mail Will Rescue the Handheld

"For several years, handheld sales were weak. This is because they were in need of a new killer app.

"When handhelds were first introduced, most people bought them for personal information management. Millions of people gave up their Day Runners and bought a Palm Pilot.

However, just about everyone who wants to keep track of their schedule and address book with a handheld has already bought one. This is why the handheld market leveled off -- and even declined a bit -- for a couple of years. Most of the handhelds being sold were going to people who were upgrading.

Then something came along that gets people in droves to go out and get handhelds: wireless email.

Ed Hardy. The New Handheld Killer App Found at Last. Brighthand. Feb. 24, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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February 28, 2005

Palm Soon to Ice HotSync

"Since the first Palm Pilot, handhelds running the Palm OS have communicated with desktop computers via HotSync, its self-developed method of information synchronization. This will soon come to an end.

"PalmSource is going to switch to SyncML, a widely used, open standard for information synchronization."

Ed Hardy. PalmSource Moving Away from HotSync. Brighthand. Feb. 22, 2005.

Related:
Daniel Robinson. PalmSource Sees Future on Phones. Computing. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
Ed Hardy. PalmOne May Be Committing Itself to Wi-Fi. Brighthand. Feb. 23, 2005.

Uwe Hansmann, et al. SyncML Applications. Informit.com. Dec. 12, 2003.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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February 24, 2005

Airbus Proposes In-Flight Cell Phone Use

"European aircraft manufacturer Airbus plans to include in its new Superjumbo A380 planes an optional voice and data system that can allow passengers to use their mobile devices in flight, the company says.

"The service, including onboard mobile telephony and Internet access for passengers, will be offered through the OnAir joint venture to airline companies purchasing the A380. The system could be fitted on other models from Airbus as well as on planes from U.S. rival Boeing, OnAir says.

"Airbus last year successfully completed an in-flight trial of mobile phones and infrastructure equipment based on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology using an Airbus A320 flight-test plane. Tested services included GSM telephony, Web browsing, e-mail, and connectivity to a VPN. The trial, announced last September, also tested several wireless computing services."

Laura Rohde. Coming Soon: Cell Phones in Flight?. PC World. Feb. 16, 2005.

See also:
John Blau. Mobile Phones Cleared for Takeoff. PC World. Sept. 26, 2004.

Bradley S. Klapper. Cell Phone Use Coming for Airbus Fliers. SeattlePI.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

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February 23, 2005

FreeFi Deploys Ad Supported Free WiFi

"A hotspot vendor Friday launched what it said will be a nationwide network of free, advertising-sponsored hotspots in locations such as shopping centers, airports and cafes.

"FreeFi Networks said in a statement it will develop and manage the free hotspots in qualifying locations at no cost to the venue owner other than the cost of a broadband connection. FreeFi says it will support the network with advertising that appears in what it called a 'narrow, persistent band of content' across the bottom of the user's screen."

Mobile Pipeline Staff. Network Of Free, Ad-Sponsored Hotspots Launched. Mobile Pipeline. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
FreeFi Networks. Nationwide Free Wireless Internet Hotspots – Free to Businesses, Free to Consumers. (Press Release.) Feb. 18, 2005.

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February 21, 2005

Patent Infringement Suit Over Color Orange

"As a noun, it is the bane of rhyming poets. As a fruit, it is a widely enjoyed source of vitamin C. But as a color, orange could one day become the legal property of Orange, the British mobile phone company.

"Orange said yesterday evening that it would sue easyMobile, a wireless start-up founded by the entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who also founded the easyJet discount airline. Orange wants to keep easyMobile from ever using its signature color in advertisements.

"The crux of the argument is that ads for Orange prominently feature its namesake color. Its shade of orange is similar to the one used by all the easyGroup brands, and to the one that easyMobile plans to use in advertisements of its own."

Heather Timmons. In a British Mobile Phone Suit, the Color of Money Is Orange. The New York Times. Feb. 19, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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February 18, 2005

Next Generation Web Searches

"In less than a decade, Internet search engines have completely changed how people gather information. No longer must we run to a library to look up something; rather we can pull up relevant documents with just a few clicks on a keyboard. Now that 'Googling' has become synonymous with doing research, online search engines are poised for a series of upgrades that promise to further enhance how we find what we need.

"New search engines are improving the quality of results by delving deeper into the storehouse of materials available online, by sorting and presenting those results better, and by tracking your long-term interests so that they can refine their handling of new information requests.

"In the future, search engines will broaden content horizons as well, doing more than simply processing keyword queries typed into a text box. They will be able to automatically take into account your location--letting your wireless PDA, for instance, pinpoint the nearest restaurant when you are traveling. New systems will also find just the right picture faster by matching your sketches to similar shapes. They will even be able to name that half-remembered tune if you hum a few bars."

Javed Mostafa. Seeking Better Web Searches. ScientificAmerican.com. Feb. 2005.

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3G Linux Phone Boasts New Features

"Several leading mobile technology players are cooperating on a project to explore Linux's potential as the major software component in smart phones of the future.

"At the 3GSM World Congress taking place here this week, Infineon Technologies, Samsung and embedded-Linux specialist Trolltech said they have created a 3G, or third-generation, smart phone built around the Linux operating system.

"The prototype uses Linux software from MontaVista Software, a company that creates versions of the open-source operating system that can be embedded into special-purpose computing devices such as telecommunications equipment. The prototype features services such as video calling and streaming, Web browsing, stereo speakers and Java-based 3D gaming."

Andrew Donoghue. 3G Linux Phone Allows Video Calling, Web Browsing. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

See also:
CNET News.com Staff. Cell Phones Sound Off with New Skills. News.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

Stephen Shankland. MontaVista Aims to Simplify Cell Phone Linux. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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February 17, 2005

Cell Phone Industry Eyes Entertainment Downloads

"With a covetous eye on the success of portable music players, mobile phone makers are going after would-be iPod buyers by building high-quality players into their handsets.

"Sony Ericsson announced Monday it would soon market music-player mobiles under its parent's Walkman brand, drawing on the music catalogue of a sister company, Sony BMG, the world's No. 2 record company.

"And Nokia Corp., the world's leading phone maker, announced an alliance with Microsoft Corp. to allow mobile subscribers to load music from a PC onto their phones - much the way that a digital music player works."

Laurence Frost. Mobile Phone Industry Eyes Music Downloads. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 14, 2005.

See also:
Chris Marlowe. Ring-a-Ding Ding for Mobile Music. Reuters. Feb. 15, 2005.

Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson to Offer Exciting Mobile Music Solution in Collaboration with Sony Group Companies. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

Nokia. Microsoft and Nokia Collaborate to Help Ensure Consumers Can Enjoy Digital Music Anywhere. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Microsoft, Flextronics Unveil New Mobile Platform

"Microsoft announced a partnership Sunday with phone maker Flextronics to market a new cell phone platform running Windows Mobile to phone makers and service providers.

"The two companies said they have jointly developed a new phone platform called Peabody--a blueprint that cell providers can customize and which is designed to cut production costs.

"Peabody runs on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks, which is the world's most widespread wireless standard, and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), the data delivery arm of GSM networks."

Steven Musil. Microsoft, Flextronics Partner on Cell Platform. News.com. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
Associated Press. Microsoft, Flextronics in Smartphone Venture. MSNBC News. Feb. 14, 2005.

Microsoft Corp. Flextronics and Microsoft Announce Windows Mobile-Based ODM Phone Platform for OEMs. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

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February 15, 2005

House of Commons Bans Blackberry Use

"Michael Martin, the House of Commons speaker, has declared that anyone using BlackBerrys or other 'electronic devices' in the chamber can be thrown out.

"The decision comes shortly after Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell used his BlackBerry to send a profanity-laden tirade to BBC flagship program 'Newsnight,' believing he had sent it to a Labour public relations agency.

"Martin also revealed that some members of Parliament were found to be using the devices during debates. U.K. politicians also have been banned from wearing earpieces that could allow them to communicate with the outside world when the House is in session."

Jo Best. U.K. Parliament Squashes BlackBerry Use. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

See also:
Tania Branigan. Ear, Ear ... Leave It Out. The Guardian. Feb. 11, 2005.

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February 14, 2005

Surround Sound for Cell Phones

"Are those tinny ring tones making you jumpy? How about a new kind of phone that can make it sound like you're literally in the middle of a soothing forest stream?

"A new line of multimedia phones has hit the streets in Japan over the past few weeks that incorporates three-dimensional sound technology from British start-up Sonaptic. As yet, the content for it is slim--a fishing game, a handful of sound and video clips--but the technology promises a substantial advance for mobile-phone audio.

"The company's developers previously created the 3D audio technology for the Xbox, and they are now aiming to create a similarly compelling experience even with the constraints of a little mobile phone, they say."

John Borland. Cell Phones Get Surround Sound. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

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February 12, 2005

FBI Publishes Cell Phone Spam Sites

"The Federal Communications Commission on Monday published a list of Web sites that the agency says transmits unwanted e-mail and text messages to cell phones.

"Sites on the list have 30 days to stop transmitting unwanted e-mail messages, unless the recipient has given permission to receive the message."

Associated Press. FCC Lists Sites That Send Cell Phone Spam. San Francisco Chronicle. Feb. 7, 2005.

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February 11, 2005

Wi-Fi Phone's Sales See Slow Growth

"A new study suggests it will be a number of years before Wi-Fi phones, supposedly a revolutionary telephone technology, manage to fulfill expectations.

"Analysts at Infonetics Research say portable phones using Wi-Fi, the popular technology that creates 300-foot zones of high-speed wireless connectivity, are taking hold in hospitals and businesses, but worldwide sales were negligible last year.

"The results are disappointing. After years in development, the much-anticipated devices were supposed to take off in 2004. But with just 113,000 such handsets sold last year, or $45 million in total sales, it's apparent the prognosticators were wrong. Rather, the sales 'represent a market at its birth,' as Infonetics analysts put it."

Ben Charny. Wi-Fi Phones Don't Add Up to Much. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Ben Charny. Wi-Fi Phones Make a Splash. News.com. Aug. 4, 2004.

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Verizon Avenue to Launch Wireless Broadband

"Verizon Avenue, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, has bought equipment from Alvarion to make wireless broadband service available on a former military base.

Alvarion, one of the leading wireless broadband gear makers, announced Monday that Verizon Avenue had agreed to purchase about 2,300 fixed broadband units. Verizon Avenue has contracted the installation of the gear to Clark Pinnacle Family Communities, which plans to set up the gear and service at the former Fort Ord military base in Monterey, Calif.

"Alvarion said in a release that the wireless broadband equipment is based on the same technology that will be behind the WiMax specification when it is completed."

Richard Shim. Verizon, Alvarion Sign Wireless Broadband Deal. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Alvarion. Verizon Avenue Deploys Fixed Wireless Broadband Services Using Alvarion Systems; Broadband Internet Services Being Provided to Revitalized Housing on Former California Military Base. (Press Release.) Feb. 7, 2005.

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February 10, 2005

Macromedia Goes Mobile with ColdFusion

" Macromedia Inc. announced the availability of the next version of its ColdFusion MX server, with new support for mobile devices and rich forms, and new reporting and printing capabilities.

"Dave Gruber, product manager for Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7, formerly code-named Blackstone, said the new version enables developers to build Internet applications for the mobile user, including the ability to support SMS (short message service) text messaging.

"ColdFusion MX 7 is a very significant release of ColdFusion, probably more significant than any since it was released 10 years ago," Gruber said. ColdFusion can now be used to serve devices outside the world of HTTP. It has a new gateway to the Internet with mobile devices, for SMS, instant messaging JMS (Java Message Service), serving all Internet-connected devices."

Darryl K. Taft. Macromedia Adds Mobile Support to ColdFusion. eWeek. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Martin LaMonica. Macromedia Cold Fusion Goes Mobile. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

Michael Singer. Macromedia's ColdFusion Looks Beyond the Web. InternetNews.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

Macromedia. Macromedia Announces Immediate Availability of Coldfusion MX7. (Press Release.) Feb. 7, 2005.

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February 08, 2005

Rand McNally Offers Traffic Data to Phones

"A new service from publisher Rand McNally will provide real-time traffic information to mobile phone users.

"The new service, Rand McNally Traffic, lets people download information on traffic flow, congestion, weather conditions and accidents in about 90 cities nationwide, the company said Wednesday. Subscribers can either get information on routes they usually take or do a search based on ZIP codes of their destination and then check for incidents by roads, it said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Rand McNally Drives Traffic Data to Phones. News.com. Feb. 2, 2005.

See also:
Wayne Rash. Rand McNally, TCS Bring Traffic Warnings to Cell Phones. eWeek. Feb. 2, 2005.

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February 07, 2005

Skype Expands VoIP Service to Linux, OS X

"At a time when major U.S. telephone operators are spending billions of dollars to expand, telephone software maker Skype on Tuesday says it's building a global phone network virtually for free.

"New renditions of Skype software for Linux and Macintosh operating systems are expected to become available on Tuesday. The new releases are a significant expansion for 17-month-old Skype. Since its debut, Skype's free software only worked on Microsoft devices, though test versions of the Linux and Macintosh software have been available since last year.

"Skype's latest software arrives at a time when many elite U.S. phone companies are consolidating with others in multibillion dollar deals that let the communications giants expand into new markets and territories. Using the merger-mania as a backdrop, Skype's new software releases should put even more fright into traditional telecom executives.

Ben Charny. Skype Creeps Under Phone Giants' Radar. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Skype. Skype for Mac OS X and Linux. (Press Release.) Feb. 1, 2005.

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February 05, 2005

Report: Telework Participation Lags Behind Interest

"Interest in telework continues to run high for federal employees, but just 51 percent of workers are eligible to work away from the office, according to a report from a Herndon, Va.-based technology distributor.

"The report found that 36 percent of the federal workforce has been given the option to work away from the office and 45 percent of workers say their managers view telework favorably. Nineteen percent telework, the report stated.

"'The benefits of telework are simply too great to delay any longer,' said Jim Shanks, CDW Government president. 'With a clear understanding of what the real problems are, federal policymakers and industry leaders now have a real opportunity to resolve them.'"

Daniel Pulliam. Telework Participation Still Lags Behind Interest. GovExec. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Jason Miller. CIOs Need to Get Behind Telework, GSA says. GCN. Jan. 31, 2005.

CDW Government Inc. CDW·G Federal Telework Report Reveals Roadblocks To Broader Telework Adoption. (Press Release.) Jan. 31, 2005.

Update: Daniel Pulliam. Telework Centers Offer Free Month to Federal Workers. GCN. Feb. 11, 2005. (The General Service Administration is funding a promotion for federal workers to receive a one-month trial membership at fourteer Washington-area telework centers.)

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February 04, 2005

The Mobile Area Code Dilemma

"Thanks to cellular and internet phones, anyone can make a call from anywhere -- and use any area code in the country.

"But the added mobility doesn't always bode well for businesses trying to operate in a messy world of multiple personal phones, calling numbers and area codes that differ from a person's home address. Some companies may ask what's the point of even having an area code? If anything, the invention of the mobile has been a headache for Domino's Pizza.

"The fast-food delivery chain has an internal group of people looking for a technical solution for accepting cell-phone orders. Right now, most Domino's restaurants accept orders only from land-line telephones tied to a local address, to ensure that drivers make deliveries to legitimate homes."

Elisa Batista. Area Codes Blur Boundaries. Wired News. Jan. 31, 2005.

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February 03, 2005

DRM Applied to the Mobile Industry

"A word of warning to DRM-crazed companies, says the outspoken Cory Doctorow: somewhere out there is a competitor who will steal your customers with more open products.

"Cory Doctorow is a popular figure in Internet culture. He's an award-winning science-fiction author whose work explores the social implications of digital communication, and he recently moved to London to be the European Outreach Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 1990 to defend our 'right to think, speak, and share our ideas, thoughts, and needs using new technologies.' As you might expect, Doctorow's an outspoken critic of digital rights management, which he believes is an impediment to the rights the EFF was established to protect.

"More interestingly, he believes that DRM is bad for business, too. Doctorow shared his views on DRM as it applies to the mobile industry with TheFeature."

Mark Frauenfelder. Closed Systems = Closed Opportunities Closed Systems = Closed Opportunities. TheFeature. Jan. 25, 2005.

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California Suspends Wireless Protections

"California utility regulators on Thursday suspended an 8-month-old crackdown on abusive practices in the wireless telephone industry, rebuffing the protests of consumer activists and the state's top law enforcement officials.

The California Public Utilities Commission's 3-1 decision represented a dramatic about-face from last May, when the same agency passed the nation's toughest wireless phone regulations. The sweeping overhaul was known as the Telecommunications Consumer Bill of Rights.

"Since then, the PUC's makeup has changed with the terms of two commissioners expiring. Both of those departed commissioners, Loretta Lynch and Carl Wood, played pivotal roles in getting the consumer rights bill approved after four years of wrangling.

"Rampant consumer complaints alleging false advertising and confusing billing practices prompted the PUC's push to hold the wireless phone industry more accountable for its conduct."

Associated Press.California Regulators Put Wireless-Customer Protections on Hold. San Jose Mercury News. Jan. 27, 2005.

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February 02, 2005

Mobisode Makes Debut on Cell TV

"The scene veers abruptly from seduction to murder. In one of the shortest, smallest television premieres ever, a woman deftly snaps her lover's neck, then steals his identity to access secret government data.

"The miniature version of the TV show '24' lasts just 60 seconds, and it unfolds on a two-inch cell phone screen.

"The 'mobisode' (short for mobile episode), adapted from the Fox series, makes its debut Tuesday as part of a new push by Verizon Wireless Communications Inc. to sell mobile-phone video service to subscribers for a fee of $15 a month."

Yuki Noguchi. Gone in 60 Seconds. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 30, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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SBC to Acquire AT&T;

"AT&T; Corp., the matriarch of the modern telephone business, is selling itself to one of its progeny, SBC Communications Inc., as part of a $16 billion deal that would create the nation's largest telecommunications company.

"SBC announced that documents authorizing the acquisition were signed early today after AT&T;'s board approved the deal in meetings that continued past midnight. The SBC board approved the transaction Sunday evening.

"The agreement caps weeks of negotiations and ends AT&T;'s 128-year reign as the nation's best-known phone company. If the deal meets with regulatory and shareholder approval, the combined companies would eclipse Verizon Communications Inc., with 60 million residential consumers, millions of business customers and more than $70 billion in combined annual revenue."

Yuki Noguchi. SBC to Acquire AT&T; for $16 Billion. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Justin Hyde. SBC to Buy AT&T; for $16 Billion. Reuters. Jan. 31, 2005.

Paul Travis. SBC To Buy AT&T; For $16 Billion. Information Week. Jan. 31, 2005.

Reuters. SBC to Cut Nearly 13,000 Jobs in AT&T; Deal. News.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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February 01, 2005

Wireless Auction Brings $974M in Bids

"Almost $1 billion in bids were made on Wednesday on the opening day of a U.S. government auction of valuable wireless airwaves, with companies fighting hard for the Los Angeles market.

"After four rounds of bidding, $974 million had been bid for airwaves that could be used by carriers to offer new services like high-speed Internet access, as well as to improve service quality. Four of 35 bidders dropped out of the competition for 242 licenses.

"Some of the licenses put up for sale by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission are limited to bids from small entrepreneurs, so larger carriers have formed partnerships or other arrangements to gain access to those airwaves."

Reuters.Wireless Auction Bids Hit $974 Million--So Far. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

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January 31, 2005

Congress Proposes Internet Tax Options

"An influential congressional committee has dropped a political bombshell by suggesting that a tax originally created to pay for the Spanish American War could be extended to all Internet and data connections this year.

"The committee, deeply involved in writing U.S. tax laws, unexpectedly said in a report (.pdf) Thursday that the 3 percent telecommunications tax could be revised to cover 'all data communications services to end users,' including broadband; dial-up; fiber; cable modems; cellular; and DSL, or digital subscriber line, links.

"Currently, the 3 percent excise tax applies only to traditional telephone service. But because of technological convergence and the dropping popularity of landlines, the Joint Committee on Taxation concluded in its review of tax law reforms that it might make sense to extend the 100-year old levy to new technologies. The committee did not take a position on whether Congress should approve such an extension and simply listed it as an 'option.'"

Declan McCullagh. Congress Proposes Tax on all Net, Data Connections. News.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

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RadioShack to Offer Jamdat Wireless Content

"Los Angeles-based Jamdat Mobile has hooked up with retailer RadioShack to distribute its wireless content.

"At RadioShack stores, consumers will be able to browse Jamdat content such as games and ring tones before purchasing them for download, Jamdat said Friday. The distribution program is scheduled to begin in the first half of this year."

Dinesh C. Sharma. RadioShack to Sell Jamdat Ring Tones, Games. News.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

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January 28, 2005

Ask Jeeves Plans Mobile Search

"Looking to provide yet another way for users to tap its search capabilities, Ask Jeeves is developing new wireless search services to be launched this year, according to a company executive.

"Unlike competitors such as Google and Yahoo, Ask Jeeves currently doesn't offer a way for users to access its search engine via mobile devices, but that will change at some point before the end of 2005, said Daniel Read, Ask Jeeves' vice president of product management."

Juan Carlos Perez. Ask Jeeves Developing Wireless Search. InfoWorld. Jan. 21, 2005.

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Wireless E-mail Service Expands Support

"As wireless access to E-mail grows more popular among mobile professionals, vendors such as Research In Motion, Sybase, and Extended Systems are offering technology to provide wireless access to more enterprise applications.

"Wireless E-mail vendor Good Technology Inc. joins that market this week with GoodAccess, which lets businesses wirelessly access CRM, ERP, supply-chain management, business intelligence, and Microsoft Outlook.

"GoodAccess supports a variety of devices, including Hewlett-Packard's iPaq PDAs, smart phones such as the PalmOne Treo, and ruggedized handheld devices like Symbol's MC50 Wi-Fi Pocket PC. Customers can use cellular or Wi-Fi networks to make the wireless connection, the company says. GoodAccess pricing starts around $30,000."

Paul Travis. Good Technology Mobilizes Enterprise Apps. Information Week. Jan. 24, 2004.

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January 27, 2005

Survey: Wi-Fi Usage Exceeds Ethernet in Homes

"Wi-Fi now rules the roost, according to a new research report concluding that wireless technology has gained a slight edge over Ethernet cables in home networks.

"The survey, by research firms Parks Associates, found that 52 percent of U.S. households with a home network were using wireless technology, compared with 50 percent for Ethernet and about 5 percent for power line networking via electrical wires. (The numbers don't add up to 100 because some homes use a combination of technologies.)

"It's the first time Wi-Fi has outpaced Ethernet, an achievement Research Director John Barrett attributed to growing Wi-Fi support among broadband providers. Most major broadband companies offer options for hooking up a new account via Wi-Fi equipment, an attractive option for those who haven't set up a home network yet or want to do more than the Ethernet setup allows."

David Becker. Wi-Fi Takes Over in Homes. News.com. Jan. 20, 2005.

See also:
Parks Associates. Wi-Fi Surpasses Ethernet for Home Networking. (Press Release) Jan. 18, 2005.

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January 26, 2005

California to Provide Wi-Fi Access in State Parks

"One problem with camping is that it is tough to file your taxes while sitting in a tent in the great outdoors. That is no longer a problem in California.

"The state last week announced a deal with SBC Communications to provide wireless Internet access points in 85 state parks. Now park visitors can take laptop computers and other portable devices to connect to the Internet from areas formerly known as 'wilderness.'

"The Internet access - provided through Wi-Fi technology - will be available mostly in central spots in the parks. The first access point became operational in a state park in San Diego last week; the other access points will be in place by May, in time for the summer camping, hiking and e-mailing season."

Matt Richtel. Wireless Deal for California Parks. The New York Times. Jan. 24, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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2010 Plans for High-Tech Census

"Census Bureau officials plan to issue a request for proposals in the coming months for a contract to equip between 500,000 and 600,000 census counters with handheld computers for the 2010 head count.

"Arnold Jackson, the assistant director for the decennial census, said bureau officials have been meeting with vendors for more than a year to talk about their needs for the biggest high-tech census they have ever attempted.

"Officials have not decided whether the devices would use modems or wireless technology to transmit encrypted data into the system, Jackson said."

Judi Hasson.Census to Spend $300M on Handhelds. FCW.com. Jan. 19, 2005,

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January 25, 2005

Velasco Worms Its Way Into Cell Phones

"Marcos Velasco, a 32-year-old Brazilian software developer, enjoys movies with special effects, maintains a vast collection of antique computers in his home and is the proud father of two young children and one mobile phone virus, which he named after himself: Velasco.

"Mr. Velasco's creation is essentially a piece of computer code that takes advantage of the short-range radio frequency technology called Bluetooth, which is installed on many common handheld devices, especially cellphones. If a person carrying an infected phone passes someone carrying a Bluetooth phone on the street, Mr. Velasco's worm can jump the gap, infecting the second phone.

"He does not spread the virus - technically a worm, according to some computer security experts, that has the ability to reproduce itself and does not need a host program - but he is evidently happy to share his work. 'This worm for cellular phones is the first one with available source code in the world,' his Web site declares."

Tom Zeller Jr. A Virus Writer Tests the Limits in Cellphones. The New York Times. Jan. 24, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Toshiba Develops Remote Mobile Access to PCs

"Electronics giant Toshiba said this week it has developed software that lets cell phones use programs stored on most home computers, a breakthrough that further erases the divide differentiating the two devices.

"Phones with the 'Ubiquitous Viewer' software can read e-mail stored on a PC, open a document or even use the PC's Web browser to view Web sites. The only requirement is that the PC uses Microsoft's Windows operating system.

"Japanese carrier KDDI will debut the software in March. The company said other wireless operators have expressed interest, but did not disclose further details."

Ben Charny. Phones Dial in Personal Computers. News.com. Jan. 19, 2005.

Paul Kallender. Toshiba Software Will Remotely Control PCs by Cell Phone. ComputerWorld. Jan. 18, 2005.

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An Exercise in Wireless Democracy

"Americans who brave winter snowstorms to catch a glimpse of President Bush's inauguration on Thursday now can check e-mail and update blogs from Pennsylvania Avenue, thanks to a new Wi-Fi hot spot.

"A nonprofit community group called the Open Park Project is providing the free service this week in what its founders describe as an exercise in wireless democracy.

"'It helps advance our goal of providing a Wi-Fi zone on the National Mall,' said Greg Staple, the group's president and co-founder. 'We call it a hot spot for democracy: using Wi-Fi to witness history.'"

Declan McCullagh. Wi-Fi Helps Blogs Tune in to Bush Inauguration. News.com. Jan. 19, 2005.

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January 24, 2005

Powell's Successor Faces Brave New World

"Throughout his four years as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael K. Powell zealously touted a future filled with technologies competing to provide new ways to communicate and get information, from souped-up wireless devices to online access via power lines.

"Some of these are now coming to pass. As a result, whole industries are being upended. Cable companies are now also phone companies, phone companies want to provide video, and an entire regulatory scheme is in flux.

"But many analysts say Powell -- who yesterday announced his resignation -- is leaving before many crucial details have been worked out. Those details will affect the choices consumers are likely to have and the prices they will have to pay."

Jonathan Krim. FCC Chief Must Work Out Details. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 22, 2005.

See also:
Frank Ahrens. Powell To Resign As Head Of FCC. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 22, 2005.

Update
Declan McCullagh. Can Howard Stern Now Relax? News.com. Jan., 24, 2005. (McCullagh reviews Powell's chairmanship and reviews the issues the new chairman will face upon confirmation.)

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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RIM Faces More Litigation

"A little-known company has renewed its claims to patents at the center of NTP's high-stakes case against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

"In a complaint filed late last year in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division, Computer Leasco charged that NTP and some of its former employees devised a fraudulent scheme to gain possession of the patents.

"Computer Leasco, a Michigan-based wireless-equipment company, based its claims on a 1990 ruling that granted the company title to the assets of Telefind, a former employer of NTP co-founder Thomas Campana."

Richard Shim. New Snarl in NTP Suit Against RIM. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

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Online Music Stores Go Mainstream

"Online music stores broke into the mainstream in 2004, with more than 200 million tracks sold in the United States and Europe, a tenfold increase from the previous year, according to data released Wednesday.

"Among well-known brands like iTunes and Napster, the number of online music stores quadrupled to more than 230 in 2004, according to the report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) trade group. The number of songs available online has doubled to about 1 million songs.

"The IFPI said research firm Jupiter expects the $330 million online music market to double in 2005."

Reuters. Online Music Stores Break Into Mainstream. News.com. Jan. 19, 2005.

See also:
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. IFPI Report Sees the Digital Music Market Taking Off in 2005. (Press Release.) Jan. 19, 2005.

IFPI:OS. Digital Music Report. (.pdf) Jan. 2005

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January 21, 2005

Canada Files Brief in RIM Case

"The federal government has stepped into the middle of a high-stakes patent infringement battle between Research in Motion Inc. and a U.S. company, claiming a recent U.S. court ruling against the creator of the iconic BlackBerry communications device threatens to chill innovation by Canadian firms and give extra-territorial reach to U.S. patent law.

"At stake are not only millions of dollars worth of royalty payments on the sale of BlackBerry handhelds in the U.S. every month, but also issues of how old laws for guarding intellectual property are applied in a new era when technology is increasingly blurring national boundaries and economies.

"In what legal experts say is an unusual move, the Canadian Department of Justice filed an amicus curiae brief (.pdf) with a U.S. federal appeals court on Jan. 13, urging it to grant RIM's request for a re-hearing before all 15 judges of the federal appeals circuit."

Simon Avery. Ottawa Intervenes in RIM Patent Infringement Battle. The Globe and Mail. Jan. 17, 2005.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport.com's prior story on RIM's patent infringement case.

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NFL Game Broadcasts Coming to IPods

"Audio content provider Audible on Tuesday struck a deal with the National Football League to offer recordings of games on portable music players.

"Under terms of the agreement, Audible.com will offer MP3-compatible audio broadcasts of the Super Bowl and conference championship games. Listeners can download the entire broadcast, or selected highlights, the morning after the game.

"Consumers can download the games, from NFL.com, Audible.com and other online retailers, onto their MP3 players, including Apple Computer's iPod, Audible a said."

CNET Staff. NFL Games Heading to Your iPod. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

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January 18, 2005

Travelers: More 'Hotspots' in 2005

"While business travelers have quickly become fans of wireless Internet services, leisure travelers have largely ignored the trend and for good reason, since so-called wireless Internet connection locations, known as 'hot spots,' can be both hard to find and expensive.

"That's changing quickly, though, as hotels, rental car companies and travel suppliers of all types have discovered that it costs relatively little to offer wireless Internet services to customers. While travel companies have done little to eliminate the inconsistent array of pricing options available, they are at least making it less painful to log on when you do stumble on a hot spot.

"Many experts say there is little demonstrable difference between wireless providers. Those interested in finding Wi-Fi hot spots should consider checking www.jiwire.com before traveling."

Bob Tedeschi. Filling in the Blanks in the Hot-Spot Map. The New York Times. Jan. 16, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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AirPlay Brings iPod Music to FM Radio

"XtremeMac on Tuesday released a gadget designed to let users listen to music stored on their iPods via any FM radio.

"The transmitter, dubbed the AirPlay, also works with the iPod Mini, Xtreme Mac said. The device transfers audio wirelessly from the music player to any FM radio, making it an attractive add-on, the company said, for people who don't have casette or CD players in their cars.

"The gadget features a digital display that shows which frequency you'll be transmitting on, and it does not require navigation of iPod menus. The display turns off after tuning to conserve the iPod battery, XtremeMac said. When the iPod begins to play, AirPlay automatically transmits on the last used radio frequency. The device costs $39.95, the company said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Device Brings Your iPod Music to Any Radio. News.com. Jan. 12, 2005.

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January 15, 2005

Is That A Bunny in Your Pocket?

"'Call Girl' is getting a whole new meaning.

"Playboy has found a new way to peddle its nudie pictures to gawkers on the go: over their cell phones. Last month Playboy joined the growing legion of porn purveyors marketing to handheld devices when it launched iBod, nude photos sized for the iPod Photo.

"The company won't say when the cellular centerfolds will be available or how customers will be charged, only that they're on the case."

David Epstein. Playboy Goes for Hard Cell. Daily News. Jan. 12, 2005.

See also:
Richard Shim. Playboy's Free Come-on Turns iPod into iBod. News.com. Dec. 17, 2004.

Ben Charny. Barely Legal? Strip Poker Hits Cingular Phones. News.com. Jan. 6, 2005.

Evan Hansen. XXX, on a Small Screen Near You. News.com. Dec. 30, 2004.

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The Emergence of Advanced Wireless Services

"Ever since cellphones rang their way into the American mainstream in the late 1990's, consumers have heard snippets about a technology called 3G, so-called third-generation wireless systems that are supposed to do everything short of mix the perfect martini.

"As with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, the intermittent sightings of 3G have made it difficult to cull the reality from the hype. Since at least 1997, wireless carriers and manufacturers have generally delivered the same song and dance: a test demonstration here, perhaps a disappointing service there, and promises always capped by the same refrain: 'Next year.'

"Finally, next year is now."

Seth Schissel. For Wireless, the Beginnings of a Breakout. The New York Times. Jan. 13, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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January 13, 2005

VeriSign to Acquire LightSurf

"VeriSign on Monday announced it plans to acquire multimedia messaging company LightSurf Technologies in a $270 million stock deal designed to bolster its wireless efforts.

"With the acquisition, VeriSign plans to offer carriers a range of wireless data and content technology, from picture messaging capabilities to interoperable messaging.

"LightSurf was one of the first companies to offer picture messaging on cell phones, debuting the service with Sprint in mid-2002. Initially derided as just another useless cell phone feature, photo messaging has proven to be a success over the last two years."

Dawn Kawamoto and Ben Charny. VeriSign to Buy Messaging Firm LightSurf. News.com. Jan. 10, 2005.

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Verizon to Offer TV-on-Demand Service

"Verizon Wireless has expanded its wireless broadband network to a dozen more cities and next month will begin selling a TV-on-demand service featuring content from Fox, Comedy Central and NBC--moves meant to re-establish the carrier as the largest U.S. cell phone operator.

"Verizon's BroadbandAccess wireless Web service, whose performance matches a slow wireline broadband connection, is now available in 32 markets, having been expanded Friday to Chicago, Boston and 10 other cities. By year's end, the operator expects the network to be available to 150 million Americans, making it the largest third-generation, or 3G, network in the United States.

"Verizon's new service will challenge one offered by rival Sprint, the nation's third-largest carrier, which recently announced its intention to merge with Nextel Communications. Sprint began selling a mobile TV service a year ago."

Ben Charny. Stay Tuned for Verizon Wireless TV. News.com. Jan. 7, 2005.

See also:
Colin C. Haley. Verizon Wireless Flicks Content Switch. InternetNews.com. Jan. 7, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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January 11, 2005

PC World's Legislative Year in Review

"For good or ill, Congress kept to its usual snail's pace on a number of controversial issues ranging from digital copyright to spyware; other government agencies, however, made up for some of the slack.

"Congress tried. It really did. And it came so close on several issues--spyware and digital copyright most prominently. But though a number of bills were proposed, and some were even passed by the House or the Senate, very few actually became law. The Federal Communications Commission, the Supreme Court, and the Department of Justice, however, were all busy bees.

"Below, I run through six of the year's major topics, what's been decided, the considerable amount still left on the to-do list for 2005--and my guess as to how much of that list Congress will actually get to this year."

Anush Yegyazarian. Legislative Year in Review: All Talk, Little Action. PC World. Jan. 6, 2005.

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Text-Messaging Teens Rack Up Debt

"In the last two years, text messages - which cell carriers generally limit to 160 characters - have become a rage among teenagers, who embrace the technology as yet another way to escape a boring class or stay in touch with friends.

"But text-messaging, or texting for short, has a downside. It can be expensive. Although phone companies offer relatively inexpensive packages - like Verizon Wireless's $9.99 for 1,000 messages a month - industry experts say that carriers sometimes fail to draw customers' attention to the cost-saving deals, and that customers themselves, especially young people, often exceed the number of messages allowed. In those cases, sending a text message usually costs 10 cents; the cost of receiving one ranges from 2 to 10 cents.

"But text-messaging, or texting for short, has a downside. It can be expensive. Although phone companies offer relatively inexpensive packages - like Verizon Wireless's $9.99 for 1,000 messages a month - industry experts say that carriers sometimes fail to draw customers' attention to the cost-saving deals, and that customers themselves, especially young people, often exceed the number of messages allowed. In those cases, sending a text message usually costs 10 cents; the cost of receiving one ranges from 2 to 10 cents."

Lisa W. Foderaro. Young Cell Users Rack Up Debt, a Message at a Time. The New York Times. Jan. 9, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Video54 Unveils Video Over Wi-Fi Technology

"A new start-up says it has developed antenna technology that can steer signals around obstacles, improving reliability in wireless home networks.

"Video54 Technologies, based in Mountain View, Calif., will be showcasing its BeamFlex technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. On Wednesday, the company announced that Netgear, a maker of home networking gear, will be the first company to integrate the BeamFlex antenna into a new line of wireless-access products. Netgear is branding the products under the name RangeMax.

"Video54's technology uses software to adjust signal paths of wireless devices to steer them around obstacles. The product is composed of antenna arrays that generate hundreds of unique beam patterns. The software continuously learns the environment and reconfigures the antenna to adapt to changing radio frequency, network and user conditions."

Marguerite Reardon. Start-up Pictures Video-Ready Wireless Networks. News.com. Jan. 5, 2005.

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January 10, 2005

iPods as Storage Device for Images

"Radiologists are turning to iPods to deal with the hassles of managing medical images. They're not listening to music, though; they're looking at pictures.

"Medical images are increasingly important in diagnosing everything from cancer to heart disease to sports injuries. And they are used extensively for research, including brain function and experimental treatments, but they also require large data sets, making storing and transferring images problematic.

"Two radiologists recently developed open-source software, called OsiriX, to display and manipulate complex medical images on the popular portable devices called iPods. The most current version of OsiriX, which speeds up some processes and fixes crash-causing bugs, was released on Tuesday."

M.L. Baker. iPods Store Medical Images. eWeek. Jan. 5, 2005.

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January 08, 2005

Macworld Conference to Feature New Products

"IDG World Expo, the leading producer of world-class tradeshows, conferences and events for technology markets, today provided a preview of Macworld Conference & Expo(R) in San Francisco, to be held next week at the Moscone Center. Hundreds of new products are expected to debut at next week's event, which will feature an exhibit hall filled with over 275 of the most innovative companies serving the Mac community.

"Macworld will also include five days of world-class educational content, with conference sessions appropriate for Mac users of all levels and backgrounds. In addition, concerts by six different music stars will take place during the week.

"The Macworld exhibit hall will feature the newest products and applications for the Mac platform from companies such as Apple, Adobe, Aspyr, BlackBerry, Canon, FileMaker, Harman Multimedia, HP, Intuit, Microsoft, MYOB, Nikon, Oxford Semiconductor, Quark, Roxio, Sonos, Xerox, X-Rite and many others."

Business Wire. New Products Ready to Make their Debut at Macworld Conference & Expo 2005 in San Francisco. CBS MarketWatch. Jan. 4, 2005.

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January 07, 2005

Vonage Offers Net Users Wireless Phones

"Vonage Holdings will be the first Internet telephony provider to offer a new portable Wi-Fi phone that can make calls over any Wi-Fi hot spot.

"UTStarcom on Tuesday announced that later this year, it will release the F1000, a portable phone that uses high-speed wireless hot spots. The handset uses voice over Internet Protocol--VoIP--technology to complete the call.

"UTStarcom said the phone will be sold through service providers and operators, just like cell phones. Vonage will be the first operator to incorporate the new phone into its broadband service. Pricing was not released."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Vonage to Take VoIP on the Road. News.com. Jan. 4, 2005.

See also:
Paul Davidson. Wireless Net Calling Targets Masses. USA Today. Jan. 3, 2005.

No author. Mobile VoIP’s Vegas Act. Red Herring. Jan. 4, 2005.

No author. Vonage Offers Internet Users Wireless Phones. Reuters. Jan. 4, 2005.

Ben Charny. Wi-Fi Goes (West) Hollywood. News.com. Jan 4, 2005.

Martin Brampton. Devil's Advocate: Who Will Win the Mobile War - Microsoft or Nokia?. San Jose Mercury News. Jan. 4, 2005.

Dean Takahashi. CES Preview: Think Wireless. San Jose Mercury News. Jan. 2, 2005.

Todd Wallack. Cellular Subscribers Impatient With Dropped Calls. San Francisco Chronicle. Jan. 5, 2005.

Cindy Carlson. Voice over IP: Finally, a Workable Option. LLRX.com. Dec. 27, 2004.

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January 06, 2005

There's No Escaping the Blog

"Freewheeling bloggers can boost your product - or destroy it. Either way, they've become a force business can't afford to ignore.

"The blog - short for weblog - can indeed be, as Scoble and Gates say, fabulous for relationships. But it can also be much more: a company's worst PR nightmare, its best chance to talk with new and old customers, an ideal way to send out information, and the hardest way to control it. Blogs are challenging the media and changing how people in advertising, marketing, and public relations do their jobs. A few companies like Microsoft are finding ways to work with the blogging world;even as they're getting hammered by it. So far, most others are simply ignoring it.

"That will get harder: According to blog search-engine and measurement firm Technorati, 23,000 new weblogs are created every day - or about one every three seconds. Each blog adds to an inescapable trend fueled by the Internet: the democratization of power and opinion. Blogs are just the latest tool that makes it harder for corporations and other institutions to control and dictate their message. An amateur media is springing up, and the smart are adapting. Says Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Public Relations: 'Now you've got to pitch the bloggers too. You can't just pitch to conventional media.'"

David Kirkpatrick and Daniel Roth. Why There's No Escaping the Blog. Fortune. Jan. 10, 2005.

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FCC to Auction 3G Wireless Licenses

"New U.S. wireless airwaves for advanced, or 'third-generation', services like high-speed Internet will be auctioned off as early as June 2006, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday.

"Some of the airwaves are used by federal government agencies but a new law signed by President George W. Bush last week would reimburse them for a move to other spectrum using the proceeds from the sale of the wireless licenses.

"U.S. wireless companies, like Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, are typically hungry for additional airwaves to serve additional customers as well as offer new advanced services, which could one day include video on mobile phones."

Reuters. 3G Wireless Licenses Likely in 2006. News.com. Dec. 30, 2004.

See also:
Federal Communications Commission. FCC to Commence Spectrum Auction That Will Provide American Consumers New Wireless Broadband Services. (.pdf) (News Release) Dec. 29, 2004.

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January 05, 2005

EMI, Sony BMG Partner for New Music Formats

"In a bold move to pave the way for more widespread licensing of music publishing rights, EMI Music Publishing and Sony BMG Music Entertainment have entered an umbrella agreement that sets working guidelines for clearing rights to new digital music delivery opportunities on phones, PCs, digital cable systems and emerging physical configurations.

The pact, announced Dec. 17, which pairs the world's top publishing house and the second-largest record company globally, promises to drive the clearance of thousands of copyrighted works for new distribution formats.

"The deal covers North American rights for master ring tones and ringbacks; DualDisc, the new two-sided music format that combines CD and DVD functionality; digital video distribution, including video-on-demand services and video downloads; multi-session audio discs like copy-protected CDs; and 'locked' content for hard drives and storage media that consumers may 'unlock' by purchasing the tracks or albums online."

Reuters. EMI, Sony BMG Ink Digital Music Pact. News.com. Dec. 20, 2004.

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January 04, 2005

2004 Search Engine Trends

"So, 2004 turned out to be a very exciting search engine year, after all. For a moment, one could believe that we were moving into an era with a virtual Google monopoly, and monopolies are seldom good for innovation.

"Instead there has grown up new alternatives. Competition is as fierce as ever, and given that both users and stockmarkets reward innovation, there has been a large number of refinements, new services and new products."

No author. Search Engine Trends in 2004. Pandia. Dec. 31, 2004.

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Tsunami Debate Rumbles in Cyberspace

"As the horror of the South Asian tsunami spread and people gathered online to discuss the disaster on sites known as Web logs, or blogs, those of a political bent naturally turned the discussion to their favorite topics.

"To some in the blogosphere, it simply had to be the government's fault.

"The interplay between the sites, left and right, is typical of the rumbles in cyberspace between rivals at different ends of the political spectrum. In many ways, Web logs shone after the tsunami struck: bloggers in the regions posted compelling descriptions of the devastation, sometimes by text messages sent from their cellphones as they roamed the countryside looking for friends and family members. And blogs were quick to create links to charities so that people could help online."

John Schwartz. Myths Run Wild in Blog Tsunami Debate. The New York Times. Jan. 3, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Cell Phone to Play iTunes on Schedule

"Apple Computer and Motorola could soon show us the mobile phone they are developing to play music purchased from Apple's iTunes online music store.

"'We've said we have something coming on this in the first half of 2005 and we're definitely on schedule for that. Hopefully you'll be able to see more about it soon,' says Eddy Cue, vice president in charge of applications at Apple.

"If the phone is as far along as Cue suggests, then Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs would be likely to announce it during his annual keynote speech at MacWorld Expo, scheduled for Jan. 11, 2005 in San Francisco."

Arik Hesseldahl. Get Ready To Call ITunes. Forbes.com. Dec. 16, 2004.

See also:
Elizabeth Corcoran. Ringing And Singing. Forbes.com. July 27, 2004.

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December 23, 2004

Broadband Age Has Arrived

"In 2004, broadband reached its tipping point.

"In August, a study conducted by Nielsen/NetRatings shows more Americans accessing the Internet through a high-speed connection than through slower dial-up by a ratio of 51 to 49. The gap will only increase as providers entice the U.S. dial-up base. DSL offers cheaper subscriptions than cable, which promises higher speeds.

"This study only concluded that Americans want their broadband. Americans want their broadband by any means necessary. The events of the past year also show they are willing to look beyond their phone or cable company to get it."

Jim Hu. Year in Review: Dawning of the Broadband Age. News.com. Dec. 20, 2004.

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December 22, 2004

Sprint Cell Phones Stream Songs

"Sprint on Monday plans to launch a new service for streaming music over the airwaves to cell phones, powered by a company that provides digital music to cable and satellite TV subscribers. Under the terms of the deal, Music Choice is providing a range of six streaming music channels organized by genre, as well as some music videos and artist interviews for Sprint subscribers.

"The deal is part of a broader drive by mobile phone companies and record labels to turn the humble mobile phone into a kind of iPod on steroids. This trend is particularly strong in Europe and Asia, where mobile phone operators have more advanced data networks and are eager to recoup the tens of billions of dollars they spent for rights to their mobile spectrum."

John Borland. Sprint Offers Streaming Mobile Music. News.com. Dec. 19, 2004.

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Cell Phones Leap From Luxury to Necessity

"Cellphone use in US triples in 10 years, to 172 million, changing lifestyles from the campus to the highway.

"The notion of the cellphone as necessity may not be universally agreed, but if you're in doubt about whether the device is transforming American life just try wresting one away from a teenager you know.

"With a popularity and versatility that spans continents and generations, the cellphone may be on its way to becoming mankind's primary communication interface and a lifestyle tool that exceeds the personal computer in ubiquity, say watchers of technology culture."

Daniel B. Wood. Cellphones: Once a Status Symbol, Now a Necessity. Christian Science Monitor. Dec. 13, 2004.

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December 21, 2004

Yahoo Maps Adds Traffic Info

"Yahoo Inc. is set to offer an online service that lets users view live U.S. local traffic conditions on custom-created maps, the first site to do so nationally, the company said late on Wednesday.

"In a milestone for Internet-based traffic services, Yahoo has beefed up its existing mapping services to allow customers to plot a route from one local destination to another, and overlay traffic data such as road speeds and potential delays

"The traffic mapping feature, which will be available across Yahoo's search, local content and map sections of the site, is the latest move to enhance Yahoo's local information push and follows rival Google's own recent push into online mapping."

Eric Auchard. Yahoo Maps Offer Live U.S. Traffic Conditions. Reuters. Dec. 16, 2004.

See also:
Juan Carlos Perez. Yahoo Adds Traffic Information to Maps Service. The Industry Standard. Dec. 16, 2004.

Arik Hesseldahl. Yahoo! Adds Traffic Conditions To Search. Forbes.com. Dec. 15, 2004.

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December 20, 2004

Apple iTunes Sells 200 Million Songs

"Apple Computer on Thursday said it has now sold more than 200 million songs through its iTunes Music Store--and it has new plans to keep the sales trend continuing upward.

"It took the company 11 months to sell its first 50 million songs and then another four months to get to 100 million songs. Three months later, the company hit 150 million, and it took just two months to get to 200 million.

"Apple has not only kept its sales growing, but it has maintained a commanding share of the online sales market, despite stepped-up competition from stores using Microsoft's Windows Media file format. The company also faces an uphill battle to convert those still using free file-swapping services such as Kazaa."

Ina Fried. iTunes Hits 200 Million Download Mark. News.com. Dec. 16, 2004.

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December 18, 2004

FCC to Examine Airborne Cell Phone Use

"Air travelers moved one step closer to being able to talk on cell phones and surf the Internet from laptops while in flight, thanks to votes by the Federal Communications Commission yesterday.

"Cell phone use is banned on airplanes by two federal agencies for separate reasons. The Federal Aviation Administration fears the wireless signals could interfere with an airplane's avionics and communications equipment.

"The FCC bans in-flight use because cell phones can communicate with more than one cell tower when in the air. This could lead to disruption of service for cell phones on the ground, which use only one tower at a time.

"But the commission thinks cell phone technology has advanced far enough in recent years to minimize such disruption of ground service."

Frank Ahrens. FCC Considers Cell Phone Use On Airplanes. WashingtonPost.com. Dec. 16, 2004.

National Public Radio. FCC Considers Cell Phone Use on Planes. Morning Edition. Dec. 15, 2004.

Federal Communications Commission. FCC To Examine Ban On Using Cellular Telephones On Airborne Aircraft. (.pdf) (Press Release) Dec. 15, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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2004: Review of Mobile & Wireless Technology

"Mobile and wireless technology is still hot, only its application is going through teething problems. Tony Hallett looks back on a busy 12 months and sticks his neck out on what to expect in 2005 - sort of…

"In all things mobile and wireless it has been a year of consolidation, launches, wireless everywhere and some familiar battles between well-known standards and companies.

"But 2004 was also 12 months where some of us became a little more sophisticated in how we use mobile devices and even the higher-ups learned - sometimes the hard way - that this remains one of tech's most exciting areas, one that can make a real difference to the bottom line."

Tony Hallett. Re:Viewing 2004: Mobile and Wireless. Silicon.com. Dec. 14, 2004.

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December 17, 2004

Court Rules RIM Infringed on NTP Patent

"A U.S. appeals court upheld a patent infringement finding against BlackBerry e-mail device maker Research In Motion Ltd. on Tuesday, but struck down part of the ruling and sent it back to a lower court for further proceedings.

"Shares of Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM soared more than 10 percent on news that a decision had been reached, but erased those gains after the court released details of the decision. Trading was then halted. Analysts offered widely divided opinions on whether the decision was mainly positive or negative for RIM.

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said a lower court had 'correctly found infringement' in the case that pitted RIM against patent holding company NTP Inc."

Jeffrey Hodgson and Peter Kaplan. BlackBerry Maker's Patent Suit Upheld. WashingtonPost.com. Dec. 14, 2004.

See also:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. NTP, Inc., v. Research In Motion, LTD.. (.pdf) Dec. 14, 2004.

John Shinal. Appeals Court: RIM Violated Patents. CBS MarketWatch. Dec. 14, 2004.

Roy Mark. Court Rules RIM Infringed. InternetNews.com. Dec. 14, 2004.

Mike Dano. Mixed Ruling in RIM Patent Suit Could Affect Entire Wireless E-mail Market. RCR Wireless News. Dec. 15, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Mobile Games Include Social Networks

"Who says 'Solitaire' must be a lonely endeavor? Games tailored for cell phones are increasingly adding community-oriented elements, such as tournaments for top scores, head-to-head combat or chatting with other players.

"After all, the ubiquitous gadget is meant to connect people. 'The mobile phone is really turning into a social computer,' said Trip Hawkins, founder of Digital Chocolate Inc.

"The San Mateo-based startup is one of more than 300 companies developing games for U.S. cell phone users. Its offerings includes 'Solitaire', in its so-called mobile league, in which players can post scores and compete for rank and glory."

Associated Press. Mobile Games Get Fancier, More Social. CBS MarketWatch. Dec. 12, 2004.

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Text Messaging Relayed Death Sentence

"Much of the online world was glued to computer screens Monday to hear the jury in the Scott Peterson double-murder trial call for the death penalty.

"A number of news organizations broadcast live audio of the sentencing recommendation, including a live report from inside the courtroom delivered via short text messaging.

"Peterson's death penalty sentencing was covered live via a wireless device, adding a new dimension to TV news coverage. A reporter from KCRA-TV in Sacramento used a laptop to send reports from inside the courtroom back to the TV station's newsroom, using an existing wireless network inside the courtroom."

Ed Frauenheim and Ben Charny. Peterson Death Sentence Relayed Via Messaging. News.com. Dec. 13, 2004.

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December 16, 2004

Sprint, Nextel Deal Focus on Wireless

"When Gary D. Forsee took over as chief executive of Sprint Corp. 20 months ago, the phone company was reeling from the telecom bust, burdened by debt and grappling with bigger competitors on three fronts: local, long-distance and wireless calling.

"Forsee demanded change, cutting more than 11,000 workers, consolidating Sprint's disparate operations and betting the Kansas company's future increasingly on its wireless offerings, analysts say.

"Now, Forsee, 54, is making his boldest move, pushing a merger with Reston-based Nextel Communications Inc., while also preparing to jettison Sprint's poor-performing local telephone business to focus more intently on wireless and long-distance service. The combined company, to be named Sprint-Nextel, would still be only the country's third-largest, behind Verizon's and Cingular's wireless units, but it could be a more formidable competitor given Nextel's prized customer base. Its subscribers are a loyal group, spending more on average than any other wireless company's."

Ellen McCarthy and Ben White. Sprint's Planned Nextel Deal Builds on Wireless Strength. WashingtonPost.com. Dec. 14, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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December 15, 2004

iTunes Music Store Accepts PayPal

"Apple Computer Inc. on Friday said customers of its iTunes online music store can now use eBay Inc.'s online payment service PayPal to buy songs and audiobooks, becoming the second major online music store to do so.

"Starting Friday, purchases from Cupertino, California-based Apple's online music store can be funded via PayPal, using a credit card, bank account or a stored account balance.

"Until now, the Apple store accepted credit cards, gift certificates and account balances as forms of payment."

No author. Apple Says ITunes Music Store Now Accepts PayPal. Reuters. Dec. 10, 2004.

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Senate Approves Telecom Package

"As its final act of 2004, the U.S. Senate late Wednesday night approved a telecommunications package that includes reopening the E-Rate financial pipeline and creating a federal agency spectrum relocation fund. Lawmakers also authorized matching grants for state E-911 program enhancements.

"In the wake of charges of fraud and abuse in the federal E-Rate program, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in August moved to shore up the accounting practices associated with the fund, which provides financial support for schools and libraries to connect to the Internet.

"Part of the changes involved forcing the E-Rate fund to have enough upfront cash to cover its commitments, even if payments were not due until 2005. The new accounting rules forced the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which administers the program, to delay more than $400 million in payments to schools and libraries."

Roy Mark. Senate Approves Last Minute Telecom Package. InternetNews.com. Dec. 9, 2004.

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Wireless Network Sets New Speed Record

"A new world record has been set for transmitting data across a wireless network, claim researchers in Germany.

"A team at Siemens Communications research laboratory in Munich, have transmitted one gigabit (one billion bits) of data per second across their mobile network. By contrast, the average wireless computer network can send only around 50 megabits (50 million bits) of data per second.

"The researchers used three transmitting and four receiving antennas and a technique for boosting the amount of data that can be sent wirelessly, called Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), to set their record."

Will Knight. Wireless Network Smashes World Speed Record. NewScientist.com Dec. 4, 2004.

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December 14, 2004

Feds Crack Down on Camera Phones

"Camera phones may make great Christmas gifts, but people better not use them for peeping-Tom photos on federal property.

"In one of its last moves of the year, Congress passed a bill that would levy heavy fines and prison time for anyone who sneaks photos or videos of people in various stages of undress, a problem lawmakers and activists called the new frontier of stalking.

"The legislation would apply only in federal jurisdictions, such as federal buildings, national parks or military bases, but it carves out exceptions for law enforcement, intelligence and prison work."

Associated Press. New Bill Targets Some Peeping Toms. CNN. Dec. 10, 2004.

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December 13, 2004

Cell Phones Off-Limits to Telemarketers?

"The e-mails, often forwarded by friends, vary in wording, but the underlying message is always ominous: Soon, all cell phone numbers will be made public to telemarketing firms. That means, according to one version, that 'your cell phone may start ringing off the hook with telemarketers' and your precious, limited cell phone minutes will be eaten up with calls you don't want.

"It's not clear where the e-mails originated, but industry and government officials say they are an urban myth; they are not true. There is no list of cell phone numbers being turned over to telemarketers, and telemarketers are barred from calling cell phone numbers."

Caroline E. Mayer. Bogus E-Mail Worries Users Of Cell Phones. WashingtonPost.com. Dec. 10, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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December 11, 2004

A Clever Way to Promote Mobile Marketing

"The Incredibles has so far racked up over $200 million in U.S. ticket sales, gathered another $60 million overseas, and broken into the top 50 all-time-domestic blockbusters.

"But what's really incredible about this animated superhero movie isn't just the box office. It's the way co-creators at The Walt Disney Co. and Pixar Animation Studios have marketed the film over mobile devices. Pick up your phone or log onto Disney Mobile, the company's cell-centric Web site, and you can download two dozen Incredibles wallpaper graphics, two new video games and three dozen custom-made ring tones--including one of villain Syndrome growling, 'What, you expected a cute little ring?'

"It's a clever way to promote the movie--but perhaps just as importantly, it's a strong new revenue stream for both content and service providers. As the cell phone companies have expanded their presence among youth markets, other businesses are discovering that the mobile format is a great way to reach kids, and that these young consumers are willing and able to spend serious money over the phone."

David M. Ewalt. An 'Incredible' Marketing Ploy. Forbes.cm. Nov. 30, 2004.

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Philadelphia Alarmed Over New Legisation

"Pennsylvania has been hit by a torrent of criticism over a new law restricting cities from offering Internet access.

"The law, signed by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell last week, says that a municipality generally 'may not provide to the public for compensation' any kind of Internet service. This has alarmed Philadelphia, which dreams of blanketing 135 square miles of downtown with Wi-Fi signals.

"Many no doubt find the principles behind Pennsylvania's legislation to be entirely sensible. Their argument: Governments should not be in the business of providing Internet service."

Declan McCullagh.Wi-Fi for Everyone?. News.com. Dec. 6, 2004.

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DOD to Implement IP Version 6

"The United States is behind the curve on deployment of the next generation of Internet protocols, but the Defense Department’s decision to transition to IP Version 6 is helping to move the nation ahead, said Alex Lightman, chairman of the U.S. IPv6 Summit.

"'It signals the return of DOD to Internet leadership,' Lightman said in an interview with GCN. 'The department really is seeking a consensus with industry and other government agencies.'

"The Internet protocols are the rules defining how computers and other devices communicate with each other. Most hardware and software today use IPv4, which has been in use for more than 20 years. The Internet community developed version 6 during the 1990s with a greatly expanded address space and added support for mobility and security."

William Jackson. With IPv6, DOD is Again an Internet Leader. CGN.com. Dec. 8, 2004.

See also:

George Leopold. DoD Targets IPv6 as Catalyst for Net-Centric Warfare. Internet Week. Dec. 9, 2004.

William Jackson. Microsoft’s Next OS Will Have IPv6 Built In. GCN.com. Dec. 8, 2004.

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NOAA Issues New Partnership Policy

"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated its policy on sharing weather-related information. The agency still plans to make the data easily accessible on the Web.

"The policy update follows a year of debate over how vigorously NOAA should work to disseminate its weather information, and how much it should leave to industry.

"It is a reworking of a 1991 policy that defined how the National Weather Service should work with the private sector in collecting and disseminating weather information to the public. Released as a draft for comment in January, the proposed policy received 1,473 comments, at least 1,190 supporting the policy and 176 opposing it."

Joab Jackson. NOAA Updates Policy on Weather Info Dissemination. GCN.com. Dec. 7, 2004.

See also:
Kimberly Palmer. NOAA Pledges to Better Disseminate Weather Information. GovExec.com. Dec. 9, 2004.

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Mobile Phone Subscribers Double Since 2000

"Mobile phone subscribers around the globe totaled nearly 1.5 billion by the middle of this year, about one quarter of the world's population, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said on Thursday.

"The figure reflected a sharp surge in the mobile telephony business, especially in developing countries, over the first half of the decade, with subscribers doubling since 2000, according to the United Nations agency's annual report.

"The ITU said the growth in mobile phone subscribers had outpaced that for fixed lines, who totaled some 1.185 billion today against 1 billion at the start of the century, and was also outstripping the rate of increase in Internet users."

Robert Evans. Mobile Phone Users Double Since 2000. Reuters. Dec. 9, 2004.

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December 09, 2004

Wi-Fi Enables Creative Applications

"Wi-Fi networks can help companies dependent on older technologies leapfrog intermediate steps and go right to the cutting edge.

"Some companies and industry sectors are finding the use of Wi-Fi to be a helpful way to leap ahead to cutting edge technology while skipping intermediary steps saving time and money.

"Just ask Robert Israel, the CIO at the two John C. Lincoln hospitals in Phoenix, Ariz. Thanks to a Wi-Fi network he installed last year in one of the two hospitals, the CIO feels like he's leapt forward several thousands of centuries -- from using an over-head paging system to using voice-activated portable communicators that run off a wireless network."

Jeanette James. Wi-Fi: From the Stone Age to Star Trek. CIO Update. Dec. 1, 2004.

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Tech Gadgets for the Holidays

"This week, online shopping is set to hit its peak traffic as consumers put in their orders early enough to ensure they'll be shipped before Christmas.

"If the Monday after Thanksgiving is any indication, this week should ring up the biggest sales on the Web during the holiday shopping season. On that day, consumers spent $400 million, up 30 percent from last year, according to comScore Networks.

"Why not? The convenience, the easy checkouts, the selection -- there are 377,000 Web sites devoted only to shopping, according to Websense -- the bargains, the price-comparisons, are reasons consumers go online."

Bambi Francisco. My Christmas Wish List. CBS MarketWatch. Dec. 7, 2004.

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December 08, 2004

China's Tenuous Relationship With the Internet

"As the number of people online in China has quintupled over the last four years, the government has shown itself to be committed to two concrete, and sometimes competing, goals: strategically deploying the Internet to economic advantage, while clamping down - with surveillance, filters and prison sentences - on undesirable content and use.

"Both trends, experts say, are likely to continue.

"China is already the largest mobile communications subscriber market in the world, with more than 320 million subscribers. Internet users - who numbered fewer than 17 million in 2000 - are now estimated to be somewhere near 90 million, according to the China Internet Network Information Center, the government's clearinghouse for Internet statistics. China is second only to the United States in the number of people online, and the 90 percent of its total population around 1.3 billion who are not online still represents a vast, untapped market. "

Tom Zeller Jr. Beijing Loves the Web Until the Web Talks Back. The New York Times. Dec. 6, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Nextel & RIM Introduce New Blackberry

"Nextel Communications Inc. (NXTL) and Research In Motion (RIM) today announced the availability of the BlackBerry 7520 Wireless Handheld(TM). The BlackBerry 7520(TM) features Bluetooth(R) technology for hands-free, wireless communications using Bluetooth-enabled headsets and car kits. It also incorporates GPS technology with E911 support.

"The BlackBerry 7520 provides a true mobile office experience, enabling phone, Direct Connect(R), email and data applications in a single integrated device. It operates on Nextel's guaranteed all-digital network to provide mobile professionals the freedom to access information and communicate while away from the office.

"The BlackBerry 7520 also includes the features that have made the BlackBerry 7510 from Nextel so popular and functional, including wireless access to email and email attachments, phone, Nextel Online(R) Wireless Web, intranet and organizer applications, speakerphone and Direct Connect(R), the powerful coast-to-coast and country-to-country digital walkie-talkie service."

Business Wire. Nextel and RIM Introduce New BlackBerry 7520; BlackBerry 7520 First to Combine Bluetooth, Speakerphone and Cross Border Walkie Talkie Services. CBS MarketWatch. Dec. 6, 2004.

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Digital Space: Another Dimension to Physical Space

"Thanks to Wi-Fi networks, cellphones and global positioning locators, there's a new sense of place in the city.

"In November 2003, New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger penned a diatribe in Metropolis magazine against the isolation and dissolution of place wrought by the pervasive use of cellphones on city streets. 'The mobile phone renders a public place less public,' he wrote. 'It turns the boulevardier into a sequestered individual, the flâneur into a figure of privacy. And suddenly the meaning of the street as a public place has been hugely diminished.'

"Goldberger's critique of mobile communications technology capped over a decade of analysis revolving around the ability of global communications networks -- for better and for worse -- to release people from the constraints of time and place."

Linda Baker. Urban Renewal, the Wireless Way. Salon. Nov. 29, 2004.

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December 07, 2004

"W3C10" Gathering Looks Back, Looks Forward

"Internet luminaries gathered in Boston Wednesday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), honor its founder, Director and Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, and look forward to another decade of innovation.

"Speakers at the gathering recounted, in sometimes excruciating detail, the events leading to the creation of the Web and the W3C, which has promoted a long line of key Web standards, including HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and XML (Extensible Markup Language). Experts, including representatives of leading technology firms, also looked forward to future developments backed by the W3C, including the Semantic Web, which will allow users to access and connect more types and sources of data online.

"Berners-Lee was the star of the gathering, and he used the occasion to focus attention on W3C's ongoing work, including the Semantic Web, a World Wide Web extension that greatly expands the information types and relationships between information that can be represented online."

Paul Roberts. W3C Focuses on Future at 10th Anniversary Meeting. InfoWorld. Dec. 2, 2004.

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December 06, 2004

New Survey Links Mobility with Productivity

"Greater mobility is associated with higher productivity, according to a Cisco-sponsored survey published today by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Those who are away from their desks most of the time say they're more productive than their stationary colleagues.

"But while mobility looks to be the future - only 11 percent of respondents said they will spend more time at their desk two years from now - the survey found that many are troubled by the impact mobile technologies are having on their lives. Three-quarters said the blurring of personal and work time was a key negative aspect of mobile technologies, commenting that they felt 'on call' 24 hours a day, had less 'thinking time' and had 'nowhere to hide'.

Twenty-six percent said more access to corporate communications would increase their daily work hours. Another 20 percent said more access would reduce their work hours."

Matthew Broersma. Mobility Means 'Nowhere to Hide'. TechWorld. Nov. 29, 2004.

See also:
Economist Intelligence Unit. Communications, Mobility and the Working World. (.pdf)

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RFID Watch to Assist Memory

"Human memory is imperfect, so an RFID-enabled smartwatch that keeps track of the easily lost items in your world could be a boon. The tricky part is making sure the watch doesn't remember everything.

"At his lab in Seattle, Gaetano Borriello and his University of Washington team have built a working prototype of a smartwatch that operates using radio frequency identification tags to help people keep track of their stuff. The device is destined to become an application for the memory-challenged but is being designed with privacy rights in mind.

"Here's how the smartwatch works. When a tagged item passes a reader, the reader recognizes the item and sends radio energy to a personal server that checks it off the list of items present. If the item is missing and is part of a group of items programmed to be present at a given location, the watch will beep a warning that the item is not present, reminding the user to retrieve the missing item.

Michael Bradbury. Dumbing Down a Smartwatch. Wired News. Nov. 29, 2004.

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December 04, 2004

Pennsylvania Gets New WiFi Law

"In a victory for Verizon Communications, a measure in a new Pennsylvania law will make it harder for cities to build high-speed Internet networks that compete with major telecommunications providers.

"The measure, part of a broad telecommunications law that was signed late Tuesday by Gov. Edward G. Rendell, has been watched closely by telephone companies and cities across the country. The industry and municipal governments have increasingly found themselves at odds, as cities try to spur the growth of high-speed Internet access by building their own networks - often in competition with the dominant local phone company.

"Under the new law's Internet provision, cities in Pennsylvania that want to build their own high-speed data networks must first give the main local phone company the right to build such a network within 14 months. If the phone company proceeds, the city must drop its plans to build a broadband network."

Matt Richtel. Pennsylvania Limits Cities in Offering Net Access. The New York Times. Dec. 2, 2004.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Philly, Verizon Reach Accord on City Wi-Fi Plan. News.com. Dec. 1, 2004.

Jesse Drucker. Law Restricts Municipal Wi-Fi Networks. FreePress. Dec. 1, 2004.

Stephen Lawson. Philadelphia Wi-Fi Plans Move Forward. PCWorld. Dec. 2, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft to Offer Blogging Service

"Microsoft is looking to take on Google's Blogger and other blog-creation and hosting services.

"Microsoft's MSN division is expected to take the wraps off its MSN Spaces blogging service this week, according to sources close to the company.

"MSN is expected to tout MSN Spaces as a direct competitor to blog-creation and hosting tools, such as Blogger, Blog*Spot, LiveJournal and TypePad. Microsoft also will position MSN Spaces as a way to allow users to more easily share photo albums and music lists, too, insiders said."

Mary Jo Foley. MSN Readies New Blogging Service. Microsoft Watch. Nov. 30, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hicks. MSN Launches Blog Service with IM Ties. Dec. 1, 2004.

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December 01, 2004

SBC's VoIP Charge Under Scrutiny

"The Federal Communications Commission is keeping and eye on SBC Communications' new connection charge for calls made over the Internet.

"FCC Chairman Michael Powell said Friday that SBC's 'Tiptop' plan shouldn't be used to force higher connection charges on Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services or to discriminate against SBC competitors.

"SBC, the second-largest U.S. telecommunications company, announced Nov. 16 that it planned to offer its own VoIP service in its 13-state local area starting early next year."

Reuters. FCC is Watching SBC's VoIP Charge. News.com. Nov. 27, 2004.

See also:
Federal Communications Commission. Chairman Powell Issues Statement on SBC's Tiptop Service. (.pdf). Nov. 26, 2004.

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Wireless Research's Largest Hurdle & Opportunity

"Ramesh Rao, a director of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, aims to get wireless networks on talking terms.

"Formerly the director of UCSD's Center for Wireless Communication, Rao now runs the San Diego side of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology. A massive joint venture between UCSD and UC Irvine, the institute's multidisciplinary wireless research ranges from smart antennas and RF integrated circuit design to a wireless testbed and new protocols for cellular multimedia applications such as telemedicine.

"According to Rao, the future potential of mobile technology won't truly be realized until the wireless spectrum's Tower of Babel is toppled."

David Pescovitz. Wireless Research's Biggest Hurdle and Largest Opportunity. TheFeature. Nov. 25, 2004.

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November 22, 2004

PA May Block Philly 'Wi-Fi' Plan

"Supporters of Philadelphia's plan to provide wireless Internet access blasted a bill in the state General Assembly last night that they said threatened the city's proposal.

"House Bill 30, which needs only Senate approval before being sent to Gov. Rendell, contains a clause forbidding governments from providing fast Internet services - including wireless fidelity, or 'Wi-Fi,' access - that competes with private services such as Verizon Communications Inc.'s DSL and Comcast Corp.'s cable modem.

"The contested bill is the proposed replacement for the state's far-reaching telecommunications law that was created 10 years ago and expired in December. Both the old and the new versions define the rules for competition among telephone providers and established a time line for deploying fast Internet service, or broadband, throughout the state."

Akweli Parker. Pa. May Block City 'Wi-Fi' Plan, Backers Say. Philadelphia Inquirer. Nov. 18, 2004.

See also:
Stephen Lawson. Law May Snag Philadelphia Wi-Fi Rollout. InfoWorld. Nov. 23, 2004.

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November 20, 2004

Airport Asserts Authority for Wireless Communication

"An emerging national battle between airlines and airports over the use, regulation and management of wireless Internet networks has prompted the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority to retain additional legal counsel to deal with the issue.

"'There's been talk that airports do not have the authority to regulate telecommunications services within the airport,' said Louis E. Miller, executive director of Tampa International Airport. 'We think that's ridiculous. It's our airport, and we run it, and we should be allowed to supply telecommunications services to our tenants and passengers if we so choose.'

"A telecommunications legal firm 'will be required in the future as the authority implements telecommunications programs,' the authority's Nov. 4 monthly meeting agenda shows."

Ken Salgat. TIA Asserts Authority to Control Wireless Communication on Site. BizJournal.com. Nov. 12, 2004.

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November 19, 2004

London's 'Biggest Ever' Wi-Fi Hotspot Opens

"The British Library finally launched its wireless network on Tuesday, which it claims is the largest enclosed Wi-Fi hot spot in the UK capital.

"The network covers eleven reading rooms, the Library auditorium, a cafe and restaurant, and also an outdoor Piazza. It will be available to around 3,000 visitors per day.

"Broadcom has built a huge Wi-Fi zone outdoors in Central London, but the British Library believes its network is the largest indoor site, rivalling locations such as Heathrow Airport in terms of coverage.

Graeme Wearden. London Gets 'Largest Ever' Indoor Wi-Fi Site. ZDNet UK. Nov. 16, 2004.

See also:
Tony Smith. British Library tunes into Wi-Fi. The Register. Nov. 16, 2004.

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November 18, 2004

Texas Schoolchildren Equipped With RFID Tags

"Hoping to prevent the loss of a child through kidnapping or more innocent circumstances, a few schools have begun monitoring student arrivals and departures using technology similar to that used to track livestock and pallets of retail shipments.

"Here in a growing middle- and working-class suburb just north of Houston, the effort is undergoing its most ambitious test. The Spring Independent School District is equipping 28,000 students with ID badges containing computer chips that are read when the students get on and off school buses. The information is fed automatically by wireless phone to the police and school administrators."

Matt Richtel. In Texas, 28,000 Students Test an Electronic Eye. The New York Times. Nov. 17, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Blackberry Reaches Two Million Subscribers

"Research in Motion today announced that its award-winning BlackBerry(R) wireless platform has passed another major industry milestone by exceeding two million active wireless subscribers.

"BlackBerry continues to lead the industry and becomes the first integrated wireless data platform to reach the two millionth subscriber mark. This rapid growth illustrates the widening popularity of BlackBerry and the increasing market potential for converged devices and wireless data connectivity."

Business Wire. BlackBerry Subscribers Pass The Two Million Mark. CBS Marketwatch. Nov. 17, 2004.

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November 17, 2004

Defense Department Tests Internet Telephony Over IPv6

"The Department of Defense has completed its third round of tests in an ambitious plan to upgrade its networks to next-generation Internet Protocol, including its first evaluation of Internet telephony over IP version 6.

"The tests, completed Nov. 12, simulated real-world traffic conditions on Moonv6, an experimental network billed by its backers as the world's largest test bed for IPv6, the next version of the Internet's addressing system.

"InterOperability Laboratory spokesman Chris Volpe said the tests showed that the base IPv6 infrastructure appears solid. But he said researchers ran into some implementation problems with specific equipment and protocol configurations, suggesting complications for real-world IPv6 deployments."

Evan Hansen. Defense Dept. Tests Net Phone Calls on IPv6. News.com. Nov. 15, 2004.

See also:
William Jackson. Defense Continues Its March Toward IPv6. GCN. Nov. 15, 2004.

CXOtoday staff. Nokia Extends IPv6 To Phones. CXOtoday.com. Nov. 17, 2004.

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November 16, 2004

Medicine Bottles to Include RFID Chips

"The Food and Drug Administration and several major drug makers are expected to announce initiatives today that will put tiny radio antennas on the labels of millions of medicine bottles to combat counterfeiting and fraud.

"Among the medicines that will soon be tagged are Viagra, one of the most counterfeited drugs in the world, and OxyContin, a pain-control narcotic that has become one of the most abused medicines in the United States. The tagged bottles - for now, only the large ones from which druggists get the pills to fill prescriptions - will start going to distributors this week, officials said.

"Experts do not expect the technology to stop there. The adoption by the drug industry, they said in interviews, could be the leading edge of a change that will rid grocery stores of checkout lines, find lost luggage in airports, streamline warehousing and add a weapon in the battle against cargo theft."

Gardiner Harris. Tiny Antennas to Keep Tabs on U.S. Drugs. The New York Times. Nov. 15, 2004.

See also:
U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Radiofrequency Identification Feasibility Studies and Pilot Programs for Drugs. Nov. 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Can a Cell Phone Replace a Wallet?

"Cellphones already play music, scan the Internet, send and receive text messages, and snap photos. Are they going to take the place of our wallets too?

"Some big players in telecommunications and finance, including Motorola, Nokia, Sony, and MasterCard, think the answer will be yes, that people will rush to make their phones into a kind of magic wand that effortlessly makes purchases or retrieves information for them.

"Americans are already starting to wave a card or key-chain fob near a receiver to do things like travel on a bus, buy gasoline, or unlock a door. But the real shift will happen, some observers say, when mobile phones, with their additional capacities, can do the same thing."

Gregory M. Lamb. Using your Cellphone as Your Wallet - Priceless.. Christian Science Monitor. Nov. 15, 2004.

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Technologies Reinvent CRM

"Many of today's most effective CRM processes and strategies are so successful because of the underlying technologies that enable and support them.

"In our dynamic, evolving industry new technologies continue to allow us to interact with customers in ways we never imagined. This is not to say that technology is the end-all in CRM--we still need engaged people, relevant processes, and quality data. But when properly implemented, technology can take that powerful threesome even farther.

"Consider the already heady impact and potential of the following 10 technologies..."

Coreen Bailor. 10 Technologies That Are Reinventing the CRM Industry. CRM Magazine. Dec. 2004.

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November 15, 2004

Microsoft Now Leads PDA Market

"Microsoft has a firm grip on the handheld software market, winning the lead in shipments for the first time, a new report from Gartner shows.

"Shipments of handhelds that use Microsoft's Windows CE operating system rose by about 33 percent to about 1.4 million in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, shipments of handhelds that use the Palm operating system shrank by 26 percent to 851,000. Research In Motion showed huge growth, with shipments jumping more than 356 percent to 565,000 to round out the top three, the research company said.

John G. Spooner. Microsoft Grabs Lead In Handheld Market. News.com. Nov. 12, 2004.

See also:
Associated Press. Microsoft Takes Lead in PDA Shipments. CBS MarketWatch. Nov. 12, 2004.

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November 13, 2004

TV Series for Mobile Phones

"The Twentieth Century Fox studio, a veteran of the big screen and the TV screen, is about to break into an entirely new realm: the really little screen, the kind that comes on a cell phone.

"In what appeared to be the first arrangement of its kind, Twentieth Century Fox said Wednesday it would create a unique series of one-minute dramas based on its hit show '24' exclusively for a new high-speed wireless service being offered by Vodafone PLC, the world's biggest cell phone company.

Vodafone will begin offering the one-minute epidosdes in January in the United Kingdom. The 'mobisodes,' as they're being called, will be introduced later in 2005 in up to 23 more countries where Vodafone operates, mainly in Europe, as well as in the United States through the company's Verizon Wireless joint venture."

Associated Press. Fox to Create TV Series for Cell Phones. MSNBC News. Nov. 10, 2004.

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November 12, 2004

Mobile Professionals Use 'Smart Phones'

"While most executives on the hoof probably aren't yet quite brave enough to eschew their trusty notebook computers and forsake them in the docking station at their desks, they are also becoming more apt to slip one of the hottest new gadgets into their pocket: a so-called smart phone.

"Smart phones combine voice and data functions into a single device, allowing traveling workers to carry out some of their most common tasks in the palm of their hand without losing time waiting for a notebook to power up.

"The devices, which are available from manufacturers in conjunction with various cell-phone service providers, have come a long way from their predecessors that stored simple data like addresses and appointments."

Michael Paige. Savvy Travelers Have Smarter Phones. CBS Marketwatch. Nov. 11, 2004.

See also:
No author. E-Plus Introduces BlackBerry in Germany. CBS Marketwatch. Nov. 10, 2004.

Reuters. RIM Stays Mum on Patent Fight. News.com. Nov. 10, 2004.

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November 11, 2004

FCC Ruling Limits Regulation of VoIP

"The Federal Communications Commission seized regulatory control over Internet-based telephone services on Tuesday by issuing an order that sharply limited the role of state regulators.

"In a unanimous ruling, the commission said that Minnesota could not impose regulations on these services. That included a requirement that one of the leading companies in the field, Vonage, must offer to all Internet phone customers emergency 911 service similar to that offered by the traditional phone companies.

"The decision, if upheld by a federal appeals court considering the matter, would set the precedent of limiting state regulators to issues of consumer fraud, general commercial law and state taxes."

Stephen Labaton. F.C.C. Takes on Oversight of Internet Phone Services. The New York Times. Nov. 10, 2004.

See also:
Federal Communications Commission. FCC Finds that Vonage Not Subject to Patchwork of State Regulations Governing Telephone Companies. (.pdf). Nov. 9, 2004.

Caron Carlson and Ryan Naraine. FCC: VOIP Is Not Subject to State Rules. eWeek. Nov. 9, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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November 10, 2004

Unsettled Patent Shakes Blackberry Parent

"Research In Motion shares have been fluctuating amid anticipation that a ruling over a hotly contested patent infringement case may be near--and that it could be bad news for the BlackBerry maker.

"Analysts attributed the stock shifts to speculation that a decision will be made soon on RIM's appeal to invalidate NTP's patents. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments from both companies' attorneys on June 7.

"The two companies have been embroiled in a patent infringement case for a number of years. NTP claims that RIM violates its patents covering the use of radio frequency wireless communications in e-mail systems."

Richard Shim. RIM Shares Atwitter Amid Case Concerns. News.com. Nov. 5, 2004.

See also:
Stuart Weinberg. Rumor of Court Ruling Weighs on Research In Motion. San Franciso Chronicle. Nov. 5, 2004.

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November 09, 2004

New Twist on 411 Information Services

"Name, address and a free phone call? Dialing 411 may never be the same again.

"Beginning sometime Friday or Monday, San Francisco-based upstart UpSnap says, it will launch a 411 service for cell phones that costs a few pennies per inquiry (paid to one's wireless carrier) and will make it possible to call, for free, some of those businesses whose listings you've requested.

"Rather than talk to an operator, users of UpSnap's Merchant Call Back service will be able to send text messages from their cell phones with the specifics of their search, and will be messaged back with the usual full names, addresses and telephone numbers."

Ben Charny. (Almost) Free 411 on Cell Phones. News.com. Nov. 5, 2004.

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FoneShare: World’s First Mobile Content Sharing Application

"Cell phones are learning to share files, but the earliest efforts don't nearly resemble the peer-to-peer renegades like Napster and Kazaa that the designers have in mind.

"FoneShare, an application introduced two weeks ago by NewBay Software, does let people share their collections of ring tones, graphics, games, songs, movie trailers and other wireless extras with strangers. FoneShare will debut next year as a subscription service, running over privately owned and operated cellular networks, and the sharing will be done via Web sites controlled by a wireless operator, said NewBay Chief Executive Paddy Holahan.

"That's a far cry from Napster, which was free, let people choose from digital music libraries stored on untold millions of personal computers, and relied heavily upon the anonymity of the public Internet."

Ben Charny. P2P for Cell Phones: Reach out and Share Something. News.com. Nov. 3, 2004.

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Rocky and Bullwinkle Headed for Cell Phones

"The company that sells vintage Atari games for cell phones is planning to introduce another American pop-culture classic to the cell phone-savvy: Rocky & Bullwinkle.

"Britain-based iFone has inked a deal with Bullwinkle Studios to develop ring tones, games and screen graphics for mobile phones, the companies said this week. The companies' plans call for wireless content that's based on the flying squirrel and his moose sidekick, villains Boris and Natasha, Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-Right, as well as Sherman and Peabody.

"iFone is banking on the deal to help it attract a bigger following in North America, where it has already introduced 'Monopoly' and 'Clue' for mobile phones."

Alorie Gilbert. Rocky & Bullwinkle Headed for Mobile Phones. News.com. Nov. 5, 2004.

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November 08, 2004

Microsoft Expands MSN Music Stores in Europe

"Microsoft launched its MSN music download service in eight new European countries on Thursday in an attempt to fend off a recent expansion push by archrival Apple Computer's iTunes.

"With the new territories, Microsoft has extended its music download business to 19 market versions in 17 countries, including 13 Western European countries.

"In its announcement on Thursday, Microsoft said it had launched new MSN download stores in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland through a partnership with CDON.com, an online retailer owned by Swedish media company Modern Times Group."

Reuters. Microsoft Expands Music Store in Europe. News.com. Nov. 4, 2004.

See also:
Tony Smith. Microsoft Extends MSN Music Sales Into Europe. The Register. Nov. 5, 2004.

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Universal Google

"Most of us use Google many times a day for many different things: Phone-book lookups, word definitions, news searches, and, of course, ordinary Web searches.

"Most of the time, we do this sitting at our computers looking at our browsers. That's fine, but you're not in front of your PC all the time, and even when you are, you have other things to do than keep up with searches.

"Happily, both Google and third parties offer alternatives for getting Google information without using your browser. Some of them don't even require a computer!"

Tara Calishain. Google Everywhere. PC Magazine. Nov. 16, 2004.

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Time Warner Cable Considers Wireless

"Time Warner executives on Wednesday said they are exploring ways to enter the wireless-phone business, a new move in the increasingly competitive battle for customers against the Baby Bell phone companies.

"During a conference call after reporting quarterly earnings, executives agreed that wireless phone service would be an essential addition to the offerings of their Time Warner Cable cash cow. The idea is to bundle wireless into the division's 'triple threat' offering of video, high-speed Internet and voice services.

"Time Warner's consideration of getting into the wireless business illustrates a missing piece in cable's arsenal. Cable companies, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter Communications and Cablevision, have found success in bundling their bread-and-butter video programming with new businesses."

Jim Hu. Time Warner Cable Mulling Wireless. News.com. Nov. 3, 2004.

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November 06, 2004

New Standards Help Secure Wireless Networks

"Robert West, the Homeland Security Department’s chief information security officer, made the rounds at an after-hours social event during a conference last summer. He met a federal air marshal eager to show him what was running on his wireless personal digital assistant.

"This is how they send me orders; this is how they tell me what airplane to get on,' the marshal told West, illustrating how wireless communication lets air marshals respond quickly to changing plans and last-minute threats. West was impressed but had a simple reply: 'That’s great, but our wireless policy right now is no wireless' because of security risks.

"DHS has since changed its policy to permit certified and accredited wireless networks. It also formed a wireless security working group to assess risk and identify secure methods of deploying wireless networks."

Brad Grimes. Secure at Last?. GCN.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

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Votes are In: Onward to Tally Issues

"It's finally over: President George W. Bush claimed victory in his re-election bid on Wednesday, a win that capped a tumultuous night of election results and propelled technology and other stocks higher.

"Coupled with the Republican gains in Congress, the results of the 2004 election offer the president a long-awaited opportunity to consolidate his grip on power in the nation's capital--a prospect that could, depending on the details, help or hurt the technology industry.

"Aside from a few spats about offshoring early in the year, technology topics have never been a priority for either Bush or Sen. John Kerry, his Democratic rival. But this week's results ensure that attitudes in Washington, D.C., toward broadband, spectrum management, taxes and Internet telephony will line up squarely behind Republican priorities through at least the midterm elections in 2006."

Declan McCullagh. Votes are Cast--Time to Count the Issues. News.com. Nov. 3, 2004.

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AOL to Personalize Search

"America Online's plans to improve and expand its search offerings include moving into personalized search, says Gerry Campbell, vice president and general manager of AOL Search.

"'We're very focused on search as a company,' Campbell says. 'We're moving very aggressively in defining new ways for people to search, interact with and store information. It's a gigantic part of the company's focus. There's lots more to come.'

"One logical area for AOL to move towards in search is personalization, or giving users the capability to customize their search activities, save queries, and manage, manipulate, and store results, he says. 'Personalization is on the horizon. That's a given,' he says."

Juan Carlos Perez. AOL Eyes Personal Search. PC World. Nov. 2, 2004.

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November 05, 2004

Smart Web Offers Opportunities

"A smarter internet and a host of cheap, web-enabled mobile devices will allow access to a whole range of services on the move, research group Gartner Dataquest said on Sunday, ahead of its ITXpo symposium.

"A smarter internet means consumers can collaborate to pay for services costing just a few cents, making a whole range of new offerings viable.

"Navigation systems that now offer only a rudimentary selection of road services such as fuel stations and tourist sites are just a beginning. Mobile users will one day be shown the way to the nearest doctor on weekend duty."

Reuters. Smart Web Changes World. Wired News. Oct. 31, 2004.

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DHS Struggles With Info Security

"The Homeland Security Department's inspector general has completed an information security audit of the agency, which shows DHS officials are still struggling with internal cybersecurity issues.

"The report, released Oct. 27, highlights areas in which DHS officials have improved the department's information security practices and policies. But the overall tone of the report is negative.

"The report cited the chief information officer's lack of authority to manage DHS' departmentwide information technology programs and spending as a significant factor in the department's struggle to secure its information systems. It stated that the absence of a formal reporting relationship between the CIO and the program organizations within the department continues to undermine DHS' information security program."

Florence Olsen. Report: DHS Has 'Significant Deficiency' in Info Security. FCW.com. Oct. 28, 2004.

Department of Homeland Security. Office of Inspector General. DHS IG: Evaluation of DHS' Information Security Program for Fiscal Year 2004. (.pdf). Sept. 2004.

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November 04, 2004

Youth Chose IM Over Voice Mail

"Progress has little respect for innovation or technology. From their position of near ubiquity, fax machines are on a long slow decline.

"Pagers are about to go the same way, with phone firm O2 due to turn off its paging system at the end of 2004.

"And voicemail could be next, not least because it is a technology that a generation is simply not using."

Mark Ward. Voicemail Message is Getting Lost. BBC. Nov. 1, 2004.

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PalmSource Shares Dip After Investment Report

"Shares of PalmSource, the handheld operating system developer, dipped Monday on an investment bank's report that said key licensee PalmOne will--in addition to using PalmSource's product--begin using Microsoft's operating system for handhelds in its Treo line of devices.

"PalmOne representatives disputed the contents of the research note, from Needham & Co. The note said that PalmOne 'tacitly admitted' it was working to make Microsoft's operating system available on the popular Treo line of phones. The devices currently use PalmSource's Palm OS, and PalmOne is PalmSource's biggest customer.

"The two companies used to be one firm but recently split from each other, in order to be more flexible."

Richard Shim. PalmSource Takes Hit on Investment Report. News.com. Nov. 1, 2004.

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November 03, 2004

Avaya, Polycom Announce New Videophone

"Avaya, a communications software, systems and services company, has announced a new Internet Protocol-based video-conferencing offering for businesses. The Avaya Video Telephony Solution, Desktop Edition, (.pdf) stems from a partnership with conferencing technology specialist Polycom.

"The offering integrates the Avaya IP Softphone, an application that works as an office phone on a computer, with the Polycom ViaVideo camera and microphone. It also ties in instant messaging and presence features.

"Avaya and Polycom aimed for simplicity. Callers log on the business network (via a broadband or wireless LAN connection) and make video calls that can be muted, forwarded, transferred or placed on hold."

Colin C. Haley. Avaya, Polycom Dial in Videoconferencing. InternetNews.com. Nov. 1, 2004.

See also:
Ben Charny. New Videophone Highlights Dropping Prices. News.com. Nov. 1, 2004.

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November 02, 2004

Microsoft Launches Live Communications Server 2005

"Microsoft plans to release in December new software designed to secure instant messaging and other communications within big companies.

"Microsoft said Tuesday that its Live Communications Server 2005 software will let companies encrypt their instant-messaging communications internally and link IM systems between companies so that suppliers and other business partners can share secure IM connections.

"Live Communications Server, or LCS, will include an option for letting companies link to public instant-messaging networks from Microsoft, America Online and Yahoo, so that employees can chat with users on the Big Three IM services."

Mike Ricciuti. Microsoft Logs On to Secure Corporate IM. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

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Blog Search Engine, IceRocket Feature MoBlog Search

"Blog Search Engine and IceRocket Search have partnered to bring cell phone pic blogs, or MoBlogs, into the search engine world with a new search feature which produces image results of the latest MoBlogs images available.

"Blog Search Engine has over 10,000 blogs indexed in its blog directory and this new feature gives them a jump on other cutting edge search engines in the blogging world.

"The partnership between the two companies utilizes IceRocket search technology to serve search results from TextAmerica blog entries - a MoBlog only blog hosting service."

No author. Blog Search Engine Adds MoBlog Search. Search Engine Journal. Oct. 29, 2004.

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November 01, 2004

Possible Shift in Online Music Pricing

"Since the launch of Apple's iTunes store in April 2003, the price of digital music has gravitated, with few exceptions, to 99 cents per song, following the Mac maker's unwavering lead. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been adamant that a consistent price is important to help consumers understand the new world of online music.

"But even as they have been pleased with Apples' iTunes successes, record label executives have chafed at the fixed prices. They're used to the retail world, where some albums can be priced higher than average, and some lower, in order to take advantage of demand.

"In announcing the U2 package, Apple executives stopped well short of saying that the flat-rate pricing era was over. But they did say that more experimentation might be on the way."

John Borland. Apple's U2 'Box Set' a Sign of Shifting Music Pricing?. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

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Billboard to Rank Ring Tones

"Billboard magazine now sees ring tones as worth including in its venerable top-seller listings.

"The music industry magazine will soon be publishing a list of best-selling ring tones, alongside its more traditional categories, like best-selling album.

"Ring tones are among the biggest hits in the market for cell phone services and content.

Ben Charny. Billboard Chimes in on Ring Tones. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

See also:
National Public Radio. Cell Phone Ring Tones Top the Charts. All Things Considered. Oct. 28, 2004.

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Yahoo Launches Mobile Web Search

"Yahoo added a search feature for cell phones Wednesday, just a few weeks after rival Google launched one of its own.

"While Google SMS (Short Message Service) uses text-only messages to deliver its results, Yahoo's new mobile service offers localized search results, maps and Web site icons that let people point, click and make a call.

"The two companies took their most significant steps yet into the cell phone market within a few weeks of each other, showing just how eager the Web search industry is to expand its reach."

Ben Charny and Jim Hu. Yahoo Battles Google For the Cell Phone. News.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

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October 30, 2004

ESPN Tests Video for Mobile Devices

"ESPN is testing new video services for wireless devices, taking a page from the playbook of its popular Web download service, a company executive said Tuesday.

"John Zehr, ESPN Mobile's vice president of product development, said the sports news site is experimenting with several wireless providers to preload video onto handhelds--rather than streaming the entertainment--much as it already does with ESPN Motion, an application that preloads sports highlights onto millions of PCs daily.

"Download versus live streaming media is a needling dilemma for entertainment and content providers that are looking to build new services for the PC or for Internet Protocol-connected devices."

Stefanie Olsen. ESPN Testing Video For Handhelds. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

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RFID Lacks Ability for ROI

"Despite excitement over RFID technology and its future promise, most companies currently lack a business case to adopt it anytime soon.

"It’s hard to deny that radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is hot. Major retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy in the United States and Metro Group in Germany, have established full-fledged programs in which some or all of their suppliers will be required to put chip-driven tags on product pallets or cases, so shipments can be better tracked from warehouse to store shelf.

"These tracking applications, and similar ones developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Boeing, and Airbus, to name a few of the organizations using this technology, hint at the beginnings of a critical mass for RFID.

"But reality often belies excitement. Our survey suggests that there is significant ambivalence among companies about RFID technology."

Stefan Stroh and Jürgen Ringbeck. Thinking Outside the Closed Loop. Strategy+Business. Oct. 28, 2004.

See also:
No author. RFID-Chips. SAP. Feb. 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 29, 2004

Yahoo Unveils Local Search

"Yahoo expanded its search empire to the mobile arena with the launch of some additional services.

"The company was one of the original content providers for mobile devices running on the Palm or Win CE platform, a decision Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig admits was a 'premature start.' This is the first time, however, that mobile users can use the Yahoo search engine to find stuff.

"The rollout includes access to Yahoo Local, Image and Web search, as well as quick links to stocks, sports scores and weather. The platform also includes a modified Yahoo Instant Messaging client and Yahoo Mobile Games. The software works on any color screen handset and automatically adjusts itself to QWERTY or numerical keypads."

Michael Singer. Yahoo Sends Search Aloft. Internet News. Oct. 27, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hicks. Yahoo Takes Search Mobile. eWeek. Oct. 27, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Delphi, XM Deliver Handheld Satellite Radio

"XM Satellite Radio and radio manufacturer Delphi yesterday introduced the Delphi XM MyFi, a portable, handheld satellite radio receiver the companies hope will lure more consumers to a medium currently limited to car and home units.

"Along with giving its subscribers the convenience of a traditional transistor radio, the MyFi also offers a five-hour recording capacity to let listeners download favorite programs and songs.

"The MyFi is the latest entry in the highly competitive battle over digital music, a fight that pits XM against its immediate competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio, but more broadly against on-line music sources like Napster, and the makers of small, highly portable MP3 and other devices.

Annys Shin. Delphi, XM Unveil Handheld Satellite Radio Receiver. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 28, 2004

New iPod Holds Photos and Music

"Apple Computer introduced its next generation iPod music player, which has the ability to display digital images as well as play songs.

"The new iPod Photo will be able to store up to 25,000 wallet-size digital images and display them on a television via a cable. It comes with 40-gigabyte or 60-gigabyte disk storage, capable of storing up to 15,000 songs.

"Apple also introduced a special black edition of the iPod, which has the signatures of members of the rock band U2. The company said it would begin selling a complete collection of U2's music for $149 next month from the iTunes Internet music store.

John Markoff. Newest iPod From Apple Holds Photos and Music. The New York Times. Oct. 27, 2004.

See also:
Ina Fried and John Borland. Apple Unveils Color iPod, U2 Edition. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

Sebastian Rupley. New iPod Plays Photos. PC Magazine. Oct. 26, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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October 27, 2004

HDTV for Cell Phones

"Miniature mobile phones, which already double as cameras, Internet devices and music players, are poised to merge with the largest of home appliances, the television.

"The cell phone industry is working to build phones able to receive high-definition television signals over the air, even though HDTV has yet to make its way into most American living rooms.

"Texas Instruments, the largest maker of computer chips for mobile phones, announced Thursday that it is developing technology that will allow wireless handsets to receive hundreds of high-definition channels. The phones will not be marketed until 2007."

Matt Richtel. Coming Soon to Your Pocket: HDTV Phones. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

See also:
David Koenig. TI Says Chip Will Allow TV on Cell Phones. USA Today. Oct. 22, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Palm Introduces Treo 650

"PalmOne this week is announcing the Treo 650, a hybrid PDA/cell-phone device that addresses many of the shortcomings of its hugely popular predecessor, the Treo 600.

"Treo 650 boasts a high-res display, an improved keyboard and camera, a removable battery, and more.

"Among other improvements, the Palm OS-based Treo 650 boasts a sharp, 320-by-320 color screen that should be readable in sunlight. The new model also has nonvolatile flash memory, meaning you don't lose important data if the battery runs down."

Yardena Arar. PalmOne Unveils Treo 600's Successor. PC World. Oct. 24, 2004.

See also:
Ina Fried. PalmOne Pushes Out Treo Update. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

Tom Krazit. PalmOne Packs Treo Smart Phone With New Chip. InfoWorld. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Multimedia Craze Hits U.S.

"Mobile operators, content providers and other participants at the CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment trade show this week in San Francisco will be gearing up for an expected boom in mobile multimedia in the U.S.

"The country is far behind Europe and Asia in using mobile phones for more than talking, but it's already begun to catch up, according to IDC analyst Lewis Ward.

"Messaging is still the most popular mobile data service in the U.S., but downloadable ringtones have already caught on and graphics are just starting to take off, according to Ward. Games are next in line, he said, and their higher price tags can drive a lot of revenue."

Stephen Lawson. Multimedia Goes Mobile at CTIA. InfoWorld. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 25, 2004

Digital Entertainment Takes a Road Trip

"Your digital home entertainment system is about to take a road trip.

"Consumer electronics makers are racing to find new offerings, from wireless music downloads at gas stations to digital TV, to entertain American families when they're stuck in traffic, driving home for the holidays, or just out for a ride.

"Some of the efforts to transplant digital media technology from PCs and home entertainment centers are still on the drawing board, companies said at a technology conference. But other changes are likely to start appearing in new cars and SUVs as early as next year."

Declan McCullagh. Digital Home Entertainment Hits the Road. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Car Crazy: Microsoft in the Driver's Seat. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

David Becker. TVs, Cameras Top Holiday Plans. News.com. Oct. 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 23, 2004

AOL Teams Up With Major League Baseball

"Staging a sort of a late-inning rally, America Online and Major League Baseball are teaming up in an instant-messaging deal.

"AOL and baseball's interactive media and Internet company, MLB Advanced Media, announced an AOL instant-messaging feature that will give baseball fans real-time access to baseball scores, headlines, standings and fantasy game links, as well other baseball information, when they add the screen name 'MLB' to their Buddy List.

"The announcement comes with just a handful of games left to be played in the championship series and the World Series, which begins later this week."

Dawn Kawamoto. AOL Pitches Baseball for IM. News.com. Oct. 20, 2004.

See also:
Jim Hu. Sox Comeback Takes Web by Storm. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Super-Duper PDAs Hit Market

"PDA? No, EDA. Mobile-solutions provider Symbol Technologies announced the MC50 family of handheld PCs, which it dubbed 'enterprise digital assistants' because of their barcode-scanning and VoIP features.

"The combination of barcode/image-capture capabilities and built-in voice-over-IP technology is ideal for mobile workers who need real-time access to people and information, Symbol said.

"For example, a retail manager could monitor and manage merchandise pricing and availability from the sales floor. An IT manager could oversee the maintenance of enterprise technology assets, such as server farms and data-storage facilities."

Rick Broida. PDAs Incorporate Barcode Scanning, VoIP. ZDNet. Oct. 19, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 22, 2004

Turning Parks into Public Hot Spots

"Mohit Santram, a student at New York University, happily shares his high-speed Internet connection with whoever taps the wireless signal available within about 300 feet of his apartment in the East Village.

"But Mr. SantRam offers more than just the opportunity to piggyback anonymously on an Internet connection. People picking up his signal are first directed to a bulletin board where they can post and read neighborhood information and gossip.

"This arrangement comes courtesy of Neighbornode, a project created by John Geraci that is part of a bare-bones software package provided by NYCWireless, a volunteer advocacy group instrumental in turning places like Bryant Park into public hot spots. The group is encouraging people to set up their own hot spots and electronic bulletin boards to let communities of otherwise anonymous urbanites find one another."

Ian Keldoulis. Where Good Wi-Fi Makes Good Neighbors. The New York Times. Oct. 21, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:33 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 21, 2004

Starbucks Launches Digital Music Service

"Starbucks announced it will add computer kiosks in stores in Austin, Texas and Seattle where customers can burn music CDs for about US$10 while waiting for their Frappuccino.

"Initially, the company will install the self-service touch-screen kiosks at 30 stores in Austin and 15 stores in Seattle by the end of the month. Willie Nelson is scheduled to headline a concert for the Austin kickoff on November 14.

"But the Seattle-based coffee retailer eventually plans to add the new 'music bars' nationwide as part of its plan to leverage its well-known name and chain of more than 8,300 stores to reach beyond coffee beans for profits."

Bob Keefe. Starbucks To Add Kiosks Where Customers Can Burn CDs. E-Commerce Times. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 20, 2004

Health Care Firm Communicates by Chat

"Through a network of medical contact centers and telecommuting nurses, the company offers medical phone support for some 250 clients, such as hospitals, health insurance companies and doctor group practices. For example, a group of doctors may hire Intellicare to handle their patient calls after business hours.

"Instant messaging (IM) has helped Intellicare create a sense of virtual community among its employees, facilitated the provision of remote training and boosted real-time communications within the company, improving the flow and availability of information needed to provide services."

Juan Carlos Perez. IM Boosts Health Care Company. InfoWorld. Oct. 15, 2004.

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Chairman Powell's Consigliere

"How strictly the FCC decides to regulate emerging technology promises to have a lasting impact on areas as disparate as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), fiber to the home, instant messaging and even digital video recorders.

"Robert Pepper is the FCC's chief of policy development, which requires him to be a kind of government futurist, advising Chairman Michael Powell on which regulations are wise and which would be harmful. He's also co-chairman of the FCC's Internet Policy Working Group. Previously, Pepper directed the Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies."

Declan McCullagh. The Technologist Who has Michael Powell's Ear. News.com. Sept. 30, 2004.

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October 18, 2004

PC Goes Mini

"In the last few years, the biggest breakthroughs in personal computing haven't had much to do with personal computers. Instead, many of the most exciting and popular inventions have been designed to let you carry a copy of the data that's on the PC you already have.

"Thanks to some of the very advances in miniaturization that make hand-held gadgets possible (bright indoor-outdoor screens, two-inch hard drives), a couple of former Apple laptop designers have devised the OQO, the world's smallest Windows XP computer: 4.9 by 3.4 inches and less than an inch thick. The unit poses an intriguing question: why would you buy a bunch of gadgets designed to liberate the data from your PC if you could just shove the entire PC into your pocket?"

David Pogue. Fitting Your PC in a Pocket. The New York Times. Oct. 14, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 15, 2004

Microsoft Launches Windows XP Media Center

'PC makers, working with Microsoft, set course for consumers' living rooms on Tuesday, launching a slew of new Media Center PCs.

"Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Toshiba all introduced their latest Media Center PCs, wrapped around Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center 2005 operating system. The latest version of the multimedia-oriented OS features a special user interface for tasks such as playing movies.

"While the latest Media Centers are PCs at heart, the manufacturers say the machines will function more like entertainment devices that can record, show TV programs, and play DVD movies or music CDs. However, unlike before, the machines will be more adept at acquiring and sharing files with other devices around the home."

John G. Spooner. Media Centers on parade. News.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

See also:
Microsoft. Microsoft and Partners Announce New Era of Digital Devices Enabling Consumers to Take Entertainment Throughout the Home and On the Go. Oct. 12, 2004.

Jennifer LeClaire. Gates Launches New Era with XP Media Center 2005. E-Commerce Times. Oct. 12, 2004.

Harry McCracken. Digital Entertainment Anywhere. PCWorld Techlog. Oct. 12, 2004.

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October 14, 2004

Experts Ponder if Telecom is Dead

"There was one question on the minds of technology leaders attending the Etre conference in Cannes on Tuesday: 'Is telecom dead?'

"Paradoxically however, whether they answered yes or no, they pointed to the same reason: Skype.

"Skype Technologies SA, provides software that allows users to make free phone calls worldwide over the Internet, is changing the landscape of the traditional telecom market, experts agreed.

"Whether Skype was killing the traditional telecom industry or forcing it to reinvent itself to survive were matters of contention, however."

Scarlet Pruitt. Experts Wonder: Is Telecom Dead?. InfoWorld. Oct. 12, 2004.

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Executives Urge Rewrite of Telecommunications Act

"Verizon Communications Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts addressed the meeting of the U.S. Telecom Association, highlighting the merging worlds of telephone and cable companies as they move into each other's business.

"Congress has been expected to launch a reworking of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, as a series of contentious legal challenges to many of its provisions wind down after years of fighting.

"While the act attempted to preserve competition between the dominant local phone companies, or Baby Bells, and challengers such as AT&T; and MCI, it did not forecast the growing importance of broadband Internet services."

Reuters. Verizon Sees New Telecom Laws Within Reach. News.com. Oct. 11, 2004.

See also:
United States Telecom Association. Telecom '04: USTA's McCormick, Verizon's Seidenberg, Comcast's Roberts Call for Free Market for Telecom Industry. Yahoo! News. Oct. 11, 2004.

Stephen Lawson. Update: Verizon, Comcast Execs Slam Regulation. InfoWorld. Oct. 11, 2004.

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October 13, 2004

Do Mobile Phones Create False Sense of Security?

"First in phone-company marketing, and now in popular culture, the cellular phone has taken on the aura of an amulet of safety, an indispensable lifeline: wherever you are, you can always reach help.

"The new movie 'Cellular' is all about the cellphone as savior. Kim Basinger plays a woman who is abducted and taken to an attic, where there is an old rotary-dial phone that her captor proceeds to smash with a bat.

"Though the surfer must overcome weak cellular signals and dying batteries along with the more generic sorts of movie-plot crises, the mobile phone is clearly meant to be the hero of the piece, trumping fusty old fixed-line telephony in nearly every way.

"But the notion is stretched so far in the film that it raises some contrarian questions: Is the sense of security engendered by a cellphone as much illusion as reality? Does carrying one make people better at coping with the world, or worse? Is it a lifeline or an apron string?"

Ken Belson. Saved, and Enslaved, by the Cell. The New York Times. Oct. 10, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Maverick's Owner Says No to WiFi

"Mark Cuban, the billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner, wouldn't think of surfing the Internet from his seat during Mavericks home games. 'Hell no,' he declares.

"And thanks to him, neither will anybody else attending Mavericks games at the American Airlines Center.

"The people running the center, where the Mavericks and the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars play, have just installed a Wi-Fi network. The center wants to become, in essence, an Internet service provider for fans other than those attending Mavs games, whether it's to check e-mail or watch specially prepared video highlights from their seats."

Ben Charny. Wi-Fi Not A Slam Dunk for Basketball Maverick. The New York Times. Oct. 11, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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October 12, 2004

Google Launches Mobile Short Message Service

"Google on Thursday announced a new test service that allows people to use mobile phones or handheld devices to tap Google's Web search via text messages, or short message service.

Called Google SMS, the service is the newly public company's broadest push yet in the mobile market and comes as Google and its rivals in the hotly competitive Web search industry race to expand their reach.

"Google SMS delivers business and residential listings, product prices and dictionary look-up. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is not taking a percentage of the 5-cent to 10-cent per-message charge levied by mobile carriers, nor will advertisers influence results."

Reuters. Google Tests Short Message Service. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
Jay Lyman. Google Goes Mobile with Free Text Message Searches. TechNewsWorld. Oct. 8, 2004.

Juan Carlos Perez. Google Introduces Wireless Service. ComputerWorld. Oct. 7, 2004.

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Skype to Offer Business Service

"Skype plans to offer a business telephone service for 'individuals and work groups, not CIOs' that the free Internet phone service provider says will shake up another major telephone market.

"Winning over business will not be an easy task, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom said Wednesday. Incumbent suppliers of business phone services and equipment fiercely protect customers, who in turn are extremely loyal.

"Winning over business will not be an easy task, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom said Wednesday. Incumbent suppliers of business phone services and equipment fiercely protect customers, who in turn are extremely loyal."

Ben Charny. Skype Readies Business Telephone Offering. News.com. Oct. 6, 2004.

See also:
David M. Ewalt. Can Skype Cash In On Free?. Forbes. Oct. 6, 2004.

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Pulver App Combines IM, VoIP and Social Networking

"Pulver Communications Corp. is introducing a new SIP-based application to enhance the usability of IP communications, company founder Jeff Pulver said.

"The offering, pulver.Communicator, will launch at this month's Fall VON show in Boston. It melds elements of instant messaging, VoIP and social networking.

"The application uses the Free World Dialup network (which Pulver founded) for VoIP and provides access to: AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ as Instant Messaging networks. Users can share buddy lists in real-time if they choose to."

Colin C. Haley. Pulver App Melds VoIP, IM, Social Networking. InternetNews.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

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October 11, 2004

Nintendo DS Includes Wireless Download Capability

"Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed on Thursday that the company's dual-screen DS handheld gaming console can download game data wirelessly, then play it back.

"The Nintendo DS's greatest features are its revolutionary control schemes, such as the touch-sensitive screen and the microphone input," Iwata said during a press conference at CEATEC, a large technology conference taking place here this week. "And its other major feature is the wireless connection. With it, we're going to revolutionize the way that games are played."

Hirohiko Niizumi. Nintendo Handheld to Feature Wireless Downloading. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
Yuka Obayashi. Nintendo Says 12 DS Games to Debut in Japan. Reuters. Oct. 7, 2004.

David Smith. Nintendo DS American Launch Lineup. PC Magazine. Oct. 8, 2004.

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Study Shows Major Increase in Household Use of VoIP by 2009

"More than 12 million U.S. households could switch to Internet phone service by 2009, though younger people may be hard to sign up, according to a new market research report.

"JupiterResearch says that Internet phone service is likely to expand from just 400,000 customers now to nearly 10 percent of U.S. households within five years as prices fall, quality improves and new features are added.

"While startups like Vonage have gained early momentum, the research firm said that the established companies are likely to dominate the Internet phone market because of their brand strength, marketing clout and large customer base."

Scott Goldstein. Internet Phone Service Seen Booming. TechNewsWorld. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
JupitermediaResearch.
JupiterResearch Forecasts Voice Over IP Telephony Services to Reach 12.1 Million U.S. Households by 2009
. Oct. 7, 2004.

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WiFi Hotspot Operators Beware of Patent Lawsuits

"Wi-Fi hotspot operators must pay $1,000 a year, or face a lawsuit from a patent enforcement firm.

"Acacia Technologies Group says it is enforcing a patent it says covers the methods that wireless ISPs, WLAN aggregators and other Wi-Fi networks use to redirect users to a common login Web page. The company claims it owns the technology behind gateway page redirection.

"The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company is sending out information packets to Wi-Fi operators informing them of the patent claim and including a licensing agreement. Companies have 30 days to ask questions, sign the licensing pact, or prove to Acacia that the wireless operator is not infringing the patent."

Ed Sutherland. Hotspot Operators Face Patent Lawsuits. InternetNews.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
Nancy Gohring. Hotspot Operators Face New Patent Fee Demand. WiFi Networking News. Oct. 5, 2004.

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October 09, 2004

Instant Messaging Going Mobile

"Although it grew up on desktop PC's, instant-messaging software has gone mobile. The software, which lets you send short text messages to a list of designated contacts, works virtually in real time, and increasingly it lets you see who is online and available for a chat no matter what they are using to log into the service.

"It's that young audience that AT&T; Wireless is eager to capture with the Ogo, a $100 device that includes special navigation keys for messaging and carries unlimited IM service and e-mail from the three big IM providers, AOL, MSN and Yahoo.

"It looks more and more as if IM has outgrown its exclamatory roots in teenage chatter and mobile IM is finding a role in business."

Heather Clancy. Flip Open That Cellphone: It's IM on the Move. The New York Times. Oct. 7, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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October 08, 2004

Could CALEA Extend to the Internet?

"The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was passed in 1994 to make it easier for the feds to listen in to everyone's phone calls. The law forced phone companies to design their digital networks with special backdoors for government surveillance.

"There was a single saving grace - CALEA did not apply to the Internet.

But now, all of that could change. Under pressure from the Department of Justice (DoJ) and federal law enforcement, the FCC is gathering comments on a proposal to expand CALEA to cover broadband Internet access providers and Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony companies."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. A Government-Mandated Backdoor For Every Network. Deep Links. Oct. 6, 2004.

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An Alternative to iPods

"As the trading of MP3 files ate into music sales, Damon Dash, the 33-year-old entrepreneur behind Roc-A-Fella Records, turned his hip-hop music company into a platform to sell other, more profitable products.

"Now Mr. Dash is taking his celebrity and music-infused marketing approach to a product line closer to the source of his troubles: MP3 files. In November, he will introduce a line of MP3 players under the name Rocbox, including one aimed squarely to compete with Apple Computer's iPod.

"Mr. Dash hopes to distinguish the Rocbox players from other players on the market by weaving images of them into videos for artists of his label, and put tags promoting them on his clothing. While details haven't been worked out yet, buyers of the player will have access to exclusive bits of Roc-A-Fella music."

Saul Hansell. Battle of Form (and Function) in MP3 Players. The New York Times. Oct. 4, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 07, 2004

SBC Offers Mailbox for Faxes, E-mail, and Voice Mail

"SBC Communications on Monday announced a new service that integrates voice messages, faxes and e-mails into a single mailbox that can be accessed from anywhere by phone or the Internet.

The service, called Unified Communications, has an e-mail-like interface and uses text-to-speech technology to read e-mails over the phone and voicemails over computers.

Consumers can get alerts via e-mail and cellular or landline phones when new e-mails, voicemails or faxes arrive, the company said. Alerts also can be received on pagers or wireless phones."

Dinesh C. Sharma. SBC Links E-mail, Voice Messages, Faxes. News.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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AT&T; Offers Music Service

"In the first foray by a U.S. wireless carrier into the online music market, AT&T; Wireless is launching a service that lets subscribers buy songs using their cell phones and later download them to a computer.

"Until now, mobile music sales have centered on ringtones, the song snippets used to customize ringer and other sounds on mobile phones.

"At Tuesday's launch, mMode Music Store will offer roughly 750,000 tracks priced at 99 cents each. Full albums will start at $9.99."

Alex Veiga. AT&T; Wireless Launching Music Service. MSNBC News. Oct. 5, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. AT&T; Wireless Opens Mobile Music Store. News.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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October 05, 2004

Online Technology Is Hot Once Again

"The Web is over. Now comes the next big thing, growing out of the primordial soup of wireless and wired networks, gadgets, software, satellites and social changes created over the past decade.

"This coming wave doesn't even have a name yet. Some in tech call it the world network. A big part of the promise is that it will turn the Web around: Instead of having to find information or entertainment, it will find you — and be exactly what you want or need at that moment. The network becomes a butler."

Kevin Maney. Next Big Thing: The Web As Your Servant. USA Today. Oct. 1, 2004.

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October 04, 2004

In-Flight Phone Calls May Be Allowed

"You're on the red-eye from Los Angeles to New York, soaring over the Nevada desert and preparing for an uncomfortable, partial night's sleep in your aisle seat. All of a sudden, the passenger on the other side of the armrest whips out her cell phone and begins yakking away.

According to purveyors of wireless communications technology for the airplane industry, such a scenario is probably less than two years away, as airlines and telecom service providers press federal regulators to lift a 13-year-old ban on the use of most personal wireless devices during flights.

"Last year, U.S. airlines began allowing passengers to use cell phones onboard after planes land and are taxiing to the gate.

"Now it appears that in-flight cell phones are next."

Joanna Glasner. Mobile-Phone Ban May Be Near End. Wired News. Oct. 1, 2004.

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Mobile Devices Miss the Mainstream

"BlackBerrys and Bluetooth share an embarrassing trait -- these two uses of wireless technology have remained stubbornly irrelevant to many mainstream users, despite the benefits they might offer and the hype they often get in the press.

"Many busy executives have become utterly dependent on the always-on e-mail access provided by Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry handhelds, but these devices' high costs and business-oriented features haven't constituted an attractive bundle for people who mostly use their cell phones to talk."

Rob Pegoraro. BlackBerry, Bluetooth Miss a Shot to Move Into More Hands. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 01, 2004

Yo, Adrian!! We Got Wireless!!

"Forget cheese steaks, cream cheese and brotherly love. Philadelphia wants to be known as the city of laptops.

"The city recently announced a two-year effort to string a free wireless network across its 135 square miles, potentially giving Philadelphia an entirely new identity as the most wired - or unwired - municipality on the planet. But skeptics said this initiative, as well as similar efforts elsewhere across the United States, could also run aground on its own ambitions."

Bob Tedeschi. Big Wi-Fi Project for Philadelphia. The New York Times. Sept. 27, 2004.

See also:
Corey McKenna. An Interview with the CIO of the City of Philadelphia. Government Technology. Sept. 27, 2004.
(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Feds Planning to Manage Traffic Via Wireless

"The government is getting behind Wi-Fi for automobiles—and not because it wants to make sure you can IM your friends while zipping along the freeway. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Transportation are supporting new technology that will allow cars and roadside devices to talk to each other in the interest of safety and traffic management.

"Technically termed the Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration initiative, the project could lead to a range of developments, including traffic signals that could sense backups and change the timing of lights, and roadside posts that could automatically collect tolls from cars driving by."

No author. Car 54, Is That You?. Newsweek. Oct. 4, 2004.

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September 30, 2004

Schools Relax Cell Phone Ban

"Hundreds of high schools have reluctantly agreed to relax their rules about cellphones in schools. Rather than banning the phones outright, as many once did, they are capitulating to parent demands and market realities, and allowing students to carry phones in school - though not to use them in class.

"The reversal is a significant change from policies of the 1990's, when school administrators around the country viewed cellphones as the tools of drug dealers. In Florida, carrying a cellphone in school could be punishable by a 10-day suspension. In Louisiana, it was deemed a crime, with a potential penalty of 30 days in jail.

"But now the phones have become tools used by parents to keep in touch with, and keep track of, their children. And schools are facing a more basic reality: it is no longer possible to enforce such bans."

Matt Richtel. School Cellphone Bans Topple (You Can't Suspend Everyone). The New York Times. Sept. 29, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Wireless and Mobile Applications Present Compliance Risk

"Making enterprise applications and data available to mobile and wireless users is becoming a strategic initiative in an increasing number of enterprises.

"However, wireless and mobile applications also open up a beehive of security concerns that didn't occur when using traditional networks. These concerns not only could compromise enterprise data but also threaten compliance with regulations like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountablility Act), Sarbanes-Oxley and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

"Wireless transmission is inherently less secure than standard wired network transmissions because it involves data flying through the air where it is easier to intercept. As a result, enterprises have been wrestling with WLAN security since the technology first emerged several years ago."

David Haskin. Wireless Compliance. CIO Update. Sept. 23, 2004.

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AOL Launches Mobile Developer Program

"America Online is putting out a call to developers to bring its instant-messaging software to more cell phones.

"The AOL Mobile Developer program, announced Monday, is meant to reduce the time manufacturers spend creating AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) software for their handsets, a spokeswoman said.

"By creating such a program, AOL hopes to mobilize developers for its mobile instant-messaging efforts, as well as boost sales of its IM products to handset makers."

Ben Charny. AOL Wants Developers to Get the Message. News.com. Sept. 27, 2004.

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September 29, 2004

Forget the Commute: Log In to Work

"Top-level employees -- chief executives included -- are beginning to take on teleworking. At one Cloumbus, OH, company, four of the company's seven top executives work from home or from remote offices, including in New York and Washington, DC. Teleworking is considered an asset. If an executive or employee asks to work from home in San Francisco, that's just another market in which the company is available in person to potential clients.

"According to a study released this month by the International Telework Association & Council, more companies are going the way of Pathlore. The number of people who performed any kind of work from home, from as little as one day a year to full time, grew from 41.3 million in 2003 to 44.4 million in 2004, a 7.5 percent increase."

Amy Joyce. Executives Leave Corner Offices Behind. WashingtonPost.com. Sept. 26, 2004.

See also:
International Telework Association & Council. Work at Home Grows In Past Year By 7.5% in U.S.. Sept. 2, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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September 25, 2004

Wal-Mart Pulls A Redmond

"What do you call it when a company announces a multibillion-dollar technology initiative with no preexisting infrastructure, no software code and an 18-month deadline to delivery?

"In most cases you'd call it a recipe for disaster. In the case of Wal-Mart, a company with the power to force others to follow its technology agenda, you'd simply call it 'tough love.'

"That two-word description, according to a January article in Computerworld Magazine, is exactly how Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott summed up his company's philosophy on radio frequency identification (RFID) in a speech to suppliers last winter."

Sam Williams. The Wal-Mart Supremacy. Salon. Sept. 20, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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Verizon Broadens Wireless Data Network

"Verizon Wireless said on Wednesday that it would expand its wireless high-speed data network into 14 additional cities, including New York and Los Angeles, starting on Monday.

"The move is part of an acceleration by wireless companies to expand the reach of their broadband Internet services.

"Verizon Wireless, which currently offers the network in three cities, has said that it expects to spend $1 billion through 2005 to upgrade its cellular network to carry data at faster speeds. Users of broadband cellular networks typically download and send data through a laptop computer or other devices configured to communicate with the network, rather than with a cellphone."

Matt Richtel. Verizon Wireless Expands High-Speed Data Network. The New York Times. Sept. 23, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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September 24, 2004

T-Mobile Introduces Sidekick II

"T-Mobile is now offering the Sidekick II, the latest version of Danger Inc.'s cellular-wireless handheld. T-Mobile is the first carrier to offer this device.
What's New?

"The Sidekick II is similar to its predecessor, but there have been some changes, most of which are external. They include a smaller form factor and a built-in camera."

Ed Hardy. Sidekick II Now Available from T-Mobile. Brighthand. Sept. 21, 2004.

See also
Danger Inc. America Flips its Lid for the T-Mobile Sidekick II. Sept. 22, 2004.

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Senate Holds Hearing on Wireless 411 Privacy Act

"Representatives of wireless telephone carriers planning a telephone directory service told a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday that legislation to protect their customers' privacy isn't needed, because their plan already does.

"Privacy advocates and some senators questioned, however, whether wireless carriers would protect customer privacy in the long term, without rules in place about how they handle the release of customer phone numbers.

"Six of the seven largest wireless carriers in the U.S. are moving forward with a plan to band together to offer a wireless directory, or 411, service, backers of the plan told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Tuesday. The directory could be available as early as 2005.

Grant Gross. Wireless carriers: Privacy Bill Not Needed. InfoWorld. Sept. 21, 2004.

See also:
U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. S. 1963-Wireless 411 Privacy Act. Sept. 21, 2004.

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'Minority Report' Come to Life

"A version of Info-Cop is now available for Microsoft's Windows Mobile for Smartphones OS. Info-Cop is an on-the-street tool that provides immediate access to vital criminal background information.

"Law enforcement agencies in New Jersey and Washington, along with national security agencies, have been running Info-Cop on the Samsung i700 cellular-wireless Pocket PC since June of 2003."

Ed Hardy. Police Fight Crime with Samsung Smartphones. Brighthand. Sept. 22, 2004.

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September 23, 2004

Interview with "Father of the Web"

"Perhaps for some, being credited with inventing the World Wide Web would be more than enough as far as life accomplishments go. But for Sir Tim Berners-Lee, it's merely the beginning of something even more fulfilling.

"The man who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest minds of the 20th century is now busy channeling his energies into the work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards body he founded and now directs.

"Moments after delivering a keynote address at the SpeechTek Conference in New York earlier this week, Sir Tim sat down with internetnews.com to discuss the state of the Web browser market, the growth of the Semantic Web and some of the challenges facing the W3C."

Ryan Naraine. Tim Berners-Lee, Director, W3C. internetnews.com. Sept. 17, 2004.

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September 22, 2004

Nintendo Debuts DS

"In a shift in strategy, Nintendo is expected to announce on Tuesday that it plans to begin selling its next generation of hand-held video game devices in the United States in time for the coming Christmas season.

"The company is also hoping that by selling the new device, the Nintendo DS, for adults and older teenage video game players first in the United States, it can avoid a direct confrontation with Sony, which is about to enter the hand-held game market in Japan with a device of its own."

John Markoff. Nintendo's Newest Product Aims for Adults. The New York Times. Sept. 21, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Multiplayer Video Games Coming to Cell Phones

"As millions buy increasingly powerful cell phones, many companies are racing to develop video games to take advantage of the newfound portability.

"The newest twist is multiplayer: You can face real people in space battles or fishing tournaments.

"Until recently, multiplayer on cell phones game meant at most posting high scores on a leader board."

Matt Slagle. Multiplayer Games Coming to Cell Phones. WashingtonPost.com. Sept. 19, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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September 17, 2004

Airbus Successfully Tests In-flight Mobile Phones

"Plane maker Airbus reported progress Wednesday in plans to enable passengers to use mobile phones in flight, beginning in 2006.

"Test equipment aboard an Airbus A320 plane demonstrated that mobile phones can be used without interfering with navigation systems, according to Airbus.

"Cell phones onboard were used to send and receive calls and texts, the Toulouse, France-based company said in a statement."

Reuters. Airbus: In 2006, Keep Your Cell Phone On. News.com. Sept. 15, 2004.

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September 16, 2004

NASA Uses IM as BlackBerry Backup

"With Florida facing the possibility of its third hurricane in a month, NASA is putting together a backup plan for its message system based on Research in Motion Ltd. BlackBerry devices.

"Last week, NASA officials turned off networks at Kennedy Space Center rather than have Hurricane Frances bring them down. This time, officials hope to have a PIN-to-PIN system based on personal identification numbers that would allow workers to communicate directly with one another if NASA has to shut down networks again."

Aliya Sternstein. NASA Prepares BlackBerry Backup. FCW.com. Sept. 8, 2004.

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September 14, 2004

Mobile Blogging Moves Ahead

‘Moblogging’ takes a step forward as the companies announce the integration between Six Apart's TypePad and Nokia's Lifeblog software at DemoMobile.

"Cell phone giant Nokia on Thursday teamed up with blogging powerhouse Six Apart at the DemoMobile show here to unveil an integrated phone and blog product that lets mobile phone users easily and quickly blog photos while on the go, or from a PC.

"Both the phone and PC version of Nokia's Lifeblog software now work directly with Six Apart's TypePad to enable easy mobile blogging, or moblogging."

Jim Louderback. Nokia and Six Apart Team on Mobile Blogging. eWeek. Sept. 9, 2004.

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September 13, 2004

Broadcast News on Mobile Phones

"Imagine turning on your mobile phone to watch breaking news or an entertainment program. The idea could soon become reality following an announcement Friday that five of the world's largest mobile phone makers are collaborating on specifications to deliver broadcast services to wireless handsets.

"Motorola Inc., NEC Corp., Siemens AG and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB have launched the Mobile Broadcast Services initiative.

"The initiative is organized under the umbrella of the Open Mobile Alliance, a group of nearly 200 companies that are establishing mobile service specifications to ensure interoperability of services across countries, operators and mobile terminals."

John Blau. Manufacturers Hope to Turn on Mobile TV. The Industry Standard. Sept. 10, 2004.

See also Reuters. Phone Firms Rush to Get TV on Mobile Phones. Sept. 10, 2004.

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University Bans WiFi Access Points

"A disagreement over public and private wireless networks is stirring up high-tech tension at the University of Texas at Dallas.

"The university administration issued a new policy this week that bars students from running their own private Wi-Fi networks in campus housing. The unregulated hot spots are interfering with the university's own wireless service, which is offered freely to students and staff, campus technology administrators said.

"Some students have protested, saying that only federal regulators have the ability to govern how they use the wireless spectrum. The issue remains unresolved as the university waits for students to pull the plug on their Wi-Fi hot spots, and for now, administrators aren't backing down."

John Borland. Students, College Face Off Over Wi-Fi. News.com. Sept. 9, 2004.

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September 09, 2004

No RFID Tags for Consumers

"When it comes to radio frequency identification tags for humans, the people have spoken.

"They hate it.

"CNET News.com recently ran a report on companies with technologies that involve implanting RFID chips under people's skin or inside a bracelet. Advocates say the tags could help paramedics deliver medical help to people in the field, reduce prison violence or give police a way to track victims of kidnapping, a major problem in Latin America.

"Nearly every reader who wrote News.com about the story expressed outrage and disdain."

Michael Kanellos. RFID tags: The People Say No. News.com. Sept. 7, 2004.

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Area Code 056 for UK Net Phones

"In the UK, the telephone area code for cyberspace will be 056.

"Government regulator Ofcom has picked the prefix for customers who sign up to make calls via the internet. Users can also opt for geographic numbers.

"The decision on numbers comes as Ofcom reveals how it plans to regulate services that use the net rather than the old fashioned telephone network."

No author. Net Calls Get Their Own Area Code. BBCNews. Sept. 6, 2004.

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September 07, 2004

Escaping Terrorism Using Wireless

"Will a future terrorist act force the U.S. government to impose wireless tracking on product shipments? One expert raised this scenario in a panel discussion that delved into the pros and cons of using such technologies as RFID, Wi-Fi and satellite communications to thwart terrorism, cargo theft and misdirection of goods.

"Over the year ahead, terrorists will launch a major attack against the supply chain, predicted Michael Wolfe of North River Consulting Group, during a Web conference presented Thursday afternoon by the AIMGlobal industry organization.

"The U.S. federal government will react by cracking down with new commercial cargo regulations, according to Wolfe. But Wolfe added that even in the absence of terrorist threats and knee-jerk regulation, companies will eventually adopt wireless tracking anyway because of such business benefits as greater efficiency and higher profitability."

Jacqueline Emigh. Wireless Tools Touted for Anti-Terrorism. eWeek. Sept. 3, 2004.

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More People Keeping Numbers While Switching Providers

"The number of U.S. wireless subscribers who are switching providers while keeping their telephone numbers is accelerating, the Federal Communications Commission said on Friday.

"Since November, 5.4 million customers have switched, but over half of those, about 2.8 million, jumped to another carrier in the three months from May to July, said FCC spokeswoman Lauren Patrich.

"That's compared to the 2.6 million who moved in the five months between November 2003 and April. There are about 168.5 million U.S. wireless subscribers."

Jeremy Pelofsky. Pace for Wireless Number Switches Quickens. Reuters. Sept. 3, 2004.

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China Cracks Down on Internet Porn

"China has intensified its battle against Internet and mobile phone pornography by threatening distributors with life in prison, Xinhua news agency said.

"Beijing has stepped up its battle against smut in recent weeks, saying it is worried that the easy access to such material on the Internet and elsewhere will have a bad effect on youth and society."

No author. China Threatens Internet Porn Merchants with Life. Reuters. Sept. 5, 2004.

Xinhua News Agency. Porn Producers Face Severe Punishment. China Through A Lens. Sept. 6, 2004.

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September 06, 2004

Wi-Fi Alliance Updates Security System-Prepares for Multimedia

"The Wi-Fi Alliance formally began issuing WPA 2 certificates yesterday, as eight products received the right to use the organisation's second-generation wireless security brand. WPA 2 is derived from 802.11i, the wireless security standard finally ratified by the IEEE in July.

"The WFA will next introduce its Wireless Mulitmedia (WMM) marque, which is expected to begin issuing certification for later this month. A subset of the 802.11e quality of service standard, WMM essentially provides wireless traffic a range of priorities, depending on the kind of data they contain. Time-dependent information, like video or audio, for example, will get priority over, say, email traffic."

Tony Smith. Wi-Fi Group Updates Security System. The Register. Sept. 2, 2004.

See also:
Mark Hachman. Wi-Fi Alliance to Announce Interim Multimedia Spec. eWeek. Sept. 2, 2004.

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Hypertasking: Multitasking on Speed

"Hypertaskers. Chances are you are one or you know one, and you're almost certain to spot a few this weekend.

"Fueled by workplace pressures, an expanding workweek and technogadgets that have allowed people to take their offices and homes anywhere they go, hypertasking is multitasking on speed.

"The burgeoning number of WiFi hotspots and popularity of handheld electronics that allow us to stay connected on the go may give us more freedom - but there's a cost. Research shows that our brains aren't equipped for this much activity. When we try to do more than even one simple task at a time, quality of work diminishes and tasks take longer to complete. When we try to do this for long periods, the result can be forgetfulness, sleeplessness, irritability and stress."

Susan Felt. Hypertaskers Do Things Faster But Not Better. AZCentral.com. Sept. 4, 2004.

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September 04, 2004

Philadelphia Plans to be World's Largest Internet Hot Spot

"For about $10 million, city officials believe they can turn all 135 square miles of Philadelphia into the world's largest wireless Internet hot spot.

"The ambitious plan, now in the works, would involve placing hundreds, or maybe thousands, of small transmitters around the city, probably atop lampposts. Each would be capable of communicating with the wireless networking cards that now come standard with many computers.

"Once complete, the network would deliver broadband Internet almost anywhere radio waves can travel -- including poor neighborhoods where high-speed Internet access is now rare."

David B. Caruso. Philadelphia May Provide Wireless Internet For All. Yahoo! News. Sept. 1, 2004.

See also:
Associated Press. Update 4: Philly Considers Wireless Internet for All. Forbes.com. Sept. 1, 2004.

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September 02, 2004

Wireless Technology Aids Republican National Convention

"New communication technologies are getting an airing by federal agents and protesters alike at the Republican National Convention in New York City.

"While surveillance cameras are standard in security, the Federal Protective Service has taken the concept one step further for this week's convention. It has mounted tiny video cameras onto agents' helmets to give commanders a real-time view of what is happening around federal buildings throughout New York City.

"Footage is transmitted over a wireless network back to a mobile command center. Each camera enables the commanders there to observe a situation just as the officer on the street sees it."

Marguerite Reardon. Wireless Tech Gets Workout at RNC. News.com. Aug. 30, 2004.

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August 31, 2004

Cell Phone Numbers to Become Available

"Sterling Wilson cannot find his old friends. He figures that the ones he has not tracked down must have cellphones, but he has no idea where to look up their numbers.

"It is not like the old days. 'They're not listed in the 411 directory,' Mr. Wilson complained.

"Some people would like to change that. In October, most major cellphone carriers plan to start compiling a publicly accessible listing of wireless phone numbers."

Matt Richtel. For Now, Unwired Means Unlisted. That May Change. The New York Times. Aug. 30, 2004.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport.com's prior story on cell phone directories.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Sprint Backs Apple for Multimedia

"Apple Computer, making headway for its media player technology in the mobile industry, will help content creators make streaming multimedia available over Sprint's cellular network.

"The companies announced on Thursday the certification of Apple's Xserve G5 server and QuickTime software to deliver multimedia content over Sprint's streaming video and audio service, called PCS Vision Multimedia Services.

"The agreement means that content providers can use Apple's QuickTime technology to encode audio and video for Sprint's media service, which was announced earlier this month."

Richard Shim. Sprint backs Apple tech for video streaming. News.com. Aug. 26, 2004.

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Cell Phone Film Festival

"As filmmaking and digital technology grow ever more intertwined, scores of internet-related film festivals are creating forums to celebrate the marriage. But now one of the pioneers of such events is taking the film festival onto altogether new ground: the cell phone.

"This month, Zoie Films, an Atlanta producer of independent films and festivals, began accepting entries for what it says is the world's first cell-phone film festival.

"And while it might be difficult for some to imagine films that would work on 1- or 2-inch screens, Zoie's founder, Victoria Weston, thinks the medium offers filmmakers -- who are already used to creating films for computer screens -- a rich palette with which to work."

Daniel Terdiman. A Celebration of Cell-Phone Film. Wired News. Aug. 30, 2004.

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August 30, 2004

Technology Aiding Protesters at GOP

"Technology has changed how protests are organized.

"Activists are using the Internet to arrange housing for out-of-towners, organize a mass-flash of underwear emblazoned with anti-Bush messages and tell protesters what to say if they're arrested ('I am going to remain silent. I would like to speak with a lawyer.').

"Cell phones work well for on-the-fly mobilizations, and text messages add to their power. Some protesters are signing up for 10 p.m. daily text updates telling them where the next day's events will be.

"Mobile bloggers, or mobloggers, are expected to show up in droves and quickly post on the Web photos, text and even video chronicling events as they happen."

Ellen Simon. Technology Playing Role in GOP Convention Protests. eWeek. Aug. 27, 2004.

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August 26, 2004

Linksys and Netgear Provide VoIP Devices

"Linksys and Netgear, two competing providers of home networking equipment, announce today that they are entering the business of making equipment used to place telephone calls over the Internet, according to industry executives

"In both cases, Linksys and Netgear announce that they are selling equipment designed specifically for use by Vonage, a start-up company that has become a pioneer in providing so-called Internet telephony.

"The announcements underscore the continued growth of Vonage, more generally, the development underscores the idea that Internet calling is slowly beginning to creep out of the fringes and into the mainstream."

Matt Richtel. 2 Companies to Make Gear for Phoning Over Internet. The New York Times. Aug. 24, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Business Travelers Stay Connected

"Business travelers will be able to surf the Web securely on long-distance flights by combining services from Boeing and iPass, the companies plan to announce on Monday.

"The companies are betting that business travelers, who already connect their laptop computers wirelessly in hotels, cafes and airports around the world, want to stay connected on the plane."

Reuters. Travelers Could Soon Log on From 30,000 Feet. News.com. Aug. 23, 2004.

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August 24, 2004

Developing VoIP Wiretap May Stifle Innnovation

"Wiretapping Internet phones to monitor criminals and terrorists is costly and complex, and potentially a big burden on new businesses trying to sell the phone service.

"The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to move forward with rules that would compel the businesses to make it possible for law enforcement agencies to eavesdrop on Internet calls. The commission's preliminary decision (.pdf) is a major step in the long process of deciding how Internet-based conversations could be monitored.

"But developing systems to wiretap calls that travel over high-speed data networks - a task that the companies are being asked to pay for - has caused executives and some lawmakers to worry that helping the police may stifle innovation and force the budding industry to alter its services."

Ken Belson. The Call Is Cheap. The Wiretap Is Extra. The New York Times. Aug. 23, 2004.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport.com's prior story on federal wiretapping.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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August 21, 2004

VoIP Company Struggles With Telephone-Numbering Plan

"A dispute between SBC IP Communications and state utility agencies over how to distribute phone numbers promises to shape regulations that are key to the future of the fledgling Net telephony industry.

"SBC IP Communications, a subsidiary of SBC, wants to sidestep the usual procedures and get telephone numbers directly from the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), without first obtaining a state telephone operator's license.

"Last month, SBC IP asked (.pdf) the Federal Communications Commission for a temporary waiver of the licensing requirement.

"Without an unfettered supply of phone numbers from NANPA, SBC IP argues, it and other carriers' rollouts of Net phone service will be hampered."

Ben Charny.VoIP Firm Tussles With States Over Phone Numbers. News.com. Aug. 19, 2004.

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August 20, 2004

Now Apple is Really Ticked Off

"RealNetworks on Tuesday unveiled its 'Freedom of Choice' marketing push, featuring 49-cent singles, $4.99 albums and a message that it has the only music store compatible with both iPods and portable devices based on Windows Media. The result: a major challenge to Apple Computer, a boost for Windows Media, and a new imperative for music labels to back Apple rivals to break down compatibility barriers."

Forrester Research. Commentary: RealNetworks Lobs Another Grenade. News.com. Aug. 17, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. RealNetworks Slashes Song Prices. News.com. Aug. 17, 2004. (RealNetworks has kicked off a digital music marketing campaign by highlighting Harmony, a new iPod-compatible technology, and offering song downloads from its music store for 49 cents for a limited time.)

John Borland. Can Glaser and Jobs Find Harmony? News.com. Aug. 17, 2004.

Update: John Borland. Real Curtails Half-price Music Sale. Sept. 9, 2004. (RealNetworks closed down its three-week promotional campaign, selling more than three million singles.)

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Johansen Strikes Again

"Jon Lech Johansen, the Norwegian hacker famous for cracking DVD encryption, says he has cracked Apple AirPort Express.

"Johansen has revealed the public key that Apple AirPort Express, a wireless networking protocol, uses to encrypt music sent between iTunes and a wireless base station.

"AirPort Express was released in June 2004 as a small wireless bridge from a personal computer to a stereo. Details of the AirPort Express codes were also published on Johansen's weblog, which is called So Sue Me."

Lars Pasveer. Hacker Takes Bite Out of Apple's iTunes. News.com. Aug. 12, 2004.

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Local WiMax By 2006?

"US telecom operators are only 18 months away from offering local WiMax communications to their customers, according to research released on Monday.

"The Meta Group says that falling costs and increased mobility will ensure WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) can be a viable communications option.

"However, BT has said that the technology is unlikely to make much headway unless there is joint funding between different network operators."

James Sherwood. WiMax: Coming your way soon?. ZDNet UK. Aug. 17, 2004.

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August 19, 2004

Rock the Vote Uses IM to Reach Voters

"MTV's nonpartisan partner, Rock the Vote, is turning to instant messaging to further its role as a player in this fall's presidential election.

"All year, Rock the Vote has been trumpeting its goal to get 20 million 18- to 24-year-olds to the polls.

"Along the way, it has unveiled initiatives like Rock the Mobile Vote, using mobile phones and text messaging to spread the word to young would-be voters about political issues, voter registration and the importance of voting.

Daniel Terdiman. Rock the Vote Goes IM. Wired News. Aug. 16, 2004.

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August 18, 2004

Music Being Downloaded Directly to Cell Phones

"The ability to download complete tracks directly over cell-phone networks to mobile phones is becoming a reality in Europe.

"O2 Music, the music arm of U.K.-based international telecom operator mmO2, has started offering songs for download in Germany and the United Kingdom.

"The emerging trend of selling full-length songs directly to mobile phones in Europe has been triggered by better understanding and cooperation between mobile phone operators, handset manufacturers and record labels."

Reuters. Downloads on the Move in Europe. Wired News. Aug. 15, 2004.

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August 17, 2004

California May Implement VoIP

"A body of independent auditors and experts recommended last week that the state consider open-source software and voice over Internet Protocol telephony as two measures to cut costs. The suggested measures are a small part of the voluminous California Performance Review.

"'If all of these recommendations are implemented, they have the potential to save more than $32 billion over the next five years,' the directors of the group of appointees told California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in an letter introducing the report.

"The savings from using the two technologies would make up a small fraction of that total. Moving to VoIP could reduce the state's phone bill by between $20 million and $75 million a year."

Robert Lemos. California Urged to Use Open Source, VoIP. News.com. Aug. 13, 2004.

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August 14, 2004

Text Messaging and the Evolution of the Thumb

"You can glimpse them in malls or school hallways, or even on the road, pumping a thumb (if not both thumbs) with speed and aplomb.

"They are text messagers, a rapidly growing breed who use the cell phone to tap out and send short electronic missives.

"Having initially boomed in Europe and Asia, text messaging has now invaded the United States with full force. In the first quarter, 2.6 billion text messages were sent on cell phones in the United States, an increase from 1.2 billion in the comparable period a year earlier, according to the Yankee Group, a market research company."

Matt Richtel. All thumbs, Without the Stigma. The New York Times. August 12, 2004.

See also Matt Richtel. You, Too, Can Join the Text-Messaging Masses. The New York Times. Aug. 12, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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'Push to Talk' Over WiFi

"Cellular carriers are creating 'push to talk' services that travel over Wi-Fi networks, federal regulators say--a move that could expand the one-push cell phone calls to VoIP systems.

"The technology development was disclosed by the Federal Communications Commission in a notice of proposed rulemaking on the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), a 160-page document released last week that discusses how to regulate Internet services.

"In the same document, the FCC reiterated its belief that push-to-talk calls are subject to federal wiretapping requirements."

Ben Charny. 'Push to Talk' Meets Wi-Fi. News.com. Aug. 11, 2004.

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TxtMob Could Move From Political to Business Arena

"In the history of political protests, police have long had the technological upper hand when it comes to monitoring protesters' movements and actions. But a new tool is giving activists at this year's two major political conventions a chance to stay one step ahead of the police.

"Known as TxtMob, the new service from the Institute for Applied Autonomy was unveiled last month at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. There, TxtMob allowed more than 260 subscribers to automatically blast text messages to the mobile phones of every other subscriber.

"According to Emily Turrettini, author of Textually.org, TxtMob could well prove to be a crucial tool for anyone trying to organize groups of people amid rapidly evolving circumstances."

Daniel Terdiman. Text Messages for Critical Masses. Wired News. Aug. 12, 2004.

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August 11, 2004

The New is Still Based on the Old

"The Internet revolution that began in the early 1990s frequently generated exhortations to 'go digital,' join the 'digital economy' or enter the 'digital age.' Proselytizing digital technology with such fervor lent the 'other' kind of technology -- analog -- a has-been status. Analog, the consensus view maintained, was yesterday's news.

"But it turns out that analog technology not only has its place in the digital age, but that the world still can't do without it."

Robert MacMillan. New Economy, Old Technology. WashingtonPost.com. Aug. 9, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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August 09, 2004

Surf and Fly All At Once

"The price of Lufthansa's Connexion by Boeing service costs $30 for a long-haul flight (six hours or more), or $10 for 30 minutes, and is perhaps more than some are willing to pay. But Connexion is at the leading edge of a trend that analysts and executives said will gain momentum this year, and is likely to lead to lower prices, a greater selection of vendors and much more mouse clicking on flights.

"Connexion made its debut in May on Lufthansa, which calls its service FlyNet, and is the first full-feature, in-flight Internet service to reach travelers, after years of half-starts."

Bob Tedeschi. Logging On at 30,000 Feet. The New York Times. Aug. 8, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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August 07, 2004

Mobile Phone Providers Offer IM

"In separate deals announced Thursday, Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless said they will make instant-messaging services available to their customers.

"While Verizon is partnering with Microsoft's MSN, Cingular is teaming with Yahoo."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Verizon, Cingular Get Hooked to IM. News.com. Aug. 5, 2004.

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August 06, 2004

Possible Internet Chat Regulation

"Tiago Bittencourt Silva started an ambitious programming project last month: an open-source utility that lets small groups of Internet users communicate through instant messages, video links and audio chat.

"Silva's project, called p2pCommunity, is designed to appeal to groups of 2 to 100 people who want to collaborate on writing papers or designing software applications. He's already made a pre-alpha release available at no cost on the SourceForge distribution site.

"Thanks to a bizarre move by Congress last week, p2pCommunity and hundreds of similar projects could end up paying taxes to state governments to prop up the antediluvian scheme of running copper wires to rural households for analog phone service."

Declan McCullagh. Taxes on Tap for Internet Chat? News.com. July 26, 2004.

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July 31, 2004

NY Boroughs to Install Cellphone Antennas

"At more than $6,000 a month for a few square feet, it may be the most expensive real estate in New York.

"The plan, which will add about $21.3 million to city coffers, will improve spotty cellphone reception - and turn many intersections into wireless Internet 'hot spots.'

"City officials say the plan is needed to keep pace with the rapidly growing use of cellphones and wireless Internet connections. The antennas and Internet relay boxes will start appearing on city poles before the end of the summer; about 18,000 spots will be leased."

Ian Urbinai. Cellphone Antennas to Sprout Atop Light Poles and Signs. The New York Times. July 30, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 30, 2004

Researchers Able to Shrink Wireless Devices

"James Bond-style technologies such as cell phones the size of earpieces and invisible sensors sprinkled about to detect toxins are closer to reality.

"University of Michigan researchers have figured out how to build wireless systems even smaller while still retaining range and power efficiency.

"The technology is being developed for use in environmental sensors, but could be applied to cell phones, laptops and other wireless devices."

No author. Researchers Overcome Barrier To Shrinking Wireless Devices. ScienceDaily. July 23, 2004.

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Cingular Offers Solutions for Various Mobile Devices

"Cingular Wireless has created an opportunity to sell BlackBerry pager-like services to users of devices that aren't BlackBerries by broadening its corporate e-mail lineup with two new services.

Powered by Seven, a wireless e-mail host, Xpress Mail Enterprise Edition is a service that allows phones reach behind the corporate firewall to fetch e-mail or documents and Xpress Mail Network Edition is a managed service hosted by Cingular."

Ben Charny. BlackBerry-like Service Offered for Other Devices. News.com. July 26, 2004.

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July 29, 2004

New P2P Package Links Networked Computers

"Two years after finding his way off the recording industry's "most wanted" list, Audiogalaxy founder Michael Merhej is back with a new peer-to-peer software venture.

"The Austin, Texas, programmer's new company, ByteTaxi, is aimed at people who work on more than one computer or at small teams of people collaborating on a project.

"His FolderShare software, which will be officially released in its completed form Tuesday, is similar to the autosynchronization features on Palm handhelds or iPods but instead keeps files on two or more Net-connected computers up-to-date with each other."

John Borland. Audiogalaxy Founder Tries New P2P Venture. News.com. July 26, 2004.

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Wi-fi Airport Access Predicted to Double

"In the last couple of years, Wi-Fi, or high-speed wireless Internet access, has invaded Starbucks stores and McDonald's restaurants as well as Marriott and Wyndham hotels. But it has been hard to find in airports, the one place that business travelers are most likely to have time on their hands.

"According to a recent report by IDC, a research firm in Framingham, Mass., Wi-Fi hot spots, or locations available to the public, will more than double at American airports this year to 379 from 178 in 2003.

"IDC predicts the number will nearly triple to more than 1,000 by 2008, exceeding the rate of hot-spot growth at hotels, cafes and restaurants."

Jane L. Levere. Wi-Fi Service Expands Its Reach. The New York Times. July 27, 2004.

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Airline Check-In via Cell Phones

"Australian airline Qantas Airways has quietly begun tests of a system to allow customers to check in for flights by sending text messages from their cell phone.

"The trial, which will initially only be available to frequent flyers traveling from Sydney to Melbourne on flights before 10 am each day, will run until mid-September.

"If successful, it is likely to be extended to other routes on Qantas' main CityFlyer network in 2005."

Angus Kidman. Airline Checks out Cell Phone Check-ins. News.com. July 26, 2004.

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July 28, 2004

Cell Phones to Play iTunes

"Starting next year, users of Apple Computer's iTunes music service will be able to play songs on some Motorola cellphones.

"The agreement is the first for the cellular phone industry, which is eager to add functions to phones to bring in additional revenue.

"Customers of iTunes will be able to transfer possibly a dozen to a few dozen songs from their PC or Mac to their phone over a cable or wireless connection."

No author. Cellphones, Say Hello to iTunes. The New York Times. July 26, 2004.

See also John Borland. Apple Strikes Cell Phone Music Deal. News.com. July 26, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 27, 2004

Hewlett Packard and T-Mobile Develop IPaq

"Hewlett-Packard is introducing its first iPaq handheld that can easily switch between traditional cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

"The h6315, which was co-developed with T-Mobile, operates on a traditional cellular network but can automatically hop over onto a faster Wi-Fi connection when one is available. The device also has a built-in camera and a detachable keyboard and can also act as a cell phone using the GSM cellular network.

"To allow the device to switch networks, T-Mobile had to adjust its network to let devices store a second Internet Protocol connection."

Ina Fried and Ben Charny. HP to Dick Tracy: Bet Your Phone Can't Do This. News.com. July 25, 2004.

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July 26, 2004

Web Phones Allow Customers to Bundle Services

"Two years ago, Allen Tsong had just about had enough. Tired of paying $50 a month for a local phone line from Verizon that he rarely used, he canceled the service and ordered a voice-over-Internet phone from Vonage, a start-up that entered the market two years ago. He has never looked back.

"The biggest draw was the price: $15 a month for 500 minutes of calls anywhere in the United States or Canada, and speaks to family and colleagues in China for pennies a minute.

"Mr. Tsong enjoys many of its other features, too. He can check voice mail on the Web, keep his number when he travels and forward calls to a cellphone or other line."

Ken Belson.Web Phone Service May Have It All, Except Many Users. The New York Times. July 25, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 23, 2004

GPS Thrown off by Cell Phones

"Satellite-tracking features on some Motorola cell phones haven't been working for the last few days, and some people believe the culprit is a Y2K-like software bug.

"Nextel Communications and Motorola said they are aware of what they describe as a 'software issue' that affects the assisted global positioning satellite location services inside possibly hundreds of thousands of Motorola phones.

"Because the Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) fails to boot up, any features that rely on the phone's location, including some emergency calls, Nextel's fleet locating service or its real-time weather updates, are affected to various degrees."

Ben Charny. Cell Phone Glitch Throws off GPS. News.com. July 21, 2004.

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July 20, 2004

Railroad Uses Wireless for Safety

"When it comes to transporting people and freight by rail, nothing rolls until the tracks are secure.

"Union Pacific Railroad needed to streamline the process of locating shoddy or worn ties and improve the drop-off directions—both of which ultimately would reduce inspectors' time in the field.

"To reach those goals, the railroad company about 18 months ago turned to one of its former tech suppliers, Symbol Technologies Inc. Symbol, along with one of its channel partners, LinksPoint Inc., recommended a mobile computing solution built around ruggedized Symbol handhelds and LinksPoint's GPS (Global Positioning System) technology."

Shelley Solheim. Handhelds, GPS Help Union Pacific Track Down Bad Ties. eWeek. July 19, 2004.

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July 19, 2004

Lebanon Attempts Civic Action with Cell Phone Boycott

"The Lebanese went through a collective act of cold turkey on Thursday, or at least those who can afford cellphones were supposed to suffer the equivalent.

"The nation's fledgling consumers' union asked everyone to switch off their cellphones for 24 hours to protest the astronomical prices charged in Lebanon compared with the rest of the region, not to mention civilized nations like France.

"A successful cellphone boycott, the organizers argued, would not only put more money in people's pockets. It would also represent a first attempt at the kind of broad civic action that citizens in Western countries use to put pressure on their governments."

Neil MacFarquah. A Cellphone Boycott Fails to Produce Sounds of Silence. The New York Times. July 16, 2004.

See also No author. Italy Adopts Lebanon's Idea of Cell Phone Boycott. TerraNet. July 14, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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July 17, 2004

Challenges for Wireless E-mail

"Getting e-mail anywhere, anytime is quickly becoming essential to businesses today. Both Pocket PC and Palm devices are evolving into enterprise mobile communications platforms.

"Eugene Signorini and Dan Farber discuss guidelines for making the right decisions regarding platforms, devices, and mobile e-mail applications to ensure a secure and scalable deployment of this technology."

Eugene Signorini and Dan Farber. Wireless E-mail: Getting the Most out of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise. ZDNet Videocast. No date. (Audio, video: Real Player, Windows Media Player 9).

See also CNET staff. Wireless E-mail at Your Fingertips?. News.com. July 14, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Bristish Military Bans iPods

"Music fans, beware: Britain's Ministry of Defense has become the latest organization to add the iPod to its list of high-tech security risks.

"The pocket-size digital music player is one of a series of banned gadgets that the military will no longer allow into most sections of its headquarters in the U.K. and abroad.

"Devices with large storage capabilities--most notably those with a Universal Serial Bus plug used to connect to a computer--have been treated with greater suspicion of late by government agencies and corporations alike."

Bernhard Warner. British Military: iPods Pose Security Risk. Reuters. July 13, 2004.

See also Andrew Donoghue. Analyst: iPods a Network Security Risk. News.com. July 6, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:14 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 16, 2004

Lucent and Verizon Wireless Agree to $5 Billion Deal

"Lucent Technologies announced yesterday that it has signed a contract to supply $5 billion worth of equipment, software and services to Verizon Wireless, reaffirming its role as a primary vendor to the country's largest cellphone company.

"The agreement, one of the largest of its kind in recent years, provides a lift for Lucent, which has seen its wireline business shrink along with the decline in traditional, fixed-line phone services.

"Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, is eager to show its customers that it will remain an industry leader in reliability and coverage, even after Cingular and AT&T; Wireless merge later this year to form the biggest mobile carrier in terms of subscribers."

Ken Belson. Lucent Signs $5 Billion Deal to Supply Verizon Wireless. The New York Times. July 14, 2004.

See also Marguerite Reardon. Verizon Wireless, Lucent Renew Contract. News.com. July 13, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:17 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 15, 2004

New Hampshire Proposes Tax on Internet Communication

"The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration is proposing a 7 percent tax on Internet and telephone services. The tax would include chat rooms, Web mail, voice mail, and instant messaging.

"The current tax applies to two-way communications. State officials assert that extending the tax to encompass Internet services simply updates the tax to account for advances in technology.

"New Hampshire was one of approximately 12 states allowed to continue levying a state telecommunications services tax after approval of the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998."

No author. New Hampshire Plans To Tax IM, Chat Rooms. InternetWeek.com. July 13, 2004.

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July 13, 2004

Telcom Industry's Stalemate

"Recent news stories underscore both how the telecom industry is undergoing radical changes and that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

"A survey released a couple of weeks ago showed that many users would drop their wireline connections and go wireless-only -- if prices came down and coverage improved. Things are staying the same, however, since the wireless industry is slow to do either.

"More significantly, SBC recently said it will aggressively bundle its wireline, wireless, Wi-Fi and managed VPN services for enterprises, which is an obvious attempt to ward off the threat that wireless carriers pose."

David Haskin. Things Change And Stay The Same. Mobilepipeline. July 9, 2004.

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July 12, 2004

Slow Adoption for WiMax Technology

"Despite a lot of recent attention, the wireless broadband technology WiMax is years away from wide use--and will take root in Europe and Asia before spreading to U.S. shores.

"More than 7 million subscribers worldwide will get wireless broadband access from carriers selling WiMax services by the end of 2009, according to a report released this week by Parks Associates.

"Carriers will start with equipment using the fixed version of WiMax, which means the service will initially be available only to subscribers in homes and businesses."

Richard Shim. Report: WiMax Won't Take Off Soon. News.com. July 9, 2004.

See also Skylight Research. WiMax, Portability, and Proprietary Market Analysis. (.pdf) June 1, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

HomePlug: Broadband Over Power Lines

"I want to finish this column before a familiar mood has passed. That is the sense of wonder at seeing that a new form of technology actually works. So, in this fleeting upbeat moment, here is a word of appreciation for an advance that already has me wondering how I lived without it.

"It is known variously as B.P.L, for broadband over power lines, or as HomePlug. As a concept, it has been around for a long time.

"What is new in the last two years is a series of technical breakthroughs, mainly in chips designed by Intellon, a tiny company in Ocala, Fla. These chips have made power-line transmission fast enough, cheap enough and reliable enough to merit serious attention."

James Fallows. Is Broadband Out of a Wall Socket the Next Big Thing?. The New York Times. July 11, 2004.

See also 2004 Press Release Intellon Announces Comcast Trialing HomePlug Technology. Intellon. May 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Migration to RFID Translates to Decreased Workfoce

"As companies spend several billion dollars over the next three years installing inventory-tracking technology, the financial benefits they reap from increased supply-chain efficiency will be at the expense of millions of displaced workers, a research firm said Wednesday.

"Manufacturers are expected to spend as much as $5 billion over the next three years in hardware, software and services related to data-collection technology called radio frequency identification. In deploying RFID, however, 4 million jobs in the U.S. alone are expected to vanish.

"Not all the workers affected by the technology shift will lose their jobs, since others will be created within the new supply chains. However, efficiencies driven by technology will ultimately mean fewer jobs."

Antone Gonsalves.Study: RFID Saves Money, Displaces Workers. Webservicespipeline. July 1, 2004.

See also Yankee Group.Multibillion-Dollar RFID Investments Will Affect 4 Million U.S. Jobs by 2007, Reports Yankee Group. June 30, 2004.

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July 10, 2004

Wireless Wherever You Go

"In the United States, nearly six million people commute daily by public transportation, according to the Department of Transportation. Few operators offer wireless Internet access in their stations and terminals - much less on board - even though it is now routinely found in many airports, hotels and coffee shops. But trials and planning are under way in several countries to determine the technical feasibility of offering mobile Internet access, and whether commuters will ultimately pay for the privilege."

Glenn Fleishmann. Destination Wi-Fi, By Rail, Bus or Boat. The New York Times. July 8, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:59 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Trip Hawkins Loves Chocolate

"F. Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives, but Trip Hawkins' experience suggests otherwise. In fact, he's hoping for a third. Hawkins first served as a freewheeling flack for Apple in its early days, then he founded Electronic Arts. With two successes behind him, he launched videogame console maker 3DO - which went kaput spectacularly in 2003.

"Now Hawkins is back with Digital Chocolate, a Silicon Valley startup focused on making entertainment and social-networking software for cell phones. Sounds oh-so-1999, but Hawkins says he learned his lesson. With $8 million in venture funding and a dozen employees in tow, he's once more headed into the breach. Game on."

Richard Martin. The Reinvention Game. Wired. July 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:36 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 06, 2004

Digital Companion For Concerts

"The New York Philharmonic and other orchestras are testing a PDA program that explains music being performed.

"In an attempt to draw patrons and enhance the concertgoers' experience, several symphony orchestras are testing a PDA-based program called the Concert Companion which provides real-time commentary about the piece being performed.

The product is the brainchild of Roland Valliere who led a venture to explore how technology can be used to draw new people to classical music concerts."

Juan Carlos Perez. PDAs Take a Seat at the Symphony. PC World. July 5, 2004.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport.com's prior story on Coco.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:00 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 05, 2004

WPA Certification Enhances Security

"A year after WPA's launch, many products aren't certified. Products submitted for testing before September 2003 were exempt from the Wi-Fi Alliance's WPA agreement, so there is no guarantee of WPA compliance.

"In addition to being faster than their predecessors, new Wi-Fi-certified 802.11g wireless products promise better protection from snoops. But even though the WPA standard was introduced about a year ago, some 802.11g products may not support it."

"WPA provides strong security for wireless networks, but be sure that you buy the latest Wi-Fi-certified products to avoid incompatibilities."

Seán Captain. Networking: Wi-Fi Security Still Spotty. PC World. July 1, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:10 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Sprint Offers IBM Software Suite

"IBM is unveiling a new family of software products that are expected to make it easier for mobile phone operators to offer new services to customers.

"Sprint, which announced a strategic partnership with IBM in February, will be the first carrier to use the new software suite. The latest announcement is one piece of the $100 million investment that Sprint has pledged to the partnership, which includes fees for consulting and outsourcing, as well as the purchase of certain products, such as software.

"Sprint allied with IBM because their middleware makes it easier for application developers to integrate with existing applications."

Marguerite Reardon. IBM Cozies Up To Wireless Providers. ZDNet.com. June 28, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:37 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 29, 2004

Police Use PDAs

"A police officer stops you on the street, then taps something into a device in the palm of his hand.

"The next minute, he knows who your relatives are, who lives in your house, who your neighbors are, the kind of car you drive or boat you own, whether you've been sued and various other tidbits about your life.

"A growing number of police departments now have instant access via handheld wireless devices to vast commercial databases that contain details on just about anyone officers encounter on the beat."

Martin Finucane. Cop On The Beat Now A Walking Database. Anchorage Daily News. June 24, 2004.

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June 27, 2004

A Reader In Every Palm

"The Wi-Fi world's here. Some of us dinosaurs choose to lug our PCs around to take advantage of it. Other, smarter consumers save their backs by getting phones, PDAs, and next-generation computing devices such as the Sony AirBoard to do Web stuff, be it surfing, emailing, trafficking in PDFs or anything else.

"If Adobe has anything to say about it, PDF will be there as a content vehicle for all of these new machines, making good on its mantra of 'publishing anything, everywhere, on any device.' This month, the company announced that it will port the Acrobat Reader to Linux-driven consumer devices--the first of which will be a Sony navigation system available only in Japanese cars for now."

Don Fluckinger. Adobe Reader to Find Its Way to More Devices. PDF Zone.com. June 23, 2004.

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June 25, 2004

Paperless Hospitals

“Medical care would be improved and millions of dollars would be saved if hospitals were fully wired, said Rep. Patrick Kennedy and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who jointly announced a program to bring American medicine into the Internet age.

“On Monday, the political partisans put their party differences aside to tout electronic prescriptions, online patient records and an integrated, paperless health-care system.

“Gingrich said 98,000 people die annually in hospitals due to medical errors. He suggested information technology could save billions of dollars now wasted on procedures, such as unnecessary tests and redundant record keeping.”

Brook Donald. Gingrich, Kennedy Pushing "Wired" Hospitals. eWeek. June 23, 2004.

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Wireless Tipping Scales for Web Wars

“Technology battles have long been a feature of the IT industry. Most IT managers will remember the LAN wars -- Ethernet .vs Token Ring -- and the bus wars -- Industry Standard Architecture .vs Micro-Channel Architecture. In both cases the eventual winner was the least proprietary solution.

“In the Web services war the two dominant platforms are Java and .Net. Conventional wisdom indicates that most enterprises will adopt strategies featuring both, but recent research suggests otherwise. In surveying 500 developers currently involved in Web services, 70% believe that support for multiple operating systems is more important than support for multiple languages.

“The reasons are apparent from answers to a question about time frames for developing Web services with wireless devices.”

Brian Bakker. Who Will Win the Web Services War?. Computerworld. June 23, 2004.

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June 23, 2004

Wi-Fi Security Draft Nears Ratification

"Industry sources said the IEEE 802.11i specification could be ratified this Thursday, adding a needed layer of security to the Wi-Fi standard.

"The draft specification is on the agenda to be ratified this week as part of an IEEE-SA standards committee meeting in Piscataway, N.J. Although a vote on the proposed specification is not guaranteed, a decision to end the three-year standards process is likely.

"The 802.11i standard would add a needed layer of security to Wi-Fi, which has become widespread both in the consumer and corporate spaces. Early attempts at security provided some basic security but were derided as too easy to crack."

Mark Hachman. Wi-Fi Security Standard Nears Approval. eWeek. June 22, 2004.

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June 22, 2004

NYC Goes Wireless

"New York City plans to build a public safety wireless network of unprecedented scale and scope, including the capacity to provide tens of thousands of mobile users with the ability to send and receive data while traveling at speeds of up to 70 mph citywide.

"Menchini described the planned network as 'the most challenging and most comprehensive' wireless project that he's aware of.

"The network would provide mobile users from the New York police, fire and emergency medical service departments with broadband access to information such as mug shot and fingerprint databases and building floor plans. The city also wants to use the network to control traffic signals and support an automatic vehicle-location system that would be tied into its dispatch systems."

Bob Brewin. NYC Wireless Network Will Be Unprecedented. Computerworld. June 18, 2004.

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June 21, 2004

Viruses Hit Mobile Phones

"It had to happen: A computer virus has spread to cell phone networks. Kaspersky Labs issued an advisory Thursday on a network worm called Cabir that affects phones that use the Symbian operating system.

"Cabir uses the Bluetooth wireless peer protocol to propagate, copying itself to other Bluetooth devices as far as 30 feet away, depending on the environment."

Carol Ellison. This Time, Cell Phone Virus Is for Real. eWeek. June 18, 2004.

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June 15, 2004

Wireless Networks Vulnerable

"Through 2006, 70 per cent of successful wireless local area network (WLAN) attacks will be because of the mis-configuration of WLAN access points and client software, according to market research group Gartner, Inc.

"Security for WLANs and PDAs in the company needs to be driven by updated security policies that address the unique demands of the mobile workplace, according to the analysts."

Leigh Phillips. WLANs Major Wireless Security Issue for Business Through 2008. Digital Media Europe. June 11, 2004.

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June 11, 2004

Apple Sends Music Across the Air

On the same day that Apple Computer announced a fix to its greatest security threat in several years, the company also announced the debut of a new wireless product that allows music and file sharing.

"AirPort Express, due in July, features both analog and digital music outputs to connect to speakers or sound systems. The device also plugs directly into a wall outlet, with no need for additional cables or power adapters, which Apple said should make it appealing to travelers as well as to those who want to stream music in their homes.

"Like Apple's existing AirPort Extreme products, the Express uses the 802.11g wireless standard. Music is streamed from an iTunes-equipped PC or Mac that uses a technology Apple is calling AirTunes."

Ina Fried. Apple's AirPort Adds Home Music Streaming. News.com. June 7, 2004.

Leander Kahney. Apple Pumps Music Through Air. Wired News. June 7, 2004.

Apple Computer. AirPort Express.

Apple Computer. AirTunes.

Apple Computer. iTunes.

Ina Fried. Apple Patches "Critical" OS X Flaw. News.com. June 7, 2004.

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The Next Generation of Mobile Devices

"I first noticed that the leaders of Silicon Valley are *still* behind the times when I saw the line up for O'Reilly's Web 2.0 conference. Not a single member of telecom industry there and only one session that talks about telecom - and its focus is VoIP. Are you kidding me? Anyone who doesn't realize by now that the Web 2.0 is going to be dominated by mobile devices must be living on, well, here in the U.S."

"You know what the mobile industry needs in the U.S.? An evangelist. The GUI had Jobs, the web had Andreeson, blogs have Winer. We need someone to explain to the masses the difference between what 'wireless' means and what true 'mobility' is. We need someone to repeat ad-nauseum the incredible societal changes that will take place in an always-connected world. We need someone to thump the drum until it becomes common wisdom and we wonder how we ever thought differently in the first place."

Russell Beattie Notebook. Where's the Mobility?. June 5, 2004.

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Who Will Survive the PDA Shakeout?

"Twenty years ago a small group of engineers at Apple began dreaming up the next revolutionary device. What they came up with was the Newton, a multi-purpose handheld computer that then Apple-CEO John Sculley predicted would kick-start a $3 trillion 'personal digital assistant' market by the turn of the century. Apple, and its Newton, is credited with pioneering the PDA industry.

"However, a good idea is just that, a good idea, and Apple had difficulties executing that idea. Sculley and Apple had overestimated the size of the market. Eventually, after sinking more than a half-billion dollars into it and selling less than 300,000 units in four and a half years, Apple killed the Newton. (Ironically, five years later Apple released its iPod handheld digital music player, a single-purpose device that has become a runaway best-seller.)

"Now it appears that consumer demand has shifted to smart cellphones, or communicators, that combine the features of a cellphone with that of a PDA."

Steven Bush. Then There Were Two. Brighthand. June 4, 2004.

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June 10, 2004

Getting Down to One Device

"Regular readers know that I am in constant field trials with new mobile devices. Right now, my bag contains a BlackBerry 7230, a Nokia 6620 phone, and a PalmOne Treo 600 PDA. All three devices ostensibly do the same things — phone, messaging, and personal information management — but they take radically different and inconsistently effective approaches to each function. I have yet to find a single device that makes the other two unnecessary.

"Thanks to Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry handheld messaging device, I’ve got a decent shot at bagging the competent unified handheld of my dreams. If RIM has its way, BlackBerry Connect software will make every mobile device act like a BlackBerry."

Tom Yager. A BlackBerry By Any Other Name. InfoWorld. June 4, 2004.

Research In Motion. PalmSource and RIM Introduce BlackBerry Connect for Palm OS. May 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com. A Berry In Your Palm. June 1, 2004.

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June 09, 2004

WiFi Hot Spots Proliferate

"At cafes, malls and downtown business districts, there has been an explosion of Internet access points, or Wi-Fi hot spots, that let computer users log on to the Internet for free. That growth is a fundamental reason - though not the only one - that technology start-ups, investors and industry analysts who had high hopes for Wi-Fi are scrambling to find sustainable business models.

"A director of a medical device research company pays T-Mobile $6 an hour for a wireless Internet connection when she is in airports if there are no free access points. But it is another matter when she is working outside the office in San Francisco."

Matt Richtel. Where Entrepreneurs Go and the Internet Is Free. The New York Times. June 7, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Is the BlackBerry About to Burst?

"This week in Washington, judges at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit are scheduled to ponder whether Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the much-coveted BlackBerry hand-held wireless e-mail device, should be barred from doing business in the United States. At issue is who has the patent for the BlackBerry's technology.

"In August, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dealt RIM a stunning blow, ordering the company to pay NTP, which sued RIM for patent infringement, $53.7 million in damages and granting an injunction to prevent RIM from making, selling or servicing the devices in the United States.

"The injunction was stayed, pending RIM's appeal now before the Federal Circuit, the nation's highest patent court."

Teresa Riordan. Contest Over BlackBerry Patent. The New York Times. June 7, 2004.

Richard Shim. RIM Loses Patent Infringement Ruling. News.com. Aug. 5, 2003.

Jennifer Greene. BlackBerry Turnover. Legal Times. Jan. 27, 2003. ("In a series of unusual twists, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director James Rogan ordered a re-examination of five patents -- four of them central to the lawsuit -- belonging to NTP Inc., the Arlington, Va.-based holding company suing for infringement. Equally improbable, the U.S. House of Representatives' Chief Administrative Officer sent a letter to lawyers for both sides pleading for them not to take Congress' BlackBerrys away.")

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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June 08, 2004

Apple's Rendezvous Expands to PocketPC Platform

"Apple Computer released a very unique network recognition system, aptly named Rendezvous as part of its OSX operating system. The basic role of Rendezvous is to allow machines, and inadvertently their operators, to locate available networks and initiate conversations, in one form or another. For the most part, these conversations are either social a la user-user chat or functional a la synchronization, streaming, and sharing of files/resources.

"In the next few weeks, the Rendezvous methodology of auto-discovery will be unlatched from Apple, and more importantly from the desktop and destined for your pocket. A bright developer, Razvan Dragomirescu of Simedia, is poised to release his newest application: Pocket Rendezvous."

Get Real. Pocket Rendezvous: Spawning Connectivity. June 3, 2004.

See also

Andrew Orlowski. Promiscuous BluePod File Swapping -- Coming to a PDA Near You. The Register. June 3, 2004.

Technobiblio. Thoughts on "Rendezvous" Services in Libraries for Our Users. June 4, 2004. ("What if library patrons had their wireless device and we had a 'book locator server' that they could link to that would help get them to the book with step-by-step directions? Do a catalog look-up wirelessly, say you want to find that book, and your wireless device tells the server where you are in relation to that book and gives you 'MapQuest' directions?")

Andrew Orlowski. Apple's ‘BluePod’ – Promiscuous Exchanges with Strangers. The Register. Dec. 6, 2002.

Apple. Rendezvous: Networking Simplified. No date.

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June 03, 2004

Newsweek's WiFi Cover Story

Newsweek magazine's June 7 issue features wireless technology as the cover story. The online version of this package includes many -- if not all -- of the stories from the print edition.

"Certainly a huge part of this revolution comes from untethering the most powerful communication tools of our time. Between our mobile phones, our BlackBerrys and Treos and our Wi-Fi'd computers, we're always on and always connected—and soon our cars and appliances will be too. While there's been considerable planning as to how people will use these tools and how they'll pay for them, the wonderful reality is that, as with the Internet, much of the action in the wireless world will ultimately emerge from the imaginative twists and turns that are possible when digital technology trumps the analog mind-set of telecom companies and government regulators."

Steven Levy. Something in the Air. Newsweek. June 7, 2004.

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June 02, 2004

WiFi Opens Access in More Ways Than One

"Experts say that while Wi-Fi hardware makers have made initial setup easy, the enabling of security is anything but. Meanwhile, average users are no longer tech savvy. The gadgets are mainstream, appearing on the shelves of Wal-Mart and other mass retailers.

"The result? A lot of wide-open networks that offer anyone within range of the Wi-Fi signal free access to a high-speed Internet connection. Any hacking is unlikely to be noticed, while illegal activity would be traceable only to the name on the Internet account."

Matthew Fordahl. Wi-Fi Popularity Breeds Huge Security Hole at Home. kgw.com. May 30, 2004.

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June 01, 2004

Hacking the Linksys to Become the Majordomo

"If you have a Linksys WRT54G router, here's what you can use it for after less than an hour's work. You get all the original Linksys functions plus SSH, Wonder Shaper, L7 regexp iptables filtering, frottle, parprouted, the latest Busybox utilities, several custom modifications to DHCP and dnsmasq, a PPTP server, static DHCP address mapping, OSPF routing, external logging, as well as support for client, ad hoc, AP, and WDS wireless modes.

"If that last paragraph meant nothing at all to you, look at it this way: the WRT54G with Sveasoft firmware is all you need to become your cul de sac's wireless ISP. Going further, if a bunch of your friends in town had similarly configured WRT54Gs, they could seamlessly work together and put out of business your local telephone company.

"That's what I mean by a disruptive technology."

Robert X. Cringely. The Little Engine That Could. I, Cringely. May 27, 2004.

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CoCo at the Philharmonic

"As the trumpets surged and the bassoons swirled, a 31-year-old lawyer sat in the audience at Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday evening staring at a device eerily resembling a Palm Pilot. When not absorbing the sentences flashing across the screen, his eyes darted to the New York Philharmonic, playing before him.

"He was one of 75 people test-driving Concert Companion, a hand-held device that delivers a play-by-play analysis of the music as it unfolds. The mission of device, nicknamed CoCo by its creators, is to deepen the understanding of regular concertgoers and to make classical music accessible to new audiences that do not know their glockenspiel from their xylophone. The Philharmonic sent a message to 30,000 people on its e-mail list, offering the chance to test one of the 75 devices."

Lola Ogunnaike. Concertgoers Multitasking to Stravinsky. The New York Times. May 29, 2004.

National Public Radio. A Digital Companion for Concert Fans. Sept. 30, 2003.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Yahoo! Maps Gives Hotspot Locations

(Editor's Note: I know I read this in a story I received through my aggregator, but I cannot recall the story for attribution, so I'll just claim it as an original discovery.)

Did you know that you can find WiFi hotspots using Yahoo! Maps? Just enter in an address, click on the "Click here to add WiFi hotspots" link that is located near the the top of the response page, and then look for the Intel Centrino symbol on the map.

The new feature is part of the service's attempt at bringing users more localized information. This is very cool.

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A Berry In Your Palm

Research In Motion, maker of the popular Blackberry handheld device, and PalmSource finally have presented details of an alliance that will RIM's Blackberry wireless communications service available to licensees of PalmSource's operating system.

The deal between the two handheld specialists was struck in May 2003 but the companies are just now releasing details of how they'll work together.

Through RIM's licensing program, Blackberry Connect, device makers using the Palm OS will be able to use software that allows their devices to access the Blackberry service wirelessly. An email client for the service, Mail for Blackberry, also will be available through PalmSource and will become a part of its regular software licensing package.

Both pieces of software will be commercially available in the second half of the year.

This is great news for Palm device users who prefer their Palm as a handheld, but may have been frustrated by having to depend on cellular telephone providers for e-mail service.

Richard Shim. RIM and PalmSource Connect At Last. Silicon.com. May 19, 2004.

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May 31, 2004

Berry Sexy

"Blackberry devices have given Washington professionals a way to Ping-Pong witty messages back and forth with potential love interests around the clock. The BlackBerry's mobility makes exchanging personal e-mail at all hours a lot more convenient than using a computer, and it offers protection from the awkwardness that voice communication can present.

"Never mind liquid courage: this is digital courage."

Jennifer 8. Lee. A Blackberry Throbs and a Wonk Has a Date. The New York Times. May 30, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Royale with Cheese... WiFi on the Side

"For Wayport, McDonald's is a new kind of gig. The company has built a successful presence in the travel and hospitality sector, providing hot-spot services to mobile professionals—the people most likely to use them—in more than 800 hotels, a dozen airports and 16 Laptop Lane business service centers.

"So, why on earth is it fooling around with retail? Does it really expect to make money in an environment where laptops share tables with special sauce, Cherry Cokes and sticky fingers?"

Carol Ellison. Want WiFi With That?. eWeek. May 26, 2004.

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May 30, 2004

Entire Cities Become WiFi-Enabled

"The upscale suburb of Chaska, MA will soon become one of the few, but growing, U.S. cities almost entirely within a 'hot spot' of high-speed wireless access to the Internet. The Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) network will blanket virtually every home, business and city office with broadband-grade bandwidth —that is, super-fast access to the Internet without a hard-wired connection.

"Chaska is also one of the first cities to offer Wi-Fi as a municipal service that competes with commercial broadband providers. At about $16 a month for home users, the city service will be cheaper than the national companies."

Associated Press. Wireless Network to Turn City into One Big Hot Spot. eWeek. May 26, 2004.

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Big City, USA: Unplugged

"Portland got knocked off its throne as America’s most unwired city as Intel released its latest survey of America’s most unwired cities. The new leader is the San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland basin. Portland dropped to fifth place behind Austin, Washington D. C. and Orange County, if you can imagine."

"With all due respect to the naysayers, who fear that wireless access will open your network to hackers, America is rapidly going wireless."

John Tredennick. Who’s Unwired? Law Practice Today. May 2004.

Intel Corporation. Most Unwired Cities Survey. No date.

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May 24, 2004

FCC Sees Wireless as Vital

"The Federal Communications Commission is stepping up efforts to establish wireless as a viable broadband option to cable and DSL in order to make high-speed Internet access available to all Americans by 2007.

"To achieve those goals, set by President Bush, the agency is looking at reallocating spectrum for broadcast television to wireless and expanding bands in the 5GHz range, FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in a speech earlier this week at the FCC Wireless Broadband Forum in Washington, D.C."

Richard Shim. Powell: Wireless Vital to Broadband Future News.com. May 20, 2004.

Federal Communications Commission. 2004 Wireless Broadband Forum.

Hon. Michael K. Powell. Remarks at the FCC Wireless Broadband Forum. (.pdf) May 19, 2004.

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May 20, 2004

Only the Strong Remain in Wireless

Fresh off his scoop that wireless hot-spot provider Cometa Networks was closing its doors, Glenn Fleishman offers an analysis of the remaining wireless providers and where they stand.

"Wayport was founded to put Ethernet into hotel rooms, and still derives most of its revenue from that business. But it’s changing. With 12,000 McDonald’s under contract to get Wi-Fi service, thousands of UPS Store locations that they’ll operate for SBC as a managed services provider, and a network of hotels and airports that will top 1,000 this year, Wayport is the last brand standing. Wayport has raised as much as $100 million in funding across its five-plus years in business."

Glenn Fleishman. Which Hotspot Networks Still Stand?. Wi-Fi Networking News. May 19, 2004.

Glenn Fleishman. Cometa Networks Closes Its Doors Starting Tomorrow. Wi-Fi Networking News. May 18, 2004.

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May 03, 2004

Opening the Mall to Wi-Fi

"Frisbee-throwers and lawmakers alike could soon be able to access free wireless Internet on Washington's National Mall under a plan announced by a nonprofit group on Wednesday.

"Members of the Open Park Project already have set up a wireless access point covering the Supreme Court and the Capitol and say they hope to extend wireless broadband coverage across the capital's monument-filled core within a year." (Washington Post)

"Unwiring the downtown Washington, D.C. area is particularly interesting because of its potential for enhancing democratic discourse. Free wireless access in the heart of the Capitol's demonstration zone could enable more effective use of communication technologies, both by participants and observers, in covering political actions and events. In effect, wireless could extend the voices of demonstrators and allow observers to listen to political speech in ways that have not been possible before. (commons-blog)

Reuters. Free WiFi Planned for National Mall. WashingtonPost.com. April 28, 2004.

(n.b. The Post allows free access to their stories for 14 days before they are sent to the paper's fee-based archives.)

Information Commons. Wireless Access: An Idea to Enhance Democracy. commons-blog. April 29, 2004.

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April 27, 2004

Apple's Role in Spurring Social Software

Yesterday and Sunday, The New York Times on the Web published a pair of stories that deftly chronicle how the entertainment and computing industries are converging, as the proliferation of social software such as WiFi, peer-to-peer networking, and handheld devices continues to force both industries to evolve.

At the center of this convergence is Apple. The computer company, during the second tenure of Chairman Steve Jobs, has remained a distant second to Microsoft in terms of personal computer operating system market share. But recently, Apple has been at the forefront of several several social software initiatives that make the company vitally relevant. Through its AirPort system, Apple was one of the first companies to offer and simplify WiFi access through the personal computer. Apple is at the center of SubEthaEdit, a collaborative editing platform that allows all users to type anywhere in the text without locking parts of the text for other users. SNTReport.com was one of the first publications to cover this technology when Steve Arnold wrote a feature story about it in March.

And there is the iPod, Apple's wildly successful handheld device. Apple now sells more iPods than it does computers, and the device (along with the iTunes Music Store) perhaps singlehandedly legitimized the market for downloaded music. The company introduced the iPod Mini, a smaller version of the iPod, in January to great industry acclaim and customer demand.

Perhaps most importantly, Apple has made its hardware and software easily compatible with the Windows operating system: the iPod runs on both platforms, and Apple's computers generally interface well with networks that run the Windows platform.

Evelyn Nussenbaum. Technology and Show Business Kiss and Make Up. The New York Times on the Web. (Free registration required). April 26, 2004.

John Markoff. Oh, Yeah, He Also Sells Computers. The New York Times on the Web. (Free registration required). April 25, 2004.

Steven Arnold. A Mac Collaborative Editor Breaks New Ground. SNTReport.com. March 2, 2004.

(n.b. The Times places stories in their fee-based archives after seven days.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

WiFi Networking Primer

"WiFi is the Internet equivalent of a cordless phone. Instead of replacing a coiled-up phone cord, WiFi takes the place of Ethernet cable, the thick wiring that stretches under desks in offices.

But WiFi has done this basic job a little too well -- it has made local area networking so cheap and (mostly) easy, people can set up networks in ways that would have been too difficult before.

In that sense, WiFi is more Swiss Army knife than cordless phone. The downside of this? WiFi can be pretty hard for the uninitiated to grasp.

So for those who haven't tried out wireless networking yet, here's what you need to know."

Rob Pegoraro. Flexibility Comes Relatively Cheap. WashingtonPost.com. April 25, 2004.

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April 19, 2004

Wi-Fi Getting Faster

Broadband One Networks, a San Diego, CA business, plans to introduce iBurst, a wireless data service in September that could give high-speed Internet access to laptop-toting businesspeople roaming miles away from the nearest antenna. The company plans to introduce the service in Bozeman, Montana, home to Montana State University, and could offer the service in other parts of the country if the service does well there.

iBurst is developed by Marty Cooper, the inventor of the first cellular phone.

Elisa Batista. Wi-Fi On Steroids Heads for U.S. Wired News. April 16, 2004.

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March 12, 2004

Mickey D's To Offer WiFi

News.com reports that McDonald's has begun to offer wireless access in a downtown San Francisco restaurant, and may announce plans for a wider rollout of the service in select restaurants by the end of this month.

The Golden Arches will be the latest large retail or restaurant chain to offer Wi-Fi access, which allows wireless-equipped laptops and handheld devices access to the Internet. Starbucks, Kinko's and Borders offer wireless access through T-Mobile USA. Barnes & Noble is planning to introduce wireless in as many as 650 of its stores by September, according to News.com.

Retailers are moving toward offering wireless access because in-store, online surfing tends to lead to longer customer stays, thereby boosting sales.

McDonald's also is expected to decide on its wireless service provider by the end of this month.

Richard Shim. McDonald's Wi-Fi Recipe Could Define Industry. News.com. March 12, 2004.

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March 04, 2004

Getting Up to Speed on Social Software

Need a primer on some of the underlying technologies iin the social software space? Check out News.com's "Get Up to Speed" series. As of this writing, the series covers six areas, four of which are important technologies within the social network sector:

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March 03, 2004

Hijacking Hot Spots

CNet's News.com reports that wireless hot spots in restaurants, airports, and other locations may not be totally safe, as hackers have taken to establishing nearby ghost access points and using them to get the passwords and credit card numbers of unsuspecting patrons.

The good thing is that some of the major hot spot providers, including T-Mobile. already have begun to address this and other security issues.

No author. Commentary: Hot-spot security in hot water. News.com. Feb. 25, 2004.

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February 25, 2004

A Solutions Roadmap for Information Professionals

This MIT Technology Review interview with Rael Dornfest provides information professionals with a roadmap on how to improve services offerings to patrons.

Dornfest, co-author with Tara Calishain of Google Hacks (2003, O'Reilly & Associates), discusses the key ideas that were shared at the most recent O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. Dornfest also discusses the role of Web services, most notably the LibraryLookup service that programmer John Udell created last year. LibraryLookup allows a user to automatically search a Web-enabled OPAC for titles that are listed on an Amazon.com.

LibraryLookup is a perfect example of the solutions that librarians can (and should) be developing for their customers over the next several years. Do you have innovations you would like to tell us about? Please let us know.

No author. "View from the Alpha Geek." MIT Technology Review. (Registration required.) Feb. 13, 2004.

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February 23, 2004

Smartphones & Handhelds to Rule Information Transfer

Like most Americans, I look at my cell phone as a simple communication device: I turn it on, I dial, I speak, I disconnect. Much of the rest of the world would consider that sequence of activities to be crude and prehistoric. "In Europe, for example, it's possible to watch television, record videos and use a wireless handheld device as a computer. Europeans even use their cell phones to transact business, using them as a kind of ATM card," so says this Washington Post article. Of course, I am still wondering why Thomson-West hasn't figured out that a handheld-ready version of the Black's Law Dictionary would be a killer app.

If anyone wants to contribute a Tungsten or Treo to our research of the handheld space, please feel free to contact us.

Yuki Noguchi and Griff Witte. "Wireless Firms Look at Phones as Limitless." Washington Post. (Registration required.) Feb. 19, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:00 PM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)