All content on this blog from Tim McGhee has moved to the Tim McGhee Substack, and soon, Lord willing, will be found only on that Substack.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Robot prepares for solo journey: "The countdown is on for the UL Lafayette team tinkering with a six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle programmed to cross the deserts and mountains of California and Nevada on its own."
Students Learn Better from Web Pages That Contain Print Cues: "Students learn just as well from the World Wide Web as they do from print, … but only if Web pages offer some of the same elements found on today's typical printed page.

"In written tests, students who read an article about influenza on the Web scored the same as students who read the story on hard copy—about 73 percent—but only when the Web article contained traditional print cues for organizing information, such as page numbers and a table of contents. These print cues supplemented the common Web cues for organizing information: in-text hyperlinks. Students who read the story on the Web without these cues scored only about 67 percent.

"Both print cues and Web cues were needed to make the Web perform as well as traditional print, said William P. Eveland, assistant professor of journalism and communication at Ohio State University. 'We found that a well-designed Web site can convey information just as well as a print magazine,' he said. 'But if a Web site isn't designed properly, people learn less.'"
O'Keefe: New NASA to be 'Distinctively Different' than Old Agency: "Tension runs high again at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as the Mars Opportunity rover draws closer to the red planet. Even with the successful Spirit landing three weeks ago, Opportunity's plunge to Meridiani Planum on Mars remains a high-risk business.

"'It's my guess that the pucker-factor is going to be every bit as high,' said NASA Administrator, Sean O'Keefe, who has arrived here to witness the rover's entry, descent and landing. 'This is the equivalent to the Super Bowl for these people.'"

"Looking toward the future, O'Keefe told that the soon-to-be-released NASA budget will augment Mars exploration plans, making them more in step with President George W. Bush's new space exploration agenda. Details within NASA's budget for 2005 are to be unveiled on February 3.

"Mars exploration, both robotic and human, will receive a coordinated boost given the White House push to move NASA beyond low Earth orbit, O'Keefe said. What is going to be 'distinctively different' is integrating missions and objectives, as well as adding missions to achieve 'a broader exploration agenda,' he said."
Conflicting emotions on Super Bowl Sunday: "Most of … those few who lost spouses and parents and friends aboard the space shuttle Columbia will go to Super Bowl XXXVIII next Sunday. They'll join the city of Houston in the nation's largest annual sports party."

"The city of Houston will play host to the Super Bowl next week, but for many, the party will be cast in somber hues. Next Sunday also marks the one-year anniversary of the fatal space shuttle accident. On Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated midflight and rained debris on east Texas.

"Houston is the home to NASA's Johnson Space Center, and the tragedy struck a particularly sensitive chord here. So on Sunday, while much of the world celebrates, this city will face a confusing confrontation of emotions."

"Officials with the NFL were in Hawaii preparing for the Pro Bowl last year when the shuttle broke apart. They realized instantly that Super Bowl XXXVIII would fall on the one-year anniversary and began planning appropriately."

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Joe Gibbs: Strange road to success: "All my life, I wanted to be a head football coach of an NFL team more than anything else."

Friday, January 23, 2004

Lessons from the Campaign Pressure Cooker: "How is open source, both the philosophy and the software, being used in presidential campaigns? First up, the Dean camp."
Paul Harvey Comments on "The Passion" by Mel Gibson: "I really did not know what to expect. I was thrilled to have been invited to a private viewing of Mel Gibson's film 'The Passion,' but I had also read all the cautious articles and spin. I grew up in a Jewish town and owe much of my own faith journey to the influence. I have a life long, deeply held aversion to anything that might even indirectly encourage any form of anti-Semitic thought, language or actions.

"I arrived at the private viewing for 'The Passion,' held in Washington, D.C., and greeted some familiar faces. The environment was typically Washingtonian, with people greeting you with a smile but seeming to look beyond you, having an agenda beyond the words. The film was very briefly introduced, without fanfare, and then the room darkened.

"From the gripping opening scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the very human and tender portrayal of the earthly ministry of Jesus, through the betrayal, the arrest, the scourging, the way of the cross, the encounter with the thieves, the surrender on the Cross, until the final scene in the empty tomb, this was not simply a movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I have ever experienced."
Roe v. Wade Anniversary Stirs Passions on Both Sides: "Opponents and supporters of abortion rights demonstrated on the streets of the nation's capital Thursday, marking the 31st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion on demand.

"'We believe there's a baby in the mother's womb and that's why we can't take any other position,' said Cardinal Theodore J. McCarrick, the Archbishop of Washington."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Women often make consumer electronics buying decisions: "Women actually spent more on technology last year than men, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. It says women accounted for $55 billion of the $96 billion spent on electronics gear."

"Women are involved in almost 75 percent of all electronics purchases, and they are increasingly interested in gadgets, from DVD players to digital cameras, for themselves or their families, according to the survey, which was based on telephone interviews with 1,002 U.S. adults in October and done in association with the independent market research firm Rockbridge Associates Inc.

"Radio Shack's customers have shifted from 20 percent female seven years ago to 40 percent female today. In response, the 7,000-store chain began actively recruiting female store managers last year, and now one of every seven stores is managed by a woman.

"Epson, a leading maker of scanner and printers, recently homed in on the female-dominated scrapbooking market so successfully that it plans to aim more products at women this year."
T-Mobile to disguise cellular tower as palm tree: "PHOENIX—It's a palm tree of a different frond.

"Avondale's City Council approved the installation of a 55-foot cellular tower disguised as a palm tree to improve mobile phone service in the area. Council members also required the firm, T-Mobile, to plant five real trees in the area and repair the tree-tower within six weeks of any damage report.

"A T-Mobile spokesman said that the palm tree disguise will cost the company about $45,000 more than a standard mobile tower, called a monopole."
RIAA vs. 532 IP addresses: "The RIAA launched its largest round of lawsuits yet on Wednesday, targeting 532 individuals suspected of illegally swapping copyrighted music over the Internet.

"The legal filings consisted of four lawsuits in total, with three being filed in a federal court in New York, and a single lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C. The lawsuits do not list the individuals by name, but rather by their IP addresses (originating from only four ISPs)."

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Government Spends $12 on Safe Sex and Contraceptives for Every $1 Spent on Abstinence
RadioShack signs deal with NBA: "RadioShack signed a multiyear marketing agreement to become the official consumer electronics retailer of the National Basketball Association and will sponsor a new event during the league's All-Star Game next month."

"The move continues RadioShack's marketing strategy of reaching wide audiences of males in the 18-to-49-year age group through sports advertising."

"RadioShack in 2001 became an official sponsor of Major League Baseball, in a three-year agreement that expired at the end of the 2003 season. RadioShack spokesman Charles Hodges said the company is in discussions with the league and has not yet announced whether it will extend that affiliation."
Shuttle engine test is one in a million: "It will happen today at 294 seconds into the 520-second test firing of a space shuttle main engine. The 'it' is a milestone: Second 294 will mark the 1 millionth second of shuttle engine firing. That figure includes test firings at Stennis as well as live launches from Kennedy.

"About 760,000 seconds of the 1 million, or 76 percent, has been done at Stennis, according to Boeing officials. The engine being tested today will be used on space shuttle Discovery, NASA's second mission since the return to flight."

"The space shuttle main engine is the most highly tested large rocket engine ever built. It's a reusable, staged-combustion cycle engine. Using a mixture of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the engine can attain a maximum thrust of 512,950 pounds, which is greater than 12 million horsepower."
New Recorded Interviews With Next Shuttle Crew Available: "Why do the astronauts who will return the Space Shuttle to safe flight believe human space flight is worth the risk? How has their approach to space flight changed as a result of the Columbia accident? How have they dealt with the events of the past year? These are among the questions answered by the next Space Shuttle crew, STS-114, in a series of videotaped interviews."

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Bush Refuses To Be Idle: "'Idle hands are the devil's workshop' is how I think the popular saying goes. One thing I'm increasingly convinced of is that President George W. Bush refuses to be idle. No President can please all the people all the time. No matter what policies he proposes, someone's going to feel slighted, and if they're a member of the left, you just know they'll attack.

"Real leaders reject the status quo and make the hard decisions, even if it's not necessarily popular or can damage that leader politically. Presidents must do the right thing for the country while politicians only care about being re-elected. George W. Bush apparently doesn't care about being re-elected judging from the criticism he constantly receives from the left and even some staunch conservatives."

Monday, January 19, 2004

Students to attend pro-life march: "Rally held in Washington, D.C., on Roe v. Wade anniversary."
IT industry watches Iowa: "Democratic candidates have remained relatively quiet on technology as the presidential primaries get underway this week, but the recent controversy over offshoring could provide a catalyst to raise the profile of high-tech concerns in the campaign."

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Beyond the Moon: Inside Bush's space plan: "The Bush administration's new plan for America's space program is the product of a year of difficult choices made behind the scenes, resulting in a comprehensive approach to human exploration of the solar system and a sweeping restructuring of the country's space program."

"Even without the Columbia accident investigation, more than a few complaints from members of Congress addressed the purpose of the space program. What was it for? And where should it go?"

"One thing that emerged from the year-long discussions was an intense interest in recruiting new players to explore and develop space."

"Space companies might be able to supply small communications satellites orbiting the moon, for example, keeping landing parties in touch with Earth, even if they traveled to the moon's far side. In fact, the issue of how to leverage commercial space entrepreneurs or companies—even universities—into a new attempt at moon landings was taken seriously."

"Potential private partners could contribute in various ways. A Global Positioning System or GPS satellite system in lunar orbit could guide all incoming craft to precision lunar landings. … The lunar GPS idea also could be applied to Mars exploration."

"The plan called for granting NASA an immediate—though relatively modest—budget increase, as well as an additional boost spread over several years. As Bush looked at the numbers, the others wondered if he would agree to them, given that only two other agencies—the departments of Defense and Homeland Security—were marked for increases in fiscal year 2005."

"As the discussions moved toward a final choice—the moon and then perhaps onward—Bush turned to Cheney. 'This is more than just the Moon, isn't it?' he asked. … Then the vice president spoke up: 'Then this is really about going to these other destinations, isn't it?' he asked. All agreed. One other item emerged: the president expressed a preference for inviting other nations to participate in the effort. Agreed on all the major points, Bush ended the discussion. 'Let's do it,' he said."

"In September 1962, President John F. Kennedy made a major space policy address before a crowded Rice University stadium in Houston. 'Why some say the moon?' Kennedy asked. 'Why choose this as our goal? And you may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, cross the Atlantic? We choose to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.'

"Now, 42 years later, another U.S. President would call on the nation to return to the moon. This time, the effort would not represent an endpoint for the nation in space, but a stepping stone for even more ambitious explorations to come. What remains to be seen, as 2004 begins, is whether Congress and the country will follow."

Friday, January 16, 2004

GPS-Wireless 2004 Set for March: "More than 200 mobile information professionals from the largest automobile manufacturers, wireless carriers, mobile electronics vendors, homeland defense and computer companies will meet March 4-5 for GPS-Wireless 2004 at the Marriott Hotel-San Francisco Airport."
Are You Breaking The Law?: "Are you breaking the law right now? Well, it depends on what state you live in. More importantly, it depends significantly on how you interpret the law in the first place.

"If you live in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Wyoming you may be breaking the law by having a firewall, encrypting your emails, using NAT (network address translation) or connecting to your employer's network using a VPN (virtual private network).

"Other states (Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas) have similar legislation pending."
The Fence that makes the difference Embassy of Israel Minister of Public Affairs Moshe Fox: "No other nation in the world has ever faced such an intense wave of terror, especially in the form of sucide bombings. The decision to build the security fence was taken only after other options were tried, but failed, to stop the deadly terrorist attacks. The security fence has only one purpose: to keep the terrorists out and thereby save the lives of Israel's citizens, Jews and Arabs alike."

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Senator Plans P2P Summit: "U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman plans to convene a peer-to-peer (P2P) summit within the next two months in hopes of avoiding a federally mandated response to online piracy. The Minnesota Republican said the answers to protecting copyrighted material are more likely to be found through technological innovation rather than passage of more laws."

"Tom Steward, Coleman's communications director, told, 'solutions are being developed in the private sector but not all the parties are talking with other. We want to get everyone in the same room.' Steward said Internet service providers (ISP), hardware and software executives, P2P companies, entertainment industry leaders, technology experts, privacy advocates, academics and entrepreneurs will be invited to the Washington roundtable to discuss the issue."

"'In 1998, Congress passed legislation that was intended to protect the entertainment industry and copyrights,' Coleman said last Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. 'Yet, within less than five years, the legislation was bypassed by technology. With the advent of technology such as peer-to-peer networking, law, technology and ethics are now not in synch. We need to find other ways to solve the problems rather than issuing lawsuits and lobbying Congress to pass tougher laws.'"
US Holiday Retail Sales: "Boosted by strong sales during the week after Christmas, holiday retail sales rose 5.2%, according to the National Retail Federation."
President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration Program (RV—C-SPAN;WH): "Two centuries ago, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark left St. Louis to explore the new lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. They made that journey in the spirit of discovery, to learn the potential of vast new territory, and to chart a way for others to follow.

"America has ventured forth into space for the same reasons. We have undertaken space travel because the desire to explore and understand is part of our character. And that quest has brought tangible benefits that improve our lives in countless ways. The exploration of space has led to advances in weather forecasting, in communications, in computing, search and rescue technology, robotics, and electronics. Our investment in space exploration helped to create our satellite telecommunications network and the Global Positioning System. Medical technologies that help prolong life—such as the imaging processing used in CAT scanners and MRI machines—trace their origins to technology engineered for the use in space.

"Our current programs and vehicles for exploring space have brought us far and they have served us well. The Space Shuttle has flown more than a hundred missions. It has been used to conduct important research and to increase the sum of human knowledge. Shuttle crews, and the scientists and engineers who support them, have helped to build the International Space Station.

"Telescopes—including those in space—have revealed more than 100 planets in the last decade alone. Probes have shown us stunning images of the rings of Saturn and the outer planets of our solar system. Robotic explorers have found evidence of water—a key ingredient for life—on Mars and on the moons of Jupiter. At this very hour, the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is searching for evidence of life beyond the Earth.

"Yet for all these successes, much remains for us to explore and to learn. In the past 30 years, no human being has set foot on another world, or ventured farther upward into space than 386 miles—roughly the distance from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts. America has not developed a new vehicle to advance human exploration in space in nearly a quarter century. It is time for America to take the next steps.

"Today I announce a new plan to explore space and extend a human presence across our solar system. We will begin the effort quickly, using existing programs and personnel. We'll make steady progress—one mission, one voyage, one landing at a time.

"Our first goal is to complete the International Space Station by 2010. … Our second goal is to develop and test a new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, by 2008, and to conduct the first manned mission no later than 2014. … Our third goal is to return to the moon by 2020, as the launching point for missions beyond. … With the experience and knowledge gained on the moon, we will then be ready to take the next steps of space exploration: human missions to Mars and to worlds beyond."

"Achieving these goals requires a long-term commitment. NASA's current five-year budget is $86 billion. Most of the funding we need for the new endeavors will come from reallocating $11 billion within that budget. We need some new resources, however. I will call upon Congress to increase NASA's budget by roughly a billion dollars, spread out over the next five years."

"Mankind is drawn to the heavens for the same reason we were once drawn into unknown lands and across the open sea. We choose to explore space because doing so improves our lives, and lifts our national spirit. So let us continue the journey."

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Reports of holiday growth cheer up retailers: "Shoppers kept retailers awash in more cash than expected in the crucial holiday season, as an industry tracker reported Thursday that stores had 4 percent sales growth and several major chains turned in strong December sales."
HAM Radio and Homeschooling: A Good Fit: "Over the summer I offered the class to our homeschool support group and four teens signed up. All four got their license by the end of the summer."
Verizon Wireless preps for 1xEV-DO rollout: "Verizon Wireless last week announced the mobile network operator will begin immediately to expand its BroadbandAccess service nationally. Powered by CDMA2000 1xEV-DO (Evolution Data—Data Only), BroadbandAccess commercial service averages user speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second (kbps), and is expected to be available in many major U.S. cities this summer."
Forsee Forsees Sprint’s Future During Keynote: "Emphasizing innovation and integration as the twin pillars of his business, Sprint chairman/CEO Gary Forsee, sketched his vision of Sprint's future at his keynote yesterday.

"'The consumer electronics and telecommunications industries have run on parallel tracks and have literally changed the way we live,' Forsee said."
Close-Up: The Mind of George W. Bush: "The decisions—about Iraq, about Korea, about fighting terrorism—that confront this U.S. President may turn out to be as momentous as any an American leader has faced in decades.

"What capacities does President Bush bring to his decision-making? What limitations hamper his judgment? The author, a journalist and a historian, speaks with people close to the President and probes his private life and public career.

"Bush is, he concludes, focused, quick to make decisions, persevering, a good judge of character, and yes, 'smart enough' to be an effective President. The unknown quantity is imagination—the imagination to foresee consequences, the imagination to be a wartime President."
XM Radio Plans Controversial Traffic Service: "XM Satellite Radio said on Thursday it will launch an instant traffic and weather service on March 1, prompting established U.S. radio broadcasters to denounce the move as a 'back-door attempt' to skirt regulations.

"On its Web site, XM said its new service would offer subscribers in-depth, up-to-date information about road and weather conditions in 21 major metropolitan markets plus several interstate corridors nationwide."

"'XM Satellite Radio's announcement today to provide weather and traffic reports to select major markets represents an appalling back-door attempt to bypass the Federal Communication Commission's intent to limit satellite radio to a national service only,' Fritts said."
D.C. Court of Appeals declares RIAA subpoena method illegal: "Last month a panel of three judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a ruling that had previously granted the Recording Industry Association of America permission to obtain names of suspected illegal file sharers from their Internet service providers.

"The ruling marked a victory for Verizon Communications Inc., who has spearheaded the opposition to the RIAA in the case.

"The RIAA had formerly been relying on a 'fast-track' method of issuing subpoenas. The method, which allowed clerks—rather than judges—to approve the subpoenas, was permitted by the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act."
Is a URL the same as a hyperlink in law?: "Two US web sites are testing the limits of a law intended to create a safe internet area for children by setting standards for web sites with names ending, including a prohibition on hyperlinks to third party sites. What if a third party URL is not an active link?

"While in no way suggesting that the sites are linking to inappropriate material, the use of text addresses—which a child can simply copy and paste to the address bar of the browser—raises an interesting question on how to interpret the wording of the US Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002."

"However, as first reported by Links & Law—a legal blog (sometimes called a 'blawg') that reports on deep linking issues—of the six sites currently registered with, three do not mention links at all, one indicates that there is a relevant web site where appropriate, while two provide the URL (Uniform Resource Locator), or web address, for suggested sites. No operational links are provided.

The sites concerned, and, refer to innocent third party sites, but the question remains: does providing URLs on a site breach the spirit, if not the word, of the Act?"

"John MacKenzie, an IT lawyer with international law firm Masons said: 'The US courts are unlikely to be impressed with technical arguments about the difference between a hyperlink and a URL. The intention of the Act was clearly to provide a safe haven. A judge will likely consider that a signpost to a place of danger is as unacceptable as a means of getting there.'"

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Walkie-talkies popular on Tahoe slopes: "The two snowboarders who became lost near Heavenly Valley before Christmas who later were found with the aid of a walkie-talkie might owe their lives to the Family Radio Service. That possibility, and the headlines about it, seem to have spurred demand for the pocket-sized communicators.

"'People are really showing an interest,' Matt Kahler, a clerk at a Sparks Radio Shack store, said recently. Not just skiers, but motorcyclists, hikers and others have taken to the inexpensive devices. They’re being seen on the job, where they allow unlimited, no-cost short-range communication without the problems or fees of cell phones.

"FRS is even becoming common among shoppers, allowing families seeking the best deal on recliners or the perfect blue sweater to pillage a mall in a fraction of the time it would take using the conventional 'meet at the fountain in 45 minutes' technique."
Using a cellphone to monitor coronary disease: "Someday we may not only be using our cellular telephones to communicate with our friends and to keep updated on breaking news—but we may be counting on them to keep us healthy as well.

"Israeli company Biolapis has developed a new device for monitoring coronary disease, and is in advanced negotiations with Samsung to integrate the device into a future generation of cellphones. In early December, a delegation from the South Korean technology giant came to Israel to observe the device in use in clinical trials."
Is 'next year' finally here for wireless technology?: "Mike McCamon is clearly frustrated, but he's doing well at holding it together. He is Mr. Bluetooth. That's Bluetooth, the wireless technology. You might have heard of it—the cable-replacement miracle that was supposed to clear the clutter around your personal computer, banish the annoying wire from your cellphone headset and 'cure the common cold,' as McCamon wryly put it.

"McCamon is executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, an outfit based in Kansas whose mission is to perfect and promote the technical standard. He is wise not to make promises. Like most everything else technology-related, Bluetooth got over-hyped during the late '90s. Bluetooth boosters from companies long bankrupt kept promising it would be everywhere 'next year.'"

"Some forces still are holding back Bluetooth, particularly in the United States. Verizon Wireless and SprintPCS, the two major carriers whose cellular networks are based on CDMA wireless technology, largely have shunned Bluetooth. Rivals Cingular Wireless, AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile USA have embraced it."

"Verizon and Sprint, whose cellphone also is based on CDMA technology, are both likely to start feeling more pressure to include a Bluetooth handset in their phone lineups. Up to this point, both companies have seemed to regard Bluetooth as a competitor to the PC cards it markets for bringing Internet access to laptops—and neither company has suggested that its view is changing.

"'The Trojan horse that's going to solve the problem is the car industry,' McCamon said. He says he has heard from frustrated owners of Bluetooth-equipped cars who have Verizon and Sprint service and wonder why those carriers don't have phones that can talk to the car. He enjoys directing those customers to vent their frustration to Verizon and Sprint."
RIM launches speakerphone BlackBerry with Nextel: "Research In Motion Ltd. said on Tuesday it will offer the first version of its BlackBerry wireless e-mail device to have a speakerphone through U.S. mobile phone firm Nextel Communications Inc. Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM said its new BlackBerry 7510 also features a color screen and mobile phone, which have been included in previous models. The 7510 is available immediately.

"RIM and Nextel, the No. 5 U.S. wireless telephone company, teamed up in December 2002, to offer the first version of the BlackBerry to include a 'walkie-talkie' feature, also included with the 7510."

It will be interesting to see what two significant business-to-business companies combine to produce!
'DVD Jon' scores huge legal victory: "A Norwegian teenager who helped crack a code meant to protect the content of DVDs won full backing from an Oslo court on Tuesday. The court acquitted him on all charges, a ruling that comes as a crushing blow to public prosecutors and entertainment giants."

Saturday, January 3, 2004

Group helps homosexually inclined to live the teachings of the Church: "No matter the trouble that some priests have caused in recent years, the teaching of the Cathoic Church toward homosexuality is unabiguous. There is a growing but still little known group, called Courage, that tries to help the homosexually inclined to live chaste lives in accord with the infallible teaching of the Church. We report on them today."
Defining 2.5G and 3G Networks—Has Wi-Fi stolen the 3G show?: "For as much hype as there has been around the deployment of third-generation—or 3G—wireless networks, the move has had many holding their breath. However, with the transitional 2.5G networks largely rolled out, the first pieces of the 3G puzzle are now being put in place."

"In North America there are now two distinct wireless camps, says William Clark, research director in mobile and wireless at Stamford, CT-based technology advisory firm, Gartner, Inc. On one hand is the GSM path favored by Europe and Asia, not to mention AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, and not surprisingly, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile."

"The other path sees second-generation networks evolve to a bulky list of abbreviations that are often intermingled. This family of next-generation CDMA-based technologies is collectively referred to as CDMA2000, though this does not describe one technology per se; the first step in the CDMA evolution comes in the form of CDMA2000 1xRTT, sometimes referred to as CDMA2000 1x, CDMA 1x, CDMA 1xRTT, or similar combinations thereof. … CDMA 1xRTT is the chosen path of Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless, which have largely covered their networks."

"The most noticeable difference between CDMA 1xRTT and GPRS is in data speed. GPRS achieves actual throughput speeds of about 20-40Kbps while CDMA 1xRTT offers speeds double this range."

"The major carriers are nearing completion of their 2.5G networks if they have not already completed them. Of course, as is the way with such things, as soon as one phase is completed, it's on to the next. Verizon Wireless has thrown its hat in the ring with its commercial deployment of third-generation EV-DO service in San Diego and Washington, DC, this past fall.

"Sprint PCS, Verizon Wireless's main companion in pursuing a CDMA-based 3G network, plans to bypass the EV-DO step and move straight to EV-DV with peak speeds anticipated to be near 3Mbps. Therefore, Sprint PCS will be utilizing their current CDMA 1xRTT network until the beginning of 2006 when the company will start commercial deployment of the EV-DV network."

"The deployment of 3G networks also coincides with the installation of 802.11-based Wi-Fi networks that provide speeds of up to 11Mbps (with 802.11b) or 54Mbps (with 802.11a and 802.11g). The big carriers are investing in and setting up Wi-Fi networks, but there is a broader market question as to whether these more localized networks with broadband speeds will make 3G obsolete before it even takes off."

"Clark says that, in addition to Wi-Fi, metropolitan wireless area networks are 'a dark horse in this whole race.' These companies—including IPWireless, Inc., and Flarion Technologies—provide data-only networks that may offer a workable solution for localities not covered by the traditional carriers."
RIM founder credits his teachers: "Mike Lazaridis is an inventor and multimillionaire who has won Academy and Emmy awards. He has been described as a high-tech pioneer in the mold of Bill Gates, an entrepreneurial genius with a passion for science and research."

"Lazaridis is founder and co-chief executive of Research in Motion, one of the world's leading wireless-communications technology firms. He is considered one of Canada's greatest innovators, which has also made him one of the country's richest men. In August, Canadian Business Magazine estimated his personal wealth at more than $300 million.

"And while he was born in Istanbul and now lives in Waterloo, Ont., Lazaridis credits his success to his formative years in Windsor. 'The teachers I had in Windsor molded me,' said Lazaridis, 42. 'If it wasn't for them ... I don't know if I would have ended up where I am today.'

"He's the brains behind the BlackBerry, a handheld gizmo RIM introduced in 1999. … By late 2003, an estimated 865,000 of the devices were sold worldwide, with some analysts predicting the BlackBerry is on the brink of becoming a global phenomenon. The company says it is on track for one million subscribers within the next year.

"For those who remember Lazaridis as a Windsor schoolboy, the BlackBerry is the logical extension of the complicated contraptions he has been constructing since childhood, beginning with a Lego record player he put together at age 4 and a ham radio set he built a year later."
File Sharers: Don't Crow Yet: "As a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., points out, technology races so far ahead of judges and legislators that it's hard to know when using software, hardware and digital networks to copy intellectual property is, or should be, a crime.

"The decision last month—barring record companies from forcing Internet service providers to reveal the names of alleged music swappers—was, on its face, a victory for consumer privacy rights."

"Before the ruling, the RIAA simply had to request a subpoena from any U.S. district court clerk's office. Now, it must prove to a judge that it has sufficient evidence before naming any individual in a lawsuit and obtaining a subpoena. The judges drew useful distinctions between legitimate and excessive legal actions to defend property. The court, in effect, said the situation was analogous to letting a retailer safeguard its clothes with electronic tags and door guards but forbidding it to sneak into houses to find blouses without receipts."

The judges mostly punted the gnarly issue to Congress, holding, "It is not the province of the courts … to rewrite [copyright law] in order to make it fit a new and unforeseen Internet architecture, no matter how damaging that development has been to the music industry."

"When work began on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which laid the legal foundation for fighting digital piracy, lawmakers had no idea that file-sharing, MP3 players and other digital innovations would be so popular. The act, thus, has little useful to say about what sort of copying constitutes fair use.

"That's why Congress should stop digging its head into the silicon and confront an issue it hasn't for years. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) should make good on his recent promise to herd the unruliest industry folks around a table and compel them to develop ways to take advantage of—rather than just try to halt—technology."

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