News & Commentary
Content tagged with Infrastructure posted in November 2006
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Merger Of Lucent And Alcatel Is Complete
News  |  11/30/2006  | 
The total employee head count is 79,000, with about 23,000 of them working in R&D. Bell Labs will remain headquartered in New Jersey.
Lovin' An Elevator -- Or Not
Commentary  |  11/30/2006  | 
New elevators in skyscrapers with multiple banks of lifts don't have buttons inside them -- instead, you punch in your destination while you're calling the elevator, and the controlling computer directs people to cars that are going to floors that are close to each other.

Future Tech
Commentary  |  11/30/2006  | 
First, a confession: Like a lot of tech enthusiasts, I'm a long-time science fiction reader (and a sometime science fiction writer), and so articles that describe new inventions, technical gadgets, or future possibilities always catch my attention.
If An IT Manager Finds Kiddie Porn On The Company President's Computer, Should He Call The Cops?
Commentary  |  11/29/2006  | 
That's a question posed to the New York Times's "The Ethicist" column. The columnist, Randy Cohen, has a completely insane response: The IT manager should remain silent.

The questioner writes: "I am an Internet technician. While installing software on my company's computer network, I happened on a lot of pornographic pictures in the president's personal directory, including some of yo
3Com Stock Down After Huawei Deal
News  |  11/29/2006  | 
3Com agreed to pay $882 million for Huawei's 49% stake in Huawei-3Com.
Ancient Computer Reveals Unexepected Technical Sophistication
Commentary  |  11/29/2006  | 
The Antikythera Mechanism -- a device from ancient Greece dated between 150-100 B.C.E. -- has been examined with modern imaging technology and, according to researchers, the device shows "an unexpected degree of technical sophistication for the period."
TechCrunch Has The Perfect Headline -- "Presto: Because Computers Scare Old People"
Commentary  |  11/29/2006  | 
TechCrunch looks at the Presto, a printer with an Internet connection designed so that computer-phobic people can get access to e-mail and Internet photo-sharing. The target market, notes TechCrunch: Old people the elderly senior citizens (Note to editor: I'm stumped. I can't think of an inoffensive phrase here. Sorry.)

Best Comments From The IW Blog Community
Commentary  |  11/29/2006  | 
Our community participants speak out on the World of Warcraft French connection, Microsoft's litigation threats against Linux users, Apple's possible tablet PC, and employees Web surfing on company time.

Gingrich: Government Needs To Limit Free Speech
Commentary  |  11/29/2006  | 
WCSH6 in Portland, Maine: "Gingrich Says Government May Have To Limit Speech In Terror War: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used a New Hampshire event dedicated to freedom of speech to say the United States will have to re-examine that constitutional right as it fights terrorism." He reportedly singled out the Internet as a channel that needs "a different set of rules."

This story has been making the rounds of the Int
Tabblo A Blow To iPhoto
News  |  11/28/2006  | 
The company releases a browser-based book editor that offers the ability to collaboratively assemble and print photo books online.
Most Chinese Hackers Seek Passwords
News  |  11/28/2006  | 
More than half of the malware coming out of China aims to steal passwords, and nearly half of those attempts targeted online gaming login information during October.
Nokia, Ericsson Picked By T-Mobile To Upgrade Its Cellular Network
News  |  11/28/2006  | 
T-Mobile is stuck in fourth place in U.S. cellular subscriber numbers, but has been posting impressive growth numbers.
Or You Could Just Spend $100 For A Chair At Office Depot -- With Authentic Vinyl Upholstery
Commentary  |  11/28/2006  | 
Here's what I'm going to get for myself when I'm a gazillionaire -- this Stokke Gravity Balancing Chair. It sits up like a desk chair or reclines aaaaaaaaalllllllllll the way back, like a, uh, recliner. The price: A cool $2,300.
Best Comments From The IW Blog Community: Microsoft's Big Announcement, Using The Internet For Personal Reasons At Work, And More
Commentary  |  11/27/2006  | 
Participants in our Weblog community spoke out on Microsoft's big announcement, the reproduction Altair 8800 kit, using the Internet for personal reasons at work, and foreign workers vs. Americans.

Wireless 'Push' E-Mail Offered To Not-So-Smart Cell Phones
News  |  11/27/2006  | 
Seven Networks and Alltel Wireless extend wireless push e-mail to cell phones that use Brew, an application development platform developed by Qualcomm for enhanced cell phone services.
GPS Devices Won't Kill Paper Maps, Mapmaker Says
News  |  11/27/2006  | 
One reason paper maps remain in high demand is their capability to provide a higher level of accuracy than GPS devices, says Marc Jennings, president of mapmaker Langenscheidt Publishing Group.
Get Ready To Party Like It's 1975
Commentary  |  11/27/2006  | 
Altair 8800Hobbyist Grant Stockly is selling reproductions of the Altair 8800 assembly kit. The 8800 was a pioneering personal computer, which users put together for themselves from a kit. Stockly's reproduction includes original and new components. "Every part required to complete the kit is included except the power co
Cordless Skype Phone Cuts Ties To PC
News  |  11/27/2006  | 
The Dualphone 3088 lets users plug a broadband and a landline connection into the phone's base station, giving them the option of using either mode to make calls.
The 'Obvious' Importance Of Tuesday's Supreme Court Case
Commentary  |  11/27/2006  | 
How big a deal is Tuesday's U.S. Supreme Court case, which will explore the "obviousness" test for issuing patents? Consider this observation from an Associate Press article on the Washington Post: That 85 percent to 90 percent of the patent office's work focuses on determining obviousness.
DMCA Exemptions Leave Most Consumers Out In The Cold
Commentary  |  11/27/2006  | 
Late last Wednesday, while the rest of us were out shopping for last-minute Thanksgiving essentials, the U.S. Copyright Office let fly with a list of exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The exemptions provide much-needed relief for libraries, the disabled, researchers, and price-conscious cell phone users, but they are framed in excessively narrow terms, and they don't address the chief problems that the DMCA creates for most consumers.

Your Tax Dollars At Work
Commentary  |  11/27/2006  | 
The developer of a new computer wargame developed by the U.S. Army says he was required to dumb down the enemy forces. "A new video game commissioned by the U.S. Army as a recruiting tool portrays the nation's military in 2015 as an invulnerable high-tech machine," said Wired News..

Gamers on Battlefront.com give the title good reviews, but complain about the game being paid for with their tax
Cracks In The DMCA's Facade
Commentary  |  11/24/2006  | 
Foretelling the future is a tricky business. For instance, last week I wrote here that I wanted the new Democratic Congress to repeal the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (otherwise known as the DMCA). I must have seen something coming, but I didn't get it quite right, because Wednesday the Librari
E-Mail And IM Service For Low-Cost Cell Phones To Begin On Thanksgiving
News  |  11/22/2006  | 
The service stores messages on servers, enabling users to access them from their PCs later, but it won't operate with Verizon Wireless or Nextel handsets and users can't download attachments to their phones.
Palm Opens Orders for New Treo 680
News  |  11/22/2006  | 
The phone has twice the memory, weighs less, and is thinner than the popular Treo 650 model it replaces.
Nortel And Redline To Build Telecom Infrastructure In Iraq
News  |  11/22/2006  | 
The two Canadian companies got contracts to build a nationwide optical backbone and to deploy a WiMax network.
Symantec Debuts Norton 360 Beta
News  |  11/22/2006  | 
The service provides antivirus and anti-spyware protection, anti-fraud features, automated backup and restore, and computer tune-up tools, and is designed to run more or less unattended when the PC is idle.
Best Comments From The IW Blog Community: Immigration, Microsoft Vs. Linux, And More
Commentary  |  11/22/2006  | 
Our blog participants tackle whether immigration laws need to be reformed to keep good tech workers in the U.S., defend challenge-response systems as a way of fighting spam, criticize Microsoft's veiled legal threats against Linux users, and more. Read on for samples of the best recent comments on our blog posts:

Report: Now Lagging, IP Phone Sales Poised For Takeoff
News  |  11/21/2006  | 
Annual IP phone shipments will grow from 10 million units in 2006 to 164 million units in 2010.
Akamai To Acquire Nine Systems To Boost Its Rich Media Offerings
News  |  11/21/2006  | 
The deal, valued at nearly $160 million, will beef-up Akamai's ability to publish video, audio, and other rich media to the Web.
Kurzweil: Computers Will Enable People To Live Forever
News  |  11/21/2006  | 
The inventor, author, and futurist predicts that in 15 to 30 years, nanobots will roam our blood streams fixing diseased or aging organs, computers will back up our human memories, and conference calls will be replaced by meetings in virtual resorts.
Make Your Own Nifty iPod Case
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
This is neat -- use a hollowed-out hardcover book as an iPod case.. But first you'll need to know how to hollow out a book to put a secret chamber in it..

For added niftyness:
Alcatel And Lucent To Officially Merge Nov. 30
News  |  11/20/2006  | 
The merger was approved by President Bush and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and the House Armed Services Committee reviewed its national security implications.
Tech Industry Urges Congress To Pass Immigration, Other Reforms Before Adjournment
News  |  11/20/2006  | 
The Information Technology Association of America says lawmakers in the 109th Congress need to act on a number of issues the group says are critical to the United States' global competitiveness.
You May Think Your Zune Is As Good As An iPod, But Can It Save You From Being Mauled By Bears?
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
A first-time mushroom hunter was saved after being lost in the woods when rescuers spotted the light of his glowing iPod, which he was using as a makeshift flashlight. (Via Wired Blogs)

Chatroom Addiction? Huh?
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
A former employee is suing IBM, which fired him after they caught him going into a chatroom. He says he's addicted to chatrooms, and IBM should have offered him counseling. He says it's a form of self-medication he uses because of his Vietnam-induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He says IBM offers counseling for people with worse problems, such as alcoholism and drug addiction.

Read the article
Former VP Of Technology Charged With Hacking Corporate Network
News  |  11/20/2006  | 
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, an IT pro allegedly hacked into his former employer's network, read confidential e-mail about upcoming layoffs, and then alerted employees that they might be let go.
AT&T-BellSouth Merger Inches Forward With Appointment Of FCC Chairman
News  |  11/20/2006  | 
AT&T senior VP Chris Rooney expressed confidence over the weekend that the acquisition would be consummated without the firms having to give up additional concessions.
TiVo And Universal Advance The Copyright Conflicts
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
There's been a lot of action recently in the ongoing copyright conflicts over distributing music, movies, and TV shows online. But the two most interesting developments have to do with TiVo introducing a new feature that amounts to hanging a "SUE ME" sign on their backs, and, separately, Universal finding an innovative, and possibly groundbreaking, legal strategy in its copyright lawsuit against MySpace.
Are Song Parodies Fair Use?
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
Universal Music seems intent upon seeing how far it can push back fair use of copy righted materials on the Web. According to TechDirt, Universal is sending cease and desist letters to sites hosting a parody of U2's "One." The cover in question features a Bank of America employee singing about the company's recent merger throug
Even With Microsoft And Google On Board, City Wi-Fi Projects Have A Lot To Prove
News  |  11/17/2006  | 
More than 300 cities have or plan to have Wi-Fi networks. But the business models and even the technology still are being ironed out.
GE VoIP Phone In The Works
News  |  11/17/2006  | 
Equipment maker Thomson plans to offer a General Electric-branded VoIP phone and work with service provider SunRockets, which sells residential Internet phone service for a flat rate of $200 a year.
Down To Business: Can The Worthless Regs
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Some are way too broad. Others have outlived their usefulness. We should be as rigorous in evaluating and retiring IT regulations as we are (or should be) with our IT systems.
Fleck Lets Users Annotate Web Pages
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Fleck lets users add notes to Web pages, viewable by other Fleck users. Unlike other Web-annotation services, it doesn't require you to download and install anything on your PC or in your browser.

TechCrunch writes:

This is a relatively crowded space, the two services I'm most familiar with for collaborative annotation are
Report: Manufacturer Of Apple Products Issued Order To Build The "iPhone"
News  |  11/17/2006  | 
The Commercial Times newspaper in Taiwan reports that Apple has placed an order for 12 million "iPhones" with its longtime manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.
A Nintendo Wii Review That Will Make You Say, "Aaaaaawwwwww."
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder has a sweet review of the Nintendo Wii:
Nintendo sent me a Wii last week. I'm not a big gamer, but I like playing the Gamecube and DS with my nine-year-old daughter, even though she always beats me. (I don't own a Playstation or XBox, and haven't really used either). Nintendo g
Calcanis Leaving AOL
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Blogger-entrepreneur Jason Calacanis left AOL after chief executive Jonathan Miller was replaced.

Mr. Calacanis sold his company, Weblogs Inc., a network of blogs, to AOL last year and continued to run it from offices in Santa Monica, Calif. This year he took over Netscape.com, transforming it from a Web portal into a
Avaya Announces Unified Communications Line; Buys Traverse
News  |  11/17/2006  | 
The enterprise telephony company wants to extend unified communications to more devices, simplify management, interoperate with more clients, and bring more multimedia and call management to desktops and phones.
Purdue Researchers Pioneer Streaming Huge Internet Video
News  |  11/16/2006  | 
The video, nicknamed "HugeTube" could be the biggest uncompressed video stream ever over the Internet. It shows the cell structure of a bacterium.
A Couple of Zune Corrections
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
"Write in Haste, Correct at Leisure" is my motto. So here are a couple of leisurely notes on my very hasty first look at the Microsoft Zune media player that appeared yesterday.
Tech Toys For The Holidays
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
When was it that you were hit with your first Christmas commercial this year? For me, it was sometime right after Halloween, when I was watching a local TV station and was suddenly confronted with that overweight guy in a red suit who was urging me to think about what I wanted to get my friends this year.
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