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Deflating The Wireless Bubble

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Deflating The Wireless Bubble
2. Today's Top Story
    - Review: Apple's Boot Camp Lets Macs Do Windows
    - Vista Runs On OS X-Free Macs
3. Breaking News
    - Red Hat Buying JBoss
    - San Fran Wi-Fi To Put Google's Ad Strategy To The Test
    - Google's Wi-Fi Plan For San Francisco Stirs Privacy Debate
    - Gartner: Half Of Corporate PCs Can't Run Vista
    - Court Records Reveal Adware Firm's Hardball Tactics
    - Sun Lays Off 200 From High-End Server Group
    - Rapport Unveils Chip With 256 Cores
    - Careers: Confronting Reality About IT Jobs
    - Boise Cascade Turns Customer Data Into A Valuable Asset
    - Five Questions For Johnathan Wendel, Professional Gamer
4. Grab Bag
    - A Laptop Comes Preloaded With The Web, Abridged (New York Times)
    - Proposed FEC Rules Would Exempt Most Political Activity On Internet (Washington Post)
    - Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room (Wired News)
5. In Depth
    - Research Revolution
    - Microsoft's Support Of Linux Shows Rising Importance Of Virtualization
    - Bursting The Hype Bubble Of Wireless Technologies
    - Nothing's Easy About Mobile App Development
    - Dual-Mode Handsets Require Wi-Fi Investments
    - Wi-Fi For Tracking Is Pricey And Imperfect
    - Municipal Wi-Fi Faces Multiple Tests
    - Ultra Wideband Plagued By Vendor Infighting
    - Don't Count On Your Cell Phone To Replace Your Wallet
    - WiMax Won't Be Everywhere Anytime Soon
    - The Sound Of Podcasts
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Down To Business: The Outsourcing Chronicles, Part II
7. White Papers
    - Synchronize Your Supply Chain With RFID
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Time-traveling is just too dangerous. Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!" -- Doc Brown, in Back to the Future, Part II


1. Editor's Note: Deflating The Wireless Bubble

Mobile and wireless computing are among the most hyped technologies available. My colleagues Elena Malykhina and Andy Dornan do a great job today describing both the potential and the problems of wireless and mobile computing, including the following:

- Enterprises looking to deploy applications to mobile devices find the job challenging. Applications designed for use with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor don't adapt well to cell phones and PDAs. One solution: Just put the essential parts of the application on the mobile version.

- Ultra Wideband shows promise as a standard wireless technology to replace the tangle of cords on the desktop currently used to connect CPUs with monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, and other peripherals. Everything's perfect except for the vendors, which are more interested in yet another stupid standards war than in getting products out to the user.

- Likewise, cell phone service providers are proving to be roadblocks in getting great new features like Bluetooth telephony, electronic payments, and digital music out to customers. The service providers, such as AT&T and BellSouth, are the real customers of the handsets made by hardware vendors like Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola. And the service providers are only interested in features that require users to spend more time on the network.

There's lots more, so read the whole package for those stories and more about WiMax, Wi-Fi tracking, municipal Wi-Fi, and dual-mode Voice over Wi-Fi telephony.

Disruptive technologies like wireless computing go hand-in-hand with hype. It's a frustrating, depressing cycle, actually: Vendors make outrageously inflated claims about technology, which are repeated dutifully by overly credulous journalists and analysts.

Next comes the bust cycle, when the journalists and analysts go too far in the other direction, declaring new technology to be a fraud, a scam, or phony, believed only by suckers and used only by child molesters, terrorists, drug dealers, and people who talk on their cell phones in the theater.

I'm proud to be associated with InformationWeek this week because of that mobile computing package and several other articles that look candidly at the benefits and pitfalls of several emerging disruptive technologies and business practices, including virtualization, podcasting, and innovation itself.

We're informative and analytical, without falling into either excessive hype or excessive cynicism. You'll come away from these articles enthusiastic about the potential benefits, knowing it'll be a big job to achieve those benefits, but ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

P.S. When I say "we" did these things, what I actually mean is that other people did all the work, and I'm just coming in at the last minute and sharing in the credit.

P.P.S. Also, when I say "roll up your sleeves and get to work," I do not exclude those of you who are wearing short-sleeved shirts.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Review: Apple's Boot Camp Lets Macs Do Windows
The beta version of Apple's dual-boot enabler allows Intel-based Macs to speak Microsoft's language for the first time. But how well does it work?

Vista Runs On OS X-Free Macs
Mac owners have figured out how to install and boot a pre-release version of Windows Vista on their Intel-based machines, a Web site claimed Sunday.


3. Breaking News

Red Hat Buying JBoss
Acquisition of the open-source application server vendor comes after JBoss and Oracle were unable to reach a deal.

San Fran Wi-Fi To Put Google's Ad Strategy To The Test
Google will serve up ads to Wi-Fi users depending on their location and the Internet searches they conduct. Don't be surprised if Google's experiment becomes a model for deals with carriers in other cities.

Google's Wi-Fi Plan For San Francisco Stirs Privacy Debate
Privacy advocates have raised concerns over Google's proposal for "free" Wi-Fi service in San Francisco, which would target users with advertising based on their location.

Gartner: Half Of Corporate PCs Can't Run Vista
If you want to get Windows Vista when it comes out, you probably should be thinking about new hardware, according to the research firm. It estimates that about half of corporate PCs aren't powerful enough to run the forthcoming operating system.

Court Records Reveal Adware Firm's Hardball Tactics
Blatant E-mails and aggressive tactics laid out in the New York Attorney General's lawsuit surprised even longtime adware and spyware researchers.

Sun Lays Off 200 From High-End Server Group
The layoffs represent about a 7% staff reduction for the scalable systems group, the division that produces products based on Sun's high-end Sparc CPU.

Rapport Unveils Chip With 256 Cores
The startup promises low-powered chips with more than 1,000 processing cores in 2007.

Careers: Confronting Reality About IT Jobs
Larry Bossidy's advice for making hard choices in business works for people looking at their careers

Boise Cascade Turns Customer Data Into A Valuable Asset
The paper and wood products company implements an open-source document management system for managing customer information.

Five Questions For Johnathan Wendel, Professional Gamer
Wendel quit his job and took time off from school in 1999 to become a full-time pro video gamer. The 25-year-old is a world champion at five games and holds 12 world titles. Just call him "Fatal1ty."

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'TV Or Not TV?'
Disney offers TV shows over the Internet, Google looks for IPTV engineers, and SOA gets set to drive the enterprise software market.

Eric Chabrow With 'Dell Understands'
Watch excerpts from Larry Bossidy's keynote at the InformationWeek Spring Conference. Also, a former Honeywell CEO explains why he thinks Dell is a great company.

Laurie Sullivan With 'Fix The Internet!'
In a speech to entertainment executives, Gibson Guitar CEO says the Internet has to clean up its act--phishing, spam, viruses, and worms have too big of an impact on security.


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-----------------------------------------


4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

A Laptop Comes Preloaded With The Web, Abridged (New York Times)
Webaroo plans to introduce laptops furnished with 40 gigabytes of data that represent a compressed snapshot of the Internet.

Proposed FEC Rules Would Exempt Most Political Activity On Internet (Washington Post)
The Federal Election Commission last night released proposed new rules that leave almost all Internet political activity unregulated except for the purchase of campaign ads on Web sites.

Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room (Wired News)
AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls and shunted its customers' Internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.


5. In Depth: Innovation

Research Revolution
A handful of hotshots at Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft are changing how tech innovation is incubated--and delivered.

Microsoft's Support Of Linux Shows Rising Importance Of Virtualization
Its hand may have been forced. Competitors are moving fast as Microsoft's offerings are delayed.

Bursting The Hype Bubble Of Wireless Technologies
Heard about the cell phone that can buy a Coke, do your taxes, and wash your car? Here's what to believe and what to suspect in the hottest wireless trends.

Nothing's Easy About Mobile App Development
There's much more to porting software to a mobile device than simply shrinking a PC application. And IT support gets tricky when employees use mobile devices of their choosing.

Dual-Mode Handsets Require Wi-Fi Investments
The combo of Voice over Wi-Fi and dual-mode handsets reduce reliance on cellular networks, but many businesses may not see enough payback to build out the infrastructure.

Wi-Fi For Tracking Is Pricey And Imperfect
Sure, you can use Wi-Fi for tracking things and people, similar to how RFID is used. But Wi-Fi tags cost $50 a pop.

Municipal Wi-Fi Faces Multiple Tests
Free or cheap Wi-Fi can narrow the digital divide between rich and poor...unless you live on the third floor or higher of a building.

Ultra Wideband Plagued By Vendor Infighting
Personal area networking could free your office of cables, but a war over standards threatens its adoption.

Don't Count On Your Cell Phone To Replace Your Wallet
Wireless carriers drive the cell phone market, and they see more powerful devices as a threat to service revenue.

WiMax Won't Be Everywhere Anytime Soon
A community wireless hotspot is a nice idea, but it won't be applicable in the United States for at least a few more years.

The Sound Of Podcasts
Inexpensive, easy technology lets smaller companies get out their messages.


6. Voice Of Authority

Down To Business: The Outsourcing Chronicles, Part II
Companies can save a quick buck by handing over certain IT operations to third parties. But take a good look before you leap, says Rob Preston.


7. White Papers

Synchronize Your Supply Chain With RFID
Driving efficiencies throughout your supply chain and increasing the velocity of items through the supply chain from creation to consumer is more than a business mandate today; it's a matter of business survival. If your North American company doesn't do it, your competition will. Brought to you by Datex Corporation and Symbol Technologies.


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