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Intel's Tiny Hope for the Future

Wired Magazine's December issue has an article about Intel's interest in wireless sensor networks, an important aspect of ubiquitous computing in the wireless future. Intel sees an economic snowball effect as wireless sensors are deployed: more silicon for sensors, more high-end PCs to process sensor data. [Link]

The company now foresees networks consisting of thousands of motes, located wherever there's a need for data collection, streaming real-time data to one another and to central servers. Intel imagines the day when every assembly line, soybean field, and nursing home on the planet will be peppered with motes, prodding factory foremen to replace faulty machines, farmers to water fields, and nurses to check on something unusual in room E214.


Security and its discontents

Vipi Jain, inventor of the 802.1x authentication protocol, talks about WiFi security at C-Net. [Link]

You have to break up the application of security between the consumer and the enterprise users. The consumer is not as concerned with security as the IT manager is. You will see 802.1x really used in all the enterprise environments horizontally for your generic IT infrastructure as well as in verticals.

For consumers, simple encryption is probably good enough because they aren't trying to protect a $5 million business or intellectual property worth $5 billion. However, there are cases where you have a consumer who also happens to be an enterprise user. If someone can piggyback through that channel, then you are in trouble.


Austin's economy trying to find balance after tech boom

Good article in the San Antonio Express-News about the state and future of Austin's economy, with reference to the various regional economic development initiatives, including wireless. The article also notes the potential for Austin and San Antonio to leverage each city's strengths in building a substantial regional economic base. [Link]

The city is rich in venture capital to help fuel young companies, said Alexander Cavalli, deputy director of the IC2 Institute, a research and development incubator at the University of Texas at Austin.

"Creating a new venture like a Dell or National Instruments is where the new wealth is created and the new industries created," Cavalli said.

In these new efforts, Austin also wants to foster greater regional cooperation, Cavalli said.

"We're about 30 to 50 years behind Silicon Valley in developing as a regional economy," Cavalli said. "There is a movement to approach economic development regionally. It's clearly seen that the mutual benefits of doing that are better than doing it alone."

Incubator brings on COO - 2003-11-17 - Austin Business Journal

The Austin Technology Incubator has hired high tech entrepreneur Erin Defosse to run day-to-day operations of the organization and to eventually form a wireless technology incubator. [Link to the Austin Business Journal article - requires registration.]


FCC expands frequencies for wireless Internet

The FCC has opened additional spectrum for unlicensed use by wireless devices. The additional available spectrum for U-NII devices will enable continued growth and innovation in wireless broadband services, including services offered by wireless internet service providers (WISPs). The new frequencies are in the 5 gigahertz range. Harold Feld of the Media Access Project noted that the frequencies are too high for some uses, and called for the FCC to open up lower frequency bands for unlicensed use. THe current change will boost available WiFi spectrum by 80 percent. [Link] [Discuss]


The Killer App For Wireless? Still Voice

This October 27 article by Michael Singer says that data services for wireless phones aren't adding significant value for most consumers – "the majority only want to use a mobile phone to call someone." (It may be more apt to say that the voice is the killer app for the phone). Singer notes Jupiter's advice to wireless providers to create single-purpose devices that can be used standalone or as components of a convergent system, rather than building more complex cellphones that include functions that most users don't need or want. [Link] [Discuss]

Austin American-Statesman on Free Wireless

Austin Wireless City hotspot launch at Book People

Photo of the Austin Wireless City launch of a hotspot at Book People

The Austin American-Statesman published a front-page story today on the proliferation of WiFi hotspots in Austin. The Tech Monday section also has a map of 51 local hotspots. The article focuses on the Austin Wireless City project. Discuss

"It's all about connectivity and getting people to communicate with each other," says Rich MacKinnon, a 39-year-old software entrepreneur who is spearheading the Wireless City effort. " 'Community' is an overused term, but this is creating a wireless community."