27th > February > 2003 Archive
HP is looking to grow its share in the networking market by reducing the complexity associated with network rollouts.
Greenpeace has heralded the decision of a French court to lift an injunction against an Esso protest site as an "important victory for free speech on the Internet".
Fancy a free supercomputer? If you come up with a good enough project to use it on, NEC will lend you an eight gigaflop SX-6i vector computer worth €120,000 (£80,000) to try out for three months.
Two conflicting reports on Nintendo's market status and future prospects have been released today, with research firms Strategy Analytics and DFC Intelligence almost entirely at odds over where the Japanese giant stands.
Supermicro is tipping its toes into the Itanium 2 market, with some dual processor mobos for the OEM market. They'll be out in volume in the summer, presumably to coincide with Madison.
divine inc filed a petition to reorganise under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy rules on Tuesday. Coincidentally (or not) it cancelled plans to make its fourth quarter and end-of-year 2002 statement, which was due on the same day. No doubt it would have been covered in red ink.
South Africa is to scrap excise duty on imported PCs, which should result in a five per cent reduction in retail prices.
A Kazakhstan man was yesterday found guilty of trying to extort $200,000 from Michael Bloomberg, founder of the Bloomberg financial news service, by a New York jury yesterday.
Virgin.net is trying to expand its customer base by distributing its registration CDs in posts offices across the UK.
Reports are coming in from British users of Paypal who are pointing to its astonishing exchange rate today - ¢£1 for 97¢.
Tiscali UK is offering punters the chance to make discounted international phone calls.
Security clearing house CERT this week warned of "numerous vulnerabilities" in multiple vendors' implementations of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), an important standard for next-generation Internet telephony systems.
UK register Nominet is planning a complete revamp of its domain re-registration service that may see millions able to sign up for their dream domain.
The Register's department of strange coincidences notes the announcement of not one but two software co-operation initiatives in Beijing this week. Today Microsoft announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between it and the Beijing Municipal Government, while earlier this week IBM China and the Beijing Municipal Government announced the set up of the "China-IBM Linux Solution Cooperation Center."
A usually reliable source directs us to the newly polished-up web site of Number 10 Downing Street, suggesting we might care to take a look at the interesting choice of metatags for the site. So off you go everybody, over to the site, look at the source of the page, and up near the top you have...
UK customer credit card details and sensitive data is at risk because of simple e-commerce flaws, according to a study published this week.
Letter PayPal's dollar-sterling exchange rate today at £1 = 97¢ made some quick-witted individuals very happy. The real rate, as published at Xe.com's very fine currency converter, is £1 = US$1.57861.
Semiconductor giant Intel and Marriott are expected to reveal details of a marketing alliance to promote the availability of Wi-Fi access in 400 Marriott hotels.
A chain of UK Net cafes is offering WiFi access at 30 locations in the UK at up to a quarter of the cost of a similar service offered by BT.
3GSM You're a handset manufacturer. Why pay Symbian and Nokia license fees when you can have 90 per cent of the functionality running on much cheaper hardware? That's OpenWave's proposition, and the company that gave you WAP and the world's most widely distributed (if unused) browser has a fairly spectacular demo to prove it. PhoneTools Version 7.0 sounds evolutionary but it's pretty revolutionary for OpenWave. Normally, I'd rather have gone to the dentist than attend an OpenWave demo (I'm kidding). I'd expected a browser like its predecessors - WAP is dreadful and the browser synonymous with green and black screens that only a QCOM shareholder would ever think was state of the art. But soft, V7 looks spectacular. It's a suite including messaging, browser and file manager, and it's a very small chunk of code - about 1.4MB in all. But the clincher is the graphics engine. "All the assumptions we had in 1995 were wrong," OpenWave's Tim Hyland told us. As you'd expect from a team led by Benoit Schillings, ex-Be and the former QuickDrawGX guy Mike Reed, it has some unexpected tricks - alpha blended previews of pictures of overlays, and a full transformation matrix that supports shearing and scaling. The graphics engine is about 50kb. Quite something. Benoit told us that there's no Java VM in the package - "we're VM agnostic" - so evidently the customers have their own arrangements for Java. (Benoit had left his stationary gravity accelerator back in California. Now you wouldn't have marked OpenWave and Symbian down as competitors at the start of the week, but they're almost bumper to bumper now. Nokia's intention is to move the very rich Symbian-based Series 60 down into the mid-tier, while OpenWave's little suite - it's not really a platform, and there's the rub - gives manufacturers a reason not to. Opting for OpenWave might seem short sighted - it was none other than Juha Christensen who this week cited a report suggesting that operators get over 50 per cent more loyalty from smartphone users than users of the cheaper models - but they do allow the manufacturers to offer cheaper phones to cash-strapped handset manufacturers, who want to save money wherever they can, and if pennies saved today means quids foregone tomorrow, then so be it. OpenWave will probably argue this is a smartphone, on the cheap. (OpenWave denies that opting for V7 condemns users to a world of WAP, which if the carriers have their way, is a walled-garden world of WAP, which is even more stupid and revolting. OpenWave says that the browser does real http now - so it's up to enlightened carriers not to turn this off.) A theme of the week, as we have already suggested, is that carriers want to dictate terms to the handset manufacturers. And OpenWave's proposition plays very nicely with this. Now this was a very good week for Symbian but the biggest competitive threat to its platform - as it has always acknowledged - isn't Microsoft or Palm but "mu", which is VoOS plus Java: where VoOS is the Vendor's Own Operating System. Uh, look out! ®
3GSM Every February the mobile phone world holds its own Comdex in Cannes, on the French Riveria, and it's almost as big as Comdex itself. Unlike Comdex, however, it's in no danger of going bust, even though many of the participants are vendors with more debts than you can reasonably count. You're talking red ink with lots of zeros, here.
Nokia today starts shipping the Nokia 3650, its new flagship Symbian/S60 camera phone, worldwide.
Benefon, Finland's other mobile phone maker, has survived to fight another day. Two weeks ago, the company revealed that its ability to survive was contingent on an immediate cash injection of €20m.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in about Nokia 3650 pricing - all six of you. The 3650 is available -sim free - now in Finland for €550, a whopping £376.11 at today's currency rate.
Instant messaging between phones is hot, but text IM is already passé and the real interest at 3GSM is voice push-to-talk technology, mostly based on the IMS spec agreed this week by Nokia, Ericsson and Siemens.
Our attention is drawn to an ad touting touting Concept Telecom for sale in today's FT deadzone.
Orange slipped out an update to the Microsoft software used on the SPV smartphone yesterday.
First Impressions For almost a year the hype has been gathering around the SonyEricsson P800, which is easily the most talked-about phone on Slashdot. It must be the most hyped handheld device since the Apple Newton.
On Monday we told you that UK dealers had set aggressive pricing for the SonyEricsson P800. OK, scrap that.
IDF Today is Client Day at the IDF, so where better to begin than the keynote delivered by Anand Chandrasekher, Intel's top mobile guy. In today's briefing mobile equals Centrino, Intel's wireless-enabled, low power flagship CPU.
The Microsoft/Sendo battle is the thing that is definitely on everybody's lips, here at Cannes 3GSM. And one question has many people here puzzled: "Whatever happened to Marc Brown?" - or more accurately, what didn't happen to him?.
A recent article in The Economist about the battle between Microsoft and Nokia for operating system supremacy on wireless instruments (Smartphones) concluded that Nokia with its Symbian OS based Series 60 SDK was already the victor over Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 SDK, writes Rick Rowell.
Motorola, which is widely-suspected of membership of the Symbian consortium, this week plumped for a Linux-Java combo for its new handset, and said there would be a lot more where that came from. The A760, which has colour screen, camera, video and MP3 player, Bluetooth and PDA functionality, will ship in Asia later this year, then be rolled out to Europe and the US.
Although it contains only 12 percent of the world's hotspots, Europe has been identified as the most expensive region to access a public wireless LAN. According to recently published numbers, of the 37 percent of public Wi-Fi providers that sell monthly subscriptions, European providers charge the most.
Symbian today confirmed that BenQ, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, is to make Symbian OS smartphones for 2.5G and 3G networks. A little thunder in the announcement was stolen when the deal leaked out last month from notoriously leaky Taiwan.
Sony Ericsson's P800 smartphone is to be the first handset to run Opera's Symbian OS mobile browser. The browser will be available for free download for the P800 here, from Monday.
Benefon, Finland's other mobile phone maker, is negotiating for an immediate cash injection of €20m. Its survival depends upon a "succesful financing solution".
Some 130 jobs are under threat at Nokia's UK head office in Camberley following the mobile phone company's decision to axe 550 jobs in its Nokia Networks infrastructure division.
It is nearly a year since NewsWireless Net warned of the disasters looming if American wireless manufacturers went ahead with 802.11g - the go-faster WiFi standard. Now, we hear of incompatibility problems between rival 11g products - discovered in "secret" testing sessions. Are we really supposed to be surprised?
Juniper Networks, chief competitor to Cisco in the high-end routing market, this week announced technology to make it easier for telcos to set up wireless-LAN services.
Intel, like Microsoft, isn't a player in the phone business; and like Microsoft, it is starting to realise that the phone business is at least as big as the PC business; so it has designed an integrated processor and DSP chip for the market. It will be shown at the 3GSM Congress in Cannes in two weeks' time.
Ericsson, the ailing telecoms equipment maker, has posted yet another loss. However boss Kurt Hellström remains optimistic and asserts that the business is beginning to "stabilise".
Microsoft's legal attack dogs are snarling at last in the legal battle with Sendo, the niche British mobile phone designer.
Hutchison 3G is to start taking pre-orders in the UK for handsets and price plans online on February 22. Fulfilment of "confirmed pre-orders" will start happening mid-March, Hutchison 3G says. So what's the difference between an order and, err, a confirmed pre-order, then?
Several months ago, mobile phone giant Nokia slipped out something of a bombshell when it announced its new range of phones for 2003. Nestled among the various futuristic looking handsets was one that looked radically different from the rest of its kin; a peculiar little device called N-Gage which was clearly designed from the ground up as a merging of mobile phone and handheld games console. Nokia had officially declared war on Nintendo - game on.
BT has announced it now has 80 Wi-Fi 'hotpots' in the UK - more than double the number it had back in October - enabling punters to access the Net on the move.
My, how times have changed for American business since the early 1970s. Doing business with the rest of the world was so easy, back then.
Spending on wireless network infrastructure will rebound in the next couple of years led by the much-criticised 3G networks.
Those of us you who like to view the Qualcomm story as a parable of American isolationism and bull-headed stupidity - and that's a narrative Qualcomm executives and their creepy, militia fringe supporters (including Qualcomm sock-puppet Stewart Alsop) have done little to discourage in recent years - have one slight problem to contend with.
The UK Government is to open up part of the radio spectrum in a bid to encourage operators to deliver new broadband services.
Feature While the learned are laughing at Negroponte's fantastic "futuristic" vision of a mesh of interconnected wireless LANs "like lilypads which you hop from one to another" a UK company has produced Mesh wireless technology which you can buy and install, today, for under £300.
Intel Corp cut prices across its mobile processor line at the weekend as it paved the way for the launch of its Centrino wireless notebook technology in March.
Wireless guru Nick Hunn has predicted the death of several silicon suppliers who make wireless LAN (WiFi) components, following the decision of both Intel and AMD to provide the bulk of the circuitry needed, on the motherboard.
A big fat Register hello to Hans Reiger, Fujitsu Siemens PR bunny, who sent us an email today - from 30,000 feet in the air. And he replied to our reply. OK, so it's not exactly an Alexander Graham Bell moment, and the pricing for emails from airplanes, will probably be horrendous, but yes, we were impressed.
Networking firms Motorola, Avaya, and Proxim are to tie together mobile, wireless LAN and IP Telephony networks.