July Newsbits

By Naomi Graychase

July 31, 2008

Motorola credits strong demand for home and business networking devices for better-than-expected Q2 performance; BT acquires Ribbit for voice over the Web; Motorola announces new 802.11n planning tool suite; FCC expected to take action against Comcast; Toshiba suffers quarterly loss; NBC and NFL to stream games online; Motorola to acquire AirDefense; and more.

For its second quarter, handset maker Motorola reported earnings of $4 million, breakeven on a per-share basis, citing strong demand for home and business networking devices. It also credited success on plans to cut operating costs by $1 billion this year. Read the full story at InternetNews.com.

July 30, 2008

BT has acquired Ribbit, a Silicon Valley startup that provides a platform for developers to build voice features into Web applications, for $105 million. More details at InternetNews.com.

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Motorola has announced a new suite of 802.11n planning tools. The new LANPlanner migration wizard provides predictive RF modeling for Motorola's 802.11n APs, for homogeneous or mixed 11n networks.

In a press release issued by Motorola July 21st, Mark McGregor, managing director of CBO Australia, said “Motorola’s LANPlanner is an exceptional product with its unique ability to do true 3D predictive modelling, providing the ability to intelligently plan and deploy an enterprise-class wireless network with minimized onsite support. We use LANPlanner as an integral part of our design plans for our customers and have found that by using the suite’s predictive capability we can cut our resource requirements in half when planning an enterprise WLAN in a high-rise building.”

The new network migration wizard can addresses the three most popular 11n deployment scenarios: new building/new deployment; “rip and replace” (replacing legacy APs with new 11n APs in an existing enterprise WLAN); and mixed (mixed 11n and legacy networks in the same environment).

Motorola’s 11n LANPlanner will be available in the third quarter of 2008.

July 29, 2008

Reuters is reporting that U.S. communications regulators later this week are expected to uphold a complaint accusing Comcast of unreasonably restricting Internet users who share movies and other material. For more, click here.

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The efforts of government agencies to make their services and information accessible on the Web have not always been a resounding success, but at least they're getting a little better, according to a survey research firm ForeSee Results plans to release today.

In its quarterly survey, the group found that federal government sites saw their scores improve on the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for the first time in a year. For the full story at InternetNews.com, click here.

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Toshiba has reported its first quarterly loss in three years, as memory chip prices fell and sales of chips used by Sony slowed, but it kept its year outlook above market expectations. For the full story at InternetNews.com, click here. For more on Toshiba, read "Toshiba Ships Hotspot Hardware," "Toshiba Gets into WLAN Chips."

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Fans of the NFL will have another reason to be glad for their broadband Wi-Fi networks this fall. NBC and the NFL have announced that they will stream online the complete "Sunday Night Football" season, the first time an entire NFL game has ever been available on the Web in the United States. For more, read the Reuters story here.

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Motorola has announced it will acquire AirDefense, a leading WLAN security provider. At the close of market Monday, Motorola announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held AirDefense. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Atlanta, GA-based AirDefense is a privately-held developer of Wireless Intrusion Prevention Solutions (WIPS) and "premium software applications" that enable corporations to secure their wireless networks. The seven-year-old company is known for its innovation. It introduced the first 24x7 Monitoring and Wireless Intrusion Detection System, the first use of access points as sensors, and a several add-on modules that address customer specific security problems and RF troubleshooting needs.

"WIPS solutions have gained significant traction as Wireless LANs have become pervasive in industries from the federal government to financial services," said Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager, Motorola Enterprise Wireless LAN division in a press release Monday. "Industry compliance requirements such as Payment Card Industry Data Security (PCI DSS) and heightened security awareness have fueled the need for comprehensive compliance, enforcement, forensics and reporting, which is offered by AirDefense solutions. This transaction is a tremendous opportunity for Motorola to enhance its WLAN portfolio by utilizing AirDefense's relationships and further integrating WIPS security solutions into our WLAN infrastructure offering. Together, we are a leader in helping businesses truly realize the vision of a secure and reliable all-wireless enterprise." More details here.

July 28, 2008

Ruckus Wireless today announced its new carrier-purpose 802.11n IPTV system. According to Ruckus, the new MediaFlex 7000 series is the first commercial 802.11n system specifically developed for operators to distribute multiple streams of high-definition IPTV content throughout a subscriber’s home without costly and time-consuming cable installation. More details here. 

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Networking vendor, Juniper, reports growing sales and successful competition against Cisco, while its new CEO, former Microsoft executive Kevin Johnson, gets ready to join. For the full story at InternetNews.com, click here. For more on Juniper, read "Juniper enters the 802.11 Market," "Juniper's Funk Buy," "Juniper Markets Meru."
 
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Nearly two weeks ago security researcher Dan Kaminsky, in coordination with US-CERT, announced a critical vulnerability in DNS that could cripple parts of the Internet. At the time of disclosure, Kaminsky refused to provide full details of the vulnerability in hopes that users of DNS would have 30 days to patch their servers. As it turns out, they only got 13 days. For full details, read the story at InternetNews.com.
 
July 25, 2008
 
Commuters in the Portland, OR area will be able to access free Wi-Fi during their train rides on a new line, starting this fall, if all goes as planned. The TriMet WES (Westside Express Service) will provide free Wi-Fi on its weekday rush-hour service between Wilsonville and Beaverton.
 
TriMet’s WES is a new commuter rail line serving Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, and Wilsonville. It will run every 30 minutes, Monday through Friday, during the morning and afternoon rush hours. The service is slated to open in October or November.
 
For more on Wi-Fi on trains, read "Is In-Vehicle Wi-Fi a Boon For Commuters?," "Taking it to the Rails: WiMAX on Trains," and "Picking Up Speed."
 
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OSCON, O'Reilly's open source convention, wraps up today in Portland, OR. Highlights of the event, which opened Monday, include OMX, the first-ever O’Reilly Open Mobile Exchange. It featured conversations, demos, technical presentations, and panel discussions about ways to to bridge Web apps and mobile functions. According to an O'Reilly press release issued Monday, the event was for "everyone involved in building out the open source mobile space, including platforms, standards, applications, hardware, integration, browsers, location, and services.
 
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Alltel Wireless customers can add unlimited access to 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots to any Alltel Wireless Internet plan for $9.99 per month by visiting http://wifi.alltel.com/.
 
July 24, 2008
 
PropertyPreviews.com, a free video creation and distribution service for real estate professionals, announced today that it will be integrated with Eye-Fi, the Wi-Fi-enabled memory card for digital cameras. The new capability will enable photographers and real estate professionals to create video tours of properties when they upload their digital photos from an Eye-Fi card  to PropertyPreviews.com.

Photos uploaded via Wi-Fi from the Eye-Fi Card are automatically converted into a Controlled Motion Video (CMV). According to a PropertyPreviews press release issued today, "CMV gives visual movement to static property images to create videos without the typical pixelization and loss of quality of videotaped tours. While the video creation is automated, users can personalize tours with editing tools and a variety of background music selections."

For more on Eye-Fi, read "Eye-Fi Announces New Version with Geotagging and Hotspot Access," "Eye-Fi in Beta, Gets Money," and "Wi-Fi Had a Strong Presence at CES."

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The Wi-Fi Alliance has awarded the new 3G iPhone its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED mark, which means its has been tested and certified by the WFA for security and the ability to interoperate with other Wi-Fi devices.  

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A free download available at the Apple App Store allows iPhone users to control iTunes over a WLAN, essentially turning it into a Wi-Fi remote control.

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July 23, 2008

When Apple touts its new iPhone 3G as enterprise-ready, exhibit A is its deal with Microsoft to include support for the software giant's Exchange communications software. However, IT departments have other choices to bringing the iPhone into the corporate e-mail infrastructure. For more, read "Sybase iPhone Support for Notes, Exchange" at InternetNews.com.

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Aerohive Networks, creators of a controller-less "cooperative control" wireless LAN (WLAN) architecture, announced Tuesday a new feature of its HiveManager network management system (NMS). Virtual HiveManager extends Aerohive's existing role-based management to provide up to 50 virtual HiveManager instances, each with separate views, policies, and reporting, which makes it possible to delegate network management authority by role, company, business unit, and/or geographic location. The increased network management flexibility can reduces the cost of deployments.

Aerohive's cooperative control WLAN architecture, in which the management plane is completely separate from the control plane and the data plane, make HiveManager's virtualization possible. For more on Virtual HiveManager, read the release at the Aerohive Web site. And stay tuned for a more detailed description of Aerohive's architecture as it compares to others in the field, later this summer.

July 22, 2008

After seven quarters of red ink, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz has resigned his post, turning it over to President and Chief Operating Officer Dirk Meyer. Ruiz will stay on as executive chairman and chairman of the board. For the full news story, click here.

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iPass announced today that it has added Sony Ericsson to its ever-expanding customer list. Sony Ericsson will be using iPass Mobile Office to provide connectivity to its remote and mobile workers worldwide.  

iPass’s Wi-Fi network includes more than 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots (half of which are in Europe) and coverage in more than 550 airports. Other hotspot locations include the usual suspects: hotels, cafes, restaurants, and retail outlets.

Currently, more than 420 Global 2000 companies use iPass Mobile Office.

Sony Ericsson has offices in many countries, including Sweden, the UK, France, the Netherlands, India, Japan, China, and the US. 

July 17, 2008

Terry Childs, a network administrator for the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Technology (DOT), is accused of tampering with the city's new FiberWAN network system in such a way as to deny other authorized administrators access to the network and with setting up devices to gain unauthorized access to the system. The system stores records such as officials' e-mails, city payroll files, confidential law enforcement documents and jail inmates' bookings. For more, read "Sabotage the Charge in S.F. Net Admin Case" at InternetNews.com.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that antitrust officials in Europe are preparing to file new charges against Intel, expanding a probe into the chipmaker's marketing and sales practices. For more, read "European Regulators Refocus on Intel" at InternetNews.com. Meanwhile, Intel on Tuesday announced a 25 percent jump in profits over the second quarter of 2007. For more on that, read "Intel Defies Economy, Seasonal Weakness" at InternetNews.com.

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Reuters reported on Wednesday that BlackBerry maker, RIM (Research in Motion), is "charging ahead with international expansion plans and investments in new handsets and software to stay competitive." For more details, read "RIM Charges Ahead With Growth Abroad" at InternetNews.com. 

July 15, 2008

Apple said on Monday it had sold one million new 3G iPhones over the first weekend. The original iPhone, introduced just over a year ago in the United States only, sold about 270,000 units in its first two days. Sales topped one million in September. For more details, read "Apple Sells 1 Million New iPhones" at InternetNews.com.

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Palm introduced a new Treo this week. The Palm Treo 800w ($249.99 with contract) sports a full keyboard, GPS, and built-in Wi-Fi. This business-oriented smartphone is the first Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional model to support Sprint's EV-DO Rev A out of the box. Full specs are available at the Palm Web site. For more on its position in the market, read "iPhone Looms Over Palm's New Treo" at InternetNews.com. 

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Intel, the world's top PC chipmaker, today launched the next-generation of its Centrino wireless chip. The next-generation chipset combines Wi-Fi capability with WiMAX. For more, read "Intel Shows Off New Centrino Notebook Chips," at InternetNews.com.

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InternetNews.com 2008 CEO Vision Awards
InternetNews.com has opened the call for nominations for its 2008 CEO Vision Awards. Nominations are open until Aug. 2. Winners will be announced the week of Sept. 15.

Leaders in technology and Internet-focused companies of any size will be considered. For more details about qualifications and how to nominate a candidate, click here.

July 14, 2008

T-Mobile is now offering two more mobile phones that give users the option of talking over Wi-Fi, bringing the carrier's total to eight.

The Nokia 6301 and the Samsung SGH-t339 (retailing at $79 and $49 respectively) will allow users to connect to the company's Hotspot @Home Internet phone service.

Use your T-Mobile Wi-Fi phone to place free calls using public T-Mobile hotspots and home routers optimized for the service. Wi-Fi smartphones increase the geographic area in which you can enjoy the full range of services of your device, even when cellular access is limited. (They also ease traffic on congested cellular networks.)

Key features of the Nokia 6301:

  • Wi-Fi-enabled; supports T-Mobile HotSpot @Home
  • T-Mobile myFavesSM-enabled
  • Music player (supports WMA, MP3, AAC and eAAC+)
  • Stereo Bluetooth connectivity
  • 2.0 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom and video capture
  • Expandable memory with microSD (support for up to 4GB)
  • Instant messaging; supports AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live
  • Speakerphone
  • FM radio
  • Tri-band 850/1800/1900 MHz; GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMA
  • Display: 240 x 320 pixels, TFT, 16 million colors
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.7 x 0.5 inches, 3.2 ounces

    Key features of the Samsung t339:

  • Wi-Fi-enabled; supports T-Mobile HotSpot @Home
  • T-Mobile myFaves-enabled
  • Music player (supports MP3, AAC and AAC+)
  • Stereo Bluetooth connectivity
  • 1.3 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom and video capture
  • Expandable memory with microSD (support for up to 2GB)
  • Instant messaging; supports AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live
  • Speakerphone
  • Tri-band 850/1800/1900 MHz; GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMA
  • Display: 176 x 220 pixels, TFT, 262k
  • Dimensions: 3.62 x 1.83 x 0.78 inches, 3.3 ounces

    Information courtesy of PDAStreet.com.

    July 11, 1008

    Today was the big day for iPhone fanatics who queued up in 22 countries 'round the world to purchase the newly released 3G iPhone. According to a press release issued by MarketWatch today, the first 3G iPhone was sold at a Vodafone Group store in Auckland, New Zealand where the device went on sale just after midnight local time.

    MarketWatch also reported that at one of Apple's flagship stores in San Francisco, CA, approximately 500 people stood in a line that stretched for nearly two city blocks. Customers were escorted into the store by security personnel  to purchase the iPhone. Since the new iPhone is not available through the online Apple store, lines were expected to be long everywhere. 

    Shaw Wu of American Technology Research estimates that Apple will end up selling 11 million iPhones this year.

    For more details, read "Hordes Snap Up Apple's New iPhone" at InternetNews.com.

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    Canada's ZappTek plans to soon roll out an eBook service, called "Legends," for the iPhone and iPod touch. It is partnering with today's "hottest writers," starting with a number of short and novel-length fiction by bestselling author Michael A Stackpole. For more, click here.

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    Telus Mobility in Canada recently became the first North American carrier to commit to offering HTC's  Wi-Fi-enabled Touch Diamond. This edition of HTC's sequel to its successful Touch series will sport high-speed EV-DO data access for the CDMA operator. For more, click here.

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    RIM's Wi-F-enabled BlackBerry Bold has just received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for release in this country. All devices that use U.S. airwaves must receive a thumbs up from the FCC before shipping here. For more, click here.

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    Hewlett-Packard (HP), as promised a little over month ago, is now (finally) shipping its latest smartphone, the Wi-Fi-enabled iPAQ 910 Business Messenger. This device was originally supposed to become available late last year. For more details, visit PDAStreet.com.

    July 7, 2008

    BelAir Networks announced today that it has signed a distribution agreement with TESSCO Technologies, “the leading provider of the product and supply chain solutions needed to build, operate, and use wireless networks and systems.”

    According to a BelAir press release, “The distribution agreement provides easier access to BelAir Networks wireless mesh products for TESSCO’s wireless system operators, program managers, contractors, resellers, and self-maintained utility, transportation, enterprise, and government organizations. It also enables current BelAir Networks resellers to leverage TESSCO’s complementary products, valued-added services, technical support and world-class customer service.”

    Stephen Rayment, CTO, and Dave Park, VP, BelAir Networks will be hosting a live Webcast: “Mesh Technology ‘Deep Dive’:  Everything you ever wanted to know about mesh, but didn’t get a chance to ask,” on Tuesday, July 8 at 2:00 pm EDT, and on Thursday, July 10 at 2:00 pm EDT. For more details or to register go to www.belairnetworks.com/webcasts.

    For more on BelAir, read “Carpe Diem: BelAir Seizes New Opportunities in Muni Wi-Fi," "BelAir: Meshing Quite Nicely," and "Wireless Equipment Manufacturer Directory: BelAir Networks."

    July 3, 2008

    ABI Research released a report this week that predicts that shipments of consumer-oriented 802.11n Wi-Fi access points are expected to see a dramatic increase over the next five years, rising from six million this year to 88 million in 2013.

    ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt said in a press release Monday, "802.11n will become the default Wi-Fi technology of choice as equipment vendors include it in their new products. The real market growth will kick in when sufficient numbers of consumers have 802.11n capabilities embedded in their new laptop and desktop computers. We anticipate the greatest adoption to take place in the 2009-2010 timeframe."

    Similar growth is expected in the enterprise space, as well. "You can achieve 802.11n connectivity with adapter cards," says Schatt, "but most IT managers don't like them because they can get lost or damaged."

    For more details, read the ABI Research study, "IEEE 802.11n Update, Forecast, and Vendor Evaluation."

    July 2, 2008

    Two Republican lawmakers have called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to drop the proposed conditions for a new spectrum auction that would require the winning bidder to provide free Internet access. For more, read “Lawmakers Ask FCC to Nix Free Internet Plan,” at InternetNews.com.

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    Reuters reported yesterday that U.S. consumers who want the new iPhone, but don’t want the two-year contract with AT&T that goes along with it, will be able to buy it for an extra $400. The popular touch screen Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone will still be locked to AT&T for service, but a two-year contract will not be required to purchase the device. For those electing to sign the two-year contract, the iPhone 3G (on sale July 11) will cost $199 (8GB) or $299 (16GB) versus $599 or $699 for those who opt for other AT&T plans. According to the Reuters report, however, this option may not be immediately available. For more details, read “AT&T to Sell Apple iPhone Sans Contract.”



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