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 Thursday, April 03, 2003

In the Asia-Pacific region in particular, there is increasing discussion around the concept of "ubiquitous networks" and "ubiquitous communications". The term "ubiquitous comes from the Latin "ubique", meaning "everywhere". Although it is still an evolving concept, the vision is a pervasive information infrastructure of interconnected devices where computing, content, and network resources become transparent to users (if you saw the film "Minority Report", it gives you an idea of what a ubiquitous networked world may resemble). Ubiquitous communications will mean the constant presence of networks that permit interacting and exchanging information with anybody, anywhere, any time and with many types of equipment, typically using radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies.

RFID standardization work has been going on in the Auto-ID Center, which involves a number of companies, MIT (US), the University of Cambridge (UK) and the University of Adelaide (Australia). Recently, the RFID Journal announced a new Japanese-backed Ubiquitous ID Center, indicating it was a potential rival to the Auto-ID Center. The piece The Auto-ID vs. the Ubiquitous ID vs. ? from Professor Ken Sakamura's TRON laboratories at Tokyo University explains the differences between the two initiatives.

Thursday, April 03, 2003 7:00:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2003

New Telephony is reporting that EarthLink and Vonage are going to partner to provide US national VOIP service.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 6:38:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 06, 2003

A Computerworld article says "Two weeks after beefing up its antispam efforts on behalf of its members, America Online Inc. said today that it has blocked as many as 1 billion spam e-mails in a single day, up from the average 780 million spam messages a day it was blocking in mid-February."

Thursday, March 06, 2003 12:03:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 03, 2003

The OECD has declassified and made available its Indicators for the assessment of telecommunications competition (PDF).

  • "Intensified competition in OECD countries’ telecommunications sectors calls for regulations proportionate to the level of competition in the market. If regulators consider there is full-fledged competition in a telecommunications market, they should lift regulatory interventions existing in the relevant market. Therefore, regulators need a yardstick that measures the true level and scope of competition. Regulators have not yet fully developed indicators for the assessment of telecommunications competition and thus have not reached a consensus on this issue. This report explores the concept of effective competition and the definition of a relevant market, and suggests appropriate indicators and parameters for the evaluation of competitiveness in the telecommunications markets."
Monday, March 03, 2003 2:51:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Net Gurus Rally Anti-Spam Forces. The Internet Research Task Force forms a new offshoot whose sole goal is to document the magnitude of the junk e-mail problem -- and do what it takes to fix it. By Justin Jaffe. [Wired News]

Monday, March 03, 2003 1:24:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 27, 2003

Sony Is Venturing Into Online Games for Multitudes: "Grid computing, a concept that originated in supercomputing centers, is taking a step toward the mainstream: Sony will announce today that it will use the technology to accelerate its push into the emerging market for online games with thousands of players at a time." [New York Times: Technology]

Thursday, February 27, 2003 12:46:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 26, 2003

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University has an online book available entitled: The Transnational Dimension of Cyber Crime and Terrorism. It includes a particularly interesting chapter entitled Towards an International Convention on Cyber Security (PDF) including draft convention text.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 3:14:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

[from E M E R G I C . o r g] Rafe Needleman writes about Opera in his article Browsers on Cellphones on the new generation of web browsers for cellphones (like the Sony Ericsson P800). The PC was where the action was in 1996, but it's not where it is today. Today the most interesting technological developments are happening in game consoles, handhelds, and cell phones. That's also where the money is: Some 400 million cell phones are sold worldwide each year, yet only 137 million PCs will be sold in 2003, according to Gartner.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 1:37:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The establishment of national and international cybersecurity "watch and warning networks" is gaining political capital among governments. The recently released US National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (PDF) identified as one strategic initiative to "[f]oster the establishment of national and international watch-and-warning networks to detect and prevent cyberattacks as they emerge". In a related effort, the European Commission has also called for the establishment of a European Network and Information Security Agency (Word: English, French, German).

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 1:30:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Tuesday, February 25, 2003 3:53:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 14, 2003

The US Administration has released its National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (PDF).

Friday, February 14, 2003 10:31:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a press release by the Mobile Data Association (MDA), the total number of chargeable person-to-person text [SMS] messages sent across the four UK GSM networks in 2002 totalled 16.8 billion.

  • "For the year ahead the MDA forecasts continued growth with text messaging expected to reach 20 billion for 2003, equating to 55 million messages per day compared to an average of 43 million for 2002. The MDA will monitor the situation with a monthly statistics review - every month the MDA will post the numbers along with a reconsidered forecast for the 2003 figures on its website www.text.it."
Friday, February 14, 2003 4:30:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

3G News is reporting that Korea Telecom will start beam 9 TV channels to 3G phone users this month for for about 25,000 South-Korean Won (about US$ 21) per hour.

Friday, February 14, 2003 2:57:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Infosync has an in-depth review of the new Sony Ericsson's P800, the first palm-sized Symbian OS converged mobile. Not surprisingly, one of the first applications ported to the P800 is Doom.

Friday, February 14, 2003 2:47:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sapphire/Slammer Worm: Impact on Internet Performance by James Aldridge, Daniel Karrenberg, Henk Uijterwaal and René Wilhelm, New Projects Group / RIPE NCC, including a report on Internet root server performance. The report shows two root servers (b.root-servers.net at USC Information Sciences Institute in California and g.root-servers.net at the U.S. DOD Network Information Center in Virginia) were significantly affected.

Friday, February 14, 2003 12:53:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 13, 2003

Mesh Less Cost of Wireless: A group of wireless enthusiasts provide a town in western England with Internet access at a fraction of the usual cost. They use a device that supplies hundreds of users with broadband piped from a single connection. [Wired News]

Thursday, February 13, 2003 1:07:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Thursday, February 13, 2003 12:47:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 11, 2003

The [US] Federal Trade Commission will host a three-day "Spam Forum" Wednesday, April 30 through Friday, May 2, [2003] to address the proliferation of unsolicited commercial e-mail and to explore the technical, legal, and financial issues associated with it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 12:58:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Internet Software Consortium Press Release: "TELEHOUSE America ...and Internet Software Consortium ...will jointly establish mirrors of the F-root DNS name root server at two TELEHOUSE America locations.... in its New York International Internet Exchange (NYIIX) and Los Angeles International Internet Exchange (LAIIX)." [via icann.Blog]

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 11:47:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 07, 2003

Boeing's sky-high Net access takes off. [News.com] Also see previous articles "Wi-Fi in the Sky!" and "Mile-High Surfing".

Friday, February 07, 2003 2:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Paul Klemperer, the Edgeworth Professor of Economics, Oxford University, advisor to the UK government on its spectrum auctions, argued in an article in the Financial Times in November 2002 that 3G spectrum auctions should not be considered the culprit for the telecom industry woes (PDF).

Friday, February 07, 2003 2:31:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 03, 2003

Tectonic: a relaunched news site focusing on the use of open source software (OSS) in Africa. The site is maintained and financed by owner and developer Alastair Otter [via Balancing Act]. Also see "ICT Development Activities".

Monday, February 03, 2003 11:37:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 31, 2003
Friday, January 31, 2003 9:27:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies (WDR) have released their final report (PDF) on their 2002 dialogue theme: Designing Next Generation Telecom Regulation: ICT Convergence or Multisector Utility? (PDF). The report thoughtfully examines various alternatives being considered for next generation telecom regulation.

  • "It is apparent that national telecom policy and regulation – both the regulations and the regulators – will play a major role in implementing structural reforms. The distinctive network and public interest characteristics of the information infrastructure will require a continuing proactive role for regulation if network development objectives are to be met, and the foundations prepared for the next generation Internet services that will support new network economies (Melody 1999). What is unclear at the moment is how direct regulation by independent regulators can best facilitate the achievement of these objectives. Should industry specific telecom regulators be redesigned as convergence regulators so they can more comprehensively and systematically address the full range of next generation Internet issues? Or should they be redesigned as multisector utility regulators so they can leverage synergies across infrastructures to promote the most rapid information infrastructure network roll-out?"
  • "ICT convergence that is upgrading the capacity and capabilities of telecom networks to information infrastructures raises many issues that next generation policy and regulation in all countries must address. They cannot be avoided. Although the scope of regulation may vary among countries, and all responsibilities for regulation – e.g., electronic commerce, information security, consumer protection – need not be assigned to the telecom regulator, it is important that the specific role for telecom regulation in helping to manage the information infrastructure for the network economy be clearly defined, especially as many of these issues will require regional and international coordination."

In 2003, WDR's dialgoue theme will be Stimulating Investment in Network Development.

Friday, January 31, 2003 5:11:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU Press Release: Two new standards from ITU will allow service-providers to offer a raft of new services. In its capacity as world leader in optical network standards, ITU has agreed today on protocols for Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (G-PONs) that are a further step towards all-optical networks. The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector lead study group on optical technology is ITU-T Study Group 15.

Friday, January 31, 2003 2:50:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The IEEE has just announced it has approved the 802.16a extension to the 802.16 broadband wireless access (BWA) standard. See Roger Marks' tutorial on 802.16 (Zipped PowerPoint) to understand why this is important for providing broadband wireless access. 802.16a provides improved support for mesh networks, where each subscriber access point is also part of the routing infrastructure. For a general overview of the growing interest in non-line-of-sight wireless broadband systems, see the IEEE's Spectrum article: Wireless Broadband in a Box. For a more in-depth technical explanation with regard to mesh networks, see Dave Beyer's recent (November 2002) presentation on Wireless Mesh Networks for Residential Broadband (PDF), demonstrating some extremely important characteristics of mesh networks, namely:

  • mesh coverage and robustness improves exponentially as subscribers are added;
  • rapid area coverage with only a few subscribers (easy to seed);
  • increasing subscriber density increases overall network capacity.

Some earlier articles here on mesh networks can be found in "Cheap Wireless Mesh Networks", "Watch this airspace and parasitic networks" and "Seeding Mesh Networks".

Friday, January 31, 2003 2:37:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 30, 2003

In Net Attacks, Defining the Right to Know "The impact was worse overseas, with major problems reported in South Korea and Japan. In Finland, the telephone system was affected." [New York Times: Technology]

Thursday, January 30, 2003 10:28:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |