What is the particle protocol?
Brighthand reports about a new piece of software that allows to make calls using a Pocket PC and a Wi-Fi card. This is an interesting development that could turn Wi-Fi into a very disruptive technology for the mobile phone industry and may explain why companies like T-mobile are placing bets on the phenomenon, covering themselves in case other revenues (from regular mobile phones) were to evaporate. At $30/month, Wi-Fi service can currently be seen as an expensive toy for the mobile worker. But if you consider the possibility to make phone calls for the same price, the price seems low. Compared to most cellular phone programs that offer a few hundred or thousand minutes every month for roughly the same price, the idea of unmetered service could represent a huge growth opportunity for anyone offering a hotspot. However, the issue will then become one of available bandwidth. As more and more hotspots are added, the pervasiveness of Wi-Fi makes the possibility to bypass the phone network more real. The next step in that evolution would be for the Wi-Fi protocol to include some kind of mechanism to check the strength of signal. If you think of the cellular phone system,…Read More
Back when they came out, I said that tools like Tivo and Replay could change the face of television watching. A couple of years ago, I assumed that game boxes would be the new home media center. What I missed, though, was the end run that Tivo was doing around the game companies. With yesterday’s announcement that they would offer connectivity to computer platform, Tivo is placing itself square in the middle of the convergence world. Their strategy is simple: focus on the core engine and use the PC as a storage area. It is braindead simple logic. The Tivo box comes with a big hard drive but it is mostly filled with TV programming. Alternately, the box does not need to provide web surfing as attempts by companies like AOL and Microsoft have failed in that space, probably bringing on the realization that most people don’t want to surf on their television sets. Thus, Tivo leaves the download of music to computers for now. The reason I am saying for now is that I expect them to eventually offer a more widespread network connectivity set in the future. However, they realize that most Tivo users are probably already computer…Read More
Today’s announcement about Cisco’s acquisition of Linksys is one that leaves me scratching my head a little. What is the logic behind this? Could this represent a change in Cisco’s strategy? Or is it a realization in the part of the networking equipment vendor that its future may not be enhanced by moving into the now heavily depressed telecommunication field. Let’s imagine for a second what this could do in the long term. First of all, by acquiring Linksys, Cisco gets a strong foothold in the small office/home office market as well as the hobbyist/consumer market. Why? Largely because this is where Linksys’ strength is. What Cisco gets out of this is a new source of revenues in a market it has had troubles getting into. The announcement that they will not change the name of the company and will let it run as an independent unit seems to point to that end. Second, it provides Linksys with strong support in enterprise sales. Linksys has been getting into the enterprise largely through the back-door, with employees installing cheap wireless routers in offices. Now, with Cisco’s backing they can get into the enterprise as part of a more complete solution. The…Read More
The raging cow incident shows that there’s a need to establish trust in the blogging (and maybe the web) world. Tim Bray demonstrates that most bloggers have relationships to products, concepts, companies, and other bloggers. His declaration of truth is a good start but there are a number of things that still need to be done. Meanwhile, Scott Johnson asks the important question: How will we establish the current level of trust we have for blogs?. It is an important question that requires much thought. In the discussions surrounding my suggestion of how we can level the playing field, I’ve learned a couple of things: First, whatever solution we come up with must be easy to implement. It is easy for those of us who are more technical to come up with XML rules and complex structure to represent the world. However, most people neither have interest nor experience in experimenting with such thing. Hence the first rule of any answer is that whatever solution is implemented, it needs to be simple. Second, trust is a very large issue and some portions of it are being addressed. For example, FOAF allows you to establish trust between friends. But what about…Read More