As reported in New Mobile Computing, it seems that Microsoft's buyout of Connectix is already bearing fruit, as the Visual Studio.Net 2003 developer tools will include Virtual PocketPC, a PocketPC envoronment that should make developing and testing PocketPC software on a Windows desktop easier.
David Adams Archive
We are pleased the announce the birth of a new addition to the family: New Mobile Computing, a daily news site dedicated to examining the leading edge of technology that you carry around with you. If there are OSNews readers who are interested in this topic, pay us a visit. We need lots of help with news submissions, commentary, and giving the mobile computing forums a jump-start. We are also looking for volunteer editors. If you'd like to help, pay the site a visit, or email the NMC staff.
Intel's recent announcement that it will start shipping motherboards with built-in 802.11b sparked an interesting question in a ZD Net article: is this a sign that Intel has realized that most people don't need faster processors? If demand for 3 and 4 GHz processors is going to be mild, then the logical step for Intel is to move into other areas, like building more stuff onto the motherboard.
The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association is working on a replacement for its PC Card/Cardbus form factor. In addition to being smaller, faster, and cheaper, the PCMCIA is working with other standards bodies to assure that the new format is compatible with USB 2.0 and PCI Express serial input/output technologies. The new standard is primarily for laptops, but this article in PC World mentions that it is also being intended for desktop use.
The Tribune of India has an overview of the various operating systems vying for prominence in the mobile phone sphere: Symbian, Microsoft, Palm, Linux. The article mentions that Samsung, a Microsoft and Palm licensee, has joined the Symbian alliance.
Two Cambridge University researchers have discovered serious flaws in the security that many banks use in Auomatic Teller Machines around the world. The researchers, Mike Bond and Piotr Zielinski, released their findings in a paper, but various powers-that-be in the banking industry are not happy.
As the Microsoft Windows monopoly becomes ever more entrenched, the world seems to be becoming an increasingly more difficult place for a new operating system, or even some that have been around for a long time but have a limited share of the desktop PC market. Proponents of alternative operating systems seem to spend their time alternately griping about Windows' grip on the desktop and asserting that it doesn't matter all that much because they can get their work done with their OS of choice.
John Droz is a Macintosh-using consultant and software developer who lives in North Carolina. When he and some other members of the community learned that the local school board was planning to scrap its Macs and standardize on Windows PCs, he decided to catalog as much information as he could on why the switch would be a bad idea. It's the kind of treasure trove that could fuel a flamewar of epic proportions. It makes for an interesting read, and is useful for ammunition for any Mac proponents that would be interested in launching their own holy war on this issue. See it all at macvspc.info.
Motorola, who has seen its fortunes in the phone market decline a bit thanks to nimble European and Asian competition, is hoping that the Linux operating system and Chinese manufacturing and engineering talent can turn the tide, according to an article in The Register. These phones will run Linux but most of the applications that run on top will be Java.
There's a cool little app called Konfabulator for Mac OS X that allows you to display, build, and modify little "widgets" for your desktop, like the weather, a clock, or the OSNews top stories, updated continuously! Screenshot here. Thanks to Adam Pearson for the source sample. Additionally, we added support for a truckload of mobile devices and we would need your help testing them.
We've had quite the Powerbook-fest here on OS News over the past few days. I also ordered a 12" Powerbook, and I would have received it several days before Eugenia if Airborne hadn't sent it to the wrong state and then lost it somewhere between Ohio and my house. But it finally arrived, and mine is the hot commodity, a 12" Powerbook with Superdrive (DVD Burner), 640 MB RAM, Airport Extreme (802.11g), and a 60 gig HD. My impression is a little different than Eugenia's and I'm approaching from a different angle.
The Free and Open Source Software Developers' Meeting is this weekend in Brussels, and they're published several more interviews with event contributors: Harald Welte about netfilter/iptables, Solar Designer about Openwall GNU/*/Linux, Yoann Vandoorselaere about Prelude IDS, Thomas Vander Stichele about GStreamer, and Damien Sandras about GnomeMeeting.
Mega-ISP America Online reported that it lost 170,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2002, after of years of steady growth. Still, more people access the internet through AOL than any other source, but several factors have made AOL less relevant and more susceptible to competition in the past few years.
NEC and Samsung, two Asian electronics giants, have each announced new hardware components that will help them make smaller, cheaper, and more-functional devices, particularly, "smart" mobile phones. NEC has developed a new small display with a serial interface that requires fewer connecting wires and uses less power than older displays. Samsung has designed a small chip that contains a 206 MHz ARM920T processor core, 32MB of NAND flash memory, and 32MB of SDRAM on a chip measuring .7" square and .05" thick. Read more at PC World.
Apple has posted a chart in its Applecare Knowledge Base that outlines which Mac will support which releases of Mac OS 9, all the way up to the current machines which will not boot into OS 9 at all.
Until now, Sun Microsystems had a hands-off approach to the implementation of Java on mobile phones, which resulted in a chaotic and fractured Java implementation industry-wide, as different companies went their own way. Sun has taken the reigns and had proposed a road map, called "Java Technology for the Wireless Industry" or JTWI.
According to a PC World article, not only is built-in 802.11b wireless capability becoming the must-have feature for higher-end notebook computers, but vendors are starting to use dual-band chipsets that support both the widespread 802.11b standard and the faster 802.11a. 802.11a operates at 5GHz with maximum throughput of up to 54 mbps, compared to 802.11b's 2.4 GHz/11 mbps.
In preparation for the Free and Open Source Software Developers' Meeting (FOSDEM), to be held in Brussels next week, the event organizers have published interviews with several people who will be speaking at the conference. This week, they interviewed Jon Maddog Hall, who discusses Linux and the role of Linux International, and Havoc Pennington, who covers free standards and platform interoperability.
In a Microsoft mailing list posting sent yesterday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates reports that the company is making progress on its initiative to make its products more secure, though he also notes that the demand for security has risen since Microsoft began the initiative. New versions of Windows Server 2003, SQL Server, and Exchange Server will have all passed the new, more stringent, testing, and users will notice that vulnerable services will be turned off by default. Gates also promoted the use of smart cards for authentication in the email. Read more in this PC World article.
We spoke with Bill Moffitt, Product Line Manager for Solaris at Sun Microsystems. The second update to Solaris, called Solaris 9 12/02, was released this month. (Sun puts the month and year of the release date after the version number. Apparently, it was "released" in December, but don't ask why it was only made available a few days ago). In addition to bug fixes and updates that you would expect in a release like this, Sun has included a couple of big extras for capability and performance.