Wi-Fi and cellular phone technology finally tied the knot with the introduction of two phones that combine the technologies into one device. But the combo Wi-Fi phone from Motorola Inc. doesn't work with the already well-entrenched 802.11b Wi-Fi standard and will require instead the newer 802.11a standard.
Stories by Bob Brewin
Delta Air Lines plans to test the use of radio frequency identification tags to track engine parts next month in partnership with The Boeing Co., according to Marty Kansinger, Delta's general manager for materiel services.
CHICAGO (03/31/2004) - Major consumer packaged goods manufacturers don't foresee any quick return from adding radio frequency identification technology to their packaging and distribution systems. Instead, they view it as the cost of doing business with major customers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the U.S. Department of Defense, which have mandated the use of RFID tags starting next year.
Cisco Systems has announced that it has developed a new wireless LAN security protocol designed to ward off attackers who use brute-force techniques to discover user passwords.
The so-called dictionary attacks are a threat to Cisco's existing user authentication technology, the Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP). But Ron Seide, the company's WLAN product line manager, said the new protocol protects against dictionary attacks by sending authentication data through a secure, encrypted tunnel.
In a wide range of companies, wireless often wears a blue collar, supporting gritty but essential applications far removed from the world of executive BlackBerry pagers or airport lounge wireless LAN "hot spots."
These emerging blue-collar wireless uses make possible fundamental business processes that often can't be hooked into wired networks due to geographic or environmental conditions, says Craig Mathias, an analyst at Farpoint Group in Ashland, Mass.
The unlicensed portion of the U.S. radio frequency spectrum represents just one-tenth of 1 percent of the total bandwidth allocated for communications, but this thin slice has made the current boom in wireless LANs possible. Because WLANs use the free spectrum, companies can set them up without the hassle or expense of going through the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's licensing process.
But WLANs aren't the only networking technologies leveraging the free spectrum. Corporations are also using fixed wireless systems and services from wireless service providers to extend connectivity beyond the LAN.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its final rules for electronic health care payment transactions, adding what vendors and consultants see as yet another burden to an industry scrambling to meet new privacy and electronic security requirements.
Tommy Thompson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement that the new electronic transactions and code-set standards used by doctors, hospitals and insurers to manage payments under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act will "make it easier for the health care industry to process health claims and handle other transactions."
When it comes to mobile devices, one type does not always meet the needs of an enterprise, let alone the personal preferences of hundreds or thousands of users. That's why Jeff Lett, senior director of technical operations at Tenet Health Care Corp. in Santa Barbara, Calif., decided he needed a system that supports a wide range of mobile devices running multiple operating systems and using a variety of wireless networks. And he needed one that didn't require a torturous setup and configuration of back-end systems for each device.
Lett said he found his answer with SureWave Enterprise Server software from JP Mobile Inc. in Dallas. He said the software acts as the "glue" to tie a variety of mobile devices into his back-end systems.
A US-wide collaborative of hospitals, federal health care agencies and health care industry IT vendors that's backed by the New York-based Markle Foundation has released the results of its efforts to use information systems to improve patient care, lower costs and protect privacy.
Connecting for Health (CFH) working groups developed broad guidelines for both patient information protection and development of an electronic personal health record. The privacy working group, chaired by Dr. Thomas Murray, president of the Hastings Center in Garrison, N.Y., an independent bioethics research organization, called for development of secure, personal patient Web pages, the screening of e-mail for personal health information (PHI), controlled access to PHI and authentication of users, according to material distributed at a news conference on CFH in Washington.
A consortium of public health agencies and health care companies has launched a three-month test of a data collection and distribution network that's designed to act as an automated early-warning system in the event of epidemics like the global spread of the SARS virus.
The Web-based network could also alert health care officials to possible bioterrorist attacks, said Janet Marchibroda, CEO of the eHealth Initiative Inc. consortium. Marchibroda confirmed the basic details of the trial run that's being planned by the Washington-based group, which has about 115 members, including major vendors of health care IT systems.
Enterprise users and industry analysts see Palm Inc.'s acquisition of Handspring Inc. as a smart move that will result in a combined company that's better able to compete in the mobile and wireless marketplace with rivals such as Microsoft Corp. and cellular telephone manufacturers.
Intel said last Friday that it has turned off software in its family of mobile processors that could cause some Centrino-powered notebooks to crash when used with a virtual private network (VPN) under the Windows or Windows XP operating system.
United Parcel Service plans to spend US$127 million on global deployment over the next five years of a new driver terminal that features built-in cellular, wireless LAN and Bluetooth short-range wireless systems.
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