Show of 10-27-2007

  • Profiles in IT: Vic Hayes
    • Vic Hayes is known as ?father of Wi-Fi?
    • Popularly known as the ?Father of Wi-Fi,? Vic Hayes is senior research fellow at Delft University of Technology in Delft , Netherlands .
    • The father of WiFi, Dutch engineer Vic Hayes, didn’t invent the technology but steered the sector away from a VHS-versus-Beta-style debacle.
    • In the early 1990s, Hayes corralled the many companies working on wireless-networking technology into an agreement on WiFi standards.
    • The term WiFi was created in 1999 by Interbrand, the consultancy that coined the name Prozac. They were hired by what is now known as the Wi-Fi Alliance. Other name finalists: Torchlight, Elevate.
    • From its inception in 1990 through 2000, Mr. Hayes chaired the IEEE standards workgroup that defined the IEEE 802.11 set of wireless networking standards, better known as Wi-Fi.
      • Mr. Hayes’ leadership is one of the reasons that low-cost, nearly ubiquitous wireless LAN connectivity exists today.
      • Mr. Hayes helped bring global recognition of the need for additional spectrum for wireless computer networks.
      • Through the Wi-Fi Alliance he mobilized the computer industry into regulatory activities, with the result that the World Radio Conference 2003 allocated an additional 455 MHz of radio spectrum in the 5 GHz area for wireless access devices.
      • The task of developing an IEEE standard around wireless technology was a diplomatic mission for Vic Hayes, the father of Wi-Fi.
    • Ironically, Agere dropped out of Wi-Fi because it could not compete on price with its competitors.
    • He was born July 31, 1941 in Indonesia (at that time Netherland’s Indies )
    • Received his BE degree in 1961 in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from HTS Amsterdam in 1961
    • He was a Radio and Radar Officer at the Dutch Royal Air Force in 1962.
    • 1963 to 1974 — Customer Engineer for Friden Holland (now Singer Business Machines).
    • 1974 to 2003 — Systems Engineer for NCR, Systems Laboratory, (the Netherlands ). This company later became AT&T, then Lucent Technologies, and finally Agere Systems.
    • He is currently Senior Research Fellow at Delft University of Technology,
  • How to Buy a Portable GPS System
    • Important features include a large readable display, a variety routing options, built-in maps, a large points of interest (POI) database, and most importantly, a strong receiver.
    • The SiRF Star III GPS receiver has become the defacto standard for GPS devices because of its fast Time to First Fix (TTFF)?the time it takes the receiver to find its position in a new location?as well as its ability to acquire and maintain a signal even in dense urban environments.
    • Pricing, an important consideration for most people, runs the gamut in the GPS market, starting at about $200 for your basic system and topping out at more than $1500 for a full-featured model.
    • Many low-price units have small screens, and don’t include pre-loaded maps?you have to load them onto a memory card yourself.
    • Those who can afford to splurge on a higher-end device will get bigger screens, a more powerful GPS receiver, such as the aforementioned SiRF Star III, as well as Bluetooth capabilities, and multimedia features.
    • These pricey models also include preloaded maps of the U.S. and surrounding areas, as well as large, searchable POI databases, the largest of which exceed 6 million listings.
    • Screen sizes range from 2.1 inches all the way up to the huge 7-inch screen on the Garmin StreetPilot 7200 series.
    • A 2.1-inch screen works best when walking, while the 7-inch screen is intended for recreational vehicle (RV) use.
    • A screen size of 3.5 to 5 inches is ideal for mounting on your car’s dashboard.
    • A unit with a text-to-speech engine is able to pronounce street names in addition to announcing upcoming turns. Devices with this capability usually start at around $500.
    • You can also choose whether you want a man or woman’s voice telling you what to do?in some case it’s a celebrity ordering you around.
    • Here are a few to consider.
      • Garmin NUVI 680 Garmin leads the other GPS manufacturers with the introduction of real-time location-based services that go way beyond traffic reports. You’ll also find a bright 4.3-inch screen, SiRF Star III GPS receiver, a Bluetooth speakerphone interface, and an MP3 player. This is my choice for around $700 street price
      • TomTom GO 720. The TomTom GO 720 differentiates itself with a new Map Share community tool that gives you access to constant map updates and a useful safety option in case of an emergency. Around $500 street price.
      • Lowrance iWay 600C The 600C offers a lot of value for someone who needs both a marine and an automotive GPS, and its feature set should satisfy land and sea travelers alike. Around $500 street price.
      • Magellan Maestro 4040. Magellan finally updated the design and interface of its portable navigation systems; it was in much need of improvement. The Magellan Maestro series is the first to showcase these changes, and it offers drivers an accurate in-car GPS device with useful trip information, thanks to its partnership with AAA. Around $400 street price.
      • Magellan CrossoverGPS For the biking, hiking, or boating enthusiast who also wants good, solid vehicle navigation, the CrossoverGPS is an excellent choice. Around $325 street price.
      • Mio Digiwalker H610 An ultraportable GPS, the device includes a wealth of travel tools, games, and multimedia players for music, photos, and videos. Around $300 street price.
      • Novogo S700 The Novogo is a fairly full-featured GPS from a company that you probably haven’t heard about. If you can find it at a good price and you’re not looking for something fancy, this basic device might be worth considering. Preloaded European maps. Around $280 street price.
  • GPS and its Evangelist
    • GPS or the Global Positioning System was invented by the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D) and Ivan Getting, at the cost of twelve billion taxpayer dollars.
    • The Global Positioning System is a satellite navigational system, predominantly designed for navigation.
    • Official name is NAVSTAR GPS (NAVigation Satellite Timing And Ranging)
    • The first system has eighteen satellites, six in each of three orbital planes spaced 120º apart, and their ground stations, formed the original GPS. The number was cut from 24 to 18 to save money.
    • The current system uses a set of 28 satellites in orbits inclines at 55 degrees from the equator. These satellites are placed so that four are always visible (three for position, one for time).
    • GPS uses these "man-made stars" or satellites as reference points to calculate geographical positions, accurate to a matter of meters. In fact, with advanced forms of GPS, you can make measurements to better than a centimeter.
    • The idea was generated soon after the launch of Russia ‘s Sputnik. They used Doppler radar to locate the satellite and then realized that if you already know where the satellite is, you can locate yourself.
    • Key technology required for GPS is an accurate way to track time: atomic clock is the perfect solution.
    • GPS receivers have been miniaturized to just a few integrated circuits, becoming very
    • Dr. Ivan Getting was the prime evangelist behind GPS.
    • Dr. Ivan Getting was born in 1912 in New York City . He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Edison Scholar, receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1933.
    • Following his undergraduate study at MIT, Dr. Getting was a Graduate Rhodes scholar at Oxford University . He was awarded a Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 1935.
    • In 1951, Ivan Getting became the vice president for engineering and research at the Raytheon Corporation.
    • The first three-dimensional, time-difference-of-arrival position-finding system was suggested by Raytheon Corporation in response to an Air Force requirement for a guidance system to be used with a proposed ICBM that would achieve mobility by traveling on a railroad system.
    • When Ivan Getting left Raytheon in 1960, this proposed technique was among the most advanced forms of navigational technology in the world, and its concepts were crucial stepping stones in the development of the Global Positioning System or GPS.
    • Under Dr. Getting’s direction Aerospace engineers and scientists studied the use of satellites as the basis for a navigation system for vehicles moving rapidly in three dimensions, ultimately developing the concept essential to GPS.
  • Doggie Cell Phone
    • Cell phones are everywhere these days.
    • The PetsCell allows animal lovers to call home and talk to their ped.
    • It automatically receives your call and features two-way voice communication.
    • GPS enabled. You can specify a predefined area for your pet.
    • PetsCell is $500.
  • DARPA Urban Challenge Starts Today
    • Thirty-five driverless vehicles will race over hill and dale as well as fake city intersections.
    • The Urban Challenge features autonomous ground vehicles maneuvering in a mock city environment, executing simulated military supply missions while merging into moving traffic, navigating traffic circles, negotiating busy intersections, and avoiding obstacles.
    • The machines must also handle parallel parking and intersections with two- and four-way stops – situations that can confound many human driven vehicles.
    • The agency is offering $2 million for the fastest qualifying vehicle, and $1 million and $500,000 for second and third place.
    • DARPA defines an autonomous car or truck as any vehicle that navigates and drives entirely on its own with no human driver and no remote control.
    • Through the use of various sensors and positioning systems, the vehicle determines all the characteristics of its environment required to enable it to carry out the task it has been assigned, the agency said on its Web site.
    • The first Grand Challenge event was held in March 2004 and featured a 142-mile desert course.
    • Fifteen autonomous ground vehicles attempted the course and no vehicle finished.
    • In the 2005 Grand Challenge, four autonomous vehicles successfully completed a 132-mile desert route under the required 10-hour limit, and DARPA awarded a $2 million prize to " Stanley " from Stanford University .
    • We will report on the winner next week end.
  • More Interesting Google Products
    • Google Code Search. Use the lang: operator to limit your results to a certain language, and search by developer name, file name, or comments.
    • Google Base. Easily publish and find recipes, classifieds, vacation rentals and job listings at Google Base. For example, you can search recipes by ingredient, or vacation rentals by location and features like how many bedrooms, and what type of property it is (cabin, cottage, hotel, villa, house, etc.)
    • Google Trends. Compare the "world’s interest" in certain words and topics at Google Trends, which charts the number of times a word or phrase appeared on the web over time. Great for checking out the history of popular neologisms and brand names.
    • Google Alerts. Make your web search results come to you with Google Alerts, email notifications that list the new web pages your search terms pop up on, real-time.
    • Google Book Search. You can still get your books online at Google Book Search, whose book-scanning elves add to the digital library all the time. Flip through pages of the books scanned into Book Search, and add books to your personal virtual library as well.
    • Google Page Creator. Google Page Creator, a totally web-based, WYSIWYG web site creation tool that hosts up to 100MB of files for free.
    • Google Notebook. We all find snippets of web pages, quotes, and images all over the web we want to copy to a personal library, and Google Notebook is a powerful way to do just that.
    • Flight Simulator in Google Earth. We know about this already. In latest version of Google Earth.
    • SketchUp. Free 3-D modeling program Google SketchUp lets anyone virtually architect their dream house, remodeled kitchen, office, spaceship or skyscraper. Download Google SketchUp for free, for Mac or PC.
  • Click Fraud
    • Click fraud is where a malicious competitor or a bogus website operator is clicking on "pay-per-click" advertisements and listings without any intention to buy or browse, costing the advertisers money without generating results.
    • The search engine companies that currently are earning many of the Internet’s ad dollars say they’re taking their own steps to reassure customers and defeat the fraudsters.
    • Google and Overture both have stated publicly they have proprietary anti-click-fraud technology, which they refine on an ongoing basis.
    • "Internet villainy is an evolving and moving target," he said.
    • "There are ingenious individuals who are constantly trying to find ways to game the system."
    • His firm offers advertisers a feature called "continental opt-out," which allows them to block traffic coming from other continents where fraud is more prevalent.
    • "If we see too many clicks appearing from one Internet site or a narrow band of addresses, we then automatically launch an investigation," Byrne said.
    • "We won’t charge an advertiser if there’s an investigation on those clicks. We often eliminate dubious clicks before we send a bill to the client."
    • Still, he said it’s also important clients commit their own time to keeping track of their campaign.
    • If there’s a legal dispute over who’s responsible for click fraud, advertisers may not always win their case without proof.
    • A Halifax small claims court released a ruling last week that RevQuest Technologies Inc., a Canadian firm that places sponsored links on search engine sites, must pay a $25,000 bill to search engine Findology, despite its claims the clicks on the ads were coming from "fraudulent and incentive-based fake and inflated traffic."
    • The adjudicator decided that RevQuest had failed to provide clear documentation to show fraud.
    • "To put it plainly, the company in the position of RevQuest should be able to provide some objective verification of its position that the traffic was fraudulent. It is not sufficient to merely say it is fraudulent traffic," wrote adjudicator Michael O’Hara in his decision.
  • Is Firefox Biting the Hand the Feed It?
    • Firefox reached a major milestone this week, surpassing 400 million downloads worldwide.
    • It most popular extension is AdBlock Plus which poses a threat to the ad-driven business models of entertainment, media, and search sites across the web.
    • If enough people install the extension and other ad-killing browser add-on, they could they chip away at the bottom line of companies like CNN, Microsoft, and Google.
    • Google provides almost all of the revenue for the Mozilla Corp. – the commercial wing of the Mozilla Foundation, makers of Firefox.
    • You know how it works: Google pays Mozilla to tie Firefox to certain Google tools.
    • The question is: As more and more people install AdBlock Plus, which is officially recommended by Mozilla, will Google continue to fund the browser?
    • But if Google jumped on board with this sort of AdBlock crackdown, it would surely anger the masses.
    • In the end, it might be easier for Google to break off its relationship with Mozilla, leaving the foundation struggling for revenue.