Mississauga, Ont.-based Kasten Chase Applied Research Ltd. announced last month that it is cutting its workforce by 25 per cent. “Staffing reductions are being undertaken with a view to preserving the company’s core technological capabilities, while allowing for an increased focus on the marketing of its new data security solutions,” the company said in a statement. Chief Executive Officer Paul Hyde cited that a weakened global economy and new enterprise investments in data security offerings being deferred for several quarters, “made it difficult for us to effectively forecast the timing of revenue with a high degree of confidence.”

RIM faces new charges

Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) announced in May that it could be facing an extra US$19.25 million in additional charges in a patent infringement dispute with NTP Inc. A brief statement was made by RIM following a Richmond, Va. U.S. Federal District Court ruling made last month. The legal battle between RIM and NTP began in November 2001, over a complaint filed by NTP. The complaint alleged that RIM’s BlackBerry e-mail device infringed on eight patents held by NTP that cover the use of radio frequency wireless communications in electronic mail systems.

Rugged terrain

Vancouver-based Sierra Wireless last month released a new global system for mobile communication (GSM)/general packet radio system (GPRS) ruggedized wireless modem. The MP GPRS 750 is specifically designed for users who need in-vehicle mobile solutions for extreme environments and conditions, such as the police, fire and ambulance services. Capable of functioning at temperatures of -30 C to 70 C, the MP GPRS 750 can hit data speeds of up to 52Kbps, an improvement over its predecessor, the MP200, which reached 19.2Kbps. About 600 police, fire, utility and transportation organizations across the continent currently use the MP200, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Sniffing out an upgrade

Network Associates Inc. (NAI) announced the Sniffer Network Protection Platform last month, which includes a new appliance and revisions of existing software that analysts said will push the vendor into a growing network security market. The new appliance will allow the faster data monitoring needed for the largest network cores, according to NAI. Upgrades to three network management products were designed to work from the core to the network edge, the firm said. The tools are designed to help customers save time troubleshooting network outages or preventing malicious threats. The company also announced new versions of its Network Performance Orchestrator products and a revision of its Sniffer Distributed RMON+ software for remote monitoring.