Quick Hits

Earlier this month, Sweden-based telecom company Telefon AB LM Ericsson suspended two employees in what is being called the biggest industrial espionage case in Sweden. Spokesperson Henry Stenson said the company had reason to believe the employees may have handed over information to a former employee who was taken into custody earlier this month according to a CNN report. Ericsson would not disclose what documents had been leaked, but a company source said they did not appear to have been linked to any military projects. Stenson said that, to the company’s knowledge, the leaked documents caused limited damage, although the company believes it had been going on for some time.

A handshake felt around the world

Last month two scientists shook hands – 3,000 miles apart. In what the industry is calling a technological first, the two scientists – one in Boston, and one in London – picked up a computer-generated cube and moved it, each responding to the force of the other. The devices that enabled the interaction, called Phantoms, re-created the sense of touch by sending small impulses at very high frequencies over the Internet using newly developed fibre optic cables and high bandwidth. According to the University College London, not only can scientists feel the force of colleagues across the world, but can also feel the texture of the object they are feeling. But, don’t expect this touchy technology popping up at the nearest Future Shop anytime soon. The scientists say that it won’t be available to the public for at least five years.

Avaya IP off at conference

Last month at the Avaya Analyst and Media conference at the company’s Basking Ridge, N.J. headquarters, the talk was all IP. And as always a good idea, Avaya was practising what it preached. In its media/analyst lounge, the company gave visitors an opportunity to use the much-talked-about and anticipated IP phones. However, much to the chagrin of the host, the phones were out of order for about an hour, which meant that Internet usage was out as well. Obviously dismayed, the company had technicians bring in regular telephones for usage throughout the remainder of the day. Avaya would not comment on what shut the system down.

Nokia goes game-on

If anyone tells you wireless gaming is a fad, Nokia will likely say otherwise. The company announced last month that it had to close registration for its Nokia Game 2002 earlier than expected. The company set a new record for the number of player registrations, reaching one million – its maximum capacity. Nokia Game 2002 is an interactive adventure played from Nov. 11 to Nov. 29 in nine languages across 25 countries. During the game, players received a mission that they had to complete using clues and information provided via the Internet, SMS, chat and mini-movies. At the end of the game, the top 10 to 100 players in each country were to receive a Nokia 3650 phone. Better register early next year.