Smart card makers team on SIM spec

Sun Microsystems Inc. is teaming with smart card manufacturers Gemplus International SA, Oberthur Cards Systems SA and U.S. technology services company Schlumberger Ltd. to develop interoperable SIM (subscriber identity module) cards using Sun’s Java technology, an Oberthur spokesperson has announced.

The SIM card is a smart card containing a microprocessor and memory which authenticate the user’s identity and can contain other information, such as the user’s credit card information.

Microsoft announces Smart Tag SDK

Microsoft Corp. recently announced the immediate availability of the Smart Tag Software Development Kit (Smart Tag SDK), a free toolkit designed to provide developers with tools and information to build flexible and customized smart tags in Office XP.

Smart tags enable real-time, dynamic recognition of content and offer relevant options to people as they work to allow them to quickly access and analyse information. Using the Smart Tag SDK, developers can now design company- or industry-specific smart tags that will integrate Office XP with information from the Web, enterprise data sources and other desktop applications to expand the Office XP user experience, Microsoft said. Using Office XP and the Smart Tag SDK, developers can quickly create solutions that lower development and deployment costs, reduce training and improve business agility, the company claimed.

IBM simulator released to public

A new tool to help predict the performance of Bluetooth wireless hardware technologies on corporate networks is now available for free download from developerWorks (, IBM’s on-line resource for developers.

The new technology, called BlueHoc, is available for free use through IBM’s Public License on developerWorks’ Open Source Zone. BlueHoc provides a simulated Bluetooth environment, allowing developers to design and construct applications that will successfully interface with other wireless Bluetooth devices. Because BlueHoc is an Open Source project, developers can access the source code and adapt it to their own specific application requirements. BlueHoc works by simulating the lower layers of Bluetooth specifications for wireless systems and protocols. BlueHoc also simulates an ad-hoc indoor wireless environment comprising several Bluetooth devices. The BlueHoc simulation complements IBM’s BlueDrekar technology, IBM’s wireless middleware for Linux, by focusing on the part of the Bluetooth protocol stack which is implemented in hardware. BlueDrekar is concentrated on Bluetooth software. Typical applications for the BlueHoc simulation tool include: studying the feasibility and performance of several simulated TCP/IP applications over Bluetooth, examining device discovery and connection establishment delays in Bluetooth, investigating medium access scheduling (MAC) policies for Bluetooth and proposing improvements in Bluetooth technology.