Sun to release Java 2 for PalmOS

Sun Microsystems Inc. announced recently that it will ship a developer release of Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) and the Mobile Information Device (MID) profile for the operating system of personal digital assistant (PDA) maker Palm Inc.

Palm and Sun also agreed to work with other industry experts to define a programming interface specification targeted for PDAs.J2ME allows consumer devices like PDAs and cell phones to run Java applications. It can distribute functionality between client and server, and works on devices with limited memory and processing power. MID runs on top of J2ME, permitting interactive services on mobile devices. MID is an open-source, standards-based protocol for any device, requiring no programming changes. Sun plans to make J2ME for Palm OS available for inclusion with developers’ applications. Sun first announced the availability of Java technology for wireless devices in September.

IBM claims advanced encryption algorithm

The mathematicians at IBM Corp. have been hard at work, with Big Blue claiming that it has developed a new algorithm that should provide increased network security.

Charanjit Jutla, a researcher at IBM, apparently invented an algorithm capable of performing both encryption and authentication functions in one, simultaneous step. IBM said the technology takes advantage of parallel processing hardware and reduces the time it takes to perform some security-related tasks by as much as 50 percent. By accomplishing multiple tasks at once, the algorithm can reduce some of the workload off networks and devices. A handful of network infrastructure companies are already experimenting with the algorithm as a foundation for some of their security technologies, IBM said. IBM looks for the algorithm to be scooped up for securing Internet protocols, storage area networks (SANs), fibre optic networks and intensive e-business applications.

E-provisioning spec started

A new specification, known as ADPr (Active Digital Profile), is an XML-based schema designed to provide a vendor-and platform-independent exchange of provisioning information to allocate and deploy IT applications, devices, systems and services to employees, business partners and customers.

Analysts said companies can use ADPr to streamline access to provisioning and directories. As a result, users can build IT resources across organizational boundaries and typically incompatible software and hardware platforms. Acting as a kind of least common denominator, XML enables text-based dialogues among machines that have to negotiate the meaning of resources with one another, according to Frank Prince, a senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass. “Because it’s based on XML, ADPr can create a standardized way of managing business processes on a fairly high level,” Prince said. There is a downside to using XML: because it is text-based, it tends to be slower than certain APIs and binary transferring. Prince added XML performs well enough for most transactions, however.