Skype introduces Wi-Fi phones
Open wireless Internet hotspots will soon serve as virtual phone booths, as four manufacturers plan to introduce Wi-Fi handsets for Skype Ltd.’s popular VoIP telephony service this quarter. The phones can be used at open Wi-Fi access points that do not require browser authentication, and come preloaded with Skype software. Belkin Corp., Accton Technology Corp.’s Edge-Core, Netgear Inc., and Standard Microsystems Corp. are all introducing the handsets to support the new service. Designed to give Skype users the mobility of a cell phone, the phones will be sold directly from the Skype online store.
Availability: Third quarter Pricing: Starting at US$258 URL: www.skype.com
LoJack your Mac
Vancouver’s Absolute Software Corp. has released an Apple Macintosh version of Computrace LoJack for Laptops, Absolute’s laptop security tracking product that helps users locate and recover lost or stolen computers. The Mac version will be available through retailers, Apple stores and directly from Absolute. In the event of computer theft or loss, the LoJack product silently contacts Absolute’s Monitoring Centre when the computer connects to the Internet. The embedded software provides the stolen computer’s IP address and other networking information to Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team which works with local law enforcement to identify its physical location and recover the computer. The company promises that if a laptop is not recovered within 30 days it will refund the LoJack purchase cost.
Availability: Available now Pricing: Price per unit for one year of service is US$49.99 URL: www.lojackforlaptops.com
Symantec’s backup moving forward
Symantec Corp. has introduced Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery, incorporating functionality from Symantec LiveState Recovery with new simplified deployment tools for comprehensive, disk-based Windows system protection. It’s designed as a complement to Backup Exec for Windows Servers, which is optimized for data protection. The company said the tool reduces recovery time and hardware investment by no longer requiring IT managers to recover systems to the identical hardware platform where recovery points were created. Users with older hardware environments that fail or need to be replaced can restore their systems to newer and more updated systems or virtual servers without the need to reinstall and reconfigure operating systems, device drivers, applications and system settings.
Availability: Available now Pricing: Three editions, ranging from US$69 per desktop to US$1095 per server URL: www.symantec.ca
Sun’s Opteron servers aimed at data centre
Sun Microsystems Inc. launched three Opteron-based servers last month, positioning them as midrange servers to be used for network computing in data centres. The Sun Fire X4500 data server, Sun Fire X4600 server and Sun Blade 8000 are all powered by Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. The Sun Blade 8000 is a modular blade server system, based on the company’s “Galaxy” x64 server architecture. The base version of the X4600 is a four-socket machine with dual-core Opteron chips, while the base version of the X4500 will be a two-socket machine with dual-core Opteron chips and 12TB of storage.
Availability: X4600 and 8000 available now, X4500 by mid-August Pricing: X4600 starts at US$29,995, 8000 starts at US$19,940, and the X4500 starts at US$32,995 URL: www.sun.com
And two become one
FileHold Systems Inc., a Vancouver developer of document and record management software, and dtSearch Corp., a developer of text retrieval sofwate, have worked together to release a product combining the two companies’ strengths. FileHold’06 includes the dtSearch Engine for Win & .NET to let users search documents in their FileHold document management system. The FileHold application is based on a SOA framework for scalability, and the dtSearch Engine can index over a terabyte of text in a single index.
Availability: Available now URL: www.filehold.com and www.dtsearch.com
Novell adds virtualization to Suse Linux upgrade
Novell Inc. has released a new version of Suse Linux for servers and desktops, marking the start of a renewed push to attract enterprise customers to its open source operating system. Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10 includes the Xen 3.0 virtualization software, which allows several operating systems to run concurrently on a single server. Other updates include a new version of AppArmor, a toolset for securing applications, which is included with both the desktop and server editions. The company also updated its desktop Linux distribution, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. New components include the OpenOffice.org 2.0 productivity suite and the Evolution 2.6 desktop client, which Novell says is compatible with Microsoft’s Exchange and its own Groupwise. It also includes the Beagle desktop search tool and the Firefox Web browser. Novell plans to bring the virtualization capabilities to Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop at the end of the year when it releases the first service pack for the OS, the company said.
Availability: Available now Pricing: Server OS starts at US$349 for a basic subscription and US$11,999 for mainframes and the desktop OS is US$50 per device per year URL: www.novell.com
Hotspots on the go
Kyocera Wireless has announced the Canadian launch of its Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router, a device that uses a single high-speed cellular connection to create a low-cost mobile Wi-Fi “hotspot” or Ethernet hub for multiple PCs at download speeds of up to 2.4 Mbps. It’s designed for use with 1xEV-DO PC cards, and distributes 1xEV-DO connectivity from the PC Card or mobile phone to as many as 20 computers via 802.11b and 802.11g Wi-Fi connections and/or four 10/100 Ethernet cable ports. Security controls include 128-bit WEP encryption and an advanced firewall for added protection against viruses, hacking and identity theft.
Availability: Available now through Bell and Telus Pricing: Starts at $249.99 URL: www.kyocera-wireless.com
Intel unveils Itanium 2 server chip
Intel Corp. has launched its “Montecito” dual-core Itanium chip. The Dual-Core Itanium 2 design is the first to bring hyperthreading, virtualization and multiple cores to the Itanium line, important to customers who use the chips for business analytics, large data warehouses and other high-performance computing tasks, and Intel said the chip also cuts power needs by 20 per cent compared to the last generation Itanium chip. Availability: Available now Pricing: Starts at US$749 URL: www.intel.com
IBM unveils security management software
IBM has debuted security information management software it says will help large customers better integrate their security and operation management efforts. IBM Tivoli Security Operations Manager (TSOM) collects security events and logs from disparate devices to help network and security managers quickly determine the source of a security threat. TSOM gathers events from distributed devices such as firewalls, intrusion-detection systems and proxy servers. The software then aggregates the data in such a way that, for example, Cisco and Check Point alerts can be correlated directly to help determine the source of potential security problems. TSOM is based on technology developed by former stand-alone SIM vendor GuardedNet.
Availability: Available now Pricing: Starts at US$75,000 for a 20-license deployment. URL: www.ibm.com
A PDA for the visually impaired
Longueuil, Que.-based HumanWare has released Maestro 2.0, an enhanced version of its personal digital assistant for the visually impaired. Maestro consists of a standard Dell PDA with a tactile overlay allowing people to use commands and enter data intuitively by touch. The information is sent to the user in audio form using integrated voice synthesis to let users organize everything from their appointments and address books, consult and edit text documents, record voice notes, read books, organize e-mail and listen to music as well. New features in 2.0 include a WiFi e-mail manager, a media player for music and audio books, and a task manager.
Availability: Available now URL: www.humanware.ca
Dual-band, single-chip UWB system Infineon Technologies AG has designed a core transceiver for a new generation of system-on-chip semiconductors that will allow consumer electronic devices to send or receive data at high speeds over the airwaves. The dual-band UWB (ultra-wideband) RF (radio frequency) transceiver is based on a low-power CMOS process. It supports both the 3 GHz-to-5 GHz frequency band and above the 6 GHz band up to 9 GHz, as defined by the WiMedia Alliance, an industry consortium. The tranceiver will support data transmission speeds up to 480Mbps. It is well-suited for both Certified Wireless USB and Bluetooth-over-WiMedia UWB systems, according to an Infineon release.
Availability: Mid-2007 URL: www.infineon.com
D-Link offers low-cost PoE upgrade
A new Ethernet adapter kit will allow remote devices to be powered over the network even if it not set up for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). D-Link’s DWL-P200 Power over Ethernet adapter kit will mean wireless access points, surveillance cameras, LAN bridges and routers can be used anywhere you can run an Ethernet cable, even if there is no main supply nearby. This is already possible with the PoE standard but it remains expensive to upgrade both your switches and remote devices to PoE-enabled versions. The D-Link kit has a base unit that connects between an ordinary network switch and the Ethernet cable, injecting power onto spare cable pairs, plus a terminal unit that breaks out the power and provides the network device with a 5v or 12v feed.
Availability: Available now Pricing US$54 URL: www.dlink.com