Sep 26, 2010 at 11:51
It’s the height of the midterm election campaign in the States – avidly followed by this Canadian expat, who has been keeping a sharp eye out for her overseas voter’s ballot. Hungry incumbents are freshly back from August recesses. Primaries gave us something I thought impossible: political hopefuls who actually make the failed “pay-your-doctor-in-chickens” lady from the summer just past look moderate and rational. Pundits have been busy ginning up their base audience, and now comedians are moving in on their turf, with a forthcoming rally for reasonableness dueling with an event to preserve fear. Stephen Colbert has even testified before an actual House subcommittee and requested that his colonoscopy be entered into the Congressional Record. Between the Internet and satellite TV, it could be a 24-hour festival of the silly season in full flower, were there not things like routine errands and family and sleep and, indeed, this site in the mix, competing for attention.
Sep 19, 2010 at 1:53
In just a few days, on September 23, 2010, it is expected that the FCC will make an announcement approving the use of VHF and UHF spectrum vacated by television broadcasters, what is being dubbed "white space," for general broadband wireless use.
The Commission has been sitting on the sidelines over this whole issue for about two years and the announcement for this unlicensed use is yet another cave-in by a public body that has been so scared of litigation over the last thirty years that it is a small wonder that they even bother to pretend to still exist.
The premise of allowing broadband access to spread across the US is a grand and noble one, but implementation is going to make the airwaves look like public bathrooms as vendors and users stake out their claims in as vicious a manner as they can while they pursue what is going to be an industry worth billions of dollars.
The initial notion was that anybody who wanted to set up a VHF network, or a UHF network slotted between licensed broadcaste...
Sep 19, 2010 at 1:44
Freescale’s recent announcement of its collaboration with European appliance maker Indesit is a hopeful sign that the first standards-based smart washers, dryers, and other household appliances may be hitting the market in Italy within the next couple of years. Equally important, the companies’ support for the development of critical standards-based communication elements may enable the interoperability and the economies of scale required to jump-start the nascent smart appliances market. If the collaboration is successful, many European appliances will use ZigBee-based wireless links to communicate with a home energy management center or Smart Grid gateway device.
While the standard is still in development, it is likely that it will rely on ZigBee as the wireless link for passing control signals, and real-time information about energy cost and availability to the appliances. Indesit demonstrated a prototype smart washer that was built using a Freescale ZigBee module at the Freescale Developers&r...
Sep 12, 2010 at 4:19
It’s a great feeling, isn’t it, when you leave the dentist’s office after a routine cleaning? Your credit card has been weighted down by the worse part of a couple of hundred dollars but your tongue responds to your teeth with that twice a year feeling of clean. Most of us do our best between those visits to maintain those clean teeth and to minimize the length of the next dental visit. And, quite childishly, we revel in the praise of the hygienist that we have been good boys and girls between appointments.
Some people go to even further trouble than that hand-held toothbrush (mine are always “free” from the dentist’s office) and invest in a rotary brush buzzing around at some frequency somewhere in the audio passband. Whichever way we go we all feel civilized to avoid the Russian approach of using salt by buying a toothpaste that suits our taste and marketing brain cells. Some will go for a whitener; some for a fluoride; some for baking soda; some of us will combine the l...
Sep 5, 2010 at 10:02
When the business units of larger companies go on the chopping block – in flight, to use the current expression – it is neither easy to get the loyalty of existing employees nor easy for potential buyers to get the whole picture. I have been able, over the years, to watch in some amazement at buyers completing their due diligence during acquisitions, only to then be very surprised at the real stories behind what they have bought: stories well known to industry watchers.
Intel has tried wireless before. First it was with direct employees whose tenure was short seemingly because of internal culture clashes, and the latest was the XScale-based applications processor business which was to have formed the core for mobile processing with the wireless sections included. XScale was ARM-based and Intel sold that business to Marvell for a reported $600 million in 2006.
Now it is reported that Intel has acquired the wireless business of Infineon for $1.4 billion with a customer base that includes Ap...