Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
A new social convention for email?
"Early in June, Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, found himself confronting an extreme version of a problem familiar to many of us-an overflowing e-mail box. .. One of Lessig's mail folders [is] called Reply To, stuffed with messages from strangers he felt deserved some kind of response-had ballooned to intolerable proportions.
By June, Reply To contained almost a thousand messages. That's when Lessig had an epiphany. 'I realized I wasn't ever going to be able to reply to it all,' he says. 'I have a son who's 10 months old. I saw that I could spend the time answering e-mail, or I could spend the time with my son.
So .. he gave up. .. 'Dear person who sent me a yet-unanswered e-mail,' Lessig wrote in a rueful form letter to each of his would-be correspondents. 'I apologize, but I am declaring e-mail bankruptcy.' Under the terms of this 'bankruptcy,' Lessig explained, he would ignore all the messages in his brimming folder, but he would allow the senders to write back to him if they really, truly wanted to get his attention. 'It was an extraordinarily liberating act,' Lessig says now. He mailed out hundreds of the bankruptcy notices, and only about 30 people sent back further missives." Hmmm. Could be a lot of potential bankruptcy cases out there. " 2:11:36 AM
T-Mobile UK Gets It
: One card and one service for mulitple radios: "T-Mobile's selling a PC data card for GBP 199, then for GBP 70 per month, users get unlimited 3G and GPRS mobile data, and unlimited use of T-Mobile's Wi-Fi hotspots. Not only is T-Mobile significantly undercutting Vodafone
3G data plans, which charge GBP 100 and GBP 75, respectively, for 1GB, but it's done the smart thing and thrown Wi-Fi into the mix. Although the system can't hand off from the mobile network to Wi-Fi hotspots, giving users the ability to access the highest-speed option, regardless of location, without having to worry about price is the best way forward.
Users aren't interested in keeping track of separate logins and pricing plans, or having to swap out a 3G card for a Wi-Fi one, and they certainly aren't interested in keeping track of their usage to make sure they don't go over their alloted amount of data in a month and pay overage fees." 1:54:27 AM
Real-Time Tracking of Parolees Taking Off
: "Portable Tracking Devices (or PTDs) have long been used by law enforcement to keep tabs on parolees and house-arrest prisoners, but most don't operate in real time. Instead, they upload location data periodically, typically at the end of each day. These "delayed reporting" systems are less expensive to use than real-time devices, because they don't need to make as many mobile calls. But local and state governments are beginning believe that the value of real-time tracking devices
, particularly when used to monitor violent offenders with poor impulse control, outweigh the costs. Such devices can instantly warn police when a wearer comes close to a park, schoolyard, or other predetermined "zone of exclusion." Just how costly is real-time tracking? In Tennessee, it'll run about $290 per month per felon.
" 1:47:13 AM
The Bluetooth Burglar Alarm
: "Bluetooth, after some initial stumbling, is now shipping over 2 million chips per week. While there have been some random security issues, it looks like some researchers are coming up with unique and unexpected ways of using the technology now that it's gone mainstream. Researchers at Leeds University have worked out a way to determine the distance between two Bluetooth-enabled devices
, which they believe can be useful as a cheap theft prevention .. (or, realistically, movement-prevention)" mechanism. 1:43:59 AM