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News Briefs (HTML)
September/October 2005 (vol. 7 no. 5)
pp. 5-6, 8

DISASTER RECOVERY: According to the Los Angeles Times, wireless broadband helped fill the communication gap for Hurricane Katrina rescue workers in New Orleans before the return of land and cellular-based technologies. These systems, based on WiMax and Wi-Fi standards, were quickly put up by technology companies with a stake in the area. Among them was Intel, who also donated 2,300 laptop computers to the Red Cross for use in its shelters. Additional companies, such as Cisco, SBC, and Avaya, provided critical network support.

INTERNET: Jeff Pulver, organizer of the VON (Voice on the Network) conferences, criticized the FCC for ignoring Internet Protocol (IP)-based technologies despite their proven helpfulness in the Katrina relief effort. Pulver was reacting to a September 15th emergency meeting where the FCC invited representatives from BellSouth, Iridium Satellite, and CTIA. In a subsequent posting on his popular blog, he pointed out that many other Internet services, aside from VoIP, also provided important communication options.

MANAGEMENT: The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) opposes a European Union plan that would require technology and telecommunications firms to retain data on Internet traffic and telephone calls. The ITAA argued that such mandates are unnecessary because companies are already cooperated effectively with law enforcement agencies. Recognizing that some European states already have differing mandates, the ITAA did call for legislation that would harmonize standards in a way that reflects current business practices.

STANDARDS: The IEEE is in the midst of developing a US standard to help purchasing agents assess the environmental impact of computers. IEEE P1680, "Standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products," will be the first comprehensive US standard to support the incorporation of environmental considerations. It will encompass criteria in eight categories: environmentally sensitive materials selection, design for end of life, product longevity and life cycle extension, energy conservation, end-of-life management, corporate performance, and packaging.

DESKTOP: US households with a networked storage device will grow to nearly 10 million by the end of 2010, according to a new report from Parks Associates. By 2010, 17 percent of US households with multiple PCs and one-forth of those with a home network will have a networked storage device.

HARDWARE: Furthermore, home networking equipment revenue will exceed 20 billion in 2009, according to a report by In-Stat. "Our research shows that there is growing interest among US consumers to use home networks to connect their library of digital entertainment audio and video files with their traditional entertainment equipment," says Joyce Putscher, an In-Stat analyst.

NETWORKING: The open source Tor onion router was recently placed on PCWorld's 100 best computer products of 2005. According to Jason Holt, a security researcher, Tor is similar to a remailer network for TCP streams. Instead of wrapping an e-mail message in multiple encryption envelopes, onion routing implementations originally worked by creating an onion of envelopes containing session keys and net-hop information for a TCP stream." Tor could facilitate the use of privacy protection schemes based on blind signatures or hidden credentials.

Citation:
"News Briefs," IT Professional, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 5-6, 8, Sept.-Oct. 2005, doi:10.1109/MITP.2005.119
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