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Issue No.04 - July/August (2006 vol.8)
pp: 53-59
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
ABSTRACT
Book reviews, Web sites, conferences, and other useful resources for IT professionals.




Wireless
The Right Wireless for the Job
Developing Practical Wireless Applications, Dean A. Gratton. Set for publication in December, this book explores the question of whether wireless manufacturers are using the right technology for the right product, given the industry's range of capabilities. The author discusses strengths and weaknesses of currently available wireless technologies, and, more specifically, draws the reader's attention to the diverse collection of standardized and proprietary solutions available to manufacturers.
Gratton describes how each technology works and explores overlapping, complementary, and competing technologies. The book looks at the suitability of wireless applications in these contexts, and also considers the practicality of a wireless world as a way to understand consumers and specific demographic groups. Additionally, the author compares the differences between personal- and wide-area communications, considering personal-area technologies alongside 3G and WiMax.
Aimed at a technologically intermediate to advanced audience, the book is one of the first to discuss applications surrounding technologies such as ZigBee, near-field communications, and ultra-wideband. The author talks about the Bluetooth 2.0, plus the new EDR specification alongside some fundamental introductions to Wi-Fi, namely, 802.11i and 802.11n.
Digital Press; ISBN 1555583105; 50 pp.; $31.47.
Next-Generation Wireless




Next Generation Wireless Systems and Networks, Hsiao-Hwa Chen and Mohsen Guizani.
This book covers wireless systems and networks. Chapter topics include wireless communications fundamentals, 2G and 3G mobile cellular systems, and MIMO/ multi-user signal processing in Beyond-3G wireless.
Although the book is aimed at specialists, it includes essential background information as well. For example, the text discusses basics of wireless communications such as 3G wireless standards, spread spectrum and CDMA systems, It goes on to introduce 3G standards, such as W-CDMA, CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA. Beyond that, it looks at more futuristic topics, including cognitive radio technology and 3GPP E-UTRA technology. Further, the book addresses emerging wireless communication systems and networks such as Super-3G technology, 4G wireless, UWB, OFDMA and MIMO.
John Wiley & Sons; ISBN 0470024348; 512 pp.; $120.
GSM-3G Central and Eastern Europe




24–25 October 2006, Bucharest, Romania
The two-day GSM-3G conference will explore Central and Eastern Europe market developments, as well as how to sustain profitability in the competitive CEE market. Topics of discussion include driving growth in the CEE, CEE forecast analysis, and simplifying regulations. Regional overview discussions will cover case studies such as Vodafone Romania's 3G rollout, and Vipnet's HSDPA rollout in Croatia. Also, the conference will explore integrating 3G and DVB-H TV services, and options for 3G VAS.
Event visitors can listen to development-strategy presentations such as those on 3G-to-4G standardization and fixed-mobile convergence. The conference will also assess potentially disruptive technologies, covering topics such as the expansion of Wi-Fi in Europe, strategies for communicating and pricing the WiMax value proposition, and a panel discussion of WiMax versus 3G.
According to conference organizers, Informa Telecoms & Media says that the total number of Central and Eastern European GSM subscribers passed 250 million at the start of November 2005. Fueled by continued strong growth in developing markets—particularly in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland—the milestone was reached six to seven months after the region passed the 200 million subscriber mark. Growth still remains strong in 2006, and Informa forecasts indicate that the region is on track to pass 300 million subscriptions in 2007. Consequently, conference organizers believe the region offers good long-term growth prospects.
As of March 2006, a total of 13 W-CDMA networks had been launched commercially in the CEE region, and four more were pre-commercial. There are 18 additional regional W-CDMA networks in the planning/deployment phase, including largest-market networks in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
http://www.gsm-3gworldseries.com/cee/
Mobile Business Expo
31 October–3 November 2006, Chicago
Wireless technology can give your company a competitive advantage through increased productivity, better customer care, and more timely communication and information exchange; but creating that mobile advantage is the trick. Mobile Business Expo is a three-day conference intended for business and IT professionals who want to improve communication, processes, and productivity using wireless technologies. From field-worker support to RFID asset management, IT managers and business managers must collaborate to develop an integrated mobility strategy. The expo's case studies, demonstrations, workshops, and conference tracks cover the ingredients necessary to build a mobile workforce and leverage wireless technology across asset management systems.
Visitors can learn how to integrate technologies such as WLANs, voice over WLAN, mobile broadband, field and sales force applications, RFID, MESH, and WiMax. The conference will also explore topics such as future developments in the wireless LAN 802.11 standard, best practices in securing and managing wireless systems, and extending legacy business application across a mobile infrastructure Business issues include customer relationship management, fixed/mobile convergence's role in enterprise communications, future wireless developments to watch, and which technologies to consider now.
The conference will cover topics such as evolving metro-area access (metroscale Wi-Fi, mobile WiMax, and broadband cellular), threat analysis, and vulnerability management in a mobile world. Other topics include unified communications and data collection devices.
http://www.mobilebusinessexpo.com/index.php
IEE Mobility Conference




25–27 October 2006, Bangkok, Thailand
IEE Mobility Conference and Exhibition is a mobile-technologies event that features a three-day menu of keynote speeches, symposiums, technical presentations, and industry updates. Each day, keynote speakers will provide mobile-industry updates on topics such as technologies, standards, applications, and mobile devices.
Industry presentations are technology-specific "how-to" sessions for developers and system integrators. The industry tracks cover areas including Palm OS, Windows, Java, and Symbian application development environments, network integration to a mobile (General Packet Radio Service and 802.11 wireless local area networks) environment, and working with mobile-device platforms.
Oral technical-presentation tracks discuss research on next-generation systems, latest operating systems, software development platforms, networking technologies, and mobile device capabilities.
Also included are research papers that provide glimpses of near- and long-term trends. Special sessions cover topics such as trends and technical challenges of next-generation mobile communication systems, ad hoc and sensor networks, IP mobility, and user interface design.
Mobile-realm usability-engineering topics will include the human-computer interaction perspective, parallel-processing improvement over wireless communication, and location discovery and mobility modeling/forecasting in wireless networks.
http://www.mobilityconference.org
Unlicensed Bands




Coexistence in Wireless Networks: Challenges and System-Level Solutions in the Unlicensed Bands, Nada Golmie. The increasing popularity of wireless networks makes interference and crosstalk between multiple systems inevitable. Set for publication in September, this book describes techniques for quantifying these disruptions and their performance effects on unlicensed-band wireless networks. It also presents system-level solutions, advocating the need for new hardware implementations.
The book starts with basic concepts and wireless protocols before moving on to interference-performance evaluation, interference modeling, and coexistence solutions. It concludes with common misconceptions and pitfalls. The author illustrates her theory by referencing real-world systems such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Case studies and illustrations should make this book interesting for electrical engineering and computer science graduate students, WLAN and WPAN systems designers, practitioners developing new interference suppression techniques, and general users of merging wireless technology.
Cambridge University Press; ISBN 0521857686; 192 pp.; $70.
IT World's Wireless




http://wireless.itworld.com
This site, managed by IT World, provides information on wireless technology.
Links are organized in news and topic sections along the left side of the page. The news section contains a sampling of breaking wireless news headlines. The topics section is divided into areas including application development, network management, products and services, standards and regulations, and trends and technologies. The home page also contains links to webcasts, analyst briefings, white papers, and newsletters.
One of the offerings in the white papers section is on benchmarking voice over IP over Wi-Fi (Vo-Fi). The paper claims that benchmarking wireless systems is difficult, with many variables and elements. This Technology Note documents the results of a voice benchmark run on a properly instrumented test configuration.
developerWorks: Wireless Technology
http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/wireless/
This Web site is IBM's technical resource for developers. The site provides tools, code, and education for DB2, eServer, Lotus, Rational, Tivoli, and WebSphere, as well as open standards information on Web services, Wireless, Linux, XML, and Java technologies.
The developerWorks wireless technology zone stores hundreds of articles, tutorials, and tips for developers that use wireless technology and related applications. With a massive amount of available information, this page serves as both an overview and starting point for users who want to learn about wireless technology. The page describes wireless basics within the overall context of the technology, especially as it pertains to application development and e-business. The page also offers starting points for relevant developerWorks articles, tutorials, tips, IBM learning services education, webcasts, workshops, and IBM products.
The technical library section—which links off the main page—contains a wireless technology articles list. Visitors can view the list by product, title, topic, or keyword, and sort results. Wireless technology tips and tricks are also available. Additionally, this page offers free wireless-technology online tutorials from developerWorks for beginner to advanced developers.
RFID in the Enterprise




The January 2006 issue of IEEE Pervasive Computing focuses on applications of RFID (radio frequency identification), a wireless communication technology that lets computers read the identity of inexpensive electronic tags from a distance, without requiring a battery in the tags. No becoming a competitive edge for companies like Wal-Mart and FedEx, RFID is poised for yet another wave of innovative use, as the technologies mature and become less expensive.
This special issue begins with an Introduction to RFID from Roy Want, a principal engineer at Intel Research. He outlines the basics of RFID and what challenges still remain.
One article of this special issue tells how Fraport AG used RFID in facilities maintenance at Frankfurt International Airport. Europe's second largest airport, Frankfurt handled more than 50 million passengers and almost 500,000 aircraft arrivals and departures in 2004. Facilities maintenance is a huge task, requiring specific identification for thousands of pieces of equipment. This article tells about how the company successfully deployed RFID to tag these items, first starting with a pilot project.
Another article describes an RFID-based system to track manufacturing lots. Infineon Technologies uses this system in its wafer fabrication facility in Villach, Austria. The system combines active RFID, passive RFID, and ultrasound sensors to track plastic wafer boxes and wafer cassettes in the company's chip-manufacturing process. It's been in use for almost two years and has proved to be reliable and efficient in localizing and communicating with many moving physical objects.
Find out about these and other RFID applications in the January issue of Pervasive, http://www.computer.org/pervasive.
Unix/Linux
Open Source Business Conference East




17–18 October 2006, Boston
This conference targets several kinds of IT workers: those looking to leverage open source into a business; those seeking to understand and mitigate open source legal risks; and those interested in talking to the industry's open source startups and learning about business models.
One of this conference's tracks is "Stacking the Enterprise Deck: The Rise of LAMP/J and its Implications for Enterprise Infrastructure." Among Java, .Net, LAMP, LAMJ, and J2EE the question remains: Which open source stack, or combination thereof, is the best fit for the enterprise? The track's panel will tackle the choice. Attendees will hear industry leaders sound off with their views about what to consider when implementing, integrating, and deploying a collection of open source components into an enterprise's infrastructure.
Another track, "Technology and Decentralization," is a keynote presented by Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal. Thiel believes that in the second half of the 20th century, technological innovation was a major driver of the world economy's decentralization, enabling small businesses to compete with larger organizations. The globalization of information tended to diversify power and enable people to act much more locally than before. Thiel will explore the question of whether this trend towards decentralization will continue, culminating in worldwide "anarchocapitalism," or whether technological innovative forces—especially in the IT industry—might cause the pendulum to reverse toward some kind of economic or political centralization.
The "Open Source: Moving Beyond Just Software" track will feature Sun Microsystems president and COO Jonathan Schwartz discussing open source repercussions. Many think of open source merely as software bits and bytes. Sun, a contributor of open source code, sees a world in which open source also means commercially viable communities, innovative Internet services, hardware, and devices, and, ultimately, massive economic opportunity.
http://www.osbc.com/live/13/
All Linux Devices




http://alllinuxdevices.com/
All Linux Devices is a resource for professionals interested in staying aware of Linux and open source community news. The site publishes all its Web content—including free software and open source tools—using Linux software exclusively.
Your All Linux Devices (YLT) allows readers to receive personalized news from a variety of sources, for example, content filtered from the All Linux Devices newswire. The Next Generation (LT-TNG) offers system improvements, with enhanced control features available to members (sign-up is free). Members can customize Talkbacks, which appear in time order or thread order, and there is an option to show full talkback bodies or just the talkback subject and contributor. Triggers deliver news content as it breaks, and are available to account members.
On the main page, non-registered members have access to breaking news headlines that hyperlink to the main stories. A sidebar on the left-hand side of the page provides links to new Linux products.
Do You Do Ubuntu?




Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks: A Pain-Free, Project-Based, Get-Things-Done Guidebook, Rickford Grant
Ubuntu is a new version of Linux intended specifically for novice users. No Starch Press brings these characteristics together with Rickford Grant, a teacher and author experienced in explaining technical concepts to novices. That makes this book a hands-on, project-based, take-it-slow, guidebook intended for those interested in—but nervous about—entering the Linux world. Using immersion-learning techniques favored by language courses, step-by-step projects build upon earlier tutorial concepts, helping readers absorb and apply what they've learned.
Topics covered include how to

    • download and install free applications, games, and utilities;

    • connect to the Internet and wireless networks;

    • configure hardware, including printers, scanners, and removable storage devices;

    • watch DVDs, listen to music, and sync an iPod; and

    • tackle more advanced tasks, such as compiling software from source, and handling software based on Java, Python, and Tcl/Tk.

No Starch Press; ISBN 1-59327-118-2; 360 pp. with CD; $34.95.
Linux World Conference and Expo
14–17 August 2006, San Francisco
Instructors will lead attendees in tracks focusing on Linux and open source. Conference tracks include mobile and embedded Linux, kernel and system development, high-performance computing and virtualization, the Linux desktop, network management and interoperability, security, open source best practices, open source and your business, and open source development. Half-day tutorials will train IT solutions decision-makers on relevant issues and technologies.
From a single server to a network of workstations, the Linux environment can be a daunting one for administrators knowledgeable in other platforms. To help ease the transition, the "Linux Systems and Administration" tutorial will provide information about using Linux in the real world. Starting with a single server and finishing with a multi-server, 1,000-plus user environment, the course will also accommodate question-and-answer interruption. Conference organizers expect attendees who complete the course to feel confident in their ability to set up and maintain a secure Linux server with services.
Administrators and users are both concerned with redundant protection of critical data. RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Discs) is a mechanism for ensuring that protection, which Linux natively offers through software offered as an alternative to the expensive hardware typically associated with building a RAID. The tutorial, "How to Create, Destroy, and Recover Software RAIDS under Linux" will explain how to ensure RAID1 and RAID5 protection of Linux systems. Watch tutorial leaders create software RAID partitions, construct RAID arrays, install Linux directly to the RAID, and destroy one of the disks; witness the continued operation and booting of the system followed by a complete recovery of the RAID to fully synchronized protection again.




Hands-on labs will feature applications and tools training. For example, "Write a Real Working Linux Driver" gives attendees a device for which they must write a working Linux kernel driver that is acceptable in the main Linux kernel tree. Instruction topics include understanding the kernel build process, understanding the module load process, driver-author basics of the kernel driver and device model, how to interact with a kernel driver from userspace, understanding how to talk to the hardware, and proper kernel coding guidelines. Participants must have the ability to build, install, and run a standard kernel.org kernel, as well as an intermediate understanding of the C language. They must also bring a laptop with a working USB connection running the latest version of the 2.6 kernel from kernel.org.
"Healthcare Day" and "Financial Services Day" are one-day programs in which IT professionals from the financial and healthcare industries interface directly with their peers who are already using Linux and open source. OSDL Kernel Sessions feature Linux kernel engineers—including Greg Kroah-Hartman and others—who will explain the kernel development process, how to contribute to the process, and what it takes to submit new device drivers into the machine kernel.
This conference also offers free Linux certification testing from the Linux Professional Institute to all paid conference attendees.
http://www.linuxworldexpo.com/ live/12/events/12SFO06A
A Window to Unix




Introduction to Unix/Linux, Christopher Diaz. The author believes that Unix system has steadily gained in popularity over the years. Many businesses and educational institutions as well as individuals have begun using Unix/Linux, believing in its power, stability, reliability, and flexibility. This book serves as a guide to Windows users interested in the conversion to Unix.
The author provides some background and knowledge needed to become familiar with the Unix/Linux environment and operations. For educational institutions, the book presents a broad Unix background for courses in computers, business, engineering, mathematics, and education. The author also supplies basic user information to assist readers who wish to learn Unix independently.
A reader using any Unix version will find this book helpful, as many of the concepts apply universally to all Unix/Linux systems. The book explores file creation and editing as well as how to develop professional-looking typeset documents. Other programming-related topics include writing code that processes files and increases user convenience, and how to build, run, debug, measure, and analyze C++ program performance.
This book can serve as a resource for the student who wants to learn more about the Unix system, as well as a guide for the individual making the transition to Unix.
Charles River Media; ISBN 1584504498; 448 pp.; $31.47.
ACM/IFIP/USENIX 7th International Middleware Conference
27 November – 1 December 2006, Melbourne, Australia
The Middleware Conference invites discussion about recent advances in middleware design and construction. This year, the conference's scope is the design, implementation, deployment, and evaluation of distributed-systems platforms and architectures for future computing environments. Middleware is distributed-systems software that resides between applications and underlying operating systems, network protocol stacks, and hardware. Its primary role is to coordinate application-component connection and interoperability by bridging the gap between application programs and lower-level hardware and software infrastructure. Conference workshops include

    • International Workshop on Middleware for Sensor Networks,

    • First International Workshop on Advanced Data Processing in Ubiquitous Computing,

    • Middleware for Service Oriented Computing,

    • Model Driven Development for Middleware,

    • Fourth International Workshop on Middleware for Grid Computing,

    • Fifth Workshop on Adaptive and Reflective Middleware, and

    • Fourth International Workshop on Middleware for Pervasive and Ad-hoc Computing.





The Middleware Doctoral Symposium will be held in conjunction with Middleware 2006. MDS 2006 is a forum where doctoral students can present their work. The symposium's goals are to expose students to helpful criticism before they defend their theses, and to foster discussions on future career directions. Topics of the conference will include discussions on platforms and architecture, middleware for Web services and Web-service composition, middleware for cluster and grid computing, peer-to-peer middleware solutions, and event-based, publish/subscribe message-oriented middleware.
Systems-issues tracks will look at reliability, fault tolerance, general quality-of-service, and middleware scalability.
http://2006.middleware-conference.org
Sporting the Porting




Unix to Linux Porting: A Comprehensive Reference, Alfredo Mendoza, Chakarat Skawratananond, Artis Walker. Increasingly, developers, architects, and project managers face the challenge of porting their C, C++, and Java applications from Unix to Linux environments. This book aims to be a complete guide to porting applications from three Unix platforms: Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX.
Three of IBM's Linux-porting specialists lead readers through the entire project, from scoping and analysis to recoding and testing. The book presents a start-to-finish porting methodology that discusses porting tasks and offers an assessment questionnaire for new project work. Readers can discover what Linux offers in terms of APIs, library functions, versioning, system features, and tools—and their implications for any project.
The authors also address each individual Unix platform, identifying specific porting challenges and best practice solutions. Application developers will learn about the differences among Unix operating systems in today's IT infrastructure.
Prentice Hall PTR; ISBN 0131871099; 720 pp.; $64.99.
Is the Switch Right for You?




Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly Successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions, Mark Teter. Some IT professionals believe that open source software provides more opportunity for innovation than commercial or proprietary software. Some organizations contend that open source spurs more opportunities for technical innovation that encourages business innovation. This book targets executives, technology decision-makers, and project managers who could benefit from a crash course on Linux and open source adoption. Written for those in charge of planning and implementing strategies and infrastructure projects, the book provides information and recommendations that help readers understand the principles behind Linux-based computing. It also discusses how to mitigate the associated challenges.
Media Resource Technology; ISBN 0977343707; 337 pp.; $49.95.
Security
Security from A to Z




Dictionary of Information Security, Robert Slade. According to Hal Tipton CISSP (Certified Information Security Professional), ISSAP (Information Systems Security Architecture Professional), ISSMP (Information Systems Security Management Professional), and author of the book's foreword, "What is needed now in the world of information security is a single glossary of terms using the preferred definition for each term to be published and used throughout the world. I personally have come face to face with this definition problem as the chief instructor over the past dozen years for the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC) 2. In that role, I have developed several courses that addressed topics contained in the Common Body of Knowledge for the information security field that dealt with concepts and definitions. I struggled continuously to select the most appropriate definition for many of the most important terms. As a result, I am supportive of the idea of publishing an official glossary of terms for information security professionals and related personnel. Rob Slade has undertaken this difficult task, and his Dictionary should prove to be one of the most helpful additions to the professional library of every one of us working in the field of information security."
Syngress Publishing; ISBN 1597491152; 300 pp.; $29.95.
Biometric Consortium Conference 2006




Baltimore, Maryland, 19–21 September 2006
Sponsored by several US government agencies, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Security Agency (NSA), this conference discusses recent technology advances, new initiatives, as well as biometric business models and market strategies. It also addresses trends in biometrics research; the development and application of biometric technologies; and the use of biometrics in government programs and commercial applications.
The conference has three major tracks, one of which is information/industry. This track's first day starts with an Introduction to Biometrics session and ends with a panel on commercial biometrics solutions. Other sessions later in the week focus on standards, system vulnerabilities, and remote authentication.
http://www.biometrics.org/bc2006/index.htm
Detecting DoS Attacks




According to the article "Denial-of-Service Attack-Detection Techniques," (Glenn Carl and colleagues, IEEE Internet Computing, Jan.–Feb. 2006), the Internet was designed for the minimal processing and best-effort forwarding of any packet, malicious or not. For cyberattackers—motivated by revenge, prestige, politics, or money—this architecture provides an unregulated network path to victims.
Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks exploit this to target mission-critical services. A quantitative estimate of worldwide DoS attack frequency found 12,000 attacks over a three-week period in 2001.1 The 2004 CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey listed DoS attacks among the most financially expensive security incidents. The magnitude of the incidence rate and potential recovery expense has garnered the interest of security managers and researchers alike.
Despite these dire circumstances, the authors see light at the end of the tunnel, in that there are several ways to detect such attacks and circumvent them. In this article, they survey various approaches for detecting DoS flooding attacks—network-based attacks in which agents intentionally saturate system resources with increased network traffic.
See this article in the January–February 2006 issue of IEEE Internet Computing magazine.
Computer Security Resource Center




http://csrc.nist.gov
The Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC) is a US government site devoted to sharing information security tools and practices. Although some of the information of this site targets the government vendor audience, there are large sections devoted to small business and home users, too. For example, recently posted draft publication "Guidance for Securing Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition," shares tips and a checklist of measures that all home users should take. The small business division lists several workshops available throughout the US on how to implement information security for small business.
Another page ( http://csrc.nist.gov/virus/) gives a general introduction to computer viruses and links to sources for specific topics.
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