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The News – 04/25/02

In this Issue:

Recommended Reading

I realize this is the only newsletter you’ll ever need, but if you want more in-depth detail, check out:

Stan Hustad’s The Coaching Connection

Bits & Pieces
(The Broadband Content Wars series will continue in a future SNS)

Here are a few interesting items that have piled up here at StratVantage Central.

  • InfoWar in the Middle East: Israel has been under an escaleated hacker attack over the past month. According to mi2g, Israel’s Internet domain, .il, has seen the most web defacements over the past three years, suffering 548 of the 1,295 attacks in the Middle East. In first two weeks of April, the domain has suffered about two-thirds of the significant web defacements in the Middle East.
    CyberCrime Alerts List

  • Computer Crash a Classical Gas: Some chiphead at Award, a leading maker of computer BIOS (Basic Input Output System) chips for computers, definitely had a sense of humor. Because of his or her brainstorm, you may be alarmed one day by your computer suddenly developing an appreciation for the finer things and playing Beethoven. A Microsoft TechNet write up explains it all: 
During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play ‘Fur Elise’ or ‘It's a Small, Small World’ seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on.

The wags at, where I happened upon this item add: “Suggestion for Mr B Gates: Could the blue screen of death be replaced by the stately sounds of the Funeral March?”
  • Stop the Spam: Tired of junk mail, both physical and virtual? has some tips for reducing both, and links to sites you can use to get off marketers’ lists. You can start by getting a 30-day reprieve from those ubiquitous, annoying “wireless video cam” ads: X10. And they say Web advertising doesn’t work. You know exactly the ads I’m talking about, and you can probably quote the price of the device.

  • No Longer Free to Yahoo! The online portal this week discontinued its free email forwarding and POP3 services, planning on charging users $29.99 a year for these services. This decision comes at a time when users with Yahoo or HotMail accounts are being closed out from some online services due to the high proportion of abuse coming from free accounts and the difficulty in determining users’ identities. The Yahoos are probably worried about a recently halted e-mail scam that promised free video-game consoles but instead delivered a connection to a pornographic Web site that charged $3.99 per minute. In a (probably) unrelated move, Yahoo is planning on charging $1.99 a minute for phone support. I wonder if their customer service people are naked?
    The Register

  • Style vs. Substance: I recently came upon this very interesting article written in January by Jason Pontin, editor of Red Herring. It draws parallels between Carly Fiorina of HP and Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron CEO. Pontin accuses both, and most of modern technology marketers, as being empty suits, more concerned with the “message” of their company than with the company’s business. It’s an interesting read.
    Red Herring

  • What’s Your 20, Good Buddy? Location-based services (LBS) form one of the major waves of the wireless future. Due to the FCC’s E911 mandate, which requires wireless network operators to be able to locate a cell phone with a high degree of accuracy in an emergency, US wireless networks have been quite interested in developing the technology to determine a cell user’s location. Sprint became the first US wireless network to roll out E911-compliant services late last year.

    However, the marketing side of this technology is more well-developed in Europe and Asia. For example, in Switzerland, wireless operator Orange has been using GSM-based cell ID technology since December 2000 (!) to provide such LBS services as guides to points of interest (POI), friend finders, and reports about weather, traffic, sport and other areas. Orange uses the wonderfully-named Webraska real-time Navigation Platform. Webraska recently merged with AirFlash and, disappointingly, has headquarters in Silicon, not Silicorn, Valley and in France.

    To use Orange’s LBS services, the user must first place a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) call and select the service from a menu. The caller is first localized at a town level, then selects from a list of nearby streets to narrow his or her location down. Finally, the user selects a means of transport to the desired destination. The phone then displays turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

    In June 2001, the Orange POI database had about 60,000 entries, including transportation facilities, shopping, entertainment, cultural institutions, dining, lodging, sport facilities, exhibition centers, universities, and car dealerships. Preliminary data indicates that the vast majority of LBS users request information while driving rather than when walking. The most common services requested were routing, point of interest information, and restaurant locations.

    Orange is planning on offering customization services, a search engine, and index capabilities in the future.
    The Pulver Location Based Services Report
  • Spafford Speaks: Noted security expert Gene Spafford (a mainstay of the StratVantage Security Resources directory for years) was interviewed recently by When asked what the biggest challenge in information security today is, Spafford replied: “If it had to be a single challenge, from a societal point of view, it would be getting the everyday user who knows very little about how computers work and what security means — and what the risks are — to embrace and use good technology and techniques to protect their systems.” It’s an interview well worth reading.

  • More Trouble for 3G: As if it wasn't enough that wireless network operators are going to face competition from 802.11b ad hoc networks for data services, now Cahners In-Stat/MDR predicts that Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN) could rival VoIP as an alternative to cell phones.

    The analyst firm estimates shipments of VoWLAN handsets of 80,000 in 2002, up from 20,000 shipments in 2001. Demand will be driven by vertical markets such as education, healthcare, retail and logistics. Eventually, In-Stat/MDR predicts voice over 802.11 handsets shipments will climb to 500,000 units by 2006. How do you suppose you pronounce VoWLAN? Vow-LAN?
    802.11 Planet

  • Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: CTOMentor has just released a new wireless white paper, the first in The Wireless Future series: You Can Take It With You: Business Applications of Personal Wireless Devices. This first paper in the series is free; others that will be available for a nominal fee will include:

    • Islands Make the Net: Wireless Networking and the Evolving Mesh

    • Taking Your Business On the Road: The Car As Wireless Office

    • Standards, Standards Everywhere: A Business Guide to Wireless Standards

    • M-Commerce: Are We There Yet?

    • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mobile Location-Based Wireless Services

    • The Wireless Last Mile: Fixed Wireless Broadband Services

    • Beyond Keyboards, Beyond Wires: Voice Activated Wireless Services

    • Information, Entertainment, and Access At Your Fingertips: Interactive Wireless Information Services

    These white papers will be released over the coming months. To be notified when a new white paper is released, send an email to or check

    You also may want to check out the article I wrote on Instant Messaging in the latest issue of the TaylorHarkins Insights to Action newsletter.

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Can’t Get Enough of ME?

In the unlikely event that you want more of my opinions, I’ve started a Weblog. It’s the fashionable thing for pundits to do, and I’m doing it too. A Weblog is a datestamped collection of somewhat random thoughts and ideas assembled on a Web page. If you’d like to subject the world to your thoughts, as I do, you can create your own Weblog. You need to have a Web site that allows you FTP access, and the free software from This allows you to right click on a Web page and append your pithy thoughts to your Weblog.

I’ve dubbed my Weblog entries “Stratlets”, and they are available at Let me know what you think.

Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of the latest emerging trends.

In Memoriam

Gerald M. Ellsworth

March 14, 1928 - July 5, 2003

In Memoriam

Jane C. Ellsworth

July 20, 1928 - July 20, 2003