Be on the wave or under it
The News – 07/30/03
I’m In Pieces, Bits and Pieces
The title has multiple meanings, but was inspired by a mysterious
voice mail I got this week. We’re all probably familiar with pocket
voice mails – long, long messages delivered to our voice mailboxes
containing the sounds of a cell phone jostling around in someone’s
pocket or purse.
I once had a PVM that had a very clear recording of a lady, whom
I couldn’t identify, frantically trying to find the right building
for her imminent meeting. The recording captured her distracted
mumbling to herself and her questions to a series of front desk
guards regarding the tenant she was seeking. How she got my number
for her cell phone to surreptitiously dial is beyond me.
This week, I got a long voice mail that began with the last few
bars of the Dave Clark 5’s classic hit, Bits
and Pieces. It was obviously off the radio, because another
song began when it ended. I have no idea who sent me this PVM,
and the caller ID provided by Sprint was “651,” which is the area
code of St. Paul, MN. I don't know what St. Paul was trying to
tell me . . .
Anyway, that’s a typically longwinded introduction to a collection
of odds and ends, bits and pieces, that have been accumulating
here at StratVantage Central.
As for one of the other meanings of the title, well, I lost both
my parents – two weeks apart – this month. Hug your loved ones.
- Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.:
It’s here: A new service from StratVantage – The WiFi Guys.
The service is targeted at consumes and small businesses who
buy the wireless networking gear, but can’t get it to work.
We visit and get it up and running fast. Check out the Website
I’m working on another araticle for Fawcette Technical Publications’
Enterprise Architect magazine. This one’s on a best practices
sharing effort called Project Avalanche. My feature article,
Computing Takes Off in the Enterprise, was published in
the inaugural issue of Enterprise Architect. (Registration required
My article, “Innovative Marketers Target Unwired Customers”
was published in the NetSuds
Coming Soon: A new eBook, Be On the Wave Or Under It™
will collect the best of SNS’ insights over the last couple
of years, along with additional material from CTOMentor white
papers and new material. It will make a great gift (Independence
Day?) for associates and friends in need of a guide to the latest
and greatest technology. Watch for more information in upcoming
Several issues ago I debuted SNS Begware, an opportunity for
you, gentle reader, to express your appreciation by tipping
your server via PayPal. See the sidebar for more info. Total
in the kitty so far: $56.48.
I repurposed and adapted an article about the wireless service
known as Short Messaging Service (SMS) for the Reside newsletter.
It’s entitled, Wherever
they go, there you are and it points out how marketers
can use – carefully – this new way to contact their customers.
StratVantage has been accepted as a member of the World Wide
Web Chamber of Commerce and now displays their logo on our Websites.
In addition, I’m featured in Manyworlds’ Thought
Leader Showcase, which lists a few of the white papers I’ve
- Bigger Is Better, Adwise: From
the I’m Not Really That Surprised Dept. comes an item regarding
the size of online advertising. It seems bigger ad sizes lead
consumers to believe a product is of higher quality and deliver
higher response more cost efficiently. Not surprisingly, larger
formats growing in popularity, although the sheer overwhelming
volume of ad sizes – 10,616 in Q2 2003 according to the latest
DoubleClick Ad Serving trends report – must make it harder than
ever to be an online advertising executive.
- Book Piracy
Getting Bigger: I think the book publishing industry
should take its cue from the recording industry and ban scanners.
I’m sure our brain dead congress would pass the necessary legislation.
The recent Harry Potter release was preceded by widespread availability
of a scanned version on the Web. What’s even more interesting
is, if you want to read the original New York Times article
on the phenomenon, you’ve got to buy it
from them, because only the last couple weeks of the newspaper’s
articles are free. Yet, plug in the article title, Harry Potter
and the Internet Pirates, into Google, and you can go right
to an Adobe Acrobat PDF version of that same article, for free.
Kinda makes you wonder.
- Sprint PCS Announces Wi-Fi Service: We’re
starting to see more and more announcements from traditional
telecoms who are starting Wi-Fi hotspot services. So far, I’ve
not seen a compelling business case among them, except perhaps
for Verizon, which offers free Wi-Fi for DSL subscribers in
Manhattan. Verizon is equipping it’s payphones as base stations,
which I think is a great idea technically.
So now this summer, Sprint is launching 800 locations, primarily
through roaming agreements with hotspot operators Wayport and
Airpath Wireless. The carrier will also package Wi-Fi software
with its PCS Connection Card and bundle the service with its
Vision CDMA 1XRTT cell-phone-based wireless data service. Eventually,
Sprint will install its own hotspots in 2,100 locations. Sprint
was one of the Wi-Fi naysayers not thaqt long ago, but now joins
T-Mobile, who’s into Starbucks, and Verizon and AT&T Wireless,
which have also come to separate hotspot roaming agreements
with Wayport. The carrier will also compete with T-Mobile USA
when it rolls out its own network of hotspots later this year.
- Wi-Fi to Catch Fixed-Line Broadband by 2008:
With all the telecoms jumping into the pool, it’s not too
surprising that some analyst or other would predict fantastic
growth. That’s just what Pyramid Research has done, saying there
will be 707 million Wi-Fi users by 2008, compared with 262 fixed-line
broadband users and 2 billion mobile phone users. Interestingly,
the firm predicts more loyalty from the Wi-Fi users. The Wi-Fi
market will generate far less turnover than competing communications
solutions, only $21 billion in churn costs by 2008, compared
to $80 billion for fixed-line broadband and $586 billion for
- Out of This World Backup Plan: OK,
this is my candidate for potential hoax story of the week. Apparently
the idea of storing your electronic backups in old mine shafts
wasn’t bizarre enough. A company called TransOrbital will send
them to the moon. The company plans on rocketing servers to
the moon and establishing laser-based communications to store
and retrieve data there. Of course, you do have to keep in mind
how the moon got its pock-marked surface: meteor crashes.
- No Security Like Stupid Security:
Security expert Bruce Schneier recounted some recent run-ins
with stupid security in his recent Cryptogram newsletter. They
included a dumb pharmacist who doggedly refused to fill a prescription
without getting personal information from Bruce’s wife to a
Japanese cell phone rental guy who needed a passport number,
even a bogus one, to rent Schneier a phone. Schneier explains
how many people equate invasions of privacy and stupid measures
with an increase in security. It just isn’t so. Just because
I took my shoes off to pass through the airport security checkpoint
doesn’t mean it enhanced my or my fellow travelers’ security
one iota. As always, Schneier’s newsletter is worth a read.
Other interesting Stupid Security Links:
International's Stupid Security Awards
Cry 'Security' to Get A Break From the Government
Congress to Get Airline Security Plan Under Control!
Your Senators to Support the Data-Mining Moratorium Act of 2003!Total
Information Awareness: Public Hearings Now!
- Spam Filters Are Annoying: Bruce Schneier
also weighed in on an issue I recently tackled: The increasing
difficulty in getting an online newsletter through the spam
filters that have been proliferating.
Some filters block Crypto-Gram if it
is larger than 50K. Once, a filter blocked an issue that used
the term "ILOVEYOU." Another was returned with the following
message: "Body contains word(s)/phrase(s) 'bomb, gun.'"
Another filter blocked an issue because the words "blow"
and "job" appeared in the e-mail, even though they were
in different paragraphs. The most recent issue was blocked by
one filter because it contained more than two links to Geocities
Web sites. (It seems that many Geocities Web sites are pornographic.)
The same issue was also blocked by another filter for containing
unspecified "dirty words"; the person involved pointed
out that the same filter didn't block penis enlargement spam.
The EFF's position on spam filters is: "Any measure for stopping
spam must ensure that all non-spam messages reach their intended
recipients." It's a laudable goal, but one that's very difficult
to implement in practice. Newsletters like Crypto-Gram are problematic.
I know that everyone who gets my newsletter has subscribed, but
how does any filter know that? I send 80,000 of these out every
month; the only difference between me and a spammer is that my
recipients asked to receive this e-mail. But I'm sure that some
of my recipients don't remember subscribing. To them, Crypto-Gram
is unsolicited e-mail: spam.
- Cometa Struggling: WiFi
network firm Cometa Networks, backed by IBM, Intel and AT&T,
is having problems. The company is losing the race to secure
the most valuable hotspot locations and appears likely to make
only half of its ambitious goal of launching 20,000 hotspots
- Nanalyze This! Alert
SNS Reader Roger Hamm sends along a link to a Web site dedicated
to investors in nanotechnology. Roger also sent a link to a
Return to Mike’s
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About The Author
a New Service from StratVantage
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 www.blogger.com.
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 www.stratvantage.com/stratlets/.
Let me know what you think.
Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of
the latest emerging trends.
14, 1928 - July 5, 2003
Jane C. Ellsworth
20, 1928 - July 20, 2003