HP is the premier source for computing services, products and solutions. Responding to customers' requirements for quality and reliability at aggressive prices, HP offers performance-packed products and comprehensive services.

ACM TechNews is intended as an objective news digest for busy IT Professionals. Views expressed are not necessarily those of either HP or ACM.

To send comments, please write to [email protected].

Volume 4, Issue 414: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

  • "Attack on Internet Called Largest Ever"
    Technews.com (10/22/02); McGuire, David; Krebs, Brian

    What key online backbone organization officials are calling the largest and most sophisticated attack ever on the Internet's root servers disrupted eight or nine of the 13 computers that control global Internet flow late Monday afternoon for about an hour. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which began at around 5:00 p.m. EDT and ended abruptly about an hour later, went largely unnoticed by users as the Internet continued to function normally thanks to safeguards built into the Internet's architecture. The FBI says it is looking into the incident but, there are no suspects so far. Internet Software Consortium Chairman Paul Vixie said, "It was an attack against all 13 servers, which is a little more rare than an attack against any one of us." The Internet's 13 root server computers, about 10 of which are located in the U.S., control the worldwide flow of data over the Internet via the Domain Name System (DNS). VeriSign operates the "A" root server, which twice a day provides the other 12 root servers with the Internet domain information that is used to route Web traffic. VeriSign says that server was unaffected by the attack. Although the DNS was designed to operate even if eight or more of the 13 servers fail, Vixie says that had the attack lasted longer, Internet use would likely have been disrupted. DDoS attacks are hard to defend against; SANS Institute research director Alan Paller says, "The only way to stop such attacks is to fix the vulnerabilities on the machines that ultimately get taken over." Others say more needs to be done to ensure the safety and stability of the Internet.

  • "Is Your Congress Member Tech-Friendly?"
    Medill News Service (10/21/02); Madigan, Michelle

    Nearly one-third of Congress is "tech-friendly," or in favor of the technology sector's program, according to the Information Technology Industry Council's (ITI) high-tech voting guide issued on Monday. Technology bills Congress passed as law were positive developments for the technology industry, according to ITI VP for government affairs Ralph Hellmann. House members were graded on nine key votes, including a law that would make penalties tougher for cybercriminals, and an amendment that would reduce the Internet access tax moratorium from five years to eight months, which was defeated. Seven key votes were used by ITI to grade Senate members; one of them was Sen. Fritz Hollings' (D-S.C.) proposal to protect the online privacy of Internet users, a measure that the technology industry opposes because of the rigid security that would be deployed. The voting guide gave Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) 83 out of 100 points, while Hollings, who Hellmann calls the industry's "number one legislative nemesis," scored 26. Other low-scoring House members include Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Maxine Walters (D-Calif.). In the Senate, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) received a 25, while Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) received no votes at all. Senate members who received high marks from ITI included Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.).

    To learn more about ACM's activities regarding technology legislation, visit http://www.acm.org/usacm.

  • "Sharp Unveils 'Computer-On-Glass' Display"
    Reuters (10/22/02); Klamann, Edmund

    Japanese liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturer Sharp today disclosed a prototype display with microprocessor circuitry placed directly onto the glass, using the company's continuous grain silicon (CGS) technology. The company says the screen, along with other CGS advances, should give it a competitive edge over Asian as well as domestic rivals, particularly those who are touting low-temperature polysilicon. Sharp is the largest maker of LCDs in Japan, but its profits, as well as those of other Japanese companies, have been hit by Asian competitors ratcheting up production of their own products. Sharp's Mikio Katayama says the device could be reduced to the size of a business card and come equipped with wireless functionality and a touch-screen interface, but he notes that it is unlikely to supplant PCs anytime soon. Sharp plans to be selling products that use CGS circuitry by 2005; one possible application is a "display card" that can be used with mobile phones, car navigation systems, and other devices. Semiconductor Energy Laboratory President Shumpei Yamazaki claims that the glass used in the display can be manufactured at lower temperatures than silicon, allowing faster metallic gates for transistors.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Researchers Predict Worm that Eats the Internet in 15 Minutes"
    Network World Fusion (10/21/02); Messmer, Ellen

    A two-month-old research paper theorizes next-generation computer worms that could overrun the Internet in a matter of minutes; such worms would use "hit lists" of vulnerable systems, rather than scan blindly, and also carry payloads that would facilitate remote-control automated denial-of-service attacks and file deletion. Their rate of infection would be so high "that no human-mediated counter-response is possible," according to the paper. Co-author and Silicon Defense President Stuart Staniford says that the paper's thesis was tested in a laboratory, using a simulated computer worm programmed to take over 10 million online hosts via low- and high-speed lines; it was estimated that the worm, code-named "Warhol," could corrupt over 9 million servers in about 15 minutes, using the hit list approach. Another worm, code-named "Flash," could supposedly contaminate the Internet even faster. Although such worms have yet to emerge, government officials and anti-virus software vendors do not discount the possibility. A spokesman for Kaspersky Labs notes that his firm anticipated such worms two years ago, but refused to publish out of fear that virus writers would use the knowledge to their advantage. "[The new paper's authors] did this and they are half-guilty for such a worm [appearing] that may easily cause the Internet to be down in just an hour, so users will not be able to download anti-virus updates," he contends. The authors say the government should establish an operations center that focuses on threatening viruses and worms, and National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace recommends that a threat analysis facility be set up. Staniford says his company is developing protection against Flash worms, although he will not provide details, while behavior-based technologies could prove to be another effective defensive measure.

  • "China's Next Challenge: Mastering the Microchip"
    Los Angeles Times (10/22/02) P. A1; Iritani, Evelyn

    The Chinese government wants China to become a global competitor in the semiconductor industry, and is offering a raft of incentives to foreign companies to set up shop in the country and offer expertise to domestic workers. China's semiconductor output is low ($900 million worth of chips produced in 2000, compared to $11 billion worth made by Taiwan) and most of the products it makes fall into the category of "trailing-edge" technology. However, the U.S. General Accounting Office recently reported that several Chinese chip plants are one generation or less removed from the world's top chip manufacturers. A few years ago, the Chinese semiconductor industry was marked by a dearth of investment capital, a lack of skilled technicians and managers, poor assembly conditions brought on by pollution, and little access to overseas chip tech because America was concerned that it would use that knowledge to achieve military advantage. The government formulated a five-year plan to reverse these trends, offering free land, tax incentives, and holidays to foreign chipmakers who used primarily Chinese-produced semiconductors. Later additions included allowing foreign-invested plants to sell their chips in China. Companies that have set up Chinese branches or invested in Chinese semiconductor plants include Fairchild Semiconductor International, Motorola, and Microsemi. Chinese workers work for a lot less than their Western counterparts--engineers with five-years experience and advanced degrees work for $500 a month--and raw materials are cheap, notes Microsemi's Andy Yuen.
    (Access to this site is free; however, first-time visitors must register.)

  • "Smart Fatigues Hear Enemy Coming"
    Wired News (10/22/02); Dean, Katie

    Scientists at Virginia Tech and the University of Southern California have combined state-of-the-art electronics and traditional weaving techniques to develop a fabric that can detect and relay sounds from great distances, which could be especially useful for soldiers in battlefield conditions. Woven manually into the fabric are conductive wires and button-sized microphones that pick up sounds, which are compared by a circuit board, while an algorithm determines their line of bearing; this data is then transmitted by radio to the soldier's PDA or laptop. Batteries are contained in the pockets, but future models could weave them and the circuit board into the fabric itself. The wires were threaded through the device by weaver Dana Reynolds, who used three separate material layers--a bottom layer of vertical wires, a buffer layer, and an upper layer of horizontal wires. Deputy director of USC's Information Sciences Institute, Bob Parker, reports that the fabric can sense the presence of objects over 100 meters away. He also notes that textile workers and computer scientists will need a common language if the integration of their fields is to produce any useful devices. Meanwhile, Adbelfattah Seyam of North Carolina State University's College of Textiles thinks that the convergence of electronics and textiles could yield a wide array of applications if existing textile machines are reengineered to weave in conductive fibers. "Microphones, radio transmitters, sensors to measure pulse rate and body temperature, GPS--you can have all of that incorporated into fabric," declares NC State PhD student Anuj Dhawan.

  • "IT Circa 2008: Spin Your Crystal Balls"
    ZDNet (10/18/02); Farber, Dan

    Gartner Research recently unveiled its 10 predictions for computing in the year 2008, eliciting a number of opinions from IT-savvy readers. Gartner predicted that increased network capacity will allow businesses and consumers to draw their computing resources from centralized grids instead of from local devices. For that to happen, however, government regulators and the telecom industry are going to have to figure out how to solve the last-mile bandwidth barrier and deliver more compelling broadband content. Furthermore, such a computing ecosystem would require massive improvements to still-nascent grid-computing software, as well as IT systems with self-healing functions. Businesses are especially likely to be wary of trusting their mission-critical operations and data to remote computing facilities unless fail-safe mechanisms and better security are put in place. An alternative scenario would involve the pervasive use of thin-client devices, but still include local storage and processing in the picture, though those functions would be embedded in house and office walls and delivered via WLAN connections. Gartner also said that desktop PCs in 2008 will routinely feature anywhere between four to eight 40 GHz processors, four to 12 GB of RAM, and 1.5 TB of storage capacity. Several readers commented that the abundance of computing power would not necessarily mean greater utility for the end user and that software applications might not require such resources. Given that manufacturers can keep up with Moore's Law by doubling the number of transistors on a chip every 18 months, it does not necessarily translate that users will be able to reap equally increased benefits.

  • "Nano Organization Tries to Put the Valley Back on Washington's Map"
    Small Times Online (10/23/02); Richards, Sally

    The NanoScience Exchange (NSE) founded by software entrepreneur Jim Hurd is a young organization that aims to bridge the communications gap between Washington legislators and Silicon Valley, which suffered a blow to its credibility as a result of the dot-com implosion. "People in Silicon Valley traditionally dont have close relationships with legislators in D.C., and people in D.C. really dont understand the entrepreneurs very well," Hurd explains. He envisions nanotech startups that could one day earn billions of dollars, but only with sufficient funding. Hewlett-Packard Laboratories researcher Stanley Williams agrees that facilitating better understanding of nanotech among government officials is a high priority, and he describes Hurd's effort as an attempt to identify leading nanotech and government figures and establish a dialogue between them. NSE is creating a core group and working out a strategy to establish relationships between Valley entrepreneurs and lawmakers. The organization held its third meeting in late September, where a topic of discussion was Hurd's visit to Washington to participate in subcommittee hearings on the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. The money the government has granted to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) demonstrates legislators' support for nanotech development, but NNI Director Mike Roco admits that "Most of the production of nanotechnology products is not going on in Silicon Valley right now--maybe 10 years in the future, I actually have no doubt about that." There are many nanotech groups clamoring for a voice, and Williams expects consolidation in the future.

  • "Where Are All the IT Jobs?"
    NewsFactor Network (10/21/02); Zager, Masha

    Recent studies from Challenger, Gray & Christmas and the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) report a drop in the number of IT layoffs, but there are indications that hiring has also dropped: ITAA reports that new hires between calendar year 2001 and the year ending June 2002 fell from 2.1 million to 1.6 million. Both organizations find that there is less falloff outside the IT industry. Meanwhile, Gartner research director Diane Morello and Monster.com's Allan Hoffman note that there has been a plateau or reduction in salaries--Morello indicates that performance increases and bonuses are rare, while Hoffman says new employees are receiving salaries lower than those who lost their jobs. Hoffman adds that there appear to be greater salary reductions in smaller and mid-sized businesses, and Morello remarks that the financial services industry generally boasts stronger salaries, but is marked by a lack of "aggressive pay packages." It is likely that offshore outsourcing among American companies will increase, and Morello notes that companies that wish to dramatically change their IT structure will try to upgrade their existing IT staff's skills or outsource overseas rather than increase employee ranks. The ITAA report lists C++ and Java programmers, Oracle database administrators, and SQL developers as positions still in demand, while other bright spots include Web services, help desk expertise, network management, and security management. However, smaller companies are mostly looking for people with generalized skill sets, and giving those with specialized backgrounds short-term contract employment. Soft skills, intuition, and business and technical management are also highly prized as employee qualifications.

  • "Professor's Case: Unlock Crypto"
    Wired News (10/19/02); King, Brad

    Professor Daniel Bernstein of the University of Illinois is waging a court battle with the U.S. government to make cryptographic software code freely available to the American public. In 1995, he filed suit against the State Department, claiming that export laws that curtailed academic publication violated the Constitution. Four years later, federal district judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled in favor of Bernstein, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld her ruling in 2002. The government has since loosened export technology limits, but Bernstein is trying to eliminate the remaining export laws with this latest salvo. The government argues that without such laws, malevolent as well as benevolent parties will be able to encrypt their files. Steptoe & Johnson lawyer and former National Security Agency general counsel Stewart Baker says the United States would be bereft of a strategic advantage, and claims that there is historical precedent. He says that America's victory in World War II could have been attributable to the edge it had over Germany and Japan in terms of encryption know-how. Author and security expert Bruce Schneier says preventing large companies from using the technology to limit rights is the next cryptography challenge. He says, "We always thought about cryptography as being a tool to protect the little guy versus the big guy. It never occurred to us that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act would get passed."

  • "Fighting Back"
    ABCNews.com (10/22/02); Eng, Paul

    Media companies are estranging consumers, tech companies, and creative artists by pushing for legislation that would increase their control over copyrighted works even further, cutting into fair-use rights in their quest to stamp out digital piracy. Such legislation includes a proposal that would require federally approved copy protection hardware to be installed in all new PCs and consumer electronics, and a bill that would give copyright holders license to hack into computer systems they suspect of containing or distributing unauthorized digital copies. Several legislators have introduced proposals that could make the media industry realize the need for providing more consumer-friendly options. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) have introduced a bill that would change the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) so that consumers could make copies of digital content for fair use, while Rep. Zoe Lofgren's (D-Calif.) Digital Choice and Freedom Act would ensure that consumers have the same right to copy and use digital works that they have for analog works. Intel's Don Whiteside contends that a lack of compelling digital content is forcing consumers to turn to piracy and other illegal services, and tech companies see digital rights management (DRM) as a possible solution. DRM protection allows copyright owners and artists to distribute digital content without fear of piracy while still maintaining consumers' fair-use rights. One recent DRM experiment was Digital Download Day, in which musicians such as Peter Gabriel allowed fans to download songs and burn single copies of each track onto a blank CD that could be played on conventional audio players.

    To read more about ACM's activities in regard to DMCA, visit http://www.acm.org/usacm.

  • "Dan Gillmor: Software Idea May Be Crazy Enough to Work"
    SiliconValley.com (10/20/02); Gillmor, Dan

    Lotus Development founder and cyber-activist Mitch Kapor and his team have spent more than a year developing Chandler, an open-source Interpersonal Information Manager software program that encrypts data such as personal email, calendars, and contacts, and facilitates collaboration and information sharing without the need for costly server computers. Kapor says he is paying for the project with $5 million out-of-pocket, but hopes to make the initiative self-sustaining in three years through sponsorships, outside contributions, service sales, licensing fees, and other sources. Both the source code and the working program will be freely available, and the first official version of the software is expected to debut in late 2003 or early 2004. Chandler will run on the Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows operating systems. Individuals and small businesses will be initially courted as users, but developers will also be able to build software and services using Chandler as a platform. The software's architecture is based on the Python development language and environment, and the Jabber communications infrastructure. Kapor is funding the project through the nonprofit Open Source Application Foundation, which could serve as a model for other projects that wish to open up the market to consumers who currently must settle for software and services from dominant, monopolistic companies. "[W]e'll be helping to pave the way for free software to displace proprietary operating systems at the center of the commercial software industry," says programmer Andy Hertzfeld, a member of Kapor's eight-man Chandler development team.

  • "Fractals Help UCLA Researchers Design Antennas for New Wireless Devices"
    ScienceDaily (10/22/02)

    UCLA researchers are using fractal mathematical models of various topographies in order to design antennas that can function in multiple ways on multiple frequencies for use with new cell phones and other wireless communications devices, according to a UCLA press release. "Manufacturers of wireless equipment, and particularly those in the automotive industry, are interested in developing a single, compact antenna that can perform all the functions necessary to operate AM and FM radios, cellular communications and navigation systems," says UCLA engineering department Chairman Yahya Rahmat-Samii. Fractal mathematical mapping is a technique developed to map jagged topography such as coastlines, and the method allows any fractal image to be enlarged or zoomed-in upon without loosing symmetry with the original. Rahmat-Samii believes that the mathematical principal behind fractal self-symmetry can be used to develop complex antennas needed for next-generation wireless devices, and his findings have been reported in Antennas and Propagation Magazine. Rahmat-Samii uses fractal technology to pack additional electrical length into antennas, allowing antennas to operate at lower frequencies. In addition, because fractal designs contain repeating self-symmetry, these antennas can operate at various frequencies at the same time, says Rahmat-Samii. He says that UCLA is "one of the leading research institutions exploring the use of fractals in developing antenna design."

  • "Indian Scientists Draw Top Dollar in US IT Research"
    Financial Express (Bangladesh) (10/21/02); Kumar, Ashu

    Three out of the seven highest grants awarded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Information Technology Research (ITR) program went to research projects led by Indian scientists and professors. "This proves the point that India can offer not merely services to the world but also provide thought leadership," declared National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) President Kiran Karnik. The recipients include Dr. Sankara Sastry of the University of California-Berkeley, Dr. Raj Reddy of Carnegie-Mellon, and Dr. Chaitanya Baru of USC-San Diego. USCD will receive a five-year grant of over $22 million to develop an optical communications-based computer network architecture, and further the GEOscience network (GEON) project, which aims to set up a geoinformatics cyberinfrastructure for the field of earth sciences. GEON will interconnect information systems so that the earth sciences sector can share data and collaborative tools. Meanwhile, UC Berkeley will receive $13 million over five years for research designed to link systems science and computer software. The project will be based at the Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems (Chess), of which Dr. Sastry is the founder and director. This year, ITR recipients received a total of $144 million from the NSF, which considered more than 1,600 proposals.

  • "Bioinformatics: Bringing It All Together"
    Nature (10/17/02) Vol. 419, No. 6908, P. 751; Chicurel, Marina

    Bioinformatics is the acquisition, storage, analysis, and visualization of biological information via computational tools, and Jim Golden of 454 Corporation says that this can be accomplished by integrating data across myriad databases, a task complicated by a lack of standard file formats and data-access techniques. One solution is the distributed annotation system (DAS), a protocol created by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Lincoln Stein, who thinks that interoperability can be best achieved through such Web services; DAS enables a single computer to contact multiple servers to capture and integrate genomic annotations related to a specific sequence. Meanwhile, the Interoperable Information Infrastructure Consortium (I3C), whose members include IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, is working to develop and push for the adoption of common standards. Researchers are currently focusing on two integration methods: Warehousing, in which data from multiple sources is contained in a central database, and federation, in which nonintegrated databases are presented in a unified manner to the end user. Which method is best is a source of controversy, and some researchers hope to resolve each method's drawbacks by combining them. Smart databases such as the Genome Knowledgebase are another solution--such tools rely heavily on ontological vocabularies and frame-based systems. Bruce Schatz of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prefers the concept-switching approach, in which contextual relationships between phrases are studied in order to detect underlying concepts. However, he is worried that a lack of support will allow industry to take over the bioinformatics field, and researchers will have to make do with integration solutions of lesser quality.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "The PC Changes Shape"
    InformationWeek (10/21/02) No. 911; McDougall, Paul

    PCs have not changed much in the last seven years, but manufacturers and vendors looking to jump-start the tepid PC market will be rolling out PCs will new technologies in the near future. Dell, IBM, and HP are all developing "transformer" PCs that can be used as notebooks for portable use while also being expandable into desktops. The Microsoft-driven Tablet PC, which allows users to use a pen or their voice to interact with Windows XP Professional and other tools, will soon begin to hit markets from manufacturers such as Toshiba, HP, and Acer. General Motors CTO Tony Scott says that moving the design process into digital forums has reduced vehicle design time from 48 months to 18 months, and he believes the Tablet PC will help further this developmental efficiency. "We've seen some of Microsoft's thinking start to emerge in terms of voice recognition and document collaboration," Scott explains. Intel is working on building security into chips, while the company's Hyper-Threading technology will start to be incorporated into desktop computer chips beginning sometime in 2003. The technology, already used in servers, doubles processing capacity by working with Hyper-Threading compatible applications to "trick" these applications into believing two processors exist on single-processor PCs. Meanwhile, internal bandwidth will improve as PC makers move away from the industry standard PCI bus to new architectures that can process data much more quickly. However, a standards battle is likely between the Intel-backed 3GIO or PCI Express interconnect technology and AMD's HyperTransport technology. Some analysts also say desktop-based Linux machines could gain market share, especially as a way to save money by avoiding paying licensing fees to Microsoft.

  • "A Better Ballot Box?"
    IEEE Spectrum (10/02); Mercuri, Rebecca

    The debacle of the November 2000 presidential election in Florida has prompted election officials around the world to consider alternative technologies, such as electronic voting, that promise to eliminate mistakes and improve reliability and count accuracy. However, currently available e-voting products are deeply flawed because they cannot strike a balance between voter privacy and auditability, a situation exacerbated by the fact that the system that records ballots also has to authenticate the voter. A dearth of standards, reliance on outdated guidelines, legal loopholes, usability problems, and other issues force voters to trust providers of e-voting systems that their equipment is reliable and tamper-proof, when in fact it is not. Furthermore, predictions that switching to electronic voting will spur increased voter turnout appear to be overly optimistic; regardless, governments around the globe are proceeding with online voting projects. Although many communities and groups see e-voting as an improvement and have begun using it for shareholders' meetings, opinion surveys, public policy initiatives and the like, the fact remains that such systems cannot guarantee that election results will not be impacted by tampering, programming errors, or malfunctions, nor can studying such systems during any part of the voting process ensure the nonexistence of such flaws. One technique that could solve many problems while also being cost-effective, the Mercuri method, involves supplying a physical audit trail by printing a paper ballot containing the options made on the computer, which the voter can check for correctness and deposit in a ballot box. Meanwhile, cryptologist David Chaum has devised a computer-generated, voter-authenticated physical ballot that also furnishes the voter with a receipt that safeguards its contents, yet can be used to determine that the vote was tabulated correctly.

  • "Grid Iron"
    Red Herring (10/02) No. 118, P. 38; Malik, Om

    Distributed or grid computing is designed to harness the idle computing power of machines spread out over a decentralized network, enabling customers to solve complex problems without running up costs for new equipment. IBM's Irving Wladawsky-Berger recently characterized grid computing as "key to advancing e-business and the next step in the evolution of the Internet towards a true computing platform." Leading the charge toward grid computing is Argonne National Laboratory researcher Ian Foster, who expects existing minigrids to eventually coalesce into a massive global grid that will be used to run applications such as supply chain management and customer relationship management. Most progress in grid deployment is taking place in the academic sector, which has received over $500 million in government funding in the last two years. One of the biggest academic grids, the EU DataGrid Project, is designed to analyze huge amounts of data generated annually by CERN's European Laboratory for Particle Physics, and project leader Fabrizio Gagliardi needed software that would facilitate resource sharing between the CERN lab and other academic and government agencies in the European Union; Foster offered the Globus Project as a solution. Globus is a grid computing operating system upon which tools that enable end-user applications can be built, and Foster expects both it and the open-source nature of the grid to spur creativity. Roadblocks to the commercialization and corporate adoption of grid computing include security and resource sharing. "Currently, the security is not acceptable for mission-critical and enterprise computing, but we are hoping that in the next five years, all such issues will be resolved," declares Hewlett-Packard's Patrick Scaglia.

  • "Pocket Pictures"
    Computer Graphics World (10/02) Vol. 25, No. 10, P. 30; Donelan, Jenny

    Telecommunications companies such as NTT DoCoMo and AT&T and manufacturers such as Nokia, Ericsson, and Fujitsu are working--often in collaboration--to develop embedded devices and applications that support wireless 3D graphics. 3D-enabled phones are a particularly heavy area of concentration, given the large market involved. Commercial uses for 3D imagery on small devices include gaming, message delivery via animation, graphical avatars that deliver news and financial information, and e-commerce tools that enable consumers to view items prior to purchase. Furthermore, some companies aim to add versatility to embedded devices; one such company is Canesta, which has developed a keyboard that can be projected from a PDA or cell phone. Qualcomm Internet Services' Paul Burlingame reports that a market for such products has already emerged in Japan, where 3D m-commerce, 3D wallpaper, games, and other applications have taken hold. Europe is behind Japan, and most vendors reckon that 3D wireless phones and applications will not be widely available in the United States until the end of 2003. Products that have been or are being developed include Messenger and Emote from 3dMe, which converts text to spoken animation and expressive characters, respectively; and Eyematic's wireless Synthetic Video technology, which allows mobile phone users to create Anime-style messengers.
    Click Here to View Full Article

[ Archives ] [ Home ]