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Volume 7, Issue 738:  Wednesday, January 5, 2005

  • "New EU Patents Rules Divide Software Industry"
    Financial Times (01/04/05) P. 4; Buck, Tobias

    The European Union's software patent directive could be delayed into 2006 since member states have been unable to formally approve any of the European Commission's proposals over the last 30 months. Member states had informally approved a version of the software patent law last summer, but a late withdrawal from Poland means a final vote will be postponed. Proponents of software patents include the IT industry group EICTA, made of companies such as Microsoft, Nokia, Siemens, SAP, Sony, and Intel. Those firms want consistent software patent protection across the European Union for software code that provides "technical contribution," such as improved battery life or picture resolution in a display. But opponents to the software law say software patents could easily expand to cover "pure" software that is widely used in computer applications, such as the Microsoft Windows operating system, or business methods, such as a desktop "trash" folder. This would prevent small companies and individual developers from building on widely used applications and hinder innovation. The delay in the legislative process means more time for concerns to be aired, says Florian Muller of advocacy group NoSoftwarePatents.com. A draft version of the legislation is expected to be approved in 2005 by member states, at which point it would be passed onto the European parliament for further debate. The parliament is seen as even more against the idea of software patents than are the national governments, causing many observers to say no final law will be implemented until at least 2006.

  • "Capitalizing on Richer Web Data"
    IST Results (01/04/05)

    The recently completed Semantic Web Advanced Development for Europe (SWAD--Europe) project helped establish the European Semantic Web development community and provide those users with tools and several demonstrator applications. SWAD--Europe was led by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and funded by the European Union's Information Society Technologies program. The two-year project demonstrated the value of Semantic Web applications in enabling information reuse and the creation and maintenance of community portals. With the help of SWAD--Europe, a community of thousands of developers is actively developing and using tools needed to create, store, and view Semantic Web data. HP Labs created two demonstrators for the project, including a semantic blogging portal for librarians. The technology enhances bibliographic management by allowing librarians to easily share small information pieces with peers, and lets users view, navigate, and query blogged information. Another project, the Semantic Web Environmental Directory (SWED) prototype, is a novel Web directory for environmental organizations and projects. Instead of the portal being centrally managed, data is held by different author organizations themselves and published on their Web sites. Because the data is kept separate from the portal, it will be easy to maintain the project even if there is no primary funding, says SWAD--Europe coordinator Libby Miller. SWED also provides contributors with tools so that they can add information in the Resource Description Framework format. A SWED browser was also created to let people more easily explore SWED information and leverage metadata for expanded search capability.
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  • "CES to Spotlight Digital Evolution"
    CNet (01/04/05); Becker, David

    The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas will feature updates on existing products, but will not likely see huge product announcements as those will be reserved for other meetings in February and March. CES has gained clout with the decline of the Comdex trade show, and this year focuses on new digital services, such as SBC Communications' plans for digital video over broadband. CES is expected to draw between 120,000 and 140,000 people this year, and will feature a number of high-profile speakers who will talk about industry trends and lay out their companies' strategies. Companies especially need to offer attractive digital entertainment products and services this year because the technology is mature and consumers will need a reason to buy new items for the 2005 holiday, says NPD Techworld analyst Stephen Baker. Sony has a lot at stake in the digital entertainment market, and its recent embrace of the MP3 format for its digital-audio players shows that internal conflicts between the company's music and electronics arms has been at least partially resolved. Sony will display a new 70-inch rear-projection TV that uses a LCOS chip, and will also unveil its upcoming Blu-ray Disc products for 2005. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to rehash digital entertainment themes at his CES opening keynote address, as the company builds on its Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 release. Intel and AMD are expected to outline plans for x86 chips modified for consumer electronics products such as DVD recorders and set-top boxes, but Intel is expected to stay low-key after its failure to develop an LCOS chip after an initial announcement at CES last year. LCOS TV maker Brillian will showcase a rear-projection, high-definition set after delaying a release in 2004, and Freescale will demonstrate Ultrawideband for mobile phones.
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  • "OSDL Linux Summit--A Conference With Some Differences"
    LinuxPlanet (12/30/04); Emigh, Jacqueline

    The upcoming OSDL (Open Source Development Lab) Linux Summit will feature programs that address areas specified by conference planners, not by the papers submitted and selected beforehand. The first-time event is tailored for business users and is meant to complement other Linux conferences, says OSDL marketing director Nelson Pratt. There are separate tracks planned for technical users, legal professionals, and business leaders with a common emphasis on enterprise adoption of Linux. OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen will moderate the first keynote panel on the importance of open source software in the enterprise, featuring Linux experts Linus Torvalds, 2.6 Linux kernel maintainer Andrew Morton, CollabNet CTO Brian Behlendorf, and Mitch Kapor of the OSA Foundation. Morton will later lead sessions on the patch submission and acceptance process and leveraging new 2.6 kernel enhancements. The second keynote panel is titled "Utility Computing and the ISV Opportunity." Another unusual aspect of the OSDL Linux Summit is the track for legal issues, which Pratt says was necessitated in part by SCO litigation. Topics will include open source licensing, GPL, and the impact of SCO's lawsuits on open source software. The business track includes discussion about open source vs. proprietary, the maturity of different open source communities, and how to transition enterprise architecture to accommodate open source software. Technical tutorials include a review of open source in the enterprise, using Eclipse to develop Linux applications, pairing Java and Linux, benefits of open source community participation, Unix to Linux migration, and enterprise Linux security. The summit takes place January 31 to February 2, 2005, in Burlingame, Calif.
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  • "A Year After Legislation, Spam Still Widespread"
    Washington Post (01/04/05) P. E5; McGuire, David

    The Can-Spam Act has significantly boosted efforts to fight spam, although the year-old legislation has failed to reduce spam messages overall. Message filtering firm Postini reports spam volumes increasing by as much as five percent during 2004, while MX Logic says spam grew from 67 percent of all messages to 77 percent of messages in the year since Can-Spam was made law in December 2003. MX Logic also says only 3 percent of inspected spam messages conform with the legislation, which requires authentic "from" headers, valid unsubscribe links, and systems honoring requests to be removed from email lists. America Online, Microsoft, Earthlink, and Yahoo launched two salvos of lawsuits against the most prolific spammers on their networks in March and again in October, after vigorously lobbying for the Can-Spam Act. The four largest U.S. email providers say Can-Spam is important because it clearly outlaws aggressive spam. Email providers are also pursuing technical measures, such as email authentication technology, that experts say will be the only real protection against spam. America Online says spam coming into its network has dropped dramatically in the last year, resulting in 1.6 billion messages in 2004 compared to 2.1 billion messages in 2003. Not only is more spam being filtered before it hits America Online networks, but spammers are more wary of incurring legal action since America Online is located in Virginia, which has some of the toughest state anti-spam law and saw the first convicted spammer. Legal experts say Can-Spam will eventually put a chill on the spam industry that will translate to fewer spam messages in users' inboxes. "The people out there who are the spam kingpins, I'm certain they're aware of what we're doing here. I'm sure it will have at least a psychological impact in that they know we're serious," says Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore spokesman Tim Murtaugh.
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  • "EFF Throws Support to 'Anonymous' Internet Project"
    InternetNews.com (01/04/05); Wagner, Jim

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) supports the latest version of the Tor Software Project, which now provides anonymous Internet use for people with Windows machines. Previous versions of the software worked only with Linux, BSD, OS X, and Solaris. Tor is an open source project developed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as an anonymous communications system. The EFF plans financial support for the project because it ensures First Amendment protections online by hiding IP address information from Web sites, ISPs, and other parties on the Internet. IP address information is used for innocuous traffic analysis, such as automatically providing correct prices according to a users' location, but could also endanger online users who live under oppressive governments or journalists posting to community sites like Indymedia. The new Tor software also allows people with Win32-based machines to volunteer to act as intermediary servers that route connections and encrypts source and destination information. Because circuits between servers are changed every minute and new encrypted keys used between every server hop, the system makes it extremely difficult to identify users and their activity. Tor only works with TCP streams, but supports software applications with SOCKS support. According to the project Web site, Tor does not stop Web sites from logging visits with cookies or determining what Web browser is used. In addition, Tor's download disclosure emphasizes the software's experimental nature. Anonymizer President Lance Cottrell says the Tor software is useful, but that his company's proprietary system ensures all proxy servers are secure and is therefore more reliable.
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  • "Building a Smarter Search Engine"
    Business Week (01/04/05); Green, Heather

    Search engine startup Vivisimo uses artificial intelligence technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University to organize search results more neatly. The company launched a consumer metasearch service called Clusty three months ago that pulls results from other search engines, then uses its own technology to cluster those results according to major themes. A search for "seal" will produce the normal mix of references in the main results--including pages referring to the sea mammal, Seal the musician, Wet Seal-brand clothing, and Navy SEALS--as well as folders on each of those topics on the left-hand side. By opening the appropriate folder, users will be able to drill down to find more relevant results. Clusty is a good tool for managing a growing amount of online information and makes search technology easier to use, says Search Engine Showdown operator Greg Notess. Analysts say Vivisimo faces an enormous challenge in the general search space as much larger companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo roll out more features, such as desktop and multimedia search. Although Vivisimo has been profitable for the past two years, it will need to focus on niche search markets in order to grow in the consumer search space. Vivisimo's unique search technology could be used to produce superior results for health care, travel, or other industry-specific searches. Founder Raul Valdes-Perez, who started Vivisimo with two other CMU researchers and a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, says Clusty will gain market share because it makes Web searching easier. Vivisimo also provides enterprise search tools and licenses its technology to popular consumer Web sites.
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  • "Welcome to the Next Generation of Robots"
    Guardian Unlimited (UK) (01/04/05); Arnot, Chris

    European robotics researchers plan to create machines that replicate human functions, including hearing, seeing, learning, answering questions, and manipulating objects. The technology to build robots with human-like capabilities has been advancing rapidly in isolation from each other. By combining new voice recognition and machine-learning technology, researchers will be able to take robotics development to a higher level, says Birmingham University computer scientist Aaron Sloman. Speech recognition is one field that has improved rapidly in recent years, allowing people to interact with computer systems via telephone. Computers ability to generate inflections while talking has improved as well, making their speech sound more natural. Sloman and colleagues are working on a project to build Explorer, a walking conversational robot that can guide visitors through an office. The project is led by a robotics researcher in Stockholm and funded by the European Union. Explorer can differentiate between permanent obstacles like walls and temporary barriers, such as a pile of books, says Birmingham University researcher Jeremy Wyatt. While computer speech and speech recognition technology allows machines to converse, teaching computers the meaning of what is being said is much more difficult. Another European Union robotics project is Playmate, which pairs a robot head and arm, and could help elderly people to live independently longer. Sloman says such technology could take away jobs currently done by humans, but that it also has the power to enrich people's lives. Sloman also says robotics research poses little threat to humanity, because robots are unlikely to treat people as badly as people treat each other today.
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  • "A New Hope for BitTorrent?"
    CNet (01/05/05); Borland, John

    With BitTorrent sites under legal assault by Hollywood studios, the manager of the now-defunct SuprNova.org site has announced a new Kazaa-style software that would leverage BitTorrent technology. The so-called Exeem software is currently being tested by a closed group of about 5,000 BitTorrent insiders, and was created by an anonymous company based on the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis--a tact foreshadowing legal wrangling for the distributor. The former administrator for SuprNova.org, a man named "Sloncek," says he was approached by the company several months before his site was shut down by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and that he now works as a representative of the firm. If Exeem successfully launches, it would provide a recourse for millions of BitTorrent users to share files through a decentralized network similar to Kazaa. While that would remove the hub targets from MPAA legal threat by allowing users to directly share file information, it would also introduce integrity concerns that have plagued Kazaa. Studies say up to 70 percent of the files posted for popular music releases are actually fake or corrupted, and that the BitTorrent technology was so popular primarily because hub site moderators ensured the integrity of files posted to their sites. BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen says the new Exeem software only utilizes BitTorrent technology and has more in common with Kazaa and similar networks. "It's just yet another warez tool," he says. SuprNova.org, Youceff.com, and several others were shut down soon after the MPAA launched a legal assault on popular BitTorrent hub sites. LokiTorrent.com remains operational and has solicited $34,000 for a legal defense fund against the MPAA.
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  • "Security Issues Linger as Net's Trouble Spot"
    Investor's Business Daily (01/03/05) P. A9; Howell, Donna

    IT security teams employ stronger defenses against threats, but viruses, spam, phishing schemes, and other Internet-borne attacks are growing more dangerous. Spam now makes up nine out of 10 email messages compared to just seven out of 10 messages one year ago, according to FrontBridge Technologies. Firms have begun using spam-filtering services instead of spam-filtering software hosted on their own servers because such services are updated to new threats faster; outsourced spam filtering providers are able to view all their customers' email traffic at the same time and can create defenses for all clients when a new spam message is identified. Because it can identify spam messages simply by traffic volume, 40 percent of all connections are blocked without having to look at the content of those messages, says Postini's Andrew Lochart. Symantec security response director Vincent Weafer says spam is bearing more dangerous payloads now than in the first half of 2004. Phishing schemes and spyware are now common goals for spam messages, not just mass-mailed viruses. Besides using security services providers to handle routine tasks such as spam filtering, companies are using easy-to-use security appliances that run on their own optimized hardware; embedded network security is also more common, with network equipment vendors including security capabilities within their products. Overall, security spending now makes up about 5.4 percent of IT budgets, says Gartner analyst John Pescatore.

  • "As Robots Learn to Imitate"
    IST Results (01/03/05)

    The IST-funded MIRROR project has spent three years studying how people recognize and mimic gestures by transferring that ability to a robotic system and observing the results. In the first year of the project, researchers employed a "cyber-glove" to collate visual and motor data that was used to explore the link between vision and action in the identification of hand gestures; the second year involved experiments with monkeys and human infants to determine how visual and motor data can be employed to draw distinctions between grasping actions, and then applying that information to robotic mimicry of simple object-directed actions; the third and final year of MIRROR focused on building a humanoid robot by combining the principles outlined in the previous years. The robot is constructed out of a binocular head, an arm, and a hand with multiple digits; though the device is still incomplete, the researchers believe they have discovered many components of a biologically-interoperable architecture that can be robotically duplicated. "From the robotics point of view, we demonstrated that it is easier to interpret actions performed by others if the system has built a representation of the action during learning," explains MIRROR project coordinator Giulio Sandini. MIRROR consortium members are now working on the FP6 IST RobotCub project, a follow-up effort whose goal is to construct a humanoid platform to investigate how manipulation skills are developed.
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  • "Basic Change In Internet Architecture Needed"
    Financial Express (India) (12/29/04)

    Speaking at the Indian Statistical Institute's 6th International Workshop on Distributed Computing on Dec. 28, U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) program director Guru Parulkar called for a fundamental change in the architecture of the Internet so that new applications can be run, thus removing obstacles to innovation. He noted that the architecture has remained basically the same over the last two to three decades, although the Internet itself has significantly changed people's lives. Parulkar said the NSF is focused on creating new Internet architecture to address security, reliability, scalability, and performance issues, and that sensor networks, programmable radio signals, system on a chip, and other new technologies have demonstrated the potential of exceeding the existing IP framework. Three variables--Internet ossification, technology push, and application pull--are driving demand for an architectural retooling, according to Parulkar. He pictured the Internet as an hourglass, with the IP in the middle, the application-supporting transmission protocol on top, and networks on the bottom. "The problem of the present IP architecture-based system is that we have lost control of the Internet," Parulkar said, pointing out that telephone networks are currently more reliable than the Internet. University of Texas, Arlington, professor Sajal K. Das argued that removing the existing IP architecture is not an option, given the enormous cost of such an undertaking. He explained that the Internet architecture should transition from a host-driven model to a data-driven model in order to help new applications be organized around the new networks.
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  • "IEEE Spectrum Predicts Winning and Losing Technologies for 2005"
    PRNewswire (01/03/05)

    IEEE Spectrum editors highlighted city-wide wireless networking, broadband television over telephone wires, ultracapacitor-powered hybrid cars, and semiconductor wafer polishing technologies as technologies to watch for in 2005. The winners were chosen from more than 50 possibilities and met the criteria of feasibility and overall benefit to society, economy, and environment. Las Vegas's Metro Mesh Network test program was chosen because it offers an innovative new platform for municipal services, including emergency responder communications and traffic light management. Applied Materials' electrochemical mechanical planarization wafer-polishing technique was chosen for its potential to enhance semiconductor performance while reducing cost and size. Swisscom and Microsoft are working on a broadband television technology that would allow dozens of video channels to travel over relatively low-speed broadband lines. Equipped with the technology, currently under development in Zurich, Switzerland, telephone carriers would be able to compete with cable networks without having to install fiber-optic upgrades. Ultracapacitor development in Korea also promises superior power technology for hybrid cars, among other applications. IEEE Spectrum also identified several technology losers for 2005 based on their overall negative effects and poor chances at working. Electronic passports currently under development by governments worldwide, a Solarpark project in Germany, and DVD copy-protection technology from electronics companies were all tagged as loser technologies because their negative outcomes outweighed any benefits and they had little chance at success.
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  • "2005: The Year Ahead"
    InfoWorld (01/03/05) Vol. 27, No. 1, P. 14

    The blitzkrieg of mergers and desktop search offerings at the end of 2004 presage new technology trends and products in 2005. Both Forrester Research and IDC predict rising IT spending levels in the new year, and a number of new technologies will likely see widespread testing and deployment. Microsoft is expected to roll out a number of security-related products, as well as upgrades to the Visual Studio developer toolbox and SQL Server database. Security is an overarching trend in a number of industries, with networking and storage vendors incorporating security features and the recent acquisition of Veritas by security vendor Symantec. In the desktop space, Microsoft has slated the end of 2005 for a Longhorn beta release that is expected to include improved security, a new Web services architecture, and graphics system. Linux will continue its push into the enterprise market, on its way to a $35 billion total in 2008 for desktops, servers, and Linux-run packaged software, according to IDC. MySQL also plans to release a more robust Version 5.0 of the MySQL database. IDC says "dynamic IT" environments touted by IBM and Hewlett-Packard will spur change in the enterprise IT by relying on SOAs, Web services, and standards-based technologies. Suppliers are ready with "slap-and-ship" RFID for Wal-Mart and the Defense Department, but will investigate cost-saving internal RFID deployments in 2005. With recent mergers between cellular companies and new dual-mode phones, seamless roaming between Wi-Fi and WAN will be tested by enterprises. Storage technology will continue to focus on ease-of-use, and network cores and edges will become faster with the introduction of 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet products. Enterprise search will be a hot technology and blur with content management and business analytic solutions.
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  • "More Than Human"
    CIO (01/01/05) Vol. 18, No. 6, P. 76; Hapgood, Fred

    A neurotech-augmented, "transhuman" workforce is an area of exploration currently reserved for futurists, researchers, and ethicists, but CIOs will need to consider its implications if such a radical technological advance becomes unavoidable. In an environment where people can download information directly into their brains, digital rights management could become even more complicated, and skilled CIOs would be needed to navigate through a swamp of issues. For instance, some intellectual property producers might want users to pay a royalty each time they remember information they downloaded, or permit them to retain content in consciousness indefinitely but charge extra for the privilege of storing the data in long-term memory. Neurosecurity is likely to be an even more tangled issue, if dangers such as "brainjacking" make the transition from science fiction to science fact with the arrival of cortical implants that let sensors and data stores "print" directly to consciousness. Complications could arise from the need to experiment on human brains, which would raise ethical concerns, as well as the likelihood that neurotech will be a wireless technology. One potential neurosecurity measure could be an implanted public key infrastructure enabling every neural region to sign and validate requests from any other region, while another could be to rigorously adhere to a key list of approved mental activities. Furthermore, outsourcing certain portions of neural processing to secure computing sites could also theoretically boost neurosecurity. However, Secure Science CSO Lance James thinks the self-organizing, self-programming nature of human brains will make them less widely vulnerable to hackers than the hardware/software "monocultures" typical of computer networks.
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  • "Software Factories Come Into Modern Times"
    Application Development Trends (12/04) Vol. 11, No. 12, P. 24; Swoyer, Stephen

    Microsoft aims to embed a manufacturing-industry discipline in software development through its software factory approach, a strategy to establish a development infrastructure for facilitating reusable code and developer expertise. Software programming purists fall into two categories: Those who think manufacturing software is ridiculous because it attempts to instantiate creativity, and those who advocate the instantiation or productization of all, or mostly all, programming processes; most members of the programming community occupy a middle ground between these two extremes. Microsoft's Keith Short, co-author of "Software Factories: Assembling Applications With Patterns, Models, Frameworks, and Tools," refutes the assertion that the software factory tries to instantiate creativity, arguing that developers will help create pieces of code, components, or tools that condense domain expertise, and thus take some of the load off their shoulders. "The image we'd like people to have in mind when they see the word 'factory' is much more like a production line staffed by robots, where humans are doing the creative tasks in setting up the production line, but the rote or menial steps are done by robots," he says. Critics' biggest problem with the software factory concept is its assumption of an optimistic level of code reuse, when in reality enterprise code reuse has had a bumpy track record. Another key issue is the idea that existing code can fulfill a role in new software projects, even if it is not totally appropriate. SurgeWorks programmer Jonathan House argues that most enterprise developers are simply not equipped to churn out solid reusable components, and also notes that a reusable component becomes less reusable the more complex it is. Short, however, counters that critics have ignored the possibility that complex components can be passed between different vertical industries or horizontal function sectors.
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  • "Perfect Profiles"
    Information Highways (12/04) Vol. 12, No. 1, P. 12; Kennedy, Mary Lee

    Companies are increasingly basing their interface design decisions on "personas," context-sensitive archetypes or profiles of natural groupings of real users that ensure that products will meet their requirements and goals. Personas are often assigned photos, names, and personalities to make them seem as real and credible as possible. Effective personas boost a company's opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty and make it more likely that every organizational member will do his or her utmost to fulfill user goals by determining what aspects should be considered as well as what aspects should be ignored; the overall result is shorter and less costly product development cycles, greater customer satisfaction and allegiance, and better understanding of user wants and needs. Project managers use personas to relate the project vision to senior executives and recognize the capabilities, features, and content that best suit the target audience. Expert usability reviews of existing products and usability testing scenarios can be influenced by personas, while marketing functions can employ personas to demonstrate their understanding of the target audience's goals via campaigns and materials; furthermore, personas' knowledge can be leveraged by support functions to organize effective knowledge bases and structure responses to assistance requests. Burgeoning Web and software use has certified the direct correlation between user satisfaction and user loyalty, and personas are playing an increasingly critical role in the development of software, Web applications, and other products. A 2001 Forrester Research study of Web redesign projects concluded that measurable user-experience goals are essential to successful Web sites, a notion that could be applied to any product development process. Using personas in conjunction with other user-oriented methods (task analysis, usability testing, etc.) increases the probability that a more usable design will emerge.
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  • "GPS Mapping Comes of Age"
    GeoWorld (12/04) P. 42; Gakstatter, Eric

    The maturation of four technologies--the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS), personal digital assistants (PDAs), Bluetooth, and ESRI's ArcPad--has been chiefly responsible for Global Positioning System (GPS) data collection technology's transition to a more powerful, lower-cost, less proprietary paradigm over the last several years. WAAS, which has demonstrated the ability to consistently yield sub-meter positioning through the use of high-performance L1 receivers with a quality antenna, does not require extra hardware like other satellite-based augmentation systems, although its dependence on line-of-sight imposes limitations on its usability in certain environments. However, WAAS corrections could be used to map such locations through proprietary algorithms that allow receivers to continue employing the corrections for as long as 45 minutes after the loss of the WAAS signal. PDAs combine low cost, light weight, ease of use, and significant computing horsepower, and manufacturers are now introducing rugged models that are shock- and water-resistant/proof. Field mappers can now enjoy a more ergonomic experience as a result of design changes enabled by Bluetooth short-range wireless connection technology that devalues the need for "all-in-one" units by eliminating cable. ArcPad data collection software, although manufacturer-specific, is important given ESRI's sway over GPS data collection methodology. Functions such as data check-in/check out are highly automated because of ArcPad's seamless interoperability with ESRI desktop products, while user-application-specific menus and functions make ArcPad highly customizable. The components of future GPS data collection systems are expected to include a GPS receiver/Bluetooth transceiver/battery pack bundled into a compact fanny pack; an unobtrusive patch antenna affixed to an antenna baseball cap or shoulder pole; and a PDA running Windows Pocket PC data collection applications with a wireless Bluetooth connection to the GPS receiver.
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