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Top Stories by Bill Ray

Companies are always risking their business, betting on what will be happening next year, and how they can make money out of it. The trick is to get it right. We all know that we work in a fast-moving industry. Even before wireless communications raced ahead, the IT field was already moving too quickly for most industry commentators - fast enough in fact to make a fool of anyone rash enough to try to predict future developments. From the famous IBM statement that the total world market for computers amounted to no more than 20 units, to Bill Gates saying that no one could ever use more than 640KB of RAM, history is littered with embarrassing comments on the future...and some more expensive errors of judgment. The Intel Web site makes no mention of the 80186, moving straight from the 80188 to the 80286; no one guessed at the time that backwards compatibility would ... (more)

Pandora's Box

When Pandora was given gifts from the gods, she had many wonderful things, but she also had a box that she was told never to open. The box contained all the bad things in the world, and as long as it stayed closed, the world was a wonderful place full of joy and happiness. But Pandora's curiosity got the better of her, and she couldn't resist opening it just a little to see what was inside. However, the box couldn't be opened "just a little," and all the wrongs in the world flooded out, creating the world we see around us. Just as she snapped the box closed again, one more thing ... (more)

Wi-Fi with Your Big Mac, Sir?

IBM thinks what you need with your Big Mac is Wi-Fi connectivity, so they are deploying access points in McDonald's restaurants across the U.S., starting in New York City. This is being done under the Cometa brand, the alliance between IBM, AT&T, and Intel on the technical side, with 3i and Apex providing the finance. Always keen to combine fast food with fast-network access, WBT's Editor-in-Chief, Bill Ray, tracked down Dean Douglas, VP for the Telecommunications Industry, IBM Global Services, to talk about Wi-Fi, burgers, and the problems of cleaning ThinkPads... WBT: So you'r... (more)

3 Views of Wi-Fi: The Skeptic The Visionary The Historian

Introduction by Bill Ray, editor-in-chief Wi-Fi has never been in the news as much as it is now, far beyond the few techies and hobbyists who first showed what was possible. Wi-Fi is hitting the headlines now, more than ever before, mainly because it's starting to attract real money. At the time we first started covering wireless Ethernet in WBT there was already a marked divide in the industry based on widely differing opnions about the future of this unregulated technology, ranging from evangelical belief to complete dismissal, and everything in between. We were already report... (more)

The Skeptic

We hear that Vivato has raised $44.5 million for their wireless infrastructure business. It's nice to know someone's got the cash! It's enough to remind us of the excesses of the dot-com days, with inflatable boardrooms and business plans written on the back of napkins sure to follow. I'm not suggesting that Vivato is using napkins for stationery, or bouncing around their boardroom (though on getting $44.5 million, a certain amount of bouncing would be expected), but with hotspots still being a completely unproven business model, it beggars belief that this kind of money is being ... (more)