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Bill Ray

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Top Stories by Bill Ray

I'm looking at my huge field of corn, millions of ears ready for harvest, every one genetically engineered to be identical. From the root structure to the tips, every stalk's the same, and offers the maximum yield made possible by modern science. But enhancing production is only part of what the breaking of the genetic code can offer me. Should the need arise, I can release specially modified viruses into my field, allowing each infection to make minute alterations to the DNA of the crop, updating my harvest. In this way I can provide protection against unforeseen pathogens, and modify the very blueprint of my harvest to suit climate or market conditions. Hopefully the above image has you reeling in horror. "What of the real disease?" "What of genetic diversity?" "Such a crop could be wiped out overnight!" But that is what we risk in making everything we use compatib... (more)

Why Combined PDA/Mobile Devices Are Stupid

While walking through London the other day, I noticed an advertisement for a mobile phone. Nothing unusual about that, except that the mundane practice of making phone calls seemed insulting to a device such as this. Its gamut of features included the ability to listen to music courtesy of a built-in MP3 player, take photographs with its camera, and even shoot (admittedly very short) movies! I was surprised to see it didn't offer tea-making facilities, but consoled myself with the thought that it was only a matter of time. Obviously this packing of different features into a handhe... (more)

21st Century Wireless Tools: Working in a Networked World…

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... (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)