Welcome!

Bill Ray

Subscribe to Bill Ray: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get Bill Ray via: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Latest Articles from Bill Ray
The Highlands of Scotland might not be the most obvious place to take a yacht, but a combination of sea-canals and the largest body of water in the UK make it a surprisingly accessible destination for all but the largest yacht, with a history which still echoes today and some of the mo...
Back in 1957, US scientists tracking the first Russian satellite, Sputnik, noticed that they could use the Doppler effect to work out exactly how far away it was. Since they knew where they were they could use that information to work out where the satellite was, and from there it?s a ...
Almost everyone has a mobile phone, but not everyone has one of these models. Available bejeweled, or in gold or platinum, they can top $40,000.
Is it possible to get an entire film onto a mobile phone or PDA? Would it be a practical viewing experience? We started with a DVD, then used only free software in an attempt to view the film on a Nokia 3650 handset, a Microsoft Pocket PC device, and a PalmPilot.
Everyone is looking for our trust at the moment. Schemes for digitally signing applications seem to be popping up like gophers across the mobile landscape, each of them confident that we'll place our trust in their authority. Microsoft, of course, has been trying to convince us to only...
Mobile phones are the success story of the last five years. While budgets are cut across the IT industry and companies are increasingly looking to do more with what they've got, mobile technologies continue to buck the trend and investment in wireless infrastructure and devices increas...
It was quite a wireless Christmas in 2003, with wireless speakers; a wireless headset that's (apparently) all done with magnets; a wireless thermometer (so we can tell the temperature outside without leaving the house - very important here in the Highlands); and even a round flying thi...
Gaming on the move has always been the poor cousin of console and desktop gaming, generally limited to the various incarnations of Solitaire or basic puzzle games. It wasn't until Nintendo's GameBoy that companies started to take handheld games seriously.
Now that I've got my satellite uplink working, it's time for some luxuries here in Scotland, the first of which will be central heating. Coal is not the fuel of the future, and going out every morning to fill the scuttle isn't something I'll miss. First to arrive is an oil tank - our f...
Any day now (November 24) you'll be able to change your mobile phone network and take your number with you, something that Europeans have been doing for awhile. The networks hate it. As long as you were tied to your number you were tied to their network, and changing networks might mea...
The games industry is a horrible place to find yourself, long hours working on projects that might just be the next big thing, but probably won't be. Very little recognition and not much money for the developers who can spend several years working on the same title, only to have the pr...
I've recently moved house, never an easy process, and made less so when the place you're moving to is not so much off-the-beaten-track as off-the-untrodden-footpath.
Mobile telephony is a very competitive industry, as we all know. But how many people realize that the model of device manufacturers competing against each other while the carriers vie for customers is about to be turned upside down, and that some companies are about to find out tha...
We hear that Vivato has raised $44.5 million for their wireless infrastructure business. It's nice to know someone's got the cash!
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.
I have the dubious honor of having written one of the very first implementations of the RSA cryptographic algorithm in Java some years ago, and very badly I wrote it too.
Parts 1 and 2 of this series (JDJ, Vol. 7, issues 6 and 9) demonstrated how I developed a remote control MP3 player by using a Bluetooth connection from my handheld (a Compaq iPaq) and employing a client and a server written in Java.
In Part 1 of this series (JDJ, Vol. 7, issue 6), I showed how I developed an MP3 player in Java, and then added the ability to control that player from a wireless handheld device using a PersonalJava application.
In this business we often talk about how easy it is to get computers to talk to each other; computers without networks are almost inconceivable. Despite being standardized as little as five years ago, we now expect them all to play nicely together.> Even in the home, a CAT-5 connec...
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 o...
Wireless and mobile networks have the potential to provide new levels of security and confidence, as long as we design them that way. With open networks, the responsibility for creating a secure environment must fall to whoever deploys the application, not the network itself. Every day...
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 a...
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 courtes...
Bluetooth is a new protocol designed to replace the tangle of wires that seems to accompany all technical advances. Operating over radio, it's not limited to line-of-sight and is destined for everything from keyboard connections to wireless Internet surfing. Clearly a standard was nece...
Ethernet has been with us for a while now, and setting up a network has passed from an arcane art to something most users are happy to do at home. Home-networking kits and improved operating systems (to be fair, I'm mainly referring to Microsoft Windows here) has made the process more ...
Cryptography is a wonderful thing. Long keys and well-designed algorithms mean that even the most determined government is unlikely to be able to break your encrypted messages. However, every encryption system has one weak point: Where and how do you store your keys? Most encryption so...
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'...
(February 28, 2003) - Bill Ray, editor-in-chief of Wireless Business & Technology, talks to Eric Chu, Group Marketing Manager, J2ME Platform, Sun Microsystems, Inc., about the recently announced Java Device Test Suite. WBT: Who will the test suite be made available to? Licensees, op...
Successful products and services may rely more on where and when, rather than how, they are launched. It's very fashionable to talk of globalization and the world market, but the reality is that public acceptance of new products depends more on cultural factors than the use of the late...
Short Message Service (SMS) has been the unpredicted golden goose of mobile telephone networks, with more than a billion messages flying through the airwaves every month over the GSM network alone. Even at a few cents a message it's not difficult to see how SMS might be the solution to...
Mobile games are often seen as the killer application for 3G phones, not to mention the driving force behind advances in hardware and device architecture (as games have been on desktop systems for years). But while devices specifically designed for mobile gaming, such as the Nintendo G...
Bluetooth and Wireless Ethernet can happily coexist, at the same time, in the same space, and sharing the same frequency.
Sun recently made what appeared to be a small announcement, that QUALCOMM would be distributing a J2ME implementation for their mobile phone handsets, but it's a small announcement that belies its importance in the mobile phone world. While most phone manufacturers, particularly in Eur...
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 3...
Right now mention Java on mobile phones and most people think of something fun, with potential for the future. Games and puzzles are the order of the day, with the power and versatility of Java reduced to entertaining businesspeople on the train. But Java has much more to offer, and so...
Setting out to start programming a new wireless device is never easy. A lack of documentation and badly thought-out development environments, conspiring with a prepubescent developer community, ensure that the information you need is always somewhere else. But things are changing; as f...
Drug dealers love digital mobile telephones. It's not just being able to stay in touch with customers and suppliers on the move, nor the advantages of instantaneous communications in a very competitive industry. Drug dealers love digital mobile telephones for the security they offe...
Nokia has a lot resting on the 7650. Despite the almost immediate announcement of the 3650, the 7650 is in the shops now, and represents the first steps away from the core mobile telephone functionality Nokia has provided in the past. The 7650 is the first device to use the Series ...
A secure mobile payment system is essential if m-commerce is to reach its potential. The most-popular method used ­ credit cards ­ has failed in this area, and fallen prey to astronomical levels of fraud and theft. Now, Paybox, a relatively new company with an authorization system that...
(February 28, 2003) - Bill Ray, editor-in-chief of Wireless Business & Technology, talks to Eric Chu, Group Marketing Manager, J2ME Platform, Sun Microsystems, Inc., about the recently announced Java Device Test Suite. WBT: Who will the test suite be made available to? Licensees, op...