The future looks bright for the wireless LAN industry, which is on pace to reach record revenue by the end of the third quarter, says market research firm Dell'Oro Group.
The WLAN market wasn't hit as hard as other businesses in the recession, which took a particular toll in September, but was still affected enough to see lower sales in the first and second quarter of 2009. Before the economic downturn, revenue climbed to record levels in the fourth quarter of last year, and it appears the WLAN industry is finally picking up where it left off. Worldwide revenue for WLAN equipment recovered to $1.1 billion in the third quarter of this year, up about 12 percent from the second quarter, and came close to matching the $1.14 billion of the previous year's third quarter.
Analysts attributed the upswing to stimulus money granted by the U.S. goverment, for which vendors claimed have driven deals. Market researchers also point to the growth of IEEE 802.11n and the boost it has gotten from being standardized.
SMB's concerned about the security of their Wi-Fi networks have a new low-cost service to choose from that will tell them if their passwords are up to snuff.
The service is a cloud-based WPA Cracker with access to a 400-CPU cluster. For just $34, it will check a company's password against a 135-million word dictionary, which takes about 20 minutes. For those who don't mind waiting 40 minutes, the price drops to $17 to access the system at half mode.
What's notable about the 135-million dictionary is that it's been set up specifically for cracking Wi-Fi passwords. It contains common phrases and forms of "elite speak" that have taken WPA networks into account.
If you listen to Microsoft, ad hoc wireless networking, which lets several Windows computers share a single connection, is one of a bunch of networking features not included in Windows 7 Starter Edition. But is that really the case?
"On Windows 7 Starter Edition, the 'Set up a wireless ad hoc network' link in the [Set Up a Connection or Networking] dialog is missing," said Rivera in an entry on his Within Windows blog. "That's the licensed 'feature' you're missing out on. I repeat: You're licensed to use ad-hoc networking. You're not licensed to use the shortcut in this dialog. To access the wizard that this link normally points to, simply Start Menu search for 'adhoc.' It's a lot of work, I know."
So for the time being, netbooks users running Windows 7 Starter can still create an on-the-fly connection for sharing an Internet connection, but this is something that Microsoft will likely address in a future hotfix or Service Pack.
"I believe it's safe to assume this is an unintentional screw up," Rivera added. "Enjoy it while you can, netbook cheapos."
Xirrus, a provider of enterprise Wi-Fi, announced this week that it has secured an additional $20 million in funding in a financing round led by InterWest Partners. The latest round brings the total investment to $80 million, which Xirrus says it will use to bolster its reserves and invest in partnerships.
"Times have changed since my last technology venture," said Dirk Gates, founder and CEO of Xirrus. "Xirrius has reached critical mass and significant customer traction with far less fanfare, yet far more substance than venture-backed companies during the 1990s."
According to a TechCrunch report, Xirrus aims to replace Ethernet in the enteprise, which will help businesses lower their setup and usage costs for corporate networks.
Alcohol has been blamed for some pretty outrageous things over the years, but this is the first time I’ve heard anyone blame it for copyright infringement. It’s a bizarre argument to make, but its likely one a UK based bar owner will be considering after being handed down an £8,000 fine, which works out to about $13,000 USD. Worse yet, the bar is likely not even responsible for the infringement since the offense occurred on the pubs open Wi-Fi hotspot, a fact that is sure to spur an interesting debate over responsibility.
According to Internet law professor Lillian Edwards of the Sheffield Law School, open Wi-Fi operators “should not be responsible in theory” for the actions of their users. The bar will likely be immune from the disconnection clause in the new Digital Economy Bill since it can be classified as a public communications service provider, but it will be interesting to see if this will also eventually get them out of the fine as well.
The debate over who is responsible for network security is an interesting one, and is sure to eventually cross borders as well. If laws end up making it too dangerous to operate open hotspots, what’s next? If a neighbor comes along and cracks your WEP key and downloads copyrighted material, do you fine the owner of the router for not having stronger security?
The Flip digital camcorder may be headed for an upgrade. So reports Pocket-lint, anyhow. According to the website, Cisco, which purchased Pure Digital, the creator of the Flip, is poised to integrate some new features, including its own networking technology.
Pocket-lint confesses “details are thin on the ground” but that the new Flip will have a large screen, which will slide to reveal the record and menu buttons. (It doesn’t seem that touchscreen, because of price, will be part of the upgrade package.) And that it will also have Wi-Fi, allowing users to record and upload with having to use an intermediary.
It’s expected the upgraded Flip will be available about the middle of 2010. No information on pricing was available.
Did you think Verizon would back down from its 3G map ads after AT&T hit the wireless carrier with a lawsuit? Not gonna happen. Instead, the ads keep rolling, and so do the jabs, including one that was filed in response to the suit.
"AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's 'There's A Map For That' advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts," Verizon's lawyers wrote in a 53-page Memorandum of Law.
The document went on to defend Verizon's position that there's no way the wireless carrier is confusing or misleading customers about AT&T's coverage because "each ad speaks of 3G coverage repeatedly, [and] the maps used in each are clearly labeled 3G."
For a 53-page court document, it's actually a fun little read, and Engadget believes that's entirely by design, pointing out that this was probably drafted with publication in mind. After giving it a once-over ourselves, we'd have to agree.
Give the PDF a read here, then hit the jump and tell us what you think.
We’ve long loved Eye-Fi’s series of Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards that allow you to instantly upload pics from your camera to a website, but it has lacked two key features: the ability to select which photos you want to upload and the ability to perform peer-to-peer transfers from the camera to a computer or laptop. This new card addresses those needs.
The card continues to support all the good stuff we’ve seen before in Eye-Fi cards: the ability to connect to open access points to upload your photos to a photo service, Wi-Fi-based geo-tagging, and video sharing. But we’re more excited by the improvements in the Eye-Fi Pro. Now, instead of uploading every image on the card, you select which photos you want to upload by checking the write-protect on the files and the card dutifully uploads them. JPEG, video, and even RAW files are now supported, too. And in case you’re wondering whether RAW is too large to transfer via Wi-Fi, we moved an 18MB RAW file from a Canon EOS Rebel T1i to a laptop in about two minutes using the Eye-Fi Pro’s Ad-hoc mode. Not bad.
Wi-Fi’s about to get a whole new look to it, one that eerily resembles Bluetooth. The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced it is nearing completing of specifications for Wi-Fi Direct which will provide peer-to-peer connections between any two Wi-Fi devices, such as mobile phones, cameras, headphones, printers, computers, keyboards, and mice. The new standard will be backward compatible to include all currently Wi-Fi certified legacy devices.
Blackberry users will no longer have to feel let down by their inability to download music wirelessly. UK-based service provider 7digital and RIM have made good on their promise of an over-the-air music download service for Blackberry. 7digital’s application is now available on the Blackberry App World Store.
The absolutely free app provides access to 7digital’s 6 million track-strong library of DRM-free music. Users can download low-quality tracks when on the move. Such downloads are automatically replaced with high bit-rate tracks (usually 320kbps) when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network. The majority of tracks and albums are priced at $.77 and $7.77, respectively. Smartphones supported at launch are the BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Curve 8900, BlackBerry Tour, BlackBerry Curve 8520 and BlackBerry Storm.