What a time it is in the IT industry at the moment. Not too good a time, but not too bad a time either.
Just as the enthusiasm was returning to the people involved a few companies start folding.
The latest to go is eBone, the network that handled roughly one third of European internet traffic. A UK consortium was trying to buy the network for 25m euros, but it seems that the banks wanted around 45m just to keep it going. All might have been well if AT&T had kept their interest, but they didn't. So that's another one gone, but at least not the same way as WorldCom, and Xerox and a few others.
BT have recently got a slap on the wrist for their broadband adverts, they were deemed as misleading by advertising a 2Mbps internet connection for home users, when it is part of their business package.
Yet another bandwidth story here, and kinda following this wireless internet theme I seem to have gotten myself into. Motorola are rolling out a service they call Canopy, basically it means that you can buy a receiver ariel and broadcast an internet connection within roughly 5 miles. Up to 1200 users can buy the receiver units and hook into the service. Each receiver unit costs roughly £400 and to set up a broadcasting station would set you back around £1000 to £2000 depending on your current connection. So, villages could easily group together and provide their own broadband ISP service in those areas that other services can't reach.
The question to ask though is 'Is it worth it?' The download speeds are sure fast, you can download large files really, really quickly. But there seems to currently be a bit of a problem with wireless internet at the moment, it's no good for surfing the net. When surfing the net, you're not really looking for overly fast download speeds, but fast server connections. Once you've got the connection you're fine, downloading one page, no worries, but to flick between pages needs lots of server connections, and there's the problem. Wireless internet suffers from a connection lag, and apparently this hasn't been solved yet. I say apparently because I haven't tried it out myself, but a collegue of mine has to rely on it occasionally and isn't too impressed.
Now for a bit of Microsoft bashing, and if you read these on any kind of basis you'll know that this isn't like me, but having said that... A huge security hole was found to be in Windows Media Player7, and a patch was released a little too quickly if you ask me. Now, part of this patch changes the End User License Agreement, that EULA which, let's face it, none of us read. But, this change means that by agreeing you effectively give Microsoft a back door into your system with a admin privilages.
Sticking with Microsoft, there seems to have been a strange change of direction at the camp, they've booked a booth at the LinuxWorld Expo. Not a big booth admitedly, but one none the less. For more information of this, head over to Linux World Expo
On the gadgets front there is somthing really rather ironic on the market. Someone has not only invented, but managed to convince people to produce a wind up mobile phone charger.
About five minutes of winding and you get roughly two hours of standby. So, when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, miles from a plug socket and your phone runs out of charge then you can plug this in, give it a spin and your phone will have power once again. Then you just have to solve the problem of getting a signal out there miles from a plug socket. Only available for Nokia phones at the moment though, but that's alright as most phones on the streets seem to be Nokia ones. Let's just hope that the Nokia company doesn't go titsup like seems to be the trend.
Ending on a happier note, rumours are abounding once more that the good old beeb are to revive Doctor Who. Finally! To celebrate the 40th anniversary with Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) lined up to play the Doctor. The beeb have an offical denial out of course, News, but they don't actually say that they're not planning to revive the show, just not planning on Anthony Stewart Head in the lead role.