Wireless

Vol. 1 No. 3 – May 2003

Wireless

Interviews

A Conversation with Mario Mazzola

To peek into the future of networking, you don't need a crystal ball. You just need a bit of time with Mario Mazzola, chief development officer at Cisco. Mazzola lives on the bleeding edge of networking technology, so his present is very likely to be our future. He agreed to sit down with Queue to share some of his visions of the future and the implications he anticipates for software developers working with such rapidly evolving technologies as wireless networking, network security, and network scalability.

A Conversation with Mario Mazzola

To peek into the future of networking, you don’t need a crystal ball. You just need a bit of time with Mario Mazzola, chief development officer at Cisco. Mazzola lives on the bleeding edge of networking technology, so his present is very likely to be our future. He agreed to sit down with Queue to share some of his visions of the future and the implications he anticipates for software developers working with such rapidly evolving technologies as wireless networking, network security, and network scalability.

Articles

Caching XML Web Services for Mobility

Web services are emerging as the dominant application on the Internet. The Web is no longer just a repository of information but has evolved into an active medium for providers and consumers of services: Individuals provide peer-to-peer services to access personal contact information or photo albums for other individuals; individuals provide services to businesses for accessing personal preferences or tax information; Web-based businesses provide consumer services such as travel arrangement (Orbitz), shopping (eBay), and e-mail (Hotmail); and several business-to-business (B2B) services such as supply chain management form important applications of the Internet.

Caching XML Web Services for Mobility
Douglas B. Terry and Venugopalan Ramasubramanian, Microsoft Research

In the face of unreliable connections and low bandwidth, caching may offer reliable wireless access to Web services.

Web services are emerging as the dominant application on the Internet. The Web is no longer just a repository of information but has evolved into an active medium for providers and consumers of services: Individuals provide peer-to-peer services to access personal contact information or photo albums for other individuals; individuals provide services to businesses for accessing personal preferences or tax information; Web-based businesses provide consumer services such as travel arrangement (Orbitz), shopping (eBay), and e-mail (Hotmail); and several business-to-business (B2B) services such as supply chain management form important applications of the Internet.

Although these services are provided through static or active Web pages, they are evolving into Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based Web services designed for programmatic rather than human access. For example, MapPoint.Net provides maps and location services for incorporation into other Web sites and applications. Thus, XML Web services are the building blocks for constructing a new generation of Web applications that leverage existing investments in Web technology.

by Douglas D. Terry, Venugopalan Ramasubramanian

Designing Portable Collaborative Networks

Peer-to-peer technology and wireless networking offer great potential for working together away from the desk - but they also introduce unique software and infrastructure challenges. The traditional idea of the work environment is anchored to a central location - the desk and office - where the resources needed for the job are located. Even in the many professions where the practitioners move among different field locations, such as professional consulting, health care, or resource exploration, the full set of information and technology resources has been available only in fixed locations where the workers "check in" periodically to integrate their field results back into the larger picture.

Designing Portable Collaborative Networks
Lyn Bartram and Michael Blackstock, Colligo Networks

A middleware solution to keep pace with the ever-changing ways in which mobile workers collaborate.

Peer-to-peer technology and wireless networking offer great potential for working together away from the desk—but they also introduce unique software and infrastructure challenges. The traditional idea of the work environment is anchored to a central location—the desk and office—where the resources needed for the job are located. Even in the many professions where the practitioners move among different field locations, such as professional consulting, health care, or resource exploration, the full set of information and technology resources has been available only in fixed locations where the workers “check in” periodically to integrate their field results back into the larger picture.

The nature of the workplace is changing, however. People increasingly need and expect to be able to plug in and work wherever they are—at the desk, roaming in the office, or fully away from the office. [For examples, see the following references: “Walking Away from the Desktop Computer: Distributed Collaboration and Mobility in a Product Design Team,” by V. Bellotti and S. Bly, Proceedings of CSCW ‘96, ACM Press, 1996; “Dealing with Mobility: Understanding Access Anytime, Anywhere,” by M. Perry et al., Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, pp. 323-347, 2001; “IT Mobility Road Map,” Intel Corp., 2002; “Navigating the Future of Software,” Technology Forecast: 2002-2004, Vol. 1, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 2002.]

by Lyn Bartram, Michael Blackstock

Open Spectrum: A Path to Ubiquitous Connectivity

Just as open standards and open software rocked the networking and computing industry, open spectrum is poised to be a disruptive force in the use of radio spectrum for communications. At the same time, open spectrum will be a major element that helps continue the Internet's march to integrate and facilitate all electronic communications with open standards and commodity hardware.

Open Spectrum
Robert J. Berger, Internet Bandwidth Development, LLCA

Path to Ubiquitous Connectivity

Just as open standards and open software rocked the networking and computing industry, open spectrum is poised to be a disruptive force in the use of radio spectrum for communications. At the same time, open spectrum will be a major element that helps continue the Internet’s march to integrate and facilitate all electronic communications with open standards and commodity hardware.

Open spectrum is a collection of new radio technologies. The core concept is that technology and standards can dynamically manage spectrum access (and, thus, spectrum sharing), in place of the current static band allocations through bureaucratic “command and control.”

by Robert J. Berger

Self-Healing Networks

The obvious advantage to wireless communication over wired is, as they say in the real estate business, location, location, location. Individuals and industries choose wireless because it allows flexibility of location--whether that means mobility, portability, or just ease of installation at a fixed point. The challenge of wireless communication is that, unlike the mostly error-free transmission environments provided by cables, the environment that wireless communications travel through is unpredictable. Environmental radio-frequency (RF) "noise" produced by powerful motors, other wireless devices, microwaves--and even the moisture content in the air--can make wireless communication unreliable.

Self-Healing Networks
Robert Poor, Cliff Bowman, Charlotte Burgess Auburn, Ember Corporation

Wireless networks that fix their own broken communication links may speed up their widespread acceptance.

The obvious advantage to wireless communication over wired is, as they say in the real estate business, location, location, location. Individuals and industries choose wireless because it allows flexibility of location--whether that means mobility, portability, or just ease of installation at a fixed point. The challenge of wireless communication is that, unlike the mostly error-free transmission environments provided by cables, the environment that wireless communications travel through is unpredictable. Environmental radio-frequency (RF) "noise" produced by powerful motors, other wireless devices, microwaves--and even the moisture content in the air--can make wireless communication unreliable.

by Robert Poor, Cliff Bowman, Charlotte Burgess Auburn

The Family Dynamics of 802.11

Three trends are driving the rapid growth of wireless LAN (WLAN): The increased use of laptops and personal digital assistants (PDAs); rapid advances in WLAN data rates (from 2 megabits per second to 108 Mbps in the past four years); and precipitous drops in WLAN prices (currently under $50 for a client and under $100 for an access point).

The Family Dynamics of 802.11
Bill McFarland and Michael Wong, Atheros Communications

The 802.11 family of standards is helping to move wireless LANs into promising new territory.

Three trends are driving the rapid growth of wireless LAN (WLAN): The increased use of laptops and personal digital assistants (PDAs); rapid advances in WLAN data rates (from 2 megabits per second to 108 Mbps in the past four years); and precipitous drops in WLAN prices (currently under $50 for a client and under $100 for an access point).

As a result, 802.11 technology [see 802.11 Standard, ISO/IEC 8802-11:1999 (E), ANSI/IEEE; and 802.11 Handbook, A Designer’s Companion, by B. O’Hara and A. Petrick, IEEE Press, 1999] is sure to become ubiquitous. The WLAN market is expected to grow from $1.79 billion in 2001 to $3.85 billion in 2004 [see “It’s Cheap and It Works: Wi-Fi Brings Wireless Networking to the Masses,” by G. Paulo, In-Stat MDR, December 2002]. Industry analysts have predicted that by the end of 2004, 70 percent of laptops will come with 802.11 technology already embedded [Wireless Applications Proliferate, by Chris Kozup, META Group, Feb. 24, 2003].

The Future of WLAN

Since James Clerk Maxwell first mathematically described electromagnetic waves almost a century and a half ago, the world has seen steady progress toward using them in better and more varied ways. Voice has been the killer application for wireless for the past century. As performance in all areas of engineering has improved, wireless voice has migrated from a mass broadcast medium to a peer-to-peer medium. The ability to talk to anyone on the planet from anywhere on the planet has fundamentally altered the way society works and the speed with which it changes.

The Future of WLAN
Michael W. Ritter, Mobility Network Systems

Overcoming the Top Ten Challenges in wireless networking--will it allow wide-area mesh networks to become ubiquitous?

Since James Clerk Maxwell first mathematically described electromagnetic waves almost a century and a half ago, the world has seen steady progress toward using them in better and more varied ways. Voice has been the killer application for wireless for the past century. As performance in all areas of engineering has improved, wireless voice has migrated from a mass broadcast medium to a peer-to-peer medium. The ability to talk to anyone on the planet from anywhere on the planet has fundamentally altered the way society works and the speed with which it changes.

The changes triggered by wireless technology have only just begun. One of the most fundamental transformations in the last decade has been a result of the Internet, which provides us fundamentally (and, as yet, potentially) with instant access to all the information ever produced by the human race. It’s easy to foresee the day when that ability resides in my pocket, accessible anywhere, at any time. This capability will become a reality, however, only when wireless technology can provide ubiquitous high-speed data connections.

by Michael W. Ritter

Opinion

The Woes of IDEs

An epigram: "We may not feel these limitations until they have been lifted from us, just as we often do not know we are sick until we suddenly feel better. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that future languages will make us feel those limitations of [our present environments] that are not detectable today." --Gerald Weinberg

The Woes of IDEs
Jef Raskin

An epigram: “We may not feel these limitations until they have been lifted from us, just as we often do not know we are sick until we suddenly feel better. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that future languages will make us feel those limitations of [our present environments] that are not detectable today.” --Gerald Weinberg

Preaching emanating from the ranks and gurus of the human interface world is slowly convincing management, software designers--and even programmers--that better human-machine interfaces can increase productivity by speeding the work, decreasing learning time, lowering the burden on human memory, and easing users’ physical and mental stress.