Stories by Bob Brewin

Symbol to buy RFID pioneer Matrics for $230M

Symbol Technologies a leading manufacturer of bar code systems used in the retail, health care and transportation industries, is readying itself for the next wave of identification technologies with its planned US$230 million acquisition of Matrics, a maker of radio frequency identification tags and readers.

US airlines, airports battle over Wi-Fi spectrum issues

The airport authority-controlled Wi-Fi networks at several airports are shaping up as ground zero in an emerging battle between airlines and airports over the use, regulation and management of wireless networks at the facilities.

Fiber-optic network, Tablet PCs, Wi-Fi at G8 summit

As official delegations from eight major Western nations begin Tuesday's G8 Summit on Sea Island in Georgia, their work is being supported by a number of technologies put in place just for the three-day event.

Delta to test RFID for parts tracking

Delta Air Lines plans to test the use of radio frequency identification tags to track engine parts next month in partnership with The Boeing Co., according to Marty Kansinger, Delta's general manager for materiel services.

IT managers ready defenses against flaw in WLANs

Information technology managers claim said a denial-of-service vulnerability that affects some Wi-Fi wireless LANs could force companies to develop new skills and rethink the way their networks are set up. But, they added, it should be relatively easy to defend WLANs against attacks seeking to exploit the flaw.

Bluetooth group downplays security risks

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has dismissed security fears about the technology, claiming any flaws in it are limited to a small number of mobile phones - although it has detailed measures that concerned users can take to secure a wide range of Bluetooth devices.

Coca-Cola to deploy 28,000 Symbol mobile computers

Symbol Technologies introduced a new family of rugged, mobile computers with built-in tri-mode wireless capabilities Tuesday and announced that Coca-Cola Enterprises plans to deploy 28,000 of the units to route drivers in North America and Europe.

Cisco releases WLAN security protocol

Cisco Systems announced the availability of a protocol that's designed to defeat brute-force dictionary attacks that capture users' passwords in its wireless LAN products. The company urged end users and systems administrators to download the related patch from its Web site.

Coming soon, the do-everything wireless phone

Get ready for the do-everything wireless phone, and headsets, too, as manufacturers and developers in Atlanta at the annual Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association event work to cram the functions of cordless phones, cellular handsets and IP telephones into one portable device.

CIOs say ROI on mobile devices not a big concern

Wireless technology and mobile workforces have become so ingrained in companies that return-on-investment concerns rarely become an issue when new wireless devices or applications are being deployed, according to CIOs who spoke at a conference this week.

Cisco develops WLAN protocol to defeat password attacks

Cisco Systems has developed a new wireless LAN security protocol designed to defeat brute force dictionary attacks that capture a user's passwords and has submitted a draft of the protocol to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

A railroad finds its voice

Any casual shipper can tap into a FedEx or UPS Web site and determine the location of even the smallest of packages. But until recently, The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) tracked its trains the old-fashioned way, through two-way voice radios located in every locomotive cab.

Health insurer's plan to furnish doctors with free computers

WellPoint Health Networks has announced plans to jump-start digital health care with a $40 million initiative to provide 19,000 of its contracting doctors with either a handheld-based e-prescription package or a desktop paperwork reduction package.

Queen Mary 2 to sail with onboard help desk

Computer support on Cunard Line Ltd.'s new US$780 million Queen Mary 2 -- the largest passenger vessel ever constructed -- gives new meaning to the term offshore help, since the luxury liner will cruise with its own onboard technical support center.

After a year, tablet still niche

A year after its introduction, Microsoft's Tablet PC technology remains a niche product, according to analysts and hardware vendors. But the company hopes user adoption rates will rise when an upgrade of the pen-based operating system hits the market.