Stories by Toni Kistner

Teleworking nursing care

Whether nurses work in hospitals, private practice or dispense medical advice over the phone, they are social animals, caregivers. At the call centers of McKesson Health Solutions, nurse-agents are quick to celebrate birthdays and organize potluck dinners -- developing strong bonds with colleagues.

Divining the future of work

As the world economy begins recovering from nearly five years of stagnation, businesses developed from an industrial mindset face obsolescence. The future will see dramatic change in how, where and with whom we work.

Tech schools use Netilla for remote access

In many ways the engineering labs at Southern University's College of Engineering are student paradise. The Windows 2003 network supports 300 high-end Intel workstations with dual flat-panel displays, running myriad applications from AutoCAD, Unigraphics and others. Students transform two-dimensional projects into 3-D models using 3-D printers and the "Cave," an eight-foot cube where they project and manipulate holographic images.

Telework eases turmoil of acquisition

Mapics' investment in telework paid off big this year when the company acquired another software developer, Frontstep. Both developed ERP applications for the manufacturing industry and had offices scattered worldwide. But in the early 1990s, Mapics -- a spinoff from IBM -- began experimenting with telework and since has used it extensively to reduce facilities costs in the down economy.

Cisco, Intel team to ease wireless home networks

Intel Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. Tuesday announced a partnership aimed at easing the set up process and improving performance between Intel Centrino mobile PCs and Linksys wireless routers and access points.

Law firm dumps BlackBerry for Good

Keesal, Young & Logan is a relatively small law firm with 80 lawyers in five offices on the West Coast; in Anchorage, Alaska; and in Hong Kong. But when it comes to technology, the firm is a powerhouse. Its recently completed Web portal - four years in the making - lets attorneys access 95 percent of their applications remotely, making the firm's VPN and remote-access server obsolete. Keesal's mobile strategy is no less progressive.

Xerox woos SMB offices

With much fanfare, last week Xerox’s chairman and CEO Anne M. Mulcahy unveiled a new strategy to increase the company’s share of the small to midsized office market. Xerox announced 21 new and enhanced office products, positioning the company to better compete with Hewlett-Packard.

HP unveils SMB initiative

Hewlett-Packard Co. Wednesday introduced a collection of services, programs and new printers and scanners aimed at small and midsized businesses.

To pay or not to pay?

For the longest time we've been conditioned to ignore telephone pole and supermarket bulletin-board postings that offer lucrative work at home opportunities. Such scams are easy to weed out; unlike real jobs, they always offer great pay for no work and ask for money up front to give you the details.

Analysis: Put out the welcome mat for UPnP

Back in May, I began looking into Universal Plug and Play, a specification that allows home network devices to self-discover, self configure and communicate easily with one another. While the specification shows great promise on paper, the politics behind its adoption are puzzling.

More power to the user

Small firms have a tough time managing network equipment and are often at the mercy of their network administrators or value-added resellers since equipment and applications are Greek to manage. EmergeCore Networks LLC is trying to break this cycle with its EC Reactor 5000, an all-in-one network device (or IT in a box, as EmergeCore likes to say) it demonstrated at the recent NetWorld+Interop 2002 Las Vegas.

Plug it in and it works

If a network is a neighborhood, it's not a friendly one. Devices don't talk to one another, let alone acknowledge the others exist. They require all kinds of help (from us) to settle in and start working. Wouldn't it be great if devices come into the network aware of self and surroundings, fully functional and able to communicate? It looks like that time isn't too far off, thanks in part to an architectural framework called universal plug and play (UPNP).

First powerline products pack surprises

When you wait long enough for something, you build up expectations. Like when you finally meet a remote colleague you've worked closely with for months. You don't realize until that moment the picture you had all along in your mind doesn't quite hit the mark.

Firewall program aims to protect remote offices

The firewall market is a pretty wild and wooly place. You've got hardware and software products targeting big companies and small, being built into routers and gateways, and gunning for consumers' desktops. Just as confusing is the variety of technologies in play. Do you want a proxy firewall; a network address translation firewall; one that employs stateful packet inspection?