The Economist on emerging wireless technologies: Smart antennas, mesh networks, ad hoc architectures, and ultra-wideband transmission. Smart antennas are already in use and mesh networks are starting to appear, while ad hoc architectures and ultra-wideband are still largely restricted to the laboratory. But each challenges existing ways of doing things; each, on its own, or in combination with others, could shake up the wireless world.
Macworld Exhaustively Surveys Mac Access Points
Shelly Brisbin surveys seven Mac-compatible access points in Macworld: Shelly walks through standard features, installation problems, and a long comparison of seven access points that Mac users might consider. Many readers have written to tell me that some SMC and D-Link gear supports AppleTalk, but it appears to be works in progress. Great advice throughout the article as well as dead-on factual accuracy. (Disclosure: I'm a regular Macworld contributor and know Shelly, a regular reader of this site. But as regular readers know, I don't pull my punches.)
US Robotics 22 Mbps Devices
802.11 Planet tests the speed of US Robotics wireless suite using Texas Instruments's ACX100 chipset: The tests show about twice the throughput with TCP/IP traffic as with similar Wi-Fi equipment. The writer makes clear that his methodology is not a test lab, but rather a more informal setting (references are made to a pool). Also, the terminology is muddled in this piece: 802.11b is one spec; the ACX100 22 Mbps mode is not part of 802.11b, although the encoding, PBCC, will be an optional part of 802.11g. Finally, I wish my fellow journalists would stop claiming that 802.11g will run at 54 Mbps. It won't. It will support an encoding used at 54 Mbps in 802.11a, the 5 GHz band standard, but it will certainly not achieve superior data rates above the optional encodings developed by Intersil and Texas Instruments specifically for the 2.4 GHz band: 22 Mbps gross, not net throughput.