Apple apparently went out of its way to hug businesses at its event this week in San Francisco. Matt Kapko at NetworkWorld noted a trio of instances in which CEO Tim Cook showed business love:
First, Cook heaped praise on IBM and Cisco. Then a Microsoft executive hit the stage to demonstrate Office 365 apps working in split-screen mode on an iPad. Finally, Apple revealed the long-rumored iPad Pro, as well as a pair of long-missing mobile accessories to boot.
Perhaps the motivation was the reluctance of consumers to replace their tablets juxtaposed against their rising popularity in the workplace. Perhaps it was just coincidence. Whatever the motivation, the attention was obvious to Apple analysts.
Britain Gearing up for VoLTE
LightReading’s Iain Morris points out that mobile operators in the United Kingdom have not been out front in pushing voice over LTE (VoLTE). This month, however, British carriers will make up for lost time. Morris says that three of the four network operators have made announcements.
EE and Vodafone UK promise a summer launch and the third company is aiming to do so in its third quarter. Of course, the days of summer are waning, so the promises may not come true. Wrote Morris:
Google searches indicate the official end of summer is September 23, which means the entire coterie of operators bar O2 is now under some pressure on the VoLTE front. Of course, should operators miss their self-imposed deadlines, it would not be the first time they have done so. But is there a possibility operators are engaged in a kind of Mexican standoff, waiting to see how rivals position VoLTE before they start marketing it themselves?
Morris suggests that the delicate timing has more to do with marketing than technology, which could be true since, as Morris suggests, getting the message right for consumers is very important.
Software-Defined Radio Comment Period Extended
According to eWeek, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on software-defined radios (SDRs). The period was scheduled to expire Tuesday.
SDRs are complicated and thus not easily understood, which is why the initial NPRM didn’t generate much attention. They are important, however, because they are embedded in most wireless devices.
The deepest concern is the impact of SDRs on Wi-Fi routers. In some cases, SDRs in routers can have their parameters changed and put out too much power:
While this sounds like an obscure engineering problem, it's not. One area where unauthorized modifications to Wi-Fi have already caused problems is at airports, where Wi-Fi used in the terminals has been interfering with the FAA's Doppler weather radar. As you might imagine, the FAA was alarmed at this because its Doppler radar is a critical tool in monitoring local weather hazards which is important for maintaining safety in the air and on the ground.
The comment period on SDRs before the FCC rulemaking now runs until October 8.
Vent Cerf Wants You to Write…A Letter
Vent Cerf, one of the grandfathers of the Internet, wants everyone’s help in re-thinking and redirecting the Internet. His ideas are already up at lettrs.com. Perhaps the most interesting insight he had led to the format in which he is seeking the suggestions:
Why a letter? Cerf said in an interview with InformationWeek: ‘One of the things that has become very apparent to me is that letters in the past, because of the time delay for a letters to get back and forth, caused people to think fairly deeply about what they want to say. And they would couch their arguments to be understood even if [the recipient] wasn't there to ask questions.’
Cerf wants to take the results to Silicon Valley Comic Con, which was started by Stan Lee and Steve Wozniak. Cerf is particularly concerned about the digital dark age, which is the fear that our communications will be lost to posterity if we lose the ability to decode the digital media upon which it is conducted and stored.
IBM Watson Health Expanding
IBM has made a big bet on the commercialization of services based on expansive, distributed cloud-based computing and natural language processing. It apparently likes the results, since it will continue to expand the initiative.
Big Blue this week said that it is adding IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance and the IBM Watson Care Manager to its Watson-based offerings.
IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance will help companies more efficiently bring innovations to market. According to the press release:
IBM Watson Care Manager is a population health solution that uniquely integrates capabilities from Watson Health, Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit, a software framework designed by Apple to make it easy for researchers to conduct studies using an iPhone. It allows medical professionals’ to factor a broad range of determinants into a personalized patient engagement program, with the intent to vastly improve individual health outcomes.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.