Using CDMA as an home network connection

After moving house and finding he didn’t have a broadband provider, Steve Kovsky of Anchor Desk decided to prove that is was possible to share a CDMA data connection around a home network – despite both his CDMA and data card provider telling him it wasn’t possible.

Using Sygate’s Home Network software he battled with adversity and arose victorious. While it only gives him a 100kbs connection, it is faster than a dialup or single channel ISDN and has the advantage over a DSL connection that he can relocate with ease – assuming him service provider gives decent coverage.

Given the difficulty 3G is having getting a foothold in many markets, perhaps this is a marketing angle they should be looking at.

Story link
Sygate Home Network link

RIAA expose Fingerprint tactics for catching music sharers

A Brooklyn woman, currently only identified as “nycfashiongirl”, is seeking to keep her identity private in a case brought against her by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sharing 900 music tracks on the Internet.

She claims that songs on her family’s computer were from compact discs she had legally purchased but the RIAA claim they have proof that her files were in-fact downloaded from file sharing networks. Their evidence includes showing that her music files contained hashes, a type of electronic finger print that can included in the files, that trace them back to being downloaded from Napster. This is the first time that the forensic methods used for detection have been exposed.

What has yet to come to light is how the RIAA knew what hashes to identify. One view is that the music industry ‘seeded’ the file sharing networks with their own fingerprinted versions of music tracks and created ‘Honey-traps’, computers sitting on the filesharing networks, waiting for people to download them. The RIAA claim that this method had been used since May 2000.

Some observers feel that the release of the use of fingerprints may be to create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD), encouraging people to delete the music tracks that they may have previously downloaded.

What is currently unclear is whether copyright law has been breached –

  • if people already own a music CD and then download one of its tracks from a file sharing network
  • if people download a track and then subsequently buy the CD

The lawyer representing “nycfashiongirl” claimed the argument was “merely a smokescreen to divert attention” from the related issue of whether her Internet provider, Verizon Internet Services Inc., must turn over her identity under a copyright subpoena. “You cannot bypass people’s constitutional rights to privacy, due process and anonymous association to identify an alleged infringer,” he said.


Nokia first next gen wireless data call – peaking at ~3Mbps

The world’s first cdma2000 1xEV-DV high-speed packet data phone call was carried out at Nokia’s reseach facility in San Diego.

Carried out in an ideal test environment the data rate peaked at 3.09 Mbps but it is projected that typical user throughput will be 1 Mbps in a 1.25 MHz frequency channel and have a system-wide throughput that ranges from 420 Kbps to 1.7 Mbps depending upon traffic and channel conditions.

Early stages, but showing mobile high bandwidth promise. You can tell this is at an engineering stage as the protocol is called cdma2000 1xEV-DV by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and IS-2000 Release C by others – this is long before marketing departments get hold of it.


New DVD copying software to ship with DVD burner

UK software company Redxpress have created DVD copying software, DVD CopyWare,  which is to be distributed with DVD burners by DVD drive company Tritton Technologies. It will also be distributed by a number of US retailers including and will be released this coming Monday in the UK, carried by the chain PC World.

Alex Theochari, CEO of Redxpress told that consumers have a right to create personal backups of their own DVDs and pointed out that current copyright law protects content for 100 years, so films like Gone with the wind which was made in 1932 would be out of copyright by 2032 and following that, copies could be made as often as required.

The timing of the release is of particular interest after a California Supreme Court earlier this week. It ruled that the public posting of software on the Internet that broke the Content Scramble System (CSS), used to protect DVD content, was not supporting free speech but was in fact disclosing trade secrets. This overturned a previous ruling in a lower court. It was seen as a victory for the film business in their effort to restrict the copying of their content.

Redxpress tell us they have made provision for legal action, a wise move as we would expect the weight of the US film industry legal representation bearing down on them at any minute.


Tritton Technologies

Business Week analysis of the video gaming market

Business Week project 10% further growth this year with worldwide sales being $18.5Bn, approximately equivalent to the global sales of film tickets. They predicted that it will remain a hot area for several more years.

Some may be surprised to hear that the average player age is 29 and that 43% of the players are women. Further expansion of the business is predicted with online gaming.

The second half of the piece covers the Cyber gaming competition, where the five hundred Cyber athlete (video game players) can take a shot at the $200k prize money. The winning team, from Sweden, won $60k.

Video Link

Greg Dyke – All BBC Radio and TV content to be made available online

It is great to see the BBC leading the world again with Greg Dyke, director general of the BBC, announcing at the Edinburgh TV Festival that they plan to make all of their Radio and TV content available on the Internet for public consumption. It will be called the BBC Creative Archive.

Referring to it as a “second phase” for the corporation, he said he felt the new online service was part of the corporation’s future.

He is quoted as saying “I believe that we are about to move into a second phase of the digital revolution, a phase which will be more about public than private value; about free, not pay services; about inclusivity, not exclusion.

“In particular, it will be about how public money can be combined with new digital technologies to transform everyone’s lives.”

These comments make the keynote speech by Ashley Highfield, who is in charge of all things digital at the BBC, at the International Broadcast Convention (IBC) this year, all the more compelling.

BBC Link

[Disclosure –’s publisher, Simon Perry, was asked by IBC to be the executive producer of the Digital Lifestyles conference theme this year]

Rio show two interesting portable music players

The market has been waiting to hear what SonicBlue was going to come out with after their assets were purchased by D&M back in April 2003. Two Rio portable music players were shown on CNet , the Nitrus and the Karma.

The Nitrus looks about the size of a box of matches and is the first player to use a 1.5-gigabyte, 1-inch hard drive. Holding around 350 songs, it will play for sixteen hours, has great quality sound with 96Db and will cost $199.

The Karma is a more serious beast with either 20Gb or 40Gb storage and a reported 18 hours battery life and costing from $399. The docking station has audio out for HiFi connection, USB2 and, interestingly, an Ethernet port. The device can be assigned an IP address and be used to reference content held on other devices on the network – an inter feature, and the first to appear on a portable music player.

Music can be stored in four formats, MP3, WMA, and two open source formats, Ogg Vorbis and the lesser known Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC).

Video review

Nokia buy Sega’s Mobile gaming unit

It is a widely known fact that without enough compelling content, a platform will wither and eventually die. Sega know this to their cost – they lost the Dreamcast this way and it’s clear that Nokia understand this too. They are also both big believers in multi-player mobile gaming.

Nokia and Sega have been working together since November 2002, putting Sega content on to the Nokia N-Gage (mobile-gaming-platform-that-happens-to-be-a-phone). It’s clearly been a successful relationship as Nokia have announced that it will buy Sega Mobile business and integrating it into theirs.

Sega have a long history in multi-player gaming. It’s a little discussed fact that Sega’s last games console, the Dreamcast, which was its Japanese released in late 1998, shipped with dialup modem enabling owners to connect to SegaNet. SegaNet provided walled garden Web browsing and importantly enabled people to play games against others around the world. Sega were clearly well ahead of the rest of the console companies – there was even a broadband Ethernet connection available in Japan and the USA.

Following their exit from the hardware gaming business, they have used their undisputed skills in writing games and providing them for other gaming platforms. One of the areas they focused on was mobile gaming.

Understanding that they needed to provide a end-to-end solutions for multi-platform mobile gaming, Sega created the SEGA Network Applications Package, generally called SNAP. Providing both a toolkit that enabled games developers to make their titles network enabled and server hosting, billing, consulting, & QA services they have been successful in attracting users.

It’s this complete development solution that Nokia has bought. SNAP will bring immediate benefits to the Nokia N-Gage game deck and is scheduled to be available to consumers worldwide on 7 October 2003.

SNAP is used on a number of mobile platforms including Palm and other mobile phone manufacturers hardware. It’s not clear is the Nokia purchase will impact of the breadth of platforms supported, or is the manufacturers will be keen to support a software platform that Nokia owns.

Links – Nokia PR; SNAP; Sega Mobile games