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MacEdition Pro News : April 3, 2003

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New ways to get hitched

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

Apple spearheads FireWire networking

Apple Computer is leading an IEEE group in examining the feasibility of using standard Category Five Ethernet cabling to carry data from a FireWire port and make that data available to to other Ethernet connected systems on a network.

The industry group has been meeting regularly since March 3 and is currently in the process of hammering out agreements so FireWire and Ethernet devices connected together can automatically negotiate connections speeds and protocols to communicate with each other.

The group is considering using standard hub or switch technology to construct a basic hub that connects all endpoints and automatically senses the physical protocol (either Ethernet or IEEE 1394) used by the endpoint device. The hub also bridges the Ethernet and the IEEE 1394 segments so that Internet protocol devices seamlessly perceive each other as connected to the same subnet.

Depending on the extent of the network and the desired performance level, the hub might connect IEEE 1394 devices as a single bus, or it might implement P1394.1 bridges and form a network from multiple buses. For the end user, the objective is to have a single RJ-45 socket labeled as “network” that works for any kind of connection.

The working group is expected to make regular report to the IEEE organization and once the work is completed, support for 10/100/1000baseT connectivity is expected to be rolled into the existing standards for both FireWire 400 and FireWire 800.

Share your USB printer

Castelle will be bring a single port printer server to market that will allow a USB printer to be shared by Windows, Macintosh and Linux users on a 10/100 Ethernet network.

LANpress 2000 USB is a versatile print server that supports up to three protocols – TCP/IP, AppleTalk, and NetBEUI. Printing methods include peer-to-peer printing, where print jobs are queued on the client PC, a server-based print queue, where print jobs are queued on the network server, and AppleTalk, which allows Macintosh users on the network to view and use the LANpress print server as a regular Apple LaserWriter printer.

The LANpress 2000 USB print server will also support Internet Printing Protocol, a new standard which allows a user to send a document over the Internet to a remote printer. The device will be browser configurable and will also support Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) which will allow network administrators to manage the device with existing SNMP tools.

Castelle intends to have the print server on the market by April 15 and expects the device to retail for US$165.

For those who don’t like SPAM

Stalker Software inked a deal with Mailshell to plug in that company’s SpamCatcher filtering system into its CommuniGate Pro message server software.

Stalker notes that by adopting the Mailshell offering it is beefing up CommuniGate’s filtering abilities it is placing itself in an advantageous position against other mail server products. The company notes that Gartner Inc. predicts by 2004 more than half the e-mail flowing into a system will be spam which could result in employees spending as much as four hours a day sifting through the garbage to sort out their mailboxes.

“Because e-mail is the backbone for today’s business communication, spam has evolved from a mere nuisance to a real business problem – resulting in thousands of hours of lost productivity,” said Jacinta Tobin, vice president of Business Development at Stalker Software. “Stalker Software leads the messaging industry in anti-spam functionality and was the first messaging solution to incorporate anti-spam features in 1995. Building on this heritage, our partnership with Mailshell delivers a bolstered solution for eliminating spam and restoring e-mail as an effective business tool.”

The SpamCatcher engine identifies unsolicited mail at the server level through the use of algorithms which use pattern matches, heuristic functions, and proprietary and third party database comparisons to evaluate incoming email. The program has the ability to analyze and adjust its rules and can be updated automatically or on a scheduled basis as per the customer’s choice.

Pioneer claims stake

NTRU Cryptosystems Inc. is staking its claim to the first piece of turf in providing secure data transmission for wireless networks using the 802.15.3 and 802.15.4 IEEE draft Wireless Personal Area Networking standards.

The two networking standards, still being developed by IEEE, are intended to allow consumer electronics devices to talk to one another without the need for cabling. The 802.15.3 standard is intended for high-throughput devices like DVD players, computers, televisions and video cameras. The 802.15.4 is aimed at less demanding devices like home security systems, heating and ventilation systems and other building management devices.

Until now, it has been impossible to efficiently deploy powerful security in wirelessly networked consumer devices due to their inherent speed and bandwidth constraints. NTRU Aerolink, the smallest and fastest public key-based wireless security product in the world, provides encrypted data transfer and user authentication that overcomes these traditional constraints. NTRU’s energy-efficient security enables, for the first time, the development and deployment of secured wireless consumer and industrial devices.

NTRU is currently lining up interested parties by offering them a relatively low-cost fully engineered package which various manufacturers can incorporate in their product designs. Texas Instruments and Sony Corp. are two of a half-dozen larger shareholders with a stake in NTRU.

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