Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yahoo! Releases Fire Eagle for Location-based Services

Yahoo! released its Fire Eagle open platform for location-based mobile services.

Fire Eagle is a network service that gives users a place to store and manage information about their location, and offers developers protocols for updating or accessing that information.

Yahoo! said its goal with Fire Eagle is to help developers create Internet experiences that are geo-aware.

For users, Fire Eagle acts as a simple interface for managing location information and deciding how -- and with whom -- to share it. Users can authorize Web, mobile or desktop applications to update their location automatically, or they can do it themselves manually on the Fire Eagle Web or mobile sites. Then they can decide how much of that information to share with their favorite services. At any time they can hide themselves, change their sharing preferences or delete any of their stored information.

For developers, Fire Eagle takes away much of the costly and complicated heavy-lifting of developing geo-aware applications. Developers can focus on how they can use location in their services without having to build the infrastructure to work out where their users are. Fire Eagle -- combined with Yahoo!'s full suite of geo technologies -- now makes it practical for any service to become location-aware easily and inexpensively.

Fire Eagle entered a private beta period in March of this year. So far, Fire Eagle has been integrated into over fifty live applications, including:

  • Brightkite -- a location based social network that allows users to track their friends' locations and meet new people in their area.

  • Dash -- a two-way, Internet-connected GPS navigation system for traffic monitoring.

  • Dipit -- at way to make and share interactive stories for the people and topics users care about.

  • Dopplr -- a service that allows travelers to share their plans with the people they trust.

  • ekit -- a communications provider to international travelers, offering a range of services including mobile phones, satellite phones, SIM cards, global calling cards, and recently the ekit travel journal.

  • Lightpole -- a mobile application service provider that distributes location-specific information to mobile devices in real-time and engages mobile users in interactive communities.

  • Movable Type -- a fully integrated, scalable, proven social publishing platform for building highly interactive websites, blogs and social networks.

  • Navizon -- a software-only wireless positioning system that triangulates signals broadcasted from Wi-Fi access points and cellular towers to help users find their location.

  • Outside.in Radar -- personalized local news with you at the center of the map. Radar shows you everything going on nearby, wherever you are, from the stories on your street, to the events in your neighborhood, to headlines in your city.

  • Pownce -- a way to keep in touch with and share messages, files, links and events with your friends.

  • Loki -- adds your location into social networks so you can share it with your friends. Loki, powered by Skyhook Wireless, automatically informs your friend of your whereabouts, using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Fire Eagle, RSS Feeds and more.

  • SPOT -- a satellite messenger that sends users' GPS location and custom messages to family and friends or emergency responders over a satellite communications network from virtually anywhere around the globe - even the most remote places - independent of cell phone coverage.

  • ZKOU -- enables mobile device users to create content -- messages, photos, videos -- on the ZKOUT network from any location, and share it instantly with the people near you.

WiMAX Forum Predicts Rapid Uptake in India

The WiMAX Forum projects that more than 27.5 million Indians will be WiMAX users by 2012. Additional data from this recent WiMAX Forum study estimates that approximately 70 percent of the forecasted WiMAX subscribers by 2012 will utilize mobile and portable WiMAX devices to access broadband Internet services.

The WiMAX Forum plans to add an Indian certification lab to its existing network by the end of 2008 to stay ahead of the demand for products in this region. The WiMAX Forum's current network consists of six labs in China, Korea, Spain, U.S. and two in Taiwan. The industry body will also add a lab in Japan by the end of 2008 and a Brazilian lab in 2009.

The WiMAX Forum noted that is now consists of more than 530 member companies. Of these, more than 35 WiMAX Forum member companies are producing WiMAX base stations, 30 companies are providing PC Cards, USB modems, MIDs, and other personal devices, 25 companies provide chipsets and reference designs, and seven of the top eight global device manufacturers are developing WiMAX products.http://www.wimaxforum.org

Freescale Announces Cost Reduced Version of its GPON Chipset

Freescale Semiconductor introduced a cost-reduced version of its third generation PON device, which has been shipping in large volumes worldwide.

The new MSC7104 integrates data path engine and Power Architecture technologies to provide high data forwarding throughput rates for the delivery of video and data broadband content to homes and small businesses. The device supports the G.984 GPON Encapsulation Mode (GEM) protocol and is compliant with ITU-T standards.

The MSC7104 combines the high-speed networking capabilities of the PowerQUICC II Pro platform featuring a Freescale e300 Power Architecture technology core and delivers over 8.5 Gbps peak I/O throughput. The GPON media access controller (MAC) and Freescale's hardwired packet engine are designed to achieve Gigabit wire rate packet forwarding. The integrated OMI/CDR supports 2.4 Gbps downstream/1.2 Gbps full GPON rates. Dual 10/100/1000 Ethernet MACs support GMII, RGMII and MII modes and IEEE(R) 802.1p QoS. In addition, the MSC7104 includes a 280 MHz/32-bit DDR2 memory controller.

Freescale is sampling the MSC7104 to alpha customers in Q3, 2008. It is offered in a 456-pin PBGA package. Pricing starts at a suggested resale price of $12 for 10K quantities.http://www.freescale.com

MRV Develops All Optical 100 Gbps Cross Connect for Test Lab Automation

MRV COMMUNICATIONS has developed a new Optical Cross Connect 320 (OCC 320) physical layer switch based on a three-dimensional Microelectromechanical Systems (3D-MEMS) switching matrix. The 320-port, single-mode fiber-based OCC offers high-bandwidth network equipment manufacturers, carriers and enterprises an optimized, all-optical test lab solution able to support next-generation data rates to 100 Gbps.

MRV said its "wire-once" technology of a physical layer switch turns the practice of manually configuring test topologies into a software process, eliminating the step of cabling devices for each test. Dynamic tests can be performed with the addition of test scripts or other software automation products that also provide reservation and inventory capabilities. The 3D-MEMS switching matrix that allows transparent switching of single-mode fiber connections in less than 20 ms with a typical insertion loss of 2.0 dB. This technology makes the OCC 320 ideal for maintaining optical attributes when testing high data rate LAN-, WAN-, or WDM-based equipment.

The OCC supports 640 fiber terminations via 320x320 switching matrix and can be expanded in steps of eight bi-directional ports. This high reliability device boasts a nearly 12-year mean time between failure on any of its optical data paths through use of a redundant configuration processors with independent control and data buses.http://www.mrv.com/tap

Dell'Oro: 10 GigE Switch Market Surpasses $600 Million in Q2

According to a recent market research report from Dell'Oro Group, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch market recently surpassed two major milestones: 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch port shipments exceeded 250 thousand in the second quarter of 2008, while revenues exceeded $600 million in the quarter.

"Convergence towards Ethernet in the wiring closet and data center continues to drive consolidation in the market," said Alan Weckel, Senior Analyst at Dell'Oro Group. "End user demand for a wiring closet solution that's complete with Voice, Security, and wireless LAN features continues to cause vendors to look towards partnerships or acquisitions to offer holistic solutions. Recent examples of the changing vendor landscape include the Siemens joint venture that combines Enterasys with Siemens enterprise voice and HP ProCurve's acquisition of Colubris for wireless LAN. Meanwhile in the data center, the convergence towards Ethernet as the fabric for storage and networking led to Brocade's recent purchase of Foundry," Weckel added.

The report also addresses the Layer 4-7 application and traffic management market, which with new product announcements such as Cisco's Ace Appliance, Citrix's MPX, and F5's VIPRION, outgrew the overall Ethernet Switch market during the quarter.http://www.DellOro.com

NetApp's Quarterly Revenue Rises to $869 Million, up 26% YoY

NetApp reported quarterly revenue of $869 million, an increase of 26% compared to revenues of $689 million for the same period a year ago. GAAP net income was $38 million, or $0.11 per share1 compared to GAAP net income of $34 million, or $0.09 per share for the same period in the prior year.

"Our new fiscal year got off to a good start, and our efforts to increase awareness and sales capacity in order to secure new customers are delivering results," said Dan Warmenhoven, chairman and CEO. "Despite economic uncertainty, customers have continued to expand and evolve their storage infrastructure and are looking to NetApp to help them reduce costs and enable new capabilities."http://www.netapp.com

Brocade Reports Quarterly Revenue of $365.7 million

Brocade reported quarterly revenue of $365.7 million, compared with $354.9 million in the preceding quarter and $327.5 million in the same period last year. GAAP net income was $20.3 million, compared with $91.4 million in the preceding quarter and $10.7 million in the same period last year.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Brocade achieved record revenue and double-digit annual growth in a typically slower period.

  • The company achieved record quarterly revenue in its switch business, embedded blade switch product line and its Services Business Unit.

  • The company's total installed base of SAN ports was approximately 18.3 million.

  • Average Selling Price (ASP) declines were in the low single digits compared to the previous quarter.

  • Net stock-based compensation expense was $11.9 million and has been excluded from the Company's non-GAAP results.

  • During the quarter, Brocade announced its intent to acquire Foundry Networks. The deal will position Brocade as a leading provider of enterprise and service provider networking solutions, with products from the Internet to the heart of data centers.


Alcatel-Lucent Extends Tender Offer for Motive

Alcatel-Lucent has extended its previously announced tender offer for all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Motive, Inc. until 12:00 midnight, New York City time, at the end of Wednesday, September 10, 2008. The tender offer was previously set to expire at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, at the end of Tuesday, August 12, 2008.

As of 12:00 midnight, New York City time, at the end of Tuesday, August 12, 2008, approximately 27.0 million shares had been tendered into the tender offer and not withdrawn. http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

NitroSecurity Raises $10 Million for Enterprise Security

NitroSecurity, a start-up based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, secured $10 million in venture funding for its high performance, unified information security solution.

NitroSecurity offers a suite of unified information security solutions that supplants the need for disparate products and services from multiple vendors. The company's product portfolio includes integrated solutions for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Log Management, Network Behavior and Anomaly Detection (NBAD), Database Activity Monitoring and Network Intrusion Prevention and Detection.

The funding round was led by NewSpring Capital of Radnor, Penn. and Short Hills, NJ through NewSpring Ventures, its dedicated growth and expansion stage venture fund. The round included support from NitroSecurity's previous investors, First Analysis and Brookline Venture Partners.


Virgin Mobile USA Cites Trend toward Lower Priced Voice Messaging

For Q2 2008,, Virgin Mobile USA reported net service revenue of $291.4 million, a decrease of 5.9% versus the same period last year. Virgin Mobile USA's net service revenue for the first half of 2008 was $595.1 million compared to $632.1 million in the same period in 2007.

The company said revenues in the first half of 2007 benefited from the launch of hybrid monthly plans, while second quarter 2008 revenues continue to be impacted by the effect of the current economic environment on prepaid customer usage, as well as by the industry-wide trend of substitution of lower-priced messaging for voice.

Virgin Mobile USA's net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 was $3.5 million, compared to net income of $7.1 million for the second quarter of 2007.

Some key metrics:

  • As of June 30, 2008, the company had approximately 5.0 million customers, an increase of 3.4% over June 30, 2007.

  • Gross additions, or new Virgin Mobile USA customers who activated their accounts during the second quarter of 2008, totaled 728,370, down from 785,236 in the second quarter of 2007. Gross additions for the first half of the year were 1,523,945, down 8.6% from 1,666,992 in the first half of 2007.

  • The company's cost per gross addition (CPGA) for the second quarter of 2008 was $113.38, compared to CPGA of $100.03 in the second quarter of 2007. CPGA for the first six months of 2008 was $114.53, compared to $99.32 in the first half of 2007. Higher CPGA in the first half of 2008 was related to an incremental spend of $13.3 million in marketing and distribution related to the launch of new service plans as well as the decline in gross additions.

  • Second quarter 2008 average monthly customer turnover, or churn, was 5.6%, below company estimates and slightly better than churn of 5.7% in the second quarter of 2007.

  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) for the second quarter of 2008 was $19.32, reflecting a 7.9% decline from the prior year's second quarter ARPU of $20.97. ARPU for the first six months of 2008 was $19.63, a 9.5% decline compared to $21.68 for the same period last year. This decline was the result of lower customer usage of the traditional prepaid, or pay as you go, plans as well as an industry-wide trend of the substitution of lower-cost messaging for voice.


GN Netcom Introduces Noise Blackout for Headsets

GN Netcom introduced a new generation of noise cancellation technology that reduces ambient sound without compromising voice quality. The new "Noise Blackout" technology, which will initially be available in the new Jabra BT530 Bluetooth device, applies a directional principle to noise cancellation, reducing only surrounding noise and not distorting the users' voice. The technology uses dual microphones to capture sound, intelligently filtering background noise only. Other noise cancellation headsets cancel noise by cutting away audio frequency and reducing sound quality.

DSP technology uses the dual microphones to determine the direction of the sound or noise based on the sound delay between the two microphones, making it possible to filter out unwanted noise. The DSP also uses the dual microphone system to significantly reduce stationary noise. To eliminate the "tinny" effect, sound emanating from the mouth is enhanced and transmitted while all other sound is classified as noise and is filtered out.

"Our Noise Blackout technology is a completely new and proprietary technology that not only allows crystal clear sound but eliminates the 'tinny' sound that many noise cancellation headsets are plagued with," said Anne Rasmussen, Vice President, Mobile Division, GN Netcom. "The first of many products in the Jabra line to feature this technology, the BT530 also features A2DP for streaming music and Multiuse functionality."http://www.jabra.com

Orange Launches Mobile Fleet

Orange Business Services has launched Mobile Fleet, a set of tools designed to increase the productivity and availability of fleets of vehicles and mobile workers within small and medium size businesses. The service, which is available in the UK, allows business to develop specialized Web-browser forms for use by PDAs in the field. It also provides real time traffic updates. provided by the RAC and Trafficmaster, with updates every three minutes. http://www.orange.com

Monday, August 11, 2008

China's Ministry of Railways Deploys Juniper's ISG

China's Ministry of Railways is protecting its nationwide communications infrastructure, encompassing the Ministry's headquarters and 18 bureaux, with the Juniper Networks Integrated Security Gateway (ISG) 2000 firewall/VPN with integrated Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP).

The Juniper Networks ISG 2000 is a high-performance integrated security gateway that provides firewall and IPSec VPN performance for Internet applications and multimedia content. It supports security zones and offers various virtualization capabilities. The Ministry of Railways is also leveraging the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) capability of ISG 2000 with the optional Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) security modules. In addition to providing full IPS security protection from all the latest network attacks and threats, the tight integration of the security modules with the FW/VPN capability enables seamless and simple management of the entire gateway.http://www.juniper.net

NetXen Debuts Upgradeable QuadG/10G Architecture

NetXen, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, released its third generation NX3031 silicon and Intelligent NIC boards for volume blade and rack server platforms migrating to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE). NetXen NX3031 chips and boards are specifically designed to address both current and future go-to-market needs of volume server OEMs. The company has previously announced HP and IBM as major customers.

NetXen said its NetXen's NX3031-based Intelligent NICs deliver a quantum leap in network I/O performance. According to a new Tolly Group Up to Spec Certified test, NetXen achieves 22 Gbps of bi-directional throughput and greater than 14 Gbps receive throughput for 1500-byte packets. This represents a near doubling of previous industry benchmarks.

By using a 25-cent connector and a small riser card that incorporates the customer's choice of physical layer interface, servers can be ready for the transition from Gigabit to 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The solution enables server OEMs to commit 10 Gigabit Ethernet to the motherboard without worrying about a specific connectivity variant, such as SPF+, CX4 or the emerging 10GBASE-T. This "above-board" connectivity option future-proofs their servers while removing risk for both the OEM and the end user.

"Our third-generation Intelligent NIC solutions harness the power of the FlexLOM architecture to provide server OEMs and board manufacturers with an effortless, affordable and high-volume transition from Gigabit to 10 Gigabit Ethernet," said Govind Kizhepat, CEO and founder, NetXen.

Key features of NetXen's third-generation Intelligent NICs include:

  • Programmability that allows features to be added over time via firmware upgrades

  • Performance with the 2x bandwidth gains provided by PCIe 2.0

  • Energy efficiency through Dynamic Power Management, a capability that can reduce power consumption by up to 40%

  • New levels of SLA enforcement for virtualized environments via NetXen's Quality of Virtualization (QoV) features, including SR-IOV, NetQueue, rate limiting and bandwidth allocation control

  • A single chip solution supporting full offload of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) that will continue to drive storage and network convergence.

NetXen is now shipping its third-generation NX3031 Intelligent NIC solution, which is the foundation for its new series of intelligent network adapters:

  • NX3-20GxR: Dual-port 10GbE low-profile PCI Express 2.0 cards with pluggable SFP+ optical interconnect modules

  • NX3-20GCU: Dual-port 10GbE low-profile PCI Express 2.0 card with direct attach twinax copper wiring for in-rack connectivity

  • NX3-4GBT: Low-profile PCI Express 2.0 card with four Gigabit Ethernet ports for maximum flexibility in mixed 1G/10G environments.

Bookham Demos 40G Tunable Transmitter

Bookham has demonstrated its 40 Gbps ODQPSK tunable transmitter capability to its Tier 1 customers.

The company said its tunable transmitter assembly (TTA) will meet price points that enable cost-effective deployment of 40Gbps transmission in metro networks. The TTA has been demonstrated in the Bookham Caswell, UK, facility using cascaded DWDM nodes to reproduce real network conditions, and will be sampled into customer premises next month.

The Bookham 40 Gbps portfolio of products utilizes the Optical Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (ODQPSK) modulation scheme for 40 Gbps. http://www.bookham.com

Verizon Business Offers NAC for Enterprise Security

Verizon Business is using its worldwide professional and managed service capabilities to help customers deploy and manage Network Access Control (NAC). The technology helps boost network security by allowing only authorized users and compliant devices to access a company's extended network. With intelligence residing in the network, NAC checks endpoints across all access methods, including local area and wide area networks, wireless connectivity, remote access, unmanaged device access and guest access. If devices are noncompliant with the company's security policy, then NAC can deny or restrict those devices from gaining access to the network.

By linking network-based security with identity and access management and endpoint security technologies (including anti-virus, host intrusion prevention and patch management), NAC can greatly limit potential damage to the critical resources from known and unknown security threats that expose vulnerabilities.

Verizon Business said it supports all aspects of NAC -- from design to strategy to implementation, and to management and maintenance. It is immediately available globally to enterprise customers throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific, including Australia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Verizon Business works with various NAC vendors, including Cisco, Juniper Networks, ForeScout Technologies and TippingPoint.

For customers already using Verizon Business' MSS, the log data collected from the NAC infrastructure is aggregated with data from other managed security devices to provide a more complete view of the customer's security posture. To date, Verizon Business has integrated Cisco Network Admission Control into its MSS platform, with plans to support additional NAC technologies.http://www.verizonbusiness.com/us/security

AT&T Earns Primary Carrier Status at Boeing

The Boeing Company has selected AT&T to be its primary telecommunications provider. The contract , which is valued at more than $400 million over five years, calls for AT&T to provide advanced network and wireless services to help Boeing enhance its business processes and increase productivity.

AT&T will consolidate existing, disparate telecommunications networks into one ubiquitous, Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled voice and data network for Boeing. Once the contract with Boeing has been fully implemented, AT&T will deliver wide area network services, voice services, audio conferencing, AT&T Managed Internet Service and wireless voice and data services.

AT&T said the Boeing contract follows a series of other large and strategic wins, including Royal Dutch Shell, Starbucks, IBM, General Motors and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.http://www.att.comhttp://www.boeing.com

GSA Migrates from IPv4 to IPv6 with Level 3

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has migrated its IPv4 network, to IPv6 with the help of Level 3 Communications. GSA is the first civilian agency to be in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandate to utilize the next generation IPv6 network.

"Due to the size and scale of the Level 3 network, our company has been a leader in the development, adoption and deployment of new standards, and we intend to follow a similar path with regard to IPv6," said Edward Morche, general manager of Level 3's Federal segment. "We are pleased to build upon our long-standing relationship with the GSA and to have played an instrumental role in the GSA's transition to the next generation of technology."

British Prime Minister's Office to Use Brightcove for Video Distribution

Te British Prime Minster's Office will use Brightcove's online video platform to increase the availability of video content through the official government website, http://number10.gov.uk/.

As part of this initiative 10 Downing Street will also launch a new website channel, Number10TV, which will provide public access to exclusive video of the Prime Minster's speeches, press conferences, media appearances, and news archives.


Cisco Completes Acquisition of Pure Networks

Cisco completed its acquisition of Pure Networks, a Seattle-based start-up specializing in home networking-management software. The deal was valued at approximately $120 million.

Cisco said the acquisition provides it with a fully integrated line of home-networking-management solutions that will also serve as the foundation for the development of new multimedia-enabled applications, tools and capabilities for consumers to use in an increasingly "connected life" at home, at work and on the go. The acquisition further advances Cisco's consumer strategy by enhancing the development of the existing Linksys Easy Link Advisor (LELA) platform, which enables a consumer to more easily set up, organize, manage, secure and use a home network.http://www.cisco.com