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Categories » ‘Innovations’

Another immediate extension installation – Tab Mix Plus

March 20th, 2016 by

Okay, okay, before you say, wait a minute- there’s no reason to install a tab extension on Firefox. It can do everything right out of the box, and all of those are way too bulky and they mess up my other extensions.

I say, “Nay.” This beauty adds features that are simply not available in the default Firefox setup. There are some things it can take care of that are a short tweak away in your about:config page, but there are many, many options it adds. I only use a few, but the few I use are indispensable.

My favorite thing that I love to do is inadvertently close tabs. Well, let me re-state that. I inadvertently close tabs from time to time, and I cry if I can’t remember where I was or if I am unable to …

Desktop Videoconferencing: Once Huge, Now Skype’d Away

February 28th, 2016 by

dskvNetwork managers, fearful that videoconferencing would consume excessive amounts of network bandwidth, have relegated this function to specialized-room systems with ISDN connections. But now, thanks to faster networks and the new H.323 videoconferencing interoperability standard, videoconferencing is coming to the desktop.

Although desktop ISDN systems have been available for a while, IS managers have been reluctant to spend money to bring in additional ISDN lines. But things are changing: LANs are much faster, and LAN switching systems allow administrators to segment traffic, isolating videoconferencing data so that it has less impact on the network.

In addition, the international videoconferencing standard H.323, which recently became available, is designed for use over packet networks such as LANs and the Internet. With H.323, packet-based backbones, such as the Internet or a private corporate intranet, can accommodate videoconferencing, eliminating the need for a specialized ISDN network.

Airlines Took Too Long To Give Power To Passengers

February 9th, 2016 by

altslWith vendors of notebook PCs unable to deliver systems with enough battery life for long flights, airlines are getting set to launch a system that provides power to passengers in their seats.

The new power distribution system, which will be rolled out in airline fleets later this year, will tap power from generators in a plane’s engines and distribute 15 volts of DC power to outlets located in seat armrests. This should be a boon to travelers with notebook PCs who would like to make flying time more productive.

However, the initial deployment will only be in first-class and business-class seats on aircraft making international and long-range flights, and those who want to use the outlets will need to buy a special power adapter for their notebooks.

For the airlines, safety is the primary consideration, so the system is designed …

Keep On Pushin’

January 15th, 2016 by

gpfiGregg Petch’s first implementation of push technology was a real pushover. As CIO of the Metropolitan Regional Information System, one of the nation’s largest multiple listing services for the real estate industry, he needed a simple application to send IS updates to the help desk. Petch figured he’d need about two weeks to install and work out any kinks in Lanacom Inc.’s Headliner product. Surprisingly, the rollout took just two days.

Now, the head of IT is tackling a more formidable challenge–tying together BackWeb Technologies Inc.’s push technology with an Oracle Corp. Web server and a custom browser to deliver real estate information to MRIS’ 30,000 member agents. Among Petch’s many tasks: using Visual Basic to write custom SQL statements to an Oracle database from BackWeb’s search engine. You’ll forgive Petch if he begs off providing an exact date …

Encryption Law Is A Tough Area

January 1st, 2016 by

Peter Browne is a casualty in the encryption wars.

entecFor the past year, Browne, senior vice president of information security for First Union Corp., has been unable to move aggressively on plans to implement an ambitious brokerage application on the bank’s Internet site. Why? Because, despite a red-hot battle between the White House on one side and encryption vendors and many Congress members on another, current law prohibits U.S. companies from “exporting” any product containing strong encryption. This means it would be illegal for $103 billion First Union, the nation’s sixth largest bank, to use strong (greater than 40-bit) encryption to encode financial transactions originating with customers outside the United States.

“Strong encryption technology is absolutely critical for all the product and system plans we have,” says Browne, in Charlotte, N.C. “These restrictions have hampered us from expanding our higher-risk …