The Problem with 802.15 Wireless PAN

IEEE 802.15 concentrates on wireless PAN for a variety of purposes:

  • Task Group 1a - WPAN 15.1 Revisions to Bluetooth (R) v1.2 published 2002 June 14
  • Task Group 2 - WPAN interoperability so that all those devices in the 2.4GHz don't interfere with each other, i.e. coexistence of 802.15 and 802.11 [WiFi] devices
  • Task Group 3a - WPAN Alternate High Rate MAC and PHY
  • Task Group 3b - WPAN 15.3 Maintenance
  • Task Group 4a - WPAN Alternate Low Rate MAC and PHY
  • Task Group 4b - WPAN 15.4 Revisions and Enhancements
  • Task Group 5 - WPAN Mesh Networking

UWB and WiMedia fall into 802.15.3 - There is no standard approved as yet. Proponents of UWB have been claiming for years that they will kill off Bluetooth - but there are neither products nor standards on which to base products. WiMedia wants to connect your [TiVo or Windows or... remember Sun Jini?] media center computer to your TV, stereo, etc. But 802.11 a or g or upcoming n do a great job of that.

ZigBee (TM) falls under 802.15.4 and finally had its standard approved on 2004 December 14. But if you check out ZigBee.org, there are still no products. ZigBee concentrates on low-power, low-duty-cylce needs replacing feedback loops for control circuits and sensors. According to their web site, their initial markets include home control, building automation and industrial automation.

Compare these lack of products with WiFi, other 802.11 derivatives and Bluetooth where products generally are announced in advance of the standards being ratified, with compliant products being announced near simultaneously with standards announcements. Bluetooth and WiFi have their markets identified and fill consumer needs or desires. ZigBee comes closest to doing this with its focus on sensors and controls requireing only a low duty-cycle, and I'll do a further study on ZigBee soon. But without clearly defined user needs, these standards are unlikely to make much of an impact in the marketplace.

Wireless in California Parks

The TeleInterActive Lifestyle refers to the work and living habits of anyone who needs or wants to interact with information remotely. I am one of those who likes to be with nature. Sparks of my creativity seem to be kindled by the beauty of nature. I can be productive in a quiet place surrounded by nature.

One of my favorite California State Parks is Angel Island. I love to just sit on the benches there with the nice view of the SF Bay Area. I think it is refreshing and peaceful. I have always thought that it will be nice to spend a day working in Angel Island sitting on one of the picnic table areas or benches. Maybe even blog the whole day there. &#59;D

Connectivity may soon be possible. According to an article by the New York Times Wireless Deal for California Parks , “The state last week announced a deal with SBC Communications to provide wireless Internet access points in 85 state parks. Now park visitors can take laptop computers and other portable devices to connect to the Internet from areas formerly known as 'wilderness'."

Yes, I'm hopeful that wireless connectivity becomes a reality in Angel Island soon ...

Oracle Mobile Agents in New Form

Over the past two weeks, I've been seeing quite a few articles, like this one at Infoworld, that tout Oracle Lite 10g for grid computing. Most of these articles slant the announcement as though Oracle is just entering the mobile database market.

That's Just Not True.

Back in 1994 I worked for Oracle, and led internal roll-outs of some of their less marketable products, including Oracle Office, and its disconected client. And Oracle Mobile Agents. Mobile Agents provided an early true three-tier architecture to overcome the lousy (loosy?) wireless connections back then. Wireline modems were hitting 24KBPS back then, wireless was still around 2400 baud, with about a 90% drop rate. |-| But that started my love of the TeleInterActive Lifestyle and led to implementations on PalmOS devices and Novatel modems, and even our latest participation in a Wireless Logistics System for a regional trasportation company using WiFi and Symbol devices, with Netversant rolling out the network and Eleusinian Enterprises adapting their RFWarehouse product to ride on Oracle 10g, Oracle Enterprise Application Server, and Oracle Lite.

Oracle does need to adapt their pricing strategy though. This project really doesn't need Application Server; Oracle Lite and its Mobile Manager (child of Mobile Agents) would have worked just fine - but you can't get it without EAS. Upping the price of the software into an almost uncompetitive stratum.

If Oracle sold Oracle Lite and Mobile Manager by itself, it would be much more competitive with iAnywhere from Sybase and DB2 Everyplace from IBM.

Housing Bubble or Not

Consultants must point out every conceivable risk, and we generally have the time and knowledge to do the risk assessment through tools ranging from simple 2x2 matrices to cause-consequence analyses to iterative Bayesean monte carlo simulations. Does such an onus fall on journalists?

Dan Gillmor writes about a piece in the Orange County Register that he picked up on his rerouted trip back to SF from Boston that seems to promote dangerous speculation in real estate. As Dan says, many experts fear that a housing bubble, similar to the tulip bubble and the dot-com bubble may be happening.

When I first moved to the Northern California Coast from "back East", I had a hard time overcoming "sticker shock" on housing prices. Back in 1984, a 3BR, 2BA house with an Ocean View were listing for over $180,000 and being bid upwards of $200,000. Much more than my houses in Delaware (45K$) or the one in Illinois (90K$) where worth.

The house I bought in 1999 has a tiny bit of an ocean view - actually, a pretty good white water view of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve from the edge of the driveway leaning out into the street. &#59;) I bought that house for just over 400K$ and it now appraises at 800K$. But I am only three blocks from the nearest DSLAM - killer bandwidth. :>> That must be the reason.

I'm still in shock. And I really wish I had bought in 1984 instead of saying "These housing prices can't go any higher". /sigh

But can they? I don't know. Bubbles are rarely identified until after they burst. And real estate here just goes up and up, with very few, and only minor, downturns.

Edit: One comment to Dan's post points to an economic analysis showing that the housing price increases are due to the wealth created by the stock market bubble. I don't believe this. The housing boom is a result of low inflation during the Clinton administration coupled with exceptionally low interest rates. Add in that interest on a mortgage can be one of the largest, if not only, tax deduction left to most people, and buying a house becomes cheaper and wiser than renting.

Edit: And to Dan's point, which I believe concerns responsibility in journalism... Does that responsibility extend to pointing out every uncertainty, every possible outcome, every risk? As consultants, we must do so. Must journalists?

Terms for Measuring Benefits for Projects

Have you been in a situtation where you need to justify or quantify benefits for your projects? Here are some terms to help you:

Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR): As the term suggests, it is the ratio of benefits to Cost.
BCR = Benefits/Cost
Example: The projected benefit of an IT project is $1 Million and the cost is $500,000. The BCR= 2.

Opportunity Cost: MSN Money defines Opportunity Cost as "The cost of passing up one investment in favor of another." This concept can be used in measuring benefits for projects by asking "What is the cost of missing out on other opportunities because money was invested in this project?" To be able to show that the Opportunity Cost is small is good because no one wants to miss out on a big opportunity. :P

Return on Investment (ROI): This is a very common term. It is the percentage the shows what return is made for a particular investment. The formula is:
ROI = (benefits - cost) / benefits
Example: An IT project costs $200,000 and the computed benefits of doing this project is $230,000. The computed ROI is 15%

Net Present Value (NPV): Investopedia defines NPV "An approach used in capital budgeting where the present value of cash inflow is subtracted from the present value of cash outflows." This is based on the concept of Present Value (PV). PV according to the definition of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics is the value today of an amount of money in the future. The simplified formula is:
NPV = PV-cost
Example: The IT project has a PV of $500,000 with a cost of $300,000. Then the NPV is $200,000.
To put it in the context of project justification, the bigger the NPV, the better for the project.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR): investorwords.com defines IRR as "The rate of return that would make the present value of future cash flows plus the final market value of an investment or business opportunity equal the current market price of the investment or opportunity." You can refer to Investment FAQ on how to compute for IRR. &#59;D For project justification, the basic concept is, the bigger the IRR, the better.

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889

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