PDA News – Sprint launches EVDO, Man arrested for WiFi use, Palm dead?

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Sprint activates EVDO network

Sprint has officially rolled out their new EVDO 3G data network, offering speeds of 300 to 500 Kbits per second to mobile users.

The launch includes 34 markets this month, with a further 170 scheduled to go live by early 2006. While official details on the markets that have been activated are sketchy, if Sprint is following the preliminary timelines leaked earlier this year, new EVDO markets should include Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Currently, the only EVDO-capable handheld that Sprint offers is the PPC-6600, also known as the HTC Harrier. While the Harrier supports EVDO, Sprint hasn’t yet made available the updated network list that will activate it. Reports say that Sprint does intend to provide this to 6600 users, though it’s not clear when.




Man arrested for using open WiFi

A man in St. Petersburg, Florida has been arrested and charged with a third-degree felony for using an open WiFi access point. The arrest occured in April after the man was seen parked on the curb in an SUV using a laptop computer. The access point belonged to the resident who called the police.

I would have to argue that this is a case of gross overkill. While there are other less aboveboard uses of an open network, there’s no indication that this guy was doing anything more than taking an opportunity to browse the web or check his email. To level charges that are the computerized equivalent of burglary is excessive.

Besides which, if you start arresting people for unauthorized use of a freely accessible network, things fall apart fast. The entire internet is based on a default policy of access–the idea that if you can access something, then you have permission to do so, subject to any notifications otherwise. When you open a website, you’re accessing someone else’s network without having received explicit permission. If this weren’t the case, the entire internet would have to be shut down.

There’s a similar premise in laws regarding tresspassing: someone has to have been notified that they’re tresspassing, and ignored that warning, before they’ve committed a crime. So in short, if you want to keep others off of your WiFi network, take a couple of minutes to turn on encryption rather than calling the police.



Editorial: PalmSource dead, platform next?

An editorial by Ed Hansberry of PocketPCThoughts has sparked a fresh debate on whether or not PalmSource has a future in the handheld market. While one might expect such a perspective considering the source, the article makes several cogent points about the current strains on the PalmOS platform, and the fact that these will only get worse if Palm OS Garnet is asked to hold the line for another two years while waiting for a Linux-based Palm OS.

The gist of the editorial is this: PalmSource has allowed the PalmOS to stagnate, falling far behind the current pace of technology. Trying to hack support for current features into the existing OS has resulted in greater and greater instability problems, and still doesn’t provide all the same capabilities as competitors. By the time that a new Palm OS can make it to market, sometime around 2007 or 2008, the PalmOS will have ceased to mean anything as a major player in the market.




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