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802.11b

Ronald Hanaki
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Or the 867-5309. ZDNet has a commentary on the fledgling technology (yes, this is the same guy who wrote about FireWire).

There is no doubt that 802.11b — the technical name for products also known as AirPort, Orinoco, Aironet, et al–is a life-changing technology. All of a sudden companies don’t have to string as many cables through their offices to provide connectivity. Small offices, home offices, and even just plain homes, are all beneficiaries as well, since you can set up an access point somewhere in the house, ideally hidden from plain sight, and still engage in e-mail and wander around the Web.

The problem is that, unlike a piece of cable that you have to get physical access to in order to connect, it’s comparatively easy to get near enough to a wireless access point to get good signal strength. Say, in a café across the street.

OK, but just because you’re in the radio footprint of an access point doesn’t mean you can do anything useful with that wireless network, right? Well, maybe.

Much was made of this at the expense of Bluetooth at WinHEC.

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