Clearwire’s Tests

Wi-Fi Networking News writes about feedback from early customers in Jacksonville, Florida:

Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the (St. Paul) Pioneer Press reports that Clearwires next expansion in St. Cloud, Minnesota, hasnt materialized beyond a test setup, but that it works as advertised. Clearwire uses broadband wireless technology thats probably a precursor to WiMax.

Ojeda-Zapata interviewed some Floridians about the service, and they werent just happy about it, but quite ecstatic. One user had access when his cable modem went down during a hurricane. A few discuss how portable the modem is, requiring just an AC outlet in the service area. Clearwire might combine some of the best aspects of DSL/cable (high speeds), 3G cellular (ubiquity), and Ricochet (driverless transferability).

That last is quite important: if I have to install drivers on my computer and reconfigure it for access, thumbs down. If I just plug into an Ethernet port, thumbs up. This was one of the factors that held back smaller-city provider Monet Networks: the lack of this kind of Ethernet-based hookup. And its one of the driving reasons behind the business model for Junxion, a Seattle company that has a cellular data box with Ethernet and Wi-Fi built in.

Into this world of wireless broadband will come thin clients with embedded network connections.

Software Development

The Economist writes:

Three main trends are shaping the future of software development and giving hope to those who oversee big software projects. The first is awareness of the need to pay greater attention to the lifecycle of a piece of software, from the initial setting of requirements to ongoing implementation. The second trend is towards automating the testing of software. The NIST study estimates that $22.2 billion (more than one-third) of the cost of software failures could be eliminated simply by improved testing. The third trend is the emergence of open-source code, something embraced even by Microsoft, which is often seen by its many critics as the would-be nemesis of the open-source movement.

The three big industry trendslifecycle management, testing and open sourcecome together in a movement known as agile programming…The main principle of agile programming is that developers must talk to each other often, and that they must talk to the business people setting requirements equally often. Combine this with a short time-scaleideally agile proponents seek to deliver a working bit of software every few weeksand you have an accelerated, informal version of the iterative model. This means that no project can go on for years and produce nothinga fatally flawed project will be caught sooner.

Technology in Turmoil

[via Anish Sankhalia] David Kirkpatrick of Fortune writes: “The technology business is in a state of turmoil that was unimaginable just a couple of years ago. Industry icons are under threat, market leaders are at risk, and the whole pantheon of tech greats seems to be under renovation…Microsoft and Sun face open source, Intel seems weakened, outsourcing threatens services playersthese are just a few of the recent shifts in the firmament.”