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Ultra Wideband Hub Coming in October 110

Dhiram writes "Japan based Y-E Data Inc. has announced the development of the "Wireless Hub" based on UWB (ultra wideband) wireless technology. It is the first UWB commercial application announced. The Wireless Hub mounts a UWB wireless communication module, as well as four USB ports. It comes with a USB dongle with UWB connectivity which connects to the PC. Other USB peripherals can be connected to the wireless hub, which then connects to the PC through UWB and has an effective data rate of 100 mbps over a 10-m distance without obstacles."
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Ultra Wideband Hub Coming in October

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  • by ConsumerOfMany ( 942944 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:15AM (#16015554)
    the leg bone. The leg bone is connected to the... thigh bone.....
  • by Bumjubeo ( 849737 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:18AM (#16015579)
    10m, with no obstacles? What would the use for this be?
    • Mount on ceiling. Use as wireless hub for small office.

      Connect to form network, arms and legs. And I'll form the head!
    • Its ok, 100mbit at 10m with no obstacles in a lab environment is quite good, however in your home (where you have air as an obstacle) you will get 100kbps max.

      You are better off teaching monkeys how to type and make paper planes than use wireless for wireless sake.
      • by Amouth ( 879122 )
        reminds me of blue tooth.. i remember being at a presentation of the tech when they where first working on it.. they where quoting 1km ranges and how you could use it to keep sync with stuff over a city mesh.. then it came out and well.. it sucked.. it wasn't untill it started getting picked up for the 30ft range stuff that they managed to make a market..
        • I had the same thoughts about the distance sucking... But then, I can't remember the last time I used any of my bluetooth devices more then 6' apart.

          It's just handy to not have to carry a cable to connect my headset, phone and Palm together, or to be able to sit down in front of my PC and access pictures from my phone without playing with a cable.
    • many non-metallic/stone obstacles won't cause much of a hinderance I suspect. Stille, a 20 meter radius isn't so bad, that's enough to cover many houses except for a couple corners. The question is: how much falloff is there past that range? how much falloff is there due to various types of blocking materials (plaster, metal pipes, wrapping paper [hey, it actually interfears with my 802.11g router, there was some stored in a closet between my notebook and the router - removing it, even though it was replc
      • No shit!? Wrapping paper was messing up your signal?

        I've got a closet full of wrapping paper near my router. Maybe THAT's why my signal is so bad, who woulda thunk it? I'm gonna try that. Although in actual fact, there are probably 100 things between me & my router that could be a problem. :\
        • by jweller ( 926629 )
          No shit!? Wrapping paper was messing up your signal? I believe it. My wife has some fancy stuff that looks like a foil of some sort.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I hate to be a geometry nazi, but I think you meant a 20 meter diameter. Aside from that you do raise some excellent points :)
      • by Lactoso ( 853587 )
        "Stille, a 20 meter radius isn't so bad"

        Not to be a math nazi, but.... radius [], so you'd be looking at a 10 meter radius, a 20 meter diameter of coverage.

    • by CaymanIslandCarpedie ( 868408 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:27AM (#16015671) Journal
      Say you have a PC under your desk. Instead of having a USB cable to the printer, a USB cable to an external HD, a USB cable to etc. You just have a simple USB dongle on you PC which then wireless commnunicates with all your USB devices. Less wires!
      • Don't we already have Bluetooth? I suppose the 100mbit bandwidth would be useful for a wireless external harddrive or camera/card reader.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          In theory we have Bluetooth, put I don't think I've ever seen a Bluetooth printer, camera, or well just about anything. However, there is certainly tons of USB stuff (just about everything seems to ship with USB support). Plus you can use the stuff you already have instead of dropping cash to go buy a bunch of new stuff that supports Bluetooth (even if it existed). Just plug the dongle in you PC, plug your existing devices into the hub, and away you go.
          • In theory we have Bluetooth, put I don't think I've ever seen a Bluetooth printer, camera, or well just about anything.

            Printers are not really the intended target for Bluetooth. Bluetooth is meant to be used for small devices with low power consumption - mobile phones, headsets, cameras, PDAs, mice. And there are plenty of those using Bluetooth, at least where I live.
          • I've got bluetooth printers in my conference rooms here in the office. Our copy-cam takes pictures of the whiteboards and either emails then to the users, or spits 'em out to the printers..

            Neat stuff, and it saves me having to scramble to catch up to the presenter.

      • by adolf ( 21054 )
        We don't need any more bloody protocols, thanks!

        We've got USB and we've got gigabit ethernet and we've got 802.11 (and psuedo-802.11n) and we've got Bluetooth. If that's not enough, there's still multiple variations of Firewire, SCSI, and fibre-channel.

        Tell me: In what way is this UWB mumbo-jumbo superior to a networked USB port [] and a fast standards-based wireless network connection?

        Just curious.
    • printers, backup devices, cameras, web cams, projectors, scanners... pretty much any workgroup peripherals where the workgroup is on one floor of a building and not sequestered in real rooms, ie: cubicle farms would work... studios, conference rooms.

      10M from the device... so a 10M radius... just put your device someplace central to it's users.
    • Sounds terribly useful to me. My main computer is my Laptop which I move around a bit (on the desk, in the chair, on the couch, etc). I would LOVE to be able to sit down and plug the little dongle in (or better yet, just use UWB if it gets built into laptops) to sync with my iPod, connect a printer, etc. I have quite a few little USB gizmos and having to plug something into the laptop is a bit of a pain. But to be able to have all that stuff (let's add PDA, hard drive, etc) connected at once would be great.

      • Not a lot of point for Desktops. Great for laptops. A wireless docking station.

        Unless, of course, you are in a situation as I am in, where you have limited desk space and want to have as few items on what is left of that space as possible.

        The way my house is situated, I could throw my two printers (ink/laser), my scanner, and my external HDD on my normally unused kitchen table (which is HUGE).

        I'm sure I'm not the only one in this type of situation, either.
    • by jo42 ( 227475 )
      ...and keep it as far away from your testicles as possible...
    • Not every use is in your home. Many production facilities could use something like this, with multiple computers w/n a 30 foot range.
      However, I could see it in my home. Although it may have trouble with multip walls and obstacles to get the full range, I think 10 feet through a ceiling/floor should be fine.
    • 10m, with no obstacles? What would the use for this be?
      It's the convenience of cables with the security of wireless, all rolled into one!
    • one word: cameras.

      its not about distance. its about being tangle free. the tripod and other danglies are bad enough as it is..
    • General Retail Point of Sale, Food & Beverage Point of Sale and other vertical markets. When Ultra Wide Band is available then all the cables disappear. Chips that include a combined UWB and Bluetooth implementation will be able, finally, to free workplaces and homes of cabling, a major step forward. Look what happened to the telephone when the cord was cut. Embedded computing solutions absolutely demand the elimination of all cables and the presumption of the ability to work with a whole universe o
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by erpbridge ( 64037 )
        Not all cables... power cabling still there, unless you use tons of batteries.

        Now wireless power... or inductive power, where the whole countertop is a power loop...
  • Power? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Apocalypse111 ( 597674 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:23AM (#16015619) Journal
    So does this thing run on batteries or wall power? I mean, would I be able to, say, charge an iPod off of it? If I were to plug in my favorite wired Logitech mouse, would I still have to deal with the annoyance of replacing batteries for the convenience of being able to controlling my PC from the couch?

    I'd have to imagine that this thing, due at least to its own wireless power demands, would have to get wall power, but then is it truely "wireless"? Even with this kind of limitation, I can easily see uses for such a device, however.
    • by Chaffar ( 670874 )
      If it runs on batteries, then it's a piece of sh*t..
      However, if it comes with an A/C adapter, then it's a piece of sh*t (albeit one which could maybe potentially in some cases given the right conditions be useful).
    • by neo8750 ( 566137 )

      I'd have to imagine that this thing, due at least to its own wireless power demands, would have to get wall power, but then is it truely "wireless"? Even with this kind of limitation, I can easily see uses for such a device, however.

      any wireless bridge you buy from the store more then likely has a power plug. Yet you would consider this wireless would you not?

      Now a days everything needs a power cord if you expect it to run for more then a few hours/days(depending on device) However batteries are nice

      • I suppose what you say makes sense - I was basing my ramblings on the pains associated with changing the batteries on a wireless mouse that my brother used to own.
  • by colman77 ( 689696 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:23AM (#16015621)
    at first I thought this was like a networking wireless router/hub type thing... but it's not, it's just a way of adding more USB ports to your computer without wires.

    Tricky/vague description.
    • yeah i thought that at first too.

      i started thinking, "sweet monkey balls, wireless with usb hubs? i bet i could use this to geo-track that fucker that keeps stealing my packages"
    • yes, but isnt there usb networking? so it could be a really shitty wifi network.
  • good for cameras? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:24AM (#16015628)
    I've been waiting for a while now (!) for wireless usb (there are 2 standards, from what I understand) to come out.

    I'd like to be able to shoot 'tethered' and not have the camera or the pc know or care that its a wireless link.

    not having cords tangle while shooting would be a big bonus; plus I could just upload all my pics to my pc and not care about storage card limits (assuming there IS supported wire-based tethered shooting for your cam; many do not have it).

    • There are cameras that have WiFi capability now. My Dad bought one, but I have not tried it yet. I think they would suit you better.
      • wrong solution.

        us photo people (I'm semi-pro) don't buy on gimmick features. often the cams are VERY substandard if they offer some 'trick' thing.

        you are reversing the issue. the issue is to pick a cam first that is a GOOD optical shooter and then plugin the wireless adapter to give it remote ability.

        the ones that have wifi are inferior implementations and also vendor-lockin. very ungood ;( plus, wifi is VERY power hungry. not good for long shooting sessions. if wireless usb is lower power (hopefully!
        • Do people really bother that much about battery life? I've got a 350D with a battery grip, and that gives me maybe 1000 shots. If it matters that much buy another battery clip, and you can change both batteries with another clip in two seconds. Wi-fi really doesn't use that much battery power either, certainly not enough to bother my PDA.

          I'm not saying you're not wrong that this is good but it still means attaching a battery powered wireless doobrie to my camera, which if it's generic is going to stick o
        • In that case, wouldnt a usb cable hooked up to a PDA uploading the data via wifi to your studio machine work better than this anyway, range would be limited by your 802.11b/g/a router, not the crappy range this thing has...
          • the only range a studio guy would need is a few feet away to his laptop. seriously.

            its the tangle of the cords, not the distance from the disk/storage that is the issue for us.

            and in fact, long distance means less batt life (usually) and also more security issues with connections that might 'collide'.

            ideally, I'd like to plug in a dongle (very small, just larger than an sd-card, ideally) and have that link up with a 'base unit' that connects to a laptop. point to point, non-shared; that's all I'd really w
  • by QuantumFTL ( 197300 ) * on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:28AM (#16015675)
    I just came upon an interesting series of government studies [] that look into characterizing the succeptability of DTV receivers to interference from UWB. Interestingly enough, UWB signals are different enough from most modulated-carrier type signals that interference is not merely a function of power and frequency, but also specific temporal characteristics. The study also notes that it is heavily dependent on the level of forward error correction used by the DTV, along with the overall bandwidth of the DTV receiver.

    I, for one, do not welcome our new DTV-wrecking overlords!
    • Hey if HAMs have to deal with BPL, you can deal with having your DTV inturrupted.

      One of those things saves lives, and it sure isn't the DTV.
      • Neither should have to put up with interference, but I would argue TV has saved many more lives than HAMs do.

        Rarely as direct, but TV has spread a lot of knowledge about health and how to deal with emergencies; worldwide that is no doubt saving many lives every day.

        On the flip side, it's also filled with junk food ads...
        • This might not only be the most tenuous example ever to be posted on slashdot but the most tenuous example in the whole history of the written word.
          • by daBass ( 56811 )
            Why? TV warning millions of people to get out before Katrina hit saved a lot more lives than the HAMs relaying messages for emergency crews afterwards.

            Both are important, but if we're keeping a bodycount, the original poster's "DTV sure as hell doesn't save lives" is just dead wrong.
      • Hey if HAMs have to deal with BPL, you can deal with having your DTV inturrupted.

        My call sign is N3VNU, and as much I agree that BPL is a horrible idea and should be restricted, that doesn't change the fact that DTV interference may prevent people from using UWB technology in their homes or apartment complexes. I think we're trying to jam just a bit too much into an already very crowded spectrum.
  • Not really (Score:4, Informative)

    by Moby Cock ( 771358 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:30AM (#16015694) Homepage
    This is a pretty gool product, although I would contend it is not really using UWB technology. The linked page indicates that the channel used is "4.224 to 4.752 GHz". While this is in the UWB band, it is not really all that wide. The UWB runs from 3.1 - 10.6 GHZ, and provides for truly ultra wideband applications. This product may have a wider-than-usual band but I wouldn't say UWB products have arrived with the introduction of this item.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by be-fan ( 61476 )
      What're you talking about? 4.224 to 4.752 GHz is a 528 MHz bandwidth. 20-30 MHz is very wideband for a radio, so 528 MHz definitely qualifies as "ultra wideband". Not to mention that it meets the FCC's definition of UWB, which specifies a bandwidth of greater than 500 MHz.
    • I imagine the reason for the restricted frequency range is due to the difficulty of designing an antenna that is reasonably efficient that covers that much spectrum. I know that I have separate antennas for 80M, 40M, 20M and 2M/70cm, and I know that it's tricky to design and build antennas for the higher bands (a full-wave dipole for 3.8GHz would be ~1.5", and dipoles aren't especially suited for higher-frequency work). Sure, you could use a Pringles can [], but you'd need several to cover the range of frequ
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Moby Cock ( 771358 )
        I think you hit the nail on the head. The antennas for UWB are very hard to get right. Initially, designers were focused return loss but have recently discovered that the gain is as important. The s11 is just not sufficient to characterise UWB antennas. The reason is that the antennas have different gains along the operation band of the antenna. This is effectively inserting a transfer function to the channel. The s21 curves and time-domain analysis are now being more carefully considered. This has a
  • UWB is a pretty cool, but I do see one problem in the way of wide spread use. Namely the cost of testing UWB. Interoperability testing of course would just as cheap as any other technology once there are few devices around. Until then you would have to sniff the layers to make sure it really doing what it should in the way that it should. The big cost in my mind is testing the physical layers in a radiated environment. UWB, just as the name implies has a huge bandwidth which makes it very difficult to captu
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Japan based Y-E Data Inc.has released a new ultra-wide band (tm) microwave oven that can reheat a cup of coffee within a 10 meter radius without obstacles.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by m0rph3us0 ( 549631 )
      The funny thing is that microwave ovens are extremely narrow band. They are tuned to the resonance frequency of water. Shift it up a few Mhz and it suddenly becomes a lot less effective at heating.
      • No they are NOT tuned to the resonance frequency of water []:

        "Microwave heating is sometimes incorrectly explained as a rotational resonance of water molecules, but this is incorrect: such resonance only occurs at much higher frequencies, in the tens of gigahertz. Moreover, large industrial/commercial microwave ovens operating in the 900 MHz range also heat water and food perfectly well."
  • by Aqua_boy17 ( 962670 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:38AM (#16015744)
    I can't wait until my neighbor gets one of these so I can check this out!
  • by Gospodin ( 547743 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:48AM (#16015825)

    Y-E Data may be OK for some, but I prefer the English firm Y. E. Olde Data Shoppe.

  • I understand the desire for less clutter as I am an audio technician, producer, vj, and dj. I have wires going EVERYWHERE in my studio. It is frustrating at times, but I am used to it. What is the big deal here? When I need USB connectivity to go 10m, I run extenders along the carpet. You ultimately are not going to get rid of all the wires; i.e. monitor cable, power cables, etc. Ugh, what we will buy into for convience that is inferior in quality.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I once tried a wireless mouse. The only good point of it being wireless was that I could throw that piece of crap through the window without damaging my computer. USB will rock for many years to come.
      • I have a wireless keyboard and mouse for my HTPC. That way, I can sit across the room and control the HTPC, and not have a bunch of wires strung across my living room. They're bluetooth-connected, so they're quite reliable (some wireless peripherals can't keep a connection very well). And the battery life is actually quite good (1 year for the mouse, but I left it on overnight a few times, the keyboard gets less use and doesn't die so quickly - it's still on its first set of batteries).

        I think the major dif
    • I'd have to agree with you on this. I've dabbled with wireless products before, wireless speakers, lan, mouse/keyboard. Yes these products may be convienent but MUCH less reliable. The speakers have noise in them, the lan is slow and changes speed depending on where in the house you stand, and the keyboard/mouse was a constant changing of batteries, dropping/low signal, and finally dying after a year. The wireless lan I ONLY use for internet. Anything worth doing over a lan is completely wired for spe
    • by bunions ( 970377 )
      I'm guessing you don't have kids.
  • by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:55AM (#16015873)
    Wireless. Docking. Station. Walk in with your laptop and drop it anywhere in the room and you're done. The only missing piece is the video....and I'm sure that solution is coming - wireless video.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Like TV?
    • If you're trying to do a docking station, and you need to plug in a monitor cable and the USB wireless dongle, you can just as well plug in a monitor cable and a real wired USB-hub cable. And if you're trying to reduce tangle for connections from your under-the-desk PC to your desktop peripherals, you still need a cable for the monitor, so why not run one more USB cable to a wired hub on the desktop (especially if it lets you use a non-powered hub on the desktop, avoiding the need for a power-cord for the
    • by adolf ( 21054 )
      You're really missing the point.

      Network. Fucking. Everything. Walk up with your 802.11 laptop and drop it anywhere on the network and you're done. The only thing missing is a VGA adapter with an Ethernet jack on it.

      There is no task performed by USB (with, or without wires) which cannot be performed -- better -- by ethernet.

  • Everybody wants to send data through my grey matter. It hurts, dammit. Wi-LAN is bad enough (have it at home) and I use it knowing that I am subjecting my cells to radiation they were not made to survive in. Now they want me to send data at USB 2.0 speeds through the air, and my brain? I like my cables, thank you very much. /*searches for old tinfoil hat
    • As with most forms of radiation in use for communications (including cell phones), I suspect that the wavelength that this equipment transmits on is too wide to meaningfully interact with human cells, except to be blocked by them.

      Then again, you could always wear a portable Faraday cage if you're really that paranoid. Remember, tin foil doesn't work!
      • by Duncan3 ( 10537 )
        Sadly, this isn't true. It does do things to your cells, bad things, especially your brain and nervous system which is one big electrical grid. It's just not known how bad, and noone is willing to give up cellphones and wireless even if it is pretty bad. Much of it is the same as being in a microwave, but one set very low.

        Noone stops smokers, I imagine in 20 years this will be the same kind of thing.

        • Um, not quite. Your nervous system isn't an electrical grid, there's a great deal of chemical activity going on as well, due to these little things in the synapse called neurotransmitters. Imbalances or lack of some of these chemicals is what causes certain disorders, like some forms of depression. To be sure, there is some electrical activity there as well, but it would be folly to assume that the few millivolts running through your system is all that matters there.
          Also, the energy being emitted by ce
        • Sadly, this isn't true. It does do things to your cells, bad things, especially your brain and nervous system which is one big electrical grid.

          Actually, there are a lot of assumptions in your statements that either have no evidence, or are contradicted by the available evidence.

          Your central nervous system isn't a big electrical grid. One mode of communication in networks of neurons is electro-chemical, but EM radiation hasn't been shown to have any effect on electro-chemical signalling. With two exception

  • Anyone know what the ping times are like with UWB technology? Is the responsiveness good enough for gaming?

    If it is, this can really overhaul the idea of lan parties. Managed switches will still be needed for a large scale, intelligent network. Power will still be a limiting factor, but gaming capable laptops are coming of age. If someone can slap down a UWB hub with a DHCP server, lanning can take place anywhere.

    Here's a fun idea. Slap down said UWB hub and DHCP server in a downtown area, let people w
  • Well (that's a deep subject), it doesn't look like it'll be that useful, but at least it will allow me to get junk from my laptop to my desktop, and vice versa, much faster than before. And that's always important, because time is of the essence. There just isn't enough time in the world to do anything. And that's why I'm sitting here, wasting a whole bunch of time typing this junk into this thing over here. Because I type at the whopping speed of sixty minutes per word. And, no, I'm not cixelsid.
  • Just wanted to point out: UWB is another of those abbreviations that's quicker to write, but slower to say. I think the English-speaking world needs to redefine the way "W" is pronounced, before this interweb tubes thing takes off.
  • security (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brenddie ( 897982 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:34AM (#16016167)
    And how secure is the connection? I guess up to this point it would be easier to just physically plug and snoop around (you are already 10m from the pc), but once the range improves, is it going to be another WEP nigthmare? Will people wardrive looking for wireless usb printers to print goatse ?

    Maybee you can bridge two computers trough wireless usb, that would be fun, a mesh on interconnected PCs via wireless usb.

  • by joconor ( 889441 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:45AM (#16016264)
    This product is a UWB Wireless USB Hub, but I don't see any indication on the web site that this product complies with Certified Wireless USB.
    There has been a long running battle between two opposing UWB groups that each have incompatible UWB implementations. If you're going to get any Wireless USB products, make sure to look for the product's compliance to "Certified Wireless USB". More information at Certified Wireless USB []. Certified Wireless USB is built on top of the WiMedia UWB standard. The WiMedia UWB platform is an ECMA standard, and certification by other standards bodies has been in the works.
    Disclaimer: Until this past April, I worked for one of the Certified Wireless USB developers & promoters, and I was deeply involved in this standardization effort.
  • Sounds good... but.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by E IS mC(Square) ( 721736 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:56AM (#16016352) Journal
    The antenna is Y-E Data's original development. Although the company uses its proprietary UWB wireless communication protocol this time, it is reportedly developing in parallel another version to support the industry's standard "Certified Wireless USB" specification.

    (from 830/120614/ [])
  • for a price of "in the price range of 25,000 to 40000 Yen ($ 210 to $ 340)" i'll stick to my $30 7 port wired hub. call me back in 5 years when the price has come down, or better yet, it's integrated into my laptop and devices.
  • Let's start blasting noise over GHz of bandwidth all at once.

    Having said that commercial UWB products have been around for years. This is the first commercial wireless USB system to use UWB not the first product to the technology.
  • old news (Score:1, Troll)

    by faute2mieux ( 999174 )
    An identical story about the Belkin hub was previously covered []. According to an early July report from Belkin [], their product is due in September. "... first ever commercial application for UWB ever announced" seemed a little misleading, but I guess it could be technically correct. Wireless USB hubs may be the first announced application of UWB, but seems like Y-E Data did not announce (nor will they ship) the first UWB product.
  • by pe1chl ( 90186 )
    100 millibits per second??? That is one bit in 10 seconds, I presume.
    Over 10 meters of distance. That smells like IP-over-Avian-carriers...
  • I've been using a Keyspan USB Server (networked via cable, but far away from the workstations) for over a year now. It's only 10Mbs and really needs an update overall (both drivers and hardware). Nevertheless it has worked very well. It's quite useful for networking the intergrated scanner, fax, and ink control of my monster Canon Pixma hidden in the closet... No video or HID support.

    There's also no Linux support. That sux. Hopefully this new product will have it or be open enough for the community
  • Does such an item exist? A battery powered male USB adaptor that you could plug your USB device into and a USB dongle on the PC that communicates with it?

  • has an effective data rate of 100 mbps over a 10-m distance without obstacles

    Over that distance and without obstructions, it's just a guess, but I'm thinking that you could design a wireless optics-based system that would have many times that bandwidth. Correct me if I'm wrong about that, I'd be interested to know if my instincts are off.

  • Oh no. A plot device from The Pulse []!

    Expect initial releases of the hardware to cause ghosts dancing in slow motion to fall out of shadows by your desk, then eat your life.
  • Ah USB. thus thorougly useless for *networking*. sure would be nice if there was a FastEthernet version. In fact, only 10meters? Why not just use a 100baseT switch and some cat5e?

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard