Mesh networks at a small scale …
This is an awesome article that outlines the current state of mesh network R&D at the military level. Mesh networks are going to be the next generation of wireless networking … where every wireless node becomes a “repeater” for the rest of the nodes. With this architecture, nodes are able to “relay” messages for other nodes increasing the distance over which nodes can communicate, and also increasing the fault tolerance of the entire network.

There are numerous examples of where mesh networking is going to be very powerful. Groups of people who are working together in a geographic area can now create a large mesh network that is fully distributed, and requires no central “access point”. Imagine fire fighters out in a wilderness area fighting a major forest fire. Each fire fighter is wearing a mesh networking radio, and becomes a node in a mesh network with all of the other fire fighters. As they become spread out fighting the fire, they are all relaying communications traffic back and forth between each other. If any two firefighters become separated by a ridge or other physical obstruction, they will still be able to communicate if there are other fire fighters in between them.

I can see this expanding even further into personal communications, or even automobile communications. If your car was a node in a mesh network, then communicating from car to car on a highway might enable large groups of cars to have Internet connectivity if any one of the cars was able to get to the net.

At Comdex this last week, I was able to see a demonstration and presentation by one of the first commercial vendors of this type of technology. Mesh Networks is the company … and there will be many more of them …

Sensors Gone Wild [Slashdot]

The “last wire” … wireless power! (Almost!)
I have to admit that in this world of wireless communciations, it’s great to go visit companies that are using 802.11b networks. There is no longer the need to search for Ethernet jacks, and to have a mess of cables spread across the conference room table. I plug in my wireless card, might have to get some settings from them, and I’m on the net and running.

There is still the issue of power. What I am finding now is that people are looking for outlets to plug in their laptops for power. And so the tangle of power cords is still the “last wire” that will be dealt with. There are the fancy conference room tables that have outlets in the center, and then even some that have outlets for each seating position … or outlets on the floor or the walls around the table. All of this represents one of the last “pains” of mobile computing … power.

I am impressed that this company – MobileWise – has picked this as a new solution space. They are creating a pad that can provide power to devices that are placed on it. The pad could be placed on a desk or table, or possibly built into furniture, so that power can be delivered conveniently … and without cords.

I suspect that this is going to be a very successful company if they are able to execute on their plans. Powering and recharging all of the mobile devices that we are going to have is an important market.

One last thought … what about wearable computers? I just realized that I might want to chat with this company about how I’ll recharge my wearable by having a pad embedded in a chair that I’ll sit on. The conductive component of my wearable would then be built into the seat of my pants! So when I require a recharge, I’ll just head to an Internet Cafe to connect wirelessly to the Internet … and then “sit around” on a MobileWise chair to recharge my batteries!

‘Wire-free’ electricity juices mobile devices. MobileWise has unveiled a pad with a conductive surface that can power computing devices placed on top of it. The technology is due out early next year. [Computerworld Mobile/Wireless News]

Seven weeks of development …
I continue to be amazed by the rapid evolutionary development of my son. Over this week, I realized that the awareness of the world is increasing. He is smiling and laughing … giggling … and starting to use his hands more and more. His legs are gaining strength and he just seems to be getting bigger and bigger. His sleep cycle is getting longer, and we’re seeing sometimes 4+ hours of sleep at a time. It’s a blast …

RSS – Expanding the world of publish/subscribe …
I love to see articles like the one below. It shows the growing trend for publishers to utilize formats like RSS to increase the effectiveness and useability of their content. In my opinion, this is only going to increase due to the readers beginning to learn the value of the various “news aggregator” software that is available. At Vultus we are working on a variety of applications that allow a user to monitor RSS feeds for news. We deployed a simple one that monitors Slashdot on our demo web site – scroll down and look at SlashMon.

I am in the midst of putting together a presentatiuon for more of these publications that outlines the true value of RSS as a publish/subscribe mechanism. As publications learn that they can have RSS feeds for their headlines, for specific topic areas, and for individual writers, they will see that they are then providing a more customizable resource that will attract – and keep – readers interested. There are numerous sites that offer RSS feeds … but few of them offer the diversity of feeds necessary to really get things rolling. But it is coming.

All of this relates to a new generation, or classification, of software that I call HumaNueral. When software automates a process that allows a human to operate in a neural fashion … that is HumaNeural. Two core software technologies are combining to provide this solution – news aggregators and blogging.

News Aggregators – tapping into RSS feeds – allow me to receive news articles or blog posts – “signals” – from a wide range of sources. Reading all of this content allows me to then synthesize my own ideas and memes and then write my own “news” to my various blog channels. Blogging is the means by which I generate my outbound RSS feeds that others can tap into. I subscribe to the “meme streams” that I choose to monitor, and then generate my own outbound “meme streams” …

Collaborative software that is architected around this HumaNeural architecture – a form of biomimicry – is one of my core fields of interest for the last several years. More announcements like this indicate it is coming!

Computerworld has ten new RSS feeds. If you’re a Radio user, be sure to get the nifty RSS Explorer tool, and then click here to choose the Computerworld feeds you’d like to subscribe to. It’s a pretty nerdy pub, but they can probably tell you what IBM is up to and Unix and wireless stuff, and Microsoft. [Scripting News]

Internet Access Everywhere …
I have to get into the blogging mode again. It’s been so long that I’ writing about things after the fact … instead of during the events. In this case, it’s funny to write about last weekend … especially when I was staying in a remote southern Utah town where I was able to get Internet Access!

I went to Hankville, UT with some friends for a “Fusion Weekend” of hiking, scientific discussions, and general life reflection. It was a blast. We stayed at the Wispering Sands Motel, and the manager is also the ISP for the town of Hanksville. He has installed a 56kbps Frame-Relay link into the Qwest cloud … connected to XMission here in Salt Lake City. If you are curious about why we all went to Hanksville, you’ll have to go visit the Fusion Weekend link above … it’s where to stay if you want to explore Goblin Valley and some of the incredible Utah slot canyons.

Don, the manager, was so cool that he let me put my mobile 802.11b Access Point in the lobby of the motel and we were all able to get wireless Internet in our rooms. This really got me thinking about just how connected we are becoming. I’m going to be talking more with Don about our project … he might be assisting us with more locations in the south.

Lastly … our weekend trip was a fun family adventure. With the birth of my son Sam our truck had become quite crowded. In order to provide more space for luggage and the possibility of road trips, I picked up a camper shell for my truck so that the bed is now fully enclosed. It worked great. We did the drive and started to get the process of driving with a baby worked out. All of this is in preparation of our trip to Seattle for Thanksgiving. It’s going to be a fun trip!