Product News

Product News

by / August 31, 1998
Ready To Serve
WebFORCE Origin200 servers from Silicon Graphics are the next generation of Web servers ideal for Web and intranet applications.

The WebFORCE Server software solution provides Web server software, Netscape SuiteSpot and built-in database connectivity through LiveWire. WebFORCE servers also integrate Silicon Graphics' WebSetup, which enables the setup and management of the Web server; FreshWater Software SiteScope Lite, for Web monitoring and administration; ISS System Security Scanner, which identifies and reports system weaknesses; and RealNetworks servers, for using video on the Web.

The intranet solution provides all the necessary tools to build a solid intranet. It provides a five-user version of Netscape SuiteSpot standard edition, which includes Enterprise, Calendar, Collabra, Directory and messaging servers.

WebFORCE Origin200 supports up to four CPUs, 4GB of shared memory and more than 20TB of storage.

For additional information, contact Silicon Graphics Computer Systems, 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd., 14L-LOB, Mountain View, CA 94043. Call 650/933-8000.


Mending a Broken Heart
Researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have developed an artificial heart that can help those suffering from heart damage have a normal life.

HeartSaver is placed beside the human heart and powered by a transcutaneous energy transfer system, which transfers electrical power into the device from outside the body without skin perforations.

The system is monitored and controlled through the skin by a biotelemetry device, which also avoids the need for an invasive procedure.

Preclinical trials will begin this year at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and other leading clinics in the United States and Europe.

WorldHeart began the production of HeartSaver in Ottawa in January 1998. First human use is expected in 1999.

For additional information, contact WorldHeart, 1 Laser St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2E 7VI. Call Sandy Armstrong at 613/226-4278.


Downloadable Music from the Internet
Sharp Electronics' MD-X8 audio minisystem allows users to digitally download and store online audio to a recordable MiniDisc.

The disc stores up to 74 minutes of audio on a single 2.5-inch disc.

The MD-X8 connects to a laptop or desktop computer through an optional PCMCIA-card adapter and cable. Once connected, the computer becomes a command center where users can control the minisystem's functions.

The system runs on 80 watts of power and includes a front-loading MD player/recorder, an AM/FM digital tuner with 40 presets, 3D surround sound and two two-way speakers -- all at a cost of $899.95.

For additional information, contact Sharp Electronics, Audio Division, Sharp Plaza, Mahwah, NJ 07430. Call 201/529-8917.


Hot Rod Police Bikes
Motorcycles are a key tool in enforcing motor-vehicle laws, and the California Highway Patrol recently purchased 187 1998 BMW R1100 RT-P police motorcycles.

Every bike is custom-made for police use and powered by BMW's two-cylinder, four-stroke Boxer engine, which delivers 90 horsepower at 7,250 rpm. Police-specific modifications include: auxiliary cooling fans -- essential for an engine that must be kept idling or running at low speeds for long periods -- a fire extinguisher, a 700W alternator to keep the battery charged during long shifts, an electrically adjustable windshield that allows riders to adjust for wind flow, riding speed and body position, electrically heated hand grips, adjustable shift lever and an anti-lock braking system -- on both front and back.

Twelve of these cycles were also purchased by the Oregon State Police.

For additional information, contact A&S BMW Motorcycles, 7601 Auburn Blvd., Citrus Heights, CA 95610. Call Tony Felice at 916/726-7334.


ZIPing Around
The Addonics Pocket ZIP drive is specifically designed for notebook or subnotebooks. It is a perfect tool for mobile professionals who need to work on or access files larger than 1.4 MB.

It connects to a computer through a PCMCIA slot and is powered by the PC battery or by an AC/DC adapter.

It weighs 13 ounces and easily fits into a briefcase, notebook PC case or shirt pocket.

It provides a maximum data transfer rate of 1.4 MB per second with a fast access time of 29 milliseconds and requires a 386 or higher processor.

The package comes with a Pocket ZIP Drive, PCMCIA Interface cable, AC/DC adapter and a 100MB ZIP Disk Cartridge.

For additional information, contact Addonics Technologies, 48434 Milmont Drive, Fremont, CA 94538. Call 800/787-8580.


Going Places in Style
If you don't like today's gas prices, electric cars are the way to go.

The EV1, by General Motors, provides a roomy and stylish aerodynamic body shape and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than nine seconds. The vehicle can be charged indoors or outdoors with a standard (110-volt) outlet.

The EV1's estimated range is 50-90 miles per full charge. The range depends on driving style, traffic conditions, terrain and ambient temperature.

With a wall-mounted 220-volt MagneCharge inductive charger, it only takes three hours to bring the EV1 from deep discharge (85-percent depleted) to full charge.

The EV1 also has a portable 110-volt convenience charger in the trunk that plugs into an ordinary 110-volt outlet and takes about 15 hours to restore the batteries to full power.

It features dual air bags, an anti-lock braking system, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, cruise control and center-mounted instrumentation.

For additional information, contact General Motors, EV1 Headquarters, 8040 Ortonville Road, Clarkston, MI 48348. Call at 800/25-electric.


Smooth Pass for Emergency Vehicles
Emergency vehicles present a serious traffic hazard while passing through intersections.

The Emergency Vehicle Early Warning Safety System (E-ViEWS) can quickly warn motorists of rapidly approaching emergency vehicles and trains. "More than 156,000 accidents involving emergency vehicles occurred at intersections in U.S. cities from the mid-1980s to 1995 alone," said Jim Davidson, president and CEO of system developer E-Lite Limited.

A transponder installed in an emergency vehicle communicates with a receiver on a large visual display deployed on the mast arm above an intersection. As the emergency vehicle approaches the intersection, the signal light turns yellow and then red for crossing traffic, and approaching drivers also view flashing vehicle symbols on the visual displays.

The active display, linked to the receiver, informs drivers of the direction from which emergency traffic is approaching or departing the intersection. The vehicle symbols appear to move across the display, synchronized with the movement of the actual emergency vehicles.

For additional information, contact NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Call John Watson at 818/354-5011 or E-Lite Limited at 818/889-2302.


Home Automation
Home Director is a home automation kit that allows users to set up routines that control lights, appliances, thermostats, televisions, stereos, security systems, intercoms and even their lawn sprinklers.

It is easy to install on a PC, works with existing wiring in homes, and can control up to 256 devices.

It requires 386 or higher processor, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, a CD-ROM drive, serial port and six AAA alkaline batteries.

For additional information, contact IBM at 800/267-9077 x1280.


Monitors on Wheels
Monitors need not be small to be mobile. In fact, they can be huge. The Sony Mobile JumboTron display is a giant full-color video screen on wheels.

Well-suited for political rallies, state fairs and sporting events -- anywhere a crowd will gather -- the system provides high-resolution image quality indoors and out, in darkness or bright sunlight.

For additional information, contact Sony Electronics, JumboTron Division, 3 Paragon Drive, Montavale, NJ 07645. Call 201/930-1000.


The Clarion AutoPC combines the functionality of an AM/FM stereo CD player and a personal computer. It integrates car audio, computing functions, navigation and wireless communications with voice activation into the dashboard of an automobile.

The unit recognizes over 200 voice commands. With its text-to-speech application, the Clarion AutoPC can provide status information and assistance, such as turn-by-turn directions or e-mail alerts, through "speech synthesis" and text information presented on the unit's display.

Users can ask AutoPC to change a radio station, provide a phone number or give driving directions, either by direct entries or transferring them wirelessly from a Windows CE computer.

The system's Wireless Receiver option allows consumers to receive various customized information, such as numeric paging, e-mail alerts and news updates -- all using text-to-speech technology.

The system provides an 8-color, 256x64 TFT Active Matrix LCD display with detachable face and uses Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, the Hitachi SH3 processor and 8MB DRAM/8MB ROM (an optional Compact Flash Memory Card can be used to expand the on-board memory), and an IrDA and Universal Serial Bus Interface for open architecture and expandability.

For additional information and dealer locations, contact Clarion.


Handheld Computer Scanner
The Janus JR2020 is a handheld computer with a built-in scanner that streamlines data collection and barcode operations to help users easily track inventory.

It provides messages on a 16-line-by-20-character (25x80 virtual) backlit liquid-crystal display, runs on DOS 6.22, features a type II PCMCIA card drive and provides flexible expansion capabilities for expanding the system's capability.

A radio frequency option allows users to access, gather and transmit information in realtime without requiring a hardwired system.

Janus can withstand temperature extremes, moisture and exposure to dust and dirt.

For additional information, contact Intermec Technologies Corp., 6001 36th Avenue West, Everett, WA 98203-9280. Call 425/348-2600.


State and Local Government Tax Bases Threatened
Electronic commerce is becoming more prevalent because it saves time and money for companies and consumers. However, this is causing economic, social, demographic and technological trends that threaten to erode traditional local and state tax revenues (income, property and sales tax), according to the book Is the New Global Economy Leaving State-Local Tax Structures Behind?

This development -- combined with federal tax reform and grants that give state and local governments more responsibilities -- could have enormous and explosive consequences for state and local governments.

The book costs $15, plus $4 for shipping and handling.

For additional information, contact the National Leagues of Cities, Publication Center, P.O. Box 491, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. Call 888/571-2929.


Network of the Future
The soon-to-be-released Sprint network, called the Integrated On-Demand Network (ION), will let home and business users simultaneously conduct multiple phone calls, receive faxes and download Internet files a hundred times faster than today's 56Kbps modems, all through a single copper telephone line.

Named Project FastBreak, it uses a combination of technologies from Sprint's three partners: Cisco, Bellcore and RadioShack.

According to Sprint, the need for multiple lines will be eliminated, and applications such as high-speed, online interactive services, video calls and telecommunicating will be readily accessible and less costly. The use of the Internet will be so fast that typical Web pages will download instantaneously.

Customers will no longer be required to buy additional telephone lines to make multiple voice calls or be online at the same time. If users need one or 10 extra phone numbers, they simply have to request extra numbers. Businesses will no longer need to run complex networks and can rely on an integrated network.

ION will cost about what people are currently paying for long-distance and Internet access.

Sprint is currently testing ION's capability. An initial rollout to large businesses will begin later this year.

The service will be generally available to businesses and homes in 1999.

For additional information, contact Sprint.


Virtual Shared Workspace
eRoom 2.0 is an Internet software application that allows users to set up a secure and shared workspace on the Web. Team members can organize project information in one virtual workplace, share and edit documents using desktop applications, identify and discuss issues and vote on decisions.

The application can use the Internet or an intranet as its communication infrastructure, and any user with a Web browser and Internet access can participate in an eRoom.

eRoom 2.0 runs on Windows NT in conjunction with Microsoft's IIS and PWS Web servers. It works with both Microsoft Explorer and Netscape.

For additional information, contact Instinctive Technology, 725 Concord Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138. Call 617/497-6300.


Wireless Rescue Beacon
Automated Collision Notification (ACN) automatically calls emergency response units with the car's exact location when an accident occurs. The system reduces response times for emergency medical personnel.

ACN integrates crash sensors, cellular communications equipment, GPS position-location devices and automated map display technologies into its system. Additional communications and display hardware and software are installed in dispatch workstations and message routing equipment at the Erie County Sheriff's Office and Erie County Medical Center in New York.

ACN senses that a crash has occurred and immediately relays information on the accident's severity and location to a satellite. The satellite relays the information to the emergency 911 dispatcher. The computer in the 911 center displays the crash location via a digital map, and the car's cellular phone establishes a phone channel to the dispatcher, who can communicate on the condition of the vehicle's occupants.

The system is currently being tested on approximately 550 privately owned vehicles in Erie County. The system will be available nationwide in about five years.

For additional information, contact CalSpan, 4455 Genesee St., Buffalo, NY 14225. Call Ed Starosielec or Alan Blatt at 716/632-7500.


The Tactical Command Package:
Boosting Wireless Communication
Nowhere is the need for a mobile and reliable communication system more apparent than in law enforcement and public safety. The Tactical Command Package (TAC*PAK) combines many technologies into a lightweight case that provides full communication capability from anywhere.

The TAC*PAK system features:

* A 200MHz or 233MHz Pentium laptop computer with a 12.1-inch XGA screen;
* Three simultaneous radio frequency data lines;
* A color printer with an output of 4.5 pages per minute at a resolution of 720x360 dpi;
* A 56Kbps fax/modem;
* A copier;
* A digital camera with digital audio, voice annotation, a 2.5-inch LCD display and enough storage for 106 pictures;
* A digital video camera capable of shooting 40 minutes of MPEG-format video;
* A document scanner with an automatic document feeder that holds 15 pages and scans six pages per minute;
* A cellular telephone;
* A satellite telephone;
* GPS and GIS systems;
* A television receiver; and
* Videoconferencing.

For additional information, contact 308 Systems, 1265 Van Horne Ave., Suite 100, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Call 310/376-2131.


A Hint of the Coming Networking Era
CoreBuilder 9000 is a high-end enterprise switching system that provides asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and Gigabit Ethernet switching for high-capacity backbone networks.

The system provides routing through flexible intelligent routing engine (FIRE) technology and speeds data across both ATM and Gigabit Ethernet-based networks.

A combination of Layer 2 (exceed 100 million packets per second) and Layer 3 (56 million packets per second) removes the performance bottlenecks and topological constraints of today's router-based backbones.

The CoreBuilder supports 112 OC-12c (622 Mbps) ATM ports or 126GB (1000 Mbps) Ethernet ports and all the networking technologies by providing wire-speed interfaces for ATM OC-3, ATM OC-12, ATM OC-48, 100/10 Mbps Ethernet, FDDI, and 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet. It also supports ATM WAN and multiservices interfaces supporting T3/E3, nxT1/E1 using Inverse Multiplexing over ATM (IMA) and T1/E1 Circuit Emulation Services.

For additional information contact 3Com, 5400 Bayfront Plaza, Santa Clara, CA 95052-8145. Call 800/638-3266.

If you have a comment about a product or service you are using -- or have a suggestion for a product news item -- please e-mail Kaveh Ghaemian or fax 916/932-1470 with the details. Include your phone number for verification and note whether we may publish your comments.

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