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For Your Ears Only

New technology will ensure that top-secret cell phone conversations remain secret. Rohde & Schwarz designed its new, secure wireless phone with military-grade encryption for corporate executives and government officials who require secrecy and security when using wireless devices. MicroVault announced that documents sent by its NetCourier Internet information delivery product can now be securely delivered to wireless and other mobile devices. And VeriSign announced that its digital certificate technology will be embedded into Ericsson's Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)—enabled mobile phones.

"There's not a lot of history here, but the market for high-encrypted phones is significant," said Ray Jodoin, a principal global wireless analyst at Cahners In-Stat Group. "Corporate executives will love it. And police agencies and the FBI will be big buyers. Unfortunately, so will drug dealers."

I Want My ITV

A recent Forrester Research report predicted 87 million American households will have interactive TV (ITV) service by 2005. In the UK, more than 60 percent of households currently have some flavor of ITV.

What's hot in home ITV these days? TiVo and SONICblue's ReplayTV Personal Video Recorders (PVRs), for starters. TiVo has a subscription service with features such as impulse recording, where the viewer watches a promo or trailer and clicks a button to have TiVo record the program when it later broadcasts. ReplayTV's Web-enabled recording feature lets users set and program their PVRs through a Web browser.

In fall 2001, CANAL+ TECHNOLOGIES (an ITV software and content provider) and WINfirst (a fiber-to-the-home provider) joined forces to develop the first consumer ITV system in the United States. The WINfirst system offers ITV applications and a comprehensive channel lineup of digital video, audio, and programming options, including Mosaic Navigator, which gives viewers an immediate live view of all the channels across the network with up to 12 different channels on one screen, as Figure 1 shows.

Apple Computer iPod

iPod: Not Just for Mac Users Anymore

Apple Computer's iPod digital-audio player has just found a new market: Windows users. Mediafour, a third-party company, has released a product called XPlay, which will let Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and Windows 98 users manage the iPod on their PCs. Also, Apple recently announced a new version of iPod that packs a 10GB hard disk and costs $100 more than the original. So in addition to the 5GB unit, which launched last year for $399, you can double the fun for $499. The new unit can hold as many as 2000 MP3 tracks, according to the company. But iPod devices can now store contact information from popular Macintosh address books as well, using a new iPod software update that's available free from Apple's site.

Hot Trick

Set Playback to Big

If you use Windows Media Player for Windows XP (MPXP) to play back movies, you need to configure it correctly to play back digital movies in the largest possible size. To configure MPXP, navigate to Tools, Options, and the Performance tab. Click Advanced. At the top under Digital Video, you'll see a slider that's curiously set by default to the three-quarter mark. Slide it all the way to the right (to Large), click OK, then click OK again to close the dialog boxes. Now your videos will play back at the largest possible size.
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