On the Edge: News briefs

Microsoft eyes data storage

Having chipped away at the network-attached storage market with its Windows Storage Server 2003, is preparing a product for the low-end, disk-based storage segment.

The Data Protection Server will ship later next year and be designed to simplify and reduce the backup and recovery process, company officials said. Not surprisingly, the new software will play off Microsoft's other products, including Active Directory and Windows Server.

The company is entering a market crowded with competitors such as Veritas Software Corp. of Mountain View, Calif. Microsoft said many storage vendors have already announced support for Data Protection Server, including EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Dust gets smart

Dust Networks Inc. of Berkeley, Calif., is shipping SmartMesh, a wireless network of tiny sensors, called "motes," designed for low data rate applications. The technology sprang from work done for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and is funded in part by the CIA's In-Q-Tel venture capital fund. Science Applications International Corp. has said it will develop solutions based on SmartMesh, such as perimeter security systems for the Defense Department.
Because SmartMesh runs for years on simple AA batteries, it is easy and inexpensive to deploy and manage, according to the company.

The dead need not apply

At last month's 2004 Biometric Consortium Conference, iAccess Systems Inc. of Long Beach, Calif., touted blood vessel authentication as the next frontier in biometric identification technology because of its low false rejection and acceptance rates. Similar technology is already in use in Japan.
Users stick their fingers on an iAccess device, which scans the pattern of blood vessels and matches it against a database or smart card template. According to the company's product description, "Verification requires that finger be alive."

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