The Wine Spectator Online (via Boingo Wi-Fi Insider) reports that a Sonoma, CA, vineyard is using Wi-Fi to monitor growing conditions at their site:
The system uses 40 wireless units on existing trellising posts around the 30-acre vineyard fitted with sensors that measure microclimate data such as soil and air temperature and moisture content, rainfall and leaf wetness. The data is bounced from sensor to sensor sans wires, forming what is known as a Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET), which requires less power and equipment than networks using wires or radio transmitters.
Real-time conditions in the vineyard can then be monitored on a secured Web site. Data can also be poured into a spreadsheet for long-term analysis. The information can help vineyard managers make decisions about when, where and how much to water vines or spray to control mildew.
The system sends alarms via instant messaging software or cellphone. The article quotes Bill Westerman, who works for Calif.-based Accenture Technology Labs which set up the project, as saying that the system could be used in manufacturing, retail and security. “The advantage to wireless is that it allows companies to go places where it was previously too difficult or expensive to run wires,” he said. “It can also be implanted in new products so they can automatically communicate with their manufacturer when there’s a problem.”
Seems like the IM wars aren’t over yet
. Further to my postings about Yahoo and Microsoft Messenger apparently blocking third party chat aggregators like Trillian
, seems the latter’s patches don’t seem to be enough to keep folk connected. CNET reports
that Yahoo has begun blocking Cerulean Studios’ Trillian software from communicating with its own instant messaging software as part of its plan to limit third parties from piggybacking on its service.
On Thursday, some Trillian users began reporting an inability to communicate with their Yahoo Messenger contacts. A Yahoo spokeswoman on Friday morning confirmed that Trillian users’ inability to access Yahoo Messenger was the result of recent policies put in place by the Web giant. A day after last week’s Yahoo announcement, Trillian released software patches that were aimed at allowing it to continue accessing Yahoo and MSN buddy lists. But as of this week, CNET says, those patches do not appear to be working.
Bad news for those of us
who use third party programs to collect all our instant messaging accounts. I use Trillian
, which does a great job of allowing me to access ICQ, Yahoo, AOL and MSN from one window. Not for long, though: CNET reports
that Yahoo is planning an upgrade to its instant messaging software that will block access via such third-party IM applications. The reason: to protect IM users from unwanted spamming from advertisers.
Yahoo’s announcement, CNET reports, comes on the heels of similar news from rival IM software maker Microsoft that it plans to bar third-party client software from gaining access to its MSN Messenger IM applications. On Oct. 15 Trillian users will also lose access to the Microsoft IM client.
I think the spam argument is specious. I can well understand Yahoo and co not liking folk such as Trillian piggybacking their (free) chat services but to blame spam is just silly. To do in the same breath as suggesting they’re in favour of some general standard that would allow folk from, say, ICQ, to chat with someone from MSN is also pretty pathetic. These services have been around for more than five years now, and that no such standard exists is absurd. That’s why I’ve used Trillian and I’ll continue to do so.