TechGear: The coming war over iPhone

It's gadget lovers vs. the security folk

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Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney advises IT executives to avoid Apple's iPhone like the plague, to actively keep it away from their company networks.

The reason: The Wi-Fi-enabled iPhone has no firewall, no Exchange or Lotus Notes support, no PBX integration and no ability to wipe company information from it if lost or stolen. It's a security hazard and a liability.

Meanwhile, AT&T and Apple -- not to mention a large but unknown number of business users -- believe business and IT professionals will want this phone and use it at work, and the companies will actively market the device to professionals.

Clearly a war is shaping up between IT people responsible for company data security and gadget-loving users, who will want to connect to the Wi-Fi network at work and carry sensitive company data around on their iPhones.

Who will win?

Ultimately, the iPhone users will prevail -- as did the PC people, Windows people, PDA people and others who sneaked all this into large and small companies, and forced IT to eventually support them. In the meantime, however, it's going to get ugly, starting with policies banning the device (which will be ignored), followed by software-based blocking of attempts at iPhone connectivity. But when the CEO gets an iPhone -- watch out! All bets are off.

Laptop bag roller has built-in desk

The Hammacher Schlemmer catalog is offering a practical set of wheels for your laptop bag. It can carry a 36-in. bag, pulled by its telescoping handle. It's narrow enough to be rolled down an aisle and compact enough to be stored in an overhead compartment. Best of all, the device includes a fold-out table for using your laptop in the airport. By touching a button, the table folds out and holds up to 20 pounds some 26 inches from the floor. It even features a Y-brace "kickstand" for stability.

How cool can Xbox be?

The Canadian company VRX Design and Development offers a product it calls the universal triple screen racing and entertainment simulator for use with Xbox 360. The absurdly cool-but-expensive setup has a chair facing three 37-in. displays. It comes with four Xbox 360 Elites, an external Xbox 360 HD DVD player, an Xbox 360 camera, an Xbox 360 wireless headset and even a Microsoft Zune. Driving games are controlled with a Microsoft Force Feedback Steering wheel.

The setup is so serious about driving simulation that it has a 7-in. "rear view mirror" display for checking what's behind you in the game and even a cup holder. The sound system is incredible, too: the Bose Acoustimass 10 series surround sound system is controlled by a Harmon Kardon AVR-144 receiver with a 1,500-watt Tactile Vibration Feedback System and a 1,900-watt tactile power amplifier.

My Picks: The iPhone truth is out there; more on Foleo

A University of Washington technology group leaked new technical details about Apple Inc.'s iPhone gleaned from an iPhone session at last week's Worldwide Developers Conference, but the information was quickly pulled from the site by school officials -- though not before the info was copied on dozens of other Web sites. And Palm is trying to provide more information about its new Foleo device.

University tech group leaks iPhone technical info

Palm founder tries to explain Foleo device

Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. Contact Mike at or his blog, The Raw Feed.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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