I was at this conference in Chicago last week and actually moderated a panel, as well as getting to spend time with many of the speakers and organisers.
Between the cast of luminaries, one of the most revealing comments came from KDDI’s representative, and how they want to get out from under the thumb of Qualcomm when it comes to CDMA and future higher speed efforts. While the comment was made via a translator, what is rapidly becoming apparent to me is that Qualcomm has done a tremendous job of keeping carriers from looking at open standards like WiFi and now WiMax, and I cite both Verizon Wireless and Sprint’s less than ambitious WiFi business efforts, while at the same time, been bragging about the virtues of CDMA, especially EV-DO.
As user of Verizon’s Broadband Access for many month on the PC as part of a trial from Verizon Wireless, and now on my Pocket PC from AudioVox, I see the value when you’re someplace there isn’t a hotspot. But, the walled garden view of the carriers about data, all of which comes from a voice first, data second approach has me realizing that where Bridgeport Networks is seeking to go is right on the money at building the bridge between wireless and VoIP.
But I’m even more concerned about what Verizon Wireless is doing with their broadband access software that was originally sent out with the data cards. Last night I installed Microsoft’s beta Anti Spyware software on my number two laptop, the VPR Matrix. A few month’s back I had totalled the hard disk and had to have it replaced. I had reinstalled the Broadband Access from the Verizon supplied disc, but because my trial had ended, I never kept using it. Now to my surprise I found something that shouldn’t have been on my PC, and something I once found before but forgot about. Spyware that Verizon shipped on the disc. The Microsoft software discovered a program it labelled as SEVERE, Actmon PC & Internet Monitoring Commercial Key Logger ( which I removed)
Why Verizon Wireless would deploy this type of software on the discs sent out over a year ago during the trail is beyond me. But to not draw attention to it when the Verizon marketing rep who installed the software has be really miffed. The fact that none of the other “spyware” removal tools found it (i.e. Spy Sweeper or Pest Patrol) also makes me realize that the use of “legit” monitoring tools means one person’s spyware is another person’s monitoring software.
While I’m sure Verizon wanted to monitor their beta users efforts (or at least their employees), I don’t know to what extent they did with me. Safe to say, this PC has been in little use mode for many months, resting comfortably under my couch and used mostly for surfing. Still, I feel somewhat violated and may make a few calls on Monday to discuss this with their PR team.