Pings & Packets from eWEEK Labs - 38

Clearswift puts filters to the test ... Polycom QSX dials up meetings ... InfoStation can hold 2TB of data.

Clearswift Puts Filters to the Test

I was eager to test a free service from Clearswift called Web Threat Assessment Suite, which became available in June, to get an idea of the porosity of our anti-spam filter. As it turns out, our corporate managed anti-spam service is doing a very good job, according to Web Threat Assessment. Of all the tests I ran, only the offensive-language test messages made it to my in-box.

The offensive words in the Clearswift test message were fairly esoteric, so I wasnt surprised that the message evaded our anti-spam filter. Everything else, including test messages that contained viruslike payloads, was stopped by our anti-spam system. (Its important to note that Clearswifts test messages did not contain actual virus code.)

For no cost and very little time spent, it was interesting to prove the effectiveness of our spam-blocking system using Clearswifts little tool.

Clearswifts Web Threat Assessment Suite to test e-mail anti-spam is available now by going to www.clearswift.com.

--Cameron Sturdevant

Polycom QSX Dials Up Meetings

A clever idea for its relative simplicity, Polycoms Polycom QSX literally ties a Web conference to a phone number through a small, somewhat pricey box.

The Polycom device, which shipped in April, comes in two models. The $1,299 QSX 300 works specifically with Polycoms SoundStation VTX 1000 phone, and the $1,599 QSX 400 works with VoiceStation 100, SoundStation and SoundStation Premier phones. I tested the QSX 400.

The QSX consists of a box with an embedded Web server and a dongle for controlling screen sharing with other participants. The Polycom phones manage connections so that other QSX systems participating in a given call connect to the Web conference when a user dials into a call. The QSX has a VGA port for connecting to a monitor or projector.

Other users can view the meeting from a Java-enabled Web browser. Connections top out at five QSX systems and 10 browser connections.

For presenters, its an easy way to quickly share content. All I needed to do was connect my notebooks VGA port to the dongle and press a button to start sharing. This isnt a great substitute for a managed Web conferencing application, however, because browser-based attendees need the IP address of the box to connect.

Users can hand off control of a presentation to other QSX users, and the box can be mounted easily to the underside of a conference table or lectern or to a wall. Polycom includes all the necessary cables as well.

For more information, go to www.polycom.com.

--Michael Caton

InfoStation Can Hold 2TB of Data

StorCase Technologys InfoStation, a desktop Serial ATA enclosure, has a whopping 1.25TB of storage capacity, which can be expanded to an industry-leading 2TB of data.

The InfoStation, which shipped in May, is priced at $1,414 (for the enclosure only) and has five drive bays that can accommodate five 400GB SATA hard drives . SATA drives must be purchased separately and have a street price of about $120 each.

The built-in SATA II port multiplier allows InfoStation users to use a single wire to connect the unit to their computers. Using the SATA II port multiplier, which supports data transfer rates of 1.5G bps or 3G bps, I attached the unit to my PC with ease.

The InfoStation also comes with a four-port 64-bit/133MHz PCI-X host bus adapter and a 2-meter shielded SATA cable.

The only drawback I saw during tests is that, unlike SCSI cables, the SATA cable does not have lock-down pins to hold the cable in place.

For more information, check out www.storcase.com.

--Francis Chu