I liked this article because it talks about some of the physical
limitations which constrain these systems (antenna type, tradeoffs between
distance to satellite and bandwidth), how they are being positioned, their
relative bandwidths, etc., all in language that I could understand as an
educated engineering layperson.
In the same issue, but unfortunately not available in full text on the Web,
is the article, "Global Teleporting with Java: Toward Ubiquitous
Personalized Computing," which reports on work done at Olivetti (continuing
their tradition of research into having your computing configuration (and
even running applications) follow you wherever youhappen to be. In this
case, they have taken their research, and extended it to the universal user
interface: the Web. There are some pretty awesome full-color pictures of X
sessions and MS Windows (3.1) running inside Netscape browsers. I haven't
read the full article yet, but it looks like they address architectural
issues as well.
A summary of this (and all articles in the issue can be found at):