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clarify wireless terms  RSS feed

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I'm wondering if someone can clarify some of the wireless terms and technologies for me. I'm interested in writing an app that would have a central server that communicated with several PDAs through a local network (802.11)
When most articles talk about "wireless java" are they talking about java applets that connect through a cell phone system? Is this the only valid context for MIDlets?
If I wrote the above app would I need specialized approaches like MIDlets or can J2ME use the network somewhat tranparently and just use RMI or SOAP type communication?
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