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Of Dogs and Toilets: The Law of Unintended Consequences

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

Wikipedia defines it as “A perverse effect contrary to what was originally intended.” It turns out that the law of unintended consequences is alive and well, and has been for years in the world of telecommunications.

Consider the story of the woman who called the telephone company back in the 1940s to report a problem. The problem, it seemed, was that every time the phone rang, her dog shrieked and barked and did the canine equivalent of St. Vitus’ dance.

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Cisco Cloud: a Chance to Capture Your Moment at the Games

By Ian Symes, Director of Marketing, Cisco UK and Ireland

Throughout the Games, just steps away from the Olympic Stadium, crowds have gathered around CiscoCloud, our interactive digital installation at the heart of the Olympic Park.

The installation is positioned opposite the Arcelor Mittal Orbit and is made up of five interactive pods which use 3D image technology to capture visitors’ faces, and create their Olympic ‘GamesFace2012’ using London 2012 images sourced from the web.

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Rural Businesses Join the Global Economy. One Basket at a Time

By Shirley Bloomfield, Guest Columnist

I wish I could say this is my story, but it’s not. It’s the story of some hard working women looking for a way to be connected in the global economy. And it’s the story of my daughter, Kelsey Patterson, who is dedicating her talent and skills to help these women. My heart glows with pride when I share the work that she is doing in Mozambique.

Kelsey, a global development and international affairs major, is in her third year at the University of Virginia. She received a grant this year to develop a marketing plan to assist women crafters in Mozambique who are selling their homemade crafts by the roadside.

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Broadband Infrastructure: Should Rural Investment Be a Priority?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Sometimes those promoting extensive infrastructure projects — broadband or otherwise — exhibit a Field of Dreams mentality: “If you build it, they will come.” My own state of California is currently wrestling with such a project, a $68 billion high-speed rail line that opponents claim is too expensive and will never pay for itself. My attitude: come the day we have to evacuate San Francisco or Los Angeles after a major earthquake, people are going to be grateful it was built.

As we recently discussed in Broadband Backlash: Where It Comes From and How to Fix It, broadband deployments also have their detractors. Currently, one of the biggest areas of contention swirls around the value of rural broadband. There are really two sides of the story.

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London 2012: the Olympic Network (part three)

As you plan and prepare for the delivery of a high-profile major project, would your peers describe you as being “cool, calm and collected?” According to one source, the definition of that expression is to become “relaxed and ready for anything; able to endure any difficulty.”

Apparently, this is also one of the traits that may help to explain what it really means to be British. When I first settled in the United States — now more than thirty years ago — my American associates would compliment me for being very polite and respectful to guests. In other words, being a gentleman. Truly, I’ve never given that aspect of my character much thought, until today.

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