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1891: What a Year – One Undertaker’s Story of Telecom Invention

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

By anyone’s estimation, 1891 was an eventful year. It saw the birth of a plethora of people who would go on to change the world: David Sarnoff, who would lead the invention of video. Earl Warren, who would sit on the US Supreme Court as its Chief Justice. Erwin Rommel, who would (albeit reluctantly) lead the Axis powers in North Africa during World War II. Fanny Brice, singing comedienne. Henry Miller, author. And Sergey Prokofiev, composer of extraordinary music.

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Digital Britain: When Failure Matters

March 1, 2012 at 7:00 am PST

Being born and bred in Britain I have obviously adopted the typical British way of thinking – avoid failure at all costs.  This mindset is being echoed by start-ups in the UK who are seeking funding from British venture capitalists (VCs) – apparently, they’re risk adverse in their investments, when compared to their U.S. counterparts.

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How Smartphone Apps Deliver an Economic Boost

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The place: San Francisco. The time: a Saturday afternoon.

The scenario: after lunch, two out-of-town couples find themselves in a neighborhood where taxi cabs are scarce. One of the women remembers a new iPhone app called Uber that allows you to wirelessly order a Lincoln Towncar and bill the trip to a credit card.

Elapsed time between signing up with Uber and the car arriving: 10 minutes. Estimated incremental cost above a traditional cab: $7.

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Smart City ICT Master Planning in Action

There have been numerous advancements in city planning methodologies over the last couple of decades — perhaps few were debated as enthusiastically and vigorously as the Smart City model.

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Economic Catalyst: Telecom Right-of-Way Access

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

I have always loved trains. Never knew why, but I think I just discovered the reason. They’re part of the industry I work in – or at least played a founding role here in the United States. And, they gave us much of the terminology that infuses our telecom vocabulary: switches routers, hubs, trunks, lines, etc.

But one railroad in particular played a fundamental role in the development of the industry and, more importantly, in the development of a truly competitive U.S. telecommunications industry.

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