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Yankee’s Zeus Kerravala comes on board as a judge for the Cisco Developer contest

Back in December 08, we got together to chat with Yankee’s SVP of Enterprise Research Zeus Kerravala who shared his thoughts on Innovating in a Fragile Economy. The stock markets have picked up a bit worldwide, banks have started to make surprise profits and the economy seems to be getting ready to pick itself up a bit. However unemployment is up, and foreclosures still abound. The times are still turbulent and the economy still fragile. Amidst all of this, we’ve managed to go through all the proposals that we received for the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer contest and have managed to put together a list of potential finalists, who are still being vetted. We hope to have a list that we can announce in the next 2+ weeks.But we’re looking ahead, and getting our judges lined up to evaluate the applications when they’re ready at the end of Phase-2 of the contest. We talked to Zeus sometime ago, and he graciously agreed to come on board and help adjudge the finalists. As always it is a pleasure to have Zeus as part of our “team” here, and weigh in with his rich industry prespectives. For us, it’s important to eyes other than our own looking “outside-in” and balance our “inside-out” approach. We believe Zeus and his other judges to follow will provide us an unbiased viewpoint. Read More »

Sneak peak: Cisco’s participation in the Linux foundation’s Collaboration Summit

This week, Cisco’s top contributor to the Linux kernel, Roland Dreier, is for the first time heading to the Linux Foundation’s invitation only Collaboration Summit which kicks off on Wed. April 8 (and ends on April 9) up in San Francisco. Roland’s presenting on Friday, April 10 on the topic of how Linux works with high performance computing and drills down a bit into RDMA which is the key technology that allows some of the largest supercomputers to be built out of Linux based building blocks. Roland’s the sub-system maintainer of RDMA -- which means he’s has hundreds of patches, or changes to the code, accepted into the Linux kernel! He’s seen his years of efforts come to fruition most recently when Cisco announced how it’s teamed with NYSE Technologies to help financial service companies accelerate automated trading applications with an RDMA-based solution. Read More »

Cisco Developer contest prize money increased to 10 million dollars

1st April 2009Today, in a bid to boost the economy and give more incentive to developers, Cisco decided to boost the prize money for the ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer Contest to a million dollars, and revise the judging criteria to give more weightage to entrants with countries with a lower GDP. Moreover, instead of to a team, these awards will be provided to every member of the team, and the number of winning teams will be increased from three to ten. In a bid to ensure fairness, and because we believe that innovation is global, no single country will be allowed to have more than one winning team.Oh well, that’s as far as we could string it on April fool’s day :-) Maybe someday we will hold a contest with 10 million dollars in prize money. For now, everything remains just the same as outlined in our original announcement terms and conditions. We’re having a FANTASTIC time going through the various entries that have come in, and closing down on potential finalists. If I didn’t say this already, the quality of proposals is amazing and that does pose a good problem for the judgest. But if everything goes per schedule, we should be announcing the finalists by end of April. And yessir, that won’t be an April Fool’s joke. Read More »

Infrastructure readiness for Phase-2 of the Cisco Developer Contest

As the Cisco judging team continues to navigate through the numerous proposals received for Phase-1 of the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer contest, a parallel engineering team is hard at work getting the development lab set up for the Phase-2 finalists-to-be. While we could not showcase the hosted lab infrastructure with the humming routers, we did the next best thing. We got Anurag Gurtu, one of the Technical Marketing Engineers to whiteboard the setup. We’ve received a few queries on the access mode, developmental aids etc., and thought this conversation would help our contestents get mentally prepared should they become finalists. Read More »

Nurse Aida and the Human Network Effect

I came off my medical checkup last Friday with a smile on my lips. My cholesterol level was mildly high as were my Glucose levels. Since the testing was random, and I had had a coffee a little while ago, it wasn’t something to be alarmed about. My BMI was a couple of units off from ideal but no cause for immediate concern. Overall, I was a healthy male advised to continue to diet and exercise and this medical checkup was no different from any of the previous ones the last few years.Except it was. Dr.Wilson was in Los Angeles. I was in San Jose on Cisco campus. We were doing this over a Telepresence session at the Cisco Healthpresence virtual clinic, with Registered Nurse Aida doing the honors locally. Now, it wasn’t as if this were my first Telepresence experience and that I was wowed by it. Far from it, being at Cisco, I’ve been exposed to it so many times over the past year or so that I’ve almost taken it for granted. imageIt was like one of those times when your three year old asks you a question about something that you’ve stopped noticing, like today morning’s “why don’t birds have ears?”, that you pause and re-look at things afresh, sometimes from a totally different perspective. And so it was with me this time. Hearing about Telepresence from an excited “non-techie” RN Aida who showed me how Dr. Wilson sitting in Los Angeles could peek into my ear with the probe she had in her hand, or check my skin, while all the time talking about how cool the technology was, made me stop being oblivious to the whole setup and sit up and enjoy the experience. I was her last patient on the Friday, and she had a long day, but we conversed about video, medicine and Unified communications -- even as she pricked me for a blood draw observing that I didn’t wince as much as some of the other guys did, and how women were better geared to handle pain than men. She asked me if I was one of the engineers who developed the technology. I told her no. Perhaps I was one who helped subtly market it at some level, but for the most part, like her, I was an user. After she finished taking my vitals, she initiated the Telepresence session with Dr.Wilson, checking with him first on Instant Messenger to make sure he wasn’t on the phone. Dr. Wilson appeared and even as he walked me through my test results and answered my queries and took a no-nonsense approach on my pitiful BMI defense (“sympathy weight gain”), he also managed to troubleshoot a technical glitch from one of the sensors, guiding Nurse Aida to re-calibrate it remotely, including re-configuring a Cisco IP phone while I looked on and was perhaps enjoying a doctor’s visit for the first time.After Dr. Wilson hung up, I thanked her for de-numbing me from technology and told her I’d blog about it. Come to think of it, it is only 10 years ago that I held my first mobile phone, it was less than 4 years ago that I started using Tivo or an iPoD, and it is just an year since I started using Telepresence. Yet I took these for granted. As I drove back home in the Friday commute traffic, I started to relate this experience to how I sometimes take my family for granted and don’t pause to be thankful that I have a lovely wife or a precocious three year old whose inquisitive mind keeps mine sharp. It’s good to re-live the feeling of joy and wonderment that you experience something for the first time. Your first bike. Your first car. Your first love. Your first child. I resolved to consciously stop and “smell the flowers” more often. Read More »