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A Tale of Two Cities Pursuing One Common Vision: The story of how urban economics, urban energy, urban environment get greener, cleaner, smarter because they’re better connected (Part 1)

Two events on the North American west coast, set apart by two days, each helped to set the tone for this year’s big debate about the future of cities.

Where exactly is the big debate, you might ask? Looking at the Presidential election season The New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Tom Friedman, bemoaned in early January, the fact that he just doesn’t “remember any candidate being asked in those really entertaining G.O.P. debates, ‘How do you think smart cities can become the job engines of the future, and what is your plan to ensure that America has a strategic bandwidth advantage?’”

At IBSG we know some of the most important elements of that alternative future for US cities. And we are engaged in intensive projects with our customers — cities like Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Vancouver — to shape it. Read More »

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Ever wondered what the key barrier is to telework?

January 31, 2012 at 11:01 am PST

Telework is increasingly becoming a topic of interest, especially with Obama signing of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 one year ago, almost to the week. So if everyone is talking about it, why isn’t adoption more widespread?  Especially when the benefits of telework are vast and well known – from happier, healthier employees, to overhead cost savings for companies to greener business practices and cutting carbon emissions by taking drivers off the road. For example, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), General Services Administration (GSA), and 7 other sources, if 33 million Americans worked from home, Gulf oil imports could be reduced by 24% to 48%, greenhouse gases by up to 67 million metric tons a year, and as much as 7.5 trillion gallons of gasoline each year, for a total of $110 million in savings a day. Even government agencies, that have mandatory telework requirements to meet as a result of the Telework Enhancement Act, haven’t embraced it to the extent expected. What is standing in the way? 

Next week, we will release our latest whitepaper “Video at the Core of Government Telework.” This white paper, intended for executives planning telework strategies, highlights new findings on telework barriers and how to overcome these to make the most of the essential role of telepresence, for engaging and managing a remote government workforce. You won’t want to miss it. We will be giving our Facebook fans a sneak preview, so stay tuned.

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With Proper Set Up, Telepresence Need Not Pose Security Concern

January 25, 2012 at 7:53 am PST

In October, we wrote about the federal government’s move toward installing video and telepresence capabilities on mobile devices to improve communication, especially for law enforcement and defense purposes. With mobile telepresence, the government can enhance collaboration and response time during critical events.

Read More »

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Cisco Common Crypto Hybrid Module (C3M-hybrid) is FIPS certified!

January 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm PST

The Global Certification team is pleased to announce the Cisco Common Crypto Hybrid Module, C3M-hybrid, has been awarded FIPS validation #1668 and is complete!  The C3M-hybrid module leverages AES-NI (C3M, #1643, completed in 2011). This is the first crypto module that leverages AES-NI.

http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/STM/cmvp/documents/140-1/140val-all.htm#1668

The Cisco Common Cryptographic Module (C3M) is a software library that that can be utilized by many Cisco products. The module provides FIPS validated cryptographic algorithms, including advanced (Suite B) cryptography requested by USG, for services such as sRTP, SSH, TLS, 802.1x etc. Once the FIPS validated C3M is integrated into our products, GCT can engage the FIPS lab to write letters of compliance. In the future, leveraging this FIPS validation while performing HW validation will reduce cost, time and effort.

FIPS-140 is a US and Canadian government standard that specifies security requirements for cryptographic modules. A cryptographic module is defined as “the set of hardware, software, and/or firmware that implements approved security functions (including cryptographic algorithms and key generation) and is contained within the cryptographic boundary.” The cryptographic module is what is being validated.

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Innovation in the 21st Century City

As a global director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group’s Urban Innovation team, I’ve seen how broadband connectivity can radically transform urban life, while forcing us to rethink our entire approach to designing and managing cities. I recently had the opportunity to share some of my ideas on the subject at the 2011 World Council of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) in Florence, Italy.

The Council represents nearly half the world’s population, from 36 countries and more than 1,000 cities—everywhere from Istanbul and Dakar to Helsinki and New York. In Florence, more than 400 mayors, along with municipal ministers, directors, innovators and other experts, met to discuss the daunting challenges facing today’s cities, while offering solutions in a creative and interactive forum. Topics ranged from transportation, utilities, and infrastructure to tourism and environmental sustainability.

Mayor Matteo Renzi of Florence, the host of the event, has worked with Cisco on innovation initiatives in his city. In addition to helping him plan the conference, I was granted the opportunity to moderate some sessions on urban innovation. Read More »

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