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The Network Inside

Those of us focused on IT concerns about security, QoS, video, the last mile, management, and usability in the business word can sometimes forget that our own households have evolved in a few short years to become microcosms of many of the same trends. It’s complicated stuff, to be sure. In fact, a few months ago, David Pogue reported in his New York Times blog that 30 percent of home networking gear ends up getting returned to the store. So what’s the problem? I think it’s the fundamental issue that plagues IT organizations in the business world: insufficient pre-planning of what I’m calling the HAN (Home Area Network). The challenges, albeit on a lesser scale, are no different than that which confront network administrators on a daily basis. Traffic and resources need to be managed, and that calls for sufficient bandwidth and equipment with intelligence. Read More »

Cisco TelePresence: The Answer to High Gas Prices?

CNBC’s Jim Goldman reports on Cisco TelePresence and how it might be utilized to save on corporate travel. The piece can be viewed on the Bay Area’s NBC website here. Cisco’s Charles Stucki and David Hsieh are interviewed and our Chairman and CEO John Chambers says that Cisco will save $180M in travel savings utilizing TelePresence. I had a TelePresence session earlier this week between San Jose, CA and Montvale, NJ and I can tell you that, other than shaking the other person’s hand, it is as good as being there.

Look Ma, No Hands

Today, all California drivers have to utilize hands-free technology in order to talk on their phones in their car. I, for one, couldn’t be more pleased. Since moving to California in 1999, I’ve lamented the, ahem, driving skills of Californians. Talking on cell phones certainly contributed to the lack of using turn signals phenomena and other less than stellar California driving techniques. I hope that now that this law is in effect that our collective driving skills and safety will increase on California roads. Certainly, technology will play a role in developing the “in car” telephony experience with voice instructions (and voice texting?) likely to become more prevalent. My phone has voice dialing, but I don’t currently utilize it, but in honor of July 1 hands-free car phone day, I may just explore utilizing this feature. Coming soon (I’m sure) will be voice activated navigation (go to “300 East Tasman Drive in San Jose, CA” for example) rather than the rather klunky entering the town, street, street number system that is prevalent. And, then of course, we’ll all have web based traffic reports that tells our car which way to go in order to get to our destination the quickest. Ain’t technology grand?

Expanding Circles

Last week, the New York Times ran a piece on doctors’ use-or non-use-of electronic recordkeeping. The article focused on contradictory observations: electronic recordkeeping can reduce errors and improve patient care (and deliver a host of other benefits), yet a surprisingly high number of doctors’ offices aren’t making the transition. Their concerns: the cost of switching over and the retraining involved. Hurdles that exist across every industry and decade when faced with new technologies. My own physician in Los Gatos made the jump about a year ago. He and his colleagues still haven’t completely embraced their laptops and now and then I hear grumbles. But they are starting to see the advantages. Read More »

Cisco Live! 2008 – Cisco Insights on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan; Energy Efficient Data Center

On Tuesday, Cisco announced it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2012.I spoke with Sean Worthington, Vice President, Information Technology and Rob Rolfsen, Director of Sustainable Development, to hear their insights on how Cisco will accomplish this. Also included below is Rob Aldrich, Director of Data Center Solutions, who talks about Cisco’s Efficiency Assurance Program, which was launched as a beta on Tuesday. The site will allow users to estimate the energy efficiency of their IT operations.Sean Worthington, Vice President, Information TechnologyHow is IT going to help Cisco meet its green goals? Rob Rolfsen, Director of Sustainable DevelopmentHow will Cisco accomplish its greenhouse gas reduction goals? Rob Aldrich, Director of Data Center SolutionsWhat is Cisco doing to help its data center customers reach their green goals?