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The Only Constant is Change

Some people love Barry Bonds. Some hate him. I respect his talent and like watching him play. And, I was saddened to hear that he won’t be a San Francisco Giant next year. He has spent 15 of his 22 years in San Francisco and his Dad and godfather, Willie Mays, were also Giants, so his roots run deep.There will likely be fewer splash hits at ATT park next year, but it will be the beginning of a new Giants ball club and new beginnings are always exciting. In technology (and sports), it seems, we are always saying good-bye to the old and hello to the new. The Sony Walkman tape player now is the Apple iPod. We LOVED the Walkman growing up, but now we love the iPod even more. The rotary phone has turned into all digital and mobile and also our e-mail, calendar and web browser. The quaintness of the rotary brings good memories…or, if you are an Andy Griffith fan like me (I’m from NC…not Mayberry), even the old switched telephone central operator…”Sarah, can you ring Floyd’s barber shop for me.” However, quaintness, doesn’t ensure good voice quality. Now, of course, the telephone call is turning into TelePresence.So, for San Francisco fans, it is truly the end of an era. But there is now the possibility that the new Giants will be the next “cool thing” – maybe as cool as TelePresence. And, that possibility will certainly have me back at the ball park next year. Thank you, Barry, for giving us some GREAT baseball and good luck next year…maybe still in the Bay Area as an A??!!!

Singularity and Merging of Man and Machine

Wow. Read Lee Gomes’ column today in The Wall Street Journal. (For now, paid subscription required, however there are rumblings that Mr. Murdoch may change this practice in the future.) He writes about singularity or “the day when the intelligence of computers will exceed our own.” For now, I think we’re good, however, there apparently is talk of a “human-machine synthesis into a new, superintelligent life-form.” That “has been projected as anytime from nine to 40 years hence.” So, either 2016 or 2047 if you are counting. Mark your calendars.robot.jpgWhat this really is talking about is the advance of technology at a dizzying pace – networks, processing speeds, storage, etc.. Much what our CEO John Chambers talked about in a recent Forbes column. One of the more interesting people at Cisco, in my mind, (out of 60,000 of us) is Dave Evans in our Internet Business Solutions Group. He is the closest that I’ve found to a futurist at Cisco and he talks of a “tech avalanche” and how fast technology is advancing. You can listen to his podcast on that topic here. Read More »

Cisco Acquires Cognio, a Spectrum Intelligence Company

Post by John Noh, Senior PR ManagerAnyone who has frantically twisted a radio dial in the vain hopes of maintaining a weak AM signal that’s being overpowered by another signal is already familiar with the problems of radio frequency (RF) interference. While it may be a mere annoyance on your radio, RF interference can cause significant issues related to WiFi, or wireless networking, technologies, which uses a different RF spectrum than AM/FM radio to send and receive data. There are millions of common electronics devices that can interfere with your WiFi experience including those with Bluetooth and Zigbee connectivity, microwave ovens, cordless phones, wireless video cameras, outdoor microwave links, wireless game controllers, motion detectors and, yes, even fluorescent lights. Without the proper solutions, WiFi users may run into a number of serious problems including degradation in wireless performance, creation of security vulnerabilities and wireless network instability. Cognio Cisco.jpgThat’s the problem Cisco is tackling with the acquisition of Cognio, which offers Spectrum Intelligence technology for wireless networks. Read More »

The Next Wave of the Business Internet: The Human Network@Work

Post by Alan S. Cohen, Vice President, Enterprise SolutionsReading my colleague Joe Burton’s blog a few days on UC”Analysis Paralysis” got me to thinking a little more deeply about how the next wave of the Internet was started by Web 2.0 and Social Networking (the Human Network), but may be completed by how businesses are taking advantage of the changing dynamics of Collaboration and Unified Communications (the Human Network @ Work). If the first wave of the Web Internet was largely defined by commerce and customer support (“œfind it, buy it, help it”), the second wave is more about rich collaboration (“œfind me, work with me”). The entrance of rich media and video into the equation shows how fast people-to-machine transactions are moving to people-to-people-to-contextual/real-time information types of interactions. People are in the center, not computers. And every device, fixed and mobile, is in play.Despite the prognostications you might hear about the unified communications marketplace, it is crystal clear that the user, and all the choices that users make, owns this emerging environment. Unified communications and collaboration is the new platform for businesses and winners in this market must take to heart the words of Winston Churchill:”I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” Monolithic approaches and platforms are destined for the dustbin of Internet history. Read More »

Happy Birthday, USAToday!

Everybody’s favorite “on the road” paper. The one that you get at your hotel door. The one that you get when you are in a town whose hometown paper’s lead story is about a unusually large squash. The one you grab at an airport when you want to know “what is going on.” The one with the neat graphics on the front page. The one with the “our views”/”opposing views.” usatoday.jpgTomorrow, USAToday is 25 years old! Their editor, Ken Paulsen, offers some comments on how it started and what it means. There are, of course, great graphics that tell the 25 year story as well. And, founder Al Neuharth offers his perspective as well.So, Happy Birthday, USAToday! We honor you for your service.