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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.

Poem for the Day

I thought a poem would be appropriate for today. The Seven Ages of Manby William ShakespeareAll the world’s a stage,And all the men and women merely players,They have their exits and entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchelAnd shining morning face, creeping like snailUnwillingly to school. And then the lover,Sighing like furnace, with a woeful balladMade to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justiceIn fair round belly, with good capon lin’d,With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,Full of wise saws, and modern instances,And so he plays his part. The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,His youthful hose well sav’d, a world too wide,For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,Turning again towards childish treble, pipesAnd whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,That ends this strange eventful history,Is second childishness and mere oblivion,Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.