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Uncle Sam…Off the Grid

April 17, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

It is that time of year in the U.S. “Beware of the Ides of March” is a famous warning to Julius Caeser. “Beware of the Ides of April” should be an equally famous warning from Uncle Sam. John and Paul once wrote, “(if you drive a car) -- I’ll tax the street; (if you try to sit) -- I’ll tax your seat; (if you get too cold) -- I’ll tax the heat; (if you take a walk) -- I’ll tax your feet.” Why? “‘Cause I’m the taxman, Yeah, I’m the taxman.” uncle sam.gifYep, it’s tax day and I hope that you will have filed by midnight tonight. Or filed your extension. More and more taxes are being filed online and that’s a good thing because I understand that it saves dollars per filing. Which, in turn, means fewer dollars are needed by the government for processing taxes, which means your taxes should be lower. Right? In sum, paying your taxes online saves me and you money. So, hat’s off to Uncle Sam for encouraging online filing. Read More »

Cisco Welcomes “Portfolio” to the Conversation

April 16, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Today, we are happy to welcome Portfolio to the online world and COMING SOON to your mailbox or to your local newstand in analog, magazine form. I am a subscriber and I’ve already gotten my “FREE with Subscription” Conde Nast Portfolio umbrella, but I have yet to get the first magazine, although I’m sure it will arrive soon. I’ll let you know my thoughts when I get it.Portfolio logo.bmpI’d like to also give a shout out to Kevin Maney and plug* his blog “The Tech Observer” on Portfolio.com as well. He is formerly with USAToday and has vast experience and insight on the technology space. The beauty and freedom of the blog is that he can also follow his passion for music and enlist “guest bloggers” to write about technology’s impact on music…in this case Roger McGuinn of The Byrds …as well as link to other blogs like GigaOm and and TechCrunch, and to his own band’s MySpace page. His band currently has 43 friends, including former parachute-pants-wearing, Oakland, CA native, Mr. MC Hammer. It turns out, you CAN touch this and send his band, Not Dead Yet, a “friend request”…if you are on MySpace, that is…Welcome, Portfolio, we look forward to reading you and working with you.*If he wanted to plug or link to this blog, we certainly wouldn’t stop him. : )

Routers as Traffic Cops…Literally

April 12, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

One of my pet peeves of living in the Bay Area is that people just don’t use their turn signals. I don’t know why it is so difficult, but I would say that 1 out of 2 Bay Area drivers look at the turn signal as an irrelevant appendage. There is now technology being developed that allows a user to “think” something and physically make it happen…something called Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). Say, turn the lights on or off or open the garage door. You have to train your brain to do this, but with the device on your head, it can read your brain waves and you can make inantimate objects (albeit electrical or motorized) move. Here’s hoping that technology can also be applied to the turn signal.traffic cop.jpg(Image from Flickr -- by Rogue Soul)Which made me think a bit about traffic…another cross that Bay Area residents must bear. Sure, we’ve got nearly perfect weather all the time. We’re close to the beach, the mountains and live in an area where thousands upon thousands choose as their vacation spot every year, but we’ve got the whole turn signal and traffic thing going against us. Somehow we’ll survive. Read More »

Class Reunions Before the Internet…Just Didn’t Happen

April 11, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

As I’ve said before, I really think this Internet thing is here to stay. Not to date myself, but to date myself, my 20th high school reunion is this year. As the duly elected president of the 1987 graduating class at North Stanly High School (New London, NC), I have recently joined forces with my fellow class officers via the Internet (two in NC and one in PA) and we have started to track down classmates and let the word be known that we ARE having a 20th reunion.north stanly logo.jpgI have NO idea how we would do this so successfully and quickly without the internet. From looking up names to just going to sites that actually exist for reunions and whatnot -- classmates.com and reunion.com to name two particularly good ones -- this Internet thing has been very helpful. I tracked down a good friend (and fellow class officer) with the help of her current last name…we last talked 10 years ago pre-Internet…certainly, pre-ubiqitous internet. And if Malcolm Gladwell is right about anything (other than having a great head of hair -- another theme of 20 year reunions) it is the fact that there are some people who are just connected and finding the one or two of them then cascades down to a lot of other people. Read More »

Patent Board: Cisco is #1 Global Innovator in Telecom

April 6, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

For the second straight year, “Cisco Systems leads the telecommunications industry as the number one source of global innovation,” sayeth the Patent Board. I’ll go ahead and put words in you mouth and say, “WOW!!” According to a qualitative and quantitative analysis of 2006/2007 patent portfolios released in the annual Patent Scorecard, Cisco is the #1 most innovative company in telecommunications. Number of patents is not the only measurement for the ranking: “the quality, scientific strength and impact of its patents on the industry are also calculated.”patent board logo.gifI’ve got to admit that Cisco is on a roll and being named as “the number one source of global innovation” in the highly competitive and center-of-the-business-universe telecommunications industry is about the highest praise a company can receive. Sure, I’m a bit biased, but if you’ve followed this blog, you’ve seen that Fortune regards Cisco highly, Wired regards Cisco highly, the Financial Times regards Cisco highly, and now the Patent Board regards us highly. Still, we had noone in the company who could rank on PC World’s list of “Most Important People on the Web.” Maybe now that we’re the “#1 Innovator in Telecom” for the second straight year we’ll get some consideration next year. : )