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April Fools Day Follows the March Madness

I’m a big basketball fan, especially the last few minutes of big games, so I’m feeling quite insane this week after some of my favorite teams lost in the earlier rounds! (On a related note, thank goodness, the women from Cal and Stanford are keeping the Bay Area still involved!) For the benefit of our readers outside North America, I’ll explain that the annual “March Madness” U.S. men’s college basketball tournament is currently in full motion for fans of the 60+ teams involved.

I know what you’re thinking, it’s hard to imagine that anything could possibly be more competitive than the current debate about the ultimate winner of 4G wireless standards adoption, but these college basketball fans can get a little crazy about supporting their own favorite.

The growth of online video will be of interest to the CBS television network, which also owns the Internet distribution rights to March Madness coverage. They expect their online video advertising revenues to increase 20 percent this year to $30 million. And you can play back the highlights on your mobile device wherever, whenever and analyze the three pointer at the buzzer! Of course, once that video content is streamed live online, it may also test the limits of wireless carrier networks as eager fans view the video on broadband-equipped mobile devices. Read More »

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20th Anniversary of the Web: Congratulations!

Monique MorrowDid you know? On March 13, 2009, the World Wide Web celebrated 20 years and to quote, “…something happened at CERN that would change the world forever: Tim Berners-Lee handed a document to his supervisor Mike Sendall entitled “Information Management : a Proposal“To assess the impact of this “proposal” on society and the way we communicate, wow, look at so called collaboration 2.0 tools like blogging, wikis or perhaps evolution of the web to “semantic web” or Web 3.0. Read More »

QoS and the Last 10 Feet

conference callingCisco and the industry have invested a lot of time, money and effort into enabling routers and switches to provide Quality of Service (QoS). That is, the ability to prioritize traffic that requires special treatment, like real time voice and video traffic, over other traffic that can get to the destination a little slower, like email. The beauty of IP is that these packets can carry virtually any application, making the handling a variety of services over a single IP NGN network possible.So what is the deal when I am on a VoIP phone call from my home office, presenting to my boss, and all the sudden he says “Mike, you are breaking up, we can’t understand you. Mike? Mike………..Mike we are going to have to move on to the next presenter, see if you can call back on a hard line.” Hmmmm, is that good for my career? Now I know from experience that many Service Providers have turned these QoS capabilities on in their network and in fact even leverage new capabilities like hierarchical per-subscriber QoS that Cisco offers in our Ethernet edge routers like the ASR 9000. So what gives?My hypothesis is that one of the challenges we are seeing today is congestion in the access network (e.g. DSL) combined with strained performance of home routers and even personal computers that may contain a VoIP soft client. For example, I recently switched out my home router and also hard wired 100M Ethernet connections inside my home. For me, this has done wonders to improve my VoIP experience…even when I am receiving large video files from one of my relatives (not to be named here) who has way too much time on their hands.

Future of TV

Future of TVWell, I am up to 13 followers on Twitter this week -- but Twitter did connect me with a special person -- which led me to write this blog on TV watching.Last night I got a tweet that Sid Topol was following me -- and I was thrilled to know that in his retirement he was on Twitter -- that he was still “into” technology. While I don’t know Sid’s age, I do know he is a ’47 graduate of UMass…so he doesn’t really fit the demographic for Twitter, but Sid has always been a leader in technology.Sidney (Sid) Topol joined Scientific Atlanta (now Cisco) in 1971 as president -- went on to be the CEO and Chairman of the Board. It was during Sid’s leadership that Scientific Atlanta got into the video business -- with “the Thrilla in Manila” in 1975 which was the first HBO satellite TV delivery -- and used Scientific Atlanta satellite equipment.Sid was a television visionary. In 1982, he was quoted saying…“I think eventually there are going to be three boxes in the home. The three boxes may be incorporated all in one big box…the addressable 100-channel set-top terminal with tiering and pay-per-view…an interactive terminal for shopping, banking, security and that sort of thing…a modem which interconnects the cable system with personal computers -- at high speed.”

- Sidney Topol
“…from the top”
CableVision -- September 13, 1982

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From APRICOT 2009 to Next Generation Company and Teleportation!

Monique MorrowSo I participated at APRICOT 2009 in Manila, IPv4 address exhaustion and IPv6 were plenary topics and generated lots of debates and dynamic discussions only to affirm the importance of this topic in the industry.Additionally, speaking with customers locally, there is quite an interest in competitive business models and service monetization examples, this is no surprise really; with the macroeconomic and financial sensitivities comes the natural requirements, to both generate revenue and be profitable.So I am back in the future, listening to Cisco CEO John Chambers speak about the “Building the Next Generation Company: Innovation, Talent and Excellence,” October 15 2008 at MIT, and I could not help noticing John mentioning the use of “holograms” during his presentation. Read More »