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Fiber Optic Cable Installation in Sewers

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

Telecommunications infrastructure is so pervasive that we sometimes don’t even see it — one of those blind spots that fade from consciousness due to overexposure. Cables run from pole-to-pole; cell towers spring up; utility boxes on sidewalks, sometimes painted to match the wooden fence behind them — hidden within plain sight.

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A Network Built for Mom

When engineers set out to build the largest machine in the world, did they design the network’s capacity based on traditional product specifications, or was it driven by their mothers’ guilt?  In episode 3 of “The Network Effect” Steve Shepard shares some insight.

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Is The Second Economy The End Of Human Labor?

Recently, there have appeared some analyses that point to a shift from traditional human production to machine production.

In a McKinsey Quarterly article (https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Strategy/Growth/The_second_economy_2853

), W. Brian Arthur, a visiting researcher at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, focused on the “second economy”.  The subtitle of his article sums up the message:

“Digitization is creating a second economy that’s vast, automatic, and invisible—thereby bringing the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution.”  He continues, “we can say that another economy—a second economy—of all of these digitized business processes conversing, executing, and triggering further actions is silently forming alongside the physical economy… human beings may design it but are not directly involved in running it. It is remotely executing and global, always on, and endlessly configurable.” Read More »

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Give me Internet or give me Death!

September 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm PST

Could you live without the Internet?

If you think that the answer to this question is an easy “yes,” then you may find the results from Cisco’s 2011 Connected World Technology Report a bit shocking. Cisco commissioned an international workforce study of nearly 3000 people asking their views on the network in their lives.

A few choice highlights:

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The Resilient Society: The Next Phase of Public Sector Reform

Public sector decision makers are under enormous pressure to deliver results in difficult and uncertain times. In late 2010 and early 2011, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) conducted in-depth interviews with more than 100 senior public sector executives from around the world—at the city, regional, and national levels. Responses from these officials were remarkably consistent regarding the key challenges they face in a world undergoing significant economic, political, environmental, and social transitions.

Some of these public leaders expressed concerns about their organizations’ capacity to respond to new policy and service demands, budget reductions, and the need to engage new technology platforms for innovation and service delivery. Other challenges related to the public sector’s ability to help cities, regions, and countries navigate the current uncertain and volatile environment.   Read More »

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