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If you’re at CiscoLive Milan you have many opportunities to learn about our newest technology announcements.  But how well do you know our current technology?  If you know it well you could win a prize!  Stop by the Cisco Enterprise Networks booth to play the trivia challenge on one of the iPads behind the reception desk.  The trivia is 15 multiple choice questions from a bank of over 150 questions on our Enterprise Networks technologies -- including campus switching, branch routing and enterprise mobility.  Some questions are easy, and I think some will challenge you.

We will be drawing from the top winners on Wednesday afternoon and winners will be alerted via email.  Stop by the booth (Wed evening or Thursday) to claim your prize!  You can win an iPad, GoPro, or Kindle.

Enterprise App Game Location

Stop by the booth to play and download the app to track your progress!

Also, just for fun, I took a few pictures of tech around the Cisco Enterprise Networks and Cisco IoT booths -- can you name everything here?   Read More »

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Looking for Santa? Use Cisco Location-Based Wi-Fi!

As children all around the world are eagerly anticipating Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, children in hospitals around the Americas were able to get their wish list in before the big day. This month, Cisco teamed up with several children’s hospitals with a Santa Connection project, which allowed children not well enough to visit Santa onsite to still communicate their wishes to him from their bedside using Cisco video.

I was able to work with one of these hospitals, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, to augment the Santa Connection experience with a ‘Santa tracking’ app, which allowed children to know how close Santa was to making his virtual appearance to individual rooms in the hospital. An elf traveling ahead of the Santa Video team carried an iPad displaying a live webpage showing the location of the much-anticipated video visit. Here is a screenshot of the app experience:

santa_tracker_2

Utilizing the Connected Mobile Experiences solution, which includes the REST APIs provided by the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), we were able to show the children where the Santa team was in relation to them -- with a Santa icon where Santa’s video crew was and a smiley face showing the child’s current location. Read More »

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How Does Enterprise IT Respond to Consumerization? To Mac, BYOD, and Whatever Comes Next?

There’s a new force changing the way Cisco IT operates, the way we plan and develop new services, and the way we support our employees. Consumerization is showing us how to help our employees to be more productive and more satisfied – if we can learn to listen and respond. Read More »

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Los Angeles Unified School District – Hack the iPads!

October 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm PST

It didn’t take long, but soon after the Los Angeles Unified School District began their rollout of some 650,000 iPads to their students, they ran into some technical issues. Students in at least one of LAUSD’s high schools quickly discovered a way to bypass the security on the devices. Still in Phase 1 of the program, only 15,000 of the devices have been given to students, but already the District has suspended home use of the iPads due to the security issues. According to reports, LAUSD had been using software that “lets school district officials know where the iPads are, and what the students are doing with them at all times. This software also lets the district block certain sites, such as social media favorites like Facebook.” There are now questions circulating around whether the LAUSD staff was well prepared for these devices and their implementation, and what is going to be done moving forward to continue the rollout and secure the iPads.

student using mobile device

In my previous article I wrote about how educational staff need to be prepared to properly utilize iPads in their classroom. IT staff responsible for managing these iPads should also receive the proper training and preparation. What’s interesting to note here is that, at least in my experience, Apple’s stance on iPads in education is generally fairly hands-off. They recommend managing or locking down the iPads as little as possible. The idea here is that these are best served as single user devices and the best experience for the student is full ownership and manageability of the iPad out of the box. iPads aren’t meant to be used like a rolling cart of laptops going from room to room. They don’t support user profiles and managing or locking down the iPads introduces more complexity than is needed.

You want to protect the investment in these devices from theft, and prevent students from accessing inappropriate content, but if you are planning on allowing the students to take these devices home, you can only go so far. As evidenced from the LAUSD issue, students quickly discovered the iPads were so locked down they couldn’t use them at home, so they found a way to delete the configuration profiles which essentially removed any of the locks or restrictions on the iPad. Some students even went so far as to offer ‘unlocking’ service for $2. Quite the entrepreneurial spirit!

Now, it’s a daunting task for any IT department of any size to introduce over half a million new devices under your umbrella of responsibility. Add to this, that depending on the MDM solution chosen, each of these iPads have to be unboxed and configured before being handed to a student. Now, when something goes wrong they have to be collected, and reconfigured. It stands to reason that Phase 1 will remain a trial phase until some of these issues are worked out. Read More »

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Extending Zeroconf Services: Cache Tuning

Introduction

With the introduction of Cisco mDNS Service Discovery Gateway in IOS, customers that have implemented the solution are observing client behavior they haven’t seen prior to extending services across subnet boundaries. One of the effects is the duplicate name issue seen when devices with enabled services are moved from one L3 subnet to another L3 subnet and these two subnets happen to be connected to the same router/switch running the Service Discovery Gateway (SDG).

Background

When devices (like a Mac OS X computer) offer a service such as Remote Login (SSH) or Screen Sharing (VNC), they will announce these services using mDNS/Bonjour/Zeroconf using their hostname as configured in ‘System Preferences -> Sharing -> Computer Name’ (see Fig. 1).
Read More »

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