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Brian Dickinson Brings Tech to Mt Everest and Shares His Harrowing Story

Brian Dickinson is an engineer at Cisco.

For many of us, we consider him a friend. When he decided he was going to climb Mt Everest as part of his personal mission to climb the Seven Summits, we collectively gasped. The danger involved was daunting and while we knew he was a tough ex-Navy guy, he’s also a husband and father and good friend!

Brian wanted to document his progress and allowed us to talk with him over a series of three WebEx events. When things started, we all had no idea the challenges he would face during his actual climb. We started out talking to him at sea-level from his home in Snoqualmie, WA. He shared his motivation, hopes and dreams about the climb.

Being a “Cisco guy” he also had a tech strategy for his trip. Read More »

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Is the new Wembley in Kansas?

Robb Heinemann, the CEO of Sporting Club in Kansas City certainly thinks so.  He joined Cisco’s David Holland this week to launch the brand new LIVESTRONG Sporting Park stadium on Tuesday ahead of Sporting Club’s first home game of the season tonight (Thur June 9 at 7pm PT, 9pm CT, 10pm ET on ESPN2).

Cisco’s Sports and Entertainment Solutions Group has been working to build technology into the very fabric of the stadium over the course of the construction and tonight’s game promises to give fans a wholly new experience.   The stadium is equipped with Cisco’s new Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution which brings high-speed wireless capabilities to fans and staff throughout the ground. The idea is to ‘offload’ data traffic from congested cell phone networks to allow fans to watch video replays right from their seats while keeping the cell phone network freed up for making calls and texting.

Throughout the venue, Cisco’s Stadium Vision solution will also provide live and recorded video on over 300 HD digital signs deployed throughout the club’s restaurants, bars, suites and open areas.  For the first time, fans in the executive suites will also be able to control the angle of the shot and change what content they view on the screen using an iPad application. Cisco has opened up the API to its Stadium Vision solution working in collaboration with Sporting Club to enable this first of a kind innovation in the MLS.

Sporting Club is also the first MLS venue to deploy Cisco’s Unified Computing and Nexus 7000 platforms to deliver virtualized network services.  Now the network is truly the platform for this next-generation experience in Kansas and Sporting Club will also be using the Stadium Vision platform and API to support their social networking solutions for members of the club.  Incidentally, Sporting Club is also offering club members free tickets to away games for this season.

You can watch a replay of the press conference below, and here are a couple of the media reports on the Stadium opening in the Kansas City StarSports Business Journal, in Bloomberg BusinessWeek and on ESPN:

The stadium will also be hosting national games as early as next week with the USA national team taking on Guadaloupe and Panama playing Canada in the CONCANAF Gold Cup on Thur June 14th (USA is currently heading up Group C as of June 9th).  And for Bay Area soccer fans, the San Jose Earthquakes travel out to Kansas next Friday, June 17.

What do you think -- now that the US has an iconic stadium in Kansas designed specifically for soccer, could this be another step in helping the sport break through in popularity in the US?

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News@Cisco Week in Review and Look Ahead: May 2-6

Happy (late) Cinco de Mayo — or should I say Happy Cisco de Mayo!  It was another busy week here at Cisco.  Some of our top stories included features on the future of live sports distribution and customer networks.  Cisco also announced that it is now delivering containerized data centers! For more information, read below.

1.) To Stream or Not to Stream? The Future of Live Sports Distribution

There is an argument among TV broadcast networks that streaming live sports on the Internet and on mobile devices cannibalizes their TV ratings. However, the opposite appears to be true. Case in point is the March Madness basketball tournament this spring; the games were shown live on TV and also streamed live online. Interestingly enough, viewership increased in both domains. Perhaps live Internet streaming can happily live side by side with TV viewership, and maybe even enhance it. What are your thoughts?

Read More »

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Getting to Mt. Everest: Landing and Giving in Katmandu

On May 4, we are planning to talk with Brian Dickinson, our friend and Cisco engineer, from Mt Everest’s Base Camp at 17,500’. You can register for that free WebEx event here. In the meantime, we are following his journey there and back. Late last week, he arrived in Katmandu. All photos are courtesy of Brian Dickinson.

On March 24th, we met Brian Dickinson via WebEx before he left for his Mt Everest climb. In that session, we learned about Brian, his Navy background, his passion for extreme sports Read More »

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Web 2.0 Summit: Wim Elfrink on social virtualisation

Cisco EVP and chief globalisation officer Wim Elfrink presented at the Web 2.0 Summit in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco today to discuss four of the major demographic and economic shifts that are underway on a global basis and to outline how Cisco’s vision of a new framework for urban sustainability will entail the creation of a whole new industry. You can watch the 15 minute replay of Wim’s presentation here (introduced by John Battelle of Federated Media).

Watch live streaming video from web20tv at livestream.com

Iain Thomson of V3.co.uk also met with Wim earlier and discussed the work we are engaged in with the London Olympic Park Legacy Company to create a liveable community that can be sustained beyond the Games themselves, and highly-connected new Smart+Connected Community projects in locations such as Songdo, Korea amongst others.

We’d love to hear your views of how you think the next 30 years of the Internet could develop with these shifts in mind and as the introduction of IPv6 underpins the transition to the ‘Internet of Things’.

You can also watch Iain’s video interview with Wim here.

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