While we were educated with the understanding of four tastes (sweet, sour, salty and bitter), umami has been recently added as a fifth basic taste. The word is Japanese and in English we sometimes refer to umami as being savory. Foods that deliver umami include meats, broths, cheese and mushrooms (dried have more than fresh). The recipe for today includes a flavor that I also consider umami, smoke. The apple wood smoke cheese used in the Macaroni and Cheese was made in my new smoker. Smoked foods are clearly not in the basic four taste groups and the savoriness of something smoky certainly pushes it towards umami. If you do not have smoked cheese you can use other cheeses. I will also add things like bacon, chopped tomatoes, shallots and cheese mixtures to this recipe. The basic recipe supports all kinds of baked dishes. So make take and look and enjoy umami with this Smoky Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
Umami in Telecom
As the sides begin to square off on net neutrality and access charges, it comes to my mind that we need more than two opinions. The left vs. right, Republican vs. Democrat answer to these issues is too simplistic and off base. As the FCC considers the best way to address Net Neutrality, the large carriers and cable companies, need to be viewed differently from the smaller ITSPs, like Broadvox and ISPs. Moreover, the FCC should take note of how the product was sold and what features or services were identified with the offering. It is not right that Verizon can decide to give priority to applications sold under its FIOS offering over those a user adds. If I want VoIP to have a higher priority than video, it should be my choice. If I want a gaming application to have a higher priority that again should be my choice. As for managing the packets to maintain network performance, I would approach this argument with caution. Carriers are over stating the risk to performance in delivering the services consumers have either ordered or subscribed.
The Internet in the 90s was often described as having the rules of the "wild west". I believe in both an open Internet and one with reasonable guidelines. The current rules as proposed by the FCC should concern any and all facilities based IP communications carriers. The FCC should be looking at multiple factors prior to advocating government involvement in how networks are to be deployed, operated and managed. I am not one who believes that everything the government touches fails. However, there are too many examples of where failure was caused by over-reaching or over legislating. The IP community or ecosystem has many players with varying priorities. Let us hope that as net neutrality and other contentious issues are addressed, the FCC can find umami or another point of view that is better than the suggested yin and yang.
See you on Wednesday...