First Coffee for October 21, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

First Coffee for October 21, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits’s raggedly majestic Mule Variations:

In this week’s Terrible Horrible Awful Weather Disaster Which Is Going To Cause A Lot of Damage And Trouble As Terrible Horrible Awful Weather Disasters Have Done Since God Created Water But Which The MSM And Other Assorted Moonbats Are Going To Blame On President Bush (Instead Of Completely Incompetent Blithering-Blathering Idiots Like Ray Nagin), Hurricane Wilma is going to see what damage it can do to southwest Florida.

If there’s anywhere in America which should know what to do when a hurricane hits it’s Florida, just as if there was one unorganized, incapable, corrupt, fat, lazy indolent city incapable of taking responsibility for its own safety in the face of a disaster it was New Orleans; as First CoffeeSM explained to friends here on the Mediterranean coast there was no worse, more incompetently administered city in the United States for a hurricane to hit than New Orleans.

Florida, however, by now should be as adept at handling hurricanes as Disney World is of handling kids who throw up corn dogs on the rides. Wireless providers have learned a thing or two from Hurricane Charley, as well as Katrina and Rita. Verizon Wireless is already “mobilizing efforts throughout the entire southern peninsula to ensure reliable wireless phone coverage to residents and emergency agencies across the state before, during and after the storm.”

One thing they’re doing is arranging fuel delivery to the company’s network switching facilities in Southwest Florida and other key areas, and to generators at permanent cell sites to keep the network operating at full strength even if power is lost for an extended period of time.

Nearly 80 percent of the individual transmission sites operated by Verizon Wireless have their own on-site generators. This capability is critical when power goes out and if roads are impassable.

They’re also positioning mobile generators, with ready access to roof-top cell sites along the state’s Southwestern and Eastern coasts. In Florida, for some reason known only to God and Carl Hiaasen permanent generators are not allowed on roof-top cell sites.

Verizon Wireless also has dozens of Cells on Wheels (love that acronym) on standby statewide, including many at the company’s Fort Lauderdale and Jupiter network switching facilities. These self-powered mobile cell sites are to be deployed immediately in any hard-hit areas that need extra network capacity.

Engineers have spent a lot of time fine-tuning the company’s digital network across the state, maximizing call capacity where needed in threatened areas before the storm hits. During the most recent storm seasons, call traffic spiked dramatically on the day before a hurricane’s landfall, and continued to be heavy on the Verizon Wireless network as other communications networks failed.

Ray Nagin’s been issued a court injunction to stay at least 300 miles away.

Teams of “test men” from across the state are getting ready to roll in specially-equipped vehicles to test the network in the wake of Wilma anywhere the storm might pass.

Mike Lanman, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless confirms that much of what they’re doing is a response to problems encountered in recent hurricanes. “We learned so much during Charley and the subsequent storms about how to prepare and respond successfully,” he says.

Verizon urges Floridians to please, please, pretty please send brief text messages rather than voice calls, to “conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.” Text messages also queue up if the wireless system is unavailable, and will be delivered as soon as possible. In other words, there’s no need to re-send.

Good luck, Florida. It’ll be tough, but at least you don’t have Ray Nagin in charge of anything, so you’ve got an advantage over New Orleans right there.

Cisco Systems officially broke ground today on a one-million square foot campus in Bangalore that will support staff from Cisco’s Research and Development, IT, Sales and Customer Support teams in India. The company will spend approximately $50 million to build the new integrated campus, which is expected to be completed by June 2007 and accommodate 3,000 staff.

Cisco President and CEO John Chambers is currently on a swing through India, talking up the company’s $1.1 billion commitment over the next few years to the country. He officially launched the new facility at a groundbreaking ceremony conducted at the site of the new campus on the Outer Ring Road in Sarjapur.

Cisco first established R&D facilities in India in 1998. It is the largest development center for the company outside of the United States.

Here’s Toshiba’s Official Statement on Warner Bros., keen to avoid another Betamax dud, throwing its lot in with the Sony-backed Blu-ray Disc Association instead of Toshiba’s rival technology HD DVD:

“Toshiba and Warner Bros. continue to collaborate closely toward the commercial launch of HD DVD. We understand Warner Bros. continues to strongly support HD DVD, due to its outstanding features, cost structures, and market readiness.

“We recognize Warner Bros.’s participation in the Blu-ray Disc Association represents the studio’s understandable commitment to listen to a broad array of opinions and to continue to make technical evaluations of each format, and we are more than confident this will not affect timely introduction of HD DVD content to the market.

“Toshiba strongly believes the HD DVD format will eventually win broad support as the more superior format, and in cooperation with our partners, we are committed to bringing HD DVD products first to market early next year in the U.S.”

How polite. Forrester thinks Blu-ray will win out of the incompatible technologies, since evidently they can’t agree on a compatible version, the scoundrels. Warner Bros. had originally said they’d go with HD DVD, and they’ll release some titles in that format. HD DVD will be to market sooner than Blu-ray – by March, according to best industry guesses.

Support from the six major Hollywood movie studios is the deciding factor in which one will become the standard, and right now Paramount and Warner have said they’ll release movies in both formats. Naturally the studios want to standardize on one format, and it looks like the current momentum’s with Blu-ray, despite HD DVD’s earlier-to-market position: Companies committed to HD DVD, such as Warner Bros., have started offering both formats, companies committed to Blu-ray have not included HD DVD.

Looks like HD DVD is sharpening the seppuku knives.

In good news, Cellnet Technology, Inc. has begun a Wi-Fi initiative for the City of Madison, Wisconsin. Cellnet will build and manage a Wi-Fi network in Madison.

First CoffeeSM is a supporter of municipal wi-fi, and is heartened that starting this fall, Cellnet will begin deployment of phase one of a Wi-Fi network to support users in the downtown region of the City of Madison. The network will be installed at no cost to the city, and Cellnet has secured its initial revenue from service agreements with Internet Service Providers.

Cellnet is partnering with WFI, a network engineering and technical services provider to design and deploy the network that Cellnet will own and operate. The network is being “designed and built with multiple applications and service providers in mind,” according to Louis Kek, Cellnet CIO.

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