First Coffee for December 16, 2005

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

First Coffee for December 16, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Lyle Lovett’s Pontiac:

Brian Scott, president of Landmark Commercial, a commercial real estate firm based in Arlington, Texas had a problem. His server at work melted down, so he went back to his apartment to retrieve a backup copy of critical business data he had stored on a portable hard drive.

“As I was leaving my apartment, the hard drive slipped out of my hand and tumbled down a flight of concrete stairs. I ran down the stairs, but after one look at the case, I knew that years of data and lots of valuable work were lost,” said Scott. “From that point on, every day I worry about backing up business data.”

Scott’s travails earned him the dubious distinction of Most Disastrous Data Loss, an “award” handed out by EVault, Inc., an online backup and recovery firm.

EVault today announced winners of its first annual Data Turkey Awards to “honor” business professionals who “have lived through a data loss, or whose actions and quick thinking have helped to avert a data disaster,” according to company officials.

EVault solicited award submissions in two categories – Most Disastrous Data Loss and Most Spectacular Data Recovery. Award applicants were asked to share lowlights and highlights regarding their data recovery and data loss situations. The awards were open to any small business owner, IT or business professional.

Assuaging the sting somewhat is the prize of a $500 American Express gift check, a $500 contribution on behalf of each winner to a local charity or food bank of their choice and a free one-year subscription to EVault’s Protect online data protection for up to 10 gigabytes of data.

“EVault received an abundance of entries – some tragic, some funny and some just arcane – but all demonstrating the myriad of ways data can disappear forever and in the blink of an eye,” said Phil Gilmour, president and CEO of EVault, Inc. The company claims “tens of thousands of successful data restorations since 1997.”

The winner in the Most Spectacular Data Recovery category was Dunbar St. Paul, a 20-year veteran computer consultant and president of New Orleans-based Computer Solutions. As you’d expect, Hurricane Katrina figures in the story:

St. Paul’s entry detailed his travails during Hurricane Katrina, when his entire client base of 30 companies temporarily lost access to their data. St. Paul says recovery efforts for one client consisted of driving across the shoulder of the road, jumping over a fence and trudging through mud to reach the building – and then donning boots to wade through 18 inches of muddy, toxic water to retrieve his client’s servers.

He worked to get businesses back up and running in hot sites from Memphis to Houston.

“All-in-all it has made everyone here aware of the need for secure, off-site, reliable and efficient data backup and storage,” said St. Paul. “We had a backup to tape, but here’s the kicker -- the tapes were inaccessible. Nobody expects there to be a disaster, but the threat is fairly real, even though we hadn’t had a hurricane in 40 years.”

Happy birthday Jane Austen, born in 1775. As The Writer’s Almanac says, she’s “the only novelist who published before Charles Dickens whose books still sell thousands of copies every year.”

After the First World War, “Jane Austin novels were prescribed to shell-shocked English soldiers for therapy, because the psychologists found that Austen helped them recover their sense of the world they’d known before the war.”

The writer who wrote so incisively and popularly about getting married never married herself.

IntelliCorp, a system support of SAP vendor, today announced that NetProcess has been validated for integration with Mercury Quality Center. IntelliCorp has also joined the Mercury Elite Technology Alliance Program.

NeuStar, a communications clearinghouse services vendor, has announced the acquisition of Foretec Seminars Inc., a provider of secretariat services to the Internet Engineering Task Force, from the Corporation for National Research Initiatives.

In connection with the acquisition, NeuStar Secretariat Services, LLC, a subsidiary of NeuStar, has signed a service agreement with the Internet Society on behalf of the IETF Administrative Support Activity to provide secretariat functions in support of the IETF.

Anadigics, Inc., a vendor of wireless and broadband, has unveiled two new front-end products for wireless LAN mobile and multiple input multiple output applications.

Anadigics’ front-end integrated circuits use the company’s patent pending InGaP-Plus technology to offer integration and performance. The low-profile FEICs combine the power amplifier, low-noise amplifier, and RF antenna switch on a single die to minimize three dimensional space requirements.

The new products, according to company officials, exhibit “exceptionally low current consumption to reduce battery drain in mobile and MIMO applications.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit does quite good national risk assessment reports, their one on Hungary is typically good. Highlights:

“Nearly $6 billion in telecommunications investment, $3 billion of this from foreign investors, has transformed the moribund telecoms system inherited from the communist era into one of the best in the region

“Hungary is still far behind basic EU levels for infrastructure provision

“Integrated Services Digital Network penetration is on the rise, and cable operators like UPC offer full-scale Internet access in several regions. Within fixed lines, the share of ISDN lines was 16.2% at the end of April 2003, compared with 14.1% a year earlier. Global Telesystems announced in May 2000 that it had built the first fiber-optic connection to Budapest from the company’s EU-wide fiber network. Other fiber connections from Budapest to hubs in Vienna are being developed…

Broadband communications are spreading rapidly, and most modern services are available or will soon be. Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line services were launched in late 2000, by Matav, the dominant telecoms company, and by Vivendi, the second-largest fixed-line provider. Since then, ADSL penetration has been increasing rapidly and had reached 2% by the end of 2002…

“With the liberalization of the telecoms market, UPC (Hungary’s leading cable provider) and other players are introducing voice and data transmission over television cables. It is estimated that about 45% of Hungary’s 3.8 million households subscribe to cable television…

Mobile-phone penetration is growing rapidly: it was at 71.2% in May 2003, up from 56% in May 2002, according to the Communication Authority. There are three GSM 900 providers, which also provide DCS 1800 services. An auction for Universal Mobile Telecoms Services frequency concessions was scheduled for late 2003…

“The dominant mobile provider, Westel, launched General Packet Radio Services in 2000 and offered full coverage of the country in August 2001; rival Pannon launched its own service in July 2001. This will eventually increase the speed of mobile data transmission from the present fastest speed of 20 kb/s to 100 kb/s with the use of a GPRS handset…

“Westel launched Wireless Local Area Network service in November 2002 at Budapest’s Ferihegy Airport. The service is available at 28 points throughout Hungary, with additional points to be added soon.”

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