Robot Cars, Plum IVR, Infonetics on Routers, BlackBerry Apps

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Robot Cars, Plum IVR, Infonetics on Routers, BlackBerry Apps

Talk about your incredible journeys. This'd make a good TV series.
According to the Associated Press, a team of driverless vehicles are "on an 8,000-mile road trip from Europe to China," with the goal of covering arriving in Shanghai on Oct 28, for a final demonstration at the World Expo.
And what do they have to show for it so far? "A pair of fender-benders, two technology-loving hitchhikers and 22 hours blocked at the Russian border."
Italian engineers from the University of Parma are "testing sensory technology that allow unmanned vehicles to avoid obstacles on the longest-ever road trip of driverless technology," the AP says, adding that "one month into the three-month journey, most errors have been human."
When they steer themselves, "the electric, solar-powered vehicles use laser scanners, seven cameras, GPS sensors and plenty of computing power, to avoid obstacles," Digitpedia says.
Read more here.

Plum's data center products are built from fully redundant components, company officials say: "Each data center rack contains multiple VoiceXML IVR gateways, redundant data networking components, and telecom circuits from redundant carriers. Each data center component has been deployed in thousands of settings."

Plum uses server hardware from Hewlett Packard for "reliability, system redundancy, and manageability," company officials say, adding that "telephony gateway components have collectively handled billions of calls."
Earlier this year TMC's Susan J. Campbell reported that "Single-source IVR system provider Plum Voice has announced the immediate availability of its new automated transcription feature with the ability to transcribe open ended caller responses in near real-time. This new feature is available with all Plum Voice products, including the Plum IVR Hosting suite, IVR Survey platform and onsite IVR system deployments."
The vendor "adheres to security best practices, with physical security, data encryption" and others, company officials say, noting that "Plum is a PCI certified vendor. ControlScan conducts third party security compliance scans on a monthly basis."
Read more here.

Market research firm Infonetics Research has recently released excerpts from "OTN, IPoDWDM, and GMPLS on Routers: Global Service Provider Survey," a report part of a series of analyst notes and surveys about the carrier routing and switching markets.
The report "investigates the level of service provider demand for IP over Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing, Optical Transport Network, Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching, and MPLS Transport Profile functions on routers," according to Infonetics officials.
Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research, said that "Contrary to the general industry impression that there is little interest in deploying IPoDWDM on routers, a surprisingly large percentage of the service providers we surveyed recently are using or will use IPoDWDM on routers."
Cisco's Mike Capuano noted that, "The motivation for developing IPoDWDMfor us was simple. By integrating colored optics as interfaces within routers, providers could reduce the need for external optical-electrical-optical transponder racks, cross connects and SONET/SDH switching layers. This dramatic network simplification resulted in lesser number of devices in the network, thus lowering maintenance, power, cooling and rack-space operational expenses.
Additionally, routers now had direct visibility into layer 1 optical transport network leading to innovative resiliency features like Proactive Protection."
Read more here.

App World 2.0 being more widely available could be a boon to BlackBerry users looking to buy apps.
Until Thursday, "App World 2.0 was available to users on an invite-only basis starting in late July. The second version of BlackBerry's application store adds some features that could attract more users and developers to the platform," says industry observer Nancy Gohring.
"The new version of the Web store brings a number of welcome changes, such as carrier billing, better searching, and better management tools for end users,"according to industry observer Eric Zeman. "RIM offered the newer version of App World to a select group of users in beta form a few weeks ago, but recently began pushing the final version out to all BlackBerry users late Thursday. Users will be notified when the update is available to their handset."
End users can now buy applications using major credit cards, Gohring says, adding that they also "may be able to add purchases on their mobile bill, depending on the carrier. Previously, users paid with PayPal.
Previously, developers could offer their apps for free or for more expensive prices. But the lower prices are common on other platforms like the iPhone and they could attract more buyers and developers."
Read more here.

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