Viodi View – 11/18/13

Can drivel be thought-provoking? Sometimes it can, even if not for the reason intended. A recent episode of Two Broke Girls had me thinking thoughts that CBS probably had no intent on stirring. Those thoughts, combined with the timing of Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) bill, S1680, regarding the creation of a new class of online video distributor, inspired my post suggesting that now is the time to re-examine the policy of giving away spectrum for television signal delivery. Read more in the Korner, below.


Small Cells – More Than Just a Bandwidth Solution

Ken Pyle interviews Rob Riordan of Nsight/Cellcom regarding Small Cell Technology.
Click to view

The impetus for regulating radio waves was the interference caused by multiple operators. Eighty years later, thanks to technologies like spectrum-aware devices and the transition to digital from analog transmission, and it is possible for the spectrum to be managed more dynamically (think WiFi)  than the slow hand of a regulator. Another factor in this new way of thinking is the emergence of small cell technology.

We recently caught up with Rob Riordan of the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based operator, Cellcom, who has been a long-time, small cell proponent and has been awarded for his pioneering efforts with small cell technology.

Click here to hear his insights on how small cell technology has implications beyond bandwidth re-use.


Digital Energy 2.0

Ken Pyle interviews Robby Simpson of GE Digital.
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Robby Simpson, PhD, System Architect of GE Digital Energy, explains the differences between Smart Energy Profile 1.0 and 2.0 and how the 2.0 specification, with its Internet Protocol capability, is going to provide flexibility with and interoperability between the protocol technology (e.g. Zigbee, HomePlug, WiFi, etc.) utilized for smart grid applications. The benefit of such an approach is the creation of an ecosystem that brings together all facets of the smart grid, lowering the overall cost of implementing new features that improve efficiency.

Click here to view.


Silicon Photonics – Cisco and Intel see “Light at the End of the Tunnel” by Alan Weissberger

Silicon Photonics has the potential to enable intelligent powering, improving overall data center power efficiency.
SiPh WIll Improve Power Efficiency

Among the many presentations on Silicon Photonics (SiPh) at the excellent 2013 Open Server Conference,  two were of special interest:

  • Joel Goergen of Cisco called for a radically new data center architecture that used SiPh to interconnect components and modules, rather than circuit cards or racks of equipment.
  • Mario Paniccia of Intel focused on using SiPh for rack level interconnects, but called attention to total solution cost as a critical issue to be solved.

Click here to read more as to how this optical interconnect technology could radically change today’s datacenter.


Facebook Progress Report, Goals, and China Activities at SVIEF Annual Conference by Alan Weissberger

The Silicon Valley Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF) is an international conference designed to foster innovation and promote business partnerships between the U.S. and China. Famous U.S. speakers included Al Gore and Steve Wozniak, Congressman Mike Honda and Congresswoman Judy Chu, among others. We focus this article on the keynote speech by Vaughan Smith, PhD EE,Facebook’s VP of Corporate Development and Mobile Partnerships. The reason is that if Facebook is to significantly expand its mobile user base, it must enter the world’s largest mobile market – China!

Click here to read more.


Sustainable Community Through Broadband

A picture of downtown Olds, Alberta.
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Community leaders from Olds, Alberta describe their vision to ensure that their community remains relevant to its local institutions and people. The process took a several years and succeeded because various local institutions decided broadband was a priority and working together was the only way to make it happen. Lance Douglas, CEO of O-Net, describes the Fiber to the Home network they built as a giant community LAN; a gigabit network where a resident may, as Douglass said, “Store, secure and share your life.”

Click here to read more and to view.


Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • The low-cost cloud applications we enjoy today would not be possible if not for the low-cost hard-drive. This series of videos provides a glimpse of the challenges and the cleverness of the folks who developed the technology in the 70s and 80s that laid the part of the foundation for today’s innovations. Click here to view.
  • Kevin Beyer of Federated Telephone – “We became a technology leader when we started deploying #FTTH
  • “We try to orient not toward success or failure, but toward speed of iteration.” Automattic’s approach to software development.

The Korner – How is the Public Interest Served When Broadcasters Depict Illegal Behavior with No Consequences?

Perceived Great Risk of Marijuana Use among Youths Aged 12 to 17: 2002-2011
Perceived Great Risk of Marijuana Use among Youths Aged 12 to 17: 2002-2011

A recent episode of CBS’ hit series, Two Broke Girls, was thought-provoking; thought-provoking in the sense that it made me ponder, “In 2013, what is the public interest with regards to television broadcasters?”  That is, does it serve the public interest when a prime time (8:30/7:30 pm Monday), entertainment television program depicts behavior which is illegal under federal law without any negative consequences to those characters? In fact, one of the characters suggests a positive impact to the depicted behavior when she says at the end of the episode (20:37), “And another problem solved by weed.”

……..As I have pondered my original question, I realize that the right question isn’t whether the public interest is served by our current television broadcast licensing regime, but whether there are better ways to serve the public interest with the spectrum that the broadcast networks use. I contend today, as was implicit in an article I wrote five years ago, that opening up broadcast spectrum for broadband use would provide greater value to the public; essentially allowing everyone to be a broadcaster through the power of the Internet.

Enter the proposed Consumer Choice in Online Video Act, S. 1680 by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) which would radically change the way “cable television programming” is delivered.  To his 16 page bill, I would like to suggest an additional clause which would acknowledge that the “broadcast networks” really are cable networks, given that approximately 93% of their viewers are delivered via an MVPD or a broadband portal.

Click here to read the details in the full post.

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