Viodi View – 11/17/14

“The past is to learn from, not to live in.” – Everett Christensen, author of 73 Magic Management Words +2, as well as owner of the Independent broadband provider, Christensen Communications. The past couple of weeks there have been ample opportunities for me to look at the past. It’s easy to only see the positive in the past and anticipate the negative in the future. As Christensen points out, one should use the wisdom of experience to shape the future.


Autonomous Vehicles Parallel Broadband – Find a New Audience and Be a Rock Star

Graph showing evolution of the vehicle in the digital age.
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A lesson learned many years ago is that one way to look like a “rock star” is to speak to a group that doesn’t know much about your topic. In my case, a talk I gave in June 1993 regarding cable modems to telephone and fiber optic engineers was so well received, one of the audience members practically gave a standing ovation (OK, he was standing when he made his glowing comments about the technology). It wasn’t like I had ground-breaking knowledge; it was just new to this particular audience*.

Click here to read why the autonomous car has me feeling like its 1993 again.


Smartly Connecting Rural Cooperatives

CTC truck at one of their equipment offices.
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On the surface, the Smart Rural Community® Showcase Award from NTCA is about how an operator mixes bandwidth and technology to create new opportunities for their community. The award is more than these elements, however, as it is also a reflection of the operator’s initiative and their “smarts” to continue to find ways to make their communities relevant within and beyond their service territory borders. CTC of Brainerd, MN is a great example of a company that continually bucks the status quo and was recently awarded for its efforts with an NTCA Smart Rural Community® Showcase Award.

Click here to view and read more.


Moving the Cheese to a Smart Rural Community

Kurt Gruendling of WCVT displays the Smart Rural Community road sign symbolizing the award his company received from NTCA at their 2014 Fall Conference.
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Who moved the cheese? It was Cabot Cheese as they recently moved their administration and marketing office to the service territory of Waitsfield Champlain Vermont Telephone. WCVT’s fiber infrastructure was a key element for Cabot Cheese’ move to Waitsfield, VT. Similar to many rural operators, Cabot Cheese is a cooperative consisting 1,200 family farms in New York and New England with dairy facilities in multiple states.

Click here to view and read more.


Close Caption Challenges for the Independent Producer

An example of a close caption on a video hosted on YouTube .
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A recent FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order provides insight into the operations of and highlights the challenges for independent video producers. It also serves as a warning for any independent producer, no matter their size, that they need to understand the close captions requirements for the distribution media (e.g. TV, Internet, etc.) where their content will appear. It took eight years for the FCC to recognize the burden of close captions on one independent producer from the heartland.

Click here to read more.


Some Tweets and Short Thoughts

  • “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” Great quote from Metaswitch’s Steve Gleave on his Telco Americana blog. He has a very enlightening interview with Paul Bunyan’s Director of Marketing, Brian Bissonette, who is a bit of a local celebrity (Go BSU Beavers!). It has been fun to see how Paul Bunyan has expanded and evolved over the last two decades and this excellent interview provides valuable insight into how it was done and how local people make a difference.
  • A Google mapping set-up at career day in Silicon Valley.
    Google Mapping

    Only in #SiliconValley do people from #GoogleMaps & #iTunes present @ middle school career day #Bigactstofollow

  • It will be interesting to see if the rooftop thermal energy storage/cooling described at this link is pratical for data center use. As pointed out, the model is reminiscent of the Canadian one where hot water heaters are owned by the utility and used as a store of energy.
  • Michael Powell’s column on “Why the @FCC should focus on broadband competition, not heavy regulation, in the @ocregister
  • What’s so progressive about using laws written 80 years ago? More later…..

The Korner – From Motorcycles to Smart Lightbulbs – CES Video Opportunities for Broadband Providers

The “Korner” typically features topics that are tangential to the rest of the Viodi View coverage. I used to think International CES coverage was tangential, but last year, when I crossed paths with someone who had purchased brain wave sensing ears based on a ViodiTV video, it hit me that some of this content might be useful for operators’ local content needs. The exact details are still being determined, but this is a heads up if you are interested in a crowdsource-type program for the 2015 CES coverage, whereby independent operators could acquire original content for their local channel. Email me for more information. In the meantime, here are a couple of fun videos from CES 2014.

The Motorcycle for Everyone

A Can Am motorcycle at Pepcom's pre 2014 International CES event.
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Motorcycles are fun for those with a thirst for a bit of adventure. Unfortunately, the skill required to ride them makes them out of reach for many. Can-Am solves this skill challenge by adding a second wheel on the front of the motorcycle. In addition to the stable ride created by this third-leg, the Can-Am has many of the advanced connectivity one now expects in an automobile. Check out this video from CES, where Can-Am spokesperson, Erica Swerdlow, points out they have kept the fun in riding motorcycles, while making them accessible for those who would otherwise stay in their cars.

Click here to view.

Visions of Uncle Fester – A Light Bulb with a Memory

A lightbulb with a built-in battery that stays on, even when the AC fails.
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Imagine a lightbulb that stays on when power is interrupted? Well, that’s what Charlotte entrepreneur of the year, Shaliendra Suman, not only imagined, but put into action with a Kick Starter campaign that funded the development and production of the SmartCharge LED lightbulb. A built-in battery, coupled with intelligence to detect the position of a lightswitch, allows this energy-efficient LED lightbulb to stay illuminated for up to 4 hours without power. As importantly, one can turn it off, even when the power is out, through use of the same light switch that would be used when there is power.

Click here to view.

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