It’s Friday, which is a good thing. And, as on every Friday, IT Business Edge offers highlights of commentary and news from the past week.
Cisco Expands CRS-X
eWeek’s report on Cisco’s upgrading of its Carrier Routing System (CRS) starts with a recount of the massive amount of traffic the vendor identifies in its Visual Networking Index (VNI) report.
Apparently, the company believes in the conclusion and is building equipment to try to keep pace.
The new core router, the CRS-X, will traffic data at 10 times the speed of the original CRS. Slots will each operate as fast as 400 gigabits per second (Gbps), which can equal almost 1 petabit per second in a multi-chassis deployment. Each rack can reach 6.4 terabits per second (Tbps).
Users of the CRS-1 and CRS-3 can upgrade. That’s a good thing: The story says that more than 10,000 such routers have been sold to more than 750 telecom providers and enterprises worldwide since its introduction 10 years ago.
Even Hands-Free Is Risky
Auto makers seem to be doing a lot to improve vehicle safety, with features such as lane intrusion alarms and rear view cameras. However, one safety enhancer – voice-activated communications – may not be as safe as it appears.
PCMag and other sites reported on a study conducted by Professor David Strayer of the University of Utah on behalf of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Strayer found that the hands-free technology diverted drivers’ attention and kept them from fully concentrating on their driving. The study found that creating verbal email diverted concentration far more than passive (listening only) and somewhat active (speaking) activities:
In the study, researchers measured drivers' brainwaves and eye movements to see what happened when they performed different tasks, such as listening to the radio and talking on the phone while behind the wheel. They found that listening to the radio ranked as a "minimal" distraction, while talking on a cell phone, both handheld and hands-free, was a "moderate" risk. On the other hand, the researchers found that using voice-activated systems to send and receive email posed an "extensive" safety risk.
If replicated, the research is an important step in understanding precisely what happens when people participate in activities other than driving.
Fluidity in Smartphone Platform Demand
Retrevo has released interesting research on consumer smartphones desires. The Gadgetology report and ones like it are important to IT as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) continues to change the composition of the devices that employees use.
The results showed a number of trends, perhaps the most important of which is that Android users are only slightly disposed to buying a new phone that uses the same operating system (63 percent say they will). A healthier slice – 81 percent – of iPhone users plans to remain with Apple.
The numbers should be treated with a grain of salt for two reasons. Not every consumer understands that iOS and Android are apples and oranges in terms of how they are distributed and used. And the landscape is about to get more complex: A number of smaller OSes are set to emerge and market pushes in support of their platforms are planned by Microsoft and BlackBerry.
The survey was based on 3,428 responses after purchases on Bizrate’s Insights Network platform between May 29 and June 3.
BYOD has established itself as a main way in which devices are deployed through an enterprise. That’s an important and well-established realization. Equally important is getting a more precise idea of the total numbers and percentages in how this trend actually is permeating business.
Those figures of course will be specific to each organization. Strategy Analytics has done the next best thing, however, in releasing overall trend lines. In the first quarter, the firm reports, the number of smartphones bought by employees for work was double the number bought by employers. The firm said that more than 62 million smartphones – almost 30 percent of global smartphone sales – were bought by organizations or employees for use at work during the quarter. The firm adds that BYOD purchases in North America rose 18 percent year-over-year. In Asia Pacific, the increase was 77 percent.
Creepier Than Google Glass
And, finally, a story that in retrospect seems inevitable. Google Glass and other similar projects are raising concerns about security, personal privacy and, at a higher level, whether technology has run amok.
Folks who think this way are not likely to be put at ease by what’s going on at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. Researchers there, The New York Daily News and other sites report, are working on electronic contact lenses. The focus is on using graphene with silver nanowires. This material holds the promise of flexibility combined with high electrical and optical performance.