We have perhaps two more slightly less busy weeks left before the autumn onslaught hits. That said, this week saw some interesting, but not too positive, news from Cisco and some interesting commentary.
Cisco’s Mixed Quarter
Bloomberg offers an interesting analysis of the news this week that Cisco has cut 5 percent of its workforce, which is about 4,000 jobs. The site says that CEO John Chambers is seeking to right the company’s financial ship as the search for his successor continues. Under his leadership, Cisco has spent $10.6 billion buying 59 companies during the last three years.
Cisco’s results were not a disaster. The San Jose Mercury News and other sites pointed out that the financial results actually were positive; the story noted 42 cents per share on profits on record revenue of $12.4 billion, but guidance for the current quarter fell below expectations.
The Bloomberg story suggests that during its fiscal fourth quarter, Cisco faced increased competition from Huawei, Juniper Networks and HP. The piece also said that sales were weak outside the U.S.
Services to Protect Mobile Data
At Open Forum, American Express’s online magazine, Ritika Puri made solid suggestions on how sensitive files can be protected on mobile devices.
iCloud, for instance, can tell the owner where the device is and lock it. The service Prey is even more creative: It allows the owner to grab screenshots when the person who swiped or found the device is using it. It is possible that something on the screen leads to identification. It also can use the device’s camera to take and transmit a shot of the new “owner.”
The story also looks at options, some of them very creative, that are available on Norton Snap QR Code Reader, Lookout and Stash.
Verizon’s FiOS Growing, Copper Dying
Verizon made a strategic decision several years ago to use an all-fiber approach to its FiOS broadband initiative, while AT&T opted to save money by using existing digital subscriber line (DSL) options. Initially, Verizon hoped to transfer 300,000 customers from copper to fiber (and FiOS) during 2013. The company said this week that it likely will exceed that goal.
Fierce Telecom reports that Verizon claims to have converted 169,000 customers from copper to fiber during the first half of the year. The story mentions the transition from copper to fiber in Fire Island, N.Y., a Long Island. The resort area lost its copper during Super Storm Sandy, which accelerated the transition.
Mobility Rising Among Clinicians
From the start, the fact that health care workers are moving almost constantly and need flexible and instant communications suggested that health care would be one of the key mobile verticals.
It is mostly working out that way, as well. Epocrates, a company that produces mobile reference materials, released a study tracking the progress of mobile among clinicians. The study focused on 1,063 physicians and mid-level practitioners.
Epocrates, according to a piece at InformationWeek, found that 86 percent of the surveyed professionals reported using smartphones at work, a rise of 8 percent since last year. The survey found that 53 percent use tablets, a jump of 19 percent. All of the respondents use a PC and almost half use all three devices, an increase of 19 percent since last year.
Google Glass Just the Start
And, finally, a story that is a bit cool and a bit scary. Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, expects exciting things to be available in 2029. He called Google Glass a “solid first step,” according to CNET. His comments on what the future may bring are striking:
If you want to go into virtual reality the nanobots shut down the signals coming from your real senses and replace them with the signals that your brain would be receiving if you were actually in the virtual environment. So this will provide full-immersion virtual reality incorporating all of the senses. You will have a body in these virtual-reality environments that you can control just like your real body, but it does not need to be the same body that you have in real reality. We’ll be able to interact with people in any way in these virtual-reality environments. That will replace most travel, but we’ll also have new travel technologies for our real bodies using nanotechnology.
His predictions track pretty closely to the underrated Bruce Willis thriller Surrogates. In such a world, millions of exciting things, good and bad, would be possible. For example, countries would be able to wage real/virtual wars and disabled people would have real full-body experiences.