TechStop


October 31, 2011  3:32 PM

Google TV – Where is it



Posted by: Joshua Wood
googletv

Hi all, GoogleTV made a big splash a good while ago. It came in with wild ideas and expectations that could take the roof off of a place. But many months later, where is it. Google has announced that they haven’t given up on the product. In fact they are releasing a new version of the idea.

The big question though is content. If Google can’t get content for their product then it is useless and so far they haven’t really delivered anything new or special. Maybe GoogleTV will go the way of GoogleBuzz eventually or it could become the next YouTube. It is hard to say at this point but the outcome doesn’t currently look promising.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

October 31, 2011  3:29 PM

Microsoft – Lync and Skype



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Lync, Microsot, Skype

Hi all, Microsoft has this perceived vision that eventually everyone will run their phones over the Internet. With Microsoft’s Lync collaboration tool and the recent purchase of Skype that may be a viable reality in the coming years.

Microsoft’s Lync product is coming along. It is immature for large businesses at the moment that need lots of call queues and the like but Skype could give Lync the final piece to the puzzle that allows them to take the PBX up into the cloud. That will make telephone providers upset but I don’t Microsoft is the only one trying to do that, everyone is, even traditional telephone providers see this as the way the world is going. Tie Lync into Skype and give Lync a few more years and you will have a solid offering that will compete with the larger players out there.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


October 31, 2011  3:24 PM

Apple Siri for All – Maybe



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Apple, Siri

Hi all, Apple’s Siri has quickly become a geeks dream. Beckoning back to the days of StarTrek people have always wanted to be able to order their tech around verbally as well as with a keyboard. Now thanks to 2 hackers Siri may be coming to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3Gs owners of the world.

2 hackers are close, or so they say, to finding out a way to get Siri onto a jailbroken iPhone. Since jailbreaking isn’t illegal i North America it could greatly increase the installed base of Siri.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/242849/apples_siri_speaks_also_on_iphone_4_ipod_touch_4g.html

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


October 31, 2011  3:19 PM

Cisco – CleanAir



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Cisco, CleanAir, wireless

Hi all, Cisco’s CleanAir technology is pretty new to the market. The idea though is simple enough. It enables access points to sample interference so that they can avoid it. The results are pretty impressive and give wireless the ability to avoid microwave ovens like it should have always had.

Wile the CleanAir implementation needs some work, like everything, it is definitely a good idea well on its way to becoming a staple of the wireless world.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


October 29, 2011  4:54 PM

Cisco ISE – Key for BYOD



Posted by: Joshua Wood
BYOD, Cisco, Integrated Service Engine, iphone, ISE

Hi all, today more and more companies are opening up their cooperate infrastructure to BYOD or Bring Your Own Device strategies. This has serious implications for IT departments because you have no way of knowing who will bring in what at what time and for what reason. Well, leave it to Cisco to have a solution to this.

Cisco has come out with the Integrated Service Engine or ISE that lets you classify devices passively. The ISE (pronounced ice) will watch the traffic flowing from a device and based on several parameters determine the hardware type and sometimes OS version that is being used. Once it finds that out it matches it with who is using the hardware and assigns a security context for the user. Let’s look at a scenario where this would come into play.

John Doe works for school and is a teachers assistant. The school doesn’t provide John with a corporate data device like a laptop or iPad but John finds that it makes his job a lot easier and he can also use it for personal activities during his breaks if he has one with him during the day. (So basically, a user who has their personal device at work for whatever reason.) The board has decided that that this is ok and in fact encouraged for everyone including older students. How do you separate and secure these devices?

The short answer is of course ISE but a more detailed answer is that the ISE lets the users logon to the network and identifies if the device is corporate controlled desktop in the library or the personal iPad by watching the traffic, mac address and other info. Then it puts them in a VLAN with a set of ACLs that is specific to them and their temporary IP.

I realize that this is complex topic and it always helps to see it in action so check out the link just below.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


October 29, 2011  4:42 PM

Cisco Should Make Products Not Hardware



Posted by: Joshua Wood
ASA, Cisco, hardware, ISE, ISR G2, prodcuts, VMware

Hi all, I like Cisco. Someone would say I love Cisco. They make great products. They fill the voids that are in the market with solid solutions but here is what I don’t understand, perhaps you can enlighten me. Why isn’t Cisco moving towards a services focus more than a hardware one. I have said this before, in the age of virtualization Cisco needs to narrow their product lines and offer their products as virtual appliances not hardware products.

There are two trains of thought here so bear with me. First path, they make the products that don’t require specific hardware virtual appliances. AND THEY DON’T OFFER HARDWARE VERSIONS. This would reduce the complexity of scoping, buying, supporting and understanding their product lines thus reducing cost for them and their customes. It would also allow customers the flexibility of running their products on whatever hardware meets the specifications that are needed. Take the wireless LAN controller product, why offer that as a hardware appliance? If someone needs the hardware to run it on there should be a sku that is a router with service module that runs VMware that this comes pre-installed and configured that you can order. It would be ready to use right out of the box. You can get these VMware based service modules for some of their smallest routers.

There are cons to this of course. It puts a strong reliance on the VMware technology that Cisco doesn’t control and the cost of the router might be more than the cost of a 1U server. While this isn’t my preferred option it is one that I hope they have considered.

Second path, and this is the best path in my mind. Use the ISR G2 licensing model and make different products additional columns in the IOS licensing model. You already have voice, security and data right now, create an additional set of columns for WLC, ASA or ISE. That way the hardware that is great and already well-known only needs a license key to open up the functionality even further. This reduces so many various areas to one that are a lot easier to control that the benefit would be huge. Most if not all of the issues with the first option are removed as well.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


October 29, 2011  4:26 PM

RIM Delays Playbook Update — Not News



Posted by: Joshua Wood
BlackBerry, PlayBook, RIM

Hi all, RIM has been struggling for a while now. Recently they had several days of outages and from that there have been allegations that they might have to pay fines or settlements for their lack or ability to resolve the issues that have come up. Now they have delayed a key update to their tablet product.

The delay of the tablet product isn’t really news. Apple dominates in the tablet space so completely that you have to ask yourself why anyone thought that they had a chance in that space anyway but they had to try right. The thing that is surprising thought is that everyone else thought this was news. RIM is faltering … badly. While I hope they can recover, I don’t see it happening.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


October 29, 2011  4:22 PM

Siri Likes Interrogation



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Apple, iphone, Siri

Hi all, Apple has announced and released the iPhone 4s. One of the key features of the new hardware platform is Siri. It is meant as an assistant that you can assign tasks via voice commands. It seems geared towards tasks like driving or running where you could use your hands to do these tasks but you shouldn’t.

I have seen Siri in action and it or, I suppose she, works pretty. Unless you have actual work to do there isn’t much to show off to your friends with Siri which is why I think Apple added in a bunch of random questions that you can ask Siri. For example, you can ask Siri where to bury a body, what the meaning of like is or what she is wearing. These are alll supposed to have several answers that are given at random and they are supposed to be quite funny/sarcastic. One of the most interesting rumours that I have heard is that Siri can recognize another Siri and will start to have a conversation between themselves. That would be interesting to see.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


September 30, 2011  2:39 PM

Should RIM Let the PlayBook Go



Posted by: Joshua Wood
PlayBook, RIM

Hi all, the RIM PlayBook has been on the market for a while. So how is it doing? Well, it is hard to say since the tablet market has so many competitors in it now. With the introduction of Amazon’s tablet offering it gets even more confusing. There are several people that have put a nail in RIM’s coffin already but that is likely premature given the history of the company. They could very well recover, look at Apple.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


September 30, 2011  2:34 PM

Cisco IOS ZFW vs ASA



Posted by: Joshua Wood
ASA, Cisco, IOS, ISR G2, ZFW

Hi all, the ASA is Cisco’s premiere firewall solution with most of their marketing leading people towards the ASA when they need a firewall. The Cisco IOS has more features, more horse power and is more flexible than the ASA. This leads you to question why Cisco just doesn’t use the licensing model that they introduced with the ISR G2 routers and add a column entitled ASA or Firewall and put all of their features into that, discontinue the ASA and call it a day.

Sure there is an argument for a firewall that doesn’t have all of the features of a router but that is a little bit like saying no wants to break into a crappy sub-mini-car but the RV but the SUV has lots of stuff in it so let’s go for that one. Given the choice I would rather have the standard command line interface and routing abilities of the router rather than lock myself into a firewall platform that has fewer features simply because someone told me the firewall is what I should have. What are your thoughts?

Until next time,
TechSto (JW)


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