Tag Archive: Computing


Cisco’s Videotic Future

Few months back, I viewed Cisco CTO Ms Padmasree Warrior Keynote presentation to Mobilize. I found her very impactful and commanding lady. She has very impressive outlook at Cisco’s future technology directions. I term her talk as “Videotic Future”. Padmasree’s talk was about learning of past and comparing it with present and future dynamics.

Here are my keynotes from her keynotes:

Today’s revolution of mobile and internet has brought true globalization by bring human innovation to The Flat World. With time rolling, mobile and internet mashup will soon become pervasive in our way of life. Result is Globalization 2.0, which is allowing seamless flow of capital and innovation between Developed world and Emerging economies. With this we see innovation is flourishing with solid collaboration across the borders. Today, innovation is not the means of solitary genius and large corp, it is oozing from all over places. Put your idea on blog/twitter and you will see people start ideation with you right from all corners of planet. This is indicative of transition from Brainstorming to Brainforming.

At Mobilize, she expressed her concerns about many mobile platforms, both open and proprietary, which are making mobile app developers very confused. There are still no standards  in mobile world and radio frequency not yet regulated across the world. But it is the time to bring internet to mobile to realize its full potential.

Some more retrospective comparisons:

  • Customer behavior is moving from “Ideation and Selection” to “Try and Buy it”.
  • World has moved from consumer and enterprise worker to just “user”.
  • From Public and private network of past, today we talk about “the network”.
  • Having compartmentalizing our past life, it is now about anytime anywhere, “Online”.
  • In the past creating and consuming were two different things and today we are talking about collaboration and sharing.

Every technology evolution has its shelf life, so as Internet, which has reached its threshold. According to her, future trends will be Video, Collaboration and Virtualization. With promising fattening pipes with 10 TBPS by 2010, it will change game the way we see it today. These bigger pipes will lead more demand for visual applications and visual network which will spread into Enterprise to Social through existing internet applications. Video Collaboration will be much bigger. That is why, Cisco is gunning for Videotic future with its products like TelePresence and MediaNet.

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Since college, passion for mathematics has transformed into daily Product Engineering solutions. Certainly, I miss that Math world, but staying happy with parallel world of Engineering. Yes, I think, both help in solving a problem-space by computational; engineering it’s about solving practical problem and math it’s about proving theorems.

Yesterday, stumbled upon YouTube presentation by known scientist Stephen Wolfram who has been involved in huge project of  Mathematica and written a book. Recently, he has gone ahead to answer the problem of organizing/computing world’s information.

Wolfram|Alpha is very fascinating project to create first computational knowledge engine to do sophisticated computations, both pure computations involving numbers or formulas, and computations applied automatically to data called up from its data sources.  This answers very computational requirement to turn generic information into specific answers where present search engine has struggled.

When we develop software, we also deal with this info but these IT data is very structure as it is directly meant for that targeted system. There is still no system which can read and comprehend any data and make sense out of it.

I was more interested in the internal organization of his answer to semantic search. In this presentation, he describes his system in four major components.

First building block is “Curated Data”, a data set which is derived from  different data sources and mapped into structures like XML/RDF.  Second is “Algorithm Computing”, a set of methods based on mathematical formulas to drive a scene out of this Curated Data. Third is “Linguistic Analysis” which interprets the human inputted question/queries and map it into one of the appropriate Algorithm to compute. And Final one, “Automatic Presentation” to judge the user interface required for a given query.

Wolfram gave his previous experience with Mathematica to answer open source. In past, he has made huge effort to put the code of Mathematica but he sadly admits there was hardly any interest due to its complexity.  I think he is right, this work may not be easily comprehensible at this stage, but may be in future, a better language will represent these scientist code in simpler fashion.

Wolfram way of monetization is very similar to Google propagated Adverts, relevant Ad per query. He also pointed out that he has been successful to bring collaborations with lots of major industry players. He accepts there is still lot of work to be done in machine’s Cognitive Reasoning to normalize data issues like juxtaposition and anthology queries.

As a whole, I still believe,  Wolfram can’t be a Google Killer but it can augment “expert answering” space where Google has not affected yet. At the end, Google should either catch up to it, or least, gulp & burp on it.

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