• Obama names Chopra CTO
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has named Aneesh Chopra, currently the secretary of technology for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, as the nation’s first-ever chief technology officer (CTO) to help reduce health care costs and foster cybersecurity.
Chopra joins Vivek Kundra, the nation’s first chief information officer (CIO), who will be responsible for setting technology policy across the government (story here).
According to The Wall Street Journal, Silicon Valley and the high-tech industry are very happy with Obama’s CTO choice (story here).
• Cisco aims at contribution video
By Brian Santo
Cisco is touting its new IP video contribution system, based on an MPEG-4 encoder developed by Fujitsu. Contribution systems provide a mechanism of transporting video programming from a source (such as a sports stadium) to a broadcast studio or headend. This stage of the production cycle is migrating to IP infrastructure. Tandberg Television has long focused on this segment, and Harmonic entered the market with its recent acquisition of Scopus (story here).
The Cisco-Fujitsu IP encoding platform includes the Cisco D9094 MPEG-4 advanced video coding (AVC) encoder, which was developed by Fujitsu to support both high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) video with low latency at low speeds, while preserving video quality.
Other elements include the Cisco D9094 HD encoder or the D9093 SD encoder, and both include an option for a built-in satellite modulator; the Cisco Digital Content Manager (DCM); both Cisco ROSA technology and Dimetis Link Connector and Link Manager Options for network and service management across the video contribution landscape. The system supports the use of satellite delivery using DVB-S or DVB-S2 modulation for news gathering and outside broadcast applications.
• Net Insight adds Ethernet switching to Nimbra
By Mike Robuck
Net Insight – a developer of optical transport products for media, IP and broadcast networks – today announced the availability of its Ethernet switching feature license for the Nimbra 600 series 8 x Gigabit Ethernet Access Module. Net Insight said the Ethernet switching feature offers flexibility that allows customers to transport any service to any network location.
Service providers, network aggregators and operators can use the new Ethernet switching feature to form virtual networks. This can be used for any application – such as quality of service (QoS) multicast transport of IPTV/cable TV traffic, distributed office LAN applications, file transfers or live broadcast video – and can be combined with native video/audio/telecom services.
The Ethernet switching feature enables up to eight Ethernet switches to be configured on each board, each with its own MAC learning tables and VLAN space. Each configured switch can allocate any number of switch ports from a set of eight physical and 247 logical Ethernet ports.
• TiVo bringing Stop||Watch to local markets
By Traci Patterson
TiVo is set to launch Stop||Watch Local Markets, a research tool that provides anonymous, second-by-second ratings data for programs and commercials airing in local U.S. markets.
Stop||Watch Local Markets will launch this summer, TiVo said, with the specific markets being prioritized by the first customers of the service.
"The dearth of information on television audiences in local markets, especially for specific commercial viewership, is astonishing in this day and age," said Todd Juenger, vice president and general manager of TiVo Audience Research & Measurement. "Even the biggest markets are stuck with sample sizes of less than 1,000 households, no commercial ratings and limited time-shifting data – and most smaller markets are still relying on diaries. With optimization of ad dollars and ROI more important than ever, advertisers, agencies, broadcasters, cable networks and distributors simply must have better audience data to make informed business and programming decisions and accurately access the performance of advertising campaigns."
• Adva enhances intelligent Ethernet portfolio
By Traci Patterson
Adva Optical Networking has released the FSP 150CC-324, which delivers a host of features for Ethernet demarcation, extension and aggregation.
With the addition of the FSP 150CC-324, Adva said that it provides solutions for delivering intelligent Ethernet in a consistent manner over virtually any access technology. And it enables service providers to deliver ubiquitous Ethernet services with a common look and feel.
The FSP 150CC-324 can be used to support Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)-based services, including Ethernet Private Line (EPL), Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL), Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) and E-tree, both on-net and off-net.
• Japan's KDDI to release solar-powered phone
By The Associated Press
TOKYO (AP) — Cell phone users could soon be turning to the skies to charge their handsets. Japan's No. 2 wireless carrier, KDDI Corp., said Monday that it will start selling a waterproof, sunlight-powered cell phone in June. The yet-to-be-priced handset is made by Sharp Corp.
A 10-minute solar charge will provide enough juice for a one-minute call or power the handset in standby mode for two hours, KDDI said. The sun can recharge up to 80 percent of the phone's battery. And the lower use of standard electricity will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the Tokyo-based firm said.
With Monday's announcement, KDDI has intensified the global race to develop and market "eco-friendly" products. Korean rival Samsung Electronics introduced a new solar-powered mobile phone in February, touting it as the world's first. The company says the phone is made from recycled plastic extracted from water bottles. It has not said when its handsets will go on sale, or for how much. And at CES in January, Motorola described its W233 Renew as the first carbon-neutral mobile phone; it also is made from plastics from recycled water bottles.