Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Google and Sesame Street

I guess I'm feeling frivolous today after getting two nagging items from my tall todo stack completed, but...

I appreciate what Sesame Street and the much lesser renowned Electric Company did for me as a kid, but I think it's highly amusing that a veteran children's program gets far more attention from Google than any other topic I can think of.  Any other multi-day campaigns come to mind?  I can't think of any. 

Do you think that it says something about the age demographics of the powers that be at Google that they were running Sesame Street Google ads all week?  Or is it just a soft-spot for muppets?  A secret ploy by the Public Broadcasting Service to increase viewership?

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on it...

Friday, November 6, 2009

LTE Connected Car - Behind the scenes of the New York City Launch

I love watching "the making of" shows.  Seeing the huge amount of work and detail that goes into creating movies or TV shows is really eye-opening.  And it's just about as interesting to watch a trade show or a press event come together.  Although this time I didn't directly participate in the show bring up, I have previously been privileged enough to particpate a few of these events.  It's a huge amount of work to organize and keep running, all for such a brief moment in time. 

Because seeing behind the scenes is kinda fun, I thought I'd share some of these pictures taken by my coworkers and our PR agency.  These shots were all taken before the press started streaming in.

"Is this all for me?  Really guys, you shouldn't have!"

Makeup artists at work

Our names in lights!

The Star waiting for her entrance

"I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille"

Yeah baby, we stylin.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

LTE Connected Car - The magic is in the software

There is no doubt that without LTE, the connected car wouldn't be a reality.  Network infrastructure, LTE modems, advanced antennas, and piles of routers--your traditional carrier conceerns--are all absolute necessities.  That's a lot of cutting-edge hardware that's needed to deliver all those bits.  But what are you going to do with that flood of bandwidth to the car?

You Need Software. 

I know I'm biased here--my degree is in Comp Sci, I've programmed for the majority of my career, and I work for a software company. So of course I think software's important.  But without all those magic bits, how else could you take advantage of the capabilities of the cloud?  You need integrated software stacks, multimedia codecs, virtual execution environments, advanced HMI capabilities with attractive graphics, vehicle connections, bluetooth and portable device connectivity, Internet protocols, and all the sophisticated software that goes into the most advanced in-vehicle infotainment system around.

What exactly does that look like?  Quite simply, it is the QNX CAR software stack, and it looks like this:

(If you need a microscope to read this, click on the image for a bigger version.)

Yep, you're right.  That's a whopping pile of code.  If you're a software guy like me, you'll understand that every one of those blocks represents hundreds to thousands of lines of carefully crafted and tested source.  And that it's quite a bit of work to put that together.  And that it would take months or even years to craft something that contains all those smoothly interworking pieces.  The ng Connect program wanted something available today and not five years from now, so the Connected Car started with QNX CAR to make their magic.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ngConnect and the LTE Connected Car

I'm writing this from my New York hotel room, after having spent a long day doing press interviews from dawn to dusk.  I'm pretty bushed, actually, but I wanted to be the first to blog about the ng Connect Connected Car that QNX and Alcatel-Lucent announced today (http://ngconnect.org/).  That hope was dashed almost immediately once the day begun, since the press was blogging about it while they were still actually at our event, sneaking off into corners of the showroom to blog the second after they were done talking to us.  Reporters today are pretty darn efficient!  I think Wired may have been first (living up to their name), and there was actually no competition from me.  But maybe, just maybe, I thought I could at least be the first in my company to blog about it.  Nope.  Two of my coworkers beat me to the punch.  Also dreadfully efficient. 

I could tell you all about how the collaboration of the ng Connect companies bring together innovators and experts from across many different spaces--networking, infrastructure, automotive, content--and make a sum that's greater than the parts.  I could explain how Long Term Evolution (LTE), sometimes called 4G, will revolutionize the car experience by bringing broadband connections to the car, allowing on-demand streaming audio and video, cloud-based navigation, floating traffic probes, collecting diagnostics, viewing your home PVR content, and general Internet Web 2.0 awesomeness.  I could say how great the partnership between QNX and Alcatel-Lucent has been in working together to build the vehicle that showcases this amazing technology.  I could talk about how the software platform was all constructed on top of the QNX CAR application platform, and how that since QNX CAR is Flash based, it made it trival for other ng Connect partners like Atlantic Records, Chumby, and Kabillion to port over their content to the ng Connect Connected Car.  I could explain how little I've actually seen of NYC while I've been here.

Instead of all that, I'll let you read my coworker's blogs for the real scoop.  Maybe when I catch up on my sleep, I'll post a little more.  Until then, take a look at these: