The Changing Face of Technology and Innovation

GlobalReach A friend of mine’s son recently returned from an extended absence which basically removed him from nearly all aspects of technology, including the Internet, for a bit longer than 5 years. Upon return, observing him restore his awareness of technologies and absorb all things new developed over the past 5 years was both exciting and moving.

To be fair, the guy grew up in an Internet world, with access to online resources including Facebook, Twitter, and other social applications.

The interesting part of his re-introduction to the “wired” world was watching the comprehension flashes he went through when absorbing the much higher levels of application and data integration, and speed of network access.

As much as all of us continue to complain about terrible access speeds, it is remarkable to see how excited he became when learning he could get 60Mbps downloads from just a cable modem. And the ability to download HD movies to a PC in just a few moments, or stream HD videos through a local device.

Not to mention the near non-need to have CATV period to continue enjoying nearly any network or alternative programming desired.

Continuing to observe the transformation, it took him about 2 minutes to nail up a multipoint video call with 4 of his friends, take a stroll through my eBook library, and prepare a strategy for his own digital move into cloud-based applications, storage, and collaboration.

Looking back to my personal technical point of reference at the point this kid dropped out, I dug up blog articles I’ve posted with titles such as:

  • “Flattening the American Internet” (discussing the need for more Internet Exchange Points in the US)
  • “IXPs and Disaster Recovery” (the role IXPs could and should play in global disasters)
  • “2009 – The Year of IPv6 and Internet Virtualization”
  • “The Law of Plentitude and Chaos Theory”
  • “Why I Hate Kayaks” (the hypocrisy of some environmentalists)
  • “Contributing to a Cause with Technology – The World Community GRID” (the cloud before the cloud)
  • “Blackberrys, PDA Phones, and Frog Soup”

And so on…

We have come a long way technically over those years, but the amazing thing is the near immediacy of the young man absorbing those changes. I was almost afraid with all the right brain flashes that he would have a breakdown, but the enjoyment he showed diving into the new world of “apps” and anytime, anywhere computing appears to only be accelerating.

Now the questions are starting to pop up. “Can we do this now?” “It would be nice if this was possible.”

Maybe because he grew up in a gaming world, or maybe because he was dunked into the wired world about the same time he learned to stand on his own feet. Maybe the synaptic connections in his brain are just much better wired than those of my generation.

Perhaps the final, and most important revelation for me, is that young people have a tremendous capacity to exploit the technology resources developed in just a few short years. Collaboration tools which astound my generation are slow and boring to the new crew. Internet is expected, it is a utility, and it is demanded at broadband speeds which, again, to somebody whose first commercial modem was a large card capable of 300 baud (do you even know what baud means?) is still mind boggling.

The new generations are going to have a lot more fun than we did, on a global scale.

I am jealous

Burbank Takes on Puppy Mills – Interview with Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy

    EDITOR’S NOTE:  This article by the author originally appeared in BurbankNBeyond.  This and the interview with Councilman David Gordon, are the final articles in a series researching the introduction of a proposed pet Sales and Breeding Regulations Ordinance that may potentially eliminate the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in the City of Burbank.

    BurbankNBeyond requested interviews with city council members to learn and publish their positions and opinions on the topic, issues, and proposed ordinance.  Vice Mayor Gable-Luddy and Councilman Dr. David Gordon agreed to discuss the issue with BurbankNBeyond, other council members and the Mayor did not respond to requests for interview.

    The interview segment with Councilman Gordon is the final in this series.  You can read Councilman Gordon’s interview to gain a different perspective and viewpoint on the issue.

    Previous articles in the series include:

  • Interview with Councilman David Gordon

  • Burbank Takes on Puppy Mills – An Animal Rights Perspective

  • Burbank Takes on Puppy Mills – A Pet Store Owners Perspective

  • Burbank Takes on Puppy Mills

    • _______________________________

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  The issue is about mill puppies.  Puppies that are purchased from known puppy mills or factory breeding facilities.  There is a critical distinction to make.  Nobody is against adopting or selling puppies from reputable breeders, but I think the community, the residents, through their testimony (at city council meetings), their letters, and their petitions, have made it pretty clear that they are in opposition to perpetuating puppy mills by purchasing puppies from those kinds of breeding facilities.

      But they’re not opposed to having puppies.

      The community made a very clear point of that during our last council meeting (16 Oct).

      BurbankNBeyond:  How did you get involved?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  I brought it to council at the first step for consideration by council as a whole.  It was brought to my attention by Burbank residents.  Any council member can introduce an item for additional discussion and possible action.

      City staff then brought a report to council for discussion on whether to proceed or not.

      BurbankNBeyond:  Within the city, how big a problem is this (puppy mill discussion)?  Is this a big enough problem that it really justifies this much attention and emotion for discussion by the Burbank City Council, as well as the residents of Burbank?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  Well the residents of Burbank have really spoken up and they themselves have said they want this kind of business stopped.  And frankly it’s about the humane treatment of, in this case, dogs.

      As long as there is demand for puppies from puppy mills there will be factory breeding facilities.  While it is clear they are not (commercial breeders) in Burbank, I think it is pretty clear the community has said we don’t want to be participants in this inhumane practice.

      There are no breeding facilities in our community.

      BurbankNBeyond:  What impact will this, a single community have in the long term objective in stopping puppy mills?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  The Animal Welfare Act is nearly 50 years old.

      One of the most impressive things that I think can happen is people at the grass roots level, and that may be an individual neighborhood, or an individual community starts to take action.

      It’s by that kind of community by community action that we finally see an effect at the state or national level.  Rather than look at this as a city by city thing, I think, my experience has been that it is extremely grass roots.

      People are recognizing that breeding a female over and over and over again with multiple litters on an annual basis, in the conditions that have been documented.

      If you look at the materials presented you will see this is factual information.  I think grassroots is good.

      BurbankNBeyond:  Should the federal government take a more proactive approach to the issue?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  It is always good to approach your legislators, whether local, state, or federal and ask for a strengthening of laws or reinforcement of laws.

      I don’t think any of us would argue with that.

      The only focus on the City of Burbank is focusing on the community.  I am certain that the direction we (City of Burbank) take on this that it will gain the attention of state legislators.

      BurbankNBeyond:  Should I have the right to adopt or acquire any puppy I want, a husky puppy, or a malamute puppy?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  There are a variety of sources for acquiring puppies.  And there has never been any problem with buying them from a reputable breeder, or adopting from a rescue, or adopting from a specialty breed rescue.

      There is no problem acquiring a puppy from a breeder if you are seeking a particular breed.  There are plenty of reputable breeders who breed those kinds of pure-bred dogs.

      What I’ve been impressed with when you go to someone who is a reputable breeder is that first of all they do not “sell” their dogs.  Secondly they interview the people who are considering buying puppies.  And thirdly they make the potential buyer very much aware of the temperament of the dog to see whether or not the owner understands what’s required, and if it’s the right kind of dog.

      It’s a much more one on one understanding.  Many of the reputable breeders will require the buyer to spay or neuter the dogs.

      BurbankNBeyond:  Do you have a position on puppies bought or sold over the Internet?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  There are so many legitimate breeders in Southern California that I’m surprised someone wouldn’t just take the time to see the litter and meet the parents, see what kind of facility they are being raised in, and conclude their purchase in that manner.  That seems like the most humane thing to do.

      BurbankNBeyond:  What happens if this ordinance passes?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  I think it may result in some business changes for stores which sell mill puppies.  But I don’t think it puts them out of business.  And it doesn’t preclude them from buying puppies from reputable breeders, or acquiring puppies from an adoption or a shelter.

      I think it will resolve concerns raised by the community.

      I wouldn’t say this is a Best Friends (Animal Society) driven discussion.  If it was a Best Friends driven discussion you wouldn’t have the hundreds of letters, petitions, and letters to the editor.

      BurbankNBeyond:  What do Burbank residents need to know about this issue prior to the next council meeting?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  It is very important that residents come to Council, or communicate with Council and let them know their position on this (discussion).  It is important that residents continue to educate themselves on what the alternatives are, and it is important that residents speak out.

      If residents continue to show up as they have in the past that that they are demonstrating to all of us that they want to put an end to this inhumane kind of treatment to animals.

      I think our community should know that our staff reports are coming out usually a few days before the Council meeting, and should be available by next Thursday.

      Just like people have weighed in on the Internet, I think it is important to continue the dialog.

      During the last community meeting on October 16th there was a preponderance of evidence that Peggy Woods (Pet Emporium) has purchased puppies from puppy mills, that the (puppies) came from Missouri, and that the violations (if you look at the page), that there was a USDA record of violations if you look at the facility that occurred at the time one of the dogs was there (dogs offered for sale at Peggy Woods).

      So it seems to me there is a preponderance of evidence that they would have bought (Peggy Woods) from puppy mills.

      From my point of view that’s not an ethical business practice.

      BurbankNBeyond:  Why do you think Councilman Gordon would be so reluctant to support the issue or community’s position?

      Vice Mayor Gabel-Luddy:  After all the presentations were done (at the end of the October meeting) I asked everybody on council, all of my colleagues,  members if the presentation by Ms. Rizzotti’s (Shelly Rizzotti, BurbankCROPS) changed anybody’s mind about how they felt about things.  Because her research was so specific, and from my point of view so impeccable.  And I know Mr. Golonski (Mayor, City of Burbank) answered me, but Councilmember Gordon did not.

      So I don’t know.  It seemed to be clearly the community desire to change the business model of that (sales of commercially-bred puppies) that practice here in Burbank.  Which I applaud.

      We raised the possibility his son worked at Peggy Woods, and I think he admitted as much.  So I don’t know.

      Burbank Takes on Puppy Mills – An Interview with Councilman David Gordon

      EDITOR’S NOTE:  This interview was originally published by the author at BurbankNBeyond. This and the interview with Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, are the final articles in a series researching the introduction of a proposed pet Sales and Breeding Regulations Ordinance that may potentially eliminate the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in the City of Burbank.

      BurbankNBeyond requested interviews with city council members to learn and publish their positions and opinions on the topic, issues, and proposed ordinance.  Vice Mayor Gable-Luddy and Councilman Dr. David Gordon agreed to discuss the issue with BurbankNBeyond, other council members and the Mayor did not respond to requests for interview.

      This interview segment with Councilman Gordon is the final in this series.  You can also read Vice Mayor Gable-Luddy’s interview to gain a different perspective and viewpoint on the issue.

      Previous articles in the series include:

      ____________________________

      BurbankNBeyond:  can you give us an overview on your position regarding the sale of commercially-bred puppies in Burbank?

      Councilman David Gordon:  Well I have done quite a bit of research since this whole issue came up.  As far as I can understand, there is no disagreement with me as far as, in any legal way, to put an end to the so called puppy mills.  And I think we need a good definition of that.

      If any breeder, if in the process of breeding these animals involves having (them) subjected to harm, or unsafe conditions, unhealthy conditions, we don’t think any reasonable person would oppose (shutting them down), I wouldn’t oppose that.

      The concern I have is the approach being taken, and I can just give a few things that I’ve learned.

      First of all if they should ban the pet stores, what it’s going to do is drive the sales of dogs underground.  It does nothing to improve the welfare of pets whatsoever.  It doesn’t impact the puppy mills, whatever the definition is.  Because the non-pet stores that are not regulated will obtain the dogs directly from puppy mills.  There is no obligation to reveal, and no obligation that has any impact on the puppy mills..

      So that’s one thing.

      The other thing is where the dogs come from.  There are thousands and thousands of dogs being imported into the United States.  I do have some information from various reliable sources that there are literally hundreds of thousands of dogs being imported from Mexico, and other countries for sale in the current retail market.

      But when they come in, even if it is from outside of California, they still have to comply with the Polanco Act which calls for various vaccinations and health checks before they are marketed with warranties and guarantees to the purchasers of the dogs.

      So the other problem with this, and the reason that is so important the Polanco Act is so protective to the public, is that these imported dogs often – and this is by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta with articles published on this, is that they (imported dogs) carry with them diseases, such as new strains of rabies that are not common in the United States which have basically been eradicated.  And other exotic diseases that aren’t really obvious at the puppy stage.

      Although there are laws about importing dogs that haven’t had certain vaccinations in that country – apparently there is a loophole with very young puppies which are often what is most in demand.

      So there are some very severe and significant potential health consequences which I wasn’t aware of when the issue first came up which I think need to be considered by the council in passing any ordinance.  Because whatever the situation is now I don’t think anyone would want to make the situation worse in terms of public health, above and beyond pet health and safety.

      So that’s something I’ve learned.

      Another thing is, you know, I think if there is going to be any regulation as far as where these dogs come from, I don’t understand why, and I don’t see why, any group that provides dogs should be exempted, whether it is a non-profit organization, or a rescue group, any party that is providing dogs, you can’t just put it on puppy mills, you should have to reveal the source of where the dog comes from, and the fact that it has been properly processed through health procedures with vet’s inspections and such prior to putting it out to the public.

      I think this is very important, and I am very concerned that this is provided in an environment with no regulation.

      There are ways I think, and I have to wait and see what our city attorney has to say, because she has some comments that she was going to provide to us, I have to wait and see what her take is on the legality of various recommendations, but I don’t see why that we couldn’t as a city, couldn’t have a regulation to prevent dogs knowingly being sold from sources that are not properly attending to the animal’s welfare, or have any other ulterior motives for providing unhealthy dogs.

      I don’t think there should be a blanket proscription in saying anyone who breeds dogs and sells them is a puppy mill.  I don’t believe that’s the case.

      I also don’t believe it’s the case, as has been stated, you can simply adopt the pure bred dogs of your choice.  I don’t buy there are readily adoptable pure bred dogs of the particular type those (people) may want.

      I certainly don’t think any decision should be made in a hurried or rushed way, in an emotional way.  I think it is a valid concern that folks have about the welfare of all animals.

      The question I think is more what is the best way to do it (protect the welfare of animals).  In my case, as a government official in Burbank.  I’m not worried about what they do in other states, because I can’t control that.

      But I do have a say in what happens in Burbank.  So I am interested in the best solution that achieves as much as possible the goal making sure dogs and cats that are sold in Burbank are healthy, from reputable breeders.  We should do that.

      I’m on board with that.

      BurbankNBeyond:  Given all that’s happening in Burbank, do you believe this topic justifies the amount of time being spent on the issue given all the other activities the Council may be spending time on?

      Councilman David Gordon:  No, not at all.  I think that it is of importance, and for some people it may be more important, but there are some very significant matters that are facing the council and the city.  There are public issues, there are safety issues in terms of the police and fire department we are dealing with.  There are budgetary issues, there are infrastructure issues that affect people’s health and safety, we must maintain our streets and our sewers and whatnot, we have to ensure issues with our schools are addressed; there are a number of issues I believe supersede this on the priorities list.

      That doesn’t mean this is something that shouldn’t be heard.  The overarching effort that I’ve seen put forward, I would welcome the input from any of these folks on any of the other issues that are affecting the city.  And I haven’t seen that.

      Many of these folks that have come and spoke or written, I’ve never interacted with them before.  But judging by how energetic they are with this one particular issue, I’d hope they’d see other city and social issues where we’d welcome their input.

      BurbankNBeyond:  What do you think the final decision will look like?

      Councilman David Gordon:  I have no idea what the final ordinance is that is going to be proposed.  I would hope that any ordinance will be one that every council member could support.   Not only rational, but that it makes sense in terms of protecting the public across the board.

      Not just for a particular group that has a particular idea of the way it should be, but we have to look at the bigger picture.  I would think my mission on the council, my charge of the council I should say, is basically to see what’s in the best in the overall health and safety of the community.

      And that takes into consideration what would happen to the imported dogs that are now going through traditional sellers, going through health checks as opposed to totally unregulated black market provision of animals.

      So when you talk about what the ordinance will do, I don’t think any ordinance in the city of Burbank is going to stop any problems associated with illicit or inappropriate dog breeding across the country.  It may send a message of some sort, but what the message is, and how effective it is, I really don’t know.

      I’ll wait to see what ordinance is presented to the council to consider and act on.

      BurbankNBeyond:  What do the residents of Burbank need to know about this, and what do they need to prepare to engage in the discussion?

      Councilman David Gordon:  I think the residents of Burbank could somehow be informed that there are proposals being considered by the council that would take away the ability of pet stores to sell cats and dogs other than those which are somehow obtained by adoption.

      Their ability to purchase a particular breed by going into a store and selecting it from a display or ordering it will be eliminated.

      If they (Burbank residents) are OK with it – fine.  If they are not OK with it, I would hope they would come on down and participate in the dialog I am sure is going to take place at the council this week.

      _________________________________

      EDITOR’S NOTE:  The Burbank City Council Meeting Agenda for 28 January is posted, and has the following materials available for public review and download:

      COUNCIL AGENDA – CITY OF BURBANK

      TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2013

      5:00 P.M. – Council Chamber, 275 E. Olive Avenue

      Introduction of Pet Sales and   Breeding Regulations Ordinance – Community Development Department:
      Recommendation:
      introduce AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BURBANK AMENDING TITLE 5   OF THE BURBANK MUNICIPAL CODE TO PROHIBIT THE SALE OF ALL DOGS AND CATS BY A   RETAIL PET STORE.

      Item 4 – Staff Report

      Item 4 – Exhibit A – Ordinance

      Item 4 – Exhibit B – Federal and State Regulations

      Item 4 – Exhibit C – Comparison of Local Ordinances

      Burbank Takes on Puppy Mills – An Animal Rights Perspective

      Editor’s Note: This is part two in a series looking at the controversial topic of “Puppy Mills” and the attempt to ban the sale of the animals in Burbank, which will be taken up by the City Council possibly in late January.  Originally published by author in BurbankNBeyond.

      In January the City of Burbank will again engage in discussion on whether or not to follow 12 other California cities, including Glendale, Hermosa Beach, Irvine, Los Angeles, and others in both LA and Orange Counties, in banning the sale of pets in retail businesses, including pet shops.

      The question many ask is simply, “why?”

      There is no simple answer.  However contributing justification includes:

      • Alleged sadistic treatment of breeding animals and litters at commercial breeders – primarily in mid-western states, through the logistics process delivering animals to retail pet stores
      • High number of available rescue dogs, either abandoned or surrendered to an animal shelter or rescue, and subsequent need to euthanize animals which can no longer be housed at shelters due to excessive numbers
      • Danger of “in-breeding” by incompetent or unethical breeders
      • Obsolete laws and ordinances protecting the safety and welfare of animals

      Part 2 of the series “Burbank Takes on Puppy Mills” will focus on the position of animal rights groups, shelters, and adoption agencies and their views on the above topics.  Future articles in the series will try to dig further into the perspectives of pet shop owners, and city council members preparing to weigh in on the issue.

      “A pet store that closes its doors is a lost opportunity for shelter animals.” (Elizabeth Oreck)

      Best Friends Animal Society East Valley ShelterAccording to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) a puppy mill is a ”large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices.”

      The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) states there are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in America, producing more than 2,000,000 puppies for distribution throughout the United States.  USUS also notes there are up to 3,000,000 animals euthanized at shelters annually.

      No-Kill Los Angeles, an initiative of the Best Friends Animal Society, states 56,121 animals entered LA city shelters in 2011. More than 17,000 of those animals were euthanized.

      Horrible numbers.  Nobody wants to see or think about such a waste of life, and the thought a family pet could come to such an end.  This is the reason animal rights groups such as Burbank CROPS (Citizens for Rescue-Only Pet Stores) and the Best Friends Animal Society are engaged not only in trying to save the lives of animals, but also in preventing the cruelty inflicted on both breeding stock and puppies (this article will focus on puppies, however the same issue applies to cats, birds, and other animals as well).

      The Real Problem

      Animal right groups, such as Burbank CROPS, do not want to shut down pet stores, as Shelly Rizzotti, Burbank CROPS member explains, they simply want to prevent pet stores from selling or distributing commercially bred “puppy mill” dogs.

      No group has an objection to people buying pure bred puppies – from responsible hobby breeders or individuals.  According to Elizabeth Oreck, National Manager of Puppy Mill Initiatives for the Best Friends Animal Society, those sources will normally screen and vet prospective buyers or adopters prior to allowing an animal to join the adopting family.

      Responsible breeders will follow a code of ethics, which includes a very detailed set of guidelines for breeding animals.  There are representative specific breeds ranging from the Mountain Dog Association, German Shepard Dog Club, Great Dane Club of America, Golden Retriever Club of America, to the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America and all breeds in between.  A standard clause in all the codes of ethics includes a statement similar to:

      Breeders shall not knowingly sell to dog wholesalers, retailers or pet stores, known or suspected puppy mills, or commercial breeders. Breeders shall not donate dogs or puppies as prizes nor knowingly allow any dogs of their breeding to fall into public trust. All advertisement of puppies and dogs, written or oral shall be factual and as forthright and honest as possible in both substance and implication. (Mountain Dog Association).

      Anne Gaffney, owner of Burbank’s Pet Haven, goes even further.  She notes that “with all the rescue animals available, people should give those animals the first chance.“  Gaffney continued ”adopting a pet is all about the connection.   You cannot buy a connection, and it is possible the connection between you and a pet may have nothing to do with the breed.”

      Laws Regulating Commercial Breeders

      There are many laws and codes regulating commercial breeders, including federal, state, and local.  At the top of the regulatory structure is the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which dates back to 1966.  The US Department of Agriculture website states the AWA regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers.  The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.

      California has additional regulations including the Pet Store Animal Care Act, Pet Protection Act, Breeder Warranty Act, and according to a City of Burbank Study dated 16 October 2012, more than 50 other laws dealing with mistreatment of animals.

      The Burbank Municipal Code, Title 5, Article 14 (Pet Shops), provides very specific guidelines on how pet shops must care for animals.  Officers from the Burbank Animal Shelter do perform periodic inspections, and according to Brenda Castaneda, Burbank Animal Shelter Superintendent, will cite violators for offenses.

      An existing loophole in the regulatory environment surrounds the sale of puppies over the Internet.  This issue is being addressed by both congress and the senate at the federal level (HR835/S707), however the issue has not yet been solved, and as of today there is little or no regulation on the sale of commercially bred puppies over the Internet.

      It should be noted that animal shelters and rescues are not required to comply with all laws and codes which regulate pet shops and commercial breeders, although all shelters are subject to inspection to ensure the health and safety of resident animals.

      The Road Puppies Travel to Burbank Pet Stores

      Puppies finding their way to pet stores will normally be bred in a commercial environment in the mid-west, primarily in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, or surprisingly Amish communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Puppies are delivered at around 6~7 weeks old by the breeder to a distribution or logistics company, such as the Hunte Company, based in Goodman, Missouri.

      Puppy Journey from Mill to Pet ShopHunte collects animals in their Missouri facility during the course of a week, during which time there will be health screening and matching pet shop demand with available stock.  A truck loaded with puppies will then head out across the country, delivering puppies to pet stores, including those in California.

      The trip can take several days, during which time the puppies remain in cages, being fed and checked by delivery staff along the route.

      A company such as Hunte will deliver an order to a pet shop, and the pet owner will inspect the animals, and either accept or reject the animal at the point of delivery.  If the pet passes arrival inspection, the pet store will settle with the delivery company, and then process the animal locally, sometimes passing through a veterinarian on the way to display in the store.

      By the time a puppy hits the display cage, it is normally around 8 weeks old, having been away from its mother for about 2 weeks.

      According to Christy Shilling, a CROPS member, the issue is “black and white.”  Shilling continued “This is about factory farming of mill animals.  Those terms are synonymous, of puppy mills, of puppy farms mass-producing animals.  It is cruel, and they do have violations.  That’s what we’d like to stop.  It’s not about attacking one store, but it is about attacking the mills.”

      The goal of CROPS is to educate the public, and ultimately of course to stop the practice of puppy mills and retail sales of mill animals altogether.

      A Model for the Future

      None of the rights groups or individuals interviewed wants to prevent families from adding a pet to their family.  Pets have been part of social and family units since the beginning of recorded history, and it is a healthy relationship.

      Rizzotti paints a model where pet stores may still provide pets to their customers, as adoption outlets for rescue animals.  In most cases the business model for a pet store is not in pushing flesh, but rather in selling pet supplies such as feed, toys, and environments.

      Rizzotti explains there are still ample pure bred animals available through rescues, including puppies.     As noted, there are breeding clubs and organizations for nearly all types of breeds, all with a strict code of how they raise, handle, and sell puppies.

      An example search on the website breeders.net revealed three Yorkshire Terrier breeders within 10 miles of Burbank’s 91501 zip code.  One breeder listed, who asked to remain anonymous, has the following splash on the website:   Adorable tiny male puppies, AKC, 1st shots, Champion Bloodlines, great personalities available to good homes. No Agents, No Pet Shops, & No Brokers, NO SHIPPING.

      In a phone conversation with the breeder she passionately explained that her dogs only were only available to buyers she personally screened, and the transfer required a list of steps, including full papers, shot record, visit to a veterinarian prior to accepting the puppy.  The breeder is a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC), and claims complete adherence to AKC

      The American Kennel Club has an investigations and inspections program to both ensure the health and safety of animals within member kennels, as well as checking paperwork for compliance with club standards.  Field agents may also conduct DNA testing on dogs to verify the pedigree and parentage of puppies.

      While the AKC inspection process has no penal or regulatory authority, if a kennel or breeder has major deficiencies during an inspection, they may lose their membership in the AKC, be fined, or in a worst case the AKC may contact law enforcement to ensure the animals are protected.

      What Do Animal Rights Groups Want from Burbank?

      Rizzotti is very clear about the objectives Burbank CROPS wishes to accomplish in the upcoming Burbank City Council discussion on pet stores and puppy mills.  That is to support elimination of puppy mills, and prevent pet stores from selling commercially bred animals originating in puppy mills.

      Part 3 of this series will explore the perspective of pet store owners selling puppies, and others who do not support the position of animal rights groups on the topics of commercial breeding and pet store sales.

      BurbankNBeyond and Pacific-Tier Communications would like to hear from all readers on the topic, regardless of your position.  Please send your comments to savageau@pacific-tier.com

      Data Center Consolidation and Adopting Cloud Computing in 2013

      Throughout 2012 large organizations and governments around the world continued to struggle with the idea of consolidating inefficient data centers, server closets, and individual “rogue” servers scattered around their enterprise or government agencies.  Issues dealt with the cost of operating data centers, disaster management of information technology resources, and of course human factors centered on control, power, or retention of jobs in a rapidly evolving IT industry.

      Cloud computing and virtualization continue to have an impact on all consolidation discussions, not only from the standpoint of providing a much better model for managing physical assets, but also in the potential cloud offers to solve disaster recovery shortfalls, improve standardization, and encourage or enable development of service-oriented architectures.

      Our involvement in projects ranging from local, state, and national government levels in both the United States and other countries indicates a consistent need for answering the following concerns:

      • Existing IT infrastructure, including both IT and facility, is reaching the end of its operational life
      • Collaboration requirements between internal and external users are expanding quickly, driving an architectural need for interoperability
      • Decision support systems require access to both raw data, and “big data/archival data”

      We would like to see an effort within the IT community to move in the following directions:

      1. Real effort at decommissioning and eliminating inefficient data centers
      2. All data and applications should be fit into an enterprise architecture framework – regardless of the size of organization or data
      3. Aggressive development of standards supporting interoperability, portability, and reuse of objects and data

      Regardless of the very public failures experienced by cloud service providers over the past year, the reality is cloud computing as an IT architecture and model is gaining traction, and is not likely to go away any time soon.  As with any emerging service or technology, cloud services will continue to develop and mature, reducing the impact and frequency of failures.

      Future Data CentersWhy would an organization continue to buy individual high powered workstations, individual software licenses, and device-bound storage when the same application can be delivered to a simple display, or wide variety of displays, with standardized web-enabled cloud (SaaS) applications that store mission critical data images on a secure storage system at a secure site?  Why not facilitate the transition from CAPEX to OPEX, license to subscription, infrastructure to product and service development?

      In reality, unless an organization is in the hardware or software development business, there is very little technical justification for building and managing a data center.  This includes secure facilities supporting military or other sensitive sites.

      The cost of building and maintaining a data center, compared with either outsourcing into a commercial colocation site – or virtualizing data, applications, and network access requirements has gained the attention of CFOs and CEOs, requiring IT managers to more explicitly justify the cost of building internal infrastructure vs. outsourcing.  This is quickly becoming a very difficult task.

      Money spent on a data center infrastructure is lost to the organization.  The cost of labor is high, the cost of energy, space, and maintenance is high.  Mooney that could be better applied to product and service development, customer service capacity, or other revenue and customer-facing activities.

      The Bandwidth Factor

      The one major limitation the IT community will need to overcome as data center consolidation continues and cloud services become the ‘norm, is bandwidth.  Applications, such as streaming video, unified communications, and data intensive applications will need more bandwidth.  The telecom companies are making progress, having deployed 100gbps backbone capacity in many markets.  However this capacity will need to continue growing quickly to meet the needs of organizations needing to access data and applications stored or hosted within a virtual or cloud computing environment.

      Consider a national government’s IT requirements.  If the government, like most, are based within a metro area.  The agencies and departments consolidate their individual data centers and server closets into a central or reduced number of facilities.   Government interoperability frameworks begin to make small steps allowing cross-agency data sharing, and individual users need access to a variety of applications and data sources needed to fulfill their decision support requirements.

      For example, a GIS (Geospatial/Geographic Information System) with multiple demographic or other overlays.  Individual users will need to display data that may be drawn from several data sources, through GIS applications, and display a large amount of complex data on individual display screens.  Without broadband access between both the user and application, as well as application and data sources, the result will be a very poor user experience.

      Another example is using the capabilities of video conferencing, desktop sharing, and interactive persistent-state application sharing.  Without adequate bandwidth this is simply not possible.

      Revisiting the “4th Utility” for 2013

      The final vision on the 2013 “wishlist” is that we, as an IT industry, continue to acknowledge the need for developing the 4th Utility.  This is the idea that broadband communications, processing capacity (including SaaS applications), and storage is the right of all citizens.  Much like the first three utilities, roads, water, and electricity, the 4th Utility must be a basic part of all discussions related to national, state, or local infrastructure discussions.  As we move into the next millennium, Internet-enabled, or something like Internet-enabled communications will be an essential part of all our lives.

      The 4th Utility requires high capacity fiber optic infrastructure and broadband wireless be delivered to any location within the country which supports a community or individual connected to a community.   We’ll have to [pay a fee to access the utility (same as other utilities), but it is our right and obligation to deliver the utility.

      2013 will be a lot of fun for us in the IT industry.  Cloud computing is going to impact everybody – one way or the other.  Individual data centers will continue to close.  Service-oriented architectures, enterprise architecture, process modeling, and design efficiency will drive a lot of innovation.   – We’ll lose some players, gain players, and and we’ll be in a better position at the end of 2013 than today.

      The Estonian Cyber National Guard

      During his opening keynote speech at ICEGOV 2011 in Tallinn, Estonia, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves highlighted efforts of the Estonia’s Cyber Defense League, an operational arm of the country’s National Defense League.

      An all volunteer force, the Cyber Defense League acts as a national guard to protect Estonia from cyber attack, following the major assault on country in 2007 by Russian hackers.

      “Our country encourages IT professionals to contribute to national defense as part-time members of our cyber national guard,” said Ilves, these are young people “who are motivated, patriotic, and think it (contributing to national defense) is pretty cool.”

      Traditional Barriers to National Service Removed

      Recruits entering their country’s national service, such as the army, normally follow a similar track.  The first year of service provides an exercise in mental torture, mental strengthening, physical training, gathering skills to function in the infantry, and all the other training needed to bring a civilian into a basic level of competence for military service.

      This standard routine serves to exclude individuals who may be far more interested in technology, academic pursuits, sciences, and to be honest, becoming serious network or software geeks.  While there may be an argument that military organizations have become much better in their cyber-warfare capabilities, it can also be argued many of the best minds in a country are those developing technology systems, rather than super users.

      Estonia, home of Skype and other global software initiatives, is harnessing the power of their intellectual resources in a positive way, which also promotes national security, pride, and patriotism.

      Cyber Weekend Warriors

      The Cyber Defense League (CDL) is a uniformed service, equal in stature and responsibility to other arms of the National Defense League.  Recruits require security clearances, and are available for mobilization in the event of a national emergency – regardless of the nature of that emergency.

      CDL members muster for weekend duty, exercises, and additional cyber security and warfare training.

      Cooperation between private industry and national defense is much closer than in countries such as the US, where even during national emergencies commercial companies are rarely engaged in immediate cyber attack and response – at least not in full cooperation with the government or military.  There may be representation in groups such as the CERT, however even those organizations generally act outside the scope of national defense.

      In Estonia, now commercial companies and many of their employees are an inherent component of the national cyber defense.

      … Be Cyber Strong

      So, if we consider a model of supplementing national security by recruiting engineers, developers, and technicians in a single model location such as the Silicon Valley, train them to extend their skills to support national defense, complete a background check and offer a security clearance, what would the potential impact be on reinforcing our California or national Cyber Protection capacity?

      Add more highly skilled engineers from other technology “industry cluster” states to the defense system, and it is highly probable that we will make great strides in further strengthening our local and national cyber defense.

      Of course in the United States we do have to get over some additional concerns, such as suspicion among many in Internet and technology communities who may not fully trust the intentions of the government.

      The burden is on the government to establish programs, develop a thought leadership campaign to build a sense of service and pride, and then fully embrace extremely motivated and intelligent IT professionals into the military community.

      One of those programs is the DOD’s Defense Industrial Base Cyber Pilot, which allows the DoD to share some information with private enterprise regarding threats to security. However it is clearly a superficial attempt, and does not seek to actively engage those who potentially have the best skills to offer.

      Estonia is a small country, struggling to break free of the social and institutional constraints imposed by nearly 70 years of Soviet and Nazi occupation, and economic restrains of a global recession.  A country with a motivated workforce, and a need to protect all their national wired resource from theft, exploitation, and attack.

      The Cyber Defense League is a very unique, and creative step to provide that security and protection.

      What Americans Should Know About Palestine – Part 2

      An Emerging RamallahWhat does statehood mean to a young Palestinian student, dreaming of her future and that of her friends and family?  “Of course a Palestinian State means we will have the opportunity to focus energy on building our lives, and not have to wake up in the morning with a tank parked in front of our house.”  Hiba, a university student in Ramallah, goes on to say “You might say in ways we are victims, due to the occupation, but we cannot continue complaining about it.  We have to continue working to develop ourselves.  We really want independence and statehood.”

      In April 2011, during a visit to Ramallah, I had the opportunity to interview several Palestinians, and asked their views on statehood, Palestine’s place in the world, and what they wanted Americans to know about Palestine.   The interviews included members of the government, entrepreneurs, students, and even taxi drivers.  The responses to questions were remarkably consistent.  Nobody mentioned resistance or violence, and in all cases rejected the recent level of conflict in the Gaza territory as unproductive to the Palestinian cause.

      We are sensitive and creative people. We have poets, writers, and a deep culture.”

      I ask “what do you want Americans to know about Ramallah and Palestine?”

      Each person has a slightly different answer, but all answers are positive.  Talk about the occupation quickly moves on to topics about future, and how everything in changing in Ramallah.  In fact, just walking along the streets of Ramallah can be a challenge – not because of anything dangerous, but rather the level of construction makes it difficult to navigate streets.

      Answers to the question are difficult to pin down.  Once the topic is raised, you will get one or two quick ideas, including concern that Americans are not getting a clear picture of the “real” Palestine through news media.  In particular, those in Ramallah want Americans to know there is a big difference between the West bank and Gaza.  The impressions Americans get (as seen on their satellite television broadcasts of CNN and Fox News) of Palestine is one of rocket attacks, kidnappings, and violence.  In reality, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jericho, and other locations within the West Bank are very peaceful, with most people working hard to improve their quality of life.

      Ramallah itself is a city of cafes, shopping, cultural events, construction, and even discos to round out an emerging night life and entertainment industry.   However, as this is not current news, and does not sell US advertising, it is rare you would ever have an opportunity to see this side of Palestine in the US media.  

      Hiba was a bit disappointed on one topic – she was busy the following day and could not attend TEDx Ramallah, an independent event supported by the innovative community TED.  “TEDxRamallah aims to showcase inspiring stories of Palestine. It also aims to educate and inspire by providing a space for people to share their ideas in any field, whether science, education, literature, technology, design, etc. to contribute to the positive perception of Palestine.”

      She concedes the Palestine university system may not adequately introduce innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within the formal curriculum, however with groups such as TEDx Ramallah, and expatriate Palestinians returning to the country there is a new spirit driving young people.  In addition, the Palestinian Authority actively encourages foreign companies to invest in Palestinian small and medium businesses (SMEs), hoping to further develop both the local economy and support innovation.

      Investment in Palestine is being encouraged not merely to increase the size of the economy, but also to increase private sector employment, generate income, and improve living standards. A move towards increased per capita prosperity will additionally have the overall effect of potentially stabilizing tensions in the region, if achieved in tandem with a just political settlement. A just peace and prosperity within the West Bank and Gaza
      Strip is not only good for us, but it’s good for Israel and the Middle East as a whole.
      (PIPA)

      The 2010 Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem attracted more than 1000 potential investors from 38 countries with pledges to invest nearly $1bil in Palestinian SMEs. Of particular note was the interest in developing Palestine’s IT and software development industries, which are attractive due to the limitations in export/import of materials as controlled by Israel.   This does show a very positive outlook and confidence in Palestine’s future by the international community.

      “Statehood Means We Will Have an Identity”

      The WallHiba continues that “I have never been outside of the West Bank.  Not because I don’t want to travel and see other locations around the world, rather it is because I cannot get a passport, and am not allowed to travel outside of Palestine.  I know how the outside world is, because we get movies and television from around the world.  What makes us different from the rest of the world?  Why can’t I experience life as in the movies and television just because I was born in Palestine?

      Difficult for an American to appreciate.  For us freedom of movement, expression, and religion is assumed, and we feel great anger when faced with even small barriers to those freedoms.

      It hurts inside that we cannot travel to Jerusalem and pray at our Mosques and other holy sites.  Those locations are very important to us (Palestinians and Muslims).”

      A taxi driver goes out of his way to expose me to the difficulties all Palestinians encounter while going through checkpoints (between Ramallah and Jerusalem), and give an up close view of walls, guard towers, and Israeli military installations designed to control movement, keeping Palestinians within the West Bank territory.

      With statehood we can begin applying our energy to improving our lives, not just trying to stay alive.”

      Then his conversation once again turns positive.  “Do you see their settlements?  Don’t you agree Ramallah is a much nicer city than Tel Aviv?  Once we have freedom we’ll be a very strong little country.”

      A Lasting Impression

      While this is not my first visit to Palestine, Israel, or other locations within the Middle East, each experience brings new observations, emotions, and ideas.  Human nature tells us we should think positive, as negative energy rarely brings progress.  The Palestinians have a tremendous level of positive energy, and as an outsider it is certainly refreshing to see the enthusiasm of a country on the verge of establishing their own nation and identity.

      Will the United Nations grant this status?  Will Israel accept a Palestine state?  Will the United States apply pressure to the region to consider Palestinian autonomy?

      Time will tell.  But for now, we can only hope the international community and media will apply factual reporting of all aspects of the Palestine issue.  It is a wonderful place, with warm, friendly people, and we will hope their future generations will be free to develop and prosper as any other in our global community.

      NOTE: For the record we need to acknowledge Israeli citizens are also prevented from entering the West Bank and Gaza. This can only contribute to the misunderstandings between citizens of each country. And in fact, during the routine “interrogation” I received departing from the Tel Aviv airport, the majority of questions directed to me were more of “tell me a bit more about Ramallah. I cannot go there and it is interesting to hear how things are within the city…”

      Palestine Prepares for Statehood – Part 1

      Hiba, a young university student in Ramallah dominates the conversation with dreams of her country’s future, and confidence her generation will build a new nation that is equal to any other in the world.  This is the new Palestine.  A Palestine that shifts memories of invasion, occupation, and repression to the side, focusing valuable energy on building a new nation.

      Renewel Projects in Old RamallahIt is easy for visitors to appreciate Hiba’s enthusiasm.  Walking on any street within Ramallah is a challenge.  Not because the streets are bad, rather because the city is in a constant state of construction.

      A few short years ago Ramallah was still putting the pieces back together from destruction due to invasion and conflict.  Today energy is directed to the new Ramallah – one that is beginning to take on impressions of a mix of European cities with the rich culture and history of Palestine.

      The Palestine State

      Recently the United Nations reported that Palestine was ready for statehood, with a target of September 2011.  For those who have lived their lives in an independent country, this is a difficult idea to comprehend.

      Imagine if California was culturally and socially an independent state, occupied by the Confederate States of North America for the past 50 years.  As a Californian, you cannot have a passport, become a citizen of the occupying country, travel freely, determine which city you want to live in, or even which radio or television stations you would like to watch.

      The Wall Separating Israel and PalestineMoving between villages and cities requires you to go through checkpoints, with military sentries who despise you due to your religion and ethnic background.  Sentries who have no moral or ethical problem abusing you, as they do not really consider you an equal human being to those from their country.

      Imagine going to school one day, and learning the occupying country has now closed the border between your village and the school you attend, and you cannot return home.

      Americans can refer to our own history with Britain, and appreciate the struggles independence and freedom require.  And the cost of freedom in blood, resistance, and commitment to never capitulate.

      There are many examples around the world of countries invaded, occupied, and ethnically cleansed.  Cultures that have been diluted or destroyed, and history that is written by the victors of conflict.

      However the Palestinians have resisted, fought, and refused to give up their struggle for independence and identity.  And that struggle is nearing and end.  End with the United Nations recognizing the state of Palestine.

      That is of course we assume Israel will peacefully allow a transition to Palestinian statehood, which is far from certain.

      History Remembered, Future Embraced

      Hiba will not forget the days spending 6 hours in checkpoints each day going to and from school.  She will never forget interrogations by military patrols, and watching as homes of friends were plowed under to accommodate expansion of Israeli settlements into the West Bank.

      Yassar ArafatBut today Hiba is more interested in being exposed to new ideas, new ways of thinking, or how she can apply her knowledge to building a nation, and better quality of life, for her family and children.  Not unlike any American or European student’s vision and dream.

      Trained as a software engineer, Hiba outlines her ideas on how to bring an aggressive entrepreneurial spirit to Palestine, particularly related to agricultural and services industries.  How she can make contact with expatriate Palestinians, both learning from their successes – as well as attracting their investment money to further develop economic capacities in the country.

      The Youth Are An Inspiration

      Students discussing their future cannot hold back enthusiasm and vision.  How can young people put aside their bitterness, memories, and hatred of an occupation aside so easily?  Are they simply tired of the anger and hatred?

      Difficult to say.  When pressed, Palestinians can get very worked up on the emotional topic of Israeli occupation, settlement expansion, and human rights.

      Then the moment will pass, and energy is refocused on the present, and opportunities for the future.

      ===

      This article is the first of a series on Ramallah 2011, and the road to Palestine statehood.  The next segment will discuss what Palestinians want Americans to know about their country, people, and future.

      Your comments and ideas about Palestine, Israel, and independence are welcome.

      IPv6 Crosses a New Line of Urgency

      In an event passing nearly un-noticed, with the potential impact of a virtual asteroid slamming into the heart of Manhattan, the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA)  without fanfare, and without understanding by most of the global Internet, allocated the final blocks of IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) addresses to regional Internet registries (RIRs) during the first week of February.

      While the “Internet” is not in danger of an imminent meltdown, the message is clear, “get ready to adopt IPv6, the accepted successor to IPv4, or accept the reality your business is on a countdown timer.”

      IPv4 CounterExhaustion of IPv4

      Let’s consider a couple analogies to help visualize what IPv4 exhaustion means.

      Fossil Fuels.  We know there is a limit to the amount of oil and coal available to our planet.  Once the oil and coal are gone, those sources of energy are also gone.  We are now aggressively looking at ways to produce energy through alternate methods, including solar power, wind power, hydrogen, and other thermal sources.

      No question, when the oil is gone, it is gone, and we will no longer have it is a potential source of energy.  There may be a period of buying and selling remaining resources, there may be stocks of fuel that will extend the life of a single country or group longer than others – but when oil is gone it is gone.  Ditto IPv4, although the initial allocation of addresses will remain, they just won’t be able to connect to the rest of the world.

      .Airplane Seats.  An airplane might have 250 seats on a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles.  Once those seats are filled, nobody else is getting on the airplane.  You might be able to barter for seats, beg somebody to disrupt their plans because you want to sit next to a friend or wife/husband, or you might get an offer to go on a different flight if you are willing to let somebody else go in your seat – however when the jetway door closes, you are not getting on the airplane.

      OK, no perfect analogies, because we all know the Internet is a constant, and will operate at IPv4 for a long time if you are one of the lucky ones with plenty of IPv4 addresses under your control.  However for those ho want to develop new products and services, build new networks, or implement some new cosmic internet-enabled “thingy,” the door is just about shut.

      Internet-connected ladies and gentlemen, IPv4 addresses are now fully allocated to the regional registries.  Nothing left in the bank.

      Why IPv6 Needs to be Taken Seriously

      In late 2010 I took part in a networking workshop in Kingston, Jamaica.  Quite a few participants from Caribbean academic networks, including representatives from Trinidad, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Grenada. As IPv6 was not on the agenda, nor was it discussed, I had no choice but to raise the question “how about IPv6?  Where does that fit into the regional strategy?”

      The response was uniformly “we have plenty of IPv4 addresses available, we do not need IPv6 in the Caribbean.”  Discussions with government network leadership in Indonesia throughout 2010 resulted in similar responses- IPv6 was simply not on the list of priorities.  The network works, why mess with it?

      Thankfully Indonesia has very robust private industry support of IPv6, and IPv6 is being addressed in spite of government indifference.

      No story or article on IPv6 can pass without a sidebar or paragraph on the numbers of IPv4 vs. IPv6.  Here are the numbers once again – if you have not had a chance to grasp the scope of our preaching and evangelism.

      IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with the long-anticipated IPv4 address exhaustion, and is described in Internet standard document RFC 2460, published in December 1998. While IPv4 allows 32 bits for an Internet Protocol address, and can therefore support 232 (4,294,967,296) addresses, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, so the new address space supports 2128 (approximately 340 undecillion or 3.4×1038 ) addresses. This expansion allows for many more devices and users on the internet as well as extra flexibility in allocating addresses and efficiency for routing traffic. 

      WikiPedia

      This means if we, as a planet, want to move ahead with things such as intelligent grids, intelligent devices, new applications, new internet-enabled everything – we will need to have adequate IP address space to accommodate that future.  We cannot do that with IPv4 address limitations, but IPv6 gives us enough space to grow to the point we cannot currently even fully understand the entire extent of that address space.  Or in other words, IPv6 will do the job for the next couple Internet-enabled generations.

      The Future of the Internet is Ours to Choose

      Martin Levy, Director IPv6 Strategy at Hurricane Electric, one of those thought leaders who has been driving Internet at the operational level for a really, really long time sums it up succinctly,

      IPv4 was yesterday’s news. Today is the day after yesterday, where IPv6 matters to each and every user of the global Internet. (Martin’s Blog)

      Even as you read this blog, the available IPv4 address space is slipping away.  The Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are reviewing their IPv4 allocation policies, and you can go to sleep with relative certainty the little guy is not going to be in a very strong position when those last blocks of addresses are issued.

      Discussions are popping up all over the Internet on how we can step back and find more efficient ways to use the existing IPv4 address space, squeezing more time out of it through global cooperation, emergence of trading and markets for the buying and selling of IPv4 addresses, and even more creative use of network address translation.

      Or of course they could simply spend the same amount of energy to deploy IPv6 in their networks.

      What Can the End User Do?

      Well, after years of promoting IPv6 – at least in marketing materials, equipment vendors are finally starting to produce hardware which can handle “Native IPv6” routing.  Cisco/Linksys, NetGear, Belkin, and all the other guys are finally stepping up to meet the needs of consumers.  Mobile phone vendors and applications providers for iPhones, Androids, and Windows are being forced to produce IPv6-ready products.  The tools are finally starting to become available.

      Internet providers in Asia, Europe, and the Americas are finally putting IPv6 capability into their networks, and the topic is no longer responded to with amusement and indifference by network operators and administrators.

      But within the broad community of IT administrators,  applications developers, private and government network providers – the actual IPv6-readiness factor is pretty low.

      So again, what can we do?

      Easy, as a consumer, employee, manager, or user of Internet services we have somebody – whether it be an organizational IT manager, ISP, or other provider, who is responsible for implementing IPv4 or continuing to put virtual scotch tape and bubble gum on a a geriatric IPv4 network.

      Raise the question as a consumer.  Raise the question as a manager.  Raise the question as a corporate strategist.  Raise the question to everybody above your level that is blocking or not adequately answering the need to consider or implement IPv6 in your network.

      Ask them at what point the “Law of Plentitude,” or that point where not having access to IPv6 will put you in a competitive, social, or professional risk will be reached.  At what point, if your Internet-connected world is not IPv6-connected, will you be denied access to your community?  And what are they going to do about it?

      Epilogue

      From the Internet Society

      World IPv6 Day

      On 8 June, 2011, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks will be amongst some of the major organisations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour “test flight”. The goal of the Test Flight Day is to motivate organizations across the industry – Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies – to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 addresses run out.

      In the Australian IT online edition Paul Wilson, head of the RIR for Asia (APNIC), was quoted “I gave a presentation in Japan last year where I said: ‘look we’re not asking you to panic, but maybe you should panic just a little bit’.”

      Global Internet Network Providers are starting to take notice, but they sadly represent a small percentage of the global Internet-connected IT administration and applications development community.  Call your network representative and ask if they are participating in World IPv6 Day.  Ask them “why not” if you get a negative reply.  If you represent a government or company, force the issue.  If you are a consumer, consider changing providers if your network shows indifference.

      IPv6 will happen – don’t be on the wrong side of plentitude.

      A Look Into Moldova’s ICT Spirit with Grigore Raileanu

      Moldova has a lot of entrepreneurs.  As you walk along the streets in Chisinau, the capital city, you constantly pass signs advertising software development companies, data centers, and computer sales.  As citizens of a “developing” country, young people know they need to work smarter, harder, and more creatively to compete with not only each other, but also others countries in Europe and the world.

      Grigore Raileanu is one of those aggressive young people.  And an entrepreneur with a successful company named Remsys.  In fact, you may not even know Remsys is a Moldovan company, possibly believing it is based in the US!

      Grigore met with us on 4 Feb 2011 to talk about ICT, innovation, and Moldova.  You can listen to the audio file HERE

      John Savageau: Today with have with us, Mr. Gigore Raileanu, who does business development with a Moldovan company called Remsys.  Good afternoon Grigore!

      RaileanuGrigore Raileanu: Good afternoon John and everyone!

      John Savageau: So, please start us off and give us a little background on yourself, and give us a little background on Remsys.

      RaileanuGrigore Raileanu: I’m actually doing business development for my first company Remsys.  This company has successfully grown to thousands of systems, managed systems, and heterogeneous infrastructure.  We are positioning ourselves as a managed solutions provider for small and medium businesses.

      We are also doing 24 hours (a day) custom technical solutions for our clients, and we are designing and managing complex infrastructures, networks, fighting SPAM, and building clouds.

      John Savageau: That’s exciting.  I believe that Remsys has roots based in web hosting and managed services, are you expanding on the initial concept of the company?

      Grigore Raileanu: At first our customers were mainly hosting companies, but as I said we have repositioned as a managed solutions provider for small and medium business.  So it’s not only hosting and the like, but our customers quite big, and we even have video-on-demand providers and medical companies.  So it’s not only hosting.

      John Savageau: And you are not just limited to Moldovan companies, you also go outside of Moldova?

      Grigore Raileanu: Well our companies (clients) are mostly out of Moldova.  A lot of the Moldovan companies we are working for, are actually subsidiaries of foreign companies.

      John Savageau: So let’s move on and talk a little about Moldovan ICT.  We’re curious, (you) being an entrepreneur and running your companies.  How do you feel about the ability of Moldovan companies, not only to compete in Moldova against foreign companies, but also within global markets?

      Grigore Raileanu: In my opinion Moldovan companies are highly competitive.  Firstly because of costs.  Our teams are delivering full project lifecycle from development and testing, to technical support, and hosting.

      ICT companies in Moldova are mostly oriented to business process outsourcing, like software development, testing, or eCommerce.

      Many private companies are opening and operating their offices here in Moldova.  This way our companies can be considered as competing on the global market.

      John Savageau: Do you have any significant strategies, or ideas you use to make your company – or other Moldovan companies competitive in a global market?

      Grigore Raileanu: Actually we are working to improve our technical team skills, our procedures, training, participate in different expositions in order to get more skilled people.

      John Savageau: Do you believe the academic community, or education system,… are they preparing workers well enough to compete in the workforce, or to meet your needs with technical or management-level talent?

      Grigore Raileanu: I think that our academic community can do it better.  Actually, the universities are not able to satisfy the demand.  Most importantly the quality of studies has to be improved a lot.

      Companies spend a lot of resources and money in order to educate and graduate students, as the university’s programs are outdated and need to be revised.

      John Savageau: And how about the teachers and instructors,… are they prepared to teach students what they need, or do the instructors also need to increase their capacity?

      Grigore Raileanu: Yes, as far as I know, our teachers are also working in ICT companies, so mostly they are involved in the continual process of education.

      John Savageau: As far as the students, do the students also have an opportunity to have internships or participation with priovate companies while they are in university?

      Grigore Raileanu: Yes, even the ICT Association has such programs, and are running internships, and Moldovan students are participating and gaining knowledge – they are even getting to know the companies they may work with in the future.

      John Savageau: Outside of Chisinau, Chisinau being the largest city, with obviously the most resources available – how about the countryside – what is the future of children in the countryside for participating in ICT?

      Grigore Raileanu: I think we need to consider that people should not orient towards Chisinau only.  We have a lot of great place like Balti, Cahul, Tiraspol, and we must build our IT development centers there as well.

      John Savageau: Is there a  partnership opportunity between private companies and the academic community, or private companies and the government for that matter?

      Grigore Raileanu: Actually, yes.  Our association of private IT companies is doing that.  They are doing a lot to improve the situation, and also to change the educational programs and curriculum for our universities.  Also, work with the government to get better conditions for taxes.

      Up until this year there was no tax for programmer’s or software engineer’s income.

      John Savageau: Let me move on to a different topic, that is cloud computing.  This is a big buzzword.  Everybody around the world talks about cloud computing.  Is cloud computing important to your company, or to Moldova?

      Grigore Raileanu: I think yes.  Actually, like you said, cloud is a buzzword, every speaks about cloud, but people understand different things about this.

      In my opinion, the cloud is infrastructure able to scale on demand, it is highly secure, and able to decrease IT costs.  Cloud computing will have a significant impact on Moldova, but there is still no market for this in my opinion.

      We have to create, and stimulate this market somehow.

      I’ve also heard that our government is going to launch, or already launched, a Moldavian cloud project.  It is looking to improve the government, and its subsidiary state corporations by owning the highest available and scalable IT infrastructure.

      John Savageau: How about Software as a Service (SaaS).  There are a lot of software companies, specifically in Chisinau.  Do Moldovan companies have an opportunity to develop SaaS applications on a global scale?

      Grigore Raileanu: Well, yes, and we are already doing it.  But it is not for internal use, I mean it is not for the Moldavian market.

      John Savageau: Is that still an opportunity to learn those skills and be prepared once cloud computing is a factor in Moldova?

      Grigore Raileanu: I thin kwe have many things to learn, and improve, in order to create and launch this market.  But yes, there is a place for this market here in Moldova.

      John Savageau: How do you believe that Moldovan companies should approach the global market?  Again, we know there is business inside Moldova, but there is also a very large world outside of Moldova – how do you approach that global market?

      Grigore Raileanu: Moldova has a lot of companies that are subsidiaries and offices of global companies.  Moldova has to deliver something better in order to compete with countries like India, the Philippines, and so on.  So I think that we will lead by our cultural approach, we are more closed to the occident compared to the Indians or Philippines.

      John Savageau: For people who are adults, or have not grown up in the Internet age from childhood accessing Facebook, Skype, and things like that where it is normal, how does the 25~40 age group – how do you think they are going to globalization of communications, and societies and things – are they ready for it?

      Grigore Raileanu: Yeah, I am sure they are, it’s not really hard.  From my experience I have talked with people who have never seen a computer.  And if that person is young, has elementary skills, they can work it out and improve their skills.

      John Savageau: What so you see as a future for Moldova?  I mean if you have a white board, and you have any idea that you want to put on the white board, what should Moldova do to make itself more competitive, and become a factor in the global economy or in the global marketplace?

      Grigore Raileanu: I think Moldova has to orient on mobile services, startups, and even why not build centers for startups to meet investors, governments, and work together to launch some new companies with new ideas.

      Maybe the next Facebook will be launched right here in Moldova!

      John Savageau: If the Moldova cloud, the government cloud, actually moves forward as aggressively as it does (is planned), that might be one of the first successful cloud projects in the world (government clouds), which means that Moldovan companies that participate would be able to replicate that process in other developing countries in Africa, eastern Europe, Asia,..

      How do you feel about that?  Are you ready to go there?

      Grigore Raileanu: Of course, being a patriot, I would be very happy because my country is one of the first countries able to launch this project and to give a good example for different countries.

      John Savageau: Any other ideas you would like to pass on to the global ICT community, about Moldova, your company, yourself?

      Grigore Raileanu: Well my company, we are starting some nation-wide programs, and we are very present on the Moldavian market, and maybe we will have some meetings this year, and bring our services into the (global) market, and if there is no demand for some kinds services we will try to create it, so everyone can benefit.

      John Savageau: Thank you very much for taking the time this afternoon.  I wish you and Remsys, and Moldova the best of luck.

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