Category Archives: Internet

LAVA: Laboratory for Advanced Visualization Applications

IMG_6290Take your shoes off before entering the Laboratory for Advanced Visualization Applications (LAVA). Jason Leigh's environment for visualizing big data is like going into his home, or more accurately his CyberCANOE. You wouldn't wear shoes in there either. Coincidentally, CANOE is a back-ronym for Collaboration Analysis Navigation & Observation Environment. The first thing you will notice as you enter LAVA is the 18-panel flat screen monitors which make up the CyberCANOE. You can think of this as your huge computer monitor. Imagine collaborating on your Mac or PC and you and your team being able to drag and drop windows from your desktop to the CyberCANOE. The software that enables this is called SAGE2 (Scalable Amplified Group Environment). SAGE2 is an open-source middleware that provides multiple users with a common operating environment to access, display, and share an assortment of data intensive information. IMG_6281The intent is to enable teams to collaborate together or remotely by sharing large volumes of information on high resolution screens. The world of big data is greatly enhanced by the ability to visualize unique qualities of that data. For example if you could take the Twitter firehose, perform a word analysis by geolocation, you could then visualize the sentiment of a political debate across the country. That is just one example, there are applications in fluid dynamics, climate interactions, space debris mapping, etc. not to mention virtual reality environments. LAVA is open for both the academic and business community to use. Their open house was on Friday October 30, 2015 and work is underway to establish CyberCANOEs in other locations like the University of Hawaii - West Oahu. Also work is being done to bring the next generation CAVE-2 to Hawaii. Check out more photos on Flickr.  

#PTC15 – NHK 8K Super Hi-Vision

  PTC15 8K Demo More pixels, faster pixels and better pixels were the key message points from NHK's demonstration of their 8K broadcast system in Japan. The Japanese public broadcaster announced their plans to skip 4K and go straight to 8K. At a resolution of 7680x4320, screens pack in an ultra high definition image of 33 megapixels per frame, at a frame rate of 120Hz. The details in the demo reel were amazingly clear, but you would expect nothing less.
NHK 8K Demonstration
As a broadcaster, NHK aims to test in 2016 and in 2018 provide commercial broadcasting with a goal in 2020 to cover the Tokyo Olympics. The demonstration is less about the television monitors to display the content - there are a lot of manufacturers optimizing displays. Instead NHK is working out the transmission requirements. They estimate 100Mbps circuits for streaming content. But that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as infrastructure goes. Between the content creation and the receivers there are satellites, cable, wired and wireless systems, data centers and content delivery networks to consider. All of this infrastructure still needs to be built in order for widespread 8K delivery to succeed. In the U.S. we are still asking ourselves where the 4K content is, let alone ubiqutious high speed broadband. As lofty a goal as NHK has set, at least Japan is pushing the limit of this technology, 2018 will come sooner than you think and if successful will leap frog systems in the U.S.

Hawaii Broadband Initiative

Hawaii Broadband Initiative On the campus of the University of Hawaii this week, Governor Abercrombie announced a broadband initiative to provide statewide access to affordable 1Gb Internet access by 2018. The initiative is said to be key in building a vibrant and sustainable economy and workforce in Hawaii. Already underway and spearheaded by the University of Hawaii is the implementation of a gigabit network to connect educational institutions like all the public schools, public libraries and every public university and college campus in the State -- fueled by funding from ARRA monies. This new Hawaii Broadband Initiative addresses high speed Internet access for the residential and commercial market and seeks to align the regulatory framework to expedite the permitting process and to encourage public and private investment and partnership to achieve what the Governor called "transformative infrastructure." The broadband initiative is being led by the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and is supported by the state's Chief Information Officer and the University of Hawaii. At the tip of the spear for this initiative, the Governor has positioned Keali'i Lopez of the DCCA and Richard Lim of DBEDT. Lopez has tapped Everett Kaneshige to work specifically on this initiative. Everett Kaneshige, Deputy Director of DCCA, said that they are forming a group within DCCA to look at the regulatory environment for broadband infrastructure and come up with ways to streamline the process. The group is funded by a grant from the Federal Gov't. and covers 2 years of operation. Kaneshige also said, "It's not about building all new infrastructure. We are looking at ways we can work with the telephone company and the cable company to leverage their existing cabling and encourage where appropriate the upgrade to high speed fiber." The situation in DBEDT is problematic. The department does not have funding to add any additional headcount and current personnel already have their plates full according to Richard Lim, Director of DBEDT. His plan is to use Yuka Nagashima in HTDC to lead the charge and develop the public/private partnerships and investments that will bring this initiative to reality. We will monitor developments and report on the progress of meeting this goal of affordable, 1Gb access speed to the Internet by 2018.

Ke Ala `Ike – Pathway to Knowledge

Ke Ala `Ike - Pathway to Knowledge was a vision born out of the mid-90s from a project called the Hawaii Education and Research Consortium (HENC).This consortium then help to form the Hawaii Research and Education Network (HREN) with National Science Foundation funding. It has always been the vision of people like David Lassner to provide the best connectivity to the public educational entities in the State of Hawaii. And like any infrastructure project it takes time for all the resources, like funding to properly line up. Last September another major milestone was achieved when the University of Hawaii was awarded several grants totaling $34M to build out broadband infrastructure in the state of Hawai through the NTIA and ARRA funding sources. On our show last week Cliff Miyake, General Manager at TW Telecom announced that their company won the contract to install two 10 G circuits for Internet access. The central component of this project is the acquisition of a pair of 10 Gigabit per second optical network circuits on the new Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable connecting Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. At the Hawaii end, these circuits will be connected from the AAG cable landing site on Oahu near Kahe Point to the Hawaii Research and Education Network. From the mainland landing site at Morro Bay, California, the AAG circuits will be connected to the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California's (CENIC's) Pacific Wave facility in Los Angeles and to Pacific NorthWest GigaPOP's (PNWGP's) Pacific Wave facility in Seattle. Both the Seattle and Los Angeles locations are peering points for major U.S. and international research and education networks. These circuits will provide Hawaii's educational institutions with 20Gbps of connectivity between the HREN, major U.S. research and education networks, such as Internet2 and National Lambda Rail, and international networks in countries around the Pacific Rim. What I find especially interesting is that this funding finally enables the University of Hawaii the ability to build their own fiber optic network. There was a time when broadband circuits were the sole domain of the major telecom providers like, Verizon and Hawaiian Telcom. That obviously is no longer the case. You now have the competitive local exchange carriers like TW Telecom and Wavecomm Solutions and companies that build their own private networks like Hawaiian Electric. Although consumer Internet access rates will remain status quo in the near term, I can soon see Lassner saying he has achieve parity with Internet access speeds equal to or better than those in South Korea. It's an achievement well deserved and a long time in the making.

Broadband in Hawaii

HSTC 2nd FridayDavid Lassner presented the results of the Broadband Taskforce findings in this month's Hawaii Science and Technology Council (HSTC) meeting. The taskforce was put together by the Legislature in 2007 to provide a recommendation on what should be done to develop broadband access in Hawaii. In 2008 the taskforce completed their final report and submitted it to the Legislature. Even the Governor got behind a broadband initiative. During the 2009 session SB895 was introduced to establish the Communications Commission which ultimately did not pass. In an effort to build momentum and awareness going into the 2010 legislative session the HSTC is dedicating their next three monthly breakfast meetings to the topic of broadband in Hawaii. I was able to record David's talk and make it available here. The primary take away is the if Hawaii is to stay competitive with the world, focus needs to be placed on having a Statewide focus on establishing a broadband strategy and focusing on it. Like the transportation system, broadband is essential infrastructure that cuts across all sectors of the economy. The stark realization is that Hawaii is almost dead last in all the broadband surveys conducted by various organizations assessing nationwide performance. We obviously have our work cut out for us. [podcast][/podcast]

Hawaii’s Communications Commission

Governor Linda Lingle at the joint press conference with the Broadband Task Force announced the formation of the Hawaii Communications Commission. Moving through the House is HB1077: Establishes the Hawaii Communications Commission (HCC) in the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). Transfers functions relating to telecommunications from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to the HCC. Also transfers functions relating to cable services from DCCA to HCC. The companion bill in the Senate is SB895. A third piece of legislation is HB984: Implements key recommendations of the Hawaii broadband task force by establishing the Hawaii communications commissioner (HCC) in the department of commerce and consumer affairs (DCCA). Transfers functions relating to telecommunications from the public utilities commission to the HCC and functions relating to cable services from DCCA to the HCC. Establishes a work group to develop procedures to streamline state and county broadband regulation, franchising, and permitting and report to the legislature. It will be interesting to see these bills move through this legislature. It seems timely and appropriate to establish this commission especially in light of the Federal Broadband Data Improvement Act signed into law by President Bush.

Vint Cerf @ PTC 2009

Vint Cerf, one of the true architects of the Internet during the DARPA years, spoke at the Pacific Telecommunications Conference (PTC) 2009. It's always inspiring to hear people like Vint speak as they are influential in the development of the Internet. With trusty Xacti in hand, I was able to capture his keynote on Jan. 19, 2009. The entire talk was about an hour long so I clipped a couple of passages that you might find interesting. The first is his thoughts on the state of the Internet and some of the new developments in 2009. In this segment he talks about IPv6, new TLD names, copyrights and cloud computing. The second clip is about a future view on extending the Internet beyond the Earth and into inter-planetary space. Here he talks about the protocol development to enable space vehicles and satellites to communicate with each other. His entire keynote was quite engaging and I hope make more of it available later.