Cell Signals Wanted

— October 23, 2007

In Midtown Manhattan, the new Hearst Tower rises out of the original six-story headquarters of William Randolph Hearst's magazine empire. Standing a shimmering 46 stories, it is New York City's first Gold LEED Certified building - a distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Tower is 22 percent more efficient than the average office building, which is thanks, in part, to a low-emittance glass coating that covers this predominantly glass building. Which has, in fact, led to another distinction shared by green-mindedprojects: For a little while there, it was hard as heck to find a cellular signal inside the building.

"The type of glass that's being selected to basically minimize the electricity consumption - also has a makeup that reflects the RF energy that would normally penetrate through the windows and to your cell phone," says Cathy Zatloukal, president and CEO of MobileAccess, a pioneer of wireless solutions. "So what happens is, your cell phones don't work inside the building at all. Or, I shouldn't say at all, she concedes with a laugh, "but it definitely is a reflective material, basically reflecting out that RF energy."

That's why MobileAccess stepped in to partner with Cisco, which had been selected to outfit the building's 856,000 square feet with WiFi coverage.

"What MobileAccess has figured out how to do is take multiple wireless services and put them on the same cable infrastructure. So rather than AT&T running a separate dedicated set of cabling in the building, and Cisco running their dedicated cable in the building out to the access points, and Verizon coming in with their dedicated cabling, there's just one set of cabling in there," says Zatloukal. "We have the know-how to take all of those wireless applications and put them all on the same infrastructure. So it takes up less space and it definitely allows electronics, such as the APs, to be in closets, insteadof in the ceilings throughout the building.

And the savings don't stop with electricity, space and cabling.

"The investment keeps paying off," says Zatloukal. "So for example, when WiMAX gets rolled out, Hearst won't have to pull another set of cabling. They could basically plug the electronics into our equipment that allows it to be run over the same cabling infrastructure, and away they go."

Saving the Planet, One Computer at a Time
While the name of the group might invoke pastyfaced high school kids looking for extra credit, the mission of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative is serious indeed: Educate businesses on the benefits of using energy-efficient computers and components and promote the use of power-saving computing tools worldwide.

And, oh yes, do its best to eliminate $5.5 billion in worldwide energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 54 million tons per year. In fact, by 2010 the group hopes the switch to energy-efficient computers and tactics will reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 11 million automobiles from the road, says Pat Gelsinger, senior VP and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group.

Intel is one of more than 25 charter members of the organization, officially launched in June 2007, that are committed to convincing companies to lean toward green when operating or expanding their data centers. Other members include Google, Advanced Micro Devices, Dell, eBay, Electronic Data Systems, the Linux Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The group can be a bit dramatic in its approach to saving the world from itself. Its Web site, for example, displays the projected average temperature increase in North America by 2010, instead of the current time and temperature. Corporate supporters are also identified as "plant-loving colleagues." But this hasn't watered down the organization's message or mantra.

"Computers have helped us make huge strides toward a more efficient world today, with reduced travel, more productivity, online transactions and more," notes Gelsinger on the group's Web site. "But with today's latest energy-efficient technologies, we can do even more."

(Don't) Just Encrypt It
Welcome to Law Number Three in our four-part series titled Ben's Laws of Mobile Data Security. Law Number Three addresses the tactical realities organizations face when ensuring that sensitive information is protected.

What do I mean by tactical realities? If the media is reporting on a laptop theft that leads to the compromise, or potential compromise, of millions of individuals' identities, other organizations want to ensure that they are not tomorrow's leading story. As a result, these organizations may require point solutions, such as laptop encryption. However, point solutions will only shift the target.

While encrypting data on a laptop is a great idea, does it really solve the problem? One organization, that will remain nameless,exemplifies why point solutions may not work as initially intended. In 2006, this organization was subject to a laptop theft in which millions of records containing personal information were stored in an un-secure manner. In 2007, the same organization, at a different location, experienced a theft of an external hard drive. That unprotected drive also contained the personal information of millions of individuals. That same group underwent an audit, and it has been recently disclosed that thousands of its I.T. devices are unaccounted for that may contain personal information.

These events are unfortunate, to say the least, for both the organization and the affected individuals. And, of course, such potential compromises are not isolated to this one organization.

If an organization takes a tactical approach to responding to incidents that could lead to a potential information compromise (laptop theft leads to encrypted laptops, external drive theft leads to encrypted external drives, etc.) then point solutions will get implemented. However, once you have a solution that protects the laptop hard drive, one that protects removable media, one that protects PDAs and smartphones, one that protects backup media, one that protects......You get my point. What you end up with is an unmanageable menagerie of solutions that cannot be integrated. The administrative and user impact of point solutions will become overly burdensome.

So what is the solution? Check back next month to find out!

Training Gains Benefits, Sheds Pounds
When Global Knowledge, a provider of enterprise learning services and software for I.T. professionals, switched from its old virtual classroom provider to iLinc, it was to meet the AES encryption needs of a government client. It also appreciated the one-time-fee pricing model of iLinc's Enterprise Unlimited program, which helped it reach a quick ROI. The fact that it could now also - measurably - inform customers of the environmental impact of their decision to participate in online learning, versus traveling to meet face-to-face, came as an added bonus.
iLinc's Green Meter measures the distance between the student (based on his or her IP address) and the instructor, determines whether driving or flying is in order, and then calculates how many pounds of carbon would be generated through an in-person meeting.

"In offering distance learning to our students for the last six years, we estimate that we've saved the environment approximately 316 million pounds of CO2 emissions - the equivalent of buying and burning 15.8 million gallons of gasoline," declared Chris Gosk, VP of distance learning at Global Knowledge, in a company statement.

For businesses wanting to further investigate their online meeting options, ACT, Cisco and Polycom all offer Web conferencing solutions with sophisticated video components. While they don't include a Green Meter, one imagines the emissions savings may be similar.


Clean Air On Campus
New car smell? The scientific term is off-gassing, which occurs as volatile chemicals evaporate out of plywood, paints, carpets, insulation, countertops and other nonmetallic materials. Offgassing largely accounts for the alarming statistic by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that levels of common air pollutants are generally two to five times higher indoors than out. (In other bad news, most of us spend about 90 percent of our time indoors, and indoor air pollution kills 11,400 people each year - data also from the EPA.)

Your office furniture, however, should be the least of your office challenges, which is where Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) comes in. The SCS is a third-party testing and standards body with an arm devoted to manufacturing and, even more specifically, indoor air quality certifications. In 2006 the HON company became the world's first office furniture manufacturer to have products certified by the SCS' Indoor Advantage program, which recognizes products with low-emittance levels. HON also offers the leftover scraps from its office chairs to be used for car trunk lining; and it uses postconsumer wood waste for many of its seating components - a process that hassaved approximately 5,000 acres of virgin forest and diverted 10,000 tons of wood waste from landfills each year.

Other manufacturers wth SCS Indoor Advantage certified products include:Allsteel, Gunlocke, Haworth, Metro, Steelcase and Turnstone.For a full list visit: www.scscertified.com/iaq.

Cell Signals Wanted

— October 15, 2007

By Michelle Maisto

In Midtown Manhattan, the new Hearst Tower rises out of the original six-story headquarters of William Randolph Hearst's magazine empire. Standing a shimmering 46 stories, it is New York City's first Gold LEED Certified building--a distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Tower is 22 percent more efficient than the average office building, which is thanks, in part, to a low-emittance glass coating that covers this predominantly glass building. Which has, in fact, led to another distinction shared by green-minded projects: For a little while there, it was hard as heck to find a cellular signal inside the building.

"The type of glass that's being selected to basically minimize the electricity consumption • also has a makeup that reflects the RF energy that would normally penetrate through the windows and to your cell phone," says Cathy Zatloukal, president and CEO of MobileAccess, a pioneer of wireless solutions. "So what happens is, your cell phones don't work inside the building at all. Or, I shouldn't say at all," she concedes with a laugh, "but it definitely is a reflective material, basically reflecting out that RF energy."

That's why MobileAccess stepped in to partner with Cisco, which had been selected to outfit the building's 856,000 square feet with WiFi coverage.

"What MobileAccess has figured out how to do is take multiple wireless services and put them on the same cable infrastructure. So rather than AT&T running a separate dedicated set of cabling in the building, and Cisco running their dedicated cable in the building out to the access points, and Verizon coming in with their dedicated cabling, there's just one set of cabling in there," says Zatloukal. "We have the know-how to take all of those wireless applications and put them all on the same infrastructure. So it takes up less space • and it definitely allows electronics, such as the APs, to be in closets," instead of in the ceilings throughout the building.

And the savings don't stop with electricity, space and cabling.

"The investment keeps paying off," says Zatloukal. "So for example, when WiMAX gets rolled out. • Hearst won't have to pull another set of cabling. They could basically plug the electronics into our equipment that allows it to be run over the same cabling infrastructure, and away they go."

POST A COMMENT

comments powered by Disqus

RATE THIS CONTENT (5 Being the Best)

12345
Current rating: 0 (0 ratings)

MOST READ STORIES

topics

Must See


FEATURED REPORT

Who Owns Mobility

Less than one decade ago, smartphones and tablets changed workplace technology—virtually overnight. IT lost "control" and users became decision makers. Is it any wonder we are still trying to figure things out, and that the question of  "who owns mobility" remains? This research examines the current state of mobility in an attempt to answer that question.