Pontoon repairs successfully moving forward

Crews continue making progress on design modifications to four Cycle 1 pontoons built in Aberdeen. Design modifications on two pontoons were completed in dry docks last summer. The other two pontoons are being repaired on Lake Washington using a coffer cell to create a dry work environment.

The design modification work involves epoxy injections into pontoon cracks greater than .006 inches, crystalline waterproofing smaller cracks, transverse post-tensioning, and application of carbon-fiber wrap.

Last week crews completed repairs on the first of four ends of the remaining two massive, concrete pontoons that will help support the new SR 520 floating bridge. From inside a nearly 660-ton coffer cell attached to Pontoon V, construction workers completed crack repairs on one end of the 360-foot-long structure. After placing the coffer cell on the pontoon’s other end, crews began the next round of repairs on Thursday, Jan. 30.

While crews repair these cracks, they also take the opportunity to repair other construction anomalies previously identified during dive inspections of the pontoons. Some of these involve sections where steel rebar is exposed to water. To conduct these repairs, crews remove the concrete to expose the rebar and clean the steel with brushes and sandblasting. Workers then prepare the area for sealing by applying a special bonding agent to the cleaned rebar and surrounding concrete, followed by layers of a high-strength grout, and finally two to four layers of carbon-fiber wrap to help ensure a waterproof repair.

The procedures were developed by an outside expert and reviewed by WSDOT to ensure that the new, six-lane floating bridge lasts at least 75 years with standard maintenance along the way. We anticipate that the design modifications on these two remaining pontoons on Lake Washington will be complete this spring.

Ericsson Q4 '13: 18 New SSR 8000 Contracts, 6 in Fixed

Ericsson's 2013 4th quarter report states that: "The demand for the multi-application router, SSR 8000 [see "Ericsson Enhances SSR 8000 with Multi-application Card" - here] , continues. 96 SSR contracts have been signed to date, of which 18 new in the quarter, including six for fixed networks. As operators are preparing for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), including video communication and other service

Qwilt Adds Live Streaming Caching

Qwilt unveiled the ".. industry's first transparent caching solution for live-streamed events online: Qwilt Live Stream Cache .. enabling the efficient delivery of high-quality live OTT event streaming to broadband subscribers worldwide ..  This uniquely helps service providers scale their infrastructure and optimize the flow of VOD and live video traffic across their networks, while improving

New Seahawks/Sounders specialty plates and tolling

By Guest Blogger Emily Pace

Using a blue filtered light allows the
toll system to capture the Washington
license plate
The new Seahawks and Sounders special design plates are popular with drivers – with 5,800 Seahawks plates purchased since they became available earlier this month. What you may not know is a lot of coordination goes into developing a new license plate design.

Non-profit organizations use special design plates to raise funds for their programs. The Department of Licensing works with these organizations to ensure the proposed plates meet DOL standards. Our job is to make sure the specialty plates work for toll collection.
When preparing to launch tolling on SR 520, we were presented with a unique situation. We couldn’t use bright lights to take photos of the vehicle license plates crossing the bridge because the light would impact drivers, residents and even the aquatic life in Lake Washington.

We worked with DOL to develop
test plates using a variety of
color combinations.
Instead of using bright lights, our toll system uses black and white cameras with an added blue filtered strobe light to capture good images of the license plates. The blue filtered light allows blue portions of the plate to display as white and nearly every other color on the license plate appears as a shade of gray. This helps decrease the appearance of graphics in the background. For example, the light blue image of Mount Rainier on the Washington plate is basically eliminated, making it easier to read the letters and numbers on the plate.

While the blue filter has many benefits, it also creates challenges with the contrast of colors and background for some specialty plates. In an effort to learn more about the challenges, we worked with DOL to develop test plates using a variety of color combinations. We put the test plates on a car and drove it across the SR 520 bridge. And yes, we paid the toll!

These photos show how changing the
color combinations makes the license
plates easier to read.
After the test, we found we needed to make adjustments to the background of the new specialty plates to increase contrast. For example, one of the test plates had a blue background with white numbers. The blue filtered light made the blue background appear white, making it difficult to read the white numbers. 

We used what we learned with the test plates when developing the new Seahawks and Sounders plates. With a few minor color changes, we have a final product that works for our agency, DOL, law enforcement and the fans.

The specialty plate guidelines we are developing with DOL will make it simple for organizations to design their specialty plates. The work will ultimately improve customer service by making it easier for the tolling equipment to accurately identify the license plates and ensure tolls are collected.

Amdocs Expands PCRF Deployments in Deutsche Telekom; Explains Celcite/Actix Business

Quotes from Amdocs' Q1 2014 earning call, by Eli Gelman [pictured], Director, CEO and President of Amdocs Management Limited:

"We have similar trends [expanding inside large MNO groups] with Deutsche Telekom on our policy product that we implemented. We signed a contract with their corporate and then we implemented in certain affiliates. And now I think it's about 6 or 7 affiliates already of

Citrix: Traction in Bytemobile Business; Need to Wait for Revenue Recognition

Quotes from Citrix' Q4 2013 earning call regarding the Bytemobile business, by David James Henshall [pictured] - Acting CEO, CFO, EVP Operations, Principal Accounting Officer and Treasurer:

"In our ByteMobile business showed good traction in Q4, signing multiyear contracts with large telcos in Japan, Pacific and EMEA. Although revenue for these contracts is going to be recognized over

Lenovo to acquire Motorola Mobility

We’ve just signed an agreement to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. As this is an important move for Android users everywhere, I wanted to explain why in detail.

We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for users. Over the past 19 months, Dennis Woodside and the Motorola team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company. They’ve focused on building a smaller number of great (and great value) smartphones that consumers love. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners.

But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere. As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.

Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem. They have a lot of experience in hardware, and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity—just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem.

The deal has yet to be approved in the U.S. or China, and this usually takes time. So until then, it’s business as usual. I’m phenomenally impressed with everything the Motorola team has achieved and confident that with Lenovo as a partner, Motorola will build more and more great products for people everywhere.

[Update 70: Siemens Convergence Creators Added] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

Siemens Convergence Creators PCRF product, Policy Manager, was added to the PCRF-DPI Matrix (here).
Basic features:


Up to 500.000 sessions in Item Store per GByte back-end memory
More than 10.000 transactions per second on each front-end server
More than 30 customers worldwide
Connecting approx. 200 million subscribers

Policy templates – easily address the most common use cases 

Exciting New Research Shows Value of Cognitive Training

Most drivers know the awful, jolting feeling that comes when the car in front brakes suddenly, and when a couple of milliseconds in reaction time can mean the difference between a scare and a disaster.

But did you know that there’s a proven way to train your brain and “earn" the extra milliseconds that you might need to avoid a bad crash? Not only that, but new federally-sponsored research has found significant long-term benefits of the cognitive exercises that help you do so! 

Since 2009, the AAA Foundation has partnered with Posit Science, a leading developer of brain training software, to promote the DriveSharp program, which works by changing your brain’s ability to process what it sees. DriveSharp is not a driving simulation or education program; instead, you engage with interactive and challenging computer-based exercises that “re-train” the brain to process visual information faster and improve at tasks that require divided attention.
Taken together, we already knew that these benefits have been clinically shown to reduce stopping distance by up to 22 feet at 55 mph, improve your useful field of view by up to 200 percent, and, most remarkably, cut your risk of a crash by up to 50 percent. Earlier this month, however, new research was released which also points to significant long-term benefits of cognitive training with the core exercise of DriveSharp.
The Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is the largest study of cognitive training ever conducted, and the first to measure long-term effects. Involving nearly 3,000 participants with an average age of 74 at the outset, the study found that improvements in processing speed persisted 10 years after just 10 hours of training with one of the two exercises in DriveSharp.

With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day from now until 2030, senior safety and mobility is a critical issue for communities throughout the country. And at the AAA Foundation, one of our core beliefs is that safe mobility is a right for all. We are therefore very excited to see further evidence that DriveSharp can help older Americans more safely exercise the privilege of driving, and maintain independence.

Of course, even a cognitively-trained driver cannot be a safe one if he or she is not paying attention to the road. So remember: obey the speed limit, and keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on the driving task at all times. This, coupled with training, will help keep you and those around you as safe as possible out on the roads.

To learn more, visit www.drivesharpnow.com.

Chrome + LEGO: You can build whatever you like

Think back: you’ve just dumped a bin of LEGOR bricks onto the floor with a satisfying crash, and you have the whole day ahead of you to build whatever you want. There’s something pretty amazing about being able to piece together your ideas with just a collection of colorful bricks.

Well, we think the creative freedom of LEGO bricks shouldn’t be limited to plastic bins—which is the idea behind Build with Chrome, a collaboration between Chrome and the LEGO Group that brought these colorful bricks to the web using WebGL, a 3D graphics technology. It was originally built by a team in Australia as an experiment, and now we’re opening it up to everybody. So now you can publish your wacky creations to any plot of land in the world.

We’ve added a few new features to make it easier to build and explore this digital world of LEGO creations. To start, you can now sign in with a Google+ account to help find stuff that people in your circles have created. A new categorization system for completed Builds will help you sort and filter for specific types of structures.

To hone your engineering skills and prepare for the upcoming “THE LEGOR MOVIETM,” you can explore the Build Academy, a series of short tutorials and challenges featuring characters and structures from the film.

If it feels more natural to use your hands—rather than a mouse—you can build your creations using a touchscreen on your phone or tablet with Chrome for Android support for WebGL on devices with high-end graphics capabilities.

As big fans of LEGO, we’re excited to see what you come up with to fill this new world. Share your creations on Google+ and we’ll reshare the most inventive ones.

Citrix Adds Zettics' Big Data Analytics to ByteMobile

Citrix announced the ".. establishment of a strategic partnership with Zettics .. leverage Zettics’ best-in-class analytics capabilities to enhance the ByteMobile portfolio of traffic management and analytics solutions for mobile network operators. The agreement is expected to result in new product offerings during the first half of 2014 .. will improve operators’ ability to capture and analyze

AT&T: 30% Discount on Gig, for Being DPI'ed

AT&T announced that ".. Austinites have a need for speed and data consumption, and that is helping drive stronger than expected demand for the fastest consumer broadband service delivered over the new AT&T network – AT&T U-verse® with GigaPower. AT&T plans to expand the all-fiber network to reach twice as many Austin area households in 2014" (here).

The GigaPower service in Austin was announced

JDSU/Arieso, Devicescape: LTE Users are Hungry for Data

Several reports have been published recently showing trends in bandwidth usage:


4G users are 10 times more data hungry than 3G users: Just 0.1% of 4G users consume more than HALF of all 4G downlink data measured

Phone 5s users are ‘hungriest’ data consumers finds study of more than 150 devices in developed and developing markets
iPhone 5s users consume seven times as much

P2P Traffic Shaping is Still There; South Korea Leads

A recent report in TorrentFreak shows that DPI and traffic shaping is still a popular practice, globally. The report also finds that South Korea and Japan, known for their high speed broadband connections, are in the top 5 countries where ISPs are limiting the use of file sharing.

".. fresh data from the Google-backed Measurement Lab, which provides new insight into the BitTorrent

Netflix: "Unfortunately, Verizon successfully challenged the U.S. net neutrality rules"

In the 2013 annual report to its shareholders (here), Netflix challenges the recent ruling on Net Neutrality (if nothing else works, "more regulation would clearly be requires").

Netflix believes that ISPs will not discriminate Netflix subscribers - and will actually work together with them on improving QoE (in order to go up in Netflix ISP chart? - see "Netflix CDN Customers have More Fun" -

Today’s outage for several Google services

Earlier today, most Google users who use logged-in services like Gmail, Google+, Calendar and Documents found they were unable to access those services for approximately 25 minutes. For about 10 percent of users, the problem persisted for as much as 30 minutes longer. Whether the effect was brief or lasted the better part of an hour, please accept our apologies—we strive to make all of Google’s services available and fast for you, all the time, and we missed the mark today.

The issue has been resolved, and we’re now focused on correcting the bug that caused the outage, as well as putting more checks and monitors in place to ensure that this kind of problem doesn’t happen again. If you’re interested in the technical explanation for what occurred and how it was fixed, read on.

At 10:55 a.m. PST this morning, an internal system that generates configurations—essentially, information that tells other systems how to behave—encountered a software bug and generated an incorrect configuration. The incorrect configuration was sent to live services over the next 15 minutes, caused users’ requests for their data to be ignored, and those services, in turn, generated errors. Users began seeing these errors on affected services at 11:02 a.m., and at that time our internal monitoring alerted Google’s Site Reliability Team. Engineers were still debugging 12 minutes later when the same system, having automatically cleared the original error, generated a new correct configuration at 11:14 a.m. and began sending it; errors subsided rapidly starting at this time. By 11:30 a.m. the correct configuration was live everywhere and almost all users’ service was restored.

With services once again working normally, our work is now focused on (a) removing the source of failure that caused today’s outage, and (b) speeding up recovery when a problem does occur. We'll be taking the following steps in the next few days:
1. Correcting the bug in the configuration generator to prevent recurrence, and auditing all other critical configuration generation systems to ensure they do not contain a similar bug.
2. Adding additional input validation checks for configurations, so that a bad configuration generated in the future will not result in service disruption.
3. Adding additional targeted monitoring to more quickly detect and diagnose the cause of service failure.

NSN: How can MNOs Deal w/OTT Resource Consumption and Lost Revenues?

A post by Andrew Burell [pictured], Nokia Solutions and Networks, to the company blog says that "OTT is certainly not a lost cause to MNOs".

" .. [MNOs] see OTT applications such as Skype, WhatsApp and NetFlix piggy-backing on their network investments, clogging up resources and stealing their revenues. The figures themselves are certainly frightening. Every day 2,371 new applications are

Hit the road with President Obama in the first-ever Presidential Hangout Road Trip

Next Tuesday, at 9pm EST, President Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address to Congress. Later that week, you'll have the chance to connect with the President and speak about his administration’s plan in the first-ever Presidential Hangout Road Trip.

On Friday, January 31, President Obama will “travel” the country in a virtual whistlestop tour. He’ll hop into Google+ Hangouts with people from across the United States to answer their questions and hear their thoughts about the topics he addressed in his speech.

If you have a question for the President and would like the opportunity to participate in the Hangout Road Trip, just record a 60-second video with your name, location, a bit about yourself and the question you’d like to ask. Then post it on YouTube or Google+ and share it publicly with the hashtag #AskObama2014.

Next Tuesday, tune in to watch the State of the Union address, as well as the Republican response, live on YouTube. Then join us and President Obama on Friday for a one-of-a-kind road trip.

Huawei: Over 3B Subscribers Served by Our SDM

Huawei announced that its "subscriber data management (SDM) solution, Huawei SingleSDB, has passed the 3 billion subscribers mark ..Huawei SingleSDB covers various deployment scenarios, including LTE, VoLTE, Policy Control and Charging (PCC) [see "Huawei's PCRF Customer list" - here], M2M, Identity Management (IDM), Rich Communications Suite (RCS), mobile Internet, Value-Added Services, and

DigitalRoute Diameter Signaling Router Added

DigitalRoute's Routing Control solution, a Diameter Signaling Router, was added to my Diameter Routing product list (here).

DigitalRoute Routing Control allows users to:

Consolidate their businesses and synergize their infrastructures by bridging their Radius -> Diameter AAA signaling.
Improve service availability with intelligent load-balancing, over-load protection and failover handling.

Cache Deployments [282]: Telefonica Media Networks [Latam] Selected PeerApp

PeerApp announced that it has been "selected by Media Networks Latin America, a B2B unit of Telefonica Digital, to implement its UltraBand caching system across the company’s Latin America Satellite Broadband Internet access network".

Fernando Blácido [pictured], ISAT Technical Manager of Media Networks said: “We offer wholesale satellite residential broadband service to operators in Brazil,

[Update 69: DigitalRoute <-> Allot, Cisco, Sandvine] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

Thomas Vasen [pictured], VP Product Management and Marketing, DigitalRoute, updated me that "As we are a based on a Data Integration platform communications our superior integration capability. We can integrate to any network node over diameter. There is no difference between complying to a policy interface and a charging interface towards a P-GW. The tables below show our production diameter

[TeleGeography]: Skype’s International Traffic Continues to Soar

TeleGeography reports that "According to new data .. Skype’s international traffic volume continues to soar ..  Skype’s on-net (Skype to Skype) international traffic grew 36 percent in 2013, to 214 billion minutes .. While the volume of international telephone traffic remains far larger than international Skype traffic, Skype’s minutes are growing much more rapidly. Skype added approximately

Qosmos Added 21 OEM Customers in 2013; Claims for 70% Market Share

Qosmos announced that it had been "selected by 21 technology companies during 2013 for inclusion in their products for the telecommunications and security industries. This record year confirms Qosmos’ position as the dominant supplier of embedded DPI software .. The recent series of wins consolidates Qosmos’ market share at 70% of the worldwide embedded DPI market .. Qosmos’ flagship product

Allot CEO: US Sales will Grow Slowly

The recent ruling against the FCC on Net Neutrality (see "Net neutrality is half-dead: Court strikes down FCC’s anti-blocking rules; Ruling lets ISPs "block and discriminate against customers’ communications" - here) generates new hopes for the DPI market in the US where the larger MNOs and ISPs were reluctant so far to deploy large scale, application and subscriber-aware traffic shaping

Introducing our smart contact lens project

You’ve probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problem—affecting one in every 19 people on the planet. But you may not be familiar with the daily struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. A friend of ours told us she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road.

Many people I’ve talked to say managing their diabetes is like having a part-time job. Glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like exercising or eating or even sweating. Sudden spikes or precipitous drops are dangerous and not uncommon, requiring round-the-clock monitoring. Although some people wear glucose monitors with a glucose sensor embedded under their skin, all people with diabetes must still prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day. It’s disruptive, and it’s painful. And, as a result, many people with diabetes check their blood glucose less often than they should.

Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluids—such as tears—in the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose levels. But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronics—think: chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy.

We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds. It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.

We’re in discussions with the FDA, but there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use. We’re not going to do this alone: we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market. These partners will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor. We’ve always said that we’d seek out projects that seem a bit speculative or strange, and at a time when the International Diabetes Federation (PDF) is declaring that the world is “losing the battle” against diabetes, we thought this project was worth a shot.

Help a highway out, plan ahead: a message from I-5 Seattle

 By guest blogger Broch Bender

Greetings drivers!

It’s your friend I-5 here with some important medical news to share with you.

You see, I recently had a checkup and it looks like 50 years of constant wear and tear on my highway expansion joints has caught up with me again. Yes, the prognosis is in; time for another regimen of expansion joint replacement surgeries through downtown Seattle.

Staring Friday night, WSDOT will call in the specialists to perform triage surgery on 26 of my aching, worn out joints. The first round of treatment starts this weekend, which requires more than half of my northbound lanes to be laid up through downtown Seattle until 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

The doc’s instructions call for nine weekends of lane closures between I-90 and the Washington State Convention Center to replace all 26 joints.

I realize these procedures could be painful for drivers, but ultimately the prescription delivers some relief too. You see, broken joints are not only hazardous to my health; they also put your car at risk for possible damage and can quickly choke your commute.

see caption
On Dec. 16, 2013, emergency expansion joint repairs caused
traffic to back up for two miles on southbound I-5 near
Spring Street. Ripping out and replacing expansion joints
puts the kibosh on emergency procedures like this one.

Here’s how you can help an old highway get some relief this weekend:
  • Plan ahead by taking an alternate route. If you can bypass Seattle altogether, I-405 is a great way to get around the slowdowns heading into downtown.  If not then good old Highway 99 will get you there.
  • Before you leave, check the WSDOT Seattle Area traffic map. If you see red or black near I-90  that means it could take a while to squeeze through the construction closures.
see caption
Highway medics in action, replacing an expansion
joint on northbound I-5 near Corson, April 2013.
With your help, we’ll get through these nine weekends of joint replacement treatments together.

No need to send cards or honk your horn in support while driving through my operating room. The best way to support me on my road to recovery is to carpool, plan ahead for traffic delays and, if you can swing it, take those alternate routes.

I’ll do my best to be a good patient and recover just as fast as I can.


I-5 shield

Interstate 5, downtown Seattle 

[Strategy Analytics]: OTT Messaging will Reduce SMS Revenues by 20%

A new report by David MacQueen [pictured], Director, Media & Apps, Strategy Analytics  finds that "Global expenditure on operator messaging services, which includes SMS and MMS, declined for the first time in 2013 following its peak in 2012 ..  operator revenue from messaging services fell by almost 4 percent last year to just below $104 Billion. Continued intense competition for subscribers

[Amdocs]: Newer Smartphones are Hungriers (for Data)

Actix (recently acquired by Amdocs) reported some interesting findings from a research it has conducted during 2013 analyzing 100,000 devices in Europe and North America:

"Smartphones launched in 2013 consumed more than seven times the data of those launched in 2009 and 40 percent more data than 2012 models, according to Actix’s latest research on global mobile users 
Apple handsets dominate

Epic Legonians shake things up in Vancouver

By Abbi Russell

A model of the EQ-EAST –
Earth Quake Early Alert System for Transportation
The shaking started with little warning, prompting a flurry of flashing lights just before the suspension bridge started to sway. Thankfully, no one was on the bridge during the earthquake, because, well, it’s made of LEGOs. But had it been a real bridge with traffic, lives could have been saved by EQ-EAST – the Earth Quake Early Alert System for Transportation.

EQ-EAST is the brainchild of a group of aspiring engineers who call themselves the Epic Legonians. The team of fifth graders created the system to warn drivers in advance of an earthquake and prevent them from driving onto bridges as the seismic waves hit.

The system measures seismic movement using sensors installed in buildings and other structures. The sensors trigger a warning system of flashing lights on bridges within the quake zone. The system also has potential for use in homes and businesses to warn people to take cover before the shaking in their area begins.

On Jan. 2, the Legonians presented their research and concept to a panel of nine WSDOT engineering and maintenance staff from Southwest Region and Headquarters. The team, which is part of the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League, was looking for feedback and suggestions as they continue developing their design in advance of a statewide competition in late January. They had also presented to and received feedback from the Arizona, Florida and Oregon departments of transportation.

The Epic Legonians (from left to right: Ramya,
Shruthi, Aishwarya and Zoe) pose with WSDOT staff
The panel was impressed with the team’s research and thoroughness. They asked questions and provided real-world, technical feedback on the system’s potential, how to make it more effective, and other issues to consider in the realm of traffic and transportation.

Southwest Region Bridge Supervisor Mike London feels the concept has a lot of potential. He peppered the team with questions and feedback from the maintenance perspective, and said he’d keep an eye out for further developments.

Keeping people safe and moving is the cornerstone of our work. We are pleased to have had the chance to help the Epic Legonians stretch their minds and develop creative solutions to improve our society.

A new wind investment in Texas

It sure is windy in Texas. So windy, in fact, that we’ve made another wind energy investment there. In late December we finalized an agreement to invest $75 million in the Panhandle 2 wind farm in Carson County, outside of Amarillo. The 182MW facility, developed by leading wind developer Pattern Energy Group LP, has the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power 56,000 U.S. homes. We expect the facility to be operational by the end of 2014.

The future site of Pattern’s Panhandle 2 wind farm

Panhandle 2 is our 15th renewable energy investment overall, and our second in Texas—last year around this time we announced an approximately $200 million investment in the Spinning Spur wind farm. In addition to these two projects, we’re also buying Texas wind from the Happy Hereford wind farm as part of our goal of operating on 100 percent renewable energy. These efforts reflect our long-standing commitment to renewable energy as both an investor and a consumer.
Sunset at another Pattern facility, Gulf Wind

Let that Texas wind blow!

[Rumors]: Sandvine Won a DPI Extension at Rostelecom/elk

A rumor I heard says that Sandvine closed an extension contract at Rostelecom/ETK, According to the rumor, the contract valued at $500K.

ETK, a subsidiary of the giant Russian MON, Rosetelcom (more than 100 million subscribers in 80 regions), is the largest mobile operator in Krasnoyarsk and Altai Territory, Taimyr, Kemerovo region, the Republic of Khakassia, Tuva, Altai (see Krasnoyarsk

[Survey]: 2/3 of Vendors Now Believe DPI is a Must-have Technology

A new survey by Graham Finnie [pictured], Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading (sponsored by Qosmos) finds that:

Two thirds of vendors now believe DPI is a must-have technology.
The largest use case (by number of vendors citing it) is service assurance for QoS/QoE; the second largest is policy control (PCEF), which we believe is the largest use case by volume

The proportion of vendors

FCC [on AT&T's 1-800]: "Let's look at what this is"

Brian Fung reports to The Washington Post that the FCC recently appointed chairman, Tom Wheeler [pictured], won't rule our AT&T's recent "1-800" initiative (see "[Rumors]: AT&T "Sponsored Data" is Based on Openet's PCC" - here).

This is not the first time we hear such comments that may not agree with the "Open Internet" (Net Neutrality) concept, although the current US rules do not apply to

Frontier Adds Traffic Prioritization based on User-defined Applications

Frontier Communications ".. continues to enhance its Ethernet portfolio, now offering traffic prioritization based on user-defined applications. New Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities significantly improve network efficiencies and availability by prioritizing critical applications.

Frontier is introducing two new Ethernet offerings for Retail and Wholesale users:

Ethernet Virtual Private

We’ve encountered setbacks, but strive to move forward

A message from Secretary Lynn Peterson

WSDOT has been in the news a lot lately regarding Bertha and the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program and more recently, the 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program.

Some of that coverage has been light hearted and other coverage has been more serious and raised concerns about WSDOT’s management of our mega projects.

Our projects are complex. No other city or state in the nation has projects like these going on. We are building the widest bored tunnel in the world and one of the largest floating bridges in the world. We need these projects to improve how our residents commute to work, home and play.

As each of us knows, projects encounter obstacles. How many of us have been involved in a project – big or small; at home or at work – and have encountered setbacks? Our projects are no different; they are just bigger and in the public eye. What defines our agency and how our public views us is how we manage through these challenges. That’s what counts. That’s what matters.

We’ve made mistakes. Our 520 bridge pontoon design error resulted in depleting the majority of contingency funds for that project. I spoke about that on Wednesday. We are doing what we can to manage that error. We’ve identified existing funding sources to cover these costs and keep the project on track. At this time, we don’t foresee the need for any changes in tax rates, fees or toll rates to cover the increased costs from contract change orders.

Bertha is stopped. We knew she would encounter challenges as she makes her way north. We planned for obstacles in our budget. WSDOT has been transparent about how hard this tunneling work is and it will continue to be. I’m impressed by the public’s knowledge and interest in not only the project, but in Bertha herself. People asked me “How’s she doing?” not long after tunneling stopped. The answer is: Bertha will be fine.

I understand people’s fear that these large, visible projects will become a statistic and that we will make national headlines for failure. Failure is not an option. We need these projects to be successful to better serve you – our residents. We will continue to manage them well, be accountable, celebrate our successes and be transparent about our challenges.

WSDOT strives for transparency with the media and the public and this makes our agency and valued employees vulnerable to negativity. Transparency is hard and it doesn’t always feel good, but it’s the right thing. We can’t just talk about our successes. We – WSDOT, our employees and the public – need to talk about everything transportation related. The more you are engaged, the more you understand the opportunities and challenges we face as an agency and as a transportation system both now and in the future.

WSDOT has a responsibility to be good stewards of transportation dollars. We’ve made – and continue to make – changes (pdf) to how we do business to ensure efficiencies are made, that we manage well through our challenges and we ensure your tax dollars are accounted for and well spent.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: That’s the WSDOT way!

By guest blogger Chelsey Funis from Flatiron Construction

The I-405 Bellevue to Lynnwood project reuses soil moved
from other parts of the project area to build retaining walls,
shown above, and sections of new roadway.
Most of us follow that old mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle without a second thought everyday, whether we’re recycling our used aluminum cans or bringing our reusable grocery bags to the grocery store. But did you know that crews building the latest batch of I-405 improvements are also following that mantra? 

As part of the I-405 NE 6th Street to I-5 Widening and Express Toll Lanes Project, our crews and contractor, Flatiron Constructors, are using a number of sustainable practices to build a better project for our environment and taxpayers. In this case, going green also helps us save a little green. And who doesn’t like that?

So what are we doing to reduce our carbon footprint?

To reduce impacts on nearby aquatic resources, project crews
have built three mitigation sites. Improvements completed this
October in Kirkland, shown above, include new trees,
plantings, rocks and drainage pipes.
Recycling soil and fill material excavated from the 17-mile project site
Major construction projects typically truck in thousands of cubic yards of soil, crushed rock and other organic materials from off-site locations. Using a little creativity, we were able to design the I-405 project and schedule the construction in a way that recycles tested and approved soil and earthen fill material directly from the project site. We then use the recycled soil and fill material in other places on the job. For example, we’re building two retaining walls and a noise berm in Kirkland by reusing earthen material dug up from the footprint of a new northbound I-405 on-ramp in Bothell and other locations throughout the project area.

By reusing soil on site instead of disposing it off-site and buying new material, our crews:
  • Cut back on heavy trucking at longer distances.
  • Save fuel and decrease carbon emissions.
  • Prevent damage to our roads.
  • Reduce the cost and space used at off-site disposal locations.
Because we’re recycling and reusing soil and fill materials, we’ve also eliminated about 300,000 cubic yards of excavation. To put things into perspective, that’s enough soil to build a pile nearly 136 feet tall onto a football field – or nearly two-thirds of the way up to CenturyLink Field’s roof, which rises about 200 feet above the ground. In addition, our commitment to reusing 100 percent of the remaining excess material on site will result in a 2,100-ton reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the project. That’s the equivalent of a little more than 4,000 cars’ annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Recycling demolished concrete structures
We’re removing  many concrete structures, such as roadway barriers, so that they can be updated to current standards. For this project, crews haul all of this rubble to local recycling facilities that process and repurpose the steel and concrete for other local projects.

Recycling old asphalt pavement
We’re also removing existing asphalt pavement that is past its service life. Crews are grinding and breaking the removed asphalt to build temporary access roads and embankments, as well as reprocessing it back into new asphalt for this and other local projects.

Installing bioswales: smarter drainage ditches
Urban stormwater – the rain and snow melt that runs off surfaces like rooftops, sidewalks, paved streets, highways and parking lots – is one of the biggest environmental threats to the Puget Sound region. Left untreated, stormwater runoff can carry pollutants like oil, fertilizers and pesticides into our waterways, harming creeks, streams and rivers that provide important habitat for fish and wildlife.

Cleaning pollutants from this water and reducing the rate of runoff is a critical component to the Bellevue to Lynnwood project in order to help protect the many nearby wetlands.

To clean pollutants and control the rate of runoff, this project will construct:
  • Eight new or enlarged standard treatment and detention ponds.
  • 3,550 linear feet  (more than half a mile) of biofiltration swales, also known as bioswales, which help capture and treat stormwater by filtering the water through vegetated channels comprised of organic materials like grass and shrubs. 
  • 11,200 linear feet, or more than two miles, of new media filter drains, which we construct along the highway shoulder area. The media filter drains consist of a no-vegetation zone, a grass strip and a mix of native vegetation. These pollutant filters are great for where there is limited space.
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[Update 68: MATRIXX-Cisco] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

MATRIXX marketing informed me that their PCRF is interoperable with DPI products from Cisco, Vedicis and Alcatel-Lucent. 

The PCRF-DPI (here) matrix was updated.

4GIsrael Highlights

Yesterday I attended IMA's 7th 4G Israel Event (here). This year the event focus was on the extra value LTE is expected to bring to MNOs.

I collected the following highlights:

Rani Wellingstein, Cisco (Co-Founder, CEO Intucell - see "[Cisco Acquired] Intucell CEO Speaks about SON Opportunity" at 4GIsrael 2013 - here): "Cisco SON activity is based in Israel, with 150 people". 
Shira Levine,

How will Pirate Bay Avoid Blocking?


As once said "All site blocking techniques can be circumvented" (here). Apparently we are going to see one more way to do that.

Ernesto reports to TorrentFreak that "The Pirate Bay’s PirateBrowser just hit 2.5 million downloads but the notorious torrent site has much bigger plans in store for the new year. The team behind the site is developing a new tool that doesn’t rely on domain names

Sandvine: $10M Orders from a Tier 1 Operator in North America.

$4M to Allot (here), $10M to Sandvine. Sandvine announced that it has "received follow-on orders for approximately $10 million from a Tier 1 operator in North America. The orders were received in Sandvine’s first quarter of 2014.  To support an expanded set of policy use cases to be deployed in the network, the operator has ordered additional software from Sandvine’s Service Creation

[Rumors]: AT&T "Sponsored Data" is Based on Openet's PCC

AT&T plans for 1-800 data service have been materialized.

Some of my previous posts show us how the process of developing the new product evolved over two years:

[Feb 12]: AT&T Considers "1-800" Model for Mobile Data
[Jun '12]: AT&T CEO: 1-800 Data will "Catch Fire in the Next 12 Months"
[Dec '12]: AT&T Asks Subscribers about 1-800 Data Service 
[May '13]: AT&T 1-800 Maybe Based on

Allot: $4M Order; Procera: Q4 Revenues Below Expectations

Good news for Allot Communications - the company announced that it has "received a four million dollar expansion order from a Tier-1 mobile operator in Europe for the Allot Service Gateway. Allot received this order during the fourth quarter of 2013.

The operator, which serves more than 15 million subscribers across its 3G and rapidly-growing LTE networks, will utilize analytics ollected from

No Longer a Rumor: Flash Networks Acquires Mobixell

Liam Glin, CEO,
Flash Networks

I reported yesterday on the expected acquisition of Mobixell by Flash Networks (here) for $15M and today it is official.

"This synergistic union will enable Flash Networks to meet the growing demand for data optimization, acceleration, and monetization services following the explosive growth of new consumer devices, rich multimedia content, and high speed 3G,

Israel: Carriers Must Disclose Broadband CIR

A new level of transparency is now required from the network providers in Israel. This relates to the two providers of broadband service - Bezeq (DSL) and HOT (Cable).

In Israel the internet service is separated into access and ISP functions, so the customer has to negotiate twice and get two bills. The new rules regulate the access providers only and as such do not mean much to the subscribers

[Rumors]: Flash Networks to buy Mobixell

Further consolidation is expected this week in the video optimization market.

According to sources familiar with the space, Flash Networks is going to buy Mobixell for $15M in cash.

A recent report by {Core Analysis}, on the video optimization market found that "Mobixell Networks remains number 2 in deployments with 23%" (see "Video Optimization Market Reaffirms its Maturity; Citrix ByteMobile

Australian Police Piloting DPI

Back in November, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) issued a tender for DPI (here) - " for an appliance that can accept a stream of TCP/IP traffic or potentially previously captured packets in PCAP format .. at a minimum, it must be able to analyse flows of information at 10Gbps, regardless of whether it is using IPv4 or IPv6. Further requirements that the AFP needs are the ability to identify

[Update 67: MATRIXX Added] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

The PCRF-DPI matrix (here) was updated with the MATRIXX PCRF product.

See "TM Forum's “Real-Time Charging for High Volume Mobile Data" Architecture to be Exposed" - here.

"MATRIXX Policy allows charging and network quality of service (QoS) to be flexibly and dynamically linked to customer, service and network parameters. MATRIXX Policy supports:

3GPP-compliant Policy and Charging Rules

[ABI]: VoLTE Drives IMS Deployments to $4B Market by 2017

A new report by Joe Hoffman [pictured], Research Director, ABI Research finds that "IMS Core Network deployments are edging up as operators put the necessary infrastructure and capacity in place for planned 2014 VoLTE launches. Spending for the core network products (HSS, CSC, Media Controllers and Gateways, MSF, IBCF, SBC and P-CSCF) integral to a functioning IMS network will reach US$ 4

4G Israel - Speakers Lineup

Following my invitation to IMA's 7th 4G Israel event, please see below the conference executive speakers.

Registration (through Eventbrite) - here.

Singapore Telcos Plans for Data Monetization: Tiered Services, Music and Gaming

How will operators increase their revenues in 2014? Joyce Hooi, The Business Times, interviewed the 3 telcos in Singapore:

Kevin Lim [pictured], Chief Commercial Officer, StarHub: "We are primed for data monetisation next year as we expect more customers to adopt tiered data plans". See "PCRF Deployments: Starhub Selected NSN" - here and "StarHub  Selected Neuralitic for Usage Profiling and

[Netherlands] T-Mobile Free Wi-Fi on Trains may Block YouTube

Here is how the "reasonable traffic management" exception to Net Neutrality looks like in real life.

While the Netherlands has a Net Neutrality law (see "Netherlands: Net Neutrality/DPI Restrictions Law Approved" - here), its railway service is allowed to block certain traffic on its free Wi-Fi service (operated by T-Mobile). I assume that if you still wish to watch YouTube you'll need to use

Join Us at IMA's 7th 4G Israel Event

This year I was honored to join IMA 4G Israel event's advisory board, and would like invite everyone to attend the one day conference, in Tel Aviv, on January 9th.


4G Israel is the largest wireless technology event in Israel, attracting hundreds of thought-leaders and decision-makers from across the country.The conference program provides a vertical view – from business and technology to