Opera Adds Audio to Rocket Optimizer

Opera Software announced that its "Skyfire unit [see "Opera Buys Skyfire for (up to) $155M" - here] has added streaming audio optimization as a new feature to Rocket Optimizer, its NFV-ready video and data optimization platform for mobile operators .. Rocket Optimizer manages streaming audio traffic in the same way that it optimizes mobile video traffic. 

It uses its built-in Experience

GSA: 16 MNOs Deploying or Trialing LTE Broadcast

According to a new report by GSA ",,confirms that at least 16 mobile network operators, working together with LTE systems providers and broadcast content owners, are currently deploying or trialling LTE Broadcast technology in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, UK and the USA".

Related post: "Vodafone LTE Status:

Through the Google lens: search trends August 22-28

It was a busy week for entertainment junkies with the Emmys and VMAs, and the cat was out of the bag for Sanrio fans after a surprising piece of news. Read on for more on the last week in search:

And the Emmy goes to…
Though Breaking Bad took home the top honors at Monday’s Emmy Awards, people searched less for the acclaimed drama than for some of the event’s other, more unexpected happenings. American Horror Story’s Jessica Lange proved she’s still got it—she was the top search of the night. Meanwhile, Hayden Panettiere accidentally revealed the gender of her forthcoming baby, leading people to search for information about the actress and her fiancé Wladimir Klitschko. And it was a night of funny women: Julia Louis-Dreyfus did justice to her award for best actress in a comedy with a Seinfeld-inspired bit on stage… and a Seinfeld-throwback kiss just offstage; and Sarah Silverman won an award for best variety special (and showed off some unusual accessories). Other popular Emmys searches included HBO’s The Normal Heart, which was nominated for 16 awards and won two, and True Detective, which won for directing but did not capture the acting awards some expected.

I want my MTV
The other awards show making news this week was MTV’s Video Music Awards. As can only be expected at this point, Beyoncé’s performance was the highlight of the night; the day after the show, there were more than 50,000 searches for [beyonce vma performance] as people scrambled to re-live (or catch up with) the spectacle. But part of Bey’s appeal this time was actually her daughter, Blue Ivy, who appeared on stage (as well as in multiple GIFs, natch) to steal the show like only an adorable child can. Searchers were dazzled by performances by Ariana Grande (in a crystal onesie), Rita Ora (with diamonds in her manicure) and Iggy Azalea. Finally, Katy Perry and Riff Raff’s double denim red carpet tribute to that VMA power couple of the past, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, had people giggling—and searching.
Trouble out west
After a nine-year-old in Arizona accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi, people came to Google to learn more about the incident, which has sparked debates throughout the country. And the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 20+ years shook up Napa and surrounding counties this weekend, leading people to the web to learn more about the damage.

Raining [searches for] cats and dogs
Sanrio fans worldwide got some startling news this week: Hello Kitty is not a kitty. According to the Japanese company, she is a little girl. Whatever her species, she was a top trend in search this week. And for those of you who aren’t cat fans (in which case, do you even like the Internet?), there was National Dog Day, Tuesday’s top search and—if you ask us—a great excuse for thousands of people to share photos of their own favorite man’s best friend.

Tip of the week
Don’t let delays ruin your long weekend. To help you decide whether it’s faster to bike or take transit to your Labor Day destination, Google Search can show you all of your transportation options and estimated travel times on a single card. Just tap the mic and say “Ok Google, what’s the traffic like to AT&T Park” and easily switch between transportation modes to determine which route works best for you.

Elitecore Offers Integrated PCC @ $500K/100K Subscribers

Elitecore Technologies announced ".. Pre-integrated LTE RCM an end to end platform comprising; OCS, PCRF, Convergent Billing, Customer Management, Provisioning, Business Analytics and Selfcare Portals for LTE operators at USD 500K for 100,000 subscribers. 

..The platform comes with Integrated Policy and Charging solution enabling launch of innovative plans & services on day one. A centralized

Procera - $5M Order by European MSO; Replaces Existing Vendor

Procera Networks announced "$5 million in initial orders from a Tier 1 European MSO that represents the second largest initial customer orders in company history. Procera was selected primarily due to its Subscriber Experience solutions that enable the multi-system operator (MSO) to deliver high quality broadband services even during times of heavy congestion. 

The Service Plan Assurance

Another major closure in the books

 By Lynn Peterson

What a summer.

Wildfires, flash floods, tornados. Our state has faced no shortage of unplanned challenges recently. In addition to causing more serious repercussions, these challenges strain our transportation system, particularly when they hit during a busy season of planned construction closures. Add it all up and you end up with a predictable outcome: delays and frustration for travelers trying to reach their destination.

New SR 99 at Broad Street
Today, as scheduled, we wrapped up a four-day closure of State Route 99 in Seattle that included two rare weekday closures of the highway. Before the closure started, we asked you to do your part to help. We suggested you plan ahead, change your travel mode or revise your commute, among other measures aimed at reducing congestion. As you did during major lane reductions on I-90 last month, you delivered. Traffic was more challenging than usual, but we expected that. And had you not heeded our suggestions, things would have been much, much worse.


Of course when you’re sitting in traffic, it’s easy to forget that the headaches we’re enduring have tangible benefits. In the case of the four-day SR 99 closure, we came away with plenty to show.

Most notably, crews building the future north portal of the SR 99 tunnel demolished and replaced the section of SR 99 that crosses above Broad Street in Seattle. It looks easy in this time-lapse video, but completing this work and reopening the highway in four days was no small feat. 

During the weekend portion of the closure, crews replaced 81 concrete panels on SR 99 south of downtown, repaired an expansion joint at the Seneca Street off-ramp from northbound SR 99 and cleared ivy from the Alaskan Way Viaduct to make future maintenance of the structure easier.

With more than 18,000 miles of highway under our care, we’re always getting ready for the next big push. There will be more closures, more travel challenges. But please be assured that we spend a significant amount of time and energy coordinating our work in advance, and doing everything we can to minimize delays for the traveling public.

When the next big closure approaches, we’ll again ask for your help. Let me say in advance, on behalf of your fellow travelers, thank you. Your help, and your patience, benefit everyone as we work together to maintain and improve our state’s transportation system.

What does it take to build the world’s longest floating bridge?

By Ian Sterling

It takes people – a whole lot of them. As Labor Day approaches, we at WSDOT tip our hardhats to the men and women building and maintaining our state’s transportation system, with a special nod to the more than 1,400 workers involved in one of the largest construction undertakings in state history.

Did you know that the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program is actually a series of separate projects being built at several sites around the state? These locations include:

Brandy Cunningham, a traffic control supervisor
Making it all happen are workers like Brandy Cunningham, a traffic control supervisor and member of Laborers’ Local 440. The mother of two has spent most of her weekends and many an early morning this summer directing drivers around roadwork on the Eastside Transit and HOV Project. Cunningham says it’s cool to be working on something that thousands of people use every day. She tells us she has a  sense of pride anytime she drives by the project because she has a role in it. One of her favorite parts of the job is when drivers give her team a wave. She says the crew gets to know the faces of a lot of people driving by and enjoys it when they get a smile or a wave. Keeping drivers safe and moving through the construction is a critical role.

Tyler Rabey is a member of Carpenters Local 317. Aberdeen-born-and-raised, he completed a two-year carpentry program at Grays Harbor College and now helps build the massive pontoons that make up the backbone of the new floating bridge. He says it’s incredible how they’re built and it’s amazing to be part of their construction. He also notes that the job has allowed him to buy a house and a nice car before most of his friends of the same age. His training and work on the pontoons have launched his career.
Operator trainee Pernell Vuepa

Operator trainee Pernell Vuepa starts his day at 3:30 a.m., making the commute from his home in Auburn to work on the Eastside Transit and HOV Project. The heavy-equipment operator has a job that any child with a Tonka truck would envy. He says kids come to watch as he operates a giant loader. He tells us little kids like to see big things – like concrete forms, piles of dirt and other objects he spends his days moving into place. According to Pernell, the best part of his job is getting to do something different every day. He’s a proud member of the Operating Engineers Local 612.

One of the most unique jobs anywhere has to belong to Daniel Nielsen, a fourth-generation pile driver with Local 196. He’s in charge of bolting together the football-field-size longitudinal pontoons on Lake Washington—a key to the Floating Bridge and Landings Project. He notes the bolts used are up to 20 feet long and weigh roughly 400 pounds each. To reach the latest pair of pontoons being joined, he walks on the ones already connected. Every time two more pontoons are bolted together, his on-foot commute along the pontoons increases. He tells us it currently takes about 15-minutes to make the walk.

Daniel Nielsen, a fourth-generation pile driver
These are just a few of the many faces making the new SR 520 bridge and corridor a reality. From scuba divers in the waters of Grays Harbor to crane operators perched high above Lake Washington, well over one thousand individuals are laboring every day to rebuild this vital corridor. Other SR 520 construction workers we talked to for this story included Randy Janson, a concrete foreman in Aberdeen and member of Cement Masons Local 528; Mark Folk, a former jeweler now doing carpentry work on the new floating bridge’s east approach; and Sergio Carlos, a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters who’s building concrete forms on the highway’s Eastside corridor.

On this Labor Day, we say, “Thanks, we can’t do it without you,” and salute them all for a job well done.

Active Broadband Launches SDN/NFV Gateway

Active Broadband Networks announced the ".. industry's first Software-Defined Broadband Network Gateway (SD-BNG), a platform that implements software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of broadband service delivery. 

The SD-BNG unlocks the benefits of SDN and NFV for service providers to streamline

cPacket New Product Monitors and Correlates Links, Virtual Tunnels, and Applications

cPacket Networks announced "cClear technology for performance monitoring and optimization across physical and virtual realms of modern networks .. Existing network performance monitoring tools only provide limited information of average link utilization, which masks reliability issues like bottlenecks, spikes, microbursts, jitter, and inconsistent user experience.

cClear is the first

Israel: Will ISPs have to Send Detailed Surfing Records to Subscribers?

Gilad Erdan,Minister
of Communications 

Earlier this month, Israel's Ministry of Communications (the local regulator) published 2 calls for hearing about new parental control services to be provided by broadband ISPs (here) and MNOs (here, both in Hebrew).

According to the documents, only a small number of the subscribers have signed for the filtering services of harmful sites. These

[TechNavio]: Transparent Cache Market to Grow at 31% CAGR

A new report by TechNavio finds that ".. Transparent caching is a solution that enables the service provider to offload a significant amount of content traffic by storing a cached copy of the popular content close to the edge of the network, which is delivered to the user directly from the edge of the network rather than from the source. It is invisible to both the content originator and the

[ABI]: Mobile Internet Services to Generate 45% of MNOs Service Revenues by '19

A new report by Marina Lu [pictured], research analyst, ABI Research finds that "In 1Q 2014, the worldwide mobile service revenue increased 0.58% year-on-year (YoY) to US$264 billion .. the aggregate service revenue for 2014 will grow 2.9% YoY to US$1.01 trillion, mainly driven by the robust growth of the mobile Internet market. 

Proliferating mobile data subscriptions and enhanced network

Through the Google lens: search trends August 15-21

It was an emotional rollercoaster on search this week. Read on to learn more about what made people laugh and cry.

Tragedies and scandals
The world was shocked by a video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Questions remain about how the United States will respond to the incident. And there was sad news closer to home too. TV lost an icon when Saturday Night Live’s announcer of 40+ years, Don Pardo, passed away at 96.

While some searchers were in mourning, others were looking for answers. Texas Governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry was indicted this week on charges of abuse of power. Perry pleaded not guilty to all charges, but that didn’t stop searchers from investigating. And while people had their detective hats on, they also looked into the Louisville Purge, a social media hoax based off the horror movie series The Purge. The hoax claimed that all residents of Louisville, Kentucky would have 24 hours to commit any crime they want—without repercussion. Does anyone take social media that seriously?

“J” as in “J is the only letter that matters”
You’d think our favorite letter would be the letter “G,” and normally that’s the case—but not this week as J-named celebrities jacked the trends charts. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Julianna Hough is taking off her dancing shoes and getting comfortable behind the judge’s table in a new role on the show. Meanwhile, rumors flew like mockingjays this week that actress Jennifer Lawrence has a new beau— the consciously uncoupled Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. And when there’s action going on you know Johnny Manziel won’t be too far away. Searchers were baffled this week when Johnny Football decided to show the Washington bench that he, um, was “number one.”

Deep sea video gaming
Searchers took a trip down memory lane when former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan went head-to-head with Jimmy Fallon in the classic Nintendo 64 game “GoldenEye 007.” Unfortunately, Brosnan’s experience as the untouchable Bond didn’t quite translate into video games skills. But Bond wasn’t the only one sleeping with the fishes. There were rough waters this week for sharks... more specifically this shark, who was swallowed whole in one bite by a goliath Grouper. Consider shark week officially over. (^^^)

Tip of the week
Want a fast way to calculate the tip? Stop counting on your fingers and just ask Google “How much is the tip on a $27 bill?” to get the amount. You can also adjust the tip percent and divide the bill by the number of people in your party, right in the search results.

[TechNavio]: The DPI Market will Grow at 36% CAGR

A new report by TechNavio forecasts that ".. the Global DPI market will grow at a CAGR of 36.45 percent over the period 2013-2018 .. Although at present the EMEA region is a major contributor to the market, the APAC region is expected to emerge as a strong contributor to this market. ISPs and government organizations are the biggest adopters of DPI technology in the market .. with the increase

PCC Deployments [319]: Vodafone [Australia] to Deploy (Virtualized) Ericsson

Ericsson announced that "Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has chosen Ericsson as a sole supplier to replace and upgrade the complete core network for their national network. With the latest core technology, including Ericsson's solutions for Evolved Packet Core and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), policy control and circuit-switched core, VHA will further enhance network robustness, performance

Get ready: Four-day closure of SR 99 begins Friday at 10 p.m.

By Chad Schuster

In October 2011, we closed State Route 99 through Seattle for more than a week so we could demolish and replace the southern mile of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Traffic was a challenge during the closure, but with help from flexible and patient commuters, we made it through and ended up with a better highway to show for it.

On Friday night, we’ll begin another extended closure of SR 99, this time a four-day closure that will enable crews to demolish and replace (pdf 2.5 mb) a section of the highway at the north end of downtown. As it did three years ago, we expect that closing SR 99 will cause congestion and perhaps frustration among travelers trying to get to and through Seattle. But with your help, we’ll manage, and we’ll complete important work related to our efforts to replace the remaining section of the viaduct.
Please plan ahead for SR 99 closures from Friday night, Aug. 22 to Wednesday morning, Aug. 27. Here are the details:

  • From 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, SR 99 will be closed in both directions from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street.
    • Northbound SR 99 will be open from South Royal Brougham Way and southbound SR 99 will be open from Columbia Street until midnight on Friday, Aug. 22 for exiting Seahawks traffic.
  • From 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25 to 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, SR 99 will be closed in both directions from the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel to Valley Street.

Lots of work to do

It’s never easy to close a major highway, but it might make it easier to accept if you know how much work we’ll be able to accomplish due to the sacrifices being made by you and your fellow travelers. The main need for the closure is to allow crews building the future north portal of the SR 99 tunnel to demolish and replace the section of SR 99 that crosses above Broad Street. To minimize the need for additional closures, separate crews will complete the following work elsewhere along the SR 99 corridor during this time:
  • Utility work at Harrison Street
  • Concrete panel replacement in SODO
  • Expansion joint repairs on the viaduct near the Seneca Street off-ramp
  • Ivy removal from the viaduct

Driver tips 

The closure will likely cause backups on city streets and I-5. Travelers should consider the following:
Thanks in advance for your patience, and for doing your part to minimize congestion as we build a better SR 99 corridor.

[Dell’Oro Group]: CSP Equipment Market - Grow at 2% CAGR to 2018

A new report by Dell’Oro Group finds that ".. the combined service provider telecom equipment market comprising the Access, Carrier IP Telephony, Microwave, Mobile RAN, Optical, SP Routers, SP WiFi, and Wireless Packet Core markets, are set to improve between 2013 and 2018—by approximately $30 billion. 

After recording a CAGR of -1% between 2008 and 2013, Dell’Oro Group forecasts

[Infonetics]: VoLTE Slows down the IMS Market (led By Huawei)

A new report by Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS, Infonetics Research finds that deployments of VoLTE services slows down the IMS equipment market - "The global service provider VoIP and IMS market totaled $878 million in 2Q14, down 6% from 2Q13, and down 12% sequentially .. Huawei and Metaswitch are the standout IMS/VoIP vendors in 2Q14, bucking the down quarter"

"To date,

Telefonica O2 Shines in Spirent's UK QoE Study

A new "Independent Review of Mobile Voice and Data Services Commissioned by Telefonica O2" by Spirent finds that ... Telefonica provides the best QoE for data services in the UK in almost every aspect of the test! 

Spirent's Datum QoEAnalytics Application

"The study included over 47,000 calls and 170,000 data tests over a three month period from May to July [using Spirent's User

[Research]: VoLTE is Better than OTT VoIP

Mobile networks vendors continue to claim that their built-in VoIP (VoLTE) beats OTT's VoIP in all aspects - efficiency,performance and quality.

We saw internal research from Nokia - see "NSN: VoLTE Beats OTT VoIP 4:0 !" - here and "Nokia: VoLTE is Doing Better than OTT's VoIP Under Load" - here.

Alcatel-Lucent joins the trend and announces "the results of an independent research study [

[Analysys Mason]: NMS Market to Reach $5.6B by 2018; Driven by LTE

A new report by Shanthi Ravindran [pictured], Senior Analyst, Gorkem Yigit, Research Analyst and Glen Ragoonanan, Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason finds that "The worldwide network management systems (NMS) market is forecast to grow from USD4.6 billion in revenue in 2013 to USD5.6 billion in 2018, at a 3.9% CAGR, starting to recover from the 4% decline in 2012 and 2% growth in 2013". 


Through the Google lens: search trends August 8-14

Demonstrations in Missouri and the death of Robin Williams had people searching for a greater understanding this week.

Losing a Hollywood legend
First up, the news of Robin Williams’ death sparked tens of millions of searches about the beloved actor’s life and career. Legions of fans searched for every one of their favorite films from Williams’ decades-long career; top topics include Hook, Jumanji and Good Morning Vietnam. Many were looking up his most memorable quotes and roles, including the “O captain, my captain” monologue in Dead Poets Society, Genie’s first scene in Aladdin, and a standup bit about golf. Others searched for tributes by Williams’ fellow actors and comedians, like Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien. And just yesterday, news that the actor had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease led people to the web once again.

Two days after Williams’ death, Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89, inspiring people to search for more information on the actress, in particular her marriage to Humphrey Bogart back in Hollywood’s golden age.

Unrest in Missouri
Protests ignited in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri this weekend after an unarmed teenager named Mike Brown was shot and killed by police on Saturday. People turned to search to learn more about the conflict, and searches for terms like [ferguson riot] and [ferguson shooting] rose by more than 1,000%.
Math and science phenomena
Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford, was awarded the 2014 Fields Medal this week for her work on understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres. She is the first woman and first Iranian to win the prize, considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

Turning from one sphere to a celestial one, two astronomical events led searchers to the web to learn more. The Perseid meteor shower had its annual peak this week—and got a doodle for the occasion—and the brightest super moon of the year had everyone a little lun-y.

Ice ice bucket
This week saw a rise in searches for [als] thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral campaign to raise money to fight what’s better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. From Martha Stewart to Justin Timberlake to your college roommate, odds are you know someone who’s dumped a bucket of icy water on themselves for the cause. The ALS Association has received millions of dollars in donations as a result, though we don’t have any numbers on how many brave folks took the plunge.

Tip of the week
Still basking in the glow of that super moon? Learn more about our familiar friend in the sky by asking your Google Search app on iPhone or Android, “How far away is the moon?” and get an answer spoken back to you. You can then ask, “How big is it?” Google will understand what “it” you’re talking about and give you the 411.

Sometimes Mother Nature calls the shots

by Meagan Lott

It’s no shock that Mother Nature calls the shots when it comes to the weather. This week we saw a grab bag of different kinds of weather from lightning and flash flooding to even a small tornado touching down in the Tri-Cities.

We try really hard to work around the weather and most of the time we can, but safety is our number one priority and earlier this week it wasn’t something we were going to gamble with.

On Tuesday, we planned to close Snoqualmie Pass for rock blasting at 7:30 p.m. Each blast takes approximately 5,000 pounds of explosives and in order to be ready for the closure, crews have start prepping the blast area early in the morning.

As we got closer to the 7:30 p.m. closure, the lightning meters we have installed on the pass started detecting lightning strikes within 15 miles of the blasting area. Then it jumped to just one mile. As part of Washington State Law (WAC 96-52-67055) and for the safety of drivers and our crews, we had to close the pass immediately. Unfortunately, this didn’t leave us much time to let drivers know that the pass was closing an hour-and-a-half earlier than planned.

Fortunately, we were able to detonate the explosives, clean-up debris from the highway and get the pass back open to traffic within an hour.

We apologize for those of you that may have been stuck in the closure, but again it wasn’t to cause an inconvenience, it was for your safety. In the four years we have been closing the pass for rock blasting, this is the first time we have ever had to close early due to weather.
In case Mother Nature throws us for a loop again, make sure to follow us on Twitter @snoqualmiepass, check us out on Facebook or visit the What’s Happening on I-90 Web page.

T-Mobile to Shape Misusage Over LTE

Years after P2P identification and shaping was almost the only business for DPI products in the fixed market (starting with music files going to video), it is back again - to LTE networks.

Cam Bunton reports to TmoNews that In an "..internal memo to staff, it’s been revealed that T-Mobile is going to clamp down on users taking advantage of their unlimited 4G/LTE plans for peer-to-peer file

Property for sale: must like fast moving vehicles, occasional traffic noise

 By Ann Briggs

We work with property owners to purchase land needed
for highway improvements, such as this roundabout.
At some point in our life most of us will buy or sell a house, and we’ll call on a real estate agent to help us through that complicated process. Buying and selling property for transportation projects is equally complex, and we have a team of Real Estate Service specialists who act as real estate agents, relocation specialists, property managers, title researchers and appraisers to get us through the maze.

We auction off properties that are no longer needed for highway purposes. Often, these surplus properties are strips of land next to a highway, parcels that were used for construction and are no longer needed, or former pit, quarry and maintenance sites.

Occasionally a large parcel such as the 55-acre lot in the city of Renton, which is now being offered for bids, is placed on the auction block. We bought the site in the late 1950s and used it as sand and gravel pit.

Revenue from the sale of surplus properties goes back to the motor vehicle fund to be used for transportation purposes. Since 2009, the surplus property program has generated more than $20 million. That money is made available to city, county and state agencies to fund road, street and highway projects.

What’s a first step in building a road? Having someplace to put it

A key difference in our buying process that you might not experience when buying a house, is the property we’re looking at is usually not on the market for sale. We try to find transportation solutions that have the least amount of impact on homes and businesses, but that’s not always possible, especially in urban areas. That’s where our Real Estate Services team steps in.

Just as your real estate agent looks at comparable home sales in the area when you are buying or selling a home, we do the same when establishing a fair value for the property we want to acquire. We use a market analysis for properties under $25,000 and do a full appraisal for anything over. With this information, we begin good faith negotiations (pdf 367 kb) with the owner. At times, we may enlist a third-party mediator if negotiations stall. Only when all else fails, do we use the state’s right of eminent domain and go through condemnation proceedings.

When a property is acquired, the state pays all taxes and fees that would normally be charged to the seller. The reason is that the seller did not initiate the sale – we did. If a property is acquired and affects the ability of the occupancy to continue, we help the owner, tenant or business find a replacement property, cover all costs associated with moving and even help renters with payments for a set number of months, if they are relocated to a higher-cost rental unit.

It’s our job to ensure that we make good use of taxpayers’ money and deliver needed transportation improvements, but we also recognize that property owners have invested a great deal – monetarily and emotionally – in their property. In the end, we want them to come away feeling that they were treated fairly.

[Infonetics]: Ericsson Scores as Best SDP Vendor

A new vendor scorecard report by Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence, Infonetics Research (new logo on the right) "ranks the 5 largest global vendors of service delivery platform (SDP) software: Ericsson, HP, Huawei, OpenCloud, and Oracle"

The report finds that “Based on completely quantitative metrics, including financial information, product

$17M PCC Deal for RedKnee w/EMEA Group

Redknee Solutions announced that a ".. leading group operator in EMEA has signed multiple software and services orders totaling more than $17 million with Redknee ..Utilizing Redknee Unified, Redknee’s real-time monetization and subscriber management software solution, the CSP can launch innovative data services and personalized offers and generate new revenue streams". 

Lucas Skoczkowski [

SoftBank Uses Ericsson's Mobility-based Policy to Relief Congestion

Ericsson and SoftBank Mobile announced that they are ".. working together to further improve the user experience in even the most congested network environments with new Mobility-based Policy .. Ericsson's new software feature, the Mobility-based Policy creates a direct connection between Ericsson SGSN-MME and Ericsson Service-Aware Policy Controller. 

This connection enables mobility

Goodbye double white line on SR 167 HOT lanes!

We’ll be returning the SR 167 HOT lanes to the
original single line striping.
By Emily Pace

Starting today, Aug. 11, drivers will have easier access to the SR 167 HOT lanes.

If you’ve traveled the SR 167 corridor, you’ve seen the HOT lanes, which are carpool lanes that solo drivers with a Good To Go! pass can pay a toll to use. Up until now, the lanes have been separated by a double white line, and drivers were only allowed to enter or exit at specific points.

Our number one complaint from drivers is that they can’t access the HOT lanes at any point in the lanes. Their access is restricted.

You asked, and we listened. Say goodbye to the double white line!

Last night, contractor crews began work to remove the double white line and replace it with a single white line. Crews started at the south end of the northbound lanes of SR 167 in Auburn and worked their way north. Starting today, on some sections of northbound SR 167, you'll notice a single white line – which you can cross! One exception, you’ll notice there will still be double white lines at the ends of the HOT lanes to eliminate weaving at these locations.
Current SR 167 HOT lanes with the double line striping

Once the northbound work is complete, crews will switch over to the north end of the southbound lanes in Renton and work their way south. Work is scheduled for Saturday through Thursday nights, with striping during the week of Aug. 10-16, and striping and sign placement Aug. 17-21. Crews have to grind off the inside stripe and paint the dashed segments so that they are solid white lines. This work is weather dependent.

In the places where you still see the double white lines, drivers need to continue to obey the law and not cross them.

How will we measure the success of this project?

Restriping SR 167
As part of the federal grant we received which paid for the re-striping, we’ve collaborated with the Washington State Transportation Research Center at the University of Washington to create an evaluation plan. We’re collecting data six months before and one year after the changes. We’ll be evaluating the effects of the project on traffic, revenue, usage, safety and customer satisfaction.

FCC Expands Traffic Management Policies Questioning to all MNOs

Alina Selyukh and Marina Lopes report to Reuters that "The top U.S. communications regulator on Friday said he is asking all large U.S. wireless carriers to explain how they decide when to slow download speeds for some customers, after questioning Verizon Wireless about such a plan"

This follows the letter sent earlier to Verizon (See "The FCC "Deeply Troubled" by Verizon's LTE Optimization" -

Openet Launches Virtual, Partners Enabled, BSS Infrastructure

Openet announced that it has "..virtualized its real-time charging system. This builds on the existing virtualization of Openet’s policy and mediation systems, its secure API gateway technology and its Fusionworks platform .. By fully virtualizing its BSS infrastructure, Openet will enable mobile operators to more rapidly monetise new capabilities including VoLTE QoS management, shared data plans

Netflix Prevents DPI-based Rating Measurements

Peter Kafka [pictured] reports to re/code that "Netflix doesn't want anyone to know how many people watch its original shows, like “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black .. But until a few months ago, at least one company had a pretty good idea — and shared it publicly. Now Netflix has plugged that leak.

Procera Networks .. says it was able [see "Procera: Netflix' House of Cards Stats;

Cache Deployments [318]: kbro [Taiwan] Selected Qwilt

Qwilt announced that :it has been "chosen by kbro, the largest cable operator in Taiwan, to provide a solution for the staggering growth of over-the-top (OTT) video on demand (VOD) and live video traffic, including Twitch, the largest live video site in Taiwan

kbro serves over 400,000 customers—who expect high performance—and Qwilt’s solution allows kbro subscribers to view high quality content

Through the Google lens: search trends August 1-7

We may be hitting the last days of summer but the heat is still picking up, especially on search. Read on to learn what sizzled on the trends charts this past week.

Trouble in paradise
Would you turn down a free trip to Hawaii? Julio and Iselle aren’t. The two hurricanes are barreling towards the islands, bringing 90 mph winds, flash floods and hordes of searches with them. If Iselle makes landfall, she’ll be the first hurricane to hit the Big Island since 1950. Julio, like the tag-a-long younger brother, is right on Iselle’s tail. You can review tips on how to stay safe during hurricane season here.

A Hawaiian hurricane isn’t the only trouble brewing in the air. Searchers had a virtual panic attack when Facebook went down for a couple hours last Friday. In a state of shock, some people even called the police to assist with their social media emergency. Meanwhile, a toxin called microcystin is contaminating the waters in parts of Ohio, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to stockpile bottled water and look for answers on the Internet.

But there’s only one thing that can distract us from the craziness of real life… and that’s the sheer absurdity of reality TV. Viewers and searchers tuned in to watch the premiere of the Bachelor in Paradise, an elimination-style show where contestants compete for love. This is probably not what Cervantes meant when he wrote that all's fair in love and war.

First let me take a selfie
As if the world couldn’t get any more litigious, a British photographer is taking on Wikimedia over a selfie—and not just any selfie, a monkey selfie. After a curious crested black macaque came upon David Slater’s camera equipment and fulfilled nature’s call by taking a selfie, the photo went viral and was eventually uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, an online repository of free to use images, sound, and other media. Slater asked Wikimedia to take it down on copyright infringement grounds, and Wikimedia said no. Their argument: the photo wasn’t Slater’s work -- it was the monkey’s. We’ll leave it up to you to decide who you think is right.

Fortunately, at least one dispute this week was resolved: The stars of the hit science geek themed show, The Big Bang Theory, signed new contracts that would pay them $1 million per episode. We’re betting that somehow the line “Show me the Money” is going to make it into the script. A real-life scientist also managed to crack the trends charts when our doodle celebrating John Venn, the creator of the Venn Diagram, got searchers excited to discover what the intersections between sea-life and something with wings.

Who runs the world? Girls!
Let’s be honest, can anyone really get enough Beyonce in their life? Her “On the Run” tour with that other mildly successful artist/mogul just topped $100 million in ticket sales and now the remix of her song “Flawless” featuring Nicki Minaj is getting searchers into a frenzy. This woman can do no wrong (except maybe).

Beyonce may cast a shadow that dwarfs us all, but two other women are holding their own on the search charts. WBNA star Becky Hammon became the NBA’s first female assistant coach when she joined the staff of the San Antonio Spurs. (We’ll call that a crack in the glass backboard.) And First Daughter Malia Obama nearly stole the show at Lollapalooza following her appearance among fellow festival-goers in Chicago.

Tip of the Week
Taking a hike is one of the best ways to enjoy the last days of summer. But it’s always safer to hike in the daylight hours. Before you head out, remember to ask the Google App, “When is sunset?” to help you plan accordingly.

Washington State Ferries – working hard to keep you moving

by Broch Bender

You won’t see any of our 22-vessel team competing for maritime gold like some of their stouter cousins plying Puget Sound.

(photo courtesy of: Friends of Olympia.blogspot.com)

Our ships prefer the hard-working life of connecting communities and transporting goods day in and day out along our state marine highways.

(M/V Walla Walla at Colman Dock in Seattle)

Ferries by the numbers

  • 22.5 million riders and 10 million vehicles - What Washington State Ferries carries every year.
  • 7 days a week, 21 hours a day – The hours we’re on the job.
  • 1800 crew members, 450 departures a day from 20 terminals on 10 routes – That’s how we roll.

Even the best laid plans…

Let’s face it, the average age of our vessels is 38. Many are pushing 50 years old or more. Sometimes, no matter how careful we are to keep our vessels in working order, things can happen. And sometimes those things happen on multiple ferries at the same time!

What happens when we’re down a few good ferryboats?

Our fleet is designed to keep a full-service schedule even if one or two vessels are out of service. If more than two are out of service at the same time, we do what we can to restore service to as many customers as possible.

Moving ships or cancelling service is not a decision that we take lightly.

We try to match the largest available vessels to the busiest routes. For example, in July, when the 202-car Tacoma lost power on the busiest commuter route in the system (Bainbridge Island-Seattle) we moved the 202-car Puyallup from the Edmonds-Kingston route to  make up the difference.

(Source: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/traffic_stats/annualpdf/2013.pdf)

We also ask ourselves, “Is there an alternate route?” Ferry service saves commuters time by zipping across the water instead of driving around the long way. In some cases, however the long way takes hours to drive, or is a non-existent route as in driving to the San Juan Islands.

During times of reduced service, we prioritize active vessels to ferry routes that don’t have viable alternate ways to get to a destination.

Maintenance – Essential to keeping ferries on the move

Throughout the day – Crews constantly monitor systems, perform routine and preventative maintenance and keep the ship in ship-shape.

On a weekly basis – More of the above, including tending to long-term projects such as tearing apart an engine for deep cleaning.

Quarterly inspections– Four times a year the U.S. Coast Guard checks all of the safety and life-saving equipment on the ferry to make sure it is in working order. The inspection also requires crew members to perform passenger safety and emergency rescue drills like the one pictured below.

Annual inspections– Just like a checkup at the doctor’s office, the ferry is evaluated from end to end, including the hard-working engine room. If the U.S. Coast Guard finds anything out of order, we tie-up the ferry and make repairs before returning it to normal service.

The “2 and 5” – Every two and five years, we take the ferry out of the water for a few weeks for a U.S. Coast Guard inspection. The looksee includes everything inspectors would normally comb through during the annual, plus the exterior hull and propulsion system.

(Above: crews practice lifesaving drills during an annual inspection)

Painting O’ the ferry – Alas, when there’s enough funding in our maintenance coffers, every few years we carefully blast off the old paint and apply a couple new layers of white and WSDOT green.

(Photo of the freshly painted TOKITAE at Vigor Shipyard in Seattle. )

The painting of the ferries guards our vessels from the ravages of rust so they can be better prepared to take on years of winter rainstorms.

Fleet feet – The crew that makes it happen
Our ferries aren’t complete without its dedicated crew. 

(A WSF deckhand connects the passenger bridge
to the dock at the Seattle terminal)

Some employees work an 8 or 9 hour shift several times a week, others, like those in the engine room, work a 12-hour shift (day or night shift) for seven days in a row. They have a week off before returning to work the opposite shift for another week. Crew members alternate between day and night shift every other week.

All told, our 1800-person staff is just enough to cover all of the positions required to keep our fleet operating at full service. However, just like the rest of us, sometimes crew members get sick, or stuck in traffic, or have to attend to an emergency and are late getting to work.

Many traditional workplace environments can accommodate flexible schedules and last minute emergencies.

At Washington State Ferries, if every assigned crew member is not at their stations at the start of the shift, the shift can’t begin.

Crewing the vessels
We’ve got schedulers working around the clock filling regular service shifts and fill-in shifts for sea-going employees on vacation or at a medical appointment. 

Nonetheless, filling vacant shifts within our fleet is challenging, particularly during the peak summer travel season. We are doing the best we can with the resources we have, including providing crew members with additional training so they are qualified to fill a wider variety of shifts.

First mates to oilers, it’s the norm around here to work overtime.

If you ever wondered what it takes to run a ferry boat, here's an overview of work stations, duties and pay rates.  This example is for the Issaquah class, the hardest working boat in the ferry business. 

Keeping it all in perspective
Your state ferry system has an overall service record of 99% reliability across the board. While we feel that is a strong record, it doesn’t minimize the real impacts that people like you experience when we do have incidents, and we sincerely apologize for that. We know we've been having some challenges this summer and we appreciate you bearing with us.

Interesting fact: Most U.S. airline carriers boast a 78% reliability.

Looking to the future
We’re on course to provide the best service we can with the resources we have. Right now we’re in the thick of building the Samish, our second of three new 144-car ferries.

Starting in January 2015, we’re expanding Save A Spot, our vehicle reservation service, to the San Juan Islands route. 

We are committed to getting you where you need to go safely. A big thank you goes out to all of our customers.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you. 

Procera Sees Increased Interest in US Mobile (3 Trials)

Procera Networks published its Q2 results (revenues of $20.6M, here), and provided some additional information during the earning call - mostly by James Brear [pictured], CEO shown below, with some quotes from Procera's SEC filing (here).Similarly to Allot Communications (see "Allot: Expects US Growth" - here), Procera is positive on the US mobile market.

About the recently announced RAN

Stop sign subtraction

by Bart Treece

It’s unusual to see stops signs disappear, but that’s what will soon happen where eastbound State Route 518 meets 51st Avenue South in Tukwila. A few years ago, WSDOT made the intersection an all-way stop. Meaning that everyone – drivers exiting eastbound SR 518 and those coming north and south on 51st Avenue South – would need stop and before proceeding through.

The problem with this is, shoppers trying to leave the Westfield Southcenter Mall on Klickitat Drive (which becomes 51st Avenue South), would get backed up because of the stop and go upstream. It’s not ideal, nor was it the intention of the all-way stop.

New configuration
All but a single stop sign will be removed, and that will remain in place for folks who are exiting eastbound SR 518 to turn left to northbound 51st Avenue South. When analyzing this intersection, we noticed a lot fewer vehicles were making that turn anyway. For the ones that do, signs, guardrail and striping will be adjusted to give them a better sightline and they can proceed when the intersection is clear. Traffic exiting the freeway will continue to head south toward the mall without stopping, and soon northbound drivers from 51st Avenue South will continue on through also.

When will this happen?
If the weather holds, maintenance crews will make the changes on Sunday, Aug. 10. Traffic will be flagged from 6 a.m. until around 10 a.m.

The end result
These intersection improvements should help traffic move more efficiently, which also promotes better safety for surface street drivers in the area.

Allot: Expects US Growth; VAS Could Reach 50% of Revenues

Allot Communications published its Q2 results (revenues on $28.2M, here). During the earning call, the new President and CEO, Andrei Elefant [pictured], who assumed the CEO position on July 1st, provided some observations on the DPI business:

Revenue from EMEA where 62% and bookings from this territory during the quarter indicates a continuous pull up from the 2012 flows. APAC and Americas were

Fifteen ways to change the world: the 2014 Google Science Fair Global Finalists

Kenneth Shinozuka, from New York City, wants to help people with Alzheimer’s Disease, like his grandfather. Kenneth developed a small, wearable sensor to be worn on his grandfather’s foot. When pressure is applied to the sensor, it alerts his family via a mobile app, which allows them to monitor when his grandfather is on the move. By monitoring this behavior, Kenneth hopes to understand the causes of wandering brought on by Alzheimer’s, and to ultimately find a way to mitigate or prevent it.

Samuel Burrow, from the U.K., wants to improve the environment by reducing pollution. Taking inspiration from the chemical used in sunscreen, Samuel created a special coating that reduces waste chemicals in the air when subjected to ambient light. And Cynthia Sin Nga Lam, from Australia, thinks everyone deserves access to clean water and created an eco-friendly and economical device to do just that.

These are just a few examples of the 15 incredible projects we’ve named as the global finalists for 2014 Google Science Fair. This is our fourth time hosting the competition as a way to encourage the next generation of scientists and engineers. From Russia to Australia, India to Canada, this year’s finalists (ages 13-18) are already well on their way to greatness. See all 15 projects on the Google Science Fair website.

Special recognition also goes to Kenneth, who has also been awarded the Scientific American Science In Action Award. The prize celebrates a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge, and comes with a year’s mentoring from Scientific American and a $50,000 grant toward the project.

What’s next for our young scientists? Well, next month, they’ll be California-bound to compete at Google HQ for the three Age Category Awards (ages 13-14, 15-16, 17-18) and of course, the overall Google Science Fair Grand Prize Award. The competition will end in style with an awards ceremony, which will be live streamed on the Science Fair YouTube channel and on our website. Tune in to be one of the first to find out this year’s winners!

But first, you get to have your say! We need you to pick your favorite project for the 2014 Voter’s Choice Award. Show your support for the finalists and cast a vote on the Google Science Fair website beginning September 1. Every year, we're blown away by the projects and ideas these young people come up with, and you will be too.