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I read some posts regarding Next Generation Networks being a tornado activity. Initial reading seems to verify this. However, the complexity and terminology here overwhelms me. The site was way over my head. Are there some sources of information that someone can point me to? I need to start from the ground floor (Once upon a time there were computers that needed to be connected to share information...) I know BruceBrown has been digging into this for some time.
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I second this motion.
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P. Adkison wrote:

I read some posts regarding Next Generation Networks being a tornado activity.....However, the complexity and terminology here overwhelms me. The site was way over my head. Are there some sources of information that someone can point me to?....I know BruceBrown has been digging into this for some time.

This is certainly an important point that has been brought up in terms of gorilla gaming. The majority of us, as retail investors, can hardly tell the difference between a serial port and a USB port on computers let alone the finer technical points of algorithms, wave lengths, fiber channel, blue light, HDR - not to mention most anything that comes out of Larry Ellison's mouth.

In fact, a lot of it is over our heads. Certainly, the more one can comprehend via reading and learning, the more the chance of success is increased in being able to use the comprehended material to benefit one's gorilla game investing. Intel - we think we know. Microsoft - we think we know. Why? They produce consumer products that we use and are close to on a daily basis - although both are not limited to that, but we at least can 'grasp' it. We can see it, touch it and comprehend it. Cisco? Most know little about it and few know everything about it. It's not as close to us in terms of being able to easily comprehend it like the PC gorillas, although plenty of people have been exposed to Cisco's products in the office environment. However, I would encourage all investors to go way beyond the surface and become as familiar as possible with all the diversity of these huge gorillas.

The next generation networks space is so large, that it is overwhelming. To try and narrow it down and find the portions that seem most likely to have a possible gorilla game going on is even more overwhelming. The best way is to break the overall term of 'broadband' down into various sections and read as much as you can about that section, be it fiber, DSL, wireless, cable, semiconductors, etc... . Find out who the players are, what their products are and if any of those products or technologies seem to be a discontinuous innovation with high switching costs and go from there.

You're not alone in feeling 'overwhelmed'. On message boards like Redback, Juniper, Sycamore, Cisco, Corning, JDS Uniphase to name just a few - investors are confused about who is competing against who and with what products. We obviously know Callaway Golf is not competing against Blizzard Skis even though they are both recreational equipment suppliers. Regardless, the source of confusion in technology is real and can be frustrating for those of us who are not surrounded by all the terminology and lingo on a daily basis. I always find Red Herring to be an excellent source for sifting through information and learning about things without getting too overwhelming. The more one reads and broadens their knowledge, the easier it becomes to distinguish golf clubs from skis in the technology arena.

Tom and David Gardner talk a lot about avoiding investing in companies that make products or provide services that you know nothing about or have very little understanding. That may be a little limiting when it comes to technology, but I do my best to find out as much as I possibly can about companies and their products. It comes down to the 'comfort' level as an investor as well. The advantage we have now is that there are so many investing opportunities within technology, that we might just find a gorilla game going on in something that we know enough about to feel 'comfortable' investing in a candidate. Therefore, one can avoid the ones that don't feel comfortable.

In the meantime, I'm still digging around trying to learn more each day.


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Things in the NGN realm seem much less murky after I explored the runninfoolish link:

and shortly thereafter read this from FrozenCanuck:

and then went back to the first link above.

Hopefully you'll come away with a working mental image of how and where the NGN components interact (optical networks connecting network communications devices with one another over long stretches, to allow broadband-speed applications to get to the consumer/business pc's, which contain semiconductors and run systems software, which is then stored, managed, and accessed over short distances via wireless and other technologies, portals and B2B software providing the usable, value-added interfaces for us users. In this schematic, especially if you draw it on paper, you can annotate each link in the value chain with the players, as characterized so nicely at the neticus link.

I can't vouch for its complete accuracy, but the neticus characterizations seems to check out well when I cross reference it with a random sample of the various players' product/service descriptions as depicted at their websites, eg Redback does seem to make a "Network and Communication Device," and they do seem to be competing with JNPR and CSCO in that space, albeit with incomplete overlap.

Hope this helps.
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There has been some very fruitful cross-posting between the RBAK board and the Gorilla board. On RBAK, we've been seeing some of the articles recommended here, and they have been very good plain English on the whole bandwidth bandwagon. The RBAK list has some good links on it that I don't see here. If people are confused, it's a good place for info. One good article in particular, with links to other good articles:

"optical Routers and Switches"
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Here is a link to a page at the LightPath site. It has a nice schematic diagram of what we might think of as the backbone of the next generation network.

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Investment introduction page on cisco quite good.
Got introduction to networking and one on optical.

Otherwise keep reading and asking questions. If you don't understand anything and at the least we can share you're confusion and perhaps someone will shed some light on the issue.

The gorilla optical forbes article just in case anyone missed it ( I presume someone has already found it)

A Whole e-edition of a magazine dedicated to changing the network core! Ladies and gentlemen what more could you want.

Lots of articles. Free to register if you're American. I'm not so if you qualify with their bizarre requests let me know what you find. Don't worry I'm not smart enough to be offended by this.

atm digest

Lots of techncial articles on MPLS - an important standard for next generation networks. So we are interested in the people who shaped it. CISCO and Siara (now bought by Redback) are there. Big style.

DSL In a completely differnt magazine

ODSI stuff - they want the equivalent of a "dialing tone" for optical networks - grab you're bandwidth as you require it.

Sonnet goes pop
Also from light reading - the optical future out on 21st of feb - can't wait! How can you do optics research and not read such a well titled mag.

Optical networks inc.,4164,2426585,00.html

For Redback Enthusiats
An IBD article on RBAK,4164,2405381,00.html
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Here is a series of articles that Scientific American put out explaining the 'High-Speed Data Races Home'.

These articles explain the whole gambit of "broadband" communications in an easy to understand way. The articles covers the Internet via cable, DSL, satellites, LMDS (Broadband Wireless Access)ect. They will give a good general knowledge of the whole broadband spectrum of which Bruce is starting with DSL.

Enjoy the read and hope it clears up the comfusion.

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