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On Volcanoes, Telecommunications and Travel Substitution

Over the last week, as the sudden eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano disrupted air travel throughout Europe, many people and organizations fell back to the dense and multi-functional communications web that has grown up between cities and continents over the last 20 years. Cisco and other companies with a big commercial stake in a rapid expansion of videoconferencing heralded the arrival of a new paradigm in business "travel".

Emotional Networking for Caring and Well-being

I just got a note in my email.  My aunt is busy with her own appointment, and nobody had yet volunteered to pick my uncle up from the VA hospital tomorrow, after he recovers from surgery.  Hey, it's a Friday.  I can take off a little early to pick him up, and get him to my cousin's place over the hill.  I respond to the email, volunteering. 

Telepresence as a Driver for Presence

Last year, I gave a talk at a major design expo on the future of presence. I argued that we need to be keenly aware of the historical relationship between new communications technologies and long-distance travel. Right now, the coincidence of high-definition, immersive videoconferencing and high fuel prices has many people excited about the potential for substituting telepresence for travel.

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