Day at the Races
6:00 PM -- Spent the morning at Redback Raceway, site of this weekend's San Jose Grand Prix, getting a behind-the-scenes glance at the Redback Networks Inc. operation there.
As you might expect, it's a trailer with lots of LCDs and a rack of equipment that could heat a city block. This is where Redback will provide an Internet feed from more than 40 Webcams strewn around the track, with help from Blue Coat Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI) for security and Aruba Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ARUN) for free WiFi to spectators. Broadcast TV, being handled by ESPN2, is a totally separate operation.
I wasn't able to get good shots of the practice laps being run this morning, because to gain access to the photo holes, you had to attend a 7:30 a.m. meeting. End of that idea. But we do have a slate of eight other pics for your perusal:
Redback is sponsoring the track itself, as well as ancillary events like the Redback Girls signing autographs to benefit the Canary Foundation. (They hadn't shown up yet, so, no photos. Sorry.) The overall event has no sponsor -- and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) just plain isn't interested, as noted in today's San Jose Mercury News.
Maybe that's a good thing. Sponsor names are so unwieldly. (Suggestion: the CoSine Communications "God I Can't Believe We're Still Alive" Grand Prix.)
Event organizers optimistically talk about 150,000 attendees this year, but it's still unclear whether this can become the institution the city wants. At Kinko's last night, I overheard some lady sneering about how she was printing a huge poster "to show these drivers what real cars look like -- real cars with Hemis, not these little champ cars."
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading