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Optical/IP

Redback Raceway

3:00 PM -- One thing about the Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) acquisition of Redback Networks Inc. : Suddenly, Redback is spending bucks to get its name out everywhere.

This year, for the San Jose Grand Prix on July 27-29, the normal streets of downtown will get renamed as Redback Raceway.

Snappy. Most people won't understand it, but it beats the hell out of "Oracle Arena."

It's the third year they'll be letting snazzy cars burn down the streets at 165 mph. City officials are anxiously hoping this turns into an institution rather than just an event, as San Jose's Mercury News sports editor Mark Purdy puts it. The distinction: "LeBron James is an event. Michael Jordan is an institution," he wrote in yesterday's column.

In other words, the Grand Prix has gotten a lot of attention, but no one would miss it if it vanished.

Maybe technology has the cure. In addition to running a TV feed, Redback will be broadcasting the race from 40 camera angles over IP video, accessible through cell phones and PCs. Meaning, you don't have to commit to hours in the bleachers if you want to just saunter downtown, pray for decent parking, and hang out near the race.

After all, mobility is part of the Redback message. That's what this Nxtcomm banner seemed to imply, anyway:



Me, I'm not a racing fan, and I'll be out of town for at least one day of the event anyway. So much for the "institution." — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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