Serious about cirrus. Cloud computing gets Canadian boost.

Martyn Warwick
By Martyn Warwick

Apr 1, 2014

The news couldn't have come at a better time for the Canucks as faith in US cloud companies and equipment falters in light of the revelations made by whistle-blower, Edward Snowden. (See TelecomTV's lead story of yesterday on that). The Canadian government is hoping that the innovative new system will bring in big bucks (and the occasional elk) as customers angry about US eavesdropping increasingly look north of the 49th Parallel for their future tech requirements.

The founders of "Three Men...." Van Koover, Al Bertaah and Ed Monton hail from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, the cloudiest place in Canada (on average it is overcast or downright dark there for 255 days a year) and the prevailing climatic conditions set them to thinking.

However, the big breakthrough came when the three visited Cape Canaveral, way down south in sunny Florida. Company spokesperson Ed Monton takes up the story. "We were on vacation and visiting the Kennedy Space Centre", he says, "and had heard that the Saturn V Vehicle Assembly Building was so enormous that it can, and does, generate its own weather. We went to see, and sure enough, clouds were being formed up at the top of the huge structure - it even drizzled a bit, which made us feel right at home. That set us to thinking about how we might propagate broadband signals within clouds themselves to bring the benefits of fast Internet access to some of the world's dullest and most benighted communities."

"We are all physicists and engineers (apart from Grizelda the grizzly,of course, who is the company mascot and honorary chairbear) and thought we might be able to come up with some means of actually encapsulating and accessing a cloud network within a real cloud. We have been working on that ever since and have achieved some notable successes with simple cumulus formations although cumulo-nimbus and alto-cirrus are posing us some problems - and it's extra tricky when its windy."

He adds, "We also worked up a presentation and punted our idea out to various potential investors and I am glad to be able to report that we have received first round seed funding from, amongst others, the Tourist Authority of Tierra del Fuego, The Laird of Ben Nevis, Scotland, Eric Blood Axe, the pretender to the throne of Svalbard, the British Met Office, and nearer to home, Sarah Palin of Alaska who has donated fifty US dollars, a couple of spare hunting rifles and an ex-husband. That will be enough to enable us to construct our command centre up one of the tallest Douglas Firs in the northern hemisphere from where we will be launching the first of our constellation of 'Ben Franklin' kites."

'We also contacted John Chambers of Cisco to tell him of our plans to trial the new service up at Clingman's Dome in the Smokey Mountains. (They run between Tennessee and North Carolina.) That's one of the cloudiest places in the US and should be ideal for our proof-of-concept program. We think Mr. Chambers was impressed but we are not sure as none of us could understand a word he said - but that's the trouble with speaker phones up here."

"Three Men..." are understandably reluctant to reveal too many details of their revolutionary technology while patents are pending but in a statement issued this very morning, April 1, 2014, the company's PR agency, Plonker, Knobend and Plonker of Athabasca, admitted that in tests of the new system "signals have ocassionally been disrupted and data corrupted by unexpected meatballs". However, the company is working with some of the world's best known Italian restaurants to solve this problem and all are confident that theyll soon mince through them."

Intriguing, eh? We shall be watching this one with interest.

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