Thursday, April 07, 2005

ATIC becomes LITE: the acronymn story

ATIC is becoming LITE says the Advertiser. The name of the high tech, CAVE-based technology center which will focus on 3-D visualization and translating that technology into economically valuable applications and reperesentations has changed—less than a week before ground-breaking next Tuesday.

The newly named LITE center will be connected to the world through the ultrafast (running out of superlatives these days) LambdaRail, a research-into-practice initiative for further boosting the speed of our fiber-optic backone via a link from LONI, the Louisina Optical Network Intiative, the state's own fast-fiber, mostly academic, grid.

ATIC stood for "Acadiana Technology Immersion Center" and the new name, LITE, will stand for "Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise." According to the Advertiser article, LEDA CEO (dontcha love aronmyns) Gregg Gothreaux says the change comes about "primarily because this is part of a statewide regional venture." Passing on the question of what a "statewide regional" might refer to, what's apparent it that the center is to be associated with the whole state and not just Acadiana. That's probably a good thing. But it's hard not to ask yourself what would motivate changing a widely-advertised name at the last minute.

I'd guess politics. There have been recent rumblings that Kathleen Blanco's administration has been too "Acadian." In fact, this week's Times of Acadiana has a story by a Baton Rouge writer complaining —or at least relating complaints about—Blanco's administration having too many Acadiana names and "favoring" Acadiana. Fiber gets a mention as something that Blanco has done that might "favor" our region. So the name change may relate to that whispering campaign. I'd sure hate to see "Acadian" become politically incorrect.

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