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Greg Galitzine

February 2008

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Google Gets Into Healthcare

February 29, 2008

I was down in Orlando this week for the annual HIMMS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference and exhibition, a show dedicated to transforming healthcare through IT.   This is a new space for me, so I attended with the view of taking in as much as I possibly could in the short time I had at the show. I’d also like to send a great big thank you out to Michael Carr of IgeaCare, who took the time to shepherd me around the event.   I’ll be writing more about my experience in an upcoming issue of Internet Telephony and of course here on TMCnet, but I wanted to get a quick post in about something Google is doing on the healthcare front.   Last week Google announced a partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, a large academic medical center centered around giving patients access to their own medical records.   The pilot is open to just a few thousand patients to start, but Google is collaborating with a number of insurance plans, medical groups, pharmacies and hospitals to see the project through.   Writing on the Official Google Blog, Alan Newberger, Engineering Manager, expressed his view that the pilot was a key initiative. “I see it as an important first step to show how Google can help users get access to their medical records and take charge of their health information,” he wrote.   CEO Eric Schmidt gave the closing keynote at HIMMS, and he spoke publicly for the first time about Google’s overall health strategy.   According to Google’s Marissa Mayer, VP, Search & User Products, “Google Health aims to solve an urgent need that dovetails with our overall mission of organizing patient information and making it accessible and useful.

Google Targets Microsoft Collaboration Suite

February 28, 2008

Google is taking aim at Microsoft’s SharePoint.   Google announced Wednesday it will begin offering an easy to use Web site creation and publishing tool for office workers to set up and run collaboration sites, for quickly sharing information among project teams and co workers.   Google Sites, as the new site publishing service is known, is based on the acquisition 16 months ago of hosted wiki provider JotSpot.   The new service is designed to allow teams of users to organize and share digital information such as Web links, calendars, photos, videos, presentations, attachments and other documents in an easy-to-maintain site, with the goal of increasing productivity among the team members.   Of course, Microsoft’s dominance in this market (some pundits see SharePoint as a billion-dollar business for Microsoft) is not to be taken lightly, but when it comes to contenders, Google is no slouch, and is in fact the biggest thorn in Microsoft’s side on so many other fronts it almost comes as no surprise that they would be launching a would-be competitor to SharePoint now.   Aside from functionality, the key difference between the offerings is cost, with Google offering their Google Sites free of charge to users of Google Apps, which in turn is less expensive than many Microsoft tools.   As usual in any battle between companies of this scale, it remains to be seen what the impact will be on the other players (think zoho) in the market and in the end, we need to ask ourselves this: Will today’s announcement help businesses maximize their productivity in the long run?

Juvenile Diabetes Research - Please Help if You Can

February 27, 2008

  Every so often we are reminded that for at least some part of each day, work is not — or more to the point should not be — the single most important activity in our lives.   I just received word that a colleague in the VoIP industry who I had the fortune to work with several years ago is undergoing a serious family challenge, and I thought I would push his story along here, in the hopes that perhaps someone might be inspired to pitch in and help out a bit.   John Wind, who some of you may remember from VoIP Inc., or Volo Communications, or even SIPstorm, sent me a note detailing a frightening experience that he and his family had to endure over the recent holiday season. Here’s his story:   Friends, You may or not be aware that during the Christmas holiday, my 13 year old son became very ill and what we would soon come to find out, deathly ill… Over a one-week period, he literally began to melt away in front of our eyes. Although he’s always been thin (5’ 7” – 120 pounds) he was drinking water and eating excessively. He dropped in that time to 89 pounds and could hardly get out of bed.   Although his symptoms were that of an extreme flu, I finally got him to the doctor where he was immediately diagnosed with Type-1 (also known as Juvenile) diabetes.

Oceans In Sorry Shape

February 15, 2008

I’m not feeling well.   I’m sick and I’m grumpy.   And I’m especially rankled by the news today that the Earth’s oceans are in worse shape than originally thought.   Just once, I’d appreciate a bit of good environmental news. Maybe something like “Experts announced today that Global Warming is actually increasing the range of the Amur Tiger, and in fact the big cats have responded by tripling in population…”   Unfortunately it’s more bad news for the environment.   The AP reports that at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston:   Researchers studying 17 different activities ranging from fishing to pollution compiled a new map showing how and where people have impacted the seas.   The map was released and published in Friday's edition of the journal Science.   The areas most affected include the North Sea, the South and East China Seas, Caribbean Sea, the east coast of North America, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Bering Sea and parts of the western Pacific, the study found. It said the least affected areas are near the poles.   Not so fast.   However, the researchers said it is likely that human activities will affect polar regions more and more as climate change warms those areas.   Damage includes reductions in fish and sea animals as well as problems for coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, rocky reefs and shelves and seamounts.   However, Ben Halpern, an assistant research scientist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara deserves a hearty hand shake and a week’s worth of “attaboys” for trying desperately to put a hopeful spin on the truly depressing situation:   "There are some areas in fairly good condition. They are small and scattered, but have fairly low impact," he said.

Fool Me Once...

February 13, 2008

  Greg Spector is head of corporate communications at Rebtel. And he feels like he’s been had.   Writing on the Rebtel blog a few days ago, Spector is angry with himself for believing Goliath's (Verizon's) promises.   Stupid Rebtel. We should have known better.   I’m reposting the rest of Spector’s complaint below. But first a comment: I love a good “David versus Goliath” brawl as much as the next guy, but in the spirit of open-mindedness, let’s assume that the good business folks at Verizon simply got too busy to close the loop with Rebtel.

Android Prototypes Abound in Barcelona

February 11, 2008

  Those folks at Gizmodo have all the fun.   Right now they’re in Barcelona going ga-ga over the working demos of a variety of Android prototypes.   They had this to say about ARM’s offering:   ARM had theirs running on one of their lower-end processors. No fancy graphics demos, no iPhone-style multimedia fizzbang, just a humble ARM9 processor in a plain white prototype "to demonstrate the scalability of Android" and serve as a "development platform."   As for a prototype from Qualcomm, they called it a “real beast,” showing off better speed and wireless connectivity, but still a long way off from anything we’re likely to see in any upcoming handset. 

Digium Unveils Guarantee Program

February 11, 2008

This morning, Huntsville, AL-based Digium, Inc., announced a guarantee program, which is designed to essentially back up the quality of its Asterisk-based hardware and software products.   The move underscores Digium’s commitment to and faith in the reliability and sustainability of open source technology.   Labeled “ESP” for Exceptional Satisfaction Program, the program is designed as a “comprehensive and aggressive” product guarantee program, to give confidence to resellers and partners selling Digium Asterisk-based commercial solutions across the globe.   The new Digium ESP guarantee includes the following:
  • A new five-year warranty on all new Digium PCI and PCIExpress telephony cards;
  • A one-year warranty on all Digium Appliances that can be extended via subscription renewal;
  • All Commercial Asterisk Software will come with a one-year subscription standard and can be extended via subscription renewal;
  • A money-back guarantee should Digium products fail to perform as advertised.

Jon Arnold ITEXPO Interviews

February 1, 2008

At the recently concluded Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO, Jon Arnold, this time wearing the hat of portal editor for IP Convergence TV, conducted a number of video interviews. I was happy to participate in the project, and enjoyed speaking with Jon regarding some industry trends currently driving IP Communications.   Jon also interviews Matt Lukens of Comverse.   The results of Jon’s efforts, a co-production between TMC and IP Convergence TV, can be found online here.

Jon Arnold ITEXPO Interviews

February 1, 2008

At the recently concluded Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO, Jon Arnold, this time wearing the hat of portal editor for IP Convergence TV, conducted a number of video interviews. I was happy to participate in the project, and enjoyed speaking with Jon regarding some industry trends currently driving IP Communications.   Jon also interviews Matt Lukens of Comverse.   The results of Jon’s efforts, a co-production between TMC and IP Convergence TV, can be found online here.

Microsoft to Buy Yahoo for $45B?

February 1, 2008

  I got stuck in traffic this morning, so I was already feeling a bit rushed when I logged in, but I didn’t expect to see this news pop up on my screen today.

Microsoft Corp. has apparently made an unsolicited $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo! Inc. in a bid to challenge Google Inc.'s dominance in all things Internet, specifically search and advertising.   The offer of $31 a share in cash or Microsoft stock constitutes a greater than 60% premium over Yahoo's closing price January 31.
Back in May I reported on the possibility. At the time, speculation called for a nearly $50 B price tag.   Obviously we will have more on this as the story develops.   Stay tuned…  

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