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Greg Galitzine

July 2008

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Dallas is Sizzling!

July 28, 2008

Rich Tehrani is not the only TMC editorial voice in Dallas this week.
  I'm here as well visiting clients and dropping in to see what's going on at IP Sizzles.   So far today, I've had some interesting meetings with NEC and Fujitsu. More to come later, but suffice it to say there is a lot of interesting stuff going on here in Texas.   NEC is working on new platforms and new terminals (phones) and new applications to address their bread and butter Enterprise market, including some interesting applications targeting verticals such as healthcare, hospitality and higher education.   Fujitsu continues to build on their success in the optical market. The highlight of the visit today was a tour of their manufacturing facility in Richardson, TX. As I said, I'll cover this more in depth later on, but I just wanted to thank Traci King and Danna Melcher for their time and for arranging such an interesting tour of the facility.   Now it's off to IP Sizzles...

#$%^&* Apple!

July 24, 2008

It figures. Do something to help the masses identify where they can get an iPhone 3G and Bam! No good deed shall remain unpunished.   Earlier today I blogged about the Top Muffin iPhone 3G Availability Tracker, and how it was helping people find the iPhone 3G's they had been waiting for. Well guess what?

iPhone Shortage Dissipating

July 24, 2008

It is true that in the wake of the recent iPhone 3G launch, Rich Tehrani had trouble finding one.
 But according to Top Muffin's iPhone 3G Availability Tracker -- which tracks which stores have inventory based on Apple's own information -- as of 12:45pm today, July 24th there were quite a few units available for purchase at Apple stores throughout the United States. 
In fact if Rich really wants a black 16GB model, I might be able to hook him up.
 For more on the availability of the iPhone 3G, check out this article

Cisco Goes Pure for Home Networking

July 23, 2008

Cisco announced earlier today that it is acquiring Pure Networks, a developer of home-networking software.
  The acquisition will help Cisco to grow its solution set as the home networking market continues to grow more complex as home users continue to add new devices and services that connect to computers and to each other.   Pure Networks' home networking-management solution is designed to enable users to easily set up and manage their home network and connect a range of devices, applications and services.   Their flagship offering, Network Magic is billed as being the solution that helps stop users from wasting hours wading through manuals and confusing instructions or waiting on hold for technical support. The solution also promises to make it easy to:  
  • Set up their network in minutes
  • Print from any computer and share files
  • Securely connect to a wireless network and prevent intruders from accessing the home wireless network; and more.
  As Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Parks Associates, points out in the company's Analyst Blog,   Pure Networks and Cisco were no strangers to each other. Pure Networks' software was already a key element in the Linksys Easy Link Advisor (LELA) solution aimed at simplifying the setup and management of wireless networks.   Cisco will pay $120 million for Pure Networks, and they expect the acquisition to be completed in Cisco's first quarter of fiscal year 2009.  

Brocade Buys Foundry for $3 Billion

July 22, 2008

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. is shelling out $3 billion to buy data equipment maker Foundry Networks Inc.   The move is receiving generally positive reviews as a move that will not only strengthen Brocade's product offering but will also allow it to more effectively compete with Cisco Systems.   The combination of Brocade's storage switches and Foundry's data networking switches could have a significant impact on the combined company's ability to offer a complete solution through an enhanced channel strategy.   Brocade, agreed to pay $18.50 in cash plus 0.0907 Brocade share for each Foundry share, valuing the company at $19.25 per share.   Back in May Foundry announced a pair of modules that reportedly allow their BigIron RX Series switches and the NetIron MLX Series routers to deliver the industry's highest 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and gigabit Ethernet (GbE) density of up to 512 ports of 10GbE and 1,536 ports of GbE in a single system.

ITEXPO: Well On Its Way!

July 21, 2008

By any stretch of the imagination, 90% is considered a good number, with the obvious implication that 90% is WELL ON ITS WAY to 100%.   For example, in Butte County, CA,. a series of fires started by lightning strikes are reportedly 90% contained. The upshot is that the fire department is well on its way toa successful resolution of the situation.   NBC Sports sales issued a release saying that ad sales for NBC's family of networks are 90 percent sold out of their Summer Olympics inventory. Apparently there was great concern that they would fall short of their goals, but now it appears they are well on their way to 100%.
    Likewise, Rich Tehrani blogged today that ITEXPO has sold out 90% of its Exhibit Hall capacity, and there are still two months to go before the event.   Looks like ITEXPO is well on its way to becoming another successful show!    

Microsoft FREEs Up Support for Vista SP-1

July 17, 2008

Tom Keating writes today that Microsoft is now offering FREE unlimited installation and compatibility support for Windows Vista, including FREE phone support!   Well, I might finally get up the courage to unwrap that copy of Vista that I got when I purchased my home office desktop last year.   I wonder how much flack it took for the decision makers in the Redmond customer service department before they threw their hands in the air and said, "Fine! Enough already! Free support until March 18, 2009!"   Now... what did I do with that list of all my peripherals that I jotted down noting whether or not Vista drivers existed?   Support is only being offered on Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).   For more details, check out Microsoft's Help & Support page.

Obama Cites Cyber Attack Threat

July 17, 2008

Kevin Coleman is a Certified Management Consultant and Strategic Advisor with the Technolytics Institute. He's also our newest columnist. Kevin's first column touches on a very important subject: the threat of cyber attacks. Spurred by a Barack Obama speech, in which the Democratic candidate placed the threat of cyber attacks in the same category as nuclear and biological weapons, Coleman tackles the issue head-on and urges the powers that be to "act decisively now!" As Coleman says, "The clock is ticking and there is no time for politics." To read Kevin Coleman's first column in its entirety, click here.

DSL, Fiber, IPTV Subs Growing

July 16, 2008

DSL currently dominates the global broadband access landscape with approximately 65% of the world's 370 million broadband subscribers. Fiber subscriptions are however growing rapidly, rising by 33% year over year to lay claim to approximately 10 million subscribers.   The numbers come from a report prepared for the Broadband Forum by industry analysts Point Topic.   The report also found a doubling of IPTV subscribers year on year with nearly 15.5 million people now subscribed to an IPTV service.   Europe lays claim to the most IPTV subscribers with over 8.4 million subscribers, making it the strongest market in terms of growth and total subscriber numbers.   Regionally speaking, Asia Pacific is next with 2.6 million subscribers, followed by North America at 2.2 million and South and East Asia at 2 million.


Asterisk & AudioCodes Webinar

July 16, 2008

Asterisk continues its march into the telecom mainstream, as it grows into an ever more diverse range of enterprise and service provider applications. Of course developers and network operators alike still have some concerns regarding the scalability of and reliability of solutions based on open source software.   One way to overcome those objections is to partner with a player that has experience serving large enterprises and service providers, and one with a reputation for building high-quality, reliable gear.
Enter the team of Digium -- the Asterisk company -- and AudioCodes.   The two companies will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, Thursday, July 17, 2008, at 2:00pm ET (11:00am PT) entitled Asterisk: Reliable and scalable solutions with AudioCodes   Attendees will learn how the combination of Asterisk and AudioCodes Media Gateways can work together to deliver highly reliable and scalable solutions.   After the presentation, the Webinar will be open for a live Q&A. Be sure to have your questions ready!   Register Now!   Presenters will include Alan Percy, Director of Business Development, AudioCodes and Steve Sokol, Software Product Manager, Digium - The Asterisk Company   The event will be moderated by TMC's Erik Linask.

America for Sale?

July 15, 2008

Tim Gray is reporting on the chatter that has Sprint as the target of a takeover - albeit a friendly takeover - at the hands of SK Telecom, South Korea's wireless giant. Yesterday, Leuven, Belgium-based InBev picked up Anheuser Busch for the thirst-quenching little sum of $52 billion. And last week word came down that the Abu Dhabi Investment Council had purchased one of New York's landmark skyscrapers, the Chrysler Building, for $800 million or so. Now quick... Who owns Rockefeller Center?

If You See a Robot in the Mall...

July 11, 2008

If Peapod doesn't provide quite the level of service you expected... if you would prefer to actually have a look at the specific fruits and vegetables or cuts of meat, etc... before purchasing them, then Japanese robotics developer tmsuk might have the solution for you.

  According to Pink Tentacle, tmsuk has developed a remote controlled shopping robot that allows the infirm or just plain lazy to shop from home via various cellphone links.   The current state of the technology was demonstrated at the Izutsuya department store in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan.   According to Pink Tentacle:   In the demonstration, an unwell grandmother unable to go shopping with her granddaughter sent the robot in her place. Using an NTT DoCoMo video-capable cellphone, the grandmother was able to control the robot and enjoy the shopping experience through the robot's camera eyes.

Mobile Giving and the MLB: A Grand Slam!

July 11, 2008

Here's a great concept... Use technology to help raise money for sick kids.   This Sunday, the Washington Nationals and will debut the use of "mobile giving" to benefit the creation of a Diabetes Care Complex for Children's National Medical Center.

    Here's how it works: Fans can text the word "NATS" to 90999 to give $5 to support the work of Children's National Medical Center to fight pediatric diabetes, a growing concern in the Washington area and nationwide.   While the July 13 game against the Houston Astros is the public launch of this initiative, people can donate between July 10th and July 31st., the Nationals, and Children's National Medical Center are partnering with the Mobile Giving Foundation, which enables nonprofits to accept donations from almost any phone and major cellular providers.

For further information about the Mobile Giving Foundation, visit their Web site.   For further information about the Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, visit their Web site.

Martin to Comcast: You're Punished!

July 11, 2008

Looks like Kevin Martin is ready to drop the hammer on Comcast.
        FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Thursday that he will recommend that Comcast -- the nation's largest cable company -- be penalized for violating the FCC's principles that are designed to guarantee access to the Internet. This would be the first such penalty levied in defense of the agency's open access rules.   It's expected that the two democratic appointees to the Commission will side with Martin.  

  The Washington Post is reporting the following corrective measures will be recommended:
  • Comcast will have to stop its practice of blocking
  • Comcast will need to provide details to the Commission on the extent and manner in which the practice was been used; and
  • Comcast will have to disclose to consumers details on future plans for managing its network going forward.

Truphone Hits iPhone App Store

July 11, 2008

If you spend any time traveling internationally for business, you understand the challenge of maintaining a high level of connectivity while keeping costs down.   Let's face it, international calling plans are expensive, and frankly the various roaming agreements can be confusing, leaving users trying to remember how much it costs to call from Prague to Paris as opposed to say Peoria or Portofino.   Truphone today announced that their native VoIP client for the iPhone -- developed with Apple's own SDK -- is available at the online iPhone App Store. The application is currently available for download at no charge.  

  The company has been at the forefront of making mobile VoIP inexpensive and easy to use for some time now. The solution routes calls over WiFi, so if you're near a hotspot and need to make a call you can simply call up the Truphone application on your iPhone and place the call.   Existing Truphone users will recognize the same simple process for initiating a call: one touch to open the keypad/dialer, the actual dialing of the digits (or simply select a contact from the iPhone's own address book), and one touch to launch the call. That's it.

Yahoo! Meet the New BOSS...

July 10, 2008

Yahoo has announced a new service called "Build Your Own Search," or BOSS, that will open up their technology for use by third parties. That means developers will be able to leverage Yahoo's years of investment in time and money to assemble their own search tools using Yahoo's system for indexing information and images on the Internet. In return, Yahoo! is looking to display their ads alongside the results on any search engine built with its technology. According to Prabhakar Raghavan, Yahoo's chief strategist for search, "Our goal is to disrupt the search market and allow more entrants to come in."

What's Next, Mr. Robot? Fooseball?

July 10, 2008

Is nothing sacred? Are we really on the cusp of being pushed off our perch at the top of the food chain by robotic devices that we ourselves have created?

    First Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov.   Then last weekend, during the Man-Machine Poker Competition in Las Vegas, a computer dubbed Polaris 2.0 that was designed by the University of Alberta defeated a team of expert poker players. Polaris 2.0 went head-to-head in four rounds of 500 hands against two human opponents, winning two rounds, losing one, and drawing one.   A report on EE Times said Polaris learned from experience.   Now, check this out from another EE Times article:   An upgraded robot designed by General Electric Fanuc (GEF) and programmed by Nuvation Research Corp. (San Jose, Calif.) can beat most human air hockey players, its developers claim.   The robot is powered by a special pc-board that can instantly switch between Freescale Semiconductor's 8-bit Flexis and its 32-bit ColdFire microcontrollers running identical C language programs.

iPhone App Store Goes Live; Get Salesforce To Go

July 10, 2008

Apple's iPhone App Store is now live. And has announced that its Salesforce CRM applications and platform are available as Salesforce Mobile applications for iPhone from the App Store.

  In order to get access to the App Store, you have to first download iTunes 7.7. Once iTunes has been upgraded, you can access the App Store. According to the Pinch Media blog, at launch, the App Store contained 552 applications - 417 of them paid, 135 of them free. Paid applications ranged in price from $0.99 to $69.99, with the most common price points being $0.99 (85 applications), $9.99 (82 applications), and $4.99 (62 applications).

Aspect Strikes Bluenote

July 9, 2008

Aspect continues its steady march to be a major player in unified communications, particularly in the contact center space. (TMC's Rich Tehrani covered the Aspect and UC angle in an earlier post.)   Today the company announced the acquisition of Tewksbury, Mass-based BlueNote Networks.   Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.   Leveraging BlueNote's technology, Aspect customers will now be able to extend SIP-based voice, video and other real-time interactive communication services to enterprise users as an integral part of a service oriented architecture (SOA).   According to the release announcing the acquisition:   By combining the features of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) with Web services, organizations will be able to drive innovation in the contact center and across the enterprise while radically lowering the cost and complexity of their voice, video and data services. Specifically, Aspect customers and prospects will now be able to:   ·        Quickly and easily incorporate SIP-based interactive multichannel communications into their contact centers and internal and customer-facing business processes using industry-standard interfaces and technology.   ·        Leverage existing IT and telephony application investments and development resources to build and deploy communications-enabled business applications and lay the foundation for enabling globally-reachable communication services and integrated workflow applications.   Today's acquisition reminds me of another similar situation. Nearly one year ago, NEC acquired Sphere Communications, essentially for their SOA technology.

Google Docs Service Takes a Brief Nap

July 9, 2008

Rich has a blog post touching on the Google Docs outage and he asks if the advantages of such cloud computing apps outweigh the potential disadvantages:   ...the cost savings of using such services is compelling but when you have a noon deadline today for a million dollar order and you can't access your spreadsheet for 2 hours, are you really saving money?   The Google Docs outage reportedly lasted approximately 45 minutes, but it is indicative of the possibility for longer outages in the future.  

  The outage also reminds people that when they trust the cloud for all their data, other things can go awry as well. There are security issues, accessibility issues, reliability challenges, etc...   Still the promise of cloud computing is huge, and I believe outages like this one -- while they might scare off some potential new users from signing up this week-- will serve the greater good as the developers go back to the table, figure out what went wrong, and redesign their solutions to prevent future outages (or at least enable faster resumption of services) to the extent possible.

ResponsePoint in the Headlines

July 8, 2008

Microsoft Response Point Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now generally available. Current customers and partners in the U.S. and Canada can download SP1 for free online.

SP1 offers several new features, including SIP trunking for VoIP calling; click-to-call functionality for any contact using the Assistant software; a call history log; the ability to select music for parked calls and hold time, and more.

In a related Response Point announcement, Aastra Technologies Ltd. released its first-ever Response Point-based system, AastraLink RP. AastraLink RP comes pre-loaded with SP1 and is available to customers in the U.S. and Canada starting today.

Tom Keating has more on the ResponsePoint news in his blog today as well.

Telanetix in VoIP Deal With Costco

July 8, 2008

Location, location, location. We've all hear that adage before. If you want to sell a product or service you need to be where the customers are. And Telanetix, which has just announced the availability of a new VoIP offering in conjunction with Costco Wholesale, believes the customers they seek frequent the big box retailer.

Sangoma Acquires Paraxip

July 7, 2008

Sangoma Technologies has just announced that it will acquire Paraxip Technologies Inc. for $4.8 million, payable as $1.9 million in cash and 2.3 million Sangoma common shares.

Paraxip develops IP connectivity software designed to empower the deployment of IP Telephony applications. Customers include IBM, Genesys (a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent), First Data Corporation, and the State of California.

The integration of Paraxip's SIP-based NetBorder suite into Sangoma's product line provides Sangoma with a growth path that includes the Unified Communications market, IP contact centers, commercial interactive voice response solutions and other SIP-based telephony markets.

Sangoma's Open Source Contest

July 7, 2008

Developers and Asterisk enthusiasts in Asia will be gathering for AsterConference 2008 -- a regional conference dedicated to the open source telecommunication platform Asterisk -- in Kuala Lumpur, on September 10-11, 2008.

The event will take place at the Crown Princess Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

In a run-up to the event, Sangoma is launching a contest, calling upon the growing developer community in Asia to submit a 500-word essay explaining why they've made the switch to Sangoma's cards.

The grand prize is an all-expense paid trip to AsterConference 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, and Sangoma will also throw in some spending money too!

The contest closes August 8, 2008.

For more information on how to enter, click here.

Updated WiMAX Stats Released

July 7, 2008

According to the latest WiMAXCounts Quarterly Report from Maravedis, the global BWA/WiMAX subscriber base increased by 260,246 in the first quarter of 2008, reaching a total of 1,988,246 subscribers

"Even with an increase of more than 19% in WiMAX subscribers in the first quarter of 2008, operators are still waiting for the tipping point that will lead to acceleration of WiMAX adoption and deployments," said Adlane Fellah, CEO and founder of Maravedis. "The key factors mainly center on certification of mobile WiMAX equipment, a reduction in CPE pricing and the emergence of a device ecosystem."

Among the report's key findings:
• 65% of Operators are already commercial, 14% are trialing, 9% are planning their launch, 10% have idle spectrum and 2% have returned/lost spectrum.
• Clearwire USA remains the top operator in number of subscribers, with an estimated 443,000 subscribers in the United States at the end of Q1 2008, an increase of 12.5% compared to the 394,000 subscribers reported in Q4 2007.
• The split by subscriber type among WiMAXCounts operators was 65% residential and 35% business.
• Motorola remains the leader in equipment deployed for both BWA/WiMAX CPEs.

Patch That Browser!

July 2, 2008

According to a study published this week by researchers at The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Google and IBM Internet Security Services, Internet surfers as a group are complacent when it comes to updating their browsers to the latest available versions.

Just over 59% of us use fully patched, up-to-date browsers.

Of course this invites hackers and other ne'er do wells to potentially exploit the outdated browsers and, well, frankly that's not a good thing.

The authors of the research study, titled: Understanding the Web browser Threat: Examination Of Vulnerable Online Web Browser Populations And The "Insecurity Iceberg" propose that computer software be treated more like perishable goods such as food, complete with warnings, expiration dates, and a clear listing of missing plug-ins and patches.

ATT Offers iPhone Sans Service Agreement

July 1, 2008

Has AT&T seen the light? Will it offer what is arguably the hottest gadget around -- the iPhone -- without a service agreement?


For a nominal service charge.

The two new iPhones (8MB and 16MB versions) go on sale next Friday (July 11) for $199 and $299, with two-year AT&T contracts.

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