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July 2005

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Atkins Bankrupt

July 31, 2005

What difference a year can make! Can you believe that Atkins Nutritionals is declaring bankruptcy? That is like Harry Potter author JK Rowling declaring bankruptcy. Certainly Atkins and Harry Potter are two of the most popular things to talk about at cocktail parties.

The company owes $300 million in outstanding principal and interest and will focus on nutrition bars and shakes to help get them back on track.

I recently noticed that Subway took down the Atkins logo from its chocolate chip cookies and wraps so I bet the reduced licensing revenue in general took a huge hit.

The Atkins diet went from the most popular diet ever to one of the most out of favor.





Communications and Technology Podcast July 29 2005

July 30, 2005

There is nothing like the collaboration on a podcast. Our most recent communications and technology podcast was full of it. Collaboration that is  Here are some of the topics we discussed this week. Not really in this order but this is a good overview.

New Planet Discovered

July 30, 2005

A new planet was just discovered in our solar system. It is 32 percent as massive as Pluto and is estimated to be about 70 percent of Pluto's diameter. Furthermore it has a moon.

Apparently scientists have been getting upset that car companies such as Saturn and cartoon dogs like Pluto are taking the really cool planet names they come up with. One astronomer was overheard saying, “I wasted $21 and over two hours sitting through When Mars Attacks with my family.

Cisco IPv6 Vulnerability

July 29, 2005

I thought this alert was worth passing along. It seems by turning off IPv6 you minimize exposure to this attack.


                        National Cyber Alert System

                  Technical Cyber Security Alert TA05-210A


Cisco IOS IPv6 Vulnerability

   Original release date: July 29, 2005
   Last revised: --
   Source: US-CERT


Systems Affected

     * Cisco IOS devices with IPv6 enabled

   For specific information, please see the Cisco Advisory.


Overview

   Cisco IOS IPv6 processing functionality contains a vulnerability that
   could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary
   code or cause a denial of service.


I. Description

   Cisco IOS contains a vulnerability in the way IPv6 packets are
   processed. US-CERT has not confirmed further technical details.

   According to the Cisco Advisory, this vulnerability could be exploited
   by an attacker on the same IP subnet:

     Crafted packets from the local segment received on logical
     interfaces (that is, tunnels including 6to4 tunnels) as well as
     physical interfaces can trigger this vulnerability. Crafted packets
     can not traverse a 6to4 tunnel and attack a box across the tunnel.

     The crafted packet must be sent from a local network segment to
     trigger the attack.










































HP Says Goodbye to iPOD

July 29, 2005

The BBC reports that while Carly Fiorina supported the idea of reselling Apple’s iPOD, the new CEO Mark Hurd doesn’t necessarily agree.

"HP has decided that reselling iPods does not fit within the company's current digital entertainment strategy," said an Apple spokeswoman.

I thought working with Apple early on was a smart move so I am confused by the pull-back. Riding on Apple’s coattails is genius.

HP was responsible for selling 5% of iPods which seems like a significant number. I hope to ask Carly Fiorina what she thinks of this new direction at TMC’s Internet Telephony Conference & Expo later this year.

I am really excited to hear her speak and get her views on the VoIP market and technology in general.

Trade show keynoters usually have an axe to grind – they work somewhere and are pushing something… A product, a company, something. Even those people in the public sector that speak are looking to gain favor with those who might employ them when they leave office.

Interestingly Carly and Michael Powell, two of our major speakers are both sort of free agents at the moment meaning at least as far as I know they will be free to speak their minds on many topics.

This is unusual for a trade show.













Why Come To The VoIP Developer Conference?

July 29, 2005

We are in the golden age of VoIP where communications products and services allow us to communicate with one another like never before. The world has rapidly embraced the fact that VoIP allows less expensive calls and superior services to the PSTN.

The next phase of IP Telephony will be vastly superior to what we use today enabling us to be more productive and efficient and communicate more effectively and even less expensively.

Enabling this leap in productivity and functionality is Voice over IP.



TMCnet in Top 1,722 Sites in World!

July 29, 2005

VoIP Developer Next Week

July 29, 2005

Just spoke with Al Bredenberg about this week’s podcast topics. Certainly Senator Ensign’s telecom bill and the VoIP Developer show are at the top of the list. The show is next week in fact and we are getting ready for an excellent event.

I am moderating the following sessions:

“Host Media Processing Round Table”
DATE: Thursday, August 4th
TIME: 4:15-5:15 PM
ROOM: Bodan A & B
PANELISTS:
Rich Tehrani, President, TMC (Moderator)
Alan Percy, Director of Business Development, AudioCodes
Amir Zmora, VP Marketing & Product Management, Surf Communication Solutions
Greg Pisano, Market Development Manager for Carrier Enhanced Services, Brooktrout Technologies
Daniel LeCour, Vice President of Business Development, Envox Worldwide
David Duffet, Global Customer Training, Aculab (he also moonlights as TMCnet's "Voice of IP")













“VoIP Gear -- Build Your Own Versus Buy: What You Need to Know”
DATE: Wednesday, August 3rd
TIME: 3:30-4:15 PM
ROOM: Bodan A & B
PANELISTS:
Rich Tehrani, President, TMC (Moderator)
Bruce Young, Vice President of Engineering, LignUp
Peder Jungck, Founder & CTO, CloudShield Technologies
Frank Ferro, Director of Marketing - Cellular & VoIP Products, SyChip
Tony Downes, Principal Technologist with Data Connection

Our pre-registration is still many times ahead of last year and we are really excited about having Inveneo and their bicycle powered Linux-based VoIP system at the show.










3Com Rumors

July 28, 2005

TMCnet Redesign Update

July 28, 2005

The response from the industry has been overwhelming and TMCnet’s redesign seems to be a huge hit. I say this based on the independent rankings from Alexa.com, a division of Amazon.com. This company has a toolbar that sits on many browsers and gives a snapshot of where the people around the world are surfing. The toolbar is pretty similar in functionality and use to the Google toolbar.

TMCnet has been steadily growing in traffic and is becoming more and more popular.

Inveneo at VoIP Developer

July 28, 2005

A while back I wrote about Inveneo and their bicycle powered VoIP solution. I really think sort of application is how we in the VoIP market can give back to society. Many of us who have made a living in the VoIP industry should be proud that this same technology is being used in third world countries to allow people to communicate with friends and relatives more easily and inexpensively.

We take telephone calling for granted but in remote villages where the residents are usually poor and even if they have the means, they have to travel many kilometers to get to a telephone. With the advent of the bicycle powered VoIP phone, these residents can now communicate with friends and relatives around the world.

We are especially proud to tell you that the people at Inveneo will be at our VoIP Developer show next week showing their bicycle powered VoIP solution for all to see.



Baby Oil and Radioactivity

July 28, 2005

What you would think would be props on the Howard Stern show: a thousand pounds of baby oil and a stainless steel tank are in fact "props" used instead by scientists to measure the Earth’s radioactivity for the first time. Excerpts from the New York Times article:

The telescope they used was designed to detect subatomic particles from nuclear reactors. The researchers simply pointed it downward, in effect, toward the center of Earth. Physicists and geologists said the measurement, which agrees roughly with geologists' calculations, was the start of a new era of being able to see inside Earth.

Podcast Vs Blogcast

July 28, 2005

Is it true that Microsoft workers don’t like the term podcast and are using blogcast instead? Seems like a tough battle to win as the ubiquity of the iPOD make the term podcast a no brainer. Apparently while Apple revels in the term and is incorporating Podcasting into their iTunes software the Redmond software titan is trying to come up with ways to combat Apple’s hold on the music/consumer electronics business.

An interesting New York Times article discusses how Apple is using Podcasting as a way to sell more iPods. In addition the article points out that it is turning the music business on its ear by giving away the razor blades (podcasts are to remain free according to Apple) and charging for the razors. The article makes a good read.

In my opinion Apple has inadvertently found a way to entrench their lead in the music business.



Space Shuttle Program Grounded

July 27, 2005

How depressing a thought is this? One of the most inspirational space programs NASA has ever put forth is now grounded. After analyzing the effects of debris falling from Discovery during blastoff the agency decided to put a hold on future launches. It is not clear whether any debris actually hit Discovery or the extent of any impact.

From a CNN article:

NASA was analyzing data from video and from the robotic arm, the launch and elsewhere to decide what steps -- if any -- to take next.

"We should start seeing the jury coming in on those decisions by the end of the crew's day tomorrow," Hill said.





VocalTec Lays Off 70

July 27, 2005

It is a sad day for me as VocalTec, the company that really popularized VoIP and was the inspiration for TMC launching Internet Telephony Magazine have cut 70% of their staff leaving 30 out of a 100 people in the company. There is 2 million dollars in cash left at the company and they recently changed their focus to selling softswitches.

There is some great engineering talent at the company but it is going to be very tough to come out of this hole without some assistance either financial or otherwise.

They would be a great acquisition target just for their technology.

My hats off to the bright people at VocalTec that helped launch VoIP into the mainstream and I reiterate that this is a sad day for the VoIP market.





Note To Self: Don’t Upset Tom Keating

July 27, 2005

OK OK, although I wasn’t involved in not sending Tom to TMC’s VoIP Developer event perhaps I deleted him from the list and didn’t realize it. Either way, sorry Tom… I didn’t know you would willingly go to a venue where there wasn’t a blackjack table

Seriously though, Tom’s post on VoIP Developer is right on. Although Tom decided to compare us to other events in the market including Internet Telephony and VON… I see the market differently. There is room for all our events and they all serve different purposes.

VoIP Developer was designed to be a much purer show where partnering and development choices can be made without thousands of non-technical people running around (without pocket-protectors no less!).

This event is purely about finding tools and toolkits you need to develop killer VoIP applications.





Senator Ensign Telecom Bill

July 27, 2005

Here are some links to the new telecom bill:

Senator Ensign Telecom Bill

Senator Ensign Telecom Bill Talking Points


I haven’t had a chance to digest it fully but so far the important points of this bill are that it protects VoIP calls. It claims to help the market by taking away arbitrary and historical regulations that arbitrarily hamstring one competitive technology over another.

It says its goal is to encourage all companies to invest and compete vigorously to deliver innovative, quality services to consumers.

It claims it may bring $634 billion in GDP growth and 212,000 jobs in five years.

I like the idea of having more competition and less regulation. My concern is that we have cable lines and phone lines built over the decades from a monopoly position in the market. These lines have always been regulated to some degree and since 1996 have been shared with others at low rates.

Now these companies don’t have to share their lines if they don’t want.












PGP VoIP

July 27, 2005

Tom Keating’s PGP VoIP blog entry caught my eye today. Apparently Phil Zimmerman has come up with a VoIP PGP-equivalent for encrypting voice over IP calls. Many in the industry are concerned about encrypted p2p VoIP solutions as they can be used to send viruses and other malicious code throughout a company. It is unclear to me whether this software can be used to send content other than VoIP.

Regardless, there is another problem with encrypted voice communications and that is government regulations.

Yahoo! On A Plane

July 27, 2005

The battle to be the search leader knows no limits as is evidenced by the new deal struck between Yahoo! And Connexion by Boeing allowing the search giant to provide search results from a small box on the Connexion user interface.

Here are release excerpts from the release:

"We are pleased to be partnering with a market leader like Yahoo! in order to provide our customers with the highest quality in-flight Internet experience available today," explained David Friedman, vice president of marketing and direct sales, Connexion by Boeing.



Deborah Tate on the FCC

July 27, 2005

Michael Meese on the FCC

July 27, 2005

White House aide Michael Meece has emerged as a top contender for one of two Republican seats on the Federal Communications Commission, according to the Washington Post and Reuters.

Meece is the deputy director of the White House public liaison office and previously worked as deputy chief of staff to Don Evans when he was U.S. Commerce Secretary during President Bush's first term.

Among other names circulating as potential occupants of the other seat are Deborah Tate, a director on the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, and Suzanne Terrell, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2002, the sources said.

The FCC has been tied with two Republicans and two Democrats since March, when Michael Powell stepped down as chairman. Controversial issues currently require new Chairman Kevin Martin to convince a Democrat to support them.

This is such an important time for the FCC as there are so many controversial issues on the table from the future of VoIP... Will it have to contribute to the USF?







Huge Changes at Empirix

July 26, 2005

Ed Goldfinger the CEO of Empirix, announced some huge changes recently. The company was divided into a few different units and is now a single operating unit which means the ESG - Enterprise Solutions Group and the carrier focused Communications Infrastructure Group will merge.

Now there is a single culture and strategy for expansion. They think this will take shareholders to a higher level.

Duane Sword now becomes VP of Product Management for the entire company.

Dan Potter is now in charge of outbound marketing and becomes the face to the industry from web to PR, etc.

There is a great deal of hiring happening as well. You may want to send a resume.

The only downside is that Steve Gladstone will be stepping down.









Bomber On Welfare

July 26, 2005

I don’t know the term for welfare or social assistance (on the dole comes to mind) ain England but apparently Out of the two terror suspects responsible for the recent failed bombing attempts, Terror suspect Yasin Hussan Omar is a Somalian national who arrived in Britain at age 11 in 1992 as a dependant and was granted exceptional leave to remain in the country. In May 2000 he was granted indefinite leave to remain.

Omar has been handed thousands of pounds in taxpayers' money in recent years. He was given £75 a week in housing benefit to pay for the one-bedroom flat where he has been the registered tenant since February 1999.

His housing benefit stopped in May this year but he may have been given up to £24,000 over the last six years.

His flat (apartment for those of us on this side of the pond), on the ninth floor of a 12-storey tower block in New Southgate, north London, is believed to have been used as a bomb factory by the suicide team who unsuccessfully targeted the London transport network last Thursday. Explosives experts were examining material found inside.

What is scary about this case is how someone whose family was granted asylum by England and is living off the citizens of the UK could get so upset that they would unleash such a plot.







Spammer Murdered

July 26, 2005

Space Shuttle Streaming

July 26, 2005

Analog Cell Calls

July 26, 2005

In the Northeast, Verizon rules, as it does in other parts of the country. No other carrier seems to be able to match their signal strength. Truth be told, I haven't had a chance to test the new Cingular since AT&T has been rolled in.

Speaking of GSM networks, when I switched to a GSM network a while back I was amazed that there was no analog roaming support built-in so a dead-zone was a real dead-zone.

Teletruth and the FCC

July 26, 2005

FCC Chairman Martin’s glowingly optimistic US broadband penetration letter to the Wall Street Journal has upset a number of people including Bruce Kushnick, Chairman, Teletruth Executive Director, New Networks Institute. Bruce has been an irritant to the FCC and LECs for years and if you read the following complaint you can see why. Whether you agree with this or not it is certainly food for thought. When will Bruce be happy in my opinion?

Vonage and E911

July 25, 2005

Vonage was on the leading edge of the 911 controversy from the start. In response to a negative standing in the press, they are now doing a great job winning the PR war.

In a recent release Vonage says they have struck a deal with TeleCommunications Systems or TCS which allows for 9-1-1 calls from VoIP subscribers that cannot be automatically routed to the PSAP nearest to the caller’s current location will be transparently routed to the TCS Response Center and answered by a live operator. The service is designed to ensure that all callers have access to a live operator trained to help them secure timely access to an emergency services provider. It avoids routing the user’s 9-1-1 VoIP call to a pre-recorded message or to an administrative line that may not be staffed with a live 24/7 operator.

This is a major step in the right direction as it ensures that callers are always connected with a live agent.



Buy Cable Stock

July 23, 2005

Logically, if you think about it... The cable companies are ideally positioned to take over the market for every sort of broadband service from VoIP to whatever else they want to get into to. Consider the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free advertising they can do on the remnant programs of their own TV stations.

It is a staggering advantage and moreover the fat pipes they have into our homes means hey don't have to invest in delivering fiber to every home like the phone companies are doing.

The industry can further diversify by doing better in the enterprise market as many companies would welcome increased competition for broadband services.

A recent study by Kagan Research backs most of these thoughts up and further expects revenues in this sector to double in the next ten years.









SugarCRM Vs. vTiger

July 23, 2005

I was reading David Sims First Coffee column where he discusses SugarCRM and vTiger an offshoot of SugarCRM with some modifications and additional support. The article reminded me of a recent discussion last week I had with Mark Spencer of Digium and Asterisk at VoIP Sizzles in Texas.



Spencer was telling me that he thinks that there is a plug-in or one is in the works that will link SugarCRM with Asterisk. To paraphrase Mark, "That is when this stuff gets really interesting." Mark went on to say that the solutions n the contact center market are so expensive, a reseller can make a good deal of money selling customer contact center solutions based on open-source.



This opportunity is not lost on the open-source CRM vendors and according to Sims, there is some controversy between SugarCRM and vTiger as the latter claims the former sees them as a competitive threat and even threatened legal action. I am not a lawyer but it does seem based on the limited knowledge I have of this case that what vTiger is doing is legal based on an adapted version of the Mozilla public license.



In the open source PBX space there are two strong choices, Asterisk and Pingtel.

Tut Systems Funding

July 23, 2005

MS To Thwart Google's Growth Towards a Googolplex

July 23, 2005

This argument about a single researcher between Microsoft and Google will become the straw that breaks the camel's back IMHO. The tension between these two giants has been building as of late. Bill Gates has mentioned that he thinks Google's stock price is overvalued and it is well known that they see this new upstart whose name was derived from a giant number as a major threat.

From this point on though, it will be all out war between the two companies. I expect to see Microsoft doing everything to slow down Google's primary revenue source -- search.

There will probably be even more amazing search capabilities in future MS operating systems than we currently expect.

People go to Google because it is convenient and the results are accurate.





Broadband Over Power Lines in Texas

July 23, 2005

It seems that Texas will be one of the leading states when it comes to Broadband Over Power Lines or BPL. The Texas Senate has in their recent bill SB 21 done a whole bunch of things to ensure that BPL gets a fair shake in their state.

The preamble to the bill shows the intention of the Texas lawmakers:

The "BPL deployment in Texas has the potential to extend broadband service to customers where broadband access is currently not available and may provide an additional option for existing broadband consumers in Texas, resulting in a more competitive market for broadband services."

Here are a few things that the bill says:


• Electric utilities may elect to allow an "affiliate" or an "unaffiliated entity" to own or operate a BPL system on the utilities' electric delivery system;

• Electric utilities may allow an "affiliate or unaffiliated entity to provide Internet service over a BPL system."

• Neither the state nor local governments can require their electric utilities to install a BPL system on their power lines.

• BPL installation, operation and use may not be regulated by the state, a municipality or local government.

Texas lawmakers should be commended for their efforts to encourage broadband competition. I have been a bit cynical about this technology because I am not seeing it being rolled out in enough volume to be called truly competitive with DSL or cable.
















Dave and Busters

July 22, 2005

I had a great time at VoIP Sizzles and am headed back today. Last night we went to Dave and Busters and I had a chance to play some video games with Mark Spencer of Digium and ABP's Robert Messer. TMC's Dave Rodriguez mentioned there are no Dave and Busters near us in Connecticut. I bet it would do well in White Plains, NY which is 15 minutes over the Connecticut border.

VoIP Sizzles Night 1

July 20, 2005

The opening night at VoIP Sizzles was great. We just had a Sip Margarita reception where we learned about --- Surprise --- SIP. There were some great speakers telling us about the standards issues that need to be worked out in the SIP community. There was some discussion of the telco/cable duopoly and what they will do to thwart competition and how this could hurt the industry.

There was further talk of IMS and how much promise it holds and how it could be used by service providers to provide poor service or no service to competing services.

The mood was positive overall as examples kept popping up regarding how the VoIP community continually innovates and stays one step ahead of those who try to thwart us.



Texas Rangers Vs the New York Yankees

July 20, 2005

Reasearh On E-Mail, Etc

July 20, 2005

Something about the Radicati Group's releases about their research reports makes me want to comment about them. Perhaps the little snippets of info they give out. My comments are in red:

Please find below The Radicati Group, Inc.'s "Radicati Market Stats & Industry Commentary". Here you will find some fast facts from our various reports and analyst quotes on recent industry news which you may feel free to use for citing in upcoming articles. 
 
Please note that these stats and quotes may only be used for press articles. They may not be used for company-sponsored whitepapers, press releases, or any other company-specific marketing material without the explicit written permission of The Radicati Group, Inc.
 
 ANTI-SPYWARE

The installed base of corporate anti-spyware will grow from 16 million users in 2005, to nearly 541 million users in 2009 - an average annual growth rate of 146%.

If this is true, we are in trouble.









Worth Reading 7/19/05

July 19, 2005

Key Logging

July 18, 2005

Tom Cross does some excellent work over at TECHtionary. Here is a recent entry into his extensive database on keylogging. To further the plug, advertising on his site or licensing his library are two ways to support his excellent efforts to educate many of us on technology via animation and simple to understand definitions.

TECHtionary Responds to ABC News Special Report – Key Loggers

The animated TECH-Tip tutorial is available at http://www.techtionary.com

Last night a special report on ABC News identified key loggers as "causing at least one-third of all online crime." This is a special TECHtionary report on this insidious crime. To begin with, keylogging, VoIP phone keypad trackers, keyboard sniffers, system monitors, loggers and trackers are programs that monitor every keystroke and data flow to and from the keyboard.





Off To VoIP Sizzles

July 18, 2005

New TMCnet is Coming

July 16, 2005

I was just checking out Alexa's home page and found that 45% of all web traffic is accounted for by the top 500 sites in the world. This by the way is out of 18 million total sites Alexa crawla. The top 100,000 sites in the world are responsible for 75% of all web traffic.

TMCnet was recently ranked in the top of 4,000 sites in the world by Alexa and on some days we rank just over 2,000.

Our ranking in this elite group of websites is due to loyal readers like you. We appreciate the millions of people a year that come to TMCnet for news and analysis in communications and technology.



July 15 2005 Podcast

July 15, 2005

Consumer Digest Article

July 15, 2005

Consumer Digest was nice enough to ask me to write and article for them about VoIP. It was a great deal of fun to do. I received an e-mail from one of their editors named James Tehrani (no relation – that we are aware of anyway) asking if I could write something geared towards consumers and very objective.

I had a great deal of fun and saw how the editorial process in another publishing company works which is always interesting. Their editorial staff is first rate and I have a great deal of respect for the magazine.

Check out the August 2005 issue… the one with the 2006 Sneak Peak cover.



Airplane Cell Phones

July 15, 2005

We are living in a converged world and I am just a converged guy. "The last thing most air passengers want is to be forced to listen to their neighbor chat on their cell phone about their ailments, their dating problems, the latest reality TV show or up-to-the-minute estimates of time of arrival," says Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure's subcommittee on aviation. Today his panel was discussing whether we should have cell phones on flights. Perhaps Blackberries should be allowed but not phones was one of the discussion points.

Cisco VoIP Flaws

July 15, 2005

Cisco recently released fixes for security flaws in its CallManager product line. Flaws are of various types from resource leaks to weak resistance to malformed packets. There is also sensitivity to denial of service attacks. The impact of these vulnerabilities are potential breaches of confidentiality, higher CPU utilization, and potentially phones not responding.

I wonder, will Cisco be the hacker target in the VoIP world that Microsoft is in the PC world?

TMCnet in Top 4,000 Sites in World

July 14, 2005

Recently, thanks to loyal readers like yourself, TMCnet crossed the 4,000 mark meaning our site is in the top 4,000 sites in the world. This is according to Alexa, a division of Amazon.com. Sites are ranked by both unique visitors and page views over time with penalties going to sites that bring momentary spikes in traffic.

We are honored to be in this elite group of the world’s top web sites and are noticing that on many days of the week, TMCnet’s traffic is in the top 2,500 sites in the world!

If you want to track how websites rank quickly, download the Alexa toolbar and see for yourself. Here is a large graph of TMCnet’s ranking growth over the years.

To facilitate this amazing growth we have turned to web hosting for some of our content, ordered a T3, and we are adding new content servers to our network on a regular basis.

Next week we unveil a brand new TMCnet which has been under development for many months.







Jack Welch on China

July 14, 2005

More On BellSouth Vonage Purchase

July 14, 2005

Mark Evans does some great analysis of the rumor I reported on yesterday of BellSouth buying Vonage. Does it seem logical to me that each Vonage customer is worth $4,375? No way. My editorial team beat the bushes looking to confirm this story and as you might expect BellSouth had no comment.

An area that Mark didn’t explore in this blog post is the hype surrounding XM and Sirius satellite radio.

BellSouth to Buy Vonage

July 13, 2005

E911 and VoIP Deadline

July 13, 2005

Playing with FireFox

July 13, 2005



I have been using FireFox more and more recently and was amused to find out
that when I went to Microsoft Office
Update
I was told I need to use IE to download the required patches. I am
no expert on monopolies but there seems to be something unfair about being
forced into having a copy of IE on hand to make sure you can upgrade your
software.



The same thing holds true for Windows
Update
. I would think the EU and the DOJ/FTC would be up in arms about such
practices.



Here is the e-mail regarding a security flaw in Office that started me down
this path:



 National Cyber Alert System



 Technical Cyber
Security Alert TA05-193A



 Microsoft Windows, Internet
Explorer, and Word Vulnerabilities



 Original release date: July 12, 2005

 Last revised: --

 Source: US-CERT



Systems Affected



 * Microsoft Windows

 * Microsoft Office

 * Microsoft Internet Explorer



 For more complete information, refer
to the Microsoft Security

 Bulletin Summary for July, 2005.



Overview



 Microsoft has released updates that
address critical vulnerabilities

 in Windows, Office, and Internet
Explorer. Exploitation of these

 vulnerabilities could allow a remote,
unauthenticated attacker to

 execute arbitrary code on an affected
system.



I. Description



 Microsoft Security Bulletins for July,
2005 address vulnerabilities in

 Windows, Office, and Internet
Explorer.




















































































Voice Vision International

July 13, 2005


A long time friend of TMC has
recently changed jobs and I thought it worth sharing. Also within the release
is a mention of Keith Kelly, a pioneer in VoIP and IP contact center
technology. He was years ahead of his time when he launched NetSpeak
Corporation in the 1995-1996 timeframe:

After 14 years with West TeleServices, Ray Golden has
resigned his position with West Teleservices in
order to join up with Voice Vision
International
as Senior Vice President New Business Development for their
Teleservices division. Ray had originally started in the telemarketing business
with the West's at their first telemarketing operation, WATS Marketing of
America, where he stayed for 8 years before joining the West's again at West
Teleservices.

















Voice Vision TeleServices was founded on the core principle of providing better
cost-effective telephony and Internet communication solutions that utilize
state-of-the-art technology to increase profitability and reduce overhead for
all our clients.





VoIP Developer to Sell Out

July 12, 2005

We got word recently from our show hotel that they are about to sell out. Here is a summary of what is happening with the show from a recent e-mail we sent:

With three weeks remaining until the VoIP Developer Conference begins in San Francisco, I wanted to update you with some important news.

1. Growing attendee list boasts many impressive companies - Earthlink, Oracle, RIM (Blackberry), AOL. Each of these companies has purchased a Diamond Team Plan and are sending four delegates to attend the conference program.



VoIP Quality -- Last Chance

July 12, 2005

AT&T CallVantage E911

July 11, 2005

I received this release today and was a bit surprised as AT&T has been super-quiet regarding their CallVantage service since their announcement of of the SBX acquistion. While Vonage has been investing in customer acquisition with million dollar marketing budgets, AT&T has really slowed the marketing spending to a trickle. I can’t recall the last promotion I saw for the service so using the word trickle actually givs the company the benefit of the doubt.

Many in the industry were quietly predicting the demise of the service altogether. I take this announcement as a sign that AT&T is still committed to providing VoIP.

Spear Phishing

July 9, 2005

Phishing is just spam being used to trick people into revealing some information to the phisher, and relies very heavily on social engineering to succeed. By blocking spam effectively, the bait never reaches its target, and the opportunity for deception is crushed.

Phishers are now sending more targeted emails to businesses and these e-mails are designed to appear as though they were sent by another member of staff at the same organization, typically from the IT or HR departments. It seems that people will share their passwords fairly willingly via e-mail if the trust the source.

VoIP Sizzles Details

July 9, 2005

The VoIP Sizzles… event July 20-22, 2005 has been conveniently located at the Sheraton Grand Hotel near the Dallas/Ft Worth airport. The hotel provides a perfect setting for the intensive two days of workshops, panel sessions and presentations; as well as a warm atmosphere to encourage informal get-togethers with your peers.

With high speed Internet access available in most rooms, an indoor/outdoor pool and workout area, plus a convenient shuttle for the 5-minute ride from the airport, the Sheraton Grand is the place to be!

A special room rate of $109 per night is available for a limited number of rooms. Make your reservation early while the special rate is available – once these rooms are gone, the room rate is $129 per night. Ask for ABP or "VoIP Sizzles in Dallas" rate!



Keynote With Mark Spencer at VoIP Sizzles

July 9, 2005

I will be speaking at this event in a few weeks. In case you haven't been to Dallas in July, everything sizzles, along with VoIP. This is a great name for a great event. Is it worth braving the heat to go to Dallas?

test

July 9, 2005

Sasser Worm

July 8, 2005



I read something today that I couldn’t believe. The author of the Sasser worm, has been sentenced to 21 month’s probation. Sven Jaschan is now 19 but was 17 when he wrote the worm.

The worm was blamed for shutting down British Airways flight check-ins, hospitals and government offices in Hong Kong, part of Australia's rail network, Finnish banks, British Coast Guard stations, and millions of other computers worldwide.

I am all for giving minors a break but this suspended sentence sends a message loud and clear to other kids. Feel free to hack away… Germany wont prosecute you as long as you are under 18.



Zhone Picks up Paradyne

July 8, 2005

Zhone technologies a company specializing in next-gen service provider equipment is picking up Paradyne Networks a provider of triple play broadband loop carriers and Ethernet access equipment. My take is that this merger is all about scale and being able to compete with the big boys. Zhone has been doing a better job of marketing and promotion than Paradyne so I would say the right company is making the acquisition.

The details are as follows:

Agent Performance

July 7, 2005

Free Press

July 7, 2005

Simply stated, the US cannot have wars in the name of spreading freedom and democracy while simultaneously eroding the democracy we have at home. I can’t believe I am witnessing a person being sent to jail for doing their job. Nothing illegal, just reporting and promising to hold a confidential source in confidence.

Freedom is freedom. There are some instances in which freedom of speech doesn’t work such as yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.

Illegal WiFi

July 7, 2005

Just when you thought the world was one big happy WiFi sharing place, someone gets arrested. Police recently charged a Florida man with a third-degree felony charge. According to this article, he allegedly accessed a WiFi network belonging to a St. Petersburg man without permission. According to the police, Benjamin Smith III was seen by Richard Dinon outside Dinon's home on the night of April 20, 2005, sitting in a parked SUV and using a laptop computer.

Sprint EVDO

July 7, 2005

Forbes reports that Sprint will now have EV-DO(Evolution Data Optimized) technology in their network allowing downloads in the hundreds of megabit per second range. I was once a Sprint wireless data user and switched years ago to Verizon 1xRTT and then to Verizon’s EVDO.

At a certain point I used to have both a 1xRTT card from Verizon and Sprint card with me to use with my iPAQ. In many months of use, I could get on Verizon’s network much more frequently than Sprint’s. the only exception was in Crystal City, Virginia where Sprint worked and Verizon didn’t.

Sprint will have weaker coverage than Verizon as their network is not pervasive and they are introducing the services slowly.



Intel Monopoly

July 7, 2005

I spent some time reading some of the compliant against Intel from AMD. I found it interesting that AMD waited until recently to file such a lawsuit but as I understand from my reading, AMD claims that since AMD launched its Opteron processor, the first such processor to allow 64 bit computing and 32 bit compatibility, Intel became increasingly egregious. For a while, Intel decided their 64 bit solution would not need backwards compatibility. They have since changed course.

This early decision hurt Intel in the market and AMD claims this was the reason Intel really started to use its monopoly position to keep retailers and manufacturers from selling AMD based solutions.

According to AMD’s complaint against Intel:

Intel’s conduct has unfairly and artificially capped AMD’s market share, and constrained it from expanding to reach the minimum efficient levels of scale necessary to compete with Intel as a predominant supplier to major customers.





Skype Clone

July 7, 2005

Here comes yet another entry into the market aimed at taking out Skype. Project Gizmo has a product that will do lots of things that Skype can but with SIP support.

London Bombings

July 7, 2005

I would like to send my condolences to the families who lost loved ones in today’s bombing attacks in the UK. I wish those that were injured a safe and speedy recovery. I hope those that were responsible are found quickly and brought to justice.

Here is a log from multiple reporters detailing the aftermath of the bombings.

In case you missed the details, London was struck by a series of 6-9 separate bombs seemingly aimed at disrupting the city’s transportation system. Buses and subways were primarily targeted.

From the NYTIMES:

Sir Ian Blair, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told reporters at about 11:20 a.m.







VoIP Developer Early Bird

July 6, 2005

This conference located in South San Francisco promises to be even better than last year’s event. The quantity of attendees and especially the quality is unmatched. Some of the largest software makers in the world are sending people and general communications and tech companies are coming in droves. You won’t find a more targeted show than VoIP Developer so if you want to learn how best t construct communications products and services or partner with the major industry players, this is the one event where you can do it all.

xMAX

July 6, 2005

VoIP Quality Webinar Soon

July 5, 2005

TMCnet will be hosting an exclusive webinar with Keynote Systems' Dharmesh Thakker on July 12, 2005 to discuss the findings of a major VoIP study. To gain insight into how end-users perceive VoIP service providers and network carriers, register for the free  VoIP Quality Webinar. I will be involved in this webinar as well and am very excited to be sharing the findings with the world in just one week.

Here are some details:

  • Only VoIP-PSTN (and as a baseline PSTN-PSTN) calls were sampled. No VoIP-VoIP calls were measured as part of the survey.

Aspect and Concerto Merge

July 5, 2005

Here are the details of the Concerto and Aspect merger. This is huge news for the contact center space and Concerto has been on a tear lately with acquisitions. SER is a company that competed extensively with Concerto and was relying on Aspect to partner on the inbound side, making SER more well-rounded. This merger certainly has the potential to put a wrench in the plans of SER.

Since Concerto became a private company a while back and they are doing the acquiring – Aspect too will become private.

China Spam

July 5, 2005

Great news… China has signed onto and international antispam pact. After the US, China may be the worst offender in sending spam and about one in five spam messages are attributed to the country. Now is as good a time as any to tackle the issue. At last count I get about 300-500 spam messages a day.

India Cyber Crime

July 5, 2005

India will soon be toughening laws dealing with confidential information. This is a response to the recent problem in one call center where data was stolen by an employee. This article states that there seems to be no greater threat in India than any other country. While this may be true, it will be smart for India to promote what happens to those that steal data.

Bronx Zoo

July 5, 2005

I live about 30 minutes from the Bronx Zoo and in my life have been there a total of about 45 minutes. This past weekend I decided to take a trip with my daughter Priscilla and see the zoo. It was amazing. I love animals but rarely get to go to zoos.

American Airlines Spirit of 1776

July 5, 2005

I received this e-mail today from American Airlines. I thought it worth passing on:

Dear Richard Tehrani,

Please join us in celebrating our nation's Independence Day in the "Spirit of 1776". With your help, American Airlines will provide 17.76 million AAdvantage miles to bring wounded U.S. military personnel and their families together. You can take part by donating AAdvantage miles to Operation Hero Miles between July 4th, 2005 and September 5th, 2005.

Nortel Incentive Program

July 5, 2005

Nortel has introduced new incentive programs for its channel partners in North America that focus on VoIP, data and applications. The Velocity Incentives program is an addition to Nortel's Partner Advantage program, and it's designed to drive Nortel and partner profits up while also layering on incremental marketing funds and increased growth rebates for partners that sell IP telephony, data and applications products.

"That's where the growth is today. That's where the demand is," said Jeff Taylor, director of North American field marketing at Nortel Networks. "The impetus behind this is ultimately to serve our customers and where our customers are going."


The overall Nortel strategy over the last couple of years has been around IP telephony, data and applications, and that's reflected in the types of products that Nortel is bringing to market, Taylor added.

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