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December 2005

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Messaging Predictions

December 31, 2005

Here's what Ferris Research thinks will be the main projects/issues that messaging managers will be concerned with in 2006. They are in rough order of priority for the typical organization. Ferris Research is an analyst firm specializing in messaging and collaboration--see www.ferris.com for details. This is a summary of the report, "Key Messaging & Collaboration Issues, 2006"

Implementing Email Archiving & Retention.

NTP Patents Rejected

December 31, 2005

RTI Patents

December 30, 2005

Thanks to TechDirt I decided to poke around in the actual RTI Patents that have caused the web outcry since RTI sued Google. Jerry Weinberger the man behind RTI patented least cost routing back in the late 1970s and this is basis along with another patent for the lawsuits against the various companies he sues and collects money from.

Least cost routing was the leading edge of technologies in the early 1980s as competition finally was allowed in the phone business. During those early days the rates for various phone calls to various destinations varied widely and it would make sense to use AT&T for calls to Canada, Sprint for calls to Iowa and MCI for calls to California.

The above is just a hypothetical case of course and it should be noted that rates use to vary by time of day as well. A human could not keep track of who was the best carrier per call but a computer could.

Remember now, these were the dark ages of telecom and technology where a box of index cards was the best contact management system and entry level computer cost hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Here are the abstracts of the two patents:

Patent 1

Least cost routing device for separate connection into phone line

Abstract

A device interconnects within the phone line coming from a first phone and routes telephone calls along a least cost route originating from the first telephone to a second telephone via the network.















VoIP Predictions

December 30, 2005

Tom Keating finally got around to making his Top VoIP predictions for 2006. That’s Tom for you… Always waiting till the last second :-)

They aren’t all VoIP related so let’s just call them predictions. He also went back to last year’s predictions and was honest enough to say where he was right and wrong.

In his predictions there are some real gems and perhaps my favorite one is as follows:

6) Microsoft buys Level3 - Ok, you're probably thinking this prediction is from way out in Left field, but hear me out.





VoIP Peering in 2006

December 30, 2005

I am getting more and more comments about my prediction that 2006 will be the year of VoIP peering. There is just more more day in 2005 after all. That is why I am so excited that CableLabs recently reported that over 30 companies responded to their VoIP peering RFI.

The following is what CableLabs sent me today:

Approximately 30 technology companies responded to the CableLabs®-issued request for information (RFI) for technologies to enable cable operators to share Voice-over-IP (VoIP) traffic directly over their IP networks. This ability is called VoIP Peering.

CableLabs was seeking to collect information from manufacturers and third-party service providers regarding the technologies, products and service solutions which could enable the development of a production-grade VoIP Peering infrastructure to allow this VoIP traffic exchange among MSOs, and between MSOs and other service providers.

Information was sought in several areas, including the architecture(s) for VoIP peering services, the set of Internet specifications and standards that can enable a scalable platform for interconnecting voice and other real-time communication services, and the associated operations and management requirements to develop a production-grade environment.







I can’t wait for the world’s third ever VoIP Peering Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in a few weeks!



More on Rates Technology and Google

December 30, 2005

Last night I blogged that today we would hear about RTI suing Google for 5 billion dollars in the mainstream press. Here is that article from Sam Gustin at the New York Post. Sam did an excellent job on the article and has lots of new information to share. He was nice enough to quote me as well:

Currently, RTI has patent infringement lawsuits pending against Alcatel, Vonage and Cablevision seeking billions of dollars in damages.

"It looks like RTI goes after every VoIP company that comes across its radar screen," said Rich Tehrani, of Internet Telephony magazine. "And if they don't pay, RTI sues them."

Weinberger said that virtually every company moving into the VoIP space utilizes technology protected by RTI's patents.







I saw a story from another news source implying Google is only be asked to pay 5 million dollars by RTI.

Founder of Milliondollarhomepage Gets Job Offers

December 30, 2005

Alex Tew the founder of Milliondollarhomepage.com is getting job offers because many companies are impressed with his novel idea to make money online via the selling of pixel ads. The news of his job offers has spiked even more interest in his site.

Amazingly, even though web traffic was on a downward slope, it has recently turned around and today was ranked by Alexa as one of the top 440 site on the entire Internet. Alexa rank is a combination of unique visitors and page views and the lower the number, the better.

Traffic Rank for milliondollarhomepage.com  (what's this)





RTI Sues Google for 5 Billion

December 29, 2005

Rates Technology Inc. (RTI) Articles

December 29, 2005

My blog entry on Rates Technology has been getting a great deal of traction. As you may recall the company is suing Google over the VoIP portion of its Google Talk program. I noticed Playfuls.com a site out of Romania referenced my interview with RTI. CNET had a brief story on the lawsuit where they referenced me and then referenced Google’s response to the lawsuit: "We believe the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend against it vigorously."

The National Business Review also had a great article where they talk about patent trolling, referencing my interview with the company.

Blinded by Free VoIP?

December 29, 2005

I hate to sound like a broken record but I am concerned with VoIP service providers who are competing on price alone. Let me tell you right now that if your strategy is to compete almost exclusively on price your lifespan will not be very long. Free ATA, free months, free this, free that… Enough already.

The reason for my concern is that we are educating consumers that they should expect VoIP to be more and more inexpensive. The question worth asking is why?

ITEXPO: 200% Growth

December 28, 2005

Thank you readers of my blog as well as those who read TMC’s print and online offerings for making ITEXPO in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida such a success so far. It is much appreciated. Please have a Happy New Year and I hope to see you in about 26 days!

-------------------

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO East 2006 Registrations Up 200% over 2005

First VoIP Conference of 2006 in Florida Next Month Trending Toward 5th Consecutive Show with Record Attendance

Norwalk, CT, [December 27, 2005] - Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) today released pre-registered attendance figures for next month’s INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida showing 200% growth year-over-year from 2005. (www.itexpo.com)

The conference will be held January 24-27, 2006 at the Ft. Lauderdale/Broward Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

According to TMC president and INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference Chairman, the growth in registrations for the educational programs at this year’s event proves that this the event people serious about deploying VoIP are choosing.

“It is now official...













Galileo

December 28, 2005

Corporate Rat and the Elusive Cheese

December 28, 2005

SEO/SEM Journal Google/RTI Article

December 28, 2005

Microsoft, Softbank and Japan Telecom Oh My

December 28, 2005

Microsoft Co. Ltd., SOFTBANK BB Corp., and JAPAN TELECOM CO. LTD., announced that they are developing a security-enhanced, integrated communications service that combines VoIP, e-mail, Internet access, groupware, presence, instant messaging and desktop services with network infrastructure, and that they have formed a strategic business alliance to provide this service as a business-oriented solution.

I get the feeling this just may be the first step towards my dream of Just in Time Communications or JiTC. SOFTBANK is the largest VoIP provider in Japan and perhaps if this deployment is successful we will find it coming to the US and other parts of the world.

Microsoft has impressed me as of late with their JiTC initiatives. At the last ITEXPO, Microsoft demoed something very close to the perfect JiTC solution.



Rates Technology Sues Google

December 27, 2005

Many months back I wrote an article on Rates Technology Inc.– A company with a patent portfolio currently being used to persuade VoIP equipment and service vendors to pay a fee in exchange for protection from a patent infringement lawsuit. I wasn’t sure if people would care about my article because there were few references to Rates Technology on the Internet. Since Rates Technology has been around for years I certainly wasn’t discovering them but it does seem I was the first to take the time to explain how the company works.

Fast forward about eight months. Today I received an e-mail from Tom Keating telling me that Om Malik has linked to me in his blog regarding Rates Technology.

I was pretty blown away as I thought I would never hear about this company again.



Dreaming of a Great White Christmas

December 26, 2005

Intelligent Design Debate Continues

December 26, 2005

Tom Ridge

December 23, 2005

I got a chance to speak with Governor Tom Ridge yesterday regarding his upcoming keynote at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo (ITEXPO). In case you aren't aware he is currently sitting on the board of Vonage and he says he is working hard. He is on the boards of a number of companies and is doing a lot of consulting.

During the conversation, the Governor (a title you keep for life) was energetic and charming. I got the feeling he is very happy.

At ITEXPO he will discuss terrorism and security and how communities deal with disaster situations.



IMS Article

December 23, 2005

Legal p2p File Sharing in France

December 23, 2005

Is France becoming the most tech savvy country of the west? Perhaps not but France’s lower house has agreed to legalize peer-to-peer file sharing. In a surprise decision, just 2 out of 58 votes decided the outcome.

The measure, introduced as two amendments to a government bill designed to toughen digital copyright protection, would deem that downloading copyrighted files is legal as long as it is for private use only and the downloader pays a general fee for royalty payments, the AFP report said.

The report said such a fee could, for instance, be added on to the monthly subscription charge for broadband Internet access at the cost of a few euros.

This is pretty progressive and would allow everyone to share files and just kick back a bunch of money that can be shared by the artists. In theory, one can surmise the more of an artist’s songs are downloaded, the more of the fund you receive.

This is pretty interesting and opens up all sorts of worm cans.







VoIP Plan To Purchase

December 23, 2005

A Very Cisco Christmas

December 23, 2005

Salesforce.com Outage

December 22, 2005

According to this article Salesforce.com had an outage yesterday. The company today confirmed that there were interruptions in system availability between 9:30 a.m. and 12:41 p.m. Eastern time and 2 p.m.

Unimax

December 22, 2005

Ensim

December 22, 2005

Airline Travel in New York Improves

December 21, 2005

If you commute into New York this week you are likely doing lots of walking. In fact commute is a word you really shouldn't use as you are going to be more walking than anything else. The transit strike has made life tough on a city that is already experiencing low temperatures and record numbers of people wanting to come into the city to shop.

If there is any good news in terms of New York transit it's that the airports will soon become less congested. Thanks to GPS and a new navigation system, JFK and La Guardia airports are about to become more efficient and La Guardia airport which is notorious for delayed flights will be able to accept more planes in inclement weather.

Reserve Your Room At ITEXPO

December 21, 2005

VoIP Central Round Up

December 21, 2005

Information Technology

December 21, 2005

Newest JibJab

December 21, 2005

Blogfession

December 21, 2005

There is just something about blogs that make people loosen up and admit to things they may never say verbally. I don’t understand it actually. There is a certain anonymity to blogging. I now write for four print magazines, Internet Telephony, Customer Interaction Solutions, SIP and IMS but when I blog I am still startled on occasion.

Usually what happens is I am attending a trade show and it is late at night in my hotel room and I am sitting at a desk writing.

Airborne

December 21, 2005

AT&T Rumors

December 21, 2005

I’ve heard a lot of AT&T rumors lately. First of all some within the AT&T organization see the merger with SBC as an acquisition and feel that AT&T is being fit into the SBC culture. One person mentioned in passing that this is not the merger of equals it is being billed as. The differences between the two companies as they were described to me is that SBC is much more military-like or the way AT&T used to be.

Cognio

December 21, 2005

Netcordia

December 21, 2005

The network monitoring market will be huge as when you install VoIP you also have to ensure your network is tuned for optimal VoIP transmission at all times. You really can’t deploy VoIP on a busy network without also being able to monitor the network effectively. Enter Netcordia and their NetMRI tools. They graphically display the health of your network in a concise and easy to read way.

Setting Video Game Limits

December 21, 2005

Skype Fear

December 21, 2005

By now you may have heard about how Skype uses a proprietary protocol and as such can be dangerous on your network as you aren't exactly sure what its doing. Recently a more pressing fear has popped onto the scene. Skype's developer program allows anyone to develop applications that piggyback on the Skype network. On the surface this is wonderful but when you peel the onion back one layer you see why this may not be so good.

Skype is an incredible program because it can punch though any firewall and send traffic.

AGN Networks

December 21, 2005

Take a look at AGN Networks if you are looking for SIP trunking. What does that mean? Well if you are looking to put in an IP PBX or you already have one be sure to also consider connecting your PBX to the outside world via a SIP trunk so you can leverage the lower costs of termination via VoIP on all your calls.

AGN works with Cisco, Avaya and a bunch of other IP PBX companies. The partners behind AGN have been in the VoIP services business for many years and furthermore one of the partners owns an interconnect business with over 20,000 PBX installs!

BlueNote Networks

December 21, 2005

I spent some time today with BlueNote Networks and they seem to be doing well. They have a p2p solution for the enterprise with a heavy focus on SOA. I spoke with the company's CTO Brian Silver and in his view the future of communications isn't about the phone but about the mobile device. He referred to an ad he saw where the phone was touted as the virtual office.

VoIP Analysis From Forbes

December 21, 2005

Some good VoIP financial analysis from Forbes. A summary of Merrill Lynch comments and more can be fount in this article which I pretty much agree with. Excerpt:

After an "eventful week" in Voice over Internet Protocol, Merrill Lynch analyst Glen Campbell concluded "we continue to believe that VoIP, particularly with the portals and Skype now competing for leadership, will separate the access and applications businesses over time."

EBay completed the acquisition of Skype in October.

Last week, "Google launched its mobile e-mail service in the U.S. and entered exclusive negotiations with Time Warner for a 5% stake in AOL," the analyst said in a report.





AOL and Google

December 21, 2005

Google will buy a 5% stake in AOL the two companies will work more closely together as follows:

AOL
● Gets to sell Google search ads adding to the portfolio of advertising offerings the media giant has to sell
● Will make their IM software work with Google
● Will work with Google to digitize and search through Time Warner’s massive video archives

Google
● Will ensure AOL appears in appropriate search results (should we be concerned?)
● Gives AOL a $300 million advertising credit

The loser here is Microsoft as the company first started courting AOL and Google swooped in at the last second and stole the deal. Google has a great deal to offer and AOL is already making a bundle by displaying Google ads on its site. Google too attributes 10% of its revenue to AOL this year. We are talking about huge numbers here and this partnership is good for consumers in my opinion as it strengthens Google and AOL/Time Warner and keeps Microsoft one step behind.

I would imagine that AOL and Google’s VoIP offerings will soon interoperate as well.












Tom Ridge to Speak at ITEXPO

December 21, 2005

I am looking forward to hearing Tom Ridge’s comments at the upcoming Internet Telephony Conference & Expo this month in Ft. Lauderdale Florida (January 24–27). Secretary Ridge will present his thoughts on a number of issues ranging from security to how we can effectively improve the state of 9-1-1 service in this country. The event will also feature an E-911/Regulation Summit, which is a must-attend for anyone interested in learning more about the pertinent regulatory issues facing VoIP companies today.

Some of the session titles that will be featured in Ft. Lauderdale include:

· VoIP’s Role in Military & First-Responder Communications;
· VoIP Regulatory Update; and
· E-911 Technical Session

These sessions will serve as an update on VoIP regulatory and compliance issues. Attendees can get up to speed on the latest situation regarding the support of CALEA, E-911, and taxation issues.







The E-911 Opportunity

December 20, 2005

Reprinted from the January 2006 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine.

In our company’s insider parlance, an opportunity is often a euphemism for a “problem.” This makes for some interesting turns of phrase when things go wrong and my colleagues approach me with, for example, a three-alarm opportunity. And yet sometimes an opportunity is just that: a chance to do some good, and maybe make some money while you’re at it. I recently spent some time with companies in Colorado, the heartland of this country’s 911 technology.

VoIP Predictions 2006

December 20, 2005

Reprinted from the January 2006 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine.

Here are some predictions for the future of VoIP:

Two Tiered Internet The FCC will continue to make life difficult for VoIP providers. In addition they will side with the LECs on a two-tiered Internet system meaning LECs will be able to block competitive content. For this, the Federal government will come down hard on Kevin Martin and in so doing reduce his ability to get anything accomplished in the FCC.

TV Wars
Cable companies and LECs will have brutal wars with one another about what rules the ILECs must follow to provide TV in areas where cable companies are dominant.


Top VoIP Investments/Trends

December 20, 2005

Reprinted from the January 2006 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine.


Last year in response to many requests I started a Top 10 investments list in which I outlined some of the best investments for 2005. Here is an update on last year’s list as well as some new additions. As a bonus I have added some top trends.

Peer to Peer
I led with P2P last year and lo and behold, two out of the three companies mentioned, Nimcat Networks and Skype were purchased for $46 million and over $2 billion respectively. P2P is still a super-hot market.



Iwatsu at ITEXPO

December 20, 2005

As the holidays approach us one cannot stop to think about how exciting the year is going to be in the VoIP space next year. I expect another record-setting year for the VoIP market. For example the number of announcements of new products and services expected at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is staggering… Perhaps the most I have ever seen.

Here is one that was just sent to me:

Iwatsu Voice Networks to Feature Enterprise 2.0 Communications Server and New Platinum Series Terminals at Upcoming INTERNET TELEPHONY(R) Conference & EXPO East 2006 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

IRVING, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 12/20/2005 -- Iwatsu Voice Networks (IVN) today announced they will have the latest version of their Enterprise Communications Server and new Platinum Series terminals on display at the TMC™ INTERNET TELEPHONY® Conference & EXPO East 2006. The conference will be held January 24-27, at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.





Nacchio Investor Fraud

December 20, 2005

On behalf of all people who played by the rules, thank you Mr. Nacchio for making a turbulent telecom market in the post-bubble era even worse.

According to published reports, a federal grand jury in Denver has charged Nacchio, 56, with 42 counts of insider trading. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison, a $1 million fine and be forced to pay restitution for each count of investor fraud.

At least six other former Qwest executives have been charged since the Justice Department began its probe of the company in 2002. Former Qwest Chief Financial Officer Robin Szeliga pleaded guilty in July to insider trading and has reportedly agreed to cooperate with investigators.

The indictment is the first charge against Nacchio in the government’s investigation into accounting practices at Qwest, the fourth largest telephone company in the U.S. He is reportedly now in custody and is awaiting his first court appearance, which prosecutors said might come later today.

Nacchio, who maintains he is innocent, already faces civil charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and shareholder lawsuits.

Following a lengthy investigation, the SEC sued Nacchio and eight other Qwest executives in March for committing massive financial disclosure fraud. According to the SEC, the Qwest defendants “engaged in a multi-faceted fraudulent scheme designed to mislead the investing public about the company’s revenue and growth.”

Regulators have said Nacchio sold Qwest shares for a profit of $176.5 million from 1999 to 2001.

According to the SEC, Nacchio and others “made numerous false and misleading statements about Qwest’s financial condition in annual, quarterly, and current reports, in registration statements that incorporated Qwest’s financial statements, and in other public statements, including earnings releases and investor calls.”

As a result of that scheme, Qwest fraudulently recognized over $3 billion of revenue and excluded $71.3 million in expenses.















Ron Insana

December 20, 2005

I just had a chance to speak with Ron Insana today and am very impressed with him. He really knows his stuff. If you aren’t aware, Mr. Insana is an anchor for CNBC and is one of the most well-known names in the investment/financial community.

Ron will be speaking at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo next month in Ft. Lauderdale Florida and we are delighted to have him be part of what promises to be the best ITEXPO ever produced. The attendees are coming in rapidly and we just can’t wait for the show and personally I just can’t wait to get out of the cold and thaw for a few days.

I am not a fan of winter so the ability to get out of the cold for a few days while learning from industry luminaries and at the same time talking with people deploying VoIP from all over the world is a chance I relish.



$100 Laptop

December 20, 2005

Will Nortel help make the dream of one laptop per child a reality? Apparently so:

Nortel is a member of the "One Laptop per Child" (OLPC) initiative, a non-profit organization, which was formed earlier this year by Nicholas Negroponte and other faculty members from the MIT Media Lab.

Nortel's Brazilian unit is helping to finalize options for pilot projects in the country. "We are looking at several options and the timeline isn't precise yet. But we expect that in six months we will have a defined way to move forward," said Abreu.

The company is helping Brazil's government to assess the notebook, which is "in its final stage."

Nortel Brasil is also in talks with educational institutions such as the University of So Paulo (USP) and local communities about ways to use the notebook.

The firm is bringing its expertise to identify ways to connect the notebook to networks.









Two-Tiered Internet

December 20, 2005

Intelligent Design Loses

December 20, 2005

(AP) "Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said.

Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.

The school board policy, adopted in October 2004, was believed to have been the first of its kind in the nation.

"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy," Jones wrote.

The board's attorneys had said members were seeking to improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. Intelligent-design proponents argue that it cannot fully explain the existence of complex life forms.

The plaintiffs challenging the policy argued that intelligent design amounts to a secular repackaging of creationism, which the courts have already ruled cannot be taught in public schools.

The Dover policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. The statement said Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact," has inexplicable "gaps," and refers students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People," for more information.













More Spear Phishing

December 19, 2005

I originally wrote about spear phishing this past summer. In case you missed it these attacks are more targeted and designed to look like they are coming from a trustworthy source such as someone in your enterprise. It seems people will share their passwords fairly willingly via e-mail if the trust the source.

Here is a more recent article on spear phishing and how hackers are targeting credit union executives by sending them a link to a site that contains a Trojan horse program. Some users had recently updated their virus definitions and were safe from the attack.

GoogleTalk API

December 19, 2005

Holy mashup Batman. This is an incredible day as it heralds an era where VoIP is firmly entrenched in the world of Web 2.0. I mean this is fantastic. If you believe the definition of Web 2.0 is really WD 40 then you know that the lubricant that allows applications, user interfaces and databases to be seamlessly connected will really take off when the phone network is interconnected as part of the Web 2.0 world.

Sun Sentinel ITEXPO Press

December 19, 2005

Here is some nice press for Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. I for one just cannot wait to get out of the cold New England weather for the first VoIP show of the year at ITEXPO next month. In case you aren't aware the show is now in the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center. This is a pretty big center and the show continues to grow nicely.

We are especially proud of our keynoters... All of them.

Patent Law Changing

December 19, 2005

Is it possible that US patent law will soon change? According to this article it just may. Patent cases can cost computer companies up to $500 per year as the potential rewards are just so great. If a company is found to be infringing on your patent, the court generally issues a permanent injunction forcing the party who is infringing to settle rapidly.

This advantage is why there has been an increase recently in “patent trolls," companies that seek out and acquire patents for the sole purpose of prying loose licensing fees and infringement settlements.

The public is becoming more and more aware of such cases because of Blackberry and NTP but a lesser known but perhaps more wide-reaching case is the one pitting eBay against MercExchange.



More Bad Wikipedia News

December 19, 2005

This article in the Toronto Star details continued credibility problems with Wikipedia and cites egos and people’s need to rewrite history to their liking as reasons the online encyclopedia is seriously flawed. Excerpt:

These questions reportedly prompted the business editor of the New York Times to write a memo to staff, warning them Wikipedia should not be used to verify the accuracy of information. The Toronto Star's own library issued a similar warning to editorial staff, who were instructed to be cautious with Wikipedia information.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales still defends the accuracy of his pet project, calling the bogus entries small aberrations that don't indicate a larger problem with his online model.



Inveneo Newsletter

December 19, 2005

I received the Inveneo newsletter and it is not my habit to pass on marketing material but Inveneo is a non-profit organization using open-source VoIP technology for the benefit of the underprivileged as well as to help the survivors of disasters. Here is a recent article on Inveneo for more information. This is worth reading.

--------------

Dear Friends and Supporters of Inveneo.

It's been a big year for Inveneo, starting out as a small team operating out of an apartment in San Francisco with a big goal of bringing telephony and Internet communications to places where it's needed most. In just one year, we've deployed our system to rural villages in Uganda, brought communications to areas of Mississippi devastated by hurricane Katrina and demonstrated our solutions at the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) conference in Tunis with Intel and ActionAid. You'll see below that we have much more in store next year.

We thank you for your interest and support and we wish all of you happy holidays and a successful New Year.

The Inveneo Team and the many volunteers who help make all our efforts happen....

Contents:
· Inveneo's Impact in 2005
· Inveneo in the News
· Looking into 2006
· How your financial support helps


Highlights of Inveneo's impact in 2005

Inveneo completed its Solar-Powered PC and Communications System, designed specifically for the needs of deployment in rural villages

In partnership with ActionAid International http://www.actionaid.org Inveneo brought telephony and Internet access to five villages in Uganda, each with over 800 inhabitants, for the first time ever.






















Japanese Google Competition

December 19, 2005

Does Google care that just about any and every software company is gunning to take them out? Nahh! If Microsoft hasn’t mad e a dent and Yahoo! And Amazon aren’t really hurting you much either then what do you have to worry about?

Google As Memory

December 19, 2005

VoIP and Santa

December 19, 2005

Is VoIP too mainstream now? I have seen research that says that most people think VoIP is a type of a vodka. I respectfully disagree. Everyone seems to know what this technology is and if they don’t know the term VoIP they know Internet calling, broadband phone, IP telephony, Internet telephony or some derivative of these terms.

AOL and Google

December 19, 2005

One has to wonder if it is payback time for Microsoft. The company has been a ruthless competitor over the years and has routinely wiped out companies with successful business models. There are countless software vendors from Quarterdeck to Borland that were steamrolled by the Redmond behemoth over the years.

Now it seems like the tables have turned. As you might recall MSN was supposed to fight it out against AOL.

King Kong

December 19, 2005

A coworker told me Friday that no one he knows is seeing King Kong and he expected lackluster sales. It turns out he was on the right track. Some of the reasons now being cited for the slow sales are the fact that the movie is over three hours long and people have lots of obligations with the holidays around them. This of course means less free time per person.

Media Center

December 18, 2005

The battle for the living room is heating up according to the Associated Press and in 2006 we can expect over one billion dollars to be spent promoting technologies aimed at bringing mainstream computing into our living rooms.

Microsoft Media Center has been an effective solution allowing the PC to take center stage in the living room and it has met with modest success. Still the limiting factor in allowing true mainstream adoption of Media Center is the difficulty in setting up and configuring a PC and the need to constantly sweep it for viruses, spyware and other maladies. Until these faults are worked out, Media Center will remain a fringe product allowing techies and college students to enjoy the benefits of TiVo without a separate TiVo box.

The PC makers have longed to get into our living rooms for years but just haven been successful.

Most companies haven't taken close enough notice of the what's behind Apple's iPod success, says Rob Enderle, an analyst at the Enderle Group research firm.

"Most of the technology products being thrown at the home market aren't particularly attractive or well priced, and ease of use isn't anywhere in their description," he said. "Until that gets fixed, we're going to have some serious problems."

People are simply tired and frustrated by computers that take too long to boot, crash, get infected by viruses and demand constant updates with security patches.

Why would they want such a thing controlling their entertainment?











Faulty Microsoft Patches

December 18, 2005

The more and more frequently Microsoft sends patches and security updates the more difficult it becomes to be productive. I have multiple computers at work and at home and help manage many computers for friends and family members. Lately I have found myself almost constantly downloading patches and updating Windows. Many people in MIS positions tell me they feel Microsoft sends patches so frequently that there is obviously no regression testing.

Ireland Skype and VoIP

December 18, 2005

Interesting Irish perspective on Skype and VoIP:

HOW POPULAR IS Skype in Ireland? While figures aren't officially available, the large number of immigrants and those working for technology companies would indicate that it has a sizeable number of customers already. Anecdotal information is that growth has been very fast here.

More concrete evidence comes in the form of Skype Zones - designated locations where, for a monthly fee of 6.50, you can make unlimited calls using a software download from a company called Boingo. Ireland has 56 such zones already and the service is still only in test phase.



The Free PSTN Call

December 18, 2005

For those of you who are unfamiliar, DialPad was the first company to offer free US calling over the Internet from anywhere in the world. The service worked over dialup but as you might imagine the quality was better over broadband. At its peak the company had just under than 20 million registered users! DialPad is now owned by Yahoo.

Richard Branson

December 17, 2005

Commodore

December 16, 2005

Now I don’t want to take too much credit here but TMC is probably where it is today in part because of the Commodore 64. In 1982 a computer consultant dropped a computer system into TMC but didn’t program it. He just took off. I think he was just too busy to do the job.

Southwest Pilot Error

December 16, 2005

Calysto Hiring

December 16, 2005

I thought this job post might be worth passing on to the PR community. Calysto is one of the few PR firms that has been in VoIP since the early days and they have grown rapidly over the years:

Calysto Communications, the premier public relations firm specializing in the Telecommunications industry, is seeking senior PR professionals to work with the industry's most exciting wireless, mobile entertainment, VoIP, and networking companies.

At Calysto you will have the opportunity and training to become a "near-expert" in Telecommunications -- enabling you to develop a uniquely valuable relationship with clients and the industry's press and analyst communities. As one of our hands-on account directors you will lead a team of associates in creating mindshare for companies at every stage of growth - from start-ups to the Fortune 500.



Britannica gets the Last Laugh

December 15, 2005

A few people ruin it for others. This is always the case in life. I think about this all the time. For example, the massive security increases in airports, spam, viruses, etc.

VoIP and the Universal Service Fund

December 14, 2005

There has been a good deal of buzz on the net regarding Kevin Martin's comments on forcing the VoIP industry to contribute to the Universal Service Fund (USF). There are many things that concern me with these comments.

The USF has been plagued with scandal and worse, who is really sure where this money goes? There are so many loopholes in the system that corruption was a problem waiting to happen.

Off To Interop

December 14, 2005

Well I think they sent us members of the press a letter asking us to refer to this event with a New York suffix. Anyone who might be unsure this event is in NY might just want to step outside for a few minutes to enjoy New York's bone-chilling single-digit winter temperatures.

As I commute from Connecticut I can't help but recall the weather in NY is usually warmer than ours by 5 or so degrees. I can use every one.

Sharing The WiFi Love

December 13, 2005

I live in a fairly secluded area and never bothered to encrypt my WiFi AP. I am just too far from anyone else to need to go through the hassle… Or so I thought. My Internet performance has been so degraded lately that I can barely work.

I have further had to reset the AP a few times in the past few days.

I noticed today that when I was looking at available wireless networks, another WiFi signal was coming into my house. I decided if I can see another AP then other people can see mine.



Lenovo Gets Busy

December 13, 2005

The biggest change we see here at TMC due to the Lenovo acquisition of the IBM Computer Division is that ThinkPads sent for repair now go to China and back. This has the unfortunate side effect in our case of leading to a missorted package and a laptop that was returned to us in malfunctioning condition. Here is the information provided recently by our shipper:



Package Progress:

 

 

Date/
Time

Location

Activity

 

 

 

 

Dec 13, 2005
4:31 A.M.


LOUISVILLE, KY, US


A PROCESSING ERROR AT DESTINATION CAUSED THIS DELAY;THE PACKAGE WAS MISSORTED AT THE HUB.

More Blackberry Woes

December 13, 2005

The worst case scenario for RIM and NTP is for RIM to lose business as NTP is incented to see as many Blackberries as possible sold. Why? Because of course NTP gets a cut of all future Blackberry sales. Or at least that is how it looks to be shaping up.

Telecom Tax Refund

December 13, 2005

Companies such as Convergys, a very large contact center outsourcer and telecom billing company will receive a six million dollar refund due to the fact that a telecom tax of 3% has been ruled unlawful. A staggering $9 billion dollars are owed consumers who have already paid these taxes. The tax exemption covers VoIP, cell phones and one-third of long-distance calls.

According to this article, on Friday, a court in Washington, D.C., became the third federal appeals court since May to void the tax. Two other federal appeals courts, covering seven states, have ruled the tax unlawful, and cases are pending elsewhere in the nation's 13 appeals courts.

US Cybersecurity

December 12, 2005

When Bad Wiki Posts Happen To Good People

December 12, 2005

Good News For the IPTV Market

December 11, 2005

Microsoft and MCI VoIP

December 11, 2005

BellSouth Resells Packet8 Service

December 9, 2005

India Phone Growth

December 9, 2005

I am in Phoenix today and as I woke up I came across this story about how India telecom growth is exploding. In fact a record 3.79 million new connections -- 3.51 million mobile phones and 280,000 fixed lines -- were sold last month.

The number of phone users in India increased to nearly 120 million at the end of November, or 11 percent of its 1 billion plus population, from 10 percent just three months earlier.

Phone usage languished below 4 percent until 2002, when a booming economy, falling prices and increasing competition fueled demand. India has emerged as one of the fastest growing phone markets in the world, with monthly sales of more than 3 million connections.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI said 60,000 people subscribed to broadband during November, raising the total number of high-speed connections to 750,000, but still far short of the government's target of 3 million connections by December.

If anything the phone growth in India shows what happens when there is competition in the market. Telecom growth has increased almost 200% in just a few short years.







Motorola RAZR V3i

December 8, 2005

Colorado is Freezing

December 7, 2005

OK, I seem to have chosen the coldest time of the year to come to Colorado. I have been here for a few days. When I arrived there were hurricane force winds of up to 95 miles per hour. A number of tractor trailers were flipped, I saw an SUV flip and I hear a bunch of small planes were flipped on their back.

The next day saw continual snow for at least 30 hours.

Mexican Cheese Kills

December 7, 2005

US Air Power Ports

December 7, 2005

Marriott Denver City Center

December 7, 2005

This hotel has elicited strong feelings for me. On the one hand this may be one of the best hotels for the business traveler as the internet access is speedy and there are nine electrical outlets available in the wall by the desk. Not including hotels that have power strips in the room this could be a record. It is such a simple amenity but one someone like me not only appreciates but desperately needs.

I also appreciate the water pressure that can double as a therapeutic massage.

Impressed With Gates

December 6, 2005

Colorado VoIP

December 6, 2005

I recently arrived in Colorado and it is absolutely freezing. The gusts of wind are up to 95 MPH and the temperature is around 25 or so without the wind chill. The bright side?? The scenery is beautiful -- if you don't have to get out of your car.

Cisco IMS

December 6, 2005

Flying Frontier

December 5, 2005

Where is Rich Tehrani Speaking Again?

December 4, 2005

FWD Goes JiTC

December 4, 2005

IP Communications News

December 4, 2005

I have been spending some time this weekend reading articles on IPCommunications.com. One of the stories that caught my eye was about the state of the telecommunications market in the Philippines. According to Susan Campbell the country is going through some dramatic changes as their telecom market becomes deregulated, opportunities abound.

In another article Bruce Meyerson writes that Verizon Wireless has signed on as the first cellular carrier to offer a broadcast TV network for mobile phones that Qualcomm Inc. plans to launch in late 2006. The article goes on to talk about Qualcomm's MediaFLO system which will be broadcast over a different wireless spectrum that voice and data transmission today.

FCC Compliance

December 2, 2005

Softswitch Channel

December 2, 2005

Paradigm Changing

December 2, 2005

I use this term a lot. Perhaps too much. I saw it today in an article on TMCnet referring to Google as a paradigm changing company. Amazingly many of the things Google is doing now, investors agreed would happen in 1996.

We all expected Yahoo!

ITEXPO Gets More Press

December 2, 2005

Who’s On First?

December 2, 2005

VoIP URLs 12/02/05

December 2, 2005

Here are the latest VoIP URLS that have been registered. I think voipdoctor.com is my favorite on this list. The registration information is hidden or I would share it with you.

abbotsfordvoip.com
abbotsfordvoip.net
abbotsfordvoiptelephone.com
abbotsfordvoiptelephone.net
alliancevoip.com
arrangeforvoip.com
arrangevoip.com
bcvoiptelephone.com
bcvoiptelephone.net
bizvoip411.com
bizvoiphelp.com
bizvoipservice.com
bizvoipservices.com
bizvoipsolutions.com
bonevoip.com
bringvoip.com
broadbandvoiptelephone.com
datavoipsolutions.biz
delivervoip.com
dir4voip.com
dogvoip.com
dreamvoip.com
equipvoip.com
ergovoip.com
forvoipsolution.com
freevoipsoft.com
getbizvoip.com
haovoip.com
hictexvoipsavings.com
investinvoip.com
investvoip.com
ipodvoip.com
isp-voip.net
langleyvoip.com
langleyvoip.net
mosnarvoip.com
new-voip-services.biz
onvoipsolution.com
packet8voip.net
pbx4voip.com
phonevoipsolution.com
providesvoip.com
setupbizvoip.com
shopping4voip.com
solutionforvoip.com
supiorvoip.com
surreyvoip.com
surreyvoip.net
surreyvoiptelephone.com
surreyvoiptelephone.net
teamvoip.com
thebroadbandvoip.com
thebroadbandvoiptelephone.com
thevoipdigest.com
thevoipdigest.net
thevoiphone.com
thevoipprovider.com
usbvoipcom.com
usvoiptel.biz
usvoiptel.com
usvoiptel.info
usvoiptel.net
vancouvervoip.net
vancouvervoiptelephone.com
vancouvervoiptelephone.net
voip-billing.net
voip-neconnect.com
voip-scout.com
voip-sherpa.com
voip100.net
voip2sabe.com
voip4call.net
voip700.net
voipacc.com
voipadvertisments.com
voipbenefit.com
voipbizhelp.com
voipbizinstall.com
voipbizinstallation.com
voipbizinstalls.com
voipbizintegration.com
voipbizservice.com
voipbizservices.com
voipbizsetup.com
voipbizsolution.com
voipbizsolutions.com
voipbizsystem.com
voipbizsystems.com
voipblackpages.com
voipbroadbandphoneservices.com
voipconsultation.com
voipforsmallbiz.com
voipfreephoneservice.com
voipfreephoneservices.com
voipfuel.com
voipfuel.net
voipfuel.org
voipgadgetry.com
voiphomenet.com
voiphomeservices.com
voipimplement.com
voipimplementing.com
voipimplementors.com
voipinvest.com
voipjournal.net
voipmanage.com
voipnetcomunication.com
voipnetcomunications.com
voiportalnews.com
voipplaza.com
voipprovide.com
voipsforum.com
voipsmallbiz.com
voiptelecomms.com
voiptelekomcg.com
voiptranslations.com
voipvancouver.net
voipvarhosting.com
volvoipdusa.com
wiheritagevoip.com
yakvoiptelephone.com
zgvoip.com
zhivoipotok.com
bountifulvoip.info
broavoipe.com
elandiavoip.com
iraq-voip.com
iraqvoip.info
iraqvoip.net
laytonvoip.info
live-voip.com
live-voip.info
live-voip.net
livevoipservers.com
ogdenvoip.info
qualityvoipsolutions.com
slcvoip.info
sugarhousevoip.info
telvoip.info
utahvoip.info
voip613.biz
voip613.info
voip613.net
voipac.net
voipdoctor.com
voiphookup.com
voipinstall.com
voipnetworks.info
voipphonebox.com
voipsource.com
voipvon.net
vonvoip.net
xvoip.biz

























































































































































Sangoma

December 2, 2005

I have been meaning to write about Sangoma for months. A while back I spent some time speaking with company execs and seeing what they are up to. The company has a great reputation for selling high-quality boards for Asterisk PBXs. Here is the company’s latest release:

-------------------------------

SANGOMA TECHNOLOGIES NEW “A104d” CARD PROVIDES MAJOR SOLUTION FOR BICOM SYSTEMS

New card with hardware- based echo cancellation and voice enhancement configured automatically “right out of the gate”



TORONTO – December 2, 2005 – Sangoma Technologies Corporation (TSXV: STC) (www.sangoma.com), a leading provider of connectivity hardware and software products for VoIP, TDM voice, WANs and Internet infrastructure, has provided a significant technical interoperability need for Bicom Systems' SWITCHware solution.

“For a recent client, we needed to deploy an entire broadband telephone solution,” says Stephen Wingfield, CEO of Bicom Systems, a London, UK- based VoIP solutions provider.





China Inoculates 14.2 Domesticated Fowl

December 2, 2005

The New York Times reports that China is ambitiously inoculating over 14 billion birds – one at a time against bird flu.

According to Chinese news reports, and interviews with people involved in the inoculation effort in several different parts of the country, the vaccination drive is proceeding relatively well in places that have large poultry industries. In the countryside, however, among China's peasantry, vaccine is reportedly in short supply, despite the huge production.

Typically, the extension workers who are carrying out the vaccination campaign have little epidemiological training and, like the ones in this village, take virtually no precautions, even to protect themselves against exposure to the disease.
One of the extension workers, who wore no gloves, face mask or any other protection, climbed inside a coop containing a dozen or so chickens and handed the birds out one by one to two of his co-workers. One of them held the birds while the other swabbed them and applied the needle.

Zhang Rongting, an elderly woman who owned the house, then placed the birds in straw crates, covering them with washbowls to calm them and isolate them until the job was complete. Asked what kind of shots her chickens were getting, she said, "You guys know, we don't."

Toward the end of the afternoon, when the presence of foreigners in the village drew the attention of local officials, the vaccination team donned white smocks for the first time, but continued to handle the birds bare-handed and without masks.








Web 2.0 Blog

December 1, 2005

Jeff Pulver Being Gracious

December 1, 2005

UPS Status Delays

December 1, 2005

UPS really pioneered the concept of tracking packages effectively over the Internet. Yes Fedex is a leader as well but my point is not to determine who is first or better but instead ask why UPS seems to be much slower with its package delivery updates as of late. The last two orders I placed show this message:



Note:

UPS has received shipper's billing information electronically. Billing information received does not indicate shipment pickup or drop-off.

Skype 2.0

December 1, 2005

The challenge for service providers everywhere is how to deal with Skype. The ubiquitous software is a revenue killer for the competition and while many service providers fight to add new features quickly in order to have a better product than Skype, the Luxembourg based company keeps belting out better and better versions.

The latest, 2.0 is in beta but comes with a laundry list of features that will continue to have the company leading the marketshare war for p2p VoIP software.

For example, video is now included in the software. Visual communications was once the domain of Packet8 and Vonage and a handful of others. In addition, the user interface has been streamlined with one-click access to key features.

The company has taken the emoticon concept and applied it to communication allowing you to broadcast your mood as well as your presence.





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