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November 2006

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Asterisk Developer

November 30, 2006

Rain in Miami

November 30, 2006

Ancient Iranian Nanotubes

November 29, 2006

I was stuck on an airplane yesterday and I don't often read the New York Times. Even if I did, I would have to be careful about letting Tom Keating know about it. Anyway, politics aside the newspaper was pretty informative and I learned a great deal about the super strong swords known as Damascus sabers made by Assad Ullah who lived in Iran. Apparently the swords have many carbon nanotubes in them.   The steel also contains nanoscale wires of cementite, an extremely hard carbon-iron compound, that were probably formed inside the nanotubes, like the filling in a cannoli. These nanowires give Damascus sabers another distinctive characteristic: a moiré pattern of banding on the steel.   Apparently these swords were used against the Europeans during the crusades. I probably slept through this portion of history class by the way so I have no lucid comments to share with you on the battles.

Meaningless Megapixels?

November 28, 2006

I learned about this article on megapixels from Tom Keating's blog. To sum it up the article says megapixels don't matter and there is proof this is the case. My cousin Terry says the quality of the lens limits the photo quality unless you have an SLR. Somehow I have trouble believing less megapixels are the same and yield indistinguishable results.


November 28, 2006

We at TMC have been overloaded with spam and this week alone was possibly the worst in our history. The problem is becoming an epidemic and we are not alone. Take a look at some findings from a CNN UK article on the proliferation of spam.   Perhaps the most amazing part of the article is the concept of a spam gang.

Nortel’s IMS Strategy

November 28, 2006

Here is my Publisher's outlook from the December 2006 issue of IMS Magazine. Nortel has such a broad product line from the enterprise to the service provider market it isn't always apparent they play in the IP multimedia subsystem place. As Bezille tells me, Nortel has been in this space for a while.   ----     I had a chance recently to talk about Nortel’s IMS strategy with Eric Bezille, Nortel’s IMS product marketing manager for Europe and Asia.   “From our standpoint,” says Bezille, “IMS is an evolution for us rather than a brand new thing, given the fact that we are already involved in multiple technologies involving convergence such as SIP and we’re involved in all kinds of services on top of voice that serve the end user across many different contexts using different devices and working across different access networks.”   “So for us it’s really a matter of simplifying the end user’s life,” says Bezille, “and simplifying our customer the operator’s life, and also enriching their experience with innovative services. It sounds very ‘high-level’ but it’s really the cornerstone for a successful services delivery.

IMS Buyer's Guide: Final Chance

November 28, 2006

Are We There Yet - RT Listening Tour?

November 28, 2006

Lucky me. I checked to see if there were any seats available via an automated kiosk and I saw the exit row was empty. I promptly grabbed the window. I don't know what sort of plane this is but it is very small and American Airlines seems to use it quite often.

Miami Ink

November 28, 2006

Miami Airport on My Way back to the Cold

November 28, 2006

I am in the airport again on my way to the Midwest for an overnight trip. A news item that caught my eye today was about YouTube and Verizon Wireless working together to allow subscribers to watch videos from their mobile devices. There were rumors about this deal for a few weeks floating around the internet.   One wonders how much of the contract between Google (the parent company of YouTube) and Verizon centers around absolving Verizon of liability in case of lawsuits. Of course I am talking about copyright infringement.

Miami Ink

November 27, 2006

Miami Herald

November 24, 2006

Telx Sold

November 22, 2006

I had been hearing rumors of the sale of Telx for a while. Many I spoke with feared an incumbent provider would do the purchasing. As you may know Telx provides the physical location for much of the voice peering taking place in the US through their facilities in New York ad Atlanta. They own these facilities and with their association with the VPF, they have made it a no brainer for carriers and enterprises of all sizes to use their facilities as a location to peer with others.

In The Sky

November 21, 2006

After a delay of just under an hour, we are under way. The plane to Florida has a few empty seats and I am in an exit row and am lucky enough to have no one next to me.

As I sit here, sick of reading and having looked at most of my email at least once, I ponder just how poorly airlines in the US must be doing. After all my seat pictured in blue and to the right is torn and a piece of the seat is just hanging.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

November 21, 2006

In Canada Today

November 21, 2006

Schools, Hotels and IP Communications

November 20, 2006

Too Busy Reading Spam to Read This Article

November 20, 2006

I spent some time in Canada away from internet connections and as such I am hundreds of e-mails behind. One of these e-mails came from Tom Keating and it points to an article which explains how spam is skyrocketing due to botnets. I for one did not need this article to learn that we are under attack. I just hope the attack ends soon as I really feel the pain of massive amounts of junk.   It would appear being in the spam filtering business is a great place to be for the foreseeable future.

Sucker List

November 18, 2006

Endless Fields of Clouds

November 17, 2006

There is something absolutely serene about clouds. On this particular flight the heating system seems limited and you actually feel like you are outside. Did I mention it is around 40 degrees out? And that's on the ground.

Flying to the Midwest Today

November 17, 2006

Google Click-to-Call

November 16, 2006

After many months of testing Google has finally added click to call functionality to Google Maps.   Although this really isn't a new announcement the addition to Google Maps is pretty exciting as it continues VoIP's growth into new areas and business models. Certainly click to call has been around longer than Google has but the search leader by virtue of its dominance in the search market is able to do click to call on a scale on a larger scale than anyone else.   The way the service works is simple; you type in what you are looking for and the city and state. You could put in Pizza in Fairfield, CT and you could click on Frank Pepe Pizza for example. From there you enter your phone number in a box and you are connected automatically via VoIP.

Canada Deregulates VoIP

November 16, 2006

So I am not breaking this news at all but is important enough for me to cover. I heard about this news at around 7:30 am this morning and have been meaning to write it up all day. Patrick Barnard who is part of TMCnet’s editorial team clued me into what was happening here. Canada is deregulating VoIP and the Canadian federal government has overruled the CRTC which is the Canadian equivalent of the FCC.   According to Minister Bernier, “It will mean lower costs, fewer regulatory proceedings, and more competitive markets.

The Conclusion of the Zultys Saga – For Now

November 16, 2006

Here is part of my Internet Telephony Magazine Publisher's Outlook December 2006. It is is in addition to Cisco Systems Rockets Ahead, Beats all Estimates" href="">Cisco Systems Rockets Ahead, Beats all Estimates which was posted earlier today:    ------   A few months back, TMC’s Greg Galitzine broke the story on his blog that Zultys had ceased day-to-day operations. From there I wrote about the company closing down on my blog and later updated the story when Zultys founder Iain Milnes told me the shut down was temporary. A few days later Iain told me and I reported that Zultys was back up and running.   It turns out that if the company was indeed back up and running this was only the case for a short while and a bankruptcy filing took place shortly thereafter with a bankruptcy auction in the works for the future.

Cisco Systems Rockets Ahead, Beats all Estimates

November 16, 2006

Here is part of my Internet Telephony Magazine Publisher's Outlook December 2006:   -----------   Certainly the biggest news in recent months is that Cisco Systems, the world’s biggest vendor of computer-networking equipment, reported first-quarter 2007 net sales of $8.2 billion (exceeding analyst predictions, which ranged from $7.9 billion to about $8.05 billion) and net income of $1.61 billion (up 28% from last year). In a public statement, Cisco’s CEO John Chambers boasted that the company “achieved, once again, record revenue of approximately $8.2 billion, a 25 percent year-over-year increase and a Cisco standalone increase of approximately 16 percent, which was above our standalone guidance of 11 to 13 percent,” adding, “This is the fastest standalone year-over-year revenue growth rate we have seen in several years.”   After the news appeared, investors jumped into the market, sending Cisco shares surging 7% to a new 52-week high of $27.44. The stock closed that day with a 6% gain, at $26.71 on the Nasdaq. Analysts everywhere either immediately upgraded their rating on the stock to “buy” or else increased their price targets.   The Associated Press quoted Ittai Kidron, an analyst with CIBC: “Few businesses Cisco’s size can claim to have achieved what it did in [the quarter] — outperformance in nearly every product line.

Altigen Buyout Offer

November 16, 2006

Cisco Booted at UPMC

November 15, 2006

To be more fair, at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Cisco, Avaya Nortel and Siemens voice systems will all be replaced by Alcatel in a $300 million deal that seems more like a service provider network than one needed for your typical medical needs. The deal is France-based Alcatel's largest enterprise transaction in North America, and will involve the retirement of thousands of Cisco switches and routers, hundreds of PBX systems, and thousands of digital phones from Avaya, Nortel, Siemens and other vendors. In doing this, the medical center will consolidate more than 150 standalone PBX phone systems into two redundant data centers, while boosting its core bandwidth by a factor of 10.

"It's pretty big," says Bill Hanna, vice president of IT infrastructure at UPMC. "The long and short of it is that the Cisco infrastructure will be replaced with an Alcatel infrastructure."

Analysts quoted in this article think this could be a defining moment for Alcatel who can now become a serious player in the enterprise space.

Cantata Layoffs

November 15, 2006

The word on the street is that approximately 50 people (see update) were laid off at Cantata yesterday out of a workforce of 300. Most of the people who were let go are shocked. Sources tell me the reason for the layoffs are soft sales numbers and some speculate the company is facing increased competition in its Excel Switching line. Apparently competitors are providing lower cost solutions.

529 College Savings

November 15, 2006

Sorry – this has nothing to do with tech or VoIP or IP communications or really anything TMCnet normally covers. Still I am compelled to share good news about 529 plans I just learned that on August 17, 2006, President Bush signed the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Among other provisions that address retirement planning, this legislation ensured that qualified withdrawals from 529 accounts would be permanently tax free. Prior to the bill becoming law, this benefit was scheduled to expire after 2010.   There are more details about 529 plans in this article from Upromise.

Air Blown Fiber Market to Grow

November 15, 2006

They say death and taxes are the only two certainties in life but I wonder if in the technology space we could come up with a couple of certainties as well. I would say the need for "bandwidth" and the pace of "change" are the two certainties we must contend with in tech. As bandwidth hungry IP communications becomes more prevalent companies need to focus on network capacity to ensure they can easily carry voice and video with excess capacity left over for other important network functions. Not every company is carrying voice and video on their networks today but it seems the trend is certainly going in that direction.   The challenge for IT departments of course is knowing what the applications of importance will be six months from now and perhaps as importantly six years from now.

Caritas/Comcast VoIP Patent Victory

November 14, 2006

The VoIP market won a victory in Texas yesterday with Comcast defending itself successfully against a $2.2 billion lawsuit brought on by Caritas Technologies. The company was formed by four men, including David Farber, who many consider the grandfather Internet, was awarded a series of VoIP-related patents. One, in particular, Caritas claimed could be read to include calls that were made partly using VoIP connections and partly across the PSTN. Essentially, Caritas was claiming to have invented to capability to connect calls running partially on the PSTN and partially on IP networks, explained Daralyn Durie, attorney at Keker & Van Nest, LLP, representing Comcast in the case.   In the suit, whereby Caritas sought to end the Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) VoIP service offering, Caritas alleged that CDV infringed on Caritas’ patent rights, and in a claim construction hearing on July 31, the main issue was the term, “telephone connection in a telephone network.” Comcast held that the patent owned by Caritas was intended as a way to set up conference calls on the PSTN, not a way to have actual voice signals transmitted over an IP network.

The 50 Most Influential People in VoIP

November 13, 2006

I was very excited to learn today that I was honored to be part of The 50 Most Influential People in VoIP. The list starts with the Asterisk community followed by the FCC, Congress and Cisco. Further down the list are the bloggers. Starting at #26 with Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Om Malik and yours truly at 29.

Google: Free Cell Phones

November 13, 2006

Showing Kevin Martin the Door

November 13, 2006

Dems Bullish on Tech

November 13, 2006

Regardless of your political affiliation you must realize the technology boom was stronger under the Clinton administration than Bush. Sure Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet but at least he used it. The fact that Dick Cheney didn’t know what Napster was during his first campaign and the fact the president uses the terms “the Google” and “the Internets” is pathetic. How can the US be leaders in tech if our leaders are so oblivious to the space? Even lovers of the Bush administration realize he has done as much for technology as Kevin Federline has done for Britney Spears.

So from a technology perspective let’s welcome the Democrats with open arms.

WiFi Exploit

November 13, 2006

There is a new WiFi hole that needs patching and it seems many laptop users could be at risk . Using the exploit a malicious user within a few hundred feet can take control of someone else’s laptop. The problem is a flawed Broadcom device driver which has found its way into many different laptops and devices from companies like Linksys and Zonet.

Paul Vixie, a ZERT (Zeroday Emergency Response Team) volunteer, said Microsoft's Windows Update and Automatic Update patch deployment network could play a huge role in pushing fixes out to affected machines, but he said that process would likely be complicated and take some time.

"Any way they try to address this is going to be a mess, and moving the fix to the user is going to be a lot like moving water with a fork," Vixie said. "This is dangerous because we know that people who like to do bad things are going to take advantage of this, that's no longer an open question."

What is the average user to do while waiting for a patch?

FMC Research

November 11, 2006

While the recent ABI FMC report gushes with optimism regarding the FMC market I get the feeling their numbers are off by a bit if not a great deal. ABI says fixed mobile convergence technology will cost operators more than $450 million during the next five years.

ABI also predicts that in 2011, operators will generate $97 billion (yes, that's billion, not million) in FMC service revenue.

Here is the problem in my opinion. First of all, operators will likely spend more than they first intend on this equipment so I would say the $450 million could exceed a billion dollars pretty easily. Is this based on hard and fast research by yours truly?

Mike Tribolet of Vonage Speaking at ITEXPO

November 9, 2006

You know I have been meaning to blog about Mike Tribolet speaking at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo for a while but got sidetracked with a million things. As luck would have it I am going to be on the road tomorrow – I thought I would be out today. But back to Mike, this is one of the first speaking opportunities Mike will have since Vonage has gone public and since he has been promoted to President.

I am sure there will be many questions answered by Mike Tribolet at the show and I can’t wait for this keynote which will take place 10:30 to 11:00 on Thursday, January 25th 2007 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Mike is a veteran of the VoIP industry and perhaps is best known for working at DialPad Communications. As you may recall DialPad is a part of Yahoo!

Cash that Check -- Go to Jail

November 9, 2006

Apparently it is becoming increasingly possible to go to jail when you receive a fraudulent check. This can happen when selling products on craigslist and eBay.   An article in the San Francisco Chronicle explains San Francisco resident Matthew Shinnick tried to sell a pair of mountain bikes on Craigslist late last year. He attracted a buyer, received a check in the mail -- and ended up handcuffed by police in a downtown Bank of America branch and jailed for almost 12 hours.

Shinnick, it appears, was a victim of the classic "Nigerian 419" scam, adapted in this case to sucker in unwary Craigslist users.

Typically, the scam involves a bogus check being sent by a fraudster as a part of a transaction. The transaction is subsequently canceled and, before the bank has spotted the check as a phony, the fraudster requests some or all of his money back -- money that the victim unknowingly pays out of his own pocket.

Shinnick said he wasn't aware of the scam while he was negotiating to sell his bikes -- his first foray onto Craigslist.


November 9, 2006

Heading to Jersey

November 9, 2006

Linksys CIT310 Phone for Yahoo Messenger

November 8, 2006

Tom has done it again with his review of the Linksys CIT30 Phone for Yahoo! Messenger. My take on this nifty new gadget is it is great but. But what you ask? How can such a cool new sleek device with built in presence and the ability to connect with all your Yahoo!


November 8, 2006

Many in the industry have told me how concerned they are about the open-source telecom movement and how the margins in the telecom business are being stripped out. But in the brave new world of the internet companies like Skype seem to have a model others need to emulate.

As we know Skype gives away software and many features but charges for many calls – incoming and outgoing.

Asterisk and Pingtel took the concept further with an open-source PBX which effectively gave the enterprise a free software based phone system.

Now the concept has evolved again as companies such as Pactolus look for ways to leverage the open-source movement to help them gain traction in the more complicated application server, and software media server markets.

To launch this effort, the company has introduced its online developer community,, which features a SIP-based service creation environment, application server, and software media server-a comprehensive environment including everything developers need to rapidly create innovative, media-rich applications for next generation VoIP and IMS networks.

So what does this mean for the market? It seems taking your proprietary products and “open-sourcing” them is the next big thing. Perhaps we will call this VoIP 3.0.

Inter-Tel Buyout Withdrawal

November 8, 2006

Vector Capital and former Inter-Tel CEO Steven Mihaylo said they withdraw their bid for Inter-Tel. Recently Inter-Tel shareholders rejected the takeover proposal. 11,272,46 shares were voted against the Mihaylo Resolution, representing slightly over 50% of the 22,524,535 shares of the Company's common stock that were represented in person or by proxy.

Stockholders who voted, other than Mihaylo, rejected the resolution by approximately a two to one margin. This is obviously a very substantial number. Mihaylo owns approximately 19.4% of Inter-Tel's outstanding common shares.

Personally I think current management at the company is doing a good job and it would seem shareholders agree.

FierceVoIP Fierce 15

November 8, 2006

I have been contacted by one of the winners of the Fierce VoIP “Fierce 15” list. In addition I received an e-mail from Dan Rosenbaum the editor of FierceVoIP about their new list. Without further ado – here are the companies that won. For details check out the full list with details:

Brix Networks
Firsthand Technologies
Ingate Systems

Oh and by the way I think there are some mighty worthy companies on the list.

France Telecom in the Movies

November 8, 2006

The next move for telecom companies is to look outside telecom

It would seem that if cable and phone companies are set for a war, the phone companies need to hurry up and catch up in one of the areas cable has a stronghold; video content. This is not news to France Telecom who recently created a new unit that will invest in French and European movie rights and produce between 10 to 15 films per year.

Some people were surprised by the move but what France Telecom has done makes perfectly good sense for a number of reasons. We all know content is king. Consumers will be watching more and more video on devices like iPods, phones and soon watches.


November 7, 2006

One Number for Life is the tagline of GrandCentral the brainchild of Craig Walker who by the way was one of the Internet Telephony Magazine's Top 100 voices of IP Communications. He was also president and CEO of DialPad and stayed on with Yahoo! for a while when the online portal purchased the company.

GrandCentral is a telecom dashboard that is future proof. The main benefit is as long as the company is around they will save your voicemails and allow you to keep your phone number.

In addition you can forward calls to any phone number and provider certain callers or groups of callers with special rings, specific rules, etc.

This is exactly the sort of service that would have saved Tom Keating from having a Vonage number porting problem a few months back.

In addition this service -- assuming everyone used it -- could have saved service providers from having to spend millions on local number portability solutions.

Other benefits of GrandCentral? You can also use a ring back tone derived from an MP3 file so callers can hear the song of your choosing.

In addition you can have call screening on your calls so you will know who is calling before you answer.

Lyme Disease

November 7, 2006

Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating disease generally caused by deer ticks. While I am not an expert on this disease I know several people who have it. Today one person I know who has this disease sent me this e-mail:

The Infectious Disease Society of America is changing their criteria so that if you are tested for Lyme disease and it is negative and/or you do not have a rash, then you do not receive antibiotic treatment. This is very serious, especially for someone like me who has symptoms and is sick, but not does not always test positive.

YouTube: Invention of the Year

November 6, 2006


November 6, 2006

Cell Phones Reduce Traffic

November 6, 2006

Two companies, IntelliOne and AirSage are working on a solution to the growing traffic problem on the nation's roads. By using data related to cellphones traveling in cars, they are able to see where traffic is moving and where it is not. Since the data will be used in aggregate there isn't an immediate privacy problem but it is obvious law enforcement will have instant access to this system. In addition expect there to be data breaches like there are everywhere else.

Cy Smith, AirSage's president and CEO, said more than $1 billion is spent each year by government agencies to track traffic, but the expense doesn't even cover 1 percent of the nation's roads.

NTP Sues Palm

November 6, 2006

Verizon FiOS

November 6, 2006

Bible For Dummies

November 6, 2006


November 6, 2006

Some of the most complicated, acronym laden conversations I get into are with the people behind the protocols of VoIP. Actually the testing companies too can give you some mind-bending info on how you can mix the science of protocols while determining jitter levels that can affect voice quality.

But I digress. I really wanted to talk a bit about the recent SIPit event and more specifically that there have been 19 of these so far. Data Connection was a participant in the last event which was hosted by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory.

According to Jonathon Cumming of Data Connection, the event was great as it allowed the company to test interoperability with the IPv6 implementation of their DC-SIP its carrier grade protocol stack.

Microsoft VoIP

November 6, 2006

Andy has an entry titled Microsoft to Enter the VoIP World today and it seems to sync up with what I am seeing and hearing from the company as well. It remains to be see how seriously Microsoft pushes into VoIP in 2007 though. What I can tell you is many large enterprises are looking at what Microsoft does very closely. Many shared these thoughts with me at the last ITEXPO.

In particular many enterprises are focusing on Microsoft’s vision for the endpoints their employees will be using.

Shots of Times Square

November 4, 2006

Here are some shots from Times Square. The girls with blue hair were hired by Samsung to promote their blu-ray Disc players. The girls were well versed on the technology and spoke with me about it a bit.

In addition they had this kind of cool marketing gimmick. If you SMS to 34264 you get a response asking you for a movie genre.

Times Square Video

November 4, 2006

Bridgeport Networks Funding

November 4, 2006

If you’re a wireless carrier you know the disruptive combination of IP communications and wireless networks such as WiFi, WiMAX and others could really hurt your business over time. If you are smart you will have already developed technology allowing your wireless service to be extended onto the broadband networks to save precious capacity and also minimize the need for your customers to go and start experimenting with free VoIP offerings from the likes of Skype and others.

One company looking to be the glue connecting wireless providers and VoIP soft clients is Bridgeport Networks whose MobileSTICK USB-SIM solution transforms personal computers into voice, multimedia messaging and presence terminals for mobile operator services.

The company recently made news when it announced $13 million dollars in funding. One would imagine their investors think the company is on the right track. Bridgeport Networks are in a pretty interesting area of telecom and wireless carriers have to look at developing innovative solutions that are sticky to retain customers.

Sony Type G

November 4, 2006

Sony has done it again with their featherweight Vaio which is called the Type G. Perhaps the G refers to the absence of grams as the laptop weighs in a bit shy of 900 of them. That is just under 2 pounds by the way. As an aside, I have never been a fan of the name Vaio for Sony’s laptops but I have been a fan of how well Sony computers have been designed. They always look much nicer than the typical black box design of other PC makers.

I started this entry by saying the company has done it again as I recall being blown away at the diminutive size of the original Sony Vaio laptops many years ago.

Of course we all know about the Sony battery recall saga that seems to never end.

Update on Tekelec Switching Purchase

November 3, 2006

FCC Delays the AT&T/BellSouth Merger Again

November 3, 2006

Altitude Software

November 2, 2006

As you may recall I was in Lisbon Portugal just last week and while there I had a chance to meet with Altitude Software an IP contact center software company who is very successful in Europe, South America, the middle east and other parts of the world. Just a week after my meeting the company has some news. One of the company’s customers it seems has won an award for customer service. With all the complaints about customer service these days, I thought it worth sharing the good news for Altitude Software.

Of course good customer service is not just about technology.

Tekelec Sells Switching Business to Ericsson

November 1, 2006

Tekelec is selling its struggling switching business to Ericson according to Light Reading. The price could be 50-80 million dollars according to the article. The company announced earnings today. Stay tuned for details on TMCnet.   According to Tekelec's Joni Brooks the company is not selling their switching solutions business to Ericsson, but rather that they have simply retained the services of JP Morgan to evaluate and assess that business, to advise, identify and evaluate strategic alternatives in order to help them leverage their switching technology.

So either Light Reading is way ahead of the game on this one or jumped the gun too quickly.

PayPal Explosion

November 1, 2006

Cable Companies Vulnerable?

November 1, 2006

There are some very smart people in the telecom business who are betting on the cable companies as the winners in the service provider wars. Their logic goes something like this. The cable companies have relationships with content providers and have faster broadband connectivity and are taking away voice market share from the LECs. The phone companies aren’t even able to deliver TV yet.

There is some sound logic here. The LECs are behind and if they don’t catch up soon they can be in trouble over time.

The one ace up the sleeve of the phone companies is their relationships with businesses which are better than the cable companies.

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