Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
CEO
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

April 2007

You are browsing the archive for April 2007.

The Venue of Scottsdale

April 30, 2007

NTT Resells Asterisk

April 30, 2007

Trixbox/Fonality at Communications Developer

April 30, 2007

I have just received word Kerry Garrison will be speaking at TMC’s Communications Developer Conference to take place next month in Santa Clara, CA. Kerry is the Sr. Product Manager at Trixbox and works intricately with the open-source development community. If you have any interest in open-source communications development you will not want to miss his presentation.   In addition, Kevin Fleming, the co-maintainer of Asterisk will be presenting a keynote at the event.   We believe our keynote program is well balanced with representation from the open-source community and other important players in the market who will give their perspectives from various vantage points.   Keynotes will be provided from these other companies (in chronological order):  
  • AudioCodes
  • Avaya
  • Pactolus
  • Aculab
  • Skype
  • Nortel
  • Cisco

Vista Reseller Webinar

April 30, 2007

Marketing in the New World Order

April 29, 2007

Tomorrow I will be speaking in sunny Phoenix, Arizona on “Marketing in the New World Order”. I often write about a plethora of new technologies and tomorrow I get a chance to weave together my knowledge of marketing and technology together and in doing so I hope to shed light on opportunities many companies are not yet taking advantage of.   Building communities, blogging and sites like Twitter will be mentioned as well as Web 2.0 and mashups. I am really looking forward to talking about this subject matter as it is an area I have a tremendous amount of passion for.   I am speaking for a company called Teledirect and the event is open to Teledirect sponsors and customers. If you fit one of these categories I hope to see you there.   Here is a link for more details.

Interesting Stories April 27 2007

April 29, 2007

Planet Earth

April 28, 2007

Skype Announcements at Communications Developer

April 28, 2007

I was just perusing an article on Skype development from Greg Galitzine which consists of an interview with head of development for the world’s most successful VoIP software company. The interview is with Paul Amery the Director of the Skype Developer Program.   Here are some of the salient comments from Paul:   The breadth of developers who work with Skype is extraordinary. They range from 15-year old techies who are coding in their bedrooms to CEOs with more than 30 years of experience developing software applications. The uniting factor is that they all love Skype, and constantly want us to enhance the platform to help them do more.   The most popular application [Skype Extra] overall is CrazyTalk for Skype from Reallusion.

Ed Whitacre Jr.

April 27, 2007

Congratulations to Ed Whitacre Jr. for building a great big telecommunications company from an assortment of smaller ones. Certainly in this case the sum was greater than the parts.   Ed is about to retire and he can consider this my retirement present.   While I have perhaps had a rant or two over the years about net neutrality comments made by Mr. Whitacre, there is not a single person who can deny this man has achieved greatness in the world of communications and technology.   Ed Whitacre Jr. put AT&T back together again and left it in great shape.   The Board of Directors has chosen Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T's chief operating officer, to succeed Whitacre as chairman and CEO.   Randall has tremendous shoes to fill and it may be very tough to keep AT&T’s massive momentum going without even more acquisitions. These could consist of content plays such as perhaps satellite radio, internet companies and even advertising networks. Yahoo!

Training it

April 27, 2007

Motorola: I Hate My Customers

April 27, 2007

Yesterday I was speaking to an influential PR representative who was implying one of his handset manufacturer customers was not really thrilled by the amount of power the wireless carriers wield. Generally this sort of talk is done behind the scenes but I have been noticing record levels of discontent among device-makers.   Perhaps this is the reason for my surprise at an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning where Motorola Ed Zander is on record as saying, “I love my job. I hate my customers.” It is surprising to see these thoughts going on record.   The article is a chronicle of how Motorola lost its top spot in the cell phone market and the soap opera that got them from where they were to where they are now.   The situation wireless handset manufacturers are in is similar to what Wal-Mart suppliers deal with as the nation’s largest retailer also dictates product specifications and pricing. I suppose you can’t blame wireless carriers for exerting their influence to do what is best for the bottom line.   Over the next few years as WiFi and WiMAX become more popular it will be interesting to see if consumers are swayed by a new generation of WiFi telephony devices and service providers subsidized by today’s handset manufacturers.

The Guy Who Won the FJ Cruiser

April 26, 2007

Mitel Acquires Inter-Tel

April 26, 2007

In a $723 Million transaction two of the leaders in the mid-market communications space have teamed up as Mitel has just acquired Inter-Tel. Both companies were very strong players in the mid-size PBX space and both were leaders in staying ahead of the technology curve   Going back to the days of CTI over a decade ago, Mitel and Inter-Tel are established players in IP communications and unified communications.   “We believe this is an outstanding transaction for our stakeholders,” said Inter-Tel CEO Norman Stout. “Mitel and Inter-Tel have state-of-the-art products and complementary channels to market. In particular, we are excited about the opportunities this partnership represents for Inter-Tel’s associates and partners, who we believe will benefit from being part of a larger, growing and dynamic organization that can compete more effectively in the marketplace. We look forward to working with the Mitel team to ensure a rapid and seamless transition.”

The combined company, including Inter-Tel international subsidiaries such as Inter-Tel Europe, Swan Solutions and Lake Communications, will have solutions to address the needs of very small to large businesses globally.

Bees Gone Wild

April 26, 2007

Greg has some thoughts on the bee problems and how Taiwan is being affected by bees who leave their hives and get lost on the way home. Last year at the Communications Developer Conference I joked onstage about the latest forms of IP communications and how pigeons would play an important role in providing mesh-based WiFi networks of the future.   It seems now we need a tiny IP-based bee-cam to be placed on bees allowing scientists to see where these bees are going. Some of the theories scientists are offering are power lines or cellular signals disrupting the bees natural ability to navigate.   Something I haven’t read about is pollution being a problem but pesticides and weather are other theories that have been posed.   But the bee problem seems to have become a problem last year and power lines and cell phone signals haven’t increased so much in the last year have they? Remember this is a worldwide problem it seems.   If it is a technology problem then it would have to be a new wireless technology.

Skype Developer Program

April 26, 2007

There is big communications developer news afoot as Skype announced over 10 million downloads of Skype Extras. These Extras are in fact software programs designed to integrate with Skype. Collaboration software and call recording are examples of products that are part of this program.   The most popular Skype Extra to date is Reallusion’s CrazyTalk for Skype, which has been downloaded by consumers more than 3.5 million times. For business users, the Pamela Call Recorder has been downloaded more than 1 million times.   It goes without saying that the past few years has seen the rise of ecosystems in the communications market.

Richard Gere in Jail?

April 26, 2007

Inflight Texting

April 26, 2007

TMC Beta Tests 3D stereo HD VoIP

April 26, 2007

Webinar Presentation

April 25, 2007

In my never ending quest to amass as much information in my brain as possible, I have begun listening to archived webinars as I work. It turns out I can learn a great deal from such webinars as I answer e-mail and type and blog entry.   This is a great way to absorb even more information during the course of a busy day.   To that end, I am now listening to a Webcast about how to be a better Webcast speaker. I really recommend anyone who speaks on webinars listens to this presentation. I have been listening for the past 10 minutes or so and it is good so far.   Webinar presenter; Ken Molay   Ideas so far:  
  • Make sure you have room temperature water nearby when speaking
  • Don’t speak in a cubicle
  • Do not use carbonated beverages
  • Keep introductory remarks to a minimum
  • No coffee
  • Turn off devices
  • Do not use a speakerphone
  • Use a handset (do Plantronics and GN Netcom know this )
Listen here.

Mapquest and OnStar

April 25, 2007

In what seems to be a very intelligent business decision by all involved, OnStar, the service allowing GM customers to have turn-by-turn in-car directions and Mapquest the web destination allowing online driving instructions have teamed up.   What are the benefits? Up to 5 destinations can be entered into Mapquest and they will be sent to the vehicle. You can always call an OnStar representative to enter the address but in this ATM-dominated everything-web world, who even wants to talk anymore?

Vonage Free to Compete

April 25, 2007

Skybus

April 25, 2007

Sender ID Update

April 25, 2007

Cellular 911

April 25, 2007

As many people leave their fixed line phones for wireless only devices there will be an inevitable problem of safety. You see cellular phones do not have the ability to relay location information as accurately as a fixed line phone. The CTIA reports that 230,000 calls to 911 are made from cell phones each day. The group also estimates that 8.4 percent of households are "wireless only."   In some areas of the country 71% of tests for 911 location accuracy would result in a failing grade.

EQO Funding

April 25, 2007

VoIP Peering Education

April 25, 2007

There is no Spring

April 24, 2007

Jajah and Iotum

April 24, 2007

Blackberry users are having a banner day as fist they are able to run their programs on Windows Mobile computers and now Iotum and JaJah are collaborating to allow the power of Jajah’s calling network to be combined with Iotum’s Talk-Now application.   "We saw a clear opportunity to enhance the experience for mobile users by partnering with JAJAH," said Iotum CEO Alec Saunders. "Initially, our collaboration means that Iotum Talk-Now users will have one-click access to JAJAH for all their contacts. In the future, Iotum will release other 'New Presence'-enabled applications in conjunction with JAJAH, such as PIN-less, mobile conferencing."   What are the benefits? Blackberry users now can have access to all the presence applications Iotum offers and at the same time collaborate seamlessly with their Jajah contacts.

Vonage Saved Once Again

April 24, 2007

The nation’s leading pure-play VoIP telephone replacement service has received a new and perhaps temporary lease on life as the U.S. Court of Appeals extended the stay of an earlier decision allowing Vonage to continue signing up new customers.   According to a CNET online report, the three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reportedly questioned Verizon and Vonage attorneys at length about the district court’s interpretation of the three disputed patents related to VoIP telephone service. Much of the wrath has been directly at Vonage attorney Roger Warin, according to reports.   "It's very hard to tell from the briefs what's going on here," Judge Timothy Dyk was quoted as telling Warin shortly after the attorney began his arguments.

VoIP Peering Investment

April 24, 2007

In October of 2006 I cited voice/VoIP peering as a great investment opportunity. As you may recall, I said last year was the year of VoIP peering. So you are probably wondering how you can play this market and if you are -- there are a few ways to do this. You can focus on companies who supply session border control or transcoding equipment as both of these technologies are used in peering networks.

Skype Developer Program

April 24, 2007

If you haven’t noticed, one of the latest trends in communications development is producing applications which work with the Skype ecosystem. Headsets, collaboration software, conference phones and myriad other devices and solutions now interoperate with Skype.   And who can blame companies who want to ride the coattails of the most popular VoIP software platform around?   Imagine having a customer base in the teen age group and not providing Skype connectivity. These days you need to provide communications in the manner your customers most commonly use.   To that end, Andy Abramson has some thoughts on a Skype keynote at next month’s Communications Developer Conference. According to Andy TMC got the big Kahuna Paul Amery from Skype.   Why do you need to come and listen to Paul speak?

Scientists Unearth Kryptonite

April 24, 2007

Mixxee

April 24, 2007

Did you every think you would be able to communicate better if there was a soundtrack that was playing as you spoke? Ideally you could e-mail your voice with the soundtrack mixed in. Now imagine a web-based console allowing you to pick from a variety of soundtracks which can be mixed into video or audio messages. You could use such messages to set the “tone” as you speak.

Blackberry Attacks Microsoft

April 24, 2007

RIM is offering it’s mobile device software on other platforms such as Windows Mobile and the question on most people’s minds Is probably “Why?” After all, Windows Mobile devices already do pretty much everything Blackberrys do and in many cases deal with attachments in a more seamless fashion.

Microsoft’s Exchange Server is pretty similar to the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES)  in many ways but certainly RIM’s BES is a more highly focused mobile e-mail product meaning there are some things it can do better than Microsoft.

Still, Microsoft has done a good job of emulating the PC interface on the Windows Mobile platform and as such this competitive thrust from RIM will likely appeal to Blackberry shops that are true diehards who don’t mind spending additional money on BES.

So while the headlines (including this one) talk of a Blackberry attack, this is more like a minor offensive aimed at keeping a handful of RIM loyalists happy.





Colony Collapse Disorder

April 24, 2007

If you haven’t been following the news, bees have been dying at alarming rates as adult bees get disoriented and can’t find their ways back to their nests. The NY Times does a good job of reporting the latest news on colony collapse disorder or disappearing bee syndrome.   The syndrome is happening in the US and Europe and when it happens there are microorganisms found in the hive that are not normally present.   Researchers have also discovered fungus in some affected colonies. The same fungus in fact which is found in human HIV and cancer patients.   The cause of the syndrome is unclear but theories abound. Cell phones, cell phone towers, genetically modified food and pesticides are all potential causes for the disorder according to the article.   The problem of course with the disappearing of bees is the subsequent loss in crops they pollinate.

Fax Channel

April 23, 2007

Interactive Intelligence and Alliance Systems

April 23, 2007

Interactive Intelligence announced today it has purchased the professional services group of Alliance Systems and I had a chance to speak with the president of Alliance Systems Rusty Cone about this deal. Rusty deferred to Alliance Systems chairman Jon Shapiro about the reason for this transaction.   According to Jon: “Our core server and infrastructure business has been growing very rapidly and we wanted to focus our resources on increasing our manufacturing capacity, engineering resources and our global logistics and support business.”   I did get a chance to find out a bit more about the transaction however. Rusty explained he is happy for the 14 people who will now be part of Interactive Intelligence as they now have more opportunity to move up in the organization.

Hosted Communications for the SMB

April 23, 2007

We hear about hosted solutions from so many vendors these days. This area of the market is certainly experiencing tremendous growth. Companies like Covad, AccessLine and 8x8/Packet8 are doing well selling services to customers who are giving up their small phone system for a hosted solution.   In many cases the smaller companies are familiar with and more comfortable with key systems and are not happy to lose some of these features when they migrate to a hosted solution which is designed for companies the size of major auto manufacturers. The way to get around this dilemma is to sell these companies hosted key system replacements.   How can a service provider interested in deploying such solutions learn more?

Allergy Attack

April 23, 2007

OK OK – I know I haven’t blogged yet today and yes I feel guilty. I know your early AM Starbucks is not the same without a healthy dose of technology and possibly sarcasm – depending on my mood. But to be honest my allergies have been acting up and there is just something about seeing snowflakes in Boston and 80 degree weather in Connecticut – within 3 days -- that doesn’t fit in well with my sinus situation.

Fear not however I did take a Claritin which is the new kind of tablet that melts in your mouth with no water.

Census Bureau Posts Social Security Numbers

April 22, 2007

Microsoft Unlimited Potential

April 21, 2007

Bill Gates is on record as ridiculing the $100 laptop earmarked for third world children… The reason he disliked the device is because the specs did not measure up to what he thought such a computer should and could be. It seems Gates and company will now focus on this same market with a $3 software suite as part of the Unlimited Potential program.   How can Microsoft charge so little and still make money? Simple. It is all about overhead.

Vonage Voicemail Transcription

April 21, 2007

At CTIA a few weeks back I heard Vonage will offer a voicemail transcribing service soon but I was sworn to secrecy. As you may know I have been writing about voicemail transcription a great deal lately. I thought I blogged a hint about this news but to be honest I have been doing so much writing lately I can’t find it if I did.   Anyway, I just heard from a little e-mail bird Vonage will offer voicemail transcription for $.25/voicemail. I cannot verify this cost but I did find a link on the company’s site to Vonage Text which is a voicemail transcription service.

Eliminating Crapware

April 21, 2007

Some Airports are More Advanced than Others

April 20, 2007

Enterprise Skype

April 20, 2007

Andy Abramson on Verizon Patents

April 20, 2007

Bad Vonage News

April 20, 2007

More on The VoIP Patent Mess

April 20, 2007

A number of people in the telecom industry tell me they have looked at the Verizon patents being used against Vonage and they say they have been doing the things that are claimed in the patents before Verizon filed. My sources further claim in some cases there are patents which have been granted to companies which conflict with the patents which Verizon has. Of course this is not unusual but no one has anything to gain from suing Verizon to get the phone company’s patents overturned. They would only do this if they are sued and this won’t happen as Verizon is too smart to sue companies that can overturn their own patents.

InfoWorld on Patent Reform

April 20, 2007

Microsoft Gives Away Exchange 2007

April 20, 2007

In the last seven years or so the adoption of open-source solutions has been breathtaking and Microsoft is not sitting on the sidelines watching this happen from afar. They have to be concerned about Linux and myriad open-source software products as well as web-based solutions from companies like Google.   One of the beautiful things about open-source software is you can download it and try it for free. If you like it you can buy a business-class version of the solution or you can pay for support.   This approach of giving it away for a while before your customers have to pay for it is not unprecedented in tech. I remember years back when 3COM was trying to get the small business market to implement computer networks, they gave away network cards on the cheap hoping companies would se the benefits of networking and buy more cards at retail prices.

Another Day, Another Airport

April 19, 2007

Radcom QTrace

April 19, 2007

Networks are converging at breakneck speed and as they do, so does the need to search and troubleshoot calls across multiple sites and networks. According to Avi Zamir, President of Radcom, his company is starting to see the need for converged monitoring tools across VoIP, cellular and IPTV networks.   Service providers are looking for a single management platform in his experience. To solve this problem his company has launched QTrace for mobile network operators. This solution can work on multiple servers if needed and allows operators to analyze all open calls or any subset of calls across the network.   QTrace at it’s heart is a user-friendly central management system.

Jangl

April 18, 2007

Michael Cerda is the CEO of Jangl. Michael thinks big. Cerda wants his company to be the biggest thing since Skype. In speaking with him you get the feeling he really wants to leave a mark – something huge.   His VoIP 2.0 company Jangl differentiated itself from others by focusing on spaces such as online dating where they provide Match.com subscribers with a bidirectional anonymous phone number for $6.99/month.   While online dating and associated websites are a nice opportunity the people at Jangl realized they couldn’t take over the world in this fashion.

Trixbox Buyer’s Club

April 18, 2007

Airlines have frequent flyer programs. Hotels have them. Credit cards have them. I am sure you were wondering why the open source communications community to date has not thought to also have a frequent buyer program.

Rumor: HP to Acquire Comverse

April 18, 2007

Ringback Tones

April 18, 2007

Voicemail Transcription

April 18, 2007

I am not sure what the category of product is that converts voicemail to e-mail but I suppose voicemail transcription covers it nicely. Recently wrote about SpinVox and how the company converts voicemail to e-mail automatically.   I am in a conference today where I cannot take calls. I did however receive an e-mail just now:   --------------- Daddy. I want Daddy to talk.

SIP to SIP Gateways

April 18, 2007

Huawei

April 18, 2007

I recently had a meeting with Huawei executives and they have grand plans. The company is a leading Chinese equipment provider and moreover has a surprisingly large suite of products ranging from EVDO cards for laptops to WiMAX and optical networking equipment.   In fact a look at the company’s product portfolio shows there are few products lacking from their arsenal. You name it and they seem to make it… Cell phones, DSL, 3G and FTTX are just a few other examples of where they excel.   Currently 60% of their business is international in nature while China accounts for the remainder of their business. They told me Europe and Asia are their fastest growing markets at the moment while in the US they have 20 customers and networks in 25 states.   An area which they hope to lead is in IMS and FMC solutions and they think they have the background in related technologies to be able to become the world leader in both.   Meeting with the company’s executives gives a fresh perspective on how Chinese companies differ from American ones.

Blackberry Service Down

April 18, 2007

TMCnet Goes International

April 18, 2007

Today is a momentous occasion for me as TMCnet has gone international developing continent-specific editions for Latin America, Europe, Asia the Middle East and Australia. You will find these country choices on a grey horizontal bar at the top of most of our pages. TMCnet is the largest communications and technology portal in the world and this move allows people everywhere to see news specific to their needs.

We believe this move is a good one for TMCnet visitors and the advertisers looking to cost-effectively target communications buyers – service providers, enterprise decision makers, resellers and developers worldwide   TMCnet has approximately 2 million unique visitors per month and here are Alexa’s statistics on TMCnet’s international reach as of this writing:   Tmcnet.com users come from these countries:   United States                54.6% Canada                         5.0% United Kingdom           4.8% India                             4.2% Australia                       1.9% Malaysia                       1.5% Germany                      1.4% Philippines                    1.2% Singapore                     1.1% Israel                            1.1% China                           1.0%

Tmcnet.com traffic rank in other countries (lower numbers are better. 1 is the best):   United States                809 India                             2,134 Canada                       2,736 Australia                       4,032 United Kingdom           4,213



Fenway Photos

April 17, 2007

Fenway Park

April 17, 2007

Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite 8.0

April 17, 2007

One buzzword with legs is mobility. We hear the term everywhere these days. Moreover, it seems workforces are becoming more mobile by the day and knowledge workers are being created in segments previously not considered to be in this category. For example maintenance and housekeeping services in hotels are slowly becoming automated and have the latest mobile tools allowing their employers to be aware of their presence at all times.   Another buzzword we hear all the time is convergence.

2 More Days To File Taxes

April 17, 2007

A National Holiday For Virginia Tech Victims

April 17, 2007

I was reading about the Virgina Tech tragedy and was surprised and shocked at the same time. As you may know the worse shooting spree to ever take place on US soil happened yesterday.   This tragic event is horrible beyond description as 32 people were massacred. This explains why I was shocked.

Blogs Took Down Imus

April 17, 2007

IMS Collaboration: Tekelec/HP

April 17, 2007

IMS is something many service providers need but the complexity of implementing IP multimedia subsystem solutions has certainly been a cause for operators to deploy such solutions more slowly than some would have hoped. Beyond complexity, another factor which needs to be overcome is interoperability between disparate vendor’s systems.   For this reason a number of organizations such as the IMS Forum have been focusing on plugfests to ensure IMS vendor A can interoperate seamlessly with vendor B and C.   The need for interoperability is not lost of companies like Tekelec and HP who began collaborating last year and more recently made an announcement that their respective platforms will work together.   Specifically the companies have aligned the roadmaps of the Tekelec TekCore Session Manager, a CSCF platform and HP OpenCall home subscriber server or HSS.   The solution includes IMS core network infrastructure, service enablers, operational and business support system linkages and application service offerings that enable the delivery of subscriber-centric services across wireless, wireline and broadband networks.   The IMS core network elements in the solution include the following: ·        Call state control function (CSCF) and home subscriber server (HSS) ·        Service enablers such as the media resource function (MRF), presence server, electronic numbering (ENUM), group list management and voice call continuity (VCC) platforms ·        Multimedia applications such as enhanced voice services, instant messaging (IM) and multimedia content sharing (e.g., "see what I see") ·        Integration with back-office and legacy systems.   The companies explain that convergence cannot happen in a vacuum but instead needs a convergence framework which requires a good deal of planning. In addition they feel such a framework needs to address:   1)      A unified signaling and control infrastructure that unites signaling and control procedures across multiple network types. Furthermore, this is a prerequisite to enable uniform access to applications and services across heterogeneous networks. 2)      Providing a real-time unified view of the customer.

Vonage Has No Workaround

April 16, 2007

Apparently the Verizon patents are sufficiently broad as to not allow Vonage to have a workaround. This according to the USA Today. I was wondering myself how a workaround could take place on these patents as they seem to cover what the whole industry does and has been doing prior to Verizon even filing for the patents.   It would seem that if these patents are not overturned then Verizon will have a good deal of leverage over a variety of other VoIP companies as well.   In addition this issue could theoretically cause trouble for communications equipment providers.   Verizon is probably smart enough to pick on companies that are so small they aren’t a big enough threat to the patents they hold. But this story is far from over.

Forrester VoIP Study

April 16, 2007

Apparently VoIP Could grow more quickly according to a study from Forrester. The company says their research shows VoIP software is too hard to use. I have asked for the report but haven’t received it yet. I just wonder if there are any software packages that have been downloaded more rapidly than VoIP software.

Robert X. Cringely

April 16, 2007

For almost 2 decades now I followed the writings of Robert X. Cringely. Admittedly I used to read his column every week between the late eighties and mid nineties. As my own publishing and writing career started to take off I spent less time reading his columns.   I did write about Robert earlier today and Andy Abramson pointed out the person behind Cringely is none other than Mark C. Stephens. No, I have not heard of Mark either.

Behavioral Targeting

April 15, 2007

Imagine a world where advertisers would be able to predict your detailed behavior online. They would know when you are about to buy a song, a car, a present for your spouse – they would know virtually everything you are thinking.   If you believe this is impossible then you would be wrong as there are a few companies who have access to enough Internet data to make this privacy lover’s nightmare a reality and believe it or not a relatively new science called behavioral targeting is taking the online advertising world by storm.   In an March 2007 article in Business 2.0 titled The Quest For The Perfect Online Ad, the author points out that Yahoo! is one of the leading companies in the behavioral targeting space. A candid interview with Yahoo!’s Dr. Usama Fayyad the company’s Executive Vice President of Research & Strategic Data Solutions shows Fayyad thinks showing ads based on behavioral targeting is much more powerful than simply showing ads based on simple search queries.   A salient quote from Fayyad in fact is “I know more about your intent than any 1,000 keywords you could type.   Yahoo has 12 terabytes of user data flowing through it everyday and to put this in perspective, this amount represents more data than the entire Library of Congress! Fayyad proudly says he can predict with 75% certainty which of the 300,000 monthly visitors to Yahoo!

Chinese Pornography

April 15, 2007

China is really cracking down on pornography. I had no idea it was even considered a problem in the country. An AP story shows some valuable insight on how the country is dealing with what they see as a growing problem.   The Ministry of Public Security says the anti-pornography campaign will target cyber strip shows and sexually explicit images, stories and audio and video clips, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

"The boom of pornographic content on the Internet has contaminated cyberspace and perverted China's young minds," Zhang Xinfeng, a deputy public security minister, was quoted as saying Thursday.   I suppose the country will easily be able to crack down on domestic porn sites but they will obviously not be able to stop sites outside the country. They can however block these sites.

Flaming Cringely

April 15, 2007

I Own Google Shares

April 15, 2007

Google/DoubleClick Merger: Expert Opinion

April 14, 2007

Recently I wrote about the merger between Google and DoubleClick and subsequently I decided to get an outside perspective on this acquisition from Tim Vanderhook, CEO and founder of Specific Media a company specializing in behavioral targeting of advertising in its own advertising network.   What is the general impact of this merger?   Google has probably been studying over the past year or so the impact that display advertising has on search advertising. The two are very closely tied together with display ads fueling search ads for advertisers. Because Google has such a dominant position in the latter, they are moving quickly to make the weakest part of their business a strength. This deal is not so much about targeting as it is about display advertising, it is getting more widely understood by advertisers that display advertising is the driving force behind people making searches.

GENI

April 14, 2007

The Building of the  Global Environment for Network Innovations   Many academic types are arguing we need to get rid of the existing internet and start from a clean slate to deal with the myriad issues the world now faces such as security and mobility.   While I am not as smart as any of the people doing this work I wonder what the problems are with the Internet as I can access it from a mobile device today. Security has some challenges but is always being improved.   I am however all for this sort of clean slate thinking as many of the concepts being researched will no doubt find themselves into the current internet infrastructure.   This is what happens in the automotive industry where concept car concepts and sometimes even cars themselves find their way into production.   The National Science Foundation wants to build an experimental research network known as the Global Environment for Network Innovations, or GENI, and is funding several projects at universities and elsewhere through Future Internet Network Design, or FIND.   Construction on GENI could start by 2010 and take about five years to complete. Once operational, it should have a decade-long lifespan.   Here is an AP story for more information.

SMC Skype Phone

April 14, 2007

Google Buys DoubleClick

April 13, 2007

Google reached an agreement today to purchase DoubleClick for $3.1 billion according to the New York Times. This is a significant accomplishment for Google as Microsoft too was interested in acquiring the display advertising server company.   DoubleClick serves the needs of a variety of advertisers and publishers and is the leader in the online ad serving space. While Google has excelled at pay per click advertising they have not done so well in display advertising as in the display ad world, existing relationships are an important component of sales.   Google now has access to top publishers and advertisers and has the top relationships in the market.   The search engine leader will also be able to take advantage of the DoubleClick’s recently debuted advertising exchange which is similar to Google Adwords for display advertising.   It is possible this new exchange can be linked into the network of advertising services Google already offers allowing advertisers to manage display ads and ppc ads via a single unified interface.   The barrier to entry for others to compete in these spaces has become even more significant as Google now owns the lion’s share of ppc and display advertising relationships.   The single downside to this deal may be with DoubleClick customers which consist of advertisers, ad agencies and publishers. The latter two see Google as a potential threat and may decide it makes sense to migrate their advertising programs to another provider to avoid enriching what they view as one of their primary competitors.   However it is too soon to see if this will indeed happen.

Cisco Invest $700M in China

April 13, 2007

Oracle CRM

April 13, 2007

Oracle obviously knows a thing or two about CRM and with their recent acquisition of Siebel Systems they are even more firmly entrenched in the space than ever. The company has a recent white paper designed to help users get the most out of their CRM initiatives including mining the data in every company more effectively.   In addition there is talk in this document about using on-demand customer relationship management systems in your corporation. It is refreshing to see virtually every company I come in contact with pushing hosted solutions such as hosted CRM.   The content is in an easy to read and digest format and is worth a read. Here is an article with more detail and a link to the white paper, Delivering Actionable Insight Into Sales.

New 8x8 Patent

April 13, 2007

8x8 the parent company of Packet8 announced today they have been awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,202,884 which focuses on the processing of images from a communications system to a computing system. This patent is important as technology companies need a strong patent portfolio to protect against being sued by other companies with patents they could potentially infringing upon.   The company’s patent portfolio is now up to a total of 67 for 8x8. This is a great number relative to the company’s size.

Vonage CEO Shuffle

April 13, 2007

I know I have been writing about Vonage a great deal lately and I am not sure whether to apologize about this fact or not but it is worth pointing out that Vonage and Sprint may reach some sort of business arrangement as a result of their patent dispute according to one of my favorite Canadian telecom analysts Jon Arnold.   In addition customer, according to Jon's blog ARPU isn’t expected to go up or down which Jon sees as bad news. Well at least it isn’t expected to go down. There is still pricing pressure on the market and Vonage hasn’t rolled out any must-have paid services lately. Hopefully they have some up their sleeve and can get that ARPU to steadily increase.   Garett Smith has comments on yesterday's Vonage conference call as well – specifically – who would want this Vonage CEO job?

H1-B Visas

April 12, 2007

The US has a chronic shortage of technology workers. Sure the job market has gone up and down over the past decade but today, we need more tech workers at various levels and it seems being a programmer or engineer has lost its glamour in the US. So where does this leave US-based business?   Some top tech leaders have said the need for foreign tech workers is infinite. It is tough not to believe this is true with the opening of US company research centers all around the world.   According to Internetnews, one day after the opening of the H1-B visa program process, the 2008 allotment of 85,000 H1-B visas was gone.

IMS Awards

April 12, 2007

Birds from Dinosaurs

April 12, 2007

Is Vonage the New Google

April 12, 2007

Now hear me out. I realize the title of my article is baffling and your brain is already calculating all the different ways you will flame this piece with negative comments.   You may be thinking of all the differences between these two companies. For example: Google makes money and Vonage does not. Google can easily afford the lawsuits it is in.

Crippled Mobile Phones

April 12, 2007

I have written in the past that the iPhone could be responsible for opening up the cell phone world by forcing carriers to give use better devices. Moreover it was my hope that cell phone carriers would see the light as Apple’s newest mobile phone would prove that by not unduly crippling a device you could sell even more of them and even more service as a result.   It seems sadly that my vision if it happens will be in the long term as Andy Abramson points out today that European carriers seem to be following the lead of the Americans by beginning to not quite cripple phones but at least make them less useful and less VoIP friendly.   I for one am not surprised by this but it is always a sad day when consumers loses out on the benefits of being able to communicate in the way they find most suitable. Instead, wireless carriers seem to be convinced they know what’s best for all.   Of course these carriers do make money from selling minutes. In addition, carriers in the US are pretty smart in subsidizing phones with less functionality and thus ensuring they boost minutes used.   When Verizon sold devices with crippled bluetooth they received a class action suit as a result.

Webinar Update

April 12, 2007

TMC’s marketing team is apparently very generous as I found out today they are giving away a TiVo Series2 Dual Tuner 80-hour DVR in a drawing to one lucky webinar attendee.   I would be remiss in my responsibility if I did not bring to your attention that you could be the lucky winner of this device. Personally I don’t have TiVo in my house (yet) as I am under the impression TiVo users watch more TV and I watch quite a bit already.   Enjoy the webinars and good luck in the drawing.     IP Media Servers and IMS: Key Enablers for Voicemail and Unified Messaging   April 19, 2007 2:00pm ET 11:00am PT   ---------   Securely Enabling VoIP Remote Users   May 1, 2007 2:00pm ET 11:00am PT   ---------   Also be sure to check out the webinar page for archived events and an upcoming schedule.

Vonage to Focus on Profit

April 12, 2007

Jeffrey Citron will replace Michael Schneider as CEO of Vonage. It seems Wall Street is happy with this move as the stock price has increased somewhat on this news.   In addition the company has instituted a hiring freeze and layoffs of 180 workers or about 10% of the workforce according to CNBC.   Vonage also says they are just shy of the 3 million customer milestone which is a fantastic achievement.   Having Citron back is CEO is great news for the company as he is responsible for building Vonage into the strong brand it is today. Unfortunately blame can be placed on him for building a market-share at all cost company.   Hopefully the layoffs could be a sign that Citron is serious about achieving profitability. Jeffrey has got to focus on profit now more than ever if he wants to gain Wall Street’s blessing and get the stock price to start moving in the positive direction.

Entertainment Wars

April 11, 2007

Movie review site Fandango was snapped up today by cable company Comcast with the ultimate goal for Comcast being increased web traffic and support for a new site Fancast.com devoted to allowing consumers to watch on demand content on a variety of devices.   Comcast is the nation’s largest cable company and Fandango is one of the largest movie sites around. There is a natural synergy between Fandango’s base of movie enthusiasts and Comcast’s goals to allow users to watch on demand content across a variety of devices.   The question worth asking is what other acquisition ideas have been created as a result of this one. Will other cable companies, AT&T and Verizon be looking for movie content sites as well? Does everyone who distributes content now need a TV Guide like audience to market to?   Fandango has a community of interest and Comcast will now be able to tap into this community to sell things – beyond its geographic boundary if it so chooses.   It seems companies are waking up to the concept of online communities and their inherent value.

Scala-700

April 11, 2007

Testing the Scala-700 Skype Bluetooth Headset



Behind my desk sits a mountain of boxes containing videophones, wireless headsets and unimaginable gadgets for me to look at, evaluate and consider writing about. My day job is running the largest communications & technology media company in the world with four print magazines with over 600,000 readers a month, three trade shows with over 15,000 attendees in total a year and a website – TMCnet, attracting about two million people a month. My night job is to share my thoughts on the industry… Where things stand today and where they are headed.   As TMC has grown I miss the days when I had more time to devote to sharing my thoughts. So yesterday I decided to delve into the pile and start a review of the Cardo Scala-700 headset which the company bills as the world’s only voice-controlled wireless headset for Skype and high quality cell phone communication.   About a year ago I mentioned seeing an earlier Cardo System’s bluetooth, Skype-enabled headset for the first time.

Skype for Mac Improved

April 11, 2007

Skype for Mac has a new beta version 2.6 available here and it’s brimming with new features. In addition you can expect improved sound quality and software stability according to the company. There is a nifty new call transfer feature allowing you to send a call to someone else. This is something you had to use an office PBX for and this is an unexpected bonus for Mac users.   The concept of having software come out for the Mac first used to be something we saw in the desktop publishing world all the time in the late eighties and early nineties.

Vanu

April 11, 2007

Software defined radio (SDR) systems are somewhat of a holy grail in technology as they use software to shift frequencies and modulation schemes while utilizing multipurpose underlying hardware. In a perfect world you could use software defined radio technology to receive cellular calls, WiFi, bluetooth, GPS, AM/FM, Sirius, XM, HDTV, etc.   Imagine if your smartphone used all the communications modes above with need for just a single processor – wouldn’t that just be amazing? Of course this will likely be possible some day but for now there are hardware components which handle each of the above functions.

MobileCierge

April 10, 2007

At some point the secretary became the executive assistant and then a strange thing happened – there seemed to be less of these assistants. It seems executives started doing more and more of their own “secretarial work” such as scheduling meetings, making travel reservations, etc.   But let’s face it… Work is not getting easier for many of us as we all struggle to catch up with e-mail and assignments on nights and weekends. The internet has created an environment where those who choose to work 24x7 finally can. Even those who don’t want to sometimes work around the clock.

Botnets, Terrorism and Crime

April 10, 2007

This MSNBC article on botnets is a well-written piece detailing where botnet gangs come from, their “hacker scholarship” programs and the potential for these powerful bot networks to shut down sites on a moments notice if they so choose. In addition there is a discussion of these bot networks being used as terrorist tools – a horrifying thought.   Want more? Here is a discussion about how competitive these bot networks are with one another. The largest network has the ability to extort the most money from gambling sites for example.

Nice Systems

April 10, 2007

Stop IMing Me

April 10, 2007

Finding the Holy Grail of Unified Communications   We all have our peculiar ways of working and mine is e-mail centric. It is precisely this love of e-mail that enables me to really find a product like SpinmyVmail useful as it converts my voicemail to e-mail.   I am signed up for an IM client or two but I don’t use them that often. I do find them useful when I need to get a quick answer or as a means to schedule a quick conference call.   But IM is a pain for me and I wonder if I am alone.   The reason I don’t like it is the fact that what other people want is not always my highest priority at the moment. Sometimes I would like to respond to a request at night, on a weekend or on a plane.   IM does not allow me to easily accomplish the above.

Blogging and Human Rights

April 9, 2007

I was reading a wonderful AP story on human rights in the middle east and how bloggers are potentially transforming countries from the inside out. The problem of course is some middle eastern countries are jailing bloggers and blocking their blogs form being accessed in their county.   Reporters Without Borders has five Mideast countries -- Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Syria -- on its list of the globe's 13 worst Internet freedom enemies that block web sites and detain bloggers. Most of us are likely not surprised by the strong middle east showing in this statistic.

According to the article, governments defend their Web regulations, saying they are protecting citizens from "immoral" and "defamatory" content. But rights groups and bloggers say officials are really trying to retain their media control.

"Five years ago, authorities didn't care about bloggers because the Internet's reach was less," said Julien Pain, head of Reporters Without Borders' Internet Freedom Desk. "Now, what is most interesting is the Weblogs in the local languages.



The FMC Border Architecture

April 9, 2007

In 1999 I had an interesting discussion at a Lucent Technologies luncheon with Arun Netravali who then headed up Bell Labs for Lucent Technology. Netravali spoke of the future of communications being an all encompassing communications skin which would have all sorts of devices connected to it.   The idea made sense and wasn’t such a logical leap but at the time it was something that wasn’t really happening. Networks did not interoperate so well with one another. Arun predicted this would happen at around 2025 or so.   Although the concept seemed a bit far off, I decided to write about it in the January and February 2000 issues of Communications Solutions Magazine.   Here we are in 2007 and it seems like to concept of a communications skin is farther away and closer than it ever has been before.

Dialogic Does Video

April 9, 2007

When it comes to the world of communications, the development world used to revolve around Dialogic. Ten years ago you virtually had to buy a DSP resource board from this company or one of its smaller competitors if you wanted to develop an application such as unified messaging, voicemail, IVR, speech, recognition, ACD or just anything else.   In fact for a number of years VoIP gateways were sold almost exclusively based on DSP resource boards. Larger telecom equipment providers would repackage systems with these boards through an integrator and claim the resulting gateways as their own.   I have taken many plant tours at industrial computer companies where I had to promise not to disclose the logos I saw throughout the plant. These were typically gateways under construction with boards from NMS or Dialogic.   In the late nineties while Dialogic was enjoying a nice time atop the enabling technology perch, the company received an offer from Intel it just couldn’t refuse.

VoIP Patent Mess

April 9, 2007

Esna Technologies

April 8, 2007

When you think about unified communications you probably think of the big software or hardware companies. These are the organizations making the biggest splash in the UC area.   But we all know about the big boys. What is really interesting is the small players because they are doing today what the big boys will be doing months or sometimes years later.   I recently had a chance to sit down with Esna Technologies CEO Mohammad Nezarati and discuss the latest developments at his company. Esna has been in the telecom space for about two decades and I used to run in to them frequently in the nineties at Computer Telephony shows when the CTI craze took hold of the market.   Then the company fell off my radar for a few years.

SpinVox

April 8, 2007

When I first came across a company called SpinVox I thought it had a niche product not really aligned with my core readership. The first product the company introduced to me was SpinmyBlog which is something I could definitely use at my blog at Tehrani.com. But I thought – who else would even care?   Oh, wait a minute – I am sorry… I didn’t even tell you what SpinmyBlog does. Amazingly it uses speech recognition to convert your voice to a blog entry.

Verizon, Vonage and Patents

April 7, 2007

Apparently the IP communications market never stops working as a number of people have sent me links to my quotes from various newspapers and websites this weekend. So far I have blogged about being quoted in the Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.   It seems some of these articles were picked up in other newspapers such as the Nashua Telegraph and Baltimore Sun. I actually was interviewed by a bunch of other reporters yesterday as well. Hopefully these articles will hit soon as well.   The Vonage patent courtroom adventure has certainly been something the mainstream press has covered well but one can’t help but wonder if it will do any damage in the long term to Vonage or other VoIP providers.   Will the perception of VoIP now be tarnished to the point where customers no longer even want to buy IP communications from Verizon?   The answer is likely that memories are short and if the Verizon patent lawsuit goes away soon and the Sprint patent lawsuit (yes there is yet another one of these coming soon) disappears quickly, Vonage and others will not see long-term effects.   We can also look at Blackberry as an example of people continuing to purchase this product/service combination after the threat of a network shutdown (see Top 8 Things to do if Blackberry Gets Shut Down).

Quoted in St. Louis Post-Dispatch

April 7, 2007

I was quoted in today’s edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch regarding the Verizon Vs. Vonage case. As you can likely tell I had a busy day yesterday and I received quite a few calls from reporters regarding this issue. I already blogged about the Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Times quotes.   The article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is from Tim Logan who did a great job with his story titled Vonage will have to hang up on new customers, judge rules.   When I spoke with Tim, the court had just ordered Vonage to stop accepting new customers. After this interview however the company won a temporary stay of the federal judge’s ruling.   Here is my quote:   Charter, for instance, has begun offering free same- or next-day phone installation to all Vonage customers.

"Concerned Vonage customers have been calling Charter over the past several weeks," Charter Telephone senior vice president Ted Schremp said in a statement.

Quoted in Los Angeles Times

April 7, 2007

I was quoted in today’s edition of the Los Angeles Times regarding the Verizon Vs. Vonage case. I had a busy day yesterday and I received quite a few calls from reporters regarding this issue. I already blogged about the Chicago Tribune and San Jose Mercury News quotes.   The article in the LA Times is from seasoned IP communications reporter Jim Granelli and is titled Temporary help for ailing Vonage. There is also another article in the LA times which is similar but with the same quote titled Vonage receives emergency stay in patents case.

Quoted in San Jose Mercury News

April 7, 2007

I was quoted in today’s edition of the San Jose Mercury News regarding the Verizon Vs. Vonage case. I had a busy day yesterday and I received quite a few calls from reporters regarding this issue. I already blogged about the Chicago Tribune quote.   The article in the San Jose Mercury by Steve Johnson is titled Crippling Blow to Vonage on Hold.   When I spoke with Steve, the court ordered Vonage to stop accepting new customers. After this interview however the company won a temporary stay of the federal judge’s ruling.   Here is my quote:   Some experts who track Internet phone companies agreed that Vonage could be in dire straits if it is prohibited from signing new customers.   "It's not very good for their bottom line," said Rich Tehrani, president of Technology Marketing, a Connecticut company that promotes Internet phone service.

Quoted in Chicago Tribune

April 7, 2007

I was quoted in today’s edition of the Chicago Tribune regarding the Verizon Vs. Vonage case. The article by Jon Van is well written and explains the situation well. When I spoke with Jon, the court ordered Vonage to stop accepting new customers. After this interview however the company won a temporary stay of the federal judge’s ruling.   This is the article where I was quoted:   Vonage decision on hold.

Vonage Spared For Now

April 6, 2007

Vonage today secured a temporary stay from U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC. The stay enables Vonage to continue to sign up new customers until the Appellate court can hear Vonage's request for a permanent stay. The Court's ruling allows Vonage to continue to provide phone service to existing customers.

Earlier today the U.S.

Vonage Left for Dead?

April 6, 2007

While much of the world is celebrating Good Friday, at Vonage it could not be a worse day as a judge has issued an injunction against the leading pure-play VoIP firm barring it from signing up new customers. Lawyers from Vonage likened this action to cutting off oxygen to the company instead of putting a bullet in its head -- which refers to shutting Vonage down altogether.

The future for Vonage looks mighty bleak as the dollars it spends on current ads are being wasted. Imagine the millions of dollars of ads that have run recently and those in the pipeline prompting people to call the company to sign up.

Cantata Gets New CEO

April 6, 2007

You may have seen the news about Cantata hiring a new CEO and could possibly be wondering why they would do such a thing. After all, Mark Zionts was involved in building Cantata into the company it is today with the combination of Brooktrout and Excel.   This is the story based on my conversation with Peter Vescuso the VP of Marketing at Cantata. It seems that Mark is acknowledged as the talented entrepreneur that took the company to where it is today. The goal now is to take Cantata to the next level.   The new CEO is Tim Murray and Tim is an AT&T veteran having worked as Executive Vice President and President of various divisions of the Telecom giant.

Unified Communications Magazine

April 6, 2007

Ads in Subways

April 5, 2007

Brockmann Research

April 5, 2007

I’ve known Peter Brockmann for many years as he used to work for 3COM on the NBX product line. This product line was one of the first PC PBXs in the space as you may recall.   Peter recently began his own business, Brockmann & Company focused on enterprise communications research. My mission is to uncover what enterprise users are doing.

His first report is called First Communications and was released earlier this week. The focus is on disaster recovery priorities.   I thought this was a great idea to see what makes Pete tick these days.

Topfive: Does This Make Me Look Fat?

April 5, 2007

I have been subscribing to the Top5 comedy list on and off for about 10 years and sometimes the lists are pretty funny. Rarely are they funny and clean enough for me to pass along. Today’s list which is a repeat of an old list was worth sharing.   It should be noted the lists are never 5 in length and if you want to get these lists e-mailed to you check out Topfive.com.   Today's list was originally published on April 8, 2003.   The Top 16 Poor Responses to the Question "Does This Make Me Look Fat?"     16 "Not to Stevie Wonder."   15 "Big time! That's why I'm sleeping with your best friend."   14 "Does this tie make me look stupid?"   13 "No way! 

Response Point

April 4, 2007

In case you weren’t aware, Microsoft unveiled a small business phone system recently called Response Point. TMCnet’s Tom Keating has a well thought-out blog entry on what Microsoft is doing as well as a bit of history on Microsoft and other players in IP communications going back to the nineties.   The SMB space continues to be a very sweet spot for VoIP. There is no question this market is huge and Microsoft wants to make billions in this space.   Will the Redmond, Washington based company be successful this time? I would say there is room in the market for many players.

DiamondWare in HD

April 4, 2007

I called Diamondware’s 3-D, stereo VoIP technology a killer application back in 2004 and even featured it on a stage at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo as a killer application. Unfortunately doing a demo of stereo VoIP to a room full of hundreds of people does not do the technology any justice at all.   Over a year ago I wrote about DiamondWare’s technology again and mentioned that the future of VoIP will be 3-D, stereophonic sound. But sometimes it takes time for the latest technologies to actually take hold and become popular.   I had a chance to sit down again recently with Keith Weiner the CEO of DiamondWare and discuss his newest HD software. Well actually I wasn’t sitting near Keith, I was on a conference call with him and his coworkers over his 3D, HD Conference Manager product.   Once on the call I was able to easily position the three callers all around me.

Altigen News

April 3, 2007

Big news over at Altigen. Jerry Fleming who ran the Vonexus division of Interactive Intelligence is at Altigen now and will focus on building the US operations of the company. I haven’t had a chance to talk with Jerry yet but his title will be President and COO.   Gilbert Hu will continue to lead AltiGen Communications as Chairman & CEO.   A word of history. Back in 1995 or so Altigen really wowed the telecom market with the world’s first PC PBX.

US Trains Fall Behind

April 3, 2007

Perhaps a better headline for this blog entry is “US Trains Fall Further behind.” I was just reading an article discussing a high-speed train developed in France for the Chinese market. This train goes 357.2 MPH and this is short of the 361 MPH a Japanese train has attained.   I believe high-speed trains are an essential (or at least very important) part of any country’s infrastructure and although Amtrak has the Acela train which can exceed 100 MPH, in reality the train averages less than this speed.   I wonder what it takes for the US to have trains that average over 200 MPH and while I am on the topic what would it take to have more tracks in the US allowing better access to the country. I am lucky enough to live near the high-speed trains between Boston and Washington DC… The rest of the country does not even have this luxury.   One wonders what defines the concept of most powerful country in the world. Is that what the US is?

VoIP Peering Web Summit II

April 2, 2007

I am currently listening to a TMCnet Web Summit on VoIP Peering in conjunction with Jon Arnold & Associates. This webinar took place last week. Eli Katz is the first presenter and makes a point I have not really focused on. He says that using peering you can share services across networks and subsequently add value to customers and increase revenue for carriers.   His example was that of SMS and how SMS became truly useful when multiple carriers began interoperating with one another.   Other areas he touched on were security, ENUM and SPIT.

Cell Phone Bar Code Reading

April 2, 2007

There is a recent article in the New York Times worth reading regarding cell phones becoming barcode readers. the technology has been talked about for a number of years but when an article gets published in the New York Times about a new technology perhaps it puts the subject on the fringe of the mainstream. Unfortunately if you want to go out and start scanning today, you just can’t. You see, it will take a few years for cell phone-based bar code readers to be offered in the US due to our devices not being equipped to read these codes.   Japan happens to be one of the leading countries in terms of cell phone barcode adoption, allowing Japanese consumers to be able to scan things like the nutritional information on a hamburger in McDonalds or being able to use the cell as a way to board an airplane, without requiring any paper tickets In addition there are great applications for cell phone scanning technology such as being able to scan a billboard or a for sale sign near a house.   The scan could link to a mobile web page, photos, videos and/or a description of the object in question.   Whether this technology takes off in the US or becomes wider spread is unknown, but it seems like the ability to learn more information from everyday objects just by scanning them with your cell makes a lot of sense There are probably a number of mobile bar code applications around the corner we haven't even thought of.
In the next few years we will possibly see more and more of this technology becoming mainstream.

Caffeine Sucks

April 1, 2007

Let me start this blog entry with a disclaimer. Caffeine is bad for you. But if you are going to ingest caffeine every day you may be getting bored with how few options there are for you to take in this ever-addicting substance. So when I learned you could actually suck in caffeine instead of drinking it I realized I had something to share with my readers.   After all, when I see many of my readers at trade shows and other places they tell me it can be tough to keep up with everything going on… Even my blog takes lots of time to read they tell me.   Well avid readers – fear no more.

Skype for Cows

April 1, 2007

Featured Events