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January 2008

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Charlotte Wolter Joins TMCnet

January 31, 2008

I am proud to announce that Charlotte Wolter is joining our roster of TMCnet contributors and she  will be writing about the service provider space. I have been a huge fan of Charlotte -- her insight and writing and am thrilled to have her join us.

Earlier this week, we announced Gary Kim is joining the TMCnet team and just about a week earlier it was Jon Arnold joining us. The TMC team keeps growing and it is thanks to all of our loyal readers like you as well as our sponsors and advertisers.

Miami Beach Apple Store Packed

January 31, 2008

Garmin and Dell in Cells

January 31, 2008

Motorola Explores Spinning off Handset Business

January 31, 2008

Word is according to CNBC is that Motorola is looking for strategic alternatives for its mobile phone business. I wonder if this move makes sense for the company as this product line is where everyone seems to want to be. Apple, Google, Microsoft and others.

It seems the company just needs to figure out how do get their mobile house in order. It will be interesting to see who wants this business and if it can return to its former glory with other leadership.

At a time when consumer electronics products are literally on fire it is still surprising to me that Motorola has not been able to grow this business and make it the leader in mobile phones that it really should be.

Let's see what the next chapter holds.

See also Greg Galitzine's blog, Is Motorola Finished with Handsets?

Obsolete Wireless Outlets

January 31, 2008

ITEXPO East 2008 Recap

January 30, 2008

You definitely want to check out Tom Keating's writeup of ITEXPO East 2008 where he talks about the great products he saw. Tom got to see more than I did at the show but one point I agree on is MobileMax is an awesome product. Thankfully I had a chance to stop by the company's booth at the show and install the software on my Windows Mobile device.

The company's software resides on a smartphone and intercepts international calls which are subsequently rerouted onto a VoIP network. I am trying this software via Packet8's MobileTalk product.

I can tell you from personal experience that this software works amazingly well and allows you to easily call international numbers from a cellphone without the need for calling card PIN codes, etc.

The best thing about this product is that it requires zero change in user behavior.

There is also a JAVA-based solution coming which will work on Motorola and other handsets which are not technically "smart." Users with such handsets will need to select an icon on the home page to dial an international number.

The iTunes PIA

January 29, 2008

So a while back... I don't even know when, I somehow downloaded Quicktime. It was back in the days when Apple was the company we all felt sorry for. Perhaps a decade or so ago.

Florida Animal Shots

January 29, 2008

TMC Welcomes Gary Kim

January 29, 2008

SIP Trunking Interview

January 28, 2008

700 MHz Auction Update

January 26, 2008

So far in the 700 MHz auction there have been bids totaling more that 2.4 billion and in about a month we should know who won. There were just under two thousand bids for this precious spectrum which could become a viable competitor to DSL and cable.

Five spectrum “blocks” are on the table: A (698-704 MHz and 728-234 MHz), B (704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz), E (722-728 MHz), C (746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz), and D (758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz). Collectively, the entire 700 MHz spectrum covers the analog TV channel range 52-69.

It seems to me that Google absolutely needs to ensure some of this spectrum falls into friendly hands -- even if it has to purchase frequencies and lease them out to other companies.

Of course it isn't just Google who is in this position... Microsoft, Yahoo!, Amazon and others are similarly challenged.

Google's need to acquire some of this spectrum is in exact contrast to the incumbent providers who have to do their best to ensure the spectrum does not fall into the hands of companies which would reduce their negotiating power in generating more revenue from their existing broadband connections.

We should know who the winners and losers are in about a month and this TMCnet

ITEXPO: Mustang Winner

January 25, 2008

ITEXPO: Invisosoft Launches

January 25, 2008

ITEXPO: SIP Forum Session

January 25, 2008

ITEXPO: FMC Enterprise Roundtable

January 25, 2008

Sprint Sues VoIP Firms

January 25, 2008

Many in the IP communications industry blame Vonage for going public, knowing full well that the way they run their business, they can never be profitable. They basically spent a fortune on customer acquisition and not enough time finding ways to generate enough revenue to be a healthy company.

Now, some in the IP communications industry blame the New Jersey-based VoIP provider for not effectively fighting the various patent suits it was involved in.

Many of the patents the telcos used against the company were based on technologies that existed before the patents were filed for according to many in the industry.

Now, the next chapter in this book unfolds as the telcos seem to be coming after others after winning their patent suits against Vonage.

The first telco to do so is Sprint, who now chasing Nuvox Communications, BroadVOX Holdings, Big River Telephone and Paetec Communications.

According to Sprint, the company has invested a great deal in its VoIP products and it cannot stand by while others take advantage of their innovations.

Of course this is all BS as hundreds of companies were years ahead of Sprint in rolling out VoIP.

It just so happens that many of these small but innovative companies didn't make it through the bubble bursting and aren't around to help Vonage win these suits. And it seems Vonage wasn't able to find any past employees of these companies to help their case.

Although I am not an attorney, it seems like it is time for the industry as a whole to come together and take on telcos who somehow believe they invented VoIP and a host of related technologies.

Anyone ever heard of VocalTec?

In a torrent of irony, these telcos are the same companies who tried to destroy VoIP for years before they started embracing it.

Dell/Fonality Phone System

January 25, 2008

ITEXPO: Article in Sun-Sentinel

January 25, 2008

The Sun Sentinel had a great article on Internet Telephony Conference & Expo today and their spin was local. They mentioned companies in the Florida area who participate in the show.

The article was written by Arlene Satchell and she did a wonderful job with it. Here is an excerpt:

South Florida businesses are tapping into the technology that allows people to make phone calls using high-speed Internet instead of regular phone lines.

Known as voice-over-Internet protocol, or VoIP, the technology is seen by some businesses as a cost-saving measure and a way to offer employees telecommuting flexibility.

Thirteen South Florida companies debuted their latest products and innovations this week at the Internet Telephony East Conference and Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is expected to attract 7,000 participants and ends today.

Red Campaign

January 25, 2008

Bono, Michael Dell and Bill Gates were interviewed by CNBC regarding the Red Campaign explaining that when you buy particular computers -- your products weill be responsible for contributions of $50-$80 to their cause which equates to about 6 months of retroviral drug treatments for an AIDs sufferers in Africa.

The foundation has generated about $60 million dollars in about eighteen months of existence.

As Bono says, when you buy these machines you are really connected... Connected to someone whose life you save.

Best of all, according to Bono, you are putting your hands in the manufacturer's pockets -- referring to Microsoft and Dell, not your own -- to help others.

Gates explained that innovation is our friend and that if we can get companies to apply themselves to helping the underprivileged, there are tremendous possibilities.

ITEXPO: DIDX Bowling Party

January 24, 2008

ITEXPO: Ipod and Bose Winner

January 24, 2008

ITEXPO: Ontario Canada Delegation Giveaway

January 24, 2008

ITEXPO: Press Room Shot

January 24, 2008

Tax Breaks for All

January 24, 2008

We interrupt this IP communications conference with breaking news from the Wall Street Journal which tells us that US citizens will soon be receiving tax breaks in a major way.


Congressional aides said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner reached an "agreement in principle" in meetings last night on a bill to provide roughly $100 billion in tax rebates to a broad group of workers and about $40 billion in tax breaks for business. The details still were being vetted with lawmakers, and Democrats and their allies already were raising concerns that the agreement does not include added spending on unemployment benefits or food stamps.

The rebates would be at least $300 for anyone who earned at least $3,000 in 2007, with $300 bonuses for children. People who owe income taxes would receive gradually more, up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples. The rebates would be available to those below a certain income cap, likely $75,000 adjusted gross income for individuals and $150,000 for families.

ITEXPO Keynote Simon Gwatkin

January 24, 2008

ITEXPO: Sharone Ben-Levi Keynote

January 24, 2008

Big Sprint Changes

January 24, 2008

Sprint certainly needs to do something to reduce churn and to become relevant to customers once again. In an increasingly commoditized business they have done little to differentiate themselves from others through either unique handsets which customers want, network quality or anything else.

Unfortunately this means the company has to compete on price which obviously isn't working out to well for the wireless carrier based on its recent financial performance.

The company has just restructured in the hopes of solving its ongoing business problems.

Paul Saleh, chief financial officer; Tim Kelly, chief marketing officer; and Mark Angelino, president, sales and distribution -- will leave the company Friday. The company said William Arendt, senior vice president and controller, will serve as acting CFO, and John Garcia, senior vice president, product development and management, will serve as acting chief marketing officer. Paget Alves, regional president for sales and distribution, will serve as acting president, sales and distribution.

A management shuffle may help but what it really needs are better devices and a really captivating ad campaign promoting these devices and convincing us they matter.

ITEXPO: Tony Rybczynski Keynote

January 24, 2008

Vishing: Definition

January 24, 2008

According to the IC3 or Internet Crime Complaint Center, Vishing is simply voice phishing, a scheme whereby unsuspecting callers are directed to rogue IVR systems which are disguised as real systems from banks, credit card companies, etc.

These systems masquerade as real banks interactive voice response systems asking for confidential information.

In other words there is a relatively new way to get unsuspecting people to part with their confidential and personal information.

The requests to contact these IVR systems can come via telephone calls as well as e-mails.

According to the Wall Street Journal there is a hacker who even sells a kit which crafts e-mails which look like they come from real banks.

So now, we need to not only be concerned about clicking on web links but also calling telephone numbers.

So why is this good news? Well, there is an opportunity for a developer to come up with a system that checks phone numbers against a vishing database to ensure the number called is not fraudulent.

A second option would be to do a database dip and look up the phone number being called just as you dial. When you call Bank of America for example you expect to see the display say Bank of America.

ITEXPO: Thursday Early AM update

January 24, 2008

There has been a good deal of news coming out of ITEXPO so far this week and I would like to tell you I have been able to digest it all but clearly there was just too many things happening for any one person to absorb quickly.

Today is going to be a huge day with keynotes from Tony Rybczynski from Nortel at 9:45 this morning. Tony is one of the most knowledgeable and approachable communications experts I know and he has a gift for putting complex concepts in simple thoughts. You can read his blog here. Oh and you should know that friends and people without spell-check affectionately know him as Tony "Ryb."

Sharone Ben Levi of AudioCodes will keynote next and one of the reason's his perspective is important is the fact that AudioCodes works with numerous communications companies on product development and design due to the nature of their business.

ITEXPO East 2008 Day 1: Thanks

January 23, 2008


January 23, 2008

ITEXPO East 2008 Shots

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO: The Excel Bus

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO: Les Goldman Keynotes

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO: David Byrd Kicks off Keynotes

January 23, 2008

My Schedule Tonight

January 23, 2008

I am blown away by the amount of people who have reached out to meet with me at the very last second at this particular event. So many people want to meet... I wish the show was 2 weeks.

I suspect many were caught off guard as this show happened so early in the year.

I also think this is a great sign as so many people to date want to tell me about new products, new companies or new ventures.

So if you want to meet I will be at all the receptions throughout the week and the meals.

We have had standing room only sessions all day and the energy and excitement has been amazing.

As often as I can I have been checking e-mail on the laptop or phone to stay up to date.

I even took some photos of a packed reseller session I was moderating. There was a look of surprise on some of the attendees faces as I snapped shots of them.

I must confess I even answered a few e-mails up there.

ITEXPO: More Reseller Shots

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO: TMC U SIP Certification Still Packed

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO: Car Giveaway - Mustang Convertible

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO East 2008: Making Money Selling VoIP

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO: TMC U SIP Certification Standing Room Only

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO: Making the Business Case for VoIP

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Set Up

January 23, 2008

ITEXPO -- See You in Hall B

January 23, 2008

NY Times Invests in Blogs

January 23, 2008

A smart move for the New York Times is to get involved with blogs. I don't mean hiring bloggers, I mean purchasing part of a company making blogging software. It just seems logical as a brand extension to go from reporting to helping others report and build a sense of community.

According to this Wall Street Journal article the NYT is now involved.

The exact details are as follows:

  • Automattic Inc. the company behind WordPress blog software raised $29 million
  • The New York Times was one of the investors in this round
  • Automattic has 18 employees
  • The company will use the money for acquisitions and other activities

Currently there are about 2.2 million blogs utilizing WordPress as a hosting/software platform.

I think there are absolutely wonderful synergies here but one wonders if the New York Times will be able to fully leverage the community potential of the blogosphere. Moreover, It will be interesting to see if the Times decides to invest in more tech companies going forward or will only stick to companies which are in the media field.

ITEXPO West 2008 Day One - Andy

January 23, 2008

Dell Chooses Fonality

January 23, 2008

Internet Buffet Closed

January 22, 2008

Greg Galitzine heads up the editorial team at TMCnet and recently he and I were discussing the all you can eat internet and how it may soon be gone. During our talk, I had trouble seeing why this is different than what I deal with today. If I want super fast internet access I pay my cable provider more.

Seems to me that an all you can eat service allows people who don't need lots of bandwidth to save some money and others who download 24x7 can decide to  pay and get the best service available. I by the way pay for the top speed from Optimum Online and don't necessarily feel robbed.

One point worth mentioning however is companies like Cablevision will put a limiter on users who download more than what they deem appropriate.

ITEXPO East 2008 Kicks Off

January 22, 2008

Photos, Photos Everywhere but Upside Down

January 22, 2008

So here we are again on yet another flight. I am about halfway to Miami and hope I have finally gotten photos to send correctly. The HTC XV6800 likes to have you take photos upside down for some reason.

I would imagine this could be a Windows Mobile glitch but who knows?

I had a chance to try Google Gears on the flight. It is middleware which sits on your computer and lets your hosted applications think they are interfacing over the internet.

This is helpful as it allows you to download up to 2000 RSS feeds in the Google Reader before flying.

Pictures Upside-Down

January 22, 2008

Some like it Cold

January 22, 2008

Scenes on the way to the Airport

January 22, 2008

Yahoo! to Layoff Hundreds

January 22, 2008

As successful as Yahoo! is in terms of traffic generation, it is amazing as an outsider to witness the company has not been able to grow revenue effectively. Yahoo! has shown us that there can be a disconnect between eyeballs and dollar bills.

Unfortunately this lack of revenue growth will now lead to layoffs at the company.

Whitman Departs: What it Means to Skype

January 22, 2008

Meg Whitman was the person who put the Skype deal together at eBay and over the past year it has become apparent that Skype is not generating the revenue eBay hoped it would. In addition, in the last 12 months, there has been a lack of clear leadership at the Skype unit.

My day to day contacts are still at the company and product upgrades are still coming out mind you. It is at the top of the world's largest communications software company that their is a vacuum.

One wonders why this is. What makes sense is for a strong evangelist to be at the helm of Skype promoting IP communications and helping to ink deal after deal in the pursuit of large profits.

But under Whitman this hasn't happened.

Fujitsu F705i -- Slim and Waterproof

January 22, 2008

ITEXPO East 2008 Schedule

January 21, 2008

Here are some of the happenings this week at ITEXPO. My team is already down in Miami, making sure the new Mustang convertible is prepped and ready for the raffle Friday. I wish you luck in winning the car and either way you will end up with something of value -- a 3-day IP communications education available nowhere else.

See you soon!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008:
9:00 am - Breakout sessions*
9:00 am - TMC University Training: Using SIP to Build Enhanced Services* 9:00 am - TMC University Training: Microsoft OCS* 9:00 am - trixbox Open Communication Training Courses* 10:00 am - Reseller Solutions Day Workshop 10:00 am - Ingate's SIP Trunking Workshop
4:15 pm - KEYNOTES by Broadvox, 8x8, Inc. (Packet8), and Fonality 6:00 pm - EXHIBIT HALL OPEN 6:00 pm - Welcome Networking Reception in Exhibit Hall
  Sponsored by Aculab.

Thursday, January 24, 2008:
8:00 am - Breakout sessions*
8:00 am - trixbox Open Communication Training Courses*
8:15 am - Voice Peering Fabric Workshop
8:30 am - Ingate SIP Trunking Seminars
9:45 am - KEYNOTES by Nortel, AudioCodes, and Mitel 11:30 am - EXHIBIT HALL OPEN (Hall closes at 5:00 pm) 4:00 pm - Networking reception in exhibit hall sponsored by Ontario Canada
4:45 pm - Bose SoundDock(R) and Apple iPod Giveaway -- see below (You must be present to win)

Friday, January 25, 2008:
9:00 am - Breakout sessions*
9:00 am - trixbox Open Communication Training Courses* 11:00 am - EXHIBIT HALL OPEN (Hall closes at 2:30 pm) 2:30 pm - 2008 Mustang Convertible Giveaway -- see below (You must be present to win)

*Fees required to attend conference sessions & training courses.

I encourage you to visit the expo site now to review detailed descriptions of everything happening at the conference and to quickly and easily register.

I hope to see you down here in warm, sunny Miami for three great days of improving your business.

Have a Safe Trip to ITEXPO

January 21, 2008

I hope everyone has a safe trip down to Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. The registration numbers are trending nicely above estimates and we expect a stellar event. As always, we have done our absolute best to assemble the most knowledgeable speakers and diverse exhibitors and this show will provide the best IP communications education ever.

As a side benefit I figured I should remind you that flights to Miami are still very cheap and the weather in the US is getting colder. Here is a map of the current temps...

Unlocked goes Retail

January 21, 2008

It is not uncommon to read media reports which criticize domestic cell phone carriers who lock cell phones, preventing them from being used on other networks. While unlocked cellphones are not new, what I find interesting is that Sharper Image is trying to be the company to bring you unocked phones.

The Sharper Image 101TSI

There may be an opportunity for the company as currently if you want to buy an unlocked phone you have to search the Internet. Sharper Image could be come the "unlocked phone store" if they play their cards right.

The company offers a variety of phones and I haven't had a chance to try any of them yet. If successful, one wonders if other companies such as Brookstone will get into the act.

Photo test

January 21, 2008

Sitting in the Pharmacy

January 21, 2008

MacBook Air Missing Features

January 21, 2008

Sure the MacBook Air is missing a few features. No surprise as it is so thin. A slow hard disk and missing FireWire port shouldn't be a deal breaker for the people that want the bragging rights associated with the world's thinnest laptop. The way I see it, this is the iPhone of laptops -- missing some features but also packing some new ones not seen elsewhere.

I would imagine many people who like the iPhone will also like the gesture-based interface this laptop takes advantage of -- as it is so similar to how you use the iPhone.

I would guess only a few will be put off by the lack of features.

Cloverfield = Motion Sickness

January 20, 2008

So I almost went to see Cloverfield this weekend but instead ended up in a romantic comedy. These are the things that happen to your movie viewing when you get married I guess.

After the chick-flick I was in ended, I had a chance to walk into the Cloverfield theatre for a minute and it was an amazing experience due to the excessively loud volume, the method of shooting (lots of shaking) and the content.

I have heard the movie is not so scary but it seemed like it would leave a lasting impression as it did on me after just 60 seconds.

Apparently, I am not alone in my perception of this movie as at least in one theatre, guests seem to be getting motion sickness from it. Take a look at this sign for what I mean.

Actually I am now glad my wife talked me out of seeing this movie.

ITEXPO Giveaways

January 18, 2008

White Space Internet Closer

January 18, 2008

Although we unfortunately will not be able to take advantage of new and exciting internet devices utilizing "white space" technology next week at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Miami... It does seem that at some point in the future, these unused and unlicensed TV spectrum frequencies could make broadband more accessible and affordable.

Last year a coalition which includes Microsoft, Philips, Google Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and EarthLink Inc. submitted prototypes to the FCC for testing.

So far these devices have not proved to work properly in the real world but thankfully the FCC will resume testing soon and hopefully if these tests are successful, they will be more internet options on the market.

For more on this developing story check out this piece from the Associated Press.

Vonage to Follow SunRocket?

January 18, 2008

Fax, T.38 and SIP

January 18, 2008

As you may remember from a prior post, AudioCodes was running a five-part webinar series which concluded yesterday with a webinar on SIP and T.38 fax.

On the webinar, Percy discussed reliability concerns with the G.711 standard, and more specifically, how SIP and T.38 can improve fax reliability, as well as how to eliminate expensive dedicated fax boards from communications system.

Another area of focus was sending legacy TDM fax over SIP trunks.

I came across an article from Erik Linask who summed up the webinar and I also found a post from Alan Percy who works for AudioCodes in which he discusses how successful the webinar was. Here is an excerpt:

After yesterday's webinar on fax, I'm overwhelmed. 

When we were developing the plans and presentation materials for yesterdays webinar titled "Fax - SIP+T.38 to the Rescue", our expectations were that a few "fax gurus" would join in and we would have a small very focused 20 - 30 person session on a rather deep dark secret of the industry.  Can you imagine my surprise when during the first few minutes of the session the participant count kept climbing and climbing to over 160 people! 

Skype on Apple TV

January 18, 2008

California Broadband Task Force Recommendations

January 17, 2008

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commissioned the California Broadband Task Force (CBTF) to “remove barriers to broadband access, identify opportunities for increased broadband adoption, and enable the creation and deployment of new advanced communication technologies.” The governor also requested that the CBTF “pay particular attention to how broadband can be used to substantially benefit educational institutions, healthcare institutions, community-based organizations, and governmental institutions.”
Recently this task force issued a report on the state of broadband in California.

The CBTF adopted three key goals:

  • California must ensure ubiquitous and affordable broadband infrastructure, made available through a variety of technologies to all Californians.
  • California must drive the creation and use of applications that produce the greatest economic, educational, and social benefits for California’s economy and communities.
  • California must construct next-generation broadband infrastructure, positioning California as the global economic leader in a knowledge-based economy.

Through analysis of CBTF’s broadband mapping project and independent research, the Task Force determined that California is better positioned than most states on broadband availability and adoption, yet the state lags behind key foreign competitors. Specifically, the CBTF found:

  • 96% of California residences have access to broadband.
  • 1.4 million mostly rural Californians lack broadband access at any speed.
  • Barely more than half of Californians have adopted broadband at home.
  • Only half of Californians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps
  • (including both upstream and downstream speeds).
  • Broadband infrastructure is deployed unevenly throughout the state, from state-of–the-art to nonexistent.
Just as California has invested in other critical infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and water, the CBTF believes that the state must seize the opportunity to promote private-sector investment, leverage public/private partnerships, and lead the effort to increase broadband availability and adoption. But unlike roads, electricity, and water, California’s investment in broadband should not be limited to physical infrastructure, but instead should include policies to increase adoption of broadband technologies.

Outrageous Interactions

January 17, 2008

Normally I don't like to judge people but in this case -- I was asked by Interactive Intelligence if I would do just that --- judge people. You see, I will be a judge on a panel with Interactive Intelligence CEO Don Brown, Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst of JAMISON Consulting, Art Rosenberg, Principal Analyst & Syndicated Columnist of The Unified-View, and Blair Pleasant, President & Principal Analyst of COMMfusion LLC.

So what am I judging you ask? The company has come up with the idea -- an award for the most outrageous interaction awarded to workers in the contact center industry.

Here are the details:

You have an Outrageous Interaction with a customer almost every shift.

AT&T and Net Neutrality

January 17, 2008

In case you missed it, Slate has an article worth reading titled Has AT&T Lost its mind. It talks about the idea of AT&T filtering web packets via deep packet inspection. I touched on this topic as well in the past but Slate goes into more depth if you want a broader perspective. In addition it uses terms like "corporate seppuku" which must make it worth reading.

Shoretel Class Action Suit

January 17, 2008

Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC (KGS) has announced an initial filing of securities for a class action suit against Shoretel.

According to a press release:

If you purchased shares of ShoreTel in connection with the IPO or if you
purchased shares thereafter in the open market, you are urged to contact
Lewis Kahn, Managing Partner, KGS, toll free 1-866-467-1400, ext. 100, via
cell phone at 504-301-7900, or by email at to
learn about your legal rights and how this action may benefit you. For
further information on KGS, please visit

ShoreTel, certain of its officers and directors, and the Company's
underwriters are charged with including, or allowing the inclusion of,
materially false and misleading statements in the Registration Statement
and Prospectus issued in connection with the IPO, in violation of the
Securities Act of 1933.

The Complaint alleges that following ShoreTel's July 3, 2007 IPO -- which
raised gross proceeds of at least $86.3075 million -- investors learned the
truth about the Company on January 7, 2008 -- including that the problems
which existed at the time of the IPO would result in extremely
disappointing results for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 (the period
ended December 31, 2007), including much lower than expected revenues and
higher than expected costs and expenses. At that time, defendants first
belatedly revealed that sales to new customers were substantially lower
than expected, and that sales to existing customers was not sufficient to
offset these declines.

The Rise of the Splinternet

January 17, 2008

In the good old days having a website was good enough... This was your portal to the world -- your customers and everyone else. But slowly but surely a wealth of new communities are being created and if you aren't part of them, you could risk losing tremendous market share. In other words, a single homogeneous Internet is no longer what marketers can count on.

In fact, some of the splintered Internet sites are so popular that if you aren't part of them, you could risk watching your brand wiped out.

Just yesterday in fact, Hasbro Inc. "woke up" to the fact that over 600,000 daily users utilize a Facebook application called Scrabulous which is a Scrabble clone.

Ouch: Texas -- Biggest Polluter

January 17, 2008

Texas would rank seventh in the world in carbon emissions if it were its own country, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Texas, the second most populous state, behind California, has 23.5 million people and more than 20 million registered vehicles, about one in four of them a pickup truck. California has a population of 36.5 million and 33 million registered vehicles.

Transportation accounted for 28 percent of Texas' carbon emissions in 2003.

Pizza Ordering Goes Mobile

January 17, 2008

Macs for Business?

January 17, 2008

Like just so many technologies, Macs are invading corporations from the bottom up. Since this week saw MacWorld and MacIT take place... Wall Street Journal reporters had a chance to scope out the latter event and write a blog entry detailing whether or not businesses should consider switching to the Mac side.

In short, there are savings to be had but there are less Mac savvy people around ready to fix problems when they take place. In the end, a company may not have a choice regarding Macs as they seem to just come into the company from workers who use them at home.

This is exactly what happened with web browsers, smartphones, iPhones and it will happen with Macs as well.

Open Source Momentum

January 17, 2008

By now, you may have heard that Sun has agreed to purchase open-source database company MySQL for one billion dollars. Many companies are betting on open source as the future and open source companies operating in niche markets such as databases and others seem to make good M&A targets. In fact we can expect another computer company to be making an open source niche purchase in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for details.

In the mean time, I recently had a chance to ask open source communications company Digium founder Mark Spencer about his company's one millionth Asterisk download.

Top 10 Phone Tricks

January 17, 2008

Politicians Ignoring Small Business

January 17, 2008

I just received this e-mail from John Cpin, VP of Communications, Westin Rinehart and I thought it worth passing along as it makes some good points.


January 16, 2008

John Cpin


George Cloutier Statement


A Call for Change is Meaningless to Small Business Owners

It’s Time for the Politicians to Put Up…

Politicians are Worried About Every Voter Block Except Small Businesses

As the presidential campaign season gets busier and busier, candidates are talking about illegal immigration and the 11 million illegals in this country. But, no one is talking about the issues that directly affect and concern the 23 million small business owners in the US. Small businesses are being neglected and left out of the political process and my question to all the candidates is where’s the beef?

Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go

January 16, 2008

A disproportionate amount of fraud seems to have taken place in the telecom and technology fields over the last decade. Adelphia, Worldcom, Enron (remember they also had a bandwidth trading division) and many others have been caught and convicted over the years.

Today, one of the people involved in on the of the many stock options backdating scandals, Gregory Reyes the former CEO of Brocade Communications was sentenced to jail for 18 months and ordered to pay a large fine because of his involvement in falsifying documents.

While I hate to see a single scapegoat,  it is always a good sign when the courts show they are serious about protecting shareholders from fraudulent activity such as options backdating.

The problem in this case is that it seems virtually every tech company was deeply involved in the same activity and until recently much of these problems did not come to light.

The excuse was "Everyone else is doing it," so it must be OK.

I would be tempted to be more lenient of such arguments if the same exact excuse wasn't being used by financial firms to explain why they got involved in subprime loans which didn't make sense and complex financial instruments they obviously didn't fully understand.

The only difference is that in the financial crisis we are currently in, much of the blame rests with ratings agencies and mortgage insurers who felt the pooling of massive quantities of low quality loans would somehow equate to a high quality rating.

While I got off track a bit here... I suppose I should end by saying I am glad to see courts upholding laws and protecting shareholders. I love the technology and telecom markets which TMC serves and I am glad to see courts uphold shareholder rights and setting an example which shows unethical/illegal behavior (even if commonplace) will not be tolerated.

The integrity of the tech and telecom spaces rests in the hands of powerful company chiefs who cannot think they are above the law.

Mobile Device Management

January 16, 2008

CopperCom Close to Closing

January 16, 2008

Open Source PBX Redesign

January 16, 2008

SIP and Enhanced Services

January 16, 2008

Jeff Dworkin is no stranger to TMC University as he has taught numerous TMC courses at ITEXPOs over the past years. Even though Jeff is well-known to many of you what you probably are not aware of is the fact that he now works for Dialogic.

In addition he will be teaching a TMC University course at ITEXPO but with a twist. This course will be focused on service providers and is titled SIP: The Foundation For Building Enhanced Services.

The course will touch on a number of topics a service provider needs to be aware of as they manage their growth...

Examples of content to be discussed include SIP, SS7, IP Backhaul-Class 4 Replacement, E911, Pre and Post Paid Services Using SIP, QoS, etc.

For more on the full course and a podcast interview I invite you to visit Greg Galitzine's blog for more information.

Amazon's France Problems

January 16, 2008

In France there is a law that says you are not allowed to sell books for more than 5 percent off the list price. We have lots of silly laws in the US as well so it is tough to fault the French for this ridiculous anti-consumer law. The problem is this law is obviously not good for a company like Amazon who has decided to ignore the law and instead pay a relatively small fine.

The challenge for the company is that soon the fine amount may increase and Amazon will have to decide how to proceed. Jeff Bezos has tried to rally the French public in support of free shipping by the way.

WiFi Hotspots Still Not Secure

January 16, 2008

In August of last year I wrote about how WiFi hotspots are not secure.

A few days later I clarified the post with comments from Microsoft's Francois Doremieux, Senior Program Manager, Product Group: Customer Experience.

The clarification basically explains that even if a hotspot is not secure, using a VPN or other encrypted stream of data makes it lot better than just opening a web browser and entering passwords and account numbers.

Today The Wall Street Journal explains a bit more in detail how hotspots can be used to collect your personal information. The article suggests ways to protect yourself and in addition advises you to do your banking, etc at home.


Protecting Yourself

Stay current.

Jon Arnold

January 16, 2008

ITEXPO - Huge International Draw

January 16, 2008

As Tom Keating mentioned earlier today we are proud to announce that Internet Telephony Conference & Expo which will take place in just under a week in Miami Florida has registrations from 74 countries, a 15.6% increase over last year.

The show takes place January 23-25 and I hope you can make it.

As cold weather comes to many parts of the world, now is a good time to come to ITEXPO where you can enjoy the heat of the red-hot IP communications industry and a bit of sun as well.

Hope to see you there. Have a safe trip!


Important Interviews

January 16, 2008

Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to interview a number of thought leaders and others who have given me their perspectives on the communications market, the future, the entry of Google, Apple and Microsoft into the space and much more.

Here are some of the more interesting interviews for your reading pleasure... I really think we can get a healthy read on where communications will be headed in 2008 by absorbing some of these comments.




Tech News 01/16/07

January 16, 2008

It has been a pretty big news day so far this early morning. Intel perhaps is responsible for the biggest portion of today's market movement as last night they announced earnings which were not all that bad but the stock got slammed anyway. I am a shareholder of Intel as a point of disclosure.

Ending a six-month long saga many thought was over, Oracle will be buying BEA Systems for 8.5 billion dollars in an all-cash deal. You may recall this summer that the two companies were negotiating over this sale with BEA rejecting an earlier offer from the database and software giant.

The Wall Street Journal has good financial analysis of Synchronoss Technology, the company behind the iPhone activation.

Mobile blog test

January 15, 2008

MacWorld Update

January 15, 2008

Although I am not blown away by the Apple announcements out of MacWorld today the news could still be a massive financial win for the California-based company. In short, the cult of Steve Jobs announced a new thin laptop Macbook Air (shown here) and a movie rental service. Movies will cost $3.99 and 4.99 for HD.

Although it is unclear what the margins will be on these rentals, we can assume Apple will be very successful in this space and download many movie rentals. In addition the rental service will spawn ever more sales of apple devices where people will watch these movies.

A new high-def Apple TV was also launched at the Jobs Keynote.

Quantcast Update 01/08

January 15, 2008

On November 6, 2007 I had a post (see bottom of post for chart) where I showed how TMC compares with other IP Communications sites. I did this by pulling numbers from Quantcast, a web service which tracks web traffic worldwide but whose numbers quoted here equal the unique United States visitors each month.

So a Quantcast ranking of 3,000 means that you have 100 unique visitors each day per month (approximately 30 days). So 100 x 30 = 3,000. Again -- these are US numbers only.

In November of last year, TMCnet attracted just over 711,000 US unique visitors per month according to Quantcast.

Now, just two months later, our Quantcast ranking is 870,019, an increase of 159,019.

Ergonomic Phones

January 15, 2008

Free Softbank Calls

January 15, 2008


January 15, 2008

Data Center Startup Makes Waves

January 15, 2008

Atlanta: Most Wired US City

January 15, 2008

I have to be honest when I say I was surprised to read that Atlanta, GA is considered to be the most wired city in the US. When you look at the reasons however it begins to make sense.

As the communications hub for the Southeast, Atlanta boasts regional headquarters for AT&T and Verizon and a bustling community of Internet-related start-ups. It's also home to BellSouth (now AT&T), EarthLink and cable company Cox Communications. It also got an early jump on leading-edge technology after spending a fortune to wire its downtown area for the arrival of the Olympics in 1996.

This is according to an article on and here is an excerpt:

Here are some clues.

Sipera Interview

January 14, 2008

Sipera Systems is on the leading edge of IP communications/VoIP security and it is worth pointing out the company was just interviewed by me and in the interview there is good information about the growth areas of IP communications as well as the potential risks involved.

Here is an excerpt:

RT: What is the most exciting market change we can expect in communications in technology in 2008 and beyond? EW:

One of the most exciting market changes in 2008 will be the use of presence technology, expanding from the boundaries of instant messaging and including other communication modes such as mobile phones, hard phones at work and office, soft phones, etc. Further, presence will go beyond whether one is online to also include geographical location (via GPS), On Call, In Meeting, and In Car. The major challenge here will be understanding and managing privacy and security in this context based on domains, user groups, device, etc.

Oh, and by the way I almost forgot to mention this interview was with Sipera CMO Eric Winsborrow and you can see him speaking at ITEXPO next week in Florida.


Best Buy CRM Challenge

January 14, 2008

OCS Assimilation

January 14, 2008

Tom Cross has an interesting post about Microsoft OCS and in it he has a good communications history lesson detailing some of Redmond's past activities in the telecom space. Here is an excerpt:

What all this means is that the old-time interconnect company is finally going away. Many of them hate IP systems, never wanted to learn IP and keep thinking it’s a fad that will go away. This also means huge opportunity for those who finally want to see the telephone finally get “assimilated” PC and the benefits of “unified” communications or messaging finally arrive.

Sangoma Interview

January 14, 2008

Squeezebox Duet

January 14, 2008

You probably know I spent some time thinking about how best to connect my computer system to my stereo and I ended up with a solution that is not perfect but at least I can listen my phone's music collection through speakers worthy of a home stereo system. The way I did this was with a pair of bluetooth speakers from Sharper Image and this cost me about $100 to pull off.

If I had decided to spend more money I could have gone with products from Squeezebox. I have decided not to do this right now but if I were to blow a good deal of money on a solution to connect my computer home stereo system it would likely buy the Squeezebox Duet.

This system uses an iPod like controller which gives you the ability to control music throughout the home.

Tom Keating wrote about this new product a week back or so and now engadget is saying the controller is even better than the specs originally led us to believe.

The remote includes Flickr support, a built-in speaker and headphone jack, SD card slot, IR transmitter and 3-axis accelerometer which could theoretically be used as a video game controller or to control music with various gestures of your hand.

Samsung Bribery News

January 14, 2008

Samsung has its hands in just so many things and subsequently it is worth sitting back and taking notice when the company is accused of setting up a slush fund and engaging in bribery.

Samsung Group is easily South Korea’s leading conglomerate. The company has 58 subsidiaries and accounts for over 20 percent of the country’s exports. Samsung Group’s assets are valued at more than $280.8 billion and its exports were worth $66.3 billion last year.

Scandals are not considered new to such huge South Korean industrial groups as Samsung. These conglomerates have regularly been accused of wielding their economic power to influence government decisions, as well as using shading dealings between subsidiaries to help controlling families to evade taxes and transfer wealth to heirs.

Read more on TMCnet.

Sprint Layoffs

January 14, 2008

The bad news keeps flowing for Sprint employees as there are now rumored layoffs coming. Still, with a new CEO, this news is not too surprising. Moreover, for shareholders these cuts will likely be welcomed as sales are slowing and churn is increasing. Sprint desperately needs to do something to make their company and service sexy.

Verizon has the best network from a quality perspective.

Fake Apple Keynote

January 14, 2008

It is amazing what a cult of personality Steve Jobs has become. It has gotten to the point where speculators not only try to figure out what Jobs will say but now they are even writing a full speech (or at least notes) in advance of Jobs presenting.

Credit Wikipedia as the location of this "fake" speech and TechCrunch for alerting me to its existence.

Here is an excerpt:

iPhone/iPod Touch SDK
- Apps and Widgets
- Using Cocoa with Objective-C
- Developers submit programs as source code, not executable
- Specify iPhone or both iPhone/Touch (certain features iPhone only)
- Set your own price: Apps $0-$6.99, Widgets $0-$2.99
- Users buy/download in iTunes Wi-Fi Store / iTunes Store (Mac/PC)
- Automatic updating wirelessly or docked

- Demonstration of exporting from XCode 3 to iTunes Store
- Submits source code to Apple for validation (make sure that people aren’t abusing the system, prevent malware and viruses)
- If using microphone or GSM, iPhone only; otherwise, available for both iPhone and iPod Touch
- Apps can be free or up to $6.99; Widgets free or up to $2.99
- Developers recieve 70% of revenue for their products
- Licensed under Apple Mobile Software License
- Can download wirelessly from iTunes Wi-Fi Store or docked to computer from iTunes Store
- Demonstration of wirelessly downloading (and running) the app submitted earlier
- Apps and widgets can be rearranged on front screen; front screen scrolls to show all apps/widgets
- Resubmit updated versions of apps; when added to store, iPhone/Touch will ask you to update it next time you use it (or next time you dock the iPhone/Touch)
- Developers can get their hands on a beta version of the SDK tomorrow on ADC and start developing; final version due early February
- iTunes 7.6 and iPhone/iPod Touch Software update 1.3 allowing for Apps mid-February

Example apps/widgets
- iChat (coming with 1.3 update) (AIM, Jabber/Google Talk)
– Quick demonstration
- RSS Feed Reader (coming with 1.3 update) (read feeds online or off)
- One of our partners made something cool: (scrobble tracks played on iPhone/touch wirelessly without syncing w/ computer)
- Dictionary (coming with 1.3 update) (quickly look up words, translate, use wikipedia)
– Quick demonstration
- Yellow/White Book (coming with 1.3 update) (search for contacts, add them to your address book directly from the app, will sync back with address book on your Mac/PC)
- Sports Ticker (coming with 1.3 update) (choose your sports and teams, get updates on their progress)
- Another partner: Twitter (update your Twitter on the fly, see your friends tweets)
- Try these out on the show floor today

Google iPhone Upgrade

January 14, 2008

The latest news out of Google is not surprising as the company decided to choose the week of Macworld to announce that they have improved their iPhone experience. As I wrote about earlier today, iPhone search activity is much greater than the search activity of other mobile devices.

As such, Google has announced it has made its applications and interface speedier for iPhone users and while doing this they have also made the applications look slicker, easier to navigate and use via touch-screen.

You can also customize your start page at

Because we now know just how much traffic the iPhone is sending to search engines, this news is not surprising. What we should be aware of however is the fact that it is going to be very difficult for the Google Phone/Android to be better than other phones as Google has to make its applications extremely user friendly regardless of device.

I mentioned this in a post last night in fact.

It is conceivable that the iPhone could provide a better browsing and search experience than anything Google and its partners in the OHA can come up with. And therein is the challenge for Google.

But then again, if their apps run everywhere they still win.

iPhone Google Traffic Surge

January 14, 2008

Back in the late nineties the CEO of Nokia made an interesting prediction at an industry show in his keynote address. The prognostication was that soon more people would surf the internet on their mobile devices than on PCs. Unfortunately I did a search for the exact details of this quote but came up empty. We are just going to have to use my memory as a guide for this blog post.

Partially fueled by this and other predictions, many companies focused on getting their sites to be mobile ready by embracing WAP which was the mobile web browsing standard at the time.

While WAP did allow browsing, the small screens at the time and the non-graphical websites which WAP allowed meant that mobile browsing was a huge disappointment for many.

But it may seem that the comments while not true were merely early as according to The New York Times, Google and other search engines are reporting soaring web searches from the iPhone.

Google Android Apps Arrive

January 13, 2008

We have all likely heard about Google Android but for the first time, we will now be able to get our hands on applications that are specifically designed for Android. A La Mobile is the name of the company who has made "Google mobile history" and I can't think of a better company name to bring us this super-sweet first.

At the moment, the applications will be available for the HTC Qtek 9090. Coincidentally, I sent an e-mail off to HTC PR about a month ago asking to get my hands on one of these powerful gadgets and never heard back. Not sure if I had the right address.

Foot Power for Gadgets

January 13, 2008

SkullCandy Double Agent

January 13, 2008

Picture Frames need PHDs

January 12, 2008

After reading Tony Ryb's blog about how it shouldn't take a PHD to get a wireless photo frame working I have to share my story of the Sharper Image wireless picture frame called the MemoryFrame from DigitalSpectrum Incorporated. This device is perhaps the most complicated and worst designed product I have ever used. It is buggy and a nightmare to get a WEP key into. In order to get the key in you have to put a file containing the key on an SD card and insert it into the device.

Even after spending countless hours on getting it to work properly on a WiFi network, I was disappointed that it didn't synchronize photos from the internet the way it is supposed to.

Cisco Invests in SoonR

January 12, 2008

Cisco has just invested in SoonR a company which supplies a service allowing computer files to be easily accessed by mobile phones or other internet devices. As mobile devices become more powerful and wireless broadband becomes more pervasive, this segment of the market is obviously going to be more important.

I recall in 2000-2002 that a few companies focused on solving this problem went out of business. I can't even remember the company names anymore but as happens often, the ideas were good but the timing was not.

But although this is just an investment, I get the feeling Cisco is eyeing what Microsoft, Apple and Google have done in the mobile market and wants in.

Let's not forget RIM and the company's soaring stock price. Certainly mobility has much potential and if SoonR competes with anyone today, perhaps it is RIM with the company's popular Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) software.

I think we will see Cisco making acquisitions and/or rolling out more products in the mobility space this year.

Striking Writers to Launch New Company

January 12, 2008

Perhaps the headline of this post should be ended with the he disclaimer "With the help of investors who may or may not pony up $30 million."

The worst nightmare of the studios and networks dealing with the writer's strike is not that it will go on but instead that the out of work writers will start a new company which allows writers to develop content which viewers can view on the web.

According to an article on swarmcast, some of the writers are indeed now looking to start their own production and distribution company.

Aaron Mendelsohn, writer of the Disney film Air Bud and an active WGA member, is captaining the efforts, and says he has gotten a group of “A-list” film and TV writers on the team. He’s also partnering with online community experts from Silicon Valley and raising “north of $30 million” in venture capital, with the idea of launching a company called Virtual Artists later this year.

On the technology side, the company is looking to foster communities around its content and include viewers in the development process. Henri Poole of CivicActions and Brian Behlendorf of the Apache Project and CollabNet are serving as advisers.

If this company does get funding it could be a very scary problem for Hollywood to have to deal with. In fact if it is able to make money by distributing content online it will show how disruptive technology is now changing how writers negotiate.

Multicore Processors in 3G

January 11, 2008

Good Bye Jeff Raikes

January 11, 2008

Good bye Jeff Raikes.

Raikes did a great job at Microsoft and in the unified communications space he should be commended for rolling out a slew of strong products and doing a fantastic PR and marketing job promoting them. He will be retiring from Microsoft soon.

Microsoft is an interesting animal in that they are so large that sometimes I think they are too big to get things accomplished quickly but at the same time they surprised me by rolling out good products in the unified communications space in a relatively short amount of time. They also got a large group of partners to buy in and simultaneously promoted these products very well via extremely effective marketing and public relations campaigns.

Unlike many companies in the communications space who change marketing strategies virtually every quarter, Microsoft has stayed consistent with message. They really understand marketing better than the typical communications or tech company.

Stephen Elop the former COO of Juniper Networks will be replacing Raikes and there is much speculation about why Microsoft did not look internally to fill this position.

T-Mobile's Massive Spend

January 11, 2008

Bose Bluetooth

January 11, 2008

I have a pair of Bose QuietComfort 3 noise-canceling headphones and for the longest time I have wondered why -- just why, I have to have a separate bluetooth stereo headset. After all for $300, Bose should not only have bluetooth in their top of the line headphones they should send you a gift basket.

It seems engadget has the details on how Bose will be upgrading or retrofitting the QuietComfort 3 headphones allowing us to reduce the number of headphones and headsets we need to carry with us. I for one just can't wait for this to happen but i must say, this blog post lack a good deal of detail about what a future product may look like and when it will come out.

Nuance Communications Podcast

January 11, 2008

Sad, Very Sad

January 11, 2008


January 11, 2008

One of the most incredible software packages I have come across in quite some time is WMWifiRouter which enables Windows Mobile devices to become WiFi access points, sharing the EVDO connection with a number of others. Although the software allows ad hoc connections instead of infrastructure I found no negative effects from this minor oddity.

As Tom Keating wrote recently, I did install this software on my phone for a number of reasons. One of the main ones is because I would like to use the Nokia N800 tablet computer away from areas that have WiFi. You have no doubt read me go on and on about how useful the N800 is... The main problem with the device continues to be the lack of cellular access.

Now, I can easily run the WMWifiRouter software on my XV6800 and an instant access point is created for the N800 and other devices to share.

In addition, during trade show set up (before internet is running in the convention center) at ITEXPO, TMC can now use our Windows Mobile devices to create instant access points for others to share.

As you might imagine, Verizon is not happy about this because they have their own "tether" service which allows you to pair a Windows Mobile device with a single other computer via bluetooth.

Service Provider Opportunities

January 11, 2008

Service providers are being extremely creative in using technology and ingenuity to launch new and enhanced services and products to keep customers and attract new ones. Some of the better ideas I have seen lately are the consumer electronics DECT phone from Comcast which allows internet browsing and address synchronization via the in-home cordless phone.

I also think the Alltel/AAA collaboration is a great move allowing consumers access to over 100,000 locations which give AAA discounts. In addition the GPS-enabled devices allow instant transmission of location to AAA when you have a car problem.

Another great idea is the transmission of Pandora radio to certain AT&T Wireless handsets. I really like Pandora as the service allows you to customize your own radio stations without listening to commercials.

Death of the Road Warrior

January 11, 2008

One of the more respected names in the video/telepresence space is Casey King, CTO of LifeSize. I recently had a chance to interview King and you may be interested in reading his views on how telepresence is changing the world of business travel. According to King, business is doing very well over at LifeSize and they expect the future to be even brighter. King makes one prediction at the end of his interview which at first I didn't agree with but over a few minutes I started to think he may be correct. Check it out for details.

King will be speaking at ITEXPO in two weeks so if you want to learn more about telepresence be sure to register for the conference and I'll see you in Miami.

IP Fax Reliability

January 11, 2008

Google Uses Technology To Enhance Ad Results

January 10, 2008

International Calling Alternatives

January 10, 2008

Secure your WiFi or not?

January 10, 2008

Solar Laptop Bag

January 10, 2008

Alltel Partners with AAA

January 10, 2008

Years back, many of my colleagues and I waxed poetic about location based services. Now it seems, with the aid of GPS, these services are being rolled out. A really interesting one has been announced by AAA the automobile club and Alltel.

The way it works is your GPS-enabled Alltel phone allows you to know the closest establishments where AAA savings may be had. This could save people a great deal of money as AAA has over 100,000 locations working with them to provide savings.

In addition, the phone works to alert AAA if you have car trouble.

MP3 Taser Video

January 10, 2008

Hacking in the Air

January 10, 2008

The Disposable Laptop

January 9, 2008

If you think the disposable computer is a silly concept, you better not read this article from the New York Times about how the former CTO of the one laptop per child (OLPC) initiative is looking to make a -- get this -- $75 computer. The OLPC goal was a $100 computer but it ended up costing $200 instead.

Certainly, ideas like this have to keep Michael Dell up at night.

Pixel Qi is the company behind this idea and Mary Lou Jepsen s the former OLPC CTO. I remember paying about $15 for a disposable camera on a vacation a few years back... I wonder how much a disposable computer would be worth to me.

Sadly, the disposable computer idea is not very green -- but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

AT&T to Filter Web Traffic?

January 9, 2008

It is very scary to read an article on the New York Times website about AT&T openly admitting the fact they may be soon filtering internet traffic. I can think of no scarier thing and there should be no need for it at all. The reason for this change in policy is said to be copyright filtering. As the head of a major media company I find this to be a noble cause but there has to be another way of doing it besides looking through all my packets and determining which packets are on the good and bad list.

As always the concern is where this behavior will lead us.

Ranch Networks Gone

January 9, 2008

I've been out to visit Ranch Networks a few times in the past few years and my first visit was interesting as the company didn't seem 100% sure of what direcion to take their products in. They had talented engineers but the strategy wasn't clear to me or them.

A few years later the company switched their strategy to providing security for the Asterisk space. This seemed to me like a can't miss market. But frankly I haven't been in very close touch with company execs for a while.

Toshiba SIP Trunking

January 9, 2008

Toshiba has joined the SIP trunking party with an announcement that their Strata CIX family of IP PBXs will support Session Initiation Protocol. The company will have nationwide support for SIP trunking and this should be great news for past and current Toshiba customers.

Using SIP trunking, companies eliminate the need to have separate voice and data lines and can cut costs, increase flexibility and as a bonus increase call quality.

In addition to SIP Trunks, Toshiba's MIPU cards also support IP stations, SIP stations, Strata Net channels, and applications.

Toshiba's SIP Trunking capabilities are available on two IP interface units: Toshiba's MIPU16 and MIPU24 support 16 ports and 24 channels, respectively. Both are compatible with BeyondVoice with SIPconnect from Cbeyond and VoIPZone from ABS. The MIPU interface units are now available from authorized Toshiba dealers.

This news is also good for Cbeyond as Toshiba is obsessed with call quality.

Pocket Internet

January 9, 2008

I beleive there needs to be a slew of devices allowing us to have web browsing on the go. Something smaller than a laptop and larger than a smartphone is needed. The Wall Street Journal has some interesting points about this topoc in an article titled Full Web Access in Your Pocket?

As you know I am a fan of the Nokia N800 and I wish it was on a 3G network. this would make it infinately useful.

What excites me about the WSJ article however is the statistic cited regarding Japan where cellphone internet access is commonplace...

SIP Education at ITEXPO

January 8, 2008

Marc Robins is now heading up the SIP forum and as you may know, he is an industry veteran and a fellow coworker for many years. Mark was the Group Associate Publisher at TMC and responsible for educating hundreds of thousands in his long tenure in the communications media and analyst spaces.

The SIP forum is working to educate the market in a few weeks in Miami, Fl at ITEXPO.

Here is a summary of what you will learn at ITEXPO in a few weeks as part of TMC's collaboration with the SIP Forum.


SIP Forum SIPconnect Compliance Workshop

Schedule, Speakers and Topics


SIP Forum SIPconnect Compliance Workshop, Room B114/115
Co-located with TMC’s Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO EAST 2008
The Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami, FL

Comcast 2.0

January 8, 2008

In December of 2004 I wrote an article titled VoIP 2.0 in Internet Telephony Magazine which focused in part on next generation devices VoIP service providers need to differentiate themselves.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

The Device Sells The Service

There are at last count over 100 VoIP service providers out there and counting. How will they differentiate themselves? Some will have the best user interface, price, quality of service, etc., but is that enough differentiation for hundreds of competitors that are effectively able to compete with one another globally? Carrier’s carriers like Level 3 and other new entrants to this market are going to be the backbone of the next generation of service provider making it easier than ever to compete in this market.

Latin America VoIP Conference

January 8, 2008

We are very excited to announce that at the upcoming Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Miami later this month, there will be a free session for resellers showing them how to best sell IP communications products and services to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Here is an overview of the session from the Reseller Solutions portion of the ITEXPO home page:

IP Telephony has been used for the past several years for bridging the islands of the Caribbean and the nations of Central and Latin America together at the service provider transport level. Now it is time to reveal how it is being used in the rapidly expanding mass market to bring small and medium business customers together. From the implementation of cost-effective IP based key systems for single locations with scattered phones in remote locations to small to medium size multi-site locations in neighboring countries, new developments have recently made the cost of IP- key system implementation go way down and the features available to the end-user customer go way up.

Jose Pardo from Allworx will be speaking at this session and I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say at the show.

VoSKY Interview

January 8, 2008

Huckabee and Evolution

January 8, 2008

New Obesity Drug

January 8, 2008

So here I am having lunch in front of my laptop which is why I probably decided to click on this story about a new obesity drug. What is fascinating about the approach of this drug is that it uses the marijuana effect in reverse meaning it is the anti-munchy drug.

In other words it targets the area of the brain which marijuana stimulates to make you hungry but tries to cause the exact opposite reaction.

The drug, called taranabant, is now in the final stage of the three-phase FDA-approval process.

Normally topics relating to drugs aren't part of my blog content but then again I am not sure why it is on Wired magazine's website which is where I found it in the first place.

Electronic Reminders

January 8, 2008

Second Life Real Estate Crash

January 8, 2008

12 GB MicroSD Card

January 8, 2008

I was waiting for a higher capacity MicroSD card as the 8GB card just wasn't enough for my needs. I thought perhaps the Consumer Electronics show would bring us a 16 GB card but I was off by 4 GB.

So today, I would like to inform you that Sandisk has released a 12 GB MicroSDHC card which is still nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the company claims and I have no reason to disagree that this is th largest capacity card for mobile phones.

I have had a conflict in the past with MicroSDHC cards as a 4 GB card did not work in an HTC XV6700 phone. Let's see if the 12 GB works in the XV6800.

Nice Systems Win

January 8, 2008

SIP vs. Radius

January 8, 2008

Google goes TV

January 7, 2008

It is tough to not think of Microsoft when you hear announement after announcment that Google is entering space after space. The latest is TV with news the company is working with Matsushita's Panasonic to develop TV which which will access internet content.

When you think about it a bit however it may be fair to say Google is just expanding its core advertising business with this deal.

And this is exactly what makes Google so powerful... They have an ad network which is absolutely massive. Hundreds of thousands of advertisers will pay Google all day when their ads get clicked on.

Taser meets Apple

January 7, 2008

Webot Review

January 7, 2008

It is almost embarrassing to call it a review as getting Webot up and running was almost too simple for words. Once you sign up to the music streaming and photo sharing service you are offered a download of software which turns your machine into a server.

Instantly the software finds directories on the machine with photos and music. It then allows these media files to be shared withother computers and devices which are capable of running Webot.

In this way a person could have a computer located anywhere on the internet and could play music from this machine anywhere else on the internet. This all assumes of course that you have a fast enough connection to support music transfer.

Jury Duty Today

January 7, 2008

Today I am serving in Federal jury duty and as I sit in this courtroom, I am thankful for the fact that I have fast Internet access. Part of the reason for the rapid access must be because the documents stated we could not bring electronic devices with us today. I may be the only one using EVDO in this building.

Thankfully a coworker told me I could bring a laptop as he saw others use them when he served in the past. I did leave my phone in the car and it now seems at least half the people here have their phones with them.

About Computers and Bezels

January 5, 2008

Did Insects do the Dinosaurs in?

January 5, 2008

Whirlpool Fridge Docks Gadgets

January 5, 2008

Spam King Does Time

January 4, 2008

Spam is a terrible problem and I don't need to wax poetic about why. If I could make one comment about spam however... It is a terrible drain on wireless devices. Among all the other productivity zapping things it does to users, the wireless device battery drain is especially annoying.

I am especially frustrated as I have to carry extra batteries for my wireless handheld e-mail device because of all the spam I receive.

IP Communications News January 4, 2007

January 4, 2008

If you just can't get enough IP communications news then you are a lot like me and I do feel a bit sorry for you.  Either way, there is lots of great news happening in this first short week of the new year.

Some of my favorite news is Vonage settling the AT&T Patent dispute, P&G receiving an award for wireless VoIP and the Simulscribe recognition. Enjoy:

Excel Telecommunications: 2007 a Good Year for SIP Trunking, 2008 Even Better

Webot Remote Media

January 4, 2008

While I wait to get my hands on the Nokia N810, I will try Webot's new multimedia interface on my Nokia N800. This is assuming it works on both of these devices equally well.

I have been looking for more ways to connect my laptop music with my home stereo and I am wondering if this may be a great solution to get my extensive music collection to stream to my Nokia tablet and subsequently be played through my bluetooth speakers.

If I could get this service to work with Pandora and Sirius, I would be even happier as the N800/N810 would become an inexpensive (relatively anyway) way to stream music from the internet into a stereo system.

In addition, the Nokia device would become the remote control which lets you change music selections from anywhere... Not just near the computer screen.

If I get some time to try this out I will keep you posted.

Like Bluetooth but Better

January 4, 2008

Pudding Gets Just Desserts

January 4, 2008

Today's news that Pudding media got funding is fantastic. It shows that voice is alive and well and moreover that new ideas are alive and well within the IP communications space. I have heard many people say that the opportunities in voice are gone but yet I see new companies popping up all the time with innovative technology.

What Pudding Media does is listen to VoIP calls and play contextual ads that are demographically targeted. Bravo!

Protecode Provides Software Insurance

January 4, 2008

As the number of programming tools and sources of code snippets multiplies, a question many companies must ask is if their software is indeed theirs. In many cases, companies aren't sure about this crucial detail and the ability to know what is yours and what is not only gets tougher as time goes on.

It is for this reason, Mahshad Koohgoli decided to launch Protecode, a company dedicated to ensuring companies are fully aware of what code is part of a company's portfolio of software, where it came from and if there are any licensing pitfalls IT managers need to be aware of.

The software sits on the desktops of developers and monitors their actions. It cross references what the coders are doing against company policies. The solution then looks at new pieces of developed software and determines what it is, where it came from and if there is potential for this software to get your company in trouble.

If there is a licensing violation, Protecode allows the company to comment on the problem for later reference or correct it.

I Want a Multi-Touch Screen

January 4, 2008

I am looking forward to being able to use a multi-touch screen on my monitor at work. I would even like to try it on my laptop. I spent a few minutes pretending my monitor currently has this technology built into it and I think there is potential to augment other pointing technologies like the standard desktop mice.

I did see this technology in action at Microsoft's headquarters a while back and it seems to have potential. Still, the mouse seems to have more granular control and is better for a number of tasks.

The good news is that when the software is ready, Philips will be there with a 52-inch multi-touch LCD screen.

Using Phones in-Flight

January 4, 2008

Lately there has been much coverage of airline broadband connections. Soon we will all be able to talk on our cell phones while in flight. Well really I made that last part up... But I do think there are many times when I would like to be able to pick up the phone and communicate with other people.

Ina  few weeks I will in fact be flying to ITEXPO and it looks like at least for one leg of the trip on will be on JetBlue...

Blackberry Goes Slingbox

January 4, 2008

Fake Tech Gear

January 4, 2008

I thought it worth sharing an article in the Wall Street Journal regarding fake electronics equipment. This is not the first article I have read describing this problem but this story does describe the first time I have heard of arrests linked to the selling of counterfeit computer equipment.

The scary thing is the equipment sold in this piece was sold to the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps, the FBI, Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, and other organizations.

All in all, very scary news.

It might be worth mentioning that in the cases where I have heard of this happening, Cisco equipment was always the target.

Get Better Om

January 3, 2008

IPitomy: Branica's Latest Creation

January 3, 2008

Nick Branica is one of the few living legends in telecom having been responsible for the voicemail vendor Key Voice Technologies. This company was purchased in the nineties by Comdial and is credited by many for allowing Comdial to stay afloat during its rough years of operation late in its history.

Branica was President and CEO of both Key Voice and Comdial and to this day many in the reseller channel - those people who we affectionately know as interconnects appreciate the wonderfully reliable voicemail systems built by this man's company.

Branica's latest creation is IPitomy, a company making IP PBXs which are adapted quite well as key system replacements. In a conversation by telephone I had a chance to ask Branica about how his company's solutions are suited to small business. Here are some of the features he explained his systems have/can:

Busy lamp fields - You can press lit busy lamp and pick up ringing call
Button press to turn forwarding (offsite) on and off
Using speaker phone to announce calls
Using speaker phone as intercom
Also XML features built into the phones to increase functionality
Park list
Go to and see which calls are on park to retrieve
Create key to turn night service on and off from operator position

IPitomy sells through interconnects/VARs and CLECs and Branica explained that one CLEC, Daystar Communications is using an IPitomy PBX to provide converged voice and data services to customers.

Microsoft Paper Clip 2.0

January 3, 2008

This seems like a 2.0 with week with MC Hammer 2.0 news yesterday and now that famous paper clip in Windows has gone 2.0 as well. You know what I mean don't you? When you are starting a Microsoft Word document with Dear First Name, that paper clip appears and starts asking questions.

Most people I know lump the paper clip in the same category usually reserved for people they hate. There is just something so annoying about these characters.

VoIP-News Top Blogs

January 3, 2008

Packet8: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

January 2, 2008

What is not to like about a company that keeps growing its customer base yet stays just under the radar so it isn't sued into oblivion?

8x8's Packet8 service continues to grow nicely and has just reached the 10,000 user milestone . This great news is this is not the consumer market - it is the SMB.

These small companies spend more on telecom service than consumers are more likely to grow their service and are less likely to switch carriers. Of course this is all good news for 8x8 and the company's management has done an impressive job these past years.

I truly believe that 2008 will see ever-more growth in the hosted SMB communications space and 8x8 should do well in such an environment.

Sharper Image Bluetooth Speakers

January 2, 2008

When you think bluetooth speakers, you likely don't think of the high fidelity sound these fine speakers produce.

In a time when consumer electronics device sales are on fire, it is almost impossible to keep track of all the peripheral products which are designed to work with devices such as Blackberrys, iPhones, iPods, etc. To that end, I recently decided to purchase a pair of bluetooth speakers to work with my bluetooth-enabled phone. The idea being that I would like to listen to music without having to plug my phone into a dock.

In this way I am free to still use the phone for other purposes while I enjoy music.

The specific product I purchased was the Sharper Image Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless Hi-Fi Speakers #KO500. I was initially hesitant to buy speakers which at 40 watts for the pair seemed underpowered.

It's Hammer Time… 2.0

January 2, 2008

MC Hammer is not a name we have been hearing about lately but the once hotter than ever music star who subsequently went bankrupt is back and better than ever. What is the name of his new album you may ask? Well, there is no album and instead a website named DanceJam, the self-proclaimed, "First dance-focused social media destination."

The site is currently in beta and if interested you can currently sign up for the mailing list and create an account.

According to a press release the site will allow you to be a dance star, make another person a dance star, explore various dance types and connect with outer dancers and fans.

My thoughts? I think there is a strong chance such a site could become successful but it will likely have to tie into the video game industry to give them a better chance of making it.

See Also:

AP: MC Hammer's next act: Tech entrepreneur

Press release

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