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July 2008

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Is It Just in Time Communications or UC?

July 31, 2008

Years back I coined a term Just in Time Communications (JITC) to encompass the idea of removing latency from human communications. Art Rosenberg is credited with coining the term Unified Communications and he often writes on the matter. JITC did not stick as a term but UC did.

The funny thing is Art's most recent article talks about removing the latency from UC and reminds me exactly why I liked the term JITC to begin with -- it is this human latency that needs to be removed from the equation.

I am not reopening the discussion of which term makes the most sense. I want the undustry to move forward and grow and term wars are really stupid.



Fuel Prices Fuel Technology

July 31, 2008

As fuel prices increase, so does the desire to come up with reasonable alternatives. Some of these efforts revolve around conservation and others have to do with new technologies which make it possible to bypass oil, coal and natural gas.

Today is an unusual day as we have new examples in each category. Detroit has a new mobile web traffic monitoring service which is ad supported and allows drivers to tap into 600 traffic cameras. The theory here is you will see where the traffic is and drive around it.

T-Mobile -- Growing Revenue by Helping Parents

July 31, 2008

Mobile carriers are so in the driver seat. They really are. There is a good deal of money to be made in this space for a reason that may not be obvious. It is kids.

Conjecture: Covad to Acquire Small PBX Player

July 30, 2008

Cuil Analysis

July 30, 2008

I am impressed with aspects of Cuil like the user interface but sadly, this search engine is not the Google killer that many (including the company) had hoped. I launched the new search engine with the same level of excitement in fact I had when I tried Searchme last year.

Just like Searchme, I believe the Cuil user interface is different enough from Google to appeal to a wide audience. The problem with both of the new search engines is that they aren't very accurate and the results that come back from Cuil seem way off base regardless of search term.

Tom Keating mentioned this as well and so did Luca Filigheddu and Erick Schonfeld. Luca shows that it is not just Google doing better than Cuil but all search engines are more accurate than this start-up founded by ex-Googlers.

So are we destined to have Google be our primary search engine forever? Possibly.





My Tips to Resellers and VARs

July 29, 2008

97 Degrees in Dallas And it is Cool

Well it is relatively cool anyway. Compared to the rest of thee week, 97 feels downright arctic. I think the humidity levels are lower as well. I had a great talk today at IP Sizzles 2008 and I am as enthused as ever about our space.

One part of my discussion centered around how my talks used to focus on making money selling VoIP then making money selling IP communications and now it is just communications. It could have even been technology as I focused on things like UPS systems, SANs, RAID systems, disaster recovery, etc.

The reseller of today has to seize opportunities and be smart enough to listen to customer needs and sell them solutions.





Ribbit Sold to BT

July 29, 2008

Seems like the rumors were true. Ribbit was sold to BT for $105 million according to ZDnet. Here are some thoughts on the matter from Andy Abramson as well.

Why would BT buy a company focused on communications development? The primary reason is that they see communications changing rapidly and they want to be on the leading, not trailing edge of this trend.

Early Morning at IP Sizzles

July 29, 2008

View From The Sheraton

July 28, 2008

En Route to IP Sizzles 2008

July 28, 2008

On My Way to IP Sizzles

July 28, 2008

Dalcom's Under the Radar IP Communications Network

July 27, 2008

The IP communications space has so many players and I wonder if it isn't a problem that many of us in the press and blogging community spend so much time talking about the well-known companies at the expense of smaller players who also produce large amounts of innovative technology.

I couldn't help thinking about this as I met recently with Fred Hakim the founder of Dalcom Telecom. The company has built a robust IP communications network and manufactures a telephone called DalPhone which is tightly coupled with the network. The phones are based on USB and work with Windows XP.

I found this phone pretty interesting - it isn't the fanciest but it seems to be bulletproof in terms of NAT penetration and voice quality over extreme wireless network conditions was impressive.


Road Warrior Bible

July 27, 2008

The Old Muppet Guys

July 27, 2008

Fuel Cells Power Base Stations

July 27, 2008

We live in a world obsessed with treating the environment better. While this statement does not apply to the entire world, the green technology movement in Europe and the US seems to be growing faster than ever. Still, when ensuring your carrier network has redundant power, you have options which are not really environmentally friendly. Diesel generators and batteries are but a few examples.

P2P Textbook Sharing

July 27, 2008

In my University days I often recall having new textbooks issued every few years and if students happened to be entering a class when the new textbook came out, we were all forced to buy the new edition as opposed to a used one. I remember the complaints that emerged at the University Bookstore at the University of Connecticut every time a new edition emerged.

But alas, my college years were literally decades in the past and now, the college textbook has become digitized, provided as a service and enhanced with digital workbooks and online quizzes. If you think it is just the book publishers who are changing their ways you would be wrong as students too are digitizing and sharing college textbooks for free.

There is a race in fact between textbook publishers who work with college professors and the students in the classes to see who can move fastest in this new world of book consumption. On the one hand the publishers are looking to eliminate the used book market and expand their revenue sources through the use of the web and DRM technology.



Why Was Amazon S3 Down?

July 26, 2008

Selling Junk in Response to High Oil Prices

July 26, 2008

Optical Drivers and Trends

July 25, 2008

The optical space is alive and well and surprisingly robust. In 2001-2 it was common to talk about the death of the fiber market and often I heard people tell me that there would be no need for more optical networks and even equipment.

Of course, back then there was no YouTube and p2p networks were in their infancy.

So what are the trends in DWDM, SONET, ROADMs and other aspects of the optical market? What is driving demand? Finally, what will be the role of Carrier Ethernet in driving optical products and services?

In order to learn more about this space I recently had a podcast interview with Ronen Mikdashi the Senior Product Marketing Manager of ECI Telcecom.





Video Changing Presidential Campaigns

July 25, 2008

Video is becoming a strong campaign tool. Recently I wrote about how John McCain used it coupled with web 2.0 techniques to generate interest. Today, the Obama campaign sent out Barack Obama's Germany speech which was obviously written to generate world interest in his campaign.




We are finally seeing a campaign where the internet has the potential to be as important or perhaps more important than television news. Moreover, it would be smart for TV producers to monitor web interest of video clips to ensure they are showing what the population is most interested in.

JibJab is just one of the examples of a video which spread virally and then became a TV sensation.






iPhones Shortage Persists

July 25, 2008

SMBs Optimistic About Own Business

July 24, 2008

Too Many Mobile Phones Dissapointing?

July 24, 2008

HTC Touch Diamond
Photo Courtesy of Akihabara News
The dream device of all time based on specs has to be the HTC Touch Diamond (or the Pro model which has a keyboard) if for no other reason than the 640x480 resolution screen that fits in your pocket. This is much better than even the industry trend setting Apple iPhone. As with all HTC devices I have reviewed, the Touch Diamond is moderately flawed.

Every HTC device I have ever used wows me at first but every day use makes you realize the product didn't have much usability testing.

According to this review from Akihabara News the device is slow, has problems receiving wireless signals and a clunky interface. Ironically these are the same problems other HTC products have (the XV6800 comes to mind) as well.

But problems like these are certainly not unique to HTC.







Sprint Sells Towers, Nextel Next?

July 24, 2008

Panama and IP Communications

July 23, 2008

Robert Messer recently took what I hear was a spectacular trip to Panama. You remember Robert -- he has been on many panels with me at ITEXPO focused on how to make money selling IP communications products and services. His company, ABP is a well-respected distributor in the communications market and he tirelessly educates the channel on how to be more successful.

In fact, next week he has a show called IP Sizzles (formerly VoIP Sizzles) which focuses on reseller education. I have the distinct pleasure of being part of this event and I will be keynoting in fact.

TMCnet's iPhone Site

July 23, 2008


As the world's leading media company in the communications and technology site, wouldn't we be irresponsible if we didn't launch an entire site dedicated to iPhones and related technology? Of course we would and since we would never, ever want to be called irresponsible (to our faces anyway  ) we figured, we should do our best and design a site that lets you keep up to date on the latest in the Apple-based smart phone market.

On this special iPhone news page you will find news, opinion and analysis dedicated to the Apple/iPhone aficionado. So come, visit the site and join in the fun. Tell your friends and relatives about our news site.

Hey, I think this iPhone thing may be for real.




Google Knol Released

July 23, 2008



This past December I discussed how Google's Knol is a new Wikipedia competitor which will make it more difficult for smaller companies to rank high on search engines. If you think ranking high for specific keywords is tough today, just wait.

You see, Google Knol has been opened up to the public today and Google acknowledges that there may be numerous knols on specific topics. This could mean that search engine results could not only have entries from Wikipedia but now multiple Knol entries as well.

It is too early to know if Knol will become popular but it seems there will be a mad dash to fill Knol with content and link back to corporate sites to help build search engine prominence. It will be interesting to see how Google deals with these problems.

The company has mentioned that strong community tools will help users submit content, rate it and write reviews of knols.







Omniture Partners on Marketing Education

July 23, 2008

Unified Communications Almost Free

July 23, 2008

When Avaya started pushing $99/user unified communications solutions, I knew that there would be a price war in the UC space. In my opinion price wars are bad. Nobody wins in a price war because in order to deliver low prices, margins are cut to the bone and inevitably service suffers.

The implication here is not that any single vendor is providing inferior service at the moment  mind you but price wars generally don't end well for anyone.

Having said that, we have the opposite end of the spectrum in open source where the price is actually zero. Companies like Digium and Fonality have found ways to add value to free and in doing so have generated solid revenue.



iPhone Driving Wireless Broadband

July 23, 2008

For years, carriers worldwide tried pushing wireless data services and have been disappointed at how fast consumers were adopting the technology. What they failed to realize the entire time they were investing billions of dollars in network infrastructure was it isn't the concept of wireless data consumers were avoiding, it was the crappy devices which existed.

I feel like I write about the iPhone daily and I swear I don't want to do this but this device is really changing things for the better in the communications world. You see, AT&T released solid second quarter earnings with profits up 30% today. Thanks in part is due to broadband wireless plans courtesy of you guessed it -- the iPhone.

Frankly the AT&T's "The Internet is Hiding" campaign gets on my nerves but like the commercials or not, people are purchasing wireless Internet from the new Ma Bell in record numbers.



McCain's Brilliant Use of Video and Web 2.0

July 22, 2008



Genius. That is what I have to say about this page put up by the John McCain team to show McCain supporters the unbelievable media bias towards Barack Obama. The McCain team spent hours putting together video clips of newscasters beaming about Obama and also talking about how other members of the media seem to be possessed by the Barack Obama campaign.



This is the superior video in my opinion and had 81% of the vote as I wrote this.

What John McCain's team did that was so smart however was to take these clips and play them with two different types of backround music and then allowed users to choose one video over another via a vote. It makes you want to watch both videos.

So, all the web 2.0 elements are here -- social media courtesy of YouTube, video, e-mail, polling and the viral nature of sending such a controversial video out to begin with.



This is the inferior video in my opinion and had 19% of the vote as I wrote this.

Well done.















Here Come Electric Cars -- Really

July 22, 2008

To its credit, GM did come out with an electric car before any other auto manufacturer. The EV1 was introduced in the mid-nineties and GM cited lack of profitability among other reasons to kill the billion dollar project. In hindsight, this was perhaps the stupidest decision the company could have made.


You see, Toyota came on the seen years later with the Prius -- a car which is even less green than the EV1. Sure, GM had tons of research showing the EV1 (pictured above) would not have done as well in cold states because battery performance would have been diminished but again -- this ridiculous logic allowed Toyota to leapfrog the company as the green auto manufacturer.

According to Wikipedia, another reason the beleaguered auto maker dropped the EV1 project was because they found it easier to sue California to roll back clean vehicle regulations than it was to continue producing electric cars.

Too bad, the company didn't find a green car champion the way the Corvette found a champion in Dave Hill and others.

Sorry about the digression but it makes me sad to see an American car company with such potential spiraling downward...








Keep Pumping it Helps Communications

July 21, 2008

ITEXPO: Exhibits 90% Sold Out

July 21, 2008



There has been more interest in ITEXPO Fall 2008, Los Angeles, CA September 16-18 than any other Internet Telephony Conference & Expo I can remember in recent years. It seems people are beginning to realize this show is the only major IP communications event left -- it is growing quickly and it draws attendees from around the world.

If you are looking to reach service providers, enterprise customers, SMBs, resellers or the communications industry at large -- you should consider being at this show.

A participating companies list I picked up from an upcoming TMC press release is as follows but really, every important company in telecom will be represented in multiple ways. (please do not get offended if your company is not here. If I added all participating companies -- my readers would get fired because they would spend their work day trying to get through it all -- instead of getting their jobs done).





Recover Blocked Caller-ID

July 21, 2008

Did you know Caller-ID information is still potentially being sent -- even when Called-ID is blocked? If you have an Asterisk box and use certain SIP trunking providers, you can actually recover Caller-ID information that was not supposed to be sent in the first place.

Flowroute is one SIP trunking provider which sends Caller-ID and other information with calls.




According to the video above, you need to take the call information from such a service provider, strip out the privacy bits and forward the number.

You then take the configuration information, copy it into Asterisk and make some modifications using VI or other visual editor.

You then forward the call to another phone number and voila, the private call becomes a non-private call.

Isn't telecom cool? For more information on geeky things like this and also tips on how to make money when developing telecom apps, be sure to be at the the Communications Developer Conference September 16-18, 2008 in LA. See you there.

Video Credit: Kevin Mitnick and referral thanks to phant0ms1gnal and engadget.

I should point out the sound went in and out for me on this video in both IE and Firefox so if it happens to you, you aren't going crazy.
















Buy a VAR/Interconnect in Los Angeles

July 21, 2008

Some Weeked Intelligent Design Info

July 19, 2008

If you are interested in the debate regarding evolution versus Intelligent Design, be sure to check out this article which convincingly shows why intelligent design is more beleif than science. Very interesting.

Excerpt:

"Evolution is an organizing principle and when we call it a theory, we mean it's a theory, we don't mean that it's a belief that someone holds," said Alan Leshner, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the journal Science, in a teleconference last week with reporters organized to discuss the Pennsylvania court case.

ID proponents have exploited the dual meanings of the word "theory" to boost ID's status in the eyes of the public, critics say.

"They're trying to cut in line and not go through the normal steps to merit wearing the cloak of science," Leshner said.





Show Me the Opportunities!

July 19, 2008

This past week has had me thinking a great deal about telecom and how it is evolving. I have come to some conclusions worth sharing. The first is that customers could care less about walled gardens. Sure, we hear complaints from some about how walled gardens are bad - but consumers don't care.

The Local Starbucks is Closed

July 19, 2008

If you were wondering whether your favorite Starbucks will be one of the 600 stores the company is about to close, the entire list (PDF) of stores to be closed has been made available.

California will see just under 90 stores shut down while Florida and Texas just under 60. TMC's home state of Connecticut will lose five stores -- the closest is about ten miles away from TMC and a store I have never visited. Digium will lose one store in its home city of Huntsville, Al (Madison Square Mall), Manhattan will lose six and Southhampton is the only location in the prestigious Hamtons to be whacked. Expect stores to close early next year.

There have been petitions circulaing to save specific locations and government officials are trying to persuade the company not to shut certain stores.

What I find amazing about these incidents is that many used to complian that Starbucks killed off the local coffee shop and made coffeee a chain-like experience.





CRG West's 32americas

July 19, 2008

New York's newest carrier neutral data center is CRG West's 32americas facility located at 32 Avenue of the Americas. The 50,000 square foot facility will deliver the power and peering opportunities companies need to reduce costs and manage their network.

You may recall an earluier entry about CRG West's One Wilshire building.

CRG West's new 50,000 square foot New York colocation facility offers up to 150 Watts/SF and has connectivity to the building's existing meet-me room which has over 50 carriers, networks and service providers.

Customers can license single 7-foot cabinets or up to 10,000 square feet of customized cage space.

One of the key advantages to the New York colocation site is its ease of geographic access. The facility is centrally located in New York City and has close access to the subway system.







That Was Easy

July 19, 2008

I feel a bit guilty so I thought I would share my story with others in the hopes that I can pay back Staples for their niceness. You see, recently I ordered some freezable ice packs from the office supply store but somehow I made a mistake. Instead of ordering four ice packs, I ended up ordering four boxes of 24 ice packs.

Basically my desk at TMC is now surrounded by these things and they weigh a ton. I called Staples to tell them I made a mistake and a pleasant woman told me I would receive a call about how to return my items in the next few days.

The call came later that day and the voicemail said the warehouse didn't need any more of the product I was sent but I will receive a refund.



iPhone Lines Persist

July 18, 2008

Yahoo Enlists Home Page to Fight Icahn

July 18, 2008

The Yahoo! takeover offer by Microsoft and the subsequent saga that has ensued is unusual in my recollection of corportate takeovers. The latest chapter in the saga is Yahoo now using its home page to fight Carl Icahn. The ad they are running on their home page (pictured) really targets shareholders and others who are interested in the gory details of a corporate takeover.

What is most interesting is how Yahoo points to (see below) how unsuccessful Carl Icahn has been in his past efforts to increase shareholder value. Certainly, in an official bear market, it is fairly easy to make Icahn look bad.

Check out this TechCrunch article for more on the story.

----

Icahn's Recent Involvements with Public Companies (1) Company Involved Since Change in Stock Price Since Initial Involvement(2) Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. May 2008 >(20%) Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mar 2008 >(15%) The Greenbrier Companies Feb 2008 >(5%) Guaranty Financial Jan 2008 >(70%) Federal-Mogul Corp. Jan 2008 >(30%) BEA Systems Sept 2007(3) >45% Biogen Idec Aug 2007 >1% Motorola Inc. Jan 2007 >(60%) Cyberonics, Inc. Jan 2007 >20% WCI Communities Inc. Jan 2007 >(90%) Telik, Inc. Jan 2007 >(80%) Lear Corporation Oct 2006 >(45%) Time Warner Inc. Aug 2005 >(20%) Temple Inland, Inc. Feb 2005 >(55%)(4) Blockbuster Inc. Dec 2004 >(70%)







iPhone: Stand in Line, There is no Choice

July 17, 2008



What is it about the iPhone that makes it so special that people will stand in line for it for hours on end? I think I may know. I have been trying to get one of these things for about a week and I have driven over 30 minutes looking for AT&T stores that carry this gadget. For the record, this faster iPhone is being purchased for TMC Labs and as president of TMC I thought a perk would be to buy the device.

Wireless Expense Management Channel

July 17, 2008

One of the hottest areas in the communications space is wireless expense management and as entire wireless costs worldwide continue to skyrocket, companies really need to do anything and everything they can to get a handle on what they are spending and why. It is for this reason I am happy to say TMC has partnered with Rivermine Software to launch a wireless expense management channel.

The goal of this microcommunity is to have a single place online where you can come and learn about the latest in the wireless expense managment space.

I should also point out Rivermine also sponsors the telecom expense management channel on TMCnet.

Feel free to bookmark them now and visit as often as you like.





Contact Center and Service Provider Similarities

July 17, 2008

I have been seeing an interesting trend in the communications space. In the last 2-3 years, more and more companies who used to focus on service providers have expanded their focus into the call center space. Acme Packet and NextPoint are a few examples of such companies. This is not so surprising mind you when you realize how remote agents resemble service provider customers and the theing they have in common is the need for an SBC.

In addition there has been growth in the hosted contact center market and as more service providers have become interested in providing such services worldwide they need to work with call center vendors who can supply them with the solutions they need.

Preparing For Cyber Attacks

July 17, 2008

While ensuring the security of physical structures and events such as ball games is crucial to a comprehensive national security plan, we must not forget about cyber security and as terrorist threats from various groups and even nations continue, it is time the government comes together with private industry and academia to come up with a plan that helps protect not only the US but other nations.

The military, air travel systems, power plants and virtually everything else relies on computers and ensuring we reduce the likelihood of attacks on these and other resources is crucial. In addition we need to realize our economy relies a great deal on companies having access to working networks and as such, the network itself needs protecting.

I got to thinking about these issues while reading a recent TMCnet article on the matter from Kevin Coleman (pictured). It is certainly worth your time to read as well.

See Also:

Obama Cites Cyber Attack Threat









Google's Interfaces, A Hindrance?

July 17, 2008

TechhrunchIT has an interesting story about how companies that Google acquires generally do not do well. This is not unique to Google of course but the problem engineers face is dealing with the proprietary interfaces Google uses such as BigTable and MapReduce. These and other programming interfaces allow a typical application to be clustered and distributed making it more resilient and scalable.

According to the article, it can take six months for an engineer to learn these interfaces and as you can imagine this programming knowledge is of little use outside Google.

The article points out that some of the best programmers are currently working for Google but what it doesn't mention is the fact that Google could easily open up these APIs and sell cloud computing services like Amazon. With so many programmers already familiar with these interfaces, one wonders if there isn't hidden gold in doing so.

Disclosure: The author owns Google shares.







VON Shows Over

July 16, 2008

A Community Service Message

I have been pretty silent about what has happened with Pulvermedia and the VON events because frankly, everyone else seemed to be covering the fact that the events are no longer taking place.

Also, TMC used to compete head to head with thee VON events so I thought it poor taste to discuss their demise. Having said that, I was at a recent event where I heard horror stories of people showing up for VON Amsterdam -- only to find out there was no VON Amsterdam. Commenters in the blogosphere have echoed the same sentiments.

So I wanted to make sure I went on record letting people in the communications industry know that Pulvermedia is shut down.





ITEXPO Prius Giveaway

July 16, 2008

I have had a number of positive comments about the fact that we are giving away a Toyota Prius at ITEXPO in LA, September 16-18, 2008. Most of the comments are thanking me/TMC for being environmentally friendly and more importantly this car seems to be so hot right now that everyone is excited to come to the show, learn about IP communications and hopefully walk drive away with the new car.

As always, we are excited to help educate the market and as a token of appreciation, we try to do nice things for attendees like give them an energy efficient automobile.

For full details about the show check ITEXPO's website and also be sure to check out the other events taking place at the same time -- Communications Developer and Call Center 2.0.



Google's Android Plays Favorites?

July 16, 2008

It seems that if you were a finalist in the google Android Developer Challenge you have the option to sign an NDA which allows you access to SDK updates. This is all well and good unless of course you are not a finalist. So basically, the typical developer is at a disadvantage according to this Ars Technica article.

How was this discovered if the developers were under NDA? Simple -- Google employee David McLaughlin accidentally sent notification of a new SDK release to a public Android mailing list.

Expect a new interview question from the search leader which delves into mailing lists.

Suffice it to say, developers are upset by this news and Google now has a PR problem on its hands.

With the success of Apple's iPhone App Store, one wonders if Google will be able to compete with Apple for the attention of mobile developers going forward.

I am looking forward to discussing the matter further with developers at the Communications Developer Conference, September 16-18, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA.









iPhone: Still Not For Business?

July 15, 2008

Olle Westerberg: Available Now

July 15, 2008

Olle Westerberg is certainly one of the most knowledgeable players in the IP communications space and is the CEO of Ingate, a company in the SIP firewall business. Westerberg did a masterful job with the team at Ingate in positioning the company as a thought leader in the SIP trunking space and while doing so they increased the company's profile in the space and increased sales. He is looking for a new position so I figured I would do my part to see if any of my readers are in the market for such a talent.

If you are looking for an IP communications CEO who has seen the ups and downs and ups of the communications space and international experience is a plus -- give him a shout at o.westerberg@telia.com.







Let's Start Drilling

July 15, 2008

Sorry to take a break from covering communications and technology but if oil goes down in price, the world can start focusing on their lives and their professions instead of scrambling to find ways to offset higher oil prices. How on earth our government is not moving faster to get oil prices to drop is beyond me. For the sake of world economies I ask you to ask Congress to allow drilling everywhere.

If you are concerned about the environment (I am as well) we can always stop the drilling at a later date. Am I alone in worrying about $200, $250 or $300+ oil?

Sun, Intel Have Positive News

July 15, 2008

Sprint Nextel Acquired by SK Telecom

July 15, 2008

Did Carl Icahn Kill the Yahoo Deal?

July 15, 2008

Google's Thoughts on Speech Rec

July 14, 2008

Google has certainly mastered search and their goal as they have mentioned is to organize the world's information. The company has gotten into satellites, maps, books and it was only a matter of time before they started to analyze video. The company's latest foray is into political videos and Google says it is doing its small part to help the election process.

What the company is doing is logical -- it is transcribing speech into text, allowing it to be searched. You can now search videos of presidential candidates in order to find a particlar person's thoughts on various matters.

One Million iPhones Already?

July 14, 2008

Mossberg on iPhone Apps

July 14, 2008

Yahoo/Microsoft The Never-Ending Story

July 13, 2008

I am not sure I have the attention span to follow the love/hate story that is the Microsoft/Yahoo/Carl Icahn/Rupert Murdoch relationship acquisition/merger/whatever -- but it seems that as of this moment, Yahoo! has once again rejected Microsoft's proposal -- this time -- a proposal to restructure.

Rupert Murdoch weighed in by saying News Corp will not be involved in any Yahoo deal and furthermore, Yahoo and Microsoft will not end up with any deal.

Yahoo for its part is communicating to the world about the matter through press releases and the latest one claims that Carl Icahn/Microsoft gave Yahoo less than 24 hours to accept a take-it-or leave-it deal that would be of higher risk, complexity and lower financial value than the deal Yahoo signed recently with Google.

In addition, the board apparently was not happy with the Microsoft/Icahn proposal's requirement that the board and the senior management take a hike. They say, this massive change would destabilize Yahoo.

Here are some other points made by Yahoo:

-- The revenue guarantees suggested, which are conditional and subject to reduction, are well below the search revenue that the Company is expected to generate on its own and in association with its announced commercial agreement with Google. That agreement alone is estimated to generate $250 to $450 million of incremental cash flow for the first twelve months following implementation, while allowing Yahoo! to remain a principal in paid search;











iPhone: Living Through Other's Misery

July 12, 2008

YouTube/Viacom: The Issue is with the Judge

July 12, 2008

I have trouble agreeing with Mchael Arrington over at TechCrunch which is unusual for me. In a recent post he argues that Google is entrusted with user data and needs to protect it. While this makes perfect sense, isn't the judge who ordered Google to hand over mountains of personal information to Viacom consisting of user names and IP addresses the problem?

The judge in the case dismissed privacy issues associated with giving up IP addresses and user names as speculative. Let's see if I understand yhe logic of Louis L. Stanton correctly.

Went to Pick up a New iPhone

July 12, 2008

The Art of the Brick

July 12, 2008

A Shot of me From The TMC Family Outing

July 11, 2008

2008 TMC Family Outing Kicks Off

July 11, 2008

iPhone/Exchange Management

July 11, 2008

I almost fell over when I received an email from the Microsoft PR team titled "Microsoft Exchange and iPhone." To me this email is as unexpected as an email from Microsoft requesting I rely on open source software . But of course I kid ever so slightly because the email describes the ways the iPhone can now play nice with Microsoft Exchange.

Here are some screen shots of what an Exchange admin will see when managing iPhones:

























































Additionally, here is a Q&A with Terry Myerson the corporate VP for Exchange and here is an excerpt from the interview:

PressPass: What are some of the features iPhone users can expect with Exchange ActiveSync built-in?

Myerson: Our goal with Exchange ActiveSync was to create an open solution that lets mobile device makers pick and choose the kinds of features they want to activate. In other words, it's really up to Apple what features they want to support in iPhone.































































Another Year, Another iPhone Activation Problem

July 11, 2008

Leslie Conway Joins Digium

July 10, 2008

An entire ecosystem in the communications market revolves around Asterisk and the company behind this open source communications wonder is Digium. I have seen this Huntsville, Al organization take off since I first covered them in January 2004 in Internet Telephony Magazine.

Over the years, Mark Spencer, the founder of the company transitioned from CEO to CTO and during the transition Digium tapped Adtran for talent as needed. Adtran was an early investor in Digium and this may have been one of the smartest investment decisions a company can make.

Getting back to Digium, Danny Windham (podcast) was brought in in 2007 from Adtran and Bill Miller rounded out the company's management team, bringing years of experience from 3COM and a host of other tech companies based in Mass.

Now, Miller who had a dual role in product management and marketing will hand over the marketing reins to Leslie Conway who also comes from Adtran. Her resume is impeccable and I am  looking forward to speaking with her in this new role.







Will FlyWire Change Our Lives?

July 10, 2008

If you believe WiFi has changed our lives then you will have to admit Belkin's FlyWire technology which allows HDTV signals to be beamed around your house has the similar potential to change the way television is consumed.

Of course it is early but we are going in a direction it seems where we will be able to suck down HDTV signals into multiple devices without worrying about wires. Of course IMHO WiFi still has the potential to eclipse a proprietary system such as FlyWire, but for now, this new technology shows tha the most bandwidth-intensive signal we transmit in our homes can be digitized and beamed around and shared with others and multiple devices.

Offered between $700-$1,000 the company has to be careful not to price the system higher than an HDTV. After all, you can't change my life if I can afford your technology but not the TV.



Microsoft OCS Training

July 10, 2008

An education like no other is what we promise at ITEXPO -- especially our TMC Universtiy certification classes which take place September 16-18, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

One of the certifications being offered at the show focuses on Microsoft OCS and the peripheral unified communications (UC) market and it will be taught by Tom Cross. Cross will also be focusing on Microsoft ResponsePoint in this session and if you aren't familiar with this product -- it is an SMB communications solution which is very powerful and flexible. It is a great SMB option encompassing easy to configure hardware with speech recognition built-in.

I asked Tom Cross for more information on why you need to be in this course and this is what he said:

Microsoft's OCS-Office Communication Server is the most profound new communications system now available.  Its more than Outlook-enabled unified communications, it changes the paradigm of what we call communications.

Called presence, OCS transforms the complexities of bureaucratic organizational noise and confusion into humanized and personal media communications.  For decades now, Tom has said, strategically, the faster you can communicate, the faster you can change, and those corporations that change the fastest will be the most successful.  With OCS, you will communicate faster and better.  If you want to know how OCS can dramatically impact your organization, then you need to come to this class.  In addition, this class will discuss Response Point Microsoft's SMB and branch office telephony solution and RoundTable an interesting approach to the decades-unsolved and vexing problem of video conferencing.  This class is being taught by certainly one of the great experts in electronic communications, telephony and education, Tom Cross - CEO of TECHtionary.com







Sirius Outage

July 10, 2008

Aspect Buys BlueNote Networks

July 9, 2008

Why would Aspect, a company which is the largest pure-play contact center equipment and software player in the world buy BlueNote Networks? I am glad you asked. I had met with Aspect execs about this deal a month or so ago under embargo and have had a good amount of time to mull the reasons over.

In my opinion the need for this acquisition is due to a continuing convergence of industries. We have seen this firsthand...

Carrier Ethernet Growth

July 9, 2008

The Carrier Ethernet market remains one of the fastest growing and most competitive spaces in technology. There is just so much activity in this field and for carriers it must be difficult to determine which products to purchase.

One of the important players in the space is surely ECI Telecom and as such I decided to spend some time on a podcast with Rafael Francis (pictured), the Associate Vice President (AVP) Product Management for the company.

Some of the areas we discussed include the MPLS vs. PBB-TE debate, where the market growth is going to be, what we can expect to see more of and some thoughts on the ECI product line and how the company differentiates itself in a competitive market.

I learned a great deal on this podcast and certainly recommend it to others looking to get perspective on the Carrier Ethernet market as it relates to the wireless, optical spaces and more.





Open Source CRM Resources

July 9, 2008

5 Megapixel Camera Phones

July 8, 2008

Is 5 megapixels the cutoff for effective camera replacement by cell phone? One would imagine it should be and even though camera phones typically can't zoom like a camera they are always with you and as such, users get used to them and don't want to drag YAD (yet another device) wherever they go.

If you are taking photos with a camera phone in the US, you are probably not snapping at any more than 2 megapixels. Still, already cell phones are becoming the choice of everyday photography.

And even with this fact in mind, one wonders if people will even buy cameras as 5 megapixel camera phones become mainstream. Already you can purchase the Nokia 6220, Motorola Motozine ZN5, Samsung Omnia (pictured) and a number of other 5 megapixel gadgets which can make calls and remember your favorite memories.

The next frontier for camera phones is to take on the video recorder and I would imagine within three years video recording camera phones will be much more common.

With all this processing power, making FMC calls and accessing UC applications while surfing on 4G and WiMax networks should be cake.







Sonus CTO at ITEXPO

July 8, 2008

TMC is very excited to announce that Sonus CTO Vikram Saksena will be a keynote speaker at ITEXPO  this September. Saksena is responsible for the advanced technology direction in which Sonus heads and as such he is in a tremendous position to help service providers understand carrier technology is going.

Sonus is a leader in the IP communications space and they have accomplished a great deal over the years. They have successfully taken on much larger players in the IP communications equipment space and done a great job.

What can you learn from Saksena? How about -- Is IMS important to your success?



Google Docs Outage

July 8, 2008

Shoulder Surgery

July 7, 2008

Last week I had rotator cuff surgery and I thought this was an operation that was pretty rare. It seems 1/2 the women I have run into lately and 2/3 of men have had the surgery as well or have shoulder pain. Interestingly I found a way to type this past weekend and it was incredibly painful at first.

I am now much better now. I start physical therapy today and the advice I received from someone recently was to let them stretch me until I cry.

The GUI Becomes the GBUI

July 5, 2008

It seems Apple has seen so much success with multitouch that it is expanding this UI. A series of patents applied for by the company show how the Cupertino company's gesture-based interface will potentially be able to determine when your device is being removed from your pocket, being held against your ear or near other body parts.

Just as Apple blazed a new trail with the mouse and the GUI with the Mac (yes I know they didn't invent the GUI) they will now apparently do the same with the gesture-based UI or GBUI.

It is also interesting to note that such an interface could perform different actions based upon whether a finger or fingernail is touching a screen. This would be similar to the right click button on many mice.

It will be very interesting to see if the rest of the world follows Apple's lead. It seems that if Apple's interface does become the defacto input mechanism for mobile devices and other vendors don't get on board soon...





Yahoo Problems Getting Solved?

July 5, 2008

Larry Ellison and SaaS

July 4, 2008

Although many people in technology are saying that SaaS is one of the fastest growing segments of the market, Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle  had some negative comments about the industry lately. I found an article describing Ellison's feelings by TMCnet's David Sims while perusing the SaaS Snapshot page on TMCnet.

Ellison does have a point as profits in the SaaS market haven't been overwhelming but what is perhaps more important is that this business is different than software sales where you book revenue as soon as the customer decides to pick a vendor.

The article has some great comments from Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow Technologies who does agree with Ellison to a degree. He further explains the annuity nature of on-demand models makes them profitable in the long-term.

One thing not mentioned in the article is that SalesForce.com is doing a great job extending the SaaS marketplace with partnerships with other vendors such as Google and a host of companies most people have never heard of. Moreover, SalesForce.com continually extends their products into such areas as platform as a service and others.

The article also touches on the strength of cloud computing and how SaaS ties into this relatively new paradigm which is projected to see rapid growth over the next few years.

If there is a risk in the SaaS market it is Google who could conceivably give away software in every category just for the fun of it.









Google's FriendRank

July 4, 2008

Google started in the search business by assigning PageRank to pages -- a term which signified the importance of a page to the search engine. As social networking becomes more important, the search company has now turned is eyes to a sort of FriendRank -- the concept of determining how influential a person is in terms of their social network online.

Once the rank is determined, the technology which Google is looking to patent allows the center of the social networking circle to receive financial incentives in exchange for the rights to show ads to the person's social networking friends. Think of this as Adsense for social networks and it shows how the internet is becoming increasingly democratized.

You see, it is possible for a single person to have tens of thousands of social networking friends and Google and other advertising networks will pay large sums of money to get in front of these friends. This evolution of internet advertising shows how it evolves continually and rapidly.

If you aren't paying attention, it can easily pass you by.





Korean VoIP, 911 and LNP

July 4, 2008

Slow News Holiday?

July 4, 2008

CallVantage Service to End?

July 3, 2008

I wouldn't be surprised to see AT&T CallVantage service come to an end. Tom Keating has more on what is speculation at the moment. UVerse is obviously a competitive product to CallVantage but you need AT&T DSL to get it. Here is the reason that CallVantage service probably needs to be phased out.

AT&T is no a network neutrality advocate and in order for CallVantage to have acceptable QoS levels, they would need other carriers to adhere to Net Neutrality.

Mobile Advertising Update

July 3, 2008

Keep It Confidential

July 1, 2008

Security Friendly Laptop Cases

July 1, 2008

Speech Rec Harnesses The Internet

July 1, 2008

While perusing the Blackberry Reseller channel on TMCnet I came across this really interesting article about Vlingo's new, free web-based service which allows Blackberry users to utilize speech recognition instead of a keyboard when communicating. While speech rec is not new, what is interesting about the Vlingo approach is they use the power of the Internet to build a dictionary of terms which are translated from speech to text.

Basically the power of a wiki,sociaal networking, web 2.0, etc has come to speech recognition and if one person puts in a word that is not currently in the dictionary, others can take advantage of the addition.

Aside from showing how the power of many can make any application better, it is really great to see technology become more useful. In addition, when you get comfortable with Vlingo, you can eventually skip the keyboard and communicate via SMS and email while driving. This is especially great for those people who already type while driving and are looking for a way to reduce their odds of crashing.

One of the reasons I get excited about the Communications Developer event each year (September 16-18, 2008 in Los Angeles this year) is because I get to see new applications like this in the real world.





Todd Keefe to Promote ITEXPO West 2008

July 1, 2008

Searching Flash Becomes Easier

July 1, 2008

Until now, if you designed a website in Flash, you were out of luck in terms of SEO. Search engines in fact could not read Flash and this means that even a rich, very targeted site would not come up in search engine results.

You can see that searching is inacurate as many great sites are Flash only.

This is scheduled to change in the future as Adobe has said they will start working with leading search engine companies such as Yahoo! and Google to make the SWF Flash file format readable.

Many in the industry think this is a big deal and I tend to agree.

One of the areas where this move can be most important is in reduced duplication of effort. Many sites which develop in Flash also develop a seperate but equivalent HTML site for SEO reasons. Obviously this is duplicated effort and makes no sense in the long term.







Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) Vs. Privacy

July 1, 2008

Over ten years ago many privacy advocates worried about Alexa as it was a company using a web toolbar in order to determine what users were doing online. Amazon eventually purchased the company and now Alexa has become a trusted provider of internet ranking statistics and other important information. It is interesting that many antivirus packages still classify the Alexa toolbar as spyware.

Google and other web companies have toolbars as well and oftentimes these toolbars are used to track every move users make online. The only difference between these more recent toolbars and the Alexa is that we have now become accustomed to them being on our systems and monitoring us.
 




One of the latest web privacy issues is deep packet inspection from companies like Sandvine as it lets ISPs and governments see the packets which are being sent and received online.

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