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

November 2008

You are browsing the archive for November 2008.

Christmas Shopping Up Over 7%

November 30, 2008

Shocking as it may seem, holiday shopping is up over 7% from a year ago. This is really great news but it is worth pointing out retailers did have excess inventory they had to clear out so this could just be an early spike in supply at great prices which was met with demand as products were just priced too low to say no. Here's more.

I am glad my early hunch from black Friday was right. To be honest, I was in a different mall today and it was slower than I expected.

Guess Who's Back, Back Again... Redmond's Back. Tell Icahn

November 30, 2008

Carl Icahn is pushing hard to get a Microsoft Yahoo! deal done as he picks up more Yahoo shares and waits for something to happen between the two companies. The latest? Microsoft will potentially pick up the search business for $20 billion. Ballmer has said repeatedly that this is the only part of the company he is interested in.

This leaves Yahoo with only a portal and to be honest, Yahoo may be better off doing this deal so it can focus more on an area where it has a huge advantage.

Joost Beats Skype To iPhone

November 29, 2008

Linux On The iPhone

November 29, 2008



Now that Linux is sort of up and running on the iPhone, what's next? Will we see Asterisk, MySQL and other open-source programs running in your pocket soon?

This is very interesting but remember that Apple devices are ultra-successful because of the user interface. It is unclear why we would want an iPhone or iPod touch which runs Linux -- other than for a variety of niche applications where useful software has already been written.

I know what you are thinking...





Helping The Economy

November 29, 2008

Condolences To Families Of Indians and Others Killed In Attacks

November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Enjoy The Fire

November 27, 2008

Great CRM Ideas For A Down Economy

November 26, 2008

Recently, my wife ordered a few pairs of shoes from Zappos.com and they upgraded her shipping after the order was placed. She placed the order Monday evening and the shoes were received Tuesday afternoon. She was blown away and I think Zappos has a new loyal customer. In a slow economy, this is a smart thing you can do to ensure customer loyalty.

Another out of the box idea comes from BMW of Darien - the BMW dealer closest to TMC headquarters in Norwalk, CT.

Google iPhone Mobile App With Voice Search Works Well

November 26, 2008

I have had a chance to test the new Google Mobile App for iPhone with voice search and remain impressed. What is great about the service is the fact that you can say a company name followed by city and state and then say "phone number" and you get this returned to you quickly. All this is done without typing and the application presents you with an easily clickable phone number if it finds what you are looking for.

I tested Google's speech recognition in noisy environments and found it works poorly. In more quiet environments it is fairly accurate and works very well.

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

November 26, 2008

IntelePeer And Communications Opportunities

November 25, 2008

We can sit around for hours and discuss where the global economy is going. And while this is a fun discussion, the reality is no one knows. What we do know however is people will still be communicating in the future and they will do it more often and in many different ways.

We also know various methods of communications will continue to intersect and augment one another.

As communications markets evolve, organizations which provide services which allow such interconnections to take place are positioned very well. One such company is IntelePeer, they provide hosted voice 2.0 service which embodies the best of peering, open APIs and SaaS.

Web 2.0 technologies are not going away and voice will continue to evolve as well.





MetaSwitch Excels In Tough Market

November 25, 2008

SMS Comes To Contact Centers

November 25, 2008

When an entire generation uses their phones for nothing but social networking and sending text messages, smart contact center companies see an opportunity. Interactive Intelligence is one such company and recently added SMS as a channel as part of its multichannel contact center solutions.

Remember, kids today do not even check email. We could argue the reason for this... I personally think they don't mind paying for messaging when email is free -- because frankly, their parents are paying.

So if they use SMS only, then a bank needs a solution which allows checking account balances to be sent via SMS to customers.



History Is Made: Google Lets Go Of People

November 25, 2008

10,000 contract employees could be at risk at Google. The company does not plan to lay off its permanent positions but its temp/contract jobs could soon be all gone.

Google has done a good job of ignoring financial markets in the past and generally does what it thinks make the most sense for the long term. The problem the company faces today however is that many of its employees have stock options which are worthless and as a result the company may be feeling pressure to do something to convince Wall Street they are on the right track.

Then again, it could be the company sees a dramatic slowdown in revenue coming.

It is unclear which is the reason for the job cuts but it is becoming apparent to all companies that downsizing is something that needs to be done to prepare for a potentially lean 2009.







TMC Pot Luck Lunch

November 25, 2008

Spirent Doing Better Than Expected?

November 25, 2008

Cisco 4-Day Shut Down Spooks Market

November 25, 2008



Cisco is taking extraordinary measures to cut costs and has had its first ever 4-day shut down to conserve money. Generally this is a good thing to do but in this case, investors are nervous and not acting rationally and the stock is don almost 6% so far today. There is obviously continuing deterioration in world financial markets and Cisco's move is smart.

What is not mentioned in this report is the fact that this is the first time in my memory that Cisco is in a macro environment where little to no hiring is being done. So shuttering plants worldwide does not lead to mass defections to other sectors which are hiring.

This is perhaps one of the few silver linings in a dark cloud.

Om Malik has salient comments on the matter and points to a lack of 2009 visibility.







Join The RPX Patent Protection Club

November 25, 2008

I have a job where I get paid to listen to many smart people and then use the vast amount of information I amass in my neurons and put it to good use (well, after I have had some coffee anyway) . Many times when speaking with many of my readers, I get good ideas and one of my more recent ones was to put together a company which amasses patents in the hopes of using them to defend against patent trolls and other companies.

Let's face it, the game is rigged. Large companies which are more established, own patents - either organically created or via acquisition. Some of these patents are solid and innovative but many are downright silly and overly broad.

Yahoo E-Mail Problems

November 25, 2008

Next Generation Communications Resource Launched

November 25, 2008

If there is one certainly it is that technology seems to evolve at a faster clip today than at any other time in our lifetimes. Moore's Law is part of this evolution but just as important is convergence. And by convergence I don't just mean voice and data. At this point it has become more than apparent that the every market is converging with one another.

Blackberry Storm Only Category One

November 25, 2008

Few products get the pre-hype associated with the Blackberry Storm - the first touch screen smartphone from Canada's RIM. The phone is similar to the iPhone in many ways and is designed to keep customers from defecting to the competing Apple device dubbed Jesus phone by some. In my humble estimation, there are millions of people in the US who would buy the iPhone if it worked on the Verizon network.

With the advent of the Storm, RIM and Verizon came together to offer what they hope is the equivalent of the iPhone but with the benefit of the Verizon Wireless network.

To determine how good this device is in the real world, I spent a good deal of time in a Verizon store and made camp near the single Blackberry Storm which the company had on display in the corner of the store in Fairfield County, Connecticut.



Zzzphone: The Second Google Android Phone

November 25, 2008

Big news out of China - it seems the world's second Android based phone will be from China and called the Zzzphone. A strike against the company is the name -- which virtually guarantees it will be listed last in any sort of alphabetical directory . On the bright side, it does have things going for it such as add-ons to support a full QWERTY keyboard, mini boom box, projector and more.

What is interesting is the thought that the Android OS and Google brand may be

strong enough to allow an army of companies to come out with Android phones.

East Texas: A Great Place To Get Sued

November 24, 2008

Backup iPhone Before 2.2 Upgrade

November 21, 2008

Top CRM News 11/21/08

November 21, 2008

Here are some article flagged by my editorial team as worth reading in the CRM/contact center space. There are some great nuggets on this list and I hope you find it useful:



Heading Back From Jersey Trip

November 21, 2008

Headed To NJ For A Meeting

November 21, 2008

Kill A Killer Product

November 21, 2008

Thanks to April Dunford's tweet for pointing out this entry on her blog pertaining to how to kill a killer product. One thing she leaves out and I have been meaning to mention for a while is -- in the consumer space -- the importance of naming a product effectively.

For example Apple is a master at selecting simple, easy and trendy product names. iMac, iPod, iPhone.

SalesForce.com Tops Q3 Forecast, Keeps Outlook

November 21, 2008

Hats off to Benioff and company at SalesForce.com for beating the quarterly estimates and also for keeping guidance for the year. Analysts are grappling with whether the SaaS model is immune from slowing in a down economy and the simple answer is while SaaS has the potential to reduce costs for a company and increase productivity, the challenge for SalesForce.com and other vendors is to grow as unemployment rises rapidly.

I feel unemployment will hit at least 12% and in this environment, SalesForce will have to expand by talking share from other companies to keep growing. Perhaps this is why the company added 700 new employees in the first three quarters of this year and plans on continuing this hiring spree.

Back From Huntsville

November 20, 2008

T-Mobile Cameo Photo Frame a Great Idea

November 19, 2008

Look, I know the economy is slow. I know the consumer has less money than they did last year. I also know that service providers should be looking for new ways to get as much of the consumer's money as possible by providing value. This is why I am 100% behind the new T-Mobile cameo electronic photo frame which comes with its own phone number.

Should People Out Of Work Get Free Wireless Service?

November 19, 2008

Gerry Purdy, a wireless expert and past speaker at TMC events put out an open letter yesterday detailing why wireless carriers should give away free service to people out of work. Some challenges with such a plan involve determining who is working. Is buying and selling on eBay defined as working? What about under the table work, etc?

Bad News For Ixia, Spirent and Agilent

November 19, 2008

PCMAG To Stop Printing

November 19, 2008

The Adtran Tour Continues

November 19, 2008

Android Gets Flash, iPhone Doesn't

November 19, 2008

Adtran Media Event: The Final Day

November 19, 2008



Today is the last day of the Adtran media event here in Huntsville. At the moment, a number of us from the industry media are listening to a panel of Adtran engineers as well as CTO Kevin Schneider. This panel allows us an opportunity to ask questions from the most technical people -- and those closest to product development, about Adtran's products and how they compete in the market.

One thing worth pointing out is the company says they rarely run into feature deficiencies and they are quick to react if they need to add a feature. The Huntsville, AL based company seems to thrive/focus on adding value to traditional products with better features and/or service levels.





Making More Resilient PCs

November 19, 2008

Twitter Allows Customers Immediate Response To Ads

November 19, 2008

Tame That Inbox Gone Wild

November 19, 2008

I have been struggling for years with an inbox gone wild. I receive over 1,000 emails each day and between deleting spam and reading newsletters, contracts, working with vendors in the space, distributing press releases and meeting requests, dealing with internal TMC newsletters, keeping up on tech, communications and financial news, my inbox has seen serious action.

If I could just get everyone who sent me an email this decade to send me a dollar, I could probably bail out Detroit on my own. About five years ago in San Jose, I had a few hours to kill between meetings and I remember feverishly deleting emails to get down to two thousand or so.

IP Communications/VoIP and Tech To Do Well Under Obama

November 18, 2008

While many in the country - including most likely George W. Bush are counting the days until there is a change in leadership, those in communications and tech are likely wondering what the future will bring. According to some experts such as Andrew D. Lipman of Bingham McCutchen LLP, VoIP will enjoy greater protections and mergers will no longer be rubber stamped -- meaning a better competitive environment from a regulatory standpoint.

Couple this with the idea of having a national CTO and you begin to realize there could be a massive shot in the arm for the tech sector next year. Specific areas to get the boost include wireless, broadband equipment and telepresence/video.

Adtran Voice Quality Monitoring Demo

November 18, 2008

Adtran Site Tour - Genuine US Manufacturing

November 18, 2008

10 Million Life Mag Images Hosted By Google

November 18, 2008

What the New Yahoo CEO Needs to Do

November 18, 2008

With financial markets in turmoil and Jerry Yang being responsible for more or less botching the Microsoft deal, it is obvious he needs to step down. The only question is why did it take so long? Here are thoughts on the new CEO Position and what has to happen:

1)      She/He has to be from an entrepreneurial new media company

At Adtran Media Event

November 18, 2008

Sonus CTO Leaves for Tellabs

November 17, 2008

My TMC Newsroom Hat

November 17, 2008

Blog Aid Gains Interest

November 16, 2008

TMC Launches Blog Aid for Communications and Technology Markets: Those Out of Work Get a Voice

November 14, 2008

Today, TMC launches its Blog Aid program to help people out of work stay in the public eye - in order to improve their hiring prospects in a tough economy. In the last few months, many good marketers, PR people, engineers and others who have been laid off. These potential Blog Aid bloggers have a good deal of quality commentary and information to share which could be very useful to the TMC community of online readers.

TMC is offering these new bloggers - especially those working in the communications and technology industries, a venue to voice their thoughts on the spaces where they have expertise so as to allow them access to the 2-3 million global visitors who come to TMCnet on a monthly basis.

Nokia, Sun: Sales Down, Oracle Sells Hosted CRM, American Airlines Does Mobile Boarding Passes and Microsoft Offers Free Financing

November 14, 2008

Here are some of the news items which caught my eye recently with some commentary:

Nokia predicts the recession and a lack of credit will reduce cell phone sales. Nokia Siemens too says there will be a slowdown next year. The company further thinks the fourth quarter will see industry volumes fall by 20 million.

A Candid Interview With Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow

November 13, 2008

Is service the new sales? According to Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder of RightNow, not only is this a true statement but sales is the highest form of service. In a recent podcast interview with Yours Truly, Gianforte explained how companies are focusing more heavily on service and moreover how his company is providing CRM solutions to customers which lowers costs and increases productivity.

He further explained the details of his book titled Eight to Great which focuses on how to provide an exceptional customer experience.

TMCnet in Top 500 Sites in Blogosphere

November 13, 2008

Today I sent an email to the TMC team regarding how TMCnet ranks on URLFAN, a site which tracks rankings of websites in the blogosphere. The lower the URLFAN ranking the better and I am happy to say thank you to the blogosphere for allowing TMCnet to rank in the top 500 of all sites -- 479 to be precise.

These rankings are generated by the total number of links on blogs so the more links a site gets, the better/lower the score.

Here is the precise wording from the company's site:

Our system parses the millions of blog posts that are generated everyday, literally counting every mention of every website we come across. We filter out spam, broken links, and other various material to determine how many times your website was mentioned today. We reference this against every other website and determine where you rank among them.





ShoreTel's FlexGuard, A Great Idea

November 13, 2008

In an environment where leases and credit are becoming more difficult to come by, truly innovative companies who are able to do so, are coming up with new and innovative ways to extend credit to customers. Moreover, at least one company, ShoreTel has a new leasing system they call FlexGuard. What is it? Simply, a lease for ShoreTel unified communications solutions with a system replacement guarantee.

Polycom HDX 9000 Demo

November 11, 2008

ScanSource Communications Presents Optimistic Outlook

November 11, 2008

The future of IP communications seems very bright according to Buck Baker the President of ScanSource Communications. I had a chance to speak with him, Mary Ellen Grom, Mike Ferney and Yvette McKenzie today and they seemed quite upbeat about their opportunities. Of special note is their distribution of Polycom products such as videoconferencing. This area of their business is doing well as it offsets reduced travel budgets.

ScanSource plays a vital role in the distribution of products and services, shipping thousands of boxes daily from a 600,000 square foot warehouse outside of Memphis, TN where they help resellers with cash flow and even financing.



Update From IMPACT NOW 2008 Orlando

November 11, 2008



I am still here at IMPACT NOW. The exhibit hall is open and doing quite well. This is a very successful event with a good deal of buzz in the exhibit hall (see photo). It is interesting to contrast the negativity of Wall Street and many US industries which are having tough times with how well this event is doing.

Getting To Know Prince and Cher

November 11, 2008

Networking at IMPACT NOW

November 10, 2008

IMPACT NOW in Orlando

November 10, 2008

Now in Orlando for IMPACT NOW

November 10, 2008

I just landed in Orlando and am very excited to get to the IMPACT NOW show. On the flight I learned that Circuit City is going bankrupt. Not a big surprise really when you consider they have to compete with Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart and the web. Anyone who has been in these stores know they don't look great and the service level has been poor for years.

Heading to IMPACT NOW 2008

November 9, 2008

Tomorrow I will be attending IMPACT NOW 2008 -- an event hosted by ScanSource and proudly sponsored by TMC. This event has some absolutely incredible speakers and I am looking forward to learning a great deal and most of all, networking with the reseller community who are always so insightful.

I hope to see you there.

Here is the agenda:


Disney's Coronado Spring's Resort Orlando, FL




DAY 1

Location: Coronado H


2:00pm - 3:30pm Powerful Disney Institute Workshop on Building Leadership Within Your Company 3:45pm - 5:15pm Powerful Disney Institute Workshop on Strengthening Customer Loyalty   6:30pm - 9:30pm Blow-out networking bash at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios DAY 2



  7:00am - 8:30am Breakfast - Coronado Foyer 8:30am - 9:00am Kick-off and Welcome from ScanSource, Inc.
CEO Mike Baur - Coronado H

Perspectives on New Opportunities from Leading Vendor Executives   Track 1
Location: Fiesta 5
POS/Barcoding/Security Track 2
Location: Fiesta 6
Communications 9:10am - 9:40am Epson Avaya 9:50am - 10:20am Zebra AudioCodes 10:30am - 11:00am Axis Aruba Networks 11:10am - 11:40am Motorola Dialogic 11:40am - 3:40pm EXPO & LUNCH - Veracruz B&C 3:45pm - 4:15pm Intermec Extreme Networks 4:25pm - 4:55pm Cisco Polycom 5:05pm - 5:35pm Honeywell Juniper Networks       5:45pm - 6:45pm Interactive Q&A with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
Location: Coronado H  












My iPhone Application Update

November 9, 2008

Here is a state of my iPhone article which lets you know about some applications you may want to consider and some you may not.

Fring: This wonder-software allows the iPhone/iPod Touch to stay connected to people on various communications networks from Skype to MSN Messenger. In reality, as amazing as this software is, the voice quality on Skype calls is pretty poor on most every call I have tried. Perhaps this is just my phone but who knows.

The State of Bionics

November 7, 2008

When I was a wee lad in high school and deciding what to be, I decided I wanted to be a biomedical engineer. The field fascinated me and I was thrilled to one day develop bionic limbs for people who needed them. The study of electric eels and how they work was another area of intense interest. I imagined coming up with systems which could perhaps power bionic limbs the way this amphibious creature (I think electric eels are amphibious anyway) does.

The Latest Communications and Tech News Videos

November 7, 2008

Today we had a new anchor for the TMCnet News Room. You can check out Jessica Kostek's debut here. In addition, here are some videos of me analyzing and discussing the following topics:

  1. Obama's win and its impact on tech
  2. FCC's sanctions white spaces

  3. Holopresence, the use of holographic telepresence

  4. AudioCodes and the coming HD phones

  5. TMC launches Next Generation Networks (NGM) formerly IMS Magazine
Also check out the daily news with Lorna Lyle:

Want more? Here is the news of the day from Alan Urkawich (currently on vacation)

Microsoft Does Not Want Yahoo

November 7, 2008

Steve Ballmer is a master negotiator. C'mon - we know he wants Yahoo. We know Microsoft needs Yahoo! but still, he plays coy and says he is not interested. Very smart.

AT&T Wayport Acquisition Signals Importance of WiFi

November 6, 2008

Today, AT&T acquired Wayport giving millions of AT&T customers access to get free WiFi access at 20,000 US hotspots. Why is this important? Simply because AT&T's 3G network is having trouble keeping up with all the traffic the iPhone and other devices are generating. Wireless data is very lucrative and at the same time it gets very expensive to keep up with growing wireless broadband demand.

For AT&T, purchasing WiFi network is very smart as WiFi is generally cheaper than building 3G and/4G network capacity and more importantly, Wayport already has hotspots in prime areas throughout the country.



President Obama And The Coming Tech Revolution

November 6, 2008

I will admit it is difficult to put the words tech and revolution together less than 24 hours after John Chambers cratered confidence in technology with a conference call which mentioned that the next quarter will likely see revenues 5-10% lower than the same quarter last year.

But as we get past this hopefully-temporary negative news, I believe we are getting ready for another technological leap where companies of all sizes begin to embrace technology like never before.

It may be useful to go backwards before we progress and in so doing let's stop in the late nineties when Al Gore mentioned the term information superhighway in a speech on TV. Almost immediately the tech markets were abuzz and I remember the next Internet World expo saw traffic increase exponentially.

You see, government has always had a huge influence over tech.

Last Chance To Get A Free Buyer's Guide Listing

November 6, 2008

White Spaces + Google/Yahoo Break Up = Great News

November 6, 2008

There has been a tremendous amount of news worth analyzing as of late and perhaps two of the most important items of note are the FCC's approval of vacant TV white spaces for the use of broadband data devices. I cannot emphasize how important this news could be to consumers as it is yet another broadband choice. Sure there are lots of details to work out but I am optimistic that consumers will see more inexpensive wireless broadband as a result. This will be fantastic for the tech industry as evidenced by positive comments from Google, Dell and Microsoft.

Telepresence Becomes Holopresence

November 5, 2008

Did you happen to catch CNN last night and see their new holographic technology? If not, feel free to click on the video  to see it in action. Here is what they did - they used 35 HD cameras to simulate a holographic experience - similar to Star Wars. They didn't actually show the 3D image in the studio with Wolf Blitzer but it looked that way to those of us viewing at home.
 
See holographic image materialize

 


See holographic image materialized




Keep Up On Election News

November 4, 2008

Get Out and Vote!

November 4, 2008

AudioCodes Earnings up 15.3%, Adds HD Voice

November 3, 2008

In a tough market, AudioCodes did not disappoint. They beat their numbers by 2 cents per share as revenues rose 15.3% year-over-year to a record $46.6 million. GAAP net income rose to $3.1 million and non-GAAP net income rose 72.3% year-over-year to $4.8 million. In addition, this year the company has purchased over four million shares of its stock.

Moreover, the company has just announced support for HD Voice which in my opinion is fantastic news.

Touchless Gives Glimpse of GBUI

November 3, 2008

We have seen the futuristic user interfaces of movies like Minority Report and The Matrix Revolutions where people wave their hands in 3 dimensions and the computer understands what the user wants and shifts and sorts data with precision. Microsoft's XD Huang demonstrated how his company sees the future of the GUI at ITEXPO this past September in fact. But at the show, the example was in 2 dimensions, not 3.

The GBUI as seen in The Matrix


The GBUI as seen in Minority Report

I have also seen Microsoft's vision on the UI in their Redmond headquarters and it involves lots of gestures which allow you to take applications and forward them on to others with simple hand movements. The demos included the concept of software understanding business processes and helping you work.







Response Point Phone System Signals a Nimble New Microsoft

November 2, 2008

Microsoft had a whirlwind of announcements at ITEXPO West 2008 last September in Los Angeles, California and at the show I had a chance to meet with XD Huang , Microsoft General Manager and Richard Sprague, Senior Director about Response Point to discuss how the company envisions changing the communications landscape. The first thing worth pointing out is the Microsoft Response Point team considers themselves to be a nimble "startup" at the software behemoth. The thirty people working in this product group seem to be very hard working and as they tell me, they work 24x7. Evidence of this is the SP1 release which came out about six months after the product was initially released.

Interestingly the release is so significant -- adding a full-featured UC client and other features, it would have qualified for Version 2.0 designation.

VoIP 1, Economy 0

November 2, 2008

What a fall season it's been. With the economy uncertain, world leaders actually discussing the word crisis on a regular basis and layoff levels not seen in years, you would expect every industry to lie in shambles. In fact, many a sector has been really hurt by the slow down. Thankfully, IP communications is not one of them.

Recently Dialogic and LifeSize came out with pretty good news in the IP communications market.

Amazon WindowShop Does 3D

November 1, 2008



Amazon's new WindowShop 3D marketplace is a new spin on shopping. Instead of the traditional 2D way of searching and sorting, this new 3D interface is surprisingly iPhone like in how you navigate and select items for purchase. It also reminds me a bit of SearchMe -- but with this graphically inspired search engine you can only see items left to right as supposed to up and down.

With this new Amazon creation, you can scan books and albums but hopefully as it evolves, you will be able to see products as well. One other area for improvement is allowing you to search and see the results in this new interface.



Interesting Mortgage Crisis Perspective

November 1, 2008

As a weekend diversion I thought I would share the following letter to Webster Bank by Bill Dunn (originally found in the Waterbury Republican American (Waterbury, CT) -- registration required). It is pretty funny and encapsulates what responsible mortgage payers are feeling right about now.

Here is an excerpt:

Dear Webster Bank: This letter is to inform you that my wife and I have decided to take advantage of the $700 billion Bailout Bill recently passed by Congress. As your records will indicate, we have been making mortgage payments each month for the past 22 years, which means we have eight years remaining on our 30-year mortgage.

However, my wife and I believe we have paid enough. We are very impressed with a provision in the Bailout Bill that allows the government to arbitrarily change the principal balances of existing mortgage contracts.





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