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December 2008

You are browsing the archive for December 2008.

Did I Mention Turtle Soup is Huge Here?

December 31, 2008

Solar iPhone Case is Handy and Useful

December 31, 2008

New case from is a perfect iPhone companion for the sun


I'm always looking for that killer story idea - you know - the one which has all the elements of interest and buzzwords... Like iPhone, green, gadget, etc.

Can Cisco Become a Consumer Electronics Company?

December 29, 2008

To Cisco's competitors and there are many, the company is a monster. Almost impossible to compete with on a level playing field. In the past I have mentioned how the way Chambers and company acquires and integrates new companies into the fold is better than just about any other company and only Oracle is as talented.

Om Malik does point out a severe weakness the company has... Its inability to compete in the consumer electronics business in a serious way.

Here is my favorite part of his post:

How does a company that gets big fat margins from selling expensive equipment (and paying its sales team accordingly) live with the razor-thin margins of consumer entertainment gear?

Broadsoft Officially Acquires Sylantro

December 29, 2008

UPS Driver Hurls Package

December 28, 2008

When you have 425,000 employees, some will definitely do things which embarrass headquarters. Such is the case with this UPS driver who seemed to try to make a basket with this package. No word on how many points he will get for this one but odds are he received at least one pink slip followed by the words, "Don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out."

He is pretty lucky in fact the resolution of the video is not great enough for him to be recognized.

This is yet another example of how the web can take over a company's branding and messaging in ways they cannot control.

Excommunicate Madoff From the Jewish People

December 27, 2008

I came across an article which details why Bernard Madoff should be ex-communicated from the Jewish people. Excommunication is not something I hear about too often but perhaps that is a mistake. I think organized religion should have the responsibility of policing its people.

 Although I hear Madoff did not attend a Synagogue (no surprise) excommunication would send a powerful message.

How The Madoff Scandal Affects Philanthropy

December 27, 2008

I received this press release on how the Madoff Ponzi scheme is affecting charities and I thought it made sense to pass along as a public service. I realize it has nothing to do with my normal coverage areas but during the holiday season, perhaps it is a good time to reflect on those who are less fortunate. Moreover, we should realize the devastating impact this scandal may have on charities and their ability to raise money going forward.  

                                           IMPLICATIONS OF MADOFF FRAUD ON PHILANTHROPIC COMMUNITY

 - - Friends of ALYN Hospital Spearhead Philanthropic Coalition --  

NEW YORK, NY, December 23, 2008:  Cathy Lanyard, Executive Director of American Friends of ALYN Hospital, a non-profit organization, held a press conference today to discuss the "Implications of Bernard Madoff on Fundraising and Non-Profit Organizations." 

Cuil: Lack of Money, Not Focus?

December 27, 2008

I have mentioned in the past that Google has a tremendous advantage in search over Microsoft and Yahoo! because it is able to focus better as it has less going on. If that were true, now that Google has become as much of a web portal as Yahoo, a new competitor Cuil, which made a big splash in the search engine market some months ago, should be kicking Google in the rear.

As TechCrunch reports, the new search engine is really not doing well at all and comes up short on searches for TechCrunch. By the way, I wasn't impressed when I "Cuiled" TMC or Tehrani.

Why Verizon Just Did The Web a Huge Favor

December 26, 2008

The Web's Gain is Google's loss

This is an important time of year for cybersquatters as one of them just lost a $33.2 million dollar case against Verizon. The details are as follows... A company called OnlineNIC was ordered by a court to pay $50,000 per bad-faith name registrations too similar to Verizon's domain names.

Google Android vs. Apple iPhone

December 26, 2008

Trying to find a reason to purchase an Android-based phone instead of an iPhone? If so, check out this article which describes the state of Android, the future and finally some applications you just can't get on an Apple-powered phone. At least not today.

If by the way, Android phones from HTC are not your cup of tea, rest assured Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and maybe others will be coming out with their own Android devices as well.

TMC and Objectivity

December 25, 2008

Objectivity is the subject of today's thoughts - primarily because I came across a pretty harsh criticism of me being biased towards a particular vendor. I was going to link to the posts where an anonymous individual decided to skewer me but I then realized that the poster could be a short seller of the stock of the company in question or perhaps a disgruntled former or present employee.

Seldom, I do get criticism from people saying I am biased towards or against companies. They say I brownnose or they say I am in the pocket of this company or that.

TMCnet For iPhone on Apple's Site

December 24, 2008

Why Doesn't Free Public WiFi Work?

December 24, 2008

Did you ever search for an available WiFi AP only to be confronted with "Free Public WiFi" as the SSID? After clicking on this network did you find you don't get internet access? Well if this has happened to you -- and it has happened to me, you want to check out this article which explains how Microsoft's ad-hoc network setttings and the irresistable idea of getting free WiFi combine to spread an SSID which causes lots of wasted time.

The good news is if we all stop clicking on this SSID, it will eventually go away. You know, like when your teachers told you you had to learn the metric system and you ignored them and after a few years they forgot.

Madoff Tragedy Escalates

December 23, 2008

iPhone Apps: First Microsoft and now HP

December 23, 2008

Is there no end to the Apple competitors developing iPhone apps? Moreover... Once the genie is out of the bottle, can they get it back in again. I think not.

CIOs Prefer Suits

December 22, 2008

Attention out of work techies. You may want to consider buying a suit and cutting your hair. It seems 35% of CIOs prefer suits followed by 26% for khakis and a collared shirt.

The survey I cite here was done by Robert Half Technology and consists of interviews done with 1,400 CIOs from companies across the US. The companies all had 100 emplyees or more.

Formal business suit   35% Khakis and a collared shirt   26%

Tailored separates (e.g., skirt and blouse, jacket and dress pants)


December 22, 2008

What other holiday besides Chanukah has three or more ways to spell it? That's right, your favorite 8-day gift-giving and receiving holiday now has its very own iPhone app which allows you to go on vacation and leave the candles at home. Not only is this app safer because there is no chance of fire, it has a lower carbon footprint and look Ma, no smoke.

Will your Rabbi sanction this new iMenorah application? I am not sure but what I do know is technology never ceases to amaze me and I just paid $1.99 to download this app as I am headed on a vacation tomorrow and now don't need to explain to the TSA why I have matches, candles and other potentially suspicious looking items in my bags.

See Also: ZDnet

TMC Holiday Shots 2008

December 22, 2008

A Newspaper Thrives Against All Odds

December 22, 2008


A little known fact that reading print publications can make you look more attractive (well at least to traditional media companies)

I came across a great article on how a small newspaper in New Jersey is thriving in an environment where most paper-based media products are losing ground to web-based competition. The way it was done is by having a low circulation and 3.5 employees allowing rates to be low that virtually anyone can afford a full page ad.

In addition, none of the newspaper's content lives online which is pretty amazing. In my opinion, TriCityNews of Monmouth County, N.J.

Silicon Valley Closes for Christmas

December 22, 2008

While the tech industry was immune from much of the slowdown in this recession during the first part of the year, the economic crisis which took hold in September of certainly changed all that. Now, many Silicon Valley companies are closing for an extended time during the holidays and obviously there have been many layoffs.

My take?+ If things do pick up next year and this is a short-lived slowdown, it may be a good thing to have extra time to spend with your family. My advice? Enjoy the time off.

A Tale of Bribery, Cockroaches and Raid

December 21, 2008


One of the most fascinating articles I have read in a long while is about the Siemens global bribery scandal where the company spent $1.4 billion on bribes from 2001 to 2007. Of that, get this - telecom accounted for $800 million or 57%! Consider the company also had divisions in industrial, transportation, control systems, healthcare and other areas and you see just how out of whack the telecom bribery spending was.

This leads one to wonder a few things...

We're No Shrinking Violet Says Nortel's Carrier Chief

December 20, 2008

Nortel is an interesting company from the perspective that they have an inherent advantage in their product development as they cater to two separate markets - enterprise and carrier, which need similar products. The company can afford to easily sell carrier-class products to enterprise customers making them more reliable than what many competitors offer.

But all the advantages in the world don't mask the company's recent earnings which were below expectations with carrier revenue down 24% and they certainly can't easily offset the billions of dollars of debt the company has.

I said this in a recent post:

HD Voice Gains Traction

December 20, 2008

Turn an iPhone into a Hard Disk

December 20, 2008

Vonage Executive Compensation Out of Line

December 19, 2008

I received an email after my post on Sylantro wondering why I don't bring up companies like Vonage when I talk about corporate failures. Specifically I was sent a link to Vonage VP/CFO/Treasurer's page on Forbes where they show his annual compensation to be just under $2 million dollars.


Attached to the link, the following thoughts:
  It is because of this man that the company has never made a dime and artificially depressed VoIP prices to kill off competition and ensure the VoIP industry remains under pressure for years. This is a very difficult accomplishment .

While we can't blame John Rego for all the problems over at Vonage, I can't understand how anyone at any company can be taking home this kind of money when the stock price looks like a ski slope.

NY to Boston $29 Wow!

December 19, 2008

Travelzoo just sent an email telling the world that JetBlue has fares from Boston to New York City for an amazing $29. Greyhound, the nation's leading bus company costs $20 for the same trip. You need to book quickly to get this deal though.

Granted, on the bus you don't get the same humiliating body and cavity searches you do when you fly - but hey, at least traveling by plane means missing the various "bus-borne" aromas which may remind you of a locker room or the less memorable parts of your college days.

I think the falling price of oil will be good for those of us traveling to ITEXPO Feb 2-4 in Miami. I did a quick search and found direct flights cost just $127 from New York!

Oracle Does it Again

December 19, 2008

Oracle is amazing. They reported their numbers last night and although they said future sales will be down around 10% their stock is up 6% as of this writing.

According to Dow Jones:

Revenue for the quarter was lower than Wall Street expected, reflecting both the currency impact and weaker information-technology expenditure, but cost control and a strong flow of maintenance support revenue helped Oracle hit its quarterly earnings per share guidance.

For the quarter ended Nov. 30, the Redwood City, Calif.-based business- software giant reported net income of $1.296 billion, or 25 cents a share, down from $1.303 billion, also 25 cents a share, a year earlier. The stronger dollar cut 4 cents a share from the latest quarter's per-share earnings.

Broadsoft Near Sylantro Acquisition

December 19, 2008

There have been rumors floating for a while about the acquisition of Sylantro by Broadsoft. A great source for this info is Fierce where they have been following the matter closely. According to my sources, there has been weeks of negotiations over the price of the deal which will be "shockingly low."

Apparently the reason for the fire sale is Sylantro investors are fed up with the company and want out.

TMC Holiday Party 2008

December 18, 2008

Please Obama Tell Us You Won't Raise Taxes

December 18, 2008

We have an economy where many consumers don't want to spend. Today on the way back from lunch I ran into and spoke with a  friend who works at one of the major shipping companies in the US and he tells me volume is way way down. Things are just not being shipped he complained.

After that conversation I saw a big banner on the corner saying there is a sale on live lobster at a seafood store. I think it was $5.89/lb.

LTE Being Rushed Out

December 18, 2008

The fight between the WiMAX and LTE camp is heating up and WiMAX seems to be on the back burner according to wireless experts like Harald Braun and others.

This is an excerpt from a recent article in fact:

I asked about the WiMAX/LTE competition and he said for his company, WiMAX was always a bridge technology towards LTE but today it seems carriers have stepped up their roll outs of LTE technology. "Now the gap is closing," he said. He continued, "I would have thought we would have more WiMAX deployments by now and I don't see it."
My take? LTE does have the inherent advantage of being provided by the equipment companies the carriers are familiar with and moreover it has the advantage of copying the best of WiMAX.

Secret Santa at TMC

December 18, 2008

One in Six Households Wireless Only

December 18, 2008

Consumers are cutting the cord, making it more important than ever to have a wireless strategy which is solid. As it continues, the cable companies are at the biggest disadvantage.

Over the past years it seems the FCC went out of its way to penaliize the cable companies while giving the phone companies a free ride -- you know -- killing the CLECs, encouraging mergers, etc.

I kind of understood the thinking of the FCC (not the killing the CELCs part) as the triple-play was becoming popular and cable companies were far ahead of the telcos.

Now however the phone companies have the advanatage -- as consumers move to wireless networks and give up landlines.

One wonders if the FCC will change its stance now that the balance of power is shifting rapidly towards the telcos. We will see what happens next year when Kevin Martin moves on.

The Why of the Storm

December 18, 2008

I have noticed the Blackberry Storm has improved a good deal over past weeks but this it seems is not enough to keep people from returning these handheld computers at a record clip. While it is impossible to know for sure if the Storm return rate is higher than it is for other devices, Silicon Valley Insider says it is surprisingly easy to find people sharing their device return intentions on Twitter.

Here is what I am hearing. People find the device difficult to use and confusing.

1.5 Million Asterisk Downloads in 2008

December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Jaime and Natasha

December 18, 2008

Tech Lets Babies Twitter

December 17, 2008

Get Ready for the iTax

December 17, 2008

Happy with your iTunes songs and movies? If you are, you better download all the music and other content you can before the proposed "iTunes tax" begins in New York. It seems that Governor David Paterson feels it isn't depressing enough being surrounded by tens of thousands of out of work financial executives and once high flying hedge fund titans... He wants to make sure the same misery you deal with in public - when perhaps you run into ex-Madoff fund investors, follows you back home into your apartment.

So when you click to confirm that download - regardless of the service, you will likely soon be hit with a new tax.

Comcast Embraces Twitter

December 17, 2008

Comcast has been known for poor customer service in the past but is now on the leading edge and should be commended. You can follow the happenings at the company on Twitter and immediately engage with a corporate exec.

Here is an excerpt from an article on the matter:

I spoke to Comcast Director of Digital Care Frank Eliason, who personally responds to each and every comment and complaint sent to @comcastcares on Twitter, at all hours of the day (there are currently over 20,000 posts).

SEC Turns its Back on and/or Aids People Who Defraud Investors

December 17, 2008

Visionary Harald Braun Says Telecom - Especially Wireless - Best Industry to be in

December 17, 2008

Smartphone Increase Leads to Significant IP Mobile Backhaul Adoption

One of the most charismatic and energetic people in the carrier equipment market has to be Harold Braun (interview) the CEO of Harris Stratex, the largest independent supplier of wireless transmission systems in the world. The company supports broad frequency coverage from 4-38 GHz and capacities up to 1.2 Gbps. Their product lines consist of the TRuepont, Eclipse and Constellation among others.

I recently had a chance to catch up with this globe-trotting CEO and he was quite happy as he told me the market for mobile backhaul is growing at 6-8% and when you look more closely you see the majority of this growth is in IP.

It's Snowing in Norwalk, CT

December 17, 2008

Poked by the Long Arm of the Law

December 16, 2008

Yahoo Adds Social Features to Mail

December 16, 2008

In a promising move, Yahoo! will add social features to its mail service and increase the "sociability" of many of its services.

In addition, you will now be able to turn the electronic mail service into a "scrapbook for your life" and to compete with other social networking services more effectively; outside programmers will now have access to the platform.

This is a smart move but not for the reason you may think. Social networks in general are not great ad revenue drivers.

iPhone WiFi Goes Global Thanks to iPass

December 15, 2008

Back in 1999, experts at pre-merger Lucent's Bell Labs head predicted a communications skin would engulf us, allowing us to seamlessly connect with various networks. Over the years this prediction has come true but we are far from able to seamlessly connect to them all. If anything, connecting to many of these networks is a major barrier when you consider entering credit card and other information can take five minutes or more.

But there are ways you can overcome the barriers which are artificially placed between you and the wireless network you want to use.

Hey Wait A Sec... Where is Jon Arnold?

December 15, 2008

Why We Need To Help Brianna Sharp

December 15, 2008


I recently came across the story of Brianna Sharp, a young girl involved in swimming and Irish dance who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor called "diffuse intrinsic pontine brain stem glioma."

The brain stem consists of the midbrain, pons and medulla located deep in the posterior part of the brain. Tumors that arise along these structures are called brain stem gliomas. Most brain stem gliomas occur in the pons ("pontine gliomas").

The Best Viral Marketing Campaign of the Season

December 15, 2008

Google Scraps Net Neutrality Push?

December 15, 2008

Om Malik has some interesting analysis of Google and its stance on Net Neutrality. The genesis of the story is a Wall Street Journal article discussing Google and how it is looking to peer its caching devices directly with network operators. This would allow Google's content to get to you faster than other content and would reduce the bandwidth requirements for carriers.

What is Malik's take on Google after reading this story?
  Given how close President-elect Obama is to the current Google management, I can only fear the worst.

Nortel's Web.Alive Brings Virtual Worlds to Business

December 14, 2008

While Nortel faces financial struggles and unprecedented debt, there are bright spots in the company's portfolio which most reporters will ignore because - well good news doesn't sell. I for one think it is always worth exploring the silver linings in every dark cloud - even if the notion seems unpopular.

Recently I participated in a virtual world demo with Nortel where they showed me what they call web.alive -- a business oriented virtual world. Complete with avatars, this immersive experience is similar to Second Life but without the need to download software.

You simply go to a web page and logon and you are immediately transported into a virtual 3D world where you are able to really simulate reality.

How a typical web.alive staff meeting could look

While it is easy to dismiss the notion of virtual worlds for business as Second Life seems to be an environment where people want to escape work (and everything else), I can tell you that I remain impressed about the future of this technology.

Thanks to Dubya - No Free Wireless Internet

December 14, 2008

I am deeply saddened by the fact that the Bush administration pressured the FCC to cancel a meeting on a vote which would have put free broadband in the hands of hundreds of millions of Americans. This is my opinion is perhaps one of the most damaging things the Bush administration has done to date and it is shocking that they don't have the capacity to see the potential of giving free wireless internet to all.

I guess this is what happens when you have a person who really doesn't use the internet in charge of the country. It's scary really.

Amazon Ink Matching Program is Genius

December 14, 2008

I was in a rush and entered hp 88 ink package into Amazon's search box so as to quickly find a set of inks which match my home printer. Last time I ordered inks from Amazon, each box of cyan, magenta, yellow and black came in a different package with lots of packaging material. Not only not green, but a terrible waste of money.

This time I hoped to find a package of all 4 inks.

The search results showed a package of inks and I clicked to learn more.

Grandstream GXV3005 Videophone Supports PSTN and VidTel

December 13, 2008

Grandstream makes a solid and well-regarded videophone in the GXV3000. What's not to like? Low price and solid features like a The new model - the GXV3005 does everything the GXV3000 does and adds PSTN support allowing the phone to be more useful if either network is out or perhaps if you want to have a backup to your VoIP line.

As of this writing you can get the GXV3000 from, IP Phone Warehouse, VoIP Discount Warehouse, The VoIP Connection or Telephony Depot for about $220 or so.

You Just Thought of Making Profit Now?

December 13, 2008

More calls, more CEOs, more problems. There seem to be more and more companies coming out of the woodwork who now realize they need to focus on sales and marketing in 2009 for their survival. It seems these companies founded themselves for the sole purpose of being sold to Cisco and other solid companies and now those dreams have slowed or in some cases vanished.

Yes, the big tech companies are still purchasing but if they don't pick you up now, there are limited opportunities for future funding.

I get these calls and all I can think is "You're waiting until the middle of the recession to start thinking about how you get customers?" I could say more but the sheer lunacy of the whole situation doesn't allow me to articulate without peppering my writing with obscenities.

TMCnet Visitors Cautiously Optimistic About 2009

December 13, 2008

For those of us in telecom and tech, there is obvious concern about where the economy is headed - just like any other industry. The difference for us is we have seen a recent bubble burst and don't have the excess in our markets which other markets do. In fact in 2000, the dotcom bubble burst in March and the telecom bubble in November.

Most CEOs I speak with in our industry tell me tech and communications are among the best industries to be in for 2009 and beyond.

How To Classify Kevin Martin

December 12, 2008

TMCnet iPhone Site Launches at

December 12, 2008

If you are an iPhone or iPod Touch user and have been wondering when... Oh when will Rich Tehrani get an iMac in the hands (we are a PC shop) of his talented development and design teams so you can take the best of TMCnet on the go? Yes, we have a mobile site already at but this is not really iPhone friendly.

Fear not - we are almost ready.

My Thoughts on The Free Wireless Internet Argument

December 12, 2008

Michael Dinan has written a great article on the AWS-3 clash between FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and various government officials. It contains some salient quotes from me. I have mixed emotions on this matter as I want in no way to hurt wireless providers or equipment manufacturers.

On the other hand I see massive potential in having free wireless internet for all to use. This could create an immense productivity leap we can't even fathom today.

Many people in our government are against free internet access for the masses.

Interviewed By Kitchen Table Entrepreneur

December 11, 2008

I was recently interviewed by Jackie Rogers the host of the Kitchen Table Entrepreneur and I really enjoyed our talk as it focused on Gen Y/Millennials. If you have to ask - they are people who could be your kids or the kids of your kids.

Why might listening to this interview be of interest? Well the first reason is you get to absorb the best ways to reach to your customers as they become more technologically savvy.

Learn From Nortel's Woes

December 11, 2008

Yesterday I spent a good deal of time filming my opinions on the latest news in the TMC Newsroom and didn't get time to blog at all. Rest assured, I was sharing my opinions - but in this case on camera and not PC. Sadly it still takes time to produce videos so hopefully by today; all or most of this content will be available.

Perhaps the most shocking news I discussed yesterday is the Nortel bankruptcy exploration first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Skype Mobile 2.5 Beta Now Available

December 9, 2008

The latest version of Skype for mobile devices including Windows Mobile is the beta version - 2.5 which is supposed to be more stable and also look more like its cousin which runs on your PC or Mac. I tried the beta just now and was impressed with sound quality on my HTC XV6800 phone running on Verizon EVDO.

I did notice the interface did look much more like a PC and while the sound quality was good, I couldn't figure out why the call seemed to default to my speakerphone with no way for me to stop it from doing so. I should also mention that I tried the call with echo cancellation turned off and I noticed there was no echo on the particular call I made.

This is the default setting and if you change it, you will likely slow the device and chew up processing horsepower.

SaaS in the Contact Center Webinar Starts Soon

December 9, 2008

I am moderating a webinar on SaaS in the contact center and it starts in 20 minutes. You can listen live or get the archived version. I am looking forward to it.

SaaS in the Contact Center an Attractive Alternative
During a Down Economy

Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT

Customer service is a hot topic in boardrooms everywhere.

Technology and Terrorism

December 9, 2008

Call Centers Still Hiring

December 8, 2008

While layoffs take place in the hundreds of thousands, at least one industry has some bright spots in terms of hiring. Thomas L. Cardella & Associates is adding 55 full-time jobs at its Keokuk call center to handle a new outsourcing contract.

In the recession of the early nineties, hundreds of thousands of new call center jobs helped the economy rebound more quickly. For better or for worse, about half the call center jobs were for outbound calling otherwise known as telemarketing.

The FBI Accidentally Drizzles on Digium's Parade

December 8, 2008

There has been some recent madness in the open source communications world and I thought I had to get involved to get the matter settled properly. Some media outlets reported on the fact that the FBI put out a vague statement via the IC3 regarding how Asterisk may be susceptible to vishing attacks or caller ID spoofing via VoIP.

Before commenting I waited to hear back from Digium's John Todd who explained that there were some methodology and editorial process issues in this alert - basically no one checked with Digium before going public. As it turns out, after checking with Digium, the FBI quickly revised their statement and everything is fine.

The details are that there was a bug which Digium found in March of 2008 and subsequently patched in version 1.2 and 1.4.

Let's Ban Friend Collecting

December 8, 2008

A Shot of me and SaaSy

December 8, 2008

SaaSy Debuts

December 8, 2008

Heading to News Event

December 8, 2008 CloudForce Event in NYC

December 8, 2008

Dialogic Officially Acquires NMS

December 8, 2008

Dialogic has officially acquired the communications platforms division of NMS as of Friday evening and I had the opportunity to speak with Dialogic's Senior Vice President of Marketing Jim Machi about the acquisition and the future of the company. You may recall, I first reported on the news back on September 12th.

Before I get into the conversation with Machi, it is worth pointing out that the major competition in the CTI space between Dialogic, NMS and Brooktrout has finally come to an end this past weekend.

These companies were at each other's throats in decades past but as they competed, the industry thrived. More importantly, this rivalry caused the communications market to open to the point where a high school kid can develop telephony apps in the cloud with no knowledge of underlying telephony networks. CTI was a huge step towards openness in telecom and as these building blocks which were used for computer telephony integration began to be applied to IP communications and more specifically, VoIP - the world changed.

The opportunity for companies like Dialogic is changing and while VoIP is a big part of the company's business, video is a strong part of the future.

Heading to News Event

December 8, 2008

Plantronics Calisto Pro Review Update

December 7, 2008

I wrote a pretty positive review of the Plantronics Calisto Pro series phone and headset a while back. I don't use the phone that often and recently I needed a headset but didn't have any in the house except the one that comes with the Calisto.

I remembered that this device connects to Skype via a USB cable. I connected the cable, downloaded the software and was talking in a few minutes with incredible clarity and mobility.

The one room for improvement is the need for a color screen which with today's technology wouldn't really kill battery life or the budget.

SIP Trunking Resources

December 6, 2008

Microsoft Response Point Podcast With Richard Sprague

December 5, 2008

Microsoft's Response Point is an SMB phone system with big features. Priced reasonably and supplied by partners who make the hardware, this small business phone system has big features like voice recognition and a lot more.

But more importantly, this IP-PBX is designed from a small, hard-working division of Microsoft and is used by the group that has invented it. And Microsoft has been staying close to customers - using constant feedback to make the product better through a series of rapid updates.

Now on service pack 1 or SP1, the Response Point system is actually in TMC Labs at the moment and will be imminently reviewed by Tom Keating. To get perspective on Response Point and its future, I had a podcast interview with Richard Sprague (pictured), Senior Director, Marketing for Microsoft.

In our conversation I had a chance to learn how Response Point is part of the company's startup business accelerator program designed to bring products to market more quickly.

How Obama is Already Changing The Presidency

December 4, 2008

Love him or hate him, president elect Obama is already changing the
presidency by sending emails to communicate with his followers before
even taking office. Since he was elected he has sent a few emails
including a thank you, a survey and requests to join various support

The ability for president elect Obama to reach out to groups of
Americans based on survey data with specific messaging via email makes
him quite different than prior presidents.

It is worth pointing out that Karl Rove had direct mail experience and
this helped Bush a great deal as he campaigned.

Heading Back From Indy

December 4, 2008

He Killed Careers and Brands and Now Ebbers Wants a Pardon

December 4, 2008

Last I checked if you go to jail for accounting fraud in the billions of dollars where you were directly responsible for the loss of thousands of jobs and the destruction of some of the best telecom and tech brands, you should stay there and serve out your sentence. The mere fact that Ebbers is asking for a pardon by Bush before he leaves office and one is being considered should be disgusting to anyone involved in tech and telecom that plays by the rules.

Not only did Ebbers wreak havoc on the lives of thousands as he rolled up telecom companies and laid people off... Customers saw service levels decrease during the transition and in the end, fraud killed the company and made the entire telecom industry toxic to investors for many months.

Even worse, Ebber's fraudulent accounting practices forced competitors like AT&T to waste billions as it changed strategy to compete with Worldcom more effectively.

In Meetings Today in Indy

December 4, 2008

Sangoma Explains Launch of B600 Line of Analog Voice Cards

December 3, 2008

Sangoma recently unveiled a new line of analog voice cards dubbed B600 and I was curious how the company sees these cards helping the industry. As you may know, Sangoma is a well-known quality Asterisk-compatible board maker. More recently the company has expanded into the UC space.

To learn more about this line of cards and what Sangoma sees in its future, I interviewed company VP Sales and Marketing Doug Vilim via email and this is the result.

E-mail Self Destruct Flag Needed

December 3, 2008

I desperately need an email self-destruct key. You see, I have many emails
which trigger ideas in my head. I want to write about them for example. The
problem is my eyes are bigger than my blogging time allotment which means I
end up with hundreds of emails I want to blog about but don't get around to.
I wish I could tag such emails with a self-destruct flag.

Just Landed in Indianapolis

December 3, 2008

Great people and great steak... What a wonderful combination. I love
Indy - albeit more in the spring and early fall.

Here is a shot from the plane as we took off from New York.

I am on a nearly empty plane.

Click Fraud Still at 16%

December 3, 2008

Your Tax Dollars Go To Union Benefits

December 3, 2008

Does it make sense for Americans who don't have amazing benefits (in some cases no benefits) to be taxed and see their hard-earned money go to automakers who in turn will funnel this money to their workers who have benefits which are much better than industry averages? If automakers want this money and want to stay out of bankruptcy, they need to work with the UAW and get rid of collective bargaining which has made costs spiral out of control.

Maybe prepackaged bankruptcy is the way to go.

If you think I am nuts, consider that the competetion in the auto business is just getting started. Wait till the Chinese cars hit our shores. Do you think you can afford to pay gold-plated union benefits and compete against the Chinese?

I am not against unions, I am against having one country have them and others not.

I Am Traveling Today to the Midwest

December 3, 2008

I am off to the midwest today and am looking forward to the trip. As long as I don't get snowed on (too much) I will be happy. On a seperate note it is amazing to me that Detroit is going to get all those billions. In 100 years or so they haven't figured out a viable business plan but now with the assistance of politicians they will be successful?

Vidtel Brings Consumer Video over IP Communications to the Masses

December 2, 2008

In meetings with companies in the communications industry such as Polycom and many others, they tell me sales of video products have done very well these past years. Distributors and resellers tell me this category of product outsells just about everything else. This was especially true as fuel prices were increasing and travel budgets were being cut.

Although travel costs are receding, travel budgets will likely not be reinstated in a major way for some time.

Thoughts on Blackberry Storm and Verizon HTC Touch Pro/XV6850

December 2, 2008

After my Black Friday trip to the mall in Connecticut, I made another trip to the Westchester Mall in White Plains, NY. I was surprised to see the light customer turnout but this could have been because of the freezing rain and snow. Speaking of storms, I dropped by the Verizon Wireless store to take a look at another Storm from Blackberry.

As you recall, my last Storm experience was all wet. I am happy to say this Storm performed better than the last one I used in Connecticut.

TMCnet Gets a Redesign

December 2, 2008

While many of you were busy in the malls this past weekend or trying to find the best price on that new digital camera yesterday on Cyber Monday, the dedicated team of designers and programmers here at TMC worked day and night and night and day to bring you a new look and feel.

Over the past years, many of you have told me that you love to come to TMCnet on a daily basis and the hundreds of stories and blog entries we write on a daily basis contain everything you need to navigate the telecom and tech worlds. At the same time, many of you have told us the interface TMCnet has looks busy. Others have told me it is not clear that 50-100 writers contribute to TMCnet on a  daily/weekly basis.

Our new redesign is meant to adress all of these great requests and we hope you enjoy the new TMCnet.

One last point... Thanks to the 2-3 million communications and technology decision makers who visit TMCnet monthly and thanks to the TMC team for doing such a great job on this redesign.

Virtual Worlds Virtually Dead?

December 1, 2008

Almost 10K App Store Programs And Counting

December 1, 2008

Absorbing Cyber Monday Deals

December 1, 2008

I have been swamped all morning just perusing all the Cyber Moday emails I have received from companies like Think Geek,, Hello Direct, TigerDirect and more. It is truly amazing how low prices on electronics can go and one of the more interesting things I saw today is part of the new Geek Kids addition to the Think Geek website.

Items on this site range in suitability from newborn to 13 years of age and I am specifically interested in the Microcontroller Experimentation Kit which allows you to write programs and upload them to this device which has onboard sensors for light and temperature among other things. It also has a microphone, buzzer, diodes, resistors and more.

The product comes with a manual which has over 100 experiments and should be fascinating to play with. I wish I had one of these now when I was a kid.

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