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Rich Tehrani
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December 2009

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Tech Lubricates Theft, Can it do so For Law Enforcement?

December 31, 2009

The Internet is an incredible lubricator and margin compression resulting from immediate and widespread information dissemination is destroying industries on a level never before experienced. Examples include the newspaper business which has seen classified ad revenue jump to Monster and Craigslist. And in display advertising, newspapers are losing business to search engine and other online ad locations.

Once, pawn shops were a primary place for thieves to take stolen products but the criminals soon realized auctions are the best way to get the maximum price for goods.

Discounts for Communications and Technology Events at ITEXPO

December 31, 2009

To all my readers, Happy New Year. Please feel free to take advantage of these special conference & expo rates (check out these low travel rates as well) as my gift to you. I hope to see you at the show January 20-22, 2010 -- a few weeks from now.

 

ITEXPO East 2010 -- 21st Event Since 1999.

Think Smartphones Need More Memory? Just Wait.

December 30, 2009

Luca Filigheddu complains about memory limitations of the Blackberry platform and goes on to explain how the App World experience provided by the maker of these devices is a joke. He does correctly point out however that compared to an iPhone which doesn't allow multitasking; the RIM experience has some advantages. My experience has been that on a Windows Mobile phone, running out of memory is a constant problem as well. I have tried loading up the Motorola Droid with apps and didn't notice any memory problems in a short test.

TMC Hit with IE 8 JScript WSH Bug

December 30, 2009

For my more technical readers you will appreciate a story which crashed TMC servers and caused hours of hard work to pinpoint the problem. Thankfully these were noncritical servers used to crunch billions of log records correlating to TMCnet usage patterns, etc.

What happened was Windows Update was inadvertently run and IE 8 was installed on a machine and with it came a new algorithm to run Jscript via Windows Scripting Host (WSH). The result was a hard-coded crash as reported here.

More Reasons to Attend ITEXPO East 2010 in Miami

December 29, 2009

My marketing department sent out this wonderful letter on my behalf and I wanted to share it with my readers. BTW - note we are still giving away a car -- this year a Honda Element.

Having trouble viewing this email? View online.

 

 

From Rich Tehrani, TMC's CEO and Conference Chairman



US Schools Must Improve

December 29, 2009

US high school students rank a disastrously low 25 out of 30 industrialized nations in math.

I have written before about how bad our school system is and how a country like Iran - where my family is from and a place I visited 30 years ago had a school system far more rigorous than the US. As a nine-year old kid I toured this country which at the time was filled with dirt roads, cars that ran for about a quarter of a mile before overheating, wandering wild animals, filthy swimming pools (apparently no one would trade oil for chlorine at the time) and a school system which forced my young cousins to do homework all day and night. How is it that this little dustbowl of a country put more effort into their future than the US does?

Terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab a Social Networker

December 29, 2009

It seems there is a good chance Islamic terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national linked to Al Qaeda in an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airplane was an active social networker. On the Internet, he looked for guidance on issues such as how to reconcile his desire to eat only food sanctioned by his religion without offending his parents who were more lax about their diet. He further confided online that he was lonely and never found a true Muslim friend.

The Washingtton post examined 300 posts which they attribute to Abdulmutallab under user name farouk1986 from an Islamic social networking site.

How Immigrants Can Help Employ US Workers

December 28, 2009

I received an email today from Richard Herman, co-author of "Immigrant, Inc. --- Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (and how they will save the American worker)."

I asked to accept it as a guest blog and received permission to do so. Why?

Because I believe we need more immigrants to stay in the US and start businesses.

TMC Launches Business Video Site

December 28, 2009

During the dotcom boom I launched a company called Infofill whose goal it was to help companies who needed content for their Web sites. As I envisioned it, every company needed to become a media company and as such needed articles, audio and eventually TV studios.

As the bubble burst, the idea morphed into over 120 sponsored news-powered channels and communities which are a major factor in the success of TMC and TMCnet.

Interestingly I turned the dotcom idea inside out to make it work and now, many companies have chosen to partner with TMC for a number of reasons such as having access to content producers, designers, SEO experts, analytics professionals and more importantly, many of our customers want to leverage the proprietary content management system we have built to optimize content dissemination to the most interested audience possible.

I had a moment of déj  vu as I read an article from Steve Vonder Haar, Research Director and Founder, Interactive Media Strategies.

Should Amazon Collect State Sales Tax?

December 28, 2009

Amazon and other ecommerce vendors enjoy a tremendous advantage in these times of fiscal responsibility as many of the products the company sells do not involve sales tax in most states. There are arguments for and against Amazon paying taxes to the states and today Randall Stross of New York Times makes the argument for why Amazon should pay. His main argument is the fact that many states are in desperate need of the revenue.

What Stross, doesn't delve into however is why after record tax revenue collection by many states for a number of years are the deficits so great?

ITEXPO East 2010 Hotel Block 131% Sold Out

December 28, 2009

ITEXPO hotel rooms continue to go quickly. 11 days ago I mentioned that the hotel room block at the Loews was sold out at 106% and you needed to reserve a room quickly to get the low rate ITEXPO had negotiated. After returning from the holidays I was informed the hotel is now sold out at 131% and this news came accompanied with this message from the hotel.

Sorry for the late notice, but we will not be able to accommodate any new reservations at the ITEXPO group rate.

Kim Kardashian Gets $10,000 Per Tweet!

December 25, 2009

iPhone Bluetooth Keyboard Arrives

December 24, 2009

Will Avaya's Nortel Acquisition be a Success?

December 23, 2009

Avaya recently completed its acquisition of Nortel's assets and the most important question in the enterprise communications space for 2010 is what happens next. Avaya and Nortel were two of the industry's most dominant players and also fiercely competitive - will oil and water mix well? If so, the new combined entity which encompasses the best people and products from the current Avaya and Nortel has tremendous potential to shake up the market and gain share.

The challenge for many companies making acquisitions is getting the newly combined organization to work well together.

Fewer US Patents Means Fewer US Jobs

December 22, 2009

I often try to balance out my writing - not being too extreme in either direction and since yesterday I ended the day with a very positive piece about the billions of dollars in communications M&A transactions, today I thought it worth mentioning the decline of US patents granted to Americans. Here is an excerpt from a BusinessWeek article on the topic:

For the first time in 2009, non-Americans were granted more U.S. patents than resident inventors, accounting for 50.7% of new grants, according to recent data from the Patent & Trademark Office.

ITEXPO Launches Startup Camp - Investors Take Note

December 21, 2009

We love startups - as a society we owe them more and more each day. The contributions of Apple, WalMart, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Intel, etc. Most companies which were not spinoffs started life as tiny babies in the enterprise pediatric ward.

In order to honor these startups and support new ones - giving them the exposure they need to get to the next level, TMC has launched in conjunction with Embrase/Larry Lisser an event called StartUp Camp Telephony. Expect this conference to give startups the exposure they need to the media, analysts, bloggers and investors.

FCC, Broadband, WiMAX and Ford Sync WiFi News and Analysis

December 21, 2009

FCC to Boost Rural Broadband

In today's news, the FCC is looking at average Internet speeds in rural areas with the hopes of increasing them. Here is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article:

Last week, Rep. Rick Boucher chairman of the House Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee sent a letter to the agency suggesting that 80% of Americans should have access to 50 mbps service by 2015.

2010 the Year of CyberAttacks

December 19, 2009

Yesterday I touched on the Iranian takedown of Twitter and after giving more thought to the matter it makes sense to send a strong warning to my readers in the corporate, financial and government sectors that cyberattacks and terrorism have the potential to get much worse. In 2010 I recommend increasing security budgets accordingly as we can expect potentially larger and more well-coordinated attacks than the one which took place against Twitter.

For the moment the social networks seem to be of particular interest for hackers and electronic thugs but going forward expect more emphasis on ecommerce, banking and areas like the smartgrid which have the ability to inflict even greater damage than traditional social network takedowns.

For more on the matter check out this article.

AT&T Continues Network Improvements

December 18, 2009

With so much criticism being aimed at AT&T because of network problems throughout the US, it is good to see the company is continuing to invest in improving its infrastructure. Today in fact Ma Bell released a flurry of releases explaining where they are upgrading their network. Here are some highlights:

  • In 2010: AT&T plans to roll out even faster 3G speeds in 25 of the top 30 markets with deployment of HSPA 7.2. This technology doubles the theoretical peak speed of today's 3G network.

News From Oracle, RIM, Google, Apple, Twitter and More

December 18, 2009

TMC Had its Holiday party last night but that didn't stop an amazing amount of interesting news from happening in the last 12-18 hours or so. I've got lots of opinion and analysis to share on many of the happenings.


Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.


More Ebook Activity



ITEXPO East 2010 Hotel Rooms Exceed Estimates

December 17, 2009

Dear readers, as you likely know, ITEXPO and the numerous collocated events with this event have been generating more and more attendance at a time when many shows have seen traffic drop precipitously. What will ITEXPO in Miami look like January 20-22 in 2010?

Here is a reminder of what happened last year - thanks to you the attendance was up 15%.

Thanks once again to you, the good news is the 2010 show is about one month away and the show hotel room block at the Loews is already sold out at 106%.

Pandora Radio Doubles Users

December 17, 2009

Predator Video Intercepted by Afghan Insurgents

December 17, 2009

You know those state of the art airplanes - the unmanned drones the US has flying in Afghanistan, well these Predator Drones at a cost of over $4 million apiece send video of their targets in an unencrypted format allowing insurgents and terrorists to see what is being sent. In other words terrorists could monitor the location of these planes and avoid being attacked by simply staying indoors (I am not sure if in-cave is a word but you see where I am going with the thought) when a plane is near.

The worst part is the video streams can be intercepted with a $29 piece of software called SkyGrabber.

I almost choked on my coffee when I read this Wall Street Journal article detailing the excuses for broadcasting unencrypted video to enemies of the US. With all the state of the art encrypted IP communications software on the market - much of it free like Skype, how does the military have an excuse not to use any of it?

Android-Based iPod Competitor Wanted

December 16, 2009

I have noticed a trend in the market consisting of people telling me they are waiting for an Android-based iPod competitor which works with WiFi and has a microphone. While many contemplate the Google business model for their new Nexus One phone I can tell you that sales of this device without GSM connectivity are likely to be strong.

The obvious question I have asked people looking for such a device is - well, why not buy an iPod. In some cases the lack of multitasking is the issue. In others it's the lack of microphone or the dislike of a closed app store which is controlled by Apple.

1-800-Free-411 Offers Free International Calls

December 16, 2009

I have used 1-800-free-411 in the past and find it to be a useful service. The way it works - you listen to ads and get free directory assistance. Now the company allows free international phone calls. In order to get this feature to work you just say "free call" when prompted and dial the country code and the international number.

Mine Your Spam Filter

December 15, 2009

We get so wrapped up sometimes in esoteric software solutions to boost sales that sometimes the simplest ideas are overlooked.

I bet if I did a study I could find massive amounts of sales that were not concluded because of spam filters swallowing up order requests. I would estimate worldwide we are talking about at least half a billion dollars per year. I am reminded of this idea constantly as I check my spam filter a few times a day and almost always find something of importance hiding in there.

TMC Interviews in Boston Tomorrow

December 15, 2009

Fake Steve Jobs Suggests an AT&T Flash Mob

December 14, 2009

AT&T has told its users they use too much data - they are actively looking for ways of limiting their usage. One idea being thrown around is usage-based pricing. Forget for a minute that years back, carriers worldwide were trying to get users to adopt 3G networks and now that we are, their equipment is buckling.

Not surprisingly, many people are telling AT&T to suck it up and be happy that their customers find the products they sell on their network so indispensable that they use them constantly.

Google's Very Cool TTS Service

December 14, 2009

Search leader seemingly giving everything away for free now offers cloud-based text-to-speech as well

In what has to be one of the most interesting "simple" services, Google translate allows you to send the company a simple text string and have it converted to an MP3 file which is immediately downloaded and played. A developer could use this service to build a mobile app which reads e-mail or snippets of news or text messages or Twitter feeds or Facebook status or whatever you like. I took the liberty of trying this out and you can see what I did by clicking here.

TeliaSonera 4G Screams at 80 Mbps

December 14, 2009

TeliaSonera allows 20-80 Mbps download speeds on a 4G-based LTE network allowing a theoretical 4 simultaneous HDTV streams at maximum throughput!

If you live or visit the central parts of Stockholm or Oslo you can now get blazing fast wireless broadband access courtesy of TeliaSonera's new LTE network based on equipment from Ericsson and Huawei communicating with a Samsung GT-B3710 USB modem.

Forget about how much more productive customers will be with this speed for a moment and focus instead on the embarrassment factor to wired carriers worldwide.

Case in point, just last week, AT&T announced U-verse Max Turbo which offers a maximum broadband speed of 24 Mbps downstream.

Apple Rumored to Buy VoIP Player iCall

December 12, 2009

Back in December 2004 I suggested in my Publisher's Outlook column of Internet Telephony Magazine that Apple should get into the VoIP market and I even coined a product name - the VoIPOD. Here is the entire paragraph from the article which seems just as relevant today as it did over five years ago when I wrote it.

There is no way to overestimate the effects of wireless VoIP. Just as virtually every prediction about the mobile phone market was surpassed by reality, so too will mobility change the face of how we work and communicate with one another.

iTunes App Store Approval Process Easing

December 11, 2009

SIP Trunking Providers

December 10, 2009

One of the areas of IP communications which is seeing tremendous growth is SIP trunking providers and suppliers and the reason is simple - the technology saves companies money and increases their telecom flexibility and ability to boost productivity. The move to SIP however is more challenging than just plugging a wire into a box. You need to be aware of security, quality and compatibility issues. But to buy legacy circuit switched equipment today is generally suicidal for a career so SIP trunking has to be on your immediate radar.

A Photo of a Typical SIP Trunking Session at ITEXPO

 

Why is Nokia Closing Flagship Stores?

December 10, 2009

Although the Internet was supposed to reduce the need for brick and mortar locations and in reality growth in ecommerce does come to some degree at the expense of catalogues, contact centers and of course retail stores - It seems having marquee stores in the electronics market is crucial to maintaining a strong brand.

That is why I look at the closing of Nokia's flagship stores with a strange fascination like - perhaps the same way most of us would look at a magazine cover touting all the ways President Obama can learn from Tiger Woods.

The company is moving its store in Sao Paolo and closing its New York and Chicago locations. The company says it continues to expand in North America but explained that US buying habits are different as consumers buy their phones from carriers.

The History of the Internet and Net Neutrality

December 10, 2009

If you are looking for a single article which will illuminate the evolution of the Internet, the challenges regulators had when policing phone companies, the competition between cable and phone companies and net neutrality, look no further than this article from Fred Goldstein of ionary Consulting titled The Net that Got Away. In about 5-10 minutes you can read this well-written and historical article which describes how the Internet got to where it is today and how the Bell operating companies used regulatory sleight of hand to gain benefits from regulators in turn for promises that weren't kept.

This article discusses a book The $300 Billion Broadband Scandal by Bruce Kushnick, one of the biggest critics of the phone companies. Kushnick often complains about how the large phone companies have taken advantage of consumers and have broken promises repeatedly.

Nook Analysis

December 10, 2009

I stopped by local Norwalk, CT Barnes & Noble to gauge interest in the company's latest product the Nook, the Google Android-powered ebook reader. What I found was an extremely enthusiastic staff who were thrilled to walk me through the product, show me its features and explain they are sold out. They say orders have been brisk and customer interest is great. In fact I witnessed someone going from looking over my shoulder as I tested the device to buying it inside of a few minutes.
 

Debate Over In-Flight Calling Continues

December 10, 2009

The debate about using phones on flights has continued for a few years and currently through a mix of regulations and technology firewalls, passengers are prohibited from talking while in-flight. The USA Today reports that a coalition of manufacturers, carriers and consumer groups is trying to rally airline passengers this week to stop Congress from banning air-to-ground voice service.

The article cites comments from Rep. Peter DeFazio, who says he wants to protect travelers from the intrusion of phone calls in one of the last phone-free zones. To this I say, "How awesome is that?" Our politicians have decided where and when we can use a phone.

Droid Ads Say iPhone is Girly

December 9, 2009

Verizon's Droid ads pit the new phone against the Apple iPhone - comparing their manly device to one they infer is girly. To determine which phone has the most testosterone I put both phones through their paces. The verdict? Well, testosterone seems to have little to do with the basic functioning of each phone and there are enough men using the iPhone that I don't believe there are any technical or stylistic reasons why the iPhone should be considered a feminine device.

Digium's UK Connection - Asterisk Conference Sells out Twice

December 8, 2009

 

Digium, the Asterisk Company announced they recently inked a deal with Dorset, UK ITSP VoIP Unlimited to connect Digium's Asterisk-powered Switchvox platform with the carrier's SIP trunking solutions.

Bill Miller, vice president of product management for Digium, commented: "We chose VoIP Unlimited to provide services to the UK channel based on their established position in the country's ITSP market and their experience with Asterisk. Digium's seen strong interest in Asterisk and Switchvox by UK customers recently as they look to save money while gaining VoIP features and integrating voice with other business communications. We think VoIP Unlimited is an ideal partner for bringing these benefits to UK businesses."

Nuance Dragon Dictation for iPhone Launched

December 8, 2009

The free program for Apple's iPhone is dead easy to use and the accuracy is OK as you can see from this blog entry below. Interestingly I said it worked quite well below but as you can see it need lots of editing. The point is you can use this tool to give others a rapid glimpse into the ideas you want to share, understanding what you convey will not be perfect. Corrections were added by me to help clarify meaning.

Why Apple Spent $80M on LaLa

December 7, 2009

Apple confirmed they purchased music streaming site LaLa for around $80 million and I believe the reason for the acquisition may have to do with my recent experience with Sonos, a company which makes multi-room, WiFi home stereo equipment. After you see how liberating streaming wireless radio can be in a multi-room environment you understand what a huge market this is. At a point in the future I expect to talk about my experience with the entire Sonos product line but I am waiting for their newest component to arrive before I cover them in full.

In the mean time, the endgame for Apple is to get involved with streaming TV and radio in a multiroom environment and to turn their UI magic loose on the home.

Video Streaming: The Future of Communications

December 7, 2009

I have mentioned in the past that the future of the web will be live video streams on social networking sites. I expect 2-4 video streams at a minimum from people who can't seem to share enough information about themselves. To get an idea of what this will be like I tested a new app called Knocking Live Video on the iPhone with Tom Keating. The idea of this application is to share your camera view with the other iPhone user.

Fantastic Capitalism Cartoon

December 6, 2009

Dear FCC: Please Ask Verizon and Others More Questions

December 5, 2009

Recently the FCC reached out to Verizon Wireless to inquire about why it is raising early termination fees on advanced phones and in addition, the commission wants to know how consumers will be notified that they are purchasing an advanced device and how they will be informed of the prorated charges associated with early termination. This inquiry is in response to Verizon doubling its early termination fees on smartphones.

It will be interesting to see how the wireless company responds to the increasing ETF question but to me it is still obvious these costs are going up because advanced devices the company sells will now have superior functionality, allowing for services such as free GPS which Verizon can charge for on other devices. In other words these new fees cover the loss of potential revenue from enhanced services.

Allow Free Markets to Solve the Newspaper Problem

December 3, 2009

The controversy between newspapers and Google has been going on for quite a while and recently Rupert Murdoch has threatened to pull the content from his various companies such as Fox News and Wall Street Journal off Google and instead allow Bing to have potentially exclusive access for a fee. In my opinion if enough content leaves Google and goes to Bing it will have an impact on Google's business model.

Moreover, Google's ability to index the world's information for free is coming into question as a result of Murdoch's ranting. To Google, the idea of having to pay for something they have free access to today is horrifying.

TVoIP on the Ceiling

December 3, 2009

How Tech Ruined my Thanksgiving

December 2, 2009

I was away for Thanksgiving and when in Florida, you do like the locals and go to the beach. While there, I glanced down at my phone and saw an interesting news alert from a service I subscribe to called BNO News - Earthquake Hits Coast of Guatemala/El Salvador.

A little known fact about me - one I have never shared with anyone other than my wife who was sitting next to me staring at the ocean watching me turn white, is that I have a morbid fear of being in a tsunami. Sure, I can swim and all but floating out to sea - miles from shore was not how I chose to burn off the calories I planned on consuming by eating turkey later that vacation.

Fring Allows One-Way iPhone Video

December 2, 2009

Really Poor iPhone Predictions

December 2, 2009

Twitter Get Rich Schemes Should be Boosting Economy

December 2, 2009

4 Scams To Watch For This Holiday Season

December 1, 2009

Fictitious snow plow services: With the holidays and hard times upon us, it is incumbent upon all business owners and management to be aware of scams. Some of the best ones to be on the lookout for are snow plow service invoices where an unscrupulous person sends an invoice for a plowing service which was never performed. The idea is that companies don't know any better and some will pay. This is not new by the way but worth mentioning just to be sure you don't fall for it.

Social Web as Next Frontier

December 1, 2009

Remember Cuil - the Google killer? The search engine launched with much fanfare and then disappeared from the scene pretty quickly when it was determined the site's results were not that good. Well the search engine is back with a new twist - social search. By utilizing Facebook Connect, the search engine brings you social search results with your other results.

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