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

March 2010

You are browsing the archive for March 2010.

Covad and MegaPath Announce Merger

March 31, 2010

Dan Foster, MegaPath chief sales and marketing officer, earlier this month told TMC's Paula Bernier that MegaPath would be "active" in M&A in the next six months. Obviously this wasn't a case of overhyping the truth as in a press release, the companies jointly touted the merger of Covad and MegaPath as creating one of the largest managed service local exchange carriers (MSLEC) in the United States. It continues by explaining the combined businesses will have the largest Ethernet, DSL and T1 footprint in North America and be the only MSLEC capable of providing a full range of Internet, voice, security and VPN services nationwide.

TMCnet's Erin Harrison believes this is some of the biggest industry news to emerge since Nortel's assets were auctioned off.

CradlePoint Turns Phones and 3G modems into Access Points

March 31, 2010

 


Two years back I hacked into my Verizon XV6800 - an HTC device so I could install WMWifiRouter software which turned the phone into a hotspot. I still remember getting it to work and marveling at how people in the TMC conference room could connect to my pseudo AP and work as usual. Sure, the phone got hot enough to melt concrete and the battery was depleted faster than the US treasury but still, it was an amazing achievement.

Adobe, Google Partner on Flash, Chrome Integration and APIs

March 30, 2010

This weekend we will see the launch of the new Apple iPad, a device which has the potential of being very successful if early indications are accurate. But for all the benefits this new computer form factor may bring its audience, it won't be packing the web's most popular plug-in... Adobe's Flash. Apple has already shown the iPhone and iPod Touch can sell very well without Flash and if they can sell iPads in record numbers as well, perhaps Apple decide their computers will no longer need to run Flash either.

Twitter Plunger Presents Tweets Based on Web Page

March 29, 2010

You know TMC as a global media company reaching millions reporting on technology and communications. What you may not know is that in our spare time - and yes, every now and then we get some of it, we like to write applications to make your life easier. Case in point is Twitter Plunger, a new Google Chrome Extension allowing you to instantly search Twitter for all news related to whatever web page you happen to be on.

When you click on the plunger icon you are immediately presented with (plunged) results based upon the first word of the title tag of the page you are on.

Qualcomm iMoD: Breakthrough Biomemetic Screen Technology

March 29, 2010

One of the more interesting items worth sharing from this past week's CTIA show last week in Las Vegas is an interview with Cheryl Goodman of Qualcomm who showed me a prototype of a revolutionary biomemetic screen technology called Mirasol which emulates nature. Specifically the display borrows from butterflies, mimicking the way the insect's wings reflect light.




Using a technology called Interferometric Modulation or iMoD, the system uses two plates (the top one is a reflective membrane) which are separated by a small distance. A small voltage applied to the bottom plate brings the two closer together via electrostatic attraction (think balloon rubbed on your hair).



PureEnergy Video Interview at CTIA 2010

March 23, 2010

Skype Founders To Fund Future Disruption

March 22, 2010

Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis were no strangers to profiting from p2p-based software which went viral, making them rich in the process. Kazaa was their first blockbuster and the death of Napster's free music service boosted this p2p product tremendously. Their third attempt a blockbuster hit was Joost and this one didn't work out too well. Why?

Off to CTIA This Week in Vegas

March 21, 2010

iDirect Optimizes IP communications over Satellite

March 19, 2010

Recently I had a chance to meet with David Bettinger the CTO of iDirect to discuss his company's achievements. His company founded in 1994 provides IP communications equipment for the satellite industry. By accelerating TCP/IP protocols the company allows more efficient voice and video communications over satellites. As Bettinger explains, when you consider satellite communications can cost $5k/MHz/month, savings can add up.

Spacenet Satellite Services Aid Haiti, Boost Business Continuity

March 19, 2010

At the Satellite 2010 show in Maryland I had a chance to sit down with Jon Douglas of Spacenet Inc. and learn about his company which is 30 years-old. An interesting twist on traditional satellite delivery - aside from providing VSAT service in North America the company plays in managed network services. So beyond satellites they can manage a company's entire set of connectivity needs.

Spacecom has a custom-built hardware platform called the Prysm Pro which is a platform which allows an organization to deploy and manage a variety of applications.

TMC Launches Sports Technology Site

March 19, 2010

Communications Veteran Mike Ross Joins 4PSA

March 19, 2010

I just got word that communications industry veteran Mike Ross will become the new COO and Director of the Americas of 4PSA. The good news is this company has nothing to do with prostate health . Instead, they recently integrated their VoipNow Professional with Open-Xchange version 6.16 in order to integrate SIP, VoIP and social networking. If you think about it, unified communications is only unified when it integrates with social networks.

Viacom Lawsuit Against YouTube and Google gets Juicy

March 19, 2010

In one of the most unusual stories I have seen in a while, media and Internet titans Viacom and Google are sparring publicly. Earlier this week court documents revealed a YouTube cofounder consistently uploaded copyrighted material to the site to boost traffic. Google contends Viacom, through hired agencies and employees working at Internet cafes degraded copyrighted content and upload it in an effort it to seem like it was a grass roots movement. Now Viacom comes out with a public statement explaining YouTube was intentionally built on infringement.

AT&T Increases Capacity with COWs

March 18, 2010

Did you ever wonder how wireless carriers increase capacity in specific areas where large crowds gather? Well, one way is they can bring out cell (towers) on wheels or COWs and use them to augment the cell towers in the local area. This particular cow featured in a Rocketboom interview does 2G, 3G and WiFi and an increasing number of people have likely noticed AT&T WiFi signals at sporting events courtesy of these mobile wireless workhorses.



In the interview above you will hear the AT&T representative Mike Barger tout the fact the company has twice as many smartphone subscribers as the nearest competitor and he explains this is one of the reasons the COWS are needed in the first place.

Day two of Satellite 2010

March 17, 2010

Heading to Satellite 2010 in DC

March 16, 2010

Nor'easters Remind us why the PSTN is Useful

March 15, 2010

Having been one of the early evangelists of VoIP and launching the first magazine in the space - Internet Telephony and longest-running conference, etc - I think I need to take a moment and point out that one of the challenges of consumer VoIP is the need for external power. This past weekend, the northeast just endured a nor'easter where I saw massive trees buckle like dandelion stalks in the hurricane-force winds. I literally saw massive branches just shy of fully-grown tree trunk circumference shatter like a falling ice cube on concrete. Now, somewhere between 500,000-1,000,000 people are without power in the tri-state area.

Facebook Passes Google in US Traffic

March 15, 2010

Sytel Limited Expands to US

March 11, 2010

Sytel Limited. A company with a strong dialer and scripting engine is expanding into customer service, media blending and more recently, the US. As more customers look for SMS support, Sytel allows these short messages to be integrated into the contact center seamlessly with email and calls. With open APIs, Sytel touts openness as an area where it excels.

Cancelled Amazon Order Scam

March 11, 2010

 

Example of frequent spam/malicious email we get frequently at TMC. Click on image to enlarge.

For the last few weeks a number of my fellow team members here at TMC have been receiving confirmed and cancelled orders from most likely a malicious source - obviously one which is not Amazon but pretending to be so. With Amazon's massive and continuing success I hope consumers are smart enough to be able to differentiate between the real Amazon emails and those which come from probable thieves linking to the URL highlighted above. I don't want to even reference this URL in writing as it could increase their search engine rank.

Apple iPhone Developer Agreement Made Public

March 11, 2010

Dear developers, you have no power, no recourse beyond $50 and are at our complete mercy.

NASA has an iPhone app and the mere fact that this government agency chose to develop one means that the EFF was able to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the Apple iPhone developer agreement - the closely guarded document which gives Apple the power to pull applications at will and be the final arbiter of what apps make it into the iTunes App Store.

As pointed out by ZDnet's Jason O'Grady and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Fred von Lohman, here are some of the important items contained in this 33 page document:

  • A ban on public statements, forbidding developers to speak about the agreement.
  • Apps made with the iPhone software development kit can only be distributed through the App Store, meaning rejected apps can't be served through the underground app store Cydia, for instance.
  • Apple indemnifies itself against developer liability surpassing $50, meaning if developers get sued, Apple will be liable for no more than $50 in damages.
  • No reverse engineering or enabling others to reverse-engineer, the iPhone SDK.
  • No messing with Apple products.

Google Apps Marketplace Brings Walled Garden to the Desktop

March 10, 2010

Years back TMC launched a magazine titled IMS which stands for IP Multimedia Subsystem - and represented an architecture model allowing carriers to open up their networks to developers who would in turn take a revenue split in exchange for allowingtheir apps to run on the carrier's network. Customers of the service provider would be provided walled garden access to services - they would be pushed to use authorized apps. Fast forward some years and now the app stores are owned by Apple, RIM, Nokia and others. The carriers were just too slow to implement their models and perhaps they were the wrong class of company to be involved in the software business.

Adobe Comes Out Swinging Against Apple

March 9, 2010

Seeing Adobe Air and Flash run on a device which is similar to the iPad makes users wonder just why Apple has chosen not to support these ubiquitous technologies

Steve Jobs is one of the most powerful people in business and especially technology. So when he comes out publicly and says Adobe's Flash technology has problems and he won't support it in his products, people take notice. In response to this threat from Apple, Adobe has gone on the offensive and most recently partnered with HP on the company's Slate tablet and more importantly have put out a video which shows how powerful Flash can be on a handheld computer.

Skooba Launches new Tech Organization Case

March 8, 2010

Updated and corrected March 11, 2010 -- Please read till end.

I feel like when I fly I have as many wires in my laptop case as the airplane has inside its hull. When you add in the memory sticks and batteries and various chargers for every device and then realize I like to have USB versions of many chargers, you can understand why my laptop case would have to pay for a second seat if it was a passenger.

Here is a nice photo provided by the company




When Skooba let me know they have a new cable organizer coming out I had to try it if for no other reason than I am the most qualified person to test one of these things out.

VodBurner, a Great Recording Solution for Skype

March 8, 2010

I've recently spent some time using VodBurner, a new software package which automatically records your Skype calls - including video. The software package installs simply and then just activates when the call begins. It subsequently produces video files which are customizable via the company's post-production console.

A video interview (not done by TMC) using VodBurner of company founder Jeremy Hague


The quality of the console and what it can do is adequate for most consumer and social networking use and it will likely work for most training environments as well. Using the software you can add numerous captions and allow either participant or both to be visible when you "produce" your final file.

At this point you can easily upload to social networks using the software or play it locally.


An Opposing View to Obama on Healthcare

March 8, 2010

It seems the US president is on TV virtually every day touting how the government needs to take over more and more of the healthcare system. Moreover he continually tells the world how US insurers are evil, drop coverage at will and raise prices at levels which are too high.

While you have to admire the idea that lower prices are better, the reality is most of the US knows the government is the least competent at running anything and everything - except the defense of the country - and I am sure many will take issue with their competence here as well.

Consider, our public schools are lousy and the US ranks 28 out of 30 among developed nations in math and science.

Israel VC Funds Down 92% from High

March 8, 2010

Some of the best technology in the world was invented in Israel. The VoIP market was launched in the country and the biblical land of milk and honey still leads the world in communications and technology. Many US-based companies do much of their R&D in Israel in fact because there is such a strong pool of talent and the Israelis seem to be very inventive.

With a strong track record and in a market where technology seems to be one of the more stable investment areas, it is a bit of a surprise to see that the amount of VC funds raised last year was less than one-tenth of the all-time high of $2.9 billion raised in 2000.

iPhone Becomes Remote Control

March 8, 2010

Just when you thought your smartphone is maxed out and can't do much more, along comes the ThinkFlood RedEye mini dongle which allows your iPod Touch or iPhone to become a television remote control. An interesting note about this product is it plugs into the headset jack meaning sound is obviously used to communicate with the dongle which converts the noise to light in order to turn your TV on, off, etc.

This leads us to believe it is a simple matter of additional software to allow this same device to be attached to any other phone in the future. All you need is an additional app which supports your particular phone.

Google Stars - Life Used to be So Simple

March 6, 2010

 

Recently I started seeing stars on all my Google search results and I have to tell you, I am confused. I googled Google Stars and got a result which wasn't starred. Does that mean it isn't good?

Microsoft's Huge Mobile Gamble

March 5, 2010

The mobile market has come full circle from multitasking to single-tasking

Microsoft's Windows Mobile and its predecessors distinguished themselves as an operating system which are very desktop-like when compared to devices like a Blackberry or Palm VII. At the beginning of the last decade, Palm was at the top of its game and it was soon facing a brutal battle with the iPaq from Compaq which delivered a more laptop-type experience and a bright full-color screen. And my favorite iPaq feature was multitasking which allowed me for example to download a document while emailing.

Pandora Increases Focus on Cars

March 5, 2010

One of the best places in need of Internet radio is in the car as you are not able to currently able to skip songs on regular or satellite radio. Pandora and Slacker have changed the paradigm of radio listening and I often find myself wanting to press the thumbs up or down buttons on songs I hear while driving.

The problem of course is that unless you are listening to Internet radio you can't skip a song. That is of course unless you have a smartphone with an Internet radio app which is connected to your car. Ford has strong syncing options with smartphones and BMW and others have done an OK job with cell phone interconnectivity.

A few months back, Pioneer announced a new automotive entertainment unit which integrates Pandora and costs $1,200.



Google Stimulus Plan

March 3, 2010

If you listen to politicians you would think that only government can create jobs and help the country in a time of need. I am constantly amazed at the capacity of people who have spent little to no time in the private sector proclaim to be experts regarding what companies are capable of doing. But this post is not meant to bash politicians; after all they don't listen to you, why would they pay attention to me?

Having said, that it is worth checking out this article from Olga Kharif, one of the top writers at BusinessWeek (OK she wrote about me in the past so I am a bit - a wee bit anyway biased) which discusses how towns are clamoring for Google to provide broadband in their areas.

Funny Customer Service Video

March 3, 2010

LastApp: A Reason to Jailbreak your iPhone

March 3, 2010

One of the most frustrating parts of using the iPhone is that it does not allow you to quickly switch between applications. Seriously - my kingdom for a back button. On a PC, we use Alt-Tab constantly and it is incredibly productive. Sadly Apple does not have a way to do the same on an iPhone and it is likely partially because battery life could be compromised by allowing all apps to run in the background.

Verizon Network Back, Voice not Affected

March 3, 2010

Verizon Data Service Outage

March 3, 2010

Social Media is Mainstream Media

March 2, 2010

Here is my Publisher's Outlook which will appear in the March 2010 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine. I hope you find it useful

Last month I spent some time discussing how social networking will impact your company on search engines. In this issue, it is worth discussing how these technologies are changing marketing, media and sales.

Microsoft Uses Courts and Other Companies to Fight Google

March 1, 2010

In the blink of an eye a company can become invisible on a search engine due to an algorithm or policy change and in the process they can lose millions of dollars or more.

Last month an internet marketing company Quinstreet went public and within the prospectus you can find the following warning:

Our approaches may be deemed similar to those of our competitors and others in our industry that Internet search websites may consider to be unsuitable or unattractive. Internet search websites could deem our content to be unsuitable or below standards or less attractive or worthy than those of other or competing websites.

Featured Events