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November 2010

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NSN Boosts Apple Performance with iOS 4.2

November 30, 2010

Has mobile phone signaling been reborn?


A smart move by Nokia Siemens networks was to upgrade its network equipment so that mobile devices can have faster data access while increasing battery life and decreasing network bandwidth use. Apparently Nokia mobile phones and Apple phones with iOS 4.2 software are able to leverage this new way of working to make their devices better.

In one case, as a result of this upgrade, NSN claims an operator has found mobile devices have almost double the battery life. In another, a carrier was found to have up to half the signaling traffic!

These are important steps in the right direction and I am interested in learning whether there is increased or decreased value for heavy data users as opposed to light users. Moreover, is music streaming which is constant assisted more by this technology than web surfing and/or app usage?

The move on the part of NSN is a very good one and now that handset makers have bought in (well it isn't a surprise than Nokia did) I hope to see more collaboration between NEMs and handset providers to enable even more benefits for end-users and carriers.








Rage HD for iPad AND iPhone Impresses

November 30, 2010

I am an ex-video game junkie having spent my youth either working or spending my money on video games. I started with Pong, then Space Invaders and finally Asteroids, Pacman and virtually everything else such as Centipede and Donkey Kong.

Thanks to playing video games I decided to teach myself programming to make my own video games which somehow got me to my present day career of running a media company building communities online, in-print and in-person. Weird, I know.

Since I graduated from college I haven't spent too much time playing games as I just don't have time. I did check out an Asteroids game while testing the capabilities of HTML5 a while back.



Google Earth 6 Goes 3D

November 30, 2010

Cisco Umi Hits Your Mall

November 29, 2010

Solid Video Ad Worth Watching

November 29, 2010

Astricon Asterisk Videos Posting

November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey Pic

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010 From TMC!

November 24, 2010

Will VocalTec and Skype Merge?

November 22, 2010

One of the major factors that led TMC to decide to launch Internet Telephony magazine back in 1997 was that we saw VocalTec launching products in the space which allowed telephony to travel over IP networks - and just like that the IP communications market was born.

Prior to this point, voice over frame relay was the preferred way to transmit voice over a packeted network.

When we launched Internet Telephony, we invited VocalTec co-founder and CTO Lior Haramaty to write a column in the publication - after all, no one knew more about the technology he helped invent than well, him!

Getting back to present-day Vocal-Tec, the company has merged with magicJack parent Ymax Corp. and recently raised its revenue guidance slightly and is looking to officially launch magicTalk - a PC-based service offering free US calling.

Back in August, TMC ran a piece on magicTalk and now the company says it has 100,000 beta users and 10,000 downloads per day. The magicTalk one-month Alexa rank is 386,430 up from 893,141 (lower numbers correspond to higher rank) and their Alexa chart is certainly improving as the chart below shows.



My two cents are it is tough to compete with Skype and Google in the VoIP space with a new offering but magicTalk has used television advertising to sell VoIP service in a way which turned an unknown company into a household name overnight. They used marketing well and although they have had some controversy surrounding them, I have always considered Ymax to be great promoters.

One of the past issues the company had was when they launched, they made some claims about their technology which were a bit over the top and many industry bloggers went ballistic in response. Moreover, the company has been called out about its inability to provide live voice service calls - but in reality if live support calls cost about $15 per interaction, how can you expect to get these bundled into service which costs about $40/year?

I reached out to the company for more information about what they're up to but they weren't immediately available for comment.















Back from Budapest

November 22, 2010

I just got back from Budapest, Hungary and it was a great trip and I met met lots of great people - many readers thankfully at the Dialogic Connections Conference. Jim Machi at Dialogic was nice enough to write up the conference and include me in his piece.

Apparently the fact I like to talk a lot makes people think I should be in politics  but strangely my wife says I don't talk enough - I'm still trying to figure that one out.

In terms of Budapest and travel there - here is what you need to know:

  • The weather seems similar to New England.
  • There are many gorgeous buildings, statues and castles worth seeing.
  • 99% of people speak English.
  • They are very friendly and many people asked me how I like their country and one person even asked me to bring my business there.
  • The food is good - I ate some sort of mountain animal - a sheep or goat or something called a mouflon which was great.
  • Be sure to go to a restaurant called Spoon - basically a floating establishment in a ship and Golden Dragon in the art district in Szentendre - an hour or so from Budapest by train.
  • There are lots of free and open WiFi APs everywhere and the 3G is pretty fast as well.
  • You can also get hot wine and cider all over the place and a bus tour is a must.
  • Unemployment is around 30% but it seems like a very safe place.
  • The currency is not part of the Euro - they use a Forint which is very inflated and a hotel stay at a top location can cost as low as $150. One dollar is worth over 200 Hungarian Forints BTW.
  • And no, I didn't see Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.

Related articles






Kinect Hack Turns You Into a Jedi

November 21, 2010

There Are Some Things SCRM Just Cant Help With

November 19, 2010

Dialogic Connections 2010 Live Blog

November 17, 2010



I am in Budapest, Hungary today and am live blogging the Dialogic Connections event which is hosting a few hundred partners and customers from around the world. A bit of trivia before we get started - Brad Pitt may be staying in our hotel the Hotel Kempinski. One of the people at the event may have seen him last night but then again there may have been a few drinks involved - so don't hold me to this. Apparently Mr. Pitt is is in Budapest right now according to many of the delegates here who were quick to check Google to ensure he is really in the country.

I am speaking in about an hour and will be interviewing Dialogic execs Doug Sabella and Kevin Cook. Hopefully I will remember what they say so I can report on it later.



Made it to Budapest

November 16, 2010

How Can You Live Without Boingo?

November 16, 2010

Thick as Pea Soup

November 16, 2010

On my way to the Dialogic Connections 2010 event in Budapest, Hungary, I was delayed on my outbound flight and as a result missed my connection. American Airlines did an amazing job finding me on the way to the connecting flight and giving me tickets for a future flight - in case I didn't make the connection.

Sure enough there was no way to make the flight so I have been working here at Heathrow Airport for many hours and have gone through and cleaned up about 2,500 emails so far.

The picture gives you an idea of why my flight has been delayed - the fog is pretty thick and its times like this I'm very glad that RADAR was invented.





Mobile Device More Important than Underwear for Travelers

November 16, 2010

It isn’t often I start a product briefing with a Twitter feed – but when I spoke with Chuck Dietrich, CEO of SlideRocket we started out by looking at a live feed of Tweets describing how awful PowerPoint is. And while the idea isn’t new – after all, death by PowerPoint (Tweet stream) has been used for ages, many people who use the program often know there has to be a better way. And this is the exact area where SlideRocket focuses. But more on that later.

Budapest Bound: Delayed at the Gate

November 15, 2010

Heading to Dialogic Connections 2010

November 15, 2010

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Impresses

November 14, 2010

TMC’s Tom Keating reported the fact that Microsoft OCS will be called Lync going forward and the name is much more conducive as a Skype alternative as asking someone to Lync you sounds much better than asking them to OCS you. Tom and I recently went to Manhattan with a group of analysts and other media to get a demo of the system at Microsoft's Technology center and put it through its paces. We had a chance to see about a dozen or more machines with various endpoints and spent time listening to Jamie Stark the Senior Product Manager walk us through what this new release will do for customers.

A Technical Look at HD Mobile VoIP

November 14, 2010

Kinect as Spying Tool

November 14, 2010

You already know I love Microsoft Kinect for the Xbox 360 - and the sports game is pretty awesome having used it for a few hours. My shoulders hurt from boxing and ping-pong - quite amazing how the brain dupes you into thinking you are really in these games.

The downside to putting motion sensors and active cameras in your living room though is that advertisers may be able to snoop on your activities. The system already defaults to take pictures of you while you are playing the game - from these they can determine height, possible sex and obviously the duration of play on particular games and just how involved an individual is.

To learn more about how these tools can be used to spy on us check out this post from Molly McHugh.



Gators Attack and Cat Fights Back

November 14, 2010

Ixia Shows Testing Not a Bad Place to be

November 13, 2010

The tech and communications markets have been generally stable and if anything a beacon of light in the turbulent waters of the general global economy. Specifically though the testing market is doing fairly well – if you are in the right segments of course. Let’s just say circuit switched testing isn’t going to be a hotbed of growth anytime soon.

One of the players in the market Ixia, has been aggressively consolidating the space and looking to become very well-rounded in the last few years acquiring the Catapult and Agilent N2X Data Line.

Tehrani at Dialogic Connections in Budapest

November 13, 2010

Next week I'll be in Budapest, Hungary at the Dialogic Connections event where I look forward to being involved as an interviewer and learning more about what the company is up to. I look forward to seeing many of you there and here is an easy registration link for the event which has Executive sessions on November 17th and technical sessions on the 16th.

Time Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 8:30 AM
Technical Track
  • IVVR
  • Video Conferencing
  • HD Audio
Dialogic Welcome Distributor Forum Executive 1:1 Technical Track
  • Location Based Services
  • Interview of Nick Jensen and Doug Sabella by Rich Tehrani

    Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC, is a Communications and Technology expert, visionary, author and columnist who has guided the media company through a period of unprecedented growth. Tehrani, who has served as an expert witness and been quoted frequently in such publications as the Economist and New York Times, is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the company. Rich has personally conceived many of TMC’s most innovative, community-building media properties online, in person, and in print.




My Favorite Headline

November 12, 2010

Wireless SIP Endpoints from Panasonic

November 12, 2010

Ever Have One of Those Weeks?

November 11, 2010

ElfYourself is Back

November 11, 2010

More College Graduates Want to Friend Facebook

November 10, 2010

I just became aware of a computer science major from a solid university who just turned down an $82,000 starting salary at Microsoft with the potential of $50k in options over three years for a position at Facebook. Here is the rub - Facebook hasn't made an offer yet.

Yes, this person would rather take an imaginary job in the worst economy of his lifetime instead of a real job - if the imaginary job of course is at the world's leading social networking company.

Facebook is the "in" place to work and Google and other companies are losing talent to Facebook and other new startups at a fairly rapid clip.

This is one of the reasons why Google for its part has just approved a 10% raise and $1,000 bonus for all 23,000 of its workers. Tammy Wolf has more on this story at TMCnet.

Tech continues to be a very bright spot in our economy and just one of the reasons we should encourage students to focus more on their science and math skills.

Facebook is hiring and their personalized message to me on their careers website explains how I can work there and enjoy hearty world cuisine - apparently the way to an engineer's career choice is through their stomach.















Over the Top Video a Threat Today?

November 8, 2010

Gary Kim has interesting thoughts about whether consumers are cutting the TV cord or the current subscriber losses we are seeing are due in-part to the economy and consumers deciding to forgo payments on cable.

Here is an excerpt:

Still, that could lead to years of trouble, and could lead to a definitive shift to online video if the content providers decide to shift more support to online delivery. 

Some 13 percent of current multichannel video subscribers in the United States say they are "somewhat" or "very" likely to cancel their current subscription in the next 12 months, and not sign up with a competing provider, according to a survey of 2,000 U.S. households recently conducted by Strategy Analytics (News - Alert).





RockMelt Ties Social Networking to Browsing

November 7, 2010

The unfairness of it all – was all I could think when I had to access the Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal via the web after getting accustomed to finding it on an iPad app. Those poor people who don’t have tablets and smart phones I thought – were seeing the web as second-class citizens. After all, the apps I have on my various devices are constantly being upgraded – allowing me to do things like download articles for reading on an airplane where there is no Internet access.

But if social networking is the most interesting class of apps on our mobile devices then the new browser from RockMelt may be the social media integration app which masquerades as a browser on your PC.

Xbox 360 Kinect Review

November 6, 2010

I tested the Xbox 360 system with full-body motion sensing system Kinect a few months back and said it was revolutionary. I had a chance to spend hours with it today and that early opinion I developed is right on. This thing is incredible and allows Microsoft to leap ahead of the pack of computer companies looking for the next user interface.

In short, the technology senses the location of your full-body and as a result, games can utilize the location of your body, legs, arms, hands and feet as input.

Alcatel-Lucent Turning the Corner?

November 5, 2010

After a number of years and some challenging times after the merger - Alcatel-Lucent the combination of New Jersey-based Lucent and Paris-based Alcatel is turning the corner making a quarterly profit and displaying more confidence about its future. Kevin O'Brien at the New York Times explains the company reported its first profitable quarter of the year, posting €25 million, or $35.3 million, in earnings compared to a €182 million loss in the third quarter a year earlier. Moreover sales rose 10.5 percent to €4.1 billion.

Although Asian competition from ZTE and Huawei is strong, the company certainly benefited from the implosion of Nortel and we'll see if they can ride this momentum out and keep the profits coming.

TMCnet's Ed Silverstein has more and The Motley Fool suggests Alcatel-Lucent is the next Nortel - waiting to implode. 



Cuil is Dead

November 5, 2010

For whatever reason - someone mentioned competing with Google I believe, I wondered what Cuil is doing these days. So I visited the site only to find it was gone. A quick search showed this Google competitor which launched with fanfare and lots over-hyping died out much more quietly than it launched. Too bad.

The company burned through $33M and has nothing to show for it - they didn't even sell the domain name - not that it would have fetched much - perhaps it would have made a worthy redirect to Bing.com?

Related articles



International Datacasting Corporation Update

November 5, 2010

I had a chance to sit down with Fred Godard the President and CEO and Christine Rozak, the Director of Marketing at International Datacasting Corporation (IDC) to learn more about the company’s activity in the satellite and related markets. Based in Ontario, Canada the company provides end-to-end solutions for the point-to-multipoint distribution of broadband multimedia content over satellite. IDC is a major player in digital radio, syndicated television, IPTV, news/financial information distribution, interactive distance learning, digital cinema and others.

As the name implies, IDC has installations in networks in over 100 countries around the world, and has a list of customers that includes Thomson Reuters, Westwood One, National Public Radio, Cinedigm, SES Americom, Echostar, Arquiva and PBS.

Why a Trip is Better Than a MacBook Air

November 4, 2010

Google Instant Comes to Mobile

November 4, 2010

What is better than Google on your Android device or iPhone? Well of course Google instant on your portable gadget of course. You see when driving your car, the only thing better than searching and driving is searching and driving and seeing the whole screen refresh. Well of course I am kidding as you should never search and drive.

Check out the demo of Google Instant Mobile below






So if you have an Android 2.2 (Froyo) device or an iPhone or iPod with iOS 4 the AJAX and HTML5 support will let you take advantage of this cool new feature.








Clearwire Truck Lost at TMC HQ Due to Layoffs?

November 4, 2010



Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - the story landed literally in our laps. We didn't even need to go outside - well it was raining so I didn't want to go outside (please don't tell anyone I work with). So I went to my team of editors after getting a tip that there is a Clearwire truck right outside my window.



Shows you how oblivious I am - its been there for two days according to one of my coworkers.

But anyway - what could be the reason the truck is here? Could they be testing that personalized 4G service I have been begging for all these months?







Facebook Extends its Mobile Platform

November 4, 2010

Although this is a long article - which I admit I didn't have time to finish  - it is worth a read because it gives you an idea of the Facebook mobile strategy and moreover relates it to the Google Android strategy and explains that Facebook can't take advantage of every opportunity and is opening up more so others can assist.

Hats off to Rob Jackson for spending the time it took to put together this quality piece. Here is an excerpt:

  1. Single Sign-On: Open an application and automatically enjoy the experience with access and perhaps pre-installed knowledge about you and your friends. Sounds a bit like signing into your Android phone with your G-Mail account and having your contacts, calendar, apps, etc… already at your fingertips and syncing up!
  2. Location APIs: If we know where you are and where you’ve been AND we know where your friends are and where they’ve been, there are some very interesting things Facebook can do from a social standpoint. Google tried some of them with Buzz and Latitude but weren’t that successful, but then again, Facebook is a company whose #1 strength is Social so perhaps they can do what Google did not.




TMC to Conduct Video Interviews in Boston Dec 8-9

November 4, 2010

Good News For Mobile - Except For That Bad Apple

November 4, 2010


Microsoft windows Phone 7 Launch in Berlin


Microsoft employees have reason to cheer - recently, quarterly profit jumped 51% and all 89,000 employees will get a free Windows Phone 7 device. The bad news in mobile - was Apple acting in bad faith when it allowed iOS 4 to run on the iPhone 3G?

Biana Wofford certainly thinks so and its the reason she filed a lawsuit saying that Apple knew the OS upgrade wasn't very useful, was devoid of some features and worst of all made it challenging to downgrade.

She believes the move from Apple was to push people to an iPhone 4, the latest model. Apple will no doubt counter the many complaints by making it easier to downgrade the OS on this and other devices. Or - maybe they can just make iOS 4 work better.





Cbeyond M&A Happens Two at a Time

November 4, 2010

Peter Radizeski has been the intrepid M&A reporter as of late sand he says in a recent post he is having trouble keeping up with all the activity. Cbeyond for example today announced it has purchased companies MaximumASP and its affiliated companies as well as Aretta Communications. These moves allow the company to provide a variety of services such as managed virtual servers, cloud services, cloud communications in the form of hosted PBX solutions and SIP trunking.

The prices for the transactions was $40M and 2010 revenue of the two companies in 2010 is expected to be about $12M.

New TMC Political Blog

November 4, 2010

Over the past years the economic and political climate has in many ways overshadowed in importance the tech happenings of the day. The historic elections of this week where the turnout was so great shows the tremendous interest the country is taking in politics.

You may have noticed that some TMC bloggers have been commenting on the politics of the day in their traditional tech blogs and they may continue to do so - but you will find more of my political writings in a new area called Patriot Talk and my first entry discusses how ex-GE CEO Jack Welch suggests the Congress stops the Obama administration from killing jobs.

Update: The URL is: www.patriot-talk.com.

Please note this new blog has a few contributors so not all the posts views will be mine. Apple Discontinues Rack-mount Xserve Servers





Shark Survivor: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger (Video)

November 4, 2010

RRsat Supports Holistic Video Broadcasts

November 3, 2010

I spent some time at the recent SATCON New York 2010 show talking with Telx Ethernet Exchange program participant RRsat to discuss the company’s holistic approach to global communications which blends their satellite and fiber networks allowing for a one-hop satellite broadcast anywhere in the world. The company simultaneously provides its services to over 550 television and radio channels spanning an area of more than 150 countries and to learn more I spoke with both Sholomi Izkovitz, Deputy VP of Sales & Mktg and Eric Larsen Senior Sales Director. Part of our discussion centered around how the company’s MPEG-4 capabilities are being utilized to broadcast the US Open, PGA and other important sporting events.

Is This What Social CRM 2.0 Looks Like?

November 3, 2010

Will robots talking to robots be the future of social networking?



In the last few months one of the conversations about social CRM which has stuck in my mind was when someone told me that once they find their company mentioned on a social network – they aren’t sure if they should answer – or partake in the conversation. The concern had to do with not seeming creepy from a user-privacy perspective.

New Editorial Additions to TMC

November 3, 2010

Mobile Banking and Payments the Next Frontier

November 3, 2010

Without a doubt, one of the greatest new frontiers for technology is to take the banks and credit card companies out – the same way tech companies have taken out retailers, film producers such as Kodak, florists, record companies and more. Expect the major players new players in the space to be Apple, PayPal, Google and Microsoft – interestingly in the late nineties, a Microsoft exec gave a keynote address at a TMC expo and said that we will see mobile payments on the horizon – the prediction will and has come true but one wonders if the world’s largest software company can keep up in the race for mobile – let alone mobile payments.

I have already deposited two checks via mobile phone applications and although it is a weird feeling to rip up checks with your name on them once you are done – it does show how comfortable people will likely become with using their phone as a payment and deposit vehicle. After all, I felt weird the first few times I deposited a check into an ATM machine – many years ago.

Tehrani on Future of Broadband

November 2, 2010

Made it to The Broadband Expo 2010

November 1, 2010

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