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 2011

You are browsing the archive for March 2011.

IT Spending Up: Thanks iPad

March 31, 2011

I've been using the iPad 2 consistently for about a week now and although I sense the battery life of the original tablet was greater - I find I am much more productive using this device. For example as you delete email, other emails - especially those of the HTML variety open much more quickly. This allows you to go through much more graphically intense messaging in a fixed amount of time. And this could be the reason for the battery drain as I am using the processor and wireless network that much more per minute.

Another plus is the WiFi radio seems to do a better job of finding the closest access point meaning less issues of having to turn your wireless radio on and off or rebooting to get things working right.

Obviously I am not alone in seeing a business use for tablets.



Google +1: 4 Things The Company Forgot to Announce

March 31, 2011

By launching the Google +1 button, the search leader has positioned itself firmly as the follower to social networking leader Facebook and their like button. The concept is very similar if not exactly the same - allowing users to like all sorts of web content including articles and blog posts. It is unclear how popular this initiative will become but with the company owning such a dominant portion of the search market - enough for even Microsoft to start complaining about antitrust issues in Europe, Google can likely get huge numbers of likes - I mean +1s.



The video above shows how it works and if you were hoping for some sort of benefit beyond what is provided with other social sharing buttons, you'll be disappointed.



Why Salesforce.com Purchased Radian6

March 30, 2011

The recent Salesforce.com Cloudforce 2011 conference in New York

Word of mouth advertising has always been important to business but today, a small group of people who others trust could be responsible for making or breaking a product or company. This concept is not new as in the past; a small group of journalists could also be responsible for assigning tremendous credibility to a company or product. And in response, companies often treated the media like a sort of royalty – doing their best to influence the influencers.

Amazon: Begun the Consumer Cloud Wars Have

March 29, 2011

Amazon has just unveiled a cloud storage solution for music and other files beating Apple and Google to the punch. The service, promoted by the included graphic on the Amazon home page explains the offer which includes a player which works on the web as well as Android devices. Most in the media will herald this move as new but they likely aren't aware of Michael Robertson (past blogs) the man behind MP3.com and MP3Tunes.com. Both of these services had cloud components associated with music storage and both were sued by the record labels.

HTML5 Conference DevCon5 Launches in New York This July

March 28, 2011



Dear readers, I have some great news - you know I am a huge fan of HTML5 and I want to do everything I can to facilitate its acceptance by developers, carriers and end users. Back in January of 2008 I wrote about my concern related to the Internet splintering in an entry titled The Rise of the Splinternet - explaining that Facebook users may not leave the social networking site and as a result you need to develop specific apps for users of the service. And of course the problem gets worse as now you need to develop apps for Android, iOS and for Microsoft devices among others.

I further elaborated on the problem in September, 2010 but went on to explain HTML5 has the potential to slow it down. The way I see it, the less development which needs to be done for specific platforms, the better.



iPad 2, Is it Glass or Plastic?

March 28, 2011

Perhaps the most amazing innovation of the iPad 2 is the glass screen which is thinner and far more flexible. It is like plastic in fact as this video below shows. Think for a moment how much more useful screens would be if they were made from plastic and then it becomes clear how much more potential there is for future screens to be embedded everywhere without the fear of breakage. The video below shows that even from 2 inches up in the air and a piece of wood pressing down on it - this new glass just will not shatter.

The Pros and Cons of Facebook Hiring Robert Gibbs

March 28, 2011

Photo courtesy of AP

This weekend it was reported by the New York Times that former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs may take a job helping to manage the communications at Facebook. Here are the pros and cons associated with him joining this company as it prepares for an IPO.

You Want a Gun With That Satellite Dish?

March 28, 2011

At a Montana Radio Shack you can get a free gun when you buy a satellite dish and if you don't want the gun you can get a $50 Pizza Hut gift certificate instead. And it seems Montana is a great state in which to have such an offer as there is no permit required to purchase or to carry one concealed outside the city limits.

And its worth mentioning that customer service at this store is probably among the best in the world as no one wants an upset customer who you know with 100% confidence is armed.

Update 3/29/2010: Apparently this offer has been widely successful and - surprise - controversial - check this out: Montana Gun-With-Satellite-TV Deal Draws Criticism as Sales Soar



How Poor Branding and Positioning Have Led to Tech and Auto Failure

March 27, 2011

Lessons Learned From Microsoft, Cisco, Volkswagen, Mazda and Apple Misteps

Why do Cisco and Microsoft have trouble entering new consumer markets and why does Apple have challenges when trying to get into the enterprise server market? According to an article from Rob Enderle, President and Prinpal Analyst, Enderle Group the reason has to do with poor management choices which have more to do with seniority than ability - coupled with starving new products of the resources they need to make it.

I agree with many of the points he makes and the fact Redmond actually decided turd brown was a great color to use when competing with Apple is hard to digest (sorry).  But in addition to the thoughts from Enderle I would add there is a positioning challenge facing these companies as well. In today's world where everything seems to revolve around clicks and search ads, most companies don't even seem to know what positioning means.

And its too bad because companies fail every day because they generate lots of leads that won't turn into business.





The Thinner the Glass, The Shallower We Become

March 26, 2011

I was speaking with a wise Israeli grandmother recently who made the above statement about devices and technology which I paraphrased. I try not to get too philosophical on this blog but the statement got me thinking and it no doubt will have a similar effect on others.

I am sure we have all noticed that as gadgets evolve, we become more addicted to them and we lose the rich and deep interpersonal relationships which make society what it once was.

For example, meals used to be conversation-rich, gadget-free zones and these days a family can be out to lunch with each member spending more time on their devices than speaking with each other.

Moreover, dating sites present potential companions like rows in a spreadsheet or cars on a lot. We don't take the time to get to know people but instead focus on the few details which we see on a web page. And a single flaw may cause someone to dismiss a potential boyfriend or girlfriend the way they might delete an email because the subject line isn't appealing.

In essence our inter-personal communications and relationships are becoming more productive and I wonder if that's always a good thing.







Is AT&T Using Investment Angle to Silence Blumenthal?

March 25, 2011

One thing you have to give AT&T a tremendous amount of credit for is knowing how to work the regulatory system - legal, financial and lobbying to get deals done. They are absolute masters and off the record I hear amazing things about just how connected they are. And they will likely need to pull on all the strings they have access to in order to make the T-Mobile acquisition happen.

So realizing the US is a Republic made up of 50 states, the company has now begun working on public opinion in individual states. Consider that today alone the company has put out two releases regarding their building of what they call the most advanced mobile broadband experience in Cincinnati and Connecticut.

In boilerplate press releases where a few items are changed, the company explains that in the greater Cincinnati area it is going to install 10 new cell sites, add spectrum carriers to 35 cell sites, enhance backhaul to 100 cell sites to enable 4G and deploy a distributed antenna system at the Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium to enhance network coverage during events.



Heading Back from CTIA Wireless 2011

March 24, 2011

I had a good week down in Orlando, FL at the CTIA show with many meetings. Some highlights included much debate about the AT&T acquisition on T-Mobile and the $3B break up fee associated with it. Then there were new tablets and a focus on backhaul, small cells, LBC and some talk of NFC as well as solutions to tie voice and data connections more tightly together over wireless networks. You'll be hearing more from me on what I learned very soon.

Apple Sues Amazon over App Store Name

March 21, 2011

Apple, not content to sue Microsoft for using the term App Store is now going after Amazon citing potential confusion in the market. In reality though it is tough to see how App store is not a generic term and/or concept. I am not a lawyer but I’ve pointed out before when Apple sued Microsoft that App and Store are terms which have been around for many years – do they become something you can protect when you put them together? I guess a judge will decide during this preliminary injunction which is a fast-paced trial which could have interesting consequences for the computer industry if Amazon loses.

Gogobeans Enables Mobile Cloud Sharing

March 21, 2011

Behold, the semi-social mobile cloud is born



One novel way to store and share information is Gogobeans, a company which allows you to store information in a digital locker in the cloud and share it easily by sharing or “bouncing” a bean to someone else. Last December I covered the company – saying they want to manage your digital life.

Android-Based ThunderBolt a Winner

March 20, 2011

I have to say after using the Android-based HTC ThunderBolt for a few minutes I was thoroughly impressed. It was like a mini-tablet and browsing sites was fast and its Flash support was very impressive. Its a 4G phone and I tested it for a few minutes on a WiFi network at TMC headquarters. Sadly there is no 4G network in Norwalk, Ct at the moment.

The specs are equally impressive with a 1 GHz processor, a WiFi hotspot for up to 8 devices and an 8 MP rear camera.

Android is indeed getting better - it still isn't as easy to use as an iOS device but as more users get Android gadgets - there will be a support system of users helping users just like with PCs.

I do recommend this phone but I have heard from at least one user that it is a battery hog and won't make it through a full day of heavy use.

TMC's Erik Linask has a more thorough review.







What AT&T Purchase of T-Mobile Means

March 20, 2011

Today, AT&T announced it was purchasing T-Mobile from Deutsche Telecom generating a combined entity with 130 million wireless subscribers producing $72.2B per year in revenue. While AT&T had an exclusive contract with Apple to sell iPads and iPhones it could rely on organic growth but now that Cupertino decided polygamy was more lucrative and Google’s Android is unleashing a torrent of cool devices on all networks, the challenge for carriers is to figure out how to compete effectively in a world where differentiating based on device is more difficult.

iPhone and AT&T’s Network Quality Perception

AT&T took a beating while being the exclusive home of the iPhone and was ridiculed on programs from The Daily Show to Saturday Night Live for selling device which couldn’t effectively make phone calls.

TMC Launches New Logo for Online Communities or OCs

March 18, 2011

KickStarter Gets $10M Funding

March 18, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about the new Tembo Trunks concept and how it could have been inspired by the African vuvuzela and now, the news is out that KickStarter - the company helping to get Tembo Trunks off the ground just received $10 million in funding from Union Square Ventures and others.

It's an interesting business model as it seems to blend funding and marketing to fledgling companies and it could do very well with a few mega hit products.

Union Square's Fred Wilson said his team was immediately taken by this marketplace where anyone could fund and follow creativity of all kinds. Moreover, he continued by writing:

Kickstarter is a very important and fundamental idea that will most certainly be part of the answer. Simply put, Kickstarter allows everyone to fund the projects they want to see come to fruition. The creators set the amount of funding they need and the marketplace determines whether the project is worthy of funding.






Cable Broadband Speeds to Skyrocket

March 18, 2011

Just when you thought you needed optical technology to get super fast connections to the home - along comes DOCSIS 3.0 allowing a 1.6 Gbps downstream connection over three cable modems at a recent CableLabs Winter Conference.

According to Multichannel News, IP bonding at the headend resulted in a 300 Mbps upload as well. According to the piece written by Todd Spangler, Cox Communications has shown 400 Mbps uplink speeds in Atlanta using Motorola's RX48 return path receiver module in a BSR 64000 DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS edge router. It's worth noting Germany's Kabel Deutschland last fall touted a download speed of 1.17 Gbps in a test conducted in Hamburg.

All of this is good news for YouTube, Hulu, and NetFlix among others.

Here is a Cisco white paper on DOCSIS 3.0 for more.





Will iPad 2 Glass Break?

March 18, 2011

A Future Made of Glass?

March 17, 2011

Intel Touts Durability While Apple Uses Glass

March 17, 2011

There are two approaches - the minimalist, clean look or the dead.

If you are a PC maker you have to be scared to death of the gains Apple is making in the tablet market and to make matters worse, any day now an Android tablet may be released which sells in the tens of millions of units. And if you supply processors to these devices like Intel does, you have to be scared as well since Apple is not only designing ARM-based CPUs for its tablets and phones, they are getting more powerful and may one day find their way into Macs.

So borrowing a page from Apple in the eighties, Lenovo and Intel have teamed up to get education-centric laptops into the hands of students quickly - before the Apple disease further hurts either company.

The result is the Lenovo Classmate+ PC which you can read about in an article on TMCnet's Education Technology site.

After spending some time on the Intel Education website I am a bit surprised as to how this approach to education is different from the Apple brand most of us think about in our heads.

For example, here is a statement from the site touting the benefits of the Learning Series:
Education specific, research based

Our team of ethnographers conducts observational research to understand how kids naturally learn, what PC features will support intuitive use, and how teachers can best introduce technology into the classroom. This research informs the design and development of Intel Learning Series products.

I realize this is a behind-the curtain look at what is happening but just reading it makes me think of how one might design a hospital or airport, not a computer for students.










Tech Minimalism: Only Apple Comes to Mind

March 17, 2011

Tembo Trunks: Vuvuzela Inspired Music

March 17, 2011

Its been months since the World Cup ended but that sound of Vuvuzelas is still stuck in my head. But wouldn't you know it - someone took the idea of the vuvuzela and came up with a concept for iPod speakers which don't require external power. At least that's my take on Tembo Trunks which are also collapsable and fairly unique. Tracey Schelmetic broke the news about these new speakers on TMCnet and another important point is they can amplify music up to 80 dB.

They are a project on KickStarter - a site which allows a community to fund new project ideas.

Twitter Outage

March 16, 2011

Heading to Satellite 2011 in DC

March 15, 2011

Learn From Newspapers Before The Internet Makes You Extinct

March 15, 2011

If you remember a while back I had a rant about not wanting to save newspapers by using taxpayer money to bail them out. My concern was that newspapers knew the Internet was coming and chose not to innovate. My post was published on Business Insider and yesterday the site put out a graph of $8.0B the industry let evaporate as job sites took all their listings.



Marc Cenedella, CEO of TheLadders.com adds more clarity as to what happened. He says, it was uncomfortable for newspapers to make the leap so they didn't.

I would add it was a cultural problem - a bunch of academics with an entrenched competitive advantage being thrown into a new business model where they were on a level playing field with the best and brightest entrepreneurs was just too much for them.

We saw the same sort of challenges at DEC the company which owned AltaVista the most Google-like company to totally botch the opportunity to monetize search.

Corporate culture is as much of a killer of corporations as disruption.









Use PayPal in the Mall?

March 15, 2011

For as long as I can remember the mantra has been the Internet will kill (insert your industry here). Magazines, brick and mortar, movies, music, photos... You name it. The truth is, in many cases the predictions were accurate.

The interesting part of the story however is now the offline world is allowing the Internet to benefit by finding business opportunities worthy of exploitation.

How China is Unleashing a Sales Boom for Tech and Media

March 14, 2011

Shanghai at Night
In many parts of the world, rampant pirating of products takes its toll on businesses costing billions of dollars of lost sales and value. While countries like Iran violate rampantly with no signs of improvement, others are slowly making changes.

China is one of the countries under the spotlight because it is growing incredibly fast and so many manufacturing jobs have fled to the country and in return, many there aren't paying the originators for software, movies, music and various other products.

The US has complained to China for years and although there hasn't been much progress, there has at least been the promise of progress from the country's leaders. This is why I called the Apple App Store the OPEC of the West in June of last year. My thinking was, even though I am not a fan of closed app stores, at least Apple is ensuring people get paid for their hard work.




Facebook Map of Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Status Updates

March 14, 2011

An interactive map of how the news of the earthquake has spread through Facebook is now available. Many of the maps show the majority of the buzz about the horrific tragedy took place on the west coast of the US followed by the east coast, Hawaii the UK and finally Japan and other parts of Asia. Chile and Argentina too seem to have fairly large circles (denoting more news) on the maps as well. If you scroll through the photos, you see the circles grow with respect to time of day in various regions.

Sample Facebook map of Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Status Updates



It is unclear if the bubble sizes on these maps correlate to numbers of relatives of those in affected areas, or whether they represent people who have a higher likelihood of using Facebook. Hopefully those spreading the news via pictures and videos will increase awareness and subsequently donations which will help people dealing with the aftermath of numerous disasters from earth-shaking to massive waves and potentially nuclear.





iPad 2 Hands On Review

March 14, 2011

Without a doubt, the iPad 2 continues in the Apple tradition of attracting legions of followers who wait in line for hours in order to be one of the first to acquire the latest and greatest in consumer electronics. With long lines all weekend in many stores, buyers were faced with numerous choices if they did make it to the front of the line. Which carrier – AT&T or Verizon? What color – white or black?

Destress and Boost Productivity With Less Notifications

March 11, 2011

If you are a knowledge worker, there is no doubt getting frequent notifications is a mixed blessing as you make sure you are on top of everything without having to search for what's new. My friend in Sardinia, Luca Filigheddu explains how much stress you can relieve by turning off all the notifications and in general I agree.

I get an email every few moments it seems so I do not use email alerts but I do have alerts for some Twitter and Facebook functions as well as news alerts for a number of news apps on my devices. Perhaps I should turn them off - as they do get annoying and they show up on all my mobile devices.

The one certainty is as we keep installing more apps - the opportunity for us to turn on notifications increases and if we aren't careful, we slowly decrease our productivity as interuptions are the enemy of concentration.

Avaya's Phil Edholm told me years back that your brain can adjust to multitasking and excel at becoming interrupt-driven. In other words, ADHD can be induced.





Massive Lines for iPad 2

March 11, 2011



Larry on my IT team was nice enough to scout around Norwalk, CT looking for an iPad 2 for me and this is the photo he sent back from Best Buy. Larry says at least 60-80 people were in it. The going rate to cut the line is $500 BTW. The AT&T store across the street from TMC HQ had four units and they sold out quickly. And forget about getting many retailers carrying iPads to even think about answering phones today.

It is obvious that Apple has built tremendous consumer trust and if a tablet manufacturer even dreams of penetrating Apple's massive market share they need to way over deliver.



Comcast 100 Mbps Voice and Data Service Unveiled

March 11, 2011

Comcast has just introduced 100 Mbps voice and scalable voice service in in California and the bundle shows the cable provider is very serious about becoming a major player in the fixed-line voice and data business. Combining Sharepoint, Exchange Server and antivirus software, Comcast Business Class Internet is a viable solution for companies who want to outsource much of their information technology needs to their carrier.

For more, I reached out to VoIP blogger and tech enthusiast Andy Abramson for his thoughts:

"This new effort combines the Docsis 3.0 cable modem standard with the acquisition of NGT by Comcast.

Earthquakes and Tsunamis to Help or Hurt Cloud Growth?

March 11, 2011

If your cloud services relay on a data center which is in an area affected by a natural disaster and your users or home office is not, you probably look at the recent disaster in Japan as a negative for cloud-based services. the reality is however that once your services are in the cloud, you will be able to more easily have access to computing resources which are geographically dispersed.

Moreover, generally speaking, a data center is more resilient to natural disasters than a typical office would be. This is the case for example with the Terremark building in Miami, FL which while located in a hurricane zone, is one of the most disaster-proof structures you will find. This is likely why the US government virtually owns an entire floor of the building and moreover why Verizon decided to buy the company as it expands its cloud strategy.

Larry Dignan has more analysis on the topic at ZDnet and its worth a read.



iPad 2 Demand Could Be Much Greater Than Expected

March 11, 2011

The iPad 2 has only been on sale for a few hours online and already shipping estimates have gone from 3-5 days to 2-3 weeks. Perhaps this isn't too surprising as analysts believe 15-20% of users of the original iPad will upgrade. This includes me by the way.

Some are calling for 600,000 iPad 2 devices to be sold this weekend in over 10,000 stores from AT&T, Verizon, Wal-Mart and many others.

Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised as we know the price of trade-ins on original iPads has been dropping since the announcement of the new device. Mashable has more on whether you should order online or in a store.

My take is if you can't wait, order one online and stand in line this weekend if you find a store with one in stock.

Update 3/14/11: The delay is now 3-4 weeks according to Apple's site.







Cisco Lowers Umi Price as Margins Become a Bigger Concern

March 10, 2011

Analysis of Cisco's strategy from consumer to enterprise, servers and switches

Its pretty simple really, if you are getting something which is pretty good and its free, you aren't likely to pay a lot for something better. I pointed out as much when I wrote about the 10 reasons why Cisco Umi telepresence would fail. This is why the number one reason on my list was Skype... Spending $599 for Umi equipment and then $24.99 per month makes great sense if Skype wasn't free or better yet didn't exist.

This is why when TMCnet reported that Cisco has slashed the price on this solution, it could only be seen as good news and a validation of what I considered to be an obvious marketing and pricing challenge.



Mickey Mouse Robot Scares Adults

March 10, 2011

Does Sprint Merging with T-Mobile Make Sense?

March 10, 2011



As Tammy Wolf reports in the TMC Newsroom, Sprint and T-Mobile may merge, allowing the weakest national wireless carriers to merge resources and become more credible against the threat from AT&T and Verizon. If there is one thing the wireless industry has learned these past years is network quality is the largest differentiator from a marketing perspective and as these wireless companies all will support LTE and most likely many of the same devices, carrier's likely can't count on an exclusive killer device as much as they did in the past.

In other words, if Verizon and AT&T had both used the exact same network technology, we may have seen Apple support both networks earlier on. Moreover, if there is a merger, all three providers will likely be about the same size in terms of customers meaning better negotiating power with device manufacturers - not to mention equipment providers.

Carl Ford, co-founder of the 4GWE conference thinks the fact that there are relatively new CEOs at Sprint, T-Mobile and Clearwire bodes well for a deal which is currently at the rumor stage. I tend to agree.

It seems to me that the need for these companies to get together is predicated on the fact that there is a perception issue in the US that Verizon has the best network and the others just aren't as good.







How YouTube Takes Consumer Time from TV

March 10, 2011

In the past I have discussed how TV disruption may happen more slowly than you think because of the tens of billions of dollars in affiliate fees changing hands. But this doesn't mean there aren't brilliant innovators out there using YouTube and other sites to become stars.

Consumer warning: Craziness, profanity and catchiness below


For example I was sent this Charlie Sheen Winning music video today and it is quite catchy. I found it playing "itself" in my head at lunch. Its a Songify This creation by the Gregory Brothers and a look at some of their top videos shows views in range of the many millions - about 60 million "season one" in fact.

So the challenge for TV is not only new methods of delivery but competition for the viewer's time.






Lifelapse May be the Livestreaming System of the Future

March 10, 2011

Recently at ITEXPO I explained to many at the 4GWE speaker dinner that the future of the web is livestreaming from mobile devices onto social networks. A lanyard would be developed to hold your iPhone in place as it records everything that happens and the information would get posted directly to Facebook accounts.

Dave Burstein of DSL Prime told me that carriers wouldn't be able to keep up with the traffic from all these HD streams (he is probably right) - but as I argued with him - this won't stop users from doing it. It's a logical progression from sharing text to pictures to video clips to live video streams and all we needed to make this a reality is the proper way to hold our phones in place so they see the same view we do as we go through life.

I just came across the Lifelapse Experiment and it is a lanyard around a person's neck which holds up a cellphone along with software to livestream your life. Its all very new and you can sign up for the Beta program now if you wish.

Any financial analyst focusing on the wireless market who isn't taking into account the pent up desire for consumers to livestream is simply out of touch with the future.





TMC Launches HTML5 Event July 2011 in NYC

March 10, 2011

This July 27 & 28, 2011 will witness an important event for HTML5 developers in New York presented by TMC and its partner Crossfire Media. This new technology has the ability to revolutionize user interfaces and make desktop software and native apps less important while supercharging cloud-based services. I have written in the past how HTML5 will reduce the splintering of development on the Internet & now we are putting our money where our mouth is by hosting an event focusing on what you need to know in terms of UI design and back-end development.

My team is working on the website and finishing up all the scheduling details but I wanted my readers to get the fist crack at this news. If you have a suggestion for speakers and/or sponsors drop me a line ASAP please.

Competing Effectively in a Facebook and Google World

March 9, 2011

With a sky-high valuation over $70B Facebook has to be super-aggressive to ensure they can support a valuation which seems to grow by the tens of billions every few months. And with the ability to hire some of the best and brightest engineers it is obvious the company should be exploring a range of new ways to justify its lofty valuation which is worth about 75% of Cisco Systems.

This past January I listed the 11 Things Facebook Should Do With Their New $1.5B and number two on the list was competing with iTunes/Netflix.  Specifically, this is what I said:

Tier 3 Platform-as-a-Service Gets $8.5 Funding

March 9, 2011

Smartwatch as Information Hub

March 8, 2011

I am a huge watch freak - meaning I love all sorts of them from the most stylish to the most nerdy. The last watch I truly loved was the Tissot High-T which was amazing because it used the Microsoft Spot network to sync all of my calendar reminders and best of all it vibrated - allowing me to get inconspicuous alerts regarding all of my meetings before they took place. Unfortunately the watch stopped working and when I sent it to Tissot for repairs they never sent it back saying it was discontinued. Instead I received a credit.

As great as it is to use a smartphone or tablet, there are times in meetings where looking at your watch is even more socially acceptable than looking at a gadget.

Gasbuddy.com A Winner As Oil Prices Rise

March 8, 2011

So many products have their costs correlated to gas prices – in fact last night the company that pumps my septic tank told me they are seeing profits go down and will need to raise prices because diesel fuel has increased 25 cents a gallon in one week. But one sector of the market benefits greatly from increased gas prices and that is websites which help you find the lowest gas prices in your area. For example, gasbuddy.com has seen its traffic skyrocket as of late and a look at the company’s Alexa chart shows a massive spike correlated to much of the recent unrest in the middle east.

Build Online Communities With Adonis DNA

March 7, 2011

You gotta love Charlie Sheen - and after hearing him talk about his Adonis DNA - I realized, Hey... TMC has building hundreds of communities for customers over the past decade that also have Adonis DNA  . They aren't "tiger blood" perfect mind you but the millions of dollars we have invested in technology to connect the right buyers with the right content seems to be paying off nicely for TMC customers looking for branding, thought-leadership and leads.

This investment has in-turn yielded millions of readers who come to TMCnet each month and benefit from these communities which provide information on diverse topics from headsets and disk defragmentation to network monitoring and cloud computing.

We believe we have the largest collection of monthly sponsored communities on the Internet and if that doesn't elevate our DNA to godlike levels, we aren't quite sure what else we need to do.

Perhaps this is why a popular question we get at TMC is how do I build a viral, content generated community of my own?





Skype Pre-IPO Report Card

March 7, 2011

It was back in 2007 when my fellow bloggers and journalists told me that Skype was a dog, had no future, couldn’t make money and wasn’t going anywhere. I begged to differ – the way I saw it the company simply didn’t execute on its potential. I quickly jotted down 11 ideas the company should pursue and in my post I even offered myself to Meg Whitman as a consultant to help implement my ideas.

Fast forward a few years and Meg is gone, and the company was sold and is now implementing the ideas – slowly but surely but many have been implanted in the last week which is why this analysis makes sense to present today.

How US Immigration Policies Kill Jobs

March 7, 2011

It isn’t a new idea – I have covered it a few times in the past – but as time goes on, the policies of the US government – in both parties really, has been extremely unfriendly to immigrant entrepreneurs. The argument is that these workers will take away jobs from Americans but the reality is many startups are founded by the best and brightest foreign-born workers who come to the US either to go to college or expressively to get a piece of the American dream.

TechCrunch has more on why Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs are returning home – and at a time when joblessness is so high, forcing job creators to leave the US while so many countries are actively pursuing/recruiting these people makes even less sense.

The Other Side of the iPad 2 Hype

March 3, 2011

While virtually every article you read about the iPad 2 release is positive and I expect it to be a hit - I already instructed my team to get one for me, there are two sides to every coin. For example, Seth Weintraub has a great piece on CNN/Money - Fortune the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field where he discusses how information is being presented in a potentially misleading manner.

Perhaps the item which is most shocking is claiming the iPad 2 is the first tablet to ship in volume with a dual-core processor. The Dell Streak 7, Motorola Xoom for example both are shipping and have dual core processors. Moreover the Atrix is a dual-core phone which is shipping in volume.

The question of course is what does "in volume" mean?



Salesforce.com Cloudforce 2011 Live Blog

March 3, 2011



I am in New York today at the Salesforce.com Cloudforce 2011 event and it kicked off with a conversation with a user from SunTrust Financial and Forrester Research - so far the event is heavily Twitter, social and smart device focused.




Kelly Services is using Chatter for about 9,000 people to help with information sharing and discovery of other related people in the organization - and using it to discover talent and engage with customers.



Demos of Chatter:




Cloud needs principles, not standards. Companies are using social networks as a sales/marketing tool.

Audience enjoying a presentation on the growth of social networks and mobile devices - China, Facebook and Twitter prominently featured. What, no Charlie Sheen??

Mark Benioff takes the stage - says 5,000 people registered for the event. 3,000 people showed up and 6,000 are watching remotely - 43 demo stations, lots of partners etc.




Talk of how fast the company is growing - massive cash and $1.8B run rate.

2,000 PCs at Salesforce.com are the equivalent of 200-300,000 computers that customers would need.


























iPad 2, What You Need to Know

March 2, 2011

Apple has done it again with the iPad 2 - it has a dual-core A5 chip which is up to nine-times faster as well as two cameras for FaceTime communications and a self-cleaning cover which comes in a plethora of colors and magnetically attaches to the device which still boasts  battery life of 10 hours. As usual with Apple, they think things through far better than other companies and their new cover also folds in a number of ways allowing it to double as a stand in both landscape and portrait modes.

The screen improves as well with LED-backlighting which is common on higher-end televisions. There is also a three-axis gyroscope which works in conjunction with the accelerometer and compass to give the software infinite information about what is happening with the device. Expect iPad gaming to get even better.

There is also video mirroring allowing you to easily connect your iPad to a TV - even if you don't have an Apple TV - you just plug in a digital AV connector sold separately and you are good to go.

Moreover there is new movie editing and music software which makes it that much difficult for other tablet makers using Android to catch up with Apple's decade-long multimedia advantage.

The iPad 2 is available on March 11 and starts at $499 - existing models will drop in price by $100 for now.

Carrie Schmelkin has more on this thinner, lighter iPad on TMCnet.









Yes, Most Tablets Will Still Fail

March 1, 2011

Two years ago I warned readers that most tablets will fail and since that time we have been waiting for all the tablets to come out so we can determine who the winners and losers will be. Obviously Apple and Android-based devices look safest at this point but likewise we can feel fairly confident in products from RIM based on the company's history.

I just came across an article on TMC's InfoTech Spotlight site where Doug Mohney explains fairly convincingly why this is the case and moreover how the idea of an $800 tablet selling in massive quantities is unlikely based on simple supply and demand analysis coupled with the simple fact that people who wanted a tablet already went out and purchased an iPad.

Is Facebook Becoming the Internet?

March 1, 2011

In the past, I have discussed the concept of splinternet (a term Forrester researchers say I may have invented) - where the Internet splinters into app stores and websites such as Facebook - a world where developers have to constantly spend their time optimizing their content for platform after platform.

For example to be a successful developer today you have to build an iPhone app as well as one for Android and Blackberry. Then perhaps a PC app, a Mac app, a web version, a Facebook app and perhaps a version for gaming consoles such as Xbox and you should consider building a widget for a number of the TV manufacturers out there.

But as Facebook has grown in power and influence, it is becoming a more important slice of the pie and as such developers are looking to it as a platform to start developing on first. Certainly Zynga - the company behind Facebook games such as FarmVille and CityVille being worth about $10B hasn't put a dent in this idea.

But it isn't just the developers moving to Facebook, one newspaper, Rockville Central has decided to move all of its content to the social networking site and it will cease putting fresh content on its own site entirely.

Erik Ledbetter a Facebook user was a bit concerned about the move mentioning he uses facebook but doesn't like to have a news source intertwined with his friend updates because his mental space is now being intruded upon. This is an interesting point because I have a mix of friends, relatives and business contacts on the social networking site and I generally post mostly work-related content - meaning my non-work connections have to deal with the same issue each day.







Featured Events