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February 2012

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BeeWi Bluetooth controlled helicopters at MWC 2012

February 29, 2012

At MWC Fujitsu Uses Water and Drop Testing to Differentiate

February 28, 2012

MWC 2012: SPB Shell 3D

February 28, 2012

One of the more interesting innovations at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona is this 3-D shell which runs on Android and presents app screens as a carousel allowing you to see all your apps at once. It may sound confusing but it works very well. You can swipe and have the screens spin as you decide where to stop it. Think "Wheel of Fortune."

Russian search engine Yandex now owns SBP Software the company which made the extremely useful SPB Backup which lets you backup your Windows Mobile device.

Occupy Hits MWC

February 28, 2012

Is Microsoft Windows Phone Really Faster?

February 28, 2012

At Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Microsoft was touting their Windows Phone as being faster and offering 100 euro prizes to anyone who could perform tasks faster on their own phone than a Microsoft representative could achieve. If you lose you have to hold up the sign below explaining how you just got smoked.Speed is perhaps the only angle left in mobile phone marketing as ease of use and design are virtually Apple trademarks. The question worth asking is whether speed is a marketing slogan in search of paying customers or whether it is the buzzword which will slay the Apple iOS and Google Android dragon.

One exhibitor joked with me that the quad-core Android phones on display here at the show will no doubt beat anything Redmond has to offer.

Huawei Quad-Core Ascend D Quad Impresses

February 27, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Inch Debuts

February 27, 2012

MWC 2012 Intel Demo

February 27, 2012

RIP David Yedwab

February 24, 2012

Rest in peace my good friend.

One of my favorite people in the tech and telecom spaces had to be telecom analyst David Yedwab who sadly passed away this week. Gregarious, effervescent, full of life and always ready to show me pictures on his phone of some of his favorite places, Yedwab was a real gem.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai - Did He Invent E-Mail or Not?

February 23, 2012

I have to admit that I had never heard of V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai prior to meeting him recently in Boston just prior to the video interview below. But he and his PR firm told me he had invented e-mail – with the proof being in-part a copyright from 1982 relating to electronic mail. He spent a few years building this email system which he says were more or less the evolution of text messaging systems which existed at the time.

Off to MWC 2012 Next Week

February 23, 2012

I've got lots on my plate this week before I take off to Barcelona to attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) - which was once called 3GSM. I've got great meetings lined up and I am very interested in seeing what is happening in the world of 4G, white spaces, M2M, tablets and smartphones. Apple won't be there - formerly anyway so I consider this event to be kind of like the anti-Apple confab. Interestingly, all the major events I attend these days are devoid of the iconic Cupertino brand as well.

Blackberry PlayBook OS 2.0 is Good But Late

February 22, 2012

It is clear that the Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 upgrade which includes a first-ever email client needed to be perfect. After all, we have been waiting for this major release since May of last year. Sadly, it isn’t all it should be. It is however much better… The integrated email client is a great improvement over web-based email solutions users were once forced to use.

Metaswitch Brings SBCs to the Cloud

February 22, 2012

Metaswitch is relatively new to the SBC game but they already have been thinking of ways of taking session border controllers and making them more flexible and scalable. To that end the company has put its Perimeta SBC in the cloud allowing it to run on COTS servers with a variety of hypervisors.

According to Steve Gleave, VP of Marketing at Metaswitch, "The arguments for separating signaling and media functions in a session border controller are now well understood.  The commercial benefits of running session border control on COTS platforms are also clear.  So moving the signaling control function into the cloud, and leveraging the economies of generic server platforms and inherent system redundancy is a logical progression.  

Stop the Licensing Insanity, Cable Companies Need a Slingbox App

February 21, 2012

Would you move because you wanted a better cable company? The answer is probably not – especially if you live in an area of the country where you are served by a major provider. Cablevision is a relatively smaller cable company serving areas in the northeast like Connecticut and New York and even so they have WiFi-enabled much of their footprint allowing free wireless broadband to customers at many restaurants and shopping centers.

So cable companies aren’t necessarily competing against each other – they are competing against OTT providers, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube as well as phone companies.

How to set your Continent on Fire, Listen to Europe

February 20, 2012

Last week I mentioned that it is quite hypocritical for people clad in Chinese clothes and buying most of their products from China to single out Apple for manufacturing in the country. After all, if you are upset Chinese working conditions and jobs being relocated there you could and should equally go after Wal-Mart and virtually every company in the world in conjunction with Cupertino.

No sooner had I penned this piece – someone sent me news titled: Deutsche Telekom Union Workers and Member of German Parliament to Visit US, to Call on German Company to Stop Mistreating U.S. Workers.

3-D Designer Glasses at CES 2012 from Marchon 3D

February 16, 2012

Does Apple Blacklist Reporters?

February 16, 2012

You may remember about a year ago I wrote about how the hype around Apple is so great that they are often credited with doing things first – even though they clearly haven’t. For example the iPad 2 was not the first tablet with a dual-core processor but many still reported incorrectly.

I further went on to explain how Apple and some other companies dole out favors based upon good press. In other words, write a negative article about a company and you are added to a list which ensures you won’t get early access to products and services or even answers to questions you pose to the company’s PR team.

Chinese Nortel Hack Unconfirmed by my Sources

February 15, 2012

Although reports have been swirling regarding Chinese hackers breaking into Nortel's computers for over ten years in order to steal trade secrets, I have been unable to confirm such a breach took place. I have tapped into a few high-level sources and they were unaware of anything like this happening - the internal Nortel employees would almost certainly need to know if such an attack was taking place.

After all, reports say that even Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski had a computer which was compromised.

One of the reasons Nortel went bankrupt had to do with Chinese competitors Huawei and ZTE undercutting Nortel on price for carrier wireless and other products. So it easy to understand why many would easily believe that Nortel had been hacked.

And hacks from China are not unusual - they have happened to numerous US companies and even government agencies.

But again, would you not let your company workers know if this was the case?

Siobhan Gorman has a story in the Wall Street Journal on what happened at Nortel and it seems there is enough information to make you believe the hack was real. But still, I remain skeptical that the breach if it happened was on such a massive scale.

Cisco Underestimated Skype's Value. Acts against Microsoft Acquisition

February 15, 2012

Cisco is far from the most open company in tech so it is ironic it is concerned about a monopoly over video conferencing a result of the Microsoft acquisition of Skype. The company’s Martin De Beer said, “For the sake of customers, the industry recognizes the need for ubiquitous unified communications interoperability, particularly between Microsoft/Skype and Cisco products, as well as products from other unified communications innovators.” This statement coincided with Cisco challenging an EU court over the acquisition.

One has to wonder however if Cisco underestimated Skype’s value. After all, the company has been sold twice in the last few years and the networking company didn’t close the deal either time.

Grandstream Launches new ATAs at ITEXPO Miami 2012

February 14, 2012

Will Nimble 2.0 take Social CRM Mainstream?

February 14, 2012

Recently consumer products manufacturer P&G – one of the largest advertising spenders at over $9B announced it will cut its marketing headcount in-part because advertising on Facebook and Google is more efficient. The maker of Gillette and Pantene products is not alone; in-fact the business world is focusing heavily on social media including Google+ and Twitter.

But while it is understood by many web-savvy companies that social is important – how many of them are embracing social CRM? My informal analysis shows the numbers are very low meaning there could be huge room for growth.

Logitech Zagg iPad 2 Keyboard: Do You Need a Laptop?

February 14, 2012

A few months back I was in Boston interviewing a number of companies in the tech space and just before one of my interviews I was reading about the Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad 2 and I was intrigued. I thought having a real keyboard connected to the iPad 2 was a great pain reliever for my fingers which ache when hitting glass repeatedly but I worried the addition would limit my ability to use the tablet while standing. Quite often in my office I find myself using the iPad and I figured a fixed aluminum keyboard would make this practice cease.

Owen DeLong of Hurricane Electric is an iPv6 evangelist but I found him equally good at evangelizing why I needed a bluetooth keyboard from Zagg for my iPad 2.

The Only Way Google can be Successful in Consumer Electronics

February 10, 2012

Yesterday I detailed how Google IS the tech news of the day and folks, this search leader is ambitious – more so than Microsoft ever was. In addition to a Dropbox killer and massive Google+ growth I outlined in this recent post, the company is also getting into the home entertainment business through its Motorola Mobility acquisition. Specifically Google will release a self-branded line of consumer electronics allowing you to stream music throughout your home.

Google already has a cloud-based music service so obviously there is synergy there but the only way I see this strategy working is by Google doing things differently.

Why Steve Jobs had an FBI File

February 9, 2012

The FBI just released the file on Steve Jobs and it contains information about hem being not the nicest person in the world and in addition lists the various drugs he used such as marijuana, hashish and LSD.

I know what you are thinking... Why on earth would this man need an FBI file? After all, he was the man behind the personal computer - how dangerous is that? The reason it turns out is In 1991, Jobs was being considered for a post on President George H.W.

Google+ Growth, Dropbox Killer: Google IS the Tech News

February 9, 2012

Google has entrenched itself is so many areas of tech they have become the technology news of the day. First off, Google+ growth has been nothing short of fantastic, in part because the company has altered search results to put more emphasis on this social network. Every SEO/SEM professional has had no choice in the past few months to get up to speed on the latest social network from the search giant. And this in part is the reason why it has half the unique visitors of Twitter according to web traffic tracking site Compete.

Rewards Network, the Social Restaurant Hub

February 7, 2012

In the last few decades it has become apparent that all companies are for the most part limited by their imaginations. Apple was thought to be a computer company but is now a leader in music, movies and phones. Amazon went from selling books to everything – even its servers are for rent via its cloud-computing solutions. Google went from search to purchasing Motorola Mobility and is well known for being involved in many projects from solar to self-driving cars and the television space.

Apple's Catering to the Press is Just Smart

February 7, 2012

As a member of the press, I have had mixed experiences with companies looking for me to cover them. Quite often, a company sending me their products for review will be responsive if I have technical difficulties due to a product malfunction of some kind such as buggy firmware. This is smart business. Not all companies do this mind you.

ITEXPO Miami 2012 Day 1 Analysis

February 2, 2012

Trade shows are in fact barometers of industry sentiment and mood and to gauge what the feeling is in the technology and communications spaces I turn to Jon Arnold's blog post about the first day here at ITEXPO.
First off Jon is about as balanced as they come - even his compliments come with room for improvement weaved in. So I invite you to read his full post about the show so far - which again says a lot about where the rest of 2012 will be heading in our spaces.
Across the board, I think most people will tell you the event is working really well. The hallways are full with activity, the sessions are well attended, the content is great, and the breadth of subject matter is far too great for any human to consume.
My day was spent either in briefings or moderating, so I didn't have a chance to see any other sessions. It's too bad, since there's really strong content for me in tracks such as Cloud Communications, SIP Trunking, 4GWE, M2M - and others.

Win this Mustang at ITEXPO Miami 2012

February 1, 2012

ShoreTel Acquires M5 for Cloud Communications

February 1, 2012

ShoreTel just announced they are purchasing  M5 Networks - both companies have been past participants in ITEXPO - I happen to be here at ITEXPO Miami where we have record crowds. And cloud communications is a hot space as evidenced by the interest in the technology by purchasing conferees here at the show.

And this is the reason for the acquisition. Many will credit the simplicity of ShoreTel PBXs as well as their "networking" based approach to design and deployment for some of their success.

Great Article on Bob Metcalfe's StartupCamp Keynote in Austin

February 1, 2012

The PR Vibes newsletters are a great place to catch up on the news and gossip on industry events such as CTIA, MWC and ITEXPO. We are here at ITEXPO East 2012 in Miami and the good people at PR Vibes were nice enough to cover the last major keynote at the collocated StartupCamp which took place in Austin, Texas last fall.

Our keynoter at that show was Bob Metcalfe - a legend and a great speaker whose oratory skills are only outweighed by his massive contributions to tech and networking.

I don't want to steal thunder from Laura Borgstede and her crew so by all means check out the post right now - it is educational and informative and worth a read.

Think of it as an MBA course from a person who really knows how to start and run successful companies. Moreover - it is information from a visionary and executor - we know how rare this combo is not only in tech but in any space.

By the same token you must be at StartupCamp here at ITEXPO at 4:00 pm in room B217 of the Miami Beach Convention Center to hear Sir Terry Matthews speak on Thursday, February 2nd. Sir Terry is an awesome speaker as well - he is the perfectly blend of entrepreneur and visionary having been involved in over 70 companies.

StartupCamp has a lot of energy (maybe not as much as Sir Terry - that is a high standard after all) and is a "can't miss."

Location:Jackie Gleason Dr,Miami Beach,United States

ITEXPO East 2012 Exhibit Hall Coming Together

February 1, 2012

Digium Has New Phones. Now an Ecosystem Play

February 1, 2012

Today at ITEXPO Digium announced three new phones and Tom Keating is really impressed based on his post today. But what really caught my attention is not the obvious - which is that companies are increasingly expanding into new markets. Its that Digium is adding custom features to their phones which can access core PBX functions for not only Asterisk but Switchvox.

So what we have here ladies and gentlemen is an ecosystem play - like the Apple app store or Facebook apps, etc. Open APIs are allowing companies to leverage the development efforts of a community for mutual benefit.

And boy is this great news for Digium - after all don't the developers LOVE Digium?

Microsoft Leverages New Google Data Sharing Policy

February 1, 2012

Microsoft comes out swinging at Google - saying the search leader has changed its policies to make your personal data more valuable to advertisers. While this is obviously true, the goal of all companies is to make more money and since Google makes most of theirs through showing ads, this data-sharing change makes lots of sense - right?

The first question which comes to mind of course is did you ever think we would get to a point where Microsoft would be calling out Google for being evil?

What this shows is how important search and the cloud are to Microsoft.

Creative Destruction Sometimes Leads to Sabotage and Suicide

February 1, 2012

While Silicon Valley welcomes the fantastic news of a Facebook IPO today and the countless millionaires it will create it is worth reflecting on creative destruction thriving in the business world where new generations of companies win at the expense of the old.

In a way the iPad is the evolution of computing where the PC market led by Apple and IBM destroyed the Wang word processor and the typewriter before it. If Wang invented a tablet it would have a green screen and be character based - not too user friendly.

Still, for workers who have to deal with job loss and declining working conditions as a result of such transitions it is a tough challenge. Suicides and Sabotage are detailed in this article titled LA Times: Layoffs, Sabotage and Suicides?

There is a common theme here and it is that information work is still in demand while tasks involving manual labor are on the decline.

This is a similar transition the US faced when we moved from blacksmiths making horseshoes to factory workers putting fenders on cars.

The challenge we have is there are tens of millions of people who didn't grow up in the electronic age - they have to immerse themselves in tech if they want a chance at getting a piece of the booming new high-tech economy.

Everyone needs a safety net and spending an hour a day after work to become technically savvy is just like buying a career insurance policy.

In a former life I was in IT and my job was to train people how to use computers - I can tell you that at around age 40 - the brain seems to go through a transformation where it becomes difficult to learn tech. So really, whatever you do for a living,
you really owe it to yourself to learn as much about technology as you can.

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