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September 2012

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LBS Needs Trust

September 28, 2012

For over a decade the communications industry has been waxing poetic about the potential for location based services or LBS to change the world. The idea was mobile commerce would be unleashed as coupons would be flashed in front of users as they walked near a coffee shop or fast food restaurant.

That future is here to a certain degree but the one missing ingredient is trust. You see users more than likely want curated offers.

ITEXPO Austin 2012 Show Guide and More

September 26, 2012

ITEXPO is taking place next week with a record number of collocated
events in areas such as cloud computing, videoSIP trunkingM2Mwireless and mobilitywhite spaces also known as Super WiFiHTML5MSP solutionsLatin America CommunicationsTech patent protection, cloud computing and cloud communications.

This is the most comprehensive technology event I know of with educational sessions on the crucial areas you need to know about to succeed in your career in every economic environment.

Some of the most important aspects of the conference are located in the Show Guide (PDF, Hi Res PDF). For more, here is a link to the fabulous keynoters from IBM, Sonus, Cisco, etc.

With Fabulous Gorilla Glass, Why Does Corning Stock Lose Value?

September 25, 2012

Corning is a fascinating company and recently the news about how they collaborated with Steve Jobs to build the glass for the first iPhone became public, making them that much more interesting. Believe it or not but the ancestor of the now famous Gorilla Glass in the iPhone and hundreds of other devices was invented in 1952 and by accident. The product was waiting decades looking for a market and the company started to experiment with it just before Steve Jobs came knocking.

Tom Keating alerted me to a fascinating article done by Wired which gives you all the details of how the glass is made and its evolution.



The challenge for the company seems to be getting ahead of itself. After all the famous Future Made of Glass video was made for potential investors over a year-and-a-half ago and since that time the company has seen its stock price drop by about 50%.





I am not going into the financial analysis of the company in this space but I do find it incredible that Corning can see its market capitalization decrease so greatly at a time when the world can't get enough glass covered gadgets.











Broadsoft CEO Michael Tessler to Keynote StartupCamp6 at ITEXPO

September 25, 2012

While many of us take IP-based communications for granted, it is worth pointing out the market has gone through tremendous turmoil to get to where it is today. If you look back, 15 years ago communications service was provided by a handful of companies – the incumbents who are referred to in the US as RBOCs or ILECs and PTTs in many other parts of the world. Today there is a thriving ecosystem of competition with new entrants like Vonage and the cablecos which has been enabled by a handful of companies who had the foresight to make the important building-blocks which allowed communications to leave proprietary systems and leap to Intern Protocol.

One such company is Broadsoft and its CEO, Michael Tessler has been
at the helm for 14 years.

iPhone 5 Screen Not Wider, Brighter Instead

September 25, 2012

I may be the most vociferous person out there saying the iPhone 5 should be wider than it is but just because Apple decided to "Think Different" it doesn't mean the screen on its new flagship phone isn't much better than its replacement.
According to Displaymate, the iPhone 5 screen is far superior to just about anything else on the market when it comes to accurately displaying colors and minimizing screen reflection. Specifically the company says:

Screen Reflectance on the iPhone 5 has decreased substantially – the iPhone 4 has 52 percent brighter reflections than the iPhone 5. This means you won’t be distracted as much by reflections that appear on the screen. The iPhone 5 has among the lowest Reflectance values we have ever measured on a Mobile device.
The iPhone 5 has the highest Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light for any Mobile device we have ever tested, and it’s 57 percent higher than the iPhone 4.



ITEXPO in Austin Gives Away Prizes Worth $40k+

September 24, 2012

We know your time is valuable and we appreciate it a great deal. This is exactly the reason we have collocated over ten crucial events with ITEXPO to ensure you have the most choice possible when it comes to your tech and communications education. Let's face it, we have less time than ever and need to make sure we use it efficiently to help our companies and careers.

This is why at the conference which takes place next week you will learn about communications as well as cloud computing, video, SIP trunking, M2M, wireless and mobility, white spaces also known as Super WiFi, HTML5, MSP solutions, Latin America Communications, Tech patent protection, cloud computing and cloud communications.

Moreover, you will see some of the hottest tech start-ups in the market right now...



I'm Too Sexy For Consumers: B2B Tech IPOs Are Hot

September 24, 2012

B2B Tech is hot once again thanks to a string of consumer social IPO losses and B2B successes

In the fickle world of consumer purchasing behavior it is tough to predict what trends will last. Few things seem to be predictable in the market beyond their desire to amass more devices powered by Apple's iOS.

There are spectacular examples of consumer companies which were here today and gone tomorrow – perhaps AOL, Yahoo! and MySpace are the best examples of entities that rapidly became irrelevant because consumers moved on.

And while Facebook has done an infinitely better job than MySpace of keeping its social network sticky and relevant, it still has become a textbook definition of investor loss and IPO blowup.

Funniest iPhone 5 Videos

September 24, 2012

See an Ultrabook with Touch and Sensor Tech

September 21, 2012

Will the $35 Aakash Tablet Transform the World?

September 21, 2012

The iPhone 5 is selling at retail stores today to millions of people who are obviously wealthy. After all an unlocked 64GB model which is unlocked runs $849! Some people are so bent out of shape about how much money Apple is making from the launch of this phone, they are protesting.

While most of the world is focusing on Apple, what may be interesting to note is in India there is a new and usable tablet which starts at just $35. As Gary Kim points out, the DataWind Aakash UbiSlate 7Ci is a super-cheap tablet that will attempt to connect every student in India to the Internet.

The tablet has a 7.5 inch display, a front facing camera and surfs the web about as fast as an iPhone - probably not as fast as the iPhone 5 though.



Galaxy S3 Ad Mocks iPhone 5 Lines

September 21, 2012

Will Corporate Welfare Slow International Trade?

September 20, 2012


Nortel’s bankruptcy some years back was due to a host of reasons including price competition from the likes of ZTE and Huawei. Consider that while the world’s telecom equipment manufacturers were acquiring companies during a growing telecom bubble, these two stood back and focused more on imitating the best technology they could find instead of making inflated purchases in the billions of dollars.

But China is a communist/capitalist mish mosh and as such national interests can drive it to do whatever it takes to win in international markets. This is why EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht is pushing a trade case against these telecom giants who are said to be receiving state subsidies in order to undercut European rivals.

Now it's Occupy Apple?

September 20, 2012

Some of the Occupy Wall Street crowd has turned its attention to Apple and its roll out of the iPhone 5. After all, this evil company decided to take on the two largest phone makers non-US based Nokia and RIM, and make them irrelevant in less than half a decade. Moreover, these disciples of Satan from Cupertino had the gall to have their stock increase by hundreds of billions of dollars and in the process help hundreds of thousands of investors including people holding IRAs, 401Ks, and those who benefit from pension funds like school teachers, firefighters, policemen and legions of other union and non-union workers.

 

One occupy protester, Shiloh Coral (above) said it best when she explained that instead of enriching Apple and the consumer culture it benefits from, we should invest in education and helping low-income families.

TMCnet Launches Redesign

September 19, 2012

News from TeliaSonera, Stage2 Networks, Sidera Networks and More

September 13, 2012

There's been lots of activity in the TMC newsroom with many new guests coming to our Norwalk, CT studio to tell us what is new and exciting at their companies.

At around 170 million mobile subscribers, TeliaSonera is a major mobile carrier supplying much of Eastern Europe and Russia. Ivo Pascucci of TeliaSonera discussed how his area of the company company differentiates itself in the wholesale carrier market. Services include wave services, collocation and wholesale IP transit for carriers, content providers and gaming companies. 

 


From there Joe Gillette from cloud communications provider and NY-based Stage2 Networks told me about the company’s thoughts on hosted voice services.






Is Apple's New Lightning Connector a Dead End?

September 13, 2012


Apple fans will view the introduction of the new Apple Lightning Connector with mixed emotions because while the new plug enables their gadgets to continue the march towards minuteness, all existing Apple plugs and accessories have been rendered moot. If you are a hotel chain with thousands of alarm clocks and treadmills which have the old Apple connectors in place you have a huge choice to make… Do you upgrade the devices or provide adapters at $29 apiece? The Wall Street Journal has an article today which details how a hotel chain called NYLO just upgraded its hotel rooms with almost 600 iPhone-dock clock radios which are now potentially obsolete.

One company taking advantage of the situation is Jawbone who has a creative new video out showing how the dock is dead.

The iPhone 5 is Missing This Crucial Feature

September 12, 2012

I am just going to come out and say it – the iPhone 5 is yet another incremental upgrade to the iPhone line of products. Yes, Apple deserves great credit for making smartphones ubiquitous – they have turned mobile devices into web-surfing gadgets and so much more. But this doesn’t mean that Apple is innovating as fast as it could be.

In fact, TMC writers have discussed with me in private that Apple may be purposely holding back on their phone upgrades to ensure people will keep buying new devices on a regular cycle.

Google's New, Free WiFi - Not For iPhones or iPads

September 11, 2012

Just before the launch of the new iPhone, Google Play has inked a deal with Boingo to give free WiFi access to virtually all devices – just not the mobile ones from Apple. The over 4,000 sponsored Wi-Fi locations include 15 airports as well as Boingo-enabled Manhattan subway stations, and thousands of hotels, shopping malls and cafés.

Google has sponsored free WiFi in airports and other locations so this isn't necessarily a new strategy. To date however, I am not aware of them excluding other devices. 

Is Anyone Really Surprised Unpaid Student Workers Make iPhones?

September 11, 2012

It is commonly understood that working conditions in China are quite inferior to those in the US so I find it interesting that the New York Times once again has come out with an article which seems to be designed to embarrass Chinese contract manufacturer Foxconn with a story which says students are forced to work there for free in an effort to pump out iPhone 5 devices. The article tells us Foxconn says the students are able to leave while some students say they are required to work there by their teachers.

We need to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. Life in China is difficult – there is no social safety net, no Medicaid, no food stamps, etc.

Anonymous May Have Just Taken Down Go Daddy and Related Sites

September 10, 2012

After spending five minutes trying to access Go Daddy with zero luck I reached out to my tech team who explained the site was out. The best way to follow the outage seems to be Twitter and there are some unhappy campers on the site as not only is Go Daddy out but hosted email accounts and domains are out as well.

Reports are now surfacing that hacker group anonymous is responsible for taking down this significant portion of the web. Check out some of the tweets related to the outage for more. 

 

Update 4:35 pm: the site is back up and functioning and Anonymous says its not their fault:

 
Update 5:39 pm: Go Daddy is up but not functioning properly for domain registrations.

Update 1:09 pm 9/11/12: GoDaddy.com says the Web outage on Monday was due to internal problems, not an attack by hackers. 










Apple to Launch a Pandora Competitor Next Week?

September 6, 2012

Apple is said to be getting into the music streaming business and there’s a chance we’ll hear more about it at the iPhone 5 launch event next week. As you may recall I surmised Apple would get into the home streaming market when it purchased LaLa in December of 2009. At the time I thought they would likely compete with Sonos and moreover mentioned there would be obvious implications for Pandora and the rest of the group.

Integration with iOS and possible tight links with iTunes were some of the areas of differentiation I pointed out we may see.

Amazon Rockets Upmarket with Kindle Fire HD Devices

September 6, 2012

Amazon has shown the world it is possible to compete against the iPad if you offer a smaller device and charge a lot less for it. When the Kindle Fire was released it cost $199 while the equivalent WiFi-only iPad cost $499.

Since that time, Apple has released the New iPad with a Retina Display at $499 and the iPad 2 saw its price drop to $299.

Now, Amazon has taken a page out of the Apple book and dropped the price of the Kindle Fire to an impossibly low $159.

Does the iPhone 5 have the Wrong Form Factor?

September 5, 2012


We all know that in the past many iPhone and iPad rumors have been wrong so we shouldn’t get overly excited about leaked news regarding the form factor of the new iPhone 5.

But since there are photos and videos which back the rumor up this time and they do seem authentic, let’s assume they are accurate.

I will start my analysis of the new phone by saying it absolutely stinks. I hate the form factor.



Business Insider: Super WiFi a Billion Dollar Market

September 4, 2012

I read with interest news from the Business Insider touting the Super WiFi Market as a huge thing for 2013. I agree of course since TMC and its partner Crossfire Media have been running the Super WiFi Summit for a number of years now and it is growing nicely.

I have always believed white space technology has the potential to be the most disruptive technology ever. Think about how IP communications disrupted telephony and imagine Super WiFi doing the same thing for wireless data. Of course the technologies in my comparisons are very different but the disruption potential is similar.

How Much Freedom Have we Given up Since 9/11?

September 4, 2012

Top Spiderman Gadgets and Games

September 4, 2012

Latest ITEXPO Video Ad is Out!

September 4, 2012

Is Hotel WiFi About to Start Sucking?

September 4, 2012


I like to see myself as the glass is half-full kind of person but I really try to be realistic so yes, sometimes it is one-half empty. And the two sides are tearing at each other as the news breaks regarding hotel Wifi. You see there is huge news as Accor Hotels which has in its portfolio the Sofitel, Novitel, Ibis and Mercure brands has decided to make all its WiFi at its hotels free.

This is a major hotel chain and global at that – some of the company’s hotels in fact play in markets where the charges are as high as £8.50 (13 dollars) an hour!

No doubt this move will be followed by other chains who will fear losing customers.

Songza is a Solid Music Streaming Service

September 4, 2012

I've been testing Songza's music streaming service for a few weeks now and it seems to be the best place to listen to real hits all the time. It competes with Slacker, Pandora, Sirius XM and Spotify and lately I have found it is so consistently plays good music that I need to skip songs less than on rival services.

Part of the reason for the service's success in matching my musical tastes may be the granularity of the choices it provides. While rival services may offer a category like "dance music," Songza will give you "Today's Progressive House Hits" which is a dead-on great station.

Speaking of dance music the service also gives you access to music from various events such as the Coachella Valley Music Festival.

There are lots of other types of music as you would expect and even eclectic genres like Hawaiian.

Although I haven't had lots of time to experiment with it there is also the ability to select and listen to music based on your mood. For example, if you are energetic some suggested playlists consist of Massive Pop Hits: The Remixes, Cardio Hip Hop, Crowd Pleasing Dance Pop and Pajamas to Party Dress.

The user interface is very good as well and the price is free.









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