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October 2013

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Vertu Rolls Out "Affordable" Constellation

October 31, 2013

Titanium, sapphire and calfskin are what you need to make the most expensive phones in the world according to Vertu who should know as this is what they produce. Each phone is assembled by hand – there are no production lines and it takes about two hours per device. Each craftsman places their name on the inside of the phone and it is not uncommon for customers to come meet them in person. This by the way is not unlike what happens in the supercar world where the craftsman who makes engines for the Nissan GT-R will also place his name on the engine.

FAA Finally Loosens Gadget Rules on Planes

October 31, 2013

The FAA will allow the use of readers and games throughout flights although smartphone and tablet use seem to be at the discretion of the airlines. In all cases it will still be prohibited to connect to the internet below 10,000 feet. As is the case now, voice calls will not be allowed.

Congratulations to ETSI on its NFV Specifications

October 16, 2013

ETSI recently released NFV specifications which show how carriers of the future will be able to work together more closely to serve the needs of customers by sharing resources in a secure manner while allowing users to have more responsive broadband service. In addition, these documents show how communications service providers will more cost-effectively compete with new over-the-top (OTT) entrants who are cannibalizing their business in-part thanks to the same low-cost software-based infrastructure NFV hopes to recreate.

Once locked into hardware which was expensive, not only to purchase but to power, thanks to NFV, a carrier can deploy a new service on a very limited scale and add servers as needed to grow or simply scale in the cloud.

The ultimate goal of NFV or network functions virtualization is in-fact to allow carriers to take advantage of the technology which has allowed the cloud revolution to happen - namely virtualization, open APIs and powerful, low-cost servers.

Jabra Sport Wireless+ Review

October 14, 2013

It’s truly amazing how many people still use “legacy” corded headphones when the bluetooth variety has gotten so good. Case in point is the new Jabra Sport Wireless+ headset. I was immediately familiar with this headset as it is the new version of the Jabra Sport Wireless headphones which I have used for at least 1,000 hours.

The Problem is Not Twitter, It's That Engineering is Nerdy

October 14, 2013

There have been many stories circulating about the lack of women at tech companies and especially in the leadership ranks. Recently Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was beat up severely by academic Vivek Wadhwa for not having enough women, blacks or Hispanics on the board of the company as it prepares to go public. He further says that Silicon Valley is a boy’s club.



Let’s explore this idea for a moment.

NFV Roadmaps Are Affecting Carrier Purchases Now

October 12, 2013

The view from Asia

I had the chance to catch up with a top exec at a major Asian telecom equipment manufacturer and he told me customers are asking for NFV and they are busy working with a number of carriers in Europe to provide suitable solutions. This exec thinks that NFV will have the greatest impact in the gateway space. He went on to say he doesn’t believe the technology will have as much impact beyond the gateway because interoperability may become a problem – meaning whose throat is there to choke if things don’t work properly?

SimpleSignal and gUnify Brings Lync-Like Power to Google Apps

October 12, 2013

I’ve had a few conversations recently with analysts and resellers about how Microsoft Lync is getting trials in many of the largest global corporations and this has traditional telecom equipment providers getting nervous. From these discussions you might surmise that the future of telecom is going to be dominated by Redmond. We know however there is also a major competing force in the market… Cloud-based services. Moreover, Microsoft’s dominance as an operating system seems to be coming to an end due to the onslaught of Android, iOS and Chromebooks.

Vonage buys Vocalocity: Better Late Than Never

October 10, 2013

For a good part of this past decade businesses have been moving rapidly to cloud-based communications… Especially small business. Bryan Martin, 8x8 CEO – his company is one of the leaders in the hosted VoIP space, told me in 2009 – around the time of the financial crisis that the situation was good for his business.

While the business market kept improving, the consumer space got tougher as competition from Skype and MagicJack rapidly reduced margins in the space.

It has always been odd to me that Vonage ignored the business market. The branding of the company made so much sense to apply to small and medium size telecom purchases.

IBM: Digital Darwinism May Kill You

October 8, 2013

In a candid IBM interview, Carl Ford of Crossfire Media spoke with Blair Reeves who said companies should spend less time on advertising and worrying about various channels and instead focus more on putting customers at the center of their business. He went on to explain that everything is part of big data – there is so much data going out there not only on the marketing side but related to how people are buying and selling he said. Another interesting point was this coupled with social information can be used by companies to serve their customers better.

Some types of data he mentioned are as follows:

  • What customers create: what they post to Facebook about their likes and dislikes
  • What/where/how customers buy and what they do with their purchases
  • How do they engage with brands and companies – through stores, kiosks, contact centers, mobile apps, etc

What he said was these are not discrete experiences, they are part of a larger omnichannel experience.

Amazing Self-Organizing Robots from MIT

October 7, 2013

Wow - it feels like you are looking at the future when you watch these self-organizing robots designed by MIT researchers work together to form different shapes. Each M-block is a marvel of technology - about the size of a few ice cubes, they contain a process motor controller, flywheel, braking mechanism, electronics, radio, battery and numerous magnets.

Moreover, these modular robots are unique because they are able to jump - its truly fascinating to watch them jump as they connect with one another while making different shapes - thanks to angular momentum.

If you start to think about these devices getting smaller - it may not be long before these robots can form a number of objects which you may need in your home like a stepping stool, temporary nightstand and more. One wonders how this technology may actually evolve and somehow merge with 3D printing tech to allow the creation of even more temporary objects.



The bottom line is the future seems to be getting closer by the day and self-organizing robots may be a huge field which changes the way we think about many of the fixed objects we rely on today.







Silk Road: Why Bitcoin Value has Dropped 20% Today

October 2, 2013

If you haven’t heard, the value of Bitcoins has plummeted by 20% so far today because the Silk Road website has been shut down according to sources who also say the founder of the site has been recently arrested. Silk Road has become an underground site which allows illegal transactions which often involve Bitcoins. The value of the virtual currency has decreased potentially because investors fear future government regulation of Bitcoins and other online currencies.

Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Materials Science and Engineering known by the online alias “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was in fact arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation yesterday for his alleged involvement in the Silk Road online marketplace, according to court papers published this week.

Does Microsoft Need to Fire Bill Gates?

October 2, 2013

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are synonymous with Microsoft’s management and for many years the duo did a fantastic job creating value for customers, shareholders and employees. While the company is far from in trouble, possessing huge amounts of cash and cash flow, it has flopped in many areas which they saw as important. Phones and tablets are a few of these spaces and you may want to add search in as well. Unfortunately these are the products of the future.

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