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Rich Tehrani
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Apple

Being Part of Squawk Box

May 23, 2008

I spent part of my morning on Alex Saunders' Squawk Box -- a gathering place for industry analysts and thought leaders to discuss important technology issues of the day.

Topics today included Ariel Waldman's harassment allegations against Twitter. This conversation digressed into what Twitter is... Is it a communications vehicle or is it media -- like a magazine or website?

Andy Abramson had some well thought out comments on the matter and others had great points too. Andy likened the concept of harassing someone on Twitter to taking a megaphone out and broadcasting negative things about them in public.

The whole argument reminded me a tremendous amount of the Juicy Campus website and the problems the site is having as it seems to be a forum where college kinds primarily gossip about one another.

This conversation morphed into a discussion regarding freedom of speech and the refusal of YouTube to take down Al Qaeda videos from its site.







Podcast: Starent Networks Thierry Maupilé

May 21, 2008

As the wireless industry evolves, the level of complexity has evolved with it allowing companies such as Starent Networks to thrive by delivering technology which enables carriers to deliver rich content multimedia services.

We all have cell phones and it seems obvious these devices will be delivering TV, YouTube and a host of other multimedia services as time progresses. Those of you who have kids with cell phones know more about this than others of course.

As this transition takes place, carriers need to think about taking advantage of adding intelligence to their gateways so they are able to build the most flexible next generation network possible.

I had a candid conversation with Maupil about wireless barriers to entry, Apple's iPhone, the latest generation of devices and the incredible opportunities ahead for service providers.

This podcast is certainly worth a listen and I hope you enjoy it thoroughly.







Roku: The Apple of TV?

May 21, 2008



Without a doubt, the new Netflix Player by Roku set top box will become a serious contender for the title "iPod of the world of television." I haven't seen this device yet but based on what I have read on Tom Keating's blog and on the New York Times, it is a killer offering.

Here are the details... A $100 set top box, a sub $10/month subscription and a web-based interface which helps you narrow down movie selections from a total of 10,000 Netflix offerings which are ultimately made by remote control.

At these price points some could be tempted to give up cable TV service altogether and if the box gains traction, it can become the TV delivery mechanism of the future -- worldwide.

I am not naive enough to think Roku will easily take over the world as Apple, Microsoft, the cable companies and phone companies will be looking to do everything short of hiring hitmen (is hitpersons more PC?).

Expect the box to eventually support YouTube, streaming TV and perhaps newer movies.

Really, everyone should be gunning for Roku except for content providers (including Yahoo! and Google) and chip manufacturers who can benefit from lower cost distribution and the sale of product to this consumer electronics company.

It is not hard to see Roku becoming a telephony provider in the future by upgrading these boxes with ATA functionality.

Expect this company to be included in net neutrality discussions of the future and if they aren't purchased in six months I will be very surprised. If Vonage had the finances or access to capital -- their brand would be a huge help in getting this box in millions of homes as fast as possible. They should consider a merger.

Then there is Google who could get broader YouTube penetration.

















MindWireless Podcast

May 20, 2008

MindWireless is focused on the wireless expense management space which as you might imagine is an area of growing importance inside telecom expense management. Just think about how complicated it is to manage wireless gadgets as employees have become obsessed with having the latest and greatest devices and moreover, many consumers pick the provider they want as they need to have cell phone service at home, etc.

MindWireless helps companies organize and optimize their wireless devices. In addition, they help with outsourcing and client engagements.

One of the areas of change in the wireless device space is obviously the iPhone... This and other smartphones have changed the face of wireless device management but are users getting smarter?

In reality, users are getting devices which are more and more complicated and they are oftentimes confused about how to best use them.





CBS Picks up CNET

May 18, 2008

Virtual Worlds, The Future of Communications

May 15, 2008



I am here at Nortel R&D headquarters in Ottawa, Canada where the Nortel incubation team is showing us a bunch of the latest technologies they are working on in the labs. This is the first day the media has been allowed to see the next-gen products the Canadian-based communications company is working on.

We are an hour or so into the demo and so far we have seen a Nortel specific virtual world where all avatars use their corporate identities. In addition, there is voice collaboration with 3D stereo built-in.

If this sounds familiar it is because Diamondware has similar technology. Nortel cannot comment on whether they are working with the Arizona-based company but regardless (I would say they are working together and even will even potentially buy the company), the demo was impressive as it reinforces how the quality of audio really is more important than we realize.

We use a single ear to listen to one another while on the phone and we compress the audio and filter out most of the feeling.







What the HP/EDS Deal Means

May 13, 2008

When you look around the tech market you see factors which suck the profit out of every nook and cranny. In hardware there is a trend towards standards-based hardware which is not slowing down. As this trend continues, prices shrink and more competition exists in building computers, etc.

Moreover, as computers get more powerful they suck the life out proprietary solutions. It is very difficult to build a proprietary hardware system and not get undercut by a competitor who uses PC-based technology.

Software should be immune to this trend but open-source has made this segment of the market more challenging.



UMAThought Leader Steve Shaw on TMCnet

May 9, 2008

SkyFire: The Cure for iPhone Envy

May 8, 2008

Do you have iPhone envy? I do. In fact, just this past Sunday I walked into the AT&T store and I browsed TMCnet on the iPhone and was blown away at how easy it was to surf on this phone compared to a Windows Mobile 6 device. I then asked if there was a firm ETA on the 3G iPhone (there isn't) and as I walked into the nearby Starbucks with my family I debated with my wife the pros and cons of switching to the Apple device from my HTC 6800 on Verizon.

I was close to deciding to switch to Apple (you already know I hate the soft keyboard) when I received my text message invite to the Skyfire Beta 0.6 release of their new browser.

Skype as David, Telcos as Goliath

May 7, 2008

OK, now I have heard it all. Large, incumbent telephone companies are going to launch a competitor to Skype.

But before I proceed with my thoughts, as often the case with such amazing speculation, it is good to air out the details before dismissing them outright. After all, an informed reader may think they know better than me and I have been wrong in the past. Pobody's nerfect as they say.

The Details

Apparently ThinkPanmure, a research firm has been speculating for years that incumbent telecoms from around the world will work together to make a software package that will interoperate on various networks and leverage 3G and wired broadband investments.





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