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Blackberry

What The Peep (Wireless) is Going On?

January 4, 2011

A company which claims to do the impossible. What can’t this thing do?

I love to hear aggressive new companies break onto the scene full on huge ambitions but the recent news that Peep Wireless will be able to take a smartphone or telematics-based bluetooth system and use software to recreate the PSTN has me baffled just a bit. OK, baffled a lot.

Skype, FCC, IBM and Tech News Before New Year's

December 30, 2010

While the week before Christmas and New Year’s is typically slow with regards to news, the huge blizzard which hit the northeast really started things off with a bang. A foot-and-a-half of snow hit the area around TMC headquarters in Norwalk, CT with drifts totaling a few feet in height. Airports were backed up and some streets took days to plow well.

Skype has been busy

Skype Video For iPhone a 2011 Killer App

December 30, 2010

I just did a brief test of Skype video calling on the iPhone - it works on the iPad as well. TMC's Tom Keating and I tried calling over WiFi and AT&T 3G. WiFi worked amazingly well and the first 3G call I tried just hung.

My second attempt to call Tom's iPhone 3GS with my iPhone 4 went through and the quality seemed slightly worse than WiFi but still quite good. During the demo I received two non-Skype 3G calls which placed the Skype call on hold.

The Apple iOS vs. Android Fight in 2011

December 28, 2010

As TMCnet's Tom Keating mentions on his blog, there are many factors to consider in the fight for mobile supremecy between Apple, Google Android and yes, even Microsoft. Tom's point about Microsoft injecting itself into the Android relationship with carriers to become the defacto search engine has even begun to happen already.

But what caught my eye regarding the controversy is will Apple become the defacto high-end alternative that is priced out of the reach of most of the market?

The answer may lie in production numbers alone.

You see, the Apple hardware is virtually unchanged from iPod to iPhone to iPad so economies of scale work in the company's favor.

However, Android devices are gaining massive share. If these gadgets can also leverage the same hardware with other mobile operating systems then they too can take advantage of the same efficiencies. Perhaps Samsung and HTC are best positioned in this regard as an HTC device, for example, can do double-duty as an Android and Windows Phone 7.

A while back I asked Nokia execs about the disadvantage they had in supporting a plethora of form factors while Apple gets away with one and they didn't have a good answer.

But if a phone manufacturer can leverage multiple operating systems to drive scale they can then compete more effectively with Apple.











3G and 4G Group Data Plans Needed

December 20, 2010

I am beginning to change my tune on the embedded cellular radio vs. the external MiFi device debate. Does it make sense to purchase a tablet with embedded 3G or 4G or is it better to go with an external 3G/4G device which becomes a personal hotspot?

To date I have decided that my laptop should have embedded Verizon 3G via EVDO while the iPad - embedded AT&T 3G.

But if you have a family and your kids need (OK need is a strong word - desire is probably more appropriate) connectivity, should you embed their devices with 3G modems as well?

Obviously the bill can get pretty big pretty fast and if you have kids who only occasionally need wireless access when WiFi isn't available it is crazy to sign a multi-year contract for $40 or more per month. Sure you could get a cheaper plan but if you opt for an iPhone instead an iPod Touch to take advantage of a wireless carrier's larger 3G wireless footprint you have to buy a voice plan as well which starts at $39.99/month - then of course you'll want to add a text message plan, etc.

This is why I read with interest the news that Best Buy is selling a bundle of an iPad with a free MiFi with a 2-year contract.

When you amortize the use of this free device across all your family's gadgets such as the Nintendo DS, iPod Touch and future products you know you'll buy, it seems to make sense to have one.

But one wonders if carriers aren't doing themselves a long-term disservice by not coming up with some sort of group or family plan for devices.











Callvine Simplifies Mobile Conferencing

December 19, 2010

Yesterday I was at a party where one of the guests was telling me about her job managing real estate for her family. I inquired about where her office is and she held up her cell phone and said my car is my office. This conversation reminded me about a recent conversation with Callvine Founder and COO Mark Dzwonczyk who tells me his company has found the secret ingredient to take conferencing to the mobile professional. After a couple of years of work, the company has an app which I tried on an iPhone (iTunes preview) allowing you to quickly set up groups which you can use to SMS and conference.

Ready, Aim, Send: Military Embraces Smartphones

December 18, 2010

It is not as if the US government has slowed spending to keep up with the general economy so it comes as a surprise to me that we haven't been issuing a couple of smartphones apiece to soldiers in the field. Thankfully, the military is getting into the swing of things by ensuring virtually everyone will have 24x7 access to mobile information, videos from unmanned vehicles and tactical information of various sorts.

My only concern? I hope these things are really locked down well so as to make leaks more difficult to pull off. The last thing we need is thousands of soldiers tweeting sensitive information on the battlefield.

Just to be sure, I hope the top brass in the armed services is monitoring the hashtag #topsecret.

Ed Silverstein breaks the story on TMCnet.





TMC Seeks Product Marketing Manager

December 13, 2010

How TMCnet Global Online Communities look online (Click to enlarge or go to TMCnet to see a larger version) (Channels run along the left border)


Due to great success achieved by TMC's customers, we have seen massive growth in our online community-building products and as a result, we are in the middle of a search for a product marketing manager - someone whose focus will be to articulate the value proposition of these products to a broader audience.

An established product-line, our keyword-based Global Online Communities (GOCs) and channels have grown to over 200 and many of our customers are coming to us to purchase more terms to help them with organic search engine rank, news search rank, community building, social network needs and numerous other reasons.

We believe we have the largest collection of sponsored, news-generated communities on the Internet and as a result it makes sense to focus more resources on this product-line so more companies in more industries can learn how such products can assist them in their growth.

These products are very dear to me as I knew in the nineties that every company would need someone to help them with content generation - text, audio and video. I realized every website had to eventually become broadcast TV stations and newspapers in one.

And now, that is exactly what TMC provides sponsors - a third-party content-generating machine which creates targeted news which in-turn brings a large, laser-focused audience based precisely on specific terms and concepts.

The benefit for readers is we continue to reinvest our resources - many of which come from this cloud-based community building and SEO model right back into more reporters, editors and designers meaning more targeted and in-depth news and analysis for people looking to make purchasing decisions.

What is most gratifying is the smallest companies choose to work with us to grow their brands and we also have major players as customers such as RIM and Alcatel-Lucent.

Obviously I am biased but I see this community concept as the most underestimated product on the Internet. Most people don't understand it.
















The Internet Lubricates Protests

December 13, 2010

We have seen how the Internet has changed the telephony business allowing voice and now video conversations to be transmitted as packets. This simple change made Internet voice and video calls free. In addition, we have seen how email has helped drive the US Post Office more quickly into the red.

E-commerce has made it possible to buy virtually anything at prices which are a fraction of what they would have been a decade and a half ago.

Finally Headsets Get Smart

December 10, 2010

You get a call, you pick up the headset and put it on your ear and then turn on the headset to connect the call.

One of these steps is not needed.

The Apple iPhone popularized the motion sensor/accelerometer and Sonos uses this technology to keep its remote control powered down until it is picked up.

Now headsets can join the motion sensing party and the latest one from Plantronics, the Voyager UC Pro which ships early next year will acknowledge the fact you have picked it up by switching the call to the device.

What could be better than a world filled with smarter devices, making our lives easier? Thanks Plantronics... This is a really good idea.

TMC broke the story earlier today for more on this new bluetooth headset.









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