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Communications and Tech Trends From Dallas

April 9, 2010

I am back from Dallas, TX where I met with dozens of communications and tech companies and I gained a great deal of insight on industry hotspots as well as where the speed bumps are.

Open Source

Based on the resellers I spoke with, the move to open source continues with more of the agent community and interconnects 2.0 learning about and selling these solutions.

IP Security Cameras

I spoke with Robert Messer of distributor ABP and he shared with me the wonder of IP security cameras which work with digital signage to show alerts on screens throughout an office. He mentioned that people think twice about getting their hands caught in the cookie jar when they realize it could be broadcast throughout a company.

FCC Ruling Could Inject Politics into News Delivery

April 7, 2010

A major court just killed the idea of net neutrality. Where do we go from here?

Yesterday a three-judge panel unanimously tossed out the FCC's August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers but which had voluntarily discontinued the practice earlier in the year.

Mossberg iPad Video Review

April 1, 2010

Walt Mossberg has had an iPad for about a week and in a video review he points out some of the good and bad. The bad first - he points out a lack of USB ports (there is a USB dongle which works only with a camera) , no built-in camera, no send to group in email and of course no multitasking. Curiously he left out the iPad's inability to support Adobe's Flash. He says the device is a better ebook reader than the Kindle - in part because of a better screen and color support.

CradlePoint Turns Phones and 3G modems into Access Points

March 31, 2010

 


Two years back I hacked into my Verizon XV6800 - an HTC device so I could install WMWifiRouter software which turned the phone into a hotspot. I still remember getting it to work and marveling at how people in the TMC conference room could connect to my pseudo AP and work as usual. Sure, the phone got hot enough to melt concrete and the battery was depleted faster than the US treasury but still, it was an amazing achievement.

Adobe, Google Partner on Flash, Chrome Integration and APIs

March 30, 2010

This weekend we will see the launch of the new Apple iPad, a device which has the potential of being very successful if early indications are accurate. But for all the benefits this new computer form factor may bring its audience, it won't be packing the web's most popular plug-in... Adobe's Flash. Apple has already shown the iPhone and iPod Touch can sell very well without Flash and if they can sell iPads in record numbers as well, perhaps Apple decide their computers will no longer need to run Flash either.

Qualcomm iMoD: Breakthrough Biomemetic Screen Technology

March 29, 2010

One of the more interesting items worth sharing from this past week's CTIA show last week in Las Vegas is an interview with Cheryl Goodman of Qualcomm who showed me a prototype of a revolutionary biomemetic screen technology called Mirasol which emulates nature. Specifically the display borrows from butterflies, mimicking the way the insect's wings reflect light.




Using a technology called Interferometric Modulation or iMoD, the system uses two plates (the top one is a reflective membrane) which are separated by a small distance. A small voltage applied to the bottom plate brings the two closer together via electrostatic attraction (think balloon rubbed on your hair).



Skype Founders To Fund Future Disruption

March 22, 2010

Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis were no strangers to profiting from p2p-based software which went viral, making them rich in the process. Kazaa was their first blockbuster and the death of Napster's free music service boosted this p2p product tremendously. Their third attempt a blockbuster hit was Joost and this one didn't work out too well. Why?

Off to CTIA This Week in Vegas

March 21, 2010

AT&T Increases Capacity with COWs

March 18, 2010

Did you ever wonder how wireless carriers increase capacity in specific areas where large crowds gather? Well, one way is they can bring out cell (towers) on wheels or COWs and use them to augment the cell towers in the local area. This particular cow featured in a Rocketboom interview does 2G, 3G and WiFi and an increasing number of people have likely noticed AT&T WiFi signals at sporting events courtesy of these mobile wireless workhorses.



In the interview above you will hear the AT&T representative Mike Barger tout the fact the company has twice as many smartphone subscribers as the nearest competitor and he explains this is one of the reasons the COWS are needed in the first place.

Apple iPhone Developer Agreement Made Public

March 11, 2010

Dear developers, you have no power, no recourse beyond $50 and are at our complete mercy.

NASA has an iPhone app and the mere fact that this government agency chose to develop one means that the EFF was able to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the Apple iPhone developer agreement - the closely guarded document which gives Apple the power to pull applications at will and be the final arbiter of what apps make it into the iTunes App Store.

As pointed out by ZDnet's Jason O'Grady and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Fred von Lohman, here are some of the important items contained in this 33 page document:

  • A ban on public statements, forbidding developers to speak about the agreement.
  • Apps made with the iPhone software development kit can only be distributed through the App Store, meaning rejected apps can't be served through the underground app store Cydia, for instance.
  • Apple indemnifies itself against developer liability surpassing $50, meaning if developers get sued, Apple will be liable for no more than $50 in damages.
  • No reverse engineering or enabling others to reverse-engineer, the iPhone SDK.
  • No messing with Apple products.
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