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Consumer Electronics

The Gaming Evolution, from Touch to Buttons

May 15, 2015

Now that touch screens have permeated all sorts of computer form factors from watches to phones and tablets, its worth mentioning touch interfaces can be good for some games and poor for many others. First person shooting games for example benefit from buttons. Moreover, on-screen touch buttons require fingers to get in the way of screen real estate.



MFI controllers alleviate many of these issues by bringing what users love in their console games to touchscreens. Recently, a new company launched on Kickstarter called Bluewhale hoping to produce the ultimate controller for your gaming life.

I reached out to the company to learn how this prodyuct compares to others on the market which are liked by reviewers such as the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.





Extreme Networks Puts the SDN in Skype for Business

May 13, 2015

As Skype for Business continues to gain traction in the enterprise – regardless of how many name changes Microsoft’s UC solution has gone through, the one constant is the need for bandwidth on corporate networks to handle the increased load of voice and video calls. For this reason, Extreme Networks has been focusing on helping customers set up software-defined networks allowing for bandwidth to be requested and granted on-demand in order to ensure communications has the required bandwidth it needs via OpenDaylight integration.

The Extreme Networks OneController... An Open, Standards-Based SDN Controller Providing Simple, Fast, and Smart Automation and Orchestration





In addition, at Interop 2015, Extreme touted a bunch of SDN enhancements it has made including:

  • Group Based Policy - Integrates Extreme Networks' NetSight management application with OpenDaylight Group-Based Policy (GBP) to deploy consistent network policies across a multivendor network.
  • SDN Applications Store - Offers an online repository of paid and free apps for customers and technology solution partners' Software Defined Networks.
  • SDN Developer Portal - Provides third-party developers of SDN applications with the necessary information needed for developing, submitting and managing their applications in the Extreme Networks app store.

At the show I met with a number of people from the company including: Markus Nispel, Vice President Solutions Architecture and Innovation, John Hanahan, VP Product Management and Marketing and Derek Granath, Senior Director Product Management and they seemed quite enthused about recent wins such as a 32-school system in the town of Enfield, Connecticut and University of New England in Australia.

Exclusive Interview with Aricent's Frank Kern at MWC 2015

April 3, 2015


It’s been a few years since I've covered Aricent (2012, 2009, 2006) but as fate would have it I was fortunate enough to interview Frank Kern, CEO at MWC 2015. This is one of the companies behind many of the products we use and one you likely don’t know a great deal about. It’s owned by KKR and Sequoia and is a pure-play product innovation services company – Kern explained his they don't do IT and BPO like others in the space.

Another differentiator is the company’s core strength is connectivity and there is a great demand for such services at the moment.

Fring Alliance Aims to Become Carrier VoIP Cooperative

April 3, 2015

Fring may be one of the more interesting stories in the telecom space. The company launched one of the first VoIP apps I used on the iPhone – if not the first. They then sold to GENBAND some years later to be the core enabler of a hosted VoIP platform carriers could purchase from GENBAND and resell to their customers. In short, a simple cloud-based white-label way to compete with OTT without massive investment.

Nespresso and Keurig Shows Carriers How to Increase ARPU and Customer Stickiness

April 1, 2015

Amdocs shows carriers how they can take a commodity business and make it better



Technology has taken the coffee business to a new level. Nespresso capsules and Keurig K-Kups have brought premium coffee to the masses while simultaneously bringing billions of dollars of new profits to the companies that took a commodity business and found a way to add value. Perhaps the only thing as addictive than substances you ingest or breathe-in are mobile devices. It goes without saying that morning coffee and gadget usage are two things most people wouldn’t want to be without.

Will YipTV do to TV What Vonage did to Voice Calls?

March 11, 2015

The VoIP market literally revolutionized the way communications worked – allowing among-other-things, a company to provide over-the-top services which were decoupled from the phone company. For the first time you could go out and buy broadband from one company and phone service from another. The poster-child for this movement in the US had to be Vonage, and the company did a great deal for the fledgling VoIP market at the time. Thanks to Vonage, AT&T launched a competitive service called CallVantage out of fear.

Finsphere and Visa Just Made Credit Cards Smarter

February 12, 2015

One of the biggest credit card challenges for users is seeing charges get declined because of potential fraud. In families and many companies, a central card can be shared by many people and when the credit card company flags a potentially fraudulent transaction and alerts the cardholder, it is possible that the card gets immediately cancelled out of fear. This can happen, even if transactions aren’t really fraudulent and in turn can cause a cascade of problems related to automated payments and other pending transactions within the family or organization.

In my experience, the banks are getting better at communicating with their customers about the potential for a transaction to be fraudulent but they are far from perfect.

The Data Interconnections Waze and others need

January 13, 2015


Let me start by saying that there are exceptions to what I am about to discuss below but generally speaking, inter-app connectivity is lacking. The real power of technology is harnessing big data from multiple sources – the so called mashup. We have come a long way and there is so much potential to leverage technology – to further improve the world. Here are some of my thoughts on cooperation I’d like to see:

5 Tech Companies to Watch in 2015

December 30, 2014

There are so many companies I meet with who have interesting stories to tell so I spent some time putting together a list of those worthy of recognition. I hope you find this interesting and have a great 2015.

Talari T5000 pictured below



Talari Networks is all about revolutionizing WAN economics or in less marketing speak, they are disrupting the MPLS monopoly. Wait, I am still talking in marketing terms.

Shocking Bang & Olufsen Profit Warning

December 24, 2014

Generally, I don’t write about profit warnings but the latest one from B&O caught me by surprise because the luxury market is booming and the consumer electronics market is doing amazingly well yet Bang & Olufsen is not seeing sales explode. As I child I used to ride my bike to the nearby B&O store to marvel at the products which were beyond the reach of a 11-year-old. The company was decades ahead of the competition in terms of design.

BeoPlay A8



They did such a good job in-fact, Steve Jobs cited them as an inspiration. Apple’s success in-turn led to the consumer electronics world taking design very seriously.





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