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Rich Tehrani
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E-Commerce

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.



Vonage Record Quarter: Jeff Citron Interview

May 8, 2008

Vonage has done a great job this last quarter --  posting growth numbers in a slower economy. I just had a podcast interview with Jeffrey Citron where he talked about the company's growth rate and the number of new initiatives at the pure-play VoIP service provider.

Citron explains that they are pleased with their financial performance as their revenue was $225 million and this is a 15% increase from the previous year. One great bit of news is that expenses increased and adjusted operating income is now $8 million.

These results were ahead of expectations and in addition to the news on earnings, Citron was proud to explain how well-received his new  products have been. Visual voicemail and unlimited international calling are some of these new items.

Moreover, the company has a new prosumer product and another called Companion which installs on your computer and works in conjunction with your phone service.

Perhaps most importantly, Vonage is becoming a double-play provider by reselling Covad broadband DSL service.







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.

Nortel's Joel Hackney Discusses Earnings

May 2, 2008

Amazon Fights back Against New York Tax

May 2, 2008

Amazon, feeling singled out by what New York state officials have dubbed the Amazon Tax has decided to sue the state. According to the New York Times, the state changed the law regarding who has to collect taxes and instead of requiring only retailers with a physical location in the state to pay, now -- any company with an affiliate in New York state has to collect them as well.

Amazon is saying their affiliates are not really agents but sites on which Amazon places ads.

The ecommerce giant further states that the law is overly broad and vague and finally that it is targeted at a single company -- referring to state officials calling it the Amazon Tax.

I first reported on this tax a few weeks back and it will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

If New York wins, it will benefit many retailers in the state and other states will likely follow suit. None of this of course would be good for any online retailer as one of their main advantages will be taken away.







Half a Million Hacked Websites

April 26, 2008

I don't mean to sound alarmist but half a million hacked websites? is that how many there are? In other words if users hit any of 500,000 sites using IE they will likely be infected? Talk about an electronic pandemic.

Blackberry Voice Search

April 23, 2008

TellMe just launched a new application which allows people to use their Blackberry for voice search. utilizing the TellMe speech recognition engine and Microsoft Live Search, you can have search results automatically localized if you happen to have a GPS-enabled Blackberry.

This is a pretty big deal as it brings voice and local search together and shows where the search business is headed. It also shines light on what the real reason was for Microsoft to purchase Tellme. Not that any of us are surpised of course.

What might be worth discussion however is the fact that Microsoft would support RIM with an application which makes the Blackberry more attractive.



Mobile Banking Heating Up

April 21, 2008

According to IBM, 21 percent of consumers age 18-34 use their cell phone for mobile banking transactions, compared to about 10 percent of the general population.

Like so many new technologies, it is your kids -- or for some of us our kids' kids who jump at the latest technologies first.

A new iPhone, iPod, social networking, twittering, etc are all things the younger generation embrace while often times their parents scratch their heads at it all.

So why should banking be different? Well -- it seems it isn't and since kids seem to be more connected to their mobile phones than they are to anything else, it only makes sense to use these gadgets to send and receive payments and do all the things some of use use to have to visit a teller to do.

I still remember a time when ATMs were new and I had to go to someone called a teller if I wanted to deposit or withdraw money. Fast forward a few decades and now kids may not even need ATM machines in the very near future.

The challenge of course will be ensuring these mobile devices are secure. Certainly secure SMS services like those supplied by CellTrust can help









PayPal and Phishing

April 21, 2008

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