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WMWifiRouter

January 11, 2008

One of the most incredible software packages I have come across in quite some time is WMWifiRouter which enables Windows Mobile devices to become WiFi access points, sharing the EVDO connection with a number of others. Although the software allows ad hoc connections instead of infrastructure I found no negative effects from this minor oddity.

As Tom Keating wrote recently, I did install this software on my phone for a number of reasons. One of the main ones is because I would like to use the Nokia N800 tablet computer away from areas that have WiFi. You have no doubt read me go on and on about how useful the N800 is... The main problem with the device continues to be the lack of cellular access.

Now, I can easily run the WMWifiRouter software on my XV6800 and an instant access point is created for the N800 and other devices to share.

In addition, during trade show set up (before internet is running in the convention center) at ITEXPO, TMC can now use our Windows Mobile devices to create instant access points for others to share.

As you might imagine, Verizon is not happy about this because they have their own "tether" service which allows you to pair a Windows Mobile device with a single other computer via bluetooth.







Service Provider Opportunities

January 11, 2008

Service providers are being extremely creative in using technology and ingenuity to launch new and enhanced services and products to keep customers and attract new ones. Some of the better ideas I have seen lately are the consumer electronics DECT phone from Comcast which allows internet browsing and address synchronization via the in-home cordless phone.

I also think the Alltel/AAA collaboration is a great move allowing consumers access to over 100,000 locations which give AAA discounts. In addition the GPS-enabled devices allow instant transmission of location to AAA when you have a car problem.

Another great idea is the transmission of Pandora radio to certain AT&T Wireless handsets. I really like Pandora as the service allows you to customize your own radio stations without listening to commercials.



Using Phones in-Flight

January 4, 2008

Lately there has been much coverage of airline broadband connections. Soon we will all be able to talk on our cell phones while in flight. Well really I made that last part up... But I do think there are many times when I would like to be able to pick up the phone and communicate with other people.

Ina  few weeks I will in fact be flying to ITEXPO and it looks like at least for one leg of the trip on will be on JetBlue...

Technology News Wrap Dec 27, 2007

December 27, 2007

It has been a slow news week as you might imagine and there have been a number of stories which have caught my eye. Stories wrapping up 2007 are rampant and one worth reading is from Mae Kowalke and is titled 2007 VoIP News Highlights from TMCnet. Within the article is a summary of news regarding Microsoft OCS, Vonage, SunRocket and more.   In other news, Sonus got nice recognition as a market leader from Infonetics in a report which states Sonus has captured 26 percent of the worldwide market, with 42% coverage in North America region representing increases over Q2 2007.   A rumor which could be a deal changer for the technology market comes from Seeking Alpha and discusses a potential new Apple device which seems like a Nokia N800 clone. I am a huge fan of the Nokia N800 as it is speedy, has wonderful resolution at 800x480 and can do so much more that a smartphone.

Did Bell Steal Ideas?

December 26, 2007

If you are interested in historical telephony and whether Alexander Graham Bell actually invented the telephone or “borrowed” some patent ideas, you will want to read this story.

  Excerpt:  
In "The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret," journalist Seth Shulman argues that Bell -- aided by aggressive lawyers and a corrupt patent examiner -- got an improper peek at patent documents Gray had filed, and that Bell was erroneously credited with filing first.   Shulman believes the smoking gun is Bell's lab notebook, which was restricted by Bell's family until 1976, then digitized and made widely available in 1999.

The notebook details the false starts Bell encountered as he and assistant Thomas Watson tried transmitting sound electromagnetically over a wire. Then, after a 12-day gap in 1876 -- when Bell went to Washington to sort out patent questions about his work -- he suddenly began trying another kind of voice transmitter. That method was the one that proved successful.



OnStar Shut Down

December 24, 2007

For those cars with analog cellular cell phone OnStar connections you have until February 18, 2008 before your service will stop working. Some who have complained to GM about this problem have received a $500 gift certificate towards the purchase of a new vehicle.   What is amazing to me is the fact the electronics for the cellular connection are hard-wired into vehicles. Today, cell phones are dirt cheap and even come in the disposable variety; can you believe you need to throw away the car because the network was upgraded?  

Cars made on or around 2002 upgraded to digital cellular networks and will not be affected by the shut down. About 500,000 OnStar users have cars made prior to this time.   See Also:   AP: Users Left in Lurch by Network Shutdown

In-Flight Internet Access Update

December 24, 2007

I think I want internet access when I fly. I really do. Yes, the plane is usually a quiet time to reflect and write compelling content… Still, I can now feel comfortable flying during the business day from the west coast to east because I will not miss anything that is happening. While in the air, I can participate in decisions and stay on top of the latest news without missing anything.   JetBlue really kicked off the latest round of stories about in-flight internet access and now it seems many airlines have an internet strategy of one sort or another.   Some which fly over land have base stations and others use satellite.   According to the Wall Street Journal:  
JetBlue's LiveTV subsidiary paid the Federal Communications Commission $7 million for wireless spectrum that one test JetBlue aircraft has been using since Dec. 11 to communicate with about 100 cell towers spread across the continental United States.

Lobbyists Writing US Telecom Policy?

December 20, 2007

Net Neutrality 2.0

December 12, 2007

Should service providers be allowed to alter your web pages? The issue came up yet again when Toronto-based Rogers decided to insert messages containing sales messages in web pages they display on their customer’s browsers.   "We are concerned about these reports," Google said in an emailed statement to the Toronto Star.   "As a general principle, we believe that maintaining the Internet as a neutral platform means that carriers shouldn't be able to interfere with Web content without users' permission," the Google statement said. "We are in the process of contacting the relevant parties to bring this to a quick resolution."   Without a doubt, this is the sort of issue that begs for politicians to ensure there is network neutrality.   If service providers are allowed to display messages in web browsers, there are virtually unlimited things they can do to destroy other businesses. They could for example only show messages on Google search pages thereby giving users the incentive to switch search engines.  

They could reformat pages in such a way that they look unattractive.

NextPoint Analysis

December 11, 2007

If you meet David Walsh a partner with One Equity Partners, you immediately think banker. For those of you who may not frequent the tiny (and blisteringly cold when I was there) island of Manhattan, banker generally means investment banker. At a telecom conference you can always pick out the bankers because they dress nicer than most telecom types.   I recently had a chance to meet with Walsh and discuss the formation of NextPoint with him. Generally the “money people” are shielded from the communications and technology media as there are generally more technical people who are better at communicating with the “trade” media.
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