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iPhone 4S Review with Help from Duran Duran

October 27, 2011

Two days ago I happened upon a new iPhone 4S as a replacement for my current 4 model. On the same day, I had an opportunity to go to Madison Square Garden and watch a Duran Duran concert where I was able to put this state of the art phone through its paces. I found it ironic that Simon Le Bon, the lead singer of the group said he was first in the Garden 30 years ago – and that was around the time I was introduced to PCs and programming in general. Now, here I was using the new phone as a camera in what has to be one of the harshest environments ever in which to shoot photos and videos.

FreeWave Technologies Provides Secure, Long-Range Radio Communications

October 26, 2011

Submarine cable systems between the UK, Canada and Paris became essential in the 1850s as the British government found itself in a situation where it would fight wars, sign treaties and still have thousands of soldiers in the field fighting – totally oblivious to the end of conflict. This cost the UK a tremendous amount of money and reducing this cost became a priority. Once the cables were laid they also became invaluable to the shipping industry as they allowed ships to be rerouted to ports which would be more lucrative destinations.

Nowadays with 3G, 4G and WiFi networks overlapping in much of the developed world we take instant communications for granted but this is not the case.

Tech Growth: It's all about the Arbitrage

October 15, 2011

Wikipedia defines arbitrage as the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets and I’m amazed at how it’s helped the world of tech grow through the decades. Now before I continue I should point out productivity and flexibility are also crucial reasons for tech growth. For example, the PC spreadsheet made it possible to not only perform financial calculations more quickly but more importantly to perform calculations you just couldn’t afford to have humans do.

But really, arbitrage is the hidden gem in the market because quite often it fuels the use of a new technology with paying customers who can justify the expense because they are saving money elsewhere.

Is Content King or is it Platform?

September 30, 2011

The adage about content being king is absolutely true and the precipitous drop in the value of Netflix shares related to losing Starz programming reminds us that distribution can be considered a distant second to content. This is true because the world has flattened with the advent of broadband meaning any content provider can stream directly without the need for cable companies or telcos to take a cut.

Glenn Beck’s recent launch of GBTV for example shows us how a content provider can take his or her show and produce it just fine without the need to deal with traditional distribution.

But from the standpoint of the consumer, having access to a smattering of programs on disparate websites is not the same as accessing them all seamlessly through a single aggregator.

Why AT&T Purchased Superclick Networks

September 27, 2011

AT&T just picked up Canadian WiFi gateway and solution provider Superclick Networks for $15 million dollars and the deal is curious as the company provides wireless solutions but not service for the hospitality, healthcare and retail markets. As you may recall, in November of 2008, AT&T also purchased leading WiFi provider Wayport and my take at the time was the deal signaled the importance of WiFi.

This transaction echoes this sentiment but it’s a bit different because it isn’t a service they are purchasing per se. The deal also shows the Ma Bell is looking outside the country for growth and isn’t afraid to do deals that are unexpected.

Twitter Tightens SMS Ties with Photos

September 21, 2011

Twitter's 140 character limit was actually a limit of SMS messages applied to the world's most successful microblogging service but in the last few years, Twitter use has migrated to apps on smartphones and web browsers. Today the company sent a reminder to the world that yes, you can tweet via SMS as well. In fact you can now include photos in an SMS message and have it update your account.

At the moment this functionality is limited to AT&T, Verizon and Cellular South in the US as well as Orange in the UK, Vodafone Italy, Rogers Communications in Canada, VIVA Bahrain and TIM Brazil.

Here is more information from Twitter and a list of short and long codes used to address your SMS messages.

Hat tip Phone Scoop.





Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

Suzanne Bowen Moves to AstraQom

August 25, 2011

ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

20 Millions Reasons WiMAX is Here to Stay

August 22, 2011

Wait a minute. The common wisdom in the wireless world is that WiMAX lost the war to LTE. But with the news that the standard has passed 20 million subscribers, is it time to rethink that premise? The answer is that in many cases incumbent providers have opted for LTE as their 4G standard of choice and as a result, WiMAX is going to remain somewhat nichy.
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