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11 Reasons Why Google Needs Retail Stores

April 7, 2011

It is becoming clear the world is gravitating towards everything Apple sells and even worse for the competition is Cupertino is setting the tone for product launches, making the rest of the tech world play perpetual catch up. Even worse, Apple is buying up all available inventory on components forcing companies as big and mighty as RIM to push back the launch of their PlayBook tablet! Of course one of the most important parts of Apple’s success is the stores – those minimalist tech nirvanas attracting people of all ages to literally trip over one another as they touch and feel the latest gadgets and computers connected to huge flat-screens with the latest in audio equipment.

WorldGate Communications Closes Shop

April 5, 2011

Word has it that funding was pulled at WorldGate Communications two weeks ago with everyone being laid off. Requests for information to the company did not get an immediate response. The Pennsylvania-based organization which made high-end designer-looking videophones no-doubt faced an uphill battle competing with Cisco and Polycom - as well as low-cost players like Grandstream.

When the company launched - years back I remember a massive crowd around its products at ITEXPO and other events - but getting tremendous attention at a show does not obviously always translate into success in business. Those of you who recall Wildfire's booth at the Computer Telephony Expo know what I mean.

The company seemed to be in a perpetual state of financial trouble and the best news I heard from them a while back was when they either received or were about to receive an order for an organization who was to supply videophones to the hearing-impaired so they could communicate via sign language.

TMC's Tom Keating reported troubles brewing at the company in February, 2008 and then reported when things got better in the next month saying Ojo Phone Lives!





KenCast: Video Streaming Democratization in Action

April 5, 2011

One of the more interesting companies in the streaming video market is KenCast - and one area of growth for the company is live streaming of sporting events. Recently, the company launched a live streaming coverage online community on TMCnet - and this article The Truman Show: Self-Service Live Streaming Video in Real Time living on the community is worth a read.

One of the differentiators KenCast offers is technology which merges 3G and 4G broadband wireless signals from multiple carriers - allowing a transmission of higher quality than is allowed by the upload speed of a single carrier.

As more 4G networks are rolled out and bonding technology becomes more common, eventually everyone will be able to stream live video from virtually anywhere - rivaling the output from a major television network. And that my friends is the definition of technology democratization.

How to set up live streaming of a triatholon


Bill Steele Chairman and CEO of KenCast Inc. explains how the company does a tremendous amount of video work in the multicasting space as well as providing solutions for the military and applications in retail. He goes on to explain how mobile live video capture is a big area of growth for the company.










The Pros and Cons of Facebook Hiring Robert Gibbs

March 28, 2011

Photo courtesy of AP

This weekend it was reported by the New York Times that former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs may take a job helping to manage the communications at Facebook. Here are the pros and cons associated with him joining this company as it prepares for an IPO.

Is AT&T Using Investment Angle to Silence Blumenthal?

March 25, 2011

One thing you have to give AT&T a tremendous amount of credit for is knowing how to work the regulatory system - legal, financial and lobbying to get deals done. They are absolute masters and off the record I hear amazing things about just how connected they are. And they will likely need to pull on all the strings they have access to in order to make the T-Mobile acquisition happen.

So realizing the US is a Republic made up of 50 states, the company has now begun working on public opinion in individual states. Consider that today alone the company has put out two releases regarding their building of what they call the most advanced mobile broadband experience in Cincinnati and Connecticut.

In boilerplate press releases where a few items are changed, the company explains that in the greater Cincinnati area it is going to install 10 new cell sites, add spectrum carriers to 35 cell sites, enhance backhaul to 100 cell sites to enable 4G and deploy a distributed antenna system at the Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium to enhance network coverage during events.



KickStarter Gets $10M Funding

March 18, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about the new Tembo Trunks concept and how it could have been inspired by the African vuvuzela and now, the news is out that KickStarter - the company helping to get Tembo Trunks off the ground just received $10 million in funding from Union Square Ventures and others.

It's an interesting business model as it seems to blend funding and marketing to fledgling companies and it could do very well with a few mega hit products.

Union Square's Fred Wilson said his team was immediately taken by this marketplace where anyone could fund and follow creativity of all kinds. Moreover, he continued by writing:

Kickstarter is a very important and fundamental idea that will most certainly be part of the answer. Simply put, Kickstarter allows everyone to fund the projects they want to see come to fruition. The creators set the amount of funding they need and the marketplace determines whether the project is worthy of funding.






How China is Unleashing a Sales Boom for Tech and Media

March 14, 2011

Shanghai at Night
In many parts of the world, rampant pirating of products takes its toll on businesses costing billions of dollars of lost sales and value. While countries like Iran violate rampantly with no signs of improvement, others are slowly making changes.

China is one of the countries under the spotlight because it is growing incredibly fast and so many manufacturing jobs have fled to the country and in return, many there aren't paying the originators for software, movies, music and various other products.

The US has complained to China for years and although there hasn't been much progress, there has at least been the promise of progress from the country's leaders. This is why I called the Apple App Store the OPEC of the West in June of last year. My thinking was, even though I am not a fan of closed app stores, at least Apple is ensuring people get paid for their hard work.




iPad 2 Hands On Review

March 14, 2011

Without a doubt, the iPad 2 continues in the Apple tradition of attracting legions of followers who wait in line for hours in order to be one of the first to acquire the latest and greatest in consumer electronics. With long lines all weekend in many stores, buyers were faced with numerous choices if they did make it to the front of the line. Which carrier – AT&T or Verizon? What color – white or black?

Massive Lines for iPad 2

March 11, 2011



Larry on my IT team was nice enough to scout around Norwalk, CT looking for an iPad 2 for me and this is the photo he sent back from Best Buy. Larry says at least 60-80 people were in it. The going rate to cut the line is $500 BTW. The AT&T store across the street from TMC HQ had four units and they sold out quickly. And forget about getting many retailers carrying iPads to even think about answering phones today.

It is obvious that Apple has built tremendous consumer trust and if a tablet manufacturer even dreams of penetrating Apple's massive market share they need to way over deliver.



Earthquakes and Tsunamis to Help or Hurt Cloud Growth?

March 11, 2011

If your cloud services relay on a data center which is in an area affected by a natural disaster and your users or home office is not, you probably look at the recent disaster in Japan as a negative for cloud-based services. the reality is however that once your services are in the cloud, you will be able to more easily have access to computing resources which are geographically dispersed.

Moreover, generally speaking, a data center is more resilient to natural disasters than a typical office would be. This is the case for example with the Terremark building in Miami, FL which while located in a hurricane zone, is one of the most disaster-proof structures you will find. This is likely why the US government virtually owns an entire floor of the building and moreover why Verizon decided to buy the company as it expands its cloud strategy.

Larry Dignan has more analysis on the topic at ZDnet and its worth a read.



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