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Did Skype Just Kill Cisco's UMI Telepresence?

January 5, 2011

Let’s start with the positives. I like the Cisco Umi television ad campaign and the fact the company has kiosks in Malls across the country demonstrating the service is a great idea. However, a paid service which basically brings enhanced Skype functionality is a really tough sell to me and when there are so many other things to buy with your consumer electronics dollar such as the Microsoft Xbox Kinect and tablets galore, will the typical family opt for personal telepresence so they can see grandma a bit better than they can with Skype?

In October I detailed ten reasons why Cisco’s Umi will fail and now we have reason number 11.

Microsoft Tablet Expensive but does Flash

January 5, 2011

Microsoft, the company which invented the tablet – Tablet PC just under a decade ago has a long way to go before they understand how to become an important player in the tablet space of today. In short order, the market has become one which is price sensitive – iPads start in fact at under $500.

Yet when Asus rolled out its tablet strategy with three Android units and one based on Windows 7, the latter device was priced at more than twice the average of the Android gadgets. So you can buy an Asus Tablet for $399 or $499 or pick up a Windows unit for $999.

Sears Goes High Tech With Video Streaming

January 4, 2011

One imagines the person above represents the typical Sears customer... Will this news lure the person below?

As reported by Gary Kim on TMCnet, Sears is now launching a new streaming video service under its Alphaline brand which is expected to provide a full line of consumer electronic products.Unlike subscription based competitors you do not need any sort of long-term commitment to use the service which prices new releases frequently at $3.99 per rental while TV episodes are priced at $1.99 per rental.

WikiLeaks and Financial Regulation News to Know This Blizzard

December 27, 2010

If you are in the northeast you are more than likely stranded at home and hopefully you’ve got power, water, broadband and cable/telco TV. While you’re there enjoying the first snow of the season and contemplating the reality of global warming as you shovel, feel free to take a break and catch up on the following news about leaks and banks.



Julian Assange Temporarily $1.5M Richer

Giving Back to At-Risk Youth

December 23, 2010

I love to see companies give back to their communities and people in need.

In fact you may have noticed as of late I have become an advocate of smaller government with far less overhead and taxes; in-part so organizations and wealthy individuals can have more money to spend on causes they deem wealthy.

The alternative where higher tax rates are imposed and the proceeds used to benefit special-interest groups with voting power never has and never will make sense to me.

To me, the American Dream is to start from humble means and make a positive difference on the lives of others through continued success.

So when I heard Interactive Intelligence starting a foundation for at-risk youth, I couldn't help but smile.

It's worth pointing out other companies who are successful and have made a difference via charity include Google, Salesforce.com and Facebook.

During this time of holiday cheer, it is gratifying to see companies taking the proceeds from their success and using them to help others.

When you allocate your charitable contributions at year-end and beyond, you may want to consider this foundation.

Here are some details:

  • Funds raised by the foundation are distributed to a small number of not-for-profit organizations roughly commensurate with the Interactive Intelligence Inc. employee distribution in Indiana (66%), Non-Indiana U.S. (19%), and Non-U.S. (15%).
  • Monetary distribution decisions are made one time each year by the foundation’s board of directors.
  • Special emphasis is placed on projects that promote technology education amongst the targeted at-risk youth sector.
  • At the decision of the board of directors, a portion of the foundation’s funds may be directed at times to assist world crises or natural disasters.


















No Sympathy for Wikipedia

December 16, 2010

Wikipedia is a top 10 site on the Internet - an incredible accomplishment putting it in an elite group of sites

I feel so callous – I have zero sympathy for Wikipedia’s current and ever-lasting financial woes and even though I link to the site and use it about once a week if not more, I can’t bring myself to donate. Why?

MagicTalk and MagicJack Plus Coming Soon

December 14, 2010

I’ve followed the IP communications business for well over a decade and in 1997 my company TMC decided to launch a publication called Internet Telephony to focus on what we believed would be a massive trend towards IP communications. At first we were ridiculed because there was a point in time when the technology was seen as a replacement for Ham radio only. It took some years but the industry caught fire and saw incredible innovation – even a bubble or two grew and exploded on the way to where we are today.

And as amazing as the market has been for 12 years or so, we didn’t see VoIP-on-a-stick become ultra-popular until a few years ago.

Alcatel-Lucent Turning the Corner?

November 5, 2010

After a number of years and some challenging times after the merger - Alcatel-Lucent the combination of New Jersey-based Lucent and Paris-based Alcatel is turning the corner making a quarterly profit and displaying more confidence about its future. Kevin O'Brien at the New York Times explains the company reported its first profitable quarter of the year, posting €25 million, or $35.3 million, in earnings compared to a €182 million loss in the third quarter a year earlier. Moreover sales rose 10.5 percent to €4.1 billion.

Although Asian competition from ZTE and Huawei is strong, the company certainly benefited from the implosion of Nortel and we'll see if they can ride this momentum out and keep the profits coming.

TMCnet's Ed Silverstein has more and The Motley Fool suggests Alcatel-Lucent is the next Nortel - waiting to implode. 



Clearwire Truck Lost at TMC HQ Due to Layoffs?

November 4, 2010



Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - the story landed literally in our laps. We didn't even need to go outside - well it was raining so I didn't want to go outside (please don't tell anyone I work with). So I went to my team of editors after getting a tip that there is a Clearwire truck right outside my window.



Shows you how oblivious I am - its been there for two days according to one of my coworkers.

But anyway - what could be the reason the truck is here? Could they be testing that personalized 4G service I have been begging for all these months?







Mobile Banking and Payments the Next Frontier

November 3, 2010

Without a doubt, one of the greatest new frontiers for technology is to take the banks and credit card companies out – the same way tech companies have taken out retailers, film producers such as Kodak, florists, record companies and more. Expect the major players new players in the space to be Apple, PayPal, Google and Microsoft – interestingly in the late nineties, a Microsoft exec gave a keynote address at a TMC expo and said that we will see mobile payments on the horizon – the prediction will and has come true but one wonders if the world’s largest software company can keep up in the race for mobile – let alone mobile payments.

I have already deposited two checks via mobile phone applications and although it is a weird feeling to rip up checks with your name on them once you are done – it does show how comfortable people will likely become with using their phone as a payment and deposit vehicle. After all, I felt weird the first few times I deposited a check into an ATM machine – many years ago.

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