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Leaked RIM Letter: Apple Nailing us, Our Apps Suck

June 30, 2011

A leaked letter from a RIM worker discusses how the company is getting beat by Apple and how its apps are sub-par. Suggestions on how the company can improve include focusing on the user experiance, recruiting senior software leaders and enable them to make critical decisions. Moreover the suggestions include cutting projects to the bone - focus more on end-users and less on carriers. The video below was used as reference.



The letter goes on to say to say there needs to be more marketing to drive consumer demand and Canadians are too nice - get rid of the dead wood and non-performers.



Microsoft, Apple & Twitter News June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

It’s been a busy day in tech and communications news – so far these are a few of the stories worth knowing about:

Microsoft needs to get larger? Scott Rothbort at TheStreet gives us eight companies Microsoft should buy – and you know what, some of these make great sense such as Adobe & Netflix but in reading the article, I wonder if Yahoo! makes sense anymore.

VoIP Veteran Tribolet Joins magicJack Vocaltec

June 24, 2011

Michael Tribolet is a true IP communications veteran and was the Vice President of Operations at Dialpad - a VoIP leader in the nineties. He then went to Vonage America and became President. He also worked at Managing Director and CEO of ACN Europe BV - a company with 1,500 employees.

I have known Mike for years and its good to see him back in the VoIP space where he has been part of so many important companies which shaped the market.

magicJack Vocaltec CEO Dan Borislow who I last interviewed here had the following to say:

Michael has successfully created and delivered value to investors and VoIP companies for over ten years.







Spreadable Shuts Down - Why?

June 10, 2011



While reading a blog post from telecom and channel partner thought leader Peter Radizeski, on how small businesses are responsible for much of the nation's hiring I learned about the fact that Grasshopper is shutting down its Spreadable company - an organization focused on word-of-mouth spreading of customer referrals.

I haven't talked with the people at Grasshooper in years - certainly not since they changed their name to Grasshopper - but I have often had conversations with others in the market about how their marketing campaigns seem to be the most untargeted in the space since much of it is being placed on satellite radio. According to the company's competitors, their marketing is as shotgun as it gets because - they seem to be purposefully utilizing mediums which are difficult to measure and they are relatively nonexistent online.

And as more decisions are being made on the web - this is quite a surprising and counter-intuitive strategy.

But when I started to read the first post from the company related to why they shut down Spreadable I could see they understand digital marketing quite well - its just surprising that you rarely see them online. Kind of a paradox I got to thinking. It is worth mentioning Spreadable too relied on Satellite radio among perhaps other mediums for its sales.

Another thought I had while reading is what company shuts down a business and then celebrates its failure in public via a four-part series?









HTML5 Shines on New FT App

June 10, 2011


According to Ed Silverstein on TMCnet's sister site TechZone360, The Financial Times recently released a web app at app.ft.com based on HTML5 and in doing so has shown the Splinternet may be reversing course. As you may recall, I coined the term Splinternet in 2008 to describe the splintering of app environments on the web. Programmers currently utilize so much overhead to program for various environments that they take precious resources from differentiating their apps. The scenario is reminiscent of the hundreds or thousands of printer drivers developers had to provide with their software before Windows became popular and handled this task for the development community.


Mitel to Come Out Swinging, Will They Connect?

June 1, 2011

This past January I wrote a piece which compared Mitel to ShoreTel titled Is ShoreTel filling the Nortel Void and since the post Mitel has been in a state of flux with a new CEO Rich McBee recently joining. When the opportunity presented itself to come to the Mitel Business Partner Conference titled Mitel Freedom – in Florida, I jumped at it in order to get more perspective on Mitel’s strategic direction and future.

The conference officially kicks off tomorrow morning but I wanted to give my readers as much information as possible before things got going. Tonight I had a sashimi (no, the other one – without the rice) dinner with Ron Wellard, GM and EVP of Mitel Communications Solutions, Jim Davies the CTO and Jay Nichols the VP of Sterling Communications – the PR firm handling Mitel.

An Honest Critique of Microsoft and Steve Ballmer

May 26, 2011

For the last five years there have been calls for Steve Ballmer to step down from Microsoft and I have refrained from comment until today because a confluence of news and events has made commentary necessary. Specifically, David Einhorn, an influential hedge fund manager – whose firm Greenlight Capital owns almost 9M shares of Microsoft, said (video) Ballmer is stuck in the past and is ruining Microsoft’s stock.

Technologist Vs. Businessperson: One compliant about Steve Ballmer is that he is more a businessperson than a technologist and as a result, new and innovative products have been developed much more slowly. This point is very tough to argue with and more importantly, what is Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft?

How Sea Water Cools Google's Data Center

May 25, 2011

Google recently released a new video showing some of the details regarding how they turned an old paper mill into a data center and are utilizing a seawater tunnel which was already in existence to pump water into heat exchangers to cool the servers. The warmed water is subsequently mixed with fresh seawater to cool it down before returning it to the ocean.

A polished video of how Google is using sea water to cool their data center


There is no word on how much money this method of cooling will save Google since one would imagine there is significant electricity being utilized to pump water through the large building. Moreover, it is unclear if this new cooling method in Finland can be replicated in other areas where oceanfront property could be more expensive.

But if the price of oil and electricity continues to increase significantly, the higher cost of oceanfront property may be offset by savings in air conditioning usage.

An early look at the facility before the cooling system was completed


Perhaps the greatest irony of the story is the fact the building was once a paper mill. Paper as we know is in less demand as a result of the Internet.











In Memory of CNBC Anchor Mark Haines

May 25, 2011

CNBC anchor Mark Haines is dead at age 65 and as an avid CNBC watcher, I have learned from Haines for a few decades and when I found out about his passing I was greatly moved. I felt like I had a personal connection - even though I never met the man. He brought a passion and enthusiasm to financial journalism - he was smart, quick on his feet, balanced and came across as humble.

All this and he was somehow able to tell it like it is without coming across as harsh or prickly.

A few things which made Mark famous are the Alan Greenspan briefcase indicator and the Haines Bottom which he called around the exact time of the recent market bottom a few years back.

The financial markets just lost a great and well-respected member of their community and my condolences go out to the Haines family and his fine coworkers at CNBC.





China Patent Wars: Huawei Sues ZTE

April 28, 2011



Huawei today filed lawsuits in Germany, France, and Hungary against ZTE a fellow Chinese manufacturer of telecom equipment - with strength in 4G/LTE technology among others. The interesting point here is the company is being sued for patent and trademark infringement and what this shows us is a greater concern for patents and trademarks in China. At least from Huawei.

According to the company, they paid US $222 million themselves in patent licensing fees to obtain the legal right to use patents and technologies of other companies in the industry. In fact TMCnet reported two weeks ago that Huawei and Motorola Solutions settled patent disputes.

This is great news as Huawei had a reputation years back for copying technology from companies like Cisco and after losing a  court case they seem to have become more serious about patents and trademarks.

Last month I pointed out how a sales boom for tech and media is being unleashed by China as a result of it announcing 3,001 people have been arrested for rampant product piracy and seized fake or counterfeit medicines, liquor, mobile phones and other goods.

This is all great news for western companies who have invented technology which China wants to and will continue to use.









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