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Gadget

Get Ready for the iTax

December 17, 2008

Happy with your iTunes songs and movies? If you are, you better download all the music and other content you can before the proposed "iTunes tax" begins in New York. It seems that Governor David Paterson feels it isn't depressing enough being surrounded by tens of thousands of out of work financial executives and once high flying hedge fund titans... He wants to make sure the same misery you deal with in public - when perhaps you run into ex-Madoff fund investors, follows you back home into your apartment.

So when you click to confirm that download - regardless of the service, you will likely soon be hit with a new tax.

Comcast Embraces Twitter

December 17, 2008

Comcast has been known for poor customer service in the past but is now on the leading edge and should be commended. You can follow the happenings at the company on Twitter and immediately engage with a corporate exec.

Here is an excerpt from an article on the matter:

I spoke to Comcast Director of Digital Care Frank Eliason, who personally responds to each and every comment and complaint sent to @comcastcares on Twitter, at all hours of the day (there are currently over 20,000 posts).

iPhone WiFi Goes Global Thanks to iPass

December 15, 2008

Back in 1999, experts at pre-merger Lucent's Bell Labs head predicted a communications skin would engulf us, allowing us to seamlessly connect with various networks. Over the years this prediction has come true but we are far from able to seamlessly connect to them all. If anything, connecting to many of these networks is a major barrier when you consider entering credit card and other information can take five minutes or more.

But there are ways you can overcome the barriers which are artificially placed between you and the wireless network you want to use.

You Just Thought of Making Profit Now?

December 13, 2008

More calls, more CEOs, more problems. There seem to be more and more companies coming out of the woodwork who now realize they need to focus on sales and marketing in 2009 for their survival. It seems these companies founded themselves for the sole purpose of being sold to Cisco and other solid companies and now those dreams have slowed or in some cases vanished.

Yes, the big tech companies are still purchasing but if they don't pick you up now, there are limited opportunities for future funding.

I get these calls and all I can think is "You're waiting until the middle of the recession to start thinking about how you get customers?" I could say more but the sheer lunacy of the whole situation doesn't allow me to articulate without peppering my writing with obscenities.

TMCnet iPhone Site Launches at i.tmcnet.com

December 12, 2008

If you are an iPhone or iPod Touch user and have been wondering when... Oh when will Rich Tehrani get an iMac in the hands (we are a PC shop) of his talented development and design teams so you can take the best of TMCnet on the go? Yes, we have a mobile site already at mobile.tmcnet.com but this is not really iPhone friendly.

Fear not - we are almost ready.

Skype Mobile 2.5 Beta Now Available

December 9, 2008

The latest version of Skype for mobile devices including Windows Mobile is the beta version - 2.5 which is supposed to be more stable and also look more like its cousin which runs on your PC or Mac. I tried the beta just now and was impressed with sound quality on my HTC XV6800 phone running on Verizon EVDO.

I did notice the interface did look much more like a PC and while the sound quality was good, I couldn't figure out why the call seemed to default to my speakerphone with no way for me to stop it from doing so. I should also mention that I tried the call with echo cancellation turned off and I noticed there was no echo on the particular call I made.

This is the default setting and if you change it, you will likely slow the device and chew up processing horsepower.

Dialogic Officially Acquires NMS

December 8, 2008

Dialogic has officially acquired the communications platforms division of NMS as of Friday evening and I had the opportunity to speak with Dialogic's Senior Vice President of Marketing Jim Machi about the acquisition and the future of the company. You may recall, I first reported on the news back on September 12th.

Before I get into the conversation with Machi, it is worth pointing out that the major competition in the CTI space between Dialogic, NMS and Brooktrout has finally come to an end this past weekend.

These companies were at each other's throats in decades past but as they competed, the industry thrived. More importantly, this rivalry caused the communications market to open to the point where a high school kid can develop telephony apps in the cloud with no knowledge of underlying telephony networks. CTI was a huge step towards openness in telecom and as these building blocks which were used for computer telephony integration began to be applied to IP communications and more specifically, VoIP - the world changed.

The opportunity for companies like Dialogic is changing and while VoIP is a big part of the company's business, video is a strong part of the future.





Plantronics Calisto Pro Review Update

December 7, 2008

I wrote a pretty positive review of the Plantronics Calisto Pro series phone and headset a while back. I don't use the phone that often and recently I needed a headset but didn't have any in the house except the one that comes with the Calisto.

I remembered that this device connects to Skype via a USB cable. I connected the cable, downloaded the software and was talking in a few minutes with incredible clarity and mobility.

The one room for improvement is the need for a color screen which with today's technology wouldn't really kill battery life or the budget.

Vidtel Brings Consumer Video over IP Communications to the Masses

December 2, 2008

In meetings with companies in the communications industry such as Polycom and many others, they tell me sales of video products have done very well these past years. Distributors and resellers tell me this category of product outsells just about everything else. This was especially true as fuel prices were increasing and travel budgets were being cut.

Although travel costs are receding, travel budgets will likely not be reinstated in a major way for some time.

Thoughts on Blackberry Storm and Verizon HTC Touch Pro/XV6850

December 2, 2008

After my Black Friday trip to the mall in Connecticut, I made another trip to the Westchester Mall in White Plains, NY. I was surprised to see the light customer turnout but this could have been because of the freezing rain and snow. Speaking of storms, I dropped by the Verizon Wireless store to take a look at another Storm from Blackberry.

As you recall, my last Storm experience was all wet. I am happy to say this Storm performed better than the last one I used in Connecticut.

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