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IP Communications

Skype, FCC, IBM and Tech News Before New Year's

December 30, 2010

While the week before Christmas and New Year’s is typically slow with regards to news, the huge blizzard which hit the northeast really started things off with a bang. A foot-and-a-half of snow hit the area around TMC headquarters in Norwalk, CT with drifts totaling a few feet in height. Airports were backed up and some streets took days to plow well.

Skype has been busy

Skype Video For iPhone a 2011 Killer App

December 30, 2010

I just did a brief test of Skype video calling on the iPhone - it works on the iPad as well. TMC's Tom Keating and I tried calling over WiFi and AT&T 3G. WiFi worked amazingly well and the first 3G call I tried just hung.

My second attempt to call Tom's iPhone 3GS with my iPhone 4 went through and the quality seemed slightly worse than WiFi but still quite good. During the demo I received two non-Skype 3G calls which placed the Skype call on hold.

News to Know Before New Year's 2011

December 29, 2010

The bitter fight between Oracle and SAP over copyright infringement got more bitter with courts agreeing SAP owes Oracle $16.5M in interest on the $1.3B award Oracle received. While less than the $211.7M Oracle sought, Oracle will also get reimbursed by SAP for $120M in attorney fees.

Let’s say you got a NookColor for Christmas but your books are all on Amazon’s Kindle service… You can now read Kindle books on the Nook – but you need to put on your propeller hat first.

Most Indian telcos must roll out services on wireless spectrum they purchase from the fovernment in a year or pay fines.

The Apple iOS vs. Android Fight in 2011

December 28, 2010

As TMCnet's Tom Keating mentions on his blog, there are many factors to consider in the fight for mobile supremecy between Apple, Google Android and yes, even Microsoft. Tom's point about Microsoft injecting itself into the Android relationship with carriers to become the defacto search engine has even begun to happen already.

But what caught my eye regarding the controversy is will Apple become the defacto high-end alternative that is priced out of the reach of most of the market?

The answer may lie in production numbers alone.

You see, the Apple hardware is virtually unchanged from iPod to iPhone to iPad so economies of scale work in the company's favor.

However, Android devices are gaining massive share. If these gadgets can also leverage the same hardware with other mobile operating systems then they too can take advantage of the same efficiencies. Perhaps Samsung and HTC are best positioned in this regard as an HTC device, for example, can do double-duty as an Android and Windows Phone 7.

A while back I asked Nokia execs about the disadvantage they had in supporting a plethora of form factors while Apple gets away with one and they didn't have a good answer.

But if a phone manufacturer can leverage multiple operating systems to drive scale they can then compete more effectively with Apple.











How TMC is Working to Make ITEXPO Even Better

December 27, 2010

We have been very fortunate that TMC’s community of visitors online and the readers of our publications have chosen to make ITEXPO and its numerous related and collocated events the place you come to learn about the market and choose products for purchase. Thank You! We have never taken your loyalty for granted and we appreciate your suggestions over the years – many of which have been implemented and as a result have made ITEXPO the defacto event of its kind with growing attendance, topical coverage and energy levels.

If there is one thing you know about TMC it is we are not shy to try new things – especially when they seem to make a lot of sense and you suggest them.

Net Neutrality: More Unintended Consequences

December 23, 2010

What if the FCC could force FedEx and UPS to charge the same rates for delivery regardless of how many days it takes to get a package delivered and/or the weight of a package?

Stairway to Trouble

A large tech company found many of its workers were using gadgets when walking up and down the stairs and as a result after numerous internal meetings they decided in order to create a better work environment they would communicate with the workforce about the perils of multitasking while walking on the stairs. As you might have guessed, the decision was made to put signs in the stairwells warning people to not multitask.

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.


















MangoSpring MangoApps For Better Corporate Collaboration

December 21, 2010

Months back you may recall I covered Cisco Quad, a corporate social networking solution for truly massive companies. While many organizations use Microsoft SharePoint as a social solution, another option is to turn to MangSpring’s MangoApps, a solution which takes the best elements of Facebook, Yammer, Quad and others and combines them into an easy-to-use app that the company proclaims is a powerful open communication and project execution solution for Fortune five-million companies.

The company, founded in 2007, has over 35 employees and I had a chance to speak with CEO and founder Anup Kerjiwal as well as Mike Jensen VP of Customer Engagements a few months back and it was like drinking from a fire hose. The company supplies a solution that answers so many corporate needs and it is priced at only $2-$7 per user per month (based on total users).

3G and 4G Group Data Plans Needed

December 20, 2010

I am beginning to change my tune on the embedded cellular radio vs. the external MiFi device debate. Does it make sense to purchase a tablet with embedded 3G or 4G or is it better to go with an external 3G/4G device which becomes a personal hotspot?

To date I have decided that my laptop should have embedded Verizon 3G via EVDO while the iPad - embedded AT&T 3G.

But if you have a family and your kids need (OK need is a strong word - desire is probably more appropriate) connectivity, should you embed their devices with 3G modems as well?

Obviously the bill can get pretty big pretty fast and if you have kids who only occasionally need wireless access when WiFi isn't available it is crazy to sign a multi-year contract for $40 or more per month. Sure you could get a cheaper plan but if you opt for an iPhone instead an iPod Touch to take advantage of a wireless carrier's larger 3G wireless footprint you have to buy a voice plan as well which starts at $39.99/month - then of course you'll want to add a text message plan, etc.

This is why I read with interest the news that Best Buy is selling a bundle of an iPad with a free MiFi with a 2-year contract.

When you amortize the use of this free device across all your family's gadgets such as the Nintendo DS, iPod Touch and future products you know you'll buy, it seems to make sense to have one.

But one wonders if carriers aren't doing themselves a long-term disservice by not coming up with some sort of group or family plan for devices.











Ready, Aim, Send: Military Embraces Smartphones

December 18, 2010

It is not as if the US government has slowed spending to keep up with the general economy so it comes as a surprise to me that we haven't been issuing a couple of smartphones apiece to soldiers in the field. Thankfully, the military is getting into the swing of things by ensuring virtually everyone will have 24x7 access to mobile information, videos from unmanned vehicles and tactical information of various sorts.

My only concern? I hope these things are really locked down well so as to make leaks more difficult to pull off. The last thing we need is thousands of soldiers tweeting sensitive information on the battlefield.

Just to be sure, I hope the top brass in the armed services is monitoring the hashtag #topsecret.

Ed Silverstein breaks the story on TMCnet.





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