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Fewer US Patents Means Fewer US Jobs

December 22, 2009

I often try to balance out my writing - not being too extreme in either direction and since yesterday I ended the day with a very positive piece about the billions of dollars in communications M&A transactions, today I thought it worth mentioning the decline of US patents granted to Americans. Here is an excerpt from a BusinessWeek article on the topic:

For the first time in 2009, non-Americans were granted more U.S. patents than resident inventors, accounting for 50.7% of new grants, according to recent data from the Patent & Trademark Office.

ITEXPO Launches Startup Camp - Investors Take Note

December 21, 2009

We love startups - as a society we owe them more and more each day. The contributions of Apple, WalMart, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Intel, etc. Most companies which were not spinoffs started life as tiny babies in the enterprise pediatric ward.

In order to honor these startups and support new ones - giving them the exposure they need to get to the next level, TMC has launched in conjunction with Embrase/Larry Lisser an event called StartUp Camp Telephony. Expect this conference to give startups the exposure they need to the media, analysts, bloggers and investors.

FCC, Broadband, WiMAX and Ford Sync WiFi News and Analysis

December 21, 2009

FCC to Boost Rural Broadband

In today's news, the FCC is looking at average Internet speeds in rural areas with the hopes of increasing them. Here is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article:

Last week, Rep. Rick Boucher chairman of the House Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee sent a letter to the agency suggesting that 80% of Americans should have access to 50 mbps service by 2015.

Google's Very Cool TTS Service

December 14, 2009

Search leader seemingly giving everything away for free now offers cloud-based text-to-speech as well

In what has to be one of the most interesting "simple" services, Google translate allows you to send the company a simple text string and have it converted to an MP3 file which is immediately downloaded and played. A developer could use this service to build a mobile app which reads e-mail or snippets of news or text messages or Twitter feeds or Facebook status or whatever you like. I took the liberty of trying this out and you can see what I did by clicking here.

Droid Ads Say iPhone is Girly

December 9, 2009

Verizon's Droid ads pit the new phone against the Apple iPhone - comparing their manly device to one they infer is girly. To determine which phone has the most testosterone I put both phones through their paces. The verdict? Well, testosterone seems to have little to do with the basic functioning of each phone and there are enough men using the iPhone that I don't believe there are any technical or stylistic reasons why the iPhone should be considered a feminine device.

Social Web as Next Frontier

December 1, 2009

Remember Cuil - the Google killer? The search engine launched with much fanfare and then disappeared from the scene pretty quickly when it was determined the site's results were not that good. Well the search engine is back with a new twist - social search. By utilizing Facebook Connect, the search engine brings you social search results with your other results.

Google Scaring Apple to Death?

November 14, 2009

If you don't think the Google business model of giving away as much as possible and subsidizing it through ad revenue is striking fear in the hearts of the tech world, you would be wrong. Even Steve Jobs seems afraid; you may be surprised to learn that Apple has filed a patent which has to do with showing ads in exchange for free entertainment. The patent specifically has Steve Job's name on it and specifies that users must respond to verify they are paying attention. It moreover details increasing levels of difficulty (a smaller and smaller box to click on, etc) of ad verification for the user, meaning you have an incentive to respond in order to show you are paying attention when you get a prompt to do so.

Suddenly Murdoch is a Real Threat to Google?

November 13, 2009

No sooner did I write my latest post on how Google could be in danger of the feds investigating them due to antitrust concerns does this entry turn up explaining how Rupert Murdoch and other newspapers could stop Google from indexing their content and force Bing to pay them for the right to do so. Murdoch has been threatening more and more loudly to take his content away from Google and most of us with any web savvy at all thought this would be similar in effectiveness to putting your head in sand when you are afraid.

But this Bing idea would shift the balance of power overnight. I am sure all websites would like to get paid by Bing for being included in their indexes.

Antitrust Problems Ahead for Google?

November 13, 2009

In January of this year I asked if Eric Schmidt is cozying up to President Obama to protect a Google Monopoly. I took some flak for the post but the reality is the reality - the company seems to be taking over every facet of tech from book readers to voice to video to unified communications to cloud computing to photo sharing to video serving to office applications. Should I go on? How about turn-by-turn GPS?

Bing Partners with Wolfram Alpha

November 11, 2009

Wolfram Alpha crashed on to the scene some months back as a computational knowledge engine which is a hybrid of software and expert-populated database of theoretically limitless knowledge. A simple query requesting the population of Norwalk, CT where TMC is headquartered for example brings back a result of 83,456 people and states it is an estimate from 2007.

At the time of its launch, the service was hailed as a Google killer but of course it seems we are all obsessed with the violent destruction of market leaders and as such when something which seemed better than Google turned up, many were ready to bet on it. The reality is that Wolfram Alpha is a different service and can be quite useful - but it isn't a search engine.

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