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Sheraton Gets Surface from Microsoft

August 15, 2008

Microsoft has this new computing initiative (Tom Keating's take with sound) which focuses on surface technology with hand-based gestures. Announced a few months back it is now in production and available at select Sheraton hotels (Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle).

Microsoft says there are vertical applications for this technology such as retail, healthcare, automotive and I am sure they are right. My question is will people use these things in a hotel?

Somehow I doubt they will because I have seen so many technologies in the US which are in public locations not make it. Remember internet kiosks?



Trixbox Certification

August 15, 2008

The open source world of communications is growing rapidly. Recently I discussed the Nortel acquisition of PingTel and what this means for our markets.

Ironically the competition in open source was once between Digium and PingTel and when Asterisk became the the dominant player in the space, it seemed that Digium won the war. It turns out that while PingTel lost steam, a new wave of compeitors in the open source space emerged, basing their products on Asterisk.

One such company is Fonality and their Trixbox platform has become a popular alternative in the open source space. It just so happens that Fonality is collocating their training session in Los Angeles at ITEXPO in a  few weeks.

If you are looking to see all the communications companies that matter in the market and also get a chance to receive certification on a number of topics, be sure to come to the show.





Google Vs. Apple

August 15, 2008

Everyone likes a good fight and even though there really isn't a fight going on here it is worth noting Apple's market capitalization is now ahead of Google's (reminder I own shares in Google).

According to this story, by the close of trading on Wednesday, Apple's market value had edged up to $158.8bn - a shade ahead of Google's $157.2bn.

My take is that while Apple is obviously on fire, Google has a monopoly in search advertising and at the moment the world is in love with the model. Over the past years, Google has hired thousands of engineers to develop innovative products and services. Google's advertising model will be embedded into virtually all of these new services.

Gmail is an example of Google's ad model expanding onto a new service.





Google's Traffic Numbers Inaccurate?

August 15, 2008

Over the years, TMC has tried many third party measurement sites and without a doubt, Google Analytics under reports traffic numbers as compared to other independent measurement services by an order of magnitude in many cases. Why is anyone's guess but this article confirms that Google's in-house numbers are lower than virtually all other measurement methods. This includes the well-respected Comscore.

In addition as John Battelle points out, there should be natural suspicion of measurement practices of any company which also runs an ad network. Here is an excerpt of his post which discusses Google Ad Planner in detail:
 

In short: If you were a media planner using Google Ad Planner, and you were looking for larger sites, you would be led to sites that are running Google AdSense, on average, over sites that do not.




Communications and Technology Stories August 14, 2008

August 14, 2008

Please enjoy some communications and technology stories while having your morning (or evening) tea or coffee. My thoughts in brief -- Extreme is smart to jump on the energy efficient bandwagon, Jajah claims to have over 10 million users in the story below which is substantial. They also have a service which translates short English phrases to Chinese. Very cool but I am not sure this can be monetized.

Virtual PBX now allows callers to be pulled out of voicemail -- this great news and not easy to pull off for a hosted vendor.

McCain To Support Technology

August 14, 2008

It has been pretty shocking to me to see that the Bush Administration did not embrace technology in a more grand fashion. After all, Vice President Al Gore was so enthusiastic about the Internet he even claimed to invent it.

So while it seems like the companies of importance in the Bush administration have to do with energy, commodities and defense, we may see a McCain presidency focusing at least a little on technology.

In fact there will be a 10% R&D tax credit and opposition to internet taxes. In addition there will be an increase in H1-B visas (thankfully). McCain does not think we should have federal net neutrality laws -- the FCC and other regulators should deal with these issues he believes.

See this New York Times article for more.







Buy ITEXPO Plane Tickets Soon

August 6, 2008

Good news: I have noticed plane fares for trips to ITEXPO this September 16-18, 2008 in Los Angeles have dropped by hundreds of dollars in many cases. As a show organizer, nothing makes me happier than having our event more accessible to everyone.

The Internet Telephony event has really evolved over this past decade and is now the the largest gathering of IP communications companies and decision makers in the world. It is the one place to be if you manage communications for a service provider, enterprise or are a reseller/developer.

You just have to be at this show if you want to network with the industry and see what is next and what is happening right now.

So I am happy to share the good news with you all and I hope to see you in September... In LA.











Search Engine Note to Self

August 4, 2008

Cuil Analysis

July 30, 2008

I am impressed with aspects of Cuil like the user interface but sadly, this search engine is not the Google killer that many (including the company) had hoped. I launched the new search engine with the same level of excitement in fact I had when I tried Searchme last year.

Just like Searchme, I believe the Cuil user interface is different enough from Google to appeal to a wide audience. The problem with both of the new search engines is that they aren't very accurate and the results that come back from Cuil seem way off base regardless of search term.

Tom Keating mentioned this as well and so did Luca Filigheddu and Erick Schonfeld. Luca shows that it is not just Google doing better than Cuil but all search engines are more accurate than this start-up founded by ex-Googlers.

So are we destined to have Google be our primary search engine forever? Possibly.





Road Warrior Bible

July 27, 2008

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