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Smart Ecosystem

TV End Game has Google Written All Over It

October 22, 2010

After a whirlwind tour of SATCON and Content & Communications World which took place last week, 4G World and Interop which took place this week and over a hundred meetings, I find myself ruminating over numerous discussions about where things are headed – in terms of content, technology, entertainment and apps.

There are macro trends which are intersecting and diverging and as much as I would like to say I have 100% clarity about it all, I don’t – but I do believe I have enough observations to share in order to get investors and innovators thinking about what the future will look like.

Over the last 30 years the rise of cable and then satellite radio shows consumers will pay money for content and in many cases for the ability to reduce the amount of commercials they consume.

But this idea is under attack from yet another trend emerging over the last few years.

ITEXPO West 2010 Show Guide Available

October 1, 2010

The ITEXPO West 2010 Show Guide is here and if you are flying to the show - you may want to download it to your Kindle/laptop/iPad/netbook/smartphone or print it. I am on the plane now and we have the equivalent of a 300 baud modem's worth of bandwidth so I can't download it but as I recall it is over 100 pages and gives you a solid overview of the dozen conferences taking place next week.

In addition it shows you the exhibit hall with over 200 exhibitors and which sections correspond to which technology.

I have this dream that I will have enough time to go through the directory and point to some of the interesting highlights in a blog post.

We'll see how that works out.

Here is the PDF and it is fairly compressed down to 5 Megs as I recall - we may be getting a higher res one soon as well in case you have the bandwidth.







Overview of ITEXPO West 2010 Events

September 30, 2010

Hi all, my marketing team was good enough to provide me with this comprehensive overview of ITEXPO and all the related events and content at the show which takes place Oct 4-6, 2010 - yes, next week. I hope this snapshot is something you find useful.

From Grids to Clouds, ITEXPO Has It Covered. So Much Value for Your Investment. Free Workshops, Great Networking, Amazing Keynotes, 12 Collocated Events.

Latest News from Plantronics and Alcatel-Lucent

September 30, 2010

I just happened upon the latest Internet Telephony newsletter and these articles are worth a  read. The Maryland headset story is focused on another state mandating hands-free driving but what makes it interesting is that Maryland drivers have the second-longest US commute. In addition the Alcatel-Lucent ng Connect initiative seems to be gaining traction with 22 11 member companies looking to develop a common framework and standards which will allow more sophisticated 4G and LTE services.


Finally, the Avaya and Skype story is good news for people such as myself who have been wondering why two communiocations companies with a  common parent aren't collaborating more closely.

» Pinger to Offer Free VoIP Calling with New App

» Avaya and Skype Partner for Better Business Communications

» Aastra to Demonstrate Microsoft Lync-Compatible Phones at ITEXPO West


Why Los Angeles Needs a Smart Grid ASAP

September 28, 2010


By now the record-setting temperatures in Los Angeles are likely known by everyone with a computer or television - an all-time high of 113 degrees and this record broke the thermometer! Wow! Due to the current unintelligent state of the electrical grid the best solution to dealing with this heat wave has been to ask consumers to turn off appliances in the afternoon and remind them to turn off the lights when they leave the room.

There has to be a better way - and there is. The smart grid is coming and when it does it will allow utilities and appliances and gadgets to work together in an automated fashion to ensure the dynamic nature of the grid is taken into account when heat waves and other "demand-generating" events take place.

For example, imagine if all bathroom hot water heaters and electric hand dryers in office buildings were able to temporarily shut themselves down when the grid is dealing with a stressful event?




Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook Reveals Much on 60 Minutes

September 27, 2010

If you missed the 60 Minutes interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, here are some things you need to know:

  • The engineers engage in hackathons - allowing engineers to compete on programming tasks
  • Speed chess and all-night programming are activities often engaged in
  • The company has a new way of displaying profile pages which is more photo-centric
  • A dozen programmers worked on this redesign in a war-room littered with used toothpaste tubes and dirty plates
  • Over 200,000 people access Facebook from mobile devices
  • Messaging is one of the latest products - something Facebook calls the ultimate switchboard
  • Mark thinks these messages are slowly replacing email
  • Gmail was not the target of Facebook's messaging platform
Mark was hit with questions regarding privacy - and he responded by saying advertisers have no access to people's information and they never use it.

Interviewer Lesley Stahl asked about apps which access information of a personal nature and Zuckerberg explained that if apps do something they aren't supposed to like invading privacy, they are shut down.

Zuckerberg says they don't get it right every time but they keep trying to get better.

He further explained that privacy and control over personal information is one of the most important things on the Internet.

Many of Google's top employees have defected to Facebook - 200 ex-Googlers now work at Facebook. Mark explained that social adds to the experience of virtually everything you do online.

Here is the two-part interview and an article worth reading from CNET's Caroline McCarthy. Here is video1 and video 2 if the videos below don't workl













Metaswitch Forum 2010 CTO Show

September 23, 2010



Federating and aggregation are key to carriers looking to compete in the new world was a message from the Metaswitch Forum this morning during the CTO Show presentation. Andy Randall, senior vice president of marketing and business development, sets the stage for CTO Chris Mairs who lays out a service provider blueprint for the next decade.



The audience was presented with a a colorful history of technology starting with the steam engine to the present and there was lots of talk about common day opportunities.



One recurring theme was Google as customer - carriers know the search engine is competitor but talk of working with them as a customer was frequent. Other discussions revolved around open APIs and and the company will participate in ecommerce and social networking companies through loose affiliations.



Transition to cloud will be a fundamental reconfiguration of our business and those adjacent to our own. Carriers will have to look to new ecosystems to replace current revenue streams.













ITEXPO Article in Smart Business

September 22, 2010

ITEXPO West 2010 Hotel Situation

September 21, 2010

What Cablevision Needs to do Next

September 18, 2010

While others complain about their cable providers, I am pretty happy with mine - Cablevision and Optimum/Optimum Online. The company provides blazing fast Internet at reasonable prices and recently has added services such as WiFi almost everywhere I go, Caller-ID on the TV, and Internet control of the DVR including a mobile site. More recently the company rolled out an iPhone app which is even better than the mobile site in terms of its design.

Do I feel like I am getting a great value on my TV package?

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