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WorldGate Communications Closes Shop

April 5, 2011

Word has it that funding was pulled at WorldGate Communications two weeks ago with everyone being laid off. Requests for information to the company did not get an immediate response. The Pennsylvania-based organization which made high-end designer-looking videophones no-doubt faced an uphill battle competing with Cisco and Polycom - as well as low-cost players like Grandstream.

When the company launched - years back I remember a massive crowd around its products at ITEXPO and other events - but getting tremendous attention at a show does not obviously always translate into success in business. Those of you who recall Wildfire's booth at the Computer Telephony Expo know what I mean.

The company seemed to be in a perpetual state of financial trouble and the best news I heard from them a while back was when they either received or were about to receive an order for an organization who was to supply videophones to the hearing-impaired so they could communicate via sign language.

TMC's Tom Keating reported troubles brewing at the company in February, 2008 and then reported when things got better in the next month saying Ojo Phone Lives!





KenCast: Video Streaming Democratization in Action

April 5, 2011

One of the more interesting companies in the streaming video market is KenCast - and one area of growth for the company is live streaming of sporting events. Recently, the company launched a live streaming coverage online community on TMCnet - and this article The Truman Show: Self-Service Live Streaming Video in Real Time living on the community is worth a read.

One of the differentiators KenCast offers is technology which merges 3G and 4G broadband wireless signals from multiple carriers - allowing a transmission of higher quality than is allowed by the upload speed of a single carrier.

As more 4G networks are rolled out and bonding technology becomes more common, eventually everyone will be able to stream live video from virtually anywhere - rivaling the output from a major television network. And that my friends is the definition of technology democratization.

How to set up live streaming of a triatholon


Bill Steele Chairman and CEO of KenCast Inc. explains how the company does a tremendous amount of video work in the multicasting space as well as providing solutions for the military and applications in retail. He goes on to explain how mobile live video capture is a big area of growth for the company.










FCC Reports Highlights 8x8 Business VoIP Success

April 4, 2011

While many technology decisions are made based upon what analysts or the media think, these sources can be flawed as they involve relationships – sometimes financial which could potentially skew how a specific company may be rated by the media or analyst firm. Even if everything is 100% objective, there is a certain amount of guesswork related to determining share of market in any industry as much of the data is not available and has to be surmised from multiple sources which could include interviews. Typically though, there aren’t other places to go when trying to ascertain which companies are leading in a particular market.

But in the VoIP space, there is a relatively new source of information worth noting.

Cablevision iPad App Review

April 3, 2011

The battle to take control of TV 2.0 continues with a new application (iPad link) from Cablevision allowing customers with iPads to view about 300 channels and 2,000 videos on demand from anywhere in the house. I say in the house because you really aren’t supposed to watch outside of your home according to the company's terms of service and you must have a password-protected router, a secure WiFi network and you must not stream Cablevision content via Apple Airplay to other devices. Customers must further agree to use the app for personal, not commercial use and they can register three iPads and use two simultaneously. Support for other devices is said to be coming soon.

IT Spending Up: Thanks iPad

March 31, 2011

I've been using the iPad 2 consistently for about a week now and although I sense the battery life of the original tablet was greater - I find I am much more productive using this device. For example as you delete email, other emails - especially those of the HTML variety open much more quickly. This allows you to go through much more graphically intense messaging in a fixed amount of time. And this could be the reason for the battery drain as I am using the processor and wireless network that much more per minute.

Another plus is the WiFi radio seems to do a better job of finding the closest access point meaning less issues of having to turn your wireless radio on and off or rebooting to get things working right.

Obviously I am not alone in seeing a business use for tablets.



Why Salesforce.com Purchased Radian6

March 30, 2011

The recent Salesforce.com Cloudforce 2011 conference in New York

Word of mouth advertising has always been important to business but today, a small group of people who others trust could be responsible for making or breaking a product or company. This concept is not new as in the past; a small group of journalists could also be responsible for assigning tremendous credibility to a company or product. And in response, companies often treated the media like a sort of royalty – doing their best to influence the influencers.

Amazon: Begun the Consumer Cloud Wars Have

March 29, 2011

Amazon has just unveiled a cloud storage solution for music and other files beating Apple and Google to the punch. The service, promoted by the included graphic on the Amazon home page explains the offer which includes a player which works on the web as well as Android devices. Most in the media will herald this move as new but they likely aren't aware of Michael Robertson (past blogs) the man behind MP3.com and MP3Tunes.com. Both of these services had cloud components associated with music storage and both were sued by the record labels.

You Want a Gun With That Satellite Dish?

March 28, 2011

At a Montana Radio Shack you can get a free gun when you buy a satellite dish and if you don't want the gun you can get a $50 Pizza Hut gift certificate instead. And it seems Montana is a great state in which to have such an offer as there is no permit required to purchase or to carry one concealed outside the city limits.

And its worth mentioning that customer service at this store is probably among the best in the world as no one wants an upset customer who you know with 100% confidence is armed.

Update 3/29/2010: Apparently this offer has been widely successful and - surprise - controversial - check this out: Montana Gun-With-Satellite-TV Deal Draws Criticism as Sales Soar



How Poor Branding and Positioning Have Led to Tech and Auto Failure

March 27, 2011

Lessons Learned From Microsoft, Cisco, Volkswagen, Mazda and Apple Misteps

Why do Cisco and Microsoft have trouble entering new consumer markets and why does Apple have challenges when trying to get into the enterprise server market? According to an article from Rob Enderle, President and Prinpal Analyst, Enderle Group the reason has to do with poor management choices which have more to do with seniority than ability - coupled with starving new products of the resources they need to make it.

I agree with many of the points he makes and the fact Redmond actually decided turd brown was a great color to use when competing with Apple is hard to digest (sorry).  But in addition to the thoughts from Enderle I would add there is a positioning challenge facing these companies as well. In today's world where everything seems to revolve around clicks and search ads, most companies don't even seem to know what positioning means.

And its too bad because companies fail every day because they generate lots of leads that won't turn into business.





Is AT&T Using Investment Angle to Silence Blumenthal?

March 25, 2011

One thing you have to give AT&T a tremendous amount of credit for is knowing how to work the regulatory system - legal, financial and lobbying to get deals done. They are absolute masters and off the record I hear amazing things about just how connected they are. And they will likely need to pull on all the strings they have access to in order to make the T-Mobile acquisition happen.

So realizing the US is a Republic made up of 50 states, the company has now begun working on public opinion in individual states. Consider that today alone the company has put out two releases regarding their building of what they call the most advanced mobile broadband experience in Cincinnati and Connecticut.

In boilerplate press releases where a few items are changed, the company explains that in the greater Cincinnati area it is going to install 10 new cell sites, add spectrum carriers to 35 cell sites, enhance backhaul to 100 cell sites to enable 4G and deploy a distributed antenna system at the Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium to enhance network coverage during events.



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