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Blogging and Human Rights

April 9, 2007

I was reading a wonderful AP story on human rights in the middle east and how bloggers are potentially transforming countries from the inside out. The problem of course is some middle eastern countries are jailing bloggers and blocking their blogs form being accessed in their county.   Reporters Without Borders has five Mideast countries -- Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Syria -- on its list of the globe's 13 worst Internet freedom enemies that block web sites and detain bloggers. Most of us are likely not surprised by the strong middle east showing in this statistic.

According to the article, governments defend their Web regulations, saying they are protecting citizens from "immoral" and "defamatory" content. But rights groups and bloggers say officials are really trying to retain their media control.

"Five years ago, authorities didn't care about bloggers because the Internet's reach was less," said Julien Pain, head of Reporters Without Borders' Internet Freedom Desk. "Now, what is most interesting is the Weblogs in the local languages.



The FMC Border Architecture

April 9, 2007

In 1999 I had an interesting discussion at a Lucent Technologies luncheon with Arun Netravali who then headed up Bell Labs for Lucent Technology. Netravali spoke of the future of communications being an all encompassing communications skin which would have all sorts of devices connected to it.   The idea made sense and wasn’t such a logical leap but at the time it was something that wasn’t really happening. Networks did not interoperate so well with one another. Arun predicted this would happen at around 2025 or so.   Although the concept seemed a bit far off, I decided to write about it in the January and February 2000 issues of Communications Solutions Magazine.   Here we are in 2007 and it seems like to concept of a communications skin is farther away and closer than it ever has been before.

Dialogic Does Video

April 9, 2007

When it comes to the world of communications, the development world used to revolve around Dialogic. Ten years ago you virtually had to buy a DSP resource board from this company or one of its smaller competitors if you wanted to develop an application such as unified messaging, voicemail, IVR, speech, recognition, ACD or just anything else.   In fact for a number of years VoIP gateways were sold almost exclusively based on DSP resource boards. Larger telecom equipment providers would repackage systems with these boards through an integrator and claim the resulting gateways as their own.   I have taken many plant tours at industrial computer companies where I had to promise not to disclose the logos I saw throughout the plant. These were typically gateways under construction with boards from NMS or Dialogic.   In the late nineties while Dialogic was enjoying a nice time atop the enabling technology perch, the company received an offer from Intel it just couldn’t refuse.

Esna Technologies

April 8, 2007

When you think about unified communications you probably think of the big software or hardware companies. These are the organizations making the biggest splash in the UC area.   But we all know about the big boys. What is really interesting is the small players because they are doing today what the big boys will be doing months or sometimes years later.   I recently had a chance to sit down with Esna Technologies CEO Mohammad Nezarati and discuss the latest developments at his company. Esna has been in the telecom space for about two decades and I used to run in to them frequently in the nineties at Computer Telephony shows when the CTI craze took hold of the market.   Then the company fell off my radar for a few years.

SpinVox

April 8, 2007

When I first came across a company called SpinVox I thought it had a niche product not really aligned with my core readership. The first product the company introduced to me was SpinmyBlog which is something I could definitely use at my blog at Tehrani.com. But I thought – who else would even care?   Oh, wait a minute – I am sorry… I didn’t even tell you what SpinmyBlog does. Amazingly it uses speech recognition to convert your voice to a blog entry.

Cantata Gets New CEO

April 6, 2007

You may have seen the news about Cantata hiring a new CEO and could possibly be wondering why they would do such a thing. After all, Mark Zionts was involved in building Cantata into the company it is today with the combination of Brooktrout and Excel.   This is the story based on my conversation with Peter Vescuso the VP of Marketing at Cantata. It seems that Mark is acknowledged as the talented entrepreneur that took the company to where it is today. The goal now is to take Cantata to the next level.   The new CEO is Tim Murray and Tim is an AT&T veteran having worked as Executive Vice President and President of various divisions of the Telecom giant.

Unified Communications Magazine

April 6, 2007

Ads in Subways

April 5, 2007

Response Point

April 4, 2007

In case you weren’t aware, Microsoft unveiled a small business phone system recently called Response Point. TMCnet’s Tom Keating has a well thought-out blog entry on what Microsoft is doing as well as a bit of history on Microsoft and other players in IP communications going back to the nineties.   The SMB space continues to be a very sweet spot for VoIP. There is no question this market is huge and Microsoft wants to make billions in this space.   Will the Redmond, Washington based company be successful this time? I would say there is room in the market for many players.

Altigen News

April 3, 2007

Big news over at Altigen. Jerry Fleming who ran the Vonexus division of Interactive Intelligence is at Altigen now and will focus on building the US operations of the company. I haven’t had a chance to talk with Jerry yet but his title will be President and COO.   Gilbert Hu will continue to lead AltiGen Communications as Chairman & CEO.   A word of history. Back in 1995 or so Altigen really wowed the telecom market with the world’s first PC PBX.
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