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Technology

Cell Phone Bar Code Reading

April 2, 2007

There is a recent article in the New York Times worth reading regarding cell phones becoming barcode readers. the technology has been talked about for a number of years but when an article gets published in the New York Times about a new technology perhaps it puts the subject on the fringe of the mainstream. Unfortunately if you want to go out and start scanning today, you just can’t. You see, it will take a few years for cell phone-based bar code readers to be offered in the US due to our devices not being equipped to read these codes.   Japan happens to be one of the leading countries in terms of cell phone barcode adoption, allowing Japanese consumers to be able to scan things like the nutritional information on a hamburger in McDonalds or being able to use the cell as a way to board an airplane, without requiring any paper tickets In addition there are great applications for cell phone scanning technology such as being able to scan a billboard or a for sale sign near a house.   The scan could link to a mobile web page, photos, videos and/or a description of the object in question.   Whether this technology takes off in the US or becomes wider spread is unknown, but it seems like the ability to learn more information from everyday objects just by scanning them with your cell makes a lot of sense There are probably a number of mobile bar code applications around the corner we haven't even thought of.
In the next few years we will possibly see more and more of this technology becoming mainstream.

Cisco's Real Strengths

March 31, 2007

Cisco’s incredible strength comes from being able to leverage its strong brand and enourmous salesforce to sell virtually every sort of product in telecom and datacom. This report makes it seem like the outlook for the competition is bleak.   It is worth pointing out however that if you focus on a niche, you can likely make better products in your specific area than a larger company with broader focus. This is basic business and has been shown time and time again to be true.   However the report should not be taken lightly. Cisco is a fierce competitor and as an acquisition machine – they do it better than any other company I have ever seen.   Having said that, the company is getting bigger and bigger and when that happens, invariably size works to the company’s disadvantage.   In addition I am beginning to hear stories about how the Cisco salesforce is inundated with new products to sell and just can’t do justice to all of them.

Intoxicating Tech News

March 30, 2007

Vonage Bankruptcy Discussed

March 29, 2007

Many people have been asking me about the Vonage situation in light of a recent stock downgrade from Citibank analyst Michael Rollins, who said that Vonage probably has a couple of years to go and at that point they will undergo a financial restructuring or bankruptcy. Recently many have been asking me what I believe the future of this company to be.   The recent Verizon lawsuit regarding patents Vonage infringed upon is probably not final if my sources are correct. Many believe the patents Verizon has are not unique and were indeed awarded based on technology which was not invented by Verizon. This of course would have to be proven by someone.

Yahoo! E-mail

March 29, 2007

One of the most interesting parts of the technology space is actually the hosted e-mail market, where Yahoo!, has recently done something amazing with their e-mail product allowing you to have infinite storage. Now there was a time when Google’s Gmail product was the underdog and they decided to allow 1 gigabyte of storage and was pretty big step above the 4 megabytes Yahoo! provided.   Google immediately upped the ante and now Microsoft and Google are offering somewhere in the neighborhood 2 to 3 gigabytes of free email storage. It is also worth noting that Time Warner’s AOL service has been offering unlimited storage since last summer.   I guess the scale of what Yahoo!

Trolltech

March 27, 2007

I spent a few minutes on Wikipedia today searching for information on Norway. I wanted to learn more about this country I had never been to and while searching I discovered the country is a Kingdom in fact and was settled about 12,000 years ago. I really got into learning about Norway until a coworker told me that Wikipedia is about as accurate as the water cooler gossip you might hear at work.   Ever curious I asked for details and was told about a recent fiasco regarding comedian Sinbad who was inaccurately portrayed as dead on the site. If you don’t remember, Sinbad appeared in – well I can’t recall either.

TrixBox Appliance

March 26, 2007

The rage these days seems to be that of communications appliances as installing software seems to be so last year and plug-and-play seems just so 2007. To that end Trixbox has a new – you guessed it – appliance for the masses. Formerly Asterisk@Home the Trixbox appliance is based on Asterisk open-source PBX software and as I just discussed, Trixbox marketing tells us this device makes installing an open-source PBX both fast and simple.   Now you may be confused about all these different open-source PBX companies – many of whom are based on Asterisk and at least one is indeed Asterisk. Chris Lyman the CEO of Trixbox likes to explain his products versus the competition as follows:   Asterisk is the raw materials – the hammers, nails and wood if you will.

ITEXPO Video

March 25, 2007

Arris

March 25, 2007

I recently touched base with my contacts over at Arris and asked what was up with the acquisition of Tandberg Television.   Jim Bauer, ARRIS VP Investor Relations said, "As discussed in our press release of March 8th, ARRIS has decided not to extend or increase its offer for the shares of Tandberg Television. However, we will continue to look for opportunities to grow our business through internal developments, partnering with other technology leaders or through acquisitions. In the meantime, our core businesses remain very strong."   If you are interested in meaning more about the company you may want to check out the following releases:     Also check out this related article: IPTV faces vertical integration.

Verizon Vs. Vonage: Round II

March 24, 2007

This has been a strong news month for the VoIP market and perhaps the biggest news of all has been the Verizon Vs. Vonage patent case. While it is too early to know whether Verizon will ultimately be victorious, it is important to note the ruling may have ramifications for other VoIP providers.

If you play out this situation to its conclusion you realize what Verizon is doing may be illogical if it helps the cable companies. Why?

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