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Technology

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.

US Trains Fall Behind

April 3, 2007

Perhaps a better headline for this blog entry is “US Trains Fall Further behind.” I was just reading an article discussing a high-speed train developed in France for the Chinese market. This train goes 357.2 MPH and this is short of the 361 MPH a Japanese train has attained.   I believe high-speed trains are an essential (or at least very important) part of any country’s infrastructure and although Amtrak has the Acela train which can exceed 100 MPH, in reality the train averages less than this speed.   I wonder what it takes for the US to have trains that average over 200 MPH and while I am on the topic what would it take to have more tracks in the US allowing better access to the country. I am lucky enough to live near the high-speed trains between Boston and Washington DC… The rest of the country does not even have this luxury.   One wonders what defines the concept of most powerful country in the world. Is that what the US is?

VoIP Peering Web Summit II

April 2, 2007

I am currently listening to a TMCnet Web Summit on VoIP Peering in conjunction with Jon Arnold & Associates. This webinar took place last week. Eli Katz is the first presenter and makes a point I have not really focused on. He says that using peering you can share services across networks and subsequently add value to customers and increase revenue for carriers.   His example was that of SMS and how SMS became truly useful when multiple carriers began interoperating with one another.   Other areas he touched on were security, ENUM and SPIT.

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.
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