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Technology

Why Samsung Must Have a Successful Media Player

May 2, 2012

If Samsung is the anti-Apple and with their success in the smartphone space you have to consider them a strong alternative, then they have to have a strategy which allows them to emulate Apple in order to be as successful. By this I mean, Apple has the amazing ability to sell a range of products which are highly similar and yet each is in its own category.

You want an inexpensive music player for the kids? The Apple answer, an iPod Touch.

Where the SIP Operations and Engineering Community Converge

May 1, 2012

The SIP Forum has been evangelizing the SIP market for almost as long as SIP has been around and when you consider the PSTN may go away in the next decade or even less, the importance of an organization dedicated to replacement technologies becomes apparent. Moreover, the Forum will soon hold its second live event SIPNOC which will be targeted at the technical decision makers in the SIP space.

The two-day conference, which focuses on the challenges and opportunities related to the deployment of SIP-based services in global service provider networks has attracted technical leadership from MSOs and carriers from North America, South America and Europe including ADP, babyTel, Broadvox, Comcast, Cbeyond, COX Communications, Lumos Networks, iBasis, IntelliVerse, Socket Telecom, Sorenson Communications, Time Warner Cable, TDS Telecom, Telefonica International Wholesale Services, XO Communications, Uni-tel, Verizon and Vocalocity.

What many love about SIP is also what they hate - interoperability. In fact the reason for SIP to exist is to enable easy communications between carriers, enterprises, consumers and equipment providers.



Blackberry 10 like Siri uses Productivity to Differentiate

May 1, 2012

Apple's iPhone 4S is perhaps most known for Siri the built-in personal assistant which has had mixed reviews. Still, in-part because of this feature, the company has sold iPhones by the boatload.

RIM, who is fighting to regain market share has come at the productivity game from a different angle - the predictive text technology in its soon to be released Blackberry 10 OS is much-improved and has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to communicate on a smartphone or tablet.

For information workers - it seems the more you work, the more there is to do. Especially when you consider the huge time suck associated with social networking, watching online video and gaming and book-reading on the go using the latest crop of tablets.

Although it is soon to say that RIM has nailed it with its new OS, it does look better than previous operating systems from the company. Now the question is how long before the functionality is copied by others and the patent war over this feature begins?

See analysis from the AP, a hands-on review from CNet and comments fom USA Today.







Does the New York Times Have it in for Apple?

April 30, 2012

In my career I have never seen so many attacks on a single company coming from the same source. A while back the New York Times “broke” a story that Chinese workers assembling iDevices and working for Hon Hai/Foxconn in China aren’t treated as well as workers in the US. And this actually became “news.” Does anyone think anything manufactured in China is made with workplace conditions similar to the US or many parts of Europe?

Moreover, where were the high and mighty journalists when Foxconn was making products for pretty much every other consumer electronics company of size?

Are You Ready for the Identity Economy?

April 28, 2012

With Facebook’s value being pegged around 100 billion dollars; it is easy to see why many are calling identity the new oil of the internet. And one company, UnboundID is looking to become the leader in this bold new frontier which they call the identity economy. By allowing companies to buy, sell, trade and leverage customer information the company allows their customers to combine this information with others in order to add value to themselves as well as end users.

An example of this concept in action is logging into a site using Twitter or Facebook – end-users hate to answer questions online and indeed many will abandon a site which makes queries which take their time.

Optimum Live TV App now on PC

April 26, 2012

Update: the Optimum app for Android does not allow live TV viewing but allows you to manage your DVR and check TV listings. The company says this functionality "is coming." Moreover - the app will only work on laptops - not PCs with external monitors. Is it too late to ask for a do over on this post?

Having been on Android and iOS for quite some time (see my review from last April), Cablevision's Optimum TV viewers can now also watch TV on their PCs, Macs and laptops. This could be important to power users who have tricked out monitors of 24" or perhaps even greater.

Is Skype Microsoft's Only Chance for Mobile Success?

April 26, 2012

If you are looking for increased competition in the mobile space, Apple’s recent and seemingly constant record earnings are bad news. Worse yet for the competition, Apple has transcended its original position of a computer and electronics maker to become a major force in the publicly traded markets and even the US economy. Its phones are status symbols the world over and its tablet is so far ahead of the rest of the market the company can charge hundreds more and consumers will pay for these products with a smile.

So news of Microsoft losing share to in the mobile space should hardly be considered news.

HP: 50% of Organizations Use Non-IT Sanctioned Clouds

April 24, 2012

For traditional hardware vendors who have strong relationships with information technology departments, the idea that cloud computing, one of the hottest trends to ever hit the technology space is being purchased without the consent or guidance of IT is quite scary. If you’ve been selling servers to a company for decades and all of a sudden the employees within that organization start to buy their own resources, effectively sidestepping an established relationship, you can rapidly see yourself disintermediated.

In fact, 50% of organizations use non-IT sanctioned clouds according to research sanctioned by HP. Moreover the company found 18% of companies were unsure if their users were using cloud computing services without the knowledge of IT.

Microsoft Working on Skype Everywhere Initiative

April 20, 2012

The fact that Microsoft would want to integrate Skype everywhere shouldn't be too surprising, Office/Lync and Windows Phone are obvious areas and so is Xbox. That's why news of the company looking for engineers who can delve into the hybrid world of video games and IP communications shouldn't be too surprising.

When Microsoft integrates Skype into Xbox and bundles some free calling into the solution, what's to stop them from offering a DECT phone as well? With retail prices of DECT 6.0 phones starting at less than $20, the idea makes more and more sense.

Sure, you can use a cordless/wireless phone with Skype today but if Microsoft integrates it all seamlessly and video is added for free, what happens to the business models of Ooma, netTALK and magicJack?

And what about the cable companies, AT&T and Verizon? Sure, a Skype home phone calling solution will be inferior as it doesn't allow emergency calling due to a lack of E-911 support but still, if it is part of a bundle and has HD voice support, why pay for phone company or cable calling? Especially if it has video as well and other great Skype calling features, presence, etc.

Additionally, a benefit of the Skype purchase will be potentially becoming the phone provider for hundreds of millions of consumers.







Determining if There is a Spectrum Shortage

April 19, 2012

Those of us who have been in the wireless space for years take for granted that there is a spectrum shortage but the New York Times had a compelling story discussing how spectrum sharing and smart antennas will help alleviate the problem. They even have a quote from David P. Reed saying that radio frequencies are not finite.

TMC's Peter Bernstein disagrees with this last point and has some interesting thoughts on the matter worth reading.

To me the debate is fascinating and is similar to arguing if we have run out of space on the island of Manhattan. On the one hand it has been built up to capacity except perhaps a few parks and other areas. But on the other hand, we can continue to purchase, knock down and build taller buildings to add more capacity.

But if New York land was spectrum, whenever a taller building is constructed, some of the units would be forced to go to competing landlords.





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