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VoIP Predictions 2006

December 20, 2005

Reprinted from the January 2006 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine.

Here are some predictions for the future of VoIP:

Two Tiered Internet The FCC will continue to make life difficult for VoIP providers. In addition they will side with the LECs on a two-tiered Internet system meaning LECs will be able to block competitive content. For this, the Federal government will come down hard on Kevin Martin and in so doing reduce his ability to get anything accomplished in the FCC.

TV Wars
Cable companies and LECs will have brutal wars with one another about what rules the ILECs must follow to provide TV in areas where cable companies are dominant.

Top VoIP Investments/Trends

December 20, 2005

Reprinted from the January 2006 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine.

Last year in response to many requests I started a Top 10 investments list in which I outlined some of the best investments for 2005. Here is an update on last year’s list as well as some new additions. As a bonus I have added some top trends.

Peer to Peer
I led with P2P last year and lo and behold, two out of the three companies mentioned, Nimcat Networks and Skype were purchased for $46 million and over $2 billion respectively. P2P is still a super-hot market.

Ron Insana

December 20, 2005

I just had a chance to speak with Ron Insana today and am very impressed with him. He really knows his stuff. If you aren’t aware, Mr. Insana is an anchor for CNBC and is one of the most well-known names in the investment/financial community.

Ron will be speaking at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo next month in Ft. Lauderdale Florida and we are delighted to have him be part of what promises to be the best ITEXPO ever produced. The attendees are coming in rapidly and we just can’t wait for the show and personally I just can’t wait to get out of the cold and thaw for a few days.

I am not a fan of winter so the ability to get out of the cold for a few days while learning from industry luminaries and at the same time talking with people deploying VoIP from all over the world is a chance I relish.

$100 Laptop

December 20, 2005

Will Nortel help make the dream of one laptop per child a reality? Apparently so:

Nortel is a member of the "One Laptop per Child" (OLPC) initiative, a non-profit organization, which was formed earlier this year by Nicholas Negroponte and other faculty members from the MIT Media Lab.

Nortel's Brazilian unit is helping to finalize options for pilot projects in the country. "We are looking at several options and the timeline isn't precise yet. But we expect that in six months we will have a defined way to move forward," said Abreu.

The company is helping Brazil's government to assess the notebook, which is "in its final stage."

Nortel Brasil is also in talks with educational institutions such as the University of So Paulo (USP) and local communities about ways to use the notebook.

The firm is bringing its expertise to identify ways to connect the notebook to networks.

More Spear Phishing

December 19, 2005

I originally wrote about spear phishing this past summer. In case you missed it these attacks are more targeted and designed to look like they are coming from a trustworthy source such as someone in your enterprise. It seems people will share their passwords fairly willingly via e-mail if the trust the source.

Here is a more recent article on spear phishing and how hackers are targeting credit union executives by sending them a link to a site that contains a Trojan horse program. Some users had recently updated their virus definitions and were safe from the attack.

Patent Law Changing

December 19, 2005

Is it possible that US patent law will soon change? According to this article it just may. Patent cases can cost computer companies up to $500 per year as the potential rewards are just so great. If a company is found to be infringing on your patent, the court generally issues a permanent injunction forcing the party who is infringing to settle rapidly.

This advantage is why there has been an increase recently in “patent trolls," companies that seek out and acquire patents for the sole purpose of prying loose licensing fees and infringement settlements.

The public is becoming more and more aware of such cases because of Blackberry and NTP but a lesser known but perhaps more wide-reaching case is the one pitting eBay against MercExchange.

More Bad Wikipedia News

December 19, 2005

This article in the Toronto Star details continued credibility problems with Wikipedia and cites egos and people’s need to rewrite history to their liking as reasons the online encyclopedia is seriously flawed. Excerpt:

These questions reportedly prompted the business editor of the New York Times to write a memo to staff, warning them Wikipedia should not be used to verify the accuracy of information. The Toronto Star's own library issued a similar warning to editorial staff, who were instructed to be cautious with Wikipedia information.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales still defends the accuracy of his pet project, calling the bogus entries small aberrations that don't indicate a larger problem with his online model.

Japanese Google Competition

December 19, 2005

Does Google care that just about any and every software company is gunning to take them out? Nahh! If Microsoft hasn’t mad e a dent and Yahoo! And Amazon aren’t really hurting you much either then what do you have to worry about?

Google As Memory

December 19, 2005

AOL and Google

December 19, 2005

One has to wonder if it is payback time for Microsoft. The company has been a ruthless competitor over the years and has routinely wiped out companies with successful business models. There are countless software vendors from Quarterdeck to Borland that were steamrolled by the Redmond behemoth over the years.

Now it seems like the tables have turned. As you might recall MSN was supposed to fight it out against AOL.

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