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Google Earth Update

September 26, 2006

Google, Google Maps and Google Earth are separate services but I see them getting more closely aligned over time. This announcement about Google Earth now supporting multimedia features shows the search giant is not taking its numerous eyes off any of the balls it is juggling.

Google Earth now supports overlays from a variety of content providers which allow users to click on an area of the Earth to see more about the location.

Initial Google Earth content partners include the United Nations Environmental Program, which will provide an overlay including successive time-stamped images illustrating 100 areas of extreme environmental degradation throughout the world. Before-and-after imagery spanning 30 years will be included to offer users an online resource to learn about worldwide environmental crisis zones.

While on the topic of educational overlays -- the Discovery Networks World Tour overlay will enable users to virtually visit major world attractions, natural wonders and cities. It offers streaming video segments in which users may learn about the history of world landmarks, national parks, a number of African locations and American and European cities.

The National Park Service overlay allows users to learn about natural recreation opportunities including detailed park descriptions, visitor facilities information and more than 10,000 miles of trails within the 58 US national parks.







Primal Solutions

September 25, 2006

Consider a typical tax return. If you own a home and have a mortgage you may be able to deduct interest payments -- at least in the US (oh and by the way this article is not meant to provide you with advice on doing your taxes. Please don't expect it to help you with the IRS at your next audit). If you made interest you must pay tax on it and of course on other income.

NetSapiens

September 25, 2006

 Big VoIP Revenue for Small Potato Providers

Located just a few miles from the San Diego Convention Center the home of the upcoming Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is NetSapiens a company making the lives of smaller service providers much easier.

I spent some time with Anand Buch, Co-Founder & CEO of the company and learned more about what they are up to. I last saw Anand in June of this year at the IMS Party TMC had at Globalcomm in conjunction with Siemens and the IMS Forum. Anand picked up where we left off but before we got into business talk I got to discuss the good old days of VoIP when Nuera was in its heyday. Much of the NetSapiens team came from Nuera and we discussed what the future of the company might be under their new AudioCodes parent.

According to Anand, company simplifies the delivery of voice and multimedia services for smaller providers.





Rodopi Software

September 25, 2006

Recently I had a chance to travel to Southern California and see the many companies that make up the IP communications market of the state. Two things I noticed about Southern California are the food is still great out there and the traffic problem isn't getting any better. Thankfully the carpool lane was available and this made traveling much more effective.

In all my trips to California I never driven on a toll road and I found these highways to be great ways to minimize traffic. What I didn't realize is some of these roads require you to have exact change and unlike every other toll I have ever seen in my life, if you don't have exact change you are left without many options.

Apple TV

September 20, 2006

I used to think Yahoo! would be a major threat in the broadband TV space but lately have come to believe Apple is must better positioned because of their overwhelming breadth of products in the consumer entertainment space. Apple is now in an enviable position and if they play their cards right they will be a formidable competitor in delivering next-gen TV.

We know Google's aspirations in this space as well so at this moment Apple, YouTube and Google are three of the companies to watch in the Internet TV market. Here is an article that delves a bit more into this topic -- specifically as it relates to Apple.

Although this just hit me, it is worth sharing.



Lower Broadband Customer Service Costs

September 19, 2006

Sorry for the self-promotion here but I haven't had a chance to share this with you --the news of a webinar teaching service providers how to lower the costs of broadband customer service. It takes place tomorrow so feel free to forward I to colleagues now so they don't miss it.

Rolling out new technology to your customers is great but you need to make sure that if you are deploying new triple play services you are aren't taking a bath on support costs.

As the complexity of services increases so does support cost. This webinar will help you lower your costs over time by planning early. Enjoy.

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Keeping a Lid on Broadband Customer Service Costs

Date: Sept. 20th (tomorrow)
Time: 11:00am PDT (2:00pm EDT)
Register

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Customer support costs can balloon quickly when rolling out new broadband services.














V2oIP Quality Alliance

September 15, 2006

The V2oIP Quality Alliance launched this week -- the goal of which is to increase the quality of voice over IP phone calls. Many of the people I spoke with in the organization would prefer the organization be called the Voice, Video Quality Alliance but regardless, that is what the V2oIP acronym stands for and the association's goal is to improve voice  and video quality over IP networks.

You might imagine that today, voice quality has improved so much that we don't need such an organization. But video quality can still improve and this (link fixed) blog entry shows that voice quality may not be as good as you think.

One last point worth considering is that with all the talk of voice peering, we must realize that quality has the potential to get worse. There are a few reasons for this -- increased latency as calls go from one provider to another and transcoding which basically means converting from one codec to another.

Of course when using peering we eliminate the PSTN so we should see gains in voice quality but like everything else over IP -- you need to ensure the network is set up correctly to ensure maximal voice quality.

I think the V2oIP Quality Alliance is a positive step towards improving quality in the IP communications world and as more vendors join the cause I hope we can expect higher quality levels in VoIP and video calls.

This release will give some details on who is participating but suffice it to say there is a smattering of IP communications companies represented from across the industry.









ITEXPO Attendance Update

September 12, 2006


I had a chance to look at the attendees from the last 2 days who signed up for ITEXPO and remain amazed at the global reach of this event. As you know TMC has a global reach with a North American trade show strategy meaning we believe in having large US-based shows ad inviting the most important decision makers from around the world to come join us.

The strategy has been extremely successful and – surprise!! – it turns out the international market likesto come to venues like San Diego and Florida :-)

Here are the countries represented in the registration database from just today and yesterday:
Germany
Philippines
USA – Obviously but didn’t want to leave it out
Taiwan
Canada
France
Korea
Trinidad and Tobago
Brazil


Here are some of the titles:
Network operations Manager
Chief Strategy Officer
Dir IMS Solutions
Chief Architect
Senior Applications Manager
CTO
Network Specialist

Hope to see you next month in San Diego at ITEXPO: October 10-13th.





























Pretexting – The Good, Bad and Ugly

September 11, 2006

In recent days pretexting has become a mainstream term in newspapers and blogs around the world. Admittedly pretexting is a term that most people are not familiar with and most are shocked when they learn what it is. Pretexting is pretending to be someone else and obtaining personal information about that person under the pretext of being them. What most people don’t realize is how easy it is to get a hold of information like phone records with a person’s phone number and last four digits of their social security number.

The reason pretexting has been in the news so often lately is that Hewlett Packard used this technique to obtain phone records of journalists and board members in an effort to determine the source of leaks of confidential information to the press.

You may recall that Carly Fiorina had dealt with the problems of leaks to the press years ago and obviously things haven’t changed at HP and leaks continue to plague management.

In order to get to the bottom of the leaks HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn ordered an investigation into the leaks and in doing so hired at least one outside firm to find out who was responsible letting confidential information out.





Speaking at ITEXPO Ft. Lauderdale 2007

September 11, 2006

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