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Rich Tehrani
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Packet8: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

January 2, 2008

What is not to like about a company that keeps growing its customer base yet stays just under the radar so it isn't sued into oblivion?

8x8's Packet8 service continues to grow nicely and has just reached the 10,000 user milestone . This great news is this is not the consumer market - it is the SMB.

These small companies spend more on telecom service than consumers are more likely to grow their service and are less likely to switch carriers. Of course this is all good news for 8x8 and the company's management has done an impressive job these past years.

I truly believe that 2008 will see ever-more growth in the hosted SMB communications space and 8x8 should do well in such an environment.

Sharper Image Bluetooth Speakers

January 2, 2008

When you think bluetooth speakers, you likely don't think of the high fidelity sound these fine speakers produce.

In a time when consumer electronics device sales are on fire, it is almost impossible to keep track of all the peripheral products which are designed to work with devices such as Blackberrys, iPhones, iPods, etc. To that end, I recently decided to purchase a pair of bluetooth speakers to work with my bluetooth-enabled phone. The idea being that I would like to listen to music without having to plug my phone into a dock.

In this way I am free to still use the phone for other purposes while I enjoy music.

The specific product I purchased was the Sharper Image Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless Hi-Fi Speakers #KO500. I was initially hesitant to buy speakers which at 40 watts for the pair seemed underpowered.

Wanted: Dead or Alive

December 28, 2007

Haven’t we all seen those old Western movies with those “Wanted” posters looking for bandits? I know I have. Now it is time for those posters to go high-tech in the form of electronic billboards the FBI will use to display the faces and names of criminals.

As the engadget article points out, be sure to commit your crimes quickly as once these billboards get rolled out, your odds of getting caught for your crimes will likely rise greatly.

I am just wondering what might be next for the FBI and law enforcement in general? Now that they embraced electronic billboards, will web advertising be next?

Technology News Wrap Dec 27, 2007

December 27, 2007

It has been a slow news week as you might imagine and there have been a number of stories which have caught my eye. Stories wrapping up 2007 are rampant and one worth reading is from Mae Kowalke and is titled 2007 VoIP News Highlights from TMCnet. Within the article is a summary of news regarding Microsoft OCS, Vonage, SunRocket and more.   In other news, Sonus got nice recognition as a market leader from Infonetics in a report which states Sonus has captured 26 percent of the worldwide market, with 42% coverage in North America region representing increases over Q2 2007.   A rumor which could be a deal changer for the technology market comes from Seeking Alpha and discusses a potential new Apple device which seems like a Nokia N800 clone. I am a huge fan of the Nokia N800 as it is speedy, has wonderful resolution at 800x480 and can do so much more that a smartphone.

Mobile Menu Productivity

December 26, 2007

It has been a fairly busy holiday season from a work perspective but over the holidays I found some hours to get some much needed work done. I have gotten on a productivity and efficiency kick that started with my change to the Google Reader. The more I use this reader, the more I like it.   One reason I made this switch you may recall was because I want to take my RSS feeds on the go and the Google Reader works well with my phone.   But I now have another dilemma. I don’t always want to open my mobile browser to the Reader.

Be Careful at Best Buy

December 24, 2007

For those last minute holiday shoppers – beware of Best Buy redirecting you to a website that is not the real but instead a site for those people in the store. Prices on this website may be higher than on the real Best Buy website.   I have heard of a duplicate or phantom site being developed for the reason of giving competitors bogus information but doing something similar for customers is new to me.   In order to avoid getting on this potentially inflated site while at Best Buy be sure to bring in a print out of prices from your home computer or if you surf from the store be sure your laptop or cell phone does not use the company’s in-store WiFi network and instead use your wireless provider.   See Also:   Gizmodo

OnStar Shut Down

December 24, 2007

For those cars with analog cellular cell phone OnStar connections you have until February 18, 2008 before your service will stop working. Some who have complained to GM about this problem have received a $500 gift certificate towards the purchase of a new vehicle.   What is amazing to me is the fact the electronics for the cellular connection are hard-wired into vehicles. Today, cell phones are dirt cheap and even come in the disposable variety; can you believe you need to throw away the car because the network was upgraded?  

Cars made on or around 2002 upgraded to digital cellular networks and will not be affected by the shut down. About 500,000 OnStar users have cars made prior to this time.   See Also:   AP: Users Left in Lurch by Network Shutdown

In-Flight Internet Access Update

December 24, 2007

I think I want internet access when I fly. I really do. Yes, the plane is usually a quiet time to reflect and write compelling content… Still, I can now feel comfortable flying during the business day from the west coast to east because I will not miss anything that is happening. While in the air, I can participate in decisions and stay on top of the latest news without missing anything.   JetBlue really kicked off the latest round of stories about in-flight internet access and now it seems many airlines have an internet strategy of one sort or another.   Some which fly over land have base stations and others use satellite.   According to the Wall Street Journal:  
JetBlue's LiveTV subsidiary paid the Federal Communications Commission $7 million for wireless spectrum that one test JetBlue aircraft has been using since Dec. 11 to communicate with about 100 cell towers spread across the continental United States.

VoIP Banned on Some Flights

December 24, 2007

Perhaps the best holiday gift for people who enjoy peace and quiet on their flights is an all out ban on VoIP in the sky. The AP is reporting on the sorts of things we may be allowed to do in the sky like view porn or talk.   It is too soon to know which airlines will allow what but I am sure there will be extreme pressure on airlines to allow talking if they can monetize it effectively. The question is how to allow talking without disturbing passengers who want quiet.   Will airlines have talking sections like they used to have smoking sections?   Then again, what happens when you are seated in a row that has a baby crying? Is talking more annoying than a baby crying?   As a frequent Metro North train traveler I can sympathize with how annoying some callers can be.

Lobbyists Writing US Telecom Policy?

December 20, 2007

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