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Why Wireless Carterfone is Needed

September 10, 2008

The Carterfone ruling is what allowed the AT&T network to be opened up to competition and basically was the result of AT&T trying to stop a company from adding a device which was acoustically not electrically to their network.

The 1968 Federal Communications Commission allowed the Carterfone and other devices to be connected directly to the AT&T network, as long as they did not cause damage to the system. This ruling (13 F.C.C.2d 420) created the possibility of selling devices that could connect to the phone system using a protective coupler, and opened the market to customer owned equipment.

Many companies including Skype have tried to apply this ruling to the wireless market and changing the practice of bundling service and device with long-term contracts consisting of early-termination penalties. I actually thought this matter was over.

But today I came across a press release from The Phoenix Center which says that if the FCC were to regulate the way the mobile industry operates, consumers would lose out. Their point is that the result of such moves will be higher costs for mobile devices with no guarantee of lower service costs.

This is why their press release is right:

Long-term service contracts do indeed partially include financing charges on the device which you use.









iPhone VoIP Banned in Germany

September 10, 2008

AT&T Boosts GPS With A-GPS

September 10, 2008

AT&T just announed they will support A-GPS or assisted GPS which is a technology which utilizes the best of the GPS and cellular worlds allowing faster and more accurate postition tracking. GPS while fairly accurate, can take minutes to initialize and requires a fairly strong signal to work accurately. Quite often in fact, GPS does not work indoors or in areas where there is dense foliage.

A-GPS assisits GPS by allowing the cellular network to tell the device generally where it is located meaning the GPS receiver can narrow down its search for sattelites which in turn means faster and more accurate positioning results.

In a press release, AT&T explains it will further launch two new navigation applications in coming weeks -- MapQuest Navigator and AAA Mobile Navigator. The new applications add to the company's AT&T Navigator and AT&T Navigator Global Edition offerings.

Depending on how the public responds to this echnology, it is possible A-GPS will replace GPS as a technology meaning most GPS devices will have assistance from cellular towers.





ITEXPO West 2008 Show Guide

September 9, 2008

I have been looking at the show directory for next week's Internet Telephony Conference & Expo and am very happy to report this event will be one of the best we have produced. When I saw the draft of the directory on the way to the printer I immediately asked my team to have it turned into a PDF so everyone can see it in advance.

Most of the links below will get you directly to the PDF which is 17 MB in size so please don't download over dial-up or wireless where you pay per minute.


My show letter is a great place to start as it gives you the details of what is happening at the show.

All the top names are in the show... Cisco, Avaya, Time Warner Cable, Mitel, Interactive Intelligence and Dialogic. In addition, the most important open-source communications companies will be exhibiting.




Can Yahoo Get Out of its Own Way?

September 9, 2008

Obviously this past month has seen tremendous market volatility but I thought it important to point your attention to Yahoo! being near a fiver-year low. The company could have been taken over by Microsoft and returned shareholders over $13 billion more than their recent value. Ouch. This is a tremendous hit.

So many companies consider Microsoft to be an enemy and obviously, Yahoo has competed with Microsoft for a number of years and is no different. But why does Yahoo not seem like it is reenergized after this deal broke off?

60 Crucial IP Communications Interviews

September 5, 2008

Whenever I go to a conference, I learn a tremendous amount from the people I meet at the show. I really enjoy the impromptu networking which takes place at events as it allows me to learn so much about what is happening in the market. Ironically, I generally learn things I didn't think I would learn ahead of time. Quite often, I wish I would have known more about peoples' experiences before I met with them as it would allow me to be better prepared to ask pertinent questions.

I further wish I knew who was coming to events and and moreover I wish I could get a "brain dump" from them before the event so I could have a frame of reference before our conversations take place.

Imagine how much better networking at a show would be if I had an idea what people were generally thinking about the market before I even say hello.

In less than two weeks the world with gather at ITEXPO -- The World's Communications Conference to help select products for purchase, learn about the latest events in the telecom market and network with peers.

It is this last area where this blog entry should be of maximal benefit.







Multi-Touch+Camera+Voice+Force = New Interface

September 4, 2008

Remember when I said the GUI would become the gesture-based user interface or GBUI? I mentioned Apple's patents in the blog entry and now a new patent application shows Apple is looking to fuse gestures, voice, the camera and motion sensors together to create a brand new interface.

Ironically last night I was showing some young relatives some photos on an iPhone and within a moment each of them took the phone and started to flip backwards and forwards through photos. This was the first time I remember not having to show someone how do what I had just done on a computer or phone. Apple's new GBUI is so easy, a 3 year-old and a 4 3/4 year-old were able to intuitively understand how to do what they wanted with no help from me at all.



It occurs to me the power of combining gestures and the above technologies if done correctly will transform how we interact with computers and as a result, at least two things will happen:
  1. We will use computers in brand new ways.







John Chambers on Visual Networking

September 3, 2008

I missed John Chambers on CNBC this morning. I wanted to hear what he had to say but unfortunately I was being interviewed about ITEXPO at the exact same time Chambers was on TV. Thankfully, Michael Dinan, a TMCnet editor was on hand to listen to Chambers and write up what he had to say.

Chambers seems relatively bullish on technology and anticipates growth between 12-17% for the long-term. In addition, the world's largest networking company announced a net of over 10 billion dollars for the fourth quarter.

Google Chrome: The Google of Browsers

September 1, 2008

The long-rumored Google browser may be here. According to this blog, it is called Chrome, is open-source and will do lots of things other browsers already do and some that others don't. The project has a focus on security and even downloads malicious sites in real-time to ensure unsuspecting users don't visit them.

Google does need its own browser and even though as an open-source project it is unclear if it will be theirs or belong to the community, the point is they can't afford to the have browser ownership by other companies who could theoretically try to play middle-man between the user and their services, ads, etc.

What is very interesting is that in the last few years between the office applications and browser, Google is becoming more like Microsoft than Yahoo! It seems to be looking at whatever Microsoft has done and copying.



Election Technology News

September 1, 2008

One of the most fascinating advances in political systems worldwide is the advent of technology like blogs and other web 2.0 initiatives such as social networking and video. But even the old technologies like SMS are coming into play as candidates look for any and every advantage to distance themselves from one another.

As you can imagine, with so much technology swirling around, making candidates more productive and efficient, we at TMC became mezmerized by it all. It got so interesting to us in fact we decided to categorize all of the stories we ran having to do with election technology. Afer a while we realized we had developed an entire website focusing exclusively on election technology and how it transforms poltics.

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