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Rich Tehrani
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Net Neutrality: More Unintended Consequences

December 23, 2010

What if the FCC could force FedEx and UPS to charge the same rates for delivery regardless of how many days it takes to get a package delivered and/or the weight of a package?

Stairway to Trouble

A large tech company found many of its workers were using gadgets when walking up and down the stairs and as a result after numerous internal meetings they decided in order to create a better work environment they would communicate with the workforce about the perils of multitasking while walking on the stairs. As you might have guessed, the decision was made to put signs in the stairwells warning people to not multitask.

3G and 4G Group Data Plans Needed

December 20, 2010

I am beginning to change my tune on the embedded cellular radio vs. the external MiFi device debate. Does it make sense to purchase a tablet with embedded 3G or 4G or is it better to go with an external 3G/4G device which becomes a personal hotspot?

To date I have decided that my laptop should have embedded Verizon 3G via EVDO while the iPad - embedded AT&T 3G.

But if you have a family and your kids need (OK need is a strong word - desire is probably more appropriate) connectivity, should you embed their devices with 3G modems as well?

Obviously the bill can get pretty big pretty fast and if you have kids who only occasionally need wireless access when WiFi isn't available it is crazy to sign a multi-year contract for $40 or more per month. Sure you could get a cheaper plan but if you opt for an iPhone instead an iPod Touch to take advantage of a wireless carrier's larger 3G wireless footprint you have to buy a voice plan as well which starts at $39.99/month - then of course you'll want to add a text message plan, etc.

This is why I read with interest the news that Best Buy is selling a bundle of an iPad with a free MiFi with a 2-year contract.

When you amortize the use of this free device across all your family's gadgets such as the Nintendo DS, iPod Touch and future products you know you'll buy, it seems to make sense to have one.

But one wonders if carriers aren't doing themselves a long-term disservice by not coming up with some sort of group or family plan for devices.

Callvine Simplifies Mobile Conferencing

December 19, 2010

Yesterday I was at a party where one of the guests was telling me about her job managing real estate for her family. I inquired about where her office is and she held up her cell phone and said my car is my office. This conversation reminded me about a recent conversation with Callvine Founder and COO Mark Dzwonczyk who tells me his company has found the secret ingredient to take conferencing to the mobile professional. After a couple of years of work, the company has an app which I tried on an iPhone (iTunes preview) allowing you to quickly set up groups which you can use to SMS and conference.

Delicious: A Mess Yahoo Doesn't Need

December 18, 2010

While Google, Yahoo! and Twitter are looking to expand their services into every conceivable area imaginable, Yahoo is going in the other direction as rumors swirl regarding the company shutting down social sharing site Delicious. It is fascinating really and it shows how companies with positive momentum seem to be able achieve anything and those with negative momentum have an incredible battle when they compete on the Internet.

As InformationWeek recently reported, a leaked internal slide from a Yahoo presentation shows the company was targeting AltaVista, Delicious and other services for elimination. The news spread like wildfire.

Recorded Future Predicts Future

December 2, 2010

You may have read back in July on TMCnet that Recorded Future is able to track future relationships and has received investment from the CIA and Google's VC arm. More recently, MIT's Technology Review writes how the company is able to generate a time-line showing important company milestones such as earnings releases and drug trial registrations. The information is gleaned from Twitter as well as numerous web sources.

Recorded Future calls their product a Temporal Analytics Engine and on the company's site you can see how the tool can be used to discover how events have unfolded over time. In one example the site explains how five years ago Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wrote, “It is obvious to me that the Irish-British [economic] model is the way of the future, and the only question is when Germany and France will face reality: either they become Ireland or they become museums.

Will VocalTec and Skype Merge?

November 22, 2010

One of the major factors that led TMC to decide to launch Internet Telephony magazine back in 1997 was that we saw VocalTec launching products in the space which allowed telephony to travel over IP networks - and just like that the IP communications market was born.

Prior to this point, voice over frame relay was the preferred way to transmit voice over a packeted network.

When we launched Internet Telephony, we invited VocalTec co-founder and CTO Lior Haramaty to write a column in the publication - after all, no one knew more about the technology he helped invent than well, him!

Getting back to present-day Vocal-Tec, the company has merged with magicJack parent Ymax Corp. and recently raised its revenue guidance slightly and is looking to officially launch magicTalk - a PC-based service offering free US calling.

Back in August, TMC ran a piece on magicTalk and now the company says it has 100,000 beta users and 10,000 downloads per day. The magicTalk one-month Alexa rank is 386,430 up from 893,141 (lower numbers correspond to higher rank) and their Alexa chart is certainly improving as the chart below shows.

My two cents are it is tough to compete with Skype and Google in the VoIP space with a new offering but magicTalk has used television advertising to sell VoIP service in a way which turned an unknown company into a household name overnight. They used marketing well and although they have had some controversy surrounding them, I have always considered Ymax to be great promoters.

One of the past issues the company had was when they launched, they made some claims about their technology which were a bit over the top and many industry bloggers went ballistic in response. Moreover, the company has been called out about its inability to provide live voice service calls - but in reality if live support calls cost about $15 per interaction, how can you expect to get these bundled into service which costs about $40/year?

I reached out to the company for more information about what they're up to but they weren't immediately available for comment.

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Impresses

November 14, 2010

TMC’s Tom Keating reported the fact that Microsoft OCS will be called Lync going forward and the name is much more conducive as a Skype alternative as asking someone to Lync you sounds much better than asking them to OCS you. Tom and I recently went to Manhattan with a group of analysts and other media to get a demo of the system at Microsoft's Technology center and put it through its paces. We had a chance to see about a dozen or more machines with various endpoints and spent time listening to Jamie Stark the Senior Product Manager walk us through what this new release will do for customers.

Facebook, Microsoft Kinect and Yahoo News of Note

October 18, 2010

Here are some stories worth reading on TMCnet today:

Jaclyn Allard explains Microsoft has a $500M ad budget for Xbox Kinect and in my opinion this is one of the best new products I have seen in many years and creates a new paradigm (yes, I used the P word, what's wrong with that? ) in human interaction with a computer and it has the potential to be more important that gestures used on smartphones today. Cameras aimed at users translate movements of hands and body into computer input - no wireless controller needed. Very cool.

Ashok Bindra reports that Gartner believes information will be the oil of the 21st century - a resource running the economy.

ITEXPO West 2010 Show Guide Available

October 1, 2010

The ITEXPO West 2010 Show Guide is here and if you are flying to the show - you may want to download it to your Kindle/laptop/iPad/netbook/smartphone or print it. I am on the plane now and we have the equivalent of a 300 baud modem's worth of bandwidth so I can't download it but as I recall it is over 100 pages and gives you a solid overview of the dozen conferences taking place next week.

In addition it shows you the exhibit hall with over 200 exhibitors and which sections correspond to which technology.

I have this dream that I will have enough time to go through the directory and point to some of the interesting highlights in a blog post.

We'll see how that works out.

Here is the PDF and it is fairly compressed down to 5 Megs as I recall - we may be getting a higher res one soon as well in case you have the bandwidth.

ITEXPO West 2010 Information Update

October 1, 2010

The following ITEXPO welcome letter and update on important components of the multiple shows next week in Los Angeles was sent by my operations team. I hope you find it useful:

October 4-6, 2010
Los Angeles Convention Center
It's Time for ITEXPO

Largest B-to-B Communications and Technology Trade Show Opens Monday in Los Angeles.

Dear Rich,

The final stages of preparation are being completed over the weekend - conference presenters tying together their slides, exhibitors readying their booths, and our TMC team putting the pieces in place for a great week of learning, networking, and business-building.

Your registration is confirmed.

Can't wait to see you Sunday night at Avaya’s Kick-Off event at the Westin Bonaventure, then on Monday at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the official start of ITEXPO.

Once again, here are some details and information that will help make your experience at ITEXPO great. As always, if you have any questions before the show, please check the event site or contact Frank Coppola.

Registration: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Keynotes: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Welcome Reception: 5:00pm, sponsored by Aloe Systems

Tuesday, October 5
Registration: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Luncheon keynote: 12:15pm
Keynotes: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Exhibits Open: 4:00 – 8:00pm
Networking Reception: 6:00pm in Exhibit Hall, Sponsored by Aculab

Wednesday, October 6
Registration: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Exhibits Open: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Mustang Convertible Giveaway at 4:45pm – Must Be Present to Win
See below for a complete, updated schedule or visit

Keynote Schedule: (Open to all attendees) Monday, October 4
4:00 pm: Alcatel-Lucent: Jean-Pierre Lartigue, CTO and VP
4:30 pm: CA Technologies: Adam Famularo, General Manager Cloud Computing

Tuesday, October 5
12:15pm: Phil Edholm, Vice President, Avaya
2:00 pm: Alex Dayon, Executive Vice President of CRM
2:30 pm: Ribbit Corporation: Crick Waters, Co-founder, EVP Strategy and Business Development
3:00 pm: AT&T: Hank Hultquitst, VP of Regulatory
3:30 pm: ShoreTel: Kevin Gavin, VP Marketing

Wednesday, October 6
10:15 am: Xirrus: Dirk Gates, Chief Executive Office
10:45 am: Level 3: Nigel Williams, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Sales

WORKSHOPS at ITEXPO – Open to All Attendees

StartupCamp2: Communications Edition
Monday, October 4, 5:30pm
Room 153

Ingate’s SIP Trunk-UC Summit
Monday, October 4 – Wednesday, October 6
Room 403A

Reseller Solutions Day Workshop
Tuesday, October 5, 8:30am – 1-day Workshop open to all Resellers and Agents
Room 153

MegaPath’s MPLS University
Tuesday, October 5, 4:10pm
Room 153’s Innovation and Excellence for the Small Office
Wednesday, October 6, 11:00am
Room 150


Los Angeles Convention Center
South Hall K
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90015
Phone: (213) 741-1151

Detailed Schedule of Events:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 4 9:00 am . Ingate SIP Trunking Professional Development Program
10:00 am .
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