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January 2012

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Spam Soap - The MSP-Friendly Cloud-based Messaging Service Provider

January 31, 2012

At ITEXPO, I met with Eric Pinto, sales engineer from Spam Soap, a cloud-based messaging service provider. Founded in 2002, back in the early cloud days, Spam Soap pioneered the use of the MX record email filtering model. Today, Spam Soap has thousands of customers worldwide using a range of cloud-based messaging services, including, anti-virus filtering, anti-spam filtering, preserving business continuity, protecting confidential information, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

They currently have 900 channel partners and are very much channel-centric and leverage Managed Service Providers (MSPs). They'll point  direct end-users that come to them to a MSP.

Asterisk 1-2-3 so Packed They Moved to Bigger Room!

January 31, 2012

Zultys MX Release 7.0 Unified Communications Release Adds Android Support

January 31, 2012

At ITEXPO in Miami, Zultys today announced their latest UC software offering mobility features for Android, call center enhancements, and third-party CRM integrations. The latest major firmware release for the MX platform, MX Release 7.0 Unified Communications Software is a secure, all-in-one SIP-based IP phone system that is highly scalable and highly customizable. This version also includes enhancements to SIP security. 

Zultys introduced Zultys Mobile Communicator for iPhone and Blackberry users in MX Release 6.0.

Gadget Lovers! LaGuardia Airport Adds Electric Outlets to Waiting Gate Seats

January 30, 2012

No Winter for the Northeast - But Miami Here I Come!

January 29, 2012

It's almost February and it has been a very mild winter with only two snow storms so far and warmer temperatures than normal. Not that I'm complaining - my heating bill has been less than half it was from the previous winter even with the higher hearing oil prices. It sure didn't look like it was going to be a mild winter if you judged the coming winter back in October where a freak snow storm broke thousands of limbs in the Northeast, which had not yet shed their leaves. The leaves caught the wet snow weighing down the trees and causing massive damage to trees and power lines from fallen trees.

Symantec - Disable pcAnywhere Now! Who the Heck Still uses it?

January 27, 2012

Symantec suspected in 2006 that its network had been breached, but when Anonymous started talking publicly about Symantec source code it confirmed their suspicions. According to Wired:
The company surprised the public last week when it disclosed that hackers had obtained source code for its pcAnywhere software and other products, and that the code had likely been stolen in a six-year-old breach that Symantec had never disclosed.

Symantec said in its announcement that users should disable pcAnywhere until the company had time to update the software to ensure that hackers are unable to exploit holes they might find in the code.

Disable pcAnywhere?

Spirit Airlines Claims Government Forcing them to Hide Taxes in Fares

January 24, 2012

Check out this email I got from Spirit Airlines discussing how our U.S. government wants to HIDE government taxes from the American people. Most transparent Administration ever! NOT! Seriously? How can we as a republic support or oppose a particular political party or candidate if we cannot see the policies they've enacted?

Pumped for StartupCamp5's Fast-paced Startup Pitches

January 24, 2012

I'm headed out to ITEXPO East, taking place next week from January 31 through February 3, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, in Miami, Florida. One of the the items of my must-see list is StartupCamp5 Comm Edition, collocated with ITEXPO East. I'm pretty pumped to see this, especially since at StartupCamp4, Internet / Ethernet legend Bob Metcalfe gave a phenomenal keynote, which was very well received. You can see his keynote here:

During the keynote Bob had some kind words to say about Apple's Steve Jobs, before Steve Jobs passed. It was obvious from Bob's emotions that he knew his friend Steve had limited time left.

Esnatech Releases Office-LinX 8.5, a Cloud-based UC Platform

January 19, 2012

Esnatech, today announced the release of version 8.5 of Office-LinX, a unified communications platform that enables enterprises to integrate UC with cloud-based technologies such as Google Apps, VMware Zimbra ,, and Microsoft BPOS/Office 365. Office-LinX is optimized to work in mixed, distributed environments integrating with multiple on- and off-premise telecommunications technologies and cloud-based applications and infrastructure. It can for instance integrate with solutions from Asterisk, Avaya, NEC, Cisco, Toshiba, Panasonic, Shoretel, and more.

The latest high availability (HA) version of Office-LinX supports full virtualization of its voice clusters with VMware vSphere support. With Office-LinX 8.5, organizations have the ability to distribute the application and resources over multiple virtual servers connected to a single or distributed telephony infrastructure.

Localphone Rings in Chinese New Year with Free Calls

January 18, 2012

Localphone is offering free calls to China to the celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is the Year of the Water Dragon in case you were wondering. They have made calls to China completely free for four days. They offered a similar 4-day free calling promotion for the American Thanksgiving holiday. Now if only they add in Christmas, New Years (Western), U.S.

Begun the Search War Has! Google+ Social Search Results in Bing Defections

January 13, 2012

Could Google's recent change "Search, Plus Your World" be a "Netflix" faux pas causing a similar mass exodus of users from Google to Microsoft's Bing search engine? Well, at least one high-profile website, Gizmodo has one of its columnists jumping ship.  The new search integrates Google+ (Google's Facebook competitor) content directly into search results. It includes "personal results" which include Google+ status updates, Picasa photos, blog posts, etc.

Hacked Asterisk PBX Update

January 12, 2012

I wanted to give an update to my Asterisk Hack Post-mortem article. By the way, I love this image of a hacker sporting a fedora in case you're wondering why I used it in both articles!

I found this interesting error in the logs:
zdump[27161]: error: Bind to port 10001 on failed: Address already in use.

I knew zdump was a Linux command related to timezone stuff, but it shouldn't be taking a port. I found the zdump command:
[root]/var/log/bak2>ll /usr/bin/zdump
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 240512 Jan  6 13:36 /usr/bin/zdump

The date and time were roughly around the time of the hack.

Asterisk Hack Post-mortem

January 10, 2012

Having your production Asterisk-based phone system hacked is no fun, as I have learned from first-hand experience over the past few days. Even the best of IT administrators taking ever security precaution in the book dreads the day their critical server gets hacked. You hope you've done everything possible to stop your servers from being hacked, but you are never 100% sure. There is always some hacker smarter than you, but more importantly, smarter than the best security practices you put in place.

Fonality Names Former Microsoft Exec David Scult as CEO

January 10, 2012

Today, Fonality announced it has appointed former Microsoft Exec David Scult (image right) as Chief Executive Officer. This is the second CEO in just a couple years. Dean Mansfield replaced Chris Lyman CEO, the founder of Fonality. I'm a fan of Fonality's Asterisk-based products, especially their HUD client, so I'm hoping things are going well there.

Google to Offer Free Tablets?

January 5, 2012

Several media reports are claiming that Google is going to be offering their own tablet soon, including DigiTimes which said, "As Google reportedly may launch an own-brand tablet PC to compete against Apple's iPad, sources from Google's upstream supply chain believe that Google, instead of Apple, may actually be targeting Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire as its major competitor."

The Amazon Kindle Fire had torrid sales for the Christmas holiday season, certainly earning its "Fire" moniker. You can't go wrong with a $199 tablet device that surfs the web, runs apps, and consumes entertainment content using Amazon Prime, which features a Netflix-like streaming service in addition to Amazon's other paid digital content - e-books, music, etc. Amazon gambled consumers would consume paid content to recoup their losses and it has paid off handsomely.

This purported Nexus tablet will come with a 7" display, run Android's latest Ice Cream Sandwich and will be priced under $199 to undercut even the mighty Amazon Kindle Fire. What is Google thinking? They're thinking the same thing Amazon is thinking - take a loss on the hardware and subsidize the cost of the tablet by selling digital content, such as movies, books, and music.

President Obama Has VoIP Glitch

January 4, 2012

Apparently, President Obama had some VoIP glitches when he attempted to tried to steal some of the Republican Iowa Caucuses' spotlight last night via a live address to his Democratic supporters over the Internet. The video teleconference had sporadic audio issues making him hard to understand. It's bad enough trying to understand some of President Obama's policies when he is speaking clearly never mind when he's encountering VoIP packet loss and jitter!

According to ABC News, Obama's video teleconferences utilized a proprietary software program developed for the Obama campaign by Adobe Systems Inc. It's likely a derivative of the Adobe Connect VoIP, video, and collaboration platform.

In one part of the video, he sounded like Max Headroom "(static) In some ways, I'm actually more optimistic now then I was when I first ran cuz we've already see...

As Predicted - the Cisco Umi Demise

January 4, 2012

First Cisco killed the popular Flip Cam they acquired, now this - Cisco has killed their Skype-alternative UMI videoconferencing product. Rich Tehrani gave 10 reasons why he thought Cisco UMI would fail, plus an 11th reason later on (Kinect, Skype-enabled Bluray players). I didn't even bother to write about Cisco Umi because I knew it would be a failed venture. We were both right.

Google to Keynote at Super WiFi Summit in Miami

January 3, 2012

TMC's ITEXPO has had its fair share of high-profile keynoters, including Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, Bob Metcalfe, former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, former HP Chair Carly Fiorina, Digium / Asterisk founder Mark Spencer, and of course TMC's very own Rich Tehrani on multiple occasions. We've also had representatives from Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo, Avaya, Nortel, Polycom, and other telecom / wireless heavyweights. Now in 2012 TMC lands a Google keynoter! Google will keynote at ITEXPO's co-located Super WiFi Summit.

Richard S. Whitt is Director and Managing Counsel for Telecom and Media Policy for Google Inc. In that capacity, Rick is responsible for Google’s strategy and advocacy on all wireline, wireless, and media matters before the Federal Communications Commission, other Federal agencies, and the U.S.

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