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Why the Cisco Cius Failed & Why Microsoft Might Beat the Mighty iPad

May 25, 2012


Rich Tehrani has a good post today on why the Cisco Cius failed. He put it succinctly and with a nice metaphor when he writes:
Company after company is learning what most of instinctively know already – competing with Apple head-on is like trying to tackle a freight train with your bare hands as it is barreling down the tracks in your direction. Amazon with its Kindle Fire competed on price and used its services to subsidize the device. Other tablet makers are finding it virtually impossible to compete without such advantages.
Rich is exactly right.

Say it With Skype Facebook app Wants to Be American Idol

May 22, 2012

Skype announced a new contest to find the next great music band using their Say it With Skype Facebook app, an engaging-group video greeting app that lives on both Facebook and Skype.com.  Simply use Say it With Skype to record your music band on video and you could be the next American IdolSkype Music Super Hero! Hey, it worked for Justin Bieber, who was discovered via a YouTube video.

Similar to American Idol, there will be some relatively well-known judges in the music industry to judge the entries, including Pete Wentz of Black Cards, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and MTV music personality and host of "120 Minutes" and MTVHive.com Matt Pinfield. As an added bonus to joining the app as the 'house band,' the winning band is to receive one-on-one mentoring time with the celebrity judges and paid studio time to not only record the song which will be featured on the Say it with Skype app, but also the chance to record their own song to use however they please.

Here's me rocking out to the #1 downloaded iTunes song of all time - Journey's Don't Stop Believin' using the Say it With Skype Facebook app.

Ok, maybe not.





The New In Your Face Facebook Ads - Coming Soon!

May 21, 2012

After Facebook's disastrous IPO leading some to speculate Facebook's actual worth is in the $16-$24 range, it's worth examining what went wrong. Was it the Nasdaq computer glitches, which some claim resulted in $100 million in losses to investment firms? Perhaps a small factor. Was the initial stock price too high?

Ooma Telo Review

May 4, 2012


Back in 2007 I wrote an article "Ooma goes Booma" because Ooma's claim-to-fame feature was that it worked by 'sharing' your PSTN analog phone line with other Ooma users. I was right that this PSTN sharing feature and business model wouldn't work, so certainly that did go "Booma". However, 5 years later after dropping the PSTN sharing and moving to a VoIP-centric business model Ooma has redeemed themselves with some really cool features. Ooma is a low-cost phone service provider similar to magicJack, netTALK, and Vonage in many ways, but with some key differentiating features.

The first big difference of note is that unlike the other three aforementioned phone providers, rather than charge a monthly flat rate for service and per-minute costs for calls, Ooma only charges for the initial hardware - $199 Ooma Telo, +$50.99 for Wireless adapter, +$29.99 for Bluetooth adapter and then they only charge you the taxes and local fees for calls in the United States.


Skype Aware of IP Security Flaw Back in 2010

May 3, 2012

Some more interesting information has come to light regarding the IP revealing security flaw in Skype. Researchers from Inria, a research institute in France, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University discovered the flaw. Stevens Le Blond, one of the team's researchers who discovered the exploit told the Wall Street Journal that the team first discovered the flaw in November 2010. They were actually able to track the city-level location of more than 10,000 Skype users over a period of two weeks simply by making short calls to users that don't cause a Skype notification popup and the calls don't appear in the call histories.

Skype Responds to IP Address Privacy Vulnerability

May 1, 2012

Yesterday it was reported that a simple script could expose any Skype user's IP address. A Microsoft representative saw my article and gave me this official response, which they also provided to other media outlets:
“We are investigating reports of a new tool that captures a Skype user’s last known IP address. This is an ongoing, industry-wide issue faced by all peer-to-peer software companies. We are committed to the safety and security of our customers and we are takings measures to help protect them.”

Adrian Asher, director of product Security, Skype

It's a bit of a non-answer if you ask me.

Does HTML5 Rock Your Mobile World?

May 1, 2012

We've heard the hype surrounding HTML5, but does it live up to its promise? If TMC's recently completed DevCon5 show in Santa Clara, California is any indication, HTML5 will soon rock your mobile world!

At DevCon5, an international community of HTML5 developers and designers gathered to focus on Mobile Apps, Consistent UI Development, and more. Gaming was a huge draw featuring a large, enthusiastic group.

With breakout sessions led by experts from Adobe, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Joyent and Qualcomm, DevCon5 has quickly established its position as a “must attend” event for developers and designers looking to take advantage of business opportunities presented by the advent of HTML5.

DevCon5 – created for Web developers, software architects, graphic artists and business executives – helps developers, designers and engineers learn how they can use HTML5 to create engaging mobile applications and create consistent, positive Web user experiences across any device. The DevCon5 conference program encompasses a multi-track program covering important topics related to HTML5 adoption, including browser compatibility, user experience design and Web 3.0.





Skype@Home Telephone Products Coming?

April 20, 2012

Today, Rich Tehrani wrote about Microsoft "working on Skype Everywhere Initiative" based on another Microsoft-careers.com job listing. Just a few days ago I wrote about a Microsoft job listing was pointing toward Microsoft and Skype building a HTML5 Web version of Skype.

Rich believes there are some good synergies with Microsoft and Skype that can result in a whole like of Skype at home phone products (Skype@Home?) including DECT 6.0 phones. The problem with DECT wireless phones over WiFi phones is you need a base unit, which adds to the cost. Wi-Fi phones can just connect to the Wi-Fi access point with no additional hardware necessary.

However, what if the next XBox 360 has a built-in DECT transceiver?



RingCentral Cloud Touch Platform - Configure Phone System from iPad, iPhone, or Android

April 18, 2012


Imagine being able to record prompts, configure IVR/auto-attendant, and remove a disgruntled employee's access to your phone system all while sitting on a beach - simply using your tablet or mobile device. That's exactly what RingCentral's Cloud Touch Platform does and they proudly claim this touch-enabled phone system configuration platform "Reimagines Business Phone Systems". They may just be right.

Founded in 2003, RingCentral (>1000 employees) is by far the largest cloud-based phone system with RingCentral's Naveen Gupta, Chief Product Officer, claiming "hundreds of thousands of paying customers". AT&T and Rogers resells RingCentral's platform, which partly explains their impressive customer base.

The RingCentral Touch platform enables businesses to setup, manage and use their phone system from a smart mobile device.




Google's Chrome Team Reveals WebRTC Roadmap

April 18, 2012

Google's Chrome team stated in their recent WebRTC roadmap that the main components of WebRTC are now stable and they will be releasing it to the 200M+ Chrome users later this year. However, they want developers to get a sneak preview of what will be in the first WebRTC release. I should mention that two days ago I discussed how Skype and Microsoft were working on a HTML5 web-version of Skype. I felt that HTML5 would be inadequate and any Skype web app would likely also use WebRTC.
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