First Coffee

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

First Coffee

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Jim White trifecta on the changer: 1997’s The Mysterious Tale Of How I Shouted “Wrong-Eyed Jesus!”, 2000’s No Such Place and 2004’s Drill A Hole In That Substrate And Tell Me What You See. Yes, First CoffeeSM’s Lovely And Talented Wife is gone for the day, how did you guess:

Yahoo! is set to introduce today a test version of instant messaging software that promotes VoIP communication and the internet media company’s new social network, according to an early review on

Yahoo! will offer their estimated 65 million users a free update to Yahoo! Messenger during its test phase. The new feature, in addition to letting people send standard instant text messages, should make it “easy to call friends free via computer, send a short text message to a mobile device, share photos or post content to a personal web log,” according to the review.

There will also be increased spam protection, file and photo sharing.

Yahoo! said it focused particularly on VoIP enhancements by placing a click to call button “front and center,” adding voicemail features and optimizing voice connections to and from those with broadband and those with dial-up.

Frazier Miller, director of Yahoo! Messenger, told that while e-mail and instant chat have been the “killer app” of their day, today it’s VoIP.

As USAToday notes, “instant messaging has become a hotly contested battleground. In the USA, AOL boasts 22 million users for its free AIM service, on top of 23.2 million AOL subscribers who have the AIM service, according to ComScore Media Metrix. Yahoo has 18.7 million IM users, MSN 13.7 million.”

Nokia is unveiling its plans for its evolution of connected mobile gaming, which they’re hoping will “make it easy to search for, purchase and play high-quality mobile games using a range of Nokia smart phones,” according to company officials.

The aim of this next generation of mobile gaming is to expand the N-Gage platform’s rich connected multiplayer experience across a wide range of Nokia’s multimedia devices. The games will work with a number of different Nokia smart phones.

The N-Gage game deck is a mobile and connected game deck with online 3D multiplayer game play over Bluetooth wireless technology and GPRS.

The technology in smart phones these days is such that Nokia can – and will – offer enhanced 3D game graphics capability, user-friendly search, purchase and installation of high-quality rich games, as well as “connected gaming with instant access to a global mobile gaming community,” which loosely translated means “a bunch of other guys who also have nothing better to be doing except maybe paying attention to the ROADLOOKOUTFTHKID!”

Gerard Wiener, Director and General Manager, Games, Nokia says in 2005 they expect to sell 25 million smart phones. “We see the global smart phone market exceeding 250 million devices in 2008,” he added.

The first Nokia smart phones to support the new Nokia mobile gaming solution are expected to be in the market during the first half of 2006. A “robust development environment” for developers with the first set of tools is expected to be available in Q4 2005.

In a related announcement of which First CoffeeSM understood about nine words, Nokia and Red Lynx are announcing the “exclusive follow up to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Pathway to Glory,” called “Pathway to Glory Ikusa Islands,” which was, they claim, “carefully enhanced” to provide a “faster and more approachable game play experience” based on feedback gathered from the “whole gaming community,” including gamers and the games press.

Evidently this means there’s more “black humor” and “great characters.” It’s been tweaked to be more “hectic and intense,” there’s a “more comprehensive tutorial,” the “missions” have been made more “full-on and fast paced,” and for gamers’ pleasure there are “improved maps” and an expanded “selection of weaponry” as well as an “in-game chat system” for an “even richer experience.”

But don’t fret, purists, there’s the same attention to detail and “gritty realism” you evidently loved so much in the original game.

In a nicely dovetailing announcement Royal Philips Electronics is unveiling a high-performance transflective liquid crystal display module for increased picture quality in high-end mobile phones, the Nemesis P8894-I, which features the industry’s first implementation of Philips’ LifePix patented algorithms designed, they claim, “around how the human eye perceives color.”

It’s compliant with the Series 60 Platform built on the Symbian operating system. It’s said to have a 41.2 mm x 53.8 mm screen size, built-in low-power features, “excellent” color quality with backlighting for “increased readability in all external conditions, even direct sunlight.”

The Swedish telecommunications operator Tele2 AB is providing further detail on the company’s guidance in their Q1 2005 report today, regarding the marketing investments related to Tele2’s ADSL operations in France and the launch of mobile services there, as well as on the launches in Croatia and Turkey.

The investments related to these areas will, in total, amount to approximately $1.26 million for the current year.

Tele2 sees a great opportunity for its ADSL operations in France following their agreement with Neuf Telecom, and intends to step up its marketing there. They’re betting pretty heavily on France, as there’s also an upcoming launch of mobile services there.

Tele2’s CEO Lars-Johan Jarnheimer said churn reduction continues to be a priority across the business, and hopes the expanded ADSL activities, “in combination with the launch of mobile services to our large customer base in France, we will increase cross selling which reduces churn.”

Billing itself as “Europe’s leading alternative telecom operator,” Tele2 offers fixed and mobile telephony, Internet access, data networks, cable TV and content services, and with 28.7 million customers in 25 countries, $900 million EBITDA profit on operating revenue of  $5.8 billion in 2004 First CoffeeSM isn’t of a mind to argue the point.

In a couple other quick VoIP announcements, PMC-Sierra is announcing the availability of a VoIP Analog Telephone Adapter platform, the first in what they say is “a family of turnkey designs for residential Customer Premises Equipment.”

The product is said to deliver “carrier-validated high quality voice service, secure voice channel support, and robust software design, to ensure service revenue maximization for VoIP service providers.” It’s an open source-based customizable platform designed on Linux for original equipment manufacturers who wish to “meet the growing VoIP service provider requirements.”

Also, Reignmaker Communications and Communications Xchange, a VoIP service provider are announcing a partnership to “create a complete portfolio of VoIP phone system services for business customers across the United States.”

Reignmaker will provide a capital investment to Communications Xchange in return for access to Communications Exchange’s Softswitch and PSTN interconnection arrangements. The two companies will also combine their purchasing of customer equipment, local access and interconnection services to improve network scale economies.

On a bit more serious note than the usual dregs of the column, Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor and the Swedish National Criminal Investigation Department have introduced a child pornography filter for the Internet which blocks access to Internet sites containing material that involves sexual abuse of children.

The Swedish National Criminal Investigation Department’s Sexual Assaults against Children and Child Pornography Unit will update the filter, and Telenor will provide the technical work. The filter’s based on a successful child porn filter developed by Telenor in Norway last September.

Moniqa Lofstedt, head of information at Telenor AB said “We are aware that a number of Internet providers are developing similar solutions, and we would welcome a cooperative effort in the industry.”

The filter works by Swedish police providing current and updated information to Telenor, including lists of Internet sites that violate Swedish law. Using the filter Telenor can then block all further traffic to such sites. Users attempting to access sites blocked by the filter will be directed to a site containing general information about the filter.

First CoffeeSM would like to reassure readers that neither Michael Isikoff nor Newsweek magazine were used as sources for this column.

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