First Coffee for August 31, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for August 31, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is “Worried About You,” one of the sweetest soul songs the Rolling Stones – a vastly underrated soul band – recorded:

Interesting that Microsoft has bought Teleo, a privately-held San Francisco VoIP company which uses the same voice-processing software from Global IP Sound that Google and Skype use.  Of course – Google’s jumping into VoIP, Microsoft wants to keep up.

It had to happen sooner or later, someone coming along and organizing all the toys, add-ons, gizmos and general Skype paraphernalia the way people used to hold competitions to see how many different ways one could trick out a Volkswagen Beetle.

Skype has held its first developer competition, awarding Jybe the first prize. More than 100 developers entered the competition, open to pretty much anyone. Luxembourg-based Skype claims there are currently over 400 hardware and software products that integrate with Skype.

(Luxembourg note of the day: Kudos to Gilles Muller, who as far as First CoffeeSM can remember is the First LuxembourgerSM to compete in the U.S. Open tennis tournament men’s draw, ranked 68th in the world, who knocked off fourth seed Andy Roddick in straight sets – albeit 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 – yesterday in the competition to see who gets to be Roger Federer’s sacrificial lamb in the final.)

Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and co-founder described the developer competition as “fierce,” saying Khaos Labs, Columbus CRM, ISkoot, Audiomatic and turned in especially notable products.

Jybe won the top award of 2,000 euros for a plug-in that lets webmasters enable Skype and call forwarding, presence, browser synchronization and auto-responding features on their sites. Khaos Labs received a special mention for its Free ActiveS COM wrapper, which has been used by numerous other developers to help build a range of Skype Extras, which are readily available for download from the Skype Developer Zone.

To try to boost interest in its Developer Program, Skype is holding a series of partner events around the world where partners and developers can get together. The next one is September 22 in Palo Alto, then on October 12 there’s one in London, and in Tokyo on November 7.

Partners can also visit the Skype Developer Zone at

Some of the finalists in the Skype Developer Competition, and other showcase products:

Jybe, a tool for sharing office documents and real-time collaboration over the web with Skype contacts. (

Dial Mp3, which allows you to listen to any mp3 in your collection on your phone. (

Pamela Basic, a personal assistant for Skype that answers calls and chats for you in 32 languages when you are away. (

Gizmoz, which lets all Skype users communicate with “animated, 3D talking headz.” (

Yabber Nut Answer Machine for Skype, which offers voicemail, delayed messaging and allows you to receive and send messages when away from the computer.

Spontania Video4IM, a video product. (

Commercial mentions include Columbus CRM, a product integrating Skype with CRM; ISkoot, a free call forwarding product; Audiomatic, voice activated macros including Skype commands and SalesForce CRM integration.

Spanning Partners has released version 2.0 of Spanning Salesforce, the Really Simple Syndication service delivering sales information “to subscribers’ PCs and mobile devices without firing up a browser or wading through email for updates,” according to industry observer Gavin Clarke, writing in the great British IT site The Register.

Charlie Wood, founder of Spanning and a former VP of NewsGator wrote on the blog Moonwatcher earlier this year “I’ve finished the proof of concept I started working on last weekend, and now get new leads from via RSS. That way, I don’t have to spend my day with my head buried in Salesforce. Instead I’m notified of new leads through a variety of desktop, online, and mobile RSS aggregators.”

As Wood explains it to The Register, his service helps “solve the problem of information overload and access to data in enterprise applications.”

Jeff Nolan’s Venture Chronicles blog notes that to get started, “all you need is an Enterprise Edition account on and an RSS reader that supports secure feeds. Popular choices include FeedDemon for Windows, NewsGator for Outlook, NetNewsWire for Mac OS X, and the FeedBurner Mobile Feed Reader for BlackBerry and Palm.”

A couple days ago industry observer Dan Farber blogged “if you use Enterprise or Developer edition, life just got easier. Spanning Salesforce 2.0, from Spanning Partners, is a free service that lets you track new and updated leads, opportunities, etc. in with RSS. By the end of this year, CRM and other enterprise applications that don’t offer standard RSS feeds will be a big step behind.”

Thanks to Brian, who left a comment on a previous post detailing’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad customer service:

“Here is the address for Caiman if anyone is interested. Also if you feel you have been scammed you can file a complaint online with the Attorney General’s Office of Florida:

Write to Caiman at 6701 NW 7 ST, Suite 125, Miami, FL 33126.

Thought for the day, from the invaluable Paul Johnson, one of the few public figures who is a bona fide “intellectual” in the classic sense of the word:

“The people among whom anti-Americanism is most rife, who articulate it and set the tone of the venom, are the intellectuals. They ought logically to hold America in the highest regard, for none depend more completely on the freedom of speech and writing which America upholds, or would suffer more grievously if the enemies against whom America struggles were to triumph and rule or misrule the world.

“Indeed, many of the most violently anti-American intellectuals benefit directly and personally from America’s existence, since their books, plays, music, and other creations enjoy favor on the huge American market, and dollar royalties form a large part of their income… You might think that some of these intellectuals – British, French, German for instance – who have been particularly abusive of the U.S. would renounce their American royalties. But not one has done so.”

Smug, ignorant hypocrisy is always a prominent feature of anti-Americanism, whether of the homegrown variety or imported from overseas.

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1 Comment

Hello - thanks for the mention of Jybe but I wanted to clarify something. The winner of the Skype competition was - that is Jyve not Jybe. While we did get an honorable mention, Charles, Andrew and the team at Jyve really worked hard and I wanted to make sure they are given proper credit. Thanks again for the post and email me if you need any more info.
Brian Hoogendam

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