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October 2005

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First Coffee for October 31, 2005

October 31, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this Halloween morning, and the music is not “The Monster Mash,” but the scariest song First CoffeeSM has on any CD: Barbra Streisand lumbering her way through “People (Who Need $22,000 A Year To Keep Their Lawns Green While Lecturing Other People On The Need To Cut Back On Waste):”

Nokia is announcing what they’re calling “the world’s first commercial service management solution for DVB-H services, the Nokia Mobile Broadcast Solution 3.0.”

The Nokia MBS 3.0 supports the broadcasting of different types of digital content such as live TV, radio and video clips over DVB-H networks to mobile devices. The key features of the MBS 3.0 include the Electronic Service Guide, a consumer interface in the mobile device for searching available services, setting alerts for upcoming programs and for the viewing selection.

The MBS 3.0 is based on open standards such as DVB-H. It fully implements the Open Air Interface 1.0 implementation guidelines, which Nokia published in August 2005. The Open Air Interface specifies how mobile TV devices connect with the DVB-H network and the servers of the overall mobile TV service infrastructure.

First Coffee for October 28, 2005

October 28, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is as good as Bruce Springsteen ever got, “Rosalita.” Too bad he peaked so early in his career:

That’s one thing about blackberries, they’re ubiquitous, hardy, durn near indestructible suckers. Got a neighbor you hate? Wait until she’s visiting her mother in Cleveland and plant blackberry vines in her yard. Provides a lifetime of evil pleasure. Just make sure you plant them on the far side of her yard from yours.

Here’s something nifty: Identum, developer of the Private Post PRO e-mail encryption software tool for consumers, is to release a Small Business Edition through retail outlets.

First Coffee for October 27, 2005

October 27, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits’s career pivot point, Swordfishtrombones:

Alpha Retail Technology, a vendor of POS, enterprise, and merchandise management products, is introducing a new system for the tracking and management of Imaging Services. This system automates key imaging services processes including estimate generation, order conversion, order processing, and payments.

“Imaging services” means the scanning, copying, file conversion, archival, and licensing of documents. ART is calling the Alpha Retail Imaging Services Management System “the first software package available that manages all Imaging Services licensing, resources, and activities.”

ISMS uses cost tables to provide estimates and quotes for necessary work. Services are scheduled and work orders are tracked throughout the process.

First Coffee for October 26, 2005

October 26, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning – your first, First CoffeeSM’s fourth – and the music is –

“We know it’s gonna be a Frank Sinatra CD, okay, which one?”

Uh, Nice ‘n’ Easy:

FPT Telecom, a multimedia and Internet service provider in Vietnam, has completed the deployment of the first metro Ethernet and optical network in the country.

The 10 gigabits per second next-generation network, built with a total metro Ethernet, broadband and Internet Protocol/Multiprotocol Label Switching product from Cisco Systems, will provide FPT Telecom with a platform to deliver a wide variety of data, voice and video services over high-speed broadband connections.

At the core of FPT Telecom’s optical network is Cisco ONS 15454 Synchronous Digital Hierarchy Multiservice Provisioning Platform, which provides the functions of multiple network elements in a single platform. It provides legacy time-division multiplexing, metro Ethernet, storage area networking connectivity as well as wavelength services through integrated dense wavelength-division multiplexing and reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer functionalities.

At the access edge of the FPT network, by deploying Cisco’s Catalyst Ethernet switches and Broadband Remote Access Server (36D) technology, FPT now have a single platform that not only aggregates its DSL subscribers for Internet services but expands its broadband connectivity with metro Ethernet services while enabling new value-add services such as triple-play and IPTV.



Global Crossing has been awarded a framework agreement for the supply of voice services to a consortium of 10 UK local authorities. Bracknell Forest Borough Council is the first member of the Southeast Network for Telecommunications consortium to place a four-year contract with Global Crossing.

SENT comprises councils in the southeast of England that have pooled their purchasing power for telephony services provided to more than 15,000 users.

The SENT initiative is led by Bracknell Council Borough Council. Global Crossing is providing voice services to SENT members through the Government Telecommunications Contract, a framework agreement administered by OGC.buying.solutions.

SENT is actively marketing the services provided by Global Crossing to other local authorities in the southeast region, including schools, parish and town councils, and other public sector bodies.

BFBC alone expects to reduce its current spend on telephony by 30 percent.

First Coffee for October 25, 2005

October 25, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra’s A Swingin’ Affair! album. As one reviewer said, records don’t get much better than this:

China Netcom Group Corporation Limited (Hong Kong) a telecommunications company in China and the Asia-Pacific region, has announced that its shareholders have passed the resolutions to a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire telecommunication businesses in northern China.

Under the agreement, the company will acquire from China Netcom Group Corporation (BVI) Limited its telecommunication businesses in Heilongjiang Province, Jilin Province, Neimenggu Autonomous Region and Shanxi Province at a purchase price of RMB12.8 billion ($1.5 billion). The amount will comprise an initial consideration of RMB3 billion ($370 million) payable in cash to CNC BVI and a deferred consideration of RMB9.8 billion ($1.2 billion) payable within five years after completion of the acquisition.

Commenting on the benefits of the acquisition, Chairman of China Netcom, Mr. Zhang Chunjiang, said, “The acquisition is a major step towards our business integration. This acquisition will further expand our geographical coverage, brace us for further growth, and enable us to realize economies of scale and reach greater operational and management efficiency.”

CNC BVI is characterized by CNC Hong Kong officials as “the dominant provider of fixed-line telephone services, broadband and other internet-related services, and business and data communications services in its regions,” with an operating profit of RMB1.135 billion ($140 million).

First Coffee for October 24, 2005

October 24, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.com


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Mahalia Jackson’s 1991 Gospels, Spirituals and Hymns boxed set. The only time First CoffeeSM has ever agreed with anything noted shakedown artist Jesse Jackson’s uttered is when he said that a voice like hers comes along not once in a lifetime, but once in a millennium:

As a Washington Redskins fan, First CoffeeSM is in a particularly good mood this morning. Our thoughts and prayers of sympathy to all you San Francisco 49ers fans out there, that’s as poorly as First CoffeeSM has ever seen a supposedly professional football team play – and First CoffeeSM watched Super Bowl XX.



Aruba Networks is announcing new access points and a software update to its ArubaOS Mobility Software, designed to enable the deployment of the company’s newly announced Mobile Edge architecture.

In an unrelated announcement Aruba says it has closed a series D round of funding, securing an additional $25 million in equity financing. The latest round brings the total equity investment in the company to $84 million.

The new round of financing was led by Artis Capital Management, LLC, with additional participation from all existing equity investors, including Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital, Trinity Ventures, and WK Technology Fund.

The Mobile Edge architecture connects mobile workers to enterprise VoIP and data networks from any location.

First Coffee for October 21, 2005

October 21, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits’s raggedly majestic Mule Variations:

In this week’s Terrible Horrible Awful Weather Disaster Which Is Going To Cause A Lot of Damage And Trouble As Terrible Horrible Awful Weather Disasters Have Done Since God Created Water But Which The MSM And Other Assorted Moonbats Are Going To Blame On President Bush (Instead Of Completely Incompetent Blithering-Blathering Idiots Like Ray Nagin), Hurricane Wilma is going to see what damage it can do to southwest Florida.

If there’s anywhere in America which should know what to do when a hurricane hits it’s Florida, just as if there was one unorganized, incapable, corrupt, fat, lazy indolent city incapable of taking responsibility for its own safety in the face of a disaster it was New Orleans; as First CoffeeSM explained to friends here on the Mediterranean coast there was no worse, more incompetently administered city in the United States for a hurricane to hit than New Orleans.

Florida, however, by now should be as adept at handling hurricanes as Disney World is of handling kids who throw up corn dogs on the rides. Wireless providers have learned a thing or two from Hurricane Charley, as well as Katrina and Rita. Verizon Wireless is already “mobilizing efforts throughout the entire southern peninsula to ensure reliable wireless phone coverage to residents and emergency agencies across the state before, during and after the storm.”

One thing they’re doing is arranging fuel delivery to the company’s network switching facilities in Southwest Florida and other key areas, and to generators at permanent cell sites to keep the network operating at full strength even if power is lost for an extended period of time.

Nearly 80 percent of the individual transmission sites operated by Verizon Wireless have their own on-site generators. This capability is critical when power goes out and if roads are impassable.

They’re also positioning mobile generators, with ready access to roof-top cell sites along the state’s Southwestern and Eastern coasts. In Florida, for some reason known only to God and Carl Hiaasen permanent generators are not allowed on roof-top cell sites.

Verizon Wireless also has dozens of Cells on Wheels (love that acronym) on standby statewide, including many at the company’s Fort Lauderdale and Jupiter network switching facilities.

First Coffee for October 20, 2005

October 20, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Sticky Fingers, the Rolling Stones’ second-greatest album. We’ll have no argument about that objective fact:

Guess you’ve heard by now, but in case you haven’t Motorola, Inc. has filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois against Mike Zafirovski (“Zafirovsky” in Reuters reporting) who was recently appointed as president and chief executive officer of Nortel effective November 15, 2005.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Zafirovski (Nortel’s spelling), who resigned earlier this year as Motorola’s president and chief operating officer, has breached various agreements with Motorola by accepting a position with Nortel, since it will “inevitably” result in the use or disclosure of Motorola’s trade secrets.

The lawsuit seeks, among other relief, an injunction to enjoin Zafirovski from rendering services to Nortel for two years, from soliciting or hiring Motorola employees, and from using or disclosing Motorola’s confidential information.

The lawsuit does not name Nortel as a defendant, but the injunctive relief requested is against Zafirovski and his employers, among others.

Basically Motorola’s accusing Zafirovski of violating noncompete agreements he signed before starting work at Motorola. Zafirovski left Motorola at the beginning of the year after being passed over for promotion to the top job there, according to Reuters reports.

Zafirovski was given millions of dollars in cash, stock and stock options to agree not to work for a Motorola competitor for two years after leaving the company, the lawsuit says, putting the total compensation for spending the next two years trout fishing and doing crossword puzzles at $30 million.

First CoffeeSM hereby wishes it to be known that he will promise in iron-clad writing involving children and bodily parts not to work for a Motorola competitor for the next two – heck, make it ten – years in exchange for similar terms.



In other lawyer-enrichment news Synopsys Inc.

First Coffee for October 19, 2005

October 19, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Ol’ Blue Eyes’s 1960 album Nice ‘n’ Easy, towards the end of his Golden Era:

Why can’t all press releases be this much fun?

First CoffeeSM’s as much a fan of good advertising writing as anyone else – whoever wrote those Volkswagen magazine ads back in the ‘60s deserved the Pulitzer Prize more than 75% of the now-forgottens who won it – and a fan of Nokia as well, love their phones, which is why the latest news from Espoo, Finland rates first mention.

Witness their new product line, the “L’Amour Collection.” Instead of frustrated music critics writing business technology articles, as is the case with First CoffeeSM, we have frustrated fashion correspondents writing telecommunications press releases:

“Continuing to push the boundaries of mobile phone design, Nokia has introduced a collection of three trend-inspired mobile phones, the Nokia 7360, Nokia 7370 and Nokia 7380. Each model in the L’Amour Collection offers a beautiful mix of contrasts – infusing cultural and ethnic influences with luxurious touches of the unexpected. Hints of vintage and craftsmanship [sic], are fused with natural materials, colors and patterns, all carefully crafted and layered with a passion for detail.”

With a strapless white tulle bodice and lovely flowing skirt. Press releases like this are so more enjoyable than the vast swamp of sludge we slog through to Bring The News To You!TM, keep ‘em coming, just remember we’re talking about pretty good cell phones here, guys, and not Versace handbags.

“For many consumers, the mobile phone has truly become an extension of their personal style – it is a fashion statement as well as an advanced communications device,” maintains Alastair Curtis, Vice President of Design at Nokia’s Mobile Phones division. “Every detail of these products, from the nature-inspired graphics to the velvet-lined pouches [!], has been carefully considered with the style-conscious individual in mind.

First Coffee for October 18, 2005

October 18, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is something First CoffeeSM finally got around to ordering off iTunes and burning onto disc – the Rolling Stones’ 1969 album Let It Bleed, the midpoint of their five-album 1968-1972 run, Beggar’s Banquet to Exile On Main Street, the greatest five consecutive album string any band’s ever had:

Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that King Yuan Electronics Corp., an integrated back-end service provider in Taiwan, has purchased an Agilent 93000 Pin Scale system to add to its Agilent 93000 installed base. The system will be used for testing complex systems-on-a-chip for applications such as PCI Express, Serial ATA and HyperTransport – all commonly found in personal computers.

The 93000 Pin Scale system, according to KYEC officials, was bought for its flexibility to meet cost and performance demands, including support for up to 2,048 pins – enough for multisite test or high-pin-count devices.

First Coffee for October 17, 2005

October 17, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is still that Traffic live CD, Welcome To The Canteen. First CoffeeSM had forgotten what a good work CD it is:

Got another comment on Caiman.com’s terrible customer service, this one from “Anthony:”

I think they have their people put false positive feedback on amazon.com. I have been cheated by them I wish I had tried harder to find a local copy of Xenogears.

First CoffeeSM’s heard from a lot of people who’ve been let down by Caiman.com – either not getting what they ordered, having it arrive grossly late or not at all, and being sent rude e-mails by a company completely uninterested in providing good customer service.

Someday soon, we hope, Amazon.com is going to do the right thing by their customers in the choice of vendors they allow to sell items on their site.



A tip of the coffee pot to Akshay Sharma, formerly Siemens’ Chief Architect Mobile Enterprise Solutions Calypso Wireless, Inc., who’s been appointed Calypso’s Chief Technology Officer. Company officials say Sharma will be tasked with spearheading implementation of Calypso’s technology on the C1250i WiFi-GSM-GPRS VoIP smart cellular phone.

“One of Mr. Sharma’s principal tasks will be to coordinate the activities of all three Calypso Research & Development centers in Miami Florida, Milan Italy and Hong Kong,” said Mike Pizzi, Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Calypso Wireless.



It’s always nice when someone takes customer satisfaction seriously enough to spend money on it.

First Coffee for October 14, 2005

October 14, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited:

Passing this along, FYI: Sistema, which is probably correct when it claims to be the largest private sector consumer services company in Russia and the CIS, has announced that, according to press reports, Open Joint Stock Company ASVT has filed a lawsuit against Sistema in a Russian court for approximately 50 billion rubles, or $1.75 billion.

Whew. What got ASVT’s knickers in a twist, according to Sistema officials – you writea da press release, you spinna da story – was Sistema’s investment in Mobile TeleSystems OJSC made over ten years ago. There is also a second related lawsuit against Limited Liability Partnership VAST, “in which ASVT seeks to be named as its sole owner. Sistema and its subsidiary MGTS are named as third parties in the second lawsuit.”

Sistema and ASVT own 51% and 49%, respectively, of VAST, which owns approximately 3% of MTS. Sistema’s current majority ownership in MTS includes its beneficial ownership of 1.5% of the shares of MTS through VAST.

While Sistema has not yet received official notice of the lawsuits, according to company officials “the company believes there is no legal basis for the claims and intends to vigorously defend itself.”

If that affects your morning eTrade activity any.



Not every day you get a story datelined Kourou, French Guiana, but that’s where PanAmSat has announced that its Galaxy 15 satellite was launched into space.

Harold Pinter? Ugh.

October 13, 2005

So Orhan Pamuk didn’t win the irrelevant Nobel Prize for Literature, according to “observers of the Nobel process” cited in The Guardian who say that, “given that the European Union has decided to engage talks on Turkey’s entry without condemning the Pamuk trial, some members of the Swedish Academy, which chooses the literature laureate, feel politically exposed.”

“‘If the Pamuk row is real, the academy’s reluctance is not based on a fear of being political, or controversial,’ said Svante Weyler of Nordstedts publishers, ‘but on concern that literature must not be overshadowed by politics.’”

Literature must not be overshadowed by politics in Nobel considerations. Leaving aside the completely political nature of that consideration in the first place, that’s like saying looks must not overshadow personality in Miss America. The Nobel Prize is so hopelessly wedded to trendy international academic left-wing politics as to be a fairly accurate barometer of that year’s political fads.

Consider this year’s winner, yet somebody else the intelligent reading man in the street’s never heard of, British playwright Harold Pinter. Pinter’s written exactly two plays which First CoffeeSM, who was a literature major who took courses in Modern Drama, has heard of, “The Caretaker” and “The Birthday Party” – and who still has no idea what the hell they mean.

Why Pinter, why now?

First Coffee for October 13, 2005

October 13, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Traffic’s 1971 contractual obligation live album Welcome To The Canteen – the legal issues were so convoluted the band name “Traffic” doesn’t even appear on the album, just the musicians’ names. One wonders what Dave Mason’s interpersonal issues were, as six performances into the tour this album was taken from he was fired as Traffic’s guitarist – for the third time. George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin had a more stable working relationship than Traffic and Dave Mason did.

Level 3 Communications, Inc. has announced its European operating subsidiaries are now providing Internet Protocol services in Warsaw, Poland.

First Coffee for October 12, 2005

October 12, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is solid ol’ classic rock, Stephen Stills’ 1972 Manassas, released in the last year of the Great Era for rock’n’roll, and which can stand in the same company as the year’s other redwoods, such as Exile On Main Street, St. Dominic’s Preview, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Eat A Peach:

Salesboom.com, the provider of on demand customer relationship management software who aspires to play in the salesforce.com, NetSuite and RightNow league for SMB hosted CRM, has announced an enhanced administrative upgrade feature for Salesboom users.

Dubbed the Salesboom “SmartUpgrade,” the new feature will allow Salesboom administrators to select which updates they wish to use and when to introduce them to their users.

Salesboom has been releasing new updates to their hosted CRM, with an update at least every 4 weeks. The new “SmartUpgrade” feature will allow system administrators more control and flexibility over which updates they would like to see launched. The new “SmartUpgrade” system will be available to all Salesboom users with the upcoming release of Salesboom v7.0.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Salesboom.com touts their frequent updates as their competitive advantage of the trio of established players in the space: “Yet even with the versatility of the Software-as-a-Service model, the biggest online CRM providers [see above] continue to hold that functionality over their customers’ heads,” company officials say, adding, with the not-completely-accurate insinuation that others don’t release patches and feature updates ahead of scheduled version updates, that “with Salesboom’s SaaS model, customers don’t have to worry about waiting months for promised features and patches, as they are released in a system of scheduled and transparent updates, occurring at least every 4 weeks.”



Fargo, North Dakota-based Vtrenz, Inc. has announced product enhancements for its marketing automation platform. Vtrenz iMarketing Automation is engineered to give marketers tools to plan, build, manage, execute and measure both online and offline marketing activities, designed to help companies “generate, qualify and nurture leads as well as retain and win-back customers,” according to company officials.

Adding behavior-based segmentation capabilities, a new integrated campaign management tool, and multi-track rules-based campaign automation, iMarketing Automation has improved its offerings for running automate marketing campaigns triggered at the time most appropriate for the contact instead of the time most convenient for the sender.

It’s billed as “built for non-IT users; marketers, sales representatives, or other business professionals.”



When SAP’s VP of CRM application solution management, Siegfried Leiner, said in an interview last week with ComputerWire that hosted CRM is “commodity CRM,” dissing it in favor of componentized, platform-based CRM where CRM functionality is integral to the application infrastructure, it was up to someone from the hosted community to swing back.

Kudos to founder and CEO of hosted CRM supplier RightNow Technologies Inc, Greg Gianforte, for picking up the gauntlet, pointing out that SAPs approach is just an attempt to save an outmoded way of operating, according to ComputerWire.

“Chopping its application up into bite-sized pieces is not going to save SAPs bacon because they still insist that all elements have to be used with its costly and impractical NetWeaver platform, negating the flexibility of choosing which applications to run,” he said.

First Coffee for October 11, 2005

October 11, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and we’re taking a break from Frank Sinatra with a CD of Texas country drinking songs. The current one’s “Una más cerveza” by Tommy Alverson, next up’s “One Bud Wiser” by John Rich: “Well I’m one Bud wiser/ Than I was a minute ago…”

Siebel Systems, Inc. is announcing the launch of the “CRM Index” for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s based on data from independent research conducted by Datamonitor, the findings of which are published today as a report titled “Going for Growth: Are European SMBs Ready to Meet Customer Demands?”

The CRM Index will provide ongoing performance metrics for this market, according to Siebel officials, and is supposed to be an online tool that “enables SMBs to understand and measure how well they attract, manage, and service their customers,” as it’ll allow benchmarking of CRM, initially against 1,000 other companies.

Siebel officials describe the purpose as being to let SMBs measure how their organization performs overall or specifically how its sales, marketing, or service functions rate against the industry standard.

First Coffee for October 10, 2005

October 10, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of mid-morning here on Columbus Day, and here’s hoping you’re having a relaxing day off. Hey, we never rest here at First CoffeeSM. The music is a nice five-CD sampler of Miles Davis, with Birth of The Cool and Kind Of Blue, among others:

There’s not a whole lot of happenin’ news, but here’s what’s going on:

There goes the Washington Redskins’ undefeated season.
...


LightPointe, a designer and manufacturer of high-speed outdoor wireless products, is announcing that Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the famed hospital and cancer institute, has deployed the company’s Gigabit Ethernet FlightStrata optical wireless product to extend high-speed network connectivity to a new office while providing access to bandwidth-intensive digital imaging, research data and a wireless IP telephony system.

Much of the technology used in Sloan-Kettering, The largest private cancer institution in the world, is state-of-the-art, of course. “Wireless technologies are a critical component of our New York City facilities,” says Patricia C. Skarulis, vice president of information systems and chief information officer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

First Coffee for October 8, 2005

October 8, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first beer this afternoon, and the music is Brewed In Texas: The Original Texas Happy Hour:

Hey, how about those defendin’ World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, huh? Must’ve thought it was a seven-game series and they still had more than enough time. Either that or they were under the misapprehension they were playing the New York Chokees again, against whom an 0-3 deficit means “You’ve got the series in the bag.”



Here’s Sureel Choksi, executive vice president of Level 3 Communications putting into words Level 3’s side of the story in response to inquires it has received concerning its discontinued peering relationship with Cogent Communications…

… what’s that? Oh, this past Wednesday Level 3 “pulled the plug on shared Internet traffic from Cogent on Wednesday,” according to industry observer Dan Neel, rendering “tens of millions of IP addresses unreachable by Cogent customers, according to one partner affected by the outage.”

Tom Snyder, COO of Xantrion, an Oakland, Calif., consultant and MSP told Neel his team “noticed the outage created by the de-peering of the two ISVs and that as many as 45 million IP addresses became unreachable,” in Neel’s words.

First Coffee for October 7, 2005

October 7, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the album Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today by Slobberbone, a band First CoffeeSM heard about by reading Stephen King’s playlist on iTunes. Favorite song so far: “Lazy Guy.”

More customer feedback on Caiman.com. Ever since First CoffeeSM posted about what terrible customer service Caiman.com provides there’s been a stream of commiserating posts from people who never received orders or received wrong orders, and how Caiman.com made it perfectly plain they couldn’t care less. Here’s the latest:

“First Coffee, I will add my words to this issue.

First Coffee for October 6, 2005

October 6, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.com


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Lou Reed slamming out a righteous cover of Bob Dylan’s scorching “Foot Of Pride:”

Turkcell, Turkey’s Istanbul-based, biggest – and best, he said from personal experience – mobile operator, is announcing that its total Q3 subscribers has reached 26.7 million, up from 25.6 million in the second quarter of 2005, an increase of 4.3 percent. It’s also twenty percent higher than Q3 2004’s subscriber base.



“AOL Snags Engadget,” the headline should read, instead of the anodyne “America Online Inc. To Buy Weblogs, Inc. for $25 Million.” Yes, Engadget, heretofore the great independent blog on all things gadget for its “rabid gadget freaks,” as it’s proud to claim, will be purchased by AOL in the Weblogs, Inc. deal worth “around $25 million,” a source familiar with the deal has told Reuters.

AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc., could officially announce the acquisition of New York-based Weblogs Inc. as early as Thursday, Reuters says. Of course nobody at AOL or Weblogs, Inc. is stepping forward with any information yet.

Weblogs Inc. includes “roughly 80 advertising-supported sites published by a group of more than 100 bloggers,” as Reuters says, including Autoblog and BloggingBaby, but the crown jewel is Engadget, the Web’s third most popular blog in terms of links from other sites, according to data on traffic measurement site Technorati.

Weblogs, Inc. is ex-Silicon Alley’s informal mayor Jim Calacanis’s successful effort to cash in on the popularity of blogging. Give the man credit, he figured out a way to sell ads on the thing, his bag of about 80 ad-supported sites does chalk up revenue.

Second Cup of Coffee for October 5, 2005

October 5, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


More news as of the second or third or, heck, fifth cup of coffee. As it's early afternoon here on the Mediterranean coast, we're well into the java and the music's the bit more up-tempo 1993 Cracker debut album.

So, rounding up bits of import off the news wires…

SMS.CO.UK, an Internet domain name synonymous with the telecoms and messaging industries, looks likely to set "a record for the price of any UK based domain name to date," according to Hollywood Internet, Ltd, the Birmingham-based company behind the sale, along with GVA Grimley.

The sale will take place in November 2005 by Private Tender and at the sms.co.uk web site. Be warned that there is a reserve, or minimum bid, placed on the name.

David Carter, director of Hollywood Internet Ltd., says "sms.co.uk is the biggest name ever to hit the UK resale market." He expects that "all of the major telecoms and new media companies will be interested."

The Tenders Sale will take place on a sealed bid basis, with a closing date expected to be 4 November 2005 when all bids will be opened and the name will be sold to the highest bidder, assuming that the reserve price has been met.

First CoffeeSM wonders how much www.sex.com would go for.



The Associated Press's Michael Liedtke is reporting from San Francisco that Yahoo Inc. has acquired Upcoming.org, "an online event planning site that's expected to infuse the Internet powerhouse with more content about local communities."

Yahoo confirmed the deal late Tuesday without disclosing financial terms of the acquisition, Liedtke said, adding that "Los Angeles-based Upcoming acts as a social calendar that depends on its users to post free listings about a wide range of upcoming events, from local rock concerts to picnics in the park."

Andy Baio's site lets users "share observations about the events and identify common areas of interests." Yahoo! plans to keep Upcoming's current Web site separate from www.yahoo.com, at least initially, but Liedtke says they'll "eventually incorporate much of the content into its own site to bolster its local search capabilities," citing Paul Levine, Yahoo's general manager of local search.



Nokia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Brazilian telecommunications giant Telemar Oi to begin trials of Nokia's Fixed Mobile Convergence products.

The Nokia Fixed Mobile Convergence products can use Telemar's current fixed network to create what Nokia officials describe as "a converged packet-based domain for fixed and mobile services."

Telemar operates the largest fixed network in South America, with around 15 million subscribers, as well as the Oi branded mobile network, which currently caters to around 8 million subscribers.

The trial will use a Nokia end-to-end product for unified core and converged access networks, as well as Nokia terminals providing multimedia and VoIP services for both mobile and fixed customers.

First Coffee for October 5, 2005

October 5, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Duke Ellington’s 1959 album Blues In Orbit, which isn’t really blues, but isn’t really just another Duke Ellington exercise in swing, but one of those genre-benders category-obsessed music execs hate.

Apologies for not leaving a note yesterday, First CoffeeSM was in The World’s Most Interesting CityTM, Istanbul all day, laying some groundwork for what could be an interesting 2006.



First CoffeeSM notes the release of AltiGen Communications, Inc.’s IP 710, a business VoIP telephone, which AltiGen CEO Gilbert Hu describes as filling “the gap between advanced business features on the telephone and IP telephony.”

It does give users single button access to voicemail, activity/presence selection, voicemail greeting selections, call recording, call conferencing, call transferring, and even placing calls to employees in other countries.

And the 4 line, backlit liquid crystal display on the IP 710 is capable of displaying time, Caller ID name and number, real-time call center workgroup statistics, do-not-disturb, and call forwarding status. It can be personalized with 15 backlit user-defined keys for “any combination of configurable features like, but not limited to, speed-dialing, extension busy/ringing appearances, call appearances, line appearances, and workgroup activity status,” company officials say.



Iran’s already frigid foreign telecom investment climate is getting colder, as the recent machinations with Turkcell and South Africa’s MTN’s bids for a place in the consortium to develop the fundamentalist Islamic regime’s second GSM system show.

It’s a deal which, in the words of observer Christian Oliver, “is regarded as a litmus test of whether Iran is ready for foreign investment.” If that’s true, results so far do not bode well for the foreign investment the heavily state-controlled, Communist-style Iranian economy, complete with Soviet-style Five Year plans, desperately needs.

In February 2004 the Iranian government awarded Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri, Turkey’s biggest cellular company, the first Turkish company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and one of Europe’s ten largest GSM operators, 70 percent of a consortium to develop a second GSM system in Iran, where the current one serves six million of the country’s 68 million inhabitants.

Since then, however, a hard-line anti-Western government has taken power in Tehran. After that the Islamic theocracy’s fundamentalist-dominated Parliament informed Turkcell they were slashing its stake to 49 percent, citing security concerns in having “foreigners” running the system and accusing the Turkish carrier of ties to Israel.

Turkey and Israel have close military and business ties and numerous cultural exchanges, which were no secret before Iranian officials approved the deal in 2004. Israeli tourists are a common sight on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast – although First CoffeeSM remembers in the 1990s, when Turkish hotels had casinos, Israeli tourists were so plentiful shop signs in cities along the coast were written in Turkish, German and Hebrew.

First Coffee for October 3, 2005

October 3, 2005

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra’s breezy 1957 Come Fly With Me album. His best work is uniformly his 1953 – 1961 recordings for Capitol Records. Oh he did good work elsewhere, sure – “My Way” came later, as it only could have – but he was never this consistently good or hit such high peaks before or after.

This morning we have some pearls of wisdom cast by well-known CRM consultant Bob Thompson, the guiding light of CRMGuru.com, which is one of the most popular and really- useful- to- real- people- really- doing- real- CRM- work enterprises on the CRM landscape.

If anybody’s to blame for First CoffeeSM having any sort of profile in the CRM world, it’s probably Bob, who put up, literally and figuratively, with articles so far over the edge they surfaced somewhere near Iceland, using Victoria’s Secret, local coffee shops and proctologists as business-case examples:

Bob, ever since you and I worked together in the late ‘50s, CRM’s gone through a few changes. What are the most important developments of the past few years?

The biggest is that most business executives are no longer tech-obsessed about CRM.

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