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Posts from August 2005

Finally-Consumers In the Equation

Level3 has been spending a lot of time the last 18 months working on understanding the desires of the consumer market. As a result they've been busy feeding their customers like Packet8, AOL and probably Skype with all kinds of market research.

At the fall Internet Telephony show Level3's Cynthia Carpenter, VP of Consumer Voice Services will present a two part presentation about VoIP and consumers. These are two sessions I won't miss for I'm a huge believer that consumer marketing is clearly based on research and an understanding of what people want and need, not solely on gee-whiz technology.


SipPhone Gizmo In Play?

Mark Evans has a note about SiPPhone being in play. I think he's right. I'm hearing rumors about the venture being sold too. My guess though is either Yahoo, Google or don't be surprised, even Microsoft could be the buyers. There is also the possibility that the sale could be to SingTel.

FCC's 911 Gun Holstered But Still Loaded

My late father who served in the US Marines in WWII and the Korean War taught me when I was young that there are two ways you carry a gun. One is holstered or ready to fire. The analogy to the FCC's decision yesterday is they went from ready to fire, to being holstered. With any weapon dad used to say you don't bluff. I think the FCC in postponing their deadline just did.

Personally, I would have rather seen them take some action against some carrier, and do more than show their teeth. If you have a rule on the books, enforce it. If you don't want to enforce it, don't have the rule.


Jeff Pulver and Andy In The Wall Street Journal

A great article about other Voice on the Net usage was in today's Wall Street Journal.

Chris Rhodes did a sensational job with the story and I was thrilled to see my romance with Helene seems to be newsworthy. In the story there were some great examples of other uses of Voice on the Internet that are not your typical PSTN replacement.

There was one example of a use of Skype which I told Chris heard but didn't include was the way Ken Rutkowski and I record the World Technology RoundUp each day via VoIP with Skype.

To bring some additional detail to the WSJ's great story:

This would refer to PhoneGnome.

Mr. Abramson also set up a completely free "hot line," a committed Internet phone connection between their two homes. "What Internet phoning has done is make it possible to talk a lot without spending any money," says Mr. Abramson. The couple recently became engaged.

This would refer to AT&T CallVantage as one of my friends sons uses it this way:

Fantasy sports leagues, where success is determined by the individual statistics of players each participant selects, are also changing how they do things with the advent of Internet phoning. Now, instead of meeting in person to conduct the season-opening draft, participants can meet virtually, conducting the draft on a Web site with a free Internet call.

This would be all the voice traffic that runs over Level3 on the data side of the fence that while Level3 calls it data, I say, voice packets are data:

Microsoft's Xbox Live, an online gaming service for the console that helped pioneer the online-gaming boom, enables users to chat while they figure out which games to play, leave voicemails for users who aren't yet online and talk to one another during the games. In Los Angeles, some users of Halo 2, a popular Xbox sci-fi war game, conduct business deals on the game's voice functions, a Microsoft spokeswoman says.

The story is certainly worth the read.


Observations About Google From A Reader

A Coors Field home-run club member writes "i found the google talk developer page interesting, http://www.google.com/talk/developer.html. They talk of not only SIPPhone but also Eartlink VLing... I guess they figure if they can get IM traffic going through their servers then they can make it searchable and serve ads. Also interesting that is is only available to users with a gmail ID, which is also in Beta, so they have a nice cascading set of beta tests that are self-contained so that they can feed product changes downstream and always build on what they did before. It will be interesting to see how many people decide to switch and what their incentive will be to do so. An open standard is effectively irrelevant if you control both endpoints, which is why it never bothered AOL and doesn't bother Skype, but I wonder how that plays into this notion of a federation if the federation only takes these smaller purists using open standards and excludes the big three. This one will be fun to watch!