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Posts from September 2006

The Jury Has Spoken--It's SightSpeed!

Ted Wallingford, who is far more technical when it comes to applications and networking than I would ever care to be, has taken a microscopic look at the current video and voice combo applications available currently for the Mac.

Now in the sake of transparency, SightSpeed is a client, and Ted did place my mug in the post after we did a SpeedCall this morning, but beyond that and answering a few questions, Ted did all he had to on his own to come up with what is an critical and at the same time very candid and reflective report on the state of MacVideo (excluding Apple's iChat of course.)

Take a good read as it's a very accurate and on the money viewpoint....

Mr. 2.0 Strikes Again

A must read is the update on Voice 2.0 by Alec Saunders.

Not only is it a must read, it is so right on. Alec has taken a look at where things have progressed.

One highlight is how Alec draws attention to the AOL AIM PhoneLine Developer program that iotum is a charter member of. He has hit the nail on the head there, but omitted Yahoo, whose Plug In program excludes VoIP due to Yahoo's over zealous security gnomes. That, and the delays of a new VoIP ready Mac version of Messenger point to some of the troubles that Yahoo's fat overhead layers are causing. Yahoo should be much farther ahead in VoIP than they are considering whose there, what they have, how big their user base is. But like all fat, 1.0 companies, trying to play in 2.0 is not just talk. UPDATE: THIS JUST IN FROM TED WALLINGFORD--WOW!! HE RIPS YAHOO AND TAKES THEM TO TASK ON HIS OWN TERMS.

Yahoo has spent too much time working on the Yahoo integration with MSN Messenger if you read between the lines of Brad Garlinghouse's recent posting.

Along those lines it appears that Microsoft is also pretty much a non-entry in the 2.0 Voice space. They have spent a lot of time on the Enterprise side seeking to promote the LCS (Live Communications Server) but they really have not shown their intent too much on the consumer VoIP side of the fence with Live--though I do expect them to do just that.

Google is just starting to dabble deeper with Google Talk, and my guess is they will pass Microsoft and likely begin putting some real heat on Yahoo too.

So go read Alec and give him your thoughts.

P.S. It's also very relevant to read Bruce Stewart's take and how he gives props to Ted Wallingford's post..Both make some very, very good points.

Want To Be A Video Star?

MTV has issued a casting call on line for their hit show "Total Request Live" that now features SightSpeed.

At VON in Boston Jeff Pulver talked a lot about disrupting the process of content distribution and how new uses of video will emerge. If you look at this approach for "auditioning" prospective talent, you can see the whole redefinition of how media and media communications services are starting to emerge, converge and begin to disintermediate the traditional ways things have previously been done.

Not only is the medium of video conferencing being used to create virtual audience involvement, but with MTV's casting call, they have created a fully looped strategy that drives awareness, talent sourcing, audience involvement, data collection, the ability to reach into the small screen to bring it to the bigger screen and back again.

We are seeing the nexus of Video and VoIP starting to emerge that I referred to in my post about Tom Keating's satirical post on VON which I commented on here. Clearly Jeff saw this all coming, which is why the Pulver Media team put two shows under one roof..Hat's off to them for that.

Note: Jim Courtney has a perspective on this as well, and Ken Camp weighs in with an even more weighty viewpoint on his new blog site.

Another note: Mr. VON/VoIP/VoD has weighed in with a lyrical commentary.

With Skype Mobile Delayed, Other Options Abound

Skype this past week indicated that there has been a delay in getting their Skype Mobile up and running.

While they have been delayed other options have been popping up. For months PhoneGome has had the ability to bridge a call between the mobile phone and the VoIP world. Another entrant is iSkoot which made the news via David Gardner's article in Information Week with a software update that supports dual mode phone calling over mobile of WiFi connections.

Another entrant is Fring, whose founders and backers have roots in ICQ. I met them at VON in Boston.

All these options that seem to be emerging are there without carrier cooperation. In some cases, as Gardner points out, they won't work, as in here in the USA over Verizon Wireless or Sprint's EvDO networks. Until there is carrier cooperation, don't expect much growth in these service areas. Data network adoption rates are not nearly as prevalent as voice plans, and many people don't even know that they are available.

Mobile Ignite, a trade organization I've been asked to advocate for recently passed a new specification. That spec makes the concept of a seamless handover between WiFi and GSM networks similar to a standard. The spec is pre-IMS compliant and will also be IMS compliant. This is key because, as the release states: " A key goal of the Functional Specification was to ensure that dual mode cellular/Wi-Fi handsets that perform handover on current networks will not need to be modified or replaced when the network evolves to IMS, and becomes compliant with the VCC standard – and can continue to operate with no impact to the user. This removes the risk for handset manufacturers and service providers to deploy SIP based handover capable dual mode handsets for use on current networks and accelerates the market for FMC Handover services."

Alec Saunders has some thoughts on this issue also.

Wish Om A Happy Birthday

In all the hoopla and hysteria over SightSpeed being on MTV, it seemed Om knew the place to be. New York City.

He celebrated his birthday today (well, yesterday if you're there). Happy Birthday, Mr. Om.

Others On GrandCentral and Why I Do Like It

Other respected bloggers, notably PhoneBoy and Ken Camp have taken an exception to what Grand Central does, hanging their objections on the idea of it being an additional phone number, not providing commentary on it's merits and new features like call record and telemarketing spam filtering.

Maybe because I've had Webley for years, which was an additional phone number, and an 800 number no less, I'm a bit more sanguine on the subject. I mean, for 8 years I've used Webley and no one has had to call (or known) my 800 number existed. I used call forwarding to send my known number to webley and created my own find me/follow me on steroids that didn't mean I had to go check tons of voice mail.

While I agree having too many numbers can be a pain, Grand Central the last week has given me what I always liked about Webley, costs a lot less and is doing more. As time goes on, based on my meetings with GC founders Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet, I know that many of the objections will go away.

This is why they call it beta and why companies unveil at DEMO. My guess is just like Nokia has taken feedback on their NSeries from the bloggers, so too will GrandCentral and make some changes that can turn around even PhoneBoy and others...

In my mind, other numbers are very helpful, especially if you want to do some really neat things that I know are possible. Over time watch those things happen and see how converging all these 2.0 ideas together makes Voice really different.

SightSpeed on MTV's Total Request Live

Seems the folks at MTV, who really know video and could be accused of putting the V into Video too, have been using SightSpeed on the Video Wall used in Total Request Live to get viewers to be a part of the show. TRL is one of MTV's top rated properties so this is hot, hot news for SIghtSpeed.

Now imagine this. If you took MTV's OverDrive, married in SightSpeed you could create a totally interactive, imersive, user generated commentary site, with the best of YouTube, MySpace and more all rolled into one.

Peter and the crowd at SightSpeed have to be "dancin' in the streets" as it clearly shows that when it comes to pop culture, the MTV crowd clearly knows what's best.

Ken Camp's New Home

Ken Camp has moved his blog slightly with a new domain name and an updated direction.

Over time Ken has morphed his Enterprise VoIP focused blog into both deeper and broader VoIP related efforts, and expanded to artfully and insightfully cover the emerging RealTime Comunications sector on a Unified manner.

So his blog now sits where it really belongs, with a name and domain the tells you exactly what his blogging is all about. RealTime-Unified Communications DOT com.

FInd it here.