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Posts from January 2008

Level3 About to Make Some Job Cuts

Sources around Denver and Boulder have come to me with the news that Level3 is about to make some job cuts at HQ in Broomfield. Word is that some of the more experienced team there were offered other roles but what I'm hearing is that most of the bright lights are leaving.

Hopefully Ike Elliott can shed some perspective. He's ex-Level3, lived through one of these wood choppers balls and still lives in the Denver area.

Bite Your Lip Ribbit, Erik's Got His Game Face On

Long time friend and pretty much all around VoIP inventive smart guy Erik Lagerway has taken the gloves off, grabbed the Ribbit guys by the jersey and just given them a pounding. You see, he's dared to tell the emperor what no one else has dared say, and didn't shy away from what the facts are.

His post today is great for a few reasons.

1) He positioned Lypp as something different than Ribbit

2) He put them in a place where they are now looked at as just another softphone company

3) He basically said that the market they are playing in is fraught with peril, while Lypp is skating on much more solid ice.

In Erik's words to me as we chatted he felt that "Ribbit is another softphone, best efforts voip is not a good solution for any business and that lypp was built to deliver critical telephony for business

with conference calling as a first play."

I'd say, GAME ON!

I'll be seeing Don Thorson at DEMO this week, so I'll get the Ribbit side of the story.

Now where is my referee's jersey?


Pinger a new service launching today is setting out to redefine mobile messaging with a new service that lets you send a voice message to anyone up to five minutes in length.

This is a not a new idea, but one that has been brought down to mortal like prices. Back in the day services like Speech Machines wanted to do the same thing, but were setting out to deliver text that had been converted from voice ala Simulscribe or SpinVox. With Pinger an actual voice mail is delivered to the recipient.

The big benefit is you guessed it...Low cost, local rates, with international delivery.

Jim Courtney on GigaOm Today

Pal Jim Courtney has penned a very good round up piece about Skype on the Go, and had it posted on GigaOm as one of the guest blog postings that have been appearing there in Om Malik's absence.

As someone who has been using the 3 Skype phone, I can tell you it is a very different experience having real presence when mobile. It makes the "free" calling also very valuable. When I'm in the UK I find myself in cabs or in cafes, and no longer needed my laptop to be open, yet I can find the people I need to talk to, and have pretty much eliminated any kind of telephone tag. That in itself is a reason to have one if you're in a country where it works.

Vonage In USA Today

If Vonage wasn't publicly traded, hadn't dropped to 2 bucks a share one has to wonder if this would be news.

My take is that Vonage has put their legal woes behind them, knows what they have to pay for technology royalties and may just be on the road to a more measured balance sheet recovery to a point. That said, the cable guys have won the consumer home telephone battle, the telcos are about to win the DSL consumer voice game, leaving the business of business as where the money is.

Unfortunately that's not Vonage's sweet spot, so JC can spin all he wants, Vonage is not a player in multiline voice for business and really can't be without making some key moves.

VoIP In The Sky

As a frequent flier, road warrior, now a regular international traveler and just someone who is by nature globally nomadic, the idea of Voice in the Sky is something that is very appealing to me.

PC World's VoIP Blogger, Kathryn Vercello, asks the question if we think it will fly in her post of Friday.

Back in the day, all of 2006, I was a regular user of Boeings Connexion service on Lufthansa. I usually flew business or first class, with other business travelers, so making or taking a Skype or Gizmo Project call at 37,000 feet didn't seem to offend anyone, and tended to be a great conversation starter. No one really objected. Some thought it was neat. Some asked how I was doing it. No one gave me any indication that they thought what I was doing was objectionable, which is why I think it all comes down though to decorum.

Kathryn references the concept of the "Chatty Cathy" something I experienced not with someone in business class, but on a recent Southwest flight where two people flew behind me and had never met before had the uncanny ability to talk about nothing the entire flight, causing the passenger next to me to wonder if we had chosen the wrong seats. That got me thinking how their non-stop diatribe was any different than someone on a cell phone. Well I couldn't come up with an answer that was good enough to say "shut up" so unless the airlines want to ban talking on planes, as broadband flies, so too should talking over VoIP.

Now, for those who don't want to talk and fly, my feeling is there is the need to establish "quiet zones" which would be where people could contemplate their thoughts, close there eyes and sleep in peace. This is what I have found works very well on the Eurostar, on TGV trains and even on the rapid 15 minute Heathrow Express train that has WiFi. To me that would be the best model that would let the talkers talk, and the quiet types have silence.....