Previous month:
February 2008
Next month:
April 2008

Posts from March 2008

CallWave to Roll Out Fuze-Mobile Video and More

Callwave is one of those companies which has a lot going, and doesn't get the respect it deserves.

According to a news release yesterday, March 27, on their Investor Relations site, the Santa Barbara company has plans to showcase a new service called Fuze during CTIA next week.

FUZE integrates in an intuitive interface powerful new features such as high-definition video collaboration with high-definition audio conferencing, local and long distance Internet calling, speech-to-text transcription, Internet fax, visual voicemail, SMS, instant messaging, and more. Users save time and money because there is little to no learning curve and, since FUZE is browser-based, there is no software to download or special equipment required.

The two things that interest me the most are the High Definition audio conferencing and the high-definition video collaboration.

Mobile Data Card Sales Are Growing

According to London based Infonetics Research the sale of data cards are growing around the world. This is great for companies like iPass.

Now all they need is a 3G consumer play to go past the millions of enterprise customers who use their service for global WiFi roaming. GSM would be my preferred play, but my guess is given their USA dominance and the better build out of Verizon Wireless and Sprint EVDO networks that initially an EVDO play would be more appealing.

Why are more people turning to data cards? We're living in an always on, always connected world.

3G + Walking Hotspot + VoIP = More and Different

It looks like it won't be long before VOIP, Skype and SightSpeed all can be used in more places. As HSUPA comes to be, with a more stable, and albeit, faster upload path, voice and video over a 3G connection will begin to emerge.

Already 3G users like me are running Truphone or Gizmo over a 3G connection on Nokia N95's here in the USA and in parts of the world where 3G exists. That changes the game. Now with devices like the Walking HotSpot from TapRoot Systems you can bridge the 3G phone to the portable 802.11 router and then have your own hot spot anywhere.

This is very useful for lighter applications as it removes the burden of paying for multiple accounts when you need to share that broadband.

Apologies Due IM Pals from Moi

Last weekend I was upgrading my Windows XP and Vista laptops and installed Gizmo 5. One of the features I wanted to try out was the consolidated IM feature that easily aggregates all your buddy lists from the usual suspects more conveniently than the prior versions. Gizmo 5 also has some video capabilities too.

Unfortunately, Gizmo 5 quickly ripped through my contacts, when I thought all it would do is add my IM buddies so I seemed to have in the words of one friend "Spammed" people to Gizmo, something that was not my intent.

If you got one of those I apologize. It has made me rethink just how I look at Gizmo.

Comcast Working With BitTorrent

In an attempt to appease the FCC, Comcast is working around the bandwidth hogs with a solution, on the surface.

What this is really about is Comcast becoming its own CDN of sorts, and eliminating the need for total reliance on the companies who are the giants. By working with Bit Torrent to share files, including programs that are stored locally on users PC and PVR (Personal Video Recorders) Comcast can avoid the long haul of sending files stored on its servers that don't always stay on their own networks, while also beginning to wean away from Content Delivery Networks like the ones operated by Akamai, Level3, Limelight, EdgeCast, etc. Remember, Akamai bought Red Swoosh to P2P last year, but why do the MSO's need to pay a third party to manage things that run on their own networks. It's like asking the consultant what time it is, and he asks to borrow your watch.

Basically, what this tells me is the cable operators are looking more and more at how they replace the distributed architecture of the telcos, with the IP efficiency that the Internet brings. Hence the more they can do locally, without having to ever go over someone else's pipes, and which they can meter, monitor and monitize means more for them.

GigaOm has a post or two as well.

Humbled and Elated

I'm both humbled and elated at the two posts from people I consider peers and colleagues, as well as friends that popped up yesterday.

First was Lee Dryburgh's heartfelt commentary on the efforts of my team at Comunicano and my own contribution to eComm. To put matters into perspective, I offered to help because it needed to be done. Like many I was disappointed when eTel was shelved by O'Reilly for reasons unknown, but likely for good reason internally. Let's face it. at the end of the day, despite all the trappings that exist around O'Reilly's amazing empire, they are out to make a buck. They only have so many resources and have to allocate properly. While there's never a good time to cut the cord or drop a program, at least they gave enough notice for someone to pick up the ball so let's not all hang Tim and his team. Instead lets recognize that they had the foresight to start something and then passed the baton to someone who took what was established and moved it forward.

That someone was Lee Dryburgh. After chats with him, Surj Patel (now of GigaOm) and with Martin Geddes, two of the brighter minds in the industry, I knew that Lee needed support that wasn't in the budget to make eComm more visible. You see eTel was everything I had suggested to other event organizers for me and many others. It was social, technical and mentally engaging. It wasn't hype, nor was it about a trade show. I for one think trade shows are passe, and have been saying for three years to insiders that the model has to change, as is the model around conferences.

To me, the 2007 eTel and then six months later, Office 2.0, both proved my theories out. Change was in the wind. eComm ratified it in my mind as the audience was more "connected" to the presenters, other than a few self appointed "stars" rushing in and rushing out around their presentations.

Then just before I went to sleep in Philadelphia after a late room service dinner I was rewarded and heart warmed again when Jim Courtney pinged me to draw some attention to his latest post.

I learned a long time ago that the more you give, the more you get. I'm happy that my business is allowing me to give so others get more also. Thanks Lee and Jim for the opportunity to serve you both and others in a myriad of ways.

Update: Luca also humbles me. Thanks.

Sad News, Sorry News About VON

I'm saddened by this report.

If anyone thinks this is good news they're wrong. It's not.

While I've made an attempt to reach Pulver Media representatives for comment so far at 1115 PM EDT, no response after more than two hours.

I know Jeff well enough that he has more on his mind than to talk to me in a moment like this, so I won't bother him. But I will publicly offer him my support, as I hope the industry will if he needs it, just like I did for Lee Dryburgh and eComm.

Truth or Dare? Will there Be a 3G Eye Phone with Two Way Video?

One has to wonder if this rumor about a dual lensed iPhone with 3G is true.

I say wonder because a lot of what Apple is doing around the iPhone seems to be following their desire to get the product into the business/enterprise market and as we've just seen with the VoIP capable RIM Blackberry 8820, the camera was removed, and full blown GPS was included.

That said, given the success of QIK on the Nokia platform, one way live streaming over 3G on the iPhone with storage in consumers .MAC accounts sounds to me like a winner.

Von-Thoughts, Reflections and More

Jon Arnold sent me a note wondering why I hadn't posted much about VON. Well for starters it was because I was very busy there inside and around the event.

On site I did what meetings I needed to. I wandered into booths that interested me and had the briefings with companies that seem to know how to reach out the right way. Some of the meetings were exciting, telling me that we've yet to hit the mature part of the cycle. Others, reminded me of my old days in sports where the opposition was so weak they could have mailed us the two points for the win column. In the case of those boring and lifeless presentations, next time they can email me the Powerpoint.

So you see, maybe because I set up a lot of meetings before VON Blur began I forgot to leave time to write about it. Or just maybe its because 3 of the Top Ten Innovators were clients of my agency and/or I sit on their Advisory Boards. Or that five of the 65 are. Or that between the informal Sunday Night Dinner at the Grill on The Alley with over a dozen gustes, the Jeff Pulver Social Networking Breakfast, the Dean Elwood hosted VoIP User Dinner and my own hosted Wine Dinner and all the people who made it to those events.

You see, those very personal events, around the event, only happen when there's an event like VON, eComm, DEMO, CTIA, CES or something of an industry assembling nature. The hotel lobbies were regularly my meeting room. So was the VON lobby, the speakers lounge and the press room. All those locations had a steady stream of people coming in and going out. And ironically, these are the same people who rarely walk the floor other than to grab a brochure, sneak in a quick demo or walk over to the VON Theatre, an idea I really like.

Without events like VON, TMC's IT Expo, Channels, VoiceCon and Comptel, our industry won't easily get together. And that's what annual events are for.