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Posts from May 2008

Vonage Won't Comment About Reliabiity...Does Anyone Wonder Why?

Vonage has a problem and its getting worse. Long ridiculed for poor customer service and lousy quality now they've chosen to take the non-comment approach when they get asked about that by a writer from the New York Times of all places.

Last I recall Vonage was based in the metro New York City area....If you can't be friendly with the customers or the backyard media that says a lot to me these days.

Talkify Time

Alec Saunders, client at iotum, friend and fellow wine lover has one of the best posts he's written since the Voice 2.0 Manifesto on his blog today.

It clearly lays out a roadmap that tells me the biggest smashup that is coming is the "TALKIFICATION of the Web", and how it will come to be.

Already client ifByPhone, who were featured in the San Antonio Press-News today are into that concept.

So too is client Thomas Howe, who has been the mashup king in Voice since the idea came along to combine voice into a 2.0 application environment.

Those two clients activities and successes (having actual customers using their applications), and Alec's riveting post are proof points that serve as validation of the huge opportunity available to service providers. Together or separately, iotum, IfByPhone and Thomas Howe are all demonstrating how change is not only in the wind, but has indeed come to ground.

Broadband Wanted In The Air

If this doesn't tell you that Boeing blew it by being premature and pulling out of the flying WiFi space over a year ago, nothing proves it better.

A survey by BarclayCard shows that over fifty percent of the business travel market want Internet connectivity on the go and in the air, at least with the audience under 50. But even over 50 year olds, 40 percent of them, want it too.

Put me in the first group, for I've already had the experience on Lufthansa when they offered Connexxion back in 2006 and LOVED IT. Heck I even made a few VoIP and Skype Calls using Gizmo Project and Counterpath's Eyebeam.

Most of all the sense of knowing all my email was caught up on was a big relief when I got off the plane versus the need to spend an hour cleaning up my inbox as I normally do each morning.

In my view, we're going to see more users the next time around staying connected in the air...

OOOH---This is Hot

Looks like Dell is jumping into the same market as the Asus eee PC with an ultra mini notebook PC.

I already have the Asus eee PC and the ultra sweet Asus 900 that was featured in Joanna Sterns' Laptop Magazine story.

The neat thing about the eee PC/UMPC type devices is size, weight and ease of use. The Asus I have is Linux, but you can also put Windows on them. But, with all the apps one needs to do basic work, who wants Windows. Open Office and Google Docs does all I need for productivity, Thunderbird for email and Firefox for a browser.

The way I look at it, why turn a great device into a paperweight by adding Windows.

Mobile 2.0 In Barcelona this July 4th

I'm really excited at what may be the best reason to be in Barcelona on July 4th.

It's the Mobile 2.0 Conference Europe Conference and from the looks of things, this is the place where fireworks are sparking in the mobile world. Pal Rudy De Waele is involved and that always means more than you expect (in the way of great things) will be on tap. The July event is a follow up to the successful San francisco event last October. This is ideal for early stage, angel backed and VC seeking companies as well as those start-ups who already have raised their venture capital.

Here's what Rudy passed on to me earlier today:


The Mobile 2.0 Conference is spreading its wings to Europe and will land on July 4 in Barcelona, Spain. This one-day event focusing on the Mobile Web and Disruptive Mobile Innovation, is brought to you by dotopen and the Mobile 2.0 Organizing Committee: Daniel Appelquist, Gregory Gorman, Mike Rowehl, Peter Vesterbacka and Rudy De Waele in partnership with ESADE.

The MOBILE 2.0 EUROPE conference brings together experts and thought leaders from all aspects of the mobile ecosystem, including startups, investors, mobile carriers, device manufacturers, and mobile application developers and web technologists. The conference is an opportunity for companies to connect to industry leadership and startup innovation and broaden your C-level relationships.

The event will be held at the Espacio ESADE FORUM, Barcelona and will run from 9:00am to 6:00pm with a reception at the Espacio ESADE FORUM afterward.

So, what can you expect? Two industry keynotes (to be announced), four panels and three series of innovative startups presenting live-demos.

Panel speakers as of today include:

* Tony Fish, AMF Ventures

* Dr. Maximilian Niederhofer, Associate, Atlas Venture

* Inma Martinez, Director and Principal Advisor, Stradbroke Advisor

* Anil Hansjee, Head of Corporate Development - EMEA, Google Inc.

* Mike Butcher, editor TechCrunch UK & Ireland

* Chris Liu, Managing Director, Fjord

* Leif Fågelstedt, COO, Blyk

* Ilja Laurs, Founder & CEO of GetJar

* Antonio Vince Staybl, CEO GoFresh

* Raimo van der Klein, Co-founder SPRXmobile

* Martin Duval, CEO bluenove / Director of the Orange Start-Up Program

* Carlos Domingo, General Director of Telefonica R+D labs

* Unai Iturburu, Head of Vodafone Spain R&D

* Anastassia Lauterbach, Executive Vice President for Strategy, T-Mobile International

* Peter Vesterbacka, Some Bazaar

* Daniel Appelquist, Senior Technology Strategist, Vodafone Group

Check the full speaker list here.

The Mobile 2.0 Europe presenting start-ups will be selected in 3 Categories (Seed Capital Stage, Pre Series A and Post Series A). Any start-up company with a mobile application can participate. To apply and present your company and your application, you need to fill in the online application form. Deadline for submission is June 6, 2008 at midnight CET.

Seed Capital Stage and Pre Series A Start-ups will be selected by dotopen and the Mobile 2.0 organizing committee. Post Series A Start-ups will be selected in collaboration with the VC Panel. During the event, all panel participants and organizers will vote their best Start-up in each category; the winner in each category receives an invitation to present at the Mobile 2.0 Event in San Francisco on November 3, 2008.

Early Bird registration for this event is only € 99,- till May 31 (breakfast, lunch, coffee and networking cocktail included), after that date tickets will cost €199,-

Don't hesitate to contact the organizers at in case of any question or comment.

Joi Ito on The Need For Mobile Internet

One of the first people I ever got to know in the online world was Joi Ito. That's going as far back as 1984-85 and the says of Unison and the Well. I got to know Joi through what was one of the earliest "social networks" around, called the ENA, the acronym for the Electronic Networking Association.

Yesterday the former quantum physics major at University of Chicago wrote a post questioning if we really need a Mobile Internet. He calls into question the current mobile structure that exists, both from a technology and ideological perspective.

It's a great read.

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Why Cable Needs Wireless

D.C. based blogger, Cynthia Brumfield has a very concise post yesterday on why cable needs to have a mobile play in order to compete with the long established telcos.

She's right. Here's why from my point of view.

First the idea of ONE source provider is being proven to be very much the way the mass market wants to go. Look at the uptake for VOIP by cable customers who want one bill for video, data and phone. Now look at how Verizon is retaliating against CableVision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable with a very well thought out deployment of FIOS which for now offers higher speeds than cable, but has a series of limitations (i.e. DNS, the Search Gateway, a fixed use of Port 25 to send email using the FIOS SMTP server which begs the question, is Skype and third party SIP providers next to be snipped?)

Next look at the business opportunity with the enterprise market. Imagine the MSO (multiple system operators) offering fat fiber to business which they can deliver, plus mobile services as a single offering. Talk about leveling the playing field in a defined market area. The MSO's can go literally door to door and deploy by block or zipcode.

Lastly, the MSO's have direct marketing in a community that is far better than the Telcos can access. With FIOS and UVerse just getting started versus all the marketing tools available to the MSO's, the ability to sell mobile and data through to the market is much easier for the MSO's than the tired old telco.

Alec Saunders The MC

Alec Saunders of client iotum is taking a page out of the book of Ken Rutkowski and I and becoming the MC at this Monday's Demo Camp 9.

Are we seeing a new wave of hosts for events coming out of the blogosphere when in the past they came usually from the media and analyst community?

I think we are. Let's not discount the fact Om Malik hosts his own Structure 08 and Michael Arrington and Jason Calcanis host the Tech Crunch 50, but those are what we call "house events" as they are putting on their own events so they get to be stars of their own productions. But in the case of Alec, just like with Ken and I, we're invited to host the events, which is a big differentiator. In the case of Ken and me, we host the annual CommNexus Gadget Fest in San Diego.