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Posts from June 2008

Some Quick News Notes

I'm supposed to be on vacation, but I feel the obligation to bring some news items or stories of note to light.

GIPS is providing Baidu their VideoEngine to have real time video chat inside the Baidu Instant Messaging platform. GIPS has new leadership as well now so maybe we'll see a kindler and gentler company that wants to work with, not just sell to their licensees.

AT&T reports that in the San Diego area they are gaining subscribers for uVerse, their bundled phone, data and TV service. I'm in the area that's not yet being offered it, so I'm unable to see if its any good. I'm planning on installing it and seeing how it compares, but with Cox (my cable company) likely boosting speeds to over 100 megs by 2009 it's already a non starter. Why AT&T went with another copper solution when fiber is the way to go shows that they are looking to be the last century phone company. FIOS from Verizon and the SureWest Fiber we have in our Sacramento home is the way to go.

T-Mobile's national rollout of HotSpot@Home is proving to be a success for them. The irony here is they seem to have no problem free riding on the cable MSO's networks or over some telco's DSL lines that are naked without phone service. I wonder if they feel the same way about Mobile VoIP on their data networks (I know you know the answer to that one so call it a rhetorical question.) Red Herring has additional insight.

Fierce VoIP, which has been revitalized under Doug Mohney, points to a New York Law Journal brief on the legal implications of VoIP as evidence.

Telemedicine is growing in Ohio. Since I'm married to a physician who is very much tech savvy, this means that the it's more than likely she'll be doing things like this soon. One more reason for the need for bigger bandwidth.

"If You Send Me Email, I May Not Reply"

"I'm getting burned out by email, so those of you who use it as your primary way of reaching me, may need to figure out a better way."

That's a growing trend I'm seeing, and as I've been saying for a long time now, it's become a broken model.

Today's New York Times has a story on how one IBM executive is moving away from email and using other tools. The problem is we live in what I call the Pop Tart, Minute Rice, Fed Ex inspired era of "give it to me now, baby" and with IM, VoiceMail, and such the INBOX has become the next rendition of the black hole.

Oh, and don't go adding SMS to your way of finding me..all that will lead to is one more jammed inbox.

Over the last week I've been spending a lot more time "talking" face to face with people live and virtually. I was on the road in Scottsdale, AZ, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, and now Lisbon. I'm living more by the clock and calendar than ever before and increasing my "face" time via video conferencing using SightSpeed almost daily, not because they're my client, because the new version is so good I want to use it at every chance I can. So this week, while my wife and I take our overdue Anniversary vacation we're seeing more of each other, and of others.

From a business perspective I'm using more of Basecamp as the way to track and follow. Sure it's not as Blackberry friendly, but candidly, seeing more of my Blackberry and less of others has become a big hurdle. With the upcoming iPhone release and better email integration many will experience that more than before, but in my book, seeing, not reading, is believing. So get away from the inbox and get out more and see things better and more clearly.

Oh This One Had To Hurt

J.A. Watson today laid the smackdown in the direction of Skype when writing about the new Dell Video Chat application that became available yesterday which was developed by client SightSpeed for the world's largest computer manufacturer and e-tailing pioneer.

With a post like that one has to wonder if Skype is becoming the new Vonage, not because they're weak technically or because the service is bad (both Vonage attributes), but just as Vonage suffered from corporatization, it seems the eBay effect is starting to cast a cloud in the minds of many early adopters and industry watchers is in turn causing the watchers to go in other directions. While some of it is deserved, if not reigned in by the cooler heads at Skype, it could be Vonage of 2009 very quickly.

Personally I hope Skype pulls out of the perceptual nose dive. Vonage's woes and wrong turns have unfairly hurt the VOIP industry. In the Voice 2.0 space Skype has been really the golden boy and poster-child of many dreams and desires of developers and product developers. Having spoken to and with key team members there I know the passion, desire and vision remains true to their birth parents, but now, in the adopted home of eBay, Skype as a company is saddled with a lot of older parent thinking, something my gut says Josh Silverman is trying hard to correct, and was likely a key reason why Skype wasn't really a big part of eBay Live this year--as he's trying very hard to shape perception.

Structure O8

I spent yesterday at GigaOm's Structure 08 Conference.

It was GREAT.

If anyone thinks the conference business is dead, they are DEAD WRONG. The overflow crowd clearly showed that there is lots of interest in Infrastructure. Hats off to the entire team at GigaOm and especially to Surj Patel who guided the conference.

Om was looking fit and about as agile as I've seen him since his return to action after his heart attack late last year. The smiling editor was like a whirling dervish, as he moved from session to session, meeting with people and keeping tabs of every detail.

One of my longtime friends, Tony Greenberg of RampRate was there as his company sponsored the event along with many other top name companies. Greenberg, whose company provides the kind of data to help IT intensive organizations make well informed decisions on which suppliers to use, then goes out and sources it for them, knows value in IT technology. Recently I turned him on to client Junction Networks, ONSIP platform. When I asked him how he liked the service he replied he was thrilled and remarked "there's no reason for anyone to pay $20.00 a month for Voice Services anymore," referring to Junction Networks model of only pay for what is used that they debuted last year with OnSip's launch.