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Posts from September 2008

Get Your eComm Here

Lee Dryburgh has quietly begun to put the word out about eComm, perhaps the most important of all telecom conferences of the year ahead in 2009.

The new web site is up, and while Lee is still pulling a lot of the pieces together, the one good thing is he's moved to the original home of eTel, the Burlingame Marriott, which is right near San Francisco International Airport.

For early registrants, you can save $500.00, which basically means you get your hotel room for almost peanuts. And with Southwest Airlines flying into SFO, you can get really cheap fares in advance.

This is one event not to miss!


The Passing of A Parent

The last 16 hours or so have been surreal for me and ironic.

My mom passed away, at the same time my flight from Newark to London took off. I found out shortly after landing from my wife, who was at the hospital when mom joined my late father in heaven. Helene's first words were "you mom is with your dad now. She passed about the time you took off for London." As I was flying I had an "eerie" feeling that had happened. It runs in my family. When one of my aunts passed away, Grandmom was already dressed for the funeral. She knew one of her children had passed some thirty plus years ago.

Am I sad? Yes. There is nothing more emotional than losing a parent, other than possibly losing a child or your spouse. Mom spent the last week of her life in California. She was more alive the last few days than in the last few months. She was animated, talking and more of herself than we had seen. The caregiving team in a matter of days did more with her than months of elder care or hospitals had done. But, when it's time, it's time. Most of all, on Sunday, Mom finally gave her blessing to me for my choice in a wife. She told Helene she loved her and was very happy I had chosen someone so special. That alone made her trip to California something special.

Today I talked to my cousin, now the patriarch of the family. He told me we did everything right. Now we prepare for Mom's trip back to Philadelphia on a plane. It will be her first, and last, flight ever. Mom never flew anywhere in her 87 years on Earth so it's irony that she'll fly home on one.

My staff has been super, rallying immediately. My family and friends as they hear the news have been loving and very forthcoming emotionally to me. My wife, who has been the sense of reason and interpreter of all things medical has been there every minute for me, putting her work aside so I can focus on mine. All of that has made it easier on me and softened the blows, but it still hurts and yes, I'm sad.

In life, as I grew up, I was very fortunate to have a series of male role models who as my employers and mentors were more like "bonus" dads to me, shaping, molding and sanding down my rough edges. But, I only had one mom. And now she joins my real dad and a few of the "bonus dads" to watch over me. Mom was the one who encouraged me to seek out my path. It was mom who taught me to ride a bike. It was mom who would go to the local toy store and buy me more wiffle balls when all mine had been "roofed" and it was mom who when I was in high school started to call me the "boarder" when my earlier nomadic lifestyle of coming home late from hockey events and meetings made it seem like I never was around for dinner with the family, and would still have something ready if I was hungry. Mom encouraged me and helped pave the way in so many ways when I was still a youth.

I still take joy in the day I showed her videos of the wedding she never flew to, or when hearing from Helene who showed her photographs of our weddings and how excited and animated she was. It was the same way I was when she read to me. Lots of interest, but clearly something that was new and different, "bright and shiny" to capture and keep her interest.

So Mom....I'll miss you....thanks for almost 50 great years and keep watching over me......I'm just glad on Sunday, I did get to say "Goodbye."


Jazinga Launches

Tom Keating of TMC writes up the Jazinga box. Unlike Tom, I've been using my box up until the latest round of home remodeling, and can only give it the highest form of compliments. It's VoIPWatch approved.

Now for the sake of transparency, we've been helping the leadership of Jazinga get their box out and tested. While there were some typical alpha challenges nothing was insurmountable.

Here's why I like it.

1) It works with SIP

2) I can use PSTN or IP Phones with it

3) You don't need an IT guy to set it up or manage it

4) Jazinga provides SIP credentials so I can use a softphone from anywhere

5) It's also a router and wireless access point..that means less boxes in the rack

If you need a full featured IP-PBX for your home office or small office, Jazinga is a very good bet and well worth its price.


Skype Keeps Saying No Emergency Calls

When you read the story out of the UK that has Skype saying "No 999" you'll at first want to be outraged. But then Skype has insisted from day one that they are not a phone service.

This is consistent with what they have said here in the USA. But, the if you apply the "Duck Test" you'll have to wonder how they ask to interconnect to the mobile networks in the USA and not want to interoperate with the 999/911 networks.


BYOD Please, Says Verizon Wireless

I expect that the move by Verizon Wireless to allow people to go month to month without a contract and bring their own devices to their network will cause a similar reaction with other mobile operators here in the USA.

This also means the market for higher-end, more feature rich phones will finally come to CDMA customers. The number of people who want a Nokia N series device on the Verizon network is staggering. Here in the USA Verizon's CDMA network really is tops. It's just the devices have been so plain vanilla. Give me an E71 or similar, or N95 or similar on Verizon and my minutes will shift from other carriers.

Will I still carry the other guys too? Sure...But Verizon has better coverage and at the end of the day, that's what wins.


GIPS Defeats Spirit On Their Home Turf

In what has to be a blow to the homeland favorite, SPIRIT DSP, Norwegian codec king GIPS grabbed the voice communications crown in Russia, winning the contract to supply a voice engine to Mail.ru reports VoIP-News out of the UK.

GIPS, which is best known as the creators and inventors of iLBC, and as the original codec inside Skype in its early days will add voice capability to the Mail.ru Instant messaging service.