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Posts from November 24, 2013 - November 30, 2013

Thoughts on ....Wi-Fi and 4G

I'm in Melbourne, Australia for the week. Working from here, in a nice one bedroom hotel apartment in the Fitzroy section of town. Fitzroy can best be described as the Mission in San Francisco meets Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Very hip, trendy, not far from the cool kids and loaded with coffee shops and places to find all kinds of healthy food, tantalizing breakfasts and very enticing, and healthy diet type places for dinner.

Wi-Fi while available everywhere, is very locked down. You don't find "open" hotspots, even in the cafes. One always has to ask about access, and often you'll find the speeds are good, but not great.

But for me, it's no problem, I grabbed a few toys though before I left on the 60 day trip around the globe. One is the magic SIM from client Gigsky, which I popped into my Android Nexus 7 tablet and have been able to use that just about everywhere. I can buy as much data as I need using their app, and what's more it's really true pay as you go. I also have my trusty Truphone SIM inside one of my iPhone 5's and another in a Samsung Galaxy Note as a back up...Data, voice, text and like Gigsky also a client.

Both service options are no hassles as I cross borders, and since Australia is one of the countries in the Truphone Zone, I can act as if I'm still home in the USA, even making calls and presenting local numbers here---and there...and getting sensational data plan rates.

But I'm one who just has to always stay connected, as best as possible, so I've also invested the last trip in a Telstra 4G/LTE mobile broadband modem. It's wonderful because now between the three modes of connectivty, plus my iPad Air, I've got really reliable connectivity just about everywhere.

Why is this so important? Well for starters I'm still working on things "back home." I have tons of conference calls and follow-ups from recent events, as well as the usual workload. Granted I'm missing some calls due to the time difference, but having reliable connectivity that lets you use Calliflower, Uber Conference, GoToMeeting or Cisco's WebEx, plus being connected to my Unified Communications host, and client, SimpleSignal requires that kind of reliable connection...and sometimes, as I found in Sydney at the Intercontinental, some ports are just not always open.

Here's the net net....make sure you have access, a good reliable way to have voice and video calls. Invest in the Boingo $7.95 a month plan to use WiFi where you can, but when you can't, well--go MOBILE BROADBAND.


The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday November 27 2013

 
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As the Holiday Weekend is about to begin that means travel so the item below about Carry On Bag Mania which I was quoted in, again demonstrates how being quick to provide commentary secured the lead quote in the story. This is a wake up call to clients and all who use email. Not reading email in a timely manner is the difference between being in and being out when it comes to being part of the story...Now On To The News!!!

 

 
 

 
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Carry-On Bag Mania

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) - In the run-up to the Thanksgiving airport crush, here is the question for you: can you go three days - even a week - with just carry-on luggage?

 
 

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API, SaaS, Cloud all continue to be en vougue and Forrester, one of the premier enterprise focused analyst and research firms further brings light to them all in their top tech trends report for 2014.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Forrester: Top Technology Trends for 2014 And Beyond

This month, Forrester released its list of top technology trends for the three year time horizon. The author of the report, Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins makes the point that now that consumers and employees have continuous connectivity and an endless supply of apps, the CIO must drive the nimbleness that [...]

 
 

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Microsoft Hires 'Pawn Stars' to Bash Google Chromebooks

Microsoft has enlisted the reality-television series "Pawn Stars" in its ongoing campaign to bash rival Google. An online video ad released Tuesday mimics the plot set up of "Pawn Stars," which features people toting precious or odd objects for appraisal at a Las Vegas pawn shop.

 
 

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Never one to miss an an opportunity, Google's Eric Schmidt is making it easy to get his friends to switch to Android. Of course, Schmidt took 900 words to do that. How many words is the iPhone manual? Oh, that's right. It doesn't have one.

 

 
 

 
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Eric Schmidt writes a guide for switching from iPhone to Android

Thinking about making the switch from from iPhone to Android? "Many" of Eric Schmidt's friends are, he says - and so he wrote them a 900-word guide to walk them through the process. Google's executive chairman took to Google+ today to share tips and best practices for abandoning Apple's ecosystem in favor of Google's.

 
 

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Speeds, outages and disruptions to service are all part of a mobile operators day. Well, in a week where Black Friday happens, it looks like T-Mobile had a Red AlertTuesday.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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T-Mobile Confirms Software Issue Caused Slower Data Speeds

T-Mobile confirmed an infrastructure software fix is being put in place to address much slower data speeds for some of its customers.

 
 

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Apple is a retail force. If you think that they basically sell only 4 devices that are mobile network related, and some don't have mobile network radios, selling 11 percent of all cellphone sales in the USA is a massive number in only 6 years. One has to think they are taking sales away not only from carrier operated retail, but also the independent cellular shops. In many ways, taking that many sales away from mobile operators means the operators can pare back on retail space and staff.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Apple Retail Stores generate 11 percent of all cellphone sales in the U.S.

Apple makes some of the most sought after cellphones as well as stores to sell them in, the result of which is a strong foothold over cellphone sales in the U.S. According to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Apple Retail Stores in the U.S.

 
 

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Retail and Social Media are friends now. Only a few months ago they were enemies. This makes client Benbria's Loops more important to retailers.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Retailers Seek Partners in Social Networks

MINNEAPOLIS - "Showrooming" is no longer a bad word. Just a few years ago, the retail industry was deeply shaken by a growing trend in store browsing - shoppers wandering around the aisles with their cellphones, surveying the merchandise while looking online for somewhere else to buy it for less.

 
 

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Skype has changed partners in China. This likely has more to do with "politics" between Microsoft and China than Skype as a service.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Skype names new partner in China, begins migrating users to updated software

By Jon Russell, , 07:00am Earlier this month Microsoft ended its partnership with TOM Online, the mobile Internet company that managed its Skype service in China; today it announced Guangming Founder (GMF) as the replacement. GMF will manage Skype's desktop and mobile services in China, as part of the reorganization, the companies have today started migrating users and updating the Skype software in the country.

 
 

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How much money is there in a target audience? All you need to do is look at the NHL deal with Rogers Cable in Canada...WOW...

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

Rogers Communications and NHL Announce 12-Year National Broadcast and Multimedia Agreement

 
 

Adds value to fans with more games, more content, more choice and more flexibility - - Positions Sportsnet to become #1 sports media brand - - Bolsters Rogers' sports offerings and leadership across all platforms - TORONTO, Nov.

 
 

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We're starting to see the best and worst, top and bottom lists and ranking, so it's no surprise to see a list of Social Media Gaffs come out already.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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The 10 Biggest Social Media Marketing Fails Of 2013

There are some good corporate social media accounts out there. Oreo churns out cute ads based on current events, and the British cell provider Tesco Mobile caught the Internet's attention with charmingly sarcastic tweets that even trolls can't resist.

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Monday November 25 2013

 
 
 
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Monday November 25 2013

 
 

 
 

 

Hello from Sydney Australia. Here's a story with a happy ending. I left my iPad in a cab here in Sydney and realized this as I was having my first sip of a stunning Alsatian Riesling at the Wine Library last evening. Quickly I fired the the "Find my iPhone" app on my iPhone as I have all the devices I use on the Apple locator system and identified where it was. I found a young cab driver who was maps savvy who by reading the map realized it was near a mosque where many of the cab drivers in Sydney go to pray. He takes me to a mosque and we arrive just as evening prayers end. The original cab driver who had brought me to my favorite Sydney watering hole walks out, sees me and says "hi, I have your beeping thing, I was going to bring it back to where I dropped you but first I had to pray" 

I'm not sure who was more surprised, him or me.

Thank you Apple for such a great app.

Now, onto the news...Pal Jeff Bonforte is in the news again at Yahoo in what is a very funny Kara Swisher penned piece.....though not as funny as Bonforte's contrinuted to email inside the story..

 

 
 

 
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Clinging to Outlook, Only 25 Percent of Yahoo Employees Willing to Eat Mail "Dogfood" (Best Memo Ever!)

As most know, I love a good internal memo from inside Yahoo and here's a doozy related to a rather controversial topic of late: How badly the new version of Yahoo Mail has been received by consumers.

 
 

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We know we're in the 4G world but all signs point to 5G happening very, very soon.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Mobile Internet Subscriptions to Triple by 2019

If it seems like everyone around you is constantly glued to their smartphones, you haven't seen anything yet. According to Ericsson's 2013 mobility report, the number of global mobile Internet subscriptions will triple by 2019. In 2013, the number of mobile subscriptions around the world clocks in at 2.2 billion.

 
 

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First it was no calling because your neighbors on the plane may not want the noise, but now we're seeing more and more that the no calling from the sky likely had more to do with money than keeping quiet.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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F.C.C. Will Consider Allowing Cellphone Use In-Flight

WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday that it would consider changing its rules to allow the use of cellphones and other wireless data devices during airline flights. If approved, the change is certain to delight some passengers but frustrate many others who prize flight time as a last preserve of peace.

 
 

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The new FCC commish, Tom Wheeler is saying out with the old, and in with the new..VoIP seems to be in.....

 

 

 

 
 

 
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F.C.C. Chairman Calls for Transforming the Technology Used by Phone Systems

WASHINGTON - Americans could soon be one step closer to getting that videophone they were promised in the 1960s. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday that the agency would begin "a diverse set of experiments" next year that would begin to move the nation's telephone system from its century-old network of circuits, switches and copper wires to one that transmits phone calls in a manner similar to that used for Internet data.

 
 

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Unlocked phones are the way I like to go. So should you. Now it seems the FCC is moving in the direction to insure a better playing field for consumers.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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AT&T is holding my iPhone hostage and Obama doesn't care: why the FCC must act on locked phones

I lost phone service 4 days ago because AT&T decided to vandalize my property - my iPhone - and, despite earlier assurances, it looks like the White House has no intention of doing anything about the policies that let the company get away with it.

 
 

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Comcast is a player in cable, content and now it looks like they are moving into being a major technology developer too.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Comcast develops method for dynamically extending wireless broadband reach

Comcast engineers are exploring how to eliminate wireless broadband "dead zones" by boosting the signals of Wi-Fi transmitters and connecting to 4G networks in areas that can't be reached by Wi-Fi, and even using data culled from social networks, emails and phone calls to determine where its subscribers will need access to the In

 
 

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When it comes to venture capital things are not always as apparent as they seem. Just look at where money was made on Twitter.

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Here are the lucky VCs who secretly made money on Twitter's IPO

Twitter's investors weren't the only VC's cashing in on the company's IPO. Certainly general partners at Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Charles River Ventures celebrated their success in the deal. They were Twitter's initial investors, and they made hundreds of millions of dollars on the IPO.

 
 

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More and more cities want to go on a fiber rich diet to deliver faster Internet speeds. 

 

 

 

 
 

 
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Fed up with slow and pricey Internet, cities start demanding gigabit fiber

Slow Internet speeds and a lack of competitive pressure on Internet providers is a fact of life in communities throughout America. We've seen that competition can make a difference, notably with the entry of Google Fiber in certain markets, forcing incumbents to offer faster speeds and better deals.

 
 

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Why Loyalty Pays

I recently put mysefl on a silly diet. The kind of diet that my friends of long standing will cause their heads’ to whip around and ask, “okay, what did you do to the real Andy.”

You see, for long term health reasons I’ve decided to go very, very carb light and as much as possible, sugar free. Having been someone who was a healthy eater, but with a lousy diet, who is smart enough to know that red wine’s heart healthy powers only go so far, and that there’s more to dieting properly than simply pasta, rice, red meat and fish.

So, with some help and advice from people wiser that I, I’ve started to change my diet, dramatically. Now two weeks in, I’ve only had wine three times versus what would have been no less than three times in a week or less. I’ve had no pasta, very little rice, no pizza, no cheese steaks and no bread or bagels. Those who know me well, know I would have had at least one of each of those just about every week.

So with that in mind, it would be easy for the normal person to keep a diet that is best described as the Paleo diet, basically what the cavemen ate. And, when it comes to the kinds of restaurants I fancy, they are more about how good things look on the plate, so it means being a bit of a pain to the staff and only order things you can really eat, while still enjoying them. For example, I had the team at Pamplemousse Grill make me spaghetti squash with truffles vs. regular pasta one night..and was it ever great.

So given my life is anything but normal, -- I don’t stay at home long,  tend to live on the road, stay in hotels that one would think have menus designed for comfort, and where every guest could be another guest. Nameless, faceless, simply another credit card to charge. Those hurdles exist and challenge many. Not for me. And not where I stay.

Over the past few years I developed a very close friendship with the General Manager of the Intercontinental San Francisco. Peter Koehler and his staff.  The only problem with being a member of PK’s staff is you get such great training that you move on to other properties. And for a guest like me who is more loyal to the people than the brand that really helps when you need it.

Thanks to PK and his team, especially his super star assistant Jadey Chin, and former Guest Relations Manager Shehani De Marseille who now is running the front of house in Cleveland, as well as so many others who excel in delivering on what I call PKE (Peter Koehler Experience), when I travel to another Intercontinental property, what can best be described as a request for VIP treatment is sent to the GM of the property wherever I stay.

Usually that means upgrades, nice touches in the room, a friendly face and a nice warm greeting. In Sydney, PK’s peer, Joerg Boeckeler has taken to the same approach as Peter to a very nice and beneficial extreme. He had his chef put together a heart and health happy menu for me in the Club Lounge (as a Royal Ambassador I get access) that was perfect for me for breakfast and will mean I'll be in the hotel more working with a view of Sydney harbor.

So as I sit overlooking the Sydney Opera House, I'm  having a very good, heart healthy carb free breakfast, all because of loyalty, not to a chain, but to people. So just like there's a PKE, we now have a JBE to go along with IHG's Royal Ambassador program. To earn either a PKE or JBE badge from me means the staff has to care, and they have to do thinks that are right for the guest, with consistency. I can tell you in San Francisico, Sydney and recently Bangkok, the guest experience, thanks to PK and JB was off the hook amazing.

In today’s travel era, hotel groups need to get back to personal relationships, because, no CRM system in the world can replicate what Peter and Joerg can do and are doing for their guests who they consider "friends." And that’s why Loyalty Programs can only go so far, and why really knowing your guests really matters.