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Posts from September 2014

Skype's Days Are Numbered Take 2

I continue to feel Skype's days are numbered. All one has to do is look at history. AIM (AOL's Instant Messenger) and ICQ were once the kings of Instant Messaging (IM). And while they are still around, the best way of describing them, along with Yahoo! Messenger, is to say they are on life support. Beyond SMS and the cheap calling that's already available over mobile which has basically gutted the need for those apps, there's now newer and more robust apps like WhatsApp and Viber that have taken the mobile ownership away from Skype, as has Twitter and Facebook's Messenger. 

And now, with WebRTC becoming more and more a part of any web developer's toolkit, Skype's market share is beginning to erode as more discreet communications is being embedded into apps and web pages. 

Take a look at companies like client Temasys and their platform, and also some others like TokBox now under the leadership of longtime pal and former client at SightSpeed Scott Lomond, PubNub and &Yet to see what they're up to.  

These companies are the next Twilios and AWS' of the world, taking real time communications and making it easier for web and app developers and designers to put communications into just about anything. And that is where Skype gets eviscerated. Looking at what they have vs. some of the candy coated, wolf's in sheep's clothing offerings from the bigger boys is telling me why there's been a lot of FUD being tossed about WebRTC a few months back and has others hyping and drinking the kool-aid, like we're back in 1999 more about what's "coming" than what is here today and being deployed today.

Want to see this stuff in action? Take a look at Appear.InGetARoomTalky, Talko and BANG. Cast an eye in the direction of HipChat and their recent updates. Take a gander in the direction of VOBI.

WebRTC is also already alive and well in the likes of client iotum's Calliflower and pal Craig Walker's UberConference. Vonage already put WebRTC inside their mobile app and rumor has it that T-Mobile is playing around with it while client Truphone has demonstrated some neat tricks that makes calling someone without a phone number who you only know via social media, possible.

So, when you add it all up. Skype's days are numbered. And that's just fine.

Update: Wall Street Journal has a parallel story.


My First HD Voice Over Mobile Call

You have to hand it to T-Mobile and Apple. The Apple iOS 8 update includes updates that enable both VoLTE and HD Voice for users of the iPhone 5C, 5S and starting tomorrow, the 6 and 6 Plus smartphones.

And, as a result I had my first HD Voice call that was over Mobile, and in my case it was over WiFi with T-Mobile's new WiFi calling for iPhone that iOS 8 enables. The sound quality was AMAZING. Clear, crisp and like I was in the same room with the other party who was on a Windows Phone.

What's equally impressive is the SIP/IMS implementation of WiFi/VoLTE Handover. While prior release used the Kineto platform, I'm hearing that the new implementation isn't Kineto, and what's more, the VoLTE/WiFi calling handover works in both directions.

Together this means HD and IP based calling. This makes me think WebRTC will be next...but I'm guessing....


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


The Comunicano Daily for Thursday September 11, 2014

 
 
 
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Lots of interesting news on the front of innovation or maybe best described as "its time has come" today and reflects upon how much we at Comunicano have been in the thick of this over the past ten years.  Wi-Fi calling and in flight texting from T-Mobile.. Comunicano represented pioneer Bridgeport Networks, founded by Tom Carter, now at F5 where he's leading their wireless efforts worldwide, over ten years ago, and they were the pioneers in Fixed Mobile Convergence. Google Hangouts adding full blown GoogleVoice integration. Comunicano represented GrandCentral during their rise to acquisition by Google in 2007. Blackberry acquires a virtual SIM company that will allow more capabilities by carriers, enterprises and users. Comunicano helped launch current client Truphone's multi-IMSI technology back in 2009 at Mobile World Congress and continues to support policy and billing technology leader ItsOn which just raised more cash from Cisco. So as I look at the news, so much of it isn't "new" or revolutionary, it's more about the times catching up to the inventions...NOW ON TO THE NEWS.

 

 
 
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T-Mobile Expands Wi-Fi Calling to New Smartphones, Partners with Gogo for In-Flight Texting

Adding to an already busy week of mobile news, T-Mobile announced several moves today designed to help customers use their phones even when there's no cellular connection, including when flying the friendly skies. Dubbed the "Wi-Fi Unleashed" campaign, T-Mobile said going forward all of its new smartphones will be enabled for Wi-Fi calling and texting.
 
 

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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

For the last few years, it has always felt like Google Voice, the company's VoIP calling solution, was on its way out. Instead, the video-centric Hangouts was getting all of the attention.

 
 

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Google Voice Is Dying and It's Beautiful

I am a huge fan of what Google Voice can do. That's why I've been calling for a mercy kill, so that its best features can thrive in something other than a limp husk of a service. And now that Google is finally beginning to merge Voice into Hangouts, the process has started in earnest.
 
 

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BlackBerry Acquires Virtual SIM Startup Movirtu

 
 

BlackBerry today announced it has acquired Movirtu, a UK startup that allows multiple numbers to be active on a single device. The Canadian company's hope is to boost its device management offerings in bring-your-own device (BYOD) and corporate owned personally enabled (COPE) environments. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 
 

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A virtual assistant to help manage your on demand services sounds like a great idea. But honestly, those services are really best in high density, heavily populated areas. You won't see the demand for them as much in rural America initially, or small villages in Europe, but where you have a massive population, virtual work forces, transportation congestion and urban renewal, many of these services can aggregate people, products and services and deliver them more efficiently than many businesses doing the same thing for less. 

 

 
 
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Personal assistant service Alfred wins TechCrunch's Startup Battlefield contest

A group of venture capital and tech company execs chose Alfred as the winner of TechCrunch's "Startup Battlefield"contest here at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Alfred is a subscription-based service that provides people to do basic tasks for you, like picking up dry cleaning, doing laundry, getting groceries, going to the pharmacy, cleaning the house, and a lot of other tedious and/or time consuming tasks.

 
 

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On demand services being delivered by UBER can be here sooner than you know it. Already they have experimented with burger delivery and what they are are doing in Sweden is becoming another proof point on their road to hacking how consumers get better service and eliminate the old way of doing things.

 

 
 
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Uber pilots on-demand product delivery in Sweden -- powered by its new API

Today Uber announced a product delivery pilot test in Stockholm in partnership with Swedish ecommerce platform Tictail. Stockholm marks Uber's fourth city with large-scale on-demand deliveries, following Washington D.C., New York, and Santa Monica. The partnership coincides with the launch of Tictail's first iOS app.

 
 

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This is a dream come true for all shoppers of IKEA and other furniture stores where "assembly is required."  Assemble itself furniture is coming.

 

 
 
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In The Future, You'll Never Have To Assemble Furniture Again

If you've ever struggled to put together some tricky furniture, just wait a few decades and you won't have to deal with the frustrating process. In 15-20 years, your furniture will put ITSELF together.

 
 

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Here in California, Governor Gerry Brown basically upheld the First Amendment signing into law an agreement that comments in social media can't be restrained contractually directed at consumers and businesses. To me, the attempts to keep people from making comments about a bad experience always smacked of "prior restraint" so it's good to see this law get signed.

 

 
 
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Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill protecting consumers' online reviews

Californians offering online opinions or reviews of businesses will have new legal protection under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown .
 
 

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Sometimes success can mean failure. That was the case in a Kickstarter campaign that did too well for a Delaware Valley company outside of Philadelphia.

 

 
 
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Big Kickstarter Campaign Overwhelms Radiate Athletics

Many entrepreneurs are using crowdfunding campaigns to raise the profile of their nascent businesses and products, while also raising funds. But the tactic sometimes backfires when a startup isn't prepared for the demand that follows. Consider the plight of Radiate Athletics and its co-founder Kenneth Crockett Jr.
 
 

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As much as I love U2 it seems some Apple iTunes users didn't like the idea of being given free music but one of music's all time great bands. Part of this is really about the User Experience and how some people set their phones to auto-download or make excessive use of the iCloud music storage. To me the nay sayers are in the minority and the "bugs" or "warts" of the experience are really Apple's way of finding problems in user experience and fixing them.

 

 
 
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Why is U2's latest album on your iPhone? How to remove Apple's publicity stunt

Apple may have succeeded at breaking two records at once with the free release of U2's latest album via iTunes yesterday: The album, titled Songs of Innocence, instantly became "the largest album release of all time," as Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on stage during the company's iPhone 6 event.

 
 

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Apple has created Reservation Pass. Gee this sounds like Craig Walker's Firespotter Labs service called NoshList that is deployed by restaurants. Oh, and about being on the forefront of technology that's ahead of its time, Comunicano supported Firespotter on its launch of Nosh, the food photo and what's on the menu app.

 

 
 
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A new digital reservation system could save you time in the iPhone 6 line

Hoping to buy a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in the Apple Store next Friday but don't have hours to stand in line? You may not have to. 9to5 Mac reports that Apple Store employees received training documentation for a program called Reservation Pass.
 
 

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Twitter is getting back into the developer relations arena with their upcoming developer conference, FLIGHT.

 

 
 
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Twitter Announces Flight, An Annual Mobile Developer Conference

Twitter has announced Flight, a new developer conference focused on mobile. The conference will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on October 22, with a keynote from CEO Dick Costolo, followed by technical sessions aimed at helping mobile devs build. It's not the first developer conference Twitter has held.
 
 

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Comunicano is happy to be supporting and partnering with long time collaboration analyst and consultant David Coleman on the 2015 edition of the Distributed Collaboration Summit, otherwise known as DCS. This is the world's first virtual and real world conference ever staged for the collaboration industry. Contact me for details.

 

 
 
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Distributed Collaboration Summit Coming In January

A new kind of conference for a new kind of workplace DCS Dates January 15 - January 16, 2015 Time 8AM - 4PM Pacific Time Locations San Francisco, Santa Monica, Houston, Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, New York, Silicon Valley, Atlanta, Seattle DCS is a unique conference based on the growing trend of distributed teams and distributed work.

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday September 10, 2014

 
 
 
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You would have to not be switched on to any form of media to not be deluged by the news from Apple yesterday. The new iPhone 6 and 6+ were the appetizer. The big news was Apple Pay and the dessert was the Apple Watch. And was the news around payments really interesting? Yes it was as it totally will compliment the existing retail and banking worlds both online and in the physical realms, but also it gives the whole NFC world a major boost....NOW ON WITH THE NEWS..

 

 
 
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Here's Apple Pay In Action

Apple has revealed its mobile payments play, and it features NFC and Touch ID, as many expected. The system works as fast as they joked it did on stage - which is why in our demo we ran through a number of different payment scenarios.

 
 

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Apple Said to Reap Fees From Banks in New Payment System

Apple Inc. will collect fees from banks when consumers use an iPhone in place of credit and debit cards for purchases, a deal that gives the handset maker a cut of the growing market for mobile payments, according to three people with knowledge of the arrangement.

 
 

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I referred above to the Apple Watch being the dessert. Not only was it good for Apple fans it was bad for the watch industry so much that even Wall Street is sensing it. Apple is about changing the markets and watch manufacturing brands need to realize that the Apple Watch will be sold in stores that do not carry Apple products usually. I say this due to the number of retail department stores that will take Apple Pay and already sell watches.  The two announcements together are very, very timely.

 

 
 
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Shares Of Luxury Watchmakers Fall After Apple Watch Unveiling

Shares of some luxury watch makers fell Wednesday morningafter Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced its smartwatch Tuesday afternoon. Shares of Swatch Group, whose 19 watch brands include Swatch, Breguet, Omega and Calvin Klein, had fallen 1.3 percent by mid-morning.

 
 

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Streaming media has been around since the 90's but yesterday's webcast by Apple had lots of problems. Veteran streaming media analyst Dan Rayburn has the details on why and how Apple made a rare mistake.

 

 
 
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Inside Apple's Live Event Stream Failure, And Why It Happened: It Wasn't A Capacity Issue

Apple's live stream of the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and Watch was a disaster today right from the start, with many users like myself having problems trying to watch the event.

 
 

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Apple may have Beats Music but the second largest music streaming service called Deezer hasn't been big in the USA ever. Now they are launching, and they're going after the high end audiophile via a partnership with SONOS and the new Deezer Elite.

 

 
 
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Deezer to Finally Launch in America as High-Quality Streaming Service

The world's second-biggest music subscription service is finally coming to the world's biggest music market. Deezer, which claims to have 5 million subscribers and 16 million monthly users over 180 countries, announced Wednesday it will launch in the United States on Monday the 15th via a partnership with home audio company Sonos.

 
 

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Over at CTIA in Las Vegas AT&T announced that mobile operators and carriers are working on VoLTE interoperability. This is really important to everyone, with SIP Trunking providers who will be in the middle of all this having a lot to gain from it. 

 

 
 
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AT&T's Rinne: Carriers Working on VoLTE Interoperability

AT&T's Kris Rinne says that the carrier is working with several other operators on enabling direct voice-over-LTE calls between their networks. Rinne, senior vice president of network and product planning at AT&T Inc.

 
 

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Just as the wireless world is seeing pricing wars, you can expect the same type of thing to come to the fiber based Gigabit speed Internet markets where AT&T is facing off against Google Fiber.

 

 
 
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Google Takes Fiber Fight to AT&T 

Take one moribund broadband market, add a disruptive new entrant as rich as Croesus, watch the explosion in competition that occurs when the old players bang into the upstart and, hey presto, you have the US fixed broadband market today.

 
 

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Wireless and broadband by cable/DSL and fiber aren't the only ways people can connect to the Internet. Satellite broadband is growing up faster and getting more users all the time.

 

 
 
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Hughes passes 1m satellite broadband customer mark in North America

 
 

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The FCC is thinking about putting mobile broadband under the same rules as wired connectivity. This would be much easier for everyone to understand, including the regulatory lawyers, broadband providers and the service providers who have to work with both.

 

 
 
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FCC may put mobile under same net-neutrality rules as wired broadband

Print|The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is reexamining how it treats wireless net neutrality, in response to public comments on the agency's proposed Open Internet rules. Under the net neutrality rules the FCC set in 2010, wireless was set apart from wired access and mobile operators were given more leeway to treat some streams of traffic differently from others.
 
 

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First T-Mobile offered "contract free" in the USA and many more bells and whistles. Now Sprint which is battling to keep from losing customers is going with a new "iPhone" for life plan. On paper it sounds good but to me it's good for those who want the entry level iPhone with only 16GB of memory. That said, given how Sprint has updated their network, and how little traffic is on it, they may be the network of choice for speed demons.

 

 
 
 

Sprint's 'IPhone for Life' Plan Lets Users Upgrade Every 2 Years

 
  Sprint Corp. (S) introduced an "iPhone for Life" plan that lets customers get a new version of Apple Inc.'s smartphone every two years for $70 a month. The service also includes unlimited data, Sprint said today on its website.  
 

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If you're an Apple developer you can see iOS8 now and use it today. The final release candidate is alive and available....

 

 
 
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Apple releases iOS 8 GM ahead of Sep. 17 public release

Following today's announcements, Apple has released the golden master version of iOS 8. iOS 8 launches as an over the air update to iOS 7 on September 17th.
 
 

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Twillio has released TWIMLETS which works with Zapier and between the two some Twilio services just got easier to use.

 

 
 
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How to Build a Smarter International Phone with Twilio in Just 15 Minutes - Zapier

It sounds too simple to be true, so Twilio has you test it out. On the next screen, you can enter a message, then call your new number and hear it read back or have your new number call you and read the message aloud.
 
 

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Why the Apple Watch isn't the iWatch

Apple announced the Watch yesterday and the didn't call it the iWatch. For starters there are too many trademark issues surrounding the iWatch name to go there, but to me there are other reasons.

1. Apple wants to be in the Watch business

2. Apple wants to sell the Watch via normal watch channels, further expanding distribution

3.By calling it the Apple Watch Apple get the name Apple into all conversations and press coverage surrounding the watch product line. 

4. Apple got to include the  into every discussion as well now. 


The Comunicano Daily for Monday September 8, 2014

 
 
 
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Pal Ken Rutkowski, host of Business Rockstars, has been pushing Los Angeles as the rising tech hub for years, being so connected to the community at the grass roots level. He's right and finally the world is seeing it.....L.A. is not a tech hub in the normal sense. It's less about chips and operating systems and more about delivery of ideas to consumers and businesses, with the panache of Hollywood and commerce all rolled together. Now, onto the news..

 

 
 
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LA's Tech Startup Scene Is Coming of Age

After several decades of wondering when the Los Angeles tech scene would interact with the local entertainment business and generate new opportunities, things have finally come of age. Today, dozens of hot LA companies are gaining national and global notoriety, thanks to strong execution, distribution and customer advocacy.

 
 

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Part of the L.A. scene for many years has been Bill Gross of IdeaLabs and now he has another idea, IdeaMarket...and it may be one of the darlings of the crowd generation.

 

 
 
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Bill Gross, the guy who invented Google's business model, tries again with IdeaMarket

Bill Gross is far from being a household name - at least not in the sense that Mark Zuckerberg is, or Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates - but he came up with at least one idea that everyone knows about, even if they don't know who invented it: His company GoTo.com pioneered the pay-per-click advertising model that has made Google hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decade.

 
 

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While IdeaLabs is looking to change things in L.A. Andressen Horowitz (A16Z) is changing the game in Silicon Valley using a very similar model to Hollywood talent agencies.

 

 
 
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How Andreessen Horowitz Is Disrupting Silicon Valley

Just over the crest of the highest point on Sand Hill Road, amid a cluster of relaxed buildings that could easily pass as residential units, sits the offices of Andreessen Horowitz (A.H.).

 
 

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As new ways to fund companies and ideas come to market where does that put the Micro VCs? First Republic Bank has some perspective on just that.

 

 
 
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Where is the Micro-VC Market Going?

Micro VC funds have been the rage as of late. What's next? The following is a guest post by Samir Kaji (@samirkaji), Managing Director at First Republic Bank (@firstrepublic). Just over a year ago, I posted a blog post about the state of the " Micro-VC" market.

 
 

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Video conferencing cloud player Blue Jeans Network is getting big enough to go public.  If they do is up in the air as they may get acquired before that happens. Cisco would certainly be one of the likely buyers given the history of the founders.

 

 
 
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Blue Jeans Network Approaching Size to Go Public

Blue Jeans Network, the cross-platform video conferencing company, is in a state of high growth and approaching the size to go public, said a source close to the company. The company last year raised $50 million, bringing total raised funds to $98.5 million.

 
 

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The drumbeat to DreamForce, SalesForce.com's signature event, is starting and at the core is founder Marc Benioff, who is leading off the banging with tales of what it takes to improve productivity for sales pros.

 

 
 
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How to Improve the Productivity of Your Sales Force 

If you need to generate more sales, there are two ways to improve the overall productivity of your sales force. 1. Hire more reps. 2. Increase output per rep. According to Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce: "Hiring more reps is the way to go; assuming that you have already created systems and process that have allowed your current reps to achieve the goals you've set for them, that is."

 
 

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All of what Benioff is referring to is also impacting how technology suppliers market and sell.

 

 
 
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How Big Companies and Their Tech Suppliers Are Changing Together

Mobile devices and cloud computing are changing the work and the structure of corporations. That, in turn, is changing how tech companies behave. A few examples from the last week, from the cosmetic to the substantial, illustrate the shift. On Tuesday, Google renamed its now-substantial business in online creation and collaboration software Google for Work.

 
 

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I had fun watching the 1994 era AT&T commericials over the weekend. So much has come true but not all of it being AT&T sold, but certainly delivered.

 

 
 
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We live in the future AT&T imagined in 1994

Twenty years ago, AT&T ran a series of ads depicting the miraculous things information technology would allow us to do in the future. "Have you ever borrowed a book from thousands of miles away?" the first ad asks. "Crossed the country without stopping for directions? Or sent someone a fax from the beach?
 
 

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For a long time I've said GigaBit speeds need Gigabit Service. You can get the speeds today, but there's yet to be any new services designed for it.

 

 
 
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Two Cities With Blazing Internet Speed Search for a Killer App

A team of computer programmers here set out to learn how many cute kitten photos can be downloaded in one second on their Internet network, one of the fastest in the country. The answer: 612. A trivial pursuit? Perhaps.

 
 

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As a frequent flier who uses in flight Wi-Fi, I'm always on the GoGo. It seems GoGo has been playing with all kinds of pricing, based on airline, flight route, demands, etc....

 

 
 
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Gogo experiments with inflight Wi-Fi pricing

Think you know what a Gogo inflight Internet session is going to cost? You might be surprised at the number of different prices the company charges, even for the exact same offering. Gogo employs various tracking systems at its Itasca, Illinois headquarters. Among them is Gogo's real-time signups for the day, including pricing for the different products.

 
 

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Over in the U.K. the cellcos don't want national roaming. What this means is you could end up in parts of Britain without coverage depending who your operator is, or who your USA operator roams with unless they have multiple operator relationships.

 

 
 
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UK cellcos reject plans for 'national roaming'

Proposals by the UK government which called on the country's mobile network operators to share networks for 'national roaming' are said to have been rejected by cellcos, according to the Financial Times.

 
 

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As a logo junkie, our final story gives away some secrets.

 

 
 
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30 Famous Logos That Have A Hidden Message

Whether you're cruising down the aisles of the grocery store, or speeding down the freeway, you're guaranteed to come across a few famous logos. Take one glance at any one of these logos and you instantly recognize the brand, but did you know there's sometimes a hidden message buried in them?

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Friday September 5, 2014

 
 
 
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A late summer cold hit me out of nowhere, and I likely got it at the gym is my best guess. I'm in the gym 3 to 4 days a week now and feeling good. Having Wi-Fi at the club makes it less stressful and I can sit by the pool or in the lounge and still get my calls in, use my iPad to get work done. IP based services really do change the world, and that's why today the theme is going to follow that meme...So On With The News.

First up is what's been happening with Tom Wheeler and the FCC. Here are a few stories that pretty much paint a picture of what's reality, what's needed and what may (or may not) happen.

 

 
 
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Is this the sound of Comcast's merger hopes dying? FCC Chairman declares U.S. broadband uncompetitive.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Thursday said what everyone who pays a broadband bill outside a few select cities already knows, that the country lacks a competitive broadband market. In a speech delivered at 1776, a startup incubator in Washington, Wheeler said, "meaningful competition for high-speed wired broadband is lacking and Americans need more competitive choices for faster and better Internet connections...."

 
 

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No Kidding? FCC Chairman Says Broadband Market Isn't Competitive.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said Thursday that Americans don't have enough choice when it comes to high-speed broadband providers and the government needs to do something about it. More than half of Americans have only once choice of providers that can offer 25 Mbps download speeds, adding, "[T]here is simply no competitive choice for most Americans."

 
 

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Most of the US has no broadband competition at 25Mbps, FCC chair says

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today stated what is obvious to US Internet users: for broadband speeds fast enough to serve modern homes, competition simply does not exist in most of the country. The numbers are OK if you use the FCC's outdated broadband definition of 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream.

 
 

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Mike Dano at FierceWireless penned a piece the other day about VoLTE. I chimmed in to set the record straight...you need to do that now and then to keep the story correct.  Here again, IP at the core makes it all possible.

 

 
 
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After VoLTE, what is the future of the telephone call?

The introduction of IP calling technology in mobile sets the stage for real change in how and when people will use telephony. According to those in the industry, we might see some significant changes to some parts of the calling experience, but phone numbers and regular old phone calls appear to be here to stay.
 
 

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Amazon is changing the game of shopping and delivery and may end up revitalizing the US Postal Service. As the son of a former Postal Service Station Superintendant, call him the postmaster if it was a suburban town, I know full well how important the US Mail service was, and how they didn't transform soon enough. Part of it was the union but another part of it was just not seeing what was coming back when I was already on a COMPAQ PC and my dad was still doing the daily count for stamps sold by an adding machine and a paper ledger book. That was the 80s......

 

 
 
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Amazon expands partnership with U.S. Postal Service to deliver groceries

Amazon confirms that it has begun testing grocery delivery service in San Francisco with the help of the U.S. Postal service. A spokeswoman called it a "small test," adding that Amazon is "always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver packages to customers."

 
 

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USPS To Screw Up Amazon Grocery Deliveries In San Francisco

Like that desperate, failing business-owner who keeps convincing people to give them one last shot to prove that it's not yet time to hang it up and find something else to do, the U.S. Postal Service has somehow made a deal with Amazon to give it a shot at delivering groceries in the San Francisco area.

 
 

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Is that cell signal really a cell signal from the mobile operator or is the mobile version of a Man in the Middle attack about to snatch your data and more. This is a serious threat and one that some upstarts are trying to address.

 

 
 
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Phone Firewall Identifies Rogue Cell Towers Trying to Intercept Your Calls

 

 
 

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My good friend, and now head of Wireless and Operator Services at F5, Tom Carter, had an idea years back that led to the start of BridgePort Networks, now part of CounterPath. The idea was handover between Wi-Fi and mobile networks of the call.  Truphone's founder, James Tagg had a similar idea for a commercial service that did just that. Now more and more mobile operators are beginning to do just that, and as a result, supplier consolidation is afoot.

 

 
 
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Taqua on Kineto Purchase: Carrier VoWiFi is Set to Take Off

One telecom vendor is so convinced network operators are about to embrace voice over Wi-Fi that it has acquired another vendor to better position to capitalize on that opportunity. Taqua, provider of software underlying cellular networks, said this evening that it has purchased Kineto Wireless, provider of software for smartphones that enables the phones to support VoWiFi.

 
 

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Cable consolidation plays into the theme around the FCC too. Time Warner and Comcast, Charter are there peas in a pod. Brand names aside, they are just all horses of a different color.

 

 
 
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If Comcast swallows Time Warner Cable, we'll get a new cable company called GreatLand Connections

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. The newly formed cable company that is set to be created from parts of Comcast as it seeks federal approval for its merger with Time Warner Cable will be known as GreatLand Connections Inc.

 
 

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WebRTC is happening. As a long time VoipWatcher, I see the same business themes happening that we saw with VoIP, SIP and all things real time comms....

 

 
 
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WebRTC-Reality Check 2014

What a difference a year makes. And sometimes not. Both apply to WebRTC, which, even as it builds market share, still lacks the reliability and support from Internet Explorer that many enterprises require. Net Applications says Internet Explorer has a 58 percent market share on desktops using any OS.
 
 

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How WebRTC Could Disrupt the Hospitality Industry

Chad Hart | September 04, 2014 | How do you leverage Web technologies to rapidly disrupt an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars? I'm not talking about WebRTC and the telecom industry; I'm talking about rising sharing economy star Airbnb and the hospitality industry. I am an Airbnb host.
 
 

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Will WebRTC video blow up the network?

Initiating a video chat should be as easy as making a phone call and WebRTC video is getting us closer to that But could the network become a victim of WebRTCs success
 
 

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The cloud is everywhere. It's not foggy either. It's clear as day and touching everyone in business and even your personal lives. As we see the shift from only the enterprise to mom and pop business, the opportunities are massive for all.

 

 
 
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Mom-and-pop shops drift to cloud computing

Welcome to a new era of computing, where silos are giving way to standards. Rather than having to worry about how software from Oracle or SAP will talk to other programs from Microsoft or IBM, businesses can buy cloud products that were created to work together.

 
 

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And to close the week, here's two stories about startup ideation and creation to get you thinking about how change is afoot in that world too.

Have a great weekend.

 

 
 
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Here's a radical idea: Let startups choose whether to pay for mentorship

Business incubators have become ubiquitous in the technology startup world. Some are generalists, some are niche. Some are thought of as kingmakers, some as bottom feeders. In almost all cases (including on the fictionalized HBO show Silicon Valley), they have the same basic value proposition: We will provide your startup with expert mentorship, services, and connections, and in exchange you will provide us with equity.

 
 

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How to Make Your "Uber for X" Idea More Than Just a VC Pitch

As a venture firm, we see entrepreneurs routinely pitch companies as " Uber for X," where X can be any number of mobile-enabled services. We agree that Uber is just the tip of the iceberg and apps that orchestrate physical services (" mobile-enabled on-demand services ") are disrupting dozens of industries, including groceries (Instacart), car sharing (RelayRides), dry cleaning (Washio), and parking (Zirx).

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday September 3, 2014

 
 
 
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Today's humpday so it's time to look at what's happening around the technology news world. We'll start off with a Huffington Post item about Customer Disservice something most of us have felt from some PC brand, utility, airline, hotel or car manufacturer over time.  Next we're seeing the IRS looking at those who feed their staff and how that can be considered income vs. an expense..The Celebrity Photo Hack is making the news cycle, this time with the tools that can make it possible..Microsoft is everyone's target it seems these days, not just Apple or Google...all this and more today, SO ON WITH THE NEWS...

 

 
 
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Why Is Customer Disservice Becoming the Norm and What Can We Do About It?

Posted: "The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity." - Peter Drucker If you haven't yet heard the 8-minute diatribe leveled by a Comcast customer service rep to a customer and his wife who were trying to cancel their cable service, tune in here.
 
 

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Silicon Valley Cafeterias Whet Appetite of IRS

There is a grumpy new face in line at Silicon Valley's lavish freebie cafeterias: the Internal Revenue Service. Staffers at technology companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. long have enjoyed free gourmet meals, courtesy of their employers.
 
 

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The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple's iCloud 

As nude celebrity photos spilled onto the web over the weekend, blame for the scandal has rotated from the scumbag hackers who stole the images to a researcher who released a tool used to crack victims' iCloud passwords to Apple, whose security flaws may have made that cracking exploit possible in the first place.
 
 

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We're just finally seeing 4G/LTE and LTE-A (for advanced) rolling out in more places in the USA and around the world and so it's no surprise the 5G is making noise, this time in Finland.

 

 
 
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Nokia to build 5G test network in Oulu

While a commitment-in-principle has already been made, a formal decision on construction of the high-speed 5G network won't come until autumn, said Nokia technical director Juha Määttä. When asked about the construction schedule for the network, Määttä said that it could begin early in 2015.
 
 

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WiFi speed displayed directly onto booking and travel websites

Hotel WiFi Test has launched a browser extension that displays information about a hotel's WiFi speed and quality onto the most popular booking and travel websites: Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
 
 

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Office by the Month. Not the kind you physically use, but from Microsoft has debuted for iPad as an in-app purchase. In my view this is two years or more too late. Google Apps is gaining momentum and already is far more integrated. 

 

 
 
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Microsoft adds monthly in-app subscription option to Office for iPad

Summary: Microsoft Office for iPad users now have the option to subscribe to Office 365 monthly and from inside Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Microsoft is now allowing Office for iPad users to pay monthly, rather than only annually, for their Office 365 Home or Personal subscriptions.

 
 

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If you don't use Evernote, your working too hard when it comes to storing and finding notes, pictures, videos and more. And, like Google and others, the company is taking aim at Microsoft Office at the right time. While Microsoft has OneNote, Evernote has users, lots of them who are raving loyalists.

 

 
 
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Evernote's Phil Libin Has Come to Bury Microsoft Office, Not Praise It

What about OneNote? It's a question that Evernote CEO Phil Libin gets asked all the time, especially after Microsoft made the note-taking app free earlier this year. But, Libin says, it's the wrong question. Libin makes no bones about having Microsoft in his sights, but it is Office he wants to dethrone, not OneNote.
 
 

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While Evernote takes aim at productivity Google is going right after the jugular of Office and Exchange by developing a strategy that looks to displace Microsoft Outlook.

 

 
 
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Google's New Strategy to Unseat Microsoft Outlook

Google executive Amit Singh must persuade companies to ditch Microsoft Outlook for business-focused versions of Gmail. But pioneering driverless cars may be easier than changing the way people send email at work.
 
 

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Who comes after the Millennials? It's Gen-Z, not Jay-Z. And, Gen-Z seems to be more like those who came before GenY....at least that's what one study says. We really won't know for a few more years though..

 

 
 
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Are You Prepared for Gen Z Tech Workers?

Millennials and their quirky work habits get all the attention these days, but the younger Gen Z is turning out to be even more of a mystery.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday September 2, 2014

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Welcome back to reality. Labor Day weekend signifies the end of summer and the day after Labor Day is always a tough news day. Most of the news is a retake or remake of last week's news or items that "broke" over the weekend. But there are some gems hidden out there. Most noteworthy are the continued dance card being played by T-Mobile where interested buyers come along and kick the tires, look under the hood and make an offer. Don't be surprised to see USA private equity come in along with, or without Illiad, and some sort of John Legere management led buyout or even a consortium that involves Vodafone in some way....Apple gets knocked around for the Celbrity Photo Scandal but will survive....but in their own way just served app developers notice about health and fitness data and how it relates to marketing...Uber has to fight the Germans as the courts are looking to slow them down.. All this and more, SO ON WITH THE NEWS...

 

 
 
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Iliad in Talks with Third Parties About Possible Fresh Bid for T-Mobile US

French telecommunications company Iliad SA said it isn't giving up its pursuit of T-Mobile US Inc. and is considering teaming up with partners possibly to make a better offer for the U.S.'s fourth-largest mobile operator by subscribers. Iliad saidMonday that it was in talks with several potential partners-industrial and financial...

 
 

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Lawful intercept by authorities, hopefully with a proper search warrant issued by a judge, is being challenged across the USA as mobile networks upgrade to LTE/4G and refarm their 2G spectrum. Technology that makes it possible is now on the market, but municipalities need to upgrade.

 

 
 
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Cities scramble to upgrade 'stingray' tracking as end of 2G network looms

Documents released last week by the City of Oakland revealthat it is one of a handful of American jurisdictions attempting to upgrade an existing cellular surveillance system, commonly known as a stingray.

 
 

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Google has entered the game of crowdfunding via YouTube. This creates a whole new way to build audience, grow followers and supporters all at the same time and likely will either compliment or put some additional competition towards sites like Tilt, KickStarter and Indiegogo but as pal and cofounder of Velocity Growth Jeff Belk (ex Qualcomm CMO/CSO) likes to say, "crowdfunding is like the Gold Rush and everyone's panning for gold."

 

 
 
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YouTube launches fan funding for independent content creators 

Google-owned YouTube has launched a donation feature for YouTube channels, which could act as a crowdfunding tool to get entrepreneurs off the ground. YouTube's bread-and-butter is content created by independent channels worldwide, and to further encourage this business branch, the company has now launched fan-based donations.

 
 

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Somtimes building a better mousetrap can lead to comparisons that aren't fair. Other times starting a crowdfunding campaign can be problematic or overly frivolous.

 

 
 
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Kickstarter users fundraise for products already sold on Amazon

What do crowdfunding Web site Kickstarter and online retailer Amazon.com have in common? Too much, critics charge. Kickstarter fans, who have become a bit prickly over what they feel are too many frivolous campaigns, are seeing another worrisome trend crop up: entrepreneurs turning to the fundraising Web site to develop products that are already available elsewhere.

 
 

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Apple is laying out some rules about information and apps. In doing so Apple is being both industry consistent and also setting a new line in the sand to insure the development of mHealth technology.

 

 
 
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Apple Bars Developers From Sharing Health Data

Apple has warned developers that they must not provide advertisers with personal data that they collect from applications built using the company's health software. The policy-consistent with the standards of companies such as FitBit-establishes a higher standard of privacy for health monitoring devices.

 
 

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For years developer have been asking Apple "why didn't my app get approved" only to receive mostly non answers. In a move towards greater transparency Apple has put out a checklist. Is this the complete story? No way, but it's a start.

 

 
 
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Apple Developer Rules Made Clear

Before you develop your app, it's important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps. We've highlighted some of the most common issues that cause apps to get rejected to help you better prepare your apps before submitting them for review.

 
 

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Funny how the iCloud Celebrity Photo hacks occured just before the iPhone 6 launch..hmmm. The conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one. Net net, nothing is really that secure.

 

 
 
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Nude celebs on iCloud? The timing for Apple Inc. couldn't be worse.

The story had everything going for it. Hundreds of nude photos (some real) of Jennifer Lawrence and other A-list Hollywood celebrities. A security vulnerability (since closed) in Apple's iCloud. Hackers armed with a new "brute force" attack script. False accusations by the amateur detectives on the Internet.

 
 

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Poor Skype. Everyone wants your users. And someone will get them is my guess. Of late Skype's performance has been having issues but the service is also now in its second decade of life and upstarts in technology can come along at any moment and change the game. Here's one.

 

 
 
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Out in the Open: Hackers Build a Skype That's Not Controlled by Microsoft 

The web forum 4chan is known mostly as a place to share juvenile and, to put it mildly, politically incorrect images. But it's also the birthplace of one of the latest attempts to subvert the NSA's mass surveillance program. When whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that full extent of the NSA's activities last year, members of...

 
 

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Uber is facing a challenge in Germany. My guess is eventually this all ends up at the EU level not at the country by country level as a battle for consumer's choice vs. monopoly control of the taxi and limo industry.

 

 
 
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German court orders Uber to suspend services across the country

Uber is banned across Germany, at least for now. It emergedon Tuesday that the Frankfurt Regional Court imposed a preliminary injunction on Uber last week, ahead of a full court case over the service's legality. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, the court said Uber was illegal because its drivers do not carry the appropriate permits.

 
 

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How to Make a Drone Delivery: Google's Winging It 

Google on Thursday introduced Project Wing, a drone-based delivery project it has been working on quietly for the past two years. Members of the Google[x] team - aka "Moonshots" -- recently held field tests of the technology in Australia.

 
 

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Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar relax PED rules

Australian carriers Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar have all relaxed their rules on the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) in-flight following a change in policy by the country's Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The development means passengers can use their PEDs from gate-to-gate, whereas previously they had to switch them off during taxiing, take-off and landing.

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Monday September 1, 2014

 
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 I've been remiss in publishing so over the past few days I've started to write again. Onmy blog, in the new LinkedIn Pulse (have you noticed how much LinkedIn has gotten into content?) and now again, here in the Comunicano Daily.

This month will go down as one of the most memorable in Apple history, and already the hype machine is in full gear. Venture Beat is calling it current CEO Tim Cook's Waterloo in so many words, casting doubt about him and saying the iWatch is a make or break play for him as the successor to Steve Jobs (I think its not make or break given how well Apple is doing as a company under Cook's reign.) For starters, moves are already underway to make Apple a major player in payments the same way they have disrupted mobile devices and content as the second and third news items surrounding Visa, MasterCard and American Express all will prove out.

So, let's have at it...and here's the news.

 
 
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September 9: The beginning -- or the beginning of the end -- of the Tim Cook Era

It's going to be a big show in Cupertino September 9th. We'll see at least one new phone. But most importantly we'll see what could be called the first product of the Cook era, an Apple smartwatch. The unveiling will be held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, the same venue where the world got its first look at the Mac.
 
 

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Apple Said to Team With Visa, MasterCard on IPhone Wallet

 
  Apple Inc. plans to turn its next iPhone into a mobile wallet through a partnership with major payment networks, banks and retailers, according a person familiar with the situation. The agreement includes Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and American Express Co. and will be unveiled on Sept.  
 

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Apple Partnering With American Express On New iPhone Payments System

Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need to sign up before it can launch its new payments plan, which sources say it plans to announce at its September 9 product event.
 
 

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How dominant is Apple? Just look at how the iPad is walloping the rest of the devices when it comes to email. It's even eating into the iPhone's share but what's eye opening is that Windows is not doing that well either when you realize Microsoft has tried tablets too.

 
 
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How Europeans email

As email turns 32 years old tomorrow, US-based email delivery service provider SendGrid has done a global study on email engagement. Today, the company is releasing Europe-specific data on 'email opens', based on an analysis of 8 billion unique emails sent by over 125,000 companies (including the likes of Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Foursquare and Pinterest) over two 10-day periods in 2013 and 2014.

 
 

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The FCC under Tom Wheeler will be controversial. Figuring out what side of the fence they are on will be a wait and see, but one things for sure, big telco isn't exactly sitting on their hands waiting. Regulatory work, lobbying and supporting political campaigns is running at a fever pitch, and with it, the Internet economy.

 

 
 
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Can the FCC clear the way for cities to build broadband? Legal fight heats up over agency's powers

Gripes about internet speed are common across the country, but in certain towns the complaints have a special twist: the fact that local utilities want to offer faster broadband infrastructure, but state governments - at the apparent behest of the telecom industry - have passed laws to prevent them from doing so.

 
 

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How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

State Sen. Janice Bowling, a Republican from Tullahoma, Tennessee, says she was surprised by AT&T's adversarial reaction to her bill to allow cities to expand their broadband networks. Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

 
 

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Between the FCC and patent trolls, those delivering service have to watch over both shoulders. Now AT&T is exercising its war chest taking on a former large shareholder, Cox Communications, over some very fundamentally basic functions that appear to have patents in place. 

 

 
 
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It's made-for-TV patent war, as AT&T sues Cox

The majority of patent lawsuits today are brought by "patent trolls" that do nothing but sue-but suits between actual competitors do still happen. Case in point: AT&T has sued Cox Communications, saying that Cox has infringed seven AT&T patents covering everything from DVRs to methods for hiding "packet loss or frame erasure" over a network.

 
 

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I'm a regular user of UBER, the car service that makes life easier to get around. Of late they have been in the press with a war between they and rival Lyft over driver poaching and alleged trickery. The bottom line is just as there is Coke and Pepsi, there's going to be Lyft and Uber. Competition is good for the consumer, otherwise you end up with what we have in the way of "public transit."

 

 
 
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Uber and Lyft Have Become Indistinguishable Commodities

If you need a ride, pull out your phone and load up the Lyft app. Or try Uber. Really, it doesn't matter which you pick. Though the two ride-sharing giants have carried on like the bitterest of enemies recently, their services have become pretty much indistinguishable.

 
 

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We're big believers in the concept of "the story" as part of positioning and messaging. Telling the story is changing marketing communications and how it relates to the brand. and, it's all changing.

 

 
 
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From Storytelling to Experiences: The Next Chapter in Marketing Communications 

The past decade has seen the marketing communications industry increasingly emphasize the importance of storytelling as a way for brands to better communicate with their audiences. From logo and corporate colours, to website content and advertising campaigns, to staff members and business cards, everything about an organization is now considered a part of its overall brand story.

 
 

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Do you give a kick? Web sites like KickStarter and Indiegogo are making it easy to help get startups off the ground. 

Here are a few I'm supporting or have supported:

SparkAerial (note this is being supported by my other venture, VelocityGrowth)

Smart Wallet

The Return of the Upcoming

Dart-The world's smallest laptop adapter

Gramofon-the smallest jukebox from FON

Stand Desk

Tight-A new kind of wallet

TrackR

 

So here's the deal. I'm using Gramofon in my living room to play music, much the same way I can use Chromecast or Apple TV, but I'm also sharing WiFi without letting guests onto my primary network as it is built by FON. My wallet that I use everyday is from Tight and I carry a TrackR in it. What I'm finding is that like my LinkedIn post of a week or so ago, I'm finding products I can use every day, not at the store, or even in Amazon but in the world of startups in the rewards funded universe. Go find your next product there today, or better yet, come up with an idea and float it and see what happens.

 

 


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