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Posts from February 2, 2014 - February 8, 2014

Voxox Makes an Acquisition

San Diego's own Voxox has acquired has international calling service PokeTALK from E Mobile, Inc As part of the deal PokeTALK will transfer its technology, intellectual property, and partnership agreements with Datawind, Digital Delivery Networks, Inc. (DDNI), Expansys, Hewlett Packard (HP), Lenovo, Medion, and Samsung Electronics to Voxox. Personally I've never tried PokeTalk but like so many VoIP services this is an OTT play and brings VoXox to browsers..

Given the web browser capabilities of PokeTalk and the lack of that capability previously at Voxox its likely the purchase will speed up the companies efforts with WebRTC.

According to Voxox "PokeTALK has been enabling consumers to make international calls through Web-based and mobile applications (iOS, Android).  The PokeTALK service is also accessible on various tablets and laptops through a link preloaded by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)."  

 


The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday February 4th, 2014

 
 
 
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Well, the Wait is over. Microsoft has named a new CEO, and with the news, also announced that Bill Gates will be more involved in the decisionmaking. There's lots of news coverage on the web and you can expect to see more perspectives over the next few days. This is a move that will be questioned and challenged. 

 
 

 
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Nadella's the one: Microsoft names new CEO, Gates stays on board, Thompson is chairman

Well, it's finally over. After five months of cloak and dagger and dueling leaks, Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, its cloud chief, as its third-ever CEO, replacing long-time veteran Steve Ballmer. Company cofounder Bill Gates will remain on the board - and act as counsel to Nadella, as rumored - but will cede his chairman slot to director John Thompson, who led this slow-motion search process.

 
 

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Microsoft’s Bill Gates “Steps Up” To New Role As Technology Advisor: Was He Pushed Or Did He Jump?

Along with the news today that Satya Nadella will be the next CEO of Microsoft, another big change in the executive ranks: Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, is leaving his role as chairman of the board and is taking a new role as "Founder and Technology Advisor".

 
 

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The new FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler is making moves. He's pushing more money into the eductaion channel to bolster broadband, taking an early position on the potential T-Mobile/Sprint merger and will have to have a hand in shaping net neutrality.

 
 

 
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Tom Wheeler: Broadband Internet Needed for Education Tools, FCC to Invest $2B

The Federal Communications Commission is set to invest $2 billion over the next two years in the broadband network connections of U.S. schools, National Journal reported Monday. "In the Internet age, every student in America should have access to state-of-the-art educational tools, which are increasingly interactive, individualized and bandwidth-intensive," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, according to the report.

 
 

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FCC chief reportedly skeptical on Sprint-T-Mobile deal

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is the latest regulator to pour cold water on a potential merger between the third and fourth-largest wireless carrier. (Credit: Lynn La/CNET) Regulators do not like the prospect of Sprint buying T-Mobile.

 
 

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New bill would restore net neutrality pending FCC action

A new pair of bills have been introduced to the Senate and House to protect Net Neutrality after a circuit court ruling struck down the FCC's previous rules earlier this month.

 
 

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Over the weekend, I penned a post for the Gigsky blog about the ChromeCast. Today lots of news came out from Google about the release of an SDK for ChromeCast. For app developers this is a big opportunity as is it for web sites as now it becomes very easy to send more content from more devices to HDMI monitors. When you combine this with the Internet of Things (everything) it's a big deal

 
 

 
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Google Developers Blog: Ready to cast: Chromecast now open to developers with the Google Cast SDK

Back in July we announced the developer preview of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), the underlying Chromecast technology that enables multi-screen experiences across mobile devices (phones, tablet, laptops) and large-screen displays. Starting today, the Google Cast SDK is available for developing and publishing Google Cast-ready apps.

 
 

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Get ready for tons of new Chromecast apps: Google releases Cast SDK

 

Countless apps could become Chromecast-compatible any day now: Google officially released the Google Cast SDK Monday, which allows developers to add Chromecast integration to their Android, iOS and web apps. Chromecast PM director Rishi Chandra said during an interview earlier this week that he could eventually see millions of websites and mobile apps add support for Google Cast: "Our opportunity set is fairly large."

 

 
 

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AllCast works with Chromecast again, streams local media from Android to TV

With Google releasing the official Chromecast SDK to developers on Monday, we can expect an influx of Chromecast apps to follow. And among the first is AllCast, which actually had and later lost Chromecast support last year because the SDK wasn't yet final. The Android app was quickly updated on Tuesday morning in the Google Play store.

 
 

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Asus unveils $179 Chromebox, coming in March

Asus on Monday announced a new Chromebox. The Google Chrome-based machine starts at $179 and is powered by an Intel Haswell-based Celeron processor. Geared towards stationary use - like business, home and school - the Chromebox measures just 4.88 by 1.65 inches, which makes it comparable to the size of a Roku streaming box.

 
 

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APIs are hot and will be the focus of the upcoming TadHack in Madrid which is very relevant to telcos and telecom execs. Zapier is one of the service providers we use at Comunicano, and their news of 28 new API's in 28 days is very important to their growth. Using Zapier, like IFTTT makes a lot of repetitive tasks automatic.

 
 

 
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28 days, 28 APIs: Zapier adding an app a day to its integration library this month

February is now the month of API integrations, in addition to Black History Month and the month of love. Zapier is a buzzy Y Combinator company that simplifies the process of connecting web apps and APIs. The company announced that February is the "28 days of integration love," meaning it will release a new integration every single day this month.

 
 

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It looks like Apple is going to move towards operating their own Content Delivery Network (CDN). This is a very important step as Apple wants to control the end to end user experience and be able to better deliver content and integrate it more into iCloud.

 
 

 
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Apple Building Out Their Own CDN To Deliver Content To Consumers

Over the past year, there has been speculation of when or if Apple would build out their own content delivery network for the purpose of delivering content to consumers. To date, all of the CDN deployments done by Apple have been for internal purposes only, but that's about to change.

 
 

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Facebook is developing apps. First we saw the release of Messenger. Now we're seeing what could be THE new generation of Facebook on mobile. It's called Paper.

 
 

 
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Paper Now Available For iOS In The US, And It Could Be A Facebook Replacement

Facebook's new standalone app Paper is now available for download on iOS to everyone in the US, and it's more than just a content reader. Paper has messages, notifications, search, and a completely redesigned profile. When I asked the team leaders behind Paper if they still used the old one, product manager Michael Reckhow diplomatically responded "mmhmm, yeah", but designer Mike Matas just smiled coyly.

 
 

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Uber, the car service, not the conferencing service, is launching a Lyft competitor called UberPop in Paris. Having already come under scrutiny by the French regulators, it will be interesting to see just how long this goes unchallenged.

 
 

 
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Look Out Lyft, Uber Is Getting Serious About Ride-Sharing With UberPOP In Paris

Urban transportation company Uber just announced a brand new offering for Paris called UberPOP - and it looks a lot like Lyft. It's a cheaper ride-sharing service built right into the Uber app. Everybody can become a driver.

 
 

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And just when you thought you knew what Google search was they are changing it.

 
 

 
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The Morning Download: Google Planning New Kind of Search

Good morning. Google Inc. engineering chief Ray Kurzweil said Monday that he's helping his company change its search algorithms to do a better job of understanding queries and providing answers people actually need. Mr. Kurzweil is working on a more human-like approach to search that will not only understand the content of Web documents, but remember queries and return answers when new information comes to light.

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Monday February 3, 2014

 
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Last week's IT Expo was exciting to attend. Crowds were up, the number of exhibitors were up and even the panels seemed to have more speakers. This bodes well for the next couple of TMC events including WebRTC World and this August's Hot event IT Expo-Fall Summer in Las Vegas at the Rio. To me that's a shorts and golf shirt event. Socks of course will be optional. Now ON TO THE NEWS!

 

 
 

 

One of the hot topics at IT Expo was of course WebRTC. My view is the technology is ready for prime time, but that prime time isn't ready for WebRTC. But that's changing as companies like PlivoOnSipSansay and others keep making things simpler to get things up and running. Seeing how one company is going beyond voice and video with the WebRTC technology is a proof point that we're getting prime time read for it.

 
 

 
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Pipe turns to WebRTC for in-Facebook file transfer tech

Pipe, a service that lets you transfer large files within Facebook, has rebuilt its app to use WebRTC instead of Adobe Flash's RTMFP protocol as the underlying peer-to-peer technology. WebRTC was originally pitched as a technology for browser-based video and voice chat, but its flexibility also opens it up to other use cases, such as content delivery and file transfer.

 
 

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Apple may have celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Mac but can you believe that Facebook is now 10?

 
 

 
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Facebook, Then and Now

In the 10 years since Mark Zuckerberg and some fellow Harvard classmates launched Facebook - then, thefacebook.com - from a Harvard dorm room, a lot has changed, including Zuckerberg himself. Then a Harvard student, he is now the leader of the largest social-networking site in the world and has even turned his sights toward public policy.

 
 

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Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. The game was a rout, and the commercials were, well, just that, but from it we're seeing the impact that the Internet is having on the mass media in the form of webisodes and hashtags being all the rage.

 
 

 
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Budweiser Wins the Super Bowl -- on the Web

You can watch the game because you care about the game, or you can watch the game because you care about the commercials. But as far as the Web is concerned, it's already a rout - for Budweiser. That result comes from iSpot, a company that's trying to track the way TV commercials perform on the Web.

 
 

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Crummy Game. Pretty Good Seinfeld Episode.

If you're a die-hard Seahawks fan, you've enjoyed the Super Bowl. And I suppose it could theoretically get more interesting at this point. But not very likely! So. The rest of you have a spare 6 minutes, 17 seconds to spend watching the full-length Seinfeld semi-reunion (lots of George!

 
 

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Hashtags win in Super Bowl ads, and Facebook gets even with Twitter

Rather than pick a side in the fierce Facebook-vs-Twitter marketing matchup, many brands that advertised during the Super Bowl today opted for the social network-neutral hashtag. More than half of the 53 advertisements during the game contained hashtags.

 
 

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Startups are often viewed as successes, but we rarely hear about the failures. A list of 72 of the biggest failures of all time has been published. My guess, it will be outdated by the end of the month and every month thereafter. 

 
 

 
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72 of the Biggest, Costliest Startup Failures of All Time

For those who've been reading, we've had failure on the brain recently. This is partly because its a good counterbalance to the typical survivorship bias laden stories we read and also because understanding failure is critical to the algorithms underlying our product.

 
 

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Startup are a changing. With a hat tip to TechCrunch, a special report last month from the Economist is required reading, more to get a refresher on how the mass media views the world we are all living in, by providing some very solid data points.

 
 

 
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Required Reading: The Economist's Special Report On Tech Startups

It's not every day we here at TechCrunch just point to someone else's work and say, "Here, you should go read this." But today's an exception, because The Economist has put together a 16-page Special Report on the rise of technology startups around the world.

 
 

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Data breaches seem to be happening more and more. This week's big one comes from France, and telecom Orange was the TARGET. Changing passwords more often is going to become more commonplace, but as services that we all use increasingly become part of our daily lives more and more, keeping track of them is going to become more of a challenge.

 
 

 
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Hackers access 800,000 Orange customers' data

Summary: Orange reveals an attack on its website exposed details for three percent of its French customer base. Orange customers in France could see a spike in phishing attempts after hackers nabbed hundreds of thousands of customers' unencrypted personal data in an attack on the operator's website.

 
 

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One thing the Super Bowl proved is that people will go to the web for video. The ads are a proof point, but more and more consumers are cutting the cord. Still there are some hurdles to adoption, largely in the hardware side of the mix.

 
 

 
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Web video's new middlemen: here's what's wrong with consumer electronics

A A Online video was supposed to free us of the middlemen, and offer us access to all kinds of content without the interference of pay TV providers and TV networks. But in place of the old gatekeepers, there's increasingly a new guard - except that this time, consumers know even less about who is interfering with their choices.

 
 

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In the world of spin, and to keep stock price up, don't ever admit you're abandoning a market sector...UNTIL YOU DO is the safe way to play. Well it seems BlackBerry is playing textbook marketer in following that old axiom.

 
 

 
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BlackBerry Reassures Consumers It Won't Dump Them For Enterprises

Over the past few months there have been major changes at BlackBerry. Under the leadership of John Chen, the company booted several top executives from the previous regimes, brought in new talent, restructured itself in four major divisions and tightened its belt even further.

 
 

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Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing both are going to be part of the changing game of startups and success stories. Three items in the news the past few days help to clarify and demystify what's going on, and more importantly, how to do it well, while also helping to know the differences between platforms and concepts,

 
 

 
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For small firms, successful crowdfunding takes lots of prep work

Want to launch a crowdfunding campaign? You'd better get started yesterday. The popular perception of fundraising sites like Kickstarter is that entrepreneurs can cut out a lot of the legwork of landing money. But experts say that's far from true.

 
 

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Abrams: Finding success in crowd funding requires strategy

Want to raise money for your new product, company or creative project? A hot new option, crowd funding, has all kinds of people - entrepreneurs, small-business owners, inventors, investors, artists, speculators and crooks - excited. For many years, entrepreneurs and aspiring small-business owners had only two options when seeking investors.

 
 

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Indiegogo's Rubin: "If you want humans to decide, go to a bank" (Video)

The rewards-based crowdfunding arms race is alive and well. In a recent interview with Bloomberg West, Bloomberg's Emily Chang leads by pointing out that Indiegogo is the smaller of two websites currently participating in a "two-horse race," singling out Indiegogo as the "little guy."

 
 

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