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Posts from July 2016

Skype Meetings is A Me To, Me Also Service

We who hailed Skype, saluted and praised it, now are mostly part of the world that damns it. The service under Microsoft has become more challenging than useful. Calls don't always connect. Billing issues with credit card fraud turn off services of the legitimate user and with so many other options, Skype of old is much like AIM or ICQ (remember them)..

This week, the Skype for Business team unveiled Skype Meetings. If it reminds you of Google Hangouts, it should. A free offer, all designed to get you to subscribe to Office 365. It is also like the offer from Citrix for GoToMeeting. After a while you can have three people on a call, but no more.  Personally I find conference calls with more than five people to be few talkers, mostly listeners. But the real sadness here is that Skype and Microsoft have so much technology and talent that they acquired (Sunrise team being one) that you would think there would be more than a "me too" or "me also" type of product offering with Skype Meetings. Can you say, MSFT is feeling the heat from Slack and HipChat, which via their Jitsi purchase is able to do all this and more via WebRTC..Come one Microsoft, do something good.......

Well, I need to run..Time for another call.....cheerio...

Why Albarino When You Can Alvarinho

Today, Lettie Teague, the erstwhile wine reviewer and critic for the Wall Street Journal has taken a taste of the Spanish coastal wines made from the Albarino grape to task. Sadly her reviews are spot on, given the vintage and the state of the Spain's most exported white wine varietal. Lettie pretty much nails how dull and boring the wines that reach the USA are this year. 

I would rather she had compared them to the far more interesting Godello based wines from not far away or better yet, taken a page out of Mark Squires' searches in nearby Portugal where the Alvarinho's and Vinho Verde wines are far more complex, interesting and offer a better value.  For example, last week I tasted the killer 2014 Aphros Ten white wine as part of a flight of many wines at a local wine shop in Los Angeles which lets their customers decide on what they should stock next. It was as refreshing as the 2013 I enjoyed about a year ago in Lisbon with sushi. 

Unfortunately, Lettie has to write for the masses so she writes about what's widely available. With her notes today, the latest crop of Albarino's will likely languish on the shelves as after one or two bottles of those mentioned, many will start to look elsewhere for more interesting summer whites.