The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday December 16, 2014

 
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Apple Pay is rolling along.  And like iTunes and the iPhone, more and more people and more retailers are using it. What's funny is Google had Wallet long before Apple Pay, yet the attention being given to Wallet vs. Apple Pay is small while Apple gets the attention.

 

 
 
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Dozens More Companies Sign Up for Apple Pay

The list of companies working with Apple Pay continues to grow. On Tuesday, Apple announced that in recent weeks the company had signed up dozens more banks, retail stores and start-ups to adopt Apple Pay, the company's new e-commerce product, which allows customers to buy things with little more than a wave of their iPhone.
 
 

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Drones continue to be in the news.  Two stories today of note.

 

 
 
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Why our drone future is for real -- someday

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wants to ship goods using unmanned aircraft. Some are skeptical, others nervous, but drones already are improving the way we live. In 2002, a stroke-like event turned Henry Evans into a quadriplegic, depriving him of almost all ability to move.

 
 

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Drone-Hunting Blimp To Launch Over Washington, DC

On Friday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, will launch a giant drone-hunting blimp over Maryland's Aberdeen Proving Grounds just east of Washington D.C. The system includes a 242-foot balloon (technically called an aerostat because it's connected to the ground) that can stay up for a month at a time and a radar to detect - among other potential threats- drones.
 
 

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Ever wonder which companies protect your data, and which may not?  This story may make you think twice.

 

 
 
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We Asked 29 Tech Companies If Their Employees Can Access Your Personal Data

Traditionally, privacy worries for consumers and tech companies have been limited to keeping information secure from third parties or hackers. But a series of internal abuses show that tech company employees often have universal access to user information, as well as reason - be it pure voyeuristic curiosity or, in the worst cases, a vendetta - to look at our whereabouts, spending, and of the most private corners of our lives.
 
 

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Changes in tax laws in the EU may have a major impact on services, pricing and availability.

 

 
 
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EU tax change is about to hammer small digital service providers

From the beginning of January, new EU tax rules will force many businesses offering online services across the Union to take on a load of new administrative responsibilities. The changes have caused particular consternation among micro-businesses providing such services - for a classic example, think about an individual who's making a small amount selling knitting...
 
 

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In the UK BT is looking more like they are getting back into the mobile business in a big way, buying up EE/Orange/T-Mobile UK.

 

 
 
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British Telecom Company BT Is in Exclusive Talks to Buy EE

LONDON - The British telecommunications company BT said on Monday that it had entered into exclusive talks to acquire the British mobile phone business of Orange of France and Deutsche Telekom of Germany. Orange and Deutsche Telekom confirmed last month that they were in early stage discussions to sell their joint venture EE to BT, Britain's former telecommunications monopoly.
 
 

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Friends. Enemies. It's hard to figure out what Bose and Apple are these days, but one things for certain, Bose is going from hardware into the services arena and wants to play in the Internet of Things. They have the devices, now they want to dance to the music.

 

 
 
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Bose May Be Working on Streaming Music Service

Apple's Beats Electronics and Bose already compete in the headphone and speaker markets, but it appears that Bose may be gearing up to compete with Beats in another area -- streaming music. A Bose job listing first noticed by (via VentureBeat ) seeks a Senior User Experience Designer to work on prototyping Bose's "next generation streaming music platform and ecosystem of products."
 
 

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For small business social media has lots of value, but that means paying attention to it. Yelp is now moving into the Attention Management business.

 

 
 
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Yelp Introduces New App For Business Owners With Push Notifications

Yelp is releasing a new app for business owners. Unsurprisingly called "Yelp for Business Owners," it's available for iOS and Android users in all countries and languages in which Yelp currently operates. Until today, business owners had to tolerate a less than optimal experience accessing their account information on a smartphone.
 
 

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Ever wonder why you see ads for web sites you've visited? Retargeting is the answer. And it seems to work very well.

 

 
 
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90% of marketers say retargeting now as good as search ads, email marketing

Over 90 percent of marketers say that retargeted ads are as good as or better than the gold standard in digital marketing, search ads, according to a recent survey by leading retargeter AdRoll. Why? Intent, says AdRoll president and CMO Adam Berke.
 
 

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Here's a great read on focus and getting things done.  Ask yourself if you're applying what's suggested or not.

 

 
 
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How to be the most productive person in your office - and still get home by 5:30 p.m.

Some days the to-do list seems bottomless. Just looking at it is exhausting. We all want to know how to stop being lazy and get more done. I certainly want the answer. So I decided to call a friend who manages to do this - and more.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday November 18, 2014

 
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Today starts WebRTC World in San Jose, CA. Already Cisco has made news at their own event a few hundred miles south in Los Angeles with a new service called Project Squared (see a few stories down)....Nokia is back and at the Slush Conference in Helsinki with an Android based tablet to rival the iPad....Technology has moved so fast that some are claiming the smartphone is now passe and connected devices are the new "IT" thing....Better image recognition is alive and well, so watch for new cameras to hit the market that show even more.....NYC Lync's Up with gigabit hotspots resurrecting an idea from another era but now which just may work...New services come to life so you can pay where you are or whomever you know, all part of the mobile payment extravaganza...Those stories and more...all, are just waiting for YOU...

 

 
 
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Nokia surprises with Android tablet

Nokia is launching an Android-powered tablet, marking the Finnish company's return to consumer electronics. The surprise launch pits the firm against Microsoft, which completed its takeover of Nokia's previous mobile-devices business in April. The N1 tablet is due to go on sale in China towards the start of 2015, ahead of other countries.
 
 

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The internet of Things is still in its infancy, and while more and more devices in our homes, cars and on our bodies are getting connected, one has to wonder just how much longer our phones and tablets will be the connective tissue or the network becomes even more attachable.....

 

 
 
 

Giants have to move quickly as smartphone era ends

 
 

The smartphone's day in the sun was a comparatively brief one in the end. Compared to PCs or landline telephones, the smartphone era could be dated to just seven years, from the iPhone launch to the end of 2014, when two giants, Samsung and Intel, admitted that they needed to look beyond handsets for growth in devices.

 
 

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If this works in New York City I would expect to see more hotboxes around the world popping up. Think of all the Red Phone Booths in London just beaming away....as WiFi and GigaBit connectivity become common place...(go back to the story about IoT)

 

 
 
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The Plan to Turn NYC's Old Payphones Into Free Gigabit Wi-Fi Hot Spots

New York announced the winning bid to transform the existing payphone infrastructure. LinkNYC will bring free gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity to some 7000 street towers. It'll be the largest and most ambitious Wi-Fi network of its kind in the world.

 
 

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Video imagery is getting batter and better. When you see how small cameras are today and just what they can do, plus what the software behind them is capable of you just have to SMILE....

 

 
 
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Hi-tech camera takes surveillance into third dimension

Banks on the mainland are testing an advanced surveillance camera technology that could be installed at key sites including Tiananmen Square and Beijing airport, according to the start-up company behind the system.
 
 

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Researchers Announce Breakthrough in Image-Recognition Software

Two groups of scientists, working independently, have created artificial intelligence software capable of recognizing and describing the content of photographs and videos with far greater accuracy than ever before, sometimes even mimicking human levels of understanding. Until now, so-called computer vision has largely been limited to recognizing individual objects.

 
 

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Cisco rolled out two new products yesterday and one, Project Squared seems to feel a lot like a corporate update and roll up of all their services to me.....

 

 
 
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Cisco launches new telepresence system, Project Squared mobile app

Cisco is busy retooling its collaboration portfolio with a telepresence system that uses less bandwidth and power and Project Squared, a mobile app that offers video conferencing, document sharing and other tools. Cisco on Monday launched a new three-screen telepresence system designed to cut costs on bandwidth and deployment as well as a mobile collaboration effort dubbed Project Squared.

 
 

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How we pay and what we pay with is changing and so is the whole payments industry. ApplePay and Google Wallet are only the tip of the iceberg. PayPal and others started the revolution, but the new players are far from all known yet...Everyone wants their piece of the action....

 

 
 
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Alibaba launches in Australia with Alipay

Alibaba founder and billionaire Jack Ma's payment offshoot company is eyeing aggressive expansion in Australia. Alipay, already China's largest third-party online payment solution company, is opening an office in Sydney targeting local small and medium-sized businesses.

 
 

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Snapchat to Let You Send Money to Friends, Thanks to Square

Snapchat unveiled Snapcash on Monday, a new payments feature that allows users to send and receive money from friends through the app's private messaging service, CEO Evan Spiegel told Re/code. The new tool is powered by payments company Square, which operates its own similar service called Square Cash that allows people to send and receive money through its Cash app or email.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Monday November 17, 2014

 
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You can always tell when the news cycle is starting to slow down. It's when dirt, rumors and soft news starts to take hold. That's what this morning feels like as I scanned looking for stories. The holiday period is here and the next few weeks will be more about Cyber Monday, Black Friday and all the offers, deals become very visible.  

The first story is really revealing about Facebook, and how they basically build their own technology after looking at everything else when they can. It helps them maintain a market lead, and they don't provide a vendor the ability to then sell things to the competition.

 

 
 
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Facebook's New Data Center Is Bad News for Cisco 

As it announced that the Altoona data center is now serving traffic to some of its 1.35 billion users, the company also revealed how its engineers pieced together the computer network that moves all that digital information through the facility.

 
 

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Facebook recognizes that it is in a battle with other social networks including LinkedIn and Twitter. As Facebook begins to be part of everyday life and as people cross lines between work and play, Facebook is launching At Work to address the market.

 

 
 
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Facebook is making 'Facebook at Work' so you can Facebook at work

You already Facebook at work, so here's "Facebook at Work." Facebook is working on extending its network beyond the social realm and into the professional world, according to the Financial Times . The company's new, enterprise-focused product will be similar to the functionality of its current site, with a newsfeed, groups and messaging capability.
 
 

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Acquisitions usually lead to changes within the company acquired. The much heralded NEST purchase of Dropcam is now showing the signs of how things really can be as the founders of the aquired company are not always as happy once they become employees.

 

 
 
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Unrest at Nest Labs

Sitting on stage last week at a San Francisco conference, Greg Duffy, the 28-year-old co-founder and CEO of Dropcam, which makes Internet-connected video cameras, fielded questions from an audience of startup founders. It should have been a time to celebrate. After all, last June, Duffy sold Dropcam to Nest Labs for $555 million.
 
 

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Country music icon Garth Brooks has always listened to the beat of his own drummer when it comes to his brand. His attempt to use the Internet has been frought with challenges and of late things are not really going his way.

 

 
 
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How Garth Brooks took on the internet - and lost

"This is where I make my stand." So Garth Brooks proclaims in the opening lines of the new album, Man Against Machine, his first collection of new original material since 2001. He isn't just flexing his muscles.
 
 

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The net neutrality issue is becoming an everyday news item in light of the recent comments from President Obama. More and more the argument is about the have's and the have nots, but the reality is what the Internet was designed to be and what broadband is about are two different things now and we need a whole relook at the opportunities just what the Internet is and what broadband will be.

 

 
 
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Wolff: Obama punts on net neutrality

President Obama's decision to advocate the reclassification of Internet broadband services as a utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act - that is, making broadband subject to all the laws that regulate telephone service - seems particularly Obama-like: squirrelly and lofty at the same time. It's squirrelly because it will never happen.
 
 

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Apple and Google are shaking up payments. Now that they are in the whole mobile payments world is expected to grow. This will create new opportunities on a variety of levels for suppliers of new technology.

 

 
 
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U.S. Mobile Payments Market to Boom by 2019, Research Firm Says

Just a few years ago, the idea of paying for things at the checkout counter with your smartphone seemed like a technology company pipe dream. That dream, according to payments industry experts, is beginning to become a reality.
 
 

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A new fund to help fuel growth of companies started by people who are not as well entrenched in the "Silicon Valley" scene is launching. This is one more step on the path to greater democratization of opportunity and certainly a welcome addition.

 

 
 
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Unshackled, a New Angel Fund, Forms to Back Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Some of the U.S.'s most successful tech companies, including Intel Corp. and Google Inc., have been built by immigrants, and many people who come to the U.S. aspire to work in or start tech companies. Without work visas, though, they don't get far.
 
 

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Down under in Australia, there's lots of geography that's not populated enough for wired or even wireless broadband. But Google and Telstra have a potential solution, using hot air balloons. Guess you don't need to be a Balloonatic after all to see that there's more than hot up there.

 

 
 
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VIDEO: Google's Bal-LOON-y trial gets QLD Telstra spectrum

Google is extending trials of its broadband-by-balloon project entitled Project Loon, and while it has already previously conducted some tests off the coast of Queensland, it is partnering to trial 20 more balloons in Western Queensland in late December.
 
 

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Robotics, drones, and IoT (Internet of Things) are nowdays a part of everyday conversation and in some cases, a safer work environment may come from it all.

 

 
 
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Knightscope's Autonomous Robots Will Take on Security Jobs Normally Held by Humans

As the sun set on a warm November afternoon, a quartet of five-foot-tall, 300-pound shiny white robots patrolled in front of Building 1 on Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus. Looking like a crew of slick Daleks imbued with the grace of Fred Astaire, they whirred quietly across the concrete in different directions, stopping and turning in place so as to avoid running into trash cans, walls, and other obstacles.

 
 

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My good friend Manrique Brenes, longtime Skype hardware guru is out on his own with a very interesting startup, Blossom. Yesterday he launched his rewards campaign on Kickstarter . It's all about water, your lawn or garden, the environment and saving people money. Given the drought conditions in California that we're all living through, his idea is timely. Even if you don't have a lawn, helping his campaign, either by telling someone about it, or puchasing a Blossom, would be a move in the right direction.

 

 
 
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Blossom™: The Smart Watering Controller

Blossom is raising funds for Blossom™: The Smart Watering Controller on Kickstarter! Automate your sprinklers with real-time weather data and complete control from your phone to lower your water bill up to 30%.
 
 

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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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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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Checking Out The On Demand Society-Fiverr

We live in a era where "right now" and "immediately" are pretty much common place. In Las Veags and New York you can have breakfast or dinner at any time, day or night. Services like UPS, FedEx and even Amazon are delivering the goods you want overnight and even same day in some markets in the USA. Companies like UBER and Lyft make it easy to get reliable transportation in an ever growing number of major metropolitan areas around the world. And, thanks to the Internet, services that used to take days or weeks are now available to us in an instant.

Over the past week I've been experimenting with Fiverr, a service where for $5.00 or more people all around the world will deliver basic entry level or better work almost immediately. Pal David Coleman and I are working on a new project together and we needed a logo. And we needed it now. For $85.00 I secured two logo concepts, source files and finished art all in less than one day. We needed letterhead but the logo designer wasn't available so for $5.00 plus another $10.00 for one day and source files, plus a Word template for Letterhead. Total cost, $100.00 all in less than 48 hours. Is the work as good as what I see from a longtime graphic designer I work with? No. But we're getting what we need to have an MVP level presentation off the ground and looking far more professional than if either of us had tried our hand at graphics.

In an era where services like 99Designs and eLance provide a range of professionals new arrivals to the world of the On Demand Society are flourishing. My next trial will be with TaskRabbit....so stay tuned.


The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday May 20, 2014

 
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There's all kinds of news coming out in all sorts of sectors as the USA warms up for a three day Memorial Day Weekend the our cousins in the UK do the same with a Bank Holiday this weekend. Clearly Apple is in the middle of a make over while Cisco begins to turn up the heat to continue to be a force in the Enterprise market....Around the world HD Voice and Voice Over LTE seems to have gotten its start and looks to be taking hold with even AT&T getting into the act in parts of the USA with some tests...Down under, Telstra is linking up with FON to create not only a network of WiFi hotspots but to give their customers access to WiFi in other countries which makes me think Fixed Mobile Convergence may not be dead at all. In other news Sprint gets whacked with a fine over "Do Not Call", some think the Internet of Things is a Bad thing..GoPRO to IPO and a whole lot more is below.

 

 
 

 
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Fake Steve Jobs on Jimmy Iovine as the New Steve Jobs

It may not be the headphones or the streaming. Does Tim Cook think Jimmy Iovine is the next Steve Jobs?

 
 

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Angela Ahrendts' plan for the future of Apple Retail: China emphasis, mobile payments, revamped experience

When Ron Johnson finalized his decision to move from leading Apple's retail strategy to become the Chief Executive Officer of J.C. Penney, the executive jumped in his car to drive to Steve Jobs' home and notify the Apple co-founder in his living room of the decision.

 
 

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Cisco CEO Predicts 'Brutal Consolidation' Coming in IT Sector

By Chris Preimesberger | Posted 2014-05-19 Email Print Chambers: "Architectures will make the difference" in developing server, storage and networking systems that will power the Internet of Everything.

 
 

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Cisco hopes to put a $1500 videoconferencing device on every desk

Hot on the heels of its lower-priced videoconferencing gear for conference rooms, Cisco is now hoping to sell personal videoconferencing devices on every company desktop. But at an estimated street price of $1,000 to $2,000 per device, this is a tough prospect.

 
 

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This year's hottest tech properties have a mobile, cloud feel

 

What a great time to be in technology, EY report shows. If you are a company immersed in SMAC solutions -- social, mobile, analytics and cloud -- you're an appealing acquisition target, a new analysis shows.

 

 
 

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AT&T launches first HD Voice handset for Voice over LTE: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Last week we noted that AT&T's first markets for HD Voice over its LTE network would be live on May 23. The carrier still plans to launch the service and will offer a compatible phone on the same day. Customers will initially need the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini handset to place or receive HD Voice calls.

 
 

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SingTel to launch world's first full-featured Voice over LTE service

SINGAPORE - SingTel has become the first telco here and globally to lead the charge in providing a full featured Voice over Long Term Evolution (LTE) service. With this service, dubbed 4G ClearVoice, 4G customers can look forward to clearer voice calls and faster connection times.

 
 

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Telstra building a larger Wi-Fi network in Australia

TELSTRA is creating one of the world's largest Wi-Fi networks in a plan worth more than $100m, to boost connectivity in Australian cafes, shopping areas, stadiums and transport hubs. Whether you are a Telstra customer or not, the aim is to offer Australians access to two million Wi-Fi hot spots in five years.

 
 

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Twitter's reported interest in SoundCloud may not have been about the music

The suggestion of Twitter buying SoundCloud, as floated by Re/code on Monday, has elicited strong reactions. Some see it as a potential bad deal for Twitter; many have worried about Twitter ruining SoundCloud's low-ad user experience. All this discussion may not be worth much anyway - Der Spiegel reports that Twitter considered the buy but decided against it for now.

 
 

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GoPro Files For $100M IPO With 2013 Revenue Of $985.7M, Up 87.4% From The Year Prior

This afternoon GoPro filed its S-1 document with the SEC, detailing its financial performance as it looks to go public. The company states that it will raise up to $100 million in the offering, trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol 'GPRO.'

 
 

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Sprint hit with largest-ever 'Do Not Call' fine

Sprint is paying a $7.5 million fine for violations of 'Do Not Call' requests, federal regulators announced Monday. When it comes to "Do Not Call" requests, Sprint apparently hasn't gotten the message. The Federal Communications Commission announced Monday that the wireless carrier will pay a $7.5 million fine for failing to honor requests from consumers to opt out of phone and text-message marketing campaigns.

 
 

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Groupon will provide almost all of its merchants with iPad-based cash registers

Coupon-providing middleman Groupon is going to provide a point-of-sale device to nearly all of its merchants. According to a press release posted on Monday, the checkout system, called Gnome, will be iPad-based and will cost $10 per month, and any business that offers a deal through Groupon will be expected to use it.

 
 

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The Dark Side of the Internet of Things | Technoccult

 
 

Another one from me at Wired: The Internet of Things is coming. And the tech cognoscenti aren't sure that's a good thing. For years, the prospect of an online world that extends beyond c

 
 

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