WebRTC Fest - The Modern Day Von Interop

Back in the day of VON and VoIP the most interesting part of the conference was always the Carl Ford led Interop. Part of the fun was getting your company in, then bringing all the gear and watching Carl masterfully orchestrate the interrelationships between vendors.

Now, it can and is being done IN THE CLOUD and virtually. This month a bunch of folks have banded together to organize what is described as the world's First Vendor Independent WebRTC Coding Fest, simply known as WebRTC Fest.

The panel of judges reads like a who's who in WebRTC land that observes the space with critical eyes. So if you have a WebRTC idea, why not throw it out there and see if you win the prize....


A New Honor Business Traveler of the Year

For the past month or so I've been aware of what became news today. I've been named "Business Traveler of the Year" by Business Travel USA Magazine. The honor, which I share with traveling Navy Wife, Heather Wilson, is just that. An honor. It's a "Red Badge of Courage" or in my case it really feels like winning the NHL's "Hart Trophy." So while I've been bestowed other awards like the Chevalier du Commanderie (Faugeres Conferie) which makes me a Knight (of wine) or being named USA Ambassador for the Grenache Association, this one carries the wounds of battle that a frequent business traveler only feels.

As someone who has originate and crafted awards programs in the past for like the Flyers' Cup Bobby Clarke Award and more, I know that not only finding the candidates is the first challenge.  The real test comes in selecting the recipients. 

But, I digress. If this were the Academy Awards there are people I have to thank. So here goes.

First is Adrianne Buchta, who works for me at Comunicano. She saw the award nomination request and suggested me. Actually she kicked me into doing this.

Second is Peter Koehler, the SVP for IHG and the GM of the San Francisco Intercontinental, where his staff, especially Gina, Earnest, Boris and Jadey go far past the norm in making a business traveler feel at home it is like my other home. Right up there is Shehani De Marseille, who as the former Guest Relations Director there who is now in Cleveland who still to this day looks after me wherever I go.

In London it's Holly Redmond the now Conrad St. James that was Intercontinental Westminster. There as the mistress of guest relations she makes sure I always get not only the same room, but the same treatment.

Down in Australia Joerg Boeckler the GM at the Sydney Intercontinental who had the guts to tell Angelina Jolie I would be sleeping underneath her (room that is) despite the star's hotel agreement, and in Melbourne Intercontinental's, it's Chief Concierge, and perhaps the World's Best at it, James Ridenour, who not only has his finger on the pulse of Melbourne, but who also has one heck of a blog too.

I also have to thank Guy Cooper, who until he retired his limo business was my Private Driver for the past few years and of course, my pal here in San Diego, Steve Pagano, the Hotel Manager at the San Diego Marriott. Getting to know Steve when he was GM at the Del Mar Marriott presented a whole other perspective and his advice years ago benefit me on the road more than he'll ever know.

Then there's my friend of almost 40 years, Larry "the Yaz" Yasner who in 1980 gave me tips on how to go to Europe. Yazzer... little did you know what you started.... and there's also pal Tom Carter, who may log more miles than me each year, and who really defines the title of "Road Warrior." Catching the business travel bug from you over ten years ago is one that never leaves us.....And, I'd be totally remiss if I didn't mention the real guru of business travel, Joe Brancatelli'. Just go read JoeSentMe, as his tips, and those of his colleagues have saved my bacon more than a few times and it's easily worth the annual subscription...yes the list could go on, because unlike the horrors many traveler experience, my connections and friendships I've made have benefited me in spades as I travel the globe in search of great wine, fine food and super business relationships.

So for all those I've come into contact with, who understand the "Business Traveler" I thank you. And for those whom I've gotten upset with, well, I'm just "the guest" after all.

Seriously, I'll have more on this in January at the Awards Show, but for now, just after Thanksgiving Weekend I say a big "thank you" to everyone who has helped, put up with me, and made my life on the road just a little bit better and a whole lot easier.

Merci!!!

 


The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday November 19, 2014

 
 
 
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Lots of news from different parts of the connected world this morning. For starters, IBM wants to take on the problem with email, via a new service called Verse.  Hopefully, the song doesn't remain the same. Verse comes at a time when Google is also rolling out INBOX and services like Slack are taking a major foothold in the pseudo time communications sector.

 

 
     
 
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IBM Launching Web-Based Email Service

International Business Machines Corp. is launching a new offensive against Google Inc. and others in the email market, offering a Web-based service that marks a rare direct appeal by Big Blue to end users. The computing giant on Tuesday is unveiling IBM Verse, an email service melded with other collaboration and social-media functions.
 
 

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It's no surprise that smart conferencing service providers see the need to line up with the mobile operators. In my blog post today on VoIPWatch I called out a very key reason as to why both UberConference and Cisco's WebEx have moved in that direction.

 

 
 
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Why AT&T and Sprint just announced business conferencing services

Separate announcements Tuesday for business conferencing services, one from AT&T and the other from Sprint, highlight the radically changing business models at U.S. wireless carriers. AT&T is working with Cisco on a cloud-based, video collaboration service that will be available for almost any device when it launches next month.
 
 

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Wireless charging isn't about mobile payments. At Starbucks t's all about keeping your phone topped up with power while you're coffee cup empties. The real reason is this offering will help keep people lingering around the coffee shop longer, which is one more change in experience design for the Seattle company that was for a few years encouraging their customers to come and go with loud music, cold temperatures, etc. I guess they have caught on.

 

 
 
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Starbucks Rollout Could Mark Turning Point in Wireless Charging Battle

For the past couple of years, several competitors have been duking it out to become the standard for wireless device charging. Consumers have mostly chosen to wait on the sidelines, grudgingly toting power cords or battery cases for those times when their phones won't make it through the day.
 
 

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It's often been said that we don't have to worry about Big Brother watching us, as we're all reporting enough publicly on our own. Well now the data we collect via Fitbit is being used in court. This creates all kinds of interesting legal situations.....for starters in physical rehabilitation the data is useful to your medical team, but could be harmful to your legal case.....

 

 
 
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Fitbit Data Now Being Used In The Courtroom

Personal injury cases are prime targets for manipulation and conjecture. How do you show that someone who's been in a car accident can't do their job properly, and deserves thousands of dollars in compensation? Till now lawyers have relied on doctors to observe someone for half an hour or so and give their, sometimes-biased opinion.
 
 

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If you're a mobile developer or you develop mobile apps, you just got more toys to play with from Apple and Google. Our next three stories provide the keys.

 

 
 
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Developers Start Designing Apps for Apple Watch

CUPERTINO, California-November 18, 2014-Apple® today announced the availability of WatchKit, software that gives developers a set of tools to easily create experiences designed specifically for Apple Watch™-Apple's most personal device ever. Apple has the world's most vibrant and innovative developer community, and now these developers can begin developing WatchKit apps before Apple Watch becomes available.
 
 

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11 things we just learned about how the Apple Watch works

An iPhone is required - at (almost) all times. In Apple's own words, Watch apps extend iOS apps. "You begin your Watch app development with your existing iOS app, which must support iPhone." That's in part because Watch apps' processing power is all coming from the iPhone.
 
 

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Android Auto Starts The Engine For Developers

Google has begun letting third-party developers build apps for Android Auto, with the release of a new set of APIs for its in-car software platform. The initial set of APIs out the door support audio and messaging apps, similar to the launch set of features being offered by Apple with CarPlay.
 
 

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WhatsApp, perhaps the best example of Over The Top (OTT) communications services anywhere just added encryption.  This comes at a time when new services like Secret and Whisper are growing in users.

 

 
 
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Whatsapp Just Switched On End-To-End Encryption For Hundreds of Millions of Users

Growing up in Soviet Ukraine in the 1980s, Whatsapp founder Jan Koum learned to distrust the government and detest its surveillance. After he emigrated to the U.S. and created his ultra-popular messaging system decades later, he vowed that Whatsapp would never make eavesdropping easy for anyone.

 
 

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Facebook continues to segment its platform. First was Messenger. Now it's Groups. Don't be surpirsed if Photos is next.

 

 
 
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Introducing the Facebook Groups App

People use Facebook Groups every day to stay in touch with family, collaborate on projects, plan trips and offer support to friends. Today, we're introducing a new Facebook Groups app that helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life.
 
 

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Mobile payments are here to stay. And new services like Venmo are offering all kinds of twists and features that provide for more capabilities.

 

 
 
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Making Venmo easier, more secure, and more fun

We're excited to share with you a few new features we've been working on to continue to make Venmo an easy, secure, and fun way to pay people. Easy: Link your bank without your checkbook We've now made it even simpler to link a bank account to Venmo if you use Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, or Citibank.
 
 

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Our Ritch Blasi was quoted today on the subject of mobile security and IT. Given his past experience with AT&T on so many levels, he's certainly got the right insight and perspective.

 

 
 
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5 Reasons IT Is Scared of Mobile Security

Last month Spiceworks released a study about mobile security in the enterprise - or, as the case may be, lack thereof. The company found that despite ever-present threat of hacks into corporate systems, corporate IT shops are not investing in mobile device management software or buying mobile device security software, at least not at the levels they should given the deep inroads mobile devices have made in the corporate environment.
 
 

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It used to be the Diary that television viewers kept was the sacred cow of television ratings. Then came the PeopleMeter. But with the advent of downloaded and streamed content, all that goes out the window. Now Nielsen is going to track the rest of the content, to really tell networks and content producers who is watching what.

 

 
 
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Nielsen Set To Measure SVOD Viewership On Netflix, Amazon Prime, Others: Report

Nielsen plans to start measuring SVOD services next month for the first time, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing Nielsen client document. Nielsen meters can measure viewership without the OK from Netflix, Amazon Prime and the like - by analyzing a program's audio components to identify which shows are being streamed.
 
 

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Ever wonder which social media myths were true or not.  This Hootsuite contributed content offers up some startling facts and realities.

 

 
 
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9 Myths About Social Media at Work

This post is part of a new series titled "Business Social," and is brought to you by Hootsuite. Avinash Kaushik, an Indian entrepreneur, author and public speaker, once tweeted that "Social media is like teen sex, Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how.
 
 

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Conferencing Services Aligning With The Mobile Operators-All About Net Neutrality

This statement in the ComputerWorld article about Sprint and AT&T Mobile offering next generation conferencing services from UberConference and Cisco is really all about. Net neutrality and parity. 

Because of this over-the-top services debacle, the net neutrality debate takes on greater meaning. If carriers can offer their own content and services on their own networks, they don't have to worry as much about whether they are throttling somebody's else's third party service, and they don't have to levy a higher charge on that third party to give its service greater priority on a busy network.

What this also means is interconnection agreements between the carriers and the mobile operators also need to be honored. Thus if data traffic between Sprint and AT&T have to be treated the same as if they were on each other's owned and operated network, a call to Uber Conference from AT&T over the mobile app (if Uber offers this) would have to be as if it was ending up on AT&T and vice versa. This is a very important point and fact as we migrate from circuit switched voice to LTE Voice and VoLTE.

 


UberConference Starts to Sprint with Sprint Business

The news surrounding Sprint adding UberConference so far has been as loud as a pin drop, but it is something to realize is clearly a tell for where pal Craig Walker is taking the company that is now known as Switch Communications. He's gunning for the enterprise, and with $18 million dollars of A16Z and Google Ventures cash, plus his own money, he and the team there have the pieces, parts and smarts to do it. 

This reseller deal though will now hinge on the concept of selling through, as Walker and Co. have accomplished the "selling in" but are now reliant on the Sprint Business team to get it over the line. And to do that means the Sprint team has to live up to its side of the deal, something that in a changing and shuffling world of Sprint executives it may not be as easy as pie.

While UberConference's sister cloud PBX play, Switch.co is still in a very tightly controlled private beta, UberConference, is going guns a blazing, and this, their second reseller deal (the first was with Google Apps integrator CloudSherpas) further points them squarely in the direction of the enterprise. 

And, if you're wondering why they enterprise market and Sprint makes sense? For years Sprint has been in the conferencing business on the wireline side of the house. Their enterprise market remains a core part of the wireless business today, and the close relationship between Google and Sprint isn't far flung for Walker who originally engineered the GoogleVoice Sprint integration along with sidekick Vincent Paquet (who also co-founded GrandCentral with Walker.) 

This gives Sprint Business, an IP first conferencing service, and as Android smartphones and tablets can run on the Sprint network faster and with less hiccups (and not because no one is on the network) businesses of all sizes can get a better, all IP experience if they use the data network and Uber's browser integration via Chrome or Firefox -- what's lacking though is the WebRTC aspects for Enterprise users who are locked to Internet Explorer and Safari...

To me, all this points to one thing eventually happening. Switch eventually becomes Google's Business Voice and eventually an exit again for Walker and his team...Batter Up!

 

 


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 Friday November 14, 2014

 
 
 
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It's always nice to wake up to see Comunicano clients in the news. Today, GigaOm's David Meyer captured the news about Temasys launching the All AWS (Amazon Web Services) based Skylink for WebRTC developers. In essence, if someone is building services on Amazon's Web Services platform they can now quickly and easily use Temasys' technologies quickly and easily.

 

 
 
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Temasys wants AWS users to embed WebRTC comms using its platform

The WebRTC company Temasys has released a platform called Skylink to help other firms build real-time communications into their apps and services. Because it is entirely built on the AWS stack, Skylink should work particularly well for providers who are also using AWS as their foundation.
 
 

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The rules of the game for investing are changing and Angels List, like OurCrowd is at the forefront of changing those rules. Now they are letting institutional investors jump in early. Where this really changes the game is in the area I like to call "diagonal marketing" where relationships that exist between companies, people and organizations can be leveraged to shorten time to market, broaden distribution, supply pieces, parts and technology, form alliances, etc. This is all good as long as they all stay far away from the potential anti-trust, monopoly or insider trading regulations. I see this as a ripe opportunity for new regulation to come to be...hopefully for the good.

 

 
 
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A disruptor shakes up angel investing

One recent evening a group of institutional money managers was ushered into a backroom at San Francisco brasserie the Cavalier via an unmarked secret entrance that most customers would mistake for an emergency fire exit. Their host was Naval Ravikant, a wildly successful angel investor-Uber, Twitter, etc.-and serial entrepreneur who wanted to pitch them on his latest venture.
 
 

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If it walks like a duck....BlackBerry Meetings sounds a lot like iotum's Pronto to me, which Comuicano helped launch many years ago at DEMO winning a DemoGod Awardin the process. Fast forward nine years and now BB has Meetings that does much of the same thing, but possibly with different technology.

 

 
 
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BlackBerry announces BBM Meetings, a cross-platform conference call tool for $13.75 per month

BlackBerry continues to expand upon and flesh out the features of its BBM messaging service. The company today hosted a BES event to unveil a new a new app called BBM Meetings that it says will address the shortcomings of current collaboration solutions.
 
 

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 If you need a lift to work now there's Lyft for Business. Fortunately, for the Comunicano team, we all are usually WFH (working from home) but if we do need to go somewhere more and more we use Uber and other ride sharing services. (Personally I'm a huge fan of Uber X)....The idea behind Lyft for Business is that companies can set up accounts for their employees, but also what Lyft is doing is setting up some car-pooling systems for co-workers. It's a neat idea and one that may just put more cars in the car pool lanes.

 

 
 
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Lyft Becomes An Employee Perk With Launch Of 'Lyft For Work'

On-demand ride-sharing service Lyft is announcing a new program that will allow businesses to give Lyft credits to employees as a perk. The new Lyft for Work program, which launches today, is aimed to boost adoption of the service while also providing a better commuting experience for company employees.
 
 

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"I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" was a song by Nick Lowe, and for some in the industry there may be some joy in Mudville over the nay saying, barb throwing aspects of the story below about Google Glass' future not being so bright. I take a different view, and thing that as with all early adopter programs that are over-hyped, there's a period of dissillusionment before the dam burst for the idea. Given we work so much with early stage ideas and companies, I'm a bit more tolerant but also like to caution our clients on not telling the whole story too soon. Google Glass is one where the whole story isn't really yet known.

 

 
 
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Google Glass future clouded as some early believers lose faith - The Economic Times

After two years of popping up at high-profile events sporting Google Glass, the gadget that transforms eyeglasses into spy-movie worthy technology, Google co-founder Sergey Brin sauntered bare-faced into a Silicon Valley red-carpet event on Sunday. He'd left his pair in the car, Brin told a reporter.

 
 

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Back to School Daze..BlackBoard, which wants to be the supplier of all things educational except keeps rolling up vertcially aligned companies with their latest purchase, ParentLink. 

 

 
 
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Blackboard shells out an undisclosed sum to acquire ParentLink

The shopping spree continues for District-based Blackboard. The education technology company has paid an undisclosed sum for Provo, Utah-based ParentLink, a company that connects school districts with parents through social media, mobile apps, phone calls and e-mail. Blackboard executives said Thursday that the purchase reflects the company's growing focus on selling technology to elementary and secondary schools.

 
 

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This sounds like something that would happen to me. And actually I'm surprised it didn't on a flight back from London on a test flight on Virgin Atlantic where WiFi was offered (It was slow and useless). That said, there are faster services coming to the global airlines, and hopefully, better pricing than this.

 

 
 
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Man gets $1,171 bill for using in-flight WiFi

When it comes to offering Wi-Fi in the sky, airlines enjoy a situational monopoly. Still, this takes the cake: a Singapore Airlines passenger stepped off a plane, looked at his phone and discovered this bill for $1,171.46: As the passenger, Jeremy Gutsche, explains on TrendHunter, the eye-popping total came about as result of ordinary internet use - sending emails, uploading documents and such things.
 
 

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From the "don't try this at home department" of viral videos, take a look at the CEO of a company that builds armor plated limos and how far he has gone to prove his product works......

 

 
 
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Texas Armoring Corporation CEO Lets Employee Shoot Car With Assault Rifle While He's Inside 

A Texas-based company posted a video on YouTube showing one of its employees firing at an SUV with an assault rifle while his boss is inside the vehicle, MSN has learned. The video is a promotional material for Texas Armoring Corporation, a company that retrofits everyday vehicles with protective armor.

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Thursday November 13, 2014

 
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After a hiatus, The Comunicano Daily is back. Today, we'll lead off with what is a stellar review by ZDNET's Matt Miller about client Sonim's new XP7 AndroidSmartphone.  Back in 2005 when Comunicano launched the Nokia Blogger Relations Program Matt was one of the first "pro" bloggers we contacted because he lives smartphones and has now for well over ten years.

When you read Matt's review you'll quickly realize the difference between the typical "look what's new" like some web sites and publications tend to produce and a review from someone who has actually put a product or service through tests and usage to draw their own conclusions.

 

 
 
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Sonim XP7 hands-on: The ruggedized Android smartphone built to withstand active lifestyles | ZDNet

Summary: More and more people are hitting the slopes, diving through muddy pits, leaping over fire, and working in extreme weather conditions. The Sonim XP7 can handle all of these arenas and more. Field workers, outdoor sports participants, and those with extremely active lifestyles often end up destroying powerful touchscreen smartphones.
 
 

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Amazon Prime Air is getting ready to fly...at least in the UK in tests. As someone using Amazon Fresh, Prime Delivery and Shop and Save programs I can see how the drone delivery program can give a lift to all of them.

 

 
 
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Amazon's Prime Air will start testing drone deliveries in Cambridge - Shiny Shiny

If you can't wait 24 hours to get your hands on a book, DVD, or video game without breaking out into a cold sweat, get excited (and maybe look into moving). Same day Amazon deliveries just moved a step closer with the news that the company will be testing drones in Cambridge ASAP.
 
 

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Samsung is doing all they can draw attention to their products. Now they are moving into 3D cameras.

 

 
 
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Samsung has just unveiled Project Beyond, a 3D-capturing camera for Gear VR

Samsung has just unveiled a sneak preview of a new camera called Project Beyond, which is a 3D-capturing 360-degree camera designed to capture videos designed to be displayed on the Gear VR. Developing...
 
 

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Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era

Privacy evokes a constellation of concepts for Americans-some of them tied to traditional notions of civil liberties and some of them driven by concerns about the surveillance of digital communications and the coming era of "big data."
 
 

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And the Pew Report is timely, as Facebook is struggling in the area of Privacy, as they try to balance how they make more money with advertising.

 

 
 
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Facebook Tries to Explain Its Privacy Settings But Advertising Still Rules

A year after Facebook last changed its privacy policies, the company is proposing another round of changes to its rules. This time, the focus is on explaining how the service works in simpler, clearer language, including a new animated dashboard that attempts to answer common questions like how to delete a post or who can see the comments you make on someone else's post.
 
 

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Samsung continues to try to chase Apple, this time it's with sesnors to rival iBeacon.

 

 
 
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'Proximity' is Samsung's equivalent of Apple's iBeacon, coming to a mall near you

Tired of only seeing adverts 99 percent of the time? While Apple's already announced intentions to take over the final one percent with iBeacon, Samsung's just today getting in on the action. The Korean electronics giant has a website introducing Samsung "Proximity," a "mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology."
 
 

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AT&T CEO: Net neutrality uncertainty puts a pause in investing - CNET

Randall Stephenson, speaking at an investor conference, weighs in on President Obama's position on Net neutrality and its plans to buy Mexican carrier Iusacell. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson warned that he would hold off on many of its capital investment plans if the uncertainty over how the government would regulation the Internet persists.
 
 

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The Internet's Man Of The Hour

Posted: WASHINGTON - On Monday, President Barack Obama went public with his support of an aggressive approach to protecting net neutrality. Shortly after that, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler told a gathering of business representatives and public interest groups that he was taking the president's comments under advisement and that he would need the groups' support in the coming fight over net neutrality, according to multiple sources in the meeting.
 
 

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From the start of the blogging era and even before that, with the dawn of search engines, writing for SEO was usually the coin of the realm. We've always felt at Comunicano that writing for your audience was the right approach for organic search rankings. It seems the balance of power is shifting more in the direction we've always believed in, as long as you know what people are searching for.

 

 
 
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Are You Writing Content "Just for SEO?" - The Agency Post

"Yeah, those keywords have a lot of search volume, but we don't want to write content just for SEO." This is a common apprehension of some clients these days, now that the more literal interpretations of "content is king" are dying off and Panda penalties have started to make it sink in that the content on your website actually has to be meaningful beyond a robot recognizing keyword density in a slapdash pile of 300 words.
 
 

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Microsoft Brings Back Skype For Business-Sort Of

Extra-Exta read all about it, Skype For Business is coming back...well it is soft of. Basically, Microsoft has recognized that the Skype name has more credibility than Lync does so they're renaming Lync, Skype for Business. That's the crux of the story, that's untold in my view. Given that, this is as much a marketing decision as it is a business and engineering one. At the end of the day this looks like a defensive move to counter Google Apps and give Office and Office365 users from jumping ship. To me this may be the right move, but it may be too late.

Since Lync already offers instant messaging and audio calling with Skype users, something had to be added to make it interesting, so Skype for Business will add video calling and the Skype user directory making it possible to call any Skype user on any device so let's hope this works the otherway too.

The big hook though is how Microsoft is using Office 365 and its own Lync/S4B integration going forward. It's designed to thus rival Google Hangouts, which means Office365 needs a Switch like service to marry up to it. Basically, Skype is that service, sort of.

To me this makes me think that Lync for Mobile, becomes Skype. And with LTE, the mobile enterprise extension is created best via Office365 adding Lync/S4B vs. a premise installation, as MSFT will keep the updates flowing (yes we know how often they happen.)