Twilio Goes Video, Puts Pressure On TokBox Now

For the past two years, when it came to WebRTC video many early developers would look at TokBox and use their platform. Today, the heavyweight of heavyweights in developer programs, Twilio fired a broad shot across the bow and entered the fray. This is big news for WebRTC because Twilio has the key part of the equation. The developers. And that means a lot more than what they have in their stack. Their entry also begs the question how Genband will react as they have been tossing Kandy around for months but with hardly any news about deployments.

Tsahi also raises the same concern I have towards TokBox, but overlooks a key missing piece of the equation. That is the lack of Internet Explorer or Safari compatibility that plagues both TokBox and now will impact Twilio. Both would be well served by working with client, Temasys, whose commercial plug-in brings IE and Safari to WebRTC players. 

So for now, devs working with either Twilio or TokBox will still have to go to Temasys directly to license the functionality.

If I was a developer working on IoT products, apps for iOS or Android or someone looking to appeal to the millennial generation, I'd run, not walk, to Twilio's dev program as this will speed up the adoption of WebRTC even without Microsoft being friendly today. That day will come. Just like Christmas does.

 


Getting "Back In The USA" Will be Faster

The U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement folks (not to be confused with Homeland Security) are making great strides to improve the "welcome home" and "welcome to the USA" experience. And, they're doing it with your smartphone and applications.

For years we have been filling out a form as we land, and then presented it to the Immigration officer as we entered the USA.

DeclarationformfrontAlong came Global Entry, where we insert our passport, present our fingerprints and allow a retinal scan to be taken. For those in Global Entry, the process dramatically reduces time, and if you carry on your luggage often your out of the Customs area in minutes, not hours.

With your smartphone form, this will provide CBE officer a faster way to break down the lines. But more importantly, the advanced passenger data, plus the submitted data will ensure that all your data matches up, and if it doesn't, that will provide the officers the flags in advance to have the questions ready to help get the right facts or take the right action.

But the new use of smartphone forms has another benefit. Many airports, due to FAA rules, prohibit the use of mobile phones in the Customs and Immigration area in the USA.  The fact that forms will now be filled out on the smartphone means you'll need to be using your smartphone to fill the form out and submit the form to the CBE servers. That also means you'll be able to send your SMS/Text messages, check your email and possibly even make calls. When I recently posed the question to a Customs officer he said that each airport would decide what was the rules, but to keep an eye out for the signs.

To me, this is progress. And progress, using technology, is what it's all about.

 


The Comunicano Daily for Thursday December 17, 2014

 
 
 
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Changes. Lots and lots of changes in mobile. T-Mobile rolls a stash of data. Doctors make video house calls. Sprint drops their sponsorship of Nascar. Those stories and more are all just below...So now onto the news..

 

 
 
 

T-Mobile Allows Subscribers to Hold on to Unused Mobile Data

 
  T-Mobile USA, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the United States, said on Tuesday that it would allow customers to roll their unused mobile Internet data into the next month's billing. Or, as John Legere, the company's chief executive, put it in a video broadcast: "What you don't use, you won't lose."  
 

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A Doc in Your Pocket: Doctor on Demand Gets Smarter

As you travel to your destination this holiday season, you may be bringing bags filled with presents - as well as runny noses, colds, flus, extra stress and high emotions. And there's a good chance that you'll see your primary-care doctor or psychologist before the year is out.
 
 

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T-Mobile US confirms 700MHz LTE network live in Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Minneapolis and Washington DC

TeleGeography's free daily email summary of the world's top telecom news stories.
 
 

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You may wonder why Sprint is giving almost 15 months of notice to NASCAR that it's dropping its title sponsorship. The reason is simple. It will take a long time to find a sponsor ready pony up the kind of money it takes to sponsor and support such a massive sponsorship every week during the NASCAR season...

 

 
 
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Sprint to Drop Nascar Partnership After 2016 Season

Sprint has decided not to extend its Nascar title sponsorship for the Sprint Cup Series, citing the need to focus on its core business. After the 2016 season, the telecommunications giant will allow the partnership to expire. Nascar has partnered with Sprint for years.
 
 

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In light of the Sony hack encrypted email is going to be the rage. Obviously, with Gmail and Google Apps so widely used, Google is sending a message that they're getting ready to offer that to their users.

 

 
 
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Google's alpha-stage email encryption plugin lands on GitHub

Google has updated its experimental End-to-End email encryption plugin for Chrome and moved the project to GitHub. The firm said in a Tuesday blog post that it had "always believed strongly that End-To-End must be an open source project." The alpha-stage, OpenPGP-based extension now includes the first contributions from Yahoo's chief security officer, Alex Stamos....
 
 

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NBC wants to make sure you can watch their content. Anywhere. But they've put a few catches to insure that their cable subscribers only see it--for now.

 

 
 
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NBC to roll out live streaming - but not so fast, cord cutters

Saturday Night Live isn't live streaming just yet. NBC has announced plans to begin live streaming its network shows, but cord cutters won't have access to the new service. The peacock network will start streaming to mobile and desktop devices on Tuesday, but viewers will need to provide a login tied to a cable subscription to gain access.
 
 

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Google Ventures is moving big time into healthcare. 

 

 
 
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Google Ventures Shifts Focus to Health Care

Google 's venture-capital arm is moving strongly into health care and life-sciences startups, mirroring shifts at the Internet giant. More than one-third of the money Google Ventures invested in 2014 went to health care and life-sciences companies, up from 9% each of the prior two years.
 
 

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While Marriott and Sheraton have already stated their no-key required, no check-in approaches, along comes Hilton with their own claims.

 

 
 
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Hilton's digital check-in and room selection rolled out worldwide

17 Dec 2014 | Get Free Access to Breaking Hospitality News Here [News, Information Technology] Hilton Worldwide has announced that its pioneering digital check-in and room selection technology is now live across more than 4,100 hotels spanning 11 brands worldwide. This includes more than 260 hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
 
 

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Comunicano client PixiePath's CEO Bryan Field-Elliot was was interviewed on That Drone Show this morning. You can hear via YouTube just what PixiePath is all about.

 

 
 
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PixiePath CEO On Drone Fleet Management Platform

You can watch PixiePath CEO Bryan Field-Elliot talk all about Camera Drones, Quadcopters, Multirotors and more Video Podcasts at ThatDroneShow.com

 
 

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The next set of stories are all about drones. How they get used, where they can and can't and what may keep them from transforming business and privacy as we know it today.

 

 
 
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The Future of HealthTech - Ambulance Drones

In December 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos caused quite a stir with the announcement of his company's plans to offer 30-minute product deliveries via unmanned aerial vehicles (more commonly referred to as "drones"). Drones have been deployed by the U.S.
 
 

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Drone Shows L.A.'s Expo Line Route from a Bird's-Eye View (VIDEO)

L.A. has become a drone development center, in part because of Hollywood's desire for great aerial shots, and in part because of the tech explosion in Silicon Beach and Downtown L.A. A journalist can pick up a phone and find out if any of the city's hottest drone companies has...
 
 

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New York City's Drone Ban Would Be the Strictest in the Country

​A New York City council member is introducing legislation that would ban drones in the city, according to draft legislation obtained by Motherboard. The bill would amend the city's existing administrative code on aviation to severely restrict drones within city limits, essentially banning them except under very specific circumstances.
 
 

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Flying a drone in the UK: What you need to know

Drones of all shapes and sizes will be popular Christmas presents this year, but while some of the most dramatic videos are shot by flying over skyscrapers and famous landmarks, few pilots are aware of the laws preventing drone flying in built up areas.
 
 

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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 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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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.)

 


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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