The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday September 3, 2014

 
 
 
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Today's humpday so it's time to look at what's happening around the technology news world. We'll start off with a Huffington Post item about Customer Disservice something most of us have felt from some PC brand, utility, airline, hotel or car manufacturer over time.  Next we're seeing the IRS looking at those who feed their staff and how that can be considered income vs. an expense..The Celebrity Photo Hack is making the news cycle, this time with the tools that can make it possible..Microsoft is everyone's target it seems these days, not just Apple or Google...all this and more today, SO ON WITH THE NEWS...

 

 
 
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Why Is Customer Disservice Becoming the Norm and What Can We Do About It?

Posted: "The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity." - Peter Drucker If you haven't yet heard the 8-minute diatribe leveled by a Comcast customer service rep to a customer and his wife who were trying to cancel their cable service, tune in here.
 
 

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Silicon Valley Cafeterias Whet Appetite of IRS

There is a grumpy new face in line at Silicon Valley's lavish freebie cafeterias: the Internal Revenue Service. Staffers at technology companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. long have enjoyed free gourmet meals, courtesy of their employers.
 
 

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The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple's iCloud 

As nude celebrity photos spilled onto the web over the weekend, blame for the scandal has rotated from the scumbag hackers who stole the images to a researcher who released a tool used to crack victims' iCloud passwords to Apple, whose security flaws may have made that cracking exploit possible in the first place.
 
 

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We're just finally seeing 4G/LTE and LTE-A (for advanced) rolling out in more places in the USA and around the world and so it's no surprise the 5G is making noise, this time in Finland.

 

 
 
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Nokia to build 5G test network in Oulu

While a commitment-in-principle has already been made, a formal decision on construction of the high-speed 5G network won't come until autumn, said Nokia technical director Juha Määttä. When asked about the construction schedule for the network, Määttä said that it could begin early in 2015.
 
 

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WiFi speed displayed directly onto booking and travel websites

Hotel WiFi Test has launched a browser extension that displays information about a hotel's WiFi speed and quality onto the most popular booking and travel websites: Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
 
 

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Office by the Month. Not the kind you physically use, but from Microsoft has debuted for iPad as an in-app purchase. In my view this is two years or more too late. Google Apps is gaining momentum and already is far more integrated. 

 

 
 
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Microsoft adds monthly in-app subscription option to Office for iPad

Summary: Microsoft Office for iPad users now have the option to subscribe to Office 365 monthly and from inside Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Microsoft is now allowing Office for iPad users to pay monthly, rather than only annually, for their Office 365 Home or Personal subscriptions.

 
 

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If you don't use Evernote, your working too hard when it comes to storing and finding notes, pictures, videos and more. And, like Google and others, the company is taking aim at Microsoft Office at the right time. While Microsoft has OneNote, Evernote has users, lots of them who are raving loyalists.

 

 
 
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Evernote's Phil Libin Has Come to Bury Microsoft Office, Not Praise It

What about OneNote? It's a question that Evernote CEO Phil Libin gets asked all the time, especially after Microsoft made the note-taking app free earlier this year. But, Libin says, it's the wrong question. Libin makes no bones about having Microsoft in his sights, but it is Office he wants to dethrone, not OneNote.
 
 

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While Evernote takes aim at productivity Google is going right after the jugular of Office and Exchange by developing a strategy that looks to displace Microsoft Outlook.

 

 
 
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Google's New Strategy to Unseat Microsoft Outlook

Google executive Amit Singh must persuade companies to ditch Microsoft Outlook for business-focused versions of Gmail. But pioneering driverless cars may be easier than changing the way people send email at work.
 
 

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Who comes after the Millennials? It's Gen-Z, not Jay-Z. And, Gen-Z seems to be more like those who came before GenY....at least that's what one study says. We really won't know for a few more years though..

 

 
 
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Are You Prepared for Gen Z Tech Workers?

Millennials and their quirky work habits get all the attention these days, but the younger Gen Z is turning out to be even more of a mystery.
 
 

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Watching Real Time Communications

Do you have a company or technology that's
changing the game in Real Time Communications and with WebRTC?

If you do...Tell me more.

A few years back, before he zapped it and wound it down, Ken Camp authored a blog all about Real Time Communications. He was obviously ahead of his time with the name because today, more and more of what we are hearing about is RTC, and specifically WebRTC.

While companies like Blue Jeans Networks, Twilio and TokBox seem to be in the news a lot because they're inside the San Francisco and Silicon Valley echo chamber for news generation, there's more companies outthere doing new, novel and eventually game changing innovatinve stuff. As a matter of fact some of these companies are at the forefront of what's about to happen, so let's name names.

Temasys Corporation based in Singapore makes it easy to build, deploy and manage WebRTC. Think of them as a combination of Twilio and Amazon Web Services for real time communication. Dr. Alex Gouaillard is one of the key drivers in the industry shaping the WebRTC standard within the IETF and W3C working groups. Already Temasys has released the first plug-in that makes WebRTC work on Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari web browsers. Temasys is already working with IBM.

Hookflash's Erik Lagerway has been around reat time voice communications since he started XTEN which is now known as CounterPath. Today, he's leading Hookflash and championing the effort around ORTC which is all about making WebRTC more mobile via their ORTC API. 

PubNub is a company that is already supplying core underlying technology to the likes of Rebtel and others to work around the limitations of signaling and presence found in SS7 technology. One of the things they're doing is taking the data streams concept of WebSockets to power the signalling connection needed between web connected devices and apps.

Pexip was started by a bunch of very smart executives who built Tandberg's video conferncing solutions and then went to work at Cisco. They're attacking the same area that Vidtel, which was quietly acquired by Fidelity Investments, was taking to make collaboratoon interoperable between platforms in the cloud. Pexip's core strength is the ability to virtualize meeting and collaboration rooms in the cloud, on the fly. The big benefit to Pexip is their ability to be interoperable with Cisco's Jabber and Microsoft Lync via their Infinity Connect platform and apps for iOS and Android.

As second company playing in this same space is Acano which is all about video, audio and web Integration for collaboration. They look at incompatability as the problem their coSpaces platform solves. Their video does a very good job at demontrating how Acano works across so many diverging modes of collaboration devices.

 

 

 

 

 


Verizon Wireless To Rollout HD Voice and Video-SOON

While pal Doug Mohney is on hiatus from HD Voice News, I figured I'd fill the gap on the news that broke over the past day of so surrounding Verizon and HD Voice and Video (official announcement) that another pal, Kevin Tofel wrote about at Gigaom.

To me, the move by VZW is a catchup play. T-Mobile acquired MetroPCS which was the first to offer HD voice but reading the number of "requirements" for what Verizon Wireless is offering leave me wondering if we're really anywhere yet:

HD Voice and Video Calling work only when both people are in the Verizon 4G LTE coverage area and are using VoLTE-enabled smartphones from Verizon

Those three requirements-in the LTE footprint, using a VoLTE phone and being on Verizon remind me when SMS between mobile operators didn't exist. This means a T-Mobile, AT&T, Truphone, Sprint or any other operator's customer calling someone on another network using the same phone with VoLTE/HD capabilities, on a network which enables HD Voice and Video to work, won't have a call of higher quality.

This all gets into the lack of true peering, interoperability and only adds to the inconsistency between carriers and the lip service standards are really give. Next issue is how already existing HD Voice based conferencing services like Voxeet, UberConference, ZIPDX, Calliflower, GoToMeeting, etc, which already have "HD" quality calling via their apps or WebRTC will be handled. Nowhere have i seen of any real interconnectivity despite Eli Katz's XConnect has had an HDVoice interconnect around for years.

To me, true HD voice and video won't be here until it's as transparent and fully functional as SMS is on delivery but just like iMessage and WhatsApp have outmoded the mobile operators. Today, we have Skype but given how easy it is to deprecate service quality between operators and networks, without the FCC stepping in and making sure quality won't be disrupted., 

This also raises issues in my mind around Net Neutrality, here in the USA at least, a topic that long time friend, Craig Walker opinied about in the Wall Street Journal this past Sunday. To that end, my question is given how landlines/wireline connectivity is being deprecated by the telcos in favor of wireless, why isn't the doctrine of Equal Access from the 80's where any long distance carrier was to have the ability to deliver LD while the Regional Bell Operating Company provided the connectivity to the premise being applied to mobile?

SideNote-->When you think about it, Walker's prior company, GrandCentral, really was the first alternative Long Distance provider for mobile which was a disguied as a Find Me, Follow Me service, but really only works easily on Android devices with the ALD model really become integrated, and that's at the device level, not in the network. And, we all know that the network is really where Google is going with things, but that example demonstrates why apps contriol the smarts of the network, while the operators in the middle remain "dumb pipes."

 

 

 


Skype on 3 Again in Hong Kong

3 the original 3G carrier with operations in Hong Kong, the UK and elsewhere has once again made a move with Skype, following their efforts in the past to make Skype an integral part of their service offering.

In Hong Kong, for $69 HK Dollars a month, or $8.90 USD, under a new collaborative agreement with Skype the mobile operator will offer its customers Skype’s Unlimited World calling plan the ability make calls to mobile and landline phones to both Skype and non-Skype users on mobiles in eight destinations, plus landlines in 63 countries and regions, for a monthly fee of just HK$69 over a contract duration of 12 months.

What this basically does is concede to Skype their international long distance traffic over their data network, while allowing the operator to keep the local voice traffic on their network as well as the roaming traffic which pays a higher margin. What the deal doesn't include yet is video calling but that already goes over the data network as part of someone's data plan. What this also does is set a bar that other VOIP providers with apps would have to pay to access the 3 network in HK and be assured some level of quality. How this impacts those will only be learned from those in Hong Kong so in some ways this is much like the Netflix deal with Comcast but only really for mobile.

Don't be surprised to see deals on Nokia Handsets with Windows Phone to come out soon too in Hong Kong, as well to find in a short while that Skype deals like these come from other mobile operators around the world so they can push more data plans, which is exactly what 3 did in the UK when they first had the Skype Phone.


The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday May 27, 2014

 
 
 
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Imagine if Qualcomm or Intel bought out T-Mobile in the USA? That's potentially what's going on in Taiwan where Foxconn is looking to broaden their business interests and vertically consolidate their holdings by putting a stake into a Taiwanese mobile operator. Given their ties to companies like Apple and others for whom they build mobile electronics this would give them the same kind of insight that Samsung and LG have with their close ties to the South Korean operators. Now--on to the NEWS...

 

 
 

 
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Foxconn to buy $390 million stake in Taiwan telecom operator in 4G push

Credit: Reuters/Pichi Chuang The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company's headquarters in Tucheng, New Taipei city, December 24, 2013.

 
 

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In Australia there's has been an outbreak of iPhone Ransomware attacks. People are reporting how their phones are being held hostage..

 

 
 

 
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Australian Apple iDevices hijacked, held to ransom

Australian Apple devices, including the iPhone, are being hijacked by a hacker and held ransom. Photo: Getty Images Owners of Apple devices across Australia are having them digitally held for ransom by hackers demanding payment before they will relinquish control.

 
 

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In the past Apple would be secretive about its plans around the annual WWDC that's being held in San Francisco next week...Not any more. These controlled leaks about the Smart Home efforts seem to be everyone's big story...Oh, and yes, some company is already called iHome.

 

 
 

 
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Apple is planning to launch a Smart Home platform at WWDC next week, says the FT

According to a report in the Financial Times, Apple is planning to launch a sweeping "Smart Home" platform built into iOS at the WWDC conference next week, one that will turn the iPhone into a remote control for a range of appliances and services

 
 

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How would Apple's smart home system work?

Summary: After CarPlay, Apple's next push into the Internet of Things market could be home automation. Apple is reportedly planning a major push into home automation with a new software platform and partner program that's looking to make iOS the control centre for connected devices in the home.

 
 

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In the world of startups it's always fun to watch who is following which companies. A new site out of the UK called "The White List" is doing the following on Twitter....

 

 
 

 
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The White List tracks which startups investors have their eye on

When an investor decides to put money into a startup, effectively putting a stamp of approval on that company, the tech industry pays attention to the startup's next move. But what if we get a sense of who investors are interested in earlier by watching their behavior on social networks?

 
 

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Technology is impacting travel every day. Two key areas are going to be at work surrounding Internet of Things (iOT) which was called M2M only a few months ago driven by the wearables, sensors and beacons based world as well as the cloud. In the end the whole concept of a better experience for the traveler will be the desired end game.

 

 
 

 
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Travel Tip: How Wearable Technology Will Change Travel

Between online booking, flight-tracking apps, and boarding passes in our smartphones, travel is tied to portable technology. Now wearable technology may be changing how we travel. You've heard of Google Glass, which is a smartphone-slash-computer that you wear like a pair of glasses. You can find directions, use Facebook, and take video while you're on the go.

 
 

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Cloud IT technology will transform airport experience, Amadeus report finds

Airports are increasingly looking to cloud-based IT systems to improve their operations, according to a new paper released by travel technology firm Amadeus. The report 'IT makes sense to share: making the case for the cloud in common use airport technology' - identifies the case for adoption of cloud technology for the airports of the future.

 
 

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Companies are leaving the era of want ads behind as social networks take on the role of publisher, and friends recruiting friends. Market leader Zappos has eliminated all other forms when it comes to attracting new hires.

 

 
 

 
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Online shoe seller Zappos is zapping job listings to try a social-media hiring strategy.

A few months ago, online shoe retailer Zappos did away with job titles for its 1,500 employees. Now, the company is taking the ax to job postings. Zappos, based in Las Vegas, plans to hire at least 450 people this year, but candidates won't find out about those jobs on LinkedIn.com, Monster.com or the company website.

 
 

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IT giant Cisco is making moves into the Software Defined Networking sector as their foray into mobile continues. Our guess is Cisco goes on the acquisition trail in that area very big, very soon to battle others who have already demonstrated they're more than just about PowerPoints and slideware.

 

 
 

 
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Cisco Drops the S-Bomb

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cisco Live -- A top Cisco executive dropped the S-bomb at Cisco Live Sunday, touting the company's SDN message. David Ward, Cisco's SVP engineering, CTO and chief architect, also said "shit" a few times, which is not something I've heard before at an opening keynote of a customer conference for a $49 billion multinational corporation.

 
 

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In flight Wi-Fi isn't a fad.  For many of all ages and income levels it's an essential tool when flying but not only for email and web surfing. The stats don't lie.

 

 
 

 
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The Majority of Flyers Use In-Flight Wi-Fi For Entertainment and Personal Use

As in-flight Wi-Fi becomes much more pervasive, passenger adoption of it is increasing. But user habits are still to be studied and defined. We decided to ask U.S. in-flight Wi-Fi users about their habits and patterns of usage to better understand how they use it. Using Google Consumer Surveys, we asked U.S.

 
 

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Who is making investments? Where did they come from? LeWeb calls it a tech mafia. To us, well it's more of those who made it finding ways to get more new ideas going. The face of investment in startups is clearly changing....

 

 
 

 
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Christian Hernandez Gallardo: Meet the European Tech 'Mafias' | LeWeb Blog

Valley lore often refers to the " PayPal mafia ", the group of early PayPal employees that went on to found and fund many of today's leading technology companies: Peter Thiel and Facebook, Reid Hoffman and LinkedIn, Jeremy Stoppelman and Yelp, Chad Hurley and YouTube and Elon Musk and the Iron Man suit...

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday May 20, 2014

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

 

 
 

 
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Fake Steve Jobs on Jimmy Iovine as the New Steve Jobs

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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Cisco CEO Predicts 'Brutal Consolidation' Coming in IT Sector

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

 

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

 

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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Telstra building a larger Wi-Fi network in Australia

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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The Dark Side of the Internet of Things | Technoccult

 
 

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

 
 

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Conferences and Trade Shows-Which Are You Attending?

GSMA Mobile. WorldCongressGSMA Mobile. WorldCongress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

of Sequoia Capital, at TechCrunch Disrupt 2010

Now that Enterprise Connect is behind us, the eyes turn to the upcoming WebRTC World conference in Atlanta in June. Two months later we have TMC’s IT Expo in Las Vegas that has an Enterprise WebRTC track co-located and then there's Super Mobility Week put on by CTIA in September.

Three big events, in only four months. To me that’s too many in too short a time period. But don't think the seasons over or that the June WebRTC event is the only event of the year on the subject as history shows us that there will likely be a west coast edition staged by the same organizers by the end of November all of two months before another ITEXPO in Miami. Now add in eComm in June in San Francisco, a few hackathons like the TadHack in Madrid that is also being conducted in June and someone could make a living being a professional event visitor and never get anything done. 

So, if you think the travel schedule is already heavy this is all before events on the subjects of Network Function Virtualization, Software Defined Networking, Conferencing and Collaboration are added in along with the many events on mobile, Big Data, Infrastructure. There's also the gamut of what I call "defined audience events" for app developers like Google I/O, the Apple World Wide Developer Conference and of course to drive sales, Channel Partners is also on the schedule.

Then there are the value creation events like those staged by Gigaom and Venture Beat. There are the launch events like TechCrunch Disrupt, Launch, Under The Radar, Grow and many more and those are only here in the USA. When I look globally there’s the GSMA’s annual shindig, Mobile World Congress again in February that has to be on everyone’s radar.

Now where did I leave my American Express card…..?


Telecommuting is Really Here

My name is Andy, and I am a telecommuter.

Today's New York Times has a story about telecommuniting, a subject near and dear to my heart. You see, I've been telecommuting since before there even was the term. It began back in 1976 when at the end of every night my home office - it was really a desk in my bedroom complete with a Bell of Pennsylvania supplied answering machine (call it Voicemail minus -1.0).  Five or six nights a week calls from up to a dozen high school hockey games would be called in by the scorekeepers (email wasn't even in existance as we know it). I would transcribe the scores and the highlights taking down the details from people who I had barely known at first. I then would spend the next hour or so calling in the scores to no less than 12 media outlets around the Philadelphia area talking to the desk editors, writers and copy clerks as well as radio news readers and producers. That was telecommuting and I was doing it from the start.

Some of the media outlets would simply take the scores, others took the scores and the highlights. Some even wanted a quote. Then there were the nights where I often spent a few hours freezing at some hockey rink watching a game or two, taking notes on a reporters notepad.

Between the calls and my first hand notes, I then composed the summary of the night for a few reporters. When I could, I used the office phone belonging to the rink manage at the hockey rinks, worst case from some pay phone. That was telecommuting.

But my favorite story involved negotiating a two sponsor sponsorship into a three way deal. I never left my home office, spending hours on two phones (my office and home phone) wheeling and dealing in sweats, a bathrobe and my t-shirt. It was classic telecommuting. I made outgoing calls on one phone line, had people call me back on the other. Thankfully we already had call waiting, plus the answering machine and by the end of the day, the deals were all done, the early committed sponsor felt good, and the two who came in at almost the same moment, felt thrilled that we had worked things out. It was really a win-win-win for them all.

Over that 13 year period when I worked for the Philadelphia Flyers my office moved four times, and really seven if one counts the four different locations in the now departed Spectrum. And, other than one year in an apartment in downtown Philadelohia, my real office was that desk, phone and bed at the house I grew up in. You see, I telecommuted long before the term was even in use and today, I still telecommute.

 


The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday February 4th, 2014

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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FCC chief reportedly skeptical on Sprint-T-Mobile deal

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

 
 

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New bill would restore net neutrality pending FCC action

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

 

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

 

 
 

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

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

 
 

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Asus unveils $179 Chromebox, coming in March

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

 
 

 
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Apple Building Out Their Own CDN To Deliver Content To Consumers

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

 
 

 
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The Morning Download: Google Planning New Kind of Search

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

 
 

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My Travel Tips Are Going Viral

Of late I've been helping contribute to other blogs, sharing my knowledge and insight after years of going on the road. By sharing these tips I'm helping those who have yet to go through the whole process of staying connected on the road.

Most recenly, the L.A. Times Travel Editor sought me out to be on her panel during the Los Angeles Travel Show. As a result she has taken some of my suggestions and worked them into a story that has jumped all over the news world. So has TravelTrust, one of the nations top corporate travel agencies.

In addition to being a news source for reporters, I've been contributing to the Gigsky Blog, with two posts, one on "staying connected" and the other on how to travel lighter and not lose your luggage.