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.)

 


Skype's Days Are Numbered Take 2

I continue to feel Skype's days are numbered. All one has to do is look at history. AIM (AOL's Instant Messenger) and ICQ were once the kings of Instant Messaging (IM). And while they are still around, the best way of describing them, along with Yahoo! Messenger, is to say they are on life support. Beyond SMS and the cheap calling that's already available over mobile which has basically gutted the need for those apps, there's now newer and more robust apps like WhatsApp and Viber that have taken the mobile ownership away from Skype, as has Twitter and Facebook's Messenger. 

And now, with WebRTC becoming more and more a part of any web developer's toolkit, Skype's market share is beginning to erode as more discreet communications is being embedded into apps and web pages. 

Take a look at companies like client Temasys and their platform, and also some others like TokBox now under the leadership of longtime pal and former client at SightSpeed Scott Lomond, PubNub and &Yet to see what they're up to.  

These companies are the next Twilios and AWS' of the world, taking real time communications and making it easier for web and app developers and designers to put communications into just about anything. And that is where Skype gets eviscerated. Looking at what they have vs. some of the candy coated, wolf's in sheep's clothing offerings from the bigger boys is telling me why there's been a lot of FUD being tossed about WebRTC a few months back and has others hyping and drinking the kool-aid, like we're back in 1999 more about what's "coming" than what is here today and being deployed today.

Want to see this stuff in action? Take a look at Appear.InGetARoomTalky, Talko and BANG. Cast an eye in the direction of HipChat and their recent updates. Take a gander in the direction of VOBI.

WebRTC is also already alive and well in the likes of client iotum's Calliflower and pal Craig Walker's UberConference. Vonage already put WebRTC inside their mobile app and rumor has it that T-Mobile is playing around with it while client Truphone has demonstrated some neat tricks that makes calling someone without a phone number who you only know via social media, possible.

So, when you add it all up. Skype's days are numbered. And that's just fine.

Update: Wall Street Journal has a parallel story.


The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday September 10, 2014

 
 
 
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You would have to not be switched on to any form of media to not be deluged by the news from Apple yesterday. The new iPhone 6 and 6+ were the appetizer. The big news was Apple Pay and the dessert was the Apple Watch. And was the news around payments really interesting? Yes it was as it totally will compliment the existing retail and banking worlds both online and in the physical realms, but also it gives the whole NFC world a major boost....NOW ON WITH THE NEWS..

 

 
 
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Here's Apple Pay In Action

Apple has revealed its mobile payments play, and it features NFC and Touch ID, as many expected. The system works as fast as they joked it did on stage - which is why in our demo we ran through a number of different payment scenarios.

 
 

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Apple Said to Reap Fees From Banks in New Payment System

Apple Inc. will collect fees from banks when consumers use an iPhone in place of credit and debit cards for purchases, a deal that gives the handset maker a cut of the growing market for mobile payments, according to three people with knowledge of the arrangement.

 
 

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I referred above to the Apple Watch being the dessert. Not only was it good for Apple fans it was bad for the watch industry so much that even Wall Street is sensing it. Apple is about changing the markets and watch manufacturing brands need to realize that the Apple Watch will be sold in stores that do not carry Apple products usually. I say this due to the number of retail department stores that will take Apple Pay and already sell watches.  The two announcements together are very, very timely.

 

 
 
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Shares Of Luxury Watchmakers Fall After Apple Watch Unveiling

Shares of some luxury watch makers fell Wednesday morningafter Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced its smartwatch Tuesday afternoon. Shares of Swatch Group, whose 19 watch brands include Swatch, Breguet, Omega and Calvin Klein, had fallen 1.3 percent by mid-morning.

 
 

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Streaming media has been around since the 90's but yesterday's webcast by Apple had lots of problems. Veteran streaming media analyst Dan Rayburn has the details on why and how Apple made a rare mistake.

 

 
 
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Inside Apple's Live Event Stream Failure, And Why It Happened: It Wasn't A Capacity Issue

Apple's live stream of the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and Watch was a disaster today right from the start, with many users like myself having problems trying to watch the event.

 
 

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Apple may have Beats Music but the second largest music streaming service called Deezer hasn't been big in the USA ever. Now they are launching, and they're going after the high end audiophile via a partnership with SONOS and the new Deezer Elite.

 

 
 
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Deezer to Finally Launch in America as High-Quality Streaming Service

The world's second-biggest music subscription service is finally coming to the world's biggest music market. Deezer, which claims to have 5 million subscribers and 16 million monthly users over 180 countries, announced Wednesday it will launch in the United States on Monday the 15th via a partnership with home audio company Sonos.

 
 

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Over at CTIA in Las Vegas AT&T announced that mobile operators and carriers are working on VoLTE interoperability. This is really important to everyone, with SIP Trunking providers who will be in the middle of all this having a lot to gain from it. 

 

 
 
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AT&T's Rinne: Carriers Working on VoLTE Interoperability

AT&T's Kris Rinne says that the carrier is working with several other operators on enabling direct voice-over-LTE calls between their networks. Rinne, senior vice president of network and product planning at AT&T Inc.

 
 

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Just as the wireless world is seeing pricing wars, you can expect the same type of thing to come to the fiber based Gigabit speed Internet markets where AT&T is facing off against Google Fiber.

 

 
 
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Google Takes Fiber Fight to AT&T 

Take one moribund broadband market, add a disruptive new entrant as rich as Croesus, watch the explosion in competition that occurs when the old players bang into the upstart and, hey presto, you have the US fixed broadband market today.

 
 

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Wireless and broadband by cable/DSL and fiber aren't the only ways people can connect to the Internet. Satellite broadband is growing up faster and getting more users all the time.

 

 
 
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Hughes passes 1m satellite broadband customer mark in North America

 
 

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The FCC is thinking about putting mobile broadband under the same rules as wired connectivity. This would be much easier for everyone to understand, including the regulatory lawyers, broadband providers and the service providers who have to work with both.

 

 
 
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FCC may put mobile under same net-neutrality rules as wired broadband

Print|The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is reexamining how it treats wireless net neutrality, in response to public comments on the agency's proposed Open Internet rules. Under the net neutrality rules the FCC set in 2010, wireless was set apart from wired access and mobile operators were given more leeway to treat some streams of traffic differently from others.
 
 

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First T-Mobile offered "contract free" in the USA and many more bells and whistles. Now Sprint which is battling to keep from losing customers is going with a new "iPhone" for life plan. On paper it sounds good but to me it's good for those who want the entry level iPhone with only 16GB of memory. That said, given how Sprint has updated their network, and how little traffic is on it, they may be the network of choice for speed demons.

 

 
 
 

Sprint's 'IPhone for Life' Plan Lets Users Upgrade Every 2 Years

 
  Sprint Corp. (S) introduced an "iPhone for Life" plan that lets customers get a new version of Apple Inc.'s smartphone every two years for $70 a month. The service also includes unlimited data, Sprint said today on its website.  
 

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If you're an Apple developer you can see iOS8 now and use it today. The final release candidate is alive and available....

 

 
 
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Apple releases iOS 8 GM ahead of Sep. 17 public release

Following today's announcements, Apple has released the golden master version of iOS 8. iOS 8 launches as an over the air update to iOS 7 on September 17th.
 
 

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Twillio has released TWIMLETS which works with Zapier and between the two some Twilio services just got easier to use.

 

 
 
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How to Build a Smarter International Phone with Twilio in Just 15 Minutes - Zapier

It sounds too simple to be true, so Twilio has you test it out. On the next screen, you can enter a message, then call your new number and hear it read back or have your new number call you and read the message aloud.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Monday September 8, 2014

 
 
 
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Pal Ken Rutkowski, host of Business Rockstars, has been pushing Los Angeles as the rising tech hub for years, being so connected to the community at the grass roots level. He's right and finally the world is seeing it.....L.A. is not a tech hub in the normal sense. It's less about chips and operating systems and more about delivery of ideas to consumers and businesses, with the panache of Hollywood and commerce all rolled together. Now, onto the news..

 

 
 
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LA's Tech Startup Scene Is Coming of Age

After several decades of wondering when the Los Angeles tech scene would interact with the local entertainment business and generate new opportunities, things have finally come of age. Today, dozens of hot LA companies are gaining national and global notoriety, thanks to strong execution, distribution and customer advocacy.

 
 

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Part of the L.A. scene for many years has been Bill Gross of IdeaLabs and now he has another idea, IdeaMarket...and it may be one of the darlings of the crowd generation.

 

 
 
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Bill Gross, the guy who invented Google's business model, tries again with IdeaMarket

Bill Gross is far from being a household name - at least not in the sense that Mark Zuckerberg is, or Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates - but he came up with at least one idea that everyone knows about, even if they don't know who invented it: His company GoTo.com pioneered the pay-per-click advertising model that has made Google hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decade.

 
 

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While IdeaLabs is looking to change things in L.A. Andressen Horowitz (A16Z) is changing the game in Silicon Valley using a very similar model to Hollywood talent agencies.

 

 
 
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How Andreessen Horowitz Is Disrupting Silicon Valley

Just over the crest of the highest point on Sand Hill Road, amid a cluster of relaxed buildings that could easily pass as residential units, sits the offices of Andreessen Horowitz (A.H.).

 
 

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As new ways to fund companies and ideas come to market where does that put the Micro VCs? First Republic Bank has some perspective on just that.

 

 
 
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Where is the Micro-VC Market Going?

Micro VC funds have been the rage as of late. What's next? The following is a guest post by Samir Kaji (@samirkaji), Managing Director at First Republic Bank (@firstrepublic). Just over a year ago, I posted a blog post about the state of the " Micro-VC" market.

 
 

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Video conferencing cloud player Blue Jeans Network is getting big enough to go public.  If they do is up in the air as they may get acquired before that happens. Cisco would certainly be one of the likely buyers given the history of the founders.

 

 
 
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Blue Jeans Network Approaching Size to Go Public

Blue Jeans Network, the cross-platform video conferencing company, is in a state of high growth and approaching the size to go public, said a source close to the company. The company last year raised $50 million, bringing total raised funds to $98.5 million.

 
 

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The drumbeat to DreamForce, SalesForce.com's signature event, is starting and at the core is founder Marc Benioff, who is leading off the banging with tales of what it takes to improve productivity for sales pros.

 

 
 
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How to Improve the Productivity of Your Sales Force 

If you need to generate more sales, there are two ways to improve the overall productivity of your sales force. 1. Hire more reps. 2. Increase output per rep. According to Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce: "Hiring more reps is the way to go; assuming that you have already created systems and process that have allowed your current reps to achieve the goals you've set for them, that is."

 
 

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All of what Benioff is referring to is also impacting how technology suppliers market and sell.

 

 
 
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How Big Companies and Their Tech Suppliers Are Changing Together

Mobile devices and cloud computing are changing the work and the structure of corporations. That, in turn, is changing how tech companies behave. A few examples from the last week, from the cosmetic to the substantial, illustrate the shift. On Tuesday, Google renamed its now-substantial business in online creation and collaboration software Google for Work.

 
 

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I had fun watching the 1994 era AT&T commericials over the weekend. So much has come true but not all of it being AT&T sold, but certainly delivered.

 

 
 
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We live in the future AT&T imagined in 1994

Twenty years ago, AT&T ran a series of ads depicting the miraculous things information technology would allow us to do in the future. "Have you ever borrowed a book from thousands of miles away?" the first ad asks. "Crossed the country without stopping for directions? Or sent someone a fax from the beach?
 
 

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For a long time I've said GigaBit speeds need Gigabit Service. You can get the speeds today, but there's yet to be any new services designed for it.

 

 
 
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Two Cities With Blazing Internet Speed Search for a Killer App

A team of computer programmers here set out to learn how many cute kitten photos can be downloaded in one second on their Internet network, one of the fastest in the country. The answer: 612. A trivial pursuit? Perhaps.

 
 

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As a frequent flier who uses in flight Wi-Fi, I'm always on the GoGo. It seems GoGo has been playing with all kinds of pricing, based on airline, flight route, demands, etc....

 

 
 
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Gogo experiments with inflight Wi-Fi pricing

Think you know what a Gogo inflight Internet session is going to cost? You might be surprised at the number of different prices the company charges, even for the exact same offering. Gogo employs various tracking systems at its Itasca, Illinois headquarters. Among them is Gogo's real-time signups for the day, including pricing for the different products.

 
 

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Over in the U.K. the cellcos don't want national roaming. What this means is you could end up in parts of Britain without coverage depending who your operator is, or who your USA operator roams with unless they have multiple operator relationships.

 

 
 
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UK cellcos reject plans for 'national roaming'

Proposals by the UK government which called on the country's mobile network operators to share networks for 'national roaming' are said to have been rejected by cellcos, according to the Financial Times.

 
 

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As a logo junkie, our final story gives away some secrets.

 

 
 
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30 Famous Logos That Have A Hidden Message

Whether you're cruising down the aisles of the grocery store, or speeding down the freeway, you're guaranteed to come across a few famous logos. Take one glance at any one of these logos and you instantly recognize the brand, but did you know there's sometimes a hidden message buried in them?

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday September 3, 2014

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

 

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

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

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Silicon Valley Cafeterias Whet Appetite of IRS

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

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

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

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

 

 
 
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Nokia to build 5G test network in Oulu

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

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WiFi speed displayed directly onto booking and travel websites

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

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

 

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

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

 
 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 
 
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Google's New Strategy to Unseat Microsoft Outlook

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

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

 

 
 
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Are You Prepared for Gen Z Tech Workers?

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

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Checking Out The On Demand Society-Fiverr

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

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

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


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."