Today on Business Rockstars

Today, along with Ken Rutkowski, the host of Business Rockstars, we spoke about:

Amazon Echo and all its siblings and what you can do with it.

Pipedrive, a very slick and easy to use CRM service.

Cloutex, a super easy to use plugin for Chrome that makes adding LinkedIn info to Pipedrive

Senders, a new in your email service that tells you all you need to know about the person sending you email

Here's the link.


The Comunicano Communique for Thursday March 31st 2016

 
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Good Morning. It's Thursday and as I wrote earlier in the week, the NEWS is happening. Today there is more than double the usual number of news stories you'll receive, with 18, and also far less feature content.....so grab the coffee and get ready to read.

In technology we'll go well beyond the FBI iPhone Hack and all the news surrounding that, much of which is more speculation than fact.

The tech news is from the usual and some unusual suspects. Microsoft with their Build 2016 Conference is dominating the tech press with stories surrounding their Hololens, API's, Bots, Cortana, their new Edge browser and how it deals with Ad blocking, Skype and more. To parry Microsoft's news a bit, Google is coming out with news about their efforts in Virtual Reality, with an update on their cardboard viewer with 360 degree viewing. Then there's news on Tesla's new car debut and how the tax credits for buying one may not last...

Of course Apple has well timed news around their Major League Baseball sponsorship all based upon the iPad going in the dugout and getting mentioned on air.  There's more news about their "New" iPhone, the SE with a strong review leading the way for that and the better way to charge iPad Pro 12 inchers...

Oh, and Uber announces how they are improving customer service by moving it into the app which makes things easier and also lets the world know how they have expanded what they are doing with Hilton. In the world of "what's old is new again", we have AOL's Tim Armstrong, who is now working for Verizon, with access to their war chest, going on record on wanting to buy Yahoo which some may remember used to power the telcos DSL, now he wants to power their ad network with their platform. 

There's all that and more in today's Comunicano Communique.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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BUILD 2016: Microsoft talks Cortana, Skype, bots, and intelligence APIs

On March 30th, during the BUILD 2016 keynote presentation, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked about "Conversations as a platform." That means conversations between two or more people, between people and digital assistants, and between people and bots, which are intelligent applications that humans can converse with.
 
 

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Microsoft launches HoloLens emulator so developers can test holographic apps, no headset required

As promised, Microsoft today started shipping its $3,000 HoloLens development kits. In addition to sharing that bots are coming to the new platform, the company also released a HoloLens emulator, which lets developers test holographic apps on their PC without the need for a physical HoloLens.
 
 

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HoloLens, A Year Later: A New Demo At Build 2016

A year ago at Build 2015, we got our first demo of Microsoft's HoloLens. At this year's event, we got a second crack at seeing the augmented reality device in action, and it was a completely different experience. Or, we should say, Microsoft took a completely different approach.
 
 

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Microsoft plans to build ad blocker into its Microsoft Edge browser | ZDNet

One of Microsoft's biggest gambles in Windows 10 is its decision to turn Internet Explorer into a legacy product, primarily for enterprise customers. Its replacement, Microsoft Edge, has been developing slowly since its version 1.0 release with the first release of Windows 10.
 
 

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Skype is getting Cortana and crazy bot messaging

You'll soon be able to use Skype to books trips, shop, and plan your schedule, just by chatting with Cortana. During its Build conference, Microsoft demoed how Skype users will soon be able to start a chat with Cortana and get things done just by having a conversation.
 
 

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Google makes it really easy to embed 360-degree VR experiences

You've tried out Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR, you've seen those nifty virtual reality experiences, and now you want to create your own and put it on your website. Well, Google just made that a pretty simple task.
 
 

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Google tackles simple 360 content embeds with VR View, introduces Cardboard SDK for iOS

Virtual reality is great for gaming and movies, but when it comes to real-world use cases there's still quite a bit of room for VR to prove itself. Google is hoping to kickstart this process by making 360 VR content a bit more simple to implement and, in the process, way more spontaneous for users to discover and view.
 
 

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AT&T moving away from Social Security numbers for customer security, will use pass codes instead

AT&T ( NYSE:T) is asking its customers to use pass codes rather than Social Security numbers when dealing with the carrier in an apparent effort to better protect users' sensitive information. "Previously, we required the last four digits of your Social Security Number as part of the process to access your account when calling Customer Service or visiting some Retailers," the carrier recently wrote in an e-mail to subscribers.

 
 

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Meet The iPhone Dream Team Hackers: FBI, Japanese Pinball Machine Maker, Israeli Cyber Firm

FBI Director James Comey leads a dream team which pulled off the iPhone hack.
 
 

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Apple strikes deal with MLB to provide every team with iPad Pros

Apple and Major League Baseball have signed a multi-year deal that will see every team receive iPad Pro tablets for use in the dugout, reports The Wall Street Journal .
 
 

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iPhone SE review: It's a pocket-size powerhouse

The SE is the little iPhone that could. With a 4-inch screen and the body of an iPhone 5s, it fits in my pockets better than my iPhone 6s, and it's easier to use one-handed. But it doesn't compromise much over its bigger, more expensive siblings.
 
 

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Testing Apple's 29W USB-C Power Adapter and iPad Pro Fast Charging

When Apple refreshed its online store with a new USB-C to Lightning cable with support for fast charging through a 29W power adapter on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last week, the addition immediately caught my interest. You can also use the cable with an Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter to take advantage of the fast [...]
 
 

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With Model 3, it's make or break for Tesla

On Thursday night, at an invitation-only, Hollywood-style premiere on his SpaceX campus in Hawthorne, Elon Musk and his Tesla team will unveil their latest creation: the Model 3, Musk's long-awaited electric car for the masses. Few details have been revealed so far, but the car is essentially a...
 
 

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Report: AOL's Tim Armstrong wants Verizon to acquire Yahoo to build an ad powerhouse

AOL, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong has grand plans to turn parent company Verizon, Inc. into an ad powerhouse, and acquiring Yahoo, Inc. may be a part of that plan, according to a new report Wednesday.
 
 

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Drone Startup Airware Raises $30 Million, Adds Former Cisco CEO To Board

A drone powered by Airware technology inspects the roof of a home. (Photo courtesy of Airware) Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration projected in a report that 7 million drones will be sold annually in the U.S. within four years. Some 4.3 million, the FAA forecasted, will be bought and operated [...]
 
 

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Checking Your Uber Rating Or Getting Your Purse Back Just Got Much Easier

After years of forcing customers to use email to complain about anything, Uber is now committing to more updated technology. On Wednesday, the ride-hailing giant announced it plans to roll out globally its in-app customer service support features, which it has been quietly implementing in the U.S. since late 2015.
 
 

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Hilton Deepens Its Uber Relationship in New Loyalty Push

Hilton may not have been the first hospitality company to partner with Uber - that distinct honor goes to Starwood - but it is the first hotel company that's allowing its loyalty members to view their hotel stay information and be able to check-in from the Uber app, all while they travel to their hotel in the very Uber they were reminded to book from their Hilton HHonors app.
 
 

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Why Do the Feds Usually Try to Unlock Phones? It's Drugs, Not Terrorism

Until the FBI backed down from its battle with Apple over accessing the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, it seemed the agency had chosen a near-perfect case on which to make its stand against encryption.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Wednesday March 30th 2016

 
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Good Morning. It's Tuesday and it's the kind of NEWS day I love. That's when there is actually NEWS to read. What's happening? Lots of new features in apps and from services. It's the storm before the Tax Time lull so expect lots of "we have something new" to be coming out the next week or so. Take a look. See which companies are actually doing something NEW....All that and more in today's Comunicano Communique.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Digital Asset Holdings signs deal Depository Trust & Clearing Corp for Blockchain repos trial

Blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings, LLC has signed a new deal with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. to trial the company's Blockchain technology at the firm.
 
 

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AT&T to Add an Unlimited Data Option for Home Internet and Will Better Enforce Overages on Other Plans

On May 23, the company will introduce a new unlimited data option for its U-verse home Internet subscribers. AT&T customers who have only the U-verse home Internet service can add unlimited data for $30 more a month.
 
 

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Introducing Fiber Phone

Whether it's calling mom or ordering take-out, we rely on our phones to help reach the people and things that matter. And while mobile phones have pushed us toward the future, home phone service is still important to many families. Landlines can be familiar, reliable and provide high-quality service, but the technology hasn't always kept up.
 
 

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'Burner' phones might be made illegal

Burner phones might be about to be banned in the US. A Congresswoman has proposed that everyone buying a phone in the country would have to register with personal ID, to stop criminal activities being planned with handsets that can be bought anonymously and then thrown away. Forcing shops to require customers to give over identification when buying cheap phones or pre-paid SIMs could be one of the most important ways that terrorists are able to communicate, according to Ca...
 
 

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Facebook's Messenger lands first airline as chat app pushes into commerce

SAN FRANCISCO - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines passengers will soon be able to check in, get flight updates, make travel changes and talk to customer service reps straight from Facebook's Messenger chat app. KLM is the first airline and the first major European partner for Messenger, which is used by 800 million people around the globe.
 
 

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Snapchat Wants You to Video Call Your Friends and View all their Stories

Snapchat has taken to the official blog to announce new features that allow users to place audio and video calls. Over 200 stickers have been added to the mix, allowing you to send stickers of things such as aliens, Snapchat's ghost, and walruses to your added contacts.
 
 

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Instagram Increases Video Length From 15 Seconds To 60

Users will soon be able to record and post Instagram videos that are as long as 60 seconds. Instagram has increased the video limit on posts because users have been watching more videos on the service. "In the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent," the company said on its official blog.
 
 

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SoundCloud Starts Subscription Plan, Taking On Spotify and Apple

Two weeks after signing its final licensing deal with a major record company, the online music service SoundCloud has introduced its long-awaited subscription plan. The new program gives customers access to a much wider range of music than is available on competing services like Spotify and Apple, and it offers artists and their labels the promise of royalties.
 
 

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Spotify raises $1 billion in debt with devilish terms to fight Apple Music

On-demand streaming music is inevitable, so Spotify is taking whatever fuel it can get to win the race against Apple. Whoever can sign up customers faster to consume their data and network effect could earn money off them for a long, long time.
 
 

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Waze rolls out speed alerts to tell you when you're driving too fast

Google-owned GPS driving app Waze is making it easier to avoid speeding tickets today, with the launch of a new speed alerts feature. Now when you're driving on unfamiliar roads, or perhaps find yourself somewhere where the speed limit isn't clearly signposted, you can set up alerts for when you're moving too fast.
 
 

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Lyft wants to make 'casual carpooling' a thing again

Ride-hailing service Lyft is launching a new carpooling service in the Bay Area today that it insists is entirely different from all the other carpooling services out there, including its own Lyft Line.
 
 

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Plot twist: I'm working for Google

So that's a headline I never thought I'd be writing. But it's true. I recently flew out to Mountain View for orientation, meetings and my first visit ever to Google HQ. To clarify though, I haven't earned one of the Noogler hats that my son has coveted for so long.
 
 

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Business Rockstars: Apps For Entrepreneurs

Yesterday, on Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski, as one of their group of "Insiders," I highlighted three apps to help entrepreneurs operate their business better:

The first was GetAccept. This is a cloud based solution that helps with proposal management and closing.

Next up was SIFT, a way to sort through all the comments and suggestions made to companies via customer support and comment pages using Natural Language Processing.

Last was Cabalot, an iOS app that compares the current rates where you are between the different flavors of Lyft and Uber so you save money.

Catch me weekly on Business Rockstars, usually at 1:45 PM on Tuesdays, but possibly at other times.

The video is here, and I'm on at about 15 minutes into the program.

 
 

The Comunicano Communique for Monday March 28th 2016

 
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Good Morning. It's a Monday and the stories today are going to help you do better business.  Take the changes going on in Social Media. Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. News about each of them leads things off. Then there's growth. Netflix and Spotify both are changing the ways we consume entertainment. All that and more in today's Comunicano Communique.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Snapchat users now spend 25 to 30 minutes every day on the app, and it's trying to attract the TV money because of it

Snapchat's photos and videos are famous for disappearing after a few seconds, but its users are spending as much as a half-hour every day playing with its app. The company is touting the time users spend on the app in its efforts to lure big brand advertising dollars away from television.
 
 

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Instagram is changing - here's how to make sure your posts still get seen

Rumour has it that Instagram 's new algorithm will be dropping tomorrow, resulting in a big change to the way posts are displayed. Rather than presenting users with a chronological list of posts, the algorithm will sort posts based on "the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post".
 
 

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Facebook's Safety Check malfunctions after Pakistan bombing

Facebook activated its Safety Check tool to help people stay in touch after a deadly terrorist attack Sunday in Pakistan, but the feature strayed far afield from the carnage. Safety Check automatically sends Facebook users in an affected area a note asking if they're safe.
 
 

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Spotify hits 30 million subscribers

Spotify has 30 million paid subscribers, CEO Daniel Ek announced today in a tweet. This is the first subscriber update Spotify has given out since it announced it had 20 million subscribers days before Apple Music hit the market last June, and shows the increased competition has had little to no effect on Spotify's growth.
 
 

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Netflix's Grand, Daring, Maybe Crazy Plan to Conquer the World

Late into the night on St. Patrick's Day, Netflix hosted a makeshift "war room" at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters. Engineers and product wranglers sat loosely around a long, U-shaped formation of desks, monitoring diagnostics and Hipchat conversations. Linguists and translators patrolled a ring of television sets to check subtitles and dubs in a dozen languages.
 
 

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Google To Open A Dozen New Data Centers To Take On AWS

Google is planning to open 12 new data centers over the next 12-18 months. This has come just weeks after Google nabbed Spotify and Apple as its cloud customers. The huge cloud push by Google could see Google Cloud become its biggest growth engine a few years down the line.

 
 

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Forget the Small iPhone. Is Apple Going Charger-Free?

Apple might be ready to ditch some of its charger cords by 2017 with a plan to charge next-generation smartphones through the air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a track record of solid Apple hardware predictions, told 9to5Mac over the weekend that he thinks next year's iPhones will charge wirelessly.
 
 

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Enterprise IoT rollouts still need outside assistance, but new software can help

The industrial Internet of Things doesn't just show up in a box at the door ready to use. It takes integration to deploy IoT systems and get the maximum benefit. That's because IoT isn't one thing, but many linked together in pursuit of a business objective.
 
 

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Japan's NTT to Buy Dell Systems for $3.055 Billion

 
  NTT Data Corp., a unit of Japan's former telephone monopoly, agreed to buy technology services businesses from Dell for $3.055 billion. The acquisition was announced by the unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday. The company didn't give a date for when it will acquire the Dell units.  
 

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The Inside Story of How Oculus Cracked the Impossible Design of VR

Palmer Luckey has never used an Oculus Rift. That's what the founder of Oculus keeps telling himself as he unboxes the commercial version of the virtual reality system he invented. Opens the package. Takes out the few elements-the headset, the single cable that connects it to a computer, the small cylindrical infrared camera that tracks it in space.
 
 

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Searching For Google CEO Sundar Pichai, The Most Powerful Tech Giant You've Never Heard Of

The Consumer Electronics Show, universally known as CES, is a riot of technology. Held annually in the bleak Nevada desert town of Las Vegas, it is a great blinking din, jammed with screens, speakers, automobiles, whirling drones, blooping robots, e-cigs and e-cigs and ever more e-cigs, plus some 170,000 people bumping around inside a disease-ridden convention center.
 
 

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Why the Most Talented People Copy - ReadThink (by HubSpot)

We have an insatiable thirst for the new. In business, we want new products, new campaigns, and new ways of reaching consumers. The shiny object syndrome isn't just about being easily distracted. It's also the result of thinking that what is new - and seemingly unique - is better.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Friday March 18th 2016

 
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The news in the tech world continues to be a bit SLOW. Perhaps its all the Trumpeting about our next president that's causing the news to slow in the business side of things, or perhaps it's all just the post CES, Post MWC, Post SxSW or Post whatever hangover, but most of the news this past week felt to me as being more manufactured than real...so that's why there hasn't been a newsletter all week...So as for today, take a read and see what's new and in the news all in today's COMUNICANO COMMUNIQUE..READ AWAY

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Smartphones are ruling our lives and killing our imaginations

One study found the average person looks at their smartphone 221 times per day - once every 4.3 minutes. Photo: Eddie Jim It wasn't too long ago that smartphones were a novelty, something the ardent tech-heads would queue up in the street to buy.
 
 

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Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2016 Results

Every 8 seconds or so, a developer asks a question on Stack Overflow. This year, 56,033 coders in 173 countries answered the call. We asked them 45 questions. Key highlights include the following: For the first time, more developers are using Mac than Linux as their primary OS.
 
 

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Virtual reality girds for test in marketplace

Broomstick flying or red-light ping-pong? Gadgets at German fair Hanover, Germany (AFP) March 17, 2016 - Virtual reality and 3D printing are among top technologies showcased by thousands of IT companies attending this year's technology show CeBIT in the northern German city of Hanover.
 
 

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First Click: 10 virtual reality experiences you can try this weekend

Our exclusive virtual reality interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on how she mastered social media. It's our first ever 360 video and a glimpse at how storytelling will evolve with VR.

 
 

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Drip Joins Kickstarter

We're excited to announce that Drip is joining Kickstarter today. Drip is an inspired community of independent artists, record labels, and audiences who support their work directly.Launched five years ago by Ghostly International founder, Sam…
 
 

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So Much Streaming Music, Just Not in One Place

In the old days, you never knew which CDs the record store would have in stock. That limitation of physical media was supposed to be solved by digital. Back in the 1990s, technology evangelists and music fans alike began to talk about a " celestial jukebox " - a utopian ideal in which every song ever recorded would be available at a click.
 
 

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Let us loop you in: What to expect from Apple's March 21 event

Apple's having an event next Monday. We're going to be on the ground to cover everything the company has to offer, but as usual leakers and rumor sites have outed most of the biggest potential announcements. To get you prepared for the big event, we've rounded up the most likely rumors and added our own educated guesses and commentary.
 
 

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T-Mobile Binge On adds YouTube and more as some changes are made for video providers

Today's a big day for T-Mobile and Binge On, as more services are being added to the free streaming portion of Binge On, and there's on in particular that's a major add. YouTube is now included with free Binge On streaming, meaning that you can watch all of the videos on Google's popular video streaming service (including John Legere's announcement below) without touching your high-speed data allotment.
 
 

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FBI warns car makers and owners about vehicle hacking risks

WASHINGTON (By David Shepardson, Reuters) - The FBI and U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a bulletin Thursday warning that motor vehicles are "increasingly vulnerable" to hacking.
 
 

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Crossing borders: Uber takes San Diego riders to Mexico

Your next trip to Mexico could be just a push of a button away. On Friday, Uber will launch Passport, its first cross-border service, offering one-way transportation from San Diego across the San Ysidro border to anywhere in the northern Baja California region, which extends as far south as Ensenada and as far east as Mexicali.
 
 

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The Return Of Voice-And That Means I'm Watching

I have to admit, the voice space has been, well, rather boring the last few years. And, with it, VoIPWatch has become less and less a VoIP focused blog and more and more a news blog featuring stories that I find interesting, and which I've started to share here and within the Comunicano Communique (which you can subscribe to HERE). 

Thankfully, over the past few weeks, a few Voice related services and apps have renewed my enthusiasm for voice as it is clearly alive (as it has always been) and inventiveness is far from dead.

Let's look at a few of the more interesting activities in Voice that I'm now closely VoipWatching:

Dialpad - The company formerly known as SWITCH.co Perhaps this should be named Dialpad 2.0 as veterans in the voice world will recall the original company, then the acquisition by Yahoo, the creation of Yahoo Voice with it, and then its demise.

The New Dialpad is reminiscent of the line in the The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" ---"Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss" -- as it's almost the same team as the old Dialpad as Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet were two thirds of the Dialpad team that sold it to Yahoo, with YIPTV founder Mike Tribolet (original President of Vonage) being the other executive.

With an updated logo (see the d and p) and new apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, a kick butt plug in for Chrome, and most of all, VoIP calling over Wi-Fi and mobile broadband, Dialpad may very well be the first real carrier scale provider of mobile PBX services. With extension dialing coming soon, an app for the iPad around the corner, enhancements to all types of enterprise services, the new Dialpad is a major upfit to Switch.

Telzio - It's always fun to be part of growing an innovative start-up. Telzio is one of those.  About a year ago I became an advisor to the L.A. based VoIP company aimed at bringing really big ideas to small company communications. Now that I'm living here my friendship with founder Peter Rank Schroder has only boosted that engagement. A few weeks ago Telzio rolled out integration with the Amazon Echo, an idea I first proposed after really getting a lot out of the "must have" device while traveling across Europe last summer. First up was the integration with CounterPath's Bria. Next on the innovation front is an native iOS app that's in beta now, as is their Zapier integration (you need to be a customer and invited into the beta) so I have Telzio working with Slack very nicely now. What's so cool about Telzio is the simplicity, speed and elegance of all their integrations, which rivals their insanely low price offer, of $1.00 a month for phone service.

Wire- Started by pal Alan Duric and many of the Skype ex-pats led by Jonathan Christensen, Wire has been steadily evolving over the past year or so into a Skype replacement for many of the Voice Comms Mafia members who are also regulars on the VUC. Now with encrypted communications, upgraded video capabilities, Wire is picking up where Skype left off after its acquisition by Microsoft. The big benefits are the services elegantly clean UI, a fast set up and a HTML5 version that works within the browser (Chrome for sure) and the end to end encrypted comms.

Slack - One of the most used productivity apps around, Slack is now testing in beta Voice calls. What's neat? Well for starters, they have it working in both within the browser and inside their native apps. More importantly is the integration going on with Slack by others.  

Yodel -A team from Austria, with an aptly named app, have begun to use WebRTC, dial up numbers for inbound and outbound calling. Now in beta.

Ottspott - brought to us by the Apidaze team out of Paris, they know WebRTC rather well and as a result have come up with a more elegant and complete solution than Yodel for now where calls are placed and received using Slack. 

In both cases, Ottspott and Yodel are showing what's possible with WebRTC, apps and services that start outside the browser in an app.

With these new developments, I'm happy to say my VOIPwatching is back..

 


The Comunicano Communique for Thursday March 10th 2016

 
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"If you want to walk the walk, you have to talk the talk." Getting quoted is about just that. Today, once again, I was quoted by a leading media outlet. Network World. This time by their News Editor, Bob Brown on the subject of Wi-Fi hotspot blocking. Having been the victim of this in the past, it was rewarding to see how well Brown captured the story as told by facts, everyday people and experts. It's a nice read, and perhaps one of the most accurately written stories on the subject.

Beyond that story, lots of hard news is in the newsletter. I'm elated to see client YIPTV now thought of in the same stories as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. Actually, YIPTV is farther ahead than those guys in the world of OTT television, or as we call it Mobile Cable. The other news items, well, no more hints. Just READ ON..

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Wi-Fi hotspot blocking persists despite FCC crackdown

The FCC has slapped hotels and other organizations with nearly $2.1 million in fines since the fall of 2014 for blocking patrons' portable Wi-Fi hotspots in the name of IT security, or more likely, to gouge customers for Internet service.
 
 

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Studios, Exhibitors Consider Revolutionary Plan for Day-and-Date Movies at Home (EXCLUSIVE)

Five years ago, major studios attempts to offer first-run movies in the home months early set off a fierce standoff with theater owners. Now, a startup backed by Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame is trying to encourage Hollywood studios and exhibitors to wade back into those controversial...
 
 

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Sonos announces layoffs, refocuses on streaming and voice tech

Macfarlane says it's an inevitable change - and that's why the company is now focusing on these users over customers that are playing from non-streamed files and physical music collections. How? He's not saying, but it'll apparently involve "building incredibly rich experiences that were all but unimaginable when we started the company."
 
 

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YIPTV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now: 10 services leading pay-TV's IP-delivery revolution

Within the last 12 months, no less than five virtual MVPD services from major operators have debuted, some in the testing phase and some as full-fledged, fully available consumer products. These services threaten to revolutionize the pay-TV industry, replacing expensive CPE, truck rolls and credit checks with simple, app-based delivery of video.

 
 

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Join Friends in VR with New Oculus Social Features

Now you can experience games, videos, and more with friends in VR! Starting tomorrow, people with a Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, can create a profile and then easily search for others on the platform by real name or Oculus username.
 
 

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Nest can now use your phone to tell when you've left the house

Nest's products are about to get better at telling when you're out of the house and when you're about to come back home. An update to Nest's iOS and Android app today will allow it to start monitoring your phone's location.
 
 

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Mobile messaging giant Line now supports group voice calls for up to 200 people

Mobile messaging giant Line has announced that it now caters for conference calls with the latest update to its mobile and desktop app. Available on Android, iOS, and Windows desktop (Mac will be added soon), the new group-call feature supports up to 200 people, and is aimed at anyone from families and friends to businesses.
 
 

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Facebook will soon let you disable seeing all notifications for live videos - Digiday

Facebook will soon let you disable seeing all notifications for live videos Relief is on the way. If you've noticed an influx of Facebook notifications from brands or publishers every time they kick off a live video stream, you're not alone.
 
 

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Cisco Spark Is Here

Yes, Cisco Spark has arrived! That cool mobile business messaging app we launched a year ago has grown up. It's now a full-blown business communications service from the Cisco cloud. We are really excited about bringing this to market and are encouraged by some of the early reactions, including an analyst who said "I have seen the future."
 
 

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Skype is killing its smart TV app

Skype, the Microsoft-owned video calling service, has quietly announced that it will no longer offer an app for smart TVs from June. Confirmation of the shutdown comes via a support page - first spotted by the BBC - which explains that smartphones and tablets have proven to be a more popular platform for Skype users.
 
 

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How to sign up for the Android Beta Program

Google on Wednesday released the developer preview of Android N. The company also went against its normal tradition of releasing only the system image files and forcing developers to install the update using command line code and developer tools, Google also announced the Android Beta Program.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Monday March 7th 2016

 
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Over the weekend my Switch app Switched to Dialpad. Long time voice over IP mavens will recall the company that was one of of the pioneers in VOIP competing with DeltaThree, MediaRing and Net2Phone for Voice traffic as an alternative to the PSTN. This weekend, pal Craig Walker and the team at Switch changed their name to Dialpad after purchasing the name from Yahoo, the company which bought Dialpad back in 2005. My blog post is the first story today. Read that and more...

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
 

Switch Makes the Switch to Dialpad, Kicks off Massive Mobile Enterprise Push

 
  Craig Walker may quickly be finding his face on someone's "Most Wanted List." Given his most recent move at his GV (Google Ventures) and A16Z backed startup, he'll possibly be thought of as the this Internet era's Willie Sutton, Clyde Barrow or John Dillinger after what he just pulled off this weekend.  
 

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Android Co-Founder Rich Miner Joins Board at Dialpad, The Former Switch.co

Rich Miner, a co-founder of the mobile operating system Android, the company that gave birth to Google's mobile operating system, has joined the board of Dialpad, a cloud-based office phone and communications company that until today had been known as Switch.co.
 
 

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Twilio Paves Private, Secure Paths to its Cloud Services

 
  Michelle Burbick | March 07, 2016 | The public Internet is no longer the only way to connect to the Twilio cloud. The cloud is great for communications, as I'm sure you've all heard from the legions of providers. But, as I'm sure you also know, the cloud, in its public form, doesn't work for businesses of all shapes and sizes.  
 

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Tech Companies, New and Old, Clamor to Entice Cloud Computing Experts

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon Web Services, a globe-spanning cloud computing network that is part of the online retailing giant Amazon, has rapidly become one of the most powerful forces in technology. It has also become a target for poachers.
 
 

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Spotify is using 50,000 anonymous hipsters to find your next favorite song

Spotify's personalized Discover Weekly playlist has won millions of fans with its uncanny ability to find music based on your musical preferences. But what if you're tired of the music that it feeds you? The music streaming giant is taking a new approach with the expansion of its Fresh Finds playlists.
 
 

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Why You Should Put Yourself Out There and Try New Products

In 2006 I started using Facebook and most of my friends & colleagues thought I was strange. They thought it was like MySpace and why did I need a MySpace page? In 2007 I started using Twitter and most of my friends & colleagues wondered why people would care what I ate for lunch.

 
 

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Jeff Salway: Rise of the robots is like dotcom bubble

AT THE end of the last millennium I worked for a large publishing company that assumed, as they all did, that websites were a licence to print money. That's why I spent a year trying to sell internet advertising to food processing companies. It was mostly in vain.
 
 

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4 principles that will shape the future of IT

Over the past year, I've had the opportunity to attend a number of conferences, ranging from the most establishment events you can think of all the way to highly technical yet informal meetups. The dress at the events ranged from suits and ties to t-shirts and shorts.
 
 

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You Didn't Notice It, But Google Fiber Just Began the Golden Age of High Speed Internet Access

Its "dark fiber" project in Huntsville creates a model that might finally thrust US Internet access into the 21st Century T his week, Google launched what amounts to a religious war in American telecom land.

 
 

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Here's Where Startups Raised In The US During 2015 - Mattermark

tl;dr: Everything you thought was true actually is, and we put it on a cool map. Where did companies raise venture dollars in the United States during 2015? If your first gut reaction was to say New York and California, you are correct! But there is more to the picture.
 
 

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Switch Makes the Switch to Dialpad, Kicks off Massive Mobile Enterprise Push

Craig Walker may quickly be finding his face on someone’s “Most Wanted List.” Given his most recent move at his GV (Google Ventures) and A16Z backed startup,  he’ll possibly be thought of as the this Internet era’s Willie Sutton, Clyde Barrow or John Dillinger after what he just pulled off this weekend. That and adding Android co-founder Rich Miner to his board, further linking the company to a mobile enterprise first strategy.

Walker, the co-founder of GrandCentral, which is now known as Google Voice, as well as UberConference and Switch.co just made the steal of the year, harking back the kind of stolen base memories of Cardinals’ baseball great and demon on the basepaths, Lou Brock that made him a legend. Walker just stole one of the most valued brands in telecom away from Yahoo...DIALPAD, a brand ironically mentioned last Thursday in the post, Where Have You Gone...A Look Back At Some Famous VoIP Companies.

Dialpad_LogoJust about 10 years ago, Dialpad was acquired by Yahoo after raising some $68 million in venture funding. Walker, and his partners in crime, Vincent Paquet who like Walker started Google Voice as GrandCentral, and now YIP TV founder, and former Vonage President, Mike Tribolet, rebuilt Dialpad from an ad driven telephony service into a telephony arbitrage and fraud prevention platform that allowed for least cost routing of international calls. In its heydey Dialpad was a competitor to Delta Three and Net2Phone in moving voice traffic over the Internet long before Skype and Vonage, and was turned by Yahoo into their Skype competitor, Yahoo Voice.

Fast forward ten years, Dialpad was a mothballed asset for Yahoo, collecting dust as a company name and a domain. Along came Walker with an offer and over the weekend Switch switched in name to Dialpad. The price, which Walker said, “was clearly minus a few zeros from what we sold it for,” was undisclosed.

As part of the weekend’s makeover Dialpad has also launched a new logo with the d and the p conjoined logo and the name as a logotype.

In addition to the new name, Dialpad released new native apps for Macs and Windows users, updated their browser extensions and mobile apps for iOS and Android. The apps include Dialpad’s first true mobile VoIP integration, allowing users to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi or broadband mobile networks. An iPad version is expected soon and video, which has been in beta for a while, and which I've tested with Walker as far back as August, is likely also just around the corner.

Given the integrations with Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps for Work, Salesforce and social applications LinkedIn and Twitter for context about the caller, ala Rapportive and Crystal Knows, Dialpad has more that’s relevant today than other Enterprise calling solutions. Add in their global, carrier-scale approach, with 7 data centers around the world, plus a war chest of $53 million in funding, Dialpad has enough to attract global business type customers, as they have done with Motorola, who need many thousands of people supported. Other VoIP companies like 8x8, Vonage and RingCentral focus on the smaller size, mid-market companies further pitting Dialpad against Microsoft's Skype for Business, Mitel and the incumbent telcos like BT, AT&T and Verizon.

Based on my trials of the mobile app the VoIP service works very well over AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile’s LTE networks, as well as Wi-Fi with HD like quality due to the use of the SILK codec on Peer to Peer connections (P2P) and G711 for calls that end up on the PSTN.

Overall, the change in name is a great move for the company, but the real win is for the customers as the service and app upgrades are the real news.