Both are security experts and have a real expertise in Voice. Dan hosts a regular podcast and Dameon does a wide range of blogging. But at heart both are white hat hackers, and what Dameon did in finding the flaw in a released version of iSkoot so quickly was worth its weight in gold.
This is just one more example of how the Blogosphere helps the startup community, whether asked or not.
It reminds me of the time when an former eBay executive said to some bloggers who were only trying to help "I'm not sure if you're reporters, developers or consultants so I don't know how to deal with you" and then repeated the same comment to me in a slightly different way. Basically, shortly after the eBay purchase Skype had a great chance to embrace the blogosphere, but only in the last six months or so has that really happened well, and largely at the direction of their out of house PR agency in NYC and Chaim Hass, who leads it.
Compare that to iSkoot whose team since the moment the first post went up, were engaging with the bloggers and after a first, reply, after some behind the scenes work a few of us to people we both know at iSkoot (as Dameon points out) the real mystery became clear and iSkoot did the right thing.
This is how the blogosphere helps and will continue to do so. Smart companies embrace passion. It's only insecure executives who fear their help.
The New York Time's Brad Stone has a very interesting Sunday story about RIM (Research In Motion) communicating how much the iPhone is a threat to RIM today.
What I'm finding interesting is how the world of mobile phones is really shifting to "smarter phones." If you look at who is on the decline in the USA, Motorola is no longer the powerhouse they once were, losing market share to everyone in every direction. On the CDMA side of the fence LG and Samsung have gobbled up the bottom. HTC and RIM have really carved into the Smartphone market. On the GSM side of the house client Nokia, Sony Ericsson and others are their enemy, and of course RIM pretty much has the Enterprise market or did.
Now Apple is entering the fray with the ultra cool iPhone. For most people who don't send lengthy emails, it is hard to not enjoy so the market is really there at the start for Apple, once 3G comes to the iPhone 2, or will that be 3? Geee. I wonder.
If the law passes in France, then the all new buildings and high rise apartments will be fitted with fiber optic cable as part of a 15 billion dollar program to modernize and provide the citizens super fast Internet.
Yesterday KenRadio's Ken Rutkowski told me he was in a New York City Starbucks on an AT&T connection and was already doing his best imitation of me...Complaining about the speeds vs. what they used to be like.
Wanna guess which Starbucks have a lower geek factor while the ramp up occurs? It will be the ones that become converted first.
Alec asks an interesting question about Broadsoft and like before when their PR department played something wrong in the blogosphere they've done it again by creating more questions than providing answers.
All they needed to do was reveal who some of their top developers are. I can easily guess and I'll win the bet of a case of 1982 Lafite if anyone wants to take me on. But child's play bets aren't my game, and Alec, who has been on top of his game for quite a while makes some valid points in his post.
For a program to really be meaningful you need to have customers, not simply developers. It's one of the reasons why the Apple WWDC that comes up in June in San Francisco, or Java One or likely Google I/O will all have throngs of developers filling up the hotel rooms quickly. Why? Because the customers are there.
In a short and polite but still corrective email I was notified by iSkoot that my guess that they were supplying Skype with the mobile client for 30 new handsets was incorrect.
They're not.....HMMMM. That makes me realize some things, and apparently, so too is PhoneBoy who seems to have identified a very interesting problem that may have the folks at Skype a wee bit nervous about them.
So this begs the question, if iSkoot isn't Skype's provider of choice, then did the recent management shakeup at iSkoot that moved much of the USA based aspects of the business from Boston to the Valley in some way hinder the relationship?
The H3G SkypePhone is one of the most amazing platforms around. And, personally I can't beat the cost savings for calling back to the USA when I'm in the UK. For twenty pounds each month I get global unlimited calling over the combination of Skype and the regular 3 mobile service. When I'm in my apartment I use Truphone on my Nokia E90 or N95 and if I end up somewhere where I don't have a SIM card, I've got MaxRoam.
I have to admit upfront that having the best of breed clients all playing in the world of VoIP is probably one of the most exciting parts of my job. Just like the Master of The Mashup Thomas Howe gets to take the best of the best tools and make something new and different happen in the sense of great new Voice 2.0 applications, my team and I get to play mixologists when it comes to how our clients and their technologies, either amongst themselves or with our pals in the media and the blogosphere get to tell their stories. But more importantly, what we're demonstrating is how to use the tools and media opportunities that exist today to flatten and level the 1.0 media world by being agents of change.
Yesterday iotum's Alec Saunders continued to show off the feature rich capabilities of the iotum Free Conference Calling platform that works from within Facebook during his daily Sqawk Box podcast with the usual group of suspects including Voxeo's Dan York and ATS's Adam Somer to name a few. Alec artfully interviewed SightSpeed's VP of Marketing, Eric Quanstrom about SightSpeed Light for MySpace and extracted many of the key points that really paint the picture of where SightSpeed is headed. This wasn't interpretive journalism or opinion based blogging. It was facts and information straight from the so called "horses mouth" as Eric took the group and listeners through the direction SightSpeed is heading with Google and Open Social.
Besides showing off his business acumen, Courtney showed that he did his homework as the line of questioning he took, and just like Saunders did with Quanstrom had a real conversation with VAPPS CEO and wove a story together in real time.
Add to it that he Courtney used the VAPPS new HiDef Conferencing capabilities that works with Skype and we all now are getting to hear just how simply amazing the audio quality is when all parties are using Skype endpoints. I for one have been using the HiDef service for a while, and actually was one of the first trial set of ears that Ben called on even before his company became a client. The difference is immediately noticeable between a regular audio conference and a HiDef Conference in what can best be described as tone and audio richness.
In both cases the information disseminated by the use of the call recording and podcast tools clearly demonstrates how VoIP in the middle makes for new ways to communicate. For broadcasters and podcasters the tools available today far outweigh what was there only a few years ago, and pretty much have to be putting companies who make high priced audio gear for broadcasters on the ropes. None of what was done cost anyone any money to record, encode, produce and publish. That's flattening and leveling in my book.