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Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Published: 2017-12-08T12:33:02-05:00


20 Years Later, Dialpad Disrupts Communications Again

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:33:02 -05002017-12-08T12:33:02-05:00

History was made this week As Dialpad launched a free version of their UCaaS platform for up to five users. This amounts to a savings of over one-thousand-dollars. Craig Walker the Founder and CEO of the company launched the original Dialpad just under 20 years ago, an innovative service allowing anyone to call a US number for free over the internet via their web portal. Craig has been a visionary in the space for the decades we have known him. He sold the original Dialpad to Yahoo! to become Yahoo! Voice. He then launched another VoIP company called Grand Central Communications which was later sold to Google to become Google Voice. I had a chance to meet with Craig in New York – coincidentally in Grand Central Station about his company’s latest product launch. Dialpad Free is a way for small businesses to try before they buy and grow into the service. Unlike consumer offerings, this service has full feature-list including IVR, transfer, recording, unlimited voicemail, unlimited inbound, unlimited auto attendant and 100 minutes of outbound. It will first be rolled out to G Suite users then Office 365 and finally others. Here is a complete feature list: ● One free local phone number per company ● Up to five users per company ● Employees can be reached by extension, Operator, or Dial by Name directory ● 1 room line ● 100 Outbound minutes per month ● Unlimited inbound minutes per month ● Unlimited Dialpad-to-Dialpad messaging/calling ● 100 SMS messages ● Free UberConference account ● Integrations included: LinkedIn, G Suite ● Call recording ● Free number porting ● Single Sign On via OAuth 2.0 for G Suite ● Call usage analytics ● FAQ/Help Center support I asked Craig, what are some of the reasons a customer might choose to upgrade to a pay plan. He explained, if a company has more than five people on a team or they need after-hours routing or specific department groups, voicemail transcription or integration with Salesforce. Craig pretty much helped created the VoIP market which we now call UC or UCaaS. He has once again helped disrupt the communications space. We can expect a great deal more innovation from Craig and the team based on a confidential product roadmap we discussed.This is pretty exciting because a small business can feel comfortable trying a phone service that doesn't cost them anything now and will be able to support their needs as they grow. Craig is a dynamic speaker. Hear him live at a keynote session at the communications transformation event: ITEXPO, Feb 13-16, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Other keynoting companies are Juniper, IBM, Mitel and Atlassian. Tags: cpaas, craig walker, dialpad, email, g suite, gmail, google, ip communications, marketplace, suite marketplace, uc, ucaas, voip Related tags: unlimited inbound, original dialpad, grand central, craig, dialpad, company Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Dialpad Debuts New Gmail Add-on in G Suite Marketplace - Oct 24, 2017 Dialpad is Reborn from - Mar 07, 2016 Nosh from Google a P2P Foursquare Meets Zagats - Jul 19, 2011 AT&T Webinar Focuses on Hosted Market - May 20, 2008 Aculab Impresses with Cloud and Applianx AP Gateway - Sep 30, 2017 Uber Picks Dialpad to Fuel its Growth - Jun 14, 2016 Did Social Just Make UC Irrelevant? - Jul 08, 2011 How Skype and Facebook Work Together - Jul 07, 2011 gHome Improves Google Voice - Jan 18, 2011 Google Gmail VoIP, Cloud Computing and Other News August, 25 2010 - Aug 25, 2010 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: 20 Years Later, Dialpad Disrupts Communications Again Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - [...]

MegaPath Leverages Years of Experience to Lead in SD-WAN

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:01:55 -05002017-12-05T19:01:55-05:00

MegaPath is in a unique position in the SD-WAN space as they were on the leading edge of the MPLS curve and SD-WAN in many cases is becoming a competing or even next-generation technology. In 2012, the company even hosted an MPLS University which we attended at ITEXPO in Florida. Dan Foster is the COO of the company and we decided to get his take on the market. Here is our interview: When and how did you get into the SD-WAN market?  MegaPath launched its first SD-WAN solution, SD-WAN Pro, in early 2016. SD-WAN Pro capabilities include centralized network management and monitoring, QoS-based priority routing, session-level application performance monitoring and standard network security protocols including IPsec VPN, load balancing and failover (both wired and wireless).  A year later, we expanded our portfolio with the introduction of SD-WAN Enterprise, adding capabilities such as bi-directional priority routing, real-time application failover, packet-level application performance monitoring, true bandwidth aggregation, complete network performance visibility, and additional Advanced Security capabilities. Tell us more about your particular offerings in this space. MegaPath offers several key advantages compared to other SD-WAN providers: Best-of-breed, multi-vendor approach to SD-WAN and Security, giving businesses the flexibility to build a solution that’s the right fit for their business needs, size and budget. Fully-managed service that includes full-solution design engineering, dedicated project management, and white-glove support 100% U.S.-based expert technical support, available 24/7/365 100% Uptime SLA with SD-WAN Enterprise package, guaranteeing substantial service credits equal to $1,000 or 50% of monthly recurring charges, whichever is greater. (See Free Proactive Circuit monitoring for all circuits, including 3rd-party circuits (non-MegaPath provided) MegaPath’s expertise combined with its broad portfolio gives real value to partners that desire a broad range of high-value services from a single nationwide provide What is driving enterprise interest in SD-WAN? Today’s businesses simply can’t afford downtime. With the increasing reliance on the cloud, the cost of downtime has grown exponentially, and the need for always-on, reliable WAN connectivity has become a business imperative. MegaPath’s SD-WAN solutions address the increasing bandwidth demands of our customers and empower businesses of all sizes to realize the full potential of the cloud.  What is the biggest pain your solutions take away for customers? Downtime.  Downtime is the Achilles to any business no matter the vertical.  Today, if you don’t have reliable, always-on access to the Internet, your business will suffer or even die.  Simply put, SD-WAN eliminates downtime without breaking the bank or over-tasking resources, making zero-downtime accessible to businesses of all sizes. What is your target audience? Mid-sized enterprises looking to migrate from MPLS to a fully-managed SD-WAN solution are our sweet spot, although we also offer a solution for SMBs that are seeking a low-cost entry point to the popular networking technology. How do you go to market? Direct? MSPs? Carriers? Etc. We go to market through direct and indirect channels. We have inside sales teams focused on solutions for the SMB and the Enterprise, and an active network of channel partners comprised of master agencies, alliance and referral partners. What synergistic technologies and markets are aided by SD-WAN? Hosted Voice, UCaaS, Managed IT and Managed Security services What regions of the world will be most disrupted by SD-WAN? The SD-WAN market is exploding across all major geographic regions. Its affordability and ease of adoption knows no boundaries wherever there are businesses that require reliable access to the Internet. How do you differentiate your company from others in the market? As stated above, we offer key advantages over oth[...]

TELoIP Brings SD-WAN to Companies of All Sizes

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 21:06:22 -05002017-11-30T21:06:22-05:00

The market predictions for SD-WAN growth show a hockey-stick. What is most interesting about this growth is it’s literally across the spectrum from the SMB or small business all the way up to the enterprise. It’s unusual for a technology to be applicable to all segments of the market at once. To learn more, we decided to seek out and interview Kevin Suitor the CMO of TELoIP as his company serves brings quality SD-WAN solutions to companies of all sizes. When and how did you get into the SD-WAN market? TELoIP was an early mover in software-defined networks, and we’ve been providing innovative SDN/SD-WAN solutions for business since 2002.  Our initial focus was on delivering the promise of the internet for business and we earned 21 patents to-date focused upon increasing the speed, reliability and performance for voice, video and data services over broadband.  Beginning around 2010, many of our multi-site customers ran managed VPN solutions using our solutions delivering a software-defined performance boost as a cost-effective MPLS replacement, by today’s standards these were early SD-WAN deployments.  Further TELoIP innovation led to the official launch of VINO SD-WAN product line in March of 2016. VINO SD-WAN combined our patented last-mile broadband optimization solution (VINO SD-Internet) and orchestration portal (VINO Portal) with a multi-tenant control plane that provides secure end-to-end multi-point encryption scalable to over 10,000 end-points. Tell us more about your particular offerings in this space. TELoIP offer software-defined solutions as a Virtual Intelligent Network Overlay (VINO™).  VINO solutions are sold as a per site licenses which are based on the throughput capacity for the customer location on a 1, 2, or 3 year basis.  Each site license is a Network-as-a-Service solution including the premises appliance, the SD-WAN overlay license, North America wide WAN connectivity, centralized orchestration, management and provisioning through the VINO Portal, plus professional design services, certified installation and ongoing 24/7/365 support. VINO is available in two offerings, VINO SD-Internet and VINO SD-WAN.  VINO SD-Internet provides broadband optimization for voice, video, data and public cloud applications for customers who require faster speeds, better performance and seamless fast-failover to prevent downtime.  VINO SD-WAN combines all the last-mile optimization advantages of VINO SD-Internet, plus a fully managed and encrypted end-to-end SD-WAN transport between remote business sites and a public/private multi-cloud environment.  VINO SD-WAN also offers optional add-on VINO RAS licenses to securely connect remote and mobile workers or IoT devices into the encrypted SD-WAN cloud overlay network. What is driving enterprise interest in SD-WAN? For almost 20 years, enterprises have relied on a hardware-centric approach to networking with sites and data centers being interconnected by MPLS.  Today, several interconnected external forces that are collectively driving the legacy WAN to the breaking point; cloud computing, bandwidth demand, security and IoT.  As applications move to the cloud they require more bandwidth.  The insatiable demand for bandwidth cannot be sustained by MPLS, which is driving enterprises to low-cost broadband.  Broadband WAN leads to increased security risks which drives enterprises toward the centralized orchestration and encryption of SD-WAN.  While IoT is driving a similar cycle that also involves cloud computing, bandwidth and security with the added element of billions of devices. If we take an internal view, enterprise interest is being driven by the agility of SD-WAN. Enterprises want to embrace innovation and improve the customers experience, and the digital initiatives that achieve this increasingly relate to cloud computing, IoT or both. The big inhibitor for enterprise innovation is the legacy WAN because it makes digital [...]

SD-WAN is Booming and Airespring is Providing its Customers Innovative Solutions

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 20:40:17 -05002017-11-30T20:40:17-05:00

SD-WAN is eating the WAN, cloud and IP communications all at once. We’ve all seen the amazing projections of market growth but the question is why? To gain insight, we looked to some of the most well-respected thought leaders in the market to gain their hands-on insight. As a nationwide network provider Airespring is well-positioned to share best practices in SD-WAN And its exactly why we reached out to Danial Lonstein, COO of the company to learn more about where the market is heading. Here is our interview: What is driving enterprise interest in SD-WAN?                                                                                         The business and technology drivers are many but these I believe are the top five: Traditional WANs cannot keep up with increased adoption and use of cloud applications and cloud services. Improved automation, ease of provisioning, deployment and operational efficiency eases the burden of configurating, deploying and managing WANs Bandwidth optimization – replace or augment more expensive WAN networks, such as MPLS, with less expensive bandwidth options and network options. Consistent application security plus better overall ability to implement more effective and consistent security functionality. The promise of reduced IT and WAN management costs. What is the biggest pain your solutions take away for customers? Compared to other SD-WAN vendors: As a multi SD-WAN vendor, we analyze the customer’s needs and recommend the ideal SD-WAN technology for them Management & Provisioning, - it’s marketed as plug and play but that is not the real world experience so we take on this burden for our customers 24/7 monitoring Circuit ticketing for our own as well as 3rd party vendor circuits (ie. Circuits that are not sold by us) Our value is in providing a single vendor for all so if there is an issue or problem, there can be no finger pointing between carriers, and between carriers and the SD Wan vendor. For the multi-location enterprises, one of the biggest pains is managing multiple vendors and network types in conjunction with an SD-WAN project.  As a nationwide network operator and aggregator, AireSpring is uniquely suited to address this customer pain point. Most multi-location enterprises are normally forced to work with multiple network vendors. The larger and more geographically dispersed, the larger the number of vendors which could be dozens or more, including broadband providers, metro Ethernet vendors, telco carriers, etc. Each of these vendors have their own service contract, SLAs, and terms and conditions. Each location would also tend to need a network manager and staff to look after the network and deal with any issues that come up. With SD-WAN gateways installed throughout AireSpring’s core network, you are able to fully mesh and interconnect your SD-WAN with any carrier, circuit or technology via AireSpring’s network, which acts as the “glue” over multiple transport types—Ethernet, Fiber, Broadband, LTE, EOC, TDM and more. Additionally connect with a wide range of AireSpring solutions, including MPLS, UCaaS, SIP Trunking and Internet. What is your target audience? Our ideal target audience is multi-location enterprises in vertical industries such as transportation and logistics, financial services and banking, retail, and healthcare. These might be companies that are trying to augment an existing MPLS network with less expensive SD-WAN or to combine dissimilar connectivity to optimize bandwidth. Anothe[...]

TPx Communications Successfully adds SD-WAN to its Portfolio of Services

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 19:50:35 -05002017-11-30T19:50:35-05:00

IP Communications is just one of the important areas where SD-WAN is making a big impact. One company, TPx Communications got its start in this area and ever since has been a growing player in the market. The company formerly known as TelePacific is a 2017 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award Winner and a leader in managed IT, UCaaS, networking and more. To learn more about the company’s role in the market, I spoke interviewed Jared Martin, Vice-president, Managed IT Services Group. When and how did you get into the SD-WAN market? TPx entered the SD-WAN market in February 2015.  After an introduction to VeloCloud at the BroadSoft Connections conference, we saw how this could really work for our customers and began intensive testing of the technology because we could see its game changing potential.  We tested for a 18 months before bringing our product to market. Tell us more about your particular offerings in this space. TPx offers a use-case driven SD-WAN powered product.  ITx for WAN brings scalable, tested, and supportable features to market vs. supporting any and every feature offered by the OEM. We’re definitely focused on quality and reliability.   TPx operates and maintains its own network to deliver the completed service and only leverages the SD-WAN vendor’s technology to enable the service.  TPx is constantly taking feedback from customers and partners and refining our offer based on that feedback.  We introduced a new 4G LTE primary access in Q3 2017 that broke the traditional barriers for broadband access – really making it available most locations across the country with no need to wait for fiber buildouts! What is driving enterprise interest in SD-WAN? Cost savings over expensive MPLS access and increased visibility into application usage and performance. What is the biggest pain your solutions take away for customers? Quality of service concerns when using Internet-based access technologies.  In addition, giving customers insight and business intelligence into what their users are doing and how their applications are performing. What is your target audience? The SMB to sub-enterprise space, with a real expertise serving multilocation businesses.  Our customer set is national in scope, encompassing businesses, not-for-profits and government.   How do you go to market? Direct? MSPs? Carriers? Etc. All of the above. We have a very active Direct and wholesale business as well as a thriving channel business where our agent partners drive about half of our overall sales. What synergistic technologies and markets are aided by SD-WAN? UCaaS, Managed Security, Managed IT What regions of the world will be most disrupted by SD-WAN? It is applicable everywhere, however, regions that have problematic access will certainly see a big benefit from the capabilities that SD WAN brings.  How do you differentiate your company from others in the market? TPx is the premier managed services carrier – which means we bring a long and proven corporate DNA of guaranteed reliability, resilience and industry-leading customer service to the table. We bring a focus on customers and their use cases rather than simply being all about the technology itself.  We provide a completely managed service and we really don’t care if the access is over our own network or another providers. Our customers don’t need to worry either way because we will manage it end-to-end.  We are one of the early movers who saw the potential of SD WAN, tested it, rolled it out and refined it in concert with our technology partners and customer feedback.  We have a great track record already, and continue to add to that proof point every day.   What is driving the competitive SD-WAN landscape? Why are so many vendors and providers throwing their hats in the ring? SDN is allowing mature technologies, such as DMVPN and WAN optimiza[...]

Should Net Neutrality Apply to Silicon Valley?

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 18:47:51 -05002017-11-28T18:47:51-05:00

While the nation is up in arms about the repeal of something 99.9 percent of the population didn't know existed six months ago, its time for a sanity check. We have been told "we" may be the only tech leader who thinks Ajit Pai is doing the right thing by rolling back net neutrality regulations. Our thoughts on the matter have been based on a great deal of experience in the past few years. Here are some things we have seen happen: The government promised a healthcare law would allow people to keep their doctor and plan and lower premiums by $2,500. Plans and doctors were lost and premiums have since doubled. Some states like Arizona saw their rates more than double in one year.Well, at least the website worked right.  The Government promised they would help with student loans. Student loans are now perhaps the largest financing bubble in the entire economy. The Government promised Dodd-Frank would eliminate too-big-too-fail. Banks are now bigger and CEOs of these banks tell you on conference calls that Dodd-Frank compliance has limited the ability of new entrants to compete with them. Intelligence agencies were given surveillance powers after 9/11 but not to be used to spy on Americans. Surpise? They are spying on Americans. Even though the heads of these organizations swore to Congress they were not. We needed leaks to learn about it. The government told us the IRS could not be weaponized. It is just a revenue collection agency. Yet, the IRS apologized repeatedly for targeting civilians based on their political beliefs. There are a host of technical reasons why net neutrality is dumb as well but we won't go into them now. What we know for sure - even though we have noticed many twenty-something tech bloggers who have never signed the front of a paycheck disagree, when you regulate anything, you decrease investment and that slows the economy.Without even knowing what the hell net neutrality is, we should all instinctively be against it. History has shown us centrally planned economies always fail. Not mostly, always. We don't even need to look back that far to Soviet Communism or Cuba's communism as examples. Venezuela started centrally planning their economy about a decade ago and as a result, they went from one of the richest countries in the world to one where people have eaten all their pets and zoo animals to survive and school teachers have become prostitutes.But isn't net neutrality about having the good guys in the government protect us from those evil companies?? Corporations don't imprison citizens or lock them up for their beliefs or execute them in large numbers. Pick a spot on the globe and there is a good chance the government there has executed its citizens for its political beliefs or performed genocide. There are a bunch of countries doing both these things - as you read this.  So, amid this backdrop, if there is a threat of government tyranny or corporate tyranny where competition keeps things in check, we will always, always, always choose the latter. So these are our quick, back-of-the napkin reasons for supporting Ajit Pai - he is the most courageous of the FCC Commissioners to date. Having said that - a brief shout out to Michael Powell and Kevin Martin who were past ITEXPO keynoters and Tom Wheeler a past TMCnet columnist. All great people but they never had to face this sort of political backlash. This post is a follow-up to one we wrote this last August discussing the utter hypocrisy of Silicon Valley pushing for Net Neutrality while they use their market power to censor far worse than anything an ISP could ever dream of doing. Apparently, if you support the right political party, you are immune to criticism as we learned from "hands-on" photographic evidence of one of our senators this past week. The post is titled Maybe Net Neutrality Needs to Apply to Silicon Valley. Ajit Pai basically paraphrased this post today when he discussed the censors[...]

Exclusive CEO Interview with AIOps Leader FixStream on Oracle ERP Solution and Growth Strategy

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 17:07:18 -05002017-11-28T17:07:18-05:00

Network complexity is literally growing exponentially and the ability for organizations to manage the increasing complexity isn’t growing with it. Staff budgets are often shrinking or staying level yet the sprawl of systems; servers, computers, sensors, etc. continues unabated. Without making use of artificial intelligence operations or AIOps it really is impossible to visualize your systems, let alone diagnose them quickly when a problem needs to be rapidly remedied. FixStream, is making a name for itself as a premium provider of AIOps solutions to some of the most substantial companies. “The business is accelerating so quickly that IT organizations need to reinvent how to manage and operate their business-critical processes, or risk having their competition leave them behind,” said Mike Jude, research analyst, Frost & Sullivan. “FixStream provides an industry-first end-to-end correlation and visualization of Oracle ERP transactions and metrics that is a real game changer, and a critical AIOps platform that I believe IT Operations will kill to have in their networks.” We agree with Mike. Digital transformation is an ongoing struggle for companies who need to explore new models and ways of doing business to ensure they aren’t disrupted or disintermediated by a new entrant or an adjacent company. Technology solutions today are generally additive – meaning more systems are thrown into the mix and APIs often interconnect the systems to one another. Try as they might, developers and system architects do not catch all the potential issues that could be caused by one device outage leading to system-wide failures which are difficult to diagnose. If the goal of transformation is indeed agility then experiencing ever-longer outages when something breaks is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. Recently I spoke with Enzo Signore, the company's CMO, he discussed how FixStream sees itself as a big data analytics company and a correlation platform for hybrid IT. Shortly thereafter we covered the large-scale airline outage in Europe where Enzo said the following: This is EXACTLY what FixStream is addressing – the correlation between applications and infrastructure is one of the most complex to determine, given the distributed architecture and the siloed nature of IT. Visibility of the end-to-end flows is limited and therefore precious time and money is wasted. In this case impacting travelers all over Europe. Today’s incident raises several questions: In this case it took 15 minutes to discover the network issue, but why did it take 4 hours to restore the service? How many people were involved in getting to the root cause? What would have been the impact if it had taken an hour to determine the issue? Also, were they able to determine the reasons behind the network failure so that it can be prevented from happening in the future? FixStream just announced its newest release will have out-of-the-box discovery and correlation of Oracle ERP business processes and transactions with infrastructure in order to break down the barriers of communication between IT and business operations. Specifically, FixStream 6.0 will provide support for Oracle ERP 12.X, Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle VM hypervisor and Oracle Fusion Middleware in on-premises, hybrid, public or Oracle ERP cloud deployments. “FixStream provides a powerful analytics platform that delivers the industry’s first end-to-end view of Oracle ERP transaction flows correlated with applications and infrastructure in hybrid IT environments,” said Bojan Simic, founder and chief analyst, Digital Enterprise Journal. “FixStream can be deployed in few hours thanks to its out-of-the-box discovery of Oracle ERP applications and delivers instant tangible value to business and IT operations.” In a conversation with Sameer Padhye (pictur[...]

Why Professionals Say to Avoid Nest

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:12:04 -05002017-11-22T10:12:04-05:00

Nest thermostats look gorgeous but if your equipment isn't compatible, you are in for a lot of trouble setting up your thermostats. Having a 50-year-old home with AC and baseboard heat has made it difficult to get these devices to work properly.Nest's tech support is good. We should know, we have spent hours on the phone with them to get the air conditioning working. A few months later, we learned the heat was not working properly at 3 am when we awoke to a home which was less than sixty degrees while air conditioning was being called for by the thermostat.Thankfully, we were able to shut it down from our phone in bed. We later realized if we removed the orange wire, the system did recognize how to turn on our heat. But, we will have to reattach the orange wire in the spring to get air conditioning to work.Having devoted too many hours in the Nest project, we were about to give up but the company told us to hire a professional who can help us. This conversation was about yet another thermostat that didn't call for heat at all. $150 later, we have a new common wire which has solved the problem.Our installer told us he likes Honeywell better than Nest. We asked why and he explained because its a thermostat. He went on to say the Nest is a computer and its one size fits all while Honeywell has specific models depending on the circumstances of the customer.Interestingly, the family loves the Nest because it is gorgeous and we have received numerous compliments about how good the units look from guests. Still, spending hours on the phone to get it working right and having to hire people to come install wires should be a deal-breaker for many of you who don't have the latest homes.If you read the tech media, much of this will be hidden from you. It's an important warning to be aware of before you go through the tedious process of removing your old thermostats. Tags: google, nest, technology, thermostat, wifi, wireless Related tags: hours phone, later, conditioning, thermostat, phone, hours Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Important Tech News of the Day Dec 14, 2012 - Dec 14, 2012 What if Someone is Trying to Steal This Data? - Oct 25, 2010 Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Google and ITEXPO News September 1, 2010 - Sep 02, 2010 Google Gmail VoIP, Cloud Computing and Other News August, 25 2010 - Aug 25, 2010 Aruba Networks Shows WiFi Can Boost Retail Traffic - Mar 05, 2013 Google and Dish Were in Talks to Launch Wireless Biz - Nov 15, 2012 Google's New, Free WiFi - Not For iPhones or iPads - Sep 11, 2012 Is Hotel WiFi About to Start Sucking? - Sep 04, 2012 Google Keynote at ITEXPO Feb 1st, 2012 in Miami - Jan 03, 2012 If Super WiFi is A Dream, At Least I'm in Good Company - Jan 27, 2011 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Why Professionals Say to Avoid Nest Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Media and Obama Responsible for HBO Hack?

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:39:23 -05002017-11-19T20:39:23-05:00

There is a direct trail from the U.S. media to the hack of HBO and many others. Of course the media isn't alone. It had an accomplice in the Obama administration that had an opportunity of a lifetime to put a stop to or at least slow down international hacking into the U.S.In August of last year, we reported the Obama administration was preparing to elevate the stature of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, signaling more emphasis on developing cyber weapons to deter attacks, punish intruders into U.S. networks and tackle adversaries such as the Islamic State.In March of that year, Iranian hackers were indicted by Attorney General Loretta Lynch for hacking a dam in Rye, New York and New York-based financial institutions.Lynch said they conspired together and with others to conduct a series of cyberattacks in all which cost the victims tens of millions of dollars. She went on to say these attacks harmed hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S.For some strange reason which no one seems to understand, the U.S. government, obviously aware of this indictment, decided to send $400 million dollars in unmarked bills to the Iranian regime. They then sent another $1.3 billion.We also sent them over $100 billion around the same time.In exchange, we received hostages among other items.But, we asked, what about the hackers?We felt like we were screaming in a vacuum. The media was obsessed with covering any other story but not what was really important, getting these hackers and prosecuting them.These are the actual stories being written at the time: Donald Trump choosing an advisory team with no women Donald Trump is Crazy Donald Trump's Campaign Website Won't Let You Cancel Recurring Donations What Happened After I Wrote That Cargo Shorts Story Is it any wonder with this being the cream of the crop the media produces, that the Kardashians are literally considered royalty by their readers?Finding these hackers was an amazing accomplishment. Tracking down malicious people online is virtually impossible to do. So the Obama administration should get great credit for this. But once identified, we left them there - even though we had a bargaining chip worth over a hundred billion dollars.As a result, Iran has kept on hacking and the latest news is they were behind the HBO attack and many others. Devlin Barrett lays out the details in the Washington Post.When you have such an opportunity - to bring hackers to justice, you don't squander it. National security is a major role of the federal Government and they let us all down.The media however shapes public opinion and polls and they didn't report this story. They gave the government a pass. As a result, every hack done without fear of consequence can be attributed to our lax stance on bringing known hackers to justice and to the media's inability to piece together  a story involving massive financial payments and apprehension of known hackers from the same country.Disclosure: This is not intended to be a political story - it is a factual account of an obvious missed opportunity which should never happen again if we want to reduce the threat cyberattacks pose to the world. Tags: cybersecurity, iran, obama, opm, revolutionary guard, trump Related tags: obama administration, donald trump, hackers justice, known hackers, hackers, media Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries President Obama, After $400 Million, Where are Those Criminal Iranian Hackers ? - Aug 05, 2016 The Utter Hypocrisy of Feigned Russian Hacker Outrage - Dec 19, 2016 The Long Tail of Cybersecurity - Aug 09, 2017 Cybersecurity and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week - Sep 25, 2016 Trump's Twitter Lead is the Real Force That's Awakened - Jan 04, 2016 Clinton's BYOD Phones, E-mail Server May Achieve Bin Laden'[...]

Fog Computing is Booming and it Changes Everything in IoT

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:22:05 -05002017-11-16T16:22:05-05:00

Name a market worth $18 billion in a few years with a 500% growth rate that almost no one knows about. If you guessed Fog Computing then well, that's because my readers tend to be above-average in their tech knowledge. For those of you who are new, here is a refresher on what the term represents. It is basically the idea of edge-computing as it relates to IoT devices. Sensors are generating north of 2 exabytes of data and it cannot all be sent to the cloud.In a similar manner to client-server, there is a partnership between cloud and local devices which allows them both to play to their strengths. In other words, devices at the fog layer can do things like data element analysis and transformation.Said another way, fog is a system-level horizontal architecture that distributes computing, storage and networking closer to users, and anywhere along the cloud to things continuum.Defining characteristics of the Fog are: low latency and location awareness; wide-spread geographical distribution; mobility; very large number of nodes, predominant role of wireless access, strong presence of streaming and real time applications, heterogeneity.Here are some details about the market: Key transitions fueling the growth include investments in energy infrastructure modernization, demographic shifts and regulatory mandates in transportation and healthcare. Hardware will have the largest percentage of overall fog revenue (51.6%), followed by fog applications (19.9%) and then services (15.7%).  By 2022, spend will shift to apps and services, as fog functionality is incorporated into existing hardware. Cloud spend is expected to increase 147% to $6.4 billion by 2022. “Fog computing addresses inherent challenges in IoT deployments that neither cloud nor edge gateways can resolve alone, such as latency, network bandwidth and security,” said Rhonda Dirvin, director of Marketing at Arm, and Board Director at the OpenFog Consortium. “Fog enables advanced use cases, including autonomous vehicles, drones, real-time production control systems, and 5G. While relatively new, fog is not only important for IoT – it’s vital for efficient, scalable IoT solutions.”Rhonda will present a keynote at IoT Evolution Conference and Expo being held January 22-25, 2018 at Disney’s Contemporary Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Her keynote will focus on the role of fog computing in IoT and describe how it works with both edge gateways and end devices. She will discuss how fog enables advanced use cases that require ultra-low latency, additional security and high network bandwidth. Fog-enabled IoT use cases across a range of industries will also be highlighted. IoT Evolution Expo is the leading educational and networking forum for the enterprise looking to understand how to develop and implement IoT solutions that drive measurable results and business transformation. The event will feature a robust exhibit floor, powerful keynotes, case studies, live demos, unique sessions, special events, networking opportunities and much more. Dirvin will deliver her keynote on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 9:30 AM.We hope to see you there! Tags: analytics, arm, edge computing, fog, fog computing, iiot, iot, latency, m2m, processor, sensor, smart car, smart city Related tags: enables advanced, advanced cases, network bandwidth, computing, cloud, devices Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Top 8 IoT Trends for 2017 - Jul 07, 2017 Senet LoRaWAN IoT Network Has Great Start on Global Ambitions - Nov 02, 2017 Semtech Looks to Rule IoT with LoRa LP-WAN Solutions - Oct 09, 2017 IoT Connectivity Standards? Still a Confusing Mess. - Oct 21, 2017 Comtech Boosts Location and Analytics in IoT - Oct 02, 2017 [...]

Apple Responds to Our iPhone X Wireless Charging Complaint in One Day

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:18:34 -05002017-11-14T13:18:34-05:00

Boy that was fast - just yesterday we said Apple lagged behind Samsung in the wireless charging world. Samsung supports up to 10W while Apple only goes to 5W.What a difference a day makes as news just broke Apple didn't want to lag Samsung by such a large amount so with iOS 11.2, iPhones will now be allowed to charge at a 50% faster 7.5W.This is great news - faster charging is always better.Since the Qi standard allows you to power a blender or even boil water, we are looking forward to ever-faster updates to allow us to more rapidly charge our wireless devices. src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"> Tags: apple, iphone x, qi, samsung, wireless, wireless charging Related tags: wireless charging, apple, faster, samsung, charging, wireless Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad Review - Nov 13, 2017 Ng Connect's Broadband Industry Convergence Opportunity - Feb 16, 2009 Galaxy S8 Outdoes iPhone X in Freeze Test - Nov 06, 2017 Why iPhone X Sales Will be Epic - Sep 22, 2017 Shocker! People Who Buy an $800 Phone can Afford $1,000 - Sep 18, 2017 Apple's Face ID may not be Secure - Sep 14, 2017 Apple Email Swings Back at Galaxy S4 - Mar 16, 2013 Apple needs an iPhablet - Jan 23, 2013 How Apple Can Slow Samsung Down - Dec 18, 2012 In Windows 8, Microsoft Has a Winner - Dec 05, 2012 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Apple Responds to Our iPhone X Wireless Charging Complaint in One Day Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad Review

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:35:03 -05002017-11-13T10:35:03-05:00

When we received our iPhone X, we knew we had to try out the wireless charging feature of the new device. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X models are the first iOS devices to support wireless charging using the Qi standard we told you about some years back. src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0">To that end we were sent a Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad for review. This charger is slim and light. You have to use your own power block/USB port as one is not included.The first thing we tested was if we could use the charger with the magnetic plate on the back of our phone used to mount the phone on our desk and car vent.Sadly, the metal plate blocks charging. Once removed, charging worked well. Even with a rubberized case on the phone. We even got the latest generation of Apple Watch to charge but it was a bit of a challenge to reproduce successful watch charging every time.This particular charger allows for 5W and 10W charging - the latter is especially useful as smartphone batteries aren't getting any smaller. Sadly, the 10W setting does not work with Apple phones, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8, S8 Plus, S7, S7 Edge, Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus. It's a bit frustrating that Apple decided to bring wireless charging to its devices but still lags behind Samsung quite dramatically.Still, some wireless charging is better than none at all. Moreover, thanks to Apple, we expect Qi to now be embedded everywhere. There is potentially a trillion-dollar upgrade cycle of gym equipment, desks, tables in restaurants and coffee shops, hotel and home night stands and so on. Qi will be everywhere. We've seen a Qi pot boil water and even blend (see video above) so it may soon be in your kitchen as well.So how fast is it? Well, 5W is 5W. The iPhone X charged but not rapidly. Still, we saw a 3% battery increase in 10 minutes even while the phone was on high brightness turned on a few times. We also saw a 10% increase in 27 minutes. So, it's not too shabby. The charger should charge your smartphone battery to full overnight. We tested it in a car, at a desk and attached to a TaoTronics lamp with a USB charger. Every time, it worked flawlessly.While the charger works for all the latest Apple, Samsung and Qi smartphones, the Face ID system of the X works a little better if the phone is standing upright. This is for two reasons. The phone lowers the ringer volume if it can see your face and blocks notification details if it can't see your face for privacy reasons. We turned this notification privacy feature off as we found it annoying.Where would we suggest you use this Pictek charger? Desks, night stands, kitchen tables and anywhere else you expect your electronic devices to rest. They will receive a nice power top off whenever they are resting, allowing the user to worry less about battery life and the incredibly limiting 3 foot cord Apple packages with its iOS devices.For a limited time get a special offer - coupon code 79O99RNY drops the cost to $13.99, a $2 discount from the current Amazon price. Tags: apple, charging, face id, iphone, iphone x, qi, samsung, touch id, wireless Related tags: wireless charging, increase minutes, night stands, charging, charger, phone Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Apple Responds to Our iPhone X Wireless Charging Complaint in One Day - Nov 14, 2017 Galaxy S8 Outdoes iPhone X in Freeze Test - Nov 06, 2017 This iPhone X Feature Makes it Worth $1,000 - Nov 04, 2017 Apple iPhone X Face ID May not be Secure Enough for Many Users - Sep 16, 2017 Apple's Face ID may not be Secure - Sep 14, 2017 Ng Connect's Broadband Industry Convergence Opportunity - Feb 16, 2009 How A[...]

Facebook Fights Revenge Porn With Dumb Idea

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 15:43:17 -05002017-11-07T15:43:17-05:00

Facebook is testing new technology that is designed to help victims of revenge porn acts. This new tool is currently being tested in Australia, and the company says it plans to expand it to other countries if everything goes well.It works on a database of file hashes, a cryptographic signature computed for each file. Facebook says that once an abuser tries to upload an image marked as "revenge porn" in its database, its system will block the upload process. This will work for images shared on the main Facebook service, but also for images shared privately via Messenger, Facebook's IM app.If we understand this correctly, if this works as planned, the world's most desirable people, looking to protect their nude bodies, will be uploading their photos to a single location, making it without a doubt, one of the biggest targets ever in the history of hacking.Sure, Facebook says it's not storing a copy of the photo, but only computing the file's hash and adding it to its database of revenge porn imagery. But somehow, the temptation for hackers to try to hack these photos in transit and for Facebook workers to try to keep copies of these images has to be overwhelming.It may be a noble idea but it is without a doubt a major concern requiring people wanting to keep their naked selves private to snap a nude selfie and send it over the internet.What do you think? Tags: facebook, revenge porn, selfie Related tags: images shared, facebook, revenge, database, images Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries RockMelt Ties Social Networking to Browsing - Nov 07, 2010 Facebook Extends its Mobile Platform - Nov 04, 2010 Should Net Neutrality Apply to Silicon Valley? - Nov 28, 2017 Roku IPO Reminds us Tech is an Oligopoly - Sep 03, 2017 Maybe Net Neutrality Needs to Apply to Silicon Valley - Aug 21, 2017 Facebook and Google May Become Regulated Utilities - Jul 28, 2017 President Zuckerberg? The Top 28 CEO Choices for U.S. President - Dec 12, 2016 Why AT&T Should be Encouraged to Purchase Time Warner - Oct 27, 2016 Twitter and Yahoo to Merge? - Jun 03, 2016 App Designed by 14-Year-Old Girl Could Help Fuel Diversity in Tech - Aug 12, 2015 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Facebook Fights Revenge Porn With Dumb Idea Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Dongles: The iPhone Weakness Samsung Begins to Exploit

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:14:50 -05002017-11-06T13:14:50-05:00

Apple used to abuse Microsoft in its Mac Versus PC ads. They hired a chubby Bill Gates looking actor John Hodgeman to represent the PC while they hired the hip, cool and young Justin Long to represent the Mac.One of the most compelling ads focused on the lengths PC users needed to go to to connect a camera to their systems.The ad below shows the PC having a camera literally duct taped to their head. src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0">Frankly it was embarrassing to use a PC after seeing these ads.Apple however has unwittingly made itself a target of the same type of attack ad.The minimalist designs Apple releases are gorgeous but they drastically reduce functionality. The Mac laptops and iPhones have this problem - thanks to reduced ports for things like headphones.Users need multiple adapters if they want to use a 3.5 headphone with their iOS phone.See the screen shots and video below Samsung is using to take on Apple. If they were to take the dongle concept and really focus on it in TV ads, it could put a dent in the Apple halo. src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"> Tags: advertising, apple, dongle, duct tape, mac, marketing, pc, samsung Related tags: apple Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Ultrabooks Finally Get Needed Attention From Intel - May 04, 2012 Scott Galloway Nails it on Key to Apple's Success - Oct 10, 2017 Apple's Reliable Trick is Failing, Blame Russia - Jan 05, 2017 Apple Email Swings Back at Galaxy S4 - Mar 16, 2013 Gesture-Based Eye-Tracking, Hand-Sensing Tech Coming but What of Standards? - Jan 22, 2013 How Mobile Will Destroy Retail Margins - Dec 21, 2012 Flexible Samsung Screens and Jim Cramer's Mistake Round Out Tech News - Dec 20, 2012 Can Discounted Hardware Compete with Apple? - Jul 10, 2012 Is the Post-PC Era a Myth? - Apr 16, 2012 Women's Rights: The Next Frontier of Product Marketing - Sep 26, 2011 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Dongles: The iPhone Weakness Samsung Begins to Exploit Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Galaxy S8 Outdoes iPhone X in Freeze Test

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 12:42:34 -05002017-11-06T12:42:34-05:00

The screen test below shows what happens when you put two of the top smartphones on the market - the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone X in water and then freeze them overnight.Two frozen phones - which one will survive?The Samsung is unscathed but the iPhone X loses its Face ID ability, its screen doesn't work properly and it seems to have lost its data.Wait, what happened to all my data?Even worse - the entire battery of the iPhone gets used up while the Samsung still has about 40% left.Most likely, a gap opened up in the iPhone during its blowtorch melting causing water to get it. This in turn seems to have led to a short circuit or even more than one.The iPhone X green screen of death - apparently competition with Microsoft BSOD is fiercer than we thought. Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy S8 is an absolute champ in this test - iPhone X users should avoid leaving their phones in water in the freezer overnight.The video below shows the freeze test comparison in full: src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"> Tags: android, face id, freeze test, frozen, galaxy s8, google, iphone, iphone x, samsung, wireless Related tags: samsung galaxy, iphone, samsung, freeze, screen, galaxy Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad Review - Nov 13, 2017 How Apple Can Slow Samsung Down - Dec 18, 2012 In Windows 8, Microsoft Has a Winner - Dec 05, 2012 Smartphone Margin Decreases versus Beats by Dr. Dre - Aug 16, 2012 Varaha Extends FMC to NEC UNIVERGE - Apr 11, 2010 Ng Connect's Broadband Industry Convergence Opportunity - Feb 16, 2009 Google Android vs. Apple iPhone - Dec 26, 2008 Apple's Face ID may not be Secure - Sep 14, 2017 Apple needs an iPhablet - Jan 23, 2013 How Mobile Will Destroy Retail Margins - Dec 21, 2012 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Galaxy S8 Outdoes iPhone X in Freeze Test Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]