The PhoneBoy Blog


Simplifying Telecom, Mobile Phones, Gadgets, and More!

Thursday Roundup

I found a few things worth commenting on:

You’d Think They’d Target The Ads: Alec Saunders was lamenting the fact that Microsoft is offering  him dating ads when Microsoft knows he’s married and only interested in business networking. Then he goes on to suggest they need some “relevance engineering”–just the kind of work Alec is doing with Iotum, albeit for communications. Alec worked for Microsoft once before, is he offering his services to them? :)

Connexion Grounded: Well just about everyone reported that Boeing was shutting down their Connexion service that provided in-flight Internet access on some intercontinental flights for a few airlines. Not that I ever experienced it, but the reports from the connected globe-trotters suggest it was worth the trouble. Of course, at $20-$30 US a pop, it was kind of expensive. Stupid, short-sighted airlines. Reduce the price, then a lot more people will use it. Or even better, give it away and pack in the extra passengers you’ll pick up.

Cable Needs More Bandwidth. Really?: Om Malik talks about how the Cable guys are trying to keep up with the fiber-laying Verizons of the world–more bandwidth! This means spending more money to upgrade their infrastructure, possibly rolling out their own fiber. Om thinks the Cable guys are sitting pretty given the financial situation of the phone companies. My take: the coax running into my house has plenty of bandwidth. However, most of it is wasted by all the stupid analog and digital video channels I rarely watch. Here’s a novel idea: ditch all that video content, make the entire pipe IP, and give me a converter box to stream content to my stupid 1990s-era RCA TV. No need to dig up streets. Sure, the headend would need to be upgraded to handle all that data, but that’s cheaper than digging up untold square miles of cable plant and replacing it with fiber. Of course, we’d have to figure out the issue of streaming lots of video to all the cable customers, but that’s a solvable problem.

Who Is Making Money On VoIP: Ken Camp grabs a number of different opinions on this musical question. As a service, VoIP is just another step on the path towards bringing the cost of voice down to zero. Anyone involved in VoIP service, whether it be the service providers themselves or the hardware manufacturers that make the equipment are all about pushing the cost to zero or “as cheap as humaly possible.” In the end, the service and the equipment are interchangable commodities, thus there’s very little margin. Kind of reminds me of the computer industry. Meanwhile, Ted Wallingford rightly points out that VoIP integrators and consultants are the ones making the money. Maybe not Cisco-class numbers, but there is a lot of them carving out a respectable living–similar to the computer industry. Similar to the computer industry.
Mobile Media Increases Media Consumption: I must be getting some notice out in the blogosphere since occasionally get emailed press releases from PR folks. That’s what happened with this one from Orb Networks, which mentions that their own research comes to the same conclusion as Nielsen’s research on DVR owners: they consume more media. For those of us who watch things on the computer or listen to podcasts, this conclusion is a big no duh. To use myself as an example, I watch almost no TV on my television and I listen to zero terrestrial radio. I do, however, listen to maybe 10 hours a week of podcasts at various times throughout the week, whenever I want to. (For the record, I listen to all the shows on twit.tv, NPR’s Science Friday, KenRadio, and a couple others). I also download the podcast for Dr. Joy Browne and burn everything to CD for my wife (I occasionally listen to Dr. Joy as well). That’s nearly 7 and a half hours of content a week for my wife that she can listen to whenever she wants.


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.