Friday, February 27, 2004

Avaya gives corporate IM a SIP of VoIP | CNET

Avaya gives corporate IM a SIP of VoIP | CNET "The maker of corporate telephone equipment recently began selling gear using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), a standard supporting many popular Internet telephone, videophone and instant messaging services. As a result, Avaya's latest line of equipment provides IM features like 'presence,' which indicates whether a user is on the phone, what his or her future availability is, and the best way to contact the user, Avaya convergence strategist Lawrence Byrd said in a recent interview.
This is not your standard IM, by any means. The Avaya gear, for instance, lets someone make calls to landline phones from any Internet-enabled laptop or personal digital assistant or dial a phone number listed on a Web site simply by clicking on it. 'Someone can be using IM to reach someone, then turning that text chat into a phone conversation, then conferencing-in an associate tracked down using a presence feature to join in on the conference call,' Byrd said."
But the high price tag for corporate SIP-based services is a problem, analysts say. Avaya, for example, is charging corporations a one-time $25 per user fee for its Converged Communications Server software, $6,100 for a necessary server and $130 per user for a "softphone" for laptops or personal digital assistants. A 3,500 person company, then, would pay about $500,000 to give everyone SIP's capabilities, which could be too much for some companies to make the leap.

SAD: It's a great play, minus the pricing mismatch moving from HW to SW, and will accelerate an already excited market for presence-based services. The level of sophistication that will follow-on from here will be quite astounding. At one point, "collaboration" used to be about documents (email, discussion database, etc.) but now communication systems will be center stage for a while.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

RSA Keeps RFID Private

RSA Keeps RFID Private: "The blocker tag system is software-based and relies on technology developed by RSA researchers that prevents RFID readers from gathering data from other tags in their immediate vicinity. Without it, any RFID reader could query any tag, enabling retailers or other companies to read the tags on any merchandise a customer may be carrying.
Essentially, the blocker tag system works by tricking readers that all the possible RFID tags are present at a given time. Because RFID readers can communicate with only one tag at a time, when multiple tags reply to a single query, the reader detects a collision."
"The tag is just the first fruit of the approach we're taking to this," he said. "There's still a good amount of research to be done. We need security on the protocol, the readers and the back end, too. We need a full set of technologies on the table in order to know what's possible."

Elluminate, Heat Up Web-Conferencing Market

Elluminate, Heat Up Web-Conferencing Market: "Both companies are taking on Web conferencing leaders such as WebEx Communications Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which had acquired PlaceWare Inc. last year.
Elluminate, of Pompano Beach, Fla., renamed its Web conferencing software, formerly known as vClass, to Elluminate Live. The company comes to Web conferencing with an e-learning focus and strong academic customer base, but with the Version 5 release Elluminate is targeting corporate business by offering to buy out customers' contracts from competing Web conferencing offerings.
To grab customers from competitors, Elluminate is offering to provide free access for existing customers of competitors up to the length of time remaining in a contract, or a maximum of eight months, Arora said.
In its separate announcement, launched Conferencing. It allows users to add Web conferencing and telephone-based audio conferencing to through their hosted collaboration site so online meetings can be initiated on-demand, said Woburn, Mass.-based

The conferencing option is provided through partner Netspoke, a conferencing provider based in Woburn, Mass. It includes the sharing of presentations, files and applications as well as features for chat, question-and-answer sessions, polling and white boarding.

SAD: one should be careful of aggressive competitive pricing plays with MS squarely in the game...

VoIP to get a voice in Washington | CNET

VoIP to get a voice in Washington | CNET "As more phone conversations begin to flow through unregulated VoIP networks instead of the heavily taxed public switched telephone network, state governments stand to lose billions of dollars. Because Net telephony is not regulated, companies offering the service aren't subject to the vast tangle of taxes and regulations that govern the E911 emergency service and guarantee wiretapping access for police.
Members of the collation are AT&T, which plans to launch a VoIP telephone service in 100 markets, and current VoIP service providers ITXC Corporation, Level 3 Communications and MCI. Others are chipmaker Texas Instruments, and Microsoft, which plans to support videoconferencing, cheap Internet voice calls and complex message-management functions on its Microsoft Real Time Communications Server 2003."

SAD: The fact that anyone, including state governments, might lose significant revenues by not regulating VoIP is as good a reason as any to step up efforts to protect it from unnecessary regulation.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Can you super-size that for me?

1,000 Gigabytes Appease the Multimedia Glutton: " If hefty digital video files, thousands of MP3 songs and scads of JPEG images are crowding your computer's 30- or 40-gigabyte hard drive, you may want to ease the space crunch by supersizing your system with an external hard drive.
There are plenty of big drives that can add a few hundred gigabytes of extra space. And then there is the LaCie Bigger Disk hard drive, which holds a full terabyte - that's right, 1,000 gigabytes - of data."

SAD: In less years than one can imagine this will be cheap and the norm - the only question I have (even with today's HD capacities) is 'how do you back it up?'