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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
I am hearing first hand reports on the high quality of the 2016 harvest in France from every corner of the country. Most recently, oenologue and wine consultant Phillipe Cambie share this on Facebook. "2016 to châteauneuf du Pape, can we talk about vintage of the century? According to the former the vintage looks like 1990!!! Mythical!" Earlier in the day, Jason Barrette, former Penfolds Winemaker, now International Winemaking Consultant and a close friend, revealed by phone to me that he's working with Chene Bleu on their wines this harvest telling me the "color and quality are excellent." When we... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2016 at WINESCENE
i was delighted to open these two Spanish wines and really enjoyed them at the bar at Akasha with the GM, Mary and somm, Lisa. Both were as impressed with the duo, as I was, and candidly these were tremendous examples of wines that I could drink all the time. The 2013 Adras Godello is a lemon, lime, crisp white wine that was killer with the Shrimp and Grits that were accompanied with roasted red peppers. The wine was smooth, and a perfect alternative to the usual white wine suspects, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The stony, mineral base provides a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at WINESCENE
So if you're an Amazon customer for a few years you likely have been noticing how many times a day a different delivery person shows up with your Amazon delivery. If you dig deep you'll see that the deliveries come via various delivery companies, some of whom are really giant logistics companies. Here in Southern California I've counted no less than five different delivery services who bring my Amazon orders, sometimes on-time, sometimes late, sometimes to my door, sometimes to the building office or sometimes in my mailbox. Let's first breakdown who delivers what (at least here) USPS-aka the Post... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Yesterday I wrote about Verizon's OneTalk, and the very pithy press release put out by Broadsoft to support the move into MUCaaS (mobile unified communications as a service.) After I posted it I did a bit more digging around and realized that Verizon Wireless' sales team is going to have a battle on their hands to get even Verizon's existing PBX customers to add on or switch to One Talk quickly. And that problem is Cisco. Right now, Verizon has many customers running Cisco Call Manager and Call Manager runs a version of SIP affectionately known as Sip-Skinny for Call... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at VoIPWatch
News came out a few days ago from Broadsoft that Verizon is using their Broadworks platform and its bMobile solution set to power OneTalk, so this news falls into the category of a carrier/mobile operator win for Broadsoft. Congratulations..... But in so many ways the solution set feels a lot like what Rogers had done a few years ago in Canada (and now cancelled out) with their One Number solution that was powered by Counterpath and Ericsson, but only for consumers. As a matter of fact there's more Deja Vu in this release than in others I have read in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Yesterday I speculated that Vonage's Consumer Business is up for sale. A post that immediately triggered reaction from those in the know, including some who claimed to have had access to the exploratory talks that are already going on. What is leading to this speculation? A couple of factors. Recent statements by Vonage execs emphasizing the focus towards unified communications for business. The hiring of Chiat Day (as mentioned) The fact that cable providers in the USA now have 31 million digital voice subscribers and are bundling in voice as they increase cable rates but basically give away phone service.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2016 at VoIPWatch
If one reads the tea leaves and listen to the rumble in the VoIP jungle, takes to heart questions from investment strategists and connects the dots from people one trusts who know who is asking what or being asked what to ask and where to look, one may conclude that Vonage is about to sell their consumer business off. Here's why. Over the past few years, since firing JWT (J. Walter Thompson) much of what Vonage has done marketing wise and acquisition wise, has been to build up their business product line, including buying Nexmo earlier this year following four... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2016 at VoIPWatch
As the weather remains warm on the west coast, I continue to enjoy Rose wines as often as possible. What I've found over the summer months is that while the Cotes de Provence Rose's are great for sipping all by themselves, its the Rose wines from Tavel that have become my food friendly favorites. And none is better than the 2015 Domaine de La Mordoree Tavel Dame Rousse Rose. The wine is perfect with everything from cheese to smoked meats to even a well dressed salad. The Grenache dominated wine has lots of fruit, gentle spices, just the right balance... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2016 at WINESCENE
Nucleus Life calls itself the "Anywhere Intercom" and from the web site and some information supplied by the company, it looks impressive. The tablet also looks to be the first product made by a third party that includes the Amazon Alexa voice control language. Aimed to be almost an almost no effort, single touch communications and information retrieval device that works room to room, it actually works "room to any room" anywhere, as a room can be down the street, across town, the country or even around the world. Nucleus life reminds me of the Jetson's videophone or a desktop... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Saturday night I pulled two Rose wines from my stash of 2015. Without question, the 2015 vintage for Rose in both Santa Barbara County, in the USA, and just about anywhere the sun shined warmly in France has to go down as one of the best vintages in many years. While 2014 showed what a good winemaker could do, as evidenced by the 2014 Chene Bleu I had last week at Bar Boulud in London from magnum, my two picks for Saturday night were dead-on the mark stunners to all who imbibed. First was the Santa Barbara representative from pal... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2016 at WINESCENE
Over time in the USA, opportunity has created lots of wealth. Railroads. Oil companies. Transportation systems. But when it comes to broadband, the oligopolies in the country have always seemed to want to hold others back. In the dawn of the Internet, DSL came to fruition a few years ahead of cable modems. But DSL providers where tied to the legacy carriers who had to allow them to connect to the Internet. Those connections could take weeks or months for customers who were forced to pay for higher priced ISDN and T-1s. Over time most of the DSL providers evaporated... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Yes, I've been quiet lately. Perhaps it's the summer. Maybe it's just as Dean Bubley and I were talking over dinner in London. The world of VoIP, Unified Communications and Collaboration has hit a point of being a bit of the same or a repeat of what was originally envisioned finally becoming commonplace. In my view after almost 17 years in the space since I first learned what VoIP was, had my first VoIP client (Comgates) and have been writing about the sector since 2003, it's kind of old hat to me. Seriously though, it really takes something to get... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2016 at VoIPWatch
We who hailed Skype, saluted and praised it, now are mostly part of the world that damns it. The service under Microsoft has become more challenging than useful. Calls don't always connect. Billing issues with credit card fraud turn off services of the legitimate user and with so many other options, Skype of old is much like AIM or ICQ (remember them).. This week, the Skype for Business team unveiled Skype Meetings. If it reminds you of Google Hangouts, it should. A free offer, all designed to get you to subscribe to Office 365. It is also like the offer... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Today, Lettie Teague, the erstwhile wine reviewer and critic for the Wall Street Journal has taken a taste of the Spanish coastal wines made from the Albarino grape to task. Sadly her reviews are spot on, given the vintage and the state of the Spain's most exported white wine varietal. Lettie pretty much nails how dull and boring the wines that reach the USA are this year. I would rather she had compared them to the far more interesting Godello based wines from not far away or better yet, taken a page out of Mark Squires' searches in nearby Portugal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at WINESCENE
Today, Lettie Teague, the erstwhile wine reviewer and critic for the Wall Street Journal has taken a taste of the Spanish coastal wines made from the Albarino grape to task. Sadly her reviews are spot on, given the vintage and the state of the Spain's most exported white wine varietal. Lettie pretty much nails how dull and boring the wines that reach the USA are this year. I would rather she had compared them to the far more interesting Godello based wines from not far away or better yet, taken a page out of Mark Squires' searches in nearby Portugal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at VoIPWatch
The 2015 Bedrock Rose. WOW, again. I've been finding and enjoying various vintages of the exceptional Northern California Rose wine for a good five or six years, or maybe even longer, since a very shrewd wine merchant in Berkeley turned me on to the the wines of Morgan Twain Peterson the son of legendary Ravenswood winemaker, Joel Peterson. To put it simply, if you want a boutique producer of wines from California, that are exceptionally made, and not from Napa, nor carrying the Napa price tag, look for wines from Bedrock Wine Company. The Rose produced by Bedrock has been... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2016 at WINESCENE
As I continue to work through a copious amount of Rose wines that were produced in the fabulous 2015 vintage from across the globe, I had the opportunity to compare two more awesome Rose wines from Provence. Hailing from a 13th century chateau in Flassans-sur-Issole, France is the Chateau Peyrassol that dates back to the Templar Knights of that era. Like so many top end producers, the Chateau Peyrassol makes two different Rose wines as well as reds. In many ways I consider Peyrassol on par with Bandol producer Chateau Vannieres or fellow Provence producer Chateau Vignulare. The wines are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2016 at WINESCENE
The recent acquisition of Telogis by Verizon is one more indication of the company actively working in the tracking business. The move further strengthens Verizon in the fleet management and enterprise mobile device management sector, with an eye into how the technology can be used in IoT activities. Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2016 at VoIPWatch
As the hit CBS series "Person of Interest" winds down its run, the line "they're watching you" never rang more true that it does today, especially if you're a Verizon Wireless customer who has installed their mobile app so you can manage your account better. Unfortunately, the app does more than that, and with the acquisition of AOL, all kinds of "marketing" led initiatives are starting to be unfurled by the telco giant. One of those is the "tracking" of customers physical movements. As one telecom attorney I spoke with about this said, "one would think after the super cookie... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2016 at VoIPWatch
It has been a long time love affair with Bandol for me, dating back to the 80s when I first learned of the region and the amazingly complex wines that come from the area at the western end of the Cote d'Azur. After Bandol you get to Cassis and Marseille. There, the regions are surrounded by the Cotes de Provence and the Coteaux de Aix en Provence. In Bandol everyone knows about Domaine Tempier, but after a few visits to the region, especially over the last few years, my appreciation as gone from their eternal reds to really becoming a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2016 at WINESCENE
Ride sharing service Uber is following Lyft for a change. While Lyft has been using Los Angeles based Telzio as their communications provider, Uber has turned to Dialpad in addition to using UberConference, The choosing of cloud based communications solutions providers is making it far easier for both companies to communicate better internally and get things going faster, as the game changing ride services both expand into new cities and countries around the world. Dialpad founder Craig Walker told VoipWatch exclusively yesterday, "we started working with Uber as they were heavy users of UberConference for a while before we even... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Small batch producers are the rage in Santa Barbara County, with Habit holding the top spot in my book of those who are breaking new ground. Workman/Ayer is another one of them who are bringing more of that Garagiste mentality to the region. 2014 Workman/Ayer ipso facto Viognier, Central Coast The first of three wines from the boutique producer WorkmanAyer is a delightfully refreshing 100 percent Viognier. Now, lovers of Rhone Viogniers don’t come with your predisposed notions of what Viognier needs to be even if it’s made in California. For you, go taste any Viognier made by Morgan Clendenen.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2016 at WINESCENE
The 2015 Orin Swift Fragile Rose from the Côte Catalanes D66, Roussillon is not just another Rose. Fragile, is anything but what it's name would imply. This is not a lightweight Provencal wanna be. No way. It’s a full bodied red wine masquerading in the pink robe. If served at room temperature you would think that the wine was a Pinot Noir from Sancerre, as it has that kind of texture and body. But served chilled, well it takes on a whole other flavor profile. Made from 100 year old vines of predominantly Grenache, with a hint of Syrah and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2016 at WINESCENE
I'm going to go out on a rant and basically say, that compared to the Bar a Vins, Enotecas and Tapas bars I've been to around the world, most wine bars in the USA pale in comparison. I could go one step farther and say that by the glass programs have also a weakness as I've seen more in the miss than hit category. Part of the blame goes to American's fascination with beer. All you have to do is look at a wine bar's beer options and you can see the craft beer brewing brigade has done a far... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at WINESCENE
For those of you who remember Yahoo Messenger, which was at one point wanting to be able to be like Skype oh so many years ago, it's going to go away. But, don't think it's really gone as last year Yahoo introduced a combined platform that marries WebMessenger with app based Messenger. Both Yahoo and Microsoft at times had visions of telephony being part of their respective messenger platforms as noted in the various posts linked to below. Given the interest in messaging bots and platforms one has to wonder if both companies giving up the ghost of messaging came... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at VoIPWatch