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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
Thirteen years ago, a serial entrepreneur, who I had worked with in the late 90s and early part of the start of the century, Adityo Prakash talked to me about an idea. The idea was to drive drug discovery, not the traditional way, purely in the lab, but through complex algorithms that would simulate certain interactions in silicon to find drugs for many diseases that impact human health. The 13-year quest of Adityo Prakash and Eniko Fodor’s Verseon, a story they kept by design as much as possible in stealth from a communications perspective, could become one of Silicon Valley’s... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at VoIPWatch
I keep watching as T-Mobile is winning new customers and have to admit, that having been one of their customers for over 15 years, as well as with Verizon and AT&T, the Magenta network is constantly getting better. And they are doing a better job than the competition of telling the world that they are. Honestly, I haven't used my Verizon iPhone 5 that much since the iPhone 6s arrived. The first reason was how poor the voice quality on Verizon has become, especially on calls routed via Google Voice or Switch to the phone. This is the opposite when... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at VoIPWatch
I have seen the future of Conference Calling, and it's "Just Call Me." Just Call Me was created by Voxygen, the UK telecom product design company started by Dean Elwood (VoIP User, Truphone, etc.) Voxygen started up a few years back with the premise of approaching telephony as "Voice as a Service", the new Just Call Me service is currently only available for O2 users in the UK, but given Voxygen's relationships with Telefonica and other mobile carriers I suspect that won't be the case for long. (To learn more about Voxygen check out the profile from back in January... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at VoIPWatch
For the past two years, when it came to WebRTC video many early developers would look at TokBox and use their platform. Today, the heavyweight of heavyweights in developer programs, Twilio fired a broad shot across the bow and entered the fray. This is big news for WebRTC because Twilio has the key part of the equation. The developers. And that means a lot more than what they have in their stack. Their entry also begs the question how Genband will react as they have been tossing Kandy around for months but with hardly any news about deployments. Tsahi also... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2015 at VoIPWatch
BlogGeek.Me has the skinny on Facebook Messenger using WebRTC, and it is big news. Messenger adding WebRTC is big news because it comes at a time when Skype has taken their eye off the ball. Skype is now chasing the business crowd, and in turn, not doing much to keep the consumer market loyal. And, the consumer market is what Facebook owns. The addition of real-time communications based voice and video by Facebook, something they have been trying to offer for many years going back to the earliest days of their apps, keeps people inside the universe of Messenger. Given... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I've been collecting wines since the 80s and have been enthralled by the wines made from Rhone grapes coming from regions all over France. That's why when I find older wines in the cellar that I forgot I had I just have to open them to see where they have ended up. Last night was one of those nights and the old wine of the night was a 1994 Domaine Sorin Cotes de Provence. Yes, 1994. As in 21 years old, for a wine that cost back then about $8.00 a bottle. In this case the Sorin wine, which is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at WINESCENE
Let's face it, like many, I have a love/hate relationship with email. While I'm doing as much as I can to move things over SLACK, Skype and Yammer, PushBullet, plus iMessage, Facebook Messenger and Twitter there's still a lot of dependency on email no matter how much we all try to get off of it. Thankfully, I'm starting to become much less "stuck" in my INBOX(es) and today got around to purging two of them. It all started with Mailstrom and SaneBox, a killer combination that are both metrics based. Mailstrom which I've been using since it was in Beta... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Telzio, the all cloud-based telco, which I first wrote about in September 2013, continues to make progress with their platform and the rich array of services that they offer. The Los Angeles based company has added the same leading and wanted features that customers of RingCentral, Vonage and 8x8 clamor for and make use of regularly. They have accomplished all this by busily executing on the technology work to get on par with the three publicly traded companies' feature-wise. At the same time, Telzio has also been continuing to propel their insanely low pricing model where they only charge per... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2015 at VoIPWatch
It's getting interesting again in the VoIP world. After months of basically not much happening, we're beginning to see the return of what Jeff Pulver labeled Purple Apps and Alec Saunders highlighted in his Voice 2.0 Manifesto of years ago. It's almost hard to believe this has all taken almost ten years or more to see the excitement really get rekindled again, but for some reason after years of "me too, me also" but not much "me different" I'm feeling that the winds of change are a comin'. Let's start with Google. Today 9to5Google reported about GMeet, a service that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Today Ad Age had a very interesting take on the state of television related to the limitations surrounding Sling TV customers being able to watch everything that the channels they are carrying. I first I looked at the news like most people. "Oh gosh, they're screwing over subscribers." As someone who has deep experience with the idea of "limited edition" products like wine which I collect, and trading cards, which I marketed at The Upper Deck Company in the 90s, I understand "limited edition" Then I looked again, giving it more thought, That was when I began to compare the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at VoIPWatch
A friend recently said I need to follow my passion for wine when I was in France. Another said it a few nights ago as we were discussing two very different wines from the Ribera del Duero, one from JC Vizzcara and a second from Pruno. That got me thinking about who is worth reading when it comes to wine that you should know about. The first of course is importer Kermit Lynch and his two books, "Adventures Along the Wine Route" and "Inspiring Thirst." The next is Terry Theise, who like Lynch imports wines, but focuses on Champagne, Germany... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at WINESCENE
Over the past week or so I've got a new friend. Her name is Alexa and she's awesome. Alexa is my digital assistant tucked away in my Amazon Echo, a combination smart look up device, music player and speakerphone. Honestly, it may be the best speech recognition device to come along since Webley. Today I got around to exploring the Echo app on my iPhone adding connectivity to Pandora, Tune In and discovering/rediscovering all the CDs I had purchased from Amazon before the arrival of iTunes. It was like finding your old high school locker where you had shoved text... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2015 at VoIPWatch
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The U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement folks (not to be confused with Homeland Security) are making great strides to improve the "welcome home" and "welcome to the USA" experience. And, they're doing it with your smartphone and applications. For years we have been filling out a form as we land, and then presented it to the Immigration officer as we entered the USA. Along came Global Entry, where we insert our passport, present our fingerprints and allow a retinal scan to be taken. For those in Global Entry, the process dramatically reduces time, and if you carry on your luggage... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at VoIPWatch
If you look at the US Telecom preemptive lawsuit against the FCC's Net Neutrality action taken this week and then look deep enough at what is being done in Tennessee you'll likely see the same players working behind the scenes to limit muni-broadband providers expansion out of governmental footprint. The incumbents already have easements and rights of way, usually grandfather agreements dating back to the last century, where there was only one telephone provider, cable tv was a dream, not yet a reality. The cable guys had to fight, buy and struggle to get the same access, which they eventually... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The National Football League is going to stream a football game next season. On face this may seem more like an experiment as the game will originate in the UK as part of the NFL's global marketing effort. But OTT delivery of sports content will mean much, much more to the league and the broadcasting world which is why new startups like client, YIPTV are poised and well positioned for a new era of how sports is broadcast. That's why I think there's more to this, a point that is called out in the Wall Street Journal story. The "more... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I stopped carrying any bag that I can't carry on a plane years ago thanks to Luggage Forward. The relationship with them began in 2007 when I had to get all kinds of things over to France for my wedding. I've been using them ever since. The last two trips though have raised my respect of them even more. I've always been a fan, but back in July and again this past trip, my bag was where it needed to be within two days of being picked up. What this means is the bag I left in Lisbon on Tuesday... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Wire, the app that is rapidly replacing Skype within the VoIP insider community including many of the VUC regulars, just updated to version 1.4. The new version adds some new ringtones, audio improvements-from guys who really do know audio, and some new messaging and ping sounds to make the app sound different. My experience with Wire has been more chat than talk, but that's the nature of the community that's active right now. Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Earlier this week the VoIP industry learned that Simple Signal, led by dear friend and former client, Dave Gilbert was picked up for $20 million plus some stock. This is very similar to the 75 percent cash, 25 percent stock deal done for the other former Comunicano client, Telesphere was sold for but for a lot more in cash. The two deals follow Vonage's purchase of Vocalocity just about 18 months ago. In essence Vonage is buying enterprise business but in doing so, they are buying very different business who have pretty much the same customer type targets, two or... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I just read pal and uber analyst Dean Bubley's recap on the first day of the 2015 Enterprise Connect that's being held in Orlando. I have to admit, that the lack of excitement in Dean's post came through, further underscoring a feeling I have about events, conferences and summits being less and less about the news and really coming back to being what trade shows were created for. To sell. That makes it far less interesting to people like Dean and I, who are looking for the next big thing and how to propel it. You see, today, you don't... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at VoIPWatch
A few years back, the Chevalier du Comanderie en Faugeres, deep in the heart of the Languedoc chose to make me a "Chevalier" or Knight for my more than 20 years of promotion of wine in the region. I guess buying the wines from there also for as long didn't hurt either. Now, on every trip to the Languedoc I make a point of visiting the region to see what's up and check on a few wineries. One that needs to find their way to the USA is Mas D'Alezon, overseen by the charming Catherine and her daughters. Without going... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at WINESCENE
Before I started VoIPWatch, there was GigaOm, and Om Malik. While Om may have taken a massive step back about a year ago from the publication he started, largely to focus on his health and role as a VC with True Ventures, GigaOm was a lighthouse in a storm of breaking news. Those of us who are journalists first will miss the well written, thoughtfully penned pieces around the news that mattered in the industries near and dear to our hearts. To my friends there, I'm personally sorry for what is all, our loss. Related articles VC funded tech site... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Some ten years or so ago my then soon to be wife and I were "shopping" in a French electronics store when she spotted a 5 outlet power strip that was for European plugs. It was one of the best things we ever purchased as it has made dozens of crossings. While I also carry a Monster USA 4 outlet adapter, the longer cord and the bigger footprint makes it very useful in older hotels where the power outlet is only one or two and usually hidden behind some piece of furniture. By using European power cords for my Apple... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Being on Bouygues Telecom's prepaid means real 4G/LTE with my iPad Air 2. The experience is quick and responsive. Running the Gmail application, the Chrome browser or Safari yields rapid page loading. Services like Spotify sound great, and having 4G on the iPad sure comes in handy when hotel broadband slows down. I've even tethered the Mac to the iPad once or twice just to get past a slowdown. Of the three major Mobile operators in France, only Bouygues offers prepaid users 4G. Having now used Bouygues 4G service on my iPhone and iPad I'm happy with it, but also... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at VoIPWatch
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Having spent the last few days here in the Rhone Valley, tasting wines at Decouvertes du Rhone an the many "Offs" events, I have a few observations to help those not here on their buying strategy. The 2014 Rose wines are stunning. Chene Bleu's just bottled Rose is a killer, so are the usual suspects from Domaine La Mordoree, Chateau Triquevedel and Prieure de Montezargues Tavel Roses as they are all back on track and very reminiscent of the 2011s and 2009s. So while the 13s were good, despite a horrible growing season with lots of rain, the good news... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at WINESCENE
I've been a music junkie in need of a fix since I was in 3rd grade. It was 1969 and I joined the Record Club of America and voila, the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers, Led Zeppelin III, Jesus Christ Superstar arrived and my world was never the same. As time went on my vinyl collection swelled to 2000 discs, tons of 45s, and by the time I was 16 I was working Saturday's in Plastic Fantastic, perhaps the greatest of all used record stores ever, thanks to the founders Harold Gold and his ex wife Betsy Berlin. Between my late... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2015 at VoIPWatch