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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
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
According to the S-1 filing by Twilio, they have over 900,000 developers who have registered to use their APIs. Nexmo, according to a Vonage company spokesperson in the IR Department has registered over 114,000 devs and 350 "enterprise" accounts compared to Twilio's 28,000 Active Customer Accounts that are not broken out by category. And if you read the S-1, it's those enterprise accounts that Twilio plans to go after. But, as the Vonage spokesperson pointed out "these developers may be students who are learning how to code." That means a large portion of the developers in the aggregate million or... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2016 at VoIPWatch
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Like many of us, I have an iPad Air2 and an iPad Mini in storage. My current iPad is the 9.7 inch iPad Pro, with the keyboard and I find that in many situations I can do most of what I do on my MacBook with it, especially while traveling or sipping an espresso at a cafe. But, really, one iPad was enough, and the older ones became hand me downs or simply sat in the storage drawer. Well, not anymore. Over the past few weeks, thanks to pal Craig Walker, founder of Dialpad and creator of GoogleVoice (GrandCentral), I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Over the weekend Tsahi Levent-Levi, penned a contributed article over on Venture Beat about WebRTC which I enjoyed reading. Tsahi, has been deep diving into WebRTC as long as anyone, and perhaps along with Dean Bubley, is one of the better informed blogalysts on the subject, only likely surpassed by long time pal, Counterpath and Hookflash founder, Erik Lagerway when it comes to being as well informed on the technical and aware of the possible. That's why it's always fun to read Tsahi's collection of facts to stay more up to date on things that one may have missed. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at VoIPWatch
Over the past two days I've had the good fortune to try different Rose wines as I have been traversing across Washington, D.C. with friends. Rose wines have been popping up more and more on restaurant lists thanks to a push by various trade groups, a stronger dollar and better representation. Most of what I have seen though on restaurant lists are the 2014s, which while nice, tend to be "deals and dumps" vs. the fresh, DYA approach I have when it comes to discovering wines to share, so you can buy them now. First up is a delightful, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at WINESCENE
A few years back I was a lucky visitor a to Anima Negra, as part of a five winery tour I organized when visiting Palma de Mallorca one spring week. Of the five, Anima Negra and Jaume Mesquida were the two standout wineries as they were willing to go well beyond traditional, and make wines that were modern in style, yet steeped in the traditional ways. The Jaume Mesquida Chardonnay was one of most individually imopressive wines I've ever had, and their reds were stellar. But it was the wines of Anima Negra that were so impressive. The reason..They are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2016 at WINESCENE
Last month, pal Dean Bubley had a blog post about the rising tide of non-traditional telcos. I tend to agree with Dean (as usual), but not for all the same reasons. The reason telecom is changing is because of where the brain drain is going. In the past getting hired by AT&T, Verizon, BT, France Telecom, Bell Canada was an opportunity to have financial security, an opportunity to work with best and the brightest in the lab, develop new services and be part of the changing landscape within a global industry. But at some point, Bell Labs became a thing... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2016 at VoIPWatch
I've long been a fan of the wines of Herve Bizeul and his tiny winery in the Roussillion, Clos des Fees. The winery turns out incredible and age worthy wines, which have always been well regarded by wine insiders, and at the same time, massively overlooked by the wine buying public. It's a sad state where great wines are passed over, and yet, those who know and appreciate well made, handcrafted and amazing wines tend to find them. Such is the case for the 2013 Domaine Le Clos des Fees Grenache Blanc Vieilles Vignes which I found on the wine... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at WINESCENE
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As a lover of all things Rhone over the past few years I've found myself drifting away from wines that are Cotes du Rhone reds to the more expensive Chateauneuf du Pape's and Gigondas wines from the south and the more intricate, and age worthy Cote-Roties, Cornas', St. Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage reds from the North. All the while, there have been some awesome wines produced that often get overlooked. That led me to open two very different, but yet, equally enjoyable reds from the Rhone that are punching way above their weight and showing how talented winemakers can turn out... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2016 at WINESCENE
My ongoing quest for which Rose rings the bell best continued the other evening as friends descended on my place for a small cheese, shrimp and Rose wine night, followed by a few reds too. The three Rose wines from the Languedoc included the NV Cote Mas Rose Aurore, the 2015 Domaine Magellan Le Fruit Defendu and the 2015 Bergerie L'Hortus Pic St. Loup. For starters the Cote Mas is non-vintage as Paul Mas has taken in fruity from a couple of harvests and designed a refreshing, light, fruit bomb of a Rose for mass market consumption. Sold in a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2016 at WINESCENE
Yesterday I had my annual Rose Day party. It's something I started years ago where on Memorial Day weekend my friends and I would welcome Summer's impending arrival with cool, crisp, dry Rose wines from the South of France. As part of the many bottles opened I decided to organize a "Master Class" on Tavel for my friends. Actually the whole night could have been a master class in itself, as the number of Rose wines opened, offered and tasted was significant, and perhaps a rival to one dinner years back surrounding Chateauneuf du Pape. 2015 Domaine de la Mordoree... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at WINESCENE
Google already has Google +, but it's rolling out Spaces. They have GoogleVoice, Chat and Hangouts, but are rolling out Allo and Duo. While it's confusing to the general market, it's really a way to say that they are coming out with something totally new and not just upgrading what they had. The reason "NEW" is part of "NEWS" so if it was simply said at Google I/O that Google is going to upgrade their existing offerings it would be a yawn instead of a boom. And, judging by all the media attention SPACES, ALLO and DUO are getting, along... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Communique It's Google I/O Week in Silicon Valley so the fun game to watch is how Facebook and its related entities are playing "games" with Google in the news with announcements. Watching the news flow last week and this week the gamesmanship is at an all time high, while Microsoft, Twitter and Apple all stay off to the side. In other news, the hot topics remain chat, messaging and bots, that and Yahoo getting ready to be carved up and sold off...but who will be the buyer and what are their plans? Personally, I'm more intrigued and impressed... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2016 at VoIPWatch