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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
We live in a era where "right now" and "immediately" are pretty much common place. In Las Veags and New York you can have breakfast or dinner at any time, day or night. Services like UPS, FedEx and even Amazon are delivering the goods you want overnight and even same day in some markets in the USA. Companies like UBER and Lyft make it easy to get reliable transportation in an ever growing number of major metropolitan areas around the world. And, thanks to the Internet, services that used to take days or weeks are now available to us in... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at VoIP Watch
Before I discovered Domaine d'Aupilhac and forged a life changing friendship with Sylvain Fadat I was first aware of the winery village of Montpeyroux due to the wines of Domaine L'Aigueliere and the winery sits just at the entry to the town. It was the epic 1991s and 1992 Syrah based wines under the names of La Cote Doree and La Cote Rousse that were legendary and some of the first wines from the Coteaux du Languedoc to find their way to California. It was those wines and the wines from Mas de Daumas Gassac that opened my mind to... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at WINESCENE
My longtime winepal, Ray McKewon and I have very diverging tastes when it comes to wine. Ray, who produced the RockNapa concerts at Charles Krug Winery in the summer of 2013, and who will stage the music and assemble the musical acts for the upcoming wedding of Pamplemousse Grille's chef and impresario Jeffrey Strauss here in San Diego later this year via his Xceptional Music Company brand loves Napa Valley wines. While my tastes normally run more Rhone-esque, last night at our version of Cheers, which we simply call, "The Moose" I decided to dig into the cellar and bring... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at WINESCENE
Do you have a company or technology that's changing the game in Real Time Communications and with WebRTC? If you do...Tell me more. A few years back, before he zapped it and wound it down, Ken Camp authored a blog all about Real Time Communications. He was obviously ahead of his time with the name because today, more and more of what we are hearing about is RTC, and specifically WebRTC. While companies like Blue Jeans Networks, Twilio and TokBox seem to be in the news a lot because they're inside the San Francisco and Silicon Valley echo chamber for... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at VoIP Watch
GigaOm and Engadget are both reporting that Microsoft's MSN Messenger will finally be a thing of the past. While Skype has largely taken its place, it was still running in China. Looking back over history my first Messenger was AOL's AIM and then quickly I was using ICQ. Yahoo Messenger came along about the same time as Windows Messenger which actually was able to access the SIP stack buried inside Windows 98. It was back then that I made my first VoIP call via Webley's never released VoIP platform. Skype pretty much wiped out all the IM clients but today... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at VoIP Watch
While pal Doug Mohney is on hiatus from HD Voice News, I figured I'd fill the gap on the news that broke over the past day of so surrounding Verizon and HD Voice and Video (official announcement) that another pal, Kevin Tofel wrote about at Gigaom. To me, the move by VZW is a catchup play. T-Mobile acquired MetroPCS which was the first to offer HD voice but reading the number of "requirements" for what Verizon Wireless is offering leave me wondering if we're really anywhere yet: HD Voice and Video Calling work only when both people are in the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at VoIP Watch
This week my Gramofon arrived. In case you don't know what a Gramofon is, it's the streaming connector and router from the team behind FON that lets you connect a speaker system and send your online audio to them much like AirPlay or Chromecast. But what FON is really doing is creating the connective tissue of the Internet one access point at a time that allows any FONERO (that's a user and ower of a FON device) to connect to another FONERO's FON or Gramofon for free. As an early backer of FON's Gramofon Kickstarter campaign, I was able to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2014 at VoIP Watch
It's always fun to be interviewed by TMC Publisher Rich Tehrani. Thanks. Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at VoIP Watch
A few news items passed my eyes this morning, and it got me thinking about a conversation that Truphone Founder and CTO James Tagg and I had last week during IT Expo in Las Vegas. James, who invented mobile VoIP and the touch screen technology we all use at airports and other kiosks, remarked that while we are seeing faster speeds, we're not seeing services coming along that can really take advantage of them, except to download a movie or upload massive databases. His comment reminded me of the Wendy's TV commercial of a distant time, "Where's the Beef?" But... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at VoIP Watch
3 the original 3G carrier with operations in Hong Kong, the UK and elsewhere has once again made a move with Skype, following their efforts in the past to make Skype an integral part of their service offering. In Hong Kong, for $69 HK Dollars a month, or $8.90 USD, under a new collaborative agreement with Skype the mobile operator will offer its customers Skype’s Unlimited World calling plan the ability make calls to mobile and landline phones to both Skype and non-Skype users on mobiles in eight destinations, plus landlines in 63 countries and regions, for a monthly fee... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Today I read in re:Code about a new AT&T Foundry experiment, called Cascade. In reading through description I couldn't help but think about it being the second coming of Grand Central, the company started by Crag Walker and Vincent Paquet who now are the team behind UberConference. Cascade is at the core just really find me, follow me, albeit a very advanced version. But to me, and those who look at it from a historical perspective, it's not really a new idea. Going back, even before there was GrandCentral (which was a client all the way up through and for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Today users of Invoxia were notified that SkypeKit is no more. While a few months ago rumors were that SkypeKit enabled devices would keep working, I was telling others that I wouldn't count on anything that was hardware related that worked with Skype to expect it to keep working. Invoxia's revelation pretty much shows the continual pattern of Skype cutting off its partners that started with Asterisk a few years ago, and now is impacting others. BlueJeans Networks who recently announced a major interop with Google Hangouts likely are now going to also be affected to at some point if... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Every day I see Yet Another WebRTC based service come to life. Today its "ROOM" which has a very simple beta list signup going on where if you tweet their existence you get immediate access to the beta. Services like Slack, Hall, HipChat, Vobi and many others are offering what I'm calling Skype Takeaway Service (STS) often for free, often even richer in experience and more modern for the times. Skype has in my view become the AOL AIM (AOL's Instant Messenger) of this decade. An awesome service that stalled in development because of the so-called bigger picture of where... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2014 at VoIP Watch
There's another reason for Uber in France and the French government needs to pay attention. It's customer service with taxi drivers. Just like in San Francisco where Uber was born there's a pattern of behavior that exists with taxi drivers that causes great frustration with the regular traveler. It's called being declined a ride because your destination isn't far. Today, after dropping off my rental car at the Montpellier train station I did what I have done for years, walked to the taxi rank, hailed a cab and asked to be taken to the same hotel as in the past.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2014 at VoIP Watch
I have to admit that hotel dining can be either hit or miss. Happily the experience at both Les Fenetres and Alcyone in the beautiful Hotel Intercontinental Marseille exceeded on every count. For starters a Monday lunch on the patio at Les Fenetres with the sun overhead, the Vieux Port before us and amazing cooking coming from the kitchen only adds to the fun. Lunch was a combination of fresh fish and shellfish dishes, some well made cocktails and non obtrusive service, but it was at a special dinner that was held on July 1st 2014 where Michelin star chef... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at WINESCENE
Last week I used Uber X and Uber all over the Bay Area. Using Uber X my costs for a nice car, usually a Toyota Prius or something a bit larger was under $15.00 and often closer to $12.00 for rides to lunch, dinner or to get from a meeting on Treasure Island to my hotel. Other rides with Uber black cars were in the $15-25 dollar range while only my hotel supplied town car to the airport was $65.00. I didn't wait. I didn't have any talkative drivers, the cars were spotless, the drivers pleasant and helpful with bags... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at VoIP Watch
For many, Grenache conjures up thoughts of Chateauneuf du Pape as the mind floats to such names as Reyas, Vieux Telegraphe and Marcoux. One dreams of Tempier from Bandol and rich, deep reds from the Roussillon like the ethereal wines from Herve Bezul's Clos de Fees. But for me the most interesting Grenache wines are not always of the dark persuasion, but the more aromatic and seductive whites. Last night at Restaurant AM in Marseille, a new spot that has been only open a week -- and mark my words a restaurant and chef headed for greatness--there was a delightful... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at WINESCENE
I have to admit. I have been suffering writers block for months. While I have been composing my thoughts, musing on Facebook and Tweeting away on Twitter, my inability to post, write long form was a bother...It hurt. It was painful and what's more there's no way around it. Like a baseball player in a slump no matter how much I swung, there was just a hitch in my swing that wasn't there before. Like a goaltender who can't stop a beachball, I was whiffing at the keyboard. It was like my soul wasn't there. Sure I could do all... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Pal Dean Bubley gets it. So do a few others. But sadly not everyone does. The "what" is WebRTC and the who are the telcos. Read Dean’s post and get a great lay of the land. Last week at WebRTC World in Atlanta a lot of companies demo’d something’s new, somethings derivative and other concepts and technologies that are going to make our lives better online and off. The Trufind demo of Trufind, which was then demonstrated the next day on the weekly Voice User Conference by Truphone’s Director of Research, James Body, shows one of the “new” ideas around... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily Imagine if Qualcomm or Intel bought out T-Mobile in the USA? That's potentially what's going on in Taiwan where Foxconn is looking to broaden their business interests and vertically consolidate their holdings by putting a stake into a Taiwanese mobile operator. Given their ties to companies like Apple and others for whom they build mobile electronics this would give them the same kind of insight that Samsung and LG have with their close ties to the South Korean operators. Now--on to the NEWS... Foxconn to buy $390 million stake in Taiwan telecom operator in 4G push Credit:... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily Our client Truphone has turned the mobile world on its head today with the launch of Truphone World literally made the most traveled parts of the world one country. Add in local numbers in eight of those, really competitive rates for calls, text and data and you see the value. Read on here or read and watch TMC's Rich Tehrani's coverage. There's plenty more in the new today about other Comunicano clients. Vobi, an early stage collaboration and conversation startup also caught Tehrani's eye plus lots going on with the funding of Silent Circle, growth in crowdfunding... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily There's all kinds of news coming out in all sorts of sectors as the USA warms up for a three day Memorial Day Weekend the our cousins in the UK do the same with a Bank Holiday this weekend. Clearly Apple is in the middle of a make over while Cisco begins to turn up the heat to continue to be a force in the Enterprise market....Around the world HD Voice and Voice Over LTE seems to have gotten its start and looks to be taking hold with even AT&T getting into the act in parts of... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Back in the 90's I had the good fortune to be part of the team that represented Rosa Parks in her negotiations with Apple so they could use her likeness in the "Think Different" campaign. I remember getting a speeding ticket on my way to meet with the team at Chiat Day that was handling the ad campaign and pointing out that of all the people in the campaign, only she and Bob Dylan were still alive, and of the two, he never really suffered the way she did, nor was he ever humiliated to the degree she was. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Is the Google ChromeBook about to become your new communications device? Is your slightly older Mac or Windows PC that can run the latest Chrome Browser able to step in and be the new desk phone? What about the Android tablet which runs Chrome and WebRTC rather well these days? While some are predicting the death of the office phone, I’m confident saying that the replacement is already here. As more of my voice, video and collaboration type calls are taking place inside the Chrome browser, even on some newer Android tablets, the ChromeBook, because of its low price point... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Here's the untold story that dates back to 2006 or so when I was working on the social media aspects of GrandCentral, now Google Voice. Back then, I was traveling a lot to the UK and France and wanted to have access in both directions to my incoming calls and voice mail messages, as well as have the ability to return calls using GrandCentral from Europe when I was using an unlocked phone, a local SIM, without international roaming or long distance calls, and also keeping it easy for my clients, colleagues and friends to reach me easily. So, after... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2014 at VoIP Watch