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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
Today, I'll be on the ClueCon Weekly starting at 10 AM PDT. You can watch it via YouTube or from ClueCon's Facebook Page. Streaming Media, AT IT'S FINEST!! Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at VoIPWatch
From the hilltop town of Suzette, just north of Beaumes de Venise come a wonderful winery, Saint Amant. I've been enjoying their wines for a few years now, and really became a fan after a weekday visit on my way to Chene Bleu this past April. Last night I popped the cork on the 2014 Grangeneuve which is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan and 10 % Viognier. The wine arrived here about a week ago, and already I'm kicking myself for not purchasing more of it. This is a tremendous wine, and perhaps superior to Domaine du... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2017 at WINESCENE
A dear friend came up from San Diego for some wine related business yesterday and was all excited about tasting a bottle of Washington State wine made by Charles Smith and his K Vintners project. Smith, who is as as outgoing as Randall Grahm, is a true wine personality on every level. Much like the Miami Heat in the Lebron era, where the talent was so rich there wasn't enough basketballs to go around, imagine Smith, Jim Clendenen and Randall all on the same wine panel. There wouldn't be enough time to hear their views. Smith makes lots of wines.... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2017 at WINESCENE
Last Wednesday, I broke the news that Sonus and Genband are getting hitched. Today the announcement came out to make it official. Why does this feel so much like the Nokia-Siemens deal to me? Why is this feeling like some jobs are going to be lost? Why most of all does this feel like customers are going to be the ones hurt near term while the companies put their teams together? When mergers happen things don't stay the same. Ever. Integration. Consolidation of platforms. Integration of teams. Even billing and payment systems all get tossed up in the air. The... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2017 at VoIPWatch
If there's a region or two in the Northern Rhone that is under appreciated it's either Crozes-Hermitage or St. Joseph. Both are capable of producing incredibly age worthy reds from Syrah, and mind blowing whites from Marsanne and Roussanne, but the reds are overshadowed by the likes of Cornas, Cote-Rotie and Hermitage, while the whites get shoved aside by Condrieu and their perfume like Viognier wines. Yesterday I pulled a favorite producer's 2010 regular bottling of Syrah, the 2010 Faury St. Joseph Rouge. This is textbook St. Joseph. Full of fruit. Layers upon layers of black and green olives, green... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at WINESCENE
Sooner or later its going to happen. Just like we saw pricing wars in voice years ago, SMS has remained a very lucrative market for mobile operators. But with the arrival of companies like mBlox, Mach, Syniverse we saw the first wave of non telco sellers of SMS and MMS services. And then we saw the arrival of Twilio, Nexmo, BICS and a handful of others who began selling SMS and MMS as a CPaaS (Communications Platform as A Service) and that further leveled the playing field. But what if someone created a multi-service offering that allowed the users to... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at VoIPWatch
MAY 19 - ISSUE #87 Google I/O, which provided a month’s worth of news in a few days with all the new and updated efforts from the Mountain View giant is over. ZD Net and Axios both have concise wrap ups for those who are interested. The really impactful news though comes from the FCC who, as expected, is rolling back Net Neutrality. The effects we’ll start to see will come from the telcos and the cable guys who control the pipes. As for today, May 19th, it’s a day from 1974 I’ll always remember. That was the Sunday in... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2017 at VoIPWatch
Rumor has it that Sonus and Genband, two long time legacy VoIP players are getting hitched. While this has been talked about before, it seems to be gaining steam once again. At the end of the day Genband has lots of legacy pieces and parts, and their KANDY WebRTC platform has been not much of anything at all, and a lot of their inventory has been recycled Nortel products. On the Sonus side there comes a lot of switch customer overlap, which means Sonus is hoping to bring their switches to the Genband customers. This is an example of two... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at VoIPWatch
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By Andy Abramson Yesterday, the Santa Barbara Vintners Road Trip stormed Los Angeles for a trade tasting that was a chance to meet, taste and talk about the wines they are producing and selling this year. Usual suspects Margerum, Qupe, Hitching Post/Hartley - Ostini, Andrew Murray, Brander, Foxen and Ampelos were all there, as was Zaca Mesa, Larner and some 30 plus others at the event staged by winepal Allison Levine and her boutique "Please the Palate" team of wine promotional wizards. It takes a lot of work and Allison should be commended for staging the event, and getting 37... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at WINESCENE
MAY 15 - ISSUE #83 Could Y Combinator’s Sam Altman be in the running for Governor of California? As a state which has seen actors ascend to the top spot at least twice, don’t rule it out….Telco operation 8x8 adds more Reguslocations around the world…Lyft plays let’s make a deal…Those stories and more are all in today’s COMUNICANO. Sam Altman for governor? WWW.RECODE.NET – Share Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown says it’s a possibility. VoIP Watch 8x8 and Regus Expand Global Cloud Communications Partnership WWW.BUSINESSWIRE.COM – Share 8x8 and Regus Expand Global Cloud Communications Partnership Lyft Watch Lyft and... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at VoIPWatch
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Last night the "Weekend Flight Club" gathered for some home made Indian food and wine. The evening started off with two really tasty Rose wines, as May for me, is when you start to dig into Rose and enjoy them for as long as you can. Up first was the stunning 2016 Domaine du Mourchon Loubie Rose. Made from 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, the screwcapped pink wine has just arrived and is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Rose's. It has just enough strawberry flavor to tickle the palate, while also having touches ripe blueberry and blackberry along with... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2017 at WINESCENE
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TechCrunch broke the news on what I'm going to name, "ALEXA CALLING" a new feature from Amazon for the Echo line of digital assistants. Now a few hours later the service is up and running. Clearly, it's a first generation service, and in many ways it's nothing new, just Novel. Right now the service is a way to call and text other Echo users and make outbound calls to others in your address book. A call to a long time VoIP industry executive yielded at best a G.711 quality call in the era of HD-Audio. Our collective guess is that... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2017 at VoIPWatch
Often friends and readers will catch mention of the phrase, "the joys of a deep cellar." Nothing could be more true than last nights two bottle dinner wines, the 2006 Dehlinger Sonoma County Chardonnay and the 2007 Grand Veneur Vieilles Vignes Chateauneuf du Pape. In the case of the Chardonnay, a wine I drink less of than I should, the Dehlinger was perfect. As my dinner companion said, "this is wine that Peter Michael wish he made." That was followed up by, "the color, taste, bouquet and flavor, no one would guess this was an 11 year old California Chardonnay.... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2017 at WINESCENE
I'm jaded. I get to travel and eat in restaurants all over the world. No, I don't do food tourism any more though. Those days are long gone as the thrill of a three star Michelin has been replaced by discovering the new place in a town or city I've been to before. And, what turns me on is intelligence in wine lists, especially where the by the glass list stops being formulaic or simply this week's release. What I'm finding is that in Europe, many a list will have library bottles at prices that encourage purchase, while here in... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at WINESCENE
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I originally wrote and posted this over on the Xceptional blog. In thinking about it, I decided that the VoIPWatch audience should see it to. After having GoogleFi on my Google Pixel for a few months, I finally got to use the service outside the United States on an extended three-week trip to the UK, France, and Portugal. The Fi eliminates a lot of hassles that impact the idea of "staying connected." Beyond the obvious of not having to deal with the concept of roaming and the costs associated with it, Google Fi solves others. These solutions include not having... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2017 at VoIPWatch
It's time for new faces and voices in wine. For many years we have all been following the writing, commentary and views of pretty much the same critics, reviewers and voices when it comes to wine. This isn't just a US phenomena, it's global. The wine world follows the same people, and in turn their power has been preserved. Perhaps the best thing to happen was the changing of the guard at The Wine Advocate, where Robert Parker sold the publication, and in turn escalated the ascension to the top of the wine heap of other critics. In doing so... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2017 at WINESCENE
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During my stay in France's Rhone Valley, Languedoc and Roussillion in early April (2017) I had the good fortune taste through many, but not all of my favorite Rose wines. Top of the heap has wines from Chateau de Roquefort's Corail, a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan and Vermentino showing its usual stuff right out of the gate. Then of course there's the trio of 2016 Roses from Domaine de la Mordoree, the two from Tavel and one simply branded La Remise de la Mordoree, and of course there's the delightfully crisp 2016 Chene Bleu as well as the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2017 at WINESCENE
Maybe Donald Trump is right about bringing jobs back home. Let me compare two experiences I recently had with British Air under the exact same scenario. My flight to Marseille from LAX was on two separate record locators. In the past all that took to correct was a call to BA's executive club desk and as they were both Avios tickets, the club could cancel out the continuation segment, put the miles back in my account, then reapply them to my already existing reservation and everything was on one record. They used to also do this all for free. When... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at VoIPWatch
The concept of "public' voice is really a public behavior issue. I used to fly on planes with Airfone and no one got upset as I usually turned my head towards the window and talked in a quiet tone for a moment or two to simply get something done... Also, on Business class flights I tend to have a compartment type of seat. I can't see or hear my neighbor if I wear headphones and they same holds true for them. but then again I sleep on planes, tune out the din and avoid United too...
This is one of the most controversial tech subjects I know of. VoIP on airplanes. A recent survey in the APAC region shows that 42 percent of the travelers there would like to see VoIP calling allowed in-flight. That's 2 out of every five traveler who want to be able to make a call from the air. As someone old enough to remember when Airfone was found in the seatbacks of domestic airplanes here in the USA I really don't see what the hubbub is all about. As long as people use what is known as "public voice" and keep... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2017 at VoIPWatch
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Michel Smith started his career as a journalist in Paris and began to write about wine. His well storied career has led to his being one of the leading proponents of wines from both the Languedoc and Roussillion regions, and unquestionably is one of the most well informed and witty wine and food writer/critics around. Much like Jonathan Livingston-Learmouth, Smith's encyclopedic knowledge and true journalist style always put the story ahead of himself. That's why yesterday's lunch, where Michel brought along two magnums of his Roussillion Carignan reds from 2012 and 2014 were such a treat. Michel and his colleagues... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at WINESCENE
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Long time friend of more than 20 years Sylvain Fadat of Domaine du Aupilhac rewarded himself and his friends after a long day of work at the annual Montpeyroux Toutes Caves Ouvertes, which loosely translated means "All cellars open." For a Sunday in April, let alone Easter Sunday, the wine producing town in the hills of the Languedoc was jam packed with people, all of whom came to taste the wines of the 21 Montpeyroux producers. Alain Chabanon was there, pouring three wines. So too were Domaine L'Aigueliere, Villa Dondona, Mas des Quernas and many more. There were strolling musical... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at WINESCENE
It has been a long time since I did a deep dive into any one wine region. Back in the day I would spend a week or more going from village to village tasting many different producers. Other times it would be at massive wine events like Vinisud and Decouvertes du Rhone where I had the same opportunity to compare and contrast the producers and the vintages, much like the way a buyer or a sommelier does. That's what the past week in the Rhone Valley has been. And here are my observations.. 2016 Rose and Whites are home runs... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at WINESCENE
This week I've stayed in three Accor brand hotels, a Mercure and two Ibis Styles. Granted they are not my usual type of accommodations, but when it comes to traveling along the wine route for Decouvertes du Rhone, they are conveniently located and value priced. What they don't have though is functioning Wi-Fi and never really have. For years I was challenged by their blocking of the ports to allow use of anything but WebMail to the point of creating a Google Apps domain back in 2007. Then it became harder to also use Microsoft Exchange which led to a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at VoIPWatch
After many months of planning, the event of all events for the Grenache Association is tonight in Avignon. All the Grenachistas will be out in force so if you're in the neighborhood come join up for the fun. Maison Nani at 29 rue Théodore Aubanel, 84000 Avignon, France Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2017 at WINESCENE