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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
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I've been a fan of Tom Krazit since his days at the original GigaOm, and my pal Om Malik introduced me to him. Tom has been "in the cloud" as a journalist from it's earliest days, and his work at Protocol Cloud has continued to be some of the most insightful and spot-on writing in journalism today. His no B.S., non-shill style of reporting is in the Om style, so when he wrote today that "Microsoft wants to be the phone company," it hit the same cord that I heard when I read Microsoft's own unveil. Couple this with the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at VoIPWatch
Over the past few weeks I've been thinking more and more about how much tech jewelry I've been carrying around. In round numbers it's like this: Mac Book Air 2020 $1600 or Samsung Galaxy Chromebook $1000 iPad Mini w/LTE $ 700 iPhone XS $1150 One Plus 8 $ 700 That's over $3,500-$4,000 in tech I'm carrying around when I travel-and well, that's just insane. Add in headsets, chargers, battery packs, plus a nice bag, and I bet I'm not leaving the house with less than $5,000 in tech gear when I travel or even just jet around town on meetings.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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The existence of the three-tier system has been around since the repeal of prohibition. As a result, sales strategy, especially for fine wines that are imported, or more limited production domestic wines are significantly handicapped today due to the three-tier system and how it impacts distribution. But with COVID--19 we have seen a steady erosion of the three-tier system in many parts of the United States and at the end of the day all the three-tier system is limiting is where wine can be sold and who can buy it. Let's first look at the situation overall. 1) Wine distributors... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2020 at WINESCENE
The headline on the news release read "Allegiant Stadium to make history as the first American pro sports venue to open cashless" so being a reformed sports marketing executive brought a smile to my face. It was also in a real way, a true to life dejavu for me. You see, 32 years ago when I was working with the Denver Nuggets we were one of, if not, the first arena's to incorporate credit cards at the concession stands. Back then, cash was king. You bought your beer with cash. Paid for your popcorn with dollars. You picked out merchandise... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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Google Voice, originally Grand Central, continues to be around and used by many people. While Google doesn't put the same effort behind it as they are with Meet, it remains a very useful and viable front end number for many people who have multiple phone number, or devices, when they wish to be reached. For many, it's the second number, often used by people who don't want to give out their personal cell or home phone, but still want to be reached by customers. Today, with one of their iOS updates that they regularly produce, and without much fanfare, they... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at VoIPWatch
To be always transparent, unlike many in the tech reporting or analyst world, I'm a shareholder in Dialpad and have in the past consulted on various projects and programs to the company. That means, I'm openly biased to see the company succeed. But then again, I'm supportive of the telecom industry, and never hide my affiliations or who I work with or advise. That's why when I learned this morning about the Dialpad acquisition of HighFive, I couldn't have been more ecstatic as it shows a steady path forward for the company that is really one of the few born... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Zoom just took the first step to create the video calling switchboard. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is because right now, video calling and video conferencing, like encrypted communications, is a dystopia of balkanized efforts, where each provider does things their own way, and for users it means having multiple services to subscribe to and use. Not only is this unwieldy from a cost control standpoint, it is downright confusing. It's as confusing as the days of ICQ and AOL Messenger being owned and operated by AOL but not being interconnected. Now, so many... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Apple has made a bold move in the world of privacy. They are cutting off the IDFA at the knees. Some may call it digital castration, as John Koetsier points out in his Forbes story. But I think there's more to this. While Apple does sell ads inside the app store, Apple is really the only one of the giants - Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft which has never really leveraged its' own user base or platforms for ads. So here's a concept that may come true. Right now Apple has radio inside iTunes. It has TV. It has News.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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2020 was supposed to be the breakout year for the Ventoux wine region of France in the USA. The region, that has lived in the shadow of the Rhone Valley, was poised to be at the April Hospice du Rhone, the trendsetting wine event, held every other year in Paso Robles California. While a lesser known here in the USA, the Ventoux, like Beaumes de Venise, Rasteau and the Plan de Dieu, is one of the real hidden wine gem producing regions in France, where Rhone grapes grow, with intense concentration, stylistically correct fruit and vibrant intensity. They also offer... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at WINESCENE
I've been on WhatsApp for so long, I can't remember my first message or call on it. As someone who was traveling the globe on a regular basis from 2004 until early this year, overtime I found more and more people I was coming into contact with outside the USA were on the free app that did the basics better than just about anything on the planet. For the past few years I've been using Signal, which is just about the best encrypted app for text, voice and video around. I've dabbled with Silent Circle, only to find that not... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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Google just redefined sharing in a very powerful. It's called text fragment linking, and it works really well for a first time out of the box. For me, it's like having a highlighter and sharing the copy of the page with others in color. With the text fragment linking extension added to my Chrome browser I simply highlight the section, click on it with the alt key, and then copy the link. Then I'll share the link with someone, and if they're using Chrome, or another browser that supports text fragment linking, they will be taken to the web page... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Sad news department ---I was about to write a few overdue wine notes today, but I wanted to catch up on things about ClueCon and Dangerous Demos with long time Truphone exec turned Not Spot maven James Body in the UK. While VoIPWatch is not the obituary column, it is a mode of communication for now 16 years that has the eyes and attention of the VoIP and Telecom community paying attention to it. I just reached James a short few minutes ago, as he's been a friend and colleague of now over 15 years, to only be saddened to... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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When the news broke yesterday about the pending Microsoft acquisition of MetaSwitch I was going to write a post outlining why, but pal Rich Tehrani did such a good job with his, by providing a first glance analysis, I decided to hit pause and let my thoughts settle in. Pain and Suffering First, I wanted to look at who this hurts. This is a big blow to Ribbon who had been rumored to be deep in talks to supply Kandy with the telecom functionality that Microsoft lacked. Ribbon is/was one of two SBC providers already certified to work with Microsoft... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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WiredUK has a drill down on how Microsoft's SKYPE lost the video calling war to ZOOM. Long time media voice turned VC, and friend, Om Malik, is quoted heavily in the story, and Om's right. While pointing to the rise of Microsoft Teams as a contributory factor due to Microsoft's internal decisions, both Wired and Om missed one of the key contributors to SKYPE's demise; that's also the reason why Microsoft put its bets on Teams while letting SKYPE wither in the wind. SLACK. Before Slack, for many workers, SKYPE was the way they messaged one another, and people outside... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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As we live through the new normal we need to reassess our plans. And when it comes to 5G there's a lot of room for reassessment. Here's why. Already we're seeing reports that due to Covid-19 and impact on people and the economy globally, 5G rollouts may be slowed down. While the 5G conspiracy theorists will revel in the pause button being hit, that's not why this is good news. It's good news because all the plans for 5G rollout had to do with where people, and their mobile devices were, not where they are today and likely where they... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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Last night I did something I don't normally do. I opened a bottle at home, and drank it. The whole bottle. Maybe it's the Coronavirus. Maybe it was the evening at home. Maybe it was just the fact that the wine was so darn good. But I'm thinking it was the fact that the wine was a 13 percent, at the most, low alcohol wine. As someone who prefers Grenache and Syrah, both of which are usually higher in alcohol, the Rhone red known as Tire Bouchon (the Corkscrew) from Domaine d'Ourea in Vacqueyras was about as opposite of any... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at WINESCENE
Life on the road is never as great as some who don't travel. Here are some observations from being on the road more than at home. Q. Why is it that the morning of daylight saving time (DST) hotel clocks are not updated the night before I go to bed. How hard is it to adjust the clock before the guest arrives, or returns for the evening during turn down service and leave a note that the clock's been adjusted so when you wake up it's the right time? A. Because the hotel staff hasn't been around long enough to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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It has been a while since I wrote a comparative wine review, but the other night I decided to compare two 2016 Beaumes de Venise wines from producers I've had a good fortune to taste for a few years. The two, Domaine de Durban and Saint Amant are about as different as different can be. Having visited the Beaumes de Venise region a few times, the wines from there are vibrant, world class and under-appreciated outside of the region. They offer excellent value, the ability to age and go very well with winter, fall and spring cooking. Domaine de Durban... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2020 at WINESCENE
The Corona virus is not being contained, and each day we read of another event being shut down or companies pulling out--with SONY and Facebook being the most recent to cancel their participation in the Game Developers Conference. Make no mistake, these are not easy decisions as sales, marketing and promotion all surround conferences, but it's the sales meetings and media launches that are hit the hardest. Hundreds of meetings with prospects. Thousands of man hours of training independent developers. Dozens of briefings with reporters, all that set the tone for what's coming next are sideswiped and pole-axed when a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2020 at VoIPWatch
I've been a regular attendee at IT Expo since the late 1990's and other than a flight issue one year that kept me from making my way east, I've been attending the telecom industry gathering each winter. This year's event, held in Fort Lauderdale, was one of the best ever, and felt a lot like the old days of VON. Here's my three reasons why IT Expo was so great: More people I know were there-Having been a regular at telecom shows I've gotten to know a lot of people over the years. This year at IT Expo I had... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2020 at VoIPWatch
It's been a long time since Jeff Pulver's VON Conference series ended. Back in the day there were at least two if not three or four or five VON's a year. Competitor, TMCNet's IT Expo ran two events as well and literally the conference circuit for VoIP and related industries felt like an every other month activity. There were others that were put on but as publications died off so too did the events. What was great though back then was you got to see your friends more often, as well as you clients. What was bad was between the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at VoIPWatch
A few weeks ago I was attending the PTC Conference in Honolulu for a client. The event came right on the heels of the news that Comcast had purchased the Irish softswitch company Blueface. Maybe it was the timing, and how busy things were being 5 hours off of east coast time, but I sort of chalked the purchase up to the obvious reasons to me in conversations at PTC about the buy. However, in thinking back to most of the news coverage of it, so much was focused on what Comcast said in their statements that the "obvious" wasn't... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at VoIPWatch
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For years I've been a road warrior. And in all those years, it never fails that some hotel, somewhere, is employing port blocking under the guise of security. And, since WebRTC uses a range of ports for inbound and outbound communications, and since packet sniffing technology can be put anywhere in a network, the chances of what looks like rogue packets can be the end of the use of WebRTC based communications services. What this usually is though, is really a case of simple ignorance to the way of the world of communications and collaboration tools. The guise of security,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2020 at VoIPWatch
I had the good fortune to be on the Museum of Sports broadcast on ESPN 610 in Philadelphia with Lou Scheinfeld and the crew today. We talked about my early career in sports with The Philadelphia Wings, Flyers, Hockey Central and The Celebrity All Star Hockey Team. It was a fun hour to be part of the past and to help insure that the sports past of Philadelphia forever is remembered. The recording is an hour long but well worth hearing. You can hear the clip here. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2020 at VoIPWatch
For the longest time UBER was the disruptor vs. taxi-cabs and limousines. UBER provided a way to get a ride on demand, when and where you needed it. First it was with black car limousines that were sitting idle. Then it was with regular people who wanted to make money driving other people around. In a big way, UBER brought the masses to the gig-economy. And in doing so changed the way people get around. But UBER's exclusivity is gone. In the USA LYFT is a worthy competitor, offering an experience much like UBER, and at similar prices. But once... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2020 at VoIPWatch