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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
The FCC has given mobile operators more power surrounding SMS, and in doing so have actually classified the service as different from texting applications and services like GoogleVoice, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal and all the rest of the alternatives, including Apple's own iMessage. I say this because they went to great lengths to not include the Google backed RCS. In the past, during the VoIP heydays, we used to use the "duck test." That was, if it worked like a phone, and provided service like a phone, it was a phone service. Clearly the FCC is not applying that test to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at VoIPWatch
No matter how you look at the performcance of AOL-Yahoo under Verizon's ownership, you have to see it as a total failure. A writedown of $4.6 billion dollars will go down is in recent memory not quite as big as the Microsoft writedown of their Nokia purchase which was over $7 billion dollars. In many ways the whole move by Verizon to try to get into the content and Silicon Valley style information services business was a mistake. It reminded me of AT&T's buy many years ago of TCI cable where a rich buyer saw all the potential of the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at VoIPWatch
News flash. Alexa can now read your email to you, and reply too. For me, reading the story was like Deja Vu. No, not the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young LP by the same name, but a flashback to the 90s when I was first using services like JFax (now J2) and Webley (now CommuniKate) and owned by Parus Holdings. Back in 1998, when I first started using Webley one of the best features was the ability to have "him/her" read you your emails and that you could reply to them. This function was one of the earliest uses of... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at VoIPWatch
I was not at all surprised to read that the smartphone era has hit a slowdown. What's causing this are a few factors. First smartphones are increasing in price at the top end. When an iPhone is over $1000 it's becoming a status symbol as much as a communications appliance. Even rival Samsung is at that point of pricing themselves to where the average buyer has to think about the investment. The arrival of dual SIM devices is also triggering a slowdown. Now instead of two phones, people only need one with two service providers or plans. eSIMs will only... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Are you planning on attending IT Expo's #SuperShow in Fort Lauderdale, January 30th to February 1? If you are, you can receive an immediate 10% discount off any registration level by simply using the code ANDY10. This year's event has gotten bigger, with more tracks, more speakers, more topics and more exhibitors. Ever since the demise of VON the team at TMC has weathered the VoIP, Telecom tradeshow downturn and with the move to an annual show vs. two semi-annual events, brought together more companies in more categories, all in one place. The move has worked, as IT Expo and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Maybe it's me. Perhaps it's a sign of the times, but given how fragmented 5G is starting out in the USA I'm not exactly buying into the hype. Yes, it will be game changing, but that impact won't be beneficial until 5G networks are ubiquitous, the way LTE has almost become. For those on the wrong side of the digital divide who are just getting 3G coverage, finding that there's more to connectivity than dial-up and that for DSL users, speeds can break the 10 meg barrier when cable modems arrive, so much of the hype behind 5G is all... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at VoIPWatch
With more mobile operators adding support for the eSIM on Android devices one has to wonder if we're going to see greater cooperation with the Google Fi. One thing for sure, the elimination of the physical SIM, greater availability of Pixel devices which support the eSIM, plus the new iOS devices, all points to more excellent choices. The availability of the eSIM and Dual SIM devices also signals a long-term decline in device sales, as people who used to need to carry two phones-one for work, one for personal, or who choose to as a way to get around coverage... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at VoIPWatch
In 2005 Martin Geddes asked me to outline how Nokia could use bloggers to help properly introduce their upcoming line of smartphones, dubbed the "N Series" to overcome the challenges faced by their USA Country Comms team and Global Comms worldwide. In the past they had tried to work with bloggers and never got past the starting gate I was told. Over a chat I outlined the program, and a day later presented the program to the Nokia Global Comms lead charged with the N Series rollout. The program, simply named "The Nokia Blogger Relations Program" became a runaway hit... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I've been a Google Fi user since the dawn of the service. I still use my original Pixel but over time added a few "data only" SIM's to the service. The more devices I add to Fi, the lower my overall mobile services bills have gotten. With the news that's leaking out, if true, finally Fi will add official support for iPhone and other devices including the OnePlus 6T and Samsung smartphones. Many would say it's about time, as this means SMS and calling comes to devices previously only able to use data services. My love for the service revolves... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Diane Greene at Google wasn't doing a bad job at all. As a matter of fact, she was leading the massive business, Google Cloud, and taking it in the right direction. But being second fiddle to Google Ad sales and then having to navigate around something new from Google every month is no easy task. The Google Graveyard is full of other so called failures, some of which were good ideas but not successful. However, it was made harder by the internal competition between divisions and personal agendas of each divisional CEO. So when Google became Alphabet, and each company... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at VoIPWatch
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I love wines from Italy. And, I don't open them up enough. So when I had the opportunity to pull some bottles for Thanksgiving Weekend, I made the conscious decision to have some wines that didn't break the bank and would provide really nice enjoyment on the Friday after Thanksgiving. With the help of a neighbor we decided to do Italian night, so that meant some pasta, salad, fresh made Italian sausages and steak in a tomato and mushroom sauce. The two wines from Le Morette were a 2017 Bardolino Chiaretto Classico, a rose styled wine, and the 2017 Bardolino... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2018 at WINESCENE
I'm a big Rose fan and have been for many years and since the 2010 vitage always held a Rose day on Memorial Day gathering. The idea of #RoseAllDay is nothing new, and while summer is clearly over, the idea of Rose in the fall or winter shouldn't be taboo. Yessterday I popped two Chateau Sainte Rosaline Cuvee Lampe de Meduse Roses from 2016 and 2017. There was hardly any difference between the two bottles. The 16 was a bit more round while the 17 was far more zesty. Both had similar fruit layers and taste, but the 17 showed... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2018 at WINESCENE
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The first time I drank a bottle of Chateau de Paraza came shortly after it was found in a best buys under $10 list from Robert Parker in the 80s. I'm guessing that wine was from the 85 vintage and the wine was so good I bought a case and over the next ten years or so drank it up having moved from Philadelphia to San Diego and sharing it with friends in both cities as part of Friday Wine Groups. Last night with Thanksgiving dinner at a friends I opened up a bottle of the 2007 Chateau de Paraza... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2018 at WINESCENE
As background I've been in the PR world since I was 14 years old when I was in sports with the Philadelphia Wings and then with the Philadelphia Flyers. Back as far as then the idea of being friends with media, keeping them informed and being able to talk, present a story angle that was more of a conversation than the so called "pitch." As a blogger, I get pitched everyday, and while I don't accept contributed articles, I do get ideas on topics when the PR person has taken the time to only pitch me on story ideas that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Deja Vu...Right after the Amazon Echo came out, I forsaw the device being the ultimate speakerphone. Back then I was an advisor to Los Angeles VoIP startup, Telzio, and I encouraged their founders to embrace the Amazon Echo and Alexa as a calling platform. About a year later the company rolled it out, being the first VoIP company to do so. Over time OnSIP, Dialpad and others all added the same functionality, while GoogleVoice became capable on the Google Home Assistant. Now Skype has come to the party pretty much copying what Telzio did first. The idea of the Echo... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2018 at VoIPWatch
No, I didn't make a VoIP call. But I did stream Amazon Prime on a flight today where GoGo is the provider and instead of beaming down to ground stations, the connection was via satellite. Compared to my ground station based experience yesterday, what a difference. Streaming video was awesome. Webpages load fast. And most of all the experience is as good as my JetBlue Exceed experiences in the past. And unlike my experience with .Air on a recent BA flight from London, the payment platform worked perfectly. Staying connected in the air is nothing new for me. I remember... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Back in the day there was GrandCentral, TalkPlus, PhoneGnome, Iotum and even Jangl. The first four were all clients of Comunicano, with Iotum and GrandCentral still enjoying life under different names and different ownership. The four all had various ideas on calling, totally in line with Jeff Pulver's Purple Minutes idea that IP calling would be game changing. When I read about the planned Verizon My Number, I could only think of Jeff Black and his team from TalkPlus and the idea of a second number on a mobile phone. Back when we released news about TalkPlus the idea was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Over the past few years I've seen corporate America, especially banks and now even Amazon, begin to use SMS as a mode of verification that you are you. Unfortunately, the current approach, using mobile numbers tied to a mobile operator is both antquated and very faulty. For many years VoIP companies have had access to text messaging capabilities. Dialpad, whom I use for most of my calling, recently expanded SMS to be global and those of us who use GoogleVoice have also had that capability for years. Unfortunately, the companies providing verification to the banks and others are stereotyping people... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Over the past few years I've seen corporate America, especially banks and now even Amazon, begin to use SMS as a mode of verification that you are you. Unfortunately, the current approach, using mobile numbers tied to a mobile operator is both antquated and very faulty. For many years VoIP companies have had access to text messaging capabilities. Dialpad, whom I use for most of my calling, recently expanded SMS to be global and those of us who use GoogleVoice have also had that capability for years. Unfortunately, the companies providing verification to the banks and others are stereotyping people... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I came across a note letting me know about a new mobile app from Panisonic that ties into their business phone system. When I read the note, it was full of just enough information to encourage me to look through the web site about the smartphone app. What I found was more than interesting and a more than smart approach to business communication. What stood out most of all was the ability to keep the calls only between team members, and the ability to reject non-Panasonic originating calls from even reaching the customer. This helps kill off spoofed calls, outside... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Back in the early days of VoIP, there was a horrific incident involving a death, a baby and Vonage. This led to regulatory oversight of VoIP by the FCC. This was something that then fellow VoIPWatcher, Om Malik, had pretty much predicted while my archives show that there were efforts being taken earlier by Vonage and others. So when I read the Wall Street Journal's piece about Alexa and E911, I could only think back to what was a PR nightmare then for Vonage, but more, a tragic situation for the family. Let's face it. 911 in general sucks. Call... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at VoIPWatch
The Wall Street Journal has a great story about the decline or if you believer, the continuation of the use of the deskphone. As someone who has not had a home or office phone for so many years the story is mostly old hat. Given how voice over IP use and acceptance has steadily grown, there's less and less need for the old-school deskphone, especially in what is rapidly becoming a mobile first society. Apps, and cloud services, simply work better in software based endpoints like a smartphone or tablet vs. an endpoint which now have so many buttons and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at VoIPWatch
For many years I've used the rule of 3x to stop buying wines that have just gotten too pricey. A great example these days are Chateauneuf du Papes which are now at that point. Given I was buying them at under $20.00 and now many of those are now over $60.00 I'm back looking for the future finds in the sub $25.00 range. As a fan of Rhone varietals you can start in the Rhone and find some hidden gems. Let's start in the Northern Rhone. Producers like Patrick Jamin make sensational wines from the Cote-Rotie. But their third leaf... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at WINESCENE
In what has to be more about intellectual property and gap filling, and a bit of an acquihire in nature, 8x8 has acquired Jitsi from Atlassian. You'll recall how HipChat was sold off to Slack a few months ago, so this seems to be the next step in trimming non-core assets by the Australian company as they focus. It's a good move for 8x8 as it gives them a proven team and access to technology that is mostly built upon WebRTC for their Meetings product as this will help shore up the 8x8 Meetings product, and also provide some additional... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at VoIPWatch
This is belated news and still sad. I just learned via the Kevin Tofel and Matt Miller's podcast that James Kendrick passed away. I will admit that after James departure from GigaOm that my interaction with James had been reduced. While we periodically exchanged some messages in social media, James and I hadn't really spoken in three years but he was one of the real pioneers in tech reporting, especially in the gadget realm. James was one of the first of the "unknowns" who I pulled into the Nokia Blogger Relations Program back in 2005. We became online friends, would... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at VoIPWatch