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May 7, 2007

Lust to Love in 24 hours

I was asked yesterday how I would answer the question "What's your most cherished possession?" My friend was thinking a painting, a classic car, or some keepsake. I answered immediately; my mobile phone and I got shock - horror. Then my answer may have been influenced by a brand new Nokia N95 waiting for me on Friday; the very phone I have  been lusting after ever since I first saw the specs, (soon after I bought an N80 last June)



From Lust:
Where did the lust come from? I'm not quite sure. It certainly was a view of a dual slider, and larger screen. I also wanted to try the latest geekery in GPS devices. Most importantly I wanted the camera. Five Mega pixels and auto focus built in. In the last two years I've used an N70 not bad for photos but the n90 was 2mpx and auto focus. That was the best. The N80 never really achieved the clarity despite its 3mpx. And I knew it. My daughters N73 with 3mpx and autofocus just does a much better job. So lust traces to high expectations for the camera.

Practicalities
:
My next phone had to have everything the N80 had and more. I no longer recommend new cellphones to anyone without Wi-Fi. Plus with T-Mobiles new VoIP plan (coming in June) this feature becomes even more compelling. It maybe the current free rates - I just can't do without my Truphone account. Plus there is something telling when all my family calls (where no notes or sharing are required) go via the handset rather than a Skype headset. I simply like the freedom.

Back to Lust - What I learned from my N80
The N80 has been my constant travel companion. It's my "always on" connection with unlimited GPRS and WiFi in the home and office. I run the Nokia mail programs, Gmail Mobile, Google Maps, AgileMessenger, Truphone, GizmoVoIP and Nokia Podcasting. While also trying out Fring, Nimbuzz, Shozu I won't be quite so quick to install these on the N95.

Where the N80 fell down was on the screen size. It is a magnificent screen in detail, the type size is a little too small for web browsing (and my bi-focal eyesight). It also constantly got the thumbs down from others that picked it up for "thickness" and "weight". I'd have to agree, I too wished it was more like the N73, which is so light, bigger screen and packs so much. I always did like the N80 key pad. It was great for texting.

I never used it much for music. Putting music on it was more for ring tones and alarms. I did experiment with movies but found the player not advanced enough to skip commercials for programs transferred from myTIVO. Memory also slowed me down. I only ever got to a 1gb memory card. Was plenty for daily use but limited it competing versus my Video iPod.

Love and the N95:

It dropped into my hand slimmer and much much lighter than the N80.Despite that it doesn't feel more flimsy or cheaper. It is actually more tactile in the hand. The slider a nicer pop movement. While a little broader the bigger screen makes everything so much easier to read. While the N80 locks on close the N95 lock and unlock features are just better thought out. They become an easy motion. There has been a huge amount of design thought put into the N95. It will stand on its end and speakers in each side!

Did I mention my thumbs. The keys on the N95 have a little more definition than the N80. I find it easier to text from. I'm also thrilled that it has a standard USB style plug. I can ditch that nokia cable now and just use my harddrive cable backup. Great! Plus we finally have a proper socket not only for earphone but also TV/Video out. Something I'll have to try.

Then we have that dual sliding feature. That means web browsing videos and gaming can have a horizontal wide screen rather than vertical. and rotating content become pretty easy. As I use it more this will become more important. I've already found You Tube videos via the new Podcasing App. First appearance make it pretty slick.



Not enough reason. Well I now know exactly how many yards it is to the local bars and restaurants (there is no reason not to walk). The GPS features will have to wait. I think I will just buy the plan so I can use it in the car to provide directions. Still even without the driving element it is pretty effective at providing a directory of local sites.,

Stepping up to the N95 from an N80 is pretty straight forward. Use the Nokia transfer function set both phones to bluetooth and soon you are synchonized. I really wish I wasn't abandoning "old" mobiles so quickly; it is part of the pace of change. However at least in India there is a ready resale market which makes it all easier. I added in my favorite programs. Truphone, AgileMessenger, Gmail, and Gmap (although I'm not sure I am going to need this one).

So is it really Love?
I'm not sure yet. It is definitely a  cherished possession and as an all in one type of mobile one I can't really live without. Where are the problems?

Number One:
Battery Life. With WiFi connection at home via Truphone I'm getting just over half a day and I've turned off UMTS seeking. I know I already want a double sized battery and popped back plate for this phone. I won't be alone. If you are a talker and want all the WiFi be prepared to charge frequently.

Number Two: Lack of storage capacity. I stuck a 2gb microSD in it. That's the largest currently. I'd like that number to be 10 or 20 times that. Then I'm pretty sure my iPod would be history. The lack of memory does seem a little short sighted to me. Still with WiFi and products like ORB I may find I really don't need it as I can just stream it. I can see I have some testing to do.

Minor... :
When you synch phones and get a new one it would be so nice if the predictive text dictionary would be transferred. Each new phone needs training in this regard and I think this is true when you do a software update too. I've also never figured out how to edit out words that get into your dictionary that keep appearing and that you don't want.

Love Tests to come
Taking pictures and videos - I'm not sure it if exist but I want a N95 tripod attachment that fits in the headphone socket. Then finally I'll have a phone with a self-timer that is really userful.

Playing with the GPS. Is it true I can no longer get lost and always find my way? 

I should note. The phone was provided by Andy Abramson courtesy of the Nokia Blogger program for me to try out. I'm definitely a Nokia fan. I bought an N80 as soon as they were available and I've never used a Treo or Blackberry although I recently tested a Nokia E61 (don't like the keyboard!) and I think I have tried living with almost all the N-Series Phones. Example bought an N73 for my daughter who still gets envious comments from her friends six months later.




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May 8, 2007

N95 - Battery Life

I wrote my post last night on the N95 before checking up what others say. A link by Aaron today and my general desire to get back blogging requires some discipline and watching on my part. So I learn that Ken wasn't all that impressed (another noting a battery-life). Phoneboy provides some suggestions for picking up maps and oh no slams the battery too. I also re-checked out whatAlec "> Alec had to say. I think he is an enamored with it as I am (although I bet he has gone back to his Blackberry). Battery life again raises it ugly head.

This is a list of top Nokia N95 Tips. I'd add use your ShureHeadphones with it. I have a set of I3C's which plug in neatly and they make all the difference. They may not be noise canceling but the foam plugs mean I don't hear anything much on planes, and on or off they they require a lot less volume than the standard headphones which enable you to split the Nokia mic and go hard wired. I tossed all the wires back in the box. It's bluetooth or decent earphones for music..

I think I can live with the batterylife. It's the WiFi and constant Truphone connection in the home that is just eating the battery. Today after an hour on Truphone the battery charged over night was dead by lunchtime. A bigger battery should be a rush upgrade at Nokia. Double the size of it. I don't mind the extra weight. Provide a new back plate with it. Urgent!

Ken mentioned loading Gizmo onto it. I went back to GizmoVoip and it wasn't obvious to me how to. I did use Gizmo on occasion on the N80. I've just learned with experience that the Truphone codec is more efficient in low bandwidth environment and thus more reliable. I've also become aware of Wifimobile although the charging structure wasn't that clear to me. I already have enough free VoIP lines that another isn't that attractive and they also offer SIP to SIP for free. If there is a rate plan it is buried somewhere on their site.

I added Jaiku onto the N95. I like it more that Twitter for potential. I will write more about that separately. I'm also going to add Fring again. There is at least another week of playing with it.

Now to just get to the N800 on my desk which to me looks like the best alarm clock and desk calendar ever. More seriously I've not yet had the time to really try it out. It's intriguing although I'm not sure I need it yet. I have some ideas what I want it to do; yet that can wait for another post.

The official N95 Blog is here.....

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May 9, 2007

Microsoft Vista & Office 2007 - It's a Lemon!

I was going to just title this post Vista Sucks. After I wrote it I Googled the term. YouTube videos exist with the same tag too. and Douglas Rushkoff who I've heard rant at Poptech says much what I say below. Plus the BBC reports that Dell now will ship PC's again with Windows XP! Not sure for how long.

When I bought my Lenovo T60p a few months ago I was excited it was all optioned up on the hardware had Vista Business and while it shipped with Office 2003 they promised me an upgrade. My first new laptop in four years. The last was a very trusty Thinkpad T40. Now I've had no end of problems with Vista. It won't connect or print to my home network for example. In fact the printer drivers (few years old Lexmark aren't even available). It took until April for Nokia to launch a more compatible PCSuite. I'm not sure how many other programs I had to give up on. Quite a few. I ask myself for what? Vista is more complex and even less intuitive than XP. I still can't believe that Ctrl Alt Del doesn't work in Vista. I have no idea how to stop a program once it is locked. Net Net there is not one thing I can say positively about having a Vista operating system at this point. Recommend it to my mother? No way. Buy it for my kids? No way. Send it to the dumpster or Install XP over it... I'm considering it.

Did I mention that there are about 3 levels of do you want to do this for every new program? Would you like to continue, etc.? So yesterday I had two problems. On my Microsoft NX 6000 Lifecam (about $100) doesn't work and keeps going blank or black. It often freezes etc. Basically it doesn't work with Skype or any other IM client on Vista. Works perfectly on XP. To get it to restart I must reboot. So... I tried to uninstall it yesterday. That took a couple of reboots and so much PC thinking time you would think Microsoft was procrastinating. I finally got it off. I then stupidly thought I'd upgrade my Office 2003 to 2007 as the disks had arrived.

You would think Office 2007 should install first time on a Vista PC. Well It failed and I had to do two repairs so Outlook or Word would even open. I can report today that it is still crashing. Word won't open files when I click on My Documents. When I open Word I can open a document from it but I cannot edit the document. This is a document that was created on the same machine on 2003 just a day ago with no special privileges. Anyways I don't get it. Right now it feels broken. Plus there is no fun in all the new menus. I can see what they have tried to do. However, it is just complexity. For the most part they are features and options I will never use and don't want to. It really does seem to be the ultimate form of bloatware.

Oh the Lifecam. I reinstalled it. Same problem. These products are Microsoft's. There simply is no excuse. They were supposed to be designed to work together. I know I am basically a super expert user. These programs are making me look and feel stupid. Exactly the opposite of what a good design and company should do and provide.

If I had one wish today it would be for a MAC. After years of putting up with Windows and knowing I'd have lots to learn to use a Mac and extra software costs I always put it off. Now I know Vista doesn't make my life better and Office --- I really would rather use a wiki or blog. The days for office are numbered. When I couldn't copy today from PPT to Word I sent the document to Google and opened it there. Then it would copy fine. Maybe I should just do all my work that way. So PC makers beware. You are relying on a company who's latest releases are dogs and I really doubt they can be fixed.

Sometimes a blog is a good place to say something really sucks or just vent. I wrote this because I'm just really disappointed. If my new PC was a car I'd apply the "lemon" law. Maybe the lawyers will get that out for PC's and suckers that got sold Vista.

Because the world has been Windows it was a sensible choice. Now it no longer matters. If you have MS stock I'd suggest you sell it. There is not one more PC in my household (four) I will upgrade to Vista or Office 2007. I too will start setting up ubuntu and playing with other options.


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SharedCopy - The Next Post-it?

What happens when you cross a Post-it note with Delicious or Furl? Perhaps a smarter form of bookmarking?

I got a ping from James Seng last night. I always love knowing what he is working on. SharedCopy seems to be his new thing. I'm impressed. It provides a new form of sharing with notations. A few of the commenter's on his post thought "ThirdVoice" too. I'll add a public shared copy to this post after I post it. I'll need to experiment with this to really get it.

What is SharedCopy? It is an web application that allows you to annotate & markup any website, made a permanent copy of that page and then share it with your friends. Above all, we do it without any external program or browser plugins, just pure AJAX. :) Check out this link to see how it works. SharedCopy of SharedCopy




What I like about this is how you can just put a note on a page and send the two together. It's quick and I can see this will create a neat repository. It is somewhere between Furling a page and being a little more active. I'd like to see it with a tags option and tied to an OpenID.I may have to learn a little more on how I can customize it. Example How can I add in contact me or SkypeMe details? I'm sure I could pass that in the same way.

Where a little user work is required is just a simple visual on how to drag the links to your bookmarks to set it up and get started. It's not yet a very intuitive or obvious instruction. It 's really nice to see something a little different! I can see ways to use it. I'd love to be in on more user stories as they evolve.


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May 28, 2007

DUMPED! Vista & Office 2007 - Back to the Future

I just dumped Vista and Office2007 and I couldn't be happier. I have abandoned a new Thinkpad in favor of my previous now 3.75 year old Thinkpad. As I stated a few weeks ago my next laptop will be a MAC. This was the last straw for me.

I was excited when I first got Vista and still curious when I installed the Office 2003 upgrade to 2007 just over a month ago. However, Office 2007 just made things worse. I cannot copy from an old word document into a new one. The mouse doesn't scroll correctly and I can't place it in the document. I can only use the arrow keys to move up and down etc. Basically something didn't work on the install. Repair didn't fix it.I figured a system restore would be dangerous... although I may try it now that I am off that PC. (Some thing like my Outlook.pst file doesn't work in the earlier version. You are not supposed to want to go back.) Thus 3 months old, the Vista PC needs a complete disk format to make it work correctly. It simply isn't worth the effort.

What I've learned.
Vista Sucks. I commented on complexity before. Similarly lack of drivers etc. I never got it to network etc. My judgement. Vista is as far as "Windows" can go. So I'm getting out and will learn a new operating system OSX before drowning under the overly controlling Vista.

Office2007 Sucks:
My view of Office2007 is just more complexity. Simply too much to learn. It may be more efficient after weeks and I'll probably have to learn it on the MAC in a different format in time. What I know was I ended up hunting for everything. From the first moment I installed it I asked myself why. There is not one compelling piece of information that I got with it or the initial install that suggested it would help me write better or present better. I think I'll wait and see if Microsoft brings out a Office2007Classic.

It really bothers me that for a generally early adopter and reasonable (although not super power) user who can merge documents and mailing lists and more, it's appeared to buy me nothing. That I want a "classic" version bothers me even more. Microsoft has blundered not just once - but twice in a year with me. If I was Steve Jobs I'd up the dollars on the current marketing campaign.

I generally like going forward with software. I'm ready to test out almost anything. I figure I'm losing nothing; and certainly not my edge in the competitive business environment by passing right now on 2007. Better my time is spent on Wikis, blogs, social media and other collaboration tools etc.

I am not alone. Channel Web reports that Vista Performance Sucks.. I particularly liked this comment with the article.
I've got to agree that the performance is a huge disappointment.
Upgraded several of our laptops and a desktop to Vista Ultimate, and
between Office 2007 learning curve and incompatibilites with Vista, it
is enough to want to go backwards.

How does Office2007 fare?
Well Chris Pirillo said it would suck and gave 65 reasons just one year ago. Although he is not alone. This comment by HansonJB could have been my own.

Word 2007 does NOT allow my own customizable toolbars--that is a
devestating deal ender. It requires a NEW format for documents that is
MUCH slower. What in Word 2007 is going to make things more productive
or easier? Without the menu bar, I have repeatedly had to go hunting. No thanks.

I offer up just two tags...Technorati Tags: Vista, Vistasucks, Office2007, Office2007sucks,

May 29, 2007

My Grandmother's Vista Office – GOOGLE

I wrote about Vista here and here. I'm still flabbergasted at how wrong a big company can get their product roll out after years and years. So let's come to the "Grandmother" - even your "Mother" test.

We forget that there remain people out there just learning computers that haven't had 20+ years on word processing, years and years on email etc. Finally a relative thinks we must get them hooked up.

I'd wager that helping that person today get onto email and get operating is way different from a few years ago. I also wonder how you would do it. This would be my solution.

Unlike a few years ago where I had to load Word or Office I would skip all that. I'd also skip the latest Explorer as I still think Firefox is better. I'd also skip Microsoft's Outlook Express which used to be the old standby in cases like these.

My solution today for Grandma is simply Google. You give them a gmail account, you show them how to log in. You set it as the default in the browser or you can set up a personalized home with the email link. You then put one shortcut on the desktop. Done. All word files etc that matter can be opened there. They can compose what they need and if they need more then they will start asking. That's it.

This stealth strategy in time will also give them "chat" and even lead to GTalk when it is more developed. The Google universe of programs is simply more interesting. Whether picture sharing or social networking it is not trapped in work. Grandma's PC shouldn't be trapped in hard work. That increasingly is where Microsoft will be trapped - "work" and "hard" may become the reason for abandoning it in favor of something new.

Some days I even wonder if this strategy would work on my mother?

May 30, 2007

Skype and Relevance in Communications

What do we do when our communication systems keep fragmenting? Alec and Ken comment of Skype losing relevance. The key point is "cost". What made Skype work was free P2P telephony that worked. Now the same proposition is emerging everywhere.

The result is even more highly fragmented communications. A colleague complained to me last week that I have too many numbers (time to try out Grand Central again!) and they were right I do. In fact I have way too many "handles" from phone numbers to messenger accounts and mail services. Really nobody needs them all. Yet what should I hand out? Often it is defined by the perceived relationship. Setting it right later may add to the confusion. Concurrently callerID becomes more irrelevant because it doesn't effectively represent me when I use a different number to call them. Don't believe me - then check out emerging profile aggregators.

I too have a sense that many in the early adopter group have moved on from Skype. With Wi-Fi handsets GizmoVoIP and Truphone have proven to me that I don't need to wait for Skype on the mobile. Also, massive exposure to shared presence (broken today) doesn't enable better access control. Nor does it enable you to manage your availability selectively. Yes a few companies are working on it.

Like Alec says. There is still huge potential in leveraging the desktop. I agree. While Twitter is broken, the opportunity for shared context has never been greater. Presence information will become disintermediated from the communication channels. There is absolutely no reason to think that your presence service should or must tie to a specific communication channel. What it reveals and to whom is another matter. As presence breaks off "numbers" go back to being numbers. The "Presence Dialer" will be under a user's control. This works when an "Abstract Identifier" emerges (Eg OpenID or similar with better authentication).

Sharing availability on the mobile is even more important. It's more personal than the desktop; even more intrusive when the wrong person calls at the wrong time. Skype provided a view that was part of the way there and has completely missed the boat on mobile. As such its "handles" will never become the number of the future. "Click to talk" is what we want. IM lists prove it. Jaiku Mobile takes this a step closer (but nobody keeps using it - another post in that!), while Skype and other IM presence data is too simple to be meaningful. Available says "channel is on", anything else means the "channel is off or may effectively be off". We don't live in an "on" or "off" world. You just have to sniff out the open channels for communications.

Thus what Ken and Alec really allude to is their connections have shifted. They are more available now on new connections and perhaps less available on others. My guess is they don't talk or message less. Probably it is more than ever; without the shackles of cost.

So when Alec says he's abandoned Skype for technical reasons, he's made himself a little less available to some. He's also making more use of "mobile" solutions that are more useful to him. Eg Jajah . I've done the same. There are some workplace issues (don't install that program on your PC) that encourage Meebo and the newer Yahoo Messenger on the Web. Skype doesn't have a solution for these.

So relevance relates to communications needs; Skype remains relevant although its lack of reach into mobile makes it less and less relevant when I am on the move. We underestimated the general goodness in the handset and the impact that "handsfree" with a bluetooth headset can provide. So when "free" communications are now available to me from any WiFi hotspot on my Nokia I pull the phone out before booting up a PC. I do the same at home.

Blog Ping from the Past - Identity Circles

When one gets out of the habit of blogging we can forget some of the reasons why it was so important to us. I used to use my blog continually for sending links and updates to others. It provided a steady stream of what I'd been thinking about, testing and what I'm following. Even today I get pings from the past on a post I've written. I really appreciate them.

Hi Stuart,

I stumbled upon an intriguing post of yours dated March 2003. It's about "Identity Circles": http://www.henshall.com/blog/archives/000182.html . Put it today, it would still be ahead of its time. It's quite amazing that you had this vision back in 2003.

I'm curious if that was your wishes at the time or you actually worked on it to realize this vision. Any company that you are aware of which has achieved a good part of your grand vision? It would be interesting to know. Do you have any plan to have a follow-up post on the current status for this space?

Thanks and best regards,

Joshua

Thank you Joshua! Sometimes we need reminders. I believed then in the core ideas for Identity Circles and have been working on in this area although I'm learning there is still a long way to go. I'm going to give some thought to your request for a follow-up post. In the meantime I thought I'd just republish a segment of it.

IDENTITY CIRCLES enrich and enhance life's many connections. Whom you know has never been so important. Professional, Business, Community, Friends, creating circles of trust that you control. Now you can be more connected and share what and when you want. In CIRCLES you can discover a whole new range of connections, intersections where you connect for fun, influence, advice, learning. Today's world is connected. Sometimes for fleeting moments or maybe for a lifetime. We move, we change addresses, our contacts change from year to year. Yet serendipity still strikes.

We meet friends in unexpected places, and find old work or college colleagues when we least expect them. CIRCLES let's you grow and learn from whom you know. So together we travel many different circles and through many different roles. Collectively we learn we have a lot more to offer, when we don't always know what we can do for each other. Cooperatively we learn together, individuals can create more value from their profiles than they can individually seeding them at many different destinations. There are valid reasons for public and commercial interests. Under Circles you control access.

So what's different? Safe and secure in your circle, you are part of a many circles environment that makes up many trusted circles. CIRCLES guarantees your privacy and the privacy of your friends. Under Circles there is no more spam. The information is yours alone to share and trade as you wish. Circles is merely a commercial and public broker of information. Tomorrow's Post Office. How is it done? see the extended entry....

You begin by building your profile with your own circle of trust. This P2P based component puts your profile on your PC or personal mobile device (on or off whenever you like). When you open your account you will be required to find three friends to secure your profile and join the network. The friends provide backup (secure keyed) in case your encrypted data is lost. They can't see your data, however their systems can broadcast for you should you be offline for any reason. (We see something similar in music with Kazaa). READ MORE


What I still believe is the control must rest with the individual. That we must own our own identity, that it must be both private and secure. It won't happen without open standards.

Perhaps in this last line "Circles creates a valuable economic asset, that grows with the collective value of shared information assets in the community. Circles aims to "connect" everyone on earth digitally, just like the original post and telephone, but this time for free."

This partially serves to highlight why I thought Skype was such a big thing when it launched. Yet today the world of networks and communications is many times more complex. Identity Circles will only emerge when we have an abstract identity layer in place. When you and I can have one name for all communications with complete control over what we share and who has access. So in a way nothing has changed, we still need this.

May 31, 2007

Jajah - Conversation Broker - Strategy?

Jajah recently had an infusion of $20million from Deutsche Telekom. That's a big deal. It may also prove interesting for Jangl, Jaxtr and Grand Central. However what I'm reading in the press doesn't quite gel with my sense of where this is going or what the prize is. Example see this Information Week article or this The Browser overview. Each of these state that Jajah isn't out to compete with the telecoms etc. They also reference Trevor Healy “If you’re at your office, your laptop may ring, but when you’re in your car, your mobile should ring, and when your home, your PSTN (public switched telephone network) phone will ring.” I'd agree and he'd extend this to include presence. However, I don't think this represents why DT bought in. DT also got a cheap price if Jajah's user base is in the millions or regular users, although the infusion suggests their burn rate and margins are tighter than reported.

What is Jajah? Jajah is a conversation broker. It brokers conversations between two or more channels. Jajah smartly chose to use VoIP rates to connect traditional PSTN handsets from a simple web app. Thereby collecting prepaid calling cash and millions of users.

Why DT? The real prize in Jajah and similar brokers is all the other communications that can be routed. Jajah has voice and email (they know it if you opened an account) and has yet to add chat and SMS. From a DT perspective this "switch" / "broker" is outside their network. This switch could also connect every number etc on earth. It just needs critical mass. When Jajah can connect with Gtalk or Gizmo or connect a PSTN caller with a Yahoo number they have something pretty special. Add in other ways we communicate and you have an all in one communications solution.

The Challenges for Jajah
Identity: Right now my identity is the PSTN number you are trying to call. However as a Jajah user there is no reason you shouldn't just ask to connect with Jajah Stuart. The problem to be overcome is providing me with an identity that I want to use that represents all my communications. Jajah Stuart may be unique to me; the problem is there are many Stuart's out there. Identities also reveal different things about each of us. So Jajah looks well poised to add the infrastructure and make us all agnostic about the channels we use to connect with each other.

Presence:
Jajah Users knows little about presence. In fact their model currently PSTN to PSTN doesn't involve devices or calls where even simple presence indicators are involved. Perhaps that's why I like the Iotum link to Jajah? As Alec knows routing calls without presence information to different devices can quickly result in disaster. However, add a change of routing function via SMS or Web interface and all of a sudden the value for a Jajah identity goes up exponentially. What's nice about this strategy is the SIP to SIP etc calls can all be free. It will also take them into the desktop. Inferring a little more ---- they already have this client built. It may need an update as it predates the current web strategy. WiFi mobile handsets make this even more attractive.

Competitors: Jajah has a jumpstart because their model for capturing paying users is almost as good as Skype's was. However, it does appear to come with a cost of infrastructure. Jajah mobile remains a little simple but works. Integrate Jajah mobile with Jaiku and additional interesting propositions emerge. In fact between registered Jajah users (I bet the calls are much higher to non registered users) there is no need to even share the "connection" identifiers. As Jajah connects more sophisticated VoIP devices they can pass their own information on who's calling. Now Jaxtr has already proven this is possible (they recently extended it to email). Jangl appears to have a less efficient model for building numbers (just guessing).

There are also a number of mobile upstarts. Fring, Nimbuzz etc that are enabling users to connect and share presence. They are connecting so many different communication channels on the mobile that they are headed to being the Trillians with Voice for the mobile world. The downside is lack of handsets and users that get it. Jajah's mobile strategy for now is low cost and almost zero development while working on any web activated handset. TalkNow has integrated it with a mobile directory on the Blackberry. In the end this is more attractive in some countries than others depending on the users mobile plan.

Could Skype still upset Jajah plans? Technically yes. They could move quickly into this market (almost surprised they haven't). They are ahead on "handles" and "profiles" and would solve their mobile issue in a new way. They have rudimentary presence. It would undercut the Jajah model on price for many calls while enabling new Skype users without Skype apps.

Trust:We know we already have a "telecom" in the middle when we make a traditional call. There are also plenty of govt regulations that apply to telecoms. That's where I get a little more worried about how "security" is engineered in. Conversation Brokers connect both ends of the call. FreeConferencing brokers conference calls for us. They provide recording capabilities too. Whether it is Jajah in middle or someone else you want to make real sure that you "trust" the relationship. As these brokers become more capable of managing more than just PSTN channels the data they will have could be much much more. Until now most of us never trusted our Telecom with our email address. Our Email account POP is usually separate from providers for IM and mobile. We've had some comfort while they are separate. However they are converging and becoming more complex. In the end I'm not sure I want to support this potential new "man in the middle". While I like the idea that one point of contact could broker all my communications I really want it to be under my control.

In the end small change for a Telcom. No surprise to me that it is European rather than American.

About May 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Unbound Spiral in May 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2007 is the previous archive.

June 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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