Recently, my parents decided to pay us a visit. It was their way to escape the Canadian winter for a short while, and see how their most distant son lives. Amongst the many things that we did was they were here was to tour the The Doc Porter Museum of Telephone History. It was something that I had been meaning to do ever since I learned of its location some years ago.
It seems that there’s a new wave of devices emerging that aim to provide high-quality video calling by way of the family TV.
This is not unfamiliar territory as both Cisco and Google have been in the space for some time. Cisco had their UMI device and associated service. Google had with the video calling capabilities built into Google TV, as exemplified by Logitech’s Revue.
It very clear that none of these prior efforts have made the kind of inroads that had been expected. Umi is no more. Logitech admitted that they took a bath on the Google TV and killed off Revue. Google seems to be continuing the Google TV effort, but it’s unclear where it’s heading.
It’s been a busy week. After spending the mid-week in Chicago I drove to Austin for a meeting on Friday. It’s a three hour drive [cue the opening theme to Gilligan’s Island] each way giving me some time to listen to podcasts en route.
The company mandates that we use a rental car for long drives. It’s cheaper than paying for the mileage on our personal vehicles. This time around I rented a Chevy Malibu at Hobby Airport.
Although I owned one for a long time, I’m generally off Chevy these days. I was surprised to find that this Malibu didn’t suck. It was a decent drive and had some of the conveniences that I’ve usually found lacking in other rental cars. Most notably, it had a USB port to which I could connect my phone. This was how I listened to podcasts while driving.
To paraphrase Douglas Adams, “The internet is big. Really, really big. I mean it’s just mind-bogglingly big. ” It’s amazing that we can find anything at all. It’s especially nice when smart people help us to find things.
Over the past number of months Dave Michels has evolved his Pin Drop Soup blog into something more. It’s now just one aspect of his TalkingPointz web site. Dave has started offering his keen insight into the world of telecom in the form of reports detailing the product offerings and strategies of various large telecom vendors. Dave’s reports present the kind of info that you’d expect from a large consulting firm, but priced to be accessible to a small business.
Another part of the evolution of the site has been the development of a really smart news feed. Beyond the traditional blog roll, Dave has gone to a lot of trouble to aggregate RSS feeds from a myriad of Telecom and UC sources.
Dave’s news feed is a fine example of what you can do using Yahoo Pipes. I wish I’d thought to do it, but then I wouldn’t have known about much of the enterprise UC content that Dave brings to the table.