IT Expo West 2012 In Austin, TX

TMC’s IT Expo West 2012 in Austin TX is October 2-5th this year. I had a quite a good time at IT Expo West 2011. I’m leaning towards attending again but as yet not committed.

TMC is offering a discounted all access registration for just $99, but only until the end of June. That’s end of day tomorrow. I guess that I’ll need to decide shortly.

Defining HD Voice vs HD Audio

Earlier today Doug Mohney of HDVoiceNews issued an interesting tweet;

Briefing with Tier 1 telco on #HDvoice. Product manager started using the useless marketing term #HDaudio. Maybe should use #HDtelephony?

I find myself agreeing with Doug’s assertion that “HD Audio” is not appropriate terminology. “HD Audio” is way too broad a term, and more appropriate used with respect to entertainment than telephony.

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Wrestling With a Definition Of “The Cloud”

For much of the past year I find that I’ve been struggling with putting some definition on “The Cloud.” This thought process began way back on November 5, 2010 when I hosted a VUC call that was a panel discussion intended to consider “The Cloud” in its many facets. That call featured a number of guests, each of whom had specific experience with cloud infrastructure, applications and services. Since that time I’ve been pondering what was said, and further, the evolving public perception of “The Cloud.”

cloud-comm-summit-4-logoSo it was that while attending ITExpo earlier in the month I found myself spending much of my time there in the sessions that comprised the CloudComm Summit 4. During those sessions I had the opportunity to pose some of my questions to the assembled experts. In some cases their answers were enlightening, in other cases they seemed to be puzzled about the very nature of the questions. Even so, all of this has helped to crystallize my own personal definition of The Cloud.

One of Microsoft’s more recent marketing programs made considerable mention of “reaching for the cloud,” presumably with respect to some common end-user applications. I can’t help but feel that such public representations are less than helpful, perhaps even a little misleading.

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HDVoice: A Visual Analogy

HDV IP550 Here’s something of a challenge; find a visual way to represent the information density of HDVoice vs a narrowband PSTN call…and try to make it something the everyone can relate to. This is part of my recent attempt at such a display.

The human voice can create sound energy in the range of 80 Hz to 14 KHz. In contrast, the PSTN conveys a much more limited pass-band, typically 300 Hz – 3.4 KHz. That means that the PSTN fails to convey more than 70% of the potential energy in a voice.

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Magic Jack Plus Finally Shipping

magic-jack-plus-300 After being announced to much fanfare at CES 2011 it seems that MagicJack Vocaltec is finally shipping their new MagicJack Plus. The MagicJack Plus device still has a USB plug permitting its use with a computer. However, it also has a network jack allowing it to function as a freestanding FXS device, not unlike a traditional ATA.

This dual-mode operation offers greater flexibility in the face of competition from the like of NetTalk, whose “Duo” interface device doesn’t require the use of a computer. It also answers the wishes of people who have been hacking thin clients to provide a low-cost, low-power platform to host their Magic Jack service*.

The New York Times’ Gadgetwise makes mention of Magic Jack Plus in a piece that is largely focused on Skype’s new home phone line interface device. Over at the Unofficial Magic Jack Support forum users have reported the MJ+ devices started to arrive mid-August. 

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IT Expo West & CloudComm Summit 4

ITEXPO-Logo Let me be blunt, at present I’m just on the periphery of the telecom space. I’m still a user, specifically a home office user. Not being directly involved in the telecom industry I don’t get the opportunity to take part if many of the major industry events. However, when TMC decided to hold IT Expo West 2011 in Austin, TX it proved just too good an opportunity to pass up.

Austin is essentially right in my back yard. “Just over yonder” in local terms. OK, it’s really a two-and-a-half hour drive, but that’s still close compared to its usual location in Los Angeles. When TMC offered a deeply discounted uber-early-bird registration back in February I took the plunge and bought a show pass.

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