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Why Vonage and Skype might work well together

vonage001.jpg Maybe it’s just me. But ever since Vonage’s stock price plummeted from the get-go of their IPO, I’ve been thinking about why and how they could bring it back.
It’s not that it’s a bad business. It’s great. They’re cheap, and they’re taking on businesses that I really couldn’t care less to support because frankly, I hate being ripped off as a consumer. And Vonage provided me with a service that I didn’t feel like I was being ripped off in.
But with their stock price teetering around two dollars, you have to wonder what shareholders are thinking and how they could change it up. And I know that it’s difficult with the two lawsuits that cleaned Vonage’s clocks, but features is where their market is at. And that’s how they should approach their entire business.
You see, depending on the type of business you’re in, there are some methods and strategies that just work better than others because of the niche. For a service type business like Vonage, they have to provide a feature rich environment at low cost, that would not raise their overhead. That is where software innovation is so incredibly useful.
And it’s where Skype could come in. Why? Skype has two things Vonage doesn’t have. One, they have hardware manufacturers jumping at their software product. That’s pretty useful in the long run for this one thought I’ve been toying with but bear with me a bit before I get into that. Skype also has an incredible user base and their video and soft lines could be not only a great gimmick, but they could help each other out on the rates for international calling (ever compare Vonage out with SkypeOut?). But I tell you where Vonage could really strike fear.
Text messaging.
Sound stupid? Ahh, but is it? The immediately younger generation is caught up in text messaging. Amazingly so that you can’t even begin to wonder how fast people can type on a numbered keypad until you’ve seen it done. I’m not so shabby myself, in fact. In any case, it’s become the instant messenger that keeps you on the move. Via mobility. But the one terrible thing about text messaging is that your mobile has a finite source of power before needing recharge. So why couldn’t you transfer your text messaging to your home phone? Why can’t you text message from you home phone in the first place? There’s nothing stopping anyone from doing it except the limitations of hardware, and Skype already has the manufacturers developing all sorts of things for them. Skype even already has SMS implemented for their product.
And for Vonage, they get to combat their competitors with something that would be just out of this world. Used by the younger generations, and even jump starting the older gens.
If you ask me, this is one single useful feature that really could put a dent in the armor of the giants. Irregardless, Vonage really needs to built out their feature repertoire. If they can allow users the option to many tools such as landline to mobile type integration, then this could be the beginnings of a brand new Vonage.


correo.jpg If you’re looking for an open source email client for MacOSX, Correo could be what you’re looking for.
It supports IMAP/POP, and MacOSX Address Book integration and your usual mail client abilities. What I love about this is that they have IMAP Enhanced support in. This means that you can actually use subfolders in your mail account without having to download all the mail messages. Makes it handy for synchronizing mail with multiple devices. Correo is also planning on implementing portable device synchronization such as PDA mail and some other very useful features. Currently the version dictates that this project is very young, but it basically blends both of Mozilla’s projects in Thunderbird and Camino together.
If anything, this should remind you why Outlook takes the cake for much of the email client market, and why others upon other operating systems are starting to come up with certain features that are corresponding to the mature Windows email client.

FedEx doesn’t care about shipping instructions

I’m actually not really surprised.
At reading this complaint from Consumerist about how FedEx doesn’t follow instructions. I had a similar issue with them with the local regional office which took me over two weeks to get a package that just would not get delivered because they claimed no one would sign for it (my complex signs for everything for tenants). Two weeks for what was supposed to be two day shipping.
Interestingly enough, the only issues I’ve ever had ever has been with FedEx. Even where it was specifically noted to not have the package left unless someone was there to sign for it (paid for in that manner), the FedEx guy would drop it off and say that someone released it.
Sorry, but I refuse to work with anyone that also only uses FedEx as the only shipper. Their customer service, at least in the local regional office sucks and they couldn’t care less. While I know that all shippers have their horror stories at the loading docks, UPS has never failed to protect my packages and follow instructions. I even asked the UPS guy that works my complex to leave my packages instead of having people sign for it, and he said that it’s against their policy to do so since it increases theft. Good for you, UPS.

giis-gET iT i sAY

As most people know, outside of regular system files that are recovered on a crash, journaling file systems don’t really help you out on actual file deletion recovery in linux. Not usually anyways. giis changes this with ext2 and ext3, by making files in /root and /home available for recovery and the ability to dump by location, or file type.
Useful? Definitely. It’s one of the few things that linux has never had. Of course, this also teaches users not to be careful. But in any case, it’s definitely useful for your average user looking to switch to linux. Another fail-safe.

Kina Grannis melting my heart with her music

Well, maybe not exactly that, but I can tell you that this girl has one amazing voice. This beautiful twenty-two year old out of Southern Cali is not only beautiful, but has a voice to match. The original songs are actually surprisingly good on her albums, but I must say that the first “singing” I ever heard of hers came from a cover of I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for a Cutie. And along with the sweet three piece harmony with her sisters, you really couldn’t ask for anything more. Most of her tracks are the same as far as just her guitar, her singing, and a little bit of background harmony.
You can find her original works on her site, or on Kina Grannis.

iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes Apple iTunes

Movable Type plugin: Comment Subscribe

Comment Subscribe is a MT4 plugin that allows you to … well, subscribe to comments. This basically sets it up so that if you’re trying to track a conversation but you don’t have time to keep hitting refresh on a certain post, then you’re notified by email when someone posts.
Pretty useful unless you happen to give the wrong email. Then I could probably see some issues happening. In any case, definitely worth while. I’ve seen this implemented in a number of custom blogs, but nothing quite like it for Movable Type.

Why are nonprofit meetings at the most inconvenient times?

I have one really big annoyance when it comes to nonprofits and community work.
All meetings seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. They expect community leaders to come together usually for times more than an hour, not including commute time, and usually schedule the meetings around mid-morning, or mid-afternoon.
And that really annoys the hell out of me.
Why? Because I like to stay involved. No, I don’t like to go to meetings that don’t accomplish anything. In fact, if you have me go to one, and it doesn’t accomplish anything, I refuse to go to another. There’s precious time in the day for this guy, and I got a lot better things to do. But in reality, my job, and I’d imagine that most jobs don’t let you just prance out whenever to “take a meeting”.
Who the heck has time to take off between nine and eleven? That’s the entire morning. So basically, community efforts force me to take vacation for half the day. And that just sucks. Believe you me, if it goes nowhere, they’ll regret losing this outside-the-box thinker.

SCO delisted from Nasdaq

And are we even surprised?
I mean seriously. This has taken a… very long time, but anyone that has been a long-time linux follower has had no doubts. The determination letter took into effect December 27th, and many linux supporters are probably rejoicing that another chapter in the book closes.
I personally would be curious as to how Microsoft is taking this internally. Remember that there was some contraversy some time ago about how some of the money traced to the SCO group actually came from the Redmond giant.
Linux is definitely here to stay.

Movie Review: Zodiac

I was really looking forward to this movie when it came out in the theaters but I just didn’t have time for it. I mean, really… who has time to go watch a movie at the theaters these days with the home theaters ramping up to be one of the best ever?
In any case, Zodiac [affiliate] definitely didn’t disappoint. At all. True to being a crime thriller, it was just incredibly … “grab your seat, and hook me up for a ride” type storyline. Based on the nonfiction books on the Zodiac murders by Robert Graysmith in the San Franscisco area in the late 1960s, this has got to be one of those intriguing and one of the most famous unsolved crimes.
Perhaps a spoiler below.
Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal) was a cartoonist that eventually got caught up in the trying to solve the Zodiac killings forgoing his family, friends, and everything else. This obsession lead him to one particular person but he could never prove it since there was other evidence that exonerated that particular man. What’s interesting is that this man died in 1992 without having charged pressed against him, so no one will ever know if he was the one behind it or if it was someone else.
I have to say though, in reading some of the professional critics reviews, i realized why I never read those anymore. If it isn’t artsy or what not, there’s always someone that like to critique the movie like they’re supposedly the biggest best moviegoer ever. Some thought the movie was too long, and others thought that the movie’s main characters wasn’t “good enough” and others thought it was one of the best movies since Se7en.
Regardless, I thought that this was one of the better movies I’ve seen in a while. Definitely a worthy murder mystery that not only is based on reality, but something that we will probably never know the truth.