Verizon Embraces Google’s Android

It is premature to remove Verizon from the list of anti-tech companies, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

In yet another sudden shift, Verizon Wireless plans to support Google’s (GOOG) new software platform for cell phones and other mobile devices. Verizon Wireless had been one of several large cellular carriers withholding support from the Android initiative Google launched in early November.But given the stunning U-turn Verizon Wireless made Nov. 27, announcing plans to allow a broader range of devices and services on its network, Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam says it now makes sense to get behind Android. “We’re planning on using Android,” McAdam tells BusinessWeek. “Android is an enabler of what we do.”

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The Most Anti-Tech Organizations in America

Excellent article @ PCWorld written by Mark Sullivan on the 5 most anti-tech organizations in America. History is replete with examples of products, companies, and industries that fail to adapt and adopt to new technology. These 5 will be next.

From PCWorld by Mark Sullivan

Their names keep coming up over and over again in courtrooms and corridors of power across the country–those groups whose interests always seem to run counter to those of technology companies and consumers. They come in many forms: associations, think tanks, money-raising organizations, PACs, and even other tech-oriented industries like telecommunications.

The tech issues that they’re concerned with are what you might expect: digital rights management and fair use, patent law, broadband speed and reach, wireless spectrum and network neutrality. I talked to a good number of tech and media policy insiders in Washington, D.C.–mostly off the record–to find out who these groups are, how they operate, and who pays their bills. We’ll start with the biggest offenders first and work our way down.

1. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

Issue: Copyright and Fair Use

The Internet economy should be a boon for digital media companies and for those of us that like to buy our music and video online. It’s also a very powerful way to connect with people of like mind with a view toward learning about new things to watch and listen to. Unfortunately, the content owners in the record and movie industries have mainly seen the Web as a platform for piracy, and have mainly failed to adapt their businesses to the realities of online, as one lonely industry executive recently admitted. (more…)

IMAP for Gmail!


To get started, you must first enable IMAP in your Gmail settings.

To enable IMAP in your Gmail account:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
  3. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
  4. Select Enable IMAP.
  5. Configure your IMAP client* and click Save Changes.

iPhone setup instructions:

Step by step instructions

Update: Some additional setup instructions to properly setup folder with Gmail labels and also setting up Junk, Sent and Draft can be found at

Update 2: Here are some recommended settings for Gmail IMAP

As a general rule, we suggest the following.


  • Do NOT save sent messages on the server. If your client is sending mail through Gmail’s SMTP server, your sent messages will be automatically copied to the [Gmail]/Sent Mail folder.
  • DO save draft messages on the server. If you want your drafts in your mail client to sync correctly with your Gmail account’s web interface, set your client to save drafts to the [Gmail]/Drafts folder.


  • Do NOT save deleted messages on the server. Messages that are deleted from an IMAP folder (except for those in [Gmail]/Spam or [Gmail]/Trash) only have that label removed and still exist in All Mail. Hence, your client doesn’t need to store an extra copy of a deleted message.
  • Do NOT save deleted messages to your [Gmail]/Trash folder because this will delete a message in all folders.
  • Do NOT save deleted messages to your [Gmail]/All Mail folder as some clients will try to empty this folder and ultimately fail. This can lead to delayed mail access or unnecessary battery consumption on a mobile device.

Junk mail and spam:

  • Do NOT enable your client’s junk mail filters. Gmail’s spam filters also work in your IMAP client, and we recommend turning off any additional anti-spam or junk mail filters within your client. Your client’s filter will attempt to download and classify all of your existing messages, which may slow down your client until the process is complete.

For your specific mail client:

Sizing up the IPTV Experience

Sean Buckley of Telecommunications magazine writes that one quote from the IPTV World Forum in London really stood out for him. That quote, from Accenture’s Arjang Zadeh, stated “quality, not content, is king.” Well, yes and no. It is not that simple, let me explain.

Why would such a quote stand out in Mr. Buckley’s mind? Well, as he goes on to explain, it hits home for him because of problems he encounters with his current provider, Comcast. Fortunately, one of the problems Mr. Buckley describes with Comcast, the transient but eerily predictable, “timeout” error when trying to access the On Demand service, can most likely be explained as an artifact of delivering a two-way service over a network originally designed to support one-way video. Press, On Demand again, and everything works fine. Strange.

IPTV is not immune from “strange” quirks either. In fact ANY digital service is subject to these “quirks”. You see with an analog TV signal (really any analog signal, but we are talking IPTV here) there is a graceful degradation of quality–without entirely interrupting the video program. Remember snow? Depending on the strength of the analog signal you have a really great picture or you have a less than great picture but you have one. In a digital system, digital cable, satellite or IPTV, the degradation is less graceful. Depending on what bits are lost, the picture may still look great, there may be “macroblocking” or the picture may drop entirely. Any of these digital artifacts may occur to cable, satellite or IPTV. Our experience in the field showed us that subscribers that came directly to IPTV from an analog service (Off Air, analog cable) were more sensitive by the digital artifacts. Those that had previous “digital experience” were less sensitive to the artifacts. Makes sense, now.

Without describing in full detail all the of mechanisms available in an IPTV system to ensure Quality of Experience (QoE), suffice it to say, there are several just at the network level which ensure the reliable delivery of packets to the IPTV STB. Of course, IPTV benefits from its inherit support of two-way traffic (unlike the CATV network to which two-way capability has been added).

Furthermore, QoE depends not only on the effectiveness of the network (core, transport, access), but the experience provided by the software platform. Just ask any subscriber of early stage IPTV deployments. Our early customers and their subscribers suffered through painful stages of learning–ours and the service providers–as the industry learned to deliver video over the telecom network reliably. These are the pains I have recently written about for the AT&T Uverse deployment.

However, content is an integral part of QoE and cannot be excluded from analysis. What we (my employer, Siemens Communications) have learned from our leading IPTV customer Belgacom, is that content remains king. This is where I believe I part ways with Messrs Buckley and Zadeh. What Belgacom learned is if licensing premium content was king, licensing exclusive content is like being galactic emperor. Through their licensing of Belgian Premiere soccer, they attracted and more importantly retain subscribers. As you might expect from any relatively new technology, there have been QoE issues at Belgacom. However, understanding that great content is part of the overall QoE has been critical to the rapid success of BelgacomTV. A lesson for all IPTV service providers.

I will have more on Mr. Zadeh’s presentation in a future post.

Gates says TV is doomed, Internet where it’s at

Speaking to business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bill Gates looked deep into his crystal ball and prognosticated that in 5 years, TV will be a lame duck and watching video on the internet will be all the rage. Way to go out on a limb Bill.

“Certain things like elections or the Olympics really point out how TV is terrible. You have to wait for the guy to talk about the thing you care about or you miss the event and want to go back and see it,” he said. Tivo has been doing this for years, and most cable and satellite providers offer PVR options.  Maybe Bill just doesn’t watch a lot of TV.

From Grant Robertson @ Download Squad, “What wider adoption of internet distributed video will bring and what the heads of major networks and news organizations should be up nights worrying about is democratization of content creation. More and more we’re finding great entertainment in low-buck, short format indie video and, in five years, the upper echelon of 15-24 year olds who are currently rocking the funny on sites like YouTube will be a force to reckon with, possibly even taking notches out of networks like Fox and NBC.

What’s stopping this all from happening immediately? Two things, monetization of content and a simple and ubiquitous TV/internet convergence device. For certain, any company who manages to solve either of those problems and catch the wave of public acceptance is headed for a big payday.”

Tech Trends for 2007

Tom Giles from BusinessWeek explores the top tech trends for 2007. The article briefly discusses IPTV and the need to “keep it simple”. This is certainly easier said than done. With IPTV service providers anxious to differentiate their offerings from cable or satellite, the last thing they want is to keep it simple. In fact, our customer push us to deliver more and more functionality on more and more devices (STBs). Until a service provider has breakout success, and can define a winning service offering, the pressure to push the boundaries of hardware and software in IPTV will not subside.

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