Archive for the ‘video’ Category

“When will they ever learn?”

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

I’ve had the privilege of playing music with a few famous musicians, mostly before they achieved their full public prominence, e.g., playing bass with Jimmie Vaughan a couple of times in small clubs in Austin. Perhaps the most notable of these opportunities was impromptu playing harmonica with Pete Seeger, sitting in the grass at a Clearwater Festival in 1976, a time of his full prominence. Seeger’s most famous composition, Where Have All The Flowers Gone?, ends each chorus with the refrain “When will they ever learn?”

Though the song is about more substantive issues than interoperability of video calling solutions, that refrain comes to mind when thinking about all of the isolated islands of video calling solutions that seem to be proliferating instead of reconciling.


a good month with Evo

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Clear coverage at my home It’s been almost 5 weeks now. It’s been a good experience, even better than I anticipated. Having a real computer that fits in my pocket is what I wanted, and the Evo meets that desire well. My wife thinks I enjoy the Evo more than any acquisition in recent memory. Clear coverage in my part of town

The most-publicized caution, battery life, has been a non-issue for me.

The most-publicized feature, 4G via WiMAX, has also been a non-issue, because the coverage isn’t quite what I hoped.

Other than that, my concerns and anticipations of problems had been needless, and the surprises have been good. I’ve come to think of the Evo as the best (for me) pocket computer I can imagine in today’s marketplace, and a good mobile phone, as well.


Avistar props

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

After years of skepticism about Avistar’s patent licensing and litigation pursuits, I feel obligated to express admiration for Avistar’s transitioning away from those pursuits, as announced last week: Avistar Communications Monetizes Its Patent Portfolio and Closes Transaction with Intellectual Ventures Management, LLC.


elephants dancing (Cisco, Tandberg, Skype, Asterisk, LifeSize, …)

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Recent months have brought much promise about elephants dancing well with others, i.e., video calling interoperability with Cisco Telepresence and with Skype. So far, no signs that Cisco and Skype will dance with each other, but even that is conceivable now.

Along with the promise have been ambiguity, questions and controversy. This is a brief recap while still waiting for some of the partners to make their moves.

For example, when Cisco announced plans to purchase Tandberg, the largest of the companies committed to ITU-T and SIP interoperability, would Cisco become part of the interoperable crowd, or would Tandberg become less interoperable? It seemed inevitable that interoperability would prevail, but until it happened, who could be sure? Then the real controversy emerged: enough Tandberg shareholders want a higher bid from Cisco that the deal may not happen. A November 9 deadline has been extended to November 18.

The long anticipated sale of Skype by eBay was announced in September in the midst of controversy over intellectual property, and prior announcements of Asterisk interoperability and SIP interoperability. Naysayers widely predicted the demise of Skype. Others, notably LifeSize, joined the dance. With Friday’s announcements resolving the ominous litigation, Skype’s forward momentum seems impressive. Skype hiring of SIP pioneer Jonathan Rosenberg bodes very well for future Skype interoperability.

Assuming Skype overcomes current lack of multi-point video calling, Skype should be able to win a few dance contests.

AVSR vs. MSFT: unpublicized activity

Monday, August 10th, 2009

14 months ago I said “6,212,547 is likely more important than any of the other numbers above.”  It looks to me from that June 5 of this year the U.S. PTO declared that patent invalid, i.e., mailed a final rejection to Avistar. However, this event seems to have gone unpublicized, and it looks like Avistar filed an appeal last week, so the story is not yet over. Avistar has reported other news, e.g., the appointing of a new CEO last month, but has been uncharacteristically silent on the Microsoft re-examination requests.