Friday, December 31, 2004

Thoughts at the end of a year...

What could we say?

I always hope that the next is better than the one which is gone.

Just to realize that it was better when it was worse.

One thing is always the same: the future approaches us at 60 minutes an hour.

And if there is someone who reads this: Happy New Year!

Patrizia from a World on IP

They have a hell of a nerve...

"It should be pointed out that the first responsibility of the US government is to US citizens and we have people living below the poverty level, people without health care, and are drying up the Pell Grant program for college students.
The whole thing is a disgrace -- our economy -- and the fact that these other countries mock our genorsity; they have a hell of a nerve -- and that guy backed down."

You are damned right...but it is a surprise to a country where the President is guided directly from our Boss up there...
One would expect a little bit more of generosity, from a country that already spends billions to bring Democracy to the World...

But may be this is the real lesson from the Bible.
God himself had to invent BAD, otherwise, how could HE look so good?
If the World was a happy island inhabited just by good people, how could we appreciate it? How could we feel so well when we do the slight good to somebody?

This is the answer, HE didn't Forbid the Serpent to Adam and Eve, otherwise instead of the Apple they would have eaten the Devil, and the whole story of this world would have been different.
They would have disobeyed the same, of course, but then, Hell would have had to disappear, we wouldn't have needed to be good, because we just couldn't have been something else...

It is getting too complicated.
Being selfish is human... admitting it, is something more...


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Mobile office

Regardless of whether they are at home or at a
branch location, employees have access to all
telecommunications functions using any terminal
device in their mobile office. Contact
remains possible via a single telephone number.
This not only increases employee flexibility,
but it reduces telecommunications costs
by optimizing communication paths. These
functionalities are available as components
and as integrated systems.

When you can be reached
any time, anywhere, by any
means, will you be more

“Unified” Presence/Availability/Modality
The public Internet enabled the idea of “always
on” access to information and messaging contacts.
Rather than sending asynchronous email, being
aware of a recipient’s existing (Internet) connection
enabled a user to start a “chat” or immediate
text message exchange.
This capability is expanding to real-time voice
message exchanges (e.g., wireless push-to-talk)
and, with IP Telephony, will change the way we
use telephones to both initiate and receive real time
Today’s “buddy list” concept of instant messaging
is a way for users to selectively control
immediate access to themselves by specified people
or vice versa—or, in the future, even by specified
application processes. It works hand-in-hand
with “presence” awareness (network connectedness)
to let the initiator know whether to start an
instant message exchange, or simply leave a message.
The buddy list is an extension of the directory
function, which can provide personalization
information for automatically managing all personal
From a contact initiator’s perspective, the
availability and status information can become the
logical first step in selecting the most practical
mode of location-independent communication at
the moment, rather than guessing and wasting
time with different contact attempts.

“Buddy lists”
will work
with presence

How will we deal
with the
explosion of

The vision of “unified messaging” and “unified
communications” has had to wait for the practicalities
of a converged voice/data network infrastructure
to make implementation possible. The
market movement towards IP telephony and
instant messaging is now helping make this vision
a reality. In the meantime, wireless handheld
mobility has also become a “must-have” capability
for more and more enterprise end users, and
this, too, has reinforced the need for converged
Mobile users will need the ease and flexibility
of changing modalities to match their situation
and those they are communicating with. The necessary
intelligence to minimize the confusion in
making contact with others will be found in a
cross-network, multimodal capability that dynamically
coordinates the needs and priorities of both
What end users really want from converged
communications will be flexible, easy-to-use,
mobile and remote communication services that
will save them time and effort in communicating
with others, and, sometimes more importantly,
will save others’ time in contacting them. Of
course, the technology should be relatively costefficient,
but, unless it does what they really need,
end users won’t bother with it even if it is free!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The "Peer to Peer through Peer Network"

Since the first man was born or appeared on this earth his life was dedicated to the answer to two big questions: Who he was and why he was.
And communication has been the natural evolution of this need.
Communicating was sharing and exchanging opinions.

The first step was toward finding a way of an open standard of sounds that gave life to a language, an "Idiom".
The second one was converting the spoken language in icons, expressing a word or a feeling.

The birth of computers meant a simplification of all the complicated ways to simulate the work of the human brain in communication.
Digitalization was nothing different from the big step taken thousands of years ago by the ones who simplified the iconographic way of writing and inventing the alphabet.
Instead of the sound of a full word or phrase, they invented 22 simple letters that expressed the main sounds of our expressions and with those 22 sounds they built all the possible words, and the words built phrases and phrases made pages and pages made books and so on.

With the birth of computers data became numbers and the following step was simplifying their transmission.
The Internet was possible and useful because the computer had been invented, as hand writing was enormously wide spread thanks to the invention of the alphabet.
Also the printing machines and the Mass Market printing machine, the type writer, were possible because of the invention of the alphabet.

The world is changing at a fast rate because wide spread communication is possible thanks to the Internet.
Whether the communication is data, voice, music, video, it is digitized and encapsulated into packets. Every packet has a destination address and a tag for class of service.
Every packet is sent and reaches a destination through the Internet thanks to the invention of the computer.

In this new, progressive, digital world there is no place for old antiquated "iconographic" way of communication.
The Telecoms still exist thanks to the Monopoly and the stupidity of our politicians (and the ignorance of many).

How long will progress have to wait?

Patrizia from a World on IP

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Why Wi-Fi will win.

Once people made a Market. Needs made the Future.
Now no more.
In this society of the "Must Have" what makes the Market's rules is not anymore what people want, but what they are "invited" to want.

And what they want is generally what they do not have, something new, which generally will be in the place of the "old".
So that the garbage can is never empty and there is always something new to produce, because there is always something new to consume.

At the end of every year and the beginning of the next, there is a game in forecasting the future possibilities of the Market.
And we come very often to the most extravagant predictions, like "we will be able in the near future to look at TV on our portable phone".

Now, syllogism is a complicated sequence of logical conclusions, whose characteristic is that you start from a perfectly reasonable statement and, through surreptitious assumptions you gradually change the reasonable nature of your first figure until you reach a complete distortion which can be utterly unreasonable.

For example "TV is a highly requested and used medium", the portable phone is a "widespread and ubiquitous tool to communicate" so, putting together two successful mass market products, you would be sure to have a greater one.

Syllogism is one thing and reality can be totally different.
In an age where the tastes of the people are daily more sophisticated, where an analog TV is an obsolete tool, is quite unrealistic to think that somebody would enjoy a TV program on such a small screen as the phone's.

But one thing is sure and shouldn't be under valuated by investors: the Market badly needs something new to promote, to sell, to "invite" the people to consume.
And the future is there, clear and inviting.

There are several requirements to fulfill to give life to a new product:

It must be something alluring.
It must cover the expectations of the mass.
It must be at an affordable price.
It must be easy to find.
It must be easily reachable.
It must fit with our life.
It must be well commercialized.

Entertainment has been since long a safe investment, and TV, Cable, Satellite have been since long the way to deliver what goes under the name of "home entertainment".

The Internet is the new medium facing the future and alluring investors.

It needs three main conditions to fulfill its promises:

1) Content. But that is already available.

2) A good and high compression for the big files.(mostly video)

3) A cheap broadband mean to deliver content.

And at point 3 is where Wi-Fi comes into the picture.

Because point 1 and 2 are already available and the Market is eager to change channels.

Content needs badly a broadband delivery and Wi-Fi needs badly content to deliver.

Take for example a rural location with an average of 10.000 people.
If you deliver fast broadband Internet with a Wireless system you will have
an investment of X, N users/customers and a ROI of Y.
But if you deliver high quality content, for example, good quality and low price VoIP (best if wireless) movies on demand, music programs, you will have the same investment X in infrastructures, but N² users/customers and Y³ ROI.

A market product can only be understood backward, but must be planed forward.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Monopoly, Monopoly, Monopoly, all around the World

There is an almost universal feeling that U.S. telecommunications laws and regulations are way out of step with current telecom reality.
The basic law was passed in 1934 and updated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which is eons (or longer) ago when it comes to telecom technology.
No one I know is looking forward to the prospect of Congress, outnumbered as it is by lobbyists, trying to "fix" the current mess.
If anyone did have any hope that such a process might result in a positive outcome, recent events in Pennsylvania will have extinguished them.

After more than a year and a half of trying, the Pennsylvania legislature recently passed House Bill 30, which updates the existing state telecom regulations.
This bill got a lot of press in mid-November because of a provision added late in the game that prohibits municipalities from offering "any telecommunications services, including advanced and broadband services" for a fee without basically getting the permission of the local monopoly telephone company (see Verizon deal lets Philadelphia move with wireless plan),

It's probably not a coincidence that this provision showed up around the time that Philadelphia announced a plan to offer inexpensive, citywide, Wi-Fi-based Internet service. This provision was clearly added to protect local monopoly telephone companies such as Verizon from municipal-based competition.
Under the provision, Verizon could block any future deployment of municipal-run networks by saying that it was going to offer similar speed Internet services in the same area.
That would be the case even if Verizon's services were not going to be available for years or were going to cost a hundred times what the municipal-run network was going to charge.
This provision almost perfectly symbolizes the entire bill.
The bill starts out with a bunch of good sounding platitudes describing how it aims to ensure that Pennsylvania will get the best telecom services that Verizon decides it wants to deliver.
Oops, that's a bit sarcastic, but that's how I felt when I read this bill. Telecom bills like this are ostensibly for the good of the public but in actuality mostly benefit two monopolies: the regional telephone company and the utility regulators. There is very little in this bill that will benefit the ordinary citizens of Pennsylvania.
They will get higher prices and little innovation.
The bill includes some bribes to get specific groups to support it.
For example, it establishes an educational technology fund (the e-fund) to support things that educators like. The level and passion of support from some people in the educational community for the bill shows that this type of payoff works. Of course the money has to come from somewhere and it will come from higher phone costs for the residents of Pennsylvania.
In other words, the e-fund and other similar goodies in the bill are supported by yet another tax on telephone users.
What is missing is any hint that the best way to get innovation and lower prices would be to encourage competition for basic phone service. But that would threaten both of the bill's main beneficiaries.
This bill is the result of a perfect storm of telecom regulators and big telecom lobbyists. But this storm is a local squall in comparison with the Category 4 hurricane that will spring up when Congress starts to revamp federal telecom law. It will be very ugly, and you can be sure the beneficiaries will not be you and me.

By Scott Bradner
Network World, 12/06/04

Not far from Italian Telecom.
Italy signed the Geneva Telecom Act and we would be supposed to be free to use the 2.4 GHz frequency.

But the only allowed frequency is 26 GHz. that doesn't have any use or application.
That is for sure.
Could we really think to be able to infringe the Telecom Monopoly?

But that is not even the fault of the Telecom.
The fault is in those who agree that it is a shame, but do nothing to change it.

We have the world that the majority of us deserves to have...

Patrizia form a World on IP

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Are Smart Networks dumb or are Stupid Networks smart?

I would say none of the two.
Usually things aren't smart or dumb, but the people who make them can be.

We are facing a new revolution which will change the society in which we live.
Like in the French Revolution, nothing of what surrounds us will really change, but people's mentality and behavior will.

In 1790 the potatoes grew in the same way they used to in 1788, so the garlic, the onions and the tomatoes.
But the people who planted and ate them were living in a different way.

The Internet and the whole business of Communications will be the same, may be even worse in certain aspects, but the people who will run them will be different people.

You cannot concentrate the profits in the hands of a few and still expect that the mass has enough to pay for the services.
If the money is not shared, the one who produces will have to eat the whole production.
That is the simple mathematic law of economics and we are beginning to see how it works.
People do not have enough money to pay for what they are pushed to consume.
They borrow it.
So the producers earn on what they sell and on the money they lend to the people who consume.
Mathematic is made (and till now worked that way) that if you sell 2 and the one who buys 2 pays with 2 you make a profit of 1.
But if the one who pays 2 doesn't have any profit and borrows the 2, sooner or later will have to produce 2,50 to pay back the borrowed 2 plus interest.
But what happens if he cannot produce and earn anymore?

The one who sold 2 and lent 2 and is supposed to get back 2,50 won't get back anything.
As simple as that.

And this is the most logic explanation of what is going to happen in a very near future, unless a revolution takes place.
Profit must be shared, jobs must be available, investments must be done.
As simple as that.

No more big Monopolies, but thousands of small entrepreneurs.
No more restricted number of aristocratic investors, but thousand of middle class workers.
The working class of today is not motivated anymore.
Working for the salary is like studying for getting good marks.
It is not gratifying enough.
Human beings are made to work to create something, they must have a goal in life.
That is the lacking push in our society, in our economies.

Patrizia from a World on IP

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Zero Billion dollars business

I probably should say the Zero Billion Euros business, but since the amount is Zero, I do not think it makes that big difference.
I am talking about VoIP of course.
Why such a promising business doesn't make money, or makes much less than preview?
The only ones who make a little are the "Terminators".
But not even them anymore, since the fight has come to a point in which for every available customer you have at least two companies offering the "best rates".

What are the reasons?
1) First, let's have a look around to see who could be the possible customer.
Do not mix up telephony with VoIP.
Both deal with communication, but they are fundamentally different.
Telephony is a well established, mostly Monopoly's owned and state (politically) controlled business.
The infrastructure were already paid long ago by the customers, but still in the hands of the Monopoly, which plays at its own pleasure with them.

They can upgrade or lower the rates to what they find convenient and easily fight against the competition.
Is VoIP a threat to them?
I do not think so. The moment it will really be, then they will begin to be worried about.

I looked around me and asked myself: Who among my friends and relatives and acquaintances could be a possible customer of VoIP?
It was easy to count them, because they were so few.
In principle the normal people are not interested in long distance calls. No matter what number they report of Skype customers.
It is more like a fashion or a status symbol.
Very few young people do a lot of international calls and the national calls are much cheaper and better quality with a normal phone.
Why should they bother to use VoIP?

2) There are companies, and may be a lot of them, who could be relevant customers of VoIP, but they are still sleeping and many already tried the "best rates" and decided that it is undoubtedly great to speak for so cheap rates, but understanding each other, especially when you come to business, is more important.

To that you should also add the laziness and lack of interest or ignorance of most of the business (especially European) men and you have the complete scenario.

This is why till now VoIP is the Zero billion Euros business.

Patrizia from a World on IP