Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hulu Going Subscription .... What's The Alternative?

It appears that Hulu will no longer be free. They're moving toward a paid subscription model.

In an interview of CEO Jonathan Nelson on Charlie Rose he said they were soon going payware because fee based services, as well as ad supported, was the model that works best. Charlie Rose had to drag it out of him, but he finally admitted to this plan.

They're making a slow drive towards a pay model because they could potentially make more through an Itune's like model of pay-per-episode.

Right now there's no alternative, except to go directly to the broadcaster - as most put up the shows on their site. Most major channels have some sort of capacity to watch recent episodes after the broadcast premier. Some require you to have a certain ISP/telecom while others require you to live in a certain country. If you're in America, you should be ok - but outside of North America is where it'll get tricky if not impossible to watch shows legally.

"Hulu, which ranks second only to Google's YouTube in terms ...... generated more than $100 million in revenue from advertising."

Greedy morons. It's the fact that it's free that so many use it. They need to look at the real world. Online games that where once month sub are now also going free to play using other means to make there money. The wells are drying up. If they want bigger profit margins, pay the ceo's more realist salaries.

Besides, all these big corps need to get their heads out of their rear ends and realize, without the customers, there would be no companies for the money bags to invest in. Stop worrying about investors and worry about the customers. Make them happy and you'll have something attract the investors.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Bundled High Speed Internet, Phone Service, And Cable TV From Comcast, Charter, Time Warner

Probably the most cost effective way to have residential high speed internet, phone service, and cable TV ..... is to get them bundled together from one provider.

Not all providers of any of the 3 offer the other two though.

But .... Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Communications do offer all three. At a very nice cost savings too.

You should see for your self:

* Comcast

* Time Warner Cable

* Charter Communications

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Outsourcing Telecom Networks And Managed Services

Outsourcing of Telecom Networks and managed services APPEARS to be a strong trend in the Telecom world.

However, is this really providing valuable benefits to the organization …… or just a perception of benefit?

The main perceived benefits seem to be:

- Increased efficiency

- Access to a broader and deeper knowledge pool

- Clearer visibility of, and more control over, capital and operating expense

- Allows the operator to focus its efforts on serving the customer better rather than the management its technology infrastructure.

Cost is definitely one reason for outsourcing and potentially an increase in quality as someone else has suggested in this discussion. The buyer however needs to take into consideration the total cost of the project and have a contingency element to cover any cost of quality issues that may arise. I have had personal experience of where an new supplier came on board to maintain a network who needed a lot of hand holding by both my employer's company and also another incumbent supplier to bring the new supplier's level of quality up to scratch. On paper the new supplier's offering had been very good.

Another key reason for outsourcing can be the opporunity to reduce the numbers of staff that the network operator has. By outsourcing the network operation the operator can TUPE across staff into the new supplier's business. This potentially reduces the operators exposure to redundancy costs and also enables it to have a more flexible service provision.

KPIs and SLAs can certainly be introduced but they do not ensure quality levels. When putting KPIs together, irrespective of commodity, it would be suggested that there is a risk and reward element rather than using them as a stick to beat the supplier with. If you try to shift all the risk on to the supplier by introducing high penalties then you could well find that the KPIs and SLAs have a negative impact rather than the positive one you were hoping for.

Outsourcing is often seen as the panacea to a company's problems however if you are not prepared to put in the time and effort to manage and build the relationship with the supplier then the company could end up with more problems than ever before.
There are potentially bad outcomes too … often overlooked or ignored in the planning and honeymoon stages. Remember to keep in mind that:

-It takes time for an outsourcing company to learn the inner workings/processes of an operator, so there will be an inevitable teething period in the meantime.

-Depending on the business model of the outsourcing firm, IBMs model was to bring in employees from the Indian operations. And although hardworking/diligent/professional workers there were undeniable language, communication and cultural barriers which most certainly hindered efficiency. Both these cons counteract the perceptions that the outsourced model is more efficient.

- I found that there was a lack of ownership/accountability within an outsourcing company. I hazard to say that this is due to the displacement between the management of the operator and who the technical support staff are reporting to, and there being another layer of management to communicate between.

- Definitely a valid point too often given little attention is this ….. as an employee that is outsourced you don’t have the same feeling of belonging within the organization or job satisfaction, which in turn effects an employee’s motivation and therefore productivity.

The outsourced model has certainly taken hold for network operators, even more so since traditional telecoms services such as Voice/SMS are becoming less and less profitable. But the perceived merits of the outsourced model are yet to be proven in my opinion.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Will Android Kill The iPhone?

It seems to me that Google is well on it’s way to doing to the iPhone what Microsoft did to Apple/Mac. I see a lot of similarities. Many analysts also predict Android based phones will dominate the handset market in the years ahead.

In the battle of iPhone vs Android, it is hard to tell, but since Apple will never license its software (at least for as long as Jobs is alive) I am pretty sure they will both have a share.

The PC market explosion was driven by the cost benefits of standardizing hardware, which took PCs from specialized workstations to household items. But the mobile hardware market is already more or less standardized and prices aren't that high. I bet Apple could launch an "emerging markets iPhone" in terms of pricing, they just don't want to for the risk of cannibalization right now.

So Android's value proposition comes from the ability to vary the hardware configuration and user interfaces while maintaining a common platform. That could be attractive, but only if and when vendors other than Apple can find at least a niche where their portfolio of devices are better. Right now I am not seeing it, but I think its mostly due to poor execution, oversized organizations (the old mobile vendors) and inexperience with user interface differentiation (the PC vendors).

Maybe the most interesting aspect to your question is: what will become of the _other_ operating systems? Windows Mobile, Java, Symbian, LiMo, Bada, Maemo, Blackberry, Palm WebOS come to mind. Can there really be a third and fourth platform when there is also the mobile web (HTML5 etc) to contend with? I think the line goes at max 3, and that puts them all at risk.

The major difference between Android and iPhone, is the fact that Android offers a completely open development environment. Anyone can produce an Android device; and anyone can develop and distribute Android apps (without the need of having a MAC or a single distribution channel).

In my opinion, THAT's the major benefit of the Android platform.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is Business Ethernet The End Of SONET Bandwidth Network Solutions?

Greg Collins and Mark Streaker wrote a great article in the Business Communication Review magazine about how Ethernet will eventually replace SONET. See Ethernet and SONET

[As a quick refresher for anyone needing it .... SONET establishes Optical Carrier (OC) levels from 51.8 Mbps (OC-1) to 9.95 Gbps (OC-192). OC3 bandwidth is probably the most common version in the business environment.]

Keep in mind that this article was published back in 2001, when the Internet bubble was in the midst of bursting.

Fast forward 9 years later and the telecommunication industry has fully recovered, carriers are now focusing on filling the capacity of their "dark fiber" sitting in the ground.

Mr. Collins has a great point, but at the pace at which carriers can afford to build out lit buildings I believe it will still be quite some time before we see the end of SONET. Investors aren't throwing money at Telecoms for more fiber like they did in the late 90's - carriers have to wait for existing footprint to fill up before charging up the next hill to plant their fiberous flag.

Now the other side of the build out assessment is more rosy in their view. Believing that leading carriers tend to be extremely willing to "lite" a building if reasonably close to their current presence .... and if the business case supports it. It may well be that we will soon see new carriers exploiting this space as (1) I agree the telcos are slow; and (2) the investment dollars appear to be coming back.

Keep in mind too that Ethernet over Copper, DS1, and DS3 are viable options currently. You do not have to physically be in a lit building to get fast and gig-E ethernet ..... when in fact you may still be able to get it if you are close enough to have the signal piped in using copper Cat-5, a naked DS1 or DS3 circuit.

If you want to get really technical and to the point about ethernet connectivity, here you go. Ethernet connectivity logically makes more sense than any other bandwidth connection that exists today ..... mainly because of the low cost compared to the traditional fiber connectivity. Let's face it, people are cost conscience nowadays due to the uncertainty of our economy and their cost of doing business. In all reality, if a business can surf faster, send emails and files faster, and so on ...... then time = $ and $ = time.

If your business is searching for an ethernet solution for your network infrastructure I suggest using this tool to find what's available to you: Ethernet Solution

If you're more inclined to use a SONET based solution try this free consultant service for assistance: OC3 Bandwidth Solution

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Voice Over MPLS ….. MegaPath Duet Hosted Voice

MegaPath Duet Hosted Voice is the industry's first true, national, Voice over MPLS solution. It is business-class hosted VoIP delivered on the award-winning MegaPath network - the largest broadband reach of any network in North America, and the broadest Quality of Service (QoS)-enabled voice network. The MegaPath nationwide MPLS network is the key to offering any size organization an enterprise-level hosted voice experience.

Benefits of MegaPath Duet Hosted include ......

• No expensive PBX equipment to lease, purchase or maintain, and minimal upfront capital expense

• Network-based Quality of Service (QoS) for crystal clear voice calls that are securely delivered, and always prioritized over data communications. Bring-your-own-broadband (BYOB) just doesn't measure up the same way.

• Turnkey Service with professional project management, on-site installation, and on-demand training across a national footprint

• MegaPath Duet Hosted Voice service comes with a FREE month of service, FREE installation, and FREE router rental.

If you are looking for business class hosted voice ….. voice over MPLS solution via MegaPath is the perfect choice. To get free quotes and assistance designing just the right voice over MPLS package to meet your requirements …. Simply ask here:

Business VoIP Solution

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Clear Network …. 4G WiMAX Grid For Faster Wireless Internet Access

The Clear network is composed of deployments from two companies: Sprint and Clearwire.

Sprint in 2007 began 4G installations on the eastern seaboard under the now-defunct XOHM brand. Sprint approached Clearwire, who was deploying pre-4G services at the time, to form a comprehensive agreement to share both spectrum and market for the purposes of growing WiMAX's presence in the US. This deal broke down by the end of 2007.

As the deal broke down, it is reported that Clearwire picked up a massive chunk of the 2.5GHz spectrum used to provide WiMAX; it was sold by AT&T as a condition of its merger with Bell South. Geographically, the acquisition gave Clearwire rights to the second largest coverage area behind AT&T.

Fast-forward to 2008.

Sprint once again approached Clearwire for a deal, this time with a merger of services in mind: Sprint with the 4G infrastructure, and Clearwire with the capital, spectrum and experience to do wireless broadband. That Clearwire/XOHM merger is now known as Clear.

Sprint owns 51% of the company, Clearwire shareholders own 27%, and the remaining shares are owned by a consortium of Comcast, Time Warner, Intel, Google, and Bright House.

As of right now, Clear/Sprint currently covers …..

Georgia - Atlanta, Milledgeville; Hawaii - Honolulu, Maui; Idaho - Boise; Illinois - Chicago; Maryland - Baltimore; Nevada - Las Vegas; North Carolina - Charlotte, Greensboro, (along with High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon - Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania - Philadelphia; Texas - Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Washington - Bellingham, Seattle.

If you live in one of these cities, nobody but Sprint/Clear will offer better/faster service until Verizon Wireless and AT&T start turning on their 4G networks (using a tech called "LTE") in 2011.

Since the infrastructure is developed on a WiMAX distribution grid ….. it’sa pretty error free wireless distribution methodology to put it very simply. Clear is faster than DSL and cable ..... and much cheaper too.

However, they're not available everywhere (yet) as stated above …. so please look over the service areas listing to see if you’re location is there.

For more specific information go to ….. Clear 4G WiMAX

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Managed IT Computer Services

"Managed services" is defined as an umbrella term for third-party monitoring and maintaining of computers, software and networks. The actual equipment may be inhouse or at the third-party's facilities, but is running at a certain quality level or keeping the software up-to-date.

For example, an ISP (Internet Service Provider) that hosts a web site typically offers managed services. If the web server goes down, the ISP would be responsible for restoring it. If an organization requires a secure, available, and redundant IT environment to support their business-critical systems and applications, usually it needs the managed IT services including replication services, storage services, hosting services, network services, managed security services, email and collaboration services, and application services, etc.

Are you looking for a way to keep your web-driven applications up and running? Are you looking for an economical yet efficient way to handle systems monitoring and management?

No problem.

Are you looking for an ISP that offers reliable web hosting services?

You've come to the right place.

We have compiled an extensive database of managed IT services and managed IT technology providers in your immediate and surrounding areas. You can begin your search using the website below, which will only gather just enough information to enable the managed IT service providers in your specific area to get in contact with you. There is no pressure or commitment to buy - this is a free service that helps buyers contact the most appropriate (and nearest) provider.

Managed IT Computer Services


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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Rapid Growth Of Medical Imaging Creates New Challenges For Network Bandwidth Requirements

Medical imaging studies, as part of a patient’s historical records, are subject to long-term security, integrity, and availability regulations defined by governing bodies. Examples include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States and the Medical Device Directive (MDD) in the European Union. However, the change from film to digitized storage has created a new set of challenges and requirements.

Digital mammography and multidetector computed tomography (CT), coupled with post-processing techniques such as 3D and CAD, enable medical imaging to be used more extensively for diagnosis, not only in radiology but also in other departments such as cardiology. Dynamic studies using positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enable clinicians to image diseases and to increase the effectiveness of resulting therapies. These technologies enable medical imaging to be included in protocols for a wider class of clinical applications and, in some cases, replace invasive (and risky) diagnostic procedures.

The growing adoption rate of these medical imaging technologies is causing an exponential and often hard-to-predict increase in the volume of images that must be stored. The magnitude of the increasing storage requirements for medical providers is often tens to hundreds of terabytes per year. This growth makes it difficult for IT managers to ensure adequate storage capacity. These challenges also highlight the need for affordable yet flexible storage systems that enable growth on-demand. Information access and business continuity needs must be met from the provider’s perspective, while addressing the stringent regulatory requirements for data privacy and protection.

The mergers and consolidations that are so common in healthcare today have resulted in IT environments that most often do not work well together. Currentapplication architectures as well as the slow movement of the industry towards interoperability and the limited adoption of industry standards have created a utilization, management and access problem that is common to most providers.

The current healthcare infrastructure can best be described as complex, inflexible and inefficient. As a result, applications that depend on it are slow, exhibit bottlenecks, suffer unacceptable levels of application downtime due to single points, and require unnecessary amounts of dedicated resources. Managing this hybrid infrastructure demands expertise for each type of application and manufacturer at multiple levels, as well as resources to manage the environment across each storage platform. Infrastructure scaling and upgrades prove to be very costly and difficult due to the time, money and people required to perform them.

As a result of these inefficiencies, healthcare IT resources are severely underutilized with storage utilization running at between 15% and 30% over a 24-hour period.

A potential fix for these issues is use of a framework for the creation of an enterprisewide, grid-based virtual medical image storage system designed to enable healthcare organizations to share data across distributed sites. These solutions are meant to be complementary to PACS applications and extend the capabilities of these systems across a wide area network.

Many providers have implemented multiple PACS solutions across many geographies, each with its own storage environment. Each PACS implementation drives its own requirements for storage and administration. The application of grid technology enables the sharing of storage and allows the logical separation of the application from the underlying storage infrastructure. This means that multiple systems can share storage resources wherever they are available. Additionally, through their local applications, users can access remote images populated by other systems on the grid. Key benefits include higher utilization of existing storage investments, the migration from storage silos to grid-enabled storage pools that can be made available to all applications, and the ability for IT departments to administer the grid centrally from a single location.

For assistance in finding just the right grid-based storage system for your Medical organization and/or network architecture bandwidth solution for your PACS application(s).... comparing multiple providers available in your specific area....we highly recommend the no cost consulting services from: "Medical Imagery Bandwidth Solutions"

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