5:15 PM -- A few things you should see before heading for the bar to, ahem, "mark up the budget":
- The release of yet another improved version of Skype Ltd. 's mobile phone software makes me wonder: Why do phone companies only want to sell data-only mobile plans to the deaf? I can hear, but I'd prefer to have my barely audible about-to-be-dropped calls come to my mobile via Skype on a data plan, as opposed to, say, AT&T's failure-filled 3G network. Is that so wrong?
- On that note, check out this bit of salient commentary I plucked from a PR pitch, of all things, sent to me by Skype:
Well put, Skypester. And I should add that the carriers brought this on themselves. Once they taught us that poor voice quality was "good enough" and charged accordingly -- it was even easier for consumers to live without their voice network services. Maybe a new round of startups focused on voice processing can step in and save us from the Bad Call Blues.
- Consumers want, and are getting, more control and better experiences via their mobile devices thanks to innovative Internet software and app providers like Skype. But that is in spite of the carriers, not because of them. The full realization of mobile innovation will only come with meaningful safeguards by regulators to keep carrier platforms open.
- Spoiler Alert: Tomorrow, just in time for The Cable Show publicity run-up, we're releasing this free report: Who Makes What: Docsis 3.0 Equipment. Readers of this blog need not wait to fill their heads with all that is great about the new cable spec that allows for broadband speeds, shared though they may be, in excess of 100 Mbit/s. You're welcome.
- More than half the world's IPTV customers, and most of its dental problems, come from Europe.
- I'll end on this Whopper: Zac Crain is following me on Twitter. I must be kind of a big deal.