April 2015 archive

Sally Wentworth Speaking At National Press Club Today On “Net Vitality” Panel

This morning Sally Shipman Wentworth, our Vice President of Global Policy Development, will be speaking on a panel sponsored by The Media Institute on the topic of "Net Vitality: Identifying the Top-Tier Global Broadband Internet Leaders". The event is happening from 9:00-11:00am US EDT at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  The panel discussion follows the release of this "Net Vitality" report authored by  Stuart N. Brotman. The panelists include:

Dan York

TDYR 240 – Perhaps The Greatest Challenge of the Internet Age: Being Present Where We Are

TDYR 240 - Perhaps The Greatest Challenge of the Internet Age: Being Present Where We Are by Dan York

WhatsApp Calling Arrives on iOS – More Telecom Disruption Ahead!

Whatsapp callingAs I checked my AppStore updates on my iPhone this week I was surprised but pleased to see that WhatsApp now includes "WhatsApp Calling". As it says:
"Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they're in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone's Internet connection rather than your cellular plan's voice minutes. Data charges may apply.

How many ways can you spell "disruption"?
(Hint: w - h - a - t - s - a - p - p)

Sure, there have been a zillion mobile apps providing Over-The-Top (OTT) voice services, many of which I've written about here on this site.

But this is WhatsApp!

This is the application that just passed 800 million monthly active users! (Techmeme link) With projections to hit 1 billion monthly active users by the end of the year.

Oh, and it's owned by Facebook! :-)

Now, I personally don't use WhatsApp that much right now. The people who I want to message are primarily using iMessage, Facebook Messenger or Wire. (And every once in a great while I'll fire up Skype on my iPhone.)

But obviously there are 800 million people who do use WhatsApp each month... and they now have free calling! (If they are on Android, iOS or BlackBerry 10... and subject to a staggered rollout, i.e. people will get the actual ability to call over the next while.)

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

WhatsApp provides a messaging app with a very simple user experience (UX) that works seamlessly inside the iPhone. Now that same app can be used for calling. And most importantly, WhatsApp has the massive directory of users.

The legacy telcos are going to be saying good bye to even more of their diminishing calling revenue...

Interesting times ahead!

More on this topic:

Congrats to the Jitsi Team On Their Acquistion By Atlassian


Congratulations to Emil Ivov and the whole team behind Jitsi for their acquisition by Atlassian! As they say on the Jitsi news page:

The Jitsi Community just got a lot stronger! BlueJimp, founder of Jitsi, is now part of Atlasssian! The plan is to keep Jitsi at the cutting edge of innovation by keeping it open and in the hands of those who created it in the first place: the open source community.

The news is outlined in an article on TechCrunch and explained in more detail in a HipChat blog post.

To be clear, Atlassian is acquiring the company BlueJimp that employed the founders of Jitsi, but in the process they are also effectively getting the open source Jitsi project. It's great to read in their blog post, though, that they intend to continue to support and invest in the project.

I've been a big fan of Jitsi for quite some time as it was one of the earliest VoIP clients to support both IPv6 and DNSSEC. I wrote about this support both here and also over on the Deploy360 blog and recorded this video interview with Emil Ivov:

Previously I'd also written about Jitsi's support for DNSSEC as it was the first softphone to do so.

More recently I've been using Jitsi's WebRTC-based video bridge for some of the remote participation work we've been experimenting with inside the IETF.

It's all great work and I'm delighted that Emil and his team have found a home inside of Atlassian. I hope it works well for them all and I hope we see further evolution of Jitsi and other similar products.

Congrats to the whole team!

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either:

At RSA Conference Apr 23: Can DNSSEC and DANE Add a Layer Of Trust to TLS and DNS?

RSA Conference LogoCan DNSSEC and DANE add a layer of trust to TLS and DNS? That will be the question up for discussion tomorrow, April 23, 2015, at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. As part of the “Peer2Peer” small discussion sessions, Wes Hardaker from Parsons will be facilitating a session from 9:10-10:00am (PDT) with the description:

If we agree that the existing Certificate Authority (CA) system for TLS is broken, how do we fix it? Can the DANE protocol (RFC 6698) and DNSSEC provide a solid mechanism to add a layer of trust to network connections that use TLS? What do we need to do to use DANE and to get DANE more widely deployed? Join other peers in this discussion about how the DANE protocol works, how it is currently being implemented, (particularly in email and XMPP systems) and how DANE might be used in different scenarios. Bring your ideas and criticisms, and be prepared for a lively discussion.

If you are there at the RSA Conference in San Francisco and interested in DNSSEC, DANE and/or how we secure TLS, I would encourage you to stop by and engage in the discussion.   It is not a session being live streamed or anything like that and so you need to be at the actual conference to participate.

I wish I could be there myself… but I’m on the other side of the continent and so I’ll just have to learn from Wes how it went.

P.S. If you want to get started yourself with deploying DNSSEC and DANE, please visit our Start Here page.


Watching Known Evolve… And Being Intrigued By Convoy…

While I haven't posted here very often at all, I've definitely been following the impressive growth of Known.  I'm subscribed to the notifications of the Github repo and as a result get an email whenever issues are opened/closed, etc.  It's been great to see all the work that has happened here to make Known better and stronger.

I'm particularly intrigued by the new Convoy service for connecting a self-hosted Known installation out to social networks.  This addresses one of the challenges I found with self-hosting Known: configuration of the connectors out to different individual social networks is cumbersome and involves a good bit of work.

This new Convoy service appears to act as a connection broker in a very similar way to how the Jetpack plugin's "Publicize" module works for WordPress.  In Jetpack's case it is using the WordPress.com connectivity into social networks to allow self-hosted WordPress sites to ride along on those existing connections.  You simply activate the connection between your self-hosted WordPress site and WordPress.com via Jetpack and, ta da, you can connect out to social networks.

Convoy appears to work in a similar fashion.  I haven't tried it out yet but that is what it looks like.  Very cool to see.

While I'm quite happy with my current sites being hosted on WordPress and am not yet ready to move my own writing over to Known, I'm very glad Known is out here and evolving as it is.  We need a competitive market of self-publishing platforms so that we as writers and publishers have a choice of innovative and useful platforms.

Congrats to the Known team for all they have done so far!

The Hobson & Holtz Report – Podcast #804: April 20, 2015

Reminder: Neville away for May 4 episode, Gini Dietrich will guest host with Shel;

Quick News: 40 organizations lead the world in employee engagement says Gallup, US federal government workers get social media guidelines, to speak Millennial use email, holograms protest gag law in Spain; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop;

News That Fits: Some podcasting updates including Podcast.com from Dave Winer, inside NPR’s podcast strategy, Spotify plans, and more; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report: China’s Great Firewall is now armed with a cannon; being a full-stack employee: a viable model?; listener comments in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; engagement gains importance as companies look to employees for social media advocacy; Igloo Software promo; Dan York’s Tech Report: recently-patched Windows flaw, WhatsApp hits 800K users, #Mobilegeddon, and more; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; five reasons why Google+ died;

Music from Holly Benton; and more.

Messages from our sponsors: Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir.

For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for April 20, 2015: A 93–minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Wokingham, Berkshire, England.
Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content.

The post The Hobson & Holtz Report – Podcast #804: April 20, 2015 appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.

FIR On Technology, Episode 4 – How To Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

FIR On Technology logoHow do you make your website “mobile-friendly”? Given Google’s impending April 21, 2015, deadline to start using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for mobile search results, what can you do both in the short-term and in the longer-term to both provide the best experience for mobile users - and also retain your Google search result ranking?

In this fourth episode of “FIR On Technology” Dan York explains what you need to be thinking about with regard to “responsive design” of your website, outlines some of the resources Google offers to help, and explains several of the options you have to make your site mobile-friendly.  During the episode Dan discusses the following sites:

Get this Podcast:

The music for the intro and outro is “Early Warning” from Mark Knox and is used with his permission.

Sharing Your Comments

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NOTE: This podcast announcement was originally posted on the For Immediate Release (FIR) website.

FIR #804 – 4/20/15 – For Immediate Release

Gini Dietrich to guest co-host in two weeks; Quick News: the companies with the most engaged employees, US government employees get a social media policy, use email to speak Millennial, holograms protest gag law in Spain; Media Monitoring Minute from CustomScoop, News That Fits: podcasting news roundup, Michael Netzley's Asia Report, is the full-stack employee model viable?, listener comments, the engagement-advocacy connection, Igloo Software promo, Dan York's Tech Report, the last week on the FIR podcast network, five reasons Google+ died; music from Holly Benton, and more.

Deadline of April 21 To Make Your Website “Mobile-Friendly” Or Drop In Google Search Results (Featured Blog)

Is your website "mobile-friendly"? If your site is NOT and you care about how your site ranks in Google search results (and let's face it, we pretty much all do!)... well... you need to get busy! As Google very clearly indicated: "Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results." More...