Archive for the Press & Events Category

Startup Grind finds Gold at Ignition Partners

Written by on March 18, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

Startup Grind: 3/18/13 –

We are lucky to have Michelle Goldberg come visit us from Ignition Partners on March 27 at 6pm (register). Not only is she a veteran of the VC industry but she is a huge fan of entrepreneurs. She acts as a mentor to entrepreneurs and executives in digital media and the consumer internet. Michelle has a fascination with how the internet works and brings her experience investing in SEO, social media, advertising analytic and digital commerce to understanding the trends that will next fuel the web. She loves to advise companies and fund entrepreneurs who are defining digital and what it means to our on and off-line lives.

Everyone should be able to get some very interesting insights from Michelle because she has seen many different deals over the past 13 years and is willing share things that were successful for her and things that we not. Michelle currently sits on a number of boards, including SEOmoz, Glympse, Visible Technologies, and and is an observer on Avvo and Trover. Michelle is a Founding Advisor to Julep and Jenni Hogan Media. Also Michelle was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal, she was a “40 under 40” Honoree. Enough about all these awards, she obviously knows what she is talking about when it comes to helping others start, grow or fund their company.

We all should be so lucky to be able to call Michelle a mentor of our organization or a champion of your company’s technology. She has both the technology chops and the connections to help you and your company or idea get to the next level.In addition to her work as an advisor and VC, she is an active fundraiser in early childhood education and sits on the board of the University Child Development School. Michelle is also a member of the WWF, not that one, this one- Washington Women’s Federation. She has a soft spot for women who are leaders in their organization and understands the issues that come with being a women in todays high tech world.

Go to full article here.

Cruise Ship Communications for Passengers Is About to Change

Written by on March 11, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

Forbes 3/8/13 –

Imagine that you are on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, perhaps hundreds or thousands of miles from land, and want to make a phone call or access the Internet. Did you ever wonder how your wireless device works when there are no cell towers or traditional infrastructure available like at home? And more importantly why it does not work better, faster or cheaper for voice and data applications?

The ability to communicate while at sea is incredibly complex and has only been possible and reliable within the past ten years. Unfortunately, the connectivity comes at a steep price because of the high investment required by the cruise lines and satellite carriers who must price access by the amount of bandwidth that is used. It turns out that this is a highly inefficient and costly method to allow passengers and crew to communicate, and the formula is about to change.

While the state-of-the-art has dramatically improved there are still many technical obstacles to achieving the same level of interconnectivity that we experience on land through wired or wireless networks. Cruise ships are seeing dramatic increases in traveler demand for communications services caused by the use of smartphones, laptops and tablets as part of their vacation experience. The bottom line for the consumer is that current cruise communications networks aren’t designed to meet these voracious demands for mobile connectivity.

Consider the following statistics from MTN Communications, one of the biggest sellers of telecom equipment to the cruise ship industry:

Internet Logins – In the past five years, Internet logins on the MTN network almost doubled from approximately 15 million to 27 million per year;
Voice Usage – Based on revenue data over the past five years, voice usage increased approximately 50 percent;
VSAT Bandwidth – In the past five years, bandwidth demand among MTN VSAT (high-speed) customers increased six-fold from 75 Mbps to 475 Mbps per year

Limited bandwidth is still the main reason network speeds, quality of service and data rates are better on land than at sea, coupled with the failure to integrate other technologies that could optimize the transport of large amounts of data by using different networks.

I travel on Holland America Lines which is typical of the cruise industry in terms of its communications capabilities. Virtually all of the fleet has WiFi throughout their ships but it is painfully slow at times which is due to the number of users and available bandwidth. There are also severe limitations on the types of files that can be accessed in order to protect the network and compensate for the bandwidth limitations. Internet access costs between $.25 and $.75 per minute, depending on the selected plan.

Cellular voice and data is available on all ships but is very costly, up to about five dollars a minute through your local carrier, or up to ten dollars a minute if you use Intelsat satellite links through the ship’s voice network. Data connections through cellular can also be very pricy unless you have a data plan. Verizon is the only American carrier that offers a good deal for their customers that use tablets or smartphones on ships. They have a monthly cost of $25 for each 100 Mbytes.

While AT&T has a similar plan it doesn’t allow for data access at sea, which means you can pay around $20 per megabyte. That translates to a high cost for using email and sending pictures, to say nothing of downloading documents. If you try to save money by using a VoIP service such as Skype to make and receive calls you will have limited success because of the latency issues with voice transmission through a satellite, whether you establish a WiFi or cellular connection.

Go to full article here.

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