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December 2009
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February 2010

Investor Protection Association For America Scam

I got an official looking letter from these guys today asking my opinion on important issues so they could tell Congress.   Being a marketing guy I tried to figure out what was really going on, especially since health care reform was no where to be found.   At the very bottom they asked for a phone number.  Turns out the survey is a sham to get your permission for telemarketers to buy their list and sell you investments.  You can buy the list here.

On the bright side I was running out of starter paper for the grill.

SaaS Basics: Things to Consider

Software as a Service has been around for a while now.  Ten years ago was my first experience creating applications which could be run from thin client machines.   Here are the things I look at when building or buying SaaS.

    • How is data replicated? 
    • Can I get it back if I choose to leave the service?
    • Does the application restart if there is a crash?
    • If there is no Internet connection, what happens?
    • Who controls access?
    • Federation: how is the data segmented from other users?
    • Key management, rotation and encryption of data.

Service level agreements are fine and dandy, but generally useless.  Getting some money back due to an outage isn't much comfort when you need the service.  Think what happens to all the VOIP phones when the electricity goes out or the Internet is down.  Would you rather have a $10 credit, or phone service?

My experience with Qwest VOIP running on Comcast

I had written about why I chose Qwest over Comcast and Vonage.  Here's how it's going.  First off, the Linksys / Cisco box has to be plugged into the cable modem.   Fortunately I had set up a telephone wiring block when I set up all the phones in the house.  So it took me less than an hour to reroute a dedicated telephone line from the VoiP box to my analogue phones I wanted to use.

Believe it or not, call quality is much better than my landline.  I have had no downtime, but then again it's only been a couple of weeks (so keep a landline as one our your lines).   The coolest part is I forward all voice mail messages to my gmail account.  And my phone gets gmail.   So I can quickly check to see if someone has called.

I only had one quality problem when an incoming call came through Google Voice, then to my Qwest VoiP.   Usually it works o.k.  Have no idea what happened.   Next time I'll just call them back directly.

Moral of the story:  Don't pay Comcast $40 a month.  Get Qwest if you can, or Vonage and save yourself $240 / year.   Or look at it this way, if you do that you can take the money saved and get HBO.

update 3 Oct 2010:  After 10 months, still works well.  Some quality problems occasionally when calling a Google Voice number.  Also a couple of weeks ago some idiot at Qwest made their website Internet Explorer only.