Friday’s always a slow news day, and today was no exception. However, there was one notable story that we discussed on the SquawkBox this morning, and that was the latest VoIP and 911 tragedy. This time a toddler died in Calgary after the family moved, taking their VoIP ATA with them, but failing to update the emergency services address. Some will view this as a matter of personal responsibility, but I don’t subscribe to that logic. Networks do keep track of devices that unattach and reattach elsewhere — DHCP addresses have to be given out, PPOE sessions have to be initiated and so on. Moreover, service providers know the addresses of the people they send their bills to. It’s clear that if there was the will to create a solution, then one would be created. The tragedy is that each time this happens, as Aswath Rao commented on the LiveWall during our call, we all wring our hands, but nothing is done to address the issue.
It’s time something is done. We will return to this issue on the SquawkBox. For now, the best recommendation is to call 911 from a cellular phone, rather than a landline in circumstances where you don’t know for certain whether the land line is a voice over IP line. UPDATE: See David Beckemeyer’s comment below about the speed with which cellular 911 responds. His recommendation is to call the local emergency services — police, fire, etc.
Some of the other stories we discussed:
Adobe making Flash and Flash Light free to mobile device vendors. If true, this could totally change the dynamic for mobile application development.
Microsoft and Yahoo! Ballmer says Yahoo! is a nice to have, not a need to have. So Yahoo is an accessory like cufflinks or earrings? This evening it appears that the companies are at the table and talking.
The reports that Xobni walked away from being acquired by Microsoft. They were worried about becoming just another Outlook feature, and have grander ambitions.