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Consumer Electronics

Skype P2P Problems

August 20, 2007

By now it seems the whole world is aware Skype had major problems last week. For most people, Skype was down. Tom Keating speculated the cause was a Microsoft patch which rebooted massive numbers of machines. He has a point as my machine coincidentally rebooted just before the Skype problem hit.   Many people thought Tom was incorrect but it turns out Tom nailed the problem.   Phil Wolf has an excellent recap of the problem with his thoughts and questions interlaced within.   For example, when commenting on the following from Skype:  
Normally Skype’s peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly.
  Wolf wonders:  
If the bug was within the algorithm, in the Skype client, was the bug ever repaired?

Wireless Companies at ITEXPO

August 19, 2007

I happened upon a great article by Mae Kowalke discussing wireless company representation at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. Companies discussed include a la Mobile, Airwide Solutions, Kineto Wireless, MobiTV and MOBIVOX.   The article reminds me just how big the wireless market is becoming with regards to IP communications. Certainly the next few years could be instrumental in this “space” with the 700 MHz auction coming (see also 700 MHz Setback). We certainly have exciting times ahead for both consumers, service providers and business users.   Perhaps most interesting is whether wireless providers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless will see serious competition from internet companies such as Google.

Skype Working

August 19, 2007

It seems Skype is indeed up and running once again. As you may recall, TMCnet’s Tom Keating broke the news of the outage last week when he heard many of the TMC team members were not able to communicate with one another.   I recently wrote about Skype stabilizing two days ago. It seems now the software/service has gone from stabilizing to working correctly.   This is an e-mail I received yesterday from Skype’s PR agency:  
Good Morning,   I'm pleased to share the most recent information on the Skype outage with you:   "Take a deep breath. Skype is back to normal."   "On Monday, we’ll provide a more detailed explanation of what happened.

Fonality

August 17, 2007

TMC Gets Some Press

August 17, 2007

Having your cake and eating it too is how it think about this article in the San Francisco Chronicle with a quote from TMC’s Tom Keating and TMC friend Om Malik. Here is an excerpt:  
Tom Keating, chief technology officer for Internet Telephony Magazine, said he's heard from a number of businesses that rely on Skype to keep workers in touch with each other as well as clients. He said the instant-messaging feature is particularly popular with users because it works around many company firewalls.   Keating said the outage may be related to some maintenance work Skype completed Wednesday night. He said it's unlikely the problem was caused by an outside attack from hackers.   "It's very possible that the change they did with maintenance could have had some unanticipated cascade affect," said Keating.

Covergence

August 16, 2007

Ken Kuenzel, Founder, VP Engineering and CTO for Covergence recently chatted with me about the impact of wireless technology, and the way in which SIP has changed communications, among other topics.   Offering its customers “the edge in SIP”, Covergence specializes in a variety of communications solutions. Read this story on TMCnet to find out more about them.   Please outline your new corporate initiatives.   One of the most exciting trends we are seeing in the market is the rise of voice and other real-time communications embedded into business applications. We had a number of customers that were using Eclipse, our next-generation session border controller, and wanted to add real-time capabilities into customer-facing applications to improve the customer experience and streamline complex customer interactions.

Skype Outage

August 16, 2007

Tissot

August 16, 2007

Here is a long term update on my Tissot High-T watch which when working properly is a technological marvel. My original review which was quite favorable can be found here.   While the watch is certainly state of the art… It does break often. Mine has broken twice in about eighteen months. The first time the watch took 2-3 months to repair and get back to me.   The watch recently broke again and I am going through the same waiting period it seems.

Telrex

August 15, 2007

I recently got the chance to sit down with Bob Cordes, Vice President of Product Management for Telrex. We discussed his company’s business strategy, as well as the future of the IP telephony market in general.   Telrex is a leading provider of IP call recording and contact center optimization solutions. Their CallRex platform provides easy and affordable software solutions for companies of all sizes to protect, grow and optimize their business.

UK Trains Get Free WiFi

August 15, 2007

Living on the east coast of the US I am lucky to have access to a rail system which is not the best in the world but definitely acceptable. As a side note I took a Metro North train to Westchester and was pretty surprised how the cars on the Westchester line are so much nicer than those going to Fairfield County. Surprisingly Metro North also runs the trains to TMC’s home city of South Norwalk which is located within the county of Fairfield.   But I digress. For US citizens looking for yet another thing to envy about the rail systems in other countries… Today I learned that you will receive free WiFi on trains going from London to Scotland.
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