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Rich Tehrani
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1-800-Free-411 Offers Free International Calls

December 16, 2009

I have used 1-800-free-411 in the past and find it to be a useful service. The way it works - you listen to ads and get free directory assistance. Now the company allows free international phone calls. In order to get this feature to work you just say "free call" when prompted and dial the country code and the international number.

TMC Interviews in Boston Tomorrow

December 15, 2009

Fake Steve Jobs Suggests an AT&T Flash Mob

December 14, 2009

AT&T has told its users they use too much data - they are actively looking for ways of limiting their usage. One idea being thrown around is usage-based pricing. Forget for a minute that years back, carriers worldwide were trying to get users to adopt 3G networks and now that we are, their equipment is buckling.

Not surprisingly, many people are telling AT&T to suck it up and be happy that their customers find the products they sell on their network so indispensable that they use them constantly.

Google's Very Cool TTS Service

December 14, 2009

Search leader seemingly giving everything away for free now offers cloud-based text-to-speech as well

In what has to be one of the most interesting "simple" services, Google translate allows you to send the company a simple text string and have it converted to an MP3 file which is immediately downloaded and played. A developer could use this service to build a mobile app which reads e-mail or snippets of news or text messages or Twitter feeds or Facebook status or whatever you like. I took the liberty of trying this out and you can see what I did by clicking here.

TeliaSonera 4G Screams at 80 Mbps

December 14, 2009

TeliaSonera allows 20-80 Mbps download speeds on a 4G-based LTE network allowing a theoretical 4 simultaneous HDTV streams at maximum throughput!

If you live or visit the central parts of Stockholm or Oslo you can now get blazing fast wireless broadband access courtesy of TeliaSonera's new LTE network based on equipment from Ericsson and Huawei communicating with a Samsung GT-B3710 USB modem.

Forget about how much more productive customers will be with this speed for a moment and focus instead on the embarrassment factor to wired carriers worldwide.

Case in point, just last week, AT&T announced U-verse Max Turbo which offers a maximum broadband speed of 24 Mbps downstream.

Apple Rumored to Buy VoIP Player iCall

December 12, 2009

Back in December 2004 I suggested in my Publisher's Outlook column of Internet Telephony Magazine that Apple should get into the VoIP market and I even coined a product name - the VoIPOD. Here is the entire paragraph from the article which seems just as relevant today as it did over five years ago when I wrote it.

There is no way to overestimate the effects of wireless VoIP. Just as virtually every prediction about the mobile phone market was surpassed by reality, so too will mobility change the face of how we work and communicate with one another.

Debate Over In-Flight Calling Continues

December 10, 2009

The debate about using phones on flights has continued for a few years and currently through a mix of regulations and technology firewalls, passengers are prohibited from talking while in-flight. The USA Today reports that a coalition of manufacturers, carriers and consumer groups is trying to rally airline passengers this week to stop Congress from banning air-to-ground voice service.

The article cites comments from Rep. Peter DeFazio, who says he wants to protect travelers from the intrusion of phone calls in one of the last phone-free zones. To this I say, "How awesome is that?" Our politicians have decided where and when we can use a phone.

Droid Ads Say iPhone is Girly

December 9, 2009

Verizon's Droid ads pit the new phone against the Apple iPhone - comparing their manly device to one they infer is girly. To determine which phone has the most testosterone I put both phones through their paces. The verdict? Well, testosterone seems to have little to do with the basic functioning of each phone and there are enough men using the iPhone that I don't believe there are any technical or stylistic reasons why the iPhone should be considered a feminine device.

Video Streaming: The Future of Communications

December 7, 2009

I have mentioned in the past that the future of the web will be live video streams on social networking sites. I expect 2-4 video streams at a minimum from people who can't seem to share enough information about themselves. To get an idea of what this will be like I tested a new app called Knocking Live Video on the iPhone with Tom Keating. The idea of this application is to share your camera view with the other iPhone user.

Fring Allows One-Way iPhone Video

December 2, 2009

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