Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

April 2005

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Garmin StreetPilot c320 Review

April 30, 2005

Burger King Fries Suck

April 29, 2005

It's rare I go to Burger King, it's been over 2 years, but I was in a rush so I went through the drive-thru and picked up some chicken tenders, fries, and a Diet Pepsi. Burger King's french fries still suck compared to McDonald's french fries (freedom fries?). Burger King fries used to be good like 15 years ago, but then they went and changed their formula like a gazillion times to try and taste as good as McDonalds fries. Alas, their fries still fall short...

Anyway, I was reading the box on the chicken tenders and it had some amusing text, I thought I'd share:

A lot of people ask us what makes our CHICKEN TENDERS well, so tender.

FrontRange and Vegastream partner

April 29, 2005

FrontRange and Vegastream partner to help bring integrated VoIP & CRM/contact management to small-to-medium businesses. Frontrange has big plans for VoIP integration into their product line, so keep your eye on Frontrange.

Anyway, here's the news...

The ability of small to mid-sized companies to take advantage of cutting-edge VoIP technology to improve customer communications just got a big boost with the news below that FrontRange Solutions has certified VegaStream's line of Vega gateway products for its IP-based contact center solution (IPCC).

Gateways are devices which bridge conventional telephone networks and equipment to VoIP telephone networks, helping call centers to reduce telephony costs, increase customer retention, and improve agent productivity. FrontRange's IPCC (3.7) can be deployed on a modular basis, either as part of the existing communications infrastructure or as a stand-along solution.

VegasStream's Vega SIP (session initiation protocol) gateways are the first interoperable products certified for FrontRange's IPCC.

8x8 Announces Permanent $99 VideoPhone Price

April 29, 2005

Too bad in this release 8x8 does not cite how much "demand" there is for the Packet8 videophone, which supposedly is the reason for making the "promotion rate" of $99 to be permanent.. Is it 5, 15, 50, or 500 videophones they have sold at the $99 price resulting in the permanent $99 pricetag? Who knows?

Well, even if this is just a marketing ploy, I will share the news and you can decide for yourself...


VoIP service provider makes $99 equipment price on DV326 consumer VideoPhone permanent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – April 29, 2005 -- 8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), provider of Packet8 broadband voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications services, announced it will retain the $99 Packet8 VideoPhone pricing model originally constructed as a promotional incentive to stimulate consumer demand for its Packet8 video services.

802.11n vs. 802.11z?

April 29, 2005

Saw a good article on 802.11n on CNet that explains how 802.11n will help improve wireless bandwidth. As you know, Wi-Fi has a limited range and is susceptible to interference from cordless phones, microwaves, and other wireless devices and is much slower than Ethernet. 802.11n aims to change all that. Go check out the CNet article to learn more.

Firefox Tabbed Browsing

April 29, 2005

Firefox is a great alternative to Internet Explorer, but I have yet to fully switch to Firefox for a few reasons. My main complaint with Firefox was that it doesn't support saving your session, including all your opened tabs and windows. Ok, neither does Internet Explorer you are probably thinking - it doesn't have tabbed browsing (though IE 7 will). Well, that would be true except I use the free Avant Browser which uses the Internet Explorer 6.0 engine but adds tabbed browsing as well as session saving and it leverages IE's History and Favorites.

X-Sky Drone

April 29, 2005

AOL's new Converged Communications Client

April 28, 2005

AOL is starting from scratch in building their next converged IM/voice/video software client. In reading the AP news it appears it will be easy to add on additional modules. Say goodbye AIM! Perhaps they will follow the Firefox model and allow third-party plug-ins to be easily added to their main client?

Google RSS Feed Ads

April 28, 2005

Google is testing Google RSS Feed ads, a new variation of its AdSense program for publishers that allows sites to display text or image ads related to their content and get paid by the click.

In fact, Google just launched this as a "trial" version of their AdSense program that allows publishers to send a text or banner advertisement alongside syndicated content using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or Atom (Google's adopted format).

In case you've been under a rock or just not technically inclined, RSS is an open standard for content syndication that enables people to access news headlines and other information such as blogs online using a RSS reader. Though RSS is a promising technology, publishers have yet to profit from it. Advertising is widely thought to be the answer.

RoadTrip!+ FM Transmitter

April 28, 2005

Today, OWC and NewerTech have announced the RoadTrip!+. Like the original RoadTrip!, this new model broadcasts the tunes from your iPod straight to your car's stereo at 87.9 FM. Unlike the original, however, it offers the fantastic feature of also charging the iPod's battery while it plays. Pretty cool.

Cisco and IBM Partner

April 28, 2005

Breaking news... Anytime you have two bigwigs like IBM and Cisco partner, you have to take notice...

IBM and Cisco today announced they jointly plan to deliver to contact centers speech-enabled self-service solutions that combine IBM's WebSphere Voice Server product and Cisco's Customer Voice Portal.

The solutions would combine IBM's integration and application infrastructure software and speech technology with Cisco's Internet Protocol (IP) communications and focus on self-service speech applications, which together can enable easier deployment of customized speech applications that enhance the customer experience.

By using IBM WebSphere Application Server middleware, the solutions would allow contact centers to leverage open standards, including Voice XML and J2EE. These solutions enable contact centers to provide efficient and low-cost speech-enabled self-service transactions to their customers, such as transferring money from a checking account, submitting insurance claims, changing cellular phone plans, making hotel and car reservations or finding the nearest store location using speech automation -- functions that frequently required a live agent in a contact center.

IBM's Business Consulting Services has found that labor -- payroll, turnover, training and retention -- is often 75 percent of contact center costs. Self-service speech solutions can help address this by automating many customer interactions that drive labor costs, which can provide significant improvements in the cost per transaction.

Combining Cisco's Customer Voice Portal with IBM's award-winning WebSphere® infrastructure software would also enable enterprises to incorporate speech into a range of functions.

Ariel Atom 2 Car

April 27, 2005

Holy! This car is sick! The acceleration of the Ariel Atom 2 makes my Viper look like a Pinto in comparison! This car is an engineering feat created from a company with...

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to Address 911

April 27, 2005

Perpendicular Hard Drive Technology and School House Rock

April 27, 2005

Remember School House Rock? Schoolhouse Rock was essentially three-minute cartoons, which aired on ABC-TV from 1973 to 1985, and were designed as a catchy way to teach children the fundamentals of government, as well as math, grammar and science. Do you remember the "I'm Just a Bill" they would play to help educate kids on how a bill becomes a law? Ok, does this picture refresh your memory?

How bout this video?

iPod Camera Connector Review

April 26, 2005

Apple iPod Camera Connector

Check out the full review of the new iPod Camera Connector from Apple. Since I am going on vacation next week, I was looking for some way to backup my camera photos to a laptop. In fact, I was planning on "lugging" my laptop while on vacation. I learned the hard way that backing up photos is critical as my camera was stolen on the plane on the way to my honeymoon with my wife.

Veraz Networks Offers Prepaid Services Application Solution

April 26, 2005

Veraz announces its Prepaid Services Application, which is the latest solution in its “Any Network, Any Application, Any Device” Family. The Veraz Prepaid solution allows the prepaid service platform to be hosted at a central location on the IP network, while delivering services to multiple regions & countries. According to Veraz, this enables service providers to benefit with significant cost-savings compared to traditional TDM solutions.

This solution utilizes the distributed, modular architecture of the Veraz softswitch, ControlSwitch, along with its uncompromising toll-quality voice capabilities inherent in its line of media gateways. Here's the release:

 Veraz Networks Offers Prepaid Services Application Solution

Maximizing Service Provider’s Enhanced Services Reach

Fake phone company consumer group wants to tax VoIP

April 26, 2005

I found a very interesting story via The info is garnered from where is discusses how there is a fake phone company consumer group backed by the telcos trying to increase the universal service fund tax and place it on VoIP! Is this merely X-Files conspiracy talk or is there some insidious truth to what is claiming? Read this below and check out their website and decide for yourself...

Bruce Kushnik at Teletruth says there is a fake phone company consumer group (read: astroturf organization backed by telcos) that is pushing to increase the universal service fund tax, place it on voice over IP and influence the FCC.

History of Video Games

April 26, 2005

Ah, the history of video games. Who hasn't reminisced about the good ole' days of Pong, Pacman, Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Tank, Space Invaders, Asteroids, and all the other classic video games? Have you ever wondered how video games got their start? Have you ever wondered who invented the first video game?

Cisco Acquires Sipura

April 26, 2005

Big news. Cisco acquires Sipura, who has very popular VoIP ATA products along with other VoIP products. Sipura had developed quite a popular user community. Update - Greg Galizine has some insights on the Cisco acquisition of Sipura...

Cisco is acquiring Sipura Technology, a leader in consumer and small office / home office (SOHO) VoIP technology and a key technology provider for Linksys' line of VoIP networking devices.

New Halo 2 Maps

April 25, 2005

Halo 2 fans rejoice! The long awaited maps upgrade is here, which includes 4 new Halo 2 maps. Add new life to the greatest XBOX game ever made with some new Halo 2 maps! I just got this email from Microsoft notifying me of the new Halo 2 maps.

April 25, 2005 Privacy Statement | Terms of Use If you do not wish to receive marketing e-mails from Xbox Live, go to the Info Sharing options in the Xbox Live dashboard and opt-out.

CallerID on TiVo

April 25, 2005

I have a Windows MCE 2005 PC at home and I hooked up CallerID on my MCE 2005 PC. It's pretty cool, as can be seen by this screenshot of someone using this app on their MCE PC hooked up to a TV. (Click on the screenshot to go to the webpage where you can download the CallerID application for MCE.)

I also have integrated text-to-speech using Microsoft SAM, so it actually recites the name of the person calling using my home theater speakers. The CallerID application I use is a bit different than the web link I list above (there are a few CallerID applications for MCE).

Fluke Networks Introduces NetTool VoIP Test Tool

April 25, 2005

Interesting new from Fluke Networks...

New Handheld VoIP Tester Speeds IP Phone Deployment and Troubleshooting

NetTool VoIP offers only VoIP edge-testing approach, gives front-line techs visibility to solve problems at the phone

Fluke Networks announced today a major new inline network test tool. NetTool VoIP offers a breakthrough in VoIP (Voice over IP) troubleshooting technology with an industry-first "edge testing" approach.

The tool combines cable, network, IP phone and PC configuration testing into a single device.

Group ranks VoIP #2 in list of "confusing" tech buzzwords

April 24, 2005

Vonage solves Clearwire blocking problem, asks feds for help

April 22, 2005

Interesting news from RCR Wireless News

Vonage Holding Co., the largest independent Voice over Internet Protocol provider, has solved the problem at least one customer was having when Clearwire Corp. blocked access to Vonage's VoIP service, said Jeffrey Citron, Vonage chief executive officer, on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Clearwire is a new wireless Internet service venture backed by cellular pioneer Craig McCaw.

Citron said Clearwire admitted to blocking Vonage and said it blocked anything as high as 64 kilobits per second-the amount of bandwidth necessary for voice-but Citron said this was not accurate. "When we contacted Clearwire they told us that they don't handle applications of 64 k. That is obviously not the truth because we have worked with the customer to use another port.

Ultimate Troubleshooter Utility

April 22, 2005

If you have trouble figuring out what tasks/processes should be running on your PC (i.e. what's good, what is unneeded, and what is downright spyware), then this utility may be just for you! The Ultimate Troubleshooter 2.51 has just been released. announced the latest release of their top selling PC utilities program The Ultimate Troubleshooter.

The new version 2.51 has a completely re-vamped interface with 20% more tasks, services and startups and an enhanced WHOIS lookup along with some new promotional features for TUT affiliates.

For those new to the program, The Ultimate Troubleshooter lists all the background tasks running on your PC and gives a plain language description of what they do and how much of your memory they are using.

Undetectable Speed Detector

April 21, 2005

Scientists have invented an undetectable speed detector based on military technology which is used to create a visually based speed measurement device.

University of Florida researchers believe they have rendered makers of radar detectors and other speed detection countermeasures useless. Using a $5 million grant from the Air Force, they've developed software that can use live video camera footage to recognize objects and measure their speed. It does so by using a very common principle, i.e. the Distance = Rate X Time formula or in this case Rate = Distance/Time formula.

Sprint Sees Advertising-Supported Mobile Services

April 21, 2005

Infoworld is reporting that Sprint sees many new opportunities emerging in mobile data services in the coming years, including the opportunity to sell advertising on its mobile entertainment offerings, a company executive told a wireless conference.

As margins become more razor thin, I suppose some sort of advertising model was inevitable on mobile phones and other mobile devices. Can you magine being forced to view an advertisement before dialing on your cellphone? Or even if they don't force you to view the ad full-screen, they could take up a huge chunk of real-estate on the LCD screen. Still, it may be inevitable, especially as larger high-res screens appear on cellphones along with multimedia capabilities, making them perfectly suited to display not just static color images, but multimedia applications such as videos or perhaps even mini-Shockwave applets.

As I told Skibare this morning via email, I would not be surprised to see the advertising model take off on the VoIP softclient space as well (see Screenshot of MSN Messenger with ad at bottom).

Already Microsoft displays advertisements on its MSN Messenger.

Vipers, 3000GTs, and Shelby Cobras

April 21, 2005

Had a fun day in the Viper yesterday. Yesterday morning while commuting to work in the Viper, I ran into a twin-turbo 3000GT-VR4 Spyder convertible, which is a very rare car - only 877 of these convertible twin-turbos were ever made. By comparison, a staggering 1,875 SRT-10 Vipers were made just in 2003 alone. I caught up to the 3000GT-VR4 Spyder and we talked for a bit.

Battery-free Wireless Mouse

April 21, 2005

Remember my Wireless Power post where I discussed a technology that powers your PDA, cellphone, etc. all from a pad? Here's a picture of it again:

Well I was checking out ThinkGeek and I came across a battery-free wireless mouse. As a wireless mouse user myself, it sure is annoying and expensive to have to replace the batteries every few months, so this product will be making my "Wish list".




Batteries Be Gone!

PalmOne Tungsten E2 Launches

April 21, 2005

Palm One Tungsten E2 just launched. Thought I'd share the email I got.
Also, here is a summart of the new features of the new PalmOne Tungsten E2:

- The Tungten E2 features a brighter, richer color display.
The new color display – typically 30% brighter than the Tungsten E display – makes it easy to view any document, indoors or out.

Thomson Acquires Cirpack, a Softswitch Company

April 21, 2005

Thomson today announced it has acquired 100% of Cirpack, a softswitch company. (See

Thomson also recently acquired the Inventel who makes several VoIP products, including the Inventel DECT Cordless VoIP Gateway which has a buiilt-in ADSL2+ modem and supports multiple VoIP lines. Thomson is a multinational company offering complete solutions and services to content creators, network operators, manufacturers and retailers, under the Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and THOMSON brand names. In 2003, Thomson generated revenues of €8.5 billion and had 59,000 employees in more than 30 countries.

This acquisition supports Thomson’s ambition to grow its telecoms business within the framework of its 2-Year Plan. The softswitch is key to helping telecom operators prepare voice, video and data convergence in IP networks.

Jitter Problems

April 21, 2005

Tom Evslin has an interesting post about how an area in his state of Vermont has more issues with jitter than other areas of Vermont which caused him some headaches when he signed up with Vonage. Vermont is a pretty rural state - probably not the best Internet infrastructure, but I have to say there are quite a few Vermont VoIP companies up there. I met with three VoIP companies from Vermont in the past 6 weeks. Go figure!

Anyway, Tom writes, "The time it takes for a packet to get from any particular location to my house is highly variable. Most packets arrive in 70ms but typically there are clusters of packets that take over 100ms to arrive.

Yahoo Mail Sucks

April 20, 2005

A friend of mine uses Yahoo Mail and just recently I noticed that when he sends me web links, the URLs get cut off and split onto two lines, thus simply clicking on the link doesn't work. What gives? The last time I remember encountering this was when I was
using <cough> <murmur> AOL's mail client several years ago.

Here's an example:

Notice the URL is cut? You have to click the first link then go back to the email and copy/paste the remaining/missing part.

ViseonMedia Signs Visa

April 20, 2005

Some more news from VideoMedia to go along with their recent Viseon Signs Fox News and Discovery Networks announcement and their VoIP + Content = Revenue Generating Possibilities announcement that I discussed in my blog. Reading their news release which claims an agreement with Visa to market their full-motion VoIP phones I am unclear exactly how this will work. Does this mean Visa can call you about some special credit card promotion offer and then "upsell" a fancy smancy VoIP phone with LCD display? If I have some time I will find out.

VoIP Awareness is Low

April 20, 2005

Courtesy of a news tip from Skibare. Thanks for the tip Skibare! Some great statistics below about "VoIP awareness".

Despite forecasts of new telecommunications technologies being rapidly adopted in the U.S., the latest survey from TNS Telecoms indicates that most Americans still have a low awareness of Voice-over IP (VoIP) technology. According to the survey, only 26 percent of households with Internet access report having previously heard about VoIP service after it was described to them.

Not Citing Sources!

April 20, 2005

Geez, I just blogged this morning about the "hoopla" behind the Vonage deal with and I pointed out that I had a "scoop" involving a company that added VoIP support to alarm systems BEFORE I stated that NextAlarm was first to do this and I stated as such in my blog entry both this morning and in a blog entry I wrote about a few months ago.

Well, wouldn't you know it, but not even 4 hours later I get a popup on my RSS reader with the title No Need for Alarm Over Home Security and VoIP. Curious to see what was about since I just wrote about VoIP & alarm systems I clicked on the link. Lo and behold this article STEALS my "scoop" and pretty much my entire analysis without citing me as a source.

That is a big no-no in the blogosphere or any journalism outlet for that matter.

In fact, the entire premise of this "other" article is identical to my blog.

Klipsch iFi iPod Speaker System

April 20, 2005

Now this is a cool iPod setup! The Klipsch iFi iPod Speaker System features 200 watts of peak system power you can rock the house with this baby! This “plug and play” setup, made exclusively for iPod fans, works with all dockable iPods, including the iPod Mini and iPod photo. It uses a radio frequency that can transmit through walls and ceilings allowing you to experience your digital music library in audiophile-quality Klipsch sound.

This 2.1 configuration comes with two Klipsch Reference Series RSX-3 satellites, a dedicated subwoofer, docking station and radio frequency remote.

MovableType Garbage Characters Problem

April 20, 2005

I found a solution to garbage characters showing up in my blog. The solution is to download the MTStripControlChars plugin which essentially translates the (would-be) Windows-1252 characters into the corresponding Unicode numeric entities. This fixed most of the weird garbage characters, but not all of them. Unfortunately, the plugin is not complete, so I had to customize the MTStripControlChars file to add other character mappings such as copyright symbols, registered trademarks, letter 'e' with an accent é), and other mappings.

PeerioData Launches

April 20, 2005

Popular Telephony has been keeping me in the loop regarding their PeerioData product which leverages a lot of the work Popular Telephony had done on their peer-to-peer VoIP product (Peerio). Indeed, Dmitry told me I hit the nail on the head when I commented to Dmitry that it sounded like his then "unannounced" PeerioData sounded like a RAID5 configuration only using "peers" to store the data across multiple peers rather than multiple hard drives. An intriguing concept and it cooks like it has been launched...

Check out the news.

Popular Telephony, the pioneer of serverless peer-to-peer communications, today announced the availability of PeerioData(TM) - the new, much awaited Peerio-based peer-to-peer application for business environment. The DEMO version of the software is available for the test drive at the company's website

VoIP Alarm

April 20, 2005

There was lots of "hoopla" yesterday about the Vonage deal with to allow home alarm systems to work on VoIP lines, including Andy's blog, CNet, and more. These articles were mostly based on a release that either Vonage or put out. What these articles neglect to mention is that was not the first to offer an alarm system that works on a VoIP phone line. In fact, I blogged about the first VoIP-capable alarm system which also happens to be "VoIP service provider agnostic" a few months ago.

Caesar's Palace Goes VoIP

April 19, 2005

According to, Caesar's Palace will be complete with biometrics and VoIP. According to, "Cranes put the finishing touches on the exterior of the new tower which opens in August with an array of high-tech facilities. Guests will be able to chat on the VoIP telephones while looking out over 'Lake Como' outside the neighbouring Bellagio."

It was unclear from the article what the biometrics was used for - could just be for door security/entry, but I'd be a little concerned letting a casino have access to my fingerprints for any reason.

"Your honor, I did not steal the Caesar Palace towels, nor the fancy soap dish."

"Mr. Keating, we have your fingerprints."

"Yes, but you robbed me of $750 on the Blackjack tables, so what's a $30 towel to ya?"

Anyway, ZDnet also had some information, including comments from Caesar's CEO, Carol Pride who stated that they looked at wireless solutions but decided against a deployment because "there were still some questions about security." Further, the ZDNet article points out that Pride said cost was one driver behind the introduction of VoIP but added that hardware and operability were the main drivers. A key factor was the potential to offer "large color screens, which will offer customers more opportunity for feedback and interaction," Pride said.


VoIP Call Tracking Service

April 19, 2005

Today eStara (whom I associate with their "web call me button" product), announced a SME solution that enables SMEs to use web advertising and still convert using phone as opposed to the website. If you are running a specific campaign, you can create/provision a unique phone number and eStara will track the leads to this number. This has been done for decades in the call center arena, but what's new is eStara has extended this feature into the Voice over IP realm, which enables not just call centers, but also small-to-medium sized businesses to track their campaigns as well. They offer comprehensive real-time reporting and provisioning using a web browser.

Check out the news release...

eStara Launches First VoIP-Based Nationwide, Local Call Tracking Service

IP-Based Technology Outperforms Legacy Switch-based Services; Makes Local and Toll-Free Numbers Ubiquitous, Affordable for Enterprise Customers and Online Advertisers

(Reston, VA) – eStara today launched the industry's first nationwide Voice over the Internet (VoIP) based call tracking service designed for both enterprise customers and advertisers working with directory, yellow page and search companies.

Google for "Blog"

April 19, 2005

I was curious the top "general" blogs in the blogosphere, so I did what any person would do - I Googled it.

Why is it that John Kerry's website is ranked so highly on Google for "blog"? - a general search term? I refuse to give John Kerry any more Google PR, so I won't include the link to his site, but I'm sure you can figure it out. He is the 11th link and the 8th overall domain listed for the "blog" keyword.

Skype Mobile

April 19, 2005

According to MobileMag, Skype Technologies co-founder and CEO Niklas Zennstrom reported that a mobile version of Skype will be available this year. I decided to check out to see if Skype had registered any domains with both Skype and "mobile" in the name. Sure enough, I noticed that perhaps a cybersquatter had already purchased Some further research reveals it is owned by Skyper Limited based out of the Netherlands.In other words, Skype owns this domain and it's parked at GoDaddy with a "Coming Soon!" message.

NextWeb and CommPartners WiMAX VoIP offering

April 19, 2005

NextWeb and CommPartners today announced the launch of the nation's largest deployment of VoIP services over a pre-WiMAX network. The service will begin rolling out to NextWeb's fixed-broadband wireless coverage areas in May, and will feature low-cost bundled broadband and voice service packages, fast install and enhanced calling features for SMBs. CommPartners plans to offer enhanced VoIP services to businesses in over 175 cities

According to NextWeb, they are California's largest fixed-wireless Internet service provider for business, and they are launching Voice over IP (VoIP) services through a strategic partnership with CommPartners, a nationwide VoIP facilitator for privately-branded, turnkey VoIP services and IP-to-PSTN interconnection carrier services. According to NextWeb and CommPartners, this will be the largest deployment of VoIP services over a pre-WiMAX network in the US.

The partnership will team NextWeb's extensive pre-WiMAX network with CommPartner's VoIP solutions, offering enhanced VoIP services and competitive savings to a potential customer-base of 500,000 small- and medium-sized businesses throughout California.

Samsung SGH-I300

April 19, 2005

Samsung SGH-I300

One of the coolest cell phones coming to market is Samsung Electronics SGH-I300, which has a 3Gbyte hard-disk drive, granting it more storage space than any other phone on the market. It supports various audio formats (MP3, WMA, Ogg, AAC, and AAC+ audio files) and video standards that will turn this phone into a mean miniature multimedia machine! Video support includes the MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and Windows Media Video standards. It comes with a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, scroll wheel navigation, Bluetooth, a 262,000 color 240x320 LCD screen, and a TransFlash memory card slot.

New Canadian VoIP Provider

April 19, 2005

I came across a new Canadian VoIP service provider (in its infancy?) aptly named "BabyTEL" that is announcing unlimited Canada-U.S. calling for $29.95. This news comes after Bell Canada's announced VoIP plans for a very expensively priced $45/month announced this past March. Their Canadian $29.95/month pricing is roughly U.S.$23 so it is competitvely priced versus other competing VoIP service providers which now all seem to be offering VoIP pricing plans under $30.

Universal Studios Orlando

April 18, 2005

Damn Universal Studios Orlando website is slooooow! I just had to gripe about it. I was trying to research a new ride that recently came out and there site is so filled with large graphics and Shockwave garbage that it takes forever to load. This isn't the first time I've attempted to reach the Universal Studios website and experienced slowness.

Shhhh, don't tell the rabid "Disney-ites" that I'm headed to Disney World in May and also plan on spending a day at Universal Studios.

XO Communications XOptions Flex VoIP Service

April 18, 2005

Looks like someone else is going to take a crack at the VoIP for business market which was recently abandoned by Level3 (their 3Tone product). Let us hope XO Communications can fare better than Level3 did.

Here's the release:

Now Available in 45 Major Markets, Including More Than 1,000 Cities Nationwide Combines Unlimited Local and Long Distance Calling with Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation for a Flat Monthly Rate

XO Communications, Inc.
(OTC Bulletin Board: XOCM.OB) today announced the nationwide rollout of XOptions(R) Flex, its industry-leading Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services bundle for businesses. XOptions Flex is now available in 45 major metropolitan markets, which includes more than 1,000 cities nationwide.

XOptions Flex is an integrated VoIP services solution that gives business customers enhanced features, functionality and value for their voice and Internet services, all in one simple package. It is the industry's first VoIP services bundle for businesses that combines unlimited local and long distance calling, dedicated Internet access and web hosting services for a flat monthly price.

"XOptions Flex offers businesses across the country the most comprehensive and flexible VoIP services bundle," said Craig Collins, vice president of product management at XO Communications.

California Surrenders "A Piece of the VoIP Action"

April 17, 2005

California was truly a big cry baby when it attempted to appeal the FCC's decision to control and regulate VoIP. You see California wanted a "piece of the action" - the VoIP action that is, but alas, the Feds trumped the state's jurisdiction. Because VoIP traffic is transported over the Internet, it has been designated a data service by the FCC and therefore not subject to state and municipal regulations. But that ruling is being challenged.

Consolidated Communications Uses Coaxsys' TVnet to Deliver IPTV in the Home

April 15, 2005

On Monday (18th), Consolidated Communications (15th largest telco in the U.S.) and Coaxsys will announce that: Consolidated has begun deploying Coaxsys' TVnet products in homes enabling Consolidated to provide IPTV service or the third piece of the "triple play" to its customers.

According to Coaxsys, "This is significant because it signals the beginning of major companies providing IPTV and deploying products. Additionally, this is the largest in-home deployment of IPTV home networking products in the U.S. to date."

Here is the release in advance of the Monday announcement.

Coaxsys Enables Consolidated Communications to Deploy TelcoTV Network Services to Customers

Consolidated Communications Uses Coaxsys' TVnet to Deliver IPTV in the Home

LOS GATOS, Calif., April 18, 2005 - Coaxsys, Inc., makers of the #1 deployed IPTV network, today announced that Consolidated Communications Inc., the nation's 15th largest local telephone company based on local access lines, is offering IPTV service to its subscribers using Coaxsys' TVnet.

Coaxsys' TVnet technology instantly transforms subscriber's TV coaxial cable infrastructure into a high-speed, IPTV-ready digital entertainment network.

Astricon Europe 2005

April 15, 2005

AstriCon Europe 2005 is just around the corner and in case you didn't know it is to be held in Madrid from June 15-17. They are expecting larger crowds as Asterisk, an open source PBX, continues to gain more popularity.

Asterisk and IPsando shared this news release with me...

IPsando, an information technology company focusing on Internet Protocol (IP) communications consulting and Digium, the creator of open source telephony, today announced that AstriCon Europe 2005, the first of two annual Asterisk user conferences, will be held June 15-17, 2005 at the Auditorium Madrid Hotel in Madrid, Spain. In response to the large number of attendees at AstriCon 2004, IPsando and Digium selected the Auditorium Madrid Hotel, the largest urban hotel in Europe, to ensure that AstriCon Europe 2005 would be able to host the large number of telecommunications executives and open-source users expected to attend the conference.

Boasting more than 200,000 users in over 200 countries, Asterisk is changing the way businesses purchase telecommunications services and how carriers build their voice over IP (VoIP) solutions by providing a complete business- and carrier-class PBX solution based on a Linux computer.

Skype Tops 100 Million Downloads

April 15, 2005

Personally, I'd be more curious how many actual people use Skype daily rather than a download benchmark - as impressive as 100 million Skype downloads seems. I'm sure lots of people probably download it, try it, and then stop using it. Then you have people that are regular Skypers and download it to their home PC, their 2nd home PC, their work PC, etc. But really it's only 1 Skype user.

A Real Yankee Hero

April 15, 2005

8x8 Slashes Price Of Packet8 Videophone To $99

April 14, 2005

Wow! Videophones are typically very expensive, so to cut their videophone to $99 is very impressive and they reduced the monthly service charge as well. Perhaps this will entice more users to purchase the Packet8 Videophone. (Check out my review of the Packet8 Videophone)

8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), provider of Packet8 broadband voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications services, announced today that it has reduced the price of the Packet8 Broadband Consumer VideoPhone from $250 (after rebate) to $99 and decreased the monthly service fee from $29.95 to $19.95, effective immediately.

VoIP the Savior of Payphones?

April 14, 2005

A few days ago I came across a news story about the demise of the payphone. In this article it begins:

Long gone are the phone booth's golden days when Superman metamorphosed inside and anonymous informers called in tips from the street corner.

But even as the plastic cracks, the cords are snipped, and wads of old chewing gum jam the coin returns, a modest movement to preserve the phone booth is rippling through state legislatures. To the phone booth's defenders, it is more than a matter of simple nostalgia: It cuts to the roots of social equality, public safety, and common sense.

According to the Federal Communications Commission,
the number of pay phones in the US dropped to 1.5 million in 2003, down from 2.1
million five years earlier - as the number of cellphone users surged.

AOL VoIP Review

April 14, 2005

I don't have AOL as my ISP, so I figured I'd link to the first review I have seen of AOL's new Internet VoIP service. This AOL VoIP review was written by Edward Baig of USA Today. He breaks out the pricing options as follows:

AOL members can choose among three pricing options. A local-oriented monthly calling plan costs $13.99 for three months, $18.99 thereafter.

Call Center CRM Blog

April 13, 2005

Interoute To Unveil ARENA

April 13, 2005

Nick McMenemy, VP and Spokesman of Interoute, will be in New York City next Tuesday April 19th to unveil a new technology named ARENA that Interout promises to change the way the telecom business is conducted in Europe and the U.S. as well as around the world by empowering enterprises. Interoute is a promising contender in the alternative carrier segment looking to be a true leader in the near future. They compete with the likes of Level3 (wthout the debt) and others.

Interoute claims, "to be Europe's fastest growing telecom provider and owner / operator of the world's most advanced and densely connected voice and data network with unlimited capacity is giving its major competitors Level 3 and Colt a big headache." According to Interoute, Interoute's software-based offering (versus legacy / hardware) has given it a terrific advantage by driving down it cost base and fueling stellar growth.

Minneapolis Gets WiFi

April 13, 2005

Yet another city offering WiFi. Verizon can sue cities until they're blue in the face, but the domino theory is now in effect. Verizon has been attempting to stop Philadelphia from offering WiFi. Well you can add Minneapolis to the list of cities now planning to offer WiFi. Soon other cities will start offering WiFi along with VoIP and soon the evil phone companies will be out of business. <evil laugh> BWAAA HAA HAA!

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition uses Sendia

April 13, 2005

I just finished writing a product review of Sendia for Customer Interaction Solutions when I received this email below about how a reality TV show is using Sendia's technology. Normally I would not "taint" my blog by promoting a reality TV show (i.e. trash TV), but I deemed it news worthy... I promise to never mention another reality TV show again in my blog.

Philadelphia City-Wide WiFi

April 12, 2005

One of my 2005 VoIP Predictions seems to be a step closer to becoming reality. I wrote:

8) Cities become their own phone companies
You will start to see more cities not only offering high-speed wireless broadband using WiMAX and other high-speed wireless technologies, but you will start to see cities offering their own phone services as well. Just think of the loyalty they can build! If I have my choice between paying a private VoIP company based in New Jersey versus paying my local town, heck I'll give the money to my local town.

Google Local Mobile Search

April 12, 2005

PhoneRanger announces new wireless headset for VoIP, Podcasts and Internet Radio

April 11, 2005

Just found out about a new USB/wireless headset device from PhoneRanger targetting the VoIP market. Sure, USB headsets are a dime-a-dozen, but this product is a bit different, which I will explain in a bit.

According to PhoneRanger, "PhoneRanger 2.0 was designed to meet the need for affordable wireless headsets that can fit within the typical work environment. PhoneRanger 2.0 consists of a lightweight rechargeable headset the rests on a docking station for recharging while not in use." They sent me an email announcing the product which promoted it as "a new wireless headset for Voice-over-IP, Podcasting and Internet Radio"

Using the 47-49 MHz band, the PhoneRanger 2.0 has a range of up to 10 meters and a single charged life of three hours. Here's where it gets interesting.

Global IP Sound Unveils GIPS VoiceMail Engine

April 11, 2005

Global IP Sound (GIPS), a leading provider of embedded voice-processing solutions for the Voice-over-IP market, is releasing its VoiceMail Engine, which allows applications developers to quickly and successfully build a fully-functional and high-quality voicemail application for VoIP telephony systems. GIPS VoiceMail Engine is a server-based solution that provides the complete media framework to handle all the voice processing needed for a VoIP voicemail system, such as file recording, file playout, and DTMF detection.

In my opinion, this is a great extension to Global IP Sound's renowned VoIP codec, especially considering all the issues of DTMF errors/non-detection due to compression of DTMF/touch-tone digits. This is a bit higher up on the food chain for Global IP Sound - more at the application level than their codec which is merely an underlying technology. While more of a developer application than a turn-key application, it still is worthy of note.

Upgrading MovableType Berkeley to MySQL

April 8, 2005

Upgrading to MovableType running MySQL instead of the Berkeley database was certainly a challenge, but it was worth the effort (I include the MT upgrade to MySQL steps below). I've been running the default Berkeley database for TMC's blogs, including my own. I knew that the Berkeley database was not very robust in terms of database recovery/disaster, rebuilding, or fixing corrupt table entries - at least not unless you compile the Berkeley tools written in C to run on Windows 2003 where TMC's blogs reside. There are several advantages to MySQL over Berkeley, including better user community support, better tools, better backup & disaster recovery options, ability to query or modify the blog tables directly using SQL statements, and better performance.

I had several problems upgrading to MySQL and thought I would share the solution so others don't go through the nightmares that I did.

Steps to Upgrade MovableType Berkeley Database to MySQL 1) Install MySQL for your operating system.

NetFabric and Belkin Partnership

April 7, 2005

Belkin may be a late-comer to the VoIP game, but lately they've been coming on strong in the VoIP space. Before Cisco bought Linksys, I always put Belkin, Linksys, and D-Link in the same group of competitors targeting the small-to-medium sized business and home within the networking space. I suppose even with the Cisco merger, Linksys products still target the SMB. I believe Linksys was one of the first to offer an integrated broadband router with a VoIP ATA port.

America Online Introduces AOL Internet Phone Service

April 7, 2005

AOL finally launches their long awaited VoIP offering...Also, check out Andy Abramson's blog. He plans to write more about AOL's offering today and he has some AOL insights from yesterday as well.

DULLES, Va. --(Business Wire)-- April 7, 2005 -- America Online, Inc. Offers Phone, E-Mail and Instant Messaging In One Enhanced Communications Service Market Rollout Begins in Select Cities Across the U.S. *T

America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today began the rollout of the AOL(R) Internet Phone Service, an enhanced Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that offers current and new AOL(R) members a valuable new choice for all of their voice, e-mail and instant messaging communications needs.

Starting today, America Online will introduce the AOL Internet Phone Service in more than 40 markets across the United States, the first phase of a nationwide rollout that will continue to additional cities over the coming months.

Verizon VoIP over EVDO

April 6, 2005

In my Vonage over EVDO blog I discussed how someone was able to make a VoIP call using Vonage over a high-speed EVDO connection. I also wondered how happy the cellular companies would be knowing that they are carrying voice over their data connection for the cost of a "monthly flat rate" data connection and thus no minutes used.

Well the answer may at least be partially answered by Verizon Wireless's chief technology officer, Dick Lynch, who outlined plans to launch "mass-market mobile VoIP" over the carrier's network. The services are expected to go live as early as 2008 or 2009. This amazingly fast timetable is made possible through Verizon's 3G EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) network, according to Dick Lynch.

Verizon's VoiceWing Bonanza

April 6, 2005

I just got like 15 alerts in my RSS reader about some press releases from Verizon all with almost the same exact title.

They read:
"Verizon Brings VoiceWing Internet-based Calling to Connecticut"
"Verizon Brings VoiceWing Internet-based Calling to Missouri"
"Verizon Brings VoiceWing Internet-based Calling to Alabama"
"Verizon Brings VoiceWing Internet-based Calling to Nebraska"
"Verizon Brings VoiceWing Internet-based Calling to Georgia"
"Verizon Brings VoiceWing Internet-based Calling to Mississippi"

After checking out all of their releases, they are essentially the exact same thing. The only difference is the text mentioning the area code you can choose for your number changes depending on which state is mention in the release. For example, the Connecticut release says, "can choose from 167 area codes, including 203 and 860 in
Connecticut." The other releases have the identical text except for this part about the area codes. (Click here for sample release)

Now here's the interesting part.

Nimcat Networks named "Cool Vendor" by Gartner

April 6, 2005

Now this is an interesting award (see release below)...Nimcat Networks, makers of a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) VoIP system for SMBs was named "Cool Vendor" by Gartner. Gartner is literally 8 miles from where I work, but I had no idea they had a "Cool Vendor" award. I may just have to create a TMC Labs "Cool Award". Speaking of awards, the TMC Labs Innovation Awards are coming up for Internet Telephony Magazine.

SMC Networks EZ-Stream Wireless Multimedia Extender

April 5, 2005

Today SMC Networks announced the newest in its EZ-Stream line of Home Entertainment Networking products, the new EZ-Stream 2.4GHz Wireless Multimedia Extender (SMCWME-G).According to SMC, the EZ-Stream 2.4GHz Wireless Multimedia Extender is a "high-end networked entertainment receiver that streams, plays and shares audio (including MP3 and Internet radio), pictures, video even premium music and movie content downloaded to the PC from major online content vendors all from the comfort of the living room couch."

It works via a wired or a wireless network for access to Internet resources on a networked PC, the SMC EZ-Stream Multimedia Extender provides access to music, photos and videos stored on a computer's hard drive via its link to entertainment devices, including televisions and stereo receivers, via high-quality composite video, S-video and digital-audio input connectors. Essentially, it is very similar to the Linksys MCX Extender that I reviewed, except that the Linksys MCX requires a Windows Media Center (MCE) PC and the SMC extender works with any PC. The fact that the Linksys MCX only works with MCE PCs is not a knock against the Linksys MCX since the MCX was designed specifically for Media Center PCs to include the ability to not only stream video or music wirelessly, but also pause live TV, and have the same menu interface as though you were accessing the Media Center PC interface directly. The SMC EZ-Stream Multimedia Extender does not have the ability to pause/rewind Live TV as far as I can tell.

SMC is demonstrating the SMCWME-G this week at the Retail Vision show in Orlando, FL.

Gold's Gym goes VoIP

April 5, 2005

There is so much fodder for a joke involving Gold Gym's deployment of VoIP - such as imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent or referencing Lou Ferrigno as the Incredible Hulk, but I will decline. Anyway, today Avaya announced that Gold's Gym is using Internet telephony to help the organization's U.S.-based locations eliminate costly outside conferencing services and transform their customer service operations. With new Avaya IP Office Solutions installed at each of its corporate offices, Gold Gym is now able to eliminate outside conferencing costs and to consolidate its formerly fragmented customer care team.

Here's the release:

Avaya IP Telephony Does the Heavy Lifting in Communications for One of the World's Largest Coed Health Clubs

Gold's Gym eliminates conferencing costs and transforms customer service with Avaya IP Office


Russian Govt Moves to Outlaw 2000 VoIP Operators

April 5, 2005

Very interesting article about the potential for Russia to outlaw 2000 VoIP operators.

Here's a teaser, then go read the full article...
It's hardly surprising that Russians, businesses and individuals alike, spend billions of rubles annually on VoIP services, instead of using overpriced and obsolete national and international connections, offered by old-fashioned telecom mammoths.

So far those mammoths have been quietly ignoring the trend, but lately their attention had been drawn to the phenomenon, and their first reaction was to outlaw the local VoIP market outright, pulling the usual strings of state bureaucracy. The industry made a faint attempt at striking back, sending an open letter to President Putin. Sergei Rublev of the Moscow-based Lenta.Ru information agency reports on the latest developments:

Russian economists estimate the current turnover of the Russian VoiP services market at $300 million per annum. At the moment there are different firms working in the area: VoIP departments at huge telecom companies alongside smaller local providers.

Mid-Sized Companies Not Interested in Linux?

April 5, 2005

I wonder how much Microsoft "secretly" invested in this study.

Mid-Sized Companies Not Interested in Linux -Microsoft Still Dominates, Study Says

London, ON - Most mid-sized enterprises are simply not interested in Linux, according to a recent study by Info-Tech Research Group, a leading technology research firm.A tiny 10 percent of mid-sized enterprises plan to evaluate Linux within the next three years and only a portion of these will actually adopt it.

"Just 27 percent of mid-sized companies currently have Linux installed and almost half of the respondents said they have no interest in Linux.The Linux advance into this market has stalled," says Frank Koelsch, Executive Vice President of Info-Tech Research Group."Microsoft still dominates this market and is the clear leader for mid-sized companies," he adds."Linux was initially hot, but interest has substantially declined.Companies are past the hype and taking a much more cautious approach towards Linux."

The study highlighted the divide that is occurring between large companies who are increasingly embracing open source, and smaller companies who remain Microsoft-centric.Of the companies who did not already have Linux installed, 48 percent have no interest whatsoever and a further 15 percent are not sure.

"An important consideration for any mid-sized enterprise evaluating Linux is that although Linux is free, the support for it is not," says Koelsch."For smaller organizations that already have a trained Windows-based support staff, adding Linux to the mix can add headcount, complexity and create havoc," he continues."Unless there is a compelling business reason to implement a Linux system, IT decision makers in mid-sized enterprises should stick to Microsoft solutions, even though they are not perfect either."

The findings and trend analysis are included in Info-Tech Research Group's annual "IT Priorities 2005" report.With over 1,400 companies responding, it is the largest annual survey of its kind.The study focused on mid-sized enterprises in the US, Canada and the UK.
With a paid membership of over 25,000 worldwide, Info~Tech Research Group is the global leader in providing IT research and analysis to the mid-sized enterprise market.It is North America's fastest growing full-service IT analyst firm.

PIKA Technologies VoIP and HMP Initiatives

April 5, 2005

PIKA Technologies adds to its VoIP portfolio with integrated SIP and unveils initiatives in host media processing (HMP) technology. I remember playing with PIKA voice and fax boards in the labs years ago as well as Rhetorex/Lucent/Octel boards, Dialogic boards (now Intel), and of course Natural MicroSystems boards. Well, PIKA is keeping with the times by offering VoIP boards and more importantly a powerful SDK for developing VoIP applications. In fact, to make development easier, on their website you can download sample applications, including a SIP Gateway application.

OptiMobile AB and Global IP Sound

April 4, 2005

Some news to share - another win for Global IP Sound - whose codecs are used in many VoIP applications, including Skype, Teleo, and others.

OptiMobile AB, a company within the field of seamless convergence of WiFi and cellular telephony, has licensed VoIP technology from Global IP Sound (GIPS), a leading provider of embedded voice-processing solutions for the Voice over IP market, to enable its patent-pending WBX wireless VoIP technology.

OptiMobile will integrate GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile into WBX, an innovative technology which guarantees automatic and seamless handover of ongoing voice calls between WiFi (VoIP over WLAN) and cellular networks. Virtual operators (ISP, MVNO, and hosting providers) can provide WBX enabled services to enterprises, municipal organizations and homes. This client/server solution connects the server to the virtual operator's network central, while the client is used in the mobile devices.

"Global IP Sound's products are widely recognized as the leader in terms of providing the highest call quality available for VoIP.

ZyXEL Prestige "all in one" 974SW

April 4, 2005

MoCA 100Mbps over Coax Trials

April 4, 2005

While DSL technology has steadily improved resulting in an increased distance from the CO and increased bandwidth, for instance, ADSL2+ has 25Mbps downstream, the news about coax cable improving its throughput has been notably absent - until now. The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) is announcing the successful results of its large-scale field trial at the National Show (see release below).

Conducted by MoCA's founders in 15 cities, the trial validated performance of 100 Mbps in real world condition over typical coax cable. Most highspeed broadband solutions over coax solutions, such as Charter's High Speed Internet max out at 3Mbps or roughly 33X times slower than MoCA. These results evidence MoCA's capabilities as both the highest-speed technology for home networking, and according to MoCA's founders, the only technology field-proven to be capable of transporting multiple HDTV streams.

MoCA's founders are Comcast, EchoStar, Entropic Communications, Motorola, Cisco/Linksys, Panasonic, Radio Shack, and Toshiba.

Here's the release:

MoCA Concludes Successful Field Trials for Home Networking of Digital Entertainment Using Coax

-- Large-scale tests validate performance of 100 Mbps in real world conditions

San Francisco, CA-April 4, 2005- Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) today announced a major step forward with the completion of successful field trials of the core technology to provide networking of digital home entertainment throughout the home on existing coax cabling in cable homes at NCTA - The National Show (Booth 6490 - CableNET).

Viseon Signs Fox News and Discovery Networks

April 4, 2005

In my VoIP + Content = Revenue Generating Possibilities blog entry from four days ago, I discussed the Viseon VoIP phone, which has a 10.4" LCD display and the revenue generating possibilities for service providers by providing content to LCD displays. Well, Viseon has now signed up two major content providers, the popular Fox News Channel and Discovery Networks, which includes Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids, and Discovery Times Channel. As stated in my VoIP + Content = Revenue Generating Possibilities blog entry, providing content to VoIP phones could be the differentiating factor when the lowest price is no longer the key differentiator.

Here's the release:

Fox News Channel and Discovery Networks sign up for VisiFone Pilot

VisiFone to Provide News, Information, and Entertainment Content

 San Francisco, CA - April 4, 2005 - ViseonMedia, a subsidiary of Viseon, Inc. (OTCBB:VSNI) and exclusive provider of TV-quality content to VisiFone Multimedia digital home telephone users worldwide, today announced that Fox News Channel and Discovery Networks, have agreed to providecontent from their networks for use as part of a U.S. VisiFone consumer pilot slated for late 2005.

Yankees Red Sox Rivalry

April 4, 2005

In October of last year, I wrote Red Sox or Yankees Evil Empire? where I pondered who indeed was the "true" Evil Empire - the Yankees or the Red Sox. I was surprised at the plethora of comments posted to this blog entry. In my last comment to this blog entry posted December 21, 2004, I said, "Enjoy your 2004 championship <Red Sox>. And if the Red Sox average continues, you only have to wait until 2090 for the next World Series championship."

Last night the rivalry was renewed at Yankee Stadium, which the announcers deemed "Game 8 of the LCS" , and which resulted in the Yankees crushing the Red Sox 9-2. During the game, I enjoyed one of the fan's signs that read "1918-2004-2090" which reiterated my December 21st comment that if the Red Sox hold true to form, their next championship will be in 2090 (86 years).

Apparently, some of my pro-Yankees comments weren't taken too kindly by at least one Red Sox fan as I see one "death threat" in the comments section of my blog posted last night threatening, "If i find out who you are and i see you on the street i will kill you." I guess he/she was sore loser last night and decided to Google "yankees evil empire" and low and behold came to my blog entry where his/her beloved Red Sox are deemed the Evil Empire by me.

C'mon, death threats?

Gadgets: A Blessing and a Curse

April 1, 2005

I was fascinated by this Gadgets: A blessing and a curse article and I could totally relate. While technology was intended to make life easier it has, in some ways, made our lives more complex. Basically, this article discusses how Blackberries, SmartPhones, PDAs, etc. have made us "too connected" which has caused work to spill over into "personal" time.

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