Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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June 2005

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Asterisk Business Edition New Version

June 29, 2005

Interesting news from Asterisk...They've released a new version of Asterisk Business Edition





Asterisk Business Edition A New Professional-grade Version of the Asterisk PBX Software Suite! Available now!

Digium, the leader in open source telephony, is now shipping the new Asterisk Business Edition™, a professional-grade version of its acclaimed open source PBX for the Linux operating system. This version provides tested reliability of critical functions and features, tailored for small- and medium-sized business applications.

Supreme Court Ruling Results in VoIP Blocking?

June 29, 2005

According to a Forbes article, the recent Supreme Court Ruling against a small Internet service provider called Brand X Internet will open the door to VoIP blocking. The Supreme Court ruled that cable operators don't need to share their broadband access lines with other businesses. Thus, the Forbes article "theorizes" that this will lead to VoIP port blocking by the cable broadband providers by stating, "That's good news for big cable companies but could be trouble for voice-over-Internet Protocol providers like Vonage, which sell digital phone service."

Jeff Pulver seems to agree that port blocking will occur when he is quoted in the Forbes article, "I believe it's a matter of when, not if. If I'm a service provider offering my own voice-over-broadband offering, and I've got the ability to block my competition, why not?"

Respectfully to both Forbes and Pulver, I say, "hogwash!"

All it takes is one 911 call to fail due to cable companies performing port blocking and the million dollar lawsuit that will ensue will keep the cable companies in line.

Linksys Loves VoIP

June 29, 2005

I came across an interesting article on Linksys that once again points to the possibility that my prediction that Linksys would enter the VoIP consumer/SMB market with a SOHO IP-PBX just may happen by the end of the year. In fact, in this prediction I stated, "LinkSys will announce this as early as December of this year."

Here's the Linksys story which also cites some interesting Linksys VoIP port numbers sold. I bolded the relevant sections that I think may point to a Linksys IP-PBX by the end of the year..

VOICE-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) is hot, and Linksys founder Victor Tsao has been coolly surprised by the market acceptance for the technology.

'We have shipped over 2 million VoIP ports for the period September last year to May 2005,' said Mr Tsao, senior vice-president and general manager of Linksys.

Internet Telephony Keynotes

June 29, 2005

Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is shaping up to be a fantastic event with some great speakers and keynoters. Michael Powell, former FCC Chairman and Carly Fiorina, former HP CEO are just two of the headliners.

What you may not know about Carly Fiorina is that prior to joining HP, Fiorina spent nearly 20 years at AT&T and Lucent Technologies, where she held a number of senior leadership positions and directed Lucent's initial public offering and subsequent spin-off from AT&T. Ms. Fiorina has previously served on the boards of Cisco Systems, Kellogg Company and Merck & Company.

We already know Michael Powell's strong support for VoIP when he was Chairman. He helped keep regulation off the nascent VoIP industry's back.

Other important speakers will be at Internet Telephony including Yahoo!, Cisco, Nortel, Skype, Juniper Networks, Toshiba, NEC, Lucent, Siemens, Inter-Tel, Deloitte & Touche, Aculab, Volo and, potentially, Alcatel and 3Com.

I can't wait to hear Michael Powell's take on VoIP and if he thinks the new chairman will continue his "hands off" policy.

SOMA Networks WiMAX VoIP Interoperability Test

June 28, 2005

Thought I'd share this bit of interesting news that involves all the hot buzzwords these days: wireless, VoIP, SIP, and WiMAX.

SOMA Networks Completes Validation with BroadSoft to Deliver Industry-Leading VoIP to the Broadband Wireless Market

First Pre-WiMAX Voice Interoperability Test Successfully Completed between SOMA' solution and BroadWorks(r)

SAN FRANCISCO, June 28, 2005 - SOMA Networks, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation broadband wireless access technology, today announced the successful completion of interoperability validation between SOMA Networks' end-to-end SIP-based voice solution and BroadSoft(r)'s BroadWorks(r) platform. By testing the seamless integration of these two solutions, BroadSoft Inc., the leading provider of VoIP application software, and SOMA Networks have certified the reliability of next-generation voice applications over a broadband wireless air interface. This trial marks the industry's first successful interoperability test of BroadWorks service delivery system and a pre-WiMAX voice system.

BroadSoft's BroadWorks, which provides a rich set of web-enabled telephony services such as call waiting, voice mail, conferencing, auto-attendant and follow-me-anywhere applications, will work seamlessly with SOMA Networks' advanced wireless system to provide a complete end-to-end packet-telephony solution for the service provider market.

Google Unveils Video Software

June 28, 2005

Asterisk the Final Nail in the PBX Coffin?

June 24, 2005

Brian McConnel has written an excellent article on Asterisk titled "The PBX Is Dead; Long Live VoIP". Brian and I go way back to the days when I wrote for CTI Magazine and Brian worked for Pacific Telephony Design/PhoneZone. If memory serve me, Brian was one of the biggest proponents and one of the authors of SCTP (Simple Computer Telephony Protocol). Nothing ever came of SCTP that I'm aware of, but Brian is one smart guy with lots of telecom experience I even have some of Brian's email newsletters from when he worked at Pacific Telephony Design/PhoneZone in 1997. (Yes I'm an email hoard!) Ah yes, the days of proprietaty, expensive, hard to develop CTI systems.

Ocean Electricity

June 23, 2005

Interesting tech news from a BusinessWeek newsletter (I'd hyperlink to it, but I got it via email).

The sun rises and sets, and winds come and go—but the ocean’s waves roll all day and all night. That’s why harnessing wave energy promises more reliable power than solar cells or windmills, according to engineers Annette von Jouanne and Alan K. Wallace at Oregon State University.

They have built a buoy that may prove to be an efficient, nonpolluting generator of electricity. The mechanism is surprisingly simple.

Vonage and Andretti Win Again!

June 22, 2005

Marco Andretti made it 2-for-2 on road/street courses in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series in his Vonage-sponsored car. According to the racing newswire, "Andretti's No. 26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone was challenged only once during the 25-lap event."

Hmmm, the Vonage car challenged only once? Let's hope that "Vonage the VoIP company" continues to be challenged by upstart VoIP compamies. Competition in the the VoIP industry is a good thing.

Skype Free Cell Phone Calls

June 22, 2005

Skype gets all the hype - and deservedly so. Skype (for better or worse) just plain works 98% of the time - even behind firewalls. I found this bit of Skype ingenuity fascinating.

A Norwegian company, IPdrum, has found a use for that old mobile phone that's been kicking around in your desk drawer.

Linksys Targets SMB

June 22, 2005

In a recent blog I predicted Linksys would target the SMB market with a plug-and-play SOHO /SMB IP-PBX. This bit of Linksys news comes close to that prediction .The Linksys division of Cisco is teaming up with VoIP provider engin to target the small-to-medium (SMB) space.

Under the agreement, engin will start reselling Linksys routers with phone ports. The devices include the Wireless-G Router (WRT54GP2) and Wired Broadband Router (RT31P2) which have two phone ports and Quality of Service (QoS) features.

Still, this doesn't meet my SMB threshold of at least 4 phone ports. Also, these routers are simply configured to work with a SIP-based ITSP, such as a Vonage, Packet8, or in this case engin.

Xten's New President

June 22, 2005

Erik Lagerway who has in my opinion done a fabulous job of marketing Xten's products, signing up major partners (i.e. Yahoo) has stepped down as President of Xten Networks, but will continue as a consulting co-founder.

Here it is from the horses mouth - Erik's SIPThat blog - explaining the deal.

Here dawns the day of a new era for Xten. I have stepped down as president of Xten to make way for the next phase of growth in the company. I think Larry will do a marvelous job and certainly is a capable sales oriented executive, exactly what Xten needs. I welcome Mr. Timlick with open arms and I will continue to assist in any way I can as a consulting co-founder of the company.

And from Yahoo! News:

Xten Networks, Inc. (OTCBB: XNWK - News), a provider of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), Video over IP, Instant Messaging (IM), and Presence SIP softphones, today announced that Mr. Larry Timlick has been appointed as President and a Director of the company, effective June 17, 2005.

"Larry brings experienced leadership and management expertise to Xten. His vision combined with over two decades of sales and management experience will be a great asset to our team, our shareholders and our customers," said Mark Bruk, co founder and Chairman of Xten. "Larry brings a keen understanding of the global communications industry, as well as the right combination of strategic insight and operational discipline to Xten."

With over 22 years of technical sales and management experience, the last 13 years of which was at Cisco Systems Canada, Larry brings extensive knowledge of the Enterprise and Service Provider markets.

Cosmos 1 Solar Sail Fails

June 22, 2005

The world’s first solar sail spacecraft named Cosmos 1 crashed back to Earth when its booster rocket failed less than two minutes after Tuesday’s takeoff, Russian space officials said. The Volna booster rocket failed 83 seconds after its launch from a Russian nuclear submarine in the northern Barents Sea, the Russian space agency said.

The Cosmos 1 vehicle, a joint U.S.-Russian project, was intended to show that a solar sail can make a controlled flight. Solar sails are designed to be propelled by pressure from sunlight.

TomTom Maps Update

June 21, 2005

TomTom finally licenses superior NAVTEQ GPS maps. I say it's about friggin' time! TomTom has one of the best GUI front-ends to any GPS navigation system, but the maps they previously licensed from Tele Atlas plain sucked. Sorry Tele Atlas, but it's true, your maps suck!

Vonage selects Avaya

June 20, 2005

Is it just me, or is there something strange/weird about Vonage partnering with Avaya? Here you have Vonage, a cool technology trendsetter in broadband telephony that has helped changed the telecom landscape forever partnering with Avaya, a "traditional" PBX manufacturer. According to the release pasted below, Vonage is using Avaya's IP telephony contact center solution for their customer service call center. Nothing against Avaya, but I would have expected Vonage to go with something "cool and hip" like an open source Linux-based Asterisk PBX solution.

Fonality Asterisk-based IP-PBX

June 19, 2005

On Monday Fonality will be coming out of "stealth mode" promoting its PBXtra with their first press release even though they've been officially servicing customers since October 2004. "We've kind of been in stealth mode because we wanted a wide deployment before doing our announcement", said Chris Lyman, founder and CEO of Fonality based out of Culver City, California. "We're at hundreds of customers right now and thousands of lines sold on our platform in over 30 states and 3 countries deployed right now."

Fonality Web Interface

PBXtra at its core is an Asterisk-based PBX with over 110,000 lines of Fonality's code added to the Asterisk platform, which makes the system more complete than native Asterisk with a much easier to use Web-based front-end interface. According to FOnality, the total lines of code now supercede the amount of Asterisk code.

Stream iTunes to Mobile Phone using Skype

June 17, 2005

DittyBot is a cool script for Apple OS X that uses mobile email and VoIP (SkypeOut) to stream music from your iTunes collection to your cellphone. You simply send a text message from your mobile phone to your POP email account. Your text message should contain the keywords of a song title (and possibly an artist name) that you want to hear. DittyBot finds that email (it checks Mail every 45 seconds) and copies the song name into a text file.

Roadtrip!+ FM Transmitter + iPod Charger

June 16, 2005

Ratings Score Installation Documentation Features Usability Performance Overall
iPod FM transmitters are a quick and easy way to iPod-enable your wheels and relatively inexpensive at ~$14-$35. So the question becomes not whether you should buy an iPod FM transmitter, but WHICH one you should buy. (Hardcore audiophiles will scoff and claim you have to hardwire your iPod to your car stereo, but for 99% of people an iPod FM transmitter's quality is good enough.)

Some factors to consider include: FM transmitter range, sound quality, user-selectable FM frequency, clean & elegant design with minimal wiring, and finally the ability to simultaneously charge your iPod while your using it.
Newer Technology's RoadTrip!+ FM Modulator + iPod Charger car kit (photo to left) passes all of these tests with flying colors - except one.

Vonage sponsors MTV

June 16, 2005

It looks like Vonage is targetting the teenage demographic by sponsoring an MTV reality TV show. Targetting teenagers is a smart move since parents are less technically inclined, thus less willing to switch their tried-and-true landline for some new fandagled VoIP phone service. But teenagers can be quite convincing in having their parents switch, so Vonage is making a smart marketing decision by sponsoring an MTV reality show.

It's amazing how far VoIP has come. I see at least one VoIP commercial every hour I watch television - usually Vonage, but sometimes my local cable company offering voice over IP.

The reality show that Vonage is sponsoring is MTV's, the Real World's 16th season, kicking off Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 10:00p.m.


June 15, 2005

This is probably yet another case of patent extortion by someone that probably steals someone else's idea but patents it first. I still can't believe Amazon was able to patent the "1 click" purchasing a few years ago. I'm going to see if I can patent "air" since no one has been issues a patent on "air" yet. (I looked it up).

Interesting GPS Patent Stuff

June 15, 2005

An Israeli inventor in Jerusalem has won a patent for using cellphone signals to determine where people are driving in their cars so traffic signals can be timed to reduce congestion. David Myr has invented a system that gathers location information from cellphone signals and uses mathematical formulas to calculate the travel times of those phones' owners as they drive along roads, through intersections, around corners and while waiting at lights. Those times can then be used to adjust traffic signals to ease vehicle flow. Mr. Myr received patent 6,539,300.

Not cool

Another inventor working on behalf of I.B.M.

Google TV

June 15, 2005

A source has informed me that Google is in the process of purchasing a massive amount of bandwidth and a major network upgrade. The source didn't confirm or deny whether Google was purchasing bandwidth from Level3, but all signs point to Level3. Now I don't want to go down the Google VoIP road which up till now was mere speculation and rumor based on Google's recent interest in 'dark fiber'.

However, my souce said that the amount of bandwidth purchased could only mean one thing - video.

Yahoo Partners with Xten a Major VoIP Softphone Player

June 15, 2005

Another Yahoo! deal with a major VoIP player. Yesterday was Dialpad, today it is Xten. Google, are you watching this? When are you going to launch Google VoIP and stop standing on the sidelines? Are you going to let Yahoo kick you around in the VoIP space?

vSkype adds voice, video, and application sharing to Skype

June 15, 2005

Santa Cruz Networks launched vSkype Beta, a plug-in that enables Skype users to engage in video, voice, and data sharing calls right from their client. This is now the second such software I have come across that adds videoconferencing to Skype. I recently blogged about a similar Skype plugin - Dialcom's Spontania video4skype application.

According to Santa Cruz Networks, "With vSkype, Skype users can now see who they are talking to while sharing applications, spreadsheets or photos in real-time. Whether one-to-one, in groups of 10, or in large meetings - face-to-face is better with vSkype."

“Video is one of the most highly requested features,” according to Skype.

Linksys Secretly Developing SOHO IP-PBX?

June 15, 2005

I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction that Linksys will sell a turnkey, "plug and play" SOHO IP-PBX in 2006. LinkSys will announce this as early as December of this year. How do I know this? Shhh...

T-Mobile Hotpot Growth Numbers

June 14, 2005

Some interesting T-Mobile hotspot numbers to share… No doubt the wireless data access market is on fire. Still waiting for WiMAX though...


BELLEVUE, Wash. – June 13, 2005 –T-Mobile HotSpot, the largest carrier grade, commercial Wi-Fi network in the United States, today announced continued wireless broadband leadership with strong customer growth and usage statistics, and new roaming relationships.

Since the service launch in 2002, T-Mobile HotSpot has evolved to become an expansive wireless broadband network. T-Mobile HotSpot meets the needs of mobile professionals and wireless data hungry consumers, whether they’re on-the-go in the United States or roaming while traveling abroad.

US LEC offers direct SIP Connectivity

June 14, 2005

US LEC Corp, a CLEC, has integrated VoIP and broadband connection directly with the customers' IP-PBX. US LEC Corp., a telecommunications carrier serving businesses and enterprise organizations throughout the Eastern United States, today announced the enhancement of its Dynamic T integrated voice and broadband Internet product to allow direct IP peering with IP PBXs using Session Initiated Protocol (SIP). According to US LEC, "While SIP has become the IP phone standard primarily used for single-location business, US LEC’s Dynamic T SIP is designed to meet the requirements of both single and multi-site businesses with integrated voice and data needs."

The addition of Dynamic T SIP to the Dynamic T product suite also allows for the interconnection with legacy Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) PBXs as well as IP PBXs, giving business customers more IP-based options to better meet their communications needs.

US LEC’s enhanced IP solution provides dynamic bandwidth allocation and on-net enterprise IP-to-IP calling. The direct IP peering between the customer’s IP PBX and US LEC’s VoIP network eliminates the customers’ need to purchase Internet Access Device (IAD) equipment or traditional TDM voice services, resulting in initial and on-going cost savings.

“US LEC’s Dynamic T SIP allows customers to benefit from dynamic bandwidth allocation that provides the full use of the T-1, at all times, at a lower cost,” said Jeff Blackey, senior vice president of US LEC.

Yahoo buys Dialpad

June 14, 2005

After all the speculation about Yahoo! buying Skype, it appears that Om got the scoop on Yahoo buying Dialpad. Boy, I remember being one of the first Dialpad users many years ago. If I recall it was a Java applet within a browser to initiate a VoIP call. They even offered free calling anywhere in the U.S.

Packet8 e911 Problem?

June 13, 2005

This from a Packet8 customer:

The E911 service from Packet 8 is a great feature for new customers, but a joke for current customers. I have been a loyal Packet 8 customer for 15 months. When E911 service was finally available in my area, they informed me I would have to change my phone number to a new one to get this service. They apparently have no way to simply add Enhanced 911 service to an existing Packet 8 number.

Get Vonage and a Free Linksys Wireless-G Router

June 13, 2005

This is a great marketing ploy by Vonage and Linksys that is a win-win for both, though mostly for Vonage since they get a perpetually paying monthly subscriber. Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, Inc., and Vonage, today announced a trade-in program for customers interested in upgrading their existing router for a Linksys Wireless-G Router configured with Vonage. For a limited time, customers can trade-in their used router – any brand, any model – for a Linksys Wireless-G Router with 2 Phone Jacks for broadband telephony (WRTP54G) for free (after rebates), when they sign up for Vonage’s broadband phone service. Utilizing various rebates it essentially makes the router upgrade "free".


June 13, 2005

As a huge proponent of GPS I've complained to just about anyone who will listen that all GPS systems should incorporate real-time traffic conditions and use them to calculate the optimal route. And no, I'm not talking about real-time traffic conditions in just the major cities. That is to say - even people that live in say New York City still have to travel outside the metropolitan area, so what good is traffic calculations that are only good in a 10 mile radius? I've proposed a P2P (peer-to-peer) GPS system whereby each car that has a GPS would anonymously transmit their current speed and location to other cars with a 50 mile radius utilizing GPS.

Yahoo buys Skype?

June 10, 2005

Z, Zod, Super Speed, and Time Travel

June 9, 2005

Faster than a speeding bullet (50 times faster than a rifle bullet to be precise), more powerful than a locomotive... It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's Z!!! Should have called this Zod after Superman's arch villain in Superman 2. Z fires objects faster than Earth moves through space.

U3 Portable USB Applications, including Skype

June 9, 2005

USB FOBs that you stick on your keychain are a lot more useful than you think. Sure you can use USB memory FOBs for storing files, pictures, music, applications, etc. But did you know you can not only store an applications installer, but you can actually run the application off of the USB drive? Sure you could copy the entire installer (.ZIP, .RAR, or bunch of uncompressed files) and install the application on the PC, but if it's not your PC you have to go and uninstall your "legally" licensed software.

AT&T goes after Enterprise VoIP Trunking

June 8, 2005

AT&T and Cisco partner up to offer 2¢ per minute on all outbound calls within the U.S. to any company that has broadband service, such as DSL, T1, etc.

I just got this news via email now. Wow, looks like AT&T is going after the business that Level3 vacated a few months ago - namely the enterprise VoIP trunking business.

ZyXEL Prestige 2000W v2 VoIP Wi-Fi Phone and Prestige 5000 Video Phone

June 8, 2005

ZyXEL Communications, a provider of secure broadband networking and Internet connectivity and routing products, will demonstrate its comprehensive line of high-speed, secure products this week at the SUPERCOMM 2005 trade show. ZyXEL’s suite of VoIP, ADSL and VDSL solutions deliver quality voice, video and data integration to address the growing demand for triple play applications by telecommunications providers. ZyXEL will showcase its Prestige 2000W v2 VoIP Wi-Fi phone, winner of the SUPERQuest Award for Most Promising New Technologies of 2005.

This was one bit of news I had under NDA. These are interesting looking phones that made me ponder a few questions.

CLEC Fonix Telecom Upgrades to VoIP

June 7, 2005

Fonix Telecom, a subsidiary of Fonix Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: FNIX - News) that provides integrated telecommunications services, and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU - News) today announced at SUPERCOMM that Fonix Telecom will deploy technology from Lucent's Accelerate Next-Generation Communications Solutions to upgrade its network to VoIP throughout the company's nine-state territory. While CLECs have always been a step ahead of the ILECs in technology deployment, even the the CLECs have been slow to deploy VoIP due to the cannibalization of their revenue stream that VoIP incurs. However, VoIP also brings cost saving economies to the CLECs that improves their margins, especially in the long run. As per-minute pricing schemes reach 'rock bottom' and virtually unlimited minute cell phone plans continue to wreak havoc and cause heated exchanges in telecom board rooms, they have finally seen the writing on the wall.

Changing a Spare Tire

June 6, 2005

Ever have to change a spare tire? Do you even know how to change a tire? Or are you one of those types that would rather wait 45 minutes to an hour for a AAA tow truck to show up and change the tire for you? Ok, I shouldn't knock AAA and other auto clubs.

VocalTec Launches Latest Essentra Softswitch

June 6, 2005

Some quick news to share...

VocalTec Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ:VOCL), a leading telecom equipment provider offering Next Generation VoIP solutions for carriers and service providers, today launched the newest release of its award-winning Essentra® Softswitch Platform. With this latest release carriers and service providers can bridge the gap between the reliability and scalability of current TDM networks and the innovative services delivered by Next Generation VoIP Networks. The latest release offers a high-density Class 5 alternative platform with up to 250,000 subscribers supported on a single chassis, full redundancy within a NEBS level 3 package and a highly rich IP-Centrex solution fully integrated within the softswitch.
"Carriers cite lower cost and innovative services as the primary motivators for migrating to next generation networks," commented Moti Suess, COO, VocalTec Communications Ltd. "However they expect the same 'five nines' system availability and high density scalability that they are accustomed to. Our latest Essentra solution fulfills these expectations."

Carriers can use the Essentra network platform to replace elements within an existing network, to replace an entire Class 5 switch or can deploy the Essentra side-by-side with an existing legacy network.

Cisco is SBC Shopping

June 6, 2005

According to various sources, Cisco is shopping for a Session Border Control (SBC) company. What are SBCs? Well, VoIP traffic has issues with network address translation (NAT), a commonly used system that not only allows companies to conserve IP addresses but it "hides" internal IP addresses from the external Internet thus providing a layer of security. Firewalls for instance usually have one external IP address (sometimes multiple) and multiple internal IP addresses and the firewall handles the traffic - directing the appropriate data to the correct IP address.

Microsoft Triple Play

June 6, 2005

Today at SUPERCOMM 2005, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced that it is providing the innovative software-based solutions telecommunications operators require to deliver a variety of services over Internet protocol, or SoIP. With the addition of voice over IP (VoIP) capabilities to its solution set, Microsoft offers a comprehensive portfolio of robust solutions that allow service providers to build, manage and combine voice, video and data services.

"While everyone would like to find that silver bullet, we believe it's not just one killer app or service that's going to drive the growth of telecommunications services," said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector for Microsoft. "It is services over IP, or more specifically, the aggregation of services over IP that will transform the way we work, live and play, today and well into the future.

Microsoft's Communications Sector is focused on collaborating with service providers to build software-powered service networks that will help them create new revenue opportunities and enhance the customer experience." Microsoft offers telecommunications providers robust, software-based solutions that facilitate the delivery of revenue-generating services over IP:

* Data services. Microsoft delivers a full range of data solutions that carriers can host in their networks and offer to enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, and consumers.

DUI Defendants Beat Charge By Asking for Source Code

June 6, 2005

File this under yet another ridiculous Florida ruling. What the heck is up with Florida they days? There seems to be regular occurences of legal stupidity down there.

Apparently hundreds of cases involving breath-alcohol tests have been thrown out by Seminole County judges in the past five months when the defendant asks to see the source code for the breathalyzers used on them and the test's manufacturer will not disclose the source code.

All four of Seminole County's criminal judges have been using a standard that if a DUI defendant asks for a key piece of information about how the machine works - its software source code, for instance - and the state cannot provide it, the breath test is rejected, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.

AOL News

June 6, 2005

Here's a summary of the AOL breaking news this morning followed by two AOL news releases:

* America Online, Inc. today announced the official launch of AIM® Mail, its free, Web-based e-mail service that offers industry leading spam and virus protection, two gigbytes of storage and seamless integration with the AIM service via the domain.

*AOL also announced the general availability of the updated AIM 5.9 software, which offers one-click access to AIM Mail, an expanded Buddy List feature that can accommodate up to 400 buddies and store more contact information on each one, as well as twice as much writing space for more creative Away Messages.

* A system-wide auto-upgrade will begin rolling out across the AIM network during which each of the 22 million active AIM users will be presented with the opportunity to activate their AIM Mail account and enroll in a special sweepstakes promotion with prizes that include Sony PSPs, T-Mobile Sidekicks, iPod Shuffles and a 2005 MINI Copper S.

* In a separate press release, AOL announced that it will increase the e-mail storage that it provides to AOL members to an unlimited capacity. AOL is the first online service to offer unlimited e-mail storage.

* In the coming weeks, AOL members using nearly 80 million AOL® Mail accounts will be able to save and store an unlimited number of e-mails, attachments and folders on AOL's servers.

* As a part of this change, AOL introduced the Multiple Simultaneous Log-Ins feature for members on dial-up.

SuperComm News

June 3, 2005

SuperComm is just around the corner and there will be lots of VoIP news I am sure. Already I've been given some news scoops under NDA that I'm holding under my hat. Unfortunately, I won't make it to SuperComm this year. However, this doesn't mean TMC & Internet Telephony Magazine won't be representin' at the show.

In fact, Greg Galitzine, Editor of Internet Telephony, and Rich Tehrani, Group Publisher & President with be at SuperComm checking out and covering the latest VoIP news.

Linux Booming in Telecom

June 2, 2005

Some news to share about Linux in telecom. Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux in the enterprise, today announced it has published its Carrier Grade Linux requirements definition version 3.1 (CGL v3.1) and will host two SUPERCOMM panels, "Accelerating Linux Deployment in Communications" and "The Business Case for Linux," to meet the growing interest in CGL applications for telecommunications infrastructure.

Hosted by Ibrahim Haddad - author, former Linux researcher at Ericsson, and strategic program manager at OSDL- the "Accelerating Linux Deployment in the Enterprise" panel will look at the most recent requirements from the Carrier Grade Linux working group, including high availability and clustering definitions. Haddad will also deliver the "State of the Penguin" keynote address at the Linux Solutions Telecom Conference being held at SUPERCOMM.

Highdeal & AOL Deal

June 2, 2005

Highdeal Transactive a leading pricing and rating software suite for mobile, IP and multimedia services has been selected to support AOL’s recently launched consumer VoIP service – AOL Phone. AOL Germany is one of Germany's leading Internet companies and part of the world's biggest media company Time Warner.

As part of its strategy, AOL Germany took the decision to broaden its product portfolio by introducing IP Telephony services for the German residential market. Compared to other German service providers, the new service, AOL Phone, is set to deliver a sophisticated and easy to set up VoIP solution. In addition, AOL Phone enables consumers to save enormously on their phone costs compared to other classic telco providers.

Skype Video Conferencing

June 1, 2005

Skype and video conferencing are a match made in heaven, so it's a wonder it took so damn long for integrated video conferencing in the Skype client. The Skype video feature comes not via Skype, but rather courtesy of a third-party plugin from DialCom Networks.

Dialcom's Spontania video plug-in is designed to be integrated with any 3rd party Internet-based communication solution.

Dialcom selected Skype, a premiere VoIP solution, as the first integration candidate. The product is called "Spontania video4skype" and best of all it's free.

Email Lowers IQ

June 1, 2005

Email distraction lowers IQ according to a recent British study. A study determined that distractions caused by email found that people who do frequent email or SMS suffer a 10-point IQ drop - more than twice the IQ drop caused by marijuana (4 pts). The study found the IQ of those who tried to juggle messages and work fell by 10 points -- the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep

According to CNN, workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana. The constant interruptions reduce productivity and leave people feeling tired and lethargic, according to a survey carried out by TNS Research and commissioned by Hewlett Packard.

Skype WiFi Phone

June 1, 2005

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