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June 2006

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Shure Sound Isolating Earphones: How Sweet It Is ...

June 30, 2006

What with MP3 players, iPods, CD players, cell phones and all kinds of other gadgets, it seems like just about everybody is wearing earphones these days!

It may seem like a weird analogy, but the same adage about treating your feet to the best goes the same (at least for me) with earphones (or headphones as they used to be called).

With that in mind, it's hard to beat Shure's i3c Integrated Sound Isolating Earphones + Mobile Headset (some name!).

Millennials Rule!

June 30, 2006

Not too surprising to find out that no other group of consumers will have as profound an impact on the media business over the next 10 years as the "Millennial Generation," today's 9- to 28-year-olds. (This from Frank Magid, president and CEO of Frank M. Magid Associates, at the annual Promax conference in New York City.)

Today, this group numbers 79 million, one million more than the Baby Boomers in this country, and have grown up using multiple media platforms at the same time. 

Apple Delays; Too Much Secrecy?

June 29, 2006

"Green Dell": Dell Trying To Get Recycling Right

June 29, 2006

Dell has announced plans to provide free recycling of any Dell-branded product for consumers around the world as part of its new global recycling policy. (Does Dell have a windmill farm, too? But I love this graphic.)

"We have a responsibility to our customers to recycle the products we make and sell," said Michael Dell, chairman of Dell. "Our direct relationships with consumers allow us to offer this easy and free service and we encourage others in our industry to do so as well." 

Currently, Dell offers consumers no-charge recycling of any brand of used computer or printer with the purchase of a new Dell computer or printer.

Coke's New Twist on Vending Machines

June 28, 2006

Vonage V-Phone ho-hum

June 28, 2006

Vonage announced their oft-rumored USB "VoIP-on-a-stick" product today. Nothing new here, Mplat has a similar product called Mplat FlashPhone F2K that I wrote about. Unlike the Vonage V-Phone which is limited to Vonage, the Mplat device not only comes standard with Skype software but it's also compatible with MSN, Google Talk, and other VoIP services. Prices for the Mplat device start at about $40 for the 128MB unit and $80 for the 512MB model.

Skype for Linux 1.3 beta news

June 28, 2006

EA Moves into MMORPGs in Big Way

June 27, 2006

Digital Foci's Memory Card Travel Case: Good Idea!

June 27, 2006

Even if you don't do too much traveling, this a must-have digital camera accessory!

(Works with other gadgets, too.)

Digital Foci's Memory Card Travel Case organizes and protect your valuable flash memory cards with smart stackable slots that let you hold as many as eight memory cards of all different types: CompactFlash I/II, MD, SM, MMC, SD, miniSD, MS, MS Prod, MS Duo and xD card.

Intel sells XScale processor to Maxell

June 27, 2006

Marvell Technology Group has acquired Intel's XScale processor division. As a gadget-lover this is absolutely shocking since the Intel XScale chips are used in PocketPCs, handhelds, mobile phones and other embedded devices and gadgets. The popular Treo and Blackberry devices also use the XScale chipset.

Intel has been one of the leading innovators of providing  low-power consumption chipsets, continually pushing the edge of battery life and performance in small embedded devices. Intel has one of the largest R&D budgets in the IT world and some of the most sophisticated labs.

JAHJAH offers free calls globally

June 27, 2006

JAJAH today announced free phone-to-phone calls to almost anywhere. The JAJAH Free Global Calling Plan applies to both landline and mobile phones to many of the most-called places in the world.  

JAHJAH uses a unique method of initiating the call. You go to a website, enter in your phone number and the number you wish to dial and JAHJAH dials both legs of the call and connects the two.

Fun in the Sun (and Water?): Keeping That iPod Dry

June 26, 2006

Now here'a a really good idea for summer fun in the sun (and water) -- Allsop's Splash Pack DriPod!

(And the way it's been raining in the Northeast, this might work well ...)

I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

Whether we’re talking cassette walkmans, CD players or iPods, portable music allows us to create a soundtrack for nearly every moment of our lives.

Chance To Build a Community Game From the Ground Up

June 26, 2006

The Arcadia Project is calling itself the very first fully community-funded and community-assisted PC game ever attempted to be built from the ground up!

A company called Stormcloud Creations will build Arcadia: Guild of Heroes (aka The Arcadia Project), which will enable pre-order users to play actual builds of the game and suggest ideas as its being created.

The project is in the beginning stages now, with several builds already having been released.

The game itself is a management game with a role-playing game sensibility.

Jyve + Click&Buy + Skype + Expertise = Money

June 26, 2006

In 2004, I had a blog post titled Jive Talking (Bee Gees song), about a company called Jyve. Well, I haven't written about Jyve in quite some time (two years). It appears Jyve (Skype plugin) and Click&Buy enable experts in any field (techie, writer, web designer, etc) to charge for their expertise using the Skype network. This is similar to Ether, which was in closed beta until just a few days ago when it launched.

Using Jyve along with Click&Buy, entrepreneurs can make more money through Skype by charging customers in locations throughout the world for their expertise. In theory you can even use this for "adult voice conversations" similar to U.S.

IPEVO Xing Skype Conferencing unit

June 26, 2006

IPEVO plans to soon launch a conference system for Skype called IPEVO Xing. IPEVO Xing is a USB conference phone that is designed to work exclusively with Skype. Xing will be launched with a free trial of Skype-certified Convenos Meeting Center, a fee-based collaboration/sharing software solution, which will enhance the meeting experience.

Andy loves his in-flight wireless Internet access

June 26, 2006

Andy emailed me a link to a post where he is quite enthused over his experience of wireless Internet access experiences on intercontinental Lufthansa and SAS flights, and then scolds Boeing for possibly shelving their in-flight Internet access. Andy talks about his great experiences with Internet access while flying and of course Andy tests VoIP during the flight. He doesn't mention whether he used Skype, his client SightSpeed, or some other VoIP client.

I also just noticed Andy redesigned the look of his blog. Nicely done, Andy!

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

June 26, 2006

On May 30th 2006, I speculated that Windows Live Meeting 2006 was coming - the next version after Windows Live Meeting 2005. I was close -- Microsoft actually "skipped a year" and released Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, a unified communications client that works in tandem with Office Communications Server 2007, which was also announced today. This solution delivers a presence-based, enterprise VoIP “softphone” for secure, enterprise-grade instant messaging that allows for intercompany federation and connectivity to public instant messaging networks such as MSN, AOL and Yahoo! It also enables one-to-one and multiparty videoconferencing, audioconferencing, and webconferencing.

PacWest layoffs?

June 23, 2006

Your Personal Remote Control (Click) Arrives Today!

June 23, 2006

Don't know why I'm so excited about this movie, but Click finally opens today in a movie theater near you. 

(Also don't believe I'm actually going to see it this afternoon as part of a birthday party celebration.)

Here's the plot summary (courtesy of Moviefone -- can't believe it's actually now AOL Moviefone ...):

Click focuses on a workaholic architect, Michael Newman, (Adam Sandler) who discovers a universal remote control which allows him to fast-forward and rewind through different parts of his life.

However, when the remote begins overriding his choices, life goes from calm to chaos overnight.

Nokia's U.S. First Retail Store Opens Tomorrow

June 23, 2006

FCC approves new VoIP taxes

June 22, 2006

Well, we knew it was inevitable that the FCC would pass on USF (Universal Service Charges) taxes onto VoIP service providers and thereby unto VoIP subscribers. I griped about this pending tax just recently. Well, the FCC voted unanimously yesterday to require all voice over Internet Protocol services that connect to the public-switched telephone network (PSTN) to contribute to the Universal Service Fund.  ZDNet has an excellent overview of this news, as does TMCnet's Robert Liu.

"All Things Digital" Is Must Reading

June 22, 2006

FIFA World Cup 2006 Online: Read (and See) All About It!

June 21, 2006

(Good) Fellowes Makes It Easy To Work & Play

June 21, 2006

We all spend too much time at the computer, whether at work or at home. (What did we ever do in our free time before that gadget was invented?)

With the idea of making that desktop experience as humanly comfortable as possible, Fellowes offers a full line of "workspace ergonomics" products that make it easy on the body. These include wrist supports, copyholders and both foot and back rests.

Skype supports U.S. Military and other news

June 21, 2006

Skype is having a busy news day putting out 3 announcements. First and foremost, Skype is working with both RadioShack Corporation and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to provide U.S. military service members and their families with Skype starter packs, so they can make voice calls at no charge from one Skype account to another. They are are eligible for full purchase-price refunds after both instant and mail-in rebates with proof of their military status.

T1/E1 plus Ethernet over HFC

June 21, 2006

First the cable MSOs went after the residential voice market using VoIP technology. Now, the cable MSOs are targetting the business T1/E1 voice market using a single-box solution that delivers T1/E1 plus Ethernet over HFC (hybrid fiber coax). Many businesses already have cable, so getting a T1/E1 dropped is as simple as connecting the Narad Broadband Interface Unit to the coax cable and the T1/E1 trunk(s) on the PBX.

Narad is integrating RAD's technology into their boxes. The joint RAD/Narad solution enables MSOs to deliver multiple commercial-grade T1/E1 circuits along with broadband Ethernet services displacing expensive T1/E1 lines leased from ILECs or CLECs. For instance, enterprises can use the T1 lines for branch office PBX trunking while mobile operators can use the RAD/Narad solution to replace leased T1/E1 lines used for cellular backhaul.

Windows Live Messenger Launches

June 20, 2006

Windows Live Messenger finally launched. I've been playing around with the "invite only" beta for awhile, but now it's available to everyone to download. Some in the media claim this is Microsoft's answer to the popular Skype VoIP client, but more on that later.

Power on the Go! APC's Mobile Power Pack

June 20, 2006

It's a very simple premise -- why not create a light-weight battery that allows you to charge any number of mobile devices, rather than having a dedicated battery for each device?

Simple, but apparently not that easy to do -- until now.

APC's new Mobile Power Pack (UPB10)allows you to simultaneously charge and power your mobile phone and handheld computer using USB charging cables (sold separately, but you probably have them already).

Microsoft iPod/iTune Killer Under Development?

June 20, 2006

CableMatrix unified policy management solution

June 19, 2006

Tomorrow CableMatrix at SCTE will announce an interesting unified policy management solution that guarantees end-to-end service quality (QoS) for applications (e.g. VoIP) traversing converged IP networks - managing WiMAX, cable, wireless, and DSL access solutions.  It even has IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) implications. Using QoS and centralized management, operators will have the ability to extend high-quality services no matter where and how the subscriber accesses the network.

YourLink, a broadband service provider will begin trials this summer. 

Be a VoIP DJ using Yahoo Messenger with Voice

June 19, 2006

Yahoo! Messenger with Voice on Tuesday will introduce custom plug-in features and will now allow developers to custom made applications. Some of the hghlighted plug-ins include plugin applications for, Yahoo! 360, and eBay. My guess is we'll also see integration with Flickr and other popular community (Web 2.0) sites as well through developer-created plugins.

There is a small VoIP component to the announcement  The new soundboard feature allows people to add short sound effects into their voice conversations, including ‘audience booing’ and ‘birds chirping’ sound effects.  Additionally, with the Soundtrack feature, people can drag and drop MP3 music files stored on their PC and they will play as background music while they are talking to their friends.

The Perfect VoIP Softphone and IM client

June 19, 2006

With more softphones on the market than you can shake a stick at, each with their own "island" of users that cannot bridge to other islands, I've become a bit disillussioned with the VoIP softphone market. Sure, there is talk about interoperability, support for SIP/SIMPLE, XMPP support, etc. but we still don't have a single unified client that can speak to Skype users, AOL/AIM users, ICQ, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, etc.

Big Sound/Small Footrprint: JVC UX-G50 Micro Component System

June 19, 2006

I like a good stereo system in my office, but have never wanted to get bogged down with "regular size" component systems (those are for chillin' out at home).

Looking at micro component systems that don't break the bank, JVC has always been a very good choice.  And actually, very good value for the money.

Power To the People (Chicago Travelers At Least)

June 19, 2006

Interesting piece in today's Chicago Sun-Times about a plan to give traveler's free access to power up their laptops and other mobile devices at O'Hare and Midway airports. (No more looking for an open duplex -- maintenance -- outlet in any of the seating areas?)

Last month, 40,000 air travelers paid $6.95 daily for the right to access the Internet at O'Hare and Midway airports. But what good is wireless Internet access if passengers have no place to recharge their dying BlackBerries, PDAs and laptop computers?

Unified Messaging supplants traditional voice mail?

June 19, 2006

I couldn't help but laugh at a prediction by In-Stat stating that "Unified Messaging poised to supplant traditional Voice Mail this decade". Didn't all the research groups make this prediction in the 1990's during the CTI hey day? Heck, I was one of the biggest advocates of unified messaging when I wrote for CTI Magazine in the 1990's - CTI was the precursor to VoIP and of course Internet Telephony Magazine. The prediction that unifed messaging (UM) would take the world by storm still hasn't happened.

Nokia Siemens merger

June 19, 2006

Nokia based out of Finland and Germany's Siemens announced today plans to merge their telecommunication equipment divisions which would create the world's third-biggest equipment group worldwide.

Each company will hold exactly 50% of the new company called Nokia Siemens Networks. The merger still requires approval, but this is another trend towards reversing the phone company breakup (AT&T) and the formation of just a few monopolistic phone companies and phone manufacturers.  Kind of reminds me of the bad guy (T-1000, Robert Patrick) in Terminator 2 that was broken into a million pieces in the warehouse only to reform back to its original shape. Can't find that exact scene, but here's the famous Terminator 2 Helicoptor scene where the T-1000 reforms in the cockpit.

Vonage begs customers to stay

June 19, 2006

Last week, Russell Shaw reported on how Vonage is essentially "begging" customers to stay by offering discounts (down to $19.99/month) to their monthly service. As a Vonage customer myself, still looking to dump Vonage in the next few weeks (See: Time to Dump Vonage), maybe I can get a discount as well? Maybe if they offer me $10/month I'll stick with Vonage. Rich thinks offering discounts in a brilliant move.

Pace Micro Technology Miami DC757 HD set-top box

June 19, 2006

Pace Micro Technology, a leading digital set-top box provider specializing in the development of emerging technologies across all television platforms, today announced its latest all-digital set-top box - the Miami DC757 HD, which will be demonstrated at the upcoming Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Denver, June 21-23, at Exhibit #1372. 

According to their news release, this cost-effective, all-digital high definition (HD) box uses the latest generation integrated silicon, supports legacy applications, DSG (DOCSIS 2.0 Set-Top Gateway), CableCARD for conditional access by other devices (i.e. PC),  and the latest in EPG and VOD applications. The Miami box has extensive connectivity options - including HDMI, RF and everything in between to provide secure, high-performance digital audio and video links. 

HUDLite for Asterisk Launches

June 19, 2006

Fonality today announced the immediate availability of HUDlite, a free application for Asterisk that provides businesses with a real-time call control and presence management platform, along with other features such as chat/IM and call recording. Based on HUDPro (paid version), HUDlite is available for download at, a web site that also provides a user forum and documentation. Fonality's CEO/founder Chris Lyman told me last week, "We have silently launched HUDlite (as you know) and already have almost 4,000 downloads." There is certainly a lot of "buzz" within the Asterisk community over the HUDLite application, which is probably the best call management, presence application (and other functionality) for the Asterisk platform.

"Free HUDlite helps bring Asterisk to the masses, making it much easier to use and even more powerful. Fonality has benefited so much from the Asterisk movement.

Verizon slaps Vonage with Lawsuit

June 19, 2006

Vonage said today that it has been served with a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Verizon.  The lawsuit from Verizon Service Corp. and Verizon Laboratories Inc. alleges that Vonage infringed on seven patents related to VoIP technology. The timing of this lawsuit is more than suspicious. With Vonage facing lawsuits from its customers over its failed IPO and its stock continuing a downward spiral, I'm wondering if this isn't simply Verizon going for the jugular while Vonage is down.

Already, the stock is down 2.24% ($9.60/share) 7.92% ($8.84) today (Update: Broke the $8 barrier). What sweet revenge Verizon could have - simply by hurting Vonage's stock - whether or not the lawsuit has any merit.

Gadgets Go Bye-Bye: Trade Them In!

June 16, 2006

Gadgets are hold to let go of -- even when they're just gathering dust.

Now it's possible to trade in your old electronics gear and gadgets in exchange for a Circuit City gift card. provides Circuit City customers with a way to trade in used (working) technology products in four easy steps:

  1. Select a category to use the trade-in estimator and receive an instant estimate
  2. Register for a Trade-In account and log in to the Trade-In Program
  3. Print a prepaid shipping label and ship your items to the trade-in warehouse
  4. After receipt and verification, a gift card will be issued per the outlined terms and conditions

Trade-in categories include:

  • PC Desktop
  • Apple Desktop
  • PC Notebook
  • Apple Notebook
  • SLR & Professional Cameras
  • Point & Shoot Cameras
  • Servers
  • MultiMedia Projectors
  • Home Audio Receivers
  • Mobile Phones
  • Car Audio Receivers
  • Computer Monitors
  • Camcorders
  • Game Systems
  • PDAs or Hand Held Computers
  • Apple iPod

Nielsen wants to track everything you watch

June 16, 2006

Nielsen wants to expand upon their TV tracking into the Web realm and even your iPod to track what video content you watch. According to this MSNBC article, "Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday it plans to integrate TV with Internet ratings and to measure viewership for such portable devices as cell phones and iPods." It states that Nielsen is developing "meters" that track viewing on portable devices, and will by year's end have a 400-member iPod user panel in place.

While I applaud Nielsen for trying to expand their repertoire of user habits & tracking, which aids in reporting for content providers and gives advertisers an audited way of knowing readership, I am a bit skeptical over Nielsen tracking user's Web surfing habits or what videos they watch on their iPods. Isn't this known as "spyware"?

MINO Wireless uses VoIP for 2.2 cents per minute mobile calls to China

June 16, 2006

MINO Wireless, a Sunnyvale, CA-based mobile services company, today announced a campaign to promote its International Call from Mobile Phone service through Chinese media in the US. MINO service makes international calls easy and affordable by using Internet (or VoIP) call technology.

With MINO, users can call from the US to China from their mobile phones at 2.2 cents per minute. MINO’s ads are planned to appear in Chinese language print media Singtao and World Journal, on local TV station KTSF, which broadcasts ethnic programming, and on SVC and Singtao Radio.

Dish Network Adding Dish Games

June 16, 2006

In another sign of the ever-growing importance and influence of video gamesEchoStar and its DISH Network satellite television service have announced that it will offer a new interactive application called DishGAMES as part of its “DishHOME” interactive channel 100.

DishGAMES will feature 16 games from PixelPlay’s branded games including ASTEROIDS MEGA and CENTIPEDE MEGA. It will also include prizing, score submission, leader board and tournament capabilities.

To subscribe to DishGAMES, customers can select an on-screen “subscribe” button using their remote control which will connect them directly to the interactive TV customer service application.

FYI: World Cell Phone Sales Leaders

June 15, 2006

Nintendo Goes (DS) Lite in Time for Dads & Grads

June 15, 2006

Online Gaming Market Goes Crazy!

June 14, 2006

Security Flaws In Asterix PBX, IAX VoIP Client

June 14, 2006

ATS DECT 6.0 cordless VoIP phones

June 13, 2006

Tomorrow, American Telecom Services, Inc. (ATS) will announce the release of its first DECT 6.0 cordless multi-handset Internet phone. The master units (E6501) are expected to retail at a sub $50 mark (likely $49.99) and the extensions (E6502) will each retail for sub $30 (likely $29.99).

The E6501 includes ATS’ patent-pending Digital Clear functionality and is expandable to up to five total handsets.  ATS claims this is the first cordless phone to use DECT technology that integrates a router and a SIP VoIP platform in the charging base of the master cordless phone unit. Uniden makes a cordless phone system, which I recently reviewed - the UIP1869V, that supports SIP, but it's not DECT and its locked to Vonage, so the ATS phone system is the first cordless phone system (DECT or otherwise) that is an open SIP system to use with any VoIP provider that provides you with SIP credentials.

ZVUE Can Show You the (Windows) Way

June 13, 2006

There is MP3 life beyond the world of iPod (yes, there is!) as HandHeld Entertainment has added a number of punk rock concert videos, hip hop, gospel and metal concert videos to its download store at through a deal with Music Video Distributors.

The titles include video from legendary punk rockers as Bad Religion, Dead Kennedys, Iggy and the Stooges (Iggy Pop) and New York Dolls, in addition to comedy films from former Saturday Night Live comedian Jim Breuer (left) and cult indie films like Southlander.

This agreement follows HandHeld’s announcements of a music partnership with eMusic, the addition of Latin music videos from Sunflower Entertainment, the acquisition of 1,500 full-length films and television shows from Worldvision Cinema, comedic movies from Fun Little Movies, extreme sports videos from TotalVid, independent films from and classic TV programs and cartoons from LikeTelevision.

Click Opens Next Week -– Go Gadget Go!

June 13, 2006

Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is a family man whose busy career as an architect does not leave much time for his wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale) and his two kids. (You already know something is wrong, terribly wrong, here.)

Unable one day to determine which of his many remotes turns on the television, he decides he needs a universal remote that does it all. On his search for the perfect device, he meets Morty (Christopher Walken -– always a scary guy) who gives him a one-of-a-kind remote that has magical powers.

Skype in eBay - Why wait?

June 13, 2006

As I mentioned yesterday, Andy speculated that eBay would announce Skype integrated into eBay auctions. I started thinking about this and remembered that eBay already supports HTML code within its auctions, so you could simply add your own Skype button with full presence yourself - without waiting for Skype and eBay to get their $4 billion act together!

Skype supports Javacript code buttons, such as this:
<script type="text/javascript" src="
<a href="skype:tkeating?call"><img src="" style="border: none;" width="182" height="44" alt="My status" /></a>

Unfortunately, eBay doesn't allow Javascript to be embedded within auctions. Actually that is a good thing since someone could embed a virus into an auction.

Fortunately, Skype also supports direct image links to display your presence.

Blog and You'll get Fired

June 13, 2006

Proofpoint's survey has some interesting statistics including that 38% of large companies hire staff to read employee email. The survey also has a lot of stats on blogging, including a statistic that states 7.1% of companies have fired an employee for violating blog or message board policies. Uh oh... I hope I don't get fired for posting Hooters girls on top of a red Dodge Viper.

Sony's New Gadget-Dispensing Vending Machines

June 12, 2006

Have you heard about Sony selling electronic products in automated kiosks?

Yes indeed! Reminds me of the amusement park game (or diner lobby game) where you put your buck into the machine and you get to operate a giant claw that tries to pick up a stuffed animal or some other goodie.

(Please, if you have ever won that this game, let me know. I am sure to be impressed.)

Actually, what Sony is doing is installing branded kiosks in three shopping malls this week that will allowing purchasers to see the selection of electronic items behind glass walls, touch the screen to read about product information or watch movie trailers and then make a purchase delivered by a robotic arm.

2007 CES Registration Now Open; Go Gadget Crazy!

June 12, 2006

For 40 years, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been the launch pad of technology and 2007 promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Registration for the 2007 show in Las Vegas (Jan. 8-11) opens today!

Don't miss a chance to experience the excitement of the newest technology in the CE industry!

Can you hear me now? Ringtones Age Discrimination

June 12, 2006

Interesting story from ABC News about a ringtone that only young people can hear:
Students are using a new ring tone to receive messages in class — and many teachers can't even hear the ring.

Some students are downloading a ring tone off the Internet that is too high-pitched to be heard by most adults. With it, high schoolers can receive text message alerts on their cell phones without the teacher knowing.

As people age, many develop what's known as aging ear — a loss of the ability to hear higher-frequency sounds.

While an interesting phenomenon on the aging ear and taking advantage of it - ever hear of "vibrate" mode? Although, some phones vibrate loudly which the teacher can probably pick up.

Caller ID Act blocks Spoofing

June 12, 2006

On June 6th, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) praised passage of H.R. 5126, The Truth in Caller I.D. Act, which would prohibit "spoofing" or intentional falsification of the name or number that appears on a consumer's caller identification (ID) display - which is very easy to do with an Asterisk server or any VoIP system. The bill passed by a voice vote.

Hastert stated, "House Republicans won't let consumers be hoaxed.

Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone Review

June 12, 2006

Ratings Score Installation Documentation Features Usability Value Performance Overall
The Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone is one of the coolest gadgets I've tested in awhile. Linksys sent me a WIP330 for a product review two weeks ago and I played around with it quite a bit, but just never found the time to write the review. Well, here goes, an exclusive look at the Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone...

The Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone enables VoIP service through a Wireless-G network connected to the Internet to make low-cost VoIP calls through your Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP). The handset features peer-to-peer dialing, speed dial, 3-way conferencing, call waiting, call transfer, and call forward, mute, hold and selectable ringtones.

Lexmark JumpDrive Mercury USB 1GB memory stick

June 12, 2006

Skype finally integrated into eBay?

June 12, 2006

I just recently ranted about Skype not being integrated into eBay yet, especially considering the billions of dollars eBay spent on purchasing Skype. I wrote, "I think eBay would be smart to start offering Skype integration on the U.S. eBay site -- even if only in beta. They've owned Skype long enough to be able to do this, so why the long delay?

Anybody Squidoo?

June 9, 2006

Anybody out there Squidoo? Now that is the question.

Squidoo is a new online platform and community that makes it easy for anyone to build a single page -- called a lens -- on a topic, idea, product or cause he or she is passionate about. These lenses in turn help finders get unique, human perspectives instead of computer-selected and often irrelevant search results.

Congress tells FCC, "We'll Handle e911"

June 9, 2006

In my previous post on H.R. 5252 legislation, I pasted some excerpts of the bill that pertained to e911. It would appear this bill which passed yesterday "trumps" the FCC's regulations as it pertains to providing e911 service. Although this bill has yet to pass the Senate, it's text pertaining to e911 is quite interesting.

(b) Non-Discriminatory Access to Capabilities-

(1) ACCESS- Each incumbent local exchange carrier (as such term is defined in section 251(h)) or government entity with ownership or control of the necessary E-911 infrastructure shall provide any requesting VOIP service provider with nondiscriminatory access to such infrastructure. Such carrier or entity shall provide access to the infrastructure at just and reasonable, nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions.

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy uses VoIP for President Bush commencement speech

June 9, 2006

On June 19th, President George W. Bush will be delivering the commencement address at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. In my senior year of high school I actually considered going to the Merchant Marine Academy, but I did apply to the Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy, both of which are very difficult to get into. I passed the physical and I was able to get a nomination bid from Senator Dodd - one of only 10 given out per member of Congress and the Vice President. It's an arduous process and I even recall military officers coming to my house to interview my family.

Bigger Is Better Notebooks Are Coming

June 9, 2006

I thought notebook computers were supposed to be small (hence "notebook" in the first place).

Well, according to eWeek Magazine, Dell, Acer and Samsung are testing the waters for super-sized laptop computers that look more like briefcases than notebooks.

Driven as much by technology as demand, these new notebooks with 19- and 20-inch LCD monitors are looking for an audience -- high-end gamers, not mobile executives?

Video Franchise Fee Reform Bill Passes - Good news, Bad News

June 9, 2006

The U.S. House of Representative yesterday approved the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006 (H.R. 5252).  H.R. 5252 reforms the current video franchising regulations that have stifled competition in the video services market and have enabled cable companies to become monopolies.

GlobalComm failure - Will Hooters Girls Help?

June 8, 2006

Rich Tehrani has always been one to call it like he sees it and he certainly has a keen eye to say whether a show is going to be successful simply by examining the first day of exhibit hall traffic. He should have a keen eye - both Rich and Nadji Tehrani have been in the tradeshow biz for over 25 years. You don't have successful tradeshows (such as ITEXPO) if you don't have good instincts. Well, Rich was the first to blog about GlobalComm's apparent failure after the show's opening day. 

Creative Technology Sues Apple Over iPod

June 8, 2006

Who would ever think that the Wall Street Journal is must reading for real gadget guys and gals? (let's not use "gadget gurus" please)?

Well, today's edition has a very interesting article about how Creative Technology (best known for its Zen line of MP3 players) is suing Apple over violating its patent on the navigation technology and the method of organizing and accessing music. 

Yes, DigitalLife (The Preview) Was Exciting!

June 8, 2006

Can't believe it's taken me a day to recover from the excitement and mob scene that was the DigitalLife preview!

I expected a lot -- and I wasn't disappointed as companies from A (Ageia) to Z (Zone Labs) exhibited their latest goodies prior to the actual DigitalLife show this fall in New York.

With that in mind, let's take a look at what Ageia and Zone Labs were showing.

John McCain pushes a la carte TV channels bill

June 7, 2006

Legislation was introduced today by Senator McCain to push forward a la carte TV programming. Personally, I'd like to have a la carte satellite TV programming, naked DSL or naked broadband cable, and a reliable VoIP service provider.

Alas, I am still overpaying for cable TV and only get like 4 HDTV channels. I'd love to switch to satellite TV, but would still need to keep at least basic cable in order to keep my high-speed broadband cable connection. It is not very cost effective to switch to basic cable plus pay for satellite channels.

Trixbox founder responds

June 7, 2006

Both Chris Lyman, CEO of Fonality, and Andrew Gillis, the founder of Asterisk@Home - now Trixbox, responded to my previous post pondering the relationship between Trixbox and Fonality. Long story short, it looks like the open-source Trixbox project is safe from any commercial intentions. Just a case of one Linux-based commercial company helping out a Linux hobbyist. You just gotta love the Linux community!

Trixbox 1.0 replaces Asterisk@Home

June 7, 2006

Apparently, development on Asterisk@Home, the "turnkey" Asterisk solution with many third-party add-ons pre-installed has ended. However, the developers have created a new product called Trixbox. Just like Asterisk@Home, Trixbox is a complete Asterisk PBX including, a Linux OS, Asterisk PBX software, a Web GUI, and many other useful add-ons. As with Asterisk@Home, Trixbox can be quickly installed in less than an hour.

Besides being reminded of that wacky Trix rabbit character, I'd be curious why the need for the name change, especially since Trixbox is based on the same exact source code as Asterisk@Home. I liked the Asterisk@Home name - it gave the product a connotation of being "easy" to use and install.

Skype Klonies Avatars

June 7, 2006

Skype now offers cartoonish avatars.

Some of the avatars remind me of the banner ads I saw all over the web of "cartoonist young girl avatars" where they made the young girls all "dolled" up with makeup (fake eyelashes, lipstick, etc.) to look like a sexy woman - kinda like the Bratz dolls, but not the Bratz dolls. I can't seem to recall the name of the avatar website. If you know, post a comment.

In any event, here's the news:
Skype announced today Skype Klonies™, an innovative avatar that lets users personalize Skype with special characters to reflect their personalities, moods and interests.
- Using the new Klonies Studio in the Personalize Skype Web store, users can create and frequently update their unique Klonie image — changing hairstyles, clothing and accessories, expressions, locations, animated activities and more.

My DigitalLife Starts Now

June 6, 2006

Packet8 adds CallerID with Name feature

June 6, 2006

Moto? No, Muto, As in Mutoscopes (Old Is New Again)

June 5, 2006

Now get ready for this!

The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, the oldest movie company in America (established in 1895), has signed a distribution deal with Strom Magellan to release “Mutoscopes” worldwide.

Asterisk Business Edition B.1 Released

June 5, 2006 gets into blog search

June 5, 2006 introduced Blog & Feed Search, a new web search designed for searching blog posts, finding feeds and news published to the "blogosphere," while leveraging search technology and subscription data. I did a search on "voip blog" as well as "gadget blog" and this blog was listed as the #1 RSS feed. Sweet!

I can also see my blog posts from within When I roll the binoculars icon over one of the search results I can see a preview of the site without leaving the page.

WWE On-Demand

June 5, 2006

Looks like the WWE is going to soon allow you "pay on-demand" (pay-per-view) access to over 75,000 hours of wrestling programs. Could a full-time "Wrestling Classic Channel" be far behind? Hey, ESPN has ESPN Classic, so why not a Wrestling Classic channel? Relatedly, I hope the FCC gets its act together on ala carte channel purchasing.

WWE also purchased libraries dating back to the 1950's from WCW, ECW, AWA, WCCW, CWF, CSW, OVW, and SMW.

Vonage IPO Lawsuit and my Lawsuit over my Cold Pizza

June 5, 2006

Sure, all the hubbub is over Vonage users suing Vonage over their failed IPO and refusing to pay for their Vonage shares, but I have my own pending lawsuit against Vonage - and it's over my cold pizza.

Last night, I ordered a large sausage pizza from La Familia in Brookfield. I gave them my address and home phone number, which was a Norwalk exchange since I kept my Norwalk phone number when I moved to Brookfield. Apparently, the driver looked at the phone number (854-XXXX) and knew it wasn't a Brookfield exchange, so he thought it was a Newtown phone number, which coincidentally also has the exact street name as my house. So he drove on I-84 to exit 10 (20 min away from my house) and knocked on the door of some unsuspecting residents who told them they didn't order a pizza.

The delivery guy then called my house and asked where I lived.

Sporty Electric Cars

June 5, 2006

I looked at a hybrid-electric SUV several months ago, but decided it wasn't worth the premium you pay and got a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead. I also considered electric cars such as the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight (right), but they are just butt-ugly. In fact, most electric cars are plain ugly with the worst design imaginable. Only a tree-hugger hippie blinded by the environmental benefits of these cars, could love some of these electric car designs.

Quest, Level 3, Sprint/Nextel incest

June 5, 2006

GlobalComm Party like it's 1999

June 5, 2006

TMC is hosting a party at GlobalComm, the third such party hosted by TMC at GlobalComm (formerly Supercomm). According to Rich Tehrani, "it will now be an IMS party co-sponsored by the IMS Forum –formerly the IPCC. It will also be sponsored by TMC's new IMS Magazine and IMS Expo. The entire IMS market will be represented." I'm sure lots of VoIP players will be attending, so will be a great chance to meet important people in the industry in an informal setting.

Alas, I won't be there, but I'm not important in the VoIP industry anyway, right?

Earn Delta SkyMiles with VoIP

June 5, 2006

Delta's SkyMiles customers now can now "dial for miles", announcing today its partnership with Proximiti Communications, Inc. that will allow SkyMiles members to earn miles when switching their home, home office or small business phone service to Proximiti's broadband VoIP service.

SkyMiles members will earn miles when they replace their traditional phone service with Proximiti's VoIP service. I read the press release and it looks like you earn 7,000 miles when you sign up with one of their residential plans and 35,000 for one of their business plans.

Here's where this promotion went wrong. They are only offering 7,000 (or 35,000) SkyMiles for your initial sign-up - you don't accrue more SkyMiles per minute of use.

Free Conferencing Recording

June 5, 2006

Last week, my boss asked MIS and me about being able to record his calls from his cell phone since he was doing an important interview. How ironic that just a few days later, Free Conferencing Corp. was announcing their plans for free recording capabilities that would work from his cellphone or any phone for that matter.

If you go to you can check out what they claim is the "industry’s first FREE conference recording service." Callers can utilize the in-conference recording option for:

• Free unlimited dial-in playback
• File download
• Web streaming
• RSS and podcast conversion
• 24/7 availability does not require a teleconference connection charge. Users simply call a dial-in number to participate in a teleconference. It's too bad they don't publish a SIP address to avoid even the toll charges using VoIP.

Get A (Digital)Life: Yes, Next Week I Will

June 2, 2006

Celebrating all things digital, more than 40 companies will showcase the latest HD-DVDs, high-performance gaming devices, digital cameras, movie download services, ultimate mobile workstations, iPod accessories, universal remote controls and digital music keyboards at DigitalLife in New York at the Javits Center from October 12-15. (Love this show.)

Next week, we will be able to take a sneak peak at some of the products that will be shown in the fall. Participating companies include Alienware, Altec Lansing, HP, Humax USA, ITVN, Kodak, Logitech, Pepper Computer, Seagate, Toshiba, United Online, Vongo, WowWee, Zone Labs and many more.

Gates: The Dawning of the Age of Friction-Free Innovation

June 2, 2006

Love or hate Microsoft, there's no doubt about that it's always interesting to hear what Bill Gates has to say about the future or technology and science. You may not agree with him, but he does have way of shaping what all of us are doing -- and how we do it.

Tax VoIP to fund USF? Bah!

June 2, 2006

So now the U.S. government wants to tax VoIP to help fund the USF. Rich discusses this in a post today worth checking out. eWeek also has a story on this.

Office 2007: Some Hands-On Comments

June 2, 2006

Happened to have the opportunity to get a firsthand preview of Microsoft Office 2007 -- and while I didn't get to see everything under the hood, there were a number of very useful redesigns, tweaks and improvements to Microsoft Word and Excel (didn't get to see much about Outlook and PowerPoint).

Much ado on the Microsoft site about the new Office user interface -- "The Ribbon" (below). 

And it does work better for me once you begin the get the hang of it.


Baby Pictures

June 1, 2006

Below are two professional baby pictures taken of Megan Lyn Keating, along with Jessie on the left and Darby on the right, that I thought I'd share. Both Darby and Jessie are like a "rock" when either my wife or I tell them to "stay", so they were very good during the lengthy picture taking process.

At one point Megan started to cry and Jessie turned her head to try and console her. Technically, she broke her "stay" since she moved, but I'd rather have Jessie express her concern for Megan. Besides her butt was still planted to the floor, so on second thought she did stay.

X-Lite 3.0 launches

June 1, 2006

How About A Truly Connected World: Do I Hear Global Village?

June 1, 2006

Great article in USA Today earlier this week about how a potent combination of computer companies, tech entrepreneurs and philanthropic folk are working together to bring the digital age to the Third World (and the rest of the world).

Here's an excerpt from Kevin Maney's article:

It's a mini-movement. There's former Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab chief Nicholas Negroponte with his $100 laptops [that's one in the photo], funded in part by Google. There's chipmaker AMD with its 50x15 program — funding projects that can get 50% of the world's population on the Internet by 2015.

Free Conferencing using Skype

June 1, 2006

Today, Skype and Vapps, a VoIP conference calling provider, will be announcing that they will be offering unlimited conference calls, with up to 500 participants, for free to Skype users.  Launching on the website, this announcement follows on the heels of Skype making SkypeOut calls free to U.S. and Canadian phone numbers untlil the end of 2006. supports inbound Skype calls as well as regular PSTN callers into the conference bridge. While conference call participants using a landline or mobile phone may be subject to long-distance charges or other fees, Skype participants can join the conference free of charge.

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