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July 2006

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Who's Number 1 in GPS?

July 31, 2006

LG Goes Chocolate

July 31, 2006

Mio Sport Select Goes Petite

July 28, 2006

For those of us with smaller wrists, Mio has done what should seem obvious to any watch company -- design watches for those smaller wrists!

The MIO Sport Select Petite is designed for fitness enthusiasts -- and includes all of the features of MIO's great Sport Select watch. It comes with one interchangeable, two-tone petite watch strap in grey/black. (Additional watch straps are also available.)

LT-2006 20" TV and DVD player

July 28, 2006



No, that's not an iMac G5, but they sure look similar. OPPO Digital, Inc., a consumer electronics manufacturer, on August 1st will release the stylish and sexy LT-2007 20-inch LCD TV and DVD player combination wrapped in a fashionable translucent case.

The LT-2006 is great for television and movie watching in small spaces, such as the kitchen counter. The LT-2007 sports a high quality enhanced definition 20-inch flat-panel LCD TV with a slot-loading DVD player that is built directly into the base.



Intel Adding Power (Wtih Micron) & Going Green

July 28, 2006

As the demand for energy conservation continues to grow, corporations are tailoring their products to better meet consumers' needs.

Intel underscored this trend when it unveiled 10 new Intel Core 2 Duo and Core Extreme processors earlier this week. The new processors are designed to conserve energy by more than 40 percent while simultaneously running numerous applications at faster speeds.

(Faster, better, cheaper anyone?)

Earn VoIP PSTN dialing credits by watching videos

July 28, 2006

Back in March, I had an exclusive first look at Lycos Phone, which is a rebranded softphone client made by Globe7. On Tuesday next week, Globe7 will launch a major new release of their softphone client, though they've quietly made the 3.0 software available for download now. The new version loads much faster, has a complete video library for users and allows users to earn free credits for the phone simply by watching videos. Yep, you read that correctly - you can earn PSTN dialout minutes simply by watching videos.

VONaLink SoloRecord VoIP call recorder

July 28, 2006

There are a few general purpose VoIP call recording solutions that I've written about. Arcosoft Inc., is the latest to announce a VoIP call recording solution released today called VONaLink SoloRecord. SoloRecord works with any VoIP phone system based on the open SIP standard, such as Vonage, to record phone calls and to provide screen pops.
 
With traditional phone systems, calls are recorded with either analog equipment or expensive, proprietary products from the phone company. With the latest VoIP systems built on open, standard protocols, calls can be recorded by monitoring network packets.
 
VONaLink SoloRecord works with any SIP based VoIP system.



Google Talk new features launched

July 28, 2006

Yahoo Messenger with Voice launches

July 28, 2006

You remember the beta announcement about Yahoo! Messenger offering PSTN IN & PSTN Out, right? Well, it's no longer beta - it officially announced today. You may also recall the recent announcement that Yahoo interoperates with Micrsoft MSN Messenger, so Yahoo certainly seems to be quickly adding features and functionality.

One of the coolest features is the plugins capability Since opening up the plug-in platform on June 20, third party and Yahoo! developers have developed 180 plug-ins worldwide. 

Dell Plunges into Retail: Why Oh Why?

July 27, 2006

Earlier this week, Dell officially opened its first U.S. retail store (can you believe it!) in its home state of Texas -- Dallas to be precise.

(No, that's not the new store in the photo; it's the corporate headquaters in Round Rock, Texas.)

Word is the new store carries Dell's high-definition TVs, desktops, notebook PCs, printers and other devices like digital cameras and MP3 players

Now You're Taking Desktop Audio (As in Treo)

July 27, 2006

Yes, you could call this a Treo owner's dream -- and you would be speaking the truth!

Spefically designed for the Palm family of products, Altec Lansing's inMotion iMT1 is an amplified extension of my Palm Treo 650, serving as both a speaker phone (not that important, but nice to have) and a high-quality way to hear music stored on the Treo 650. (Now that's what I'm talking about!)

It looks sharp on my desk -- doesn't take up a lot of room -- while delivering great sound, whether I'm listening to rock, jazz or classic (and any other type of music for that matter, too!).

LiveJournal meets VoIP via Gizmo Project

July 27, 2006

Andy had the goods yesterday on Sixapart's Live Journal and Gizmo Project in a deal that would enable one of the largest blogging community to be able to IM & VoIP each other. Well, today, it's official.

The co-branded “Gizmo Project for LJ Talk” software will enable LiveJournal friends to call each other for free, send instant messages and see each other's online presence (available, away or offline). Some nice features include free “Call me” and “IM” buttons on journal pages to initiate calls and instant messages from the web, as well as point and click “voice posts", which allows Gizmo Project for LJ Talk users to post audio recordings (podcasts) on their blog. The partnership also stated that Gizmo Project for LJ Talk users will be able to make low-cost PSTN calls in addition to buddy-to-buddy PC calling.

Vonage to announce earnings

July 27, 2006

Vonage, who just recently became a publicly-traded corporation, will report its second quarter 2006 financial results in just 5 days -- on Tuesday, August 1. This will be the first IPO earnings call since the Vonage IPO performed poorly. My only question is will the revenue report cause a continuation of the stock price decline or will Vonage's stock get a little bump from some good news? They sure could certainly use some good news considering they are currently trading at $6.99 or essentially $10 under their $17 IPO price.

Anybody hear anything about all those Vonage IPO investors suing Vonage?

A-IMS aims to improve or fracture the IMS standard?

July 27, 2006

Verizon, Cisco, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel and Qualcomm along with key telecom industry suppliers, today announced a vision for the advancement of next-generation network architecture for wireless mobile telecommunications networks. Their goal has been to develop enhancements to a well known, emerging architecture, known as IMS (IP Multi-media Subsystem). 

The multi-vendor team has generically termed this architecture A-IMS – for Advances to IMS -- in order to reflect its evolution from work done earlier in technology standards bodies.   The A-IMS architecture developed by the task force provides solutions to implement next-generation services in current networks, as well as creates a foundation for the efficient roll-out of both SIP- and non-SIP-based services in future networks. 

Mom Goes Gadget Groovy

July 26, 2006

Water Talkies: Say What?

July 26, 2006

VoIP Revenue Doubled in 2005

July 26, 2006


According to an Infonetics report due out later today, "VoIP service revenue doubled in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific in 2005 and is expected to continue booming at least over the next 5 years." This is an amazing growth rate for any industry. A combined $120 billion will be spent on VoIP services between 2005 and 2009 in the 3 regions.

"Businesses around the world are migrating to IP for increased functionality, greater flexibility, improved productivity, and the potential of growing revenue through better customer service," said Stéphane Téral, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

"VoIP services continue to pick up fast in North America and in many parts of Europe, particularly in central and Eastern Europe, where small businesses have a strong appetite for business trunking, IP Centrex, and VoIP VPN services," Téral continued. "In Asia Pacific, VoIP service revenue about doubled that of North America and Europe in 2004, and continues at a blazing pace.




Sony Brand Is Tops (No Baloney)

July 25, 2006

NewerTech miniStack v2 Goes Large

July 25, 2006

It's funny how your never have enough storage on your computer.  (It's like always wanting one more room in a house -- or at least one more closet.)

Now storage has become increasingly important for holding all of our new digital media files (music, photos, videos) as well as all of the other stuff on our computers.

Mac users finally get Skype video feature

July 25, 2006

VoIP Quality from bad to worse

July 25, 2006

Brix Networks, a company that develops monitoring tools for service providers, analyzed data it gathered from a Web site it created a couple of years ago called TestYourVoIP.com. The site does a bandwidth test and allows consumers to test the quality of their VoIP services. In its study, published Monday, the company stated that call quality has declined by about 5 percent in the past 18 months. Further, nearly 20% (1 in 5) VoIP calls have unacceptable quality.

This seems overly inflated to me.

I'd like a pizza with pepperoni and a sprinkle of VoIP and some GPS too

July 25, 2006

Recently, I received an email from a pizza delivery solutions provider seeking my assistance in an interesting application that involves VoIP, GPS coordinates, Bluetooth, and of course pizza. This is not the first time I have linked pizza with VoIP. No siree bob! In fact, my Vonage VoIP line resulted in me getting a cold pizza.

Google Maps adds Traffic Info to mobile phones

July 25, 2006

SightSpeed 5.0 VoIP and remote TV (Slingbox) functionality impresses

July 24, 2006

Recently, I wrote an article titled "The Perfect VoiP Softphone and IM client", where I listed my top requirements for the perfect softphone. Indeed, my perfect softphone client was much more than your typical softphone so I offered an alternative name - "unified communications client". For instance, one really cool feature in my "wishlist" is "Streaming of my personal video and audio files to my buddies. Think Slingbox or Orb Networks."


Basically, my proposed feature would allow you to remotely access your home entertainment system and view live TV, change channels, or even view pre-recorded content.

Nintendo DS Browser Makes Debut

July 24, 2006

Take it easy, it's only availabe in Japan!

Nintendo has started selling its Nintendo DS Browser in Japan via several dedicated Japanese online sales sites.

Opera Software's full-featured browser enables Japanese gamers to surf all their favorite Web sites on the Nintendo DS or DS Lite.

MS Goes iPod? Apple Goes Phone?

July 24, 2006

BandTel increases SIP redundancy

July 24, 2006

BandTel announced this morning it is the first to solve the throughput and redundancy problems on high capacity SIP-based networks with its new N-Plus architecture. The solution lifts the burden placed upon servers by creating a clustered architecture that eliminates the need for numerous IP addresses on numerous SIP proxies and eliminates any single point of failure.  Of course, TMC has a N+1 RAID-5 Exchange Server, but that didn't stop 2 simultaneous hard drive crashes last week that broke the RAID array bringing down the Exchange Server. RAID-5 redundancy my %@$^&*!

Microsoft Zune takes on iPod

July 24, 2006

As several news sites have reported, Microsoft plans to release a new music and entertainment player and accompanying software under the "Zune" brand this year to challenge the Apple iPod media player. The latest Apple iPod plays both music and videos with the ability to download TV shows and now even full-fledged movies via iTunes. Microsoft hopes to take some of the 70& marketshare from Apple which has dominated the portable media player market.

The sad thing is, Microsoft could have dominated this market had they minituarized the bulky PocketPC years ago. The PocketPC enjoyed some success, but never really took off.

Paragon hipi dual-mode GSM phone

July 23, 2006

Paragon Wireless released the world first commercial GSM/VoWLAN dual-mode smart phone, hipi, in March 2006 and was my pick to be a winner in this years' TMC Labs Innovation Awards. With a tri-band GSM/GPRS (Class 10) radio and an IEEE 802.11b WLAN chipset, hipi enables users to enjoy broadband multimedia services at WLAN covered homes, offices, hot spots/zones as well as reliable GSM/GPRS service anytime anywhere. Featuring a 2.4 inch TFT touch screen, QVGA, with 260k Colors, the hipi also supports STUN-based NAT traversal, the SIP standard, as well as G.711, G.729a/b, and G.723 codecs. It even has some gadgety-bling via it's built-in MP3 player and a QVGA/QCIF camera.

Nokia vs. Motorola: Who's the Boss?

July 21, 2006

The Best Gadget of the Summer?

July 20, 2006

So many gadgets, so little time ...

Wanted to open up the lines of communication and hear from you about what you consider the best gadget of the summer.

It can be a pure summer play -- like a CD radio that also includes a fan to keep you cool -- or it could be an all-around handy dandy gadget -- like a DVR/VCR combo unit. Or anything else for that matter.

WiJET.e gadget streams DVD video over WiFi

July 20, 2006

The new WiJET.e from Pegasus Wireless Corporation is a cool new wireless video streaming gadget that can connect to your home entertainment system and stream 5.1 surround sound audio and high definition video (up to 2048 x 1536) in real time to any display in the home. Think of it like a Slingbox, except it was specifically designed for high-quality video on your LAN where as Slingbox was designed for streaming over the Internet.

Not only can the WiJET.e be used to make wireless presentations and play movies wirelessly, it is also a feature rich media gateway, wireless access point as well as an Internet appliance.

The WiJET.e is 802.11a/b/g compliant and features all of the existing functions now supported by our existing WiJET products, but it is also capable of playing any DVD movie (MPEG 2), VCD, plus many of today's popular media formats including MP3 music, DivX, and MPEG 4.

FEATURES
  • Wirelessly replicates PC screen to multiple remote displays.
  • Wirelessly streams video and audio from PC to remote displays and receivers/speakers
  • Supports wireless direct DVD playback (>10Mbps) with full navigation control feature
  • Supports Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound
  • Resolution support up to 2048 x 1536
  • Supports 802.11 a/b/g
  • Configurable as wireless AP or Infrastructure Station
  • Supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless security in both AP and Station mode
  • Supports Dual Monitor function
  • Supports Moderator function
  • Supports Automatic Script function
  • Local mode supports: Internet access, web browsing
  • Local video and audio playback from USB storage devices
  • Supports lR remote control, controllable from PC or directly through WiJET.e

    Audio-Visual formats supported:



  • DVD
  • VCD
  • Audio CD
  • AVI
  • MOV
  • ASF
  • WAV

    Video Codecs supported:

  • MPEG 1/2
  • MPEG 4
  • DivX
  • WMV
  • Sorensen

    Audio Codecs supported:

  • WMA
  • PCM
  • ADPCM
  • AC3
  • MP3







The VoIP Clone Wars Have Begun...

July 20, 2006

Last night Andy tipped me off to GizmoProject introducing their “All Calls Free” program on Thursday. According to Gizmo's site, you can call all of your Gizmo friends for FREE on their landline or mobile phones in 60 Countries. Free PSTN dialing in 60 countries? Wow. This is a major salvo in response to Skype's offering of "free" SkypeOut calling to U.S.

A Joy Good Fellowes!

July 19, 2006

Ergonomics is big if your a PC gamer, emailer, IMer, surfer or use the PC for anything else.

(There's nothing worse that tired hands, wrists, etc., when you've been at the keyboard all day, unless it's a tired brain, don't you think).

Well, Fellowes has carved out a niche for itself in this area with their excellent keyboard drawer line. They also make monitor, printer and telephone stands; keyboard arms; wrist supports; copyholders; and foot and back rests.

Kids Using Gadgets at Earlier Ages: Any Surprises Here?

July 19, 2006

Not too surprised to see the recent CEA SmartBrief noting an article that appeared earlier this week in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (a fine newspaper).

Seems that according to a recent online study of parents, U.S. children start using such gadgets as video games, cellphones and portable music players by age 7 -- which is six months earlier than just a year ago.

While experts wonder if that is good in the long run, seems to me that kids are at gadgets at a much earlier age.

MovieLink offers DVD downloads

July 18, 2006

Movie download service Movielink announced that it has licensed technology from Sonic Solutions to allow consumers to download a movie and burn it onto a DVD for use in standard DVD players. This is a huge move since before MovieLink required that you play its downloaded movies only on PCs since they used DRM (digital rights management) to ensure that only the PC you downloaded the movie could play it - plus up to 2 other PCs.

If you recall, back in April, I wrote about MovieLink's movie download service and said this:
The films available on Movielink can be stored indefinitely on a computer hard drive or transferred to as many as two other computers. A copy can be burned to a DVD as a backup, however these DVD discs can only be played on up three PCs authorized by Movielink - they cannot be viewed on a standard DVD player because of special security encryption. Studios are being extra cautious about selling films online in part because DVD sales produce more profit than theater box office receipts. Still, this could be a deal breaker for many users that don't have a PC hooked up to their large-screen TVs. Who wants to watch a DVD on a teensy 17" or even 21" PC monitor?


Further, I stated back in April - "If Hollywood makes it easy for users to download and play movies on their television, they could make a killing.



Roadpost Grab and Go Emergency Satellite Phone

July 18, 2006


Roadpost today announced their Grab and Go Emergency Satellite phone. Roadpost has made emergency portable satellite communications easier with the launch of this “Grab & Go” Emergency kit. The kit includes an Iridium satellite handset, extra batteries and a solar charger bundled in a rugged, waterproof and shockproof carrying case. It was developed in response to growing demand for easy to deploy communications solutions during crisis situations.

Vonage spyware ads funds customer acquisition

July 18, 2006

Vonage customer acquisition relies heavily on spyware advertsing according to Ben Edelman.  Considering Vonage's failed IPO and continued downward stock price, you'd think Vonage would be on the "up and up" - above all these sort of tactics. After all, any bad news now can't be good for Vonage's stock price. Of course, you could excuse some of this as affiliates run amok, but now with Vonage's books open to the public, it will be interesting to see how much of this is 3rd party affiliates and how much of this is Vonage paying the Internet underworld of spyware companies.

The Sound of 50 Million RAZRs Buzzing (or Ringing) ...

July 18, 2006

Microsoft and Nortel to co-develop IP-PBX

July 18, 2006

Microsoft and Nortel announced an alliance as part of Microsoft's overall unified communications push. Nortel said it expects more than $1 billion in new revenue over the life of the four-year pact, under which the companies will work together on research and development and partner on sales and marketing. I was on their streaming "virtual press conference", which hosted both Microsoft's and Nortel's CEOs. Both CEOs participating certainly demonstrated their committment to this major partnership.

Their goal is to combine Nortel's network quality and reliability with Microsoft software's ease of use and to accelerate the availability of unified communications. "Nortel and Microsoft have each led fundamental transformations in their own market - Nortel's digital innovation and Microsoft's software on every desktop," said Mike Zafirovski, president and CEO of Nortel.

Video rentals on the Apple iPod - iVideo

July 18, 2006

ThinkSecret, the guys sued for revealing Apple secrets, is at it again with a rumored Apple video rental service in the works that will allow you to rent videos for download to a video iPod. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is rumored to announce the availability of movie rentals on iTunes at next month’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Although carried on the iTunes site, I wonder if this means they'll call it iVideo? According to ThinkSecret, Apple has agreements with Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros, with others in the works.

Unfortunately, it appears that Hollywood and the movie studios have gotten their way with a strict rental model that forces the video download to expire using DRM (digital rights management). Whether or not the video expires after a certain date or after a certain number of playbacks remains to be seen.

A Unified HD-DVD Format (Or at Least a Player)?

July 18, 2006

Gadgetless in Seattle

July 17, 2006

HD Radio: Is Anybody Listening?

July 17, 2006

Although it's not on too many people's radar quite yet, HD radio may be poised for prime time, if everything goes right this year.

(It may still be a challeng if everything does go right ...)

According to published reports, whether HD radio can successfully bring the cool factor back to terrestrial radio will largely be determined by success of this upcoming holiday sales season (which in retailers' minds is not all that far away).

According to Billboard's Radio Monitor, HD radio has been little more that a footnote on the digital music landscape, overshadowed by satellite radio, podcasting and Internet streaming.

ICQ 5.1 has PC-to-Phone

July 17, 2006

Blogger plagiarism and sweet revenge

July 14, 2006

Today, the big story was about how Skype's protocol was cracked by a Chinese company. The blogosphere was all abuzz over the news. Most, but apparently not all the bloggers who jumped on this hot news, cited the original source of the story, namely VoIPWiki.

Apparently, Jan in Malaysia plagiarized VoIPWiki's post. Here's the link to the alleged plagarism.

Skype cracked

July 14, 2006

VoIPWiki reports that Skype has been cracked. A Chinese company has successfully reverse engineered the Skype protocol. According to the blog post, the company's CEO stated their software will not support Skype’s supernode technology. What this essentially means is that this 3rd party Skype clone will be a "free-loader" on the Skype network - they won't have to be a supernode responsible for helping to carry Skype traffic around the Net.

Further, as VoIPWiki points out, if Skype decides to add advertisements to their client, these can be bypassed with this 3rd party Skype client.

Skype has responded with this statement, “Skype is aware of the claim made by a small group of Chinese engineers that they have reverse engineered Skype software.



Go Greener PCs: Consumers Willing To Pay More

July 14, 2006

A "Green PC" early "Weekend Update"!

According to reports from the BBC News, PC users "want greener machines" and are  willing to pay more to have them -- up to an extra £108 ($197) for a PC containing fewer chemicals. The nine-nation research found that UK computer users were willing to pay an extra £64 ($117), while people in China were prepared for spend up to £108 ($197) for a more environmentally sound PC.

Research also shows that people also feel that manufacturers should take responsibility for the disposal of old machines.

Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay fight net neutrality with letter to Congress

July 13, 2006

Internet Titans Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay, and IAX/InterActiveCorp joined together in writing a letter to Congressional Senators expressing their concerns about net neutrality. This is a clash of the titans for sure. Congress and the telecom/cable lobbyists on one side and large Internet behemoths on the other. Of course, a letter is a bit weak.

Sony's Walkman Making a Comeback?

July 13, 2006

NFL On Dish: SD & HD

July 13, 2006

This might seem a bit early to be too excited about, but if you're a lover of pro football, does the season ever end?

EchoStar and the the NFL Network recently announced a multi-year extension to bring many new advanced features to customers of EchoStar’s DISH Network satellite TV service.

These features include availability on DISH Network’s America’s Top 60; 168 games televised nationally, including NFL Network’s regular season primetime game package debuting this Thanksgiving; and full-time carriage of NFL Network’s High Definition feed.

Beginning today, the NFL Network will be available to DISH Network customers on Channel 154 on the America’s Top 60 package or above. 

South Korea wants to ban U.S. military from using VoIP

July 12, 2006

According to Stars & Stripes, South Korea wants to ban the U.S. military from using VoIP, including Skype, Vonage, CallVantage, etc. Is that any way to treat your 37,000 guests? Guests that are defending you against North Korea wacko Kim Jong-il -- at U.S.

BMW car that parks itself

July 12, 2006

T-Mobile blocks MinuteWatcher from tracking cell minutes

July 12, 2006

T-Mobile is blocking MinuteWatcher, a service that lets customers actively monitor their wireless minutes usage. T-Mobile has changed conditions in their policy and taken technical measures to prevent MinuteWatcher from tracking T-Mobile members voluntary tracking of cellphone usage. Specifically, T-Mobile now includes the following text in their Terms of Use: "With respect to your access to the http://my.t-mobile.com site, T-Mobile hereby specifically reserves the right (a) to limit the number of times you may log in to this site within a certain period of time and/or (b) to restrict your use of automated scripts, plug-ins, and/or other third-party devices to obtain information (e.g., unbilled usage data) from this site."

Way to go T-Mobile! Way to piss off your customer base.

My Encounter with a Chupacabra

July 12, 2006

Let me tell you the story of my encounter with what could have been the famed chupacabra - also known as the goat sucker from its reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock. Late one evening, I let my dog Jessie outside to pee. It was a nice warm evening so I stepped outside to check out the stars. As I stepped outside onto my deck, I saw 50 feet to my left what looked like red fire or a small red flame in some bushes, but the bush wasn't being consumed.

The Robot Hall of Fame

July 12, 2006

 

 

 

 

Who's the Top Plasma Producer? Guess Again ...

July 11, 2006

Everybody wants to be a market leader in their product category -- yes, saying you are #1 is important!

Now, after nearly a year of declining market share and the loss of its leadership in the plasma display panel (PDP) industry, South Korea’s LG Electronics has reclaimed the top position in the first quarter of 2006. (This is according to iSuppli Corp.)

Comeback for Atari?

July 11, 2006

Keating's Blast from the past

July 11, 2006

Some high school friends of mine sent me a photo of me with my senior semi date Doreen Orsatti. One of the more intriguing things I remember about Doreen is that she was fearful of highways since she didn't like high speed. She closed her eyes all the way from Waterbury on RT 8 until I got off the exit for the senior semi and I was on my best driving behavior. No quick sprints up to 165mph or anything like that.

Inc.com Names Mark Spencer to 30 Under 30: America's Coolest Young Entrepreneurs

July 10, 2006

Tom Keating & Asterisk-guru & Digum President Mark Spencer


Digium, creator of Asterisk and pioneer of open source telephony, today announced that Mark Spencer, president of Digium, has been named to Inc.com's "30 Under 30: America's Coolest Young Entrepreneurs".

Inc. selected the top 30 entrepreneurs based on their proven ability to run a successful company, manage a company with a novel approach, create a successful or innovative product, and/or otherwise demonstrate their innovative idea in the world of entrepreneurship. Inc.'s article can be found at www.inc.com/30under30.


Vonage fights patent suit by buying patents

July 10, 2006

In a tit-for-tat battle, Vonage today announced that it has acquired ownership of three patents from Digital Packet Licensing Inc. that enable voice over internet protocol technology (VoIP). The three acquired patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 4,782,485, 5,018,136 and 5,444,707, are directed to the compression of packetized digital signals commonly used in VoIP technology.

This acquisition of these VoIP patents is obviously in response to recent litigation by Sprint and also Verizon. I speculated that the rash of lawsuits by the carriers against Vonage, knocking Vonage's stock down even further, could be "sweet revenge" for bringing down their profit margins. But it could also be a precursor to a takeover of Vonage by Sprint or Verizon.

2006 Best Design Awards: Business Week Has Them All

July 10, 2006

 

You know, gadgets don't have to look cool to be cool, but it certainly helps. (Exhibit #1 please: the iPod).

Well, if you love design and all things gadgets (and Beyond -- remember that from seeing Click! recently?), then the recent issue of Business Week that featured "The Best Product Design of 2006" is must reading.

Sandisk offers Skype on a USB stick

July 10, 2006

Just last week Vonage launched their "VoIP-on-a-stick" V-Phone (see review) and now it appears that Sandisk is going to all offer "VoIP-on-a-stick" by bundling the Skype application pre-loaded on the SanDisk Cruzer Micro and Cruzer Titanium lines of Skype-certified U3 smart drives. The nice thing about this USB-based VoIP sticks is that you can make and receive VoIP calls from almost any PC without leaving any information behind on the host computer, but it's still a very "niche" feature.

The SanDisk Cruzer Micro with Skype preloaded is available at retail outlets in U.S. and Europe, including Skype’s online store, for suggested retail prices ranging from $39.99 to $199.99.  Capacities are 512 megabytes (MB), 1 gigabyte (GB), 2GB and 4GB. 

Gadget Protection at Its Best: Go Allsop!

July 7, 2006

Cold Chips Go Very Fast!

July 6, 2006

Researchers at IBM and the Georgia Institute of Technology recently announced that they have broken the speed record for silicon-based chips with a semiconductor that operates 250 times faster than chips commonly used today. (New York Times reports.)

(No, not the chips on the left.)

The achievement has been called a major step in the evolution of computer semiconductor technology that could eventually lead to faster networks and more powerful electronics at lower prices. 

XM Tees Off in Chicago

July 6, 2006

Vonage V-Phone Review

July 5, 2006


Vonage sent me one of their Vonage V-Phone USB devices to review. As you probably recall, I wasn't very keen on the V-Phone, but I decided to go ahead and test the V-Phone anyway. The concept of the V-Phone is that it's a small portable device that you can take anywhere and your phone number will follow you, as well as the added benefit of inexpensive VoIP minutes. I received my eval unit on June 30th (last Friday) and I attempted to install it on my work PC.

Internet Explorer 7 doesn't work with Movable Type

July 5, 2006

I'm usually a Firefox user but I do use Internet Explorer from time-to-time. I've been keeping up with the latest betas of Internet Explorer 7 and noticed that for some reason the Movable Type blogging interface doesn't work with IE 7. When publishing an entry it simply times out and the IE 7 browser gives this generic error:

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage
  
Most likely causes:
You are not connected to the Internet.
The website is encountering problems.





How Did You Capture the Fireworks?

July 5, 2006

July 4th: Whatever Happened to Boomboxes at the Beach?

July 3, 2006

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