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August 2006

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Universal's Making Music Free (With a Catch ...)

August 31, 2006

Looks like today's blogging is all about more and more.

Now we have Universal Music, home to artists such as U2, planning to make its catalog of recordings and music videos available for free on an ad-supported Web site that will launch later this year.

According to the buzz, SpiralFrog.com will split advertising revenue with the recording company.

Users can download an unlimited number of songs or music videos if they register at the site.

Another HD-DVD Format!

August 31, 2006

AOL TotalTalk is no more

August 31, 2006

Aswath noticed that it appearred AOL was cancelling their TotalTalk service. When you go to www.totaltalk.com you are greeted with this message: "We are very sorry to inform you AOL® Enhanced Services ("AOL ES") has decided to discontinue offering the TotalTalk™ service. For this reason, the TotalTalk service will be terminated on or about November 30, 2006."

Andy basically says TotalTalk was killed in favor of AOL's new PhoneLine service.
Andy says that TotalTalk was basically AOL VoIP 1.0 which helped give birth to PhoneLine resulting in AOL VoIP 2.0. Some interesting thoughts by Andy you should definitely check out.

The difference between TotalTalk and PhoneLine is that TotalTalk was more of a Vonage-like solution to replace your home phone line (hardware ATA), and PhoneLine is a 100% software-based (softphone) VoIP solution that supports both outbound and inbound (DID number) dialing.




Paris Hilton hacks voicemail using Asterisk

August 31, 2006

Celebrities Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are in a well-known feud that now has entered one of my favorite realms, namely VoIP. According to an InfoWorld article, (which Asterisk VoIP News reminded me about), it is alleged that Paris Hilton used a fake Caller ID seller called SpoofCard.com to hack into voicemail accounts on an un-named mobile phone network. Spoofcard.com has suspended her account along with more than 50 others.

Apparently, many mobile phone companies, including Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile simply use Caller ID to identify voicemail users without requiring passwords. Have they not heard of CallerID spoofing?

MINO Wireless now runs on Symbian phones

August 31, 2006

How Far Will You Go?

August 30, 2006

(Green)Peace, Baby!

August 30, 2006

USRobotics USR9630 Cordless Phone for Skype

August 30, 2006


USRobotics just launched a new cordless phone for Skype called the USR9630 Cordless Phone for Skype and the USR9631 Accessory Handset.  The USR9630 base station connects to both a traditional phone line and an available USB port on a PC running Skype. It allows up to four cordless handsets to be connected to the same telephone line. This product is somewhat similar to the Linksys CIT200 Skype phone that I reviewed, which also supports multiple handsets and also uses DECT, however, this USR product supports both Skype and PSTN phone calls, thus making it a practical home phone replacement for the entire family.

Roxio Popcorn 2: A Movie Treat

August 29, 2006

Roxio's Popcorn 2 is for converting movies to your iPod, PSP or 3GP phone.

(Remember when copying DVDs period was a chore?)

Popcorn 2 enables you to make back up copies of your DVDs, compress dual-layer DVDs to fit onto single-layer DVDs, play back your movies with Dolby Digital support and transfer your favorite personal video entertainment to DVD, iPod, PSP or mobile phone. (Very cool ...

Batteries, Batteries, Batteries on My Mind ...

August 29, 2006

With all of the recent battery problems, I can't seem to stop thinking about all of the batteries that we use (and consume) in our gadgets.

If you figure that most gadgets (and toys) take two or four batteries (AA, AAA or C), that would add up to a lot of batteries.

And what about cell phones with all of their own special types of batteries?

Google interoperates with Skype

August 29, 2006

The Google Talkabout blog announced Google's plans to interoperate with Skype. In part it states, "Google and eBay have signed an agreement around text-based advertising and "click-to-call" advertising, in which Google Talk and Skype will power voice calls between customers and merchants." Even more interesting is this tidbit from the official press release: "Google will become the exclusive text-based advertising provider for eBay outside the United States." Wow, this is a huge win for Skype/eBay, but I'm not so sure how much of a win this is for Google - more on that later.

It is interesting that there is a caveat in the press release - Google is the exclusive text-based advertising provider for eBay outside the United States. Apparently, as part of this deal, Skype/eBay can continue to use Overture or other ad networks within the U.S. but must use Google for advertising outside the U.S.

More Hazards To Consider!

August 28, 2006

CordGo Wraps It Up! No More Tangles!

August 28, 2006

Here's another gadget that I wished I had inverted -- it's simply called Cordgo, and in a way that is what is does (or enables you to do).

A one hand-operated cord adjustment and storage accessory, Cordgo's durable, lightweight design fits in the palm of your hand to deliver cord control.

No more dangling iPod cords, cell phone cords, MP3 player cords; in fact, any cord up to 3mm in diameter.

Cordgo was designed to perform as an integral component between cord and digital device so it adjusts the cord automatically to "the perfect length."

Sony Takes a Hit on Battery Problems

August 25, 2006

System Mechanic 6 Professional Gets Under the Hood!

August 25, 2006

You all know the symptons -- your computer starts to seem a little sluggish, then you notice it definitely IS sluggish and apps seem to take longer and longer to load.

Well, that means it's time to tune up the computer system -- even if you have been diligent about cleaning out your Internet cache and other good maintenance habits.

I've just run System Mechanic Professional 6 on my PC and the difference is amazing!  Boot up time has been reduced, apps and docs open quickly, windows open and shut without the mouse turning into that dreaded "hour glass" icon.

Apple's Turn To Recall Notebook Batteries

August 24, 2006

How About a New Battery Standard?

August 24, 2006

With all of the noise about Dell's exploding batteries and increasing in-flight security precautions, isn't it about time that battery manufacturers got their act together to make better batteries?

Well, it doesn't take along ...

According to the always interesting AppleInsider, leading notebook makers Apple, Dell, and Lenovo will be holding a summit meeting next month to begin development of standards for the manufacture of lithium ion batteries for portable and handheld electronics.

You see, these companies are part of the OEM Critical Components Committee of the IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries -- an organization of 2,400 companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly.

How About 3D TV without the Funny Glasses?

August 24, 2006

Now, this is interesting.

For the latest state-of-the-art TV viewing, let's go back a few decades when 3-D was the rage -- or at least something to draw folks into movie theaters.

In the "what is old is new again" column, Philips 3-D TVs are using tiny lenses over every subpixel to create a 3-D effect without the need for viewers to wear those funny glasses.

Roxio Rocks with Easy Media Creator 8

August 23, 2006

It seems there used to be so many different types of software to copy music, create videos, copy videos, backup your data. The list of apps seems to go and on and so does the list of software needed.

Thankfully, a couple of companies had the foresight to build all (or nearly all) of this essential software into all-in-one suites.

My favorite has always been Roxio, which seems to nicely balance the "keep it simple stupid" methodology with more advanced features for those of us who need a little more sophistication -- like to "get under the hood" so to speak.

Playaway audio books

August 23, 2006

No time to read a book? You can of course by a "book on tape" or "book on CD", but that is so yesterday. With Playaway's iPod-Mini-sized audiobooks, you can now listen to the books you've wanted to read but have not had the time.

These Playaway audio-books come with ear buds and a lanyard and run on one AAA battery. Of course, why not just download an audio book from iTunes?

Articulation - VoIP on your Palm PDA

August 23, 2006

Palm users have been clamoring for VoIP on their Palm devices for quite some time. I've mentioned VoIP on Palm (including the Treo) in the past. mobiVoIP was the first to offer VoIP on a Palm device.  However, mobiVoIP only works with their VoIP service plan.

How About a Mobile Phone without the Keys? Read On ...

August 23, 2006

Can't wait to see this one in production units!

Fascinating article in online verson of PC Magazine yesterday about the phone that has no keys.  Yes, that's right -- a touchscreen instead of a keypad (dial pad -- hey, how about a rotary dialer like in the '60s?).

According to the piece, the phone, known as the Onyx, is a touch pad prototype of what developers Synaptics and Pilotfish call a "mobile phone concept," meaning this actual phone will probably never hit the market.

D-Link VWR Vonage device packs 4-in-1

August 23, 2006

Vonage and D-Link announced the availability of the VWR, a Wireless-B/G Broadband Router with 2 phone ports bundled with Vonage's service. The product leverages the Texas Instruments' TNETV1060 VoIP gateway chipset for QoS and good voice quality. The D-Link VWR packs four devices in oneone - a Wireless-B/G Access Point, a built-in 4-port switch to connect wired Ethernet devices, a router function so the entire network can securely share a single cable or DSL Internet connection, and two standard telephone jacks. Great for those of you out there who don't already own a home wireless/wired router or firewall.

But why don't you already have a home wireless network?

According to Orb, Internet users are streaming media FIENDS!

August 22, 2006

Orb Networks today announced that consumers have enjoyed a record 66 million minutes -- the equivalent of a whopping 125 years -- of digital media (recorded videos, TV, music, etc.) streamed from their home computer to a mobile phone, PDA or laptop using the free Orb MyCasting service. Orb stated that all this streaming has occurred in just 19 months since Orb's inception.

I've used Orb's software in the past to stream my personal TV recordings as well as stream live TV. Quite useful when I'm travelling and the hotel doesn't offer FOX News or the YES Network.

The nice thing about Orb is that the software is free and integrates quite nicely with Windows Media Center Edition. My only complaint is that Orb buffers the video, so it makes it difficult to "channel surf". Also, if there is congestion, it takes awhile for Windows Media Player (or RealPlayer) to rebuffer.

That's why I like SightSpeed 5.0's channel surfing capabilities, which doesn't require buffering.





Turn your PC into a Skype gateway

August 22, 2006

Televoce's PontiVoce (PonTEE VO-che) Server is an interesting piece of software that lets you create a 100% software-based Skype gateway that leverages the Skype API to turn your PC into a Skype gateway for relaying calls. It's worth pointing out that Skype has offered free phone calls within the U.S. and Canada to help acquire more Skype users. Using TeleVoce solution, you can extend this "free offer" to friends and family outside this free calling zone.

Top Digital Cameras (According to Flickr)

August 22, 2006

VoIP Call Recording

August 22, 2006

VoIP call recording software for popular VoIP applications such as Skype, Google Talk, Windows Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and the rest is something I get asked about all the time. I can't tell you how many times I get email requests for recommendations for the best VoiP call recording software as well as requests for call recording software and/or hardware to record strictly PSTN or traditional PBXs conversations. Even the VoIP Forums has a few threads involving requests for call recording, including this three-page thread titled "Call Recording Software" and this VoIP Forum posting, "SOHO VoIP call recording".

It's tough when I get so many of these help requests (usually via email, sometimes via phone) since it is in my nature to want to help people out.

The Hard Drive Hits 50

August 22, 2006

Not too many gadgets hit the age of 50, especially in the world of computers, but the hard drive is still going strong at 50 years of age!

(I never would have guessed!)

(An age that many may feel depressed about while looking longily at retirement, which looms not that far on the horizon).

Now, analysts are predicting that more drives will be sold over the next five years than in all the previous years combined.

Macy's Heads Back to Gadgets

August 21, 2006

Digital Camera Phones Rule! Anyone Remember Film or Digital Cameras?

August 21, 2006

Ten years ago, camera companies had nothing to worry about except each other.

But poof! along came digital cameras and the Kodak, Fuji and Nikon's of the camera world had to worry about consumer technology companies like Sony or IT companies (at least back then) like HP.

Funny thing is, while the camera companies -- both old and new -- battled each other for survival (market share) their core imaging technology got scooped up as a cool feature in mobile phones. 

Mobile TV: In Need of a Market?

August 18, 2006

Living in the Virtual World Can Make Kids Smarter?!

August 18, 2006

Fonality PBXtra the world's largest commercial Asterisk deployment

August 17, 2006

Chris Lyman, my pal over at Fonality (and their Founder/CEO) told me that Fonality will soon announce its position as "the world's largest commercial Asterisk deployment." Them's some mighty BIG claims!  But I have no doubts it's true. Well, maybe a few doubts. I would have thought the Linux gurus that download and install Asterisk for free, would as a whole be the #1 commercial Asterisk deployment.

Consumer Storage Demands Never Cease! But Help Is on the Way ...

August 17, 2006

According to recent reports, our desire for storage continues to grow by leaps and bounds -- good thing we are storing 0's and 1's (digital data), not physical goods or we would all have to live in castles! (or at least very big houses).

(Look at that big analog storge pile!)

Hard drive manufacturers such as Seagate Technology, Western Digital and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies as well as flash memory providers, such as Samsung, are beefing up the technical capabilities of their products to meet consumers' growing storage needs.

New TomTom One GPS

August 17, 2006

TomTom One is a new portable GPS navigation unit launched for the North American market, that fits in your shirt pocket, making it easily transportable from car-to-car and to take on business and vacation trips. I got my hands on a TomTon One unit to review, but haven't fully tested all the features yet. Here's my analysis so far... The TomTom ONE utilizes the Version 5 Navigator software, not TomTom Navigator 6, which apparently is exclusive to the Treo smartphones at the moment.  The one also features Bluetooth support for TomTom's PLUS Services.


I'm a huge fan of TomTom products and have always been impressed when I review their latest stuff.


No Google Free National Wi-Fi Rollout? Why Not?

August 17, 2006

Rocky RukShuk: Soon To Be on a Screen Near You?

August 16, 2006

What is old becomes new again -- is this inspired by Stonehenge or other ancient rock formations built by our ancestors?

(Or is there a simpler reason grasshopper?)

Rukshuk, "The Game of Rock Balancing" -- offers a "refreshing departure from the high-tech world of video games dominating the current landscape" and a global ecological theme.

Every Rukshuk rock formation, which players attempt to build by balancing specially crafted game rocks, is named for a natural rock phenomenon somewhere on the planet.

Here's creator Malcom Bisiker's take on it:
“Mother Nature has been building rock formations for a long time. 

AOL Gets Cool with GameDaily Buy

August 16, 2006

AVG Anti-virus Free Edition displays Become Legal to force pirated users to pay up

August 16, 2006

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition now complains (as of 2 days ago) if it detects you have more than 1 machine at home running AVG Free Edition. It then displays a popup message with a hyperlink to 'become legal'. Clicking the link brings you to AVG's website where you are offered the paid professional version to purchase. It welcomes you with what I took as a sarcastic "Welcome to the legal AVG community!".


Popup message with link asking you to Become Legal

AVG became very popular with many users since it essentially offers a feature-packed anti-virus program free of charge with free antivirus signature file updates.




Pure VoIP vs. Telephone and Cable VoIP

August 16, 2006

VoIP.com wrote an interesting article put out as a press release on PRWeb.com. Titled "Pure VoIP Vs. Telecom VoIP: Guidance from VoIP.com", the article takes a position that pure VoIP players such as Vonage, Packet8, SunRocket, etc. are a better value than telecom VoIP providers, such as cable companies and telephony carriers. First, a caveat, VoIP.com is a provider of pure VoIP, so their opinion is going to obviously have a bias.

The articles accurately states, "VoIP services vary widely from provider to provider, however there is an undeniable line in the sand that divides pure VoIP from the digital voice plans rolled out by the telecos.

Pop Quiz! Desirable Cell Phone Features

August 15, 2006

Dell Battery Recall: Too Hot To Handle!

August 15, 2006

Skype PPC 2.1 beta for PocketPC

August 15, 2006

Skype released PPC 2.1 beta for PocketPCs. You can download it here. Technically PocketPC or PPC is a misnomer, since this new Skype software can run on smartphones running Windows CE or the latest Windows Mobile 5 operating systems. Perhaps a name change for Skype PPC is needed? Skype Smartphone?

Palm GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition for Treo phones

August 15, 2006

Palm Treo smartphone users and GPS enthusiasts rejoice! Palm today announced the Palm GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition, featuring the new TomTom NAVIGATOR 6 software, which is one of the most popular GPS navigation software packages. With the new GPS Navigator installed on your Treo smartphone, you can get voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions to find your destination, including millions of points of interest, including gas stations, restaurants, parks, airports and more. TomTom NAVIGATOR 6 is available today exclusively for Palm's GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition.

How About a Camera with GPS?

August 14, 2006

Sony no baloney.

Sony has a GPS add-on (GPS-CS1) for its digital cameras that records the location and time data every 15 seconds. The time on the device can be matched with the timestamp on the photo, and the exact location of the picture is added to the JPEG file's meta data, which will allow users to search photos by location!

Now how about that!

The Top Selling U.S. Music Phone: Can You Guess?

August 14, 2006

Everybody loves a Top 10 list -- and we're no exception!

This one comes from Wirefly, "an online leader in one-stop comparison shopping for cell phones and wireless service plans," which recently named the top-selling music phones in the U.S. (Definition: A cell phone that allows users to import MP3 music files or iTunes from their PCs or download them wirelessly from a content provider.

According to Wirefly, the five popular music phones are:

  1. 1. Sony Ericsson Z520a/Z525a/Vieo Phone -- (pictured)
  2. 2.

Verizon races to build fiber to fend off VoIP and cable rivals

August 14, 2006

In an interesting NY Times article, Verizon says it must quickly build its fiber network to fend off rivals such as Comcast and Vonage, which offer inexpensive voice alternatives. With cable companies and single-play VoIP providers (Vonage, Packet8, Lingo, etc.) offering cheaper voice, Verizon is in a race to stop customer defections. According to the article, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and others are taking about 1,000 Verizon phone customers per day.



Verizon will spend about $20 billion before the end of the decade to reach 16 million homes from Florida to California. However, it is New York City with its dense population and greatest potential for revenue that has caused Verizon to spend about $3 billion to reach the city’s 3.1 million homes and apartments.



Windows-based open source Yate IP-PBX launches stable version

August 14, 2006

Yate is an open-source IP-PBX solution similiar to the open-source Asterisk solution, but unlike Asterisk which is primarily run on Linux, Yate was wrriten in C++ and therefore can be compiled to run both on Windows and Linux. I wrote about YATE in my Sangoma telephony cards article, which is worth checking out. Today, Sangoma Technologies Corporation (TSXV: STC), a leading provider of connectivity hardware and software products for VoIP, TDM voice, WANs and Internet infrastructure and the Null Team Company, the primary developer of Yate, have released a stable native Windows-based version of the GPL-licensed Yate telephony project.

Yate has a powerful telephony engine which can be easily extended to include voice, video, data and instant messaging all unified under Yate's flexible routing engine.

Macy's To Add Kiosks: For Your Gadget Shopping Pleasure!

August 11, 2006

Mac vs. Windows: Considering a Switch?

August 11, 2006

Flat TVs Get Flatter in Price

August 10, 2006

Burn Baby Burn: Downloadable Movies to DVD

August 10, 2006

Let's get the lawyers out of the way! According to a CEA SmartBrief report, a film industry group plans to remove some of the hurdles that have prevented the legal recording of movies onto blank DVDs -- a further sign that Hollywood studios are preparing to expand what consumers can do with downloadable movies.

Here's the details: Under rule changes expected to be finalized soon by the DVD Copy Control Association (DVDCCA), retailers could create movie jukebox kiosks with which customers can select a movie and burn it to a DVD on the spot.

Mobile SMS enables free VoIP phone calls

August 10, 2006

VoiceOne Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of VoIP, Inc. announced today that it has added Text Messaging (Mobile SMS) functionality to its just-released beta version of Click4Me.Net. This enables a Web-click calling service that utilizes VoIP technology for free phone-to-phone calling. Click4Me.Net is available for testing on VoiceOne's Virtual Lab at http://Labs.VoiceOne.com -- an open forum for users to preview, test free of charge, and provide feedback on new IP communications services developed by VoiceOne.

You can connect to a registered Click4Me.Net member by texting "CALL + the member's username" to the Click4Me SMS address and the caller will be automatically connected to the Click4Me member of their choice, free of charge.

More importantly, registered Click4Me members can make free calls to any number by simply texting "CALL + telephone number" to the Click4Me SMS address. In addition, registered Click4Me.Net members also receive FREE 411 (Directory Assistance) from any cell phone by simply texting "CALL 411" or just "411" to the Click4Me SMS address.



Terrorists cause ban of gadgets on airplanes

August 10, 2006

Terrorists have found a new way to screw up this world by causing the U.K. to ban gadgets (including iPods), laptops, and mobile phones on any carry-on baggage due to today's announcement of a thwarted attempt to blow up airlines using liquid explosives. Thank you Islamic fascists for ruining any sort of entertainment during an airline flight. Thank you for causing all the passengers that brought their expensive Treos, Blackberries, iPods, and other gadgets to have to go home, drop off their gadget(s) and change their flight or else simply have their gadget confiscated if it is critical they fly out right then.

AOL AIM Phoneline offers free inbound calling

August 10, 2006

Mobile Phones: Who Needs All of Those Features?

August 9, 2006

Microsoft "Genuine Advantage" cracked

August 9, 2006

Microsoft "Genuine Advantage" was cracked in just 24 hours according to a 2005 Boing Boing article. The crack simply required adding some Javascript to your browser window.


Before pressing 'Custom' or 'Express' buttons paste this text to the address bar and press enter:

javascript:void(window.g_sDisableWGACheck='all')

It turns off the trigger for the key check.





This simply crack used to work, but Microsoft is now getting serious about stopping pirated software. Just today, Microsoft Watch stated "Come this fall, however, the Redmond software maker is planning to turn up the Genuine Advantage heat in two ways: By baking more Genuine Advantage checks directly into Windows Vista, and by taking aim at PC makers, system builders, Internet cafes and other sources of potentially pirated software."

YIKES! Maybe it's time to buy some Microsoft stock since no doubt MS will get a stock boost from many illigitimate users simply paying for a legitimate copy rather than play "tit for tat" with Microsoft, which keeps "tweaking" the WGA code to thwart users using pirated versions of Windows XP/2003 (and soon Vista).

But if your so inclined to play the "game" of hacking WGA and are looking for other methods of cracking Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) you can check out the plethora of comments below for various cracking methods.




Toyota's Funny Move onto Mobile Phones

August 9, 2006

Well why not, you may ask?

Accrding to an article from 2-pop eNews, Toyota will be spending more than $10 million to create and promote a comedy series designed specifically for multimedia mobile phones!

(Yes indeed, that is an "m" as in million -- remember when feature films from major motion picture studios cost that much?

Asterisk Receives VC Funding

August 8, 2006

On Wednesday, Digium, founder of the open-source Asterisk IP-PBX will announce its first round of VC funding – receiving $13.8 million from Matrix Partners. Matrix Partners was JBoss' initial investor, also an open-source solution - a Java application server. Matrix's expertise in open source was one of the deciding factors for deciding to invest in Digium. Asterisk is now at 1 million Asterisk users compared to 1/2 million at the beginning of the year - a phenomenal growth spurt and with over 1,000 downloads per day.

The funding will help the continued growth of Digium and Asterisk, especially in launching new offerings for the enterprise communications market, ranging from small to large businesses.

Aviator Laptop Stand (Oh, Why Didn't I Think of That?)

August 8, 2006

A survey of U.S. adult computer users, commissioned by Intel and conducted by Harris Interactive, reveals that 34% of respondents or their families have taken a laptop PC with them on vacation and 51% of all respondents are likely to take a laptop PC on a future vacation. 

Add to that the fact that more than 90% of corporate travelers take their laptop with them on business trips and you can easily see the basis for the Aviator Laptop Stand from Keynamics.

Another IP-PBX company bites the dust?

August 8, 2006

After the news that Zultsys was going out of business, only to hear that they are being resurrected, word from two sources is that a well-known IP-PBX company may be on its last legs. I don't want to disclose who it is at this point without some further investigation. No point causing a company harm from what is just rumor at this point, but I will keep you posted.

This got me thinking though. What happened to the days when there were dozens of PBX manufacturers?

Nokia Gets Loud in Mobile Music via Loudeye Buy

August 8, 2006

Another titanic struggle is in the making -- this time in the digital convergence of music and the cell phone.

While we all wait for Apple's mobile phone announcement, the established mobile phone companies are staking out their ground in the mobile music market.

We already know about Verizon Wireless and V Cast (a service provider goes mobile music) and now we have Nokia (a cell phone set manufacturer) countering with its purchase of Loudeye, which has a digital music catalogue of 1.5 million tracks.

3G video PDA phone with Skype

August 8, 2006

Previously, I had wondered about Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom's statement announcing a partnership with Spirit DSP meant and how it would affect Global IP Sound. Previously I pondered, "Did this mean Skype was choosing a new voice engine?" After some further investigation, it appeared not be the case - Skype is still a happy GIPS customer. Then I came upon this information which only confused me further, but certainly did seem to suggest that Skype was looking to partner with both of the leading voice engine companies.

Sometimes this week, SPIRIT DSP will announce a deal with Compal Communications Incorporated (CCI), one of the largest ODMs (original design manufacturer) in the world, that they have licensed SPIRIT’s voice enhancement solution for its advanced 3G video PDA phone (based on ARM processor & most likely a Windows Mobile 5 device, but I haven't confirmed).

Sony mylo personal communicator

August 8, 2006

Sony's Mylo ("my life online") personal communicator is a new gadget that provides users access to online instant messaging services, Web pages (fully-featured Opera browser), e-mails, play music, and view photos. Most interestingly, the mylo communicator comes with Skype software built into it for VoIP calling. It also has Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger embedded, but it's not clear if these two applications will only support IM or VoIP as well, however Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger only support IM and not VoIP. You'll have to use Skype exclusively for VoIP.

Smell-O-Vision

August 7, 2006

Old School Old Tube

August 7, 2006

The one thing we don't think about too much in the world of gadgets is that gadgets do come and go -- some very fast and some very slow.

Piece in the New York Times got me into this nostalgic state; article is on the soon to be disappearing cathode ray tube from TV sets in America and around the world, too.

(Cut-away photograph courtesy of a fun place to visit ---www.sciencemuseum.org.uk.)

Now some of you may not remember, but I am sure many of you do remember that big old thing sticking out from beyond the TV set in the living room; that was the most visible part of the cathode ray tube.

(CRT to those into initials.)

TMC Celebrates 25 years

August 7, 2006

TMC recently celebrated it's 35th anniversary, a technology-focused publishing and events company that was founded in 1972. In June 1982, TMC launched the world's 1st magazine focused exclusively on call center technology and it just recently celebrated its 25th year anniversary. That magazine was Telemarketing Magazine, now Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine, and it was the true pioneering trade publication in the call center and contact relationship mangement (CRM) space.

In 1998, TMC launched the world's 1st magazine focused exclusively on IP communications, Internet Telephony Magazine, which is considered the premiere magazine in the industry focused on IP communications (VoIP, video over IP, IMS, SIP, etc.). I'm proud and humbled to work for TMC -- and to have witnessed TMC grow in the early 90s, survive the dotcom & telecom bubble burst in the last 90s and 2000-2001, and to have seen TMC evolve to cover just about any customer-facing technology, including ACDs, IP-PBXs, workforce management, VoIP, SIP, and much more.

Apple iMovies: Why Not?

August 4, 2006

Speakers That (Are) Rock

August 4, 2006

What would summer be without listening to your favorite music al fresco?

Now that doesn't have to mean a festival or town music series and it certainly means more than going personally mobile with an MP3 player or other digital music device (remember when that meant "CD player"?).

What I'm talking about is an outdoor speaker system that sounds good and blends into the great outdoors.

Miniclip's Got Game (Lots of 'Em!)

August 3, 2006

Eton To the Rescue! Get Emergency Proof!

August 3, 2006

With all the weather that we're been experiencing (hot, hot, hotter), it's a good idea to be prepared in case of a power outage or other emergency

(And this goes out to all of you are in hurricane season now, too).

(Oh, and before I forget, how about all of those poor folks in Queens who were without power for so long -- thank you Con Ed.)

If It's August, It Must Be Back to School Shopping Time ...

August 2, 2006

What else do I need to say?

Yes, you know who you are and you will be hitting the big box retailers, the specialty office supply stores and even local supermarkets to stock up on the essentials for back to school time. 

In case you missed this, just check out all of the ads in your Sunday paper ...

(Does the summer have to end so fast ...)

LayeredX Wallpaper Contest: Win Big

August 2, 2006

Gamers, gamers, gamers, do I have deal for you ...

Layered Technologies is offering its LayeredX gaming server for one month (for free) to the winner of the LayeredX Wallpaper Contest.

LayeredX (www.layeredX.com) is a dedicated gaming server division that offers premium HP server hardware and a superior low latency network.

What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?

August 1, 2006

Try this on for size gamers!

The Satoricode Code Project is among other things an attempt to provide a constructive virtual world outlet for Internet users to settle differences that may lead to violence in the real world

Train Spotting

August 1, 2006

Maybe it's the intense heat (hot as blazes!), but seems to be a drop in gadget use on the train this morning.

(I thought everyone was goin' mobile!)

Last time, seems that just about half the commuters had some sort of gadget that they were using to pass the time (mobile phone, iPod or other MP3 player, notebook computer, Blackberry), but today that percent dropped to less than 1 in 10 (that 10% -- but let's not rush back to school quite yet).

Today, we had a couple of Dell notebooks (one IBM ThinkPad -- or was it Lenovo?), an iPod, Blackberry and Treo -- and that's about it.

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