Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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December 2006

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Another Top VoIP Bloggers List

December 29, 2006

Alec Saunders just compiled another list of the top VoIP bloggers, which he titled "The Ultimate VoIP Blogger Rankings" using Text-Link-Ads "Juice Calculator". I'm flattered to be ranked 6th out of 71 and ahead of such notable VoIP bloggers - Jeff Pulver, Rich Tehrani, Andy Abramson, and more. Though technically I think I should be 5th since I don't consider MobileCrunch (ranked 5th) a "VoIP blog". Of course you could make the same argument for Om Malik's Gigaom which covers much more than VoIP.

What Was Under Your Tree?

December 26, 2006

There's Only the Weekend Left!

December 22, 2006

Are You Dreaming of a Gadget-filled Christmas?

December 21, 2006

PSP Video Service Coming

December 21, 2006

Now we're starting to make sense, as in synergy, or convergence as Sony likes to say (or at least at one time was interested in).

Make sense? Yes, as in Sony is planning to launch a PSP video download service for its cool portable gaming platform early next year.

This service will enable PSP owners to download a film from the Internet to a PC and then transfer a single, legal version of the film to a Sony device.

Interview with WowWee Robots CEO

December 20, 2006

Robocommunity has an interesting interview with WowWee CTO Davin Sufer. If you've been living under a rock, or perhaps you just don't have kids, then perhaps you're not familiar with WowWee robots. Heck, I have a daughter that is too young to play with robots, yet I'm familiar with WowWee's cool robots. You can't miss them if you walk into Bed Bath & Beyond - or maybe it was Linens and Things.

Playing Xbox Games on the Xbox 360

December 20, 2006

Hey Why Not? Amazon To Enter Music Download Biz

December 19, 2006

And why not indeed!

According to reports, shopping mogul Amazon is planning to launch its own music download store a la iTunes in the first quarter of next year.

And why not indeed!

Record labels aren't all too thrilled about iTunes cornering the music download market and consumers aren't all to thrilled about not having enough choices for where they can download music legally.

(Illegally is another matter ...)

Only 5 (Make That 6) More Shopping Days ...

December 19, 2006

The iPhone Arrives ... via Cisco

December 18, 2006

While all of us blogged on and on about the union of the iPod and the cell phone into something we all loved to call the iPhone, Cisco has quietly been watching and waiting, not saying a word, even though they filed the trademark application for the name 10 years ago.

Now that they have a real product, the iPhone seems less groovy coming from Cisco (or rather Linksys) than it would have coming from Apple -- even if the technology in each product was comparable.
(Note trad keypad and no wheel, alas ...)

Now that the dust has settled between Cisco and Apple over the iPhone trademark the Apple iPhone has finally arrived and is for sale, go check out some of these hot new iPhone accessories!

No doubt there will be a buying spree and a lot of the iPhones will end up selling for 200% markups on eBay. Might even put the PS3 buying frenzy to shame.

It's amazing what the coolness factor can do ...

Update. It looks like the iPhone has also arrived from Apple themselves. I wrote about their launch here and their how they kept the iPhone top-secret here.










Wengo releases Flash VoIP client

December 18, 2006

Looks like Wengo beat Adobe to the punch in offering a Flash VoIP client. If you recall, both Om and I discussed how Adobe was planning on offering a Flash VoIP client.

Check out the news courtesy of Slashdot:
"Wengo, a French company specializing in VoIP and instant messaging, and patron of the OpenWengo project (previously featured in Free Software magazine and here on Slashdot), has just released WengoVisio — a Flash softphone that you can download and embed in your Web page, to allow readers to call you when you're available through their browser, without downloading any software. (Disclaimer: I work for Wengo, on the OpenWengo project.) It's functionally cut down from the full Wengophone, but it's enough to be able to make a phone call in a Web page for the first time."

Hat tip to Greg for forwarding.




Ringtone Maker: What an Idea!

December 18, 2006

Can you believe ringtones are such a big business?

Well, if you don't want to add a few more bucks to your monthly phone bill for a custom ringtone, then Magix's Ringtone Maker 2 might just be the product for you.

Ringtone Maker 2 lets you personalize your cell phone by creating your own ringtones from music and video hits without paying any subscription or download fees.

 

With Ringtone Maker 2, you can create as many ringtones as you like on your PC and then transfers them to your cell phone as a realtone or polyphonic ringtone.

Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 3200 Laser: Now That's What I Call Wireless!

December 15, 2006

I'm talking across-the-room wireless connectivity, not just short range like other wireless keyboard/mouse combo kits.

With the Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 3200 Laser, you get leading-edge performance, comfort and style as well as things you never thought you could do from your keyboard.

Now, I can take advantage of my PC's great media and communication capabilities, even if I had Windows Vista.

Can't Anybody Get a Gadget Right?

December 15, 2006

Hey, I'm not picking on Sony this time, but Nintendo, which is facing a silly Wii situation where the strap that holds the do-hickie on your wrist seems to break too easily.

The BBC (aka "The Beeb") has all of the details here.

If you want to find out how to replace your strap, click here (link will take you to Nintendo web site).

Laptop and Video over IP captures would-be Thief

December 15, 2006

Father of the Hard Drive Passes On

December 14, 2006

Gamers: Big Brother Would Like To Watch

December 14, 2006

Kapanga Mobile Edition for mobiles and smart phones

December 13, 2006

Today Kapanga did the beta launch for Kapanga Mobile Edition. According to their release, a 30-day trial beta can be downloaded for free from Kapanga Softphone's website (http://www.kapanga.net). Once installed, Kapanga Mobile users can establish simultaneous voice and video communications through a software PBX or VoIP provider using the mobile device's 802.11 WiFI connection. Kapanga Mobile can also communicate directly to another SIP client device.

The (Video) Eyes Have It

December 13, 2006

Remember when video eyewear looked like huge black things right out of a 1950's horror movie? You know what I mean -- really large, really noticeable and really strange.

(Who would wear these things?)

Now we are finally starting to see the introduction of video eyewear that is almost three times lighter.

Microsoft Goes Mr. Roboto

December 13, 2006

Everybody wants to rule the world ...

(Tears for Fears, anyone? But wasn't "Mr. Roboto" a Styx song?)

Anyway, looking beyond Microsoft, Bill Gates is now discussing converging technology trends that he believes will make robots a nearly ubiquitous part of our day-to-day lives in the not-too-distant future, just like he viewed PCs 30 years ago.

Skype's free ride is over

December 13, 2006

According to TMCNet.com Skype today announced that it is offering U.S. and Canadian consumers the new Skype Unlimited Calling plan, a paid annual subscription service that allows registered users to make 12 months of unlimited SkypeOut calls to any phone within the U.S. and Canada. This is the first time that Skype is making an annual subscription calling plan available.

The Skype Unlimited Calling plan is available for a flat rate of $29.95 per year.

I Want MyTVPal.com

December 12, 2006

MyTVPal.com is the world's first 1080P HD streaming Video on Demand (VOD) and IPTV service for PC Player and IPTV receiver set top box (STB) clients.

(How about that description!)

The service starts with more than 700 free IPTV channels from more than 70 countries, including Standard Definition and HD channels to any broadband user with 1.5 Mb/sec speed or higher.

A wide range of VOD titles will be offered for a low monthly fee in the months to come with new TV channels and VOD titles being added each month.

Fix Scratched DVD problems

December 12, 2006

A scratched DVD can certainly leave you frustrated, especially if it's one of your favorite movies, but at least the DVD can be replaced. Now imagine the scratched DVD is a home video of your most cherished family memories and you have no backup copy. This is pretty bad. Now imagine the scratched DVD is your wedding video, you then try the backup DVD and the backup DVD also fails with sector errors.

Zoom VoIP Freedom web-based SIP chooser utility

December 11, 2006

One of the pains of most current ATA devices is that you lock you into a specific vendor by password-protecting the firmware. So even though the ATA is SIP-based, you can only use it with the VoIP provider you initially chose. If you ever want to switch, you're left with an ATA brick. Even if the ATA isn't locked, unless you are a VoIP geek and now how to configure SIP settings, you might be a bit daunted to try and switch providers and leverage your existing ATA investment.

Fortunately, some ATA manufacturers have seen the light.

Number 9, Number 9; Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 Suite

December 11, 2006

Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned ... hey, not that Nero. I'm thinking about Nero because Roxio is alway bumping heads with that company when it comes to more than all-in-one suites that offer CD and DVD authoring, burning, photo, video and music applications.

Roxio's Easy Media Creator 9 is a substantial upgrade to that company's comprehensive suite, including more than 100 new features and trend-anticipating capabilities such as mobile entertainment support, Blu-ray Disc (BD) recording, Microsoft Windows Vista compatibility and HD video creation tools.

iPod vs. iTunes: The Guessing Game

December 11, 2006

Talkster launches public beta

December 11, 2006

Talkster today announced that their closed/invite-only beta is now open the public. Talkster essentially lets you place free calls from your regular cell phone to instant messaging clients such as MSN Messenger, Google Talk, and Gizmo Project. What's nice about Talkster is you don't have to have a telephone number to reach someone - you simply use their buddy (contact) name. Further, Talkster is convenient because it consolidates 3 popular communications services people and allows you to leverage them to make VoIP calls to any of these services using your mobile phone.

Grinch, CTI, VoIP, Seinfeld, Newman, Darth Vader, and all that stuff

December 8, 2006

Back in 1998, TMC had a publication called CTI Magazine which covered the convergence of the Computer and Telephony - or Computer Telephony Integration. At the time, Richard "Zippy" Grigonis worked for Harry Newton's publication CT Magazine, TMC's arch-rival publication. Zippy was like my Newman (Seinfeld's arch-rival). Similar to what I do for TMC Labs, he wrote some reviews and did a good job writing technical articles on CT/CTI.

At one point Zippy called me and said that CT Magazine was interested in hiring me away from TMC.

Signate, an Asterisk provider, bites the dust?

December 8, 2006

Signate is a provider of Asterisk-based solutions that apparently is going through major problems. I've been getting lots of emails asking if I know what is going on with them, so I did some research. Word through the grapevine is that they are about to go belly-up - but this is still unconfirmed. Their former CEO left and when I tried to reach their new CEO Paul Mahler and I got an automated voice message telling me to email Paul@paulmahler.com.

More Battery Woes

December 8, 2006

Laser Printers, Laser Tag; Why Not Laser TVs?

December 8, 2006

Hey, the iPhone Is Already Here!

December 7, 2006

Cupertino and Redmond from Allsop

December 7, 2006

It's about time someone decided to come out with computer desk and media accessories that have some uniformed style and grace.

And that's just what the Cupertino and Redmond collections of computer and media accessories from Allsop offer.

Finding inspiration in the iPod (why not?) and other popular high-tech items, the collections are designed to complement the best of the consumer electronics market in both style and function.

The collections feature clean lines and a colors (Apple white in the Cupertino collection -- pictured at left) and more basic black in the Redmond collection).

Buying a Tesla Roader could be Risky

December 6, 2006

The Tesla Roadster is one of the hottest cars on the planet. In addition to being an exotic looking vehicle, it's also 100% electric, goes 0-60mph in about 4 seconds, gets about 135 mpg (equivalent), 250 miles per charge, and Tesla claims it only costs about $0.01 per mile. Wow, fast and environmentally friendly, who couldn't love that? Puts my gas-guzzling V10 Dodge Viper to shame.

Altec Lansing's Got the Phones ...

December 6, 2006

You know, not everyone is going to get a new iPod this year. (Or other MP3 player for that matter).

In fact, maybe it's just that the earphones have worn out.

Well, if it's replacement time and you don't want to blow beaucoup bucks on high-end 'phones, Altec Lansing offers an incredibly wide selection.

Record Companies Waking Up

December 6, 2006

Hictu! online address book with presence

December 6, 2006

We all have problems with our multiple digital address books, multiple IM/VoIP clients, which affects productivity - both professionally and personally. Checking each client to see which buddies are online or to look for a specific buddy is a pain if you run multiple clients like most of us do. So I was intrigued when Luca emailed me a tip about Hictu! and pointed me to the news in his blog.

Office 2007 To Office Mac: Drop Dead

December 5, 2006

Apple Rolling into Video Gaming Market?

December 5, 2006

Who is redirecting trixbox/Asterisk@Home web traffic?

December 5, 2006

Have you noticed how http://www.asteriskathome.com points to http://www.asterisknow.org/, a site that promotes AsteriskNOW, a new software distribution that includes a customized version of Linux, Asterisk, the Asterisk GUI, and all other software needed for an Asterisk system. AsteriskNOW is promoted as an easy to install turnkey installation when it says, "AsteriskNOW includes all the Linux components necessary to run, debug and build Asterisk, and only those components, so installation is easy." Doesn't this turnkey Asterisk sounds eerily similar to the old Asterisk@Home project which was recently renamed to trixbox?

The site www.asteriskathome.com is offering a competing product to trixbox (Asterisk@Home), which is now owned by Fonality. Fonality is a company that sells PBXtra and is a competitor to Digium..

Calling All Cub Reporters!

December 4, 2006

Will iPod Phone Make a MacWorld Debut?

December 1, 2006

Get Sirius with Car TV

December 1, 2006

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