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April 2007

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Nokia N95 unboxing

April 30, 2007

Communications Developer Conference coming soon

April 26, 2007

TMC’s Communications Developer Conference, is just around the corner - May 14-17, 2007, and is well-known as the premier event for developers of IP Communications technologies. The conference was previously known as the VoIP Developer Conference for the first three years, but changed the name this year to reflect the industry’s evolution from just voice applications to all forms of communications, which many have coined "Unfied Communications" (UC). With so many communication methods and devices, the need to organize all this information, including presence has become critical. Certainly, the unified communications market is set to explode.

VoIP in Second Life - Coming Soon!

April 25, 2007

Back in October I discussed VoIP in Second Life and joked about the need for e911 emergency services within this virtual world. Well, according to CNet, in the next several months, "Second Life avatars may find their long-awaited voice, said Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, publisher of the virtual world." Voice has been in "beta" within Second Life for awhile, so I assume this means the "official launch".

In the CNet article, Rosedale states something interesting: "There are a lot of problems with telephony when doing conference calls. You can't tell who's talking if there's more than one person. But in the virtual world, voice solves it," said Rosedale, noting that avatars with three-dimensional voice integration will likely accelerate using Second Life for holding virtual conference meetings.

Real Kryptonite Discovered

April 24, 2007

A new mineral discovered by geologists in Serbia shares virtually the same chemical composition as Kryptonite used by the Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor to weaken him in the film "Superman Returns". Apparently, the scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns nearly matches the composition of the new mineral discovered.

But don't expect green crystals, the new mineral discovered is actually a white powerdery substance, which leads me to believe they still haven't discovered the real Kryptonite. We Superman fans know better. Who knows was missing element might cause the powerdery substance to become green crystals?

24K Gold iPod

April 23, 2007

Everyone and their brother/sister has an iPod, right? Sure Apple offers multi-colored iPods, though the white model is still the most popular. So how do you stand out from the crowd from all the other iPod users? What if you want to "bling bling" your iPod with some diamonds or gold just to be different?

ooVoo a new Video/IM communications client

April 20, 2007

ooVoo is a new IM/video client launching soon, but I'm not sure if this another softphone client aiming to knock off the king - Skype. Simon from ooVoo emailed me, "To celebrate the launch of ooVoo, a new video communication tool, we're looking for 1000 influential bloggers to participate in a unique event.

We're compiling a video scrapbook called 'Just A Minute' and we'd like you to be involved. You can tell us about your job, your family, your hobbies or interests.

Deep Throat Shoots Verizon Patent Out of the Water

April 19, 2007

An anonymous source, let's call him/her my "Deep Throat" source emailed me with a couple of interesting links that seem to disprove Verizon's patent claims. One of the most important things in fighting patent claims is demonstrating "prior art" that existed before a subdequent patent was given to someone else. Deep Throat pointed me to a Google Groups (Usenet) post dated way back in September 22, 1995 containing some interesting mentions of VoIP that predate Verizon's patent claims. Deep Throat also pointed to an MIT University link which confirms the accuracy of the Telecom Digest article contained on Google Groups.

More bad news for Vonage - An Outage

April 19, 2007

On the heels of the Verizon vs. Vonage patent lawsuit, and warning it could file for bankruptcy, Vonage customers today are experiencing outages across the country. This isn't the first Vonage outage, nor will it be the last - unless of course the court shuts down Vonage permanently. Within the Vonage Dashboard a message states:
Service Announcements

Vonage continues providing you with quality, reliable phone service and world class customer service.

Remote Desktop slow problem solved

April 19, 2007

Remote Desktop 6.0, the latest version of Microsoft Remote Desktop client, which comes pre-installed with Vista was slower than molasses when I tried connecting to some Windows 2003 servers. In particular, I was trying to manage a Windows 2003 R2 64-bit Server running Exchange 2007 with 4GB of RAM and a fast 1.83Ghz dual-core processor. I'd click on something and wait and wait for my click to register. Moving a Window would also be painfully slow.

trixbox Buyers Club Launches

April 18, 2007

Rich Tehrani has an interesting scoop on his blog about the trixbox Buyers Club, part of Fonality's marketing angle to promote trixbox, an Astrerisk-based IP-PBX. Essentially, the trixbox Buyers Club offers discounts on 1,200 products,  including VoIP phones and even technical support, which will reside on the online trixStore. The trixStore provides competitive pricing on a wide selection of VoIP hardware and the additional Buyers Club discount is available to all registered trixbox users and resellers.

A portion of each sale is reinvested in the company’s ongoing support of the trixbox community.  Let's see, buy VoIP phones from Fonality's trixStore and Fonality uses a portion of those funds to reinvest in trixbox's community and development. 

Vonage warns it could file for bankruptcy

April 18, 2007

According to the Asbury Park Press, Vonage warned that patent fights could lead to bankruptcy and the company's liquidation. Vonage lost its patent lawsuit with Verizon and as I have stated before, if this is upheld on appeal, Vonage will have to pay $58 million in damages and 5.5% of revenue. According to the article, Citigroup Inc., a manager of Vonage's IPO, said last week that the risk Vonage will file for bankruptcy by 2009 has "increased materially."

Who will be Vonage's savior? I already explained that news reports were wrong and that VoIP, Inc. was not Vonage's savior.

Googlemania = Future Breakup?

April 18, 2007

Google has been on a buying spree, recently picking up DoubleClick, YouTube, and Trendalyzer. They've also acquired in the past Picasa, Keyhole, Tonic Systems (a new Powerpoint competitor), and a plethora of other companies. Google is just about the most loved Internet company, used by millions of Internet users, and is far and away the predominant search engine. In fact, simply saying "Just Google it" has become part of our vernacular.

FCC Displeased with U.S. Broadband Deployment Rate

April 18, 2007

According to an eWeek article, the FCC is not pleased with the rate at which broadband is being deployed in the U.S. According to eWeek, the FCC has started a Notice of Inquiry into whether broadband services are being provided to all Americans in a timely and reasonable fashion. They also have a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on methods of collecting information needed to set broadband policy in the future. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, agreeing with Martin, asked, "Can we finally agree that something drastic needs to be done?" Copps noted that the United States is 15th in the world in broadband penetration.

While it true the U.S.

Microsoft Silverlight takes on Adobe Flash

April 16, 2007

Scobleizer talks about Microsoft throwing down the multi-media gauntlet with a new software called Silverlight that aims to take on Adobe Flash, the predominant video media format on YouTube and other websites due to its better cross-platform support. Microsoft's Silverlight faces an uphill battle against Adobe Flash since the Adobe Flash Player is installed on more than 700 million computers and content developers are used to Adobe's media creation tools. Not to be outdone, Adobe introduced Adobe Media Player, a standalone media player that can play content "offline", as opposed to streamed "online" like the current Adobe Flash player does. This is in direct competition to the popular Windows Media Player bundled with most Windows PCs. This brings back the glory days of the Microsoft vs.

Skype SMC WiFi phone and FON router bundle

April 13, 2007

Joanna Stern, a staff writer over at LAPTOP, forwarded me a story she wrote on a Skype (SMC) WiFi phone and FON router bundle being offered by Skype, which is similar to the SMC/Skype bundle I recalled seeing on Skype's blog a few months ago - but the added addition of FON support. If you're not familiar with the FON router, it allows you to securely share your wireless signal with others that are part of FON's very large WiFi community to enjoy free WiFi wherever you find another FON router. This opens up a huge opportunity for SMC Skype phone users since the phone doesn't have a web browser to authenticate onto "fee-based" WiFi networks. Stephen Pinches on the Skype blog discusses this in detail today. Joanna from LAPTOP makes this bundle even more enticing when she tells me, "Even better we are giving away10 free bundles to our readers." The 10 free bundles include a SMC WiFi phone, FON router, 500 SkypeOut minutes and a year's worth of free Skype voicemail for $159. 

Skype for Business Redux

April 13, 2007

According to ComputerWorld UK, Skype is testing an enterprise version of its VoIP service and has asked businesses with more than 1,000 employees if they're interested in getting in early. This isn't the first time Skype has tried to crack the enterprise market. It is interesting they are focusing on fairly large corporations. It's been my experience that the largest users of Skype tend to be small-to-medium businesses.

Apple delays Leopard blames iPhone

April 13, 2007

Apple just released an intriguing statement involving the Apple iPhone and Leopard - their next operating system. In a statement, Apple said, "We can't wait until customers get their hands (and fingers) on it and experience what a revolutionary and magical product it is. However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price -- we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS® X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned."

Wow. So Apple announced a major delay and places the blame squarely on the much-anticipated Apple iPhone as the reason why their next operating system is delayed. I have to wonder, is this just a PR move so Apple doesn't suffer the same criticisms that Microsoft faced when they delayed Vista.

Vonage CEO resigns - Good news or Bad?

April 12, 2007

TMCnet launches new community

April 11, 2007

iTunes streaming to mobile phone using Slingbox and Apple TV

April 10, 2007

Apple TV has become the ultimate hacker magnet allowing users to use the Apple TV in ways Apple hadn't intended. As discussed recently, Apple TV was hacked to allow Asterisk, the open-source IP-PBX to run on it. Check out the Apple TV Asterisk tut. Now it appears that just a few weeks after launch, CNet is talking about an intriguing new feature for that will allow you to stream music from iTunes on your home computer to your cell phone leveraging Apple TV and Slingbox.

                                           Apple TV

It's a bit of a kludge since the iTunes music has to sync from your PC to the Slingbox and then to your mobile phone.

100 million iPods sold

April 9, 2007

Sell Vonage stock now and become a Billionaire!

April 9, 2007

I was reading the NY Times article about Vonage and the patent litigation with Verizon, when I noticed it said this - "Vonage shares dropped more than 25 percent to reach a record low of $3 a share after Judge Hilton ordered the company on March 23 to stop using technologies patented by Verizon. Shares of Verizon rose 39 cents, to close at $38 on Thursday." Wait a second here. It was $3 a share and now it's $38. $38?

Vonage Patent Update

April 9, 2007

As I predicted, Vonage was issued a stay in the Federal Court of Appeals and would not be shut down as a result of their litigation with Verizon. Vonage today stated that it views the Court of Appeals' granting of a temporary stay on Friday as the first step in resolving the matter in Vonage's favor. The temporary stay allows Vonage to continue to add customers and will will remain effective while the Appellate Court considers making the stay permanent. As I also predicted, "I think Vonage will most likely get a stay in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, but may have to incur daily penalties (issued by the court) for patent violations should they eventually exhaust all their legal options." It would appear this is the case, since Vonage was ordered to escrow a quarterly royalty of 5.5% and post a bond of $66 million to secure Verizon's damages.

According to Vonage's statement, "Vonage will continue to provide digital telephone service to existing customers indefinitely by paying into escrow a quarterly royalty of 5.5% throughout the appeals process.

Score one for Vonage - receives temporary stay

April 7, 2007

Vonage NOT Saved by VoIP, Inc.

April 4, 2007

I'm still seeing tons of reports that VoIP, Inc. has "saved" Vonage from the current patent litigation lawsuit with Verizon. This is NOT true. The information I received from Ars Technica was not accurate. I immediately updated my post with a correction.

PBX Prompts for Asterisk and other open source PBXs launches tomorrow

April 3, 2007

Garrett Smith informed me that Sayers Media Group tomorrow will launch PBX Prompts. What is PBX Prompts? It's pretty much what it sounds like. PBX Prompts offers a variety of standard voice prompt packages for Asterisk and other open-source systems such as Fonality, SwitchVox, and Pingtel, as well as custom voice prompts for IVR or voicemail.

Vonage inks deal with VoIP Inc bypassing Verizon patent claim

April 3, 2007

Update 5pm 4/3/2007 - please see the update at the bottom of this post - Vonage has performed an end-around the Verizon patent by inking a deal with VoIP, Inc., a company that claims to hold several VoIP patents. I actually thought that Vonage could approach VoIP, Inc. since I knew they owned several VoIP patents, however, I second guessed myself when I thought "VoIP, Inc. is a direct competitor to Vonage. Although VoIP, Inc. is classified as a CLEC and Interexchange Carrier (IXC), they offer nation-wide termination and origination. Why would they want to do a deal with Vonage?" It didn't occur to me that Vonage would be stuck between a rock and a hard place and would have to negotiate with a pseudo-competitor in order to stay in business.

Asterisk on Apple TV Tutorial

April 2, 2007

My Apple on Asterisk blog post immediately drew a response from several Asterisk fans, including the person that "hacked" Apple TV to run Asterisk (l0rdrock). I emailed l0rdr0ck and Steven Sokol about how to get Asterisk running on Apple TV and they provided me with the information on how to do this. The Asterisk 1.4.2 on AppleTV "soup to nuts" tutorial is courtesy of Steven Sokol from Sokol & Associates, Inc., who was the initiator behind this project when he proposed a "bounty" on loading Asterisk on Apple TV and which successfully won by Jeff Gambera (aka l0rdr0ck). The information below is a combination of material from (for the SSH stuff) and emailed information from l0rdr0ck and Steven Sokol for the main tutorial on loading Asterisk on Apple TV.

Ok, let the fun commence.

Microsoft OCS 2007 vs. Microsoft Response Point

April 2, 2007

David Berlind over at ZDNet and I have been having some back and forth conversation regarding Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007) and Microsoft Response Point. I wrote about OCS 2007 here, here, and here and Response Point I wrote about here. Specifically, we were discussing the similarities & differences between the two products and how they either complement or compete with each other. I told David, "My take on Response Point is that it really is designed for the SMB looking for a nice turnkey solution with cool productivity enhancements, such as speech-rec –BUT without the need for all the baggage that OCS 2007 carries – Active Directory, Exchange Server 2007, DNS server, etc.

VoIP Patents run amok

April 2, 2007

We have all been following the various VoIP patent lawsuits. From the Rates Technology vs. Google Talk lawsuit, to Apple vs Cisco iPhone lawsuit, Verizon vs. Vonage patent infringement and many more.

Asterisk on Apple TV

April 2, 2007

An interesting Apple TV hack from the AwkwardTV project features Asterisk running on an Apple TV box. The Asterisk story was Dugg over 500 times, as well as several other AwkwardTV posts, which caused the website to go gown (the Digg effect). Yet, when I go to the article, the screenshot of Asterisk running on Apple TV linked via doesn't work and the article is devoid of any specifics on how this Apple TV / Asterisk "hack" was done.

I'm not doubting l0rdr0ck was able to get Asterisk to run on Apple TV, I'm just disappointed I can't see the screenshot or learn more on how he did it, so I can try it myself. (Once I get my hands on an Apple TV).

Google Announces Free In-Home Wireless

April 2, 2007

Google is now offering free in-home wireless broadband service as part of their TiSP beta. According to Google, "Sick of paying for broadband that you have to, well, pay for? Introducing Google TiSP (BETA), our new FREE in-home wireless broadband service. Sign up today and we'll send you your TiSP self-installation kit, which includes setup guide, fiber-optic cable, spindle, wireless router and installation CD."

The installation instructions are pretty easy to follow and involve fiber-optic cable, a router, a sinker, and most importantly, your toilet. That explains the name TiSP (Toilet Internet Service Provider)

Check out the speeds you can get:
  Trickle The #2 Royal Flush Download speed (max) 8 Mbps
(10X basic DSL) 16 Mbps
(20X basic DSL) 32 Mbps
(40X basic DSL) Upload speed (max) 2 Mbps 4 Mbps
  8 Mbps Price Free $9.95/mo. $24.95/mo.   Actual speeds will vary, depending on network traffic and sewer line conditions.

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