Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

August 2007

You are browsing the archive for August 2007.

Skip2PBX, SIP-to-Skype Gateway, is here!

August 31, 2007

Today, Skip2PBX, an Italian-based company announced it is ready to launch its SIP-to-Skype gateway running on a PC running Linux. Mind you, this isn't the first claim of a SIP-to-Skype breakthrough, however, they claim to be the only Skype to PBX Gateway to directly support a variety of telephony hardware including Digium, Eicon, or a USB box. Unlike Actiontec's VoSKY Exchange Skype gateway products which maxes out at 8 ports where as the Skip2PBX claims up to 30 concurrent Skype PBX lines on a single serving PC. Impressive!

It features the ability to automatically finds a free line/port for the incoming or outgoing Skype call.

Sony Walkman NWZ-A810 & NWZ-S610

August 30, 2007

Ok, so Sony kinda sorta took my hint from yesterday and today just launched some cool combination gadgety devices - the Sony Walkman NWZ-A810 & NWZ-S610, which are portable music and video players. Now I get that Sony is trying to leverage the Walkman brand, but is that such a good idea? When I think of a Sony Walkman, I think of my old Sony Walkman cassette player NOT some new fandangled high-tech gadget device that not only plays audio but also video. Walkman just seems so 1980s -- but I digress.

Let's move along to what the new Sony NWZ-A810 and NWZ-S610 series have for features.

Garmin nüvi 700 GPS

August 30, 2007

Garmin today launched the new nüvi 700 series GPS satellite navigation system, which includes the nüvi 710, 750, 760 and the nüvi 770. The nuvi 700 series includes enhancements to its user interface, a hidden integrated GPS antenna to make it compact and stylish, and it comes with traffic reports to tell you of any congestion ahead and safety camera alerts for mobile and fixed cameras.

Each nüvi in the 700 series has traffic alerts, with a free lifetime subscription to traffic services. This enables drivers to avoid congestion and find alternative routes via the sat-nav. Garmin uses the patented Cyclops technology to provide highly accurate safety camera alerts for all its sat-nav systems.

TomTom GO 920 T

August 30, 2007

Today, TomTom launched the TomTom GO 920 T, their latest "high-end" premium GPS unit featuring TomTom's most extensive map of Europe and North America. The GO 920 T is considered TomTom's newest flagship model and features a large 4.3" touchscreen. It comes preinstalled with complete maps of Europe and USA & Canada on the 4 GB internal memory. The GO 920 T includes the new Enhanced Positioning Technology which results in a more continuous navigation experience for those pesky bridges and tunnels.

Garmin Edge 605 & 705

August 29, 2007

I love Garmin GPS units, and I love to go biking, so why not combine the two passions with Garmin's new series of GPS units the Garmin Edge 605 and Garmin Edge 705, which lets cyclists share routes wirelessly while adding SRM power compatibility. Today, Garmin launched the Edge 705 and Edge 605 featuring  integrated personal training systems for recreational and advanced cyclists. The Edge 705 and Edge 605 provide mapping capabilities, street navigation and a 2.2” color display in addition to tracking vertical profiles, climb and descent, altitude, speed, distance, and time.

According to Garmin, "The Edge 705 represents several breakthroughs in cycling technology, including SRM compatibility and wireless unit-to-unit connectivity. Through collaborative efforts with SRM — a pioneer in mobile power diagnostics for bicycles — Garmin for the first time gives cyclists the opportunity to monitor GPS position, power, heart rate, speed, cadence, altitude and gradient on the same display"
Imagine if Lance Armstrong had this technology, he'd of won 10 in a row!

Unified Communications Deployment Blues

August 29, 2007

Today, unified communications is being touted by many, including Microsoft with their Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007) due out later this year and Cisco with their aptly named  Cisco Unified Communications. Unified communications often combines many or all of the following: instant messaging/IM with business presence, VoIP, videoconferencing, online collaboration, desktop sharing, and unified messaging (email, voicemail, fax in your Inbox). Of these applications, which all run on your network, VoIP and videoconferencing are extremely sensitive to jitter, latency, and packet loss. Unfortunately, many enterprises are beginning to deploy unified communications without performing any pre-deployment testing of their network to ensure these applications meet strict quality of service standards.

Provia A1 GPS - too cool!

August 27, 2007

The Provia A1 navigator GPS isn't your typical utilitarian GPS that gets your from point A to point B. No siree, Bob! The Provia A1 navigator is more like the iPhone with it's sleek design, 7" touchscreen, and cool 3D graphics. This Provia A1 GPS just begs to be carried around just so you have cool gadget bragging rights. The Provia A1 navigator is from Korea’s HTMS and features a Samsung 800 x 480 resolution widescreen touchscreen 7-inch display.

New Yahoo! Mail integrates IM and text messaging

August 26, 2007

Tomorrow, Yahoo! will announce the general availability of the new version of Yahoo! Mail. The new service includes two new major features: free text messaging to mobile phone numbers (available in the US, Canada, India and the Philippines), and integrated instant messaging (IM) with users of Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.

Website blocks Firefox users due to Ad Blocker

August 24, 2007

According to InfoWorld, a blogger is blocking Firefox users from visiting his site in protest of the 2nd most popular Firefox plugin called AdBlock Plus, which strips banner advertisements from websites. His rationale is that when you use an advertisement blocker you are stealing.

According to InfoWorld, he stated, "Accessing the content while blocking the ads therefore would be no less than stealing," wrote Danny Carlton, a Web site designer and author, who runs both sites. is his personal blog site.

SunrRocket sues Vonage over dirty tricks

August 24, 2007

Nonoh takes on Jajah in cheap mobile calling

August 23, 2007

Nonoh is a new mobile application that lets you make free calls leveraging your browser (PC or mobile phone browser). Unlike Jajah's free worldwide calling option which requires both legs of the call to be registered, Nonoh lets you dial many destinations for free without forcing the remote calling party to register their phone number first.

For instance, Nonoh lets you dial U.S. phone numbers for free while Jajah charges 2 cents per minute when dialing an unregistered phone number.

Also, Nonoh also lets you send cheap text messages using the Nonoh software or use the SMS option in your personal Nonoh pages.

Nonoh has some pretty good rates for calling across the world.

VoIP makes Inc 500

August 23, 2007 enables remote MySpace messages and picture sending

August 23, 2007

MySpace users will find this brand new web-based utility from useful. As MySpacers know, there isn't an easy way to connect to all your MySpace friends when you're on the go away from you PC. With, you can blast out a message to all your friends from your mobile phone. You can even send pictures from a Blackberry device (other mobile phone devices are in the works).

It's useful for quickly organizing a get-together without actually calling each person's phone number (assuming you have it handy in your phone's address book).

Interesting Vonage Customer Complaint

August 22, 2007

Frank Trama told me his horror story about how he tried to cancel Vonage and how Vonage continued to bill him even though Vonage no longer was in control of Frank's phone number. When I first signed up with Vonage eons ago, Vonage told me NOT to cancel my SBC phone service - that they would take care of everything, including porting the phone number and cancelling my service. This certainly made for a nice easy transition for me. Contact my new phone company (Vonage) and they handle everything on my behalf.

The problem is when you try and cancel your Vonage service and port your number back to a traditional phone carrier.

Avaya #1 VoIP PBX Vendor?

August 21, 2007

I was too busy yesterday to blog this news, but thought it was still important enough to mention. Yesterday, I received an email stating that Avaya, a traditional PBX manufacturer had "widened its lead in worldwide enterprise Internet protocol (IP) telephony revenues." The report showed Avaya as the #1 vendor in IP telephony revenue. This caught my eye for a couple reasons. One, I thought that Cisco, a traditional networking company that became a IP-PBX manufacturer, was the #1 vendor.

Skype Explains the Perfect Storm

August 21, 2007

So we now know that Windows Update (as I accurately theorized) was the culprit behind the Skype outage. So many people has been asking me why this latest Microsoft Update and series of patches was any different than previous Microsoft patches to cause the Skype meltdown. The answer in short was that it was a "Perfect Storm" of events that happened in combination that brought the Skype network to its knees.

The Skype Heartbeat explained it very well as follows:

2. What was different about this set of Microsoft update patches?

In short – there was nothing different about this set of Microsoft patches.

Dialogic DMG4000 Media Gateways launched

August 21, 2007

Dialogic today announced the availability of their Dialogic 4000 Media Gateway Series, including the DMG4060 DTI Media Gateway and the DMG4120 DTI Media Gateway. The Dialogic 4000 Media Gateway Series (aka "DMG4000 gateways”) are a set of integrated systems designed to connect Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to existing PBX systems and PSTN networks.

It uses a standard rack-mount server running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and is what Dialogic classifies as a "basic-hybrid gateway” designed to provide both the media gateway function and the Mediation Server role of Office Communications Server 2007.  Mediation Server provides PSTN and PBX interoperability, high-fidelity audio via the Microsoft RT Audio Codec, and VoIP security for Office Communications Server 2007.

VoIPMonitor congratulates TMCNet

August 21, 2007

VoIPMonitor has a nice article congratulating TMCNet for reaching over 3,000,000 unique visitors in July 2007, a 50% increase in traffic since February 2007. Thanks for the kudos, VoIPMonitor! The TMC team tries hard to bring breaking stories, interesting articles, and insightful commentary in IP communications, call center/CRM technology, wireless, and much more.

Let me just add that it's YOU the web reader that visits our various websites & blogs that helps make TMCNet the success that is. Without the traffic and the corresponding advertising revenue your visits help bring in, we wouldn't be able to afford to hire high-quality editors to write the content you enjoy reading.

Skype Outage - Lessons Learned

August 20, 2007

Skype Outage caused by Windows Update

August 20, 2007

I'm never one to say I told you so, but it appears I was right about Windows Update (Patch Tuesday) causing the massive Skype outage. Many users were skeptical of this theory, as seen in the comments of my blog post. This from Skype Heartbeat:
On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

The high number of restarts affected Skype’s network resources.

EMC Smarts VoIP Performance Manager & Reporter

August 20, 2007

Today, EMC launched a comprehensive solution for managing your VoIP infrastructure, with EMC Smarts VoIP Performance Manager and EMC Smarts VoIP Performance Reporter. The goals of these two software solutions are to maximize the availability and performance of business-critical VoIP services through comprehensive monitoring, alerting, diagnosis and reporting. I spoke with EMC last week to learn more about their latest foray into the VoIP space. My first comment to EMC was that I was unaware EMC was in VoIP and I just thought of them as a storage company.

Microsoft Licenses RT Audio Codec and launches new QoS Monitoring Tool

August 20, 2007

I believe I was the first to break the story about Microsoft's RT codecs called RT Audio and RT Video. At the very least, I was the first to stress the importance of Microsoft offering two forward error correction codecs when I wrote "Microsoft's Secret Codec Weapon? One fact that hasn't gotten any attention from the mainstream media (& tech media) coverage of OCS 2007 is the VoIP and video codec Microsoft is using. During my conversation with Microsoft they kept talking about how Office Communicator's VoIP works well not only in broadband environments, but also in limited bandwidth narrowband environments, i.e. dial-up -- and even on Windows Mobile 5 devices."

In the article I explained how Microsoft stressed how their codec works well even with high packet loss due to Forward Error Correction (FEC) and other algorithms.

trixbox Training

August 19, 2007

trixbox is a popular Asterisk-based IP-PBX solution. Although trixbox is meant to be easy to install via a bootable CD, there is still a lot to know about configuring and optimizing trixbox for the most optimal experience. Whether it's configuring hunt groups, or configuring SIP settings for IP trunks you might want some help from the experts.

That's why TMC is hosting trixbox training & certification at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo, which is only 10 20 days away. Even though I've been playing with Asterisk-based solutions for years, I may check out the training sessions just to brush up on my skills.

In fact, the trixbox training & certification sessions are taught by none other than Kerry Garrison, trixbox Community Director, with support from Andrew Gillis, the trixbox Founder, as well as the trixbox Support team.

Saturday Update on Skype Outage

August 18, 2007

Just received this email from Skype PR representative. Thought I'd share an excerpt of it. The gist is that Skype is now back to normal and on Monday they will finally provide a more detailed explanation. I'm kind of rooting for the tin hats'  theory about the CIA and FBI bringing down the Skype network.

Skype Offline Latest Update

August 17, 2007

Last night I read on Skype's website the following: "Our engineering team has determined that it's a software issue. We expect this to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours." The glitch has affected every copy of the Skype software that had been downloaded since the service's started in 2003."

Really now? 4 years this bug has existed in every single copy of Skype and now it crops up? This is mighty fishy.

Latest on the Skype Outage

August 16, 2007

Skype's Villu Arak responded to all the rumors as to why the Skype network went down.

It's not due to any Microsoft patch(es) or any hacker attacks. Just some boring reason about an algorithm deficiency. Still pretty vague if you ask me, especially considering the hooplah surrounding this outage. In any event, here's what he said:

Hello everyone,

Apologies for the delay, but we can now update you on the Skype sign-on issue.

Skype Outage

August 16, 2007

Skype is experiencing a major outage. My fellow TMC co-workers noticed it late Wednesday when they couldn't IM fellow co-workers. TMC's Dave Rodrqiguez told me that he went home for the day, signed into Skype from home and was bombarded with a ton of Skype IM messages that didn't go through earlier. I checked Skype's home page but no mention there.

Movable Type 4.0 Released

August 15, 2007

Today Six Apart announced the release of Movable Type 4.0. According to Six Apart, "This is the biggest release of MT ever, a complete redesign of both the front end information architecture and the back end scaling infrastructure. The dozens of new features have been inspired by the outpouring of community support have helped inform our efforts: MT4 reflects what all of us have learned about how blogs work and where blogs are going."

I've played with Movable Type 4.0 beta and I'm not crazy about the new interface, but part of the reason is I'm used to how I've customized my MT interface over the years and added a powerful WYSIWYG editor (FCK Editor). Unfortunately, MT 4.0's WYSIWYG editor isn't nearly as powerful as FCK Editor.

I do like the performance improvement in MT 4.0 including the built-in support for FastCGI and memcached.

Skype 2.7 for Mac Beta released

August 15, 2007

Today, Skype released Skype 2.7 for Mac Beta. According to Skype, "With “beta” on the label, there may be some wrinkles, kinks and unsprayed bugs which we’ll remove in time for a public release. With that in mind, feel free to download and play with it."

Here’s what’s new:

*    Group contacts – organize your contacts into as many groups as you need. While there are some pre-defined groups (like Online, Waiting Authorization, Recently Contacted), you’re free to add new ones that suit your life. This should be a godsend to those whose contact list has ballooned to hundreds of Skype users.

Exchange Server 2007 Spam Whitelist Rant

August 14, 2007

I just blogged this morning about Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 being released to the MSDN and Technet communities. Exchange Server 2007 is a major upgrade over Exchange Server 2003 with tight integration with Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007), however I have a major complaint. That is - I have been waiting for Microsoft to offer centralized server-based whitelisting challenge-response support in Exchange Server for years and still they haven't added it. I've been on an anti-spam crusade for years.

Files2Phones + Apple iPhone = Remote Access to your Files

August 14, 2007

1st Works Corp. plans to announce a product for the Apple iPhone that enables remote access to your desktop files from the iPhone. Called Files2Phones, it's a web-based application that displays on an iPhone the contents of files on remote PCs.  Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, AutoCAD drawings - or any files that can be opened on the user's PC can be viewed remotely on the iPhone. Users simply drag and drop the local files into public or private password-protected folders on a Windows PC.

Exchange Server 2007 SP1 launches

August 14, 2007

Microsoft today launched Exchange Server 2007 SP1 (beta 2) to those who are part of Microsoft's Developer Network or subscribe to the Microsoft's TechNet. According to Microsoft Service Pack 1 (SP1) is a community technology preview or CTP, ans is now feature complete with a final ship date of the last quarter this year. The latest release more closely ties Exchange Server closer to Microsoft's unified communications products, namely Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007). OCS 2007 adds VoIP, voicemail, text-to-speech reading of email and more and is also scheduled for release sometime this year. I've actually been testing OCS 2007 beta with Exchange 2007 and OCS 2007 is probably the best product I've seen from Microsoft in years.

In any event, Exchange 2007 SP1 will support Windows Server 2008 and a single subnet is no longer required for HA (high availability).

trixbox Pro Editon + trixNet

August 13, 2007

First there was Asterisk@Home a free version based on Asterisk that is a bootable ISO image that can build an Asterisk-based server in just minutes. But then Fonality acquired Asterisk@Home and soon after renamed it trixbox. Fonality continued development on PBXtra, their own Asterisk-based solution. Today, Fonality has announced that it is merging the PBXtra brand into trixbox with what they are calling trixbox Pro Edition, which comes in 3 flavors: Standard, Enterprise, and Call Center Edition.

Asterisk 1.2.24 and 1.4.10 released

August 8, 2007

Asterisk late last night announced two new releases of Asterisk. One of the bug fixes includes a fix for a remote crash vulnerability in the Skinny channel driver due to a Denial of Service type attach. This Denial of Service bug is part of Asterisk Project Security Advisory - ASA-2007-019.

More about the new release according to

The Asterisk development team has released Asterisk versions 1.2.24 and 1.4.10.

Version 1.2.24 is the final 1.2 release that contains normal bug fixes.

Best Internet Telephony Magazine Yet - Plus ITEXPO Thoughts

August 8, 2007

I just received my latest issue of TMC's Internet Telephony Magazine, which is hot off the presses. Check out the cover. (excuse the image quality, I used a webcam)

On the cover you'll notice a wide array of stories including: Microsoft's big communications plans - namely Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007), fixed mobile convergence (FMC), power protection & management, fax over IP, and a comprehensive TMC Labs review of the Cantata IMG 1010 VoIP gateway. (Note: The Microsoft story is in the top-right corner, but not readable in the image)

This comprehensive coverage of all IP communications is why TMC's internet Telephony Magazine is still the #1 VoIP magazine!

Download Windows Vista SP1 Pre-launch Updates

August 8, 2007

Microsoft today launched some major updates to Windows Vista, which appears to be a pre-launch update to the highly anticipated and uber-secretive Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Rumors and leaks about Vista SP1 and where you can download it have been going on for several weeks now. Some Vista users are getting impatient over getting the new updates. Microsoft reportedly responded by saying "Hold your horses will ya?

Dailymotion and Skype Launch Mood Channels

August 7, 2007

Today, Dailymotion and Skype have launched Mood Channels using MotionMaker Creative Content. Essentially, If I understand the release correctly, Dailymotion is a YouTube-like video website that has "hooked" into Skype to allow you to set your favorite video as your Skype mood. Then your Skype mood can be shared with your Skype buddies. Sounds like the video is played directly within the Skype window, but I'm not sure.

Mundu IM iPhone Edition

August 6, 2007

Ok, so you got "Skype on" with your Apple iPhone (thanks to your truly) but no doubt you're looking for some IM lovin' on your iPhone that works with MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and Google Talk. After all, IM on the Apple iPhone is sorely lacking and SMS is so 2005.

Well, look no further my friends! Tuesday Mundu will officially launch Mundu IM iPhone Edition (beta) which interoperates with Yahoo, MSN, AIM, and Google Talk. I became aware of Mundu last week but was too busy to write about them.

I should mention that there is also FlickIM, which is optimized for the iPhone, but it only works with AOL's AIM service. Meebo is another web-based IM service which works with AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, and MSN. It's drawback is that it was designed for large PC browsers not the iPhone's small screen.

Vonage Visual Voicemail

August 6, 2007

SunRocket Lives?

August 6, 2007

A friend of mine forwarded me an email over the weekend that come from the recently deceased SunRocket. Are they back from the dead? This is just too funny. Apparently, the automated survey system for SunRocket is still sending out e-mails and accepting survey responses.

Top 10 Reasons Why I love Asterisk

August 3, 2007

In November 2001 I wrote an article for Communications Solutions Magazine (precuror to the #1 VoIP magazine, Internet Telephony Magazine) titled "In Search Of A Linux-Based PBX" . In that article I espoused the benefits of Linux and open source and pondered why there wasn't an open source Linux-based PBX. It was then that I discovered and wrote about Asterisk which virtually no one knew about and which was still up-and-coming.

Who knew that out of the plethora of Linux telephony companies I found in that article that Asterisk would be the clear front-running Linux IP-PBX today. In just a few short years, Asterisk has built a rabid and loyal fan base.

Internet Telephony Expo Buzz Heats Up

August 3, 2007

Ken Camp's post, Internet Telephony Expo - Only 5 weeks away, reminded me just how close ITEXPO is. It's happening September 11-12, 2007 in Los Angeles at the well-known LA Convention Center. Where did the Summer go? I can't believe in another month we'll be in the Fall, school will be back in session, etc.

SunRocket warns "All hands abandon ship! Repeat, all hands abandon..."

August 1, 2007

Until now, SunRocket has exclusively relied on using email to tell SunRocket customers that their service will be discontinued on August 5th. Relying on email notification isn't good since people often switch email addresses or give out a dummy email address to avoid spam. I was telling a friend who uses SunRocket that I bet unless they call each SunRocket customer there could be a lot of surprised customers caught off guard come August 5th. I alluded to this in my SunRocket 10 day countdown post.

I mentioned to my friend that it shouldn't be that hard to auto-dial every SunRocket customer and play an automated message.

Featured Events