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Tom Keating
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March 2008

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Metaaso mermaid IPv6 P2P App

March 31, 2008

Metaaso mermaid is a line of products based on a Peer-To-Peer (P2P) technology, which is completely server-less and allows users to broadcast data/audio/video/text to millions around the world, without the need for heavy infrastructure, and over their very own private, secure peer-to-peer network.

What's interesting about mermaid is that it's the first IPv6 P2P sharing application that I'm aware of that makes extensive use of the new IPv6 address scheme, which helps get around pesky NAT issues and share data/media with your other peers.

Mermaid can also be used for P2P VoIP that doesn't require centralized supernodes like Skype does. In addition to VoIP you can also broadcast your webcam, and your voice live, to millions of people worldwide in real-time over your own private, secure, P2P network, optimized for webcam and voice broadcast.

What else can you you do with mermaid? They claim the following capabilities:

- The ability to broadcast MOVIES in realtime to millions of people worldwide over a private, secure, server-less P2P network.

- The ability to broadcast and receive NEWS, over a server-less, P2P network spanning the globe, where you can get the news, as soon as it gets published.

- The ability to broadcast ANY audio/video source connected to your computer over your own private, secure, P2P network to millions of people around the globe.

- Multiple people connected to each other, sharing their webcams, their desktops, their voice and files (file sharing) over their very own private P2P network, bringing global, and scalable multi-node video conferencing to mainstream.

How does it work?

The Biggest Loser Finale

March 31, 2008

This is the Biggest Loser Finale results week. Hopefully, you've been keeping track of my local gym's The Biggest Loser competition and enjoying my weekly updates. Here's a recap:

Week 1 (Jan 14th) - weighed in at 198lbs (original weight)
Week 2 (Jan 21st) - weighed in at 189lbs (-9 lbs)
Week 3 (Jan 28th) - weighted in at 189lbs (0 change)
Week 4 (Feb 4th) - weighed in at 186lbs (-3 lbs)
Week 5 (Feb 11th) - weighed in at 186lbs (0 change)
Week 6 (Feb 18th) - weighed in at 184lbs (-2 lbs).
Week 7 (Feb 25th) - weighed in at 183lbs (-1 lbs).
Week 8 (March 3rd) - weighed in at 180lbs (-3 lbs).
Week 9 (March 10th) - weighed in at 180lbs (0 change).
Week 10 (March 17th) - weighed in at 174lbs (-6 lbs).
Week 11 (March 24th) - weighed in at 174lbs (0 change).

This week (finale):
Week 12 (March 31st) - weighed in at 170lbs (-4 lbs).

I worked my tail off this weekend, including a 3.5 hour workout on Saturday that included over 5 miles on the treadmill as well as weight training.

NMS & WITCOM-developed ringback service helps SK Telecom customers save up to 50 percent

March 31, 2008

I may not be a huge fan of ringback tones or ringback videos, but I do like ringtones. However, today, a partnership between telecommunications services platform provider NMS Communications and Korean mobile services developer WITCOM Co. Ltd., SK Telecom, has launched a new ringback tone service, called T-Ring, which allows its subscribers to know when they are making in-network calls.

SK Telecom's new service automatically sends a special ringback tone that lets the caller know that the call is in-network, meaning that the charges will be lower than an out-of-network call.

This way, for the truly "cheap", they can let the call go to voicemail or answer the call and only stay on for a short while, since they know it's a more expensive call. Personally, I think you already have a bucket of minutes that are "free" as part of your plan, so it doesn't matter if it's in-network or out-of-network. If you're going over your bucket of minutes it's time to change your plan anyway.

Nevertheless, after the jump is the news release which explains it all.

McDonald's Egg McMuffin Inventor Dies

March 31, 2008

Egg McMuffin Tasty Goodness!

Herb Peterson, creator of the Egg McMuffin, died in Santa Barbara last Tuesday. (image: John Hayes/Associated Press)

Last week, I was listening to Mark Levin on WABC 770 AM radio when I learned that Herb Peterson, the inventor of the tasty Egg McMuffin had passed away at the age of 89.

Snom VoIP vulnerability resolved

March 31, 2008

After my Snom VoIP phone hacked article, I received a response from snom indicating that the vulnerability had more to do with a user not setting a password on the IP phone than any sort of bug or vulnerability in the snom firmware itself. Well that's certainly good news. I guess users or IT administrators that don't set passwords on the IP phones have only themselves to blame if their phones are hacked.

This direct from Snom...

Yes, you can send an HTTP-POST to the phone and let it dial a number. But you can protect your phone by setting a password.

Asterisk USB Hub

March 31, 2008

No Asterisk fan can do without some Asterisk paraphernalia such as an Asterisk or Digium T-Shirt, Asterisk book, maybe even an Asterisk coffee mug from ITEXPO where lots of Asterisk happenings take place. Well now you can add an Asterisk USB hub to your collection of all-things Asterisk! This four-port USB hub in the shape of an "asterisk" was created by industrial designer Joel Escalona

He writes:
Some of these designs have been fortunate enough to be manufactured, others were just lucky to be prototypes or models and the less fortunate live within a render. So if at some point you are interested in finding out more about any of my projects or you want to produce, buy or distribute one, do not hesitate to contact me to ask for more details about any of my designs.

OctroTalk Launches

March 31, 2008

OctroTalk mobile instant messaging client features connectivity to Google Talk/Jabber with MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo, IM capabilities, VoIP, P2P file transfer, folder sharing, quick picture messaging, and more.

OctroTalk works over both low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth connections, including  GPRS/EDGE/CDMA/WiFi/Bluetooth data connections. OctroTalk supports a low bandwidth codec with low CPU usage requirements so it runs quite well on smart phone devices. It currently runs on Windows Mobile smartphones, Windows Mobile Pocket PC, and Symbian S60 3rd Edition. OctroTalk features an easy to use user interface that supports one handed operation and 5-way navigation.

Power Outage at Disney World

March 28, 2008

Surely Disney World would never experience a power outage, right? After all, Disney World rakes in millions of dollars each year from tourists. That includes thousands of dollars from my family visits to Disney World. Not to mention they are in Hurricane Valley, so surely their CTO and electrical engineers have backup power systems in place with tons of redundancy, right?

Scheduled Blackberry RIM Outage

March 28, 2008

Word on the street is that there will be a 4-5 hour outage of all RIM servers tonight. The outage is expected to start at 11pm PST for upgrades to the BIS servers. While I commend RIM for upgrading their servers, Friday night ain't exactly the best time to be bringing down the servers. There are probably more email and text messages sent on Friday night than any other night.

VoIP & Communications Developers - We've heard you...

March 28, 2008

We at TMC have heard the cries from developers for a stronger development track at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo to focus on more technical development-related topics. As a developer myself with a background in computer engineering, I discussed with Rich Tehrani and others the need for a strong developers track at ITEXPO.

In May of 2007, TMC actually held a separate show called Communications Developer Conference (Comm Dev 07), which was fairly successful for such a 'niche' show. Although it was successful, we realized it made much more sense to co-locate Communications Developer Conference at ITEXPO, TMC's flagship IP communications conference that draws 15,000 attendees each year and no doubt dozens if not hundreds of developers.

With that said, I am happy to report today that TMC is bringing the Communications Developer Conference to ITEXPO!

Court declares VoIP is exempt from service fees

March 27, 2008

ars technica has a great article on how Vonage won its fight with the state of Nebraska over service fees. Nebraska wanted Vonage to "chip in" by paying into the state's Universal Service Fund (USF), a fund designed to offset the costs of providing phone service to remote areas. A court ruled in favor of Vonage by declaring federal law excludes VoIP providers from paying service fees. This is great news for VoIP service providers, especially ones that don't own the last mile, since they can continue to offer service at prices that drive the cost of traditional PSTN phone service down.

Vonage doesn't "ride" on phone wires anyway - they ride on the Internet - so why should they pay into the USF?

Movable Type Outage

March 26, 2008

So I get Six Apart's Movable Type newsletter which talks about how they want the Movable Type community to help make Movable Type faster. After all, Movable Type is open source now, so what better opportunity than to ask the community for help making Movable Type faster, right? Interested, I decide to click through and lo & behold their website is down. Oh, the irony!

The Biggest Loser Week 11

March 25, 2008

Continuing my updates for my local gym's The Biggest Loser competition, here's Week #11. Need I remind you that this this past week was a holiday weekend with Easter Sunday a couple days ago. I knew this was going to be a troublesome week for me since I was going to be visiting with family to celebrate Easter. This meant lots of tempting foods.

Motorola Adds 400 Series to Canopy Line

March 25, 2008

Some interesting news from Motorola I thought I'd share... Motorola Inc. announced today that it is extending the reach of its field-proven Canopy wireless broadband system with the introduction of the 400 series of access points and subscriber modules in the 5.4 GHz spectrum. Based on Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technology, which provides improved near-line of sight (nLOS) and non-line of sight (NLOS) coverage, the Canopy 400 series allows service providers and enterprise network owners to extend broadband network coverage into urban areas where obstructions and foliage have limited system expansion.

By leveraging OFDM technology in the access and backhaul layers, the Canopy 400 series significantly enhances overall network performance and reach. The modules offer higher throughputs, up to 21Mbps, and extended range, accompanied with GPS synchronization to mitigate self interference.

Wireless Backhaul Importance Grows

March 25, 2008

With increasing wireless mobile phone users along with more sophisticated wireless devices such as the Blackberry and iPhone chewing up bandwidth, the need for wireless backhaul technologies is increasing. I am reminded of my 2005 TMC Labs review of NMS AccessGate, a wireless backhaul platform. that aggregates T1/E1 communications onto a common backhaul between the cell site and the MSO. It also performes statistical multiplexing which suppresses idle frames and idle channels for 2G services, making the most of backhaul bandwidth.

Microsoft Response Point SP1

March 24, 2008

Today, Microsoft released announced Microsoft Response Point Service Pack 1 (SP1), which adds SIP trunking support. Response Point Service Pack 1 (SP1), not to be confused with the recent release of Vista SP1, will be released this summer, available free via a simple download.
I spoke with Microsoft last week and they said they are partnering with several SIP-based ITSPs, which will enable Response Point administrators (or VARs) to easily add SIP trunks and move away from analog trunks. You simply use a VoIP account setup wizard in the Response Point Administrator, to connect with Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) and add new VoIP phone numbers.

The other benefit is the ability to add local phone numbers.

AT&T CallVantage Major Outage...

March 20, 2008

I have received an unconfirmed report of a major outage for AT&T CallVantage, which is AT&T's VoIP broadband service.

I was emailed the following: "At 2:00 pm the voice system is now stating that they have a major outage."

Gee, it's not like this has happened before. Well, at least AT&T isn't the only VoIP player to experience an outage. Vonage had a few outages, not to mention the major Skype outage that I was the first to write about.

I'm contacting my reps at AT&T now. Stay tuned...

Update: 5:35pm
From AT&T spokesperson:

"Earlier today we experienced an isolated service outage, but have since identified and resolved the issue.

New Communicator Add-in for Outlook

March 20, 2008

Last night I received an email from Microsoft allowing Microsoft MVPs to play with a new Communicator Add-in for Outlook. It's pre-release so playing with this new software is "invitation only". I tried to download the new version so I can include some screenshots, but Microsoft hasn't activated my Windows Live account yet. So stay tuned...

Mexuar Brings Java Click-to-Call to Asterisk

March 19, 2008

Mexuar offers their Corraleta Technology SDK to enable developers experienced in using Asterisk to add click-to-call capabilities to the popular Asterisk platform. The Corraleta client downloaded to user's browsers when they click the click-to-call button features a very tiny footprint - just 125kb and is supported in all major browsers on Mac and Windows due to its Java code.  In addition the product features centralized management with all the config done on your website. It currently supports Asterisk’s native IAX protocol which allows for easy NAT/firewall traversal, though I'd like to see them also support SIP.

More on the Aastra AastraLink Pro 160 appliance

March 18, 2008

I spoke with Aastra's executive vice president, Yves Laliberte just 50 minutes ago to discuss the newly launched AastraLink Pro 160 appliance, which I blogged about this morning. As I suspected, the appliance is Asterisk-based. In my morning post I wrote, "This is a very interesting move since Aastra Telecom is known for their IP phones used by various IP-PBXs, including many of the Asterisk-based solutions - trixbox, AsteriskNOW, Druid, PBX in a Flash, etc. With the AastraLink Pro 160 Aastra is now competing with IP-PBX vendors that purchase their phones."

With this in mind, my first question to Yves was "Aastra makes some very good IP phones that a lot of IP PBX vendors use but now you're moving into the IP-PBX space, so how do they feel about that?" Yves responded, "It's a great question.

Sangoma Technologies Offers Lifetime Warranty

March 18, 2008

Sangoma Technologies just threw down the gauntlet today by announcing a lifetime warranty on their Advanced Flexible Telecommunications (AFT) product line. Sangoma used to have a five year warranty, but now they've gone all-out with their lifetime warranty - unheard of in the telecom space. Wow! Sangoma is aggressively moving to retain a leadership position in Asterisk telephony cards.

Microsoft & Aspect Software Partner on Unified Communications

March 18, 2008

Today, the Microsoft Unified Communications Group announced a a multi-year strategic alliance with Aspect Software to help deliver unified communications to contact centers. Aspect Software is considered one of the leading players in the contact center space, so this is huge news for Microsoft. The goal is to bring Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 unified communications software to contact centers currently or planning to use Aspect Software products. Aspect has a huge footprint in the contact center space, so this strategic alliance will help Microsoft crack into this vital space.

Aspect will design its Aspect Unified IP contact center solution to interoperate with Microsoft’s OCS platform for software-powered voice and unified communications and will offer it as the leading option to new and existing customers.

Switchvox SMB 3.5 and AA60 Switchvox Appliance

March 18, 2008

Digium today released Switchvox SMB 3.5 and the AA60 Switchvox Appliance. Switchvox IP PBX products offer Web 2.0 applications, including integration with CRM applications such as and SugarCRM, as well as Google Maps integration through Switchvox SMB’s Switchboard interface. Digium claims that customers can easily create custom mashups that leverage other Web applications, with no programming knowledge required.

Highlights of Switchvox SMB 3.5 include:
• Integrated phone management—Streamlined phone configuration without the need to manually enter the network address of each phone saves the system administrator or integrator time.

Aastra AastraLink Pro 160

March 18, 2008

Aastra Telecom has entered the IP-PBX game with the AastraLink Pro 160. This is a very interesting move since Aastra Telecom is known for their IP phones used by various IP-PBXs, including many of the Asterisk-based solutions - trixbox, AsteriskNOW, Druid, PBX in a Flash, etc. With the AastraLink Pro 160 Aastra is now competing with IP-PBX vendors that purchase their phones. It will be interesting to see if some IP-PBX vendors, especially the Asterisk-based ones, move towards other IP phones such as Polycom.

The Biggest Loser Week 10

March 18, 2008

Continuing my updates for my local gym's The Biggest Loser competition, here's Week #10.

Just to recap last week, I "threw the gauntlet down" against my fellow co-workers who were running their own Biggest Loser contest. I did a one way $100 bet against all 5 players that I could beat their weight percentage lost.

One of the players who we'll call "J" emailed me, "You threw it down and I just picked it up! Your $100 beans is all mine!"

Now that's the kind of smack talk I need to get my butt in gear and lose some more weight!

Sagem-Interstar adds Cisco UCM 6.1 SIP trunking T.38 FoIP support

March 17, 2008

Sagem-Interstar, a Fax over IP (FoIP) solutions provider today announced new Cisco UCM 6.1 support using SIP trunking and T.38 real-time fax support. T.38 dead? No way! Today, Sagem-Interstar’s XMediusFAX Fax over IP (FoIP) solution adds Cisco Unified Communication Manager 6.1 support.

Check out the news release after the jump...

Akros Silicon Launches First 802.3at PoE chipset

March 17, 2008

Akros Silicon is a startup started back in 2005 that is one of the most important VoIP players you've probably never heard of. Akros Silicon develops Power over Ethernet (PoE) chipsets used in VoIP telephones, IP cameras, wireless access points (WAPs), routers, switches, thin clients, LCD displays, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) capability, new multi-radio 802.11n Wireless Access Points, WiMax Customer Premise Equipment, SOHO Ethernet Switches, Thin Clients and more. Akros Silicon's chipsets are used in popular PoE IP telephones. You probably have or will soon have Akros Silicon's chipset in one of your network devices!

Godspeed Russell Shaw

March 17, 2008

Russell Shaw passed away Thursday night in his hotel room after suffering from a cold. His death was unexpected and certainly a shock to me. I consider Russell a friend and his insights into VoIP were always good often sprinkled with a dash of humor or some political angle since he also wrote for the Huffington Post. Russell is one of the "original" VoIP bloggers along with Andy Abramson, Om Malik, Rich Tehrani, Pulver, and myself.

Apparently, Russell had been traveling for a few weeks to various events. I know how having a cold and flying can be dangerous.

CandleCannon's Air Vortex Cannon - the ultimate prank tool?

March 14, 2008

Intuitive Voice Technology Calls Out other Asterisk Competitors - Asterisk Clone Wars Have Begun...

March 13, 2008

In a news release, Intuitive Voice Technology is calling out other Asterisk-based solutions. First, Intuitive Voice Technology (IVT) espouses their 3,500 deployments as well they should. They then follow this back-slapping good news with a claim that "competitors clamor to keep pace with industry's most innovating, easy-to-use Asterisk-based PBX". Them's fightin' words!

SureWest Communications Launches Combined VoIP, TV, and HD DVR

March 12, 2008

Interesting news from SureWest where they debuted VoIP service combined with a high-definition digital video recorder (DVR) product for watching recorded and live TV. I'm assuming this is a combined set-top box that does video (TV) and voice over IP. If they really want to get crazy with combining stuff, they should stick a camera in there which will add video over IP (videoconferencing) capabilities. I'll see if I can get a photo of the set-top box.

In the meantime, here's the news from the Sacramento Business Journal:
SureWest Communications has launched Digital Phone, the telecommunication company's new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service and a high-definition digital video recorder product.

SureWest already offers VoIP for business customers, but Digital Phone extends the service to residential customers.

SureWest (Nasdaq: SURW) has been testing the high-definition DVR in region since December.

My Sister Has Attempted Poisoning with Visine & Makes the News

March 12, 2008

My sister Kellie owns and operates the Oxford Academy of Hair Design in Oxford, Connecticut where she is an instructor teaching and certifying beauticians. It's one of the best hairdressing schools in Connecticut I might add, but I'm biased - she is family after all.

Anyway, she informed me late last night that someone nearly poisoned her with Visine, which could have made my sister very sick, put her in a coma, or even death.

She writes:
So It looks like I won’t have much trouble getting traffic to my website now. I am in the Boston Globe, Ny Papers, all the CT papers, all the CT newstations and now people are creating blogs about this!!

This is Insane!

I guess she's famous now.

WYDE Voice Launches Asterisk-based Conferencing Appliances

March 12, 2008

WYDE Voice, a new startup venture backed by founder and CEO David Erickson, today launched voice conferencing appliances that support wideband 16-bit, 16 kHz voice quality. The VM1000/3000 uses the iSAC codecs to deliver wideband audio that is better that traditional phone due to the wider audio spectrum used. The appliance actually uses the Asterisk platform, and can deliver 500 – 7000 concurrent G.711 calls or up to 3000 iSAC calls per chassis. The number of participants in a conference and number of conferences is limited only by the number of available ports.

Ojo Phone Lives!

March 12, 2008

Voiceroute Druid Open Source Edition Launches offering New Open Source Asterisk GUI Front End

March 12, 2008

Voiceroute gave me an exclusive first look at their latest Asterisk-based solution called Druid Unified Communications Server, which today launched their open sourced version at Druid UCS gives Asterisk fans a new and powerful open source Asterisk-based Unified Communications solution. Besides now being open source, one of Druid's highlighted features is a user-friendly admin graphical user interface that makes extensive use of AJAX for a rich user experience for easier setup and ongoing administration. I should point out that FreePBX is also open source and is bundled with Asterisk-based solutions such as trixbox, PBX in a Flash, and Elastix.

The Biggest Loser Week 9

March 11, 2008

Continuing my updates for my local gym's The Biggest Loser competition, here's Week #9.

Week 1 (Jan 14th) - weighed in at 198lbs (original weight)
Week 2 (Jan 21st) - weighed in at 189lbs (-9 lbs)
Week 3 (Jan 28th) - weighted in at 189lbs (0 change)
Week 4 (Feb 4th) - weighed in at 186lbs (-3 lbs)
Week 5 (Feb 11th) - weighed in at 186lbs (0 change)
Week 6 (Feb 18th) - weighed in at 184lbs (-2 lbs).
Week 7 (Feb 25th) - weighed in at 183lbs (-1 lbs).
Week 8 (March 3rd) - weighed in at 180lbs (-3 lbs).
Week 9 (March 10th) - weighed in at 180lbs (0 change).

No change this week, which I expected since I had a 12-day cold and couldn't do any cardio. I was also losing a little bit of my motivation to continue to strive to lose weight since I'm in 1st place for the gym's Biggest Loser competition and I'm close to my goal weight of 175 lbs.

VoIP on Apple iPhone a No Go unless over WiFi

March 11, 2008

At the Apple iPhone SDK event, Steve Jobs stated that if someone develops a VoIP program for the iPhone, Apple will allow it if it goes over WiFi and not the cellular network. Apple will in fact BLOCK VoIP applications from running over the cellular data network. What in the bloody hell kind of half-ass crippling of VoIP is that? Apparently, Steve Jobs aims to protect their cell network buddy AT&T from having VoIP calls be "minute stealers" from the regular cell network.

SippySkype SIP-to-Skype Gateway

March 7, 2008

Last month I wrote about my strong disagreements with a guest blog post on Skype Journal that was titled "A SIP/Skype Gateway Is NOT In The Forecast". I disagreed with the premise that a SIP/Skype gateway isn't in the forecast. Well, Skype Inc. may not care about offering a SIP-to-Skype gateway, but that doesn't mean VoIP enthusiasts are going to sit around and not build their own SIP-to-Skype gateways!

Yahoo Messenger for Vista Adds VoIP

March 7, 2008

If you recall in my December Yahoo! Messenger for Vista post, this version which was pretty much completely rewritten didn't have VoIP yet -- unlike the XP version which does have VoIP capabilities. Well good news my friends! I learned via Josh Jacobson, Senior Product Manager, Yahoo! Messenger for Vista on his blog that PC-to-PC VoIP (free calling) is now available as well as PC-to-PSTN (Yahoo MessengerOut?) It also features "Phone In" number so you can receive calls.

Asterisk 1.6.0 beta5

March 6, 2008

The development team just released Asterisk 1.6.0-beta5. According to the announcement with beta5 of 1.6.0 the feature-set is frozen. One thing still missing is "caller name screening" where you can screen the call and accept/reject the call. I'd also like to see "voicemail call screening", which would allow me to screen a caller leaving a message and pull them out.

British padding lampposts?

March 6, 2008

I love the Brits. I most admire them for their World War II toughness & fierce determination and can-do attitude against seemingly overwhelming odds. There is also something to be said for their "properness" and manners. Britain, a tiny island once held the mightiest navy in all the world and explored and colonized much of the world spreading for better or worse the English language and culture.

The Biggest Loser Week 8

March 5, 2008

Continuing my updates for my local gym's The Biggest Loser competition, here's Week #8.

Week 1 (Jan 14th) - weighed in at 198lbs (original weight)
Week 2 (Jan 21st) - weighed in at 189lbs (-9 lbs)
Week 3 (Jan 28th) - weighted in at 189lbs (0 change)
Week 4 (Feb 4th) - weighed in at 186lbs (-3 lbs)
Week 5 (Feb 11th) - weighed in at 186lbs (0 change)
Week 6 (Feb 18th) - weighed in at 184lbs (-2 lbs).
Week 7 (Feb 25th) - weighed in at 183lbs (-1 lbs).
Week 8 (March 3rd) - weighed in at 180lbs (-3 lbs).

Surprisingly, after I predicted my weight loss would slow down, I pulled a 3 pounder this week. This even though I was away this weekend in Maine and didn't go to the gym for 4 days.

Magellan RoadMate 1425

March 5, 2008

The Magellan RoadMate 1425 is nearly identical to RoadMate 1415 however, the RoadMate 1425 adds an integrated live traffic feature and lifetime traffic subscription that uses real-time traffic update information to display incidents and suggest alternative routes. The lifetime subscription to traffic reports is a nice edition. One million POIs (points of interest) are included with this GPS unit. Importantly the entire RoadMate series comes preloaded with NAVTEQ® road maps, of which I am a huge fan (over TeleAtlas maps).

Sony PS3 Gets In-Game VoIP

March 4, 2008

The Sony PS3 will finally get in-game VoIP communications with the release of firmware update 2.4.

Sony Computer Entertainment UK boss Ray Maguire stated:
“Our momentum will continue with the introduction of in-game communication in the summer, firmware update 2.4 and the strongest line-up of games through our third party partners and our own studios. I’d personally like to thank our trade and business partners for helping us on the start of the PS3 journey.”

Now the question is "what took so frickin' long?" Both the Xbox and the Xbox 360 have had in-game trash talking VoIPing via Xbox Live since like uhh forever. On the Xbox 360, there's memory reserved just for the guide blade functions, including pulling up friends list, enabling voice chat and custom soundtracks in all games. The Playstation 3's initial design never took this into account so it is much more difficult to add this to the design after-the-fact without causing game instability, affecting performance, etc.

TomTom GO 930T & 730T

March 4, 2008

TomTom, today launched the new TomTom GO 930 and TomTom GO 730, where are updates to the popular 720 and 920 TomTom models. These new TomTom GPS units will feature TomTom's IQ Routes technology and Advanced Lane Guidance. According to TomTom the IQ Routes technology is based on actual average speeds measured on roads, rather than posted speed limits. Thus, the new TomTom GO range determines a route by considering all possible routes and then selecting the one that takes the least time based on recent historical data.

Where's My Cell Phone?

March 4, 2008

It's happened to be best of us - we misplaced our cell phone and after frantically looking for it we turn to our spouse/significant other and humbly ask, "Have you seen my cell phone?" or accusingly "What have you done with my cell phone? I had it right here!".

Now if your cell phone is on you can simply call it from your landline and hope you can track down the ringing (assuming you didn't leave it on vibrate). But what if you are like a number of people who have gone 100% wireless with no landline service?

PBXtra 4.0 Released

March 4, 2008

Fonality today announced the release of PBXtra 4.0. New features in PBXtra include FindMe with Boomerang Mobile Integration, a feature that uses presence detection to automatically find employees on their mobile devices, allowing them to answer the call or bounce it to another extension. Other new features include tighter integration with mobile phones and web browsers, and enhanced support of branch offices.

One really cool feature that is part of the Boomerang Mobile feature is that you can dial *1 to record the mobile phone call and have it automatically stored on the PBXtra server. Another cool feature that Chris Lyman CEO of Fonality gave me a sneak preview a few weeks ago was FONcall, a new PBXtra plug-in for the Firefox web browser.

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