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

June 2008

You are browsing the archive for June 2008.

Already Rocked Out on Guitar Hero Aerosmith -- Right?

June 30, 2008

Need a Headset, Get a Ticket

June 30, 2008

Top Selling Mobile Phones for June

June 30, 2008

  According to Swedish case maker Krusell, the Top 10 selling mobile phones in June 2008 were:
1. (8) Apple iPhone
2. (5) HTC Diamond
3. (3) Nokia E51

Enabled Comments from AOL/AIM, Yahoo, Movable Type, WordPress, LiveJournal, OpenID, or Vox users

June 27, 2008

Movable Type 4.0+ has several plugins that utilize Movable Type's extensible Open ID Login framework to give a customized login experience for AOL/AIM, Yahoo, Movable Type, WordPress, LiveJournal, or Vox users on Movable Type blogs. The logon requirements for AOL/AIM, Yahoo, Movable Type, WordPress, LiveJournal, and Vox all support OpenID which makes this possible.

On any blog entry you'll see the following text near the Comments form:

Sign in to comment using AOL/AIM, Yahoo, Movable Type, WordPress, LiveJournal, OpenID, or Vox. Or comment anonymously.
Once you click Sign In you'll see this cool new sign-in screen with multiple Open ID providers.

If I click on Yahoo! for instance, you'll see this screen:

Some of these plugins do have further requirements to get it to work.

The Yahoo! plugin requirements:
  • Movable Type 4.2
  • Crypt::SSLeay Perl Module
The AOL/AIM plugn requirements:
  • Movable Type version 4.0 or above.
  • Digest::SHA1 Perl module.

Compaq Aero: What's Your All-Time Favorite Gadget?

June 27, 2008

Thinking about all the gadgets I've owned over the years and the ones I really liked (easy to remember) and the ones I didn' t like (those are much harder to remember).

Quickly coming to mind was the Compaq Contura Aero, a snappy subnotebook that had its trackball at the right edge of the wrist rest -- great for righties, but must have been impossible for lefties!

This was a great notebook for word processing and commuting -- which when I had it was exactly what I used it for -- made my train rides super productive!  I had both the mono and color versions of this thing, but actually liked the mono better.

Check out these representative stats (on the super high-end model):
Intel 486SX, 33 MHz. 12 MB RAM (4 MB on the motherboard plus 8 MB module in expansion slot).Up to 500 MB hard drive. Screen: Color, 640 by 480 pixels. AC adapter.

Summer Camp & Gadgets: Let the Smuggling Begin

June 27, 2008

Why Not Guitar Hero: Led Zeppelin or Somebody Else?

June 27, 2008

You know, we've had many long talks at home about what band we would have chosen for the first dedicated Guitar Hero offering.

Now many out there are probably very satisfied with the choice that was made, I imagine many of your may have chosen a different band if it was up to you.

Lots of votes at home for Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page vs. Joe Perry -- are you kidding???) or even Buckethead. And let's not forget Jimi Hendrix; I could go on and on ...

Now wouldn't it be cool if the folks behind Guitar Hero opened up the voting to the players/fans of the game, who could vote for what band/guitar hero they wanted to see next on a dedicated game.

If it worked for American Idol, then why not Guitar Hero?

Dell Enters the Studio

June 26, 2008

Remember when writing about computer hardware -- actual PCs and desktops -- was the heart and soul of writing about gadgets.

Well, we're getting a bit of that back now, with Dell's introduction of Studio, a new consumer product line "designed for self-expression and creative living."

Here's what Dell had to say: "People seeking stunning design, brilliant colors, and innovative new technology find inspiration in Dell's new Studio brand. These products are built for today's digital nomad based on the millions of conversations we have every year on, Ideastorm and community forums. With Dell Studio we're answering the call for personalization, connectivity and simplicity."

The first Dell Studio products are two distinctively styled laptops, the Dell Studio 15 and Dell Studio 17. These laptops combine sleek designs and striking visual color elements (according to Dell -- but let the people tell it how it really is!) with personalization options and such features as standard built-in webcam, capacitive touch media control buttons, slot load drives and optional mercury-free LED displays and built-in mobile broadband.

MSRP: $799 (Studio 15) and $999 (Studio 17)

Available now at and also at Best Buy and Staples (but the retailers will have these in a few days)

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Launch Party!

June 26, 2008

Trade in your Headphones cash back offer

June 26, 2008

 Time to upgrade your headphones or ear buds for some high-quality iPod music listening? Not to mention some high-quality VoIPing, Skyping, etc. etc. Well, why not get cash back for your headphones to offset the costs of a new one?

PS3 Movie Downloads Coming

June 26, 2008

  So  who will be the winner -- the ruler -- of the home entertainment (media) center battle royale?

Sony is making a strong bid -- and why not with its history? -- using the PlayStation 3 as the centerpiece of their strategy.

According to Engadget, Sony will make a movie download service available to US PlayStation 3 owners this summer -- Japan and Europe at later dates with details coming "next month," presumably at E3.

Of course, we already knew that Sony was prepped to deliver full-length TV shows and movies sometime in 2008 via its North American PlayStation Network. But summer, eh?

It would be good if someone could make this type of service really, really appealing -- nothing out there gets me really excited -- except for the overall concept.

And now with the price of gas making dedicated trips to the video store even less appealing (does anyone still do that Blockbuster?), then this has got to be the next killer app.

Microsoft Drops VoIP from Windows Live Messenger

June 26, 2008

Just saw this article that reiterates Microsoft's decision last year that the existing VoIP partnership with Verizon would be terminating in 2008. (See 2006 launch of Windows Live Messenger w/ Verizon deal) As of today you can use Windows Live Messenger users to make regular landline and mobile phone calls, but this functionality is set to expire on July 15th 2008 in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the USA on August 31st 2008.

Once again, Microsoft's consumer-play VoIP offerings seems very incoherent with many stops & starts. They're on again off again... First, they added SIP to Windows Messenger and it worked with 3rd party SIP ITSPs such as Net2Phone.

T-Mobile USA T-Mobile@Home VoIP Service

June 26, 2008

T-Mobile USA is going to launch next week a $10-a-month broadband VoIP service that will be available to T-Mobile wireless subscribers. The VoIP service is called T-Mobile@Home, granting users unlimited local and long-distance calls over a broadband connection. They've partnered with Cisco's Linksys for the $50 ATA device to connect analog phones.

Features include the usual suspects: call waiting, caller ID, three-way conferencing, voicemail and call forwarding. You will be able port your existing home phone number, and you can also add a second voice line.

The move poses a challenge to traditional carriers, cable TV operators that offer bundled services, and and single-play VoIP providers like Vonage and Packet8.

This is T-Mobile USA's first foray into the fixed line market after being exclusively wireless.

Dell Video Chat Launches

June 26, 2008

Today, Dell will launch Dell Video Chat powered by SightSpeed, which will be pre-bundled on all consumer Dell PCs. Landing Dell is a major win for SightSpeed, a competitor to Skype, Microsoft Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and others.

I spoke with Eric Quanstrom, Vice President of Marketing for Sightspeed about this major annoucement. I also installed Dell Video Chat to check it out for myself, so I'll include some screenshots along the way.

Eric said, "We've been bundled with camera manufactureres before but we've never been resident on OEM PC hardware.

Interview With Asterisk Founder, Mark Spencer

June 26, 2008

Tom Keating with Asterisk founder & Digium's Chairman and CTO Mark Spencer
(picture: Sept. 2005 at Digium's former HQ)

It's been awhile since I've interviewed Mark Spencer, the founder of the open source Asterisk telephony platform and current Chairman & CTO of Digium. Digium and the Asterisk open source platform has helped spawn an entire ecosystem of Asterisk-based products, some of which are competitive to Digium, while others are complimentary and help grow the Asterisk community. Relatedly, I had a couple Asterisk community members tell me that Digium seems a bit "quiet" on the news front lately. Well, Digium did recently announce the Digium Switchvox AA300 appliance and back in September they had the big 'news' of acquiring Switchvox. So I'm not sure I agree.

With all the Switchvox news, it would seem to me that Digium is heavily investing in the Switchvox technology.

Cocoa bean (chocolate) genome being sequenced

June 26, 2008

The entire cocoa genome (DNA) is being sequenced and analyzed as part of a project to help create stronger, healthier cocoa crops. Cocoa, of course s the key ingredient in chocolate. Through the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), IBM and the world's largest chocolate company Mars, scientists hope to increase the crop's yield, as well as pest and disease resistance and increased water and nutrient use efficiency.

Yes, You Can Still Get an Apple Newton ...

June 25, 2008

 ... but only on ebay or some other similar source.

Amid all the wonderful Apple news, just harkening back to the days when PDAs were just seeing the light of day and handwriting recognition was going to change computing and the way we worked and played forever.  

(Am I going too far back???)

That's what the Newton seemed to promise.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way, but companies innovated, came and went and look where we are today ...

But amid all of the Newtons for sale, I'm sure there are still some tried and true believers out there who live and swear by their Newton, using it day after day to make their lives easier.

Are there????

Let us hear from you!!!

One Less Retail Music Outlet -- Starbucks ...

June 25, 2008

Sorry to hear the news about another retail music outlet pulling up stakes and retreating from the business.

Now this is not a the level of Sam Goody's or (you name the store), but Starbucks is apparently planning to drop its in-store music retail offerings come September.

That means no more "spinner" racks offering multiple CD choices to latte-buyers. And that also means no more gift cards and promotional giveaways for Apple's iTunes. Instead, we're told, the coffee chain will offer just four CD "slots" per store. But it will also continue to offer free Wi-fi access to Apple's online music store and may continue to try to sell entertainment online.  This all according to Silicon Alley Insider.

But for me, there's nothing like browsing through racks of CDs, just like there used to be nothing like browsing through racks of LPs -- I don't go any further back than that.

BTW, how many times have you used the term "you sound like a broken record" not realizing your audience (at least one) has no idea what a record is or how it could be broken?

BlackBerry Bold Turns Shy -- Wait 'til August, Baby!

June 25, 2008

Looks like the much anticipated BlackBerry Bold is in "wait until August" mode on AT&T. 

The Boy Genius is in the know! Seems like AT&T and RIM are still having software issues with battery life and overheating.

Now that will make it a bit hard to wait with new mobile phones seeming to pop on the market practically everyday (well, maybe not quite that fast ...)

Can't wait for the day when you can switch mobile phones without being tethered to the mobile carrier -- but will miss those subsidies that turn really, really expensive phones into affordable (if still a bit pricy) must-have gadgets.

I wonder when this going to happen?

Let freedom ring!  (Doesn't that have an historical sound???)

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Launches

June 25, 2008

Just got a popup toast icon in my current version of Windows Live Messenger saying that a new version of Windows Live Messenger was out - namely Windows Live Messenger 8.5 which has been in beta.

The previous (non-beta) version was Windows Live Messenger 8.1. In the new version, Messenger now works with Windows Live OneCare Family Safety to help you control who's on your child's list of contacts. It also has an updated look and feel and improved (VoIP) audio for video calls.

And according to Microsoft, here's some of the stuff they've added since MSN Messenger 7.0:
  • Sharing Folders that let you collaborate with friends and share files, pictures, and videos
  • The ability to send messages to contacts even when they're offline (they'll get your message the next time they log in)
  • An easy view of your Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger contacts, all in one place
  • The Roaming Identity feature that lets you log in anywhere you're online and still see your display picture, personal message, and shared folders
  • Redesigned Contact Cards that let you access more data about your friends
  • The ability to send an SMS message to a friend's phone
Go download Windows Live Messenger 8.5 here

Update: A reader points out that v8.5 came out in late 2007 and that Windows Live Messenger v9.0 is currently in private beta.

Free Live Agent 411 Directory Assistance vs. Automated

June 25, 2008

We've all heard the wisecracks about the quality of Voice over IP, "Honey? What was that? You're breaking up. Very choppy. Damn VoIP!" and certainly we've all experienced issues when talking to a speech-recognition powered auto-attendant.

Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam for Mac

June 24, 2008

Logitech today unveiled its first Mac-compatible webcam with premium autofocus technology and Carl Zeiss optics - the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam for Mac. The new Logitech webcam of course works with iChat and Skype and features a 2-megapixel camera sensor.

The new Logitech webcam uses a voice coil motor for its autofocus system, instead of a stepper motor. According to the news, "Focusing is fast and fluid - crisp even in extreme close-ups only 10 cm from the camera lens. Logitech's autofocus system compensates for changes in image-edge sharpness and refocuses images in less than three seconds"

What I don't get is why Logitech chooses to make operating system specfic webcams. Isn't USB supposed to be an industry standard?

Nokia N78 Comes to U.S.

June 24, 2008

2 Terabyte CompactPCI Storage Blades from Performance Technologies

June 24, 2008

Performance Technologies today announced they have increased the capacity of its  CompactPCI storage blades to 2 Terabytes. CompactPCI blades are popular in the telecom/VoIP/wireless space for their high availability, hot swappability, small form factor, easy upgradeability, etc. The 2 terabytes (TB) of RAID-ready storage is more than twice their previous amount.

Check out the news after the jump...

Online Storage for Pennies ...

June 23, 2008

Unified Communications Growth Soars

June 23, 2008

Infonetics sent me over a summary of their latest report on the unified communications (UC) market.  Infonetics Research reports that the unified communications market, which includes unified messaging and communicator software, jumped 20% sequentially in 2007, following a 19% increase in 2006. Similarly, the IP contact center (IPCC) market grew 24% in 2007, after a whopping 26% increase in 2006. Infonetics' report, Unified Communications and IP Contact Centers, shows that together, UC and IPCC sales grew 22% to hit $1.05 billion worldwide in 2007, and healthy growth is expected through at least 2011.

Interestingly, Microsoft jumped to first place in worldwide communicator revenue market share in 2007.

SightSpeed Business Upgrade Adds 9-way Video

June 23, 2008

Today, SightSpeed will announce a significant upgrade to SightSpeed Business, which was launched last fall. The new version offers simultaneous 9-way video and text chat. I'm a huge fan of SightSpeed, which doesn't get nearly the amount of attention that Skype gets yet has some features Skype lacks. Check out my 2006 review of SightSpeed 5.0.

Wireless HDTV Is Coming to a Home Near You ...

June 20, 2008

Anybody in Sync with Ford's In-Car Connectivity?

June 20, 2008

I don't know about you, but before I left to go to the office today, I made sure I had my cell phone, laptop and BlackBerry, and on my way here, I programmed my navigation system for directions, switched between listening to CDs and traffic reports on the radio and checked my cell phone for voice mail.  Sound familiar?

It's amazing how connected we are today.  It's changed the way we live - and will continue to change the way we live -- at home and on the go.

We live in an age where devices are everywhere.  We have more ways to communicate and be entertained than ever before - PCs, cell phones, BlackBerrys, digital music players, CD and DVD players, terrestrial radio, HD radio, satellite radio, text messaging, voice recognition, ring tones, video games, navigation systems, e-mail, TiVO, Wi-Fi - and I'm sure I missed a few.

This convergence of factors - digital music players, broadband, voice recognition and everything else - is now dramatically changing our experience as drivers while at the same time it has already changed how car companies design their cars.

We want to be connected 24x7, any time, anywhere, and we want to the the same things in our cars as we do at home and in the office. 

With Ford's in-car connectivty system, SYNC, you control the devices you already have. You control most digital music players and Bluetooth-enabled phones from the driver's seat, with both hands on the wheel, using only voice commands.  You can operate your digital music player through the car stereo without touching it, or make calls without even taking your phone out of your pocket.

Does this sound great or what?

What has your experience been as a Ford owner?

Will this really make a difference how we buy our cars?

The Internet is open for your response ...

Around the FM Dial: Looking for Vacant Frequencies

June 20, 2008

MSN Music Not Going Away So Soon

June 19, 2008

How about a Big Screen GPS?

June 19, 2008

What's the Graduation Gadget of Choice This Year?

June 19, 2008

Verizon Boosts FiOS Internet Speed

June 19, 2008

According to Verizon, beginning next week, Verizon will make available to more than 10 million homes and businesses the nation's fastest consumer broadband connections, with download speeds up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps over their fiber to the home (FTTH) network.

Verizon had already offered the 50/20 Mbps and 20/20 Mbps services in its FiOS markets in Connecticut (my state), Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The company is now expanding those offerings to new Verizon FiOS customers in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington, replacing existing offerings of 30/15 Mbps and 15/15 Mbps services, respectively.

The mid-tier connection speed in those markets for new customers is being increased from 15/2 Mbps to 20/5 Mbps, and the basic service tier is being increased from 5/2 Mbps to 10/2 Mbps. Existing FiOS Internet customers who are interested in the new speed options can call Verizon for information about the new plans.

Check out these performance benchmarks:

At 50 Mbps, downloading a 5 GB (gigabyte) file, such as a 112-minute, high-definition movie purchased online, takes approximately 13.3 minutes, while a 50 MB (megabyte), or 60-minute, Web video takes 8 seconds, and a 5 MB MP3 music file takes less than eight-tenths of a second.

Using a 20 Mbps upstream broadband connection, a consumer could upload a 250 megabyte (MB) file of 200 photos in about 90 seconds, instead of the roughly 47 minutes it takes over a 768 kilobit-per-second (Kbps) upstream connection.  A 500 MB file, such as 400 digital photos or a medical imaging data file, can be uploaded in less than four minutes, compared with about 90 minutes over a 768 Kbps connection.  A 3 gigabyte (GB) file, such as a one-hour family video shot with a high-definition video camera, can be uploaded in around 20 minutes, compared with more than nine hours with 768 Kbps upstream.

Skype 4.0 beta New Look, New Features...

June 19, 2008

Skype announced Skype 4.0 beta yesterday. I was supposed to be on the briefing conference call, but was tied up with finishing up the Movable Type 4.2 migration. But I wanted to bring information about this major 'point' release to your attention. Better late than never I guess.

First, below are three videos provided by Skype.

Mark Spencer wants to Kill Bill <strike>Gates</strike>

June 18, 2008

Rich Tehrani snapped a picture of Asterisk founder Mark Spencer wearing a Kill Bill T-Shirt at NXTcomm 2008 in Las Vegas. Gotta watch out when Rich is around - he'll snap photos on his phone and they'll be on his blog licketty split thanks to a script I wrote.

I have to say, I love the Kill Bill movie series, I mean c'mon, it's got Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica Fox, David Carradine, and its directed by Quentin Tarantin. It's even got a cool name for the assassins - Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.

We Are Willing To Pay for Music Downloads

June 17, 2008

Firefox Launch: A Reminder of the Days of Browser Wars

June 17, 2008

Will Try Not To Blog about Apple Today ...

June 17, 2008

conaito VoIP SIP SDK 3.0 launches

June 16, 2008

conaito has an interesting VoIP SIP SDK for developing SIP applications for websites. Starting today, the new VoIP SIP SDK v3.0 is available to download. conaito VoIP SIP SDK is based on IETF standards (SIP, RTP/RTCP, STUN, TURN, ICE, etc.), so it should be compatible with SER, Sip EXpress, OpenSER, Asterisk, and other popular SIP-based solutions.

New features of the conaito VoIP SIP client - version 3.0 include:

Upgraded to Movable Type 4.2

June 13, 2008

Well, after several weeks of planning, I finally upgraded our blog server to Movable Type 4.2, Six Apart's latest and greatest MT blogging platform. Technically, it's Movable Type 4.2RC1 (release candidate 1) and still considered a beta, but close enough, I say. I was tired of waiting for MT 4.2 to launch. TMC was using MT 3.33 for the longest time and I really wanted many of the MT 4.0+ features including custom fields, asset management, performance improvements, and some better CMS management.

Everything in the upgrade went fairly smoothly.

UK court rules Modchips do not circumvent copyright protection

June 13, 2008

UK-based MrModchips was cleared of all 26 counts against him for his role in importing and selling gaming console modchips. You know, the kind that lets you play [cough] backup copies of your video games. The Court of Appeal Criminal Division ruled that modchips do not circumvent copyright protection.

The icing on the cake is that the defendant was "awarded full costs as a result of his successful appeal," Sweet! Can you imagine the look on high-priced lawyers faces representing the multi-billion dollar video gaming industry?

Can Spam for Cell Phone Spam

June 13, 2008

Apple & AT&T Heading for Splitsville?

June 12, 2008

Anybody Still Play with the Sims?

June 12, 2008

Digital Downtown Opens Today!!

June 12, 2008

Krusell's Top 10 Mobile Phones for May

June 11, 2008

And now, for all you stat junkies, Krusell's Top 10 selling mobile phones for May 2008 (and the iPhone is not #1):

1. Nokia 3109/3110

2. Nokia 6300

3. Nokia E51


A Look Inside Spore ...

June 11, 2008

Now we have a glimpse of why Spore has been delayed for so long. Originally expected for a 2007 release, the simulated evolution game from Electronic Arts studio Maxis was suddenly withheld, much to EA’s chagrin, but now apparently to the delight of fans.

Simply, the company wanted to make the follow-up to its wildly successful Sims franchise more accessible. Spore has been re-tooled into a Web 2.0 phenomenon designed to extend far beyond the actual game.

Maxis’ Spore Creature Creator will be released June 17, and the full game will hit the shelves in September.

Read more about how the fan community’s ability to create and share Spore content is just as important as the game itself here at Gigaom.

The Return of Vinyl?

June 11, 2008

New iPhone the BlackBerry Killer?

June 10, 2008

Let's Not Forget About Samsung's New Mobile Phone

June 9, 2008

A Million eReaders? Who Would Have Figured?

June 9, 2008

Does anybody out there love their ereader?

Well, guess so, according to this blog from Oxford University Press (OUP) USA.

When Amazon launched the Kindle there predictions aplenty about how it and its predecessor -- Sony's Reader would sell.

Over time the chatter died down, but it returned and hit full volume after the recent Book Expo America in Los Angeles, when Mr. Amazon, Jeff Bezos, discussed ebook sales volume at the Kindle store. The chatter, as reported in the NY Times, has publishers and others speculating that Amazon has sold 10,000 - 50,000 Kindles.

However, the OUP blog speculates that combined sales of the Kindle and the Reader will reach 1 million units this year.

Anybody want to dispute that fact?

Apple iPhone 2.0: Twice as Much for Half as Much

June 9, 2008

Not surprising, the new Apple iPhone is all over the media -- both old and new -- today.

And what is it you ask? It's phone, iPod, Internet and more, according to Apple. The iPhone 3G offers fast 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange and the new App Store -- putting even more features at your fingertips.

Digium Switchvox AA300 appliance

June 9, 2008

TMCnet's Greg Galitzine is reporting that Digium has announced the latest member of the Switchvox appliance family, the Digium|Switchvox AA300 appliance to go along with the AA60 and AA350. Essentially, the AA300 sits in the "middle" targeting 150 users, where as the AA60 appliance supports 30 users and the AA350 appliance supports up to a whopping 400 users.

According to Tristan Degenhardt, Product Line Director for Digium|Switchvox, "Not only in capacity," Degenhardt, "but the physical size of the appliance is in between the two as well. The AA60 is a tiny, little box designed to wall mount, appropriate for a small business with not a lot of room; the AA 350 is a full-depth 3U rackmountable machine; and the AA300 can also be rackmounted. It too is 3U high, but it's half-depth, and can be deployed on a desktop rather easily."

In addition to 150 users, it supports up to 45 simultaneous calls.

TringMe offers Enhanced Click-to-Call

June 8, 2008

Many click-to-call (c2c) solutions require connecting two legs of a call, which adds additional cost. TringMe has just launched enhanced click-to-call solves this multi-leg cost issue by making it a single leg call and instead using a notification method such as SMS to notify the called party of the caller's phone details.

TringMe's blog explains, "Instead of originating multiple calls (call-legs), TringMe intelligently notifies the called entity about the caller. Notified entity then automatically initiates a call back to the original Caller. The method of notification can be of any type, including sending an SMS containing the caller details OR using the data network."

For example, a website visitor can click on a click-2-call link which will notify the caller’s phone by a special message using SMS or data network. 

Amazon Down Due to Pricing Error or Metal Gear Bundle?

June 6, 2008

Several bloggers were abuzz with the news of Amazon's website being down today.

One site claims "Some customers reported that traffic caused the site to slow down considerably". The reason? "THOUSANDS of customers were in shopping heaven today when a pricing error on Amazon’s UK website caused online chaos." It adds, "For two hours, the entertainment giant was advertising massive discounts on several DVD box sets including a 44-disc set of hit US drama West Wing for just £17.97." And says, "Sales of Family Guy shot up over 200,000%, according to the Movers & Shakers chart on Amazon." Wow!

here's the full story on the possible cause of Amazon being down:

PS3fanboy claims the Metal Gear bundle killed the website.

Perhaps a combination of the two?

Step into the Blackberry Owners Lounge

June 6, 2008

What's Dad Getting for Father's Day This Year??

June 5, 2008

Sidekick Tony Hawk Edition Anyone?

June 5, 2008

If you can't get enough of Tony Hawk and outrageous skateboard action, then you will get a kick out of this!

T-Mobile has created a limited edition Sidekick LX and is providing sponsorship support and programming for the Boom Boom HuckJam 2008 North American Tour and events benefiting the Tony Hawk Foundation.

According to the company, Tony puts his personal design on the gadget by giving it a true skateboard look. The bottom cover of the device is outfitted to resemble and feel just like the top of a skateboard, including a texture like grip-tape and eight simulated screws.

Verizon & Alltel -- Still the Most Reliable?? (Wait and See ...)

June 5, 2008

While always great on paper, tech mergers (or mergers of any kind) often have a nasty way of not working out for the best.

Now this Verizon deal with Alltel has got me worried. Worried because we just switched the rest of the family to Verizon (from AT&T -- two of us -- and Sprint) and I want to make sure that "America's most reliable wireless network" stays just that way -- or maybe gets even better?

Here's what the big guy at Verizon had to say: “This move will create an enhanced platform of network coverage, spectrum and customer care to better serve the growing needs of both Alltel and Verizon Wireless customers for reliable basic and advanced broadband wireless services” (per Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless president and chief executive officer).

Only time will tell (or the number of bars on my phone) ...

If you want all of the gory details, read the official press release here.

Voice Changer for Asterisk

June 4, 2008

Ever want to disguise your voice while making a prank phone call? Sure, if you're one of the Jerky Boys you can pretend to have an Indian accent and all, but if you're just not that talented then what you need is the Asterisk Voice Changer!

It allows you to change the pitch of your voice, or the voice of the called party in realtime, when making phone calls. Ah, the beauty of VoIP with the flexibility of Asterisk.

I Want My... I Want My Wideband Telephony

June 4, 2008

TMCnet columnist Rick Bye, senior segment marketing manager with Zarlink, has an excellent column today on TMCnet regarding wideband telephony aptly titled "Where Is My Wideband Telephony?".

Rick opines, "While many consumer VoIP services have been phenomenally successful — many service providers are now boasting subscriber counts in the millions — I am still disappointed that virtually no VoIP operators have chosen to differentiate their services by offering wideband telephony. Most VoIP service providers are competing with traditionalPSTN operators, yet very few providers do anything to differentiate their IP-based service from the 100-year-old POTS service, except perhaps to offer a lower price, and/or bundle VoIP with broadband and maybe TV service."

He covers everything from FXS to DECT to Verizon FiOS to DSL IADs and everything in-between -- and how it relates to wideband telephony. Go check it out.

sipgate adds SIP-based VoIP support to iPhone

June 4, 2008

sipgate today announced the a free VoIP application for the iPhone that they claim will allow consumers to use virtually every any VoIP service on the iPhone.

sipgate claims that iPhone users can make and receive VoIP calls from their phones over a Wi-Fi connection using any SIP-based VoIP provider. Unlike Truphone, another iPhone VoIP app, it doesn't appear you need to jailbreak your iPhone to enable SIP-based VoIP support that works with any SIP-based ITSP. In addition it comes with 111 minutes of domestic calling is included if you use sipgate's SIP-based service to test out the service.

Of course, as I have written before, this service will only work over a Wi-Fi connection and not the iPhone's cellular data connection. 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.

What is Video Games Live?

June 3, 2008

Apparently not to be missed if you're a hardcore gamer (and who isn't?), Video Games Live is an "immersive concert event" featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. Top orchestras and choirs perform along with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists, live action and unique interactive segments to create an explosive entertainment experience.

Sounds even better than Mama Mia!

Maybe better than Blue Man Group!?!?

Put on by the video game industry to help encourage and support the culture and art that video games have become, Video Games Live is exposing the new generations of music lovers and fans to the symphonic orchestral experience while also providing a completely new and unique experience for families and non-gamers.

Shake, Rattle and Roll Those Gadgets

June 2, 2008

Manufacturers are increasingly embedding accelerometers and other sensors into their gadgets, according to an article in today's New York Times, allowing them to respond to movement without waiting for us to push a button. Game designers and other programmers are jumping to remake user interfaces so that users can direct gadgets with a nudge, a tilt or a shake.

It's the Wii but in something you already own/use for another purpose, like your mobile phone.

Some of the applications are silly. The programmer Graham Oldfield turned his Nokia N95 cellphone into a virtual light saber by writing software that tracked the phone’s movement using the built-in accelerometer.

(Actually, I think that's pretty cool -- if you think so, too, are are gadget-ready, you can download the software for free here. BTW, that's the 1956 Zenith "Flash-matic" Remote Control -- "the granddaddy of the 'clickers'" from

Apple Going Back to School Starting Tomorrow?

June 2, 2008

GPhone Update -- Wait, What GPhone?

June 2, 2008

Featured Events