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

November 2009

You are browsing the archive for November 2009.

fring and Skype Video calls on your Mobile Phone

November 25, 2009

Nokia N900 Maemo 5 Bakes in Skype

November 23, 2009

The new Maemo 5 software in the Nokia N900 has some surprises, including Skype baked into the operating system. Sweet! This will allow you to make free calls using the uber-gadgety Nokia N900.

What else is new? Well Maemo 5 will update over-the-air (OTA), so no more connecting to a PC just to do a software update.

iLive ISP209B Portable Speaker System Review - Alarm Clock for iPhone and iPod

November 23, 2009

The iLive ISP209B is not your typical alarm clock - it's a portable iPod and iPhone docking station with built in speakers and dual alarm function that you can stuff in your travel bag and be sure to be woken up with your favorite tunes. Not only does it playback your iPhone/iPod music for its dual alarms, but it also simultaneously charges your iPhone or iPod. No more waking up in the morning to realize you left your WiFi, 3G, and Bluetooth radio on, thus sucking your iPhone's battery completely dry. Trust me, I know, I've done it.

VoIP in Google ChromeOS

November 20, 2009

Google released their ChromeOS operating system yesterday. So naturally, as a VoIP fan I was curious if ChromeOS could run VoIP. Since Google's ChromeOS has a Flash Player built-in, in theory it can run a Flash-based VoIP client. The first VoIP solution that came to mind was Flaphone (formerly Flashphone), a Flash-based VoIP app which runs in a browser. ConXit Connection Wizard Helps You Find Right Connector for Home Theater, PC, and more

November 19, 2009

Ever get frustrated trying to convert Component to HDMI or convert from one video connector to another because your TV is 10 years only and doesn't support HDMI? Even if you are a home theater guru, the number of converter options and cabling options can be immense and downright confusing.

Well,, a manufacturer of hard-to-find connectivity and technology parts, launched the ConXit Connection Wizard, an online tool that helps users find the right converter, extender, splitter, interface card, cable and more. The search tool will help you find the right connector for Bluetooth, BNC, CameraLink, Coax, Compact Flash, Component, Composite, Digital Coax Audio, DVI, eSATA, ExpressCard, HDMI, RJ-11, RJ-45, and more.

This online tool recommends the best products for connecting IT and/or audio-video peripherals after just two easy steps.

Step One - Select the type of connector for the peripheral or device you wish to connect from a drop down list of options.

Step Two - Select the connection type on the host computer or component.

Truphone Offers Free Calling on Thanksgiving

November 19, 2009

Truphone is in a giving mood this holiday season, offering free calling on Thanksgiving. Only way to top that offer for Christmas is to pay you to make call on their network on December 25th. Now that would be sweet!

Check out the news:

Truphone to Give Away Free Calling on Thanksgiving
12 hours of free calls to U.S. numbers for Thanksgiving 2009

Truphone, the next generation global mobile operator, today announced that for 12 hours on Thanksgiving 2009 all calls made on Truphone to mobile and landline phones in the United States will be free so that friends and family can call each other to catch up this holiday season.

From noon to midnight UTC, or 7 a.m.

Judge rejects AT&T Request to pull Verizon ad, AT&T Responds with Anti-Verizon Ad

November 19, 2009

Break out the popcorn wireless fans, the battle between AT&T and Verizon Wireless is getting ugly! A judge has rejected AT&T's request to pull the Verizon 3G ad which compares Verizon's 3G map footprint vs. AT&T's 3G map footprint where AT&T's 3G footprint looks downright pathetic.

Although the judge rejected AT&T's request, he was not without some sympathy. Judge Batten said people might "misunderstand" the commercials, "but that doesn't mean they're misleading." and he said "Most people who are watching TV are semi-catatonic," he said, prompting laughter.

MindTouch Cloud Launches into Cloud Collaboration

November 19, 2009

MindTouch just launched their popular open source Sharepoint-like software into the collaboration cloud. Called MindTouch Cloud, this hosted SAAS offering will put them in direct competition of the likes of Google Apps, Google Wave, Zoho, and others. MindTouch will deliver their open source collaboration applications in the cloud for a monthly fee that starts at just $7/month for 50 users. They also offer a free 30-day trial.

MindTouch Cloud enables your employees & managers to pull and aggregate business data from data silos like your CRM, ERP, accounts payable, file servers, email, databases, and others to gain visibility through mashups.

Watch a Microsoft Operating Systems Video Timeline

November 19, 2009

Microsoft's operating system have evolved quite a bit since the 1980s when they launched their first operating system. Ah, who doesn't miss Microsoft DOS? Gimme my DOS command shell, .bat files, QEMM expanded memory manager, Stacker disk compression (a requirement due to small hard drives back then), and all the other MS-DOS goodies any day of the week and I'm a happy man. Ohh the nostalgia!

Taylor Is Da Man - Wins 3 Vehicles & Prizes Worth $79,897 on The Price is Right

November 18, 2009

fring for Google Android Launches

November 18, 2009

fring is finally available for the Google Android. It's about time! One drawback though is that SIP and SkypeOut calls are not yet available on Droid devices. There's always a catch...

In addition to Skype chat and Skype-to-Skype VoIP calling you also get MSN and GoogleTalk support, real-time presence and live chat with  ICQ, Yahoo!

Citrix Adds Toll-Free Option to GoToMeeting

November 16, 2009

Citrix Online today announced they have added integrated Toll-Free audio to GoToMeeting Corporate and GoToWebinar. With this addition, meeting participants now have several audio options to choose from, including integrated toll-free, a toll-based number, or VoIP for audio over the Internet. Each participant in the same online meeting can select their own audio option.

Customers hosting meetings with integrated toll free will have the following benfits: 
•    Seamless one-click recording for all attendees with no additional charges or equipment needed.
•    Affordable and predictable subscription-based pricing that scales to benefit high-volume customers with bundling options to suit any type of use.
•    Simple scheduling and management features with convenient controls for supporting audio sessions.

Run Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Virtualized

November 13, 2009

According to Microsoft, Office Communications Server 2007 R2 can now be deployed onto Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, or onto any virtualization solution that is a certified partner through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) certified partners. Running OCS 2007 R2 "virtualized" is a hot topic, so knowing exactly how and which components can be virtualized is crucial so you're not banging your head against the wall wondering why it isn't working.

Well, the good news is that it supports the following workloads virtualized:
  • Presence
  • IM (including conferencing, remote access, federation, and Public IM Connectivity)
  • Group Chat
Today, Microsoft released a whitepaper which identifies which server roles are supported in a virtualized environment and it provides guidance for scaling users and workloads in a virtualized environment. Best to let Microsoft spend the time  testing and determining the results rather than you doing all the effort.

Dell Inspiron Zino HD - Coolest HTPC Ever

November 13, 2009

Dell just launched the Inspiron Zino HD, a small 8" by 8" x 3.5" cubed-shaped trendy-looking HTPC that aims to sit in your living room and become your centralized home media center. Comparisons of the trendy-looking Zino HD vs. the Mac Mini will undoubtedly be made. Colors for the Zino HD include Piano Black, True Blue, Formula Red, Plum Purple, Spring Green, Promise Pink, Tangerine Orange, Green Scatter, Red Swirls, and Blue Lines.

What??? No More Exploding Laptop Batteries?

November 12, 2009

Aww darn, no more cool explosions from exploding laptop batteries! STOBA, a new material technology will steal the joy of seeing your laptop explode from faulty batteries. Boy, it seemed like a week didn't pass without Apple, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, Sanyo, Lenova, or some other laptop manufacturer issuing a battery recall due to exploding batteries. Well, apparently STOBA will make consumer electronics safer.

Facebook Provides Alibi to Man Charged with Robbery

November 12, 2009

Who knew that a Facebook status update simply stating "Where's my pancakes" would provide an alibi for a man charged in a robbery. Rodney Bradford, a 19-year-old resident of the Farragut Houses, was arrested on robbery charges, but was let go when the district attorney subpoenaed Facebook and verified that the status update had actually been typed from a computer located in his dad's house in Harlem at the time of the robbery. When the IP address info and timestamp was confirmed, the charges were dropped.

Of course, now every criminal will simply ask their friends or spouse to logon as them and post stuff to Facebook, Twitter, etc. at the time they commit some crime.

Digium CEO Danny Windham to Deliver Keynote Address at ITEXPO East 2010 in Miami

November 9, 2009

Some good internal news at TMC. Technology Marketing Corporation today announced that Digium CEO Danny Windham has accepted its invitation to deliver a Keynote Address at ITEXPO East 2010, taking place Jan. 20-22, 2010 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida.

Windham's presentation, which takes place Thursday, Jan. 21 9:45 a.m. EST, will address the evolution of Open Source as a mature telephony platform that is experiencing extensive growth in enterprise, government and carrier markets. Open to all ITEXPO attendees, this session will also be a centerpiece of the fourth annual Digium|Asterisk World conference, which is collocated with ITEXPO East 2010.

ITEXPO is the world's largest conference and trade show focused on communications and technology.

New Skype for SIP Features Improve Business Functionality

November 9, 2009

In December, Skype will announce some new features for Skype for SIP (beta), which will make it more business-friendly. Skype for SIP, which is now part of Skype's Business Control Panel (BCP). Skype for SIP will support DID routing by supporting the SIP To field. You will be able to add an extension number to a Skype name you used in the Skype for SIP profile.

NimbuzzOut Launches

November 9, 2009

Nimbuzz, has entered the PSTN termination business with the announcement today of NimbuzzOut. I use Nimbuzz on my iPhone because it's a great aggregator of various VoIP, IM, and social services, including Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, Google Talk (Orkut), AIM, Facebook, MySpace and more. Nimbuzz had been leveraging other networks such as Skype for voice, but this marks the first time Nimbuzz offers their own termination. Finally, a business revenue-generating model??
NimbuzzOut Credits will be available for purchase at, and is available on Symbian, iPhone and iPod Touch handsets and rolling out to others later this year.

Nimbuzz claims, "more than 10 million registrations of the application since launch, a current growth rate of more than a million new registrations each month (that's a new Nimbuzz user every 3 seconds!), a daily active user base of over 30% and an international user footprint covering every corner of the globe."
Nimbuzz founder & CEO, Evert-Jaap Lugt said of the NimbuzzOut launch: "High value, high quality voice calling is positioned at the heart of our value proposition, making NimbuzzOut the most natural commercial extension of our product.  This offers fantastic value to our users, especially those who wish to communicate regularly with friends and family abroad at the lowest possible prices.  This is all part of our strategy to give Nimbuzz users control of their mobile lives and the freedom they want and deserve."

Mashup Google Wave, Skype, and Asterisk = Ultimate Coolness

November 5, 2009

Skype Journal wrote about one of the coolest mashups I've ever seen. Certainly one of the coolest VoIP mashups. Skype Journal explains PhoneFromHere Tim Panton's demo that he gave at Astricon where Tim mashes up Google Wave, Skype, Asterisk running Skype for Asterisk and Ibook to make Skype calls from within a browser-based Google Wave.

Not only is it sans Skype client, but it has recordings (labeled by person speaking) of individual utterances, so you can quickly playback what a particular person said at a certain point in time.

It's amazing to make a Skype call from a browser without running the Skype client. How do you ask?

Skype Battle Nears End

November 4, 2009

Gigaom reports that there is a good chance that a resolution of the lawsuit between the Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis and eBay's Skype could be announced as soon as this week.

According to Gigaom, a group of private equity investors led by Silver Lake Partners are close to settling their legal dispute with Niklas and Janus which will allow eBay to sell 65 percent of Skype for around $2 billion. This means that Index Ventures and Michelangelo Volpi, former CEO of Joost are on the "outs" to buy Skype. It's important to note that Joost also uses the proprietary P2P protocol that is the core engine used in Skype. With this knowledge of the core guts of the P2P engine, Volpi attempted to bid for Skype along with Index Ventures.

There is no love lost between Volpi and the founders of Skype who also founded Joltid.  JoltId accused, "Volpi has repeatedly failed to comply with Joost's demands that the return his computer and all Confidential Information he obtained in the source of his fiducisary relationship with Joost."

According to Om, "Zennstrom and Friis will have a board seat on the newly independent Skype, which would be allowed to use JoltID's technology."

Skype Announces Open Source - Sort of...

November 3, 2009

Slashdot was abuzz with the news that Skype was going open source. Not so fast my friend. Have you not forgotten Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis who now run JoltId are in a legal fight with Skype?

Surely Skype wouldn't be so bold as to release their P2P 'secret sauce' while still in court litigation with JoltId. Who would want to thumb their nose at the all-powerful judge? In fact, the lawsuit reads: "A source code version of the GI Software (Global Index Software) is licensed by Joltid to Joost, allowing Joost to be the first company to successfully deliver television and other video content in real-time over a peer-to-peer network.

Blabbelon Opens a New (VoIP) World for Gamers

November 3, 2009

Blabbelon, the cross-platform web-based VoIP app designed for video gaming, which I tested yesterday and posted a review today released an official statement about their new offering. I thought I'd share it since it has some good info to compliment my review posted this morning:

Stop Venting: Blabbelon Opens a New World for Gamers
Free, one-click, push-to-talk chat service eliminates Ventrilo frustrations;
No downloads, server rentals or limits on groups; Super wideband audio-quality voice chat using Skype's SILK audio codec

New York, NY- November 3, 2009 - You're about to jump on a MMOG and need to bring other players into a voice chat session. After time-consuming downloads, complicated invites and discovering that your best player can't join the chat because he's on a Mac and not a PC, you finally begin playing - just as your game is rudely interrupted by loud team members. Your voice chat system, which should be providing you with a better gaming experience, has become more trouble than it was worth.

Ribbit Mobile Launches

November 3, 2009

Ribbit today announced the release of Ribbit Mobile, a free communication suite designed for mobile professionals who need to be able to easily manage all of their phone numbers, communication devices, and how & when they are contacted.

Ribbit Mobile is a cloud-based service that lets you manage calls, messages and phones. It's hard not to compare this new offering to Google Voice. One advantage of Ribbit Mobile is that it can make calls from within your browser using their Flash-based software client. Ribbit Mobile features include voicemail transcription, smart call routing, and web-based calling.

Blabbelon Launches HD VoIP for Video Games

November 3, 2009

Video gamers love VoIP in video games but have often been disappointed with poor voice quality - including jitter, lag, and choppiness, inability to continue to talk via VoIP once you close the game and just an overall poor user experience. Well, Blabblelon aims to change all that with the launch of their browser-based VoIP application which uses a mix of Java and Flash to VoIP-enable any PC, Mac, or Linux computer. The beauty of Blabbelon is that it works at the browser-level, so you can VoIP your friends whether you are inside the video game or not. With Blabbelon, you can blab all you want - even start your own blab-a-thon if you want.

Blabbelon is not to be confused with Babylon where the story goes that God wasn't too pleased with the Tower of Babel the people built, so he took one common language and confounded it into many so they couldn't understand each other.

Ring2Skype Enables Free PSTN-to-Skype calls with Local Numbers

November 2, 2009

Ring2Skype, a new startup, brings yet another way to have free calling by leveraging both Skype and the PSTN. Ring2Skype allows you to have a free local number (in NYC, London, Madrid, etc.), forwarded to your Skype (wherever you are) -- once again for FREE.

I should point out that Skype charges you for a PSTN telephone number while Ring2Skype offers you a free number. Also, Ring2Skype provides numbers in more than 100 destinations, while Skype only has about 20. You just need to select the city where you want the number and Ring2Skype emails you the telephone number, which you can share with family and friends.

Featured Events