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July 2010

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Facebook To Launch Dating Site?

July 29, 2010

Is Facebook planning to launch a dating site? It certainly would make a lot of sense. Let's look at the evidence. First, did you see the recent announcement of Amazon's new social feature integrating Facebook into your Amazon recommendations?

Xirrus - "Cut the Cord. No Wire to the Desktop - 100% wireless"

July 29, 2010

Rich Tehrani has an excellent interview with wireless visionary, serial entrepreneur and CEO of both Xircom and Xirrus, Dirk Gates in the TMC Newsroom. Xirrus Arrays provide super high-capacity 802.11 access points by utilizing cell phone tower technology used by wireless carriers and are capable of sending signals in three directions. TMC uses Xirrus XN8 to provide full coverage in TMC's office. As CTO I made the decision to go with Xirrus after Rich Tehrani brought Xirrus to my attention last year.

Jailbreaking and Ripping DVDs Now Legal in One Fell Swoop!

July 26, 2010

The copyright overlords have shined brightly this day upon us jailbreakers, phone unlockers, and DVD rippers. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today won three exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions, which will bring a smile to those that enjoy the freedom to do with their legally owned iPhones and DVDs/Blurays as they please. In short, you have the right to: jailbreak your phone, install any app you please, use your mobile phone on any network (unlock), and copy DVDs/Blurays. This is huge news to pirates, hackers, and legitimate users simply trying to use their mobile phone on any mobile network.

Microsoft Releases some Updates for Office Communications Server 2007 R2

July 23, 2010

Microsoft just released some patches/updates to Office Communications Server 2007 R2.

First up is KB 968802, which includes the following updates:
  • Update for Application Host 967832  ( ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2 Application Host: April 2009
  • Update for Application Sharing Server 977347  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Application Sharing Server: April 2010
  • Update for Administration Tools 977344  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Administration Tools: January 2010
  • Update for Audio/Video Conferencing 2028578   ( ) Description of the cumulative update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Audio/Video Conferencing Server: July 2010
  • Update for Core Components 983471  ( ) Description of Cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Core Components: July 2010
  • Update for Communicator Web Access 983469  ( ) Description of the cumulative update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Communicator Web Access: July 2010
  • Update for Conferencing Attendant 2028574  ( ) Description of the cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Conferencing Attendant: July 2010
  • Update for Conferencing Announcement Service 969823  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Conferencing Announcement Service: July 2009
  • Update for Monitoring Server 971298  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Monitoring Server: July 2009
  • Update for Mediation Server 977937   ( ) Description of the cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Mediation Server: April 2010
  • Update for Outside Voice Control 980372  ( ) Description of the cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Outside Voice Control: April 2010
  • Update for Response Group Service 2284304  ( ) Description of Cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Response Group Service: July 2010
  • Update for Standard/Enterprise edition Server 983472  ( ) Description of cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2: July, 2010
  • Update for Standard/Enterprise edition Server Back End 2032834  ( ) Description of the cumulative update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 database: July, 2010
  • Update for Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit 982170  ( ) Description of the cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit: July 2010
  • Update for Web Conferencing Server 2028582  ( ) Description of the cumulative update for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Web Conferencing Server: July 2010
  • Update for Web Components Server 967830  ( ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2, Web Components: April 2009

The second update released is part of KB 2032881:

This update package also includes the following previously released updates: 
  • 981415  ( ) An Invalid Chat Room URI exception is generated in an Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server SDK-based application
  • 981445  ( ) Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server takes a long time to process changes
  • 981446  ( ) Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server cannot log some PART or JOIN events if an abnormal drop from Group Chat Server occurs
  • 981448  ( ) Active Directory processing changes takes a long time on an Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
  • 979105  ( ) A synchronization operation between the Active Directory directory service and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server fails
  • 979106  ( ) Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server does not apply the correct group membership for some users
  • 972951  ( ) A compliance server reports incomplete or inaccurate information about user JOIN and PART events in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
  • 972944  ( ) You may experience performance issues on a channel server in Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Channel Server
  • 973384  ( ) The Group Chat service does not work after you restart a computer that is running Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
  • 973385  ( ) Users in a secured organizational unit (OU) named "Blocking Inheritance" cannot use the Group Chat Admin Tool
  • 973386  ( ) A compliance XML output file is not generated by a compliance server in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server

Citi Launches Citi Text Banking

July 23, 2010

Today, Citibank launched Citi Text Banking, which gives you quick updates on your Citibank and Citi credit card accounts. All you have to do is send a short command to 692484 (MYCITI) and get account information on demand. Pretty cool feature. Now you don't have to logon via a mobile phone or PC browser to get a quick balance.

Google Voice Adds Faster dialing on Android and Blackberry devices

July 22, 2010

Skype for iPhone Multitasks & Drops Planned 3G Fee

July 22, 2010

Attention All Startups in the VoIP Industry!

July 21, 2010

I thought I'd share some TMC news about a very cool opportunity TMC is providing to startup companies. At the next Internet Telephony Conference & Expo (ITEXPO), TMC will offer startup companies the ability to pitch their products and services. It was very successful at the last ITEXPO and so we decided to do it again. Here's the full news release including news about the keynote speaker:

TMC and Embrase Business Consulting Announce Keynote Speaker, Platinum Sponsor for StartupCamp at ITEXPO

Cloud Communications Innovator Twilio Returns;
Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte to Keynote Oct. 4 in Los Angeles

Norwalk, CT, July 21, 2010 - Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC®), a leading global media company and Embrase Business Consulting, today announced the return of Twilio as a Platinum sponsor, and Jeff Bonforte as keynote speaker for this fall's "StartupCamp, Communications Edition," at Internet Telephony Expo (ITEXPO).

StartupCamp will take place Monday evening, October 4th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, kicking off the three-day ITEXPO event.

trixbox CE Training at ITEXPO

July 20, 2010

Kerry Garrison, formerly with Fonality, but now with 888VoipStore, is going to be part of the trixbox CE training that is happening at the next ITEXPO in Los Angeles. It's a great opportunity to roll up your sleeves and learn the ins and outs of trixbox CE, an Asterisk-based distro. ITEXPO has been doing trixbox training for some time now, and it's always well attended.

According to Kerry:
Titled "FtOCC CE Technician", the course provides telephony resellers and IT professionals with in-depth technical training on Fonality's Open Source trixbox CE, Asterisk-based PBX system.

FtOCC CE Technician is being presented in collaboration with Fonality, a leading open source telephony company and 888VoipStore, the leading source of IP PBX systems and equipment for resellers.

FtOCC CE Technician is a three-day technical certification course designed to train resellers and consultants how to support customers running trixbox CE systems.

XO Communications Offers SIP Savings Estimator Tool

July 20, 2010

Today XO Communications launched their XO Enterprise SIP Savings Estimator, an online calculator to show users just how much money they can save by switching to SIP trunks. The online tool demonstrates how XO Enterprise SIP "Simplifies, Streamlines and Reduces Costs of Managing Voice Services Across Distributed Enterprise Networks".

It's a useful tool, though the calculator is a bit strict in its assumptions and doesn't provide the maximum flexibility. For instance, TMC is just a single location, yet the calculator forces you to pick at least 5 separate locations. The vast majority of businesses are single locations yet can still save a lot of money using SIP trunks by eliminating T1/PRI and/or analog lines.

Blind Research Study Says Skype Users Prefer ooVoo

July 18, 2010

ooVoo told me they had recently commissioned a study with some interesting results, which will be released on Monday. A blind study conducted by a third party research firm revealed that ooVoo was preferred by 8 our of 10 Skype users.I couldn't help but reminded of the famous Trident slogan/study which said 4 out of 5 dentists preferred sugarless gum. In fact, it's exactly double!

So is this study legit or manufactured?

SkypeKit SDK Comes to Windows & Mac

July 14, 2010

fring vs. Skype War

July 13, 2010

A war between fring and Skype is heating up. fring fired the first salvo when they put out a release claiming Skype was blocking fring. fring wrote:

For 4 years we have led mobile communication innovation, most recently with video calling on any advanced Smartphone and network.

Now that fring expanded capacity to support the huge demand for video calling for all users, Skype has blocked us from doing so.

Kids take photos of Earth's curvature using Balloon and Help from iPad

July 13, 2010

Oh kids these days get all the fun! I wish my science class (back in the day) offered our class a challenge to fly a cellphone with GPS & camera up into the stratosphere to take photos of the Earth's curvature. Alas, the closest I came was an egg drop contest, which was designed to teach about gravity, mass, and seat belt safety (don't ask). A firetruck ladder would drop our eggs in our homemade egg protection cases and see whose eggs survived the fall.

Tandberg Movi Review

July 12, 2010

Multi-party HD videoconferencing is often thought of as an expensive proposition that is restricted to special boardrooms with expensive video equipment and large monitor displays. One of the major driving forces behind videoconferencing is its ability to enable collaborative meetings across distances with multiple participants, so having multiple high-tech videoconferencing boardrooms can be cost prohibitive. Further, many employees work from home all or part of the week or travel, which would make attendance at a fixed videoconferencing boardroom impossible. Tandberg, now part of Cisco, aims to solve this problem by combining Mobility and Video, hence the name Movi, a new offering that enables high-definition 720p, 30fps video when used in conjunction with  the Cisco's Tandberg PrecisionHD USB camera.

Tandberg sent me the PrecisionHD USB camera to test along with Movi for the best experience, though any HD USB camera would work as well.

Business Software Alliance Report Irks Some

July 9, 2010

The Business Software Alliance's (BSA) annual Global PC Software Piracy Study was recently released, which is a comprehensive report on unauthorized software around the world. Paul Berber who wrote an article titled "Lies, damn lies and the BSA" is none to happy about it either. Apparently, South Africa merited a 35% piracy rate, while their World Cup rivals, the Brits scored the 6th lowest piracy rate in the world. The U.S.

New Nimbuzz app for iPhone adds Multi-tasking

July 9, 2010

fring Video Calling Over 3G on iPhone 4

July 9, 2010

It was just a matter of time before fring updated their iPhone app to take advantage of the iPhone 4's front-facing camera. That day has arrived! With the new fring for iPhone you get 2 way video-calling not just with other iPhone users, but also friends on their Droids or Nokia (Symbian S60) phones.

It supports video calls over 3G as well as Wi-Fi, though obviously performance over 3G isn't as good as Wi-Fi.

Multitasking support is in the new version so you can be always on and available with fring running in the background and alerting you to new video calls, voice calls or chat without proactively opening fring.

It also has a new "Social Stream" feature, which is a chronological stream of all tweets, facebook updates, chats and calls. While the social media stuff is nice to have, the video calling is the killer feature.

Skype Reverse Engineered?

July 8, 2010

According to TechCrunch, someone named Sean O'Neill is claiming he reverse-engineered Skype, laying bare one of the most closely guarded secrets in VoIP Land. Has Skype's Great Wall of VoIP been cracked? Skype takes protection of their proprietary protocol very seriously. Need I remind you of the various JoltID lawsuits by Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis which owns the Skype's P2P "secret sauce"?

If indeed Skype has been cracked, this could have major implications, including not just security, but also some beneficial effects, such as 3rd parties embedding Skype more easily into their products and bypassing Skype's relatively new Skype API called SkypeKit SDK.

Sean writes on his blog:

For over 10 years, Skype enjoyed selling the world security by obscurity. We must admit, really good obscurity.

CounterPath Updates Bria for Mac and Windows

July 6, 2010

Tomorrow, CounterPath is announcing a new release of its softphone client, Bria, one of my favorite SIP clients for the PC and the iPhone. Bria 3.1 for both Mac and Windows will feature UI enhancements, broadcast IM and SMS and improvements to the videoconferencing tool. Just a few weeks ago I asked CounterPath about multiple account support when I wrote, "I asked CounterPath about future features and they told me presence/IM/XMPP, call recording/playback, and the big one being multiple SIP account support were all on the roadmap." Well indeed, 3.1 brings support for multiple accounts. Interestingly, their Linux client already had multiple account support before the Windows or Mac versions, so Linux fans got the first .

Full release after the jump...

Most Excellent (Find) on Google Maps - Wayne & Garth

July 6, 2010

You can find the funniest and coolest things on Google Maps, Google Earth, and especially Google Street View. There was the possible discovery of Atlantis on Google Earth, and the uncovering of an unknown forest containing undiscovered species in Mt. Mabu. And now with Google's mapping vans touring the world to capture every street in 360 degrees, some interesting sites can be beholden. For instance, in Google Map's Street View Horse-boy was discovered, a strange reverse Centaur that sports a human body with a horse head:

Click image above to see it on Google Maps.

Then we have Angry Norwegians in Scuba gear chasing the Google Street View van for a most hilarious photo capture. Or how bout the two guys scrambling to pose for Google Street View? Classic!

But we may now have the "most excellent" Google discovery ever!

Plantronics Savi W430 Headset Review

July 6, 2010

The Plantronics Savi W430 is an impressive headset sporting DECT wireless technology with excellent range and HD quality sound. With the convergence of the telephone and the network we say the creation of VoIP, including the phenomenal growth of Skype and SIP-based IP-PBXs and phones. Now we're seeing the convergence of the computer and the phone, resulting in 100% software-based phone solutions - also known as the "softphone". The problem with softphones is that it's still a fairly new concept to the enterprise and there just aren't a lot of headsets for the PC designed with telephony in mind.

VoIP Phone for $19.99? What?

July 1, 2010

On I came across a VoIP phone listed for $19.99. The product description catches my eye because it says "VoIP/Skype Desktop IP Phone w/Digital Answering System - Use Your Internet Connection to Make Calls! - PH210-PB". So it's a Skype VoIP phone with a digital answering machine.

Patriotic Video for 4th of July - American Heart

July 1, 2010

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