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August 2010

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Skype for SIP is Now Skype Connect

August 30, 2010

Today, Skype announced that Skype for SIP is changing its name to Skype Connect. Guess the techie name "SIP" isn't exactly business-friendly, hence the name change. Today, they are also announcing that hat Skype Connect (formerly Skype for SIP) is officially out of beta.

By using Skype Connect with an existing PBX, your business can do the following:
  • Make outbound calls from desktop phones to landlines and mobiles worldwide billed at Skype's standard per-minute calling rates;
  • Receive inbound calls from Skype connected users worldwide by placing Skype's Click & Call buttons on their Web sites;
  • Receive calls from landlines or mobile phones in the corporate PBX using Skype's online numbers that have been purchased separately; and
  • Manage Skype calls using your existing PBX or UC systems' features such as call routing, automatic call distribution, conferencing, auto-attendant, voicemail, call recording and logging.
Since the beta launch of Skype Connect in March 2009, here are some of Skype's milestones:
  • Skype Connect already has over 2,400 active global customers;
  • Skype Connect is now certified to work with PBX and UC products from Avaya, Cisco, SIPfoundry, ShoreTel and other OEMs (see supported models here).
  • Skype Connect also works with older TDM PBXs or Key Systems which can now add Skype calling capabilities through third-party IP gateways from AudioCodes, Grandstream and VoSKY (see supported models here).
  • Launched Skype Manager, a simple web-based tool to centrally manage and control Skype usage in a company, and which enables a business to set-up Skype Connect;
  • New dedicated customer support, including real-time chat, is now available for Skype Connect customers and Skype Manager administrators directly through Skype Manager;
  • In addition, we've been enrolling VARs and system integrators in our new Skype Channel Partner Program and training them to support our business customers. We will share more details on this program soon.
Perhaps the biggest milestone is "dedicated customer support".

Netflix App Arrives for iPhone and iPod Touch!

August 26, 2010

Netflix for the iPhone and iPod Touch has arrived! You can ditch the Netflix for iPhone & iPod Touch hack I wrote about. You can be legit. It is here my friends!

Trend Micro and Symantec Exhibiting at MSPWorld / ITEXPO

August 26, 2010

Google Testing VoIP Calling in Gmail

August 25, 2010

Interactive Intelligence Interaction SIP Station Review

August 24, 2010

Interactive Intelligence
sent me their new Interaction SIP Station to check out and review. It's an interesting little product that aims to replace big bulky desktop SIP phones with a simple little SIP-based Power over Ethernet (PoE) box that has a headset jack for connecting any standard headset. The obvious market is call centers where agents often take calls using a headset and a softphone application and have no need for a desktop phone with a full touch-tone keypad, speakerphone, handset, etc. In fact, often the handset stays cradled and the agent simply answers the call with the headset, which essentially means the desktop phone is a glorified PBX-to-headset converter.

Microsoft to Exhibit at MSPWorld

August 23, 2010

Microsoft just announced they are exhibiting at  MSPWorld co-located with TMC's ITEXPO in Los Angeles. ITEXPO is already beating estimates and MSPWorld is doing quite nicely as well.

So why should you attend MSPWorld?

Here's an overview:

MSPWorld Conference and Expo is a high level multi day networking and educational event, formulated to address the issues facing the service provider community as a whole, in the US market and abroad. With a heavy emphasis on business and market development, new customer acquisition and retention, building value in your managed services practice and accreditation's and certifications.
For the last 10 years the International Association of Managed Service Providers (MSPAlliance) has been serving the global MSP community.
Developing professional standards, bringing MSPs around the world together, helping to make the name managed services a common phrase amongst businesses of all sizes, these are but a few of the things the MSPAlliance has done on behalf of its membership and all MSPs.

Philadelphia Demands $300 Business License From Bloggers

August 23, 2010

Philadelphia, the home of the Liberty Bell wants bloggers to pay up or shut up. The crack in the Liberty Bell just grew wider. That's right, forget your free speech rights, because according to Philadelphia it isn't free. It'll cost you $300 if you run a blog with any ads that creates even 1 cent of income.

According to a Philadelphia newspaper:
For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic, a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her Manayunk home.

Teevox + iPhone = Remote Control for Netflix & Hulu

August 20, 2010

Teevox, founded by former MIT students is an iPhone app that allows you to remotely control watching Hulu and Netflix on your computer. According to Techcrunch, Hulu and Netflix are just the beginning. I use Orb and PlayOn for remote media access, which are similar - especially PlayOn which supports Hulu and Netflix. Speaking of PlayOn, I just noticed last night that when I went to within Safari on my iPhone it forced me to add PlayOn to my Home Screen.

Gmail Voice and Video Chat Now on Linux

August 20, 2010

Kung Fu Hustle meets 2010 Space Odyssey Video - Make a Custom iPhone Case

August 19, 2010

Scitable - Social Network Changes Face of Scientific Learning

August 19, 2010

Scitable is an offshoot of Nature Publishing Group, which is the publisher of Nature, Scientific American and about 70 other magazines. I interviewed Vikram Savkar, Scitable's SVP of publishing to learn more about Scitable and how this online social network is changing the face of learning in the scientific community.

Vikram, "We're one of the leading publishers in science research in the world. What we've never done until recently is publish something for the scientific education community. We always published research for researchers, but we came to feel that there was a real possibility that there aren't going to be enough researchers in the next generation to do the important scientific work that needs to be done."

He added, "40% of students that start their college years in the U.S.

Pre-Registration for ITEXPO Trending 70 Percent Ahead of 2009

August 18, 2010

Some great news from TMC that I thought I'd share. Internet Telephony Conference and Expo (ITEXPO) pre-registration is trending ahead of last year by 70%! I'm obviously going to be there to check out and write about the latest happenings in VoIP, 4G, smart grid, cloud communications, and more. I get some of my best news scoops there and obviously get to do some social networking with some leading industry insiders.

Skype mobile now available on Verizon Wireless BREW phones

August 18, 2010

Skype is now available on Verizon Wireless multimedia phones on the BREW platform. What's interesting about this partnership is that it is NOT VoIP - the call is actually routed over Verizon Wireless's network. It requires a cellular connection and won't work over WiFi. Additionally, you actually use your Verizon minutes when you make a Skype to mobile or landline number. I suppose that's better than having to pay to charge up your SkypeOut minutes.

Plantronics M100 Review

August 17, 2010

The Plantronics M100 Bluetooth headset has arrived and here is my unboxing + review. The first feature you should be aware of is the dual mics on the M100. When the dual mics are combined with the built-in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Plantronics wind and background noise reduction technology, in theory you have the best damn sounding headset on the planet. But before I we determine that, first the unboxing video...

Skype updates iPhone app

August 16, 2010

CounterPath Adds Multiple SIP Account Support to iPhone App

August 16, 2010

Back in June, I mentioned that CounterPath told me they were working on a multiple SIP account version of their iPhone/iPad/iTouch application. That day has arrived!

CounterPath today announced the availability of Bria iPhone Edition Version 1.1 for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Compatible with Apple's new iOS 4 operating system, Bria iPhone Edition 1.1 is a highly secure, standards-based VoIP softphone that works over both 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
Bria iPhone Edition 1.1 leverages iOS 4 to deliver multitasking VoIP on the iPhone.

PowerDsine Extender Delivers Whopping 25.5 Watts Over 200-meter Ethernet Cabling

August 11, 2010

I had a conference call with Microsemi's Daniel Feldman, Director of Marketing while he was in a noisy airport. It made it difficult to understand the new product he was describing, so we planned to reschedule, but it never happened. Nevertheless, I wanted to share the interesting Microsemi news, since they are one of the leaders in the Power over Ethernet (PoE) space. As more and more network devices leverage PoE requiring more power, keep your eye on Microsemi to be on the forefront of PoE midspans and extenders to feed your power hungry LAN devices.

Rupert Murdock Sues Skype for "trademark infringement"

August 11, 2010

Ridiculous news of the day! Rupert Murdoch of News Corp (FOX News) is suing Skype over trademark infringement. Apparently, Rupert's BSkyB company is suing over trademark infringement for sharing 3 letters and a very common word with Skype - namely 'sky'. What's next?

Skype IPO

August 9, 2010

Rich Tehrani was in my office last week saying he thought Skype was going to file an IPO very soon. He thought it was very odd that Skype declined invitations to keynote / speak at TMC's ITEXPO - the show that all major VoIP players attend. Skype has never declined an invitation in the past.

We both theorized that Skype was probably entering their "quiet period" to launch an IPO. He tasked me with looking into it, but alas, I was too busy working on TMC Labs Innovation Awards.

AudioCodes Adds Mobile VoIP Solutions for Blackberry and Android

August 5, 2010

Audiocodes today launched a mobile VoIP app for Blackberry and Android. They already supported the Apple iPhone.

Here's the full release:

AudioCodes VMAS Solution now covers all leading Smartphone OS, offering a comprehensive solution set for mobile, PC or Web

Lod, Israel - August 5, 2010 - AudioCodes (NasdaqGS: AUDC), a leading provider of Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies and Voice Network products, today announced an expansion of its VMAS family of Mobile VoIP Solutions with the addition of its new Blackberry and Android clients. AudioCodes Mobile VoIP Solutions enable Service Providers to offer new value added services thereby increasing revenues while allowing end users to make low cost calls at significantly improved voice quality. With today's announcement, VMAS now offers carriers a complete solution covering all leading mobile operating systems such as Symbian, Windows Mobile, Apple iOS, Blackberry OS and Android, as well as its existing solutions for the PC and Web.

The growing availability of high-speed mobile broadband, continual adoption of smartphones and emergence of flat rate mobile data pricing have bolstered the growth of mobile VoIP and made it an integral part of the future.  Frost & Sullivan has even recently claimed that "Mobile VoIP has become a credible threat to the traditional voice revenues." (Impact Of Mobile VoIP On Next Generation Cellular Networks, July 2010)  Going forward, Service Providers will need to differentiate themselves from mobile VoIP start-ups with innovative services and capabilities.

Vonage Mobile app for Facebook Launches

August 4, 2010

Today, Vonage launched Vonage Mobile application for Facebook: A new service which allows users to make free mobile calls to all of their Facebook friends who have the app as well. That's a bit of a stumbling block since your friends need the app installed to make VoIP calls. Although, you can IM them from within the free app regardless of whether they have the Vonage app installed. But once installed by both parties, it can be convenient to make free calls to any of your Facebook friends, especially since you can see when they are "online" (presence).

Wisair Wireless USB Audio/Video Adapter Streams to HDTVs

August 3, 2010

Wisair Wireless USB Audio/Video Adapter is an interesting little gadget designed with laptops in mind - to stream any laptop content to any HD screen. Thus, you can wirelessly stream movies, TV, photo slideshows, presentations, web content, and more. It'll work with desktops as well, but really their target market is laptops.
The Wisair Wireless USB Audio/Video Adapter Set is a USB adapter that sports a HDMI video/audio support and VGA connectivity with stereo audio support through a 3.5 mm audio jack, and offers 32-bit True Color depth and up to 1400x1050 screen resolution. It also features 48 kHz, 16-bit stereo sound and HD video resolution up to 720p.
The wireless laptop adapter plugs into any USB port on the computer.

Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit & Ultra Stomp Rocket

August 3, 2010

The 4th of July, fireworks, and rockets bursting in air may be over, but summer is not over. So if you're looking for some summer fun, like a fun rocket toy that your kids can shoot into the sky without requiring a Bic lighter, then look no further than the Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit. Not only can your kids safely shoot these glow in the dark rockets into the sky themselves, they can burn some energy doing it too. You see, you stomp on a pad that sends the air pressure into the rocket sending it airborne up to 100 feet (for the really hard stompers).

Just place the launch stand in a outdoor area, connect the 38-inch-long vinyl air hose and blast pad, load one of the three 9" foam rockets and blast off! It comes with three rockets but you can also order stomp parachutes and spin copters from the manufacturer.

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