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October 2010

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Cell Phone Time Traveller Caught on 1928 Film?

October 28, 2010

Put on your conspiracy tin foil hats boys and girls, this ones a doozy! A woman is seen in a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film "The Circus" appearing to hold a a cell phone to her ear. Of course, there are no cell phone towers back in 1928, so this must be a futuristic Star Trek communicator or some kind that doesn't need any stinkin' towers. 5 bars of signal everywhere you go!

Kevin Fleming Details Asterisk SCF

October 27, 2010

Asterisk SCF - Universal Communications API?

October 27, 2010

Digium today announced a new open source product called Asterisk SCF which is designed to simplify the creation of complex communications systems.  According to Digium, Asterisk SCF is a framework that allows developers to create real-time communications applications that include voice, video and text and that meet the demands of a full range of uses, from embedded applications to enterprise and carrier solutions. Asterisk SCF is architected to provide the highest levels of availability, scalability, extensibility, fault-tolerance and performance.

Asterisk SCF will be delivered as a system of distributed components that can be deployed in clusters on a single system or on many systems, transparently.

Texas Instruments TNETV1072 processor Supercharges voice experience Optimized for Microsoft Lync

October 26, 2010

Texas Instruments claims that their TNETV1072's C64x+ digital signal processor (DSP) core provides "exceptional high-definition voice and wideband acoustic echo cancellation capabilities offering richer voice quality to its users." The chip is targeting and is specifically optimized for Microsoft Lync. It appears Aastra and Polycom are both taking advantage of this chip in their IP phones. Check out the full news announcement:

Offering richer voice capabilities, Texas Instruments’ high-performance TNETV1072 processor enables an enhanced voice experience Optimized for Microsoft Lync

TI’s TNETV1072 processor powers the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 IP phone platform, providing customers with VoIP capabilities and integrated desktop functionality

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) continues to build momentum in the unified communications (UC) space as it announces that  its TNETV1072 high-performance processor powers IP phones Optimized for Microsoft Lync.  TI’s processor enables the enhanced voice experience with UC functions, including presence, in advanced endpoints such as the Aastra 6721ip and 6725ip and the Polycom® CX500, CX600 and CX3000 IP phones.

Sony Ericsson VH700 headset Review

October 26, 2010

The Sony Ericsson VH700 Bluetooth headset is an interesting Bluetooth headset, if only for the fact that it's not wireless. How can it be Bluetooth which is a wireless specification and yet not be wireless? Perhaps this picture of the VH700 will explain it best:

As you can see, the Sony Ericsson headset sports a small rectangular base unit controller with all of the user controls (power, volume up/down, charging connector) and it holds the battery, as well as a clip for attaching it to your clothing. Connected to the base unit controller is a wired ear-piece with a traditional earbud on the end.

Skype Tells Nimbuzz to Buzz Off

October 25, 2010

Skype has ordered Nimbuzz to remove support for Skype in their application by October 31st - Halloween no less, but this is no trick. Nimbuzz currently has 30 million users and the theory is that Skype is removing support for third-party access to their service ahead of their planned IPO. You probably recall the fring vs. Skype battle where fring also lost access to Skype services back in July.

However, a Skype spokeperson denied the IPO was the cause:
We believed that Nimbuzz’s application was in violation of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement (EULA).

Easy2Pick Wireless Luggage Finder System Review

October 22, 2010

You hover over the baggage claim area and claim a good spot close to the carousel door. You wait for your luggage to arrive - popping out through the conveyor belt doors - as your stress hormones and heart rate skyrocket with each passing moment you don't see your bag. Did my luggage make it? Is it still in good shape?

Asterisk 1.8 - Major Release Sports 200 New Features

October 21, 2010

Digium today released Asterisk 1.8, a major new release of the popular open source telephony platform. According to Digium, it includes more than 200 notable new features.

I spoke with Digium's Product Manager, Steve Sokol, to learn more about this important release.

ITEXPO up 50% with 216 Exhibitors

October 20, 2010

Some great news about TMC's ITEXPO that I wanted to share. ITEXPO has experienced phenomenal growth year-over-year. Vendor participation for ITEXPO West increased almost 50 percent, and 216 exhibitors  issued almost 400 news announcements from the show floor, detailing new products, services and alliances that were announced at ITEXPO. Additionally, more than 215 exhibiting companies, 366 speakers, 5,800 conference and expo attendees, and almost 100 members of the media participated in the event at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Nine Technology Targets Online Backup to MSPs

October 19, 2010

At ITEXPO I met with Gene Fay, Senior Vice President for Nine Technology, an online backup and recovery service designed for MSPs to brand and resell. Nine Technology’s "Powered by Nine" data backup and restore solutions enable managed service providers (MSPs) to offer cost-effective and secure online backup and recovery services for desktops, laptops and servers.

One of their main claims to fame is their patented global deduplication process. It uses "block level" global data deduplication and compression to minimize data size, number of files and bandwidth utilization. Gene Fay claimed that their partners have done some testing and Nine Technology is 5-15x faster at recovering files than the popular Mozy or Carbonite solutions.

Some new features recently announced include:
  • Seeded initial backups shipped to the data center
  • Semi-continuous data protection
  • Granular SQL server backups using VSS snapshots
  • Automated self-service branding of partner client software
  • Web-based restore processes
  • Updated, easier-to-control GUI
The "seeded" initial backups are a key feature, since many organizations have terabytes of data that would take a long time to backup even over a fast WAN Internet connection.

Truphone to Take on Skype & Offer Windows VoIP App

October 15, 2010

Truphone, headquartered in London, U.K. will soon be releasing a VoIP client for Windows PCs, as well as the Mac OS. Truphone is known for their mobile VoIP apps supported on several mobile platforms including Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Symbian, but this will be their first foray into the desktop PC environment. Unlike Skype, Truphone leverages the standard SIP protocol, so essentially Truphone will be releasing a SIP softphone client customized to work with their service offering.

Skype Meets Facebook - But Not Without Problems

October 14, 2010

Skype 5.0 has been released with some new features, including Facebook integration. A new Facebook tab appears within the Skype client, which shows Facebook's 'News Feed' and a phone book. When I linked my Facebook account, I noticed under the privacy settings it said "Access my data any time. Skype may access my data when I'm not using the application".

CounterPath Demos iPhone to Nexus One Call Switching from VoIP to Cellular & Back

October 6, 2010

I met with Todd Carothers, VP of Product Management at TMC's ITEXPO in Los Angeles to hear about Counterpath's latest patents and new product offerings. Todd gave me one of the coolest demos of mobile VoIP I've ever seen! I captured the demo in one of two videos that I've included in this blog post. Definitely a must watch!

2600hz Introduces "PromoCalling" - Free VoIP Phones for Business

October 6, 2010

I'm off to moderate an ITEXPO session, but came across some interesting news announced at ITEXPO I wanted to share.

Check it out:

2600hz Introduces "PromoCalling" -  Free VoIP Phones for Business
Ad-Supported Phone Provides Competitive Free Calling Option to Enterprise, Small Business Market via SIP-enabled Devices
  Los Angeles, CA, October 6, 2010 (ITEXPO: Booth # 606)  - The 2600hz Project, a subsidiary of VoIP, Inc. today announced free SIP phone service for VoIP carriers.  The ad-supported system is designed to empower today's VoIP providers to compete with free calling services already available on the Internet.  The white-label service bundles features like find-me, follow-me, ring groups, meet-me conferencing and voicemail into a hosted platform. PromoCalling enables carriers to compete with similar offerings from Google Voice and Skype taking communication a step further by operating via business grade SIP phones rather than web or soft phone devices.
"Smaller VoIP carriers face fierce competition in a marketplace where Google and Skype offer services that are free," said Darren Schreiber, CEO and Co-Founder of 2600hz.

ITEXPO Still Packed at 6pm PT!

October 5, 2010

Mykola Konrad Overview of Sonus Networks

October 5, 2010

I met with Sonus Networks' Mykola Konrad, Director, Enterprise Management at ITEXPO today. It's not every day that I get to meet someone who formerly worked on the Microsoft Surface product, a very cool technology. It's basically an extra-large iPad and Mykola mentioned Microsoft was considering something like the iPad two years ago.

Anyway, back to Sonus, Mykola talked about some of their products, including the GSX9000. One feature it offers is the ability for non-VoIP digital phones to register to their ASX (SIP registrar).

Broadvox's David Byrd Overview at ITEXPO

October 5, 2010

David Byrd Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for Broadvox stopped by to speak with me at ITEXPO. You should definitely check out David's SIP and Serve by a Foodie blog. He provides interesting insights on VoIP, but also blogs some delectable recipes. He also mixes some VoIP and food metaphors.

UM Labs Brings 256-bit AES Secure VoIP to Mobile Phones

October 5, 2010

I met with Mike Wilson, VP of Sales & Marketing for UM Labs at ITEXPO today to learn more about their secure VoIP offering. At ITEXPO they announced their 1.5 release, which steps up interoperability amongst various IP-PBXS and now it works with Skype (Skype Connect).
Mike explained that a lot of independent dealers across the world who also use Skype, can now connect their PBXs to these Skype users and save a lot of money on conference calls. Their solution acts as the "glue" allowing Avaya to connect to Cisco, or Shoretel to Avaya, etc. They have a built-in scripting engine and can adjust paths between switch and trunking provider or two switches to ensure interoperability.

As part of this release they are stepping up encryption, which he claimed already had incredibly low latency.

Do IT Smarter MSP Provider

October 5, 2010

AudioCodes MediaPack 252 All-In-One Gateway Sweetness!

October 5, 2010

AudioCodes MediaPack™ 252 (MP-252) is a sophisticated, feature-rich, multimedia home gateway for broadband networks with Multi-play support. Launched at TMC's ITEXPO, it sports a built-in ADSL2+ modem, multiple antenna wireless LAN connectivity, DECT handsets supporting HD VoIP, Bluetooth interface for connecting cellular phones and optional battery backup. With its USB ports (3 in one model, 1 in another) , it even has support for being a print server, and can connect to file servers and UPnP AV Media Servers. I spoke with AudioCodes Alan Percy, Director of Business Development in the ITEXPO press room to learn more about this innovative all-in-one gateway for Multi-play services.

More Features Than You Can Shake a Stick At
The ADSL/ADSL2+ modem supports up to 24Mbps. It features a 10/100 Ethernet WAN port (optional connection to cable modem or FTTH ONU) and Four 10/100 Ethernet LAN ports.

Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte Gives Fascinating Keynote At StartupCamp

October 5, 2010

ITEXPO hosted the 2nd annual Startup Camp where startup companies in the telecom, VoIP, wireless, CRM, and social media industries give a short 5 minute demo of their product or service. Then a few panelists critique their presentation. It lead to some interesting critiques. You'll definitely want to attend the next Startup Camp if you missed this one!

The keynote speaker at StartupCamp was Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte, who has been actively involved in the future of communications for years, dating back to his involvement in what became the Gizmo Project (Gizmo5), and to his executive roles with Yahoo!’s Real-time Communications Group.

His keynote was one of the highlights of the event and I'm glad I was able to record about 80% of his insightful and funny presentation.

Netflix Adds Video Out Support to iPhone 4 and iPod

October 4, 2010

Aretta Communications Hosted Virtualized Asterisk

October 4, 2010

I met with Marc Fribush at ITEXPO and we discussed their hosted Asterisk offering. I met Marc previously at TMC Days, when several VoIP and telecom companies visited TMC's offices. It's an impressive product. In about 60s you can "spin up" your very own virtualized hosted copy of Asterisk.

Smart Grid Summit West 2010 Off to Great Start

October 4, 2010

Important ITEXPO Happenings

October 4, 2010

I wanted to share some important highlights for Internet Telephony Conference & Expo happening this week. I should point out that we have over 200 exhibitors participating including Asterisk / Digium, Cisco, Packet8, ShoreTel, Skype, and more. Seems like ITEXPO is the week for important telecom / VoIP news to break, including Skype looking to hire a new CEO. I'm excited for Startup Camp. Now for some important ITEXPO happenings:

Monday at ITEXPO West 2010

The doors open to ITEXPO West 2010 today!

ITEXPO West 2010 Ford Mustang Drawing

October 4, 2010

Skype to Name New CEO

October 4, 2010

Ringio On InPhonex Launches at ITEXPO

October 4, 2010

According to a InPhonex and Ringio representative, "More than 90 percent of U.S. companies are small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), and forward-thinking service providers are recognizing the limitless opportunities in the SMB market. Meanwhile, telecommunications services consistently rank in the top 3 biggest expenses for SMBs. In light of these factors, InPhonex and Ringio have joined forces to create a service – Ringio On InPhonex (ROI) – that brings SMBs intelligent, virtual PBX features and functionality along with lower telecom costs." They claim Ringio On InPhonex has an average cost per user of about $40 per month for unlimited calling and an end-to-end solution.

Panasonic Demos their HD Visual Communications System

October 4, 2010

Attendees of the 2010 World Business Forum will see the Panasonic HD Visual Communications System (HDVC) in action. As the Official Video Conference System of this year’s Forum, the Panasonic HDVC will take center stage for use during long-distance Q&A sessions. The World Business Forum takes place October 5 and 6 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. It's too bad I'm in the opposite Coast in Los Angeles, California attending ITEXPO, since I would have liked to have checked this out in person. Come to think of it, they should be exhibiting at ITEXPO as well, since one of their competitors Vu Telepresence is exhibiting at ITEXPO.
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