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May 2011

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Feel the Nostalgia! Turn Rotary Phone into a VoIP Handset!

May 31, 2011


Now normally you wouldn't want to use a corded phone to make VoIP calls and be chained to a 6 foot corded talk distance. That is unless of course you want to feel the nostalgia of the early 1980s (and earlier) by using a rotary corded phone to make VoIP calls. Tyler Brainerd found an old Model 500 rotary phone at Goodwill, which he then turned into a handset for his computer.

He explained, "I am a rather heavy google voice user, and I was thrilled when google implemented calling through gmail, except for one thing. I use a desktop, which has only a token crap webcam, and not a decent microphone at all.


Fix for Skype Sign In Problem

May 26, 2011

I logged onto my computer this morning to be greeted with a message saying "Skype has stopped working", i.e.:


Skype has never crashed on me. Well, not in the last 4 years or so I should say. I quickly learned there was a widespread outage with users unable to logon.

[Update: I'm basing my initial word choice 'widespread' based on Twitter users' tweets and the fact that my account got hit out of the millions of Skype users. A Skype spokesperson said it was not a widespread problem.




Skype for Asterisk Killed - The Lowdown

May 25, 2011


In case you hadn't heard, Skype has decided to not renew the agreement for Digium's Skype for Asterisk, effectively killing Skype for Asterisk.

Skype for Asterisk will not be available for sale or activation after July 26, 2011.

Skype for Asterisk was developed by Digium in cooperation with Skype. It includes proprietary software from Skype that allows Asterisk to join the Skype network as a native client. Skype has decided not to renew the agreement that permits us to package this proprietary software. Therefore Skype for Asterisk sales and activations will cease on July 26, 2011.

This change should not affect any existing users of Skype for Asterisk.






Stop Organizing your Emails into Folders! It's Less Efficient

May 23, 2011

Stop organizing your emails into FOLDERS right now! Yes, I'm talking to you neurotic-email-folder-organizing-bastards! You've been doing it all wrong!

According to Gizmodo, "A recent study from IBM research confirms a belief I've maintained for years.

CounterPath Partner Program for ITSPs Aims to Simplify Mobile VoIP Deployments

May 23, 2011

Tomorrow, CounterPath Corporation will announce their ITSP Partner Program for mobile softphones. Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs) will now be able to certify their service with CounterPath's Bria iPhone Edition Softphone and an added benefit is simplified provisioning for customers. (i.e.

Disney World Vacation Trip Report

May 19, 2011


I was in Disney World for the last 8 days and just returned yesterday. While I was away I used a webcam, Yet Another Webcam software (YAWCAM), motion detection, Dropbox, and my iPhone to keep an eye on my house. But I'll post my remote surveillance recipe at a later date. I have to research and write up the TMC Labs Innovation Awards for Internet Telephony Magazine.

For now here are some highlights from our trip to Orlando, Florida:
We really enjoyed the Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney MGM Studios).



Disney World Mickey Bars & Reason #9376 Why We Hate Lawyers

May 14, 2011

Blue Jeans Network Bridges Skype, SIP, H.323 for Multipoint Telepresence Solution

May 9, 2011

Blue Jeans Network has been quietly developing a new cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration service that bridges H.323 and SIP end-points, PSTN — and even Skype, with the goal of allowing users to connect everything from high-end video telepresence systems like Tandberg/Cisco and Lifesize to web cams running Skype to desktop IP videophones from Polycom, Grandstream, Cisco, and others. This solves a major problem with video conferencing and telepresence since interoperability, while it has improved, still doesn't take into account legacy H.323 end-points or users that only have inexpensive webcams. Blue Jeans Network plans to support Google and Microsoft Lync as well. Their cloud-based service handles the transcoding of audio and video codecs as well as manages the meeting IDs, PINs, etc.

$25 Computer Runs Linux on USB stick - Asterisk on a Stick?

May 6, 2011


Imagine being able to carry a PC on your keychain, well imagine no more! David Braben a game developer invented a skeletal computer on a USB stick that runs Linux (Ubuntu), and gets you connected to the Internet. This tiny USB stick PC sports a HDMI port on one end and a USB port on the other.  It comes equipped with a decent 700 MHz ARM 11 processor, 128 MB of RAM, a USB port, support 1080p video and the ability to add a webcam or WiFi module.

Facebook and Google Eye Skype

May 4, 2011



I recently griped about the lack of native VoIP on the popular Facebook website. It's such an obvious lacking feature, that one has to go "hmmm... Why don't they have VoIP?" Surely, they must be secretly developing VoIP. Well, what if Facebook has been in secret negotiations to leverage Skype as the primary VoIP vehicle on the Facebook platform?

Viber for Android Beta Launches

May 4, 2011


Viber today announced Viber, a mobile VoIP app was available for the Android. Viber lets users make free phone calls and send free text messages with their mobile phone. I've written about Viber in the past, but didn't initially see the convenience factor of using a person's regular phone number to dial someone using Viber. That is, the Viber dialer would automatically detect if the other person is also a Viber user to route the call.

Kaspersky Kills Microsoft Lync - No Audio or Video

May 3, 2011

If you use Kaspersky with Microsoft Lync (or OCS 2007), you may be interested to know that Kaspersky can kill Lync's connectivity. Specifically, Kapersky Internet Security's network traffic monitor, called Web Protection in some versions blocks the network traffic. It can kill remote desktop sharing sessions (Microsoft Live Meeting sessions) within OCS/Lync, as well as audio/VoIP, and video. Curse you anti-virus!

Bababoo Mobile VoIP App for iPhone Saves You Money

May 3, 2011


Bababoo is a new iPhone mobile VoIP app, similar to Viber which aims to simplify dialing while saving on costs. Bababoo user-to-user calls are free. It automatically figures out whether WiFi, 3G (data), or your mobile carrier is the best way to connect. Non-Bababoo calls are 16 cents/minute.
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