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July 2011

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Vince Flynn Predicts Tea Party Back in 1997?

July 29, 2011

I just started listening to Vince Flynn's Term Limits (audiobook), (hardcover published in 1997), and I found it uncanny how what is happening in this book reminds me of our current debt debacle and the rise of the Tea Party. In Term Limits, retired American special forces kill a few Senators and Congressmen, who they feel is spending too much on pork barrel projects, adding to our national debt and not doing anything about cutting spending, which is leading to the destruction of our country.

Of course, today, Tea Party activists aren't assassinating Congressmen or Senators for their inability to tackle debt, but they are certainly very vocal about their opposition to out of control government spending and many are opposed to raising the national debt ceiling. Certainly, the Left has has tried to paint the Tea Party as violent and anti-government, but so far tea party protests have been peaceful and opposition to big government spending has been spirited but civil.

Mitch Rapp, the main character of every other Vince Flynn novel isn't in this book, but other familiar characters are. Earlier in the book, the President's helicopter entourage is painted by several surface to air missiles on the way to Camp David.

Skype 5.5 Now Available

July 28, 2011

Skype 5.5 for Windows is no longer just a beta and is now available for download. The new version lets Skype users instant message their Facebook friends via Skype, making Skype a nice consolidated app for all your IM needs. You can also comment on friend's Facebook status updates. You also have the ability to use the Facebook News Feed within Skype to "like" a friend's status or comment on it without logging into Facebook.

I have some Facebook friends that I don't know who friended me and constantly IM me via Facebook, but because it's not VoIP-related and is sometimes "spammy" I just ignore these IM windows within the Facebook window.

Microsoft Releases July Cumulative update package for Lync 2010

July 27, 2011

Microsoft released a cumulative update package for Lync 2010 with several bug fixes. Thought I'd share the list of fixes. They include:

  • 2571523  A Lync Server 2010 Standard CAL user cannot use certain functionality of a HID device in Lync Server 2010.
  • 2571525  A user receives an "Audio Join” notification message unexpectedly when opening a conversation window in Lync 2010.
  • 2571527  A user cannot enable video in a conference after you assign a conference policy to the user in a Lync Server 2010 environment.
  • 2571529  A PSTN or a PBX call is disconnected without a notification on a Polycom CX600 or Polycom CX700 telephone that is running Lync 2010 Phone Edition
  • 2571530  A Lync 2010 client cannot download the address book file by using a UNC path
  • 2560097  A Lync 2010 conference organizer cannot invite other users to the Lync 2010 conference
  • 2571531  The voice mail LED on a Polycom CX300 telephone does not turn on when you receive a new voice mail in a Lync 2010 environment
  • 2560100  The Enter key is not recognized correctly when you enable Input Method Extension and then perform a search in a Lync 2010 client
  • 2560101   The Presence calendar data does not publish in Lync 2010 after users install update 2496325
  • 2577950  Error message when you try to open a modified Live Meeting item in the calendar in a Lync Server 2010 environment
  • 2577955  A user cannot sign in to Lync 2010 when the primary Front-end server is unavailable in a Lync Server 2010 environment
This update package also fixes the issues that are previously documented in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles:
  • 2517766  A warning message is cut off in a localized version of Lync 2010
  • 2517757  The “Start Recording” command is still available after you transfer audio to a PSTN telephone during a conference call in Lync 2010
  • 2517754  The Outlook.exe process is still running after you close Outlook on a computer that has Lync 2010 installed and that is running Windows Vista
  • 2517747  The Lync 2010 Recording Player window displays incorrect localized language in Lync 2010
  • 2517739  A short audio delay occurs after a RGS agent accepts a call in a Lync Server 2010 environment
  • 2517736  You take over a presentation when you double-click the “Return to Presenter’s View” button in Lync 2010
  • 2517735  "Your online meeting invitation needs to be updated due to changed server policies." message on a computer that has Lync 2010 installed
  • 2517721  Lync 2010 cannot publish the "Presence" calendar data of a user
  • 2517691  A user cannot retrieve a parked call from a paired Lync 2010 client when the orbit number contains "#" or "*"
  • 2517673  Texts in an office application are cut off or the office application does not respond when you copy the texts from a Lync 2010 instant message input window
  • 2503538  Lync 2010 prompts you for credentials when it is retrieving availability data through Exchange Web Services
  • 2500416  The AVModalityPropertyChanged event is not triggered in Lync 2010 SDK
  • 2499613  A Lync 2010 client crashes with an access violation when you click the "A" icon of an emoticon in a conversation
  • 2498410  A user name is still in Lync 2010 after you remove the user account in AD
  • 2497779  "Connection is not established" error message in a Lync 2010 client when an attendee is disconnected from an application-sharing session in a large conference
  • 2464823  The Lync 2010 client crashes during a conference video call that includes ACP users
  • 2520139  Lync 2010 does not prompt you for credentials when the credentials are deleted in Windows Credential Manager
  • 2464821  An Exchange error notification displays in Lync 2010 when an authentication proxy is deployed in a Lync Online environment
  • 2520142  Lync 2010 cannot connect to Lync Online service through a proxy firewall while in automatic configuration mode
  • 2520144  Your instant message is not delivered if your URI is the same as the email address
  • 2464810  A credential dialog box appears or an error message is received when you log on to Lync Online
  • 2464811  The icon of the speakerphone in Lync 2010 is not generic
  • 2464817  You have to press the TAB key two times to select the “Save my password” check box after you type your password in the Lync 2010 logon screen
  • 2464828  The “Learn More” link does not indicate as a selection when you press the TAB key to select it in the “Edit Location” dialog box in Lync 2010
  • 2464840  You are directed to the MSN website when you try to download software that is required to log on to Lync online by using Lync 2010
  • 2464841  Lync 2010 does not populate your location information automatically
  • 2464842  “Cannot sign in to Lync because this sign-in address was not found” error message during the Lync 2010 logon process when the default user is Lync-disabled
  • 2464845  A Silverlight application for Lync 2010 does not start from a URL address that does not contain the page name
  • 2464850  The conference disclaimer is missing from the “Disclaimer” window when you try to join a Lync 2010 conference by using an Office Communicator Object Model
  • 2464872  Certain text in an invitation email message for an online meeting are displayed incorrectly when you create the invitation email message by using a Hindi or a Kazakh version of Lync 2010
  • 2464873  Your audio and video is enabled automatically when you click “Retry” to rejoin a Lync 2010 Audio/Video conference
  • 2464874  A Lync Online disabled user is not handled correctly during the logon process in Lync 2010
  • 2483227  Your Live Meeting Service presenter password is included in the INVITE message when you start a meeting by using Live Meeting Service in Lync 2010
Download the Lync.msp x86 package.

Download the Lync.msp X64 package.

Google, Mozilla, Samsung & NVIDIA Join DevCon5 HTML5 Conference

July 26, 2011

Some cool news to share about TMC's DevCon5, a HTML5, WebGL and WebCL-focused conference. Executives from several heavyweights, including Google, Mozilla, Samsung, and NVIDIA will be participating.

Check out the news...

Executives from Google, Mozilla, Samsung and NVIDIA Join the Discussion at DevCon5, Taking Place July 27-28 in New York

New Sessions Discuss the Evolution of the Browsing Experience in Today’s Mobile, “Any-to-Any” Environment

Twilio, the Cloud-based VoIP/Skype App Enabler

July 26, 2011

Today, Twillio is launching their cloud-based VoIP offering that enables developers to add VoIP capabilities to any website with just three lines of code. Twilio's VoIP developer toolkit called “Twilio Client” enables realtime two-ray audio to voice-enable browsers, iOS, and Android Apps. Twilio's product uses the Flash plugin to access the microphone. But since Apple's iOS doesn't support Flash I'm told for mobile they are integrating with iOS and Android through custom mobile SDKs. The mobile SDKs will allow the Android and iPhone mobile platforms to offer Twilio-powered VoIP to their applications.

Twillio explained that "with Twilio Client, web developers worldwide can now build Skype-like voice capabilities with Twilio’s scalable, reliable communications infrastructure-as-a-service. With just a few lines of code, web and mobile applications can host voice conversations, conference calls, and other forms of rich communication." Essentially, you can think of Twilio as a hosted Skype service that lets anyone into the VoIP game.

Gmail Now Allows Multiple Calls - Just Watch that multitasking!

July 21, 2011

The Gmail Blog today announced a cool new multiple call capability within Gmail which will let you put callers on hold and pick up another call at the same time. Handling multiple VoIP calls in your browser. Doesn't get better than this!

The Gmail blog explains:
Today we're excited to relax that restriction and allow you to make or receive multiple calls in Gmail. If you’re in a call and make a second one, your first call will be put on hold while you talk on your new call.

Viber for Android Available!

July 20, 2011

Viber, a popular mobile VoIP app which enables users to make free phone calls and text messaging to other Viber users over 3G and Wi-Fi, is announcing today the official launch of the Android version of the app. Previously, it was a limited beta. Viber also stated that it has over 12 million active users (last 30 days) and has achieved an important benchmark - call traffic volume of over one billion minutes of calls per quarter.

Here are some exclusive Android Features not seen on other mobile versions (i.e. iPhone):
  • Full call screen whenever a Viber call is received;
  • Popup text message notification, which lets users respond to text messages without having to open Viber;
  • Tighter integration with the phone, which allows users to see their regular call logs and messages within Viber;
  • A default dialer setting that enables users to use the Viber dialer for all their phone calls, not just for Viber calls.
Check out the video demo:

Kerio Technologies Launches New Asterisk-based IP-PBX

July 19, 2011

Kerio Technologies, a company established in 1997, is launching a new Asterisk-based PBX today. They are announcing Kerio Operator 1.1, an IP-PBX that is designed to be easy-to-use and targeting the SMB space. Kerio Technologies has 180 employees and is best known as a Microsoft Exchange Server alternative. I spoke with Kerio Technologies last week to find out more about this Asterisk-based offering.

They explained that Kerio Operator 1.1 features integrated security, including protection against SIP password guessing and can block IP addresses that fail SIP authentication automatically based on criteria you specify.

Atlantis Shuttle's Sandra Magnus has Bad Hair Day During Video Call to President Obama

July 18, 2011

The STS-135 mission is the last shuttle mission, so I decided to check out the video call with President Obama. As I was watching the Atlantis crew video call with President Obama I noticed Sandra Hall Magnus had a "hair malfunction". For a split second I thought Carrot Top had stowed aboard the Atlantis shuttle! See for yourself:

[click for larger view]

Damn that zero gravity!

Facebook Kid Bullies Google+ Kid. Punches Thrown, Body Slam & Hilarity Ensues

July 13, 2011

Perhaps you recall the viral video of a skinny bully picking on a much larger kid, egging him on, taunting him, punching him, until finally the larger kid has had enough, he picks up the smaller kid, lifts him in the air and body slams him on the concrete. The bigger kid (Casey Heynes) became an instant hero to millions of picked-on kids, including his own Facebook fan page. Well, what if that skinny kid was Facebook and the big kid was Google? Why you get one of the funniest animated .gifs of all time!

{Disclaimer: No Facebook or Google+ servers were harmed during the making of this film}

SEO Webinar Today With Search Engine Watch

July 12, 2011

Why the Hell Doesn't Google+ Integrate my YouTube Videos?

July 11, 2011

So I finally bit the bullet and decided to see what all the buzz was about regarding Google+. I took one of my several invites and joined Google+ today. The first thing I did after creating my coworkers circle was to check out the uploading videos feature. Considering Google owns YouTube, I thought for sure my YouTube videos would be there or I could "link" them somehow, so I could more easily share videos from my library of uploaded YouTube videos.

Well, damn it all, it isn't integrated!

Polycom Launches CX7000, Microsoft Lync Telepresence Solution

July 11, 2011

Polycom today announced the Polycom CX7000 Unified Collaboration System, what they claim is the "first room video telepresence solution custom-built for full integration with Microsoft Lync." It's an interesting solution that combines a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, omni-directional full-duplex speakerphone, a high-end camera, and a small footprint PC, which I'm guessing is running some flavor of Windows in order to run the Microsoft Lync client.
According to Polycom, the Polycom CX7000 solution (codenamed “Rally”) features an especially tight integration between the Polycom and Microsoft solutions, with an intuitive interface, simplified UC experience, and more seamless telepresence. The solution offers all the typical Lync features you need: presence, IM, online meetings, content collaboration, etc.

“The power of UC is to eliminate barriers to teamwork and bring people face-to-face. Polycom and Microsoft share a passion for delivering easy-to-use UC solutions that transform businesses into highly collaborative environments,” said Andrew Miller, president and CEO, Polycom.

Spirit DSP and Polycom Ink Licensing Deal on Polycom CX5000

July 7, 2011

Today, SPIRIT DSP signed their fifth licensing agreement with Polycom. Polycom has licensed SPIRIT's product to support quality videoconferencing on the CX5000 Unified Conference Station, Polycom's branded version of the Microsoft RoundTable, which I reviewed here.

As a Polycom-branded version of the Microsoft RoundTable collaboration and conferencing device, the CX5000 system provides engaging group telepresence and also can be used as an analog conference phone.
The Polycom CX5000 Unified Conference Station makes for an engaging group video experience to Microsoft Live Meeting session or to Microsoft Office Communicator conversation.  With five cameras and six microphones, the CX5000 is primarily a USB peripheral device that delivers a unique, engaging 360-degree group video experience to Live Meeting 2007 applications, and when used only with Microsoft Office Communication 2007, the client functions as a video switched webcam.  Interestingly, there is no mention of support on Polycom's website for the latest version of OCS now called Microsoft Lync. It should work with it since it is a USB webcam, though I heard it may only display the standard active speaker view and not the panoramic 360 degree view.

How Skype Works With Facebook

July 7, 2011

                      7/7/11 Video Interview with Jonathan Rosenberg and Chaim Haas

I interviewed Jonathan Rosenberg, Skype's Chief Technology Strategist, to get the inside scoop on how Skype works with Facebook from a technical perspective. It was an interesting interview that covered topics such as whether the Facebook Skype plugin acts as a supernode, how Skype's architecture communicates with Facebook's architecture, group video calling, PSTN calling via Facebook, and the future direction of Skype within Facebook.

Essentially, the Facebook Skype plugin that you download and install the first time you make a Skype call within Facebook is a plugin that is a "mini-version" of the full Skype client. The mini version of Skype  removes the Skype UI and is compacted down allowing it to be plugged into a browser.

Tom: Could this plugin be used in other places/sites or was it designed specifically with Facebook in mind?

Jonathan: Right now it is 100% focused on Facebook and in fact it's locked to Facebook. You would not be able to use it on another website even if another website tried.

Skype Users Make 300 Million Minutes of Video Calling Per Month

July 6, 2011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Skype CEO Tony Bates Share the Stage

July 6, 2011

Facebook Skype Video and Group Chats Features Launch

July 6, 2011

Facebook announces video calling leveraging Skype! They also announced a new chat design that includes a sidebar that lists the people you message most. The sidebar adjusts with the size of your browser window, and it automatically appears when the window is wide enough. From the sidebar you just click your friend and then select video calling.

Facebook Livestream Users >40,000 users for Skype & Project Spartan (HTML5) News

July 6, 2011

Facebook Launching HTML5 Skype App?

July 6, 2011

I've griped for awhile about the lack of VoIP or video calling within Facebook and even pointed out some 3rd party Facebook VoIP "kludges", but none truly gained much traction. Well, tomorrowtoday, Facebook will be making two huge announcements. The first is that according to various sources, Facebook will be announcing  browser-based Skype video calling. The second is that Facebook will be announcing the release of Project Spartan, which is the codename for a an entirely HTML5-based platform, with the specific goal of reaching mobile users and in particular mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPad platforms.

Disney PhotoPass Photos Bent by Callous Post Office

July 5, 2011

My family and I took a trip to Disney World in May and snapped lots of pictures with our digital camera, but we also took advantage of Disney PhotoPass. This is a service where Disney employees snap professional photos in certain prime photo areas of the parks. Each Disney PhotoPass photoshoot results in then giving you a card with a unique code, which you then enter into the website for ordering prints and such.

I was excited to receive the photos we ordered. To my horror when I opened the mailbox one day, I saw this:

Isn't it lovely how the United States Post Office handled our family's memories of our trip?

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