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July 2012

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New Hotmail/Outlook Sucks on iOS & Android & Why That's Good for Microsoft

July 31, 2012

So the big news today is the revamped Hotmail, which is a dramatic improvement over the old version in terms of design aesthetics as well as usability. Sporting a Metro-like UI it is quite apparent that Microsoft is dedicating serious resources on a unified user interface that is the same no matter if you're using a laptop/PC, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, or Windows 8 tablet. This investment could pay long dividends for Microsoft. Who wouldn't want a consistent UI across multiple devices?

FreedomPop for iPod Touch - Free 4G Internet Coming!

July 25, 2012


Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom's new FreedomPop, a 4G broadband "free" wireless internet provider, which recently announced FREE 4G wireless internet for iPhone using the Freedom Sleeve 4G for iPhone 4/4s will soon launch the Freedom Sleeve for the iPod Touch. Yeah, that's right, I said FREE 4G wireless internet - with some small caveats of course...

Kerio Operator 2.0 IP-PBX Integrates with CRM

July 24, 2012

July of last year Kerio launched a new Asterisk-based distribution and now almost exactly one year later Kerio Operator 2.0 is being announced with support for integration with popular CRM solutions, including SugarCRM and Salesforce.com. Kerio Operator 2.0 now enables access to the Asterisk Management Interface (AMI). The open API allows 3rd party applications, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems and desktop-based dialers, to be integrated with Kerio Operator.

Lync Server 2013 Adds Skype Federation & Many Other New Features

July 23, 2012


Lync Server 2013 can federate with Skype, which is huge new feature that greatly enhances Microsoft's UC portfolio and may explain the $8.5 billion premium Microsoft paid for Skype. You can now fully integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype. Alas, only voice and no video support yet.  In May I discussed how Xbox 360 integration with Skype was slow going, so Skype federation with Microsoft Lync is welcome news.

New Lync 2013 Tracing Folder Location

July 19, 2012

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Adds Touch Support - Killer Enterprise Tablet UC!

July 18, 2012

Microsoft is continuing to make strides in their Lync platform. While the big news two days ago was the Office 2013 news, including support for touch and cloud support, you may have missed the simultaneous news about the Microsoft Lync Preview 2013 becoming available for download.

Microsoft Lync 2013 is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform that supports instant messaging, voice, HD video, and conferencing, and eliminates the need to use a VPN for encryption. Lync 2013 supports HD video conferencing and it's the first version of Lync to take advantage of Windows 8 “touch first” capabilities to provide fast, natural, hands-on control of communications.

This touch support will give Microsoft an advantage is fulfilling my prediction that tablets will replace the desktop phone. Windows 8 tablets running Lync will become the ultimate unified communications device, performing everything from your traditional voice (VoIP) to HD video conferencing, as well as collaboration, instant messaging, and all the other typical UC features.



Polycom Launches SDK, Doubles Scalability, Better Tablet Video Conferencing Support

July 16, 2012

I spoke with John Antanaitis, Polycom VP of Marketing to discuss the news about their various news announcements made today. One of the announcements is a new version of RealPresence Mobile (1.3) which now runs on HTC One smartphones and the HTC Jetstream tablet, along with the new Apple iPad. This version adds far end camera control (FEC) to allow users to control the camera. RealPresence Mobile 1.3's camera control feature enables you to remotely control the camera on the other end of a video meeting allowing users to pinch-to-zoom, pan, or tilt the camera to get a better look at the subject or the environment. This feature is especially important in many vertical market applications such as healthcare, for more in-depth patient consultations; educational settings, for panning the classroom or zooming in on a speaker or presentation; and manufacturing plants, to closely examine the products on the factory floor.

Ion Audio's WATER ROCKER Waterproof Floating Speaker

July 12, 2012

Show of hands - who doesn't want floating speakers in their pool or hot tub controlled by you, the master DJ using your iPhone, iPad or any other audio source that works with a 1/8-inch audio jack? Sure you could break out your 80s boombox and play some FM radio or play some CDs, but you don't want to look uncool now do you? Now what's cooler than a floating speaker in the middle of the pool so your party guests, family and friends can enjoy your 'Top 50 Most Played' iPhone music playlist with the music playing just inches away? Well, check out Ion Audio's Water Rocker:

Beacon Audio's The Phoenix Portable Bluetooth Speaker Launches

July 11, 2012


Tired of your tinny mobile phone or tablet speakers and want portable high-quality speakers? Well check out Beacon's The Phoenix, a Bluetooth-activated, rechargeable, take-with-you-everywhere speaker, which is available in 3 colors - vibrant Blue or Red, as well as a more classic Black color option.

Weighing in at just seven ounces with dimensions of 3.2 x 3.2 x 2.9 inches, the Phoenix is smaller than a coffee mug yet still manages to provide crisp, clear sound and enough volume to fill a room, loudly. The unit also features a wireless range of 35 feet. On the rear of the speaker, an auxilary input exists for all non-­Bluetooth enabled devices.


Facebook Recommends Strippers & Exotic Dancers? WTH?

July 11, 2012

I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed on my iPhone when I saw this:

Apparently, I might like "Shamrock Entertainment" located over a hundred miles away in Lynn, Massachusetts. Really Facebook?

Toshiba Launches VIPedge, a Cloud-based Business Phone System

July 10, 2012

Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division, today announced VIPedge, a cloud-based business telephone solution that grants SMBs the choice of Cloud, IP or Converged. Based upon the feature-rich Toshiba IPedge on-premise business telephone system, VIPedge allows companies to pay a monthly service fee scalable to meet system size and usage needs.

Together with its IPedge® and Strata® CIX™ business telephone systems, Toshiba’s VIPedge gives SMB and enterprise customers the best of all worlds with a choice of cloud, IP or converged business telephone systems.

Maaii VoIP app Now on Android - Free Voice and Texts

July 9, 2012



Maaii, the app for free talk and text is now available on Android. Maaii,  allows users to make calls and send text messages to contacts and social network friends for free, today announced the launch of its beta on Google Play. As you may recall from my review, Maaii gives you 100 free minutes per day, which is great for low volume users.

According to Maaii, in the six months since Maaii’s iOS launch, the mobile app has signed up more than 1 million registered users.



Microsoft Store in Danbury Fair Mall Is No Apple Store

July 9, 2012


The new Microsoft Store had its grand opening in Danbury Fair Mall recently and I wanted to check it out. I happened to be in the Danbury Fair Mall to (ironically) visit the Apple Store to have my busted iPhone replaced. [Side note - none of the Apple Store employees had ever seen my shaking screen problem and they were all oohing and ahhing over the oddity.]

Anyway, after getting my iPhone replaced I headed over to the Microsoft store, which had just opened a couple weeks earlier. I fully expected the Microsoft Store to be a cheap knockoff or clone of the Apple Store and to smirk at the audacity of Microsoft copying Apple's retail idea.


VoIPGuides Blog DELETED By Google. Why?

July 6, 2012


Vinay Rasam, fellow VoIP blogger over at VoIPGuides.blogspot.com reached out to me to tell me that for no rhyme or reason Google deleted his popular VoIP blog called VoIPGuides and hosted by Google's Blogger/Blogspot. If you attempt to go to VoIPGuides.blogspot.com you will see this error:


I chatted with Vinay Rasam via Facebook to find out what happened. He explained that Blogger accidentally deleted his blog and classified it as SPAM with this message: "Your blog is marked as spam blog by automated classification system"

There is a restore button, which basically sends a support request to Google, but who knows when Google will ever get to it. You can view a cached article page to sample Vinay's content here, showing it's unique content and that he even has commenters.





iPhone 4S GPU Busted - Icons & Screen Shaking Problem!

July 6, 2012

My iPhone 4S apparently has a busted GPU that gets progressively worse the more I utilize the GPU, especially graphics-intensive apps like games which no doubt heat up the GPU. Symptoms include shaking / wiggling icons, banding of screen drawing on right-side, top of screen pixels appears at bottom of screen. Funky! Check out the photo of this happening (yellow arrows):


When it gets really bad the screen moves up 40-50% making it near impossible to enter my lock code by looking at the screen.


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