Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Court bans VoIP app on iPhone

September 10, 2008

A ruling was just issued by the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Hamburg, Germany banning VoIP on the Apple iPhone. Specifically, the sipgate VoIP app (image right) has been banned - all part of T-Mobile's ongoing fight to block VoIP on the iPhone.

Apparently, the court felt that sipgate would "lure" iPhone users into "jailbreaking" their iPhones. WTF? Banning software because it might entice customers to do something bad?

First Blog of the Day on Apple's Announcement

September 9, 2008

Buying an iPhone at Best Buy

September 8, 2008

Best Buy began selling the Apple iPhone on Sunday, becoming the first U.S. retailer to do so outside of Apple and AT&T stores. The Apple iPhone will be carrier in 970 Best Buy stores. Rich Tehrani and I decided to take a walk to Best Buy which is just down the street from TMC and take some pictures of their display.

First Blog of the Day on Apple's Plans

September 8, 2008

Apple Looks to Rock with New Prods Next Week

September 2, 2008

Apple has sent out invitations for a music-related event next week, and the smart money is on new iPods.

The invitation, titled "Let's Rock," went out this morning inviting media to the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco next Tuesday at 10 a.m. PDT.

Rumors have been building for weeks that Apple is set to introduce new iPods at what will be its fourth September iPod event in as many years.

Many have been expecting Apple to hold a September iPod-related event since March, when audio chipmaker Wolfson informed its shareholders that it had been shut out of the design of next-generation media players from "a major Tier 1 customer" who planned a third-quarter launch.

Launching in September gives Apple plenty of time to build distribution and marketing for new iPods ahead of the , when the company sells the bulk of its iPods for the year. 

Read a lot more on CNet here.

Roasting AT&T over iPhone Problems

August 29, 2008

"A phone is only as good as the network it's on," said a full-page Verizon Wireless newspaper ad on Thursday, lobbing a shot at AT&T's 3G, or third generation, high-speed network.

(And ain't that the truth -- we know if well where I live!)

Apple sold more than a million iPhone 3G cellphones its first weekend -- with some stores running out -- and two million more since then, analysts say.

But its July debut has been nothing less than a public relations headache for AT&T, with eager buyers complaining about dropped calls and poor network connections.

Some fingers point to Apple, which has tried to deflect the complaints. But many others point to AT&T's cellular network.

Whatever the source of the problems, AT&T's rivals, long irritated by all the attention the iPhone has received, are on the attack and happy to exploit the discontent.

A Verizon executive sent an e-mail to Wall Street analysts last week: "So much for a 'new' way of doing business at the old AT&T -- your father's phone company." 

Get more at the New York Times here.

You Can Buy Gadgets Everywhere!

August 28, 2008

A recent study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has found that 25% of people would be willing to buy their gadgets from Starbucks, 30% from Ikea, 40% from Bed, Bath and Beyond and almost 60% from Home Depot.

"Electronics have become so pervasive that consumers are looking to buy these devices wherever they want," said Tim Herbert, CEA research senior director, adding, "No [retailer] is safe. If you don't reinvent yourself, there are retailers looking to capitalize on the vulnerability of CE retailers."

It's easy to see why as lines across the big box retailers blur and they look to capture more dollars from more (or, today, less) shoppers.

And innovative and lower-priced products are also making it easier for these stores to stock them -- a $159 computer keyboard with a built-in scanner from Keyscan, one of the first notebook stands with built-in iPod dock and speakers from Lifeworks and an accessory that adds voice activation to an iPod (with an iPhone version in the works) from Innotek.

And while this is exciting, don't see too many flat-screen TVs moving out of Home Depot, but then again, who would have guessed that Costco could move these big boys in such large numbers?


What's in Your Back-to-School Pack?

August 27, 2008

Is every kid in America (at least at a certain age bracket) heading back to High School (or even Middle School) this week with a cell phone and iPod?

I'm sure there a many other variations of gadgetry in the average back-to-school back pack (or other notebook, pencil, paper, lunch carrying device), but that's got to be the one.

Wait ... Maybe it's just the iPhone without anything else, but that would seem to be more appropriate for a higher demo that what I'm given to thinking. 

Or maybe the real debate is the iPod and a specific model of cell phone in tandem?

Anyway, before I get myself all confused over this burning issue, what do you think? Anybody out there got anything to contribute?

Woz: The Engineer Behind the Apple

August 26, 2008

At the 2008 Intel Developer Forum, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (right in photo) took the main stage to talk about his love of engineering and science, the process behind developing the Apple II personal computer, and what it's like to be "Employee No. 1" at Apple.

Wozniak also spoke of the impact Steve Jobs (left in photo) still has on Apple and its slew of successful products, from the iPod to the iPhone.

If he had his wish, he would have remained an engineer for life at Hewlett-Packard.

Instead, Steve Jobs encouraged Wozniak to leave the safe confines of HP and venture out into a new company -- Apple -- where the two would work to bring the Apple II personal computer into every household, school and business.

With some reluctance, Wozniak left HP and became--and still remains--"Employee No. 1" at Apple. In his partnership with Jobs, Wozniak would remain the engineer, and Jobs would sell what Wozniak would invent.

"A lot of times you become what you want to be in life, and I wanted to be an engineer," said Wozniak at the conclusion of the Forum.

"I never wanted to run a company. I didn't want to worry about money. I didn't want to move up the management chain," Wozniak said.

Apple's Got a Few Blemishes of Late ...

August 25, 2008

So much good news and now so much bad news.

The Apple rumor mill is churning, but this week it's about software fixes instead of new products. News reports are raising expectations of yet another iPhone software fix next month.

Apparently software update 2.0.2 didn't fix connection problems -- in fact, it created new issues for some iPhone users even as others are wrestling with MobileMe foul-ups that make receiving e-mail on the handset sketchy.

The software fix Apple was reportedly related to a chip inside the iPhone. BusinessWeek reported last week that Apple was working on a remedy through a software upgrade. 

But applications are still crashing, crashing, crashing. 

Apple has set itself up for failure because it's vetting all of the applications on its App Store to ensure the software doesn't contain any bad code, according to Mike Disabato, a wireless analyst at the Burton Group.

"I've got three applications on my iPhone right now that don't work. Apple killed the Netshare application. Why did that do that?

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