Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Skype for iPhone Blocked in Canada

March 31, 2009

I learned that the Skype for iPhone app is unavailable to our Canadian friends across the border in the Apple iTunes App Store. I contacted Skype for comment and their representative told me, "There are some patent-licensing issues which prevent us from offering it there."

I then asked if other countries were affected or if it was just Canada and was informed it was just Canada. When asked whose patent it was or what category it involved (i.e. mobile VoIP), the representative told me, "I can't go into many more details other than it's codec related."

Sounds to me like their was some sort of patent settlement which Skype can't talk about.



IPEVO Wi-Fi Phone for Skype Review

March 27, 2009

The IPEVO Wi-Fi Phone for Skype launched just last month and IPEVO sent me a review unit to check out, which I've been testing for a few weeks.

Installation
Installing the IPEVO Wi-Fi Phone was a snap. Although it only has a numeric keypad for entering in alphanumeric characters for entering in the WEP/WPA/WPA2 key. As you hit a key, it shows you the current key where your cursor is located, but it also shows you a horizontal list of all the characters that key can produce and highlights the current key.


Native Skype for iPhone app coming?

March 26, 2009

Om Malik is reporting that a native Skype for iPhone app is coming next week.

According to Om:
A tipster -- a very reliable one -- tells me that Skype is almost ready to launch that iPhone version, perhaps as soon as next week. CTIA Wireless, a large mobile industry trade event, kicks off in Las Vegas next Wednesday, so perhaps the announcement will be made there. I am working on getting more details, as well as screenshots of the service.
But, if you can't wait that long, here's a good list of various workarounds to run Skype on the iPhone, including fring, which is an iPhone app you can get today (screenshot to the right), as well as Nimbuzz.

Finally! New Windows Mobile App AudioRoute Enables Earpiece for VoIP Apps

March 26, 2009

Finally a software tool called AudioRoute that can be used to route Windows Mobile audio from the earpiece speaker to the backspeaker and vice-versa. This is especially needed for VoIP applications on Windows Mobile phones.

I've tested several VoIP apps (SIP clients, Skype, etc.) on my Windows Mobile XV6700 phone and other Windows Mobiles and from what I understand the carrier forced the hardware manufacturers to block VoIP applications from using the earpiece for listening to the remote caller. You couldn't even use speakerphone. Instead, you were forced to use the backspeaker, a tiny low-quality speaker located on the back of the phone, which made phone quality horrendous when making VoIP calls.

NIC fixes VoIP for Gamers - Ok if you say so

March 24, 2009

Is it me, or this $130 NIC optimized for VoIP overkill? The idea behind this network interface card (NIC) is that it optimize packets and prioritizes games while offloading the voice processing from the CPU.

According to PC World:
...at the 2009 Game Developer's Conference, Bigfoot Networks has two announcements. The first: they are releasing the $130 Killer Xeno Pro card. The big deal this time around is that they've been able to get prices down, beef up the memory and pack on an additional chip that can offload the voice chat.


FriendCaller - Another VoIP App for the iPhone

March 19, 2009

In April 2008, I reviewed C2Call, a Java-based VoIP application that lets you make web-based P2P VoIP phone calls direct from your browser whether you're using Linux, Windows, or an Apple Mac. The company that developed C2Call claims their new FriendCaller, also a Java-based VoIP app works on the iPhone. Funny, last I checked the iPhone doesn't support Java unless you jailbreak it.

According to their website, "FriendCaller works instantly with every popular operating system and browser without installation. And, of course with the iPhone™ and iPod™ touch." It then says, "Send your friends call-me links directly from your iPhone™ or iPod™ touch. FriendCaller is instant browser based Voice, your friends don't have to install software or register with FriendCaller before talking to you through their browsers.

String 24 SSDs together for 6TB & 2GB/s throughput!

March 10, 2009

What happens when you string together 24 256GB Samsung MLC SSDs - you get 6TB of storage and 2GB/sec throughput. Sweet mother of ---!

Discovered the news on Lucas Mearian's Computer World blog who writes:
When you've got millions of dollars at your disposal, and access to some of the industry's best hardware engineers, what do you do? Well, if you're Samsung you make a YouTube video showing the speed, capacity and reliability you can get by stringing together 24 solid state disk drives behind a RAID controller to create "the world's most powerful consumer computer".


RIM Launches BlackBerry App World

March 4, 2009


Ok, it's official, every mobile phone provider and their brother has an application store for mobile phones. It started with the Apple App Store. Google launched the Android Market. Then last month Microsoft launched Windows Marketplace.

Sony Kills Go!Messenger VoIP Application

February 25, 2009

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced that it plans to shut down Go!Messenger, a VoIP, video chat, and IM application that launched last February. Citing a lack of interest, Go!Messenger was an intriguing PSP app that leveraged the PSP Go!Cam camera for its video chat capabilities.

Sony explained "Although it proved a popular concept, achieving a significant number of registrations, it didn't gain the number of regular users that BT and SCEE were aiming for."

Go!Messenger will end on March 31. But all is not lost. Skype for PSP still works, but it's too bad Skype for PSP doesn't support the Go!Cam for some Skype-to-Skype video chat action.


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ooma Telo vs. magicJack

February 23, 2009

Rich met with ooma recently to see their latest wares and hear about their current business model. Recently, ooma ditched the 'P2P voice network' idea where users actually "share" their home landline with others and instead became a traditional VoIP broadband provider. Apparently, the privacy issues were too much to overcome, since users were concerns about fraudulent activity happening on their home landline by outside ooma users. I had my own reservations about the business model as well, since they claimed it would take 2,000 strategicly placed ooma boxes in all the various local exchanges to get good local call coverage for free P2P calls.

Besides becoming a traditional VoIP broadband provider, ooma is now going to start offering high-end media phones, that according to Rich Tehrani will in the future feature a picture frame, in-house sensors and cameras.

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