Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Force Skype HQ Video Mode with any webcam

December 1, 2008

Killing off Vampire Power for Good!

November 28, 2008

It's been called both "vampire power" and "phantom load" -- likened to the power-hungry HAL 9000 computer (at left) in Stanley Kubrick's classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It's the little unblinking red light on the television set that is silently drawing energy from the grid; studies have shown it can add 10% or more to a household energy bill.

Now Spanish entrepreneurs claim to have invented a way to end the problem that has bedeviled energy regulators, environmentalists and appliance manufacturers. They have patented an algorithm that can detect when an appliance is in standby mode and automatically switch it off completely.

The standby-mode killer has yet to be proven commercially and must contend with other new products designed to tackle the same problem. But, despite some doubters, the Spanish inventors say theirs is the only product able to completely do away with a large, and growing, world-wide problem.

Now how about that!

Get more at the Wall Street Journal.

It's Black Friday! America's Retailers Need You!

November 28, 2008

Making Black Friday Deals Easy

November 28, 2008

Need more Terabytes this Christmas?

November 26, 2008

HTC Touch HD

November 26, 2008

HTC's Touch HD is arguably the best touch-screen Windows Mobile-based phones you can buy. In fact, even before the HTC Touch HD, I always felt HTC mobile phones were the best Windows Mobile phones you could buy. I own an older HTC-based "Apache" XV6700 Windows Mobile with a cooked ROM upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.1 and I'm still pretty happy using it. I still consider my xv6700 one of the top 5 Windows Mobile phones available.

Get Ready for a Really Crazy Black Friday

November 24, 2008

BlackBerry Storm Launch Crashes Verizon Network

November 21, 2008

I was on the phone with TMC's Verizon representative to discuss changing our mobile phone plans. The Verizon rep told me it was bad timing since their entire intranet ordering system had completely crashed as a result of the Blackberry Storm launch. TMC's business Verizon rep couldn't even make changes to our account as a result. Well, it certainly looks like the Storm is having a tremendously successful launch.

More Proof That Gadgets Are Good for You

November 20, 2008

See -- as if we needed confirmation -- gadgetry is good for you.
Well, maybe I'm taking a small step here, but a new study from the MacArthur Foundation has found that all those hours that teenagers spend socializing on the Internet are not a bad thing.

(And how to they get access to the Internet? Gadgets, of course!)

"It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it's on MySpace or sending instant messages," said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, Living and Learning With New Media. "But their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They're learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page." 


More at the New York Times or go directly to the MacArthur Foundation.

PC Magazine Stops the Presses - Online Only

November 19, 2008

I grew up reading PC Magazine and I looked forward each couple weeks to picking up my copy of PC Magazine at the local grocery store. But today, Ziff Davis has announced that the legendary PC Magazine print publication is shutting down its print publication and focusing exclusively on online content. This is truly a sad day... Hold on while I grab some tissues...

PC Magazine started the whole in-depth comparative reviews of PCs and Microsoft software.

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