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


SBC wants to extort VoIP service providers

October 31, 2005

Russell Shaw's blog brought to my attention an interesting BusinessWeek article quoting SBC CEO Edward Whitacre where he basically says in so many words, "VoIP providers will have to 'pay to play' on SBC's broadband pipes". Check out the exact quote from the article.

How do you think they're going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them.

GIPS adds PCTEL to its growing portfolio

October 19, 2005

GIPS signs up yet another hardware manufacturer to use their remarkable voice engine used in Skype, Google Talk, and other VoIP solutions. PCTEL is going to use GIPS technology for to be used¬ on mobile phones, PDAs, and PCs. PCTEL has licensed both the PPC and Symbian versions of GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile to be used in conjunction with PCTEL's Roaming Client family of products. My how far Global IP Sound has come since I did the first exclusive review of their GIPS voice engine on a Pocket PC back in 2003 -¬ before most people even heard of GIPS.

"Our goal is always to provide the highest level of quality, ease of use and reliability available on the market-and GIPS's technology is clearly the best solution available today," said Biju Nair, vice president and general manager of PCTEL's Mobility Solutions Group."We are confident that GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile will allow us to provide the quality levels that our users have come to expect. GIPS and PCTEL have a long history together going back to PCTEL's modem days.

Google and Comcast want AOL

October 12, 2005

From Greg's blog titled
Comcast & AOL??? Oh my.

This just crossed the wire. Oh my.

These are interesting times indeed.

Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. are in "serious discussions" to buy a minority stake in Time Warner's America Online, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

AOL has been in discussions with both parties separately, the source said. But in recent weeks, Google and Comcast have had discussions to possibly make a joint investment in the online unit of Time Warner Inc.

AOL is also separately in talks to create a joint venture with Microsoft Corp.

Interesting times indeed Greg. I have nothing further to add.

The Google Universe

October 12, 2005

Chief executive Eric Schmidt estimates that Google won't manage to index all the world's information until around the 24th century. Thus, it would take 300 years to index all the world's information and make it searchable, Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt predicted on Saturday at the Association of National Advertisers annual conference in Phoenix.

"We did a math exercise and the answer was 300 years," Schmidt said in response to an audience question asking for a projection of how long the company's mission will take. "The answer is it's going to be a very long time."

Ok, well that's indexing only Google Earth (bad pun) information. What about the rest of the galaxy or the indexing the rest of the universe, including all the alien libraries?

Mplat FlashPhone for VoIP

October 4, 2005

The Mplat FlashPhone F2K
is a USB device that supports Skype, Google Talk, MSN, Xten, etc. with an integrated microphone and external headphones/ear buds.

I don't know what the deal is with the wet promo image they used on their website. Are they trying to say this is a sexy VoIP device or that it's waterproof? In any event, it comes bundled with Skype, but again supports any VoIP client software.

More on FCC VoIP wiretaps

September 28, 2005

It appears that the new FCC rules to allow a backdoor for wiretapping is not going to happen without a fight. Declan McCullagh reports that The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said Wednesday that it plans to file suit against the new federal rule. The only thing that Declan may have gotten slightly wrong is this part in bold where he only refers to SkypeOut:

the Federal Communications Commission said that broadband providers and Internet phone companies that link to the public telephone network (Vonage, Packet 8, SkypeOut) must rewire their networks to readily accommodate police wiretaps. If they don't comply, they must shut down.

As I have recently stated here and here, it appears that not only is SkypeOut applicable to this new FCC wiretapping rules, but plain-ole' Skype (Skype-to-Skype) calls fall under the FCC wiretap guidelines as well.

Is Google becoming the dreaded Skynet?

September 20, 2005

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems and Jabber, Inc. announced a partnership to help solve the information sharing issues inherent in cross-agency collaboration. Combined with General Dynamics' mission awareness capabilities and Jabber, Inc.'s XMPP-based extensible presence architecture, the two companies will work to deliver solutions that solve the interoperability issues associated with information sharing for government customers; from first responders to military commanders to intelligence officers.

Utilzing XMPP? That's just great - this just confirms my fears that Google, which also supports XMPP (via GoogleTalk) will soon be able to take over the Defense Department, CIA, and NSA once Google evolves to becomes the dreaded Skynet depicted on the Terminator movies. (Not only that, but I just learned Google may be adding "search" to their voice Google Talk application)

Anyway, here's the news...

According to Baghdad veteran, national security information specialist and Jabber, Inc. Sr. VP Michael Helfrich:

"Since 9/11, the information technology mission of the U.S. national security infrastructure has been to facilitate horizontal communication across stovepipe architectures and ensure decision makers receive accurate information at the moment of most value."

To achieve this end, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems and Jabber, Inc. announced today a partnership to help solve the information sharing issues inherent in cross-agency collaboration.

Keep your eye on Eyeball Networks

September 19, 2005

"I sense a shift in the force." As most in the VoIP blogosphere already knew, Eyeball Networks, a developer of VoIP and video telephony software for service providers and device manufacturers, hired Eric Lagerway, as their Chief Operating Officer. Eric runs the popular VoIP blog and was formerly with Xten, another softphone company. TMC Labs did one of the first, if not THE first review of Eyeball Networks product back in 2001, which you can check out here.

Eric has always been a big proponent of open-standards and he promised me that he will push Eyeball Networks in that direction. Admittedly, Eric stated that Eyeball Chat is still proprietary but "before Xmas this year it will be SIP and open standards through and through." Part of my role here is to instill open standards and new product strategies.

Microsoft vs. Google the Tit-for-Tat war

September 15, 2005

Two days ago I pondered whether Google would acquire Technorati or finally build their own blog search engine. Just a few hours later from this post, Google announced Google Blog Search. Actually, I planned it that way! Of course, I was not the only one or even the first to wonder why Google hadn't yet offered a blog search engine.

I believe now that Microsoft should acquire Technorati and here's why. First, let's look at the Microsoft vs.

Chril Pirillo on GoogleTalk, eBay/Skype and other IM stuff

September 14, 2005

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