Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Logitech Wireless Keyboard for Nintendo Wii

July 15, 2008

Blu-ray Buy 2 DVDs, Get 1 Free Promotion

July 15, 2008

Cool Blue-ray promotion from Amazon I thought I'd share. Buy 2 Blu-ray DVDs get 1 DVD free. Sweet! I keep threatening to buy a Blu-ray player, specifically a Sony PS3, but I just can't seem to pull the trigger.

In Today's News - the XBox 360 pwns the Sony PS3

July 14, 2008

According to Yahoo News, Microsoft Corp said today that its Xbox 360 console will sell better than the Sony PlayStation 3 over the lifetime of the machines.

"Xbox 360 will sell more consoles worldwide this generation than PlayStation 3," Don Mattrick, a senior vice president at Microsoft's Xbox division, said at Microsoft's news conference before the start of the E3 video game industry trade show. Microsoft said the Xbox 360 has outsold the PS3 in the United States by 5 million.

Yeah, well you wouldn't be forgetting the Wii now would Wii? The Nintendo Wii might just kick both your butts in worldwide units sold. Still, the PS3 is a more applicable comparison to the Xbox 360.

Freebox France offers VoIP, HD TV, and Internet for just 29.99 €/month

July 8, 2008

I just happened to be checking out our firewall logs and noticed traffic coming from Curious, I did a whois and figured out it was coming from which redirects to

The first thing I noticed other than the fact that website is in French,-- which I can't read -- is that they offer Internet + Telephone + Television for 29.99 €/month. I was able to figure that out since apparently Internet, Telephone, and Television don't translate at all in French. They're the same words except for some accent letters, as seen here from a website screen grab I did:

What I can gather is that they offer 250 channels, ADSL (ADSL2+?), Freebox HD receiver, unlimited phone calls to 70 destinations, and even a WiFi-MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) router.

PlayStation 3 helps discover oil

July 1, 2008

The technology used in the PlayStation 3 is being used to help explore and find oil much faster than before. Woohoo!

Using IBM technology, specifically the IBM PowerXCell 8i, which was originally developed for the Sony Playstation, a Spanish Oil company reports that specialized "Cell" microprocessors are speeding the search for oil and natural gas reserves located 30,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico up to 6 times faster than current technology. Repsol and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center are using a process known as Reverse Time Migration (RTM), a sophisticated subsurface imaging tool accepted by the oil industry.

It has proven essential for imaging areas of complex subsurface geological structure, such as the rich hydrocarbon provinces of the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and West Africa.

Fringe on FOX

July 1, 2008

Speaking of fring (blogged earlier today), there is a cool new TV series called Fringe which comes out this Fall created by American Emmy Award-winning film and television producer, writer, actor, composer, and director J.J. Abrams. J.J. Abrams also wrote and produced for the popular TV show Lost, including the opening sequence in the first episode of Lost where the plane breaks apart in mid-air.

Apparently Abrams hates planes since in the opening sequence in Fringe involves a plane that lands "intact" but all of its occupants are dead and the inside of the plane is bloody, dark, and eerie.

Trade in your Headphones cash back offer

June 26, 2008

 Time to upgrade your headphones or ear buds for some high-quality iPod music listening? Not to mention some high-quality VoIPing, Skyping, etc. etc. Well, why not get cash back for your headphones to offset the costs of a new one?

PS3 Movie Downloads Coming

June 26, 2008

  So  who will be the winner -- the ruler -- of the home entertainment (media) center battle royale?

Sony is making a strong bid -- and why not with its history? -- using the PlayStation 3 as the centerpiece of their strategy.

According to Engadget, Sony will make a movie download service available to US PlayStation 3 owners this summer -- Japan and Europe at later dates with details coming "next month," presumably at E3.

Of course, we already knew that Sony was prepped to deliver full-length TV shows and movies sometime in 2008 via its North American PlayStation Network. But summer, eh?

It would be good if someone could make this type of service really, really appealing -- nothing out there gets me really excited -- except for the overall concept.

And now with the price of gas making dedicated trips to the video store even less appealing (does anyone still do that Blockbuster?), then this has got to be the next killer app.

Microsoft Drops VoIP from Windows Live Messenger

June 26, 2008

Just saw this article that reiterates Microsoft's decision last year that the existing VoIP partnership with Verizon would be terminating in 2008. (See 2006 launch of Windows Live Messenger w/ Verizon deal) As of today you can use Windows Live Messenger users to make regular landline and mobile phone calls, but this functionality is set to expire on July 15th 2008 in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the USA on August 31st 2008.

Once again, Microsoft's consumer-play VoIP offerings seems very incoherent with many stops & starts. They're on again off again... First, they added SIP to Windows Messenger and it worked with 3rd party SIP ITSPs such as Net2Phone.

Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam for Mac

June 24, 2008

Logitech today unveiled its first Mac-compatible webcam with premium autofocus technology and Carl Zeiss optics - the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam for Mac. The new Logitech webcam of course works with iChat and Skype and features a 2-megapixel camera sensor.

The new Logitech webcam uses a voice coil motor for its autofocus system, instead of a stepper motor. According to the news, "Focusing is fast and fluid - crisp even in extreme close-ups only 10 cm from the camera lens. Logitech's autofocus system compensates for changes in image-edge sharpness and refocuses images in less than three seconds"

What I don't get is why Logitech chooses to make operating system specfic webcams. Isn't USB supposed to be an industry standard?

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