Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Video Hardware & Software

Microsoft XBOX Surface To Feature PixelSense?

June 18, 2012

Today is the big Microsoft "reveal", with everything pointing towards a Microsoft designed tablet. One rumored spec sheet via Shift2U is very fascinating detailing a new device called Xbox Surface:

At first glance I saw the 250GB 2.5" SCSI 10K RPM disk drive, which is way too thick and heavy for a tablet device. But then I read the rumored announcement is actually two devices. The other intriguing spec I saw was the maximum resolution of 1280x720, which seemed to be pretty small for a 7" tablet device.

AT&T U-verse Closing in on Verizon FiOS

March 13, 2012

AT&T U-verse is closing in on Verizon FiOS in the Battle of the Telco TV Titans. According to IHS iSuppli Research, "AT&T in the fourth quarter of 2011 added more video subscribers to its U-verse service than cellular/wireless arch-rival Verizon did for its FiOS offering, marking the 10th straight quarter that AT&T has exceeded Verizon, according to the IHS Screen Digest U.S. Media Intelligence Service."

Microsoft upgrades Xbox Live But Rumored Skype Integration is False

December 5, 2011

The upcoming Metro update to Microsoft’s Xbox, will start to be pushed down to your Xbox console some time this week, but alas it doesn't appear to contain the rumored Skype integration, which several rumors hinted at a Fall release. Well it's winter and the latest release doesn't appear to contain Skype integration with Xbox live. At least that is my assumption from reading the various news articles on the latest Xbox Dashboard, including Microsoft's official announcement, which make no mention of any Skype integration.

Kindle Fire Silk Browser Proxying Stokes Privacy Concerns

September 29, 2011

The new Amazon Kindle Fire will use Amazon's very own completely new Web browser called Silk that leverages Amazon's EC2 architecture to proxy and cache web content for faster performance. You might think of it as something similar to Opera Mini, a former favorite mobile browser of mine, which does something similar. What I liked about Opera Mini on my old Windows Mobile phone was that it compressed images and made pages load faster on slower connections. But as 3G speeds became more prevalent, the need for Opera Mini diminished.

Amazon Kindle Fire - Hot or Not?

September 28, 2011

The Amazon Kindle Fire 7-inch tablet aims to take on the Apple iPad, but will the Fire catch fire with consumers? Amazon has loyal Kindle e-reader users, but part of its draw is the e-ink screen which works in direct sunlight for beach book reading. It's the one-up Amazon had over the iPad which doesn't do so well in direct sunlight.

The new Kindle Fire is a color screen and not e-ink, so it loses that advantage. Further, the new Kindle Fire doesn't have a camera!

Steve Jobs the Man, the Myth, the Legend: How it began.

August 26, 2011

I grew up as a computer geek in the late 70s through the 80s into the 90s admiring Bill Gates much more than Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was just "that other computer guy" whose computers were used by less than 8% of the computing world. Microsoft was #1 and Apple was #2 and I liked a winner. Steve Jobs was an also ran to Bill Gates and Microsoft, especially after Windows 95, which arguably copied much of the Macintosh ideas. Microsoft took over the desktop PC world and Apple was relegated to Apple enthusiasts.

Then a funny thing happened.

Home Surveillance using Dropbox Catches Possible Thief in the Act

August 20, 2011

I've been meaning to test out my home surveillance recipe which combines a standard webcam, Dropbox (hosted backup solution), iPhone & iPad mobile Dropbox app, and the free Yet Another Webcam Software (Yawcam). I went to Cape Cod last week and hired a pet sitter to watch our family's dog (Jessie) and cat (Boaz), which offered a perfect opportunity to test out my "poor man's home surveillance" setup. What I found happening in my house while on my vacation shocked me!

But first, my home surveillance recipe:
  1. Setup and install Dropbox (comes with 2GB free).

DirecTV Website Outage

August 4, 2011

DirecTV's website is down. Isn't that just the luck? I have a DirecTV installer here today installing my service and they accidentally signed me up for Spanish TV. While I took 3 years of High School Spanish, I think I'll pass on the Spanish TV.

Delta Airlines TV FAIL! Plus my Streaming TV over Internet Workaround

August 2, 2011

I was on a Delta Airlines flight a few months ago and was excited to see each seat has a TV on the back of each seat. Jetblue was the first airline to carry live TV on all their flights and I've loved flying Jetblue ever since. It makes the droning hours pass by much quicker if you can watch TV. So in any case, I was pretty excited to see my Delta flight had TV.

After we took off, I pressed the touch-screen to see what channels were available.

My only choices were On-Air 1, On-Air 2, Movie Trailers, and Dish Network.

Blue Jeans Network Bridges Skype, SIP, H.323 for Multipoint Telepresence Solution

May 9, 2011

Blue Jeans Network has been quietly developing a new cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration service that bridges H.323 and SIP end-points, PSTN — and even Skype, with the goal of allowing users to connect everything from high-end video telepresence systems like Tandberg/Cisco and Lifesize to web cams running Skype to desktop IP videophones from Polycom, Grandstream, Cisco, and others. This solves a major problem with video conferencing and telepresence since interoperability, while it has improved, still doesn't take into account legacy H.323 end-points or users that only have inexpensive webcams. Blue Jeans Network plans to support Google and Microsoft Lync as well. Their cloud-based service handles the transcoding of audio and video codecs as well as manages the meeting IDs, PINs, etc.
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