Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Fascinating WebRTC Demos from WebRTC Expo

WebRTC has been described as the most disruptive communications technology of the decade. It has also been described as overhyped. Well, I...

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Restoration Hardware's E-commerce Fighting Formula

A Tasteful Blend of Starbucks and Apple Retail Experiences designed to make customers fall in loveApple has the most valuable retail real...

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Thoughts on ThinkGeek Customer Service

I’m on the phone with ThinkGeek because I purchased something which they shipped incorrectly. I tried email and didn’t get a...

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The Interworking Function (IWF) part of the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) now takes center stage

Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs) are the general term used to describe products that enable load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling...

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New T-Mobile Pay as You Go LTE Pricing Changes Everything

Until recently, if you wanted a real data plan on a major carrier while using your cell phone, you were forced...

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How Sony May be Fighting to Unleak its Information

The recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is about as scary as it gets as emails which insulted the company’s hired talent...

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4 Tips for the Busy Executive

I have a couple of prospective clients that keep delaying projects. One really wants to do the project but the people...

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DIGITALK, the One-Stop Shop for Wholesale Carriers & Service Providers

October 3, 2012

AT ITEXPO Paul Bassa, VP Product Marketing gave me an overview of U.K.-based DIGITALK, which offers platform and application products backed by full services support, that offers provisioning, prepaid charging, payments, and carrier routing to minimize operations overheads and maximize service margins. They offer pre-sales consultancy, through installation and commissioning, to worldwide 24x7 SLAs.

They offer a mobile VoIP app on consumer side and allow service providers to white label the app and they help with the Apple iTunes app submission process. The mobile VoIP app has prepaid capabilities built-in, allowing you to simply enter a PIN to activate.

They build all their own products, including their own session border controller (SBC) and can do carrier to carrier routing, management, SIP trunking, wholesale billing, and reporting. They also have a Web API to allow you to build your own portals.



Toopher Two-Factor Authentication Leverages Mobile Phone Location

October 2, 2012


I met with Toopher's Josh Alexander, Co-founder & CEO to discuss their two-factor authentication platform. He explained their their two-factor authentication is drop-dead simple leveraging your mobile phone's location - pulling location data from GPS, 3G/4G triangulation, and Wi-Fi, which usually grants accuracy of at least a couple hundred feet even when indoors.

Two-factor authentication is nothing new - Google for instance offers two-factor authentication by sending you a SMS to your mobile phone with a PIN to authenticate your device. Of course, I experienced an issue with Google's YouTube two-factor authentication because my house has poor cell signal and I didn't receive the SMS. Josh told me that's why there is a pretty low adoption rates of many competing two-part authentication methods.


Novus Distributes First Enhanced Media Gateway for Microsoft Lync Server 2013

October 2, 2012


Novus, a boutique telecommunications and IP distributor serving value-added resellers throughout North America, announced today the distribution of Ferrari electronic’s OfficeMaster Gate media gateway featuring recently released firmware that supports the new features of the next generation Microsoft Lync Server 2013, including the IPv6 protocol. Novus is the official distributor of Ferrari electronic products for the North American market.
 
Ferrari electronic worked in close collaboration with the Microsoft Lync product team in Redmond, Washington to develop the new firmware for the OfficeMaster Gate media gateway and it has been rigorously tested at Microsoft over the last few months. The new firmware from Ferrari electronic was released to coincide with the availability of the Lync 2013 Preview on July 16, 2012.
 
“Ferrari electronic is currently the only European manufacturer of an enhanced gateway certified for Microsoft Lync Server 2010, and it’s the first manufacturer to integrate its gateway with Lync Server 2013,” said Novus Managing Partner Chris Meehan. “This creates a compelling value proposition for resellers because they can install software-based OfficeMaster Gate gateway cards now as proof of concepts and deliver a highly scalable gateway solution with a tremendous ROI to small and medium-sized businesses looking for Lync migration solutions.”
 
Novus offers the Ferrari electronic OfficeMaster Gate media gateway and OfficeMaster SBA survivable branch appliance to resellers in flexible configurations as either appliances or PCI boards.
 
“Resellers will find the licensing options particularly appealing, since they can optionally configure gateway and survivable branch appliance functionality on a single card to reduce power consumption, minimize rack space and further reduce costs while benefitting from ongoing improvements through firmware upgrades that are free of charge within the current revision,” added Meehan.
 
To further incentivize resellers to deploy the Lync Server 2013-ready OfficeMaster Gate media gateway, Novus is announcing a free comprehensive private training program for resellers who sign up to carry the Ferrari electronic products.










RCA Makes Android IP Phones? Who Knew?

October 2, 2012

I'm here at ITEXPO in Austin, Texas, a leading communications tradeshow, when what do my wondering eyes see? An email promotion from RCA promoting their new Android-based IP phones - the RCA IP150, RCA IP120 and the RCA IP110. Here's a screenshot of part of the email:



When I think of RCA my nostalgia kicks in and I think of two things, both of which are antiquated technologies.

One, I think of my grandparents huge TV inside a wooden frame that sat on the floor. Nowadays you hang up your flat-screen TV and the TV never touches the floor.

Two, I think back to my dad's Elvis Presley "Hound Dog" RCA record with the cool logo of dog with its mouth aimed inside the record player, similar to this Elvis vinyl record:


As a 6-year old kid I assumed the RCA dog was because the song on the record was "Hound Dog".










Nokia Lumia 920 Image Stabilization is Real - Look out Apple & Samsung!

September 28, 2012


A gadget reviewer and mobile technology expert from Russia took the yet-unreleased Nokia Lumia 920 (Windows Phone 8) and hooked it onto a radio controlled (RC) car to test the super optical image stabilization (OIS) touted by Nokia. Yes, yes, we all know Nokia was excoriated for using a DSLR for their commercial touting the image stabilization of the Lumia 920. Yeah, they should have has a disclaimer saying the video was "simulated" and not actually taken with a Lumia 920, but if Nokia was replicating what the Lumia 920 could "actually" do, then I honestly didn't see why the big brouhaha.

Well, it turns out that Nokia wasn't lying about the Nokia Lumia's OIS capabilities. In the last few days I saw a iPhone vs.


How Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Gorilla Glass

September 25, 2012



Wired has a fascinating read on how Gorilla Glass came about. You might think that a scientist laboriously worked doing calculus equations or a chemist mixing various ingredients to perfect the perfect glass for mobile devices and tablets. You would be wrong. Gorilla Glass, or at least its forerunner that led to Gorilla Glass was discovered by sheer accident!

WebRTC - Mobile Communications Game Changer or Flash in the Pan?

September 24, 2012

Came across Erik Lagerway's interesting guest post on Gigaom.com discussing WebRTC and its potential to be a mobile game changer. WebRTC essentially embeds a standard-based real time Media Engine into all of the available browsers enabling real-time voice and video communication from your browser. Erik ponders the future leveraging WebRTC:

Imagine a world where no matter what we use or where we are we could all communicate via video, hassle-free, for free — native video from Apple devices to Samsung devices, from business phones to the TV in your living room, from your car to your home to a beach in Hawaii. That is what WebRTC can do for us.


Windows 8 & Windows 8 RT Metro/Modern UI Lync App Coming Soon

September 21, 2012


Not to be outdone by the Microsoft Skype, which released a touch-friendly Windows 8 Metro/Modern UI Skype app, Microsoft's Lync team announced a Lync app for Windows 8 and Windows RT also using Metro/Modern UI. This touch-friendly Lync app will be available in the Windows Store for both Windows 8 and Windows RT in late October according to the Lync Team Blog.

This will be part of Microsoft Lync 2013, the latest iteration of Microsoft's unified communications platform that brings instant messaging, VoIP, collaboration and video conferencing to the enterprise. In addition to the touch-optimized Lync app, new versions of Lync server and desktop client is coming soon, as well as newer versions of their mobile clients and a browser-based Lync Web app, which will now feature multiparty HD video, voice over IP (VoIP), instant messaging, and desktop, application, and PowerPoint sharing.

Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade to Windows 8 Problem Solved!

September 20, 2012

I decided to upgrade my Windows 7 Ultimate laptop to Windows 8 Pro. I wanted an in-place upgrade keeping all my apps and settings. Yeah, no judgement here for not doing a clean install! No time.

Anyway, the options available to me were 'Keep personal files only' and 'Nothing'. There is supposed to be an option 'Keep Windows settings, personal files and applications' but it was missing.

Apple iOS 6 First Look

September 19, 2012

I upgraded my Apple iPhone 4S to iOS 6 this afternoon and here are my impressions. First, for some reason the Photo Stream feature was turned 'On' even though it was off when I was running iOS 5 firmware. That's annoying. If you're privacy conscious make sure to check that this is Off under Settings, iCloud, Photo Stream.

Now the good stuff.

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