Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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The Changing Definition of the Diameter Signaling Controller and Diameter Routing Agent (DRA)

Next week, I will be speaking at the Signaling Focus Day of LTE Asia.  The signaling focus day obviously will have...

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The Cat Video Index: A Simple View of Data Costs

By: Andy Porter, Product Manager in the Payment, Policy and Charging department at Alcatel-Lucent

The Economist has its famous Big Mac index for comparing buying power across countries. But I wanted an index that focuses on the cost of mobile data usage. That meant I had to find a data-charging equivalent of the Big Mac. I needed an item that crosses cultural boundaries, is universally understood and is available worldwide.

I considered many possibilities. But the answer arrived when I saw my daughter laughing at a video of a cat playing a piano. Obviously, the mobile data equivalent of the Big Mac is the YouTube video. It’s a universally available service that is easily measured in quantitative terms, making it ideal for comparing mobile data costs.

In honor of my daughter, I chose the classic “piano-playing cat” as the baseline video. And by the way, this cat video has been viewed over 34 million times, proving its suitability as a baseline.

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THE SECRET VALUE OF VoLTE - WHAT'S IN IT FOR CONSUMERS

By: Ed Elkin, Director, IP Platforms Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent 

Today’s consumers want faster mobile broadband, and lots of it. That’s the dominant fact shaping Mobile Service Providers’ competitive strategies. So let’s look at what you can offer these valuable subscribers with voice over LTE (VoLTE).

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California Lawmakers Plunge Some Transactions into 3rd World

California has come up with a law that hurts the very people it says it is protecting by making it difficult to...

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Globys Uses the Power of Social to Boost Carrier Sales

You may recall a commercial for Faberge Organic shampoo from decades back where the person using the shampoo said when you...

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The Expo News Update

Datapipe, a global managed IT provider, acquired Layered Tech to add to its US federal government business. Layered Tech adds security...

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Practical and Smart IMS

Last week, I wrote about the drivers behind the recent increase in IP multimedia system (IMS) deployments. As communication service providers...

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New iPad - the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

March 7, 2012

Apple launched their new iPad today. Here's a run down of all the cool new features in the new iPad, which was rumored to be called the iPad 3, iPad 3rd Generation, or iPad HD. The Apple keynote launch is still going on and they haven't announced the final name, so we'll just call it iPad X. Personal hotspot (Cool!)

The new iPad will be available in black & white colors. There are two wireless options available: 4G LTE or Fast 3G HSDPA and DC-HSDPA.

March 7, 1876 Telephone Patented + How to Dial the Telephone Video (1927)

March 7, 2012


On this day March 7th in 1876 - 136 years ago - Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.  Interestingly, with the patenting of this world-changing technology an instructional black & white video was released in 1927 - a silent one at that, so pay close attention to the captions for this "Dialing for Dummies" instructional video. After all, dialing on a rotary phone is really hard! Wow, it's been 30 years since I used one.

Compare Your Reading Speed to the National Average (Online Tool)

March 6, 2012


Love to read books and curious how fast you can read? Well, take this speed reading challenge that'll measure just how fast you can read, tell you exactly how long it'll take to read some popular classics, and compare you with national reading speed averages. It'll even tell you how many consecutive eBooks you can read before your eReader's battery will die (Nook, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Sony Reader, etc.). Though I'm not sure how many people would read multiple books all in the same day causing them to kill their eReader's battery. 

Cheap Gadget Insurance Saves the Day

March 6, 2012


Protect Your Bubble, a new specialty insurance brand, launched today in the U.S., offering affordable and comprehensive gadget insurance for those pricey gadgets starting at $2.99/month. Perhaps more importantly Protest Your Bubble guarantees 24-hour turnaround for a replacement phone or tablet. So now you will only have to feel gadget withdrawal for 24 hours. Hey, if Jack Bauer can survive 24 hours fighting terrorists, being tortured, with barely time enough to check his Facebook, then surely you can wait 24 hours to have your gadget mailed to you.

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Updates

March 2, 2012

Microsoft released some updates for Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Microsoft's unified communications server platform. You can download the cumulative update here.

Here's a list of updates released for Lync Server 2010:

Apple 7.85" Tablet Targeting Kindle Fire Will Fail

March 1, 2012


Apple is reportedly going to ship 7.85" iPads in the 3rd quarter, squarely targeting the 7" $199 Kindle Fire, which scorched up holiday sales. This new mini-iPad also targets the Barnes & Noble Nook, though the Kindle Fire is the more popular of the two. The Register is reporting that Steve Jobs' death cleared the way for this new 7.85" iPad, since Steve Jobs was opposed to a mini-iPad.

Regardless of the reason Apple has changed their minds and decided to attack the ~7" tablet market, this is one area where Apple will fail. First, the cost.


Kinect Grocery Cart Follows You and Helps You Shop Efficiently

February 29, 2012


Let's face it, between checking email, tweeting, updating your Facebook status, sending/receiving text messages, taking kids to soccer, etc., every second of our daily lives is precious. So if we can squeeze in a little bit more time via more efficient grocery shopping that leverages a robotic Kinect-camera-enabled grocery cart that stalks you, then by all means.

Microsoft recently demonstrated a prototype of a Kinect-enabled shopping cart that leverages a monitor screen, a motor and a Kinect sensor usually reserved for the popular Xbox 360 console. The shopping cart can recognize a membership card, pull up a customer's shopping list, speak items, offer suggestions, tell you where items are in the store, and scan objects as they are placed in the cart.


maaii Review - New VoIP App Similar to Viber

February 28, 2012


maaii pronounced as “mahy-ee” or “My-ee” is a free mobile VoIP application for iPhone and Android featuring Facebook integration and it comes bundled with 100 free minutes ($1.90). However, as part of their launch they're recharging each users balance back to $1.90 each day, thus giving each user 100 free VoIP calling minutes every day!

I decided to take the app for a test drive on my iPhone 4S. The maaii app will run in the background unless you force the app closed. Thus, you can receive inbound calls very quickly without waiting for the app to load.


Skype For Windows Phone Available With Group IMs But No Group Video

February 27, 2012


Today Skype announced their Skype for Windows Phone Beta app, which is the last major smartphone operating system to not have Skype. Ironic, considering Microsoft owns Skype, but obviously with the relatively new Windows Phone operating system Skype had to be redesigned by Microsoft's Skype team. The new Skype follows the elegant and clean Metro tiles design.

Check out this video to see how it works.

With Skype for Windows Phone Beta you can make free audio and video calls to your Skype contacts over 3G and 4G or WiFi, and of course make calls to landlines and mobiles using your Skype Credit. Also you can create and hold one-to-one and group chats, and update your profile and account information.






Google Voice Adds Circles - The Apocalypse is Upon Us!

February 23, 2012


In a terse blog statement, Google announced that Google Voice would add Google+ circles adding a social network management strategy to Google Voice. Now you can organize your contacts into specific circles that actually ring your mobile device (family, mom, dad, friends), while ex-lovers, telemarketers, and stalkers go straight to voicemail jail! You can also add custom greetings to each Circle. From the Google Voice Blog:
To help make it even easier for you to organize your contacts, today we’re adding Google+ Circles to Google Voice.


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