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

Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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200G Optical Networks: What you need to know

By: Earl Kennedy, IP Transport Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Optical network operators have already made the move to 100G. But skyrocketing bandwidth demand means many are already pondering what’s next. With a 200G optical solution hitting the market, you probably have questions about when to move to 200G optical – and what you need to know when you make that move.

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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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