Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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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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