Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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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Opening up the skies with LTE Air-to-Ground

By: Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment, Alcatel-Lucent

(Note:  Originally posted on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog)

“Ladies and gentlemen, the fasten seat belt sign has now been turned on. Please ensure your mobile devices are switched off for the full duration of the flight” It is the announcement that many passengers dread as they hurry to finish up one more e-mail, or send one final text or tweet, before the start of a flight and a few hours of absence from the connected world.

But from the end of 2016 this is set to change in Europe. Inmarsat announced on November 20 that it has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to develop Long-Term Evolution (LTE) air-to-ground technology, which will be delivered in partnership with service providers and airlines in 30 European countries. Alcatel-Lucent will supply the ground LTE radio infrastructure, which consists of antennas situated 100 km apart. The system is capable of providing download speeds of up to 75 mbps to planes using 2x15 MHz FDD licenses which Inmarsat owns in the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) S-band. This makes it not only the world’s fastest airborne broadband service, but a pioneer of future in-flight services for passengers and airline operations.

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Text-to-Speech (TTS) on Kindle Fire!

February 22, 2012

Text-to-speech (TTS) for the Kindle Fire is a long sought after feature. Having TTS on your Kindle Fire enables you to listen to your e-books using text-to-speech without having to buy expensive audiobooks. Some people may be vision impaired and want TTS to supplement or replace their manual reading of the text. Sure TTS isn't perfect, but it works pretty well.

Now if only the Kindle Fire supported TTS like other versions of the Kindle, then life would be grand.

LightSquared Gets Square Rooted - 4G LTE Network Killed by FCC

February 16, 2012


LightSquared was just dealt a death blow by the FCC due to concerns of interference, mainly with regards to GPS products:

“LightSquared’s proposal to provide ground-based mobile service offered the potential to unleash new spectrum for mobile broadband and enhance competition. The Commission clearly stated from the outset that harmful interference to GPS would not be permitted. This is why the Conditional Waiver Order issued by the Commission’s International Bureau prohibited LightSquared from beginning commercial operations unless harmful interference issues were resolved.

“NTIA, the federal agency that coordinates spectrum uses for the military and other federal government entities, has now concluded that there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time.



FCC Now Requires VoIP Outage Reporting

February 15, 2012

The Federal Communications Commission today voted and passed a requirement that interconnected VoIP service providers report significant network outages that meet specific criteria and thresholds. The goal is to ensure 911 system reliability and perhaps customer awareness of fly-by-night VoIP operations that are just trying to make a buck. The FCC will use outage reports to "track and analyze information on interconnected VoIP outages affecting 9-1-1 service and determine if action is needed to prevent future outages." In other words you might be looking at fines if you don't have a reliable VoIP network.

According to Chairman Julius Genachowski, "With today’s action, the FCC is helping ensure that our communications infrastructure is more resilient. 

Journey Releases New Video Featuring Michaele Salahi

February 14, 2012

I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed when I came across a post by Journey saying they had a new music video. It read:

Sweet vibrations! Our new video for "Resonate" from our latest album Eclipse, is here as a special Valentine's Day gift to you.

KEMP Load Balancer Certified for Microsoft Lync Server 2010

February 14, 2012

KEMP Technologies today announced that its LoadMaster hardware-based and virtual appliance load balancers are now approved for Microsoft Lync Server 2010.  If you recall, I spoke with Kemp last year about their Exchange 2010 load balancer, so adding Lync load balancing certainly rounds out their Microsoft portfolio. KEMP’s LoadMaster products offer server load balancing, optimized application delivery and built-in SSL acceleration. These features enable the LoadMasters to seamlessly integrate with Microsoft's Lync server pools.

Watch out for Metallic Objects in IP Phones! You Could Get Hurt!

February 13, 2012

I've tested, used, and reviewed many Polycom phones over the years, but apparently I never noticed or received this warning letter with these phones. Check out this ridiculousness:

WARNING ALL SOUNDPOINT IP PHONES
With respect to section 5.4.3.10 of the Australian Communications Authority as Telecommunications Technical Standard AS/ACIF S004 2004 under the s376 of the Telecommunications Act 1997:

You should be aware that, under certain operating conditions, the handset earpiece may retain small metallic objects. If this occurs, these objects should be removed before using the handset.

Really? Seriously?






Windows on ARM - New Tablet Operating System With Some Limitations

February 10, 2012


Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinoksky OR is this Bruce Willis?

The next version of Windows will run full-sized desktop applications on low-power ARM-based tablets. However, the only desktop applications approved to appear on ARM devices will be those designed by Microsoft such as Internet Explorer 10, Office, and the Windows file explorer. Affectionately known as WOA (Windows On Arm), it includes desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.


Apple Planned the iPad BEFORE the iPhone. Who knew?

February 10, 2012

Everyone assumes that Apple was working on the iPhone before the iPad. However, the recent lawsuit by Proview Electronics suing Apple over the name 'iPad' says others wise. The iPhone was launched in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. However, in 2006 Apple purchased the iPad trademark from display manufacturer Proview Electronics (Taiwan) for $55,000 by way of a front company called IP Application Development. So it appears Apple planned on making a tablet before the iPhone even came to market!

According to TMC's Peter Bernstein, Proview says the trademark deal with Apple did not include the rights to the trademark in China.

Dell Voice Launches in Canada - Will it Fail As Badly As Dell Video Chat?

February 9, 2012



Dell has partnered with Ontario-based Fongo to offer Dell Voice, a VoIP app exclusively available exclusively in Canada that offers a Canadian phone number and free calls to most of Canada. Also, incoming calls and Dell Voice-to-Dell Voice calls are free of charge. This reminds me of how Dell partnered with Sightspeed, now a part of Logitech to offer a multi-party video conferencing service called Dell Video Chat. I reviewed the software and it works well, but with free alternatives like Skype, having the ability to do 9-way (3x3) Brady Bunch video is a very niche application. Practically nobody has ever heard of Dell Video Chat, so here let me share a couple screenshots of it...

Screenshot of me testing it:


2x2 (4-way video call)


I suspect Dell Voice will suffer the same ignominious fate as Dell Video Chat. There's just too much competition, including superior offerings from Google Voice, Skype, and most recently Vonage.









Vonage Attacks Skype with 30% Price Cut and Free App-to-App Calling & Texts

February 8, 2012



Vonage today launched new versions of their mobile app for both iOS and Android phones that feature free app-to-app calling and international calling rates that on average are 70 percent less than major mobile carriers and 30 percent less than Skype according to their release notes on iTunes. What's nice about their mobile app is it lets you talk and text worldwide for FREE with anyone else who has the app. It's also wideband HD audio for better audio quality.

Another nice feature is that you simply use your existing address book and there is no need to leave the app. It works on both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G.





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