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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Esnatech Releases Office-LinX 8.5, a Cloud-based UC Platform

January 19, 2012


Esnatech, today announced the release of version 8.5 of Office-LinX, a unified communications platform that enables enterprises to integrate UC with cloud-based technologies such as Google Apps, VMware Zimbra , Salesforce.com, and Microsoft BPOS/Office 365. Office-LinX is optimized to work in mixed, distributed environments integrating with multiple on- and off-premise telecommunications technologies and cloud-based applications and infrastructure. It can for instance integrate with solutions from Asterisk, Avaya, NEC, Cisco, Toshiba, Panasonic, Shoretel, and more.

The latest high availability (HA) version of Office-LinX supports full virtualization of its voice clusters with VMware vSphere support. With Office-LinX 8.5, organizations have the ability to distribute the application and resources over multiple virtual servers connected to a single or distributed telephony infrastructure.



Localphone Rings in Chinese New Year with Free Calls

January 18, 2012


Localphone is offering free calls to China to the celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is the Year of the Water Dragon in case you were wondering. They have made calls to China completely free for four days. They offered a similar 4-day free calling promotion for the American Thanksgiving holiday. Now if only they add in Christmas, New Years (Western), U.S.

Begun the Search War Has! Google+ Social Search Results in Bing Defections

January 13, 2012



Could Google's recent change "Search, Plus Your World" be a "Netflix" faux pas causing a similar mass exodus of users from Google to Microsoft's Bing search engine? Well, at least one high-profile website, Gizmodo has one of its columnists jumping ship.  The new search integrates Google+ (Google's Facebook competitor) content directly into search results. It includes "personal results" which include Google+ status updates, Picasa photos, blog posts, etc.

Hacked Asterisk PBX Update

January 12, 2012


I wanted to give an update to my Asterisk Hack Post-mortem article. By the way, I love this image of a hacker sporting a fedora in case you're wondering why I used it in both articles!

I found this interesting error in the logs:
zdump[27161]: error: Bind to port 10001 on 0.0.0.0 failed: Address already in use.

I knew zdump was a Linux command related to timezone stuff, but it shouldn't be taking a port. I found the zdump command:
[root]/var/log/bak2>ll /usr/bin/zdump
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 240512 Jan  6 13:36 /usr/bin/zdump

The date and time were roughly around the time of the hack.









Asterisk Hack Post-mortem

January 10, 2012


Having your production Asterisk-based phone system hacked is no fun, as I have learned from first-hand experience over the past few days. Even the best of IT administrators taking ever security precaution in the book dreads the day their critical server gets hacked. You hope you've done everything possible to stop your servers from being hacked, but you are never 100% sure. There is always some hacker smarter than you, but more importantly, smarter than the best security practices you put in place.

Fonality Names Former Microsoft Exec David Scult as CEO

January 10, 2012

Today, Fonality announced it has appointed former Microsoft Exec David Scult (image right) as Chief Executive Officer. This is the second CEO in just a couple years. Dean Mansfield replaced Chris Lyman CEO, the founder of Fonality. I'm a fan of Fonality's Asterisk-based products, especially their HUD client, so I'm hoping things are going well there.

Google to Offer Free Tablets?

January 5, 2012



Several media reports are claiming that Google is going to be offering their own tablet soon, including DigiTimes which said, "As Google reportedly may launch an own-brand tablet PC to compete against Apple's iPad, sources from Google's upstream supply chain believe that Google, instead of Apple, may actually be targeting Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire as its major competitor."

The Amazon Kindle Fire had torrid sales for the Christmas holiday season, certainly earning its "Fire" moniker. You can't go wrong with a $199 tablet device that surfs the web, runs apps, and consumes entertainment content using Amazon Prime, which features a Netflix-like streaming service in addition to Amazon's other paid digital content - e-books, music, etc. Amazon gambled consumers would consume paid content to recoup their losses and it has paid off handsomely.

This purported Nexus tablet will come with a 7" display, run Android's latest Ice Cream Sandwich and will be priced under $199 to undercut even the mighty Amazon Kindle Fire. What is Google thinking? They're thinking the same thing Amazon is thinking - take a loss on the hardware and subsidize the cost of the tablet by selling digital content, such as movies, books, and music.





President Obama Has VoIP Glitch

January 4, 2012


Apparently, President Obama had some VoIP glitches when he attempted to tried to steal some of the Republican Iowa Caucuses' spotlight last night via a live address to his Democratic supporters over the Internet. The video teleconference had sporadic audio issues making him hard to understand. It's bad enough trying to understand some of President Obama's policies when he is speaking clearly never mind when he's encountering VoIP packet loss and jitter!

According to ABC News, Obama's video teleconferences utilized a proprietary software program developed for the Obama campaign by Adobe Systems Inc. It's likely a derivative of the Adobe Connect VoIP, video, and collaboration platform.

In one part of the video, he sounded like Max Headroom "(static) In some ways, I'm actually more optimistic now then I was when I first ran cuz we've already see...




As Predicted - the Cisco Umi Demise

January 4, 2012


First Cisco killed the popular Flip Cam they acquired, now this - Cisco has killed their Skype-alternative UMI videoconferencing product. Rich Tehrani gave 10 reasons why he thought Cisco UMI would fail, plus an 11th reason later on (Kinect, Skype-enabled Bluray players). I didn't even bother to write about Cisco Umi because I knew it would be a failed venture. We were both right.
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