Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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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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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