Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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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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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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WebRTC Expo San Jose 2014 Interviews

Are you interested in WebRTC but yet you missed the largest event in the space, WebRTC Expo a few months back in...

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The M&A Picks Up Steam

Well, that Hosted VoIP consolidation is slowly happening. Reinvigorated VoIP blogger, Garrett Smith, hints that Jive bought other HPBX companies (unnamed)...

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The Data Interconnections Waze and others need

Let me start by saying that there are exceptions to what I am about to discuss below but generally speaking, inter-app connectivity...

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Apple's Ridiculous Patent Claims Against Samsung Destroyed!

December 9, 2011

Just had an awesome read on the Samsung vs. Apple patent battles and the ridiculousness of it all. For instance, the following is a list of alternative design options that Apple thought Samsung should have considered to not infringe on their patents. First off, the smartphone list that Apple provided, with my comments italicized:
  • Front surface that isn't black.

Funny Fortune Cookie Only a Techie Nerd Could Love

December 8, 2011

Every once in awhile I get a funny fortune cookie with my Chinese food, but this one takes the cake. I've yet to see a fortune cookie poke fun at technology. It's usually about the future, your health, your job, or mundane daily life stuff. But not today...

Skype Releases Click-to-Call Update

December 8, 2011

Today, Skype released an update to Skype Click to Call for Windows which includes support for Firefox 9 and Chrome 16, as well as performance improvements in Internet Explorer and Chrome. It used to slow my PC browser down years ago, so I've gotten in the happen of disabling it after each Skype install. Maybe it's better now.

Still, personally I hate the Skype click-to-call feature, which automatically changes numbers in websites into clickable Skype links with (typically) an American flag next to it. I find it annoying since I often need to copy/paste something from the website and it grabs all the underlying Skype HTML gobbledygook code that I then have to clean up.

Jabra PRO 900 Series Unveiled

December 6, 2011

Today, Jabra launched the Jabra PRO 900 series, which includes two headset models - the Jabra PRO 920 (base unit wired to desk phone + headset is wireless) and the Jabra PRO 930 (base unit wired to PC [USB] + wireless headset). Jabra stated these are entry-level wireless headsets with a retail price of $199 is aimed at companies that cannot afford typically expensive wireless headsets, so they designed these headsets for this market.

I'm not sure $199 is exactly inexpensive, but I'd have to see how much competing products from Plantronics and others cost. In any event, they are targeting the Jabra PRO 930 for companies implementing Unified Communications and leveraging PC-based telephony, i.e. a SIP softphone, Cisco softphone, etc. 

Microsoft upgrades Xbox Live But Rumored Skype Integration is False

December 5, 2011

The upcoming Metro update to Microsoft’s Xbox, will start to be pushed down to your Xbox console some time this week, but alas it doesn't appear to contain the rumored Skype integration, which several rumors hinted at a Fall release. Well it's winter and the latest release doesn't appear to contain Skype integration with Xbox live. At least that is my assumption from reading the various news articles on the latest Xbox Dashboard, including Microsoft's official announcement, which make no mention of any Skype integration.

TMC Heads to Boston for Video Interviews of Industry Companies

November 30, 2011


Some important TMC corporate news I wanted to share. TMC is hosting TMC’s Special Executive Editorial Event in Boston, MA next week. This event takes place at the LIBERTY HOTEL on WEDNESDAY, DEC 7th and THURSDAY, DEC 8th.

The purpose of this event is to have high-level discussions with senior members of TMC’s editorial and management team on your company’s growth and progress and to learn more about any news, announcements or new initiatives you may have as we move into 2012. Definitely a good opportunity to meet TMC's editors and find out what specific topics interest our editorial team for news coverage or to get on their radar for interesting news you have coming soon.


iMainGo XP Portable Stereo Speaker & Case for iPad Review

November 29, 2011


Portable Sound Labs has a cool new product called the iMainGo XP (model: 11BWB04), which is a portable stereo speaker for the iPad but also doubles as a protective case. I wrote about them earlier this month and asked for a review unit to check out, which they promptly sent to me. Here's a photo of the iMainGo XP sitting on a stand on my desk:


As I mentioned in my previous article, "I'd be curious how this product sounds with VoIP applications, such as Skype. With the iPad's decent hardware echo cancellation and many VoIP softphone clients sporting software-based echo cancellation, it might be nice to have beefy speakers with lots of bass and HD audio support to carry the full tonal quality of the remote speaker."

Unfortunately, once you connect the headset jack into the iMainGo XP, the iPad's built-in microphone is disabled and the iMainGoXP doesn't have an embedded microphone.





Localphone Offers Free Calling Thanksgiving Promo for 4 Days

November 23, 2011


For four days (from 5am GMT Thurs 24th to 5am GMT Mon 28th) Localphone, a 4 year old company based in Sheffield, UK, is offering free calls to the U.S., no strings attached. Truphone offered a similar promo in 2009. A Localphone rep told me, "Customers can call for as long as they want and to as many people as they want and we won't charge them a penny. This offer is open to all Localphone customers, new and old.

Samsung Mocks Apple Fanboys in Hilarious Galaxy S II Ad

November 23, 2011


Business Insider's Steve Kovach has an interesting interview with Todd Pendleton, Samsung's Chief Marketing Officer, and Brian Wallace, Samsung's VP of Strategic Marketing, on a new ad campaign that mocks Apple fanboys and promotes Samsung's top-of-the-line Galaxy S II Android phone. Steve writes:
I mostly use Apple gear, including an iPhone, and even I thought the ad was clever. It's an interesting take on a smartphone campaign. Instead of touting specs and features, Samsung is going right for Apple's jugular, mocking the fanboy culture while saying "hey, there are other great smartphones out there too." It's a ballsy move.


Just in Time for Christmas, Xbox Live Gets an Update

November 22, 2011


Just in time for Christmas, Microsoft is releasing a new update for Xbox Live, which surely will only enhance the frenetic ripping of Christmas wrapping paper that mom and dad Santa and his elves lovingly wrapped. According to Major Nelson new features include:

  • New personal and social features including Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile
  • Beacons and Facebook Sharing
  • Enhanced Family Settings
  • Integrated voice and gesture controls across the dashboard and in apps
  • Bing voice search (Available this year in the US, UK and CA)

He also added that starting on December 6th through the holiday months, a treasure trove of new content will be coming to Xbox 360. Also, new, customized applications for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music will begin rolling out from major providers in more than 20 countries.




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