Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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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Zocalo: Amazon Just Fired a Gun at Microsoft, Oracle and Dropbox

Amazon has made its name in ecommerce and cloud but its next frontier may be productivity applications and in the process, they...

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Skype Offers Direct Facebook Video Calling

November 17, 2011

Skype deepened its partnership with Facebook today by adding Facebook video calling directly within Skype for both its Mac and Windows applications. The just announced Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac and Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows can initiate a Facebook video call without having to fire up your browser, log in to Facebook, and then initiate a Skype video call. While this isn't earth shattering, it is pretty convenient. Previously, you could initiate a Facebook-to-Skype call from within Facebook (With the Skype plugin).

Polycom RealPresence Connects Non-standard TIP TelePresence Systems

November 16, 2011

I've written about Polycom supporting TIP (Telepresence Interoperability Protocol) and Cisco's response to Polycom supporting it. Well, today Polycom announced a new software update for Polycom RealPresence Platform designed to "free users locked into proprietary telepresence solutions."

This update will allow customers with standards-based video collaboration solutions, like Polycom, to join calls with non-standard based telepresence systems, like Cisco. The solution is made possible by Polycom's support for the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), developed by Cisco and only implemented on Cisco TelePresence System suites. The latest RealPresence Platform software update, released today, also further extends interoperability across Microsoft and IBM UC environments.

Oh no! VoIP is Going Down. Big Bad Bear Economy Taking its Toll

November 16, 2011

Well, whaddya know, the VoIP industry is not invincible to the Great Recession, which started way back in 2008. For the longest time, VoIP was one of the stellar performers even in this down economy. Back in 2009 I wrote, "An interesting report by IBISWorld, Inc. just named VoIP as the predicted #1 performer In 2009 - it even beat video games. Yet more proof that VoIP isn't dead and indeed VoIP is the one shining bright spot in an otherwise dismal bear economy." But even the mighty VoIP (Chuck Norris?) cannot withstand a bear market going on 3+ years.


Chuck Norris (VoIP) vs.


Scientists boost battery strength by Drilling Holes in Battery. Say what?

November 16, 2011


Now you would think it would be counter-intuitive that poking millions of minuscule holes in a lithium-ion battery would result in more power. Boy, if I knew that were the case I'd take a shotgun to my iPhone 4S battery right now. Poor iPhone 4S battery life solved!

Scientists at Northwestern University figured out a way to stuff more of the ions in and to speed up their movement by altering the materials used to manufacture a battery.


Netflix Brings Revamped Interface to Android Before iPad

November 15, 2011


Apple's iPad may be the tablet market leader right now, but certainly not for long. Today, a report was released by Gartner saying that 50% of all mobile phones sales are Android. That may explain why Netflix gave some love to the Android platform via a slick new user interface before Apple iOS. I can't remember any major app or new version of a major app coming to the Android platform before iOS.

Blue Jeans Networks Makes Skype & Microsoft Lync Interoperate

November 11, 2011


I've written about and reviewed Blue Jeans Network's multipoint telepresence solution, which bridges H.323 and SIP end-points, PSTN — and even Skype, with the goal of allowing users to connect everything from high-end video telepresence systems like Tandberg/Cisco and Lifesize to web cams running Skype to desktop IP videophones from Polycom, Grandstream, Cisco, and others. I mentioned back in May they were working on adding Microsoft Lync support. Well, now they have it.

According to a TMCnet article, it is showcasing “the industry’s first video conferencing interoperability between Skype and Microsoft Lync” at The Enterprise 2.0 Conference held at Santa Clara, California, November 14-17.

The new Blue Jeans individual plans include: $69 per month individual plan for 500 minutes (less than 14 cents per minute), $99 per month individual plan for 1,000 minutes (less than 10 cents per minute), and $199 per month individual plan for unlimited minutes (as little as 1 cent per minute).

I'll have to review it again and test the Microsoft Lync to Skype interoperability. Good stuff!






Control Siri with Your Brainwaves!

November 11, 2011


If you think controlling the iPhone's Siri with your voice is cool, imagine controlling it with your brainwaves. Project Black Mirror has an actual working prototype that controls the iPhone's Siri voice recognition app! Here's how they say it works:

1. ECG pads provide raw skin conductivity / electrical activity as analogue data (0-5v).
2.



Yelp Mocks Rick Perry in App Store

November 11, 2011


Yelp fixed three bugs in its iPhone app yesterday, but the interesting part  was how they got a 'dig in' on Republican candidate for President, Texas Governor Rick Perry. Yelp lists the three bug fixes as:

- Bookmarks-related bugs
- iOS5 styling and layout bugs that are now gone
- And the um… uh, what’s the third one? Let’s see… Bookmarks iOS, layout and the um.. the third one we can’t recall.




Bria VoIP Softphone now available on iTunes

November 11, 2011


CounterPath's Bria 3, a VoIP softphone app is now available for purchase on iTunes. Bria 3 is a softphone that enables you make voice and video calls from your Mac or PC. The ability to make this software purchase directly from iTunes is for Macs only, even though CounterPath offers a PC-version of Bria. PC users will have to purchase directly from CounterPath.

Obviously, CounterPath would prefer to sell direct to users so Apple (via iTunes) doesn't take a 'cut' of the revenue, but they must figure it's worth the extra exposure to be on iTunes and allow for instant purchase. The price for Bria 3 is $49.99.


iOS 5.0.1 for iPhones & iPads Released! Battery life Fixed?

November 10, 2011



Apple appears to be rolling out 5.01, which includes some bug fixes and purportedly a fix for the battery problems.

Here's what you'll see in iTunes if you check for updates:

iOS 5.0.1 Software Update

This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:

    •    Fixes bugs affecting battery life
    •    Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
    •    Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
    •    Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation

Products compatible with this software update:

    •    iPhone 4S
    •    iPhone 4
    •    iPhone 3GS
    •    iPad 2
    •    iPad
    •    iPod touch (4th generation)
    •    iPod touch (3rd generation)

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
    <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222>

Interestingly, my iPhone didn't seem to do an over-the-air update to this latest firmware, which is one of the cool new features of iOS 5. Maybe the next version will support it? For now, just connect your iPhone or iPad, launch iTunes, check for updates and it'll find it.

Update:
Actually, I had a co-worker go into Software Update on the iPhone 4S and he was able to manually update the firmware directly from the iPhone. It was only a 55MB download.






























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