Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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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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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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