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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AT&T CallVantage VoIP calls blocked

August 12, 2004

Some VoIP calls being blocked | CNET News.com

Cnet.com has reported that some users are having issue receiving inbound calls. This has once again raised the issue of whether or not cable broadband companies are blocking VoIP calls.

I discussed the potential for network service providers to block VoIP traffic in my Vonage Outage Part 2 blog entry. Damn hypercompetive bastards!

Playing chicken installing Microsoft Windows XP SP2

August 12, 2004

A few fellow co-workers that all work in IT played a game of "chicken" yesterday. That is, we were trying to figure out who would be the guinea pig to install the Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2). The conversation went something like this.
"You install SP2."
"No, you"
"Uhh, no.


Blocking attachments in Outlook Express

August 11, 2004

After my little episode of having my home PC infected by my wife with the Bagle virus I thought I would look into some freeware/shareware utilities that remove untrustworthy attachments (i.e. .exe, .com, .pif, .bat, .vbs, etc.) from Outlook Express. (Note: I had the latest anti-virus definitions installed, but the virus writers are always a step ahead, so best to just block certain file types if at all possible)

I found one shareware called Outlook Express Quick Tools (OE Quick Tools for short) for $29.95 that lets you remove attachments, but it's unclear if you have to manually remove them or not. I think iit just removes attachments of all kinds just to reduce the size of your Outlook Express database.

VoIP2Save.com "We have Number Portability - Our Competitors Do Not!"

August 10, 2004

VoIP2Save.com "We have Number Portability - Our Competitors Do Not!"
Na na na na!

Well they weren't actually quoted saying it like that, but pretty damn close! : )

I just saw this release hit the wire:
PRESS RELEASE: Broadband Internet Phone Company, VoIP2Save.com Announces Full Phone Number Portability

The release claims that Vonage, Packet8, Voice Glo, Lingo and I-Connect do not allow customers to keep their phone number the company assigned to them, if the customer decided to switch to another phone company. I know I have heard complaints from users when they tried porting their phone number when switching from one broadband VoIP service provider to another.

Snom's new 220 VoIP phone

August 10, 2004

I am a fan of the Snom VoIP phones, TMC Labs reviewed a couple Snom phones recently and were pretty impressed. (Snom 100 and 200 product review)

so I thought I would share their press release announcing their new 220 phone which features a 128 X 64 pixel graphical backlit display:

Berlin, 2004-08-10: snom technology, situated in Berlin, is expanding its VoIP phones business line with the new IP phone snom 220, which has been specially developed for the small and medium-sized enterprise segment. This high-end affordable device addresses the communication needs of power users such as executive and administrative staff who require very high standards from communication systems.

Convenience is guaranteed by the 128 x 64 pixel graphical backlit display.

AT&T the Sleeping Giant Awakens to blitzkrieg the VoIP market

August 10, 2004

So every industry pundit is claiming that AT&T has surrendered to the Baby Bells, but I know better.

Here are some headlines:
AT&T surrenders fight for home telephone services
AT&T Gives Up on Consumer Market
AT&T rings in a new business strategy


"AT&T last month said that it would stop promoting its local and long-distance services to consumers, marking the end of an era for the company that once served virtually every U.S. home. AT&T plans to focus exclusively on big business customers, which account for 75% of overall revenue.

Windows XP SP2 Download - If you know where to look

August 9, 2004

Stooges have been colorized on DVD - Say it ain't so!

August 9, 2004

Nortel buys 5 percent of Global IP Sound

August 9, 2004

In the February 2003 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine, I wrote about Global IP Sound's excellent GIPS VoiceEngine codec, which can be integrated into VoIP applications. GIPS VoiceEngine is a software package that handles all the voice components and includes an adaptive jitter buffer (GIPS NetEQ), acoustic echo control, packet loss concealer, and any standard codec can be plugged in, including G.711, Enhanced G.711, and iPCM.

Their codec is designed to handle heavy latency and heavy packet loss. In fact, I tested their codec using Shunra's Cloud 4.0 to induce 25% and 50% packet loss to see how their codec would handle it and it performed remarkably well.

Could VoIP market become fragmented?

August 9, 2004

One of the beauties of VoIP is its openness, its adherence to industry standards, and its ability to easily route calls across the public Internet or private networks. Unfortunately, many VoIP startups are building their own proprietary networks (i.e. their own “islands”) that don't communicate with each other.

For example, say you sign-up with Vonage and then you make a call to a Packet8 user.

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