Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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10 Reasons why CurrentC Will Lose the Mobile Payment War

By now, most of us have heard that retailers such as CVS allowed NFC-based payments for a few days via Apple Pay...

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Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Are Hackers Stealing your Data via Wireless WiFi Signals?

August 8, 2004

Until I read this "Stealth wallpaper keeps company secrets safe | New Scientist" article, the only way I knew of to block external access to WiFi signals was to line the building's walls with aluminium foil, and use special glass that absorbs radio waves in the windows. While this method ensures that all electromagnetic emissions are absorbed, it also blocks cellphone signals from getting through. No one is going to want to give up cell phone access in the name of security. Can you imagine the employee rebellion?

New WiFi standards causing me upgraditis

August 8, 2004

Years ago I was ribbed by my fellow IT friends and coworkers for always wanting to have the latest and greatest technology - whether it was the latest 3dFx Voodoo video card (now defunct) or the latest PC, or the latest software and patches, I had a serious case of upgraditis - an incurable condition that causes you to want to upgrade and have the best technology out there.

My upgraditis went into "remission" for a few years. My PC was fast enough, the video card did what I needed it to do, i was happy. But then along came Wifi wireless access to the Internet which caused my upgraditis to come back with a vengeance.

In Search of a Linux-based PBX 3 years later

August 7, 2004

In the November 2001 issue of Communications Solutions Magazine I wrote about my quest to find an open-source Linux-based PBX. I actually wrote the article in August 2001 (magazine lead time), so it is exactly 3 years ago that I wrote that article.

I remember thinking "Linux is taking off everywhere, why hasn't it taken off in telephony?" I did find a few companies such as Picazo (which was bought by Dialogic and then acquired by Telecor). Where they are today is anyone's guess.

SkypeOut free calling to PSTN due to network congestion problems

August 5, 2004

Check out this quote from the About SkypeOut website.
"As a result of overwhelming demand and unforeseen call traffic to the regular telephone network, we are unfortunately experiencing technical difficulties which impact call completions and quality in the SkypeOut network.

For your troubles and while we resolve these matters, even if you were or are able to successfully complete a SkypeOut call, we will not be charging for any minutes/calls made after today Friday 30 July 2004 10.00 am British summertime [GMT +1h] -- until our quality and reliability has improved and another announcement is posted here."

Hey, cool... free PC-to-PSTN caliling using VoIP? All because they are having network congestion?

Proof of life on Mars?

August 5, 2004

I was reading this CNN story forwarded to me from a friend.
CNN.com - Digging for life in the deadest desert - Aug 5, 2004

It is amazing that bacteria can survive in nuclear waste, volcanic vents, and other extremes. Just about any place on Earth you can point your finger down at the ground and be sure there are billions of bacteria where you are pointing. But not in Chile's Atacama Desert!

Scientists are studying Chile's Atacama Desert, the driest part on Earth.

FCC lets TiVo share digital TV shows equals empty football stadiums

August 4, 2004

Well, the Federal Communications Commission gave the OK to let TiVo allow users to share and send digital broadcast shows over the Internet, but limited to just 9 TiVo"friends" or users. It uses a key to limit access to the TV show.

The NFL is up in arms since they fear people won't attend football games in areas where a blackout is in effect. The theory is that blackouts cause more people to go to the game.

Vonage competitor

August 4, 2004

Vonage Outage Part 2

August 3, 2004

It would appear that Vonage is not the only broadband VoIP provider with a major outage this week. I blogged the Vonage outage and joked that maybe it was a conspiracy by the phone companies to intentionally block Vonage's traffic.

Well, it's no joke in Korea. Apparently, a Korean company, PCCW, is accused of blocking rival phone services to Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) and and Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) for about 15 hours on Sunday and Monday.

Digital Memory cards survive extreme tests

August 3, 2004

Many of us own digital cameras or PDAs that use CompactFlash or SD memory cards. Well, I'm sure none of us would want to lose precious photos or important data contained on these memory cards. A show of hands - "Who backs up their memory card?" Most probably don't, although I'm sure most people download their photos to their computer's hard drive. But as CF/SD cards get larger in size and cheaper in price, I guarantee people will download and erase photos off of their memory cards much less.

Vonage Outage as Reported in VoIP forums

August 3, 2004

As first reported in TMC's VoIP Forum, Vonage experienced a major outage today.

The first post (Is Vonage Down?) was at 10:34am EDT. Then another posted Vonage was down at 12:05pm. I knew something was up.

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