Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


AOL Exits VoIP Arena - Again

March 9, 2009

AOL is dropping VoIP yet again. I'm getting dizzy from all the times they've entered the VoIP space, exited, and then re-entered.

First a history lesson on their starts & stops in VoIP/telephony.

In 2006, AOL gives up on Total Talk and throws in the towel on Total Talk, a broadband Vonage-like service (ATA), supposedly in favor of PhoneLine a 100% software-based (softphone) VoIP solution that supports both outbound and inbound (DID number) dialing.
In 2007, AIM Call Out launches offering SkypeOut like features from the popular AIM IM client. AOL has once again entered the VoIP arena.

"Holy Two-Face, Batman!" : Real Batman denied a Facebook account!

March 5, 2009

John Chambers Blogs about Broadband Stimulus on GigaOM

March 4, 2009

Om Malik sent a note saying Cisco CEO John Chambers posted a guest blog entry so I went to check it out.

John begins:
Now that President Obama has signed the $787 billion economic stimulus package into law, the real hard work begins: using that money to create jobs. If spent wisely, this package has a chance at fundamentally reforming the U.S. health-care system, making our economy energy efficient and providing Americans with the training and skills required to succeed in a 21st century global marketplace.

But the country can't accomplish these goals unless it has the infrastructure to support them. That's why the funding for broadband was so vital.

Philadelphia City Council approves a Verizon FiOS franchise agreement

February 6, 2009

The Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously to approve a Verizon FiOS franchise agreement that will allow Verizon to offer fiber-based digital TV, voice, and Internet to Philly's 600,000 residents. Verizon will spend $1 billion to build out the network which will offer HDTV channels, voice, and high-speed Internet.

City Council members said the deal was "not perfect" and they tried to push for more minority contractor involvement. Now how is it that a City Council has the right to demand who a company hires? There are already state and federal anti-discrimination laws on the books, so why the hell do companies have to answer to some local city council mafia?

DNS Issue Temporarily Cripples Packet8 VoIP Service

January 23, 2009

A source tipped me off to a Packet8 VoIP service outage last night & today caused by a DNS issue. I contacted 8x8/Packet8 and Joan Citelli, Director, Corporate Communications for 8x8, Inc. to find out what caused the VoIP outage. Joan told me the following:

"We are providing all subscribers who experienced this issue with the following explanation and resolution procedure via email and customer support calls. Let me know if you have any further questions."

At 7 pm last night (January 22, 2008) changed the DNS for and by omitting the DNS and substituting a landing page in its place.  The net result was call failure and inability to find Packet8 website.

Verizon Hub News

January 23, 2009

As I wrote a few days ago, Verizon plans to launch the Verizon Hub. I just learned the Verizon Hub will launch February 1st. As I also was the first to point out, my source told me that the Verizon Hub is essentially the same thing as the Verizon One (created by OpenPeak), which I wrote about in March 2007. In my post from a few days ago, I wrote, "One of my sources told me that the Verizon Hub is the same thing as the Verizon One, but apparently Verizon changed the name to the Verizon Hub deskphone."

The Verizon Hub is the evolution of the Verizon One. As part of that evolution, I hope they no longer restrict you to surfing specific websites. Or if they do have to limit it, I hope the list of allowed websites includes YouTube, Digg, Yahoo!

TechCrunch Touchpad - Needs 3G/4G/EVDO, Skype, and VoIP

January 19, 2009

TechCrunch has a prototype of their tablet PC featuring a touchscreen, Wi-Fi, an accelerometer, a camera and a four cell battery running on a stripped down version of Linux. Well, actually they're running the prototype on full-fledged Linux, but they promise better performance once they strip out all the extra stuff.

According to TechCrunch:
The device has a 12-inch touchscreen with a 4:3 aspect ratio (which is ideal for web browsing in my opinion). It is powered with a Via Nano processor, which has performed at par with the Intel Atom in our testing. 1 GB of ram (its more than we need) and a 4 GB flash drive to store the OS and browser and any cache.

President-Elect Barack Obama's $40 billion <strike>Handout</strike> Bailout to Internet Providers

January 15, 2009

President-Elect Barack Obama is planning to send up to $40 billion in grants and loans bailout funds toward improving broadband availability and speeds as part of broader economic stimulus efforts, according to UBS analysts.

According to Telephony Online:
A draft of the proposed $825-billion economic stimulus bill circulating on Capitol Hill today lists $6 billion for expanding broadband "so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy," adding that this provision could well aid the job-creation goals of the larger economic stimulus effort.

PC World writes: The money will "strengthen the economy and provide business and job opportunities in every section of America with benefits to e-commerce, education and health-care," a House Appropriations Committee document said. "For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment."

10X the return? I'm not buying it. My BS meter just went off the scale.

YouTube Kills Fair Use, Mutes Audio

January 14, 2009

Apparently YouTube has decided to ignore the whole "fair use" thing. You know, the law whereby you are allowed limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. Fair use also allows for copyrighted materials to be used in spoofs, parodies, etc.

Many YouTube users create an original video using their favorite song as the audio in the background. They won't be able to do that any more, since YouTube has started muting any videos that use unauthorized copyrighted music.

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