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


High quality YouTube Video Hack

November 14, 2008

Sick and tired of cr**py YouTube video quality? Well, check out's tips on how to enable HQ video on YouTube. It's not HD quality, but much better than the default.

The specs for the Youtube HQ video is mp4 encoded using H.264 and stereo AAC sound at 480x360 resolution.

Also you need to do to link to a high quality video on your blog is simply append &fmt=18 onto the end of the YouTube URL, i.e.:

And if you want to embed the code on your blog/site you add &ap=%2526fmt%3D18, i.e.:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=" &ap=%2526fmt%3D18"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Now head on over to Kottke to see the before and after video quality comparisons. Good stuff!

Yahoo Mail - Defer this! %#$^@$

November 13, 2008

I'm getting mighty ticked off with Yahoo! Mail lately. I have industry contacts, family, and friends that use email accounts and I've been getting this "defer" messages lately. Yahoo is using an anti-spam tactic where they "defer" the message from your SMTP server. It's also known as "greylisting".

Internet Explorer 6 Mobile Browser Coming

November 12, 2008

Internet Explorer 6 Mobile browser is close to release, with the Windows Mobile Team Blog announcing the availability of emulator images of Windows Mobile 6.1.4 containing the updated browser. Even though Microsoft is finalizing IE 8 for PCs, it's only up to version IE 6 for its mobile platform, though IE8's javascript engine is backported to IE6 Mobile.

Check out the features in Pocket Internet Explorer 6 Mobile (PIE6):

  • Improved fidelity (support for full fidelity desktop rendering)
  • Layout fixes to accommodate a mobile screen (text wrap)
  • Enhanced Script and AJAX support (Jscript v5.7 from Internet Explorer 8)
  • Improved multimedia experience (Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 for Adobe Flash content)
  • Deeper integration with search
  • Enhanced cursor navigation model
  • Touch and gesture support - pan support
  • Multiple zoom levels
  • Easy switching between mobile / desktop versions of sites by specifying UA strings.
The question is, is this too little, too late? Several browsers have surpassed Pocket Internet Explorer to become the mobile browser of choice, including Opera Mini, which just released Opera Mini 4.2 yesterday, but also Opera Mobile 9.5, and Skyfire, which handles video streaming Flash sites such Youtube.

Cisco ASR 9000 High-end Router Launches

November 11, 2008

Cisco Systems unveiled a supercharged router called the ASR 9000, which is capable of moving 6.4 terabytes per second of traffic. The router is aimed at service providers with next-generation networks which plan to run bandwidth heavy services such as video, IPTV, mobile broadband, and more. With the explosion of Youtube videos, and other bandwidth-hungry apps, service providers are looking to stay ahead of the bandwidth demand curve. The ASR 9000 hopes to address that need with the ability to support the future "Zettabyte era".

Opera Mini 4.2 beta mini-review

November 11, 2008

Opera Mini 4.2 beta just launched today. Opera Mini is one of my favorite mobile phone Internet browsers. It's a tough call between Opera Mini and Skyfire. Skyfire supports Flash and video, so it's better at multimedia, however, I find Opera Mini better suited to regular web pages with just graphics and text.

File Under: Trends We Don't Like

November 6, 2008

Increasingly, Internet providers across the country are placing limits on the amount of data users can download each month as a way to curb a small number of "bandwidth hogs" who use a lot of the network capacity.

For example, 5% of AT&T's subscribers take up 50% of the capacity, according to AT&T. AT&T will initially apply the limits in Reno, Nev., and see about extending the practice elsewhere.

Comcast, the nation's second-largest Internet service provider and AT&T's competitor in Reno, last month officially began a nationwide traffic limit of 250 gigabytes per subscriber. Comcast doesn't charge people extra for going over the limit, but will cancel service after repeated warnings. Previously, it had a secret limit. (Very mysterious!)

Two other ISP's, Time Warner and FairPoint Communications, are planning or testing traffic limits as low as 5 gigabytes per month, which is easily exceeded by watchers of DVD-quality online video.

Among the largest ISPs, Verizon Communications is a holdout, and has said it does not plan to limit downloads.

Tell me something I don't know - Telefónica & Microsoft team up for Live Messenger VoIP

October 24, 2008

Just saw a news release put out today that Telefonica and Microsoft have teamed up for Live Messenger VoIP. CNet also picked up this news. Only one problem - on October 2nd, I discovered Microsoft had added something called "Voype" (a service by Telefonica) to Live Messenger. The article was title "Windows Live Messenger Back in the VoIP game!".

Rovio Wi-Fi VoIP Robotic Webcam

October 24, 2008

The WowWee Rovio is a cool Wi-Fi enabled robotic webcam. I like to call Rovio a remote-controlled VoIP webcam sentry robot.

The Rovio is pretty futuristic looking. It looks like it belongs on some sci-fi TV show or movie.

Mio Moov's GPS with Built-In Internet

October 17, 2008

Wireless Free Internet: Thank You FCC!

October 16, 2008

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released an engineering report that opens the door for the FCC to apportion a chunk of wireless spectrum for free Internet services across the nation. 

"We need to reserve some spectrum for free broadband services," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said. "This would be a lifeline broadband service that would be designed for lower-income people who may not otherwise have access to the Internet."

T-Mobile had warned that the FCC's proposed launch of an advanced wireless service (AWS) in the 2155-MHz to 2180-MHz band would interfere with the 3G wireless services it operates in an adjacent slice of the spectrum. However, lab tests conducted last month demonstrated that devices operating at FCC-designated power levels would not present "a significant risk of harmful interference," the commission said.

Several aspects of the FCC's AWS proposal owe their origin to an application submitted two years ago by M2Z Networks, which envisioned earning money primarily by offering a premium wireless Internet service operating at speeds of up to three megabits per second. However, the Arlington, Va.-based startup also proposed to provide a free lower-speed service that would pay for itself by generating advertising revenue.

The FCC now says that the ultimate winner of its AWS spectrum auction must use up to 25 percent of its capacity to provide free, two-way broadband Internet service at data rates of at least 768 kilobits per second in the downstream direction.

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