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


Triple Play Moving to Quintuple Play?

October 10, 2008

If you thought the "triple play" offered by cable and phone service providers was pretty cool, it's time to think again.

Various providers now are looking at ways to bundle not just TV, phone and the Internet, but also a home's security and control systems into a great, big package that is being called the "quintuple play."

For the service providers whose quadruple plays currently include digital television, internet, phone, and wireless, the fifth service in the five-for-one bundle could be home control, remote monitoring and/or safety and security devices and services (sometimes referred to as SMA or security, monitoring and automation).

This new package will bring easy-to-use home control devices and applications into the home, enabling remote monitoring, simple lighting and HVAC control and remotely-accessed home security.

The devices would be available through the service provider in the form of a "starter kit" of some sort, with an up-front cost that may or may not include installation. A monthly fee would cover remote access to the system and -- in the case of the security application -- professional monitoring.

Amazon EC2 running Windows Server and SQL Server

October 1, 2008

Amazon just announced that Amazon EC2 will soon run Windows Server and SQL Server. The announcement was made to Amazon Web Services developers this morning. This announcement may be partly in response to Microsoft who has been building a hosted development platform of their own. In fact, Microsoft is expected to announce the hosted platform officially at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles.

Sarah Palin email hacked, posted to Wikileaks & Wikileaks goes down

September 17, 2008

In case you haven't heard, some hackers hacked into Governor Sarah Palin's Yahoo! email account. Some of the emails were posted to, a site that posts leaked information. Well, apparently the popularity of Sarah Palin must have brought down Wikileaks, since I can't get to their website.

I'm guessing all the media coverage and pointing to the Wikileaks site must have overwhelmed their website with too much traffic.

Live Streaming Video via Mobile Phone Camera

September 12, 2008

Sling Media SlingCatcher and Slingbox PRO-HD Available

September 10, 2008

The new Sling Media SlingCatcher and Slingbox PRO-HD (Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB100-100) are now available for pre-order from Amazon and at $299.99 each. Just in time for the Christmas holiday season! Woot! Ok, Christmas is still 3 months away, so I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Lost TV Satellite Signal, Couldn't watch Rudy Giuliani or Sarah Palin, Streaming TV to the rescue!

September 4, 2008

I was watching the Republican National Convention (RNC) speeches last night, toggling between CNN and FOX News, when a major rain storm hit Connecticut causing a lengthly loss of satellite signal. It was the middle of Rudy Giuliani's hard-hitting speech when I lost all of my TV channels. I have to get my nightly politics "fix" or I'm a grumpy blogger in the morning.

The highly-anticipated speech from Governor Sarah Palin was still to come and it looked like I wasn't going to be able to watch it live.

Microsoft develops Vi-Fi (Vehicle Wi-Fi). VoIP while driving baby!

August 27, 2008

A new technology developed by Microsoft in alliance with the University of Massachusetts (UMASS), and the University of Washington has resulted in a new technology called Vi-Fi (Vehicle Wi-Fi). Vi-Fi solves the problem of hopping from one Wi-Fi wireless access point (WAP) to another when signal strength diminishes. According to the article, the goal of Vi-Fi could be to power VoIP calls, Internet, and radio in cars of the future.

Ironically, Andy wrote a controversial blog this week about VoIPing while flying (using Aircell) -- well now you can VoIP while driving too! Of course, I've been using VoIP over EVDO for some time now while driving.

Internet Finally Takes Off into the Clouds

August 20, 2008

American Airlines began offering Internet access on long-haul domestic flights today, making American the first U.S. airline to offer full in-flight broadband, according to a Reuters report.

The world's largest airline said its passengers on Boeing 767-200 aircraft can pay $12.95 for Internet access on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami. 

Airlines have been racing to get reliable Internet access on their flights in hopes of gaining a competitive edge in the troubled airline industry. (And making some money since the cost of fuel is sucking the life out of the industry.)

Other carriers like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue have made strides in that direction. (When you charge for everything -- why not?)

Delta said this month it soon will start rolling out broadband Wi-Fi access for its entire domestic mainline fleet of more than 330 planes.

Experts have said they expect in-flight Internet to become common in the industry.

American's mobile broadband service, which is called Gogo, is provided by AirCell.

Cheap Broadband is the Oil of the Modern Economy -- Shouldn't This Have a Greener Hook?

August 5, 2008

Verizon Boosts FiOS Internet Speed

June 19, 2008

According to Verizon, beginning next week, Verizon will make available to more than 10 million homes and businesses the nation's fastest consumer broadband connections, with download speeds up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps over their fiber to the home (FTTH) network.

Verizon had already offered the 50/20 Mbps and 20/20 Mbps services in its FiOS markets in Connecticut (my state), Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The company is now expanding those offerings to new Verizon FiOS customers in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington, replacing existing offerings of 30/15 Mbps and 15/15 Mbps services, respectively.

The mid-tier connection speed in those markets for new customers is being increased from 15/2 Mbps to 20/5 Mbps, and the basic service tier is being increased from 5/2 Mbps to 10/2 Mbps. Existing FiOS Internet customers who are interested in the new speed options can call Verizon for information about the new plans.

Check out these performance benchmarks:

At 50 Mbps, downloading a 5 GB (gigabyte) file, such as a 112-minute, high-definition movie purchased online, takes approximately 13.3 minutes, while a 50 MB (megabyte), or 60-minute, Web video takes 8 seconds, and a 5 MB MP3 music file takes less than eight-tenths of a second.

Using a 20 Mbps upstream broadband connection, a consumer could upload a 250 megabyte (MB) file of 200 photos in about 90 seconds, instead of the roughly 47 minutes it takes over a 768 kilobit-per-second (Kbps) upstream connection.  A 500 MB file, such as 400 digital photos or a medical imaging data file, can be uploaded in less than four minutes, compared with about 90 minutes over a 768 Kbps connection.  A 3 gigabyte (GB) file, such as a one-hour family video shot with a high-definition video camera, can be uploaded in around 20 minutes, compared with more than nine hours with 768 Kbps upstream.

Featured Events