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



WordPress outage?

February 22, 2006

Is there a major WordPress outage? I was on Scobleizer's blog when all of a sudden his web pages started timing out. Since he is on a hosted WordPress website (didn't he switch a few months ago to Wordpress? ) I tried going to and it too timed out. Hosted Wordpress bloggers are probably not very happy with the outage this Wednesday morning.

Belgacom IP-TV offers plug and play IP-TV experience

February 22, 2006

Today, SupportSoft announced that Belgacom's 800,000+ broadband subscribers can now enjoy the benefits of speedy and easy self-installation of an IPTV connection with the help of SupportSoft's SmartAccess solution. The SmartAccess tool enables Belgacom customers to verify their systems for firmware, modem and set-top characteristics; configure their PC and wireless gateway; and connect all the key components together -- reducing the need for lengthy and costly truck rolls to their premises and driving adoption of the new service. Basically SupportSoft has enabled a "plug and play IP-TV" experience. Amazing...

Carrier VoIP Market Hits New High in 2005 at $2.5B

February 21, 2006

Interesting Infonetics report saying carrier voice equipment purchases are growing very rapidly with VoIP being a primary driver in carriers replacing antiquated equipment. If you didn't realize it already, it looks more and more like VoIP will be the "shot" in the arm for the telecom market. Could the good ole' days (mid-to-late 90's) of double-digit revenue growth for the carriers be far behind? Nah...

Radio Shack to close 700 stores

February 17, 2006

Radio Shack plans on closing 400-700 stores after reporting a whopping 62% drop in revenue from the 4th quarter last year. Radio Shack is every electronic hobbyist's and every geek over the age of 30's favorite electronics store - or at least Radio Shack used to be before beingĀ surpassed by stores like Circuit City and Best Buy.

But growing up, I enjoyed going to Radio Shack more than checking out the toys at the local Toys R Us. Electronics and computer stuff were my thang' as a kid. In fact, my first computer, a TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo) was purchased at Radio Shack and it featured a whopping 4K RAM and 8K ROM with Microsoft Color Basic v1.0. I learned my first programming language (BASIC) on the CoCo. It's truly a sad sad day to hear that they have fallen on hard times.

MovieBeam offers high-definition (HDTV) movie downloads

February 14, 2006

MovieBeam plans on offering high-definition (HDTV) downloads. The video-on-demand movie service spun out of Walt Disney said it plans to offer first-run films from six of the seven film studios in standard digital-video format and high-definition films from Disney and Warner Bros. studios.

According to MovieBeam, some movies will even be made available at the same time as they come out on DVD. But here's my problem with this HDTV service - it requires yet another piece of home entertainment equipment to sit on top of your TV or entertainment system. My entertainment system is already crowded with a Denon 7.1 surround sound receiver, Denon amplifier for the rear surround channels, XBox, Toshiba DVD player, Linksys Media Extender, and VCR - not to mention a Sony Media Center 2005 PC sitting on top of one of my speakers.

FCC says A La Carte TV channels will save customers money

February 9, 2006

Interesting report from the FCC that found cable choice is not only economically feasible, but in most cases could even save consumers money.

"Today's report is exactly what consumers have been waiting for," said Lanier Swann, Director of Government Relations for Concerned Women for America in Washington, DC. "The FCC puts the lie to cable magnates' wild claims that a la carte would cost consumers more money and was not economically feasible. That argument has fallen flat on its face now that the FCC has shown that consumers could save up to 13 percent on their monthly cable bill."

CWA has been fighting the cable industry for years to bring about just such a change in television programming delivery. This fight included submitting testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee for their recent hearing on this subject.

Here's the report findings:

FCC Media Bureau Report Finds Substantial Consumer Benefits in A La Carte Model of Delivering Video Programming

Washington, DC - The Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today issued a Further Report on the Packaging and Sale of Video Programming Services to the Public (the ā€œFurther Reportā€) on the issue of an ā€œa la carteā€ model for delivery of video services.

AOL and Yahoo to tax email

February 6, 2006

According to the AP, Yahoo! Inc. and America Online, plan to introduce a service that would charge senders a fee to route their e-mail directly to a user's mailbox without first passing through junk mail filters.

The AP states, "The fees, which would range from 1/4 cent to one cent per e-mail, are the latest attempts by the companies to weed out unsolicited ads, commonly called spam, and identity-theft scams. In exchange for paying, e-mail senders will be guaranteed their messages won't be filtered and will bear a seal alerting recipients they're legitimate."

So in other words, Yahoo and American Online, two publicly traded companies will charge for email? Sure, Yahoo and AOL will only charge "so-called" marketers to ensure their emails get through, but my guess is that Yahoo & AOL will "loosen" their spam rules which will catch more legitimate emails, thus forcing legitimate users to pay Yahoo and AOL money to ensure their emails go through thus raising their stock revenue/performance. It's the end of Internet email as we know it.

Even if this only does hit "marketers" do I really want marketers bypassing my hosted email provider's spam rules and thus delivering crap DIRECTLY to my main Inbox?

Skype, Google, Microsoft and Cisco all in one panel

February 3, 2006

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland assembled quite the star-studded team of technology gurus and CEOs from Skype, Google, Microsoft, and Cisco to discuss IP communications. This included Microsoft's Bill Gates, Cisco's John Chambers, Google's Eric Schmidt and Skype/Ebay's Niklas Zennstrom. Now that is some technology panel! I wonder if they were all cordial to one another considering how competitive they are.

I also wonder if Niklas Zennstrom actually flew to Switzerland to participate or if he is concerned about being arrested there as well for his ole' Kazaa P2P file-sharing gig.

2006 the year of IPTV?

January 12, 2006

Is 2006 the year for IPTV? Certainly seems that way with all the releases I've been getting in email lately, including this one below, which lists broadband data and 400 IPTV channels. 400 channels? 400 CHANNELS!?!?!

PPC (pay-per-click) pixel ads?

January 12, 2006

I've written about pixel ads a few times, including the famous MillionDollarHomePage pixel ad site and I wrote about the interesting pixel ad site. Nowadays, they're certainly a dime-a-dozen. Still, that doesn't stop people from trying to repeat the success of the MillionDollarHomePage which sold its last 1000 pixels on eBay for $38,100. In fact, I was emailed by PixelPPC's owner the following new pixel ad concept - a pay-per-click pixel ad.

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