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


iPod Camera Connector Review

April 26, 2005

Apple iPod Camera Connector

Check out the full review of the new iPod Camera Connector from Apple. Since I am going on vacation next week, I was looking for some way to backup my camera photos to a laptop. In fact, I was planning on "lugging" my laptop while on vacation. I learned the hard way that backing up photos is critical as my camera was stolen on the plane on the way to my honeymoon with my wife.

History of Video Games

April 26, 2005

Ah, the history of video games. Who hasn't reminisced about the good ole' days of Pong, Pacman, Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Tank, Space Invaders, Asteroids, and all the other classic video games? Have you ever wondered how video games got their start? Have you ever wondered who invented the first video game?

8x8 Slashes Price Of Packet8 Videophone To $99

April 14, 2005

Wow! Videophones are typically very expensive, so to cut their videophone to $99 is very impressive and they reduced the monthly service charge as well. Perhaps this will entice more users to purchase the Packet8 Videophone. (Check out my review of the Packet8 Videophone)

8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), provider of Packet8 broadband voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications services, announced today that it has reduced the price of the Packet8 Broadband Consumer VideoPhone from $250 (after rebate) to $99 and decreased the monthly service fee from $29.95 to $19.95, effective immediately.

AOL VoIP Review

April 14, 2005

I don't have AOL as my ISP, so I figured I'd link to the first review I have seen of AOL's new Internet VoIP service. This AOL VoIP review was written by Edward Baig of USA Today. He breaks out the pricing options as follows:

AOL members can choose among three pricing options. A local-oriented monthly calling plan costs $13.99 for three months, $18.99 thereafter.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition uses Sendia

April 13, 2005

I just finished writing a product review of Sendia for Customer Interaction Solutions when I received this email below about how a reality TV show is using Sendia's technology. Normally I would not "taint" my blog by promoting a reality TV show (i.e. trash TV), but I deemed it news worthy... I promise to never mention another reality TV show again in my blog.

rapidBox vs. ActionTec Internet Phone Wizard

March 29, 2005

Yesterday I posted my review of the ActionTec Internet Phone Wizard with Skype. Ironically, four days earlier I received an email tip about a very similar device called rapidBox from RapidVoIP, which retails for $49.99 and is ~$20 cheaper than the ActionTec device.

I have not tested the rapidBox, but like the ActionTec device, it supports Skype and can ring analog phones. In addition, according to its specs, unlike the ActionTec, it has an 3 RJ11 ports (ActionTec has 2 RJ11 ports), so you can actually have 2 persons on the same line talking to the caller. Of course you could just use a phone splitter.

iPod FM Transmitter

March 24, 2005

I was just telling my coworker this morning how my iPod FM transmitter apparently stopped working. I can barely hear the music while dialed to 87.7FM. There was a strong station on 87.9FM, but I tried getting it to work over a 32 mile trip and it was 99% static with barely audible music in the background. I actually only used this iPod FM transmitter once, and was going to write a review on it, but I must have forgotten, so it sat in my winter hibernating Viper for the past 8 months.

While cleaning the car I realized I had forgotten about this little gadget, so I took it to work with me in my 3000GT.

Breakthrough VoIP Softphone HA! HA!

March 4, 2005

Just received an interesting release about a softphone client that is so full of BS, I just had to laugh. See if you can guess whose release it is.

Let's play Jeopardy!
<excerpts from the release>
- "breakthrough 'soft phone'"
- first device of its kind to market, <company's> soft phone will allow road warriors to make and receive phone calls using the Internet at any wireless hot sp location, for example, in airports, aboard planes, at coffee shops etc.
- The <company> "soft phone" is more than just a phone: it is a networking device with a phone-like user interface featuring a microphone, numeric keypad and displays. However, the <company> soft phone also offers more PDA-like features such as direct dialing with address books and the capacity to store contact lists.

(technically Jeopardy is not multiple choice, but just go with me here)

Is the answer:
A) Skype
B) Xten
C) SJLabs
E) some new company I never heard of.

If you answered E), congratulations!

A,B,C,and D all have "PDA-like features such as direct dialing with address books and the capacity to store contact lists." So I don't undertand why E) claims that this is a major breakthrough.

Actually, the release doesn't claim they were first to have these features, but when it followed the statements "breakthrough 'soft phone'" and "first device of its kind to market <company's> soft phone will allow road warriors to make and receive phone calls using the Internet at any wireless hot spot location" I couldn't help but think they were also claiming to be first to have a built-in address book, and the first to work in hotspots.

I also have to wonder if this company, namely Nicer Canada Corporation saw the news release from yesterday where Broadreach and Skype teamed up to offer free VoIP at Wi-Fi hot spots.

NYIT Students Build Home of the Future

February 23, 2005

This is non-show related, but a very fascinating release nonetheless. Hmm, that's twice today I've used the word "fascinating" - one of Spock's favorite one liners. Must be the Star Trek Marathon I watched a few days ago. Anyway, this is a pretty cool release discussing how students build a home powered entirely by the sun.

Below is a copy of the press release NYIT STUDENTS BUILD THE HOME OF THE FUTURE.

Clocking In with your IP Phone

February 23, 2005

I just received the following pitch... (followed by my comments below)

Human resources departments spend an inordinate amount of money each year trying to streamline labor management processes.  Due to human error from manual processes, many employees are getting away with working very few hours. Companies are looking for a variety of technology solutions to decrease labor management, thereby, increasing productivity.

Thanks to the advances in technology and phones, specifically IP phones, they can now be used to help with labor management processes and help companies save money and time overall.

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