Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Social CRM Expo Expands at ITEXPO

December 3, 2010

Some TMC news worth sharing involving ITEXPO co-located with Social CRM Expo and which is just a short 2 months away. With the holidays approaching, it'll probably go by even quicker, so make sure to reserve a hotel room now before they all book up! Not to mention February in Miami? You know Miami is popular in the winter.

ooVoo Adds Facebook and YouTube Integration

November 9, 2010

Today ooVoo announced their new 2.9 software update which includes powerful social media integration and video sharing. In 2.9, users can connect and share their ooVoo status with Facebook and invite Facebook friends to join them on ooVoo, as well as upload recorded video calls or messages to YouTube.

“Our latest 2.9 release with Facebook and YouTube integration is a great first step in allowing fans of ooVoo to combine their social networks with their video chat experience,” said Philippe Schwartz, CEO of ooVoo.  “The growth of our high quality service is driven by our goal to provide seamless video communication on multiple platforms.  We’ll continue to grow as we integrate social media tools and launch new products that help ooVoo accomplish anywhere, anytime video communications.”

Other changes in version 2.9 include the launch of “ooVoo Buddy,” a tool designed to help users create video messages or launch a multi-person call, and inform users of new features that can enhance their ooVoo experience. 

Skype Meets Facebook - But Not Without Problems

October 14, 2010

Skype 5.0 has been released with some new features, including Facebook integration. A new Facebook tab appears within the Skype client, which shows Facebook's 'News Feed' and a phone book. When I linked my Facebook account, I noticed under the privacy settings it said "Access my data any time. Skype may access my data when I'm not using the application".

Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte Gives Fascinating Keynote At StartupCamp

October 5, 2010

ITEXPO hosted the 2nd annual Startup Camp where startup companies in the telecom, VoIP, wireless, CRM, and social media industries give a short 5 minute demo of their product or service. Then a few panelists critique their presentation. It lead to some interesting critiques. You'll definitely want to attend the next Startup Camp if you missed this one!

The keynote speaker at StartupCamp was Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte, who has been actively involved in the future of communications for years, dating back to his involvement in what became the Gizmo Project (Gizmo5), and to his executive roles with Yahoo!’s Real-time Communications Group.

His keynote was one of the highlights of the event and I'm glad I was able to record about 80% of his insightful and funny presentation.

Facebook Phone? Who cares!

September 20, 2010

TechCrunch started a firestorm when they said Facebook was working on a "Facebook phone", resulting in denials by Facebook, and finally TechCrunch called Facebook and their PR outright liars. Everyone was in a tizzy that Facebook was purportedly building a phone based on Google's Android operating system. Even my boss, Rich Tehrani is excited about the potential.

I say "so what?" and "who cares?" Look, I like Facebook and I use it all the time, but there already exists Facebook apps for the iPhone, Android devices, and other mobile platforms. So why the need for Facebook to build their own Android-based mobile phone?

Dan Frommer over at Business Insider disagrees.

Scitable - Social Network Changes Face of Scientific Learning

August 19, 2010

Scitable is an offshoot of Nature Publishing Group, which is the publisher of Nature, Scientific American and about 70 other magazines. I interviewed Vikram Savkar, Scitable's SVP of publishing to learn more about Scitable and how this online social network is changing the face of learning in the scientific community.

Vikram, "We're one of the leading publishers in science research in the world. What we've never done until recently is publish something for the scientific education community. We always published research for researchers, but we came to feel that there was a real possibility that there aren't going to be enough researchers in the next generation to do the important scientific work that needs to be done."

He added, "40% of students that start their college years in the U.S.

Vonage Mobile app for Facebook Launches

August 4, 2010

Today, Vonage launched Vonage Mobile application for Facebook: A new service which allows users to make free mobile calls to all of their Facebook friends who have the app as well. That's a bit of a stumbling block since your friends need the app installed to make VoIP calls. Although, you can IM them from within the free app regardless of whether they have the Vonage app installed. But once installed by both parties, it can be convenient to make free calls to any of your Facebook friends, especially since you can see when they are "online" (presence).

Facebook To Launch Dating Site?

July 29, 2010

Is Facebook planning to launch a dating site? It certainly would make a lot of sense. Let's look at the evidence. First, did you see the recent announcement of Amazon's new social feature integrating Facebook into your Amazon recommendations?

Facebook Uses BitTorrent to Upgrade Servers

June 25, 2010

Facebook has thousands of servers to maintain and upgrade scattered across many locations. Imagine you're the IT staff responsible for updating all those servers in a timely manner across the Internet so they're all running the same code. Some of these upgrades are hundreds of megabytes.

Fortunately, BitTorrent is great at distributing large files very fast via its P2P technology. Facebook's Tom Cook (systems engineering group) spoke at the Velocity Conference with a speech titled 'A Day in the Life of Facebook Operations' where he explained how BitTorrent made server deployment much faster.

Adobe Flash 10.1 Adds P2P VoIP, Social Networking, IM

April 16, 2010

The latest version of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 (still in beta) adds support for RTMFP Groups. This is huge because it enables clients to easily communicate with other clients in a network in order to share the transport of media and communications without maintaining a connection to every peer in the group. Groups can be defined by their functionality and access can be controlled by the client application, whether it's a VoIP app, chat app or a social networking app.

They also added support for Directed Routing, which enables a developer to create communication applications and send data messages to a specific peer in the group. Critical features of RTMFP include low latency (critical for VoIP), end-to-end peering capability, security and scalability.

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