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Technology and Science

Technology and Science

ooma Telo vs. magicJack

February 23, 2009

Rich met with ooma recently to see their latest wares and hear about their current business model. Recently, ooma ditched the 'P2P voice network' idea where users actually "share" their home landline with others and instead became a traditional VoIP broadband provider. Apparently, the privacy issues were too much to overcome, since users were concerns about fraudulent activity happening on their home landline by outside ooma users. I had my own reservations about the business model as well, since they claimed it would take 2,000 strategicly placed ooma boxes in all the various local exchanges to get good local call coverage for free P2P calls.

Besides becoming a traditional VoIP broadband provider, ooma is now going to start offering high-end media phones, that according to Rich Tehrani will in the future feature a picture frame, in-house sensors and cameras.

Atlantis found by Google Earth? No way!

February 20, 2009

According to The Sun, aeronautical engineer Bernie Bamford was browsing through Google Ocean when he came upon this formation showing a perfect rectangle the size of Wales lying on the bed of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 3½ miles down. A series of criss-crossing lines that looks like a large city enclosed by the a boundary appears in Google Earth. I launched Google Earth myself to see, entered in the coordinates (N31.381 W24.375) and sure enough, there it is.

Now, it could simply be a series of seams in the topographic scans where areas are being tiled together along with missing scan data that has to be interpolated. However, according to The Sun article, Google responded as follows:
Google today claimed the criss-crossing lines were sonar data collected as boats mapped the ocean floor.

But the internet giant said "blank spots" within the lines could not be explained.

31 Million IP Phones shipped by Mayan 2012 Doomsday, the Media Phone, & Slow Consumer Adoption

February 13, 2009

According to In-stat, nearly 31 Million Business IP Phones will ship in 2012. That's if the Mayan 2012 Doomsday Prophecy doesn't come to pass. You know, the one where the Mayan calendar ends on December 21st, 2012 - the same date as the Winter Solstice and when the Earth will be in galactic alignment with the massive black hole at the center of our galaxy, as well as our sun, resulting in a planetary shift. The date 12-21-12 reads as, A-B-B-A-A-B.

Verizon Hub News

January 23, 2009

As I wrote a few days ago, Verizon plans to launch the Verizon Hub. I just learned the Verizon Hub will launch February 1st. As I also was the first to point out, my source told me that the Verizon Hub is essentially the same thing as the Verizon One (created by OpenPeak), which I wrote about in March 2007. In my post from a few days ago, I wrote, "One of my sources told me that the Verizon Hub is the same thing as the Verizon One, but apparently Verizon changed the name to the Verizon Hub deskphone."

The Verizon Hub is the evolution of the Verizon One. As part of that evolution, I hope they no longer restrict you to surfing specific websites. Or if they do have to limit it, I hope the list of allowed websites includes YouTube, Digg, Yahoo!

President-Elect Barack Obama's $40 billion <strike>Handout</strike> Bailout to Internet Providers

January 15, 2009

President-Elect Barack Obama is planning to send up to $40 billion in grants and loans bailout funds toward improving broadband availability and speeds as part of broader economic stimulus efforts, according to UBS analysts.

According to Telephony Online:
A draft of the proposed $825-billion economic stimulus bill circulating on Capitol Hill today lists $6 billion for expanding broadband "so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy," adding that this provision could well aid the job-creation goals of the larger economic stimulus effort.

PC World writes: The money will "strengthen the economy and provide business and job opportunities in every section of America with benefits to e-commerce, education and health-care," a House Appropriations Committee document said. "For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment."

10X the return? I'm not buying it. My BS meter just went off the scale.

Avaya acquires Nortel rumors

January 14, 2009

With today's news of Nortel's potential bankruptcy flying, my fellow TMC team members have been trading emails back-and-forth about Nortel's future. (See also Rich's overview).

Brendan Read had an interesting take that I thought I'd share:
This could cause a political firestorm in Canada: Nortel being a Canadian company, Avaya being American, expected more job losses from consolidation, Stephen Harper's Conservative minority government being propped up by the center-left parties including a resurgent Liberal party under its US-educated new leader Michael Ignatieff, and the bulk of Nortel's jobs being in the battleground province of Ontario.

Parliament resumes later this month with a new budget--and his deal could add enough explosives to the mix to ignite another election. Harper is a superb political gameplayer which is why he stopped the sale of the firm that made the Canadarm to an American outfit.

He then pointed to an Industry Week article where the sale was blocked by the Canadian government.

So is an Avaya acquisition of Nortel in the works?

Hard Drives Slow Down With Loud Background Noise

January 2, 2009

Apparently, disk drives are more sensitive to minor vibrations than previously thought. A blog post by Sun Microsystems engineer Brendan Gregg called "Unusual disk latency" discovered unusually high disk I/O latency during a streaming write test. He explains how disk drives latency can shoot up dramatically when someone shouts at them making them perform more slowly.

Yes, that's right, he can make his hard drives slow down simply by screaming at them. We've all been there, screaming at our PCs or Macs, i.e.

Toshiba 512GB Solid State Drive

December 18, 2008

Toshiba announced
that it will showcase a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month, with shipments of this large SSD in the second quarter of 2009. These NAND-flash-based solid state drives (SSD) will be the industry's first 2.5-inch 512-gigabyte SSD and features fast read/write times and reliable performance for laptops/notebooks, and other equipment.

In addition to the 2.5-inch, 512GB drive, the 43nm NAND SSD family also includes capacities of 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, offered in 1.8-inch or 2.5-inch drive enclosures or as SSD Flash Modules. The drives feature a maximum sequential read speed of 240MB per second (MBps) and maximum sequential write speed of 200MBps. This should definitely result in faster boot and application loading times. The drives also offer AES data encryption to prevent unauthorized data access.

512GB soon...

Nortel Web.Alive = Second Life for Business

December 15, 2008

Rich Tehrani has a very interesting post about Nortel's foray into virtualized business meetings. Think Second Life virtual world meets business world...

Rich participated in a virtual world demo with Nortel where they showed him web.alive. This business-oriented virtual world looks eerily similar to Second Life, including the 3D avatars, and 3D world but under the covers it sports something else - namely 3D audio powered by DiamondWare 3D stereoVoIP technology.

Scientists develop software that can 'Draw' your Dreams

December 11, 2008

Scientists have developed software that can 'draw' your dreams by reading your mind. Your dreams have now been unlocked with the invention of technology capable of illustrating images taken directly from human brains during sleep.

According to
A team of Japanese scientists have created a device that enables the processing and imaging of thoughts and dreams as experienced in the brain to appear on a computer screen.

While researchers have so far only created technology that can reproduce simple images from the brain, the discovery paves the way for the ability to unlock people's dreams and other brain processes.

We just took one step closer to telepathic communications, which would make this at least one half of this VoIP & Gadgets blog moot. After all, who needs Voice over IP communications when you can just "think" your thoughts and people can hear/see them? May as well ditch the iPhone as well.

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