Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Technology and Science

Technology and Science

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 SlingMedia.com 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.

Happy 5th Birthday Skype!

August 29, 2008


Just want to wish Skype a Happy 5th Birthday. Skype has helped make VoIP a household name and has carried more VoIP minutes than any other VoIP software application out there. Well done Skype.

I hope you continue to innovate, though Andy Abramson writes today Skype is dropping Skypecasts, a nifty feature.


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.

Text-To-VoIP Plug-in for MorphVOX Pro

August 8, 2008


Found a cool Text-To-VoIP Plug-In for MorphVOX Pro that allows you to speak over the Internet or soft-phone using customizable text-to-speech voices. Essentially it lets you type phrases/words, it converts the text-to-speech, and then plays it over your PC's audio connection.

This plug-in allows you to type text messages to your friends over voice clients such as Ventrilo, MSN, Skype, softphones, World of Warcraft Voice Chat, Counter-Strike and other VoIP-enabled games. They claim the plug-in is helpful for people who cannot speak with their own voice or who would like a text alternative to communicating with voice.


Dynolicious for your Apple iPhone or iPod Touch - Coolest Apple App ever!

July 31, 2008

Dynolicious utilizes the accelerometer built in to your iPhone or iPod Touch to sense the motion of your vehicle to calculate performance statistics including 0-60 acceleration, 1/4 Mile Elapsed Time, Lateral G's, and Horsepower. Is this not the coolest Apple App ever? I would have headed over to the Apple App Store to buy this app pronto, except I no longer drive a high-performance Dodge Viper - I now drive a pokey Volvo.

Here's a photo of my beloved 2001 Dodge Viper at a Cape Cod motel before it was totalled by a 24-year old pharmacist one month after I sold it to him.

Texting 911 for Help & Targeting Terrorists who SMS with Hellfire Missiles

July 16, 2008

Forget all the E911 issues, VoIP 911 problems, etc. Just imagine texting 911 and having emergency personnel locate you. According to NWCN, King County believes the technology will be "available sooner than you think." King County is testing this new concept in Western Washington and four other municipalities by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

It can handle text messages, OnStar vehicles that crash, and even VoIP emergency calls.

Freebox France offers VoIP, HD TV, and Internet for just 29.99 €/month

July 8, 2008

I just happened to be checking out our firewall logs and noticed traffic coming from 88.160.222.185. Curious, I did a whois and figured out it was coming from http://www.proxad.net/ which redirects to http://www.free.fr/adsl/.

The first thing I noticed other than the fact that website is in French,-- which I can't read -- is that they offer Internet + Telephone + Television for 29.99 €/month. I was able to figure that out since apparently Internet, Telephone, and Television don't translate at all in French. They're the same words except for some accent letters, as seen here from a website screen grab I did:

What I can gather is that they offer 250 channels, ADSL (ADSL2+?), Freebox HD receiver, unlimited phone calls to 70 destinations, and even a WiFi-MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) router.



How about Your Own Invisibility Cloak

July 3, 2008

Apologies to Harry Potter, but we seem to be on the verge (I mean, just barely at the verge) of developing an invisibility gadget.

Yes, that's right -- invisibility. Like a Klingon Bird of Prey, the effect is the same: to hide the user from sight. While one mostly sees such technology being used for military purposes in books and movies, there are some applications that are grounded in reality. (Really?)

One approach to creating a cloaking device is using something called a superlens, which has what's called a negative refraction index.



PlayStation 3 helps discover oil

July 1, 2008

The technology used in the PlayStation 3 is being used to help explore and find oil much faster than before. Woohoo!

Using IBM technology, specifically the IBM PowerXCell 8i, which was originally developed for the Sony Playstation, a Spanish Oil company reports that specialized "Cell" microprocessors are speeding the search for oil and natural gas reserves located 30,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico up to 6 times faster than current technology. Repsol and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center are using a process known as Reverse Time Migration (RTM), a sophisticated subsurface imaging tool accepted by the oil industry.

It has proven essential for imaging areas of complex subsurface geological structure, such as the rich hydrocarbon provinces of the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and West Africa.



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