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


VoIP news, trends, and opinions, VoIP reviews. Covering Asterisk, Cisco, Grandstream, Polycom, Microsoft, Vonage, Packet8, etc.

Skype 2.6 for Android Sports Image and Video Sharing

December 13, 2011

Skype just released Skype 2.6 for Android, with a new feature that lets you send photos and videos to your Skype buddies. I haven't tested this yet, but I'm going to assume there isn't a size limit and no compression being performed on your images or video. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, i.e. longer transmission times, but better image quality.

Digium TE820 8-port T1/E1 Card Released

December 13, 2011

According to Digium, they just released their 8-port T1/E1 card designed for high density Asterisk deployments. The TE820 includes eight independently software-selectable digital telephony interfaces, supporting up to 192 channels (in T1/J1 mode) or 240 channels (in E1 mode).

In a Digium email announcement, Digium claims this is the highest single-card port density available for use with Asterisk - though Sangoma's A108 Octal 8-port T1/E1 card might have something to say about that.

Features/Specs of the TE820:
  • 8 T1 / E1 Spans using 4 RJ45 connectors (each supporting 2 circuits). Break out dongles included.
  • Up to to 192 (T1/J1) or 240 (E1) concurrent calls per card
  • PCI Express form factor / half-length, full-height card
  • Interfaces are software selectable (T1, E1, or J1 Mode)
  • Optional 128ms hardware echo cancellation module
The TE820 card supports industry standard telephony protocols, including multiple variants of Primary Rate ISDN.

Microsoft Lync Profiles Utility

December 12, 2011

So you want to switch Lync profiles but are tired of having to logout and type in the other credentials (username + password), eh? Well, I came across a cool new utility for Microsoft Lync that saves your various usernames, passwords, and both the internal & external URLs. Called Profiles for Lync (or P4L for short), the developer explains, "This app fills what has been to date an annoying gap in the feature offer, especially for partners/integrators: with P4L it’s as easy as clicking a button to logout of Lync and log back in with another set of credentials – and even into another system!"

Who wouldn't like the ability to switch Lync profiles quickly without having to remember usernames and passwords? Although, unless you sport some secret identity like a superhero, you likely maintain a single, non-anonymous user identity for your corporate-based Lync client. So really this utility is only useful for IT/MIS personnel testing and troubleshooting Lync, as well as VARs and resellers that deploy Lync at customer locations.

Dilbert is a Skype Fan. Who knew?

December 12, 2011

Microsoft Lync Mobile available now!

December 11, 2011

Looks like the December 12th launch date I wrote about on Friday was correct.  It's already available for download for Windows Phone 7. Nothing yet on Apple's App Store.

Screenshot I took in the Windows Marketplace:

Ironically I took this screenshot from my iPad. Below is the text from the Windows Marketplace. The iPad is a little wonky with the clipboard.

Microsoft Lync Mobile Client Launches in 3 Days!

December 9, 2011

Back in August I told you Microsoft informed me that the Microsoft Lync mobile client was coming "very very soon". Microsoft told me the mobile Lync client would support both voice and video on Android, Apple's iOS and Windows Mobile 7, explaining, "it will dependent on the device, but it will be enabled at some point at time." They pointed out that some devices don't have a front-facing camera so having a videoconference via a mobile Lync client wouldn't necessarily make sense.

Well, at the Lync mobile "partner-only" virtual event some more details about the long awaited mobile Lync client has been released. First, the launch date. According to this tweet, Lync Mobile clients will be on the market / launched on December 12th.

Skype Releases Click-to-Call Update

December 8, 2011

Today, Skype released an update to Skype Click to Call for Windows which includes support for Firefox 9 and Chrome 16, as well as performance improvements in Internet Explorer and Chrome. It used to slow my PC browser down years ago, so I've gotten in the happen of disabling it after each Skype install. Maybe it's better now.

Still, personally I hate the Skype click-to-call feature, which automatically changes numbers in websites into clickable Skype links with (typically) an American flag next to it. I find it annoying since I often need to copy/paste something from the website and it grabs all the underlying Skype HTML gobbledygook code that I then have to clean up.

Jabra PRO 900 Series Unveiled

December 6, 2011

Today, Jabra launched the Jabra PRO 900 series, which includes two headset models - the Jabra PRO 920 (base unit wired to desk phone + headset is wireless) and the Jabra PRO 930 (base unit wired to PC [USB] + wireless headset). Jabra stated these are entry-level wireless headsets with a retail price of $199 is aimed at companies that cannot afford typically expensive wireless headsets, so they designed these headsets for this market.

I'm not sure $199 is exactly inexpensive, but I'd have to see how much competing products from Plantronics and others cost. In any event, they are targeting the Jabra PRO 930 for companies implementing Unified Communications and leveraging PC-based telephony, i.e. a SIP softphone, Cisco softphone, etc. 

Microsoft upgrades Xbox Live But Rumored Skype Integration is False

December 5, 2011

The upcoming Metro update to Microsoft’s Xbox, will start to be pushed down to your Xbox console some time this week, but alas it doesn't appear to contain the rumored Skype integration, which several rumors hinted at a Fall release. Well it's winter and the latest release doesn't appear to contain Skype integration with Xbox live. At least that is my assumption from reading the various news articles on the latest Xbox Dashboard, including Microsoft's official announcement, which make no mention of any Skype integration.

Localphone Offers Free Calling Thanksgiving Promo for 4 Days

November 23, 2011

For four days (from 5am GMT Thurs 24th to 5am GMT Mon 28th) Localphone, a 4 year old company based in Sheffield, UK, is offering free calls to the U.S., no strings attached. Truphone offered a similar promo in 2009. A Localphone rep told me, "Customers can call for as long as they want and to as many people as they want and we won't charge them a penny. This offer is open to all Localphone customers, new and old.
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