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.

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Skype for Video Calls

June 28, 2011

Looks like the U.S. House of Representatives is adopting Skype to lower costs. According to Skype's Big Blog:
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Administration announced that they will open up the world of Skype communications to Members of Congress and their staff.

Microsoft Office 365 Launches

June 28, 2011

Today, Microsoft officially launched Office 365, the "cloud-based" version of Office, featuring the entire Office productivity suite and collaboration capabilities. Office 365 offers a range of service plans with monthly prices ranging from $2 to $27 per user per month.

Office 365 offers each user a 25-gigabyte (GB) mailbox and lets them send email messages up to 25 megabytes (MB). Besides email you can shared documents, do instant messaging, share your Desktop, perform video and Web conferencing, and more. The feature-rich Lync client lets you view presence, send IMs, and make VoIP or video calls.

Social ENUM Platform Enables Facebook & Twitter Phone Calls

June 27, 2011

ENUM resolves phone numbers into a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) or IP addresses. It's basically "DNS" for phone numbers, mapping a person's phone number to the person's IP address on the network for routing the call over IP over a carrier's network. ENUM offered the promise of a single point of contact for all communication devices, that has largely been unfulfilled. Now, with the exponential rise of social media networks, people are starting to self-identify themselves with their Facebook username or Twitter account ID more than their phone number.

Elfiq LB-800E Link Balancer Review

June 27, 2011

I had the opportunity to test and review the Elfiq LB-800E Link Balancer as part of a TMC Labs review for the September issue of Internet Telephony Magazine. It's an impressive product that does traffic balancing, ISP bonding, Ethernet bonding (EtherChannel), and enables plug-and-play bandwidth redundancy. I thought I'd share my review here. Enjoy!

Google Talk Adopts Jingle As Default VoIP Protocol

June 24, 2011

Google has adopted Jingle as the default protocol for Google Talk. Jingle is an extension of the XMPP which allows for peer-to-peer and session control (signalling) for multimedia interactions such as VoIP and videoconferencing.

The protocol was developed by Google, Collabora, Yate, Tandberg and Jabber Inc. Others that support it include Asterisk, FreeSWITCH, Nimbuzz, and Pidgin. Imagine a P2P protocol that lets the thousands of Asterisk-based PBXs to communicate with each other using XMPP. Taking the Asterisk ecosystem along with other large user bases from Nimbuzz, Google Talk, and potentially others could potentially build the largest P2P VoIP / video conferencing network in the world. Bigger than Skype.

Nimbuzz Still Growing - Even Without Skype

June 20, 2011

According to Nimbuzz, since July of 2010, more than 28 million new users joined Nimbuzz. That amounts to an impressive 100,000 new users every day and they've doubled in size in year to 50 million users. That's even with Skype telling Nimbuzz to buzz off and remove Skype integration.

Of course, even with Skype integration removed, Nimbuzz still supports Facebook, Yahoo, Windows Live, Google Talk, AIM, and others. So it's still a popular mobile VoIP and instant messaging app.

Still, without Skype support, I'd expect Nimbuzz's growth to slow a bit.

Skype Integrates Deeper with Facebook

June 20, 2011

Skype today announced beta version 5.5 for Windows which adds more Facebook features to its already tight integration with Facebook. The new version lets Skype for Windows v5.5 users instant message their Facebook friends via Skype, making Skype a nice consolidated app for all your IM needs. You can also comment on friend's Facebook status updates. You also have the ability to use the Facebook News Feed within Skype to "like" a friend's status or comment on it without logging into Facebook.

Google Promotes $.0007 VoIP Access Rate to FCC

June 17, 2011

Google recently weighed in on the Universal Service Fund (USF) and carrier access charges, which will affect the future of both broadband and VoIP. Over the past few years, there have been past court skirmishes over whether VoIP service providers must contribute to the FCC. VoIP has changed the landscape of telecom regulation and the FCC is scrambling to keep up, while not killing innovation or slowing the fast growing VoIP industry in the process.

With Google offering the popular Google Voice offering, which technically isn't VoIP, but could head in that direction, Google is leery over having to pay into the USF or pay carrier access charges. After all, if Google carries the voice call over IP, why should they have to pay into the USF, which was designed to help rural areas have subsidized access to the PSTN network?

Top 20 VoIP Innovators of All Time

June 13, 2011

VoIP has come a long way since it was first popularized by VocalTec in the mid 1990s. Here is a slideshow of the Top 20 VoIP Innovators of all time with photo captions explaining why they merit this top 20 ranking. Most innovators are companies, but not all. Two important VoIP standards make the list, which cannot be attributed to a single individual or company.

Patent Lawsuit Filed Against Skype - Here we go again!

June 7, 2011

When I saw the TechCrunch headline 'Patent Lawsuit Filed Against Skype Same Day Microsoft Deal Was Announced' I immediately thought of the various Joltid lawsuits filed by co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who own the P2P technology licensed by Skype. But surely, Microsoft, which acquired Skype would have made their due diligence before paying out $8.5 billion for Skype. It turns out that it's not JoltId's Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis suing.

According to Techcrunch:
The case is Via Vadis Vs. Skype and was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia. Via Vadis is a Luxembourg-based company with a license to the patents in question: U.S.

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