Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Digium AsteriskNOW News and more...

August 25, 2008

As I hinted last week, I would have some "interesting" news to tell after my visit to Digium's brand new headquarters along with colleagues Greg Galitzine and Dave Rodriguez. Before I get into the MAJOR news being made by Digium, let me cover what else I learned on my trip. It had been 3 years since I last visited Digium down in Huntville, Alabama.

After getting a grand tour of the new Digium building we sat down in a state-of-art boardroom complete with a high-end Polycom IP conferencing unit, theater lighting, and a projector with motorized retractable screen. The boardroom was named the Mark C. Smith Boardroom to honor Mark Smith, who was the founder and chief executive officer of ADTRAN and Mark Spencer's mentor.

Digium AA50 1.2 Software Released

August 19, 2008

Yesterday, Digium released version 1.2 for the Digium Asterisk Appliance 50 (AA50). It's been awhile since I've heard any news about the AA50, so I'm glad to see Digium is still developing for the AA50 even with their new Switchvox-based AA60 appliance offering and their even newer AA300 & AA350 offerings. Actually, I discussed whether Digium's AA60, AA300, and AA350 would compete against their original AA50 Asterisk appliance, which might be worth a read. In a nutshell, I stated that they target different sized businesses.

Objectworld Offers Unified Communications for 7 Cents a Day

July 22, 2008

Today, Objectworld introduced Unified Communications for just 7 cents per day per user. Their platform can work with your existing non-VoIP PBX via gateways or you can go the 100% VoIP route as well since their server can communicate with any SIP-based IP-PBX.

It's a pretty feature-rich solution offering VoIP, personal call control, text-to-speech, conference server, unified messaging, integrated fax server, Active Directory-based administration, ODBC-enabled service creation environment, presence-based operator console and more. Often unified communications solutions are priced out of the range for the SMB. Essentially, Objectworld's solution helps being UC to the SMB at an affordable price.

Check out the news...

Existing PBX systems become UC-enabled delivering improved workforce productivity and efficiency

Objectworld Communications Corp., a leading provider of unified communications (UC) and communications-enabled business process (CEBP) software solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses with Microsoft Windows platforms, announced today the most cost-effective UC solution for businesses.

trixbox 2.0 launches

April 15, 2008

trixbox version 2.0 launched today. Current trixbox customers will automatically receive their upgrade to 2.0 between today (Tax Day) April 15th and Wednesday, April 16th, and best of all, it's 100% FREE. trixbox Pro Version 2.0 is a big release for trixbox, in fact Fonality boldly claims it as "actually our biggest ever, adding over 120 enhancements to your phone system."

Here are some highlighted new features:

All Editions 
FONcall™ is a plug-in for the Firefox web browser which turns any phone number on any web site into a link. Just click the link and your phone will automatically dial -- it's that simple. 

Aastra AastraLink Pro 160

March 18, 2008

Aastra Telecom has entered the IP-PBX game with the AastraLink Pro 160. This is a very interesting move since Aastra Telecom is known for their IP phones used by various IP-PBXs, including many of the Asterisk-based solutions - trixbox, AsteriskNOW, Druid, PBX in a Flash, etc. With the AastraLink Pro 160 Aastra is now competing with IP-PBX vendors that purchase their phones. It will be interesting to see if some IP-PBX vendors, especially the Asterisk-based ones, move towards other IP phones such as Polycom.

Akros Silicon Launches First 802.3at PoE chipset

March 17, 2008

Akros Silicon is a startup started back in 2005 that is one of the most important VoIP players you've probably never heard of. Akros Silicon develops Power over Ethernet (PoE) chipsets used in VoIP telephones, IP cameras, wireless access points (WAPs), routers, switches, thin clients, LCD displays, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) capability, new multi-radio 802.11n Wireless Access Points, WiMax Customer Premise Equipment, SOHO Ethernet Switches, Thin Clients and more. Akros Silicon's chipsets are used in popular PoE IP telephones. You probably have or will soon have Akros Silicon's chipset in one of your network devices!

Voiceroute Druid Open Source Edition Launches offering New Open Source Asterisk GUI Front End

March 12, 2008

Voiceroute gave me an exclusive first look at their latest Asterisk-based solution called Druid Unified Communications Server, which today launched their open sourced version at Druid UCS gives Asterisk fans a new and powerful open source Asterisk-based Unified Communications solution. Besides now being open source, one of Druid's highlighted features is a user-friendly admin graphical user interface that makes extensive use of AJAX for a rich user experience for easier setup and ongoing administration. I should point out that FreePBX is also open source and is bundled with Asterisk-based solutions such as trixbox, PBX in a Flash, and Elastix.

PBXtra 4.0 Released

March 4, 2008

Fonality today announced the release of PBXtra 4.0. New features in PBXtra include FindMe with Boomerang Mobile Integration, a feature that uses presence detection to automatically find employees on their mobile devices, allowing them to answer the call or bounce it to another extension. Other new features include tighter integration with mobile phones and web browsers, and enhanced support of branch offices.

One really cool feature that is part of the Boomerang Mobile feature is that you can dial *1 to record the mobile phone call and have it automatically stored on the PBXtra server. Another cool feature that Chris Lyman CEO of Fonality gave me a sneak preview a few weeks ago was FONcall, a new PBXtra plug-in for the Firefox web browser.

snom VoIP phone hacked

February 12, 2008

Those same rascals that figured out how to do call jacking on the popular BT Home Hub to make free "hacked" VoIP calls have done it again! is a group of security experts that just discovered a vulnerability in the administrative web interface in snom Technology's model 320 VoIP phone. They way it was discovered is that a router hacking challenge was launched and which as a "side result" caused GNUCitizen to discover a security flaw in the snom 320 VoIP phone. In GNUCitizen's blow-by-blow discovery he writes, "Although not directly related to the router hacking contest, the results I’ve got were rather disturbing and made me get a totally new view on the VoIP phone security landscape." (I'll say...)

The big hack involves the ability of some VoIP phones to make phone calls from the Web interface using a simple web POST request.

Future of SIP to Skype Gateway in Doubt?

February 4, 2008

I have strong disagreements with a guest blog post on Skype Journal that was posted a few days ago titled "A SIP/Skype Gateway Is NOT In The Forecast". I totally disagree that a SIP/Skype gateway isn't in the forecast. I've blogged on a few occasions where I discussed the desire for Skype users to have SIP connectivity. First, let me include an excerpt where the guest blogger, Hudson Barton lays out his argument:
Skype's competitors and critics continually point out that Skype's VOIP architecture is closed and that its API is not adequate for creating a direct connection between the Skype "cloud" and the SIP "cloud".
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