SightSpeed 5.0 beta released

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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SightSpeed 5.0 beta released

SiteSpeedSightSpeed just released their new beta version (5.0) of their video/voice over-IP software. The beta release includes significantly enhanced video quality, as well as PSTN Out calling and new Voice only PC to PC calling. They are also supporting Macs in this beta. I actually tested an older version of SightSpeed which had excellent voice and video quality, so I can't wait to check out the latest version.

SightSpeed's Phone Out, can be used to make low-cost PSTN calls from both PCs or Macs to anywhere in the U.S. for 2 cents per minute. You can also make calls to the United Kingdom or Japan for 3 cents per minute. They use Kayote Networks for termination. SiteSpeed informed me that SightSpeed's Phone In is coming soon, so SightSpeed users receive calls to their PC or Mac from within SightSpeed. As part of this release, SIP signaling for PSTN termination support is added as well as enhancements to its SOAP based interface for working with partners.

Now if only I could marry the best of Gizmo (Asterisk support, slick interface, call recording, XMPP support) with the best of SightSpeed (excellent video quality) along with the ability to interoperate with Skype and the ability to stream my videos to others (think Slingbox or Orb Networks) I'd have the perfect softphone! Alas, that day has not yet come, so we still have a fractured market with many softphones each with their stengths and weaknesses.

Nevertheless, the SightSpeed client is pretty impressive. Just check out the synopsis of the new features:

PC-to-PC-Voice Only Calls
This new mode is perfect for those times a user doesn't want or need video, these voice calls are always free to other SightSpeed members.

Improved Video
SightSpeed significantly enhanced its video quality through the addition of a new advanced beta codec found within SightSpeed by clicking Settings and selecting Optional Settings. The new video codec is the last option on this list and will be standard when the 5.0 release comes available in July.

Enhanced Contact List Display Options
The new contact list manager provides multiple ways to see who is online and offline and provides the choices available for how to contact them. They also announced they will be working with Plaxo for contact management integration.

Finally, is it me, or does it seem like everyone in the VoIP space is now integrating with Plaxo for contact management? Jajah, a VoIP client uses Plaxo. I'm one of the beta testers for AOL PhoneLine and it too features Plaxo integration. Soon Plaxo will become the online Yellow/White Pages to find anyone in the world with instant click-to-call. Once everyone uses them for easy VoIP click-to-call functionality, the NSA will coming knocking on Plaxo's door - "We want to know who Tom Keating has been talking to. He's Irish, so we suspect he's part of the IRA terrorist organization."

Kidding aside, I have no problem with the NSA tracking who I call. I have nothing to hide. From what I understand they are only tracking numbers dialed and are not recording the content of the calls. After they find suspicious patterns for an individual they then have to get a court warrant. So NSA, you have my permission to track and find the terrorists any which way you can (legally under the Constitution), then send in the Predator drones to kill them dead. (yes, I know 'kill' and 'dead' in the same sentence is redundant).

ACLU members and libertarian readers feel free to blast away on my views of privacy, your interpretation of the Constitution, and the legality of NSA "wiretapping" (though 'wiretapping' is a misnomer since they are acquiring call records).  Flame away!

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