Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype P2P VoIP

Skype Tops the IM Charts Surpassing Windows Live Messenger

September 18, 2009

Is The End of Skype Near?

September 18, 2009

As you probably heard, Joltid has sued eBay and now the new consortium of buyers, over the P2P licensing rights used in Skype.

Brad from the 'Twilight in the Valley of the Nerds' blog emailed me to say he read my Joltid article, including the comments from Julian Cain, a former Kazaa employee, where Julian commented that Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Fris can remotely shut down Skype by remotely revoking the cryptographic keys.

In my article, Cain wrote in the comments section:

I worked on Kazaa at the same time Skype was being developed in the labs at Joltid.

There is a history of this greed so let me lay it out:

Kazaa was built as a client on top of a p2p library named FastTrack.
Joltid which was known as "consumer empowerment" at the time licensed the FastTrack p2p stack to Grokster. Having said that the Kazaa client was made brand-able. The 3 guys that built the original FastTrack library did not use proper Cryptographic code at the time and decided to build their own because Nick and Janus wanted the protocol to be protected so they could build the empire. Now back to Grokster, this same thing happened to them but it was supposedly due to default payment for the FastTrack license.

Siphon SIP App for iPhone Works over AT&T's 3G network? Holy Toledo!

September 17, 2009

I tested Siphon, a SIP-based VoIP application for the iPhone, in California at ITEXPO. Interestingly, Siphon worked perfectly in California over AT&T's 3G data network. Yes, you read that right - VoIP over 3G! I couldn't contain my giddiness when I realized I could now register my iPhone with TMC's Asterisk-based IP-PBX and make/receive calls.

Skype Nixes Skype Extras

September 14, 2009

While everyone from Apple to Palm to Microsoft have built or are building an app store, it appears Skype is getting out of the app business. I read the news on Friday on CNet that Skype is pulling the plug on its Extras program, which enables third-party developers to create add-ons for Skype. According to CNET, "not enough people were installing Skype Extras, Skype said in both an e-mail and in a blog post to developers."

Skype is allowing for some transition time, but it won't certify any new applications and any existing Extras will eventually have their digitally signed certificate expire. So your favorite third-party Skype Extra will eventually die.

Ok, so maybe Skype Extras wasn't that popular with Skype users, but I think Skype is to blame, not the developers.

Skype for iPhone 1.2 Crash Problem Fixed

September 10, 2009

Many users have been complaining about Skype for iPhone 1.2 crashing or locking up their iPhones. The recent 1.2 version released just last Friday repeatedly crashes either after logging on or dialing a number and affects both jailbroken and non-jailbroken iPhones. A thread on the Skype forums revealed some very unhappy users.

Well, today Skype released 1.2.1, a hotfix, to solve this problem.

Raul on the Skype blog writes:

With this hotfix we have addressed three issues about what you have been telling to us lately.

We would suggest for everyone to upgrade in iTunes.

Skype for iPhone Comes to Canada

September 9, 2009

If you recall, I wrote how Skype for iPhone and iPod touch was blocked in Canada. A Skype representative told me, "There are some patent-licensing issues which prevent us from offering it there." The Skype representative went on to say "I can't go into many more details other than it's codec related."

Well my Canadian brothers, rejoice! Today, Skype is bringing the iPhone & iPod touch app to Canada after settling the dispute. The Skype for iPhone application for iPhone and iPod touch is available immediately on the App Store in Canada.

As to the dastardly villain who was blocking Skype for iPhone in Canada, I contacted a Skype representative but he couldn't disclose the company name.

Why Did the Skype eBay Marriage Fail?

September 2, 2009

Skype for Asterisk Launches

September 1, 2009

At TMC's ITEXPO, Digium and Skype announced the official launch of Skype for Asterisk, which was launched as a closed beta back in September 2008. Well, now anyone can now download Skype for Asterisk and make & receive low-cost calls leveraging Skype.

According to Digium, "Now businesses can take advantage of Skype's low-cost calling to landlines and mobile phones and free calling to more than 400 million registered Skype users around the world. Skype for Asterisk allows businesses to access the world's largest community of people communicating over the Internet, natively encrypts all voice calls and lets companies manage their Skype user accounts via Skype's Web-based Business Control Panel. Businesses already using an Asterisk-based phone system can add Skype as another complementary form of communications by downloading Skype for Asterisk, without additional costly hardware.

FREETALK Everyman Skype Headset Review

August 6, 2009

The FREETALK Everyman is a foldable super wideband audio "Skype certified" USB headset designed by Skype themselves. Why this isn't called the Skype Everyman headset is beyond me. I guess perhaps why want to market this headset as doing much more than Skype calls. They sent me one for review today so I thought I'd write up my impressions.

When I opened it out of the box I noticed the large speakers and the flexible rotation for additional comfort when wearing it.

Nimbuzz VoIP/IM App Has huge Apple App Store Marketshare

July 16, 2009

With yesterday's news about the new Nimbuzz for iPhone app and the launch of a Nimbuzz Mac client, I contacted Tobias Kemper, Head of Communications for Nimbuzz and asked him a question about DTMF/touch-tone support in any pending release.

Any plans for DTMF support?

Noticed when I tested it by calling my Skype for SIP account matched up to my corporate PBX that I couldn't reach my extension since there is no dialpad once the call is initiated.

I know touchtones are tricky when sent over an IP connection, which is what RFC 2833 is for. However, RFC 2833 is probably impossible for you guys to support.

However, I've found if you simulate the exact frequency tones and send that as a long tone - say 0.5s long, 99% of the time it gets transmitted just fine. Can often get away with ΒΌ of a second as well.

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