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

Nearly killed by a school bus this morning - Skype Phone Saves My Life

February 20, 2009

I was driving to work in my Volvo V70 XC (XC=Cross Country) which has all-wheel-drive and Blizzak snow tires when I approached a T intersection where I had to make a right-hand turn. Now normally a Volvo with AWD and Blizzak snow tires can cut through any amount of snow with no problem. I've driven it through blizzards, so I know.

In fact, there was some light snow on the roads in my neighborhood, but once I got to the main roads, they were completely dry. The road I was on is also well-traveled and appeared dry in most places and wet in others.

flaphone Enables Free Web-based SIP-to-Skype calls

February 20, 2009

Today, flaphone (formerly Flashphone) announced that users of their Flash VoIP application can now make a call from flaphone to skype. You simply need to enter sip:skype_username@skype after selecting "none"(global)" for the SIP account. I should mention that flaphone supports multiple SIP credentials, which is a really nice feature. I've been testing flaphone for several weeks now and have been meaning to write up their cool Flash-based VoIP application.

In any event, for my first test call I entered sip:tomkeating@skype and pressed the call button.

Build your own SIP-to-Skype gateway using Asterisk

February 17, 2009

While we wait for Digium's official SIP-to-Skype gateway, Nerd Vittles today informed me about his very cool recipe that you can use today to build your own free SIP-to-Skype gateway enabling you to use your SIP-based desktop phones connected to Asterisk to make Skype inbound/outbound calls.

Part of the recipe uses SipToSis - SIP to Skype Gateway Bridge Proxy. SipToSis is a piece of software which Nerd Vittles points out "forms the lynchpin of Gizmo's offering and which lets any Asterisk user create much the same gateway at no cost other than the expense of any Skype Out calls you may choose to make."

Nerd Vittles explains in his tutorial:
When we're finished, you'll be able to call any Skype user in the world from any extension on your Asterisk server by entering either a Skype username or any 10-digit telephone number preceded by an 8 to take advantage of SkypeOut calling rates. You'll also be able to receive incoming calls from any Skype user on any extension of your Asterisk system. In short, what you get is a transparent interface to several hundred million Skype users from your Asterisk server.

In summary, with this tutorial you'll be able to dial Skype users, as well as receive incoming calls from any Skype user!

Nokia runs Skype on Wi-Fi and 3G - Suck on that iPhone!

February 17, 2009

Skype and Nokia today announced that Skype will be integrated into Nokia devices, starting with the Nokia Nseries. The Nokia N97 flagship phone will be the first to incorporate Skype in the 3rd quarter of 2009.

Skype will be integrated into the address book of the Nokia N97, allowing you to see when Skype contacts are online and perform instant messaging (IM) or VoIP calls.

But here's the real kicker - the Nokia N97 will be able to use Wi-Fi and 3G to make and receive free Skype-to-Skype voice calls as well as Skype calls to landlines and mobile devices. The Apple iPhone on the other hand, restricts VoIP clients to just Wi-Fi VoIP calls and blocks 3G (data) VoIP calls.

OpenSky enables SIP-to-Skype Calls

February 10, 2009

Michael Robertson, CEO of Gizmo5 has done it again! He has launched a cool new service called OpenSky, a service that enables SIP-to-Skype calling. It's not the first time someone has broken the Great Wall of Skype to enable SIP-to-Skype calling, but it's always great to have a new method of accessing the popular Skype network using the standard SIP protocol.

Gizmo5's free Skype gateway called OpenSky is open to all users enabling any SIP-based VoIP software or SIP-based phone system to make calls to Skype users. What they've done is to create a SIP alias for every Skype user.

IPEVO Wi-Fi Phone for Skype

February 9, 2009

Skype Launches 4.0 with Super <strike>Duper Weenie</strike> Wideband Codec

February 3, 2009

According to Skype Journal, Skype has released Skype 4.0 to Gold. The new version sports not "wideband audio" but a "Super Wideband audio codec" or what I like to call the Super Duper Weenie Wideband codec after one of my favorite hot dog joints in Fairfield, CT. Course I haven't had a hot dog since TMC's Biggest Loser contest started. (I'm in 1st place by the way with over 7% weight lost)

The Skype Garage post explains:

Starting from this version we've included the new Super Wideband Audio codec. This is our second in-house built audio codec especially designed for calls over the internet with superb quality.

VoiceGear SkyBridge at ITEXPO

February 3, 2009

IndustryDynamics' VoiceGear SkyBridge is a Skype-to-PBX product that works with analog and VoIP PBX systems and connects them with the Skype network. I stopped by their booth at ITEXPO to learn more. They told me that SkyBridge supports up to 60 Skype accounts and up to 4 simultaneous Skype channels. They demonstrated the web interface used to provision Skype accounts and other settings.

Dual Stack SIP and Skype IP Phone Coming

January 30, 2009

Image is of the IPEVO Solo Desktop Skype phone not the forthcoming product. But picture something like this device that supports SIP, Skype, and has a color LCD

A source has told me about an interesting new VoIP/Skype product that is coming to market in Q3 2009. It's your typical desktop IP phone supporting the standard SIP stack, however it has an interesting twist - it also supports the Skype protocol.

The product is a dual-stack desktop phone supporting both the SIP and Skype protocols. Picture a Cisco, Polycom, or Aastra SIP-based phone that also supports Skype!

Speculation that eBay wants to offload Skype

January 26, 2009

According to The Times of London, rumors are that eBay wants to sell Skype after paying $2.6 billion to acquire Skype back in 2005. I wrote back then a few times that I thought eBay overpaid for Skype.

Let's assume the rumors are true. Who would be a potential buyer?

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