Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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friends of fring

September 2, 2008

fring is offering a limited number of "friends of fring" with exclusive access to news, and features before general release. I like to call fring the "Swiss Army knife of mobile VoIP" supporting SIP, Skype, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Twitter, and AIM. I have it installed on my Windows Mobile 6.1 phone. As a "friend of fring" you can also provide feedback.

Happy 5th Birthday Skype!

August 29, 2008

Just want to wish Skype a Happy 5th Birthday. Skype has helped make VoIP a household name and has carried more VoIP minutes than any other VoIP software application out there. Well done Skype.

I hope you continue to innovate, though Andy Abramson writes today Skype is dropping Skypecasts, a nifty feature.

fring touchtone DTMF support - uh hello?

August 25, 2008

I've been playing around with fring for awhile now. I like fring which I like to call "the Swiss army knife of mobile VoIP and IM", since it works with Skype, SIP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, and AIM. Because it supports SIP, I'm able to configure fring to work on Asterisk-based systems to be able to make and receive phone calls.

Receiving calls to my '149' SIP extension (see screenshot) works great on my Windows Mobile 6.1 Verizon XV6700 (Apache) phone.

VoSKY Exchange Pro VISIP-EX SIP PBX-to-Skype gateway

August 19, 2008

just announced the VoSKY Exchange Pro VISIP-EX, a SIP-to-Skype gateway product that bridges the Skype network with SIP-based IP-PBXs and SIP gateways. The VoSKY Exchange Pro VISIP-EX enables companies with SIP-enabled PBXs to add Skype trunks for inexpensive calling. This isn't the first SIP-to-Skype gateway, I've written about others here, here, here, and here, however, this is the first "Skype-certified", enterprise-grade PBX-to-Skype gateway for SIP networks.

The new VoSKY Exchange Pro VISIP-EX is based on the company's enterprise-grade Linux platform and connects an IP-PBX to Skype to dramatically reduce telecom costs up to 90% over traditional telco trunks according to VoSKY.
The VoSKY Exchange Pro VISIP-EX integrates with any existing IP-PBX through SIP trunk ports and adds up to 30 lines of Skype.

How much data does fring consume?

August 5, 2008

Skype Beta 1 for Windows

July 31, 2008

Skype just released a new beta of 4.0.called Skype Beta 1 for Windows. Just remember there are some caveats to using Skype 4.0 beta. Read here for more.

Here's what's new / fixes:

30.07.2008 Skype Beta 1 for Windows
  • change: Firefox Skype plugin updated to version
  • bugfix: Video mood and instant messages did not work when user had Flash Player 10 installed
  • Localizations updated
Also, here's what was fixed in the prior version of the Skype beta:

09.07.2008 Skype Beta for Windows

  • bugfix: Renaming a contact did not work correctly
  • bugfix: New audio device notification was sometimes wrongly presented for SoundMax devices

  • bugfix: Incoming chat notification was played when it should not have been
  • bugfix: Changing ringing device also changed speakers
  • bugfix: No sound was played when sending a chat message
  • bugfix: It was not possible to remove echo123 from the contact list
  • bugfix: Skype sometimes crashed when recording voicemail
  • bugfix: Getting Started Wizard sometimes misbehaved after making a test call
Go grab your new copy here.

3CX Free SIP Softphone

July 31, 2008

3CX has announced the release of a totally free new VoIP softphone called 3CX VoIP Phone that allows users to make and receive calls from their computer using SIP-based VoIP providers or SIP-based IP-PBXs. This free SIP softphone client isn't the first "free" softphone on the market. That distinction belongs to Counterpath's popular X-lite SIP softphone. However, I'm glad to see more free SIP softphones on the market.

In fact, I'd like to see free SIP softphone clients for Windows Mobile and the iPhone. Counterpath, had one for the PocketPC but they discontinued it.

VoSKY launches T1/E1 PBX-to-Skype Gateway

July 29, 2008

VoSKY today launched a high-density T1/E1 PBX-to-Skype Gateway. Who needs SIP trunks when you can have 23 or 30 simultaneous Skype trunks?

Though I'd like to see a 100% software-based gateway solution for IP-PBXs, since like Skype, they run on the IP network already. Still for traditional PBXs with T1/E1 interfaces, getting a PBX-to-Skype gateway to migrate away from expensive per minute charges on the traditional PSTN makes a lot of sense.

College student could get 5 years for Hacking VoIP system & changing grades

July 28, 2008

We all thought it was pretty cool when Matthew Broderick changed his high school grades in War Games, right? Harmless prank after all and even if he got caught, the worst he'd have to suffer is a few nights of detention - certainly not jail time.

Well, a 19-year-old college student & computer science major, Christopher Fowler was accused of stealing his professor's identity to change his grades and was put behind bars according to FOX 5 Atlanta.

Even more interesting than changing grades & the identity theft, was that investigators said the student also hacked into a VoIP phone system to listen to telephone conversations. The article says Fowler could get five years for an unlawful eavesdropping charge. I'd be interested to know which VoIP phone system he hacked into and if it's a major vulnerability.

"Hacked in their Voice over Internet Protocol system where it uses internet to make telephone phone calls and intercepted telephone conversations," said John Bankhead of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Skype Backdoor?

July 25, 2008

According to The Register, "Off the cuff remarks by Austrian government officials suggest that Skype conversations might be intercepted" via a backdoor or through the encryption keys. The comments were made at a recent meeting on lawful interception between ISPs and Austrian regulators. The off the cuff comment was from an unnamed "high-ranking" official at Austria's interior ministry who said that listening into a conversation over Skype "presented no particular problems"

Contrast that with German police who recently expressed frustration about their inability to decipher the encryption used by Skype in order to tap into the VoIP calls of suspected terrorists.

According to the article, security experts Philippe Biondi and Fabrice Desclaux voiced concerns that Skype has the keys to decrypt calls or sessions, a claim which Skype denies.

I can definitely answer whether or not Skype phone conversations can be eavesdropped by law enforcement officials. The answer is definitely "yes".

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