Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Skype P2P VoIP

Cool Phones for FiOS, Uverse and other VoIP providers

January 9, 2008

Home phone systems haven't kept up with the latest innovations in mobile handsets, such as Internet access, streaming video, camera, etc. Considering many people are now choosing VoIP providers such as Vonage, Packet8, Skype, etc. which already sit on the Internet, wouldn't it make sense to have more advanced home phone systems? Where is Phone 2.0 for the home?

In fact, most VoIP providers simply use an analog telephony adapter (ATA) that lets you use your home analog cordless phone system.

Skype on Sony PSP

January 2, 2008

Rejoice! Skype on the Sony PSP may be unveiled this week at CES. Sony's CES page seemed to "leak" the details (click the PSP controller graphic on their site). The Sony PSP doesn't have cellular data connectivity so you'll need a WiFi hotspot to use this.

Streaming TV with Skype

January 2, 2008

How would you like to use your Slingbox with Skype or is it Skype with Slingbox? Anyway... For a few months now I've been playing with using Skype along with a Slingbox, a popular gadget that lets you stream your home TV content, enabling remote viewing of live and pre­-recorded television over the Internet. I've been a huge advocate of streaming live TV across the Internet for years, so figured I'd post my tips on streaming TV utilizing Skype, Slingbox, and TV tuner cards.

Slingbox includes a software player for remote playback of your TV/video content, so you're probably wondering why anyone would want to use Skype instead.

Creative InPerson Wi-Fi Videophone

December 20, 2007

Creative leaked the Creative InPerson Wi-Fi videophone via their FCC filing.

It features H.264 video with SIP support, high video quality (up to VGA resolution and 2 Mbps bit-rate) and claims to perform well under low light. It features a wide-angle lens, and dual microphones with acoustic echo cancellation and noise. It comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that will power the 7-inch, 16.7 million color LCD for about 2 hours.

Ribbit Launches

December 17, 2007

Ribbit is a development platform launching today, which enables developers to integrate communications solutions into their web applications. A proprietary softswitch (the Ribbit SmartSwitch) mediates communication across protocols, networks and devices. That includes MSN Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger (soon) and Skype.

Essentially Ribbit is a back-end multi-protocol softswitch (called SmartSwitch) that allows communication between different networks, carriers and device types. The Ribbit SmartSwitch is their own proprietary Lucent-tested CLASS 5 softswitch.

Congrats to Netgear - wins Top 10 Gadgets 2007 Award

December 12, 2007

Netgear is #3 on Time Magazine's Top 10 Gadgets of 2007 for their Wi-Fi Skype phone - the Netgear SPH200W. The Netgear SPH200W sports 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, around four hours of talk time, WEP / WPA / WPA2 support, and of course the ability to take and make Skype calls wherever there's WiFi. This Skype phone also allows you to manage up to 500 contacts and has a built-in speakerphone. Netgear made the list along with (of course) the Apple iPhone, Palm Centro, Nikon Coolpix S51c, and other cool gadgets, so Netgear is in good company. Congrats Netgear!

Time also announced their Top 10 lists for Toys, Websites, Video Games, Sports Matches, and Sports Moments, as well as Best & Worst Business Deals.

MySpaceIM with Skype launches

December 11, 2007

MySpaceIM with Skype is now available to the MySpace and Skype global communities. In case you hadn't heard, MySpaceIM with Skype integrates MySpace’s IM client with Skype’s free VoIP calling capability.

According to the news, it is being launched in 20 countries where MySpace has localized communities, MySpaceIM with Skype enables millions of users to place free Skype Internet calls to other MySpace or Skype users.

The partnership, which does not require MySpace users to download any additional Skype software, will also enable users to link their MySpace profiles and photos or avatars to their accounts on Skype.

Users can head on over to to download it.

Philips VOIP841 Review

December 11, 2007

I'm been testing the Philips VOIP841 for review for a few months now. Let me start by saying I constantly have various VoIP products and gadgets on my desk for testing, but they typically only stay there for a short while. The Skype-based Philips VoIP841 wireless DECT phone is the rare exception - it's been on my desk for over 4 months. Why? Because the darn thing works and works very well as a Skype phone.

Skype Soap Opera

December 6, 2007

Just read a funny post on ZDNet UK about why Skype was having 10,000 page faults per second. Some Skype users reported to the Skype forums the problems to Skype, who initially said it was "by design" then later admitted it was a faulty thread used for troubleshooting another Skype issue but they wouldn't disclose exactly why it was there. It's a funny thread that really exposes Skype's denials, to a belated admission, to conspiracy theories over what the thread's "true" purpose is. Apparently, the thread keeps many unexplained network connections open, which some find quite troubling.

Logitech Quickcam Orbit AF Review

December 4, 2007

The Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF is Logitech's best webcam money can buy. The QuickCam Orbit AF is Logitech's flagship webcam featuring Carl Zeiss optics, integrated microphone, and a cool motorized tracking that automatically follows your every move. The QuickCam Orbit AF (AF = autofocus) also has premium autofocus, up to 30fps, a true 2-megapixel sensor, with up to 8-megapixel photos (enhanced), 960 by 720 pixels, 24-bit true color Video capture, and RightLight 2 Technology which adjusts intelligently to produce true-to-life clear images in dim or poor backlight settings.

The QuickCam Orbit AF also has a 'trick' up it's sleeve. Not only can it sit low in its base, but it also comes with a 9" long stem that lets you mount the camera up high.

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