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

Skype High Quality Video Review

November 30, 2007

Skype launched their latest version of Skype last week featuring what they call "High Quality Video" - not to be confused with HD Video used on HDTVs which features display resolutions of 1280x720 (720p) or 1920x1080 (1080i or 1080p). Skype High Quality Video isn't quite 1280x720 or even 1920x1080, but it is a very respectable 640x480 (VGA) resolution at 30fps. This is probably the perfect resolution size since any higher and you will need a ton of bandwidth. HD Video can get away with higher resolutions since there is plenty of bandwidth space in DVI cables and component cables that travel 6 feet or less from your various home entertainment components.

In any event, Rich and I have been playing around with Skype HQ Video over the past week or so and we've both been very impressed.

Getting Snagged Typing While on the Phone No More!

November 30, 2007

Ok, show of hands - who hasn't been on a conference call or talking with a spouse, family or friends, and they heard you pecking away at the keyboard? [crickets in background...] Ok, even if they didn't say anything, I'm sure there have been occasions where you are on the phone and you were also checking email, surfing the web, etc. and the other party knew you weren't giving your undivided attention. This can be dangerous from a personal perspective (See: Wife's dog house) but also a business one.

IPEVO PoV Skype Camera

November 29, 2007

IPEVO, makers of some cool Skype products, has a funky new Skype camera out. This telescopic camera looks like it can zoom in on far away objects. Like you know, the planets, the moon, Lana Lang your next door neighbor - that sort of thing.

The IPEVO PoV handheld webcam is being unveiled at the Taipei Computer Show. It's designed to simply aim at what you see to show others what you are seeing.

Qingbar GP300 Wireless Video Glasses

November 26, 2007

Video glasses haven't exactly taken off, partly because of all the wires involved. Today, I learned about the Qingbar GP300, billed as the "world's first wireless video glasses" featuring a QVGA video image (432x240) that simulates a 50" display from 2M away. It sports a built-in media player that'll play your favorite movies, videos, MP3 music, photos and even e-book text using its built-in SD slot. It's play several video formats including MP4/MPG/AVI/ASF(MPEG1/2/4) and most importantly Divx3.x/4.x/5.x & XviD.

R2-D2 Webcam & VoIP Phone

November 26, 2007

I got my Christmas edition of the Sharper Image catalog over the Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend and saw some cool gadgets. One of my favorites was a 8" tall Star Wars R2-D2 droid that is a roving webcam transmitting real-time video to your computer with the camera atop R2-D2's dome. The video specs include 62 degree viewing angle, 628x582 resolution, and zoom in/out. Also part of the package is a full-scale light-saber that acts as a USB telephone with its built-in microphone.

It works with Skype and can automatically launch Skype with the 'S' button on the keypad (image right).

Nokia N810 Internet Tablet - woohoo!

November 21, 2007

The multi-faceted Nokia N810 internet tablet has finally arrived on store shelves. This highly anticipated Linux-based gadget has more gadgety features than you can shake a stick at - including a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, built-in GPS, digital audio/video playback, Bluetooth, camera, MP3 player and even Wi-Fi capability for surfing and VoIP calling. Like the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, its predecessor which runs Skype (with the latest firmware), the N810 will come pre-bundled with Skype, making it one of the most powerful portable VoIP devices out there.

The Nokia N810 gives you a truly portable Internet experience that's actually useful due to its large 4.13" color wide-screen display and touchpad screen navigation. It sports a 400MHz processor, Mozilla-based Web browser, and up to 10GB of memory (which comes as 2GB of internal memory with an optional 8GB memory card combined).

Battery Life:
  • Continuous usage (display on, wireless LAN active): up to 4 hours
  • Music playback: up to 10 hours
  • Always online time: up to 5 days
  • Standby time: up to 14 days
  • WLAN standard: IEEE 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth specification v.2.0 .

SkyStone releases new version of Skype gateway

November 14, 2007

Skype Outage Explained

November 13, 2007

Just received this email from a Skype PR representative explaining the outage I discovered over the weekend. They say it was minor, and I will say it was a short outage. But there were some peeved users. I read a Skype forum post where a user bought 2 new Skype phones, none worked and was about to return them.

Skype WiFi phones Outage

November 12, 2007

BREAKING! Something has happened with the Skype service that prevents all brands of WiFi and dual-mode (WiFi & PSTN) phones from signing into Skype. This problem seems to have started sometime on Saturday and continued until late Sunday (possibly as late at 1:15am Monday morning). As of today, most users have been able to sign-in but some are still experiencing issues. Models affected include the Netgear SPH200D, Linksys CIT400, Edge-core WM4201, SMC WSKP100, Philips 841, and other WiFi phones.

Skype SIP Gateway (PE) 1.0 Released

October 30, 2007

You recall my SIP to Skype gateway breaks Skype's Great Wall of VoIP, right? You don't? Well, let me refresh your memory. I wrote:
As most techies know, Skype uses a proprietary protocol and does not support inbound SIP calls.

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