Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype

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Sandisk offers Skype on a USB stick

July 10, 2006

Just last week Vonage launched their "VoIP-on-a-stick" V-Phone (see review) and now it appears that Sandisk is going to all offer "VoIP-on-a-stick" by bundling the Skype application pre-loaded on the SanDisk Cruzer Micro and Cruzer Titanium lines of Skype-certified U3 smart drives. The nice thing about this USB-based VoIP sticks is that you can make and receive VoIP calls from almost any PC without leaving any information behind on the host computer, but it's still a very "niche" feature.

The SanDisk Cruzer Micro with Skype preloaded is available at retail outlets in U.S. and Europe, including Skype‚Äôs online store, for suggested retail prices ranging from $39.99 to $199.99.  Capacities are 512 megabytes (MB), 1 gigabyte (GB), 2GB and 4GB. 

Skype for Linux 1.3 beta news

June 28, 2006

Jyve + Click&Buy + Skype + Expertise = Money

June 26, 2006

In 2004, I had a blog post titled Jive Talking (Bee Gees song), about a company called Jyve. Well, I haven't written about Jyve in quite some time (two years). It appears Jyve (Skype plugin) and Click&Buy enable experts in any field (techie, writer, web designer, etc) to charge for their expertise using the Skype network. This is similar to Ether, which was in closed beta until just a few days ago when it launched.

Using Jyve along with Click&Buy, entrepreneurs can make more money through Skype by charging customers in locations throughout the world for their expertise. In theory you can even use this for "adult voice conversations" similar to U.S.

IPEVO Xing Skype Conferencing unit

June 26, 2006


IPEVO plans to soon launch a conference system for Skype called IPEVO Xing. IPEVO Xing is a USB conference phone that is designed to work exclusively with Skype. Xing will be launched with a free trial of Skype-certified Convenos Meeting Center, a fee-based collaboration/sharing software solution, which will enhance the meeting experience.

Andy loves his in-flight wireless Internet access

June 26, 2006

Andy emailed me a link to a post where he is quite enthused over his experience of wireless Internet access experiences on intercontinental Lufthansa and SAS flights, and then scolds Boeing for possibly shelving their in-flight Internet access. Andy talks about his great experiences with Internet access while flying and of course Andy tests VoIP during the flight. He doesn't mention whether he used Skype, his client SightSpeed, or some other VoIP client.

I also just noticed Andy redesigned the look of his blog. Nicely done, Andy!

FCC approves new VoIP taxes

June 22, 2006

Well, we knew it was inevitable that the FCC would pass on USF (Universal Service Charges) taxes onto VoIP service providers and thereby unto VoIP subscribers. I griped about this pending tax just recently. Well, the FCC voted unanimously yesterday to require all voice over Internet Protocol services that connect to the public-switched telephone network (PSTN) to contribute to the Universal Service Fund.  ZDNet has an excellent overview of this news, as does TMCnet's Robert Liu.

Skype supports U.S. Military and other news

June 21, 2006

Skype is having a busy news day putting out 3 announcements. First and foremost, Skype is working with both RadioShack Corporation and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to provide U.S. military service members and their families with Skype starter packs, so they can make voice calls at no charge from one Skype account to another. They are are eligible for full purchase-price refunds after both instant and mail-in rebates with proof of their military status.

Windows Live Messenger Launches

June 20, 2006

Windows Live Messenger finally launched. I've been playing around with the "invite only" beta for awhile, but now it's available to everyone to download. Some in the media claim this is Microsoft's answer to the popular Skype VoIP client, but more on that later.

Skype in eBay - Why wait?

June 13, 2006

As I mentioned yesterday, Andy speculated that eBay would announce Skype integrated into eBay auctions. I started thinking about this and remembered that eBay already supports HTML code within its auctions, so you could simply add your own Skype button with full presence yourself - without waiting for Skype and eBay to get their $4 billion act together!

Skype supports Javacript code buttons, such as this:
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://download.skype.com/share/skypebuttons/js/
skypeCheck.js"></script>
<a href="skype:tkeating?call"><img src="http://mystatus.skype.com/bigclassic/tkeating" style="border: none;" width="182" height="44" alt="My status" /></a>


Unfortunately, eBay doesn't allow Javascript to be embedded within auctions. Actually that is a good thing since someone could embed a virus into an auction.

Fortunately, Skype also supports direct image links to display your presence.





Skype finally integrated into eBay?

June 12, 2006

I just recently ranted about Skype not being integrated into eBay yet, especially considering the billions of dollars eBay spent on purchasing Skype. I wrote, "I think eBay would be smart to start offering Skype integration on the U.S. eBay site -- even if only in beta. They've owned Skype long enough to be able to do this, so why the long delay?
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