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

Skype Klonies Avatars

June 7, 2006

Skype now offers cartoonish avatars.

Some of the avatars remind me of the banner ads I saw all over the web of "cartoonist young girl avatars" where they made the young girls all "dolled" up with makeup (fake eyelashes, lipstick, etc.) to look like a sexy woman - kinda like the Bratz dolls, but not the Bratz dolls. I can't seem to recall the name of the avatar website. If you know, post a comment.

In any event, here's the news:
Skype announced today Skype Klonies™, an innovative avatar that lets users personalize Skype with special characters to reflect their personalities, moods and interests.
- Using the new Klonies Studio in the Personalize Skype Web store, users can create and frequently update their unique Klonie image — changing hairstyles, clothing and accessories, expressions, locations, animated activities and more.

Free Conferencing using Skype

June 1, 2006

Today, Skype and Vapps, a VoIP conference calling provider, will be announcing that they will be offering unlimited conference calls, with up to 500 participants, for free to Skype users.  Launching on the website, this announcement follows on the heels of Skype making SkypeOut calls free to U.S. and Canadian phone numbers untlil the end of 2006. supports inbound Skype calls as well as regular PSTN callers into the conference bridge. While conference call participants using a landline or mobile phone may be subject to long-distance charges or other fees, Skype participants can join the conference free of charge.

Spirit DSP and Skype - What's the deal?

May 30, 2006

In my previous post, I said "Looks like we can set the speculation to rest, Spirit DSP's technology is going to be embedded into Universal Scientific's desktop Skype IP-phone and not into Skype's software". However, I started to think about this some more and wondered if indeed my speculation about Skype software licensing Spirit DSP's software should be put to rest.

I left a message for the Skype PR representative last week and didn't receive a call back, which is a bit unusual. I emailed Spirit DSP today asking for a photo of this phone and asked if this was the news they alluded to at VON Europe. Their response was to state that they were still under NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with Skype.

Spirit DSP technology in Skype P2P IP-Phone

May 30, 2006

Looks like we can set the speculation to rest, Spirit DSP's technology is going to be embedded into Universal Scientific's desktop Skype IP-phone and not into Skype's software. Skype recently showcased a new P2P desktop IP-phone designed by Universal Scientific Industrial Co., Ltd. (USI). This Skype-protocol-based VoIP desktop phone uses the VeriCall framework from Trinity Convergence and SPIRIT vocoders running on the Intel PXA270 processor. Trinity and SPIRIT have also recently signed a revenue-sharing sublicensing agreement, allowing Trinity to re-sell SPIRIT vocoders.

Covad offers Unlimited VoIP minutes plan for businesses

May 23, 2006

Yesterday, Covad unveiled that customers using its PBXi and PBXi Plus business-class Voice over IP (VoIP) offerings will now have unlimited domestic monthly minutes. I wanted to blog about this yesterday, but wanted more information. I asked Covad more specifics about their pricing plan via email and they wanted to schedule a conference call to discuss, but I'm pretty busy this week, so I'll just tell you what I do know.

First, technically it's not truly "unlimited" since it is capped at 101,000 minutes per site per month. That equates to about 56 hours per day of talk time.

Skype Drops Bombshell on GIPS?

May 23, 2006

Skype's CEO announced a partnership with SPIRIT DSP, competitors to Global IP Sound (GIPS) to use Spirit DSP's TeamSpirit core voice technology. Skype is abandoning GIPS? Wow! Or is Skype simply going to support both voice engines, which seems unlikely, but possible.

I have a buttload of questions about this announcement.

eBay Developers Conference Highlights Skype developer track

May 17, 2006

I was invited to the attend the fifth annual eBay Developers Conference at the Mandalay Bay on June 10-12, 2006 in Las Vegas. I'm told that at the event, you can meet Skype engineers/staff, learn about the latest APIs, connect with the community, and check out what Skype's "friends" at eBay, PayPal,, and Prostores are doing together. The idea of the conference is so that developers, business leaders, industry luminaries, and employees of the eBay companies can come together to talk about new ways to improve commerce and communications on the web - both on and off eBay. Skype will have their own full track of 7 technical sessions, and 2 training labs where developers can participate in hands on training.

Mandalay Bay is one of the newest and nicest hotels in Vegas, making this a tempting business trip.

SkypeOut Calls are now Free

May 15, 2006

Skype's SkypeOut (PC-to-PSTN) calls are now free to any destination in the U.S. and Canada until at least the end of 2006. Why until the end of the year and not permanent is interesting. No doubt competition is biting at the heels of Skype in order for them to take a loss for U.S.

PhoneGnome Supports Skype

May 15, 2006

Breaking news from PhoneGnome - they support calling Skype users. Wow, cool.. I have no idea how this works, I just got the release now and wanted to share it as soon as possible. This really came out of left field.

Skype breaks the language barrier

May 11, 2006

Skype, Language Line Services, and Voxeo, announced today a joint solution that makes it easy for businesses and individuals to communicate cost-effectively from English into more than 150 languages ( It leverages Skype's VoIP for inexpensive calling, Language Line Services for personal interpreter/translation services, and Voxeo for the telephony piece. To interface to the Skype Network, Language Line Services has partnered with Voxeo Corporation using Voxeo's Prophecy voice platform to automate the process of transferring the call from Skype to Language Line Services. The service gives Skype users the ability to talk to anyone, anywhere in the world regardless of language.
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