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


Skype P2P VoIP

Wizztones personalized Skype ringtones with TTS

January 18, 2006

IP Thinking Skype PDA phone

January 17, 2006

I recently learned about a VoIP-capable PDA-like phone from IP Thinking that runs Skype on a Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition "Pocket PC-like" device. Think of this as a phone handset slapped onto a PocketPC. Called the IP-Thinking VoIP phone, it features a PDA-based architecture, which allows it to work seamlessly with all Windows Mobile Edition programs, such as Skype and other VoIP applications. I am told that in addition to Skype it will support other VoIP softphone applications, such as SJLabs.

Global IP Sound killer?

January 16, 2006

Rich Tehrani has a very interesting inteview with Andrew Sviridenko of Spirit DSP, where Andrew positions Spirit DSP as a more robust solution than Global IP Sound (GIPS) due to Spirit DSP's better multipoint conferencing support and scalability. The GIPS codec/voice engine is used in Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, and a few other VoIP softphones. Interestingly, Andrew mentions speaking with Microsoft, so if Spirit DSP were to be embedded in a future release of Windows Live Messenger, that would be a huge win for Spirit DSP.

And speaking of Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft's bloggers have been covering the beta of this software and "leaking" some of the really cool features in Windows Live Messenger, including a really neat feature that lets you share your music playlist over the Internet. In fact, one of the Microsoft bloggers, Leah, has an interesting birthday wish:

"For my birthday, I wanted a way to play music on my computer and then invite my buddies to listen with me on his/her computer.

Apple Mobile Me iPod phone

January 13, 2006

According to Yahoo/Reuters, Apple is developing the oft-rumored iPod mobile phone with a recent trademark of the phrase "Mobile Me". Hey, if they are going to marry an MP3 player with a mobile phone, they may as well marry VoIP too, right? I wonder if Apple's Mobile Me will run Skype? That'd be cool.

And speaking of marrying, just came across a CNet article saying two people got married using VoIP and two webcams.

Engadget "borrows" my image, but it's all good

January 12, 2006

I was one of the first to write about the NETGEAR Skype phone, a PC-less Skype phone and I'm almost positive I was the first to acquire an image and post it online. I love the Engadget site and often submit some of my interesting stories to them. I know they picked up at least one of them, namely my Linksys CIT200 Skype phone review.

Anyway, I decided to submit my NETGEAR Skype phone blog post to Engadget and a few other sites, which included my exclusive photo of the NETGEAR Skype phone. But before doing so, I altered the image slightly so I could track to see if anyone used my image and didn't reference my website.

New Skype version for Mac

January 5, 2006

Skype today released their new version for the Macintosh operating system. Their site lists it as, "Official release. Version: Release date: January 5, 2006". The new features include:

  • Forward calls to other Skype accounts or regular phones
  • Pause iTunes automatically when you get a call

  • Express yourself with mood messages
  • Simply drag and drop contacts to add them to chats and calls
  • Support for enhanced notifications with Growl
  • Auto-pause/auto-resume iTunes for in-bound and out-bound voice calls
  • Fast call set-up — drag and drop contacts to add them to chats and calls.
  • The Mac OS X version is now available in Japanese
  • Notifications - Skype notifies users of new messages and when users come on- and off-line, along with an overview of available Skype services.

If you wish to download the new version, click here.

Photo of Creative Skype phone

January 5, 2006

More on the NETGEAR Skype phone and thoughts on the Skype economy

January 5, 2006

I found out more details on the specs for the NETGEAR Skype phone I blogged yesterday and I have some thoughts on the "Skype economy". First, the NETGEAR phone supports both 802.11b and 802.11g supporting wireless connectivity of 1, 2, 5.5, 6, 11, 12, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps. Though I doubt you'll ever need 54 Mbps throughput on this NETGEAR Skype phone. In fact, I doubt the processor on the NETGEAR phone can even handle 2Mbps of actual packet data - nor does it need to since Skype packet data uses much less than that.

In any event, here are the other specs followed by my thoughts on all these Skype products being announced at CES:

Hardware-based Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) 40/64-bit & 128-bit

Physical Specifications:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 108 x 42 x 19 mm (4 1/4 x 1 5/8 x 3/4 in)
Weight: 0.09kg (3.2 oz.)

Battery Life:
Talk Time up to 3 hours
Standby Time up to 50 hours

Although, this NETGEAR phone and the similar Creative 'Skype' phone and Philips 'Skype' phone also launched at CES are interesting, but I'm still frustrated by the lack of standardization and interoperability, as I'm sure other early adopters of these VoIP products are. We'd all like to buy something today and be sure it will work tomorrow and the next day with any other future VoIP products.

Heck, you can even still use rotary phones in many areas of the U.S.

Creative now offers a PC-less Skype phone

January 5, 2006

Just yesterday, NETGEAR was first to launch a PC-less Skype phone, I still haven't figured out if Philips' Skype phone is also PC-less. Now Creative, most popular for their sound cards also now offers a PC-less Skype phone. Amazing what Skype was wrought - a whole Skype economy of third-party products!

Check out the news:

Creative (NASDAQ: CREAF), a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, today announced the Skype Internet PhonePLUS, a phone for the home or office that enables users to connect directly to a router to make free Skype calls. The Creative Skype Internet PhonePLUS functions just like a traditional phone and provides a new way to experience Skype without requiring a PC.

Philips VoIP321 Skype phone

January 4, 2006

Philips is also launching a Skype phone at CES. I don't have a photo or more information (yet) - just the news release. But wanted to share this news ASAP and then update this post when I find out more. Sounds more similar to the Linksys CIT200 (requires USB connectivity to a PC) than the launch today of the NETGEAR standalone Skype phone I blogged today.Though, I'm not sure. I read somewhere that the Philips Skype phone is PC-less but cannot confirm.

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