Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Skype

Skype P2P VoIP

GIPS adds PCTEL to its growing portfolio

October 19, 2005

GIPS signs up yet another hardware manufacturer to use their remarkable voice engine used in Skype, Google Talk, and other VoIP solutions. PCTEL is going to use GIPS technology for to be used on mobile phones, PDAs, and PCs. PCTEL has licensed both the PPC and Symbian versions of GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile to be used in conjunction with PCTEL's Roaming Client family of products. My how far Global IP Sound has come since I did the first exclusive review of their GIPS voice engine on a Pocket PC back in 2003 - before most people even heard of GIPS.

"Our goal is always to provide the highest level of quality, ease of use and reliability available on the market-and GIPS's technology is clearly the best solution available today," said Biju Nair, vice president and general manager of PCTEL's Mobility Solutions Group."We are confident that GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile will allow us to provide the quality levels that our users have come to expect. GIPS and PCTEL have a long history together going back to PCTEL's modem days.

Skype Trojan update

October 18, 2005

According to ZDNet, a Trojan horse, a variant of IRCbot, has been circulating on the Internet in an e-mail purporting to be an update to Skype. Yet another social engineering trick to try and get you to open the attachment. Lately I've been getting a flurry of purportedly from Paypal but they are obviously fraudulent emails.

If you open the Skype "update" attachment, it displays a phony installation error message and installs its payload. It also blocks access to security updates and installs a back door on computers.

It's not widespread, nor do I think this virus will become widespread.



USRobotics Skype Phone

October 16, 2005

It seems to be a busy week for Skype phones coming to market. First, was my exclusive review of the Linksys CIT200 Skype phone and now as of Monday, USRobotics is offering a Skype-compatible phone. I should point out that this is an OEM'ed version of what appears to me to be the IPFones USB Skype phone that I reviewed a little while back. USRobotics confirmed it was indeed an OEM product, but they did not confirm if it was IPFones or not.

IPEVO Skype phone

October 13, 2005

IPEVO, a Silicon Valley-based subsidiary of PChome Online specializing in affordable Skype-enabled devices has launched a new USB-based Skype phone called the Free-1. The Free-1 USB phone only costs $29.99 so they aren't kidding when they say that they offer "affordable Skype" solutions. They even have $15.99 models on their website.

PChome Online actually launched the first co-branded website with Skype in July 2004 in Taiwan which they claim helped make Taiwan one of the most successful markets for Skype, and now they are going after the U.S. market through IPEVO.

Here are the specs straight from IPEVO's site:





  • Superior sound quality (16KHz sampling rate).

Skype and Linksys Partner

October 12, 2005

As I predicted, Linksys and Skype would be announcing their new partnership in conjunction with the launch of the Linksys CIT200. I already reviewed the Linksys CIT200 yesterday, but figured I'd share the release in case you missed it. I didn't get the release until late last night, myself.

Linksys and Skype Team Up to Launch New Cordless handset to Drive Internet Phone Calling

New Cordless Internet Phone Provides Convenient Use of Free Skype Internet Calls

IRVINE, CA and LUXEMBOURG Oct. 11, 2005 - Linksys®, a Division of Cisco Systems, Inc., the recognized leading provider of voice, wireless and networking hardware for the consumer, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and small business user, and Skype, the Global Internet Communications Company, today announced their global relationship that will include marketing a new cordless phone that takes free Skype Internet phone calling off the computer and puts it into the hands of callers.

The new Internet Telephony Kit (CIT200) provides callers with a convenient alternative to making free Skype calls while sat at their computer, giving them the freedom to make free Skype calls wherever they are in the home or office.





Linksys CIT200 Skype phone review

October 10, 2005

Linksys CIT 200 'Skype' Phone

Linksys has partnered with Skype to offer a cordless DECT 1.8-1.9Ghz phone complete with a backlit color display, backlit keyboard, and other features, called the Linksys CIT200 Cordless Internet Telephony Kit. The Linksys CIT200 is tightly integrated with Skype utilizing the Skype API for not just making and receiving calls but also accessing your Skype contacts and profiles. At some point today (Tuesday), Skype and Linksys will officially announce their partnership and the official launch of the Linksys CIT200.

A USB base station acts as the "go between" communicating with both the PC (running Skype) via USB and with the CIT200 using the DECT standard. Linksys gave me an exclusive first look at the Linksys CIT200 and I have to say the Linksys CIT200 is probably one of the coolest if not the coolest product that works in conjunction with Skype. One of the coolest features is that you can scroll through your Skype contacts using the Linksys CIT200's color display and you can see their current Skype presence (online, offline, etc.).

Teamspeak the VoIP server for gamers

October 5, 2005

Teamspeak is one of the best kept secrets in VoIP, hidden in the dark bowels of the online gaming community. Teamspeak offers a scalable VoIP application which enables many users to simultaneously speak to one another. It was designed with the online gaming community in mind. In fact, I am told that Teamspeak has over 1 million online users (compared with Skype's 3 million).

Putting Skype on the backshelf

October 5, 2005

Free SkypeOut dialing hack

October 4, 2005

In my recent post on a free 411 directory assistance service I stated that in theory you could use SkypeOut to dial 800-FREE411 and then have 800-FREE411 connect your call free of charge, but you'd still use up your SkypeOut minutes. I wrote:


Too bad Skype doesn't charge less per minute for (toll free) 800 numbers - if they did then you could save money by always dialing though Free411.com's service. Of course, that wouldn't be very nice to Free411.com since they pay for the call. (when you dial their 800 number and they connect the call)



I thought about checking Skype's website to see if they did indeed discount 800 numbers, but I was too busy to check and I figured one of my blog readers would "catch me" if I was wrong.

Free 411 directory assistance

October 4, 2005


Just discovered a free 411 directory assistance from Free411.com. It's pretty cool, I just called it and it asks city and state. It repeats what you said in a female voice and asks if what she said is correct. You simply say "yes" or even "correct" and it will recognize your affirmative reply using speech recognition.
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