Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Fonality Names Former Microsoft Exec David Scult as CEO

January 10, 2012

Today, Fonality announced it has appointed former Microsoft Exec David Scult (image right) as Chief Executive Officer. This is the second CEO in just a couple years. Dean Mansfield replaced Chris Lyman CEO, the founder of Fonality. I'm a fan of Fonality's Asterisk-based products, especially their HUD client, so I'm hoping things are going well there.

Google to Offer Free Tablets?

January 5, 2012



Several media reports are claiming that Google is going to be offering their own tablet soon, including DigiTimes which said, "As Google reportedly may launch an own-brand tablet PC to compete against Apple's iPad, sources from Google's upstream supply chain believe that Google, instead of Apple, may actually be targeting Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire as its major competitor."

The Amazon Kindle Fire had torrid sales for the Christmas holiday season, certainly earning its "Fire" moniker. You can't go wrong with a $199 tablet device that surfs the web, runs apps, and consumes entertainment content using Amazon Prime, which features a Netflix-like streaming service in addition to Amazon's other paid digital content - e-books, music, etc. Amazon gambled consumers would consume paid content to recoup their losses and it has paid off handsomely.

This purported Nexus tablet will come with a 7" display, run Android's latest Ice Cream Sandwich and will be priced under $199 to undercut even the mighty Amazon Kindle Fire. What is Google thinking? They're thinking the same thing Amazon is thinking - take a loss on the hardware and subsidize the cost of the tablet by selling digital content, such as movies, books, and music.





President Obama Has VoIP Glitch

January 4, 2012


Apparently, President Obama had some VoIP glitches when he attempted to tried to steal some of the Republican Iowa Caucuses' spotlight last night via a live address to his Democratic supporters over the Internet. The video teleconference had sporadic audio issues making him hard to understand. It's bad enough trying to understand some of President Obama's policies when he is speaking clearly never mind when he's encountering VoIP packet loss and jitter!

According to ABC News, Obama's video teleconferences utilized a proprietary software program developed for the Obama campaign by Adobe Systems Inc. It's likely a derivative of the Adobe Connect VoIP, video, and collaboration platform.

In one part of the video, he sounded like Max Headroom "(static) In some ways, I'm actually more optimistic now then I was when I first ran cuz we've already see...




As Predicted - the Cisco Umi Demise

January 4, 2012


First Cisco killed the popular Flip Cam they acquired, now this - Cisco has killed their Skype-alternative UMI videoconferencing product. Rich Tehrani gave 10 reasons why he thought Cisco UMI would fail, plus an 11th reason later on (Kinect, Skype-enabled Bluray players). I didn't even bother to write about Cisco Umi because I knew it would be a failed venture. We were both right.

Zeo Sleep Manager Review

December 28, 2011


Just about everyone claims at one time or another they don't get enough sleep. Spouses can even argue over who got the least amount of sleep and claim immunity from doing a household chore or offload the task to their spouse due to a lack of sleep. Well, now you can prove you had a bad night sleeping using the Zeo Sleep Manager, which uses a headband to record REM sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, and awake times and gives you a ZQ score. Then you can say to your spouse, "See!

Gadget Bans On Airplanes Due to Possible Interference is a Lie!

December 28, 2011

Gadget bans on airplanes due to possible interference is complete bull according to New York Times reporter Nick Bilton. I always knew it was a crock due to my engineering background and some basic-level physics. If a tiny mobile phone or tablet can bring down an airplane, then by golly, we are screwed! The FAA claims gadget devices can cause interference with the airplanes equipment, which is designed to handle 100 volts per meter of electrical interference.

Well, the Kindle was tested and it only put out less than 30 microvolts (0.00003 volts) per meter when in use.

Windows 8 CPU Slow Benchmarks!

December 20, 2011

I tried out Windows 8 developer preview (32-bit) on a Dell E6500 dual core 2.26Ghz laptop and while the new UI is slick, the CPU processor is much SLOWER that the prior Vista 32-bit operating system it was running. Using PerformanceTest v7.0 (popular PassMark benchmark), the CPU benchmark went down from 2000 to 800!  Similarly Windows Experience Index score for the CPU category went from 5.2 to 2.4. That's a 1/2 performance drop!

Skype offering Free WiFi for Christmas Season

December 19, 2011


The Christmas holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. As such, many of us will be in airports around the country waiting for our flight to depart. This is a perfect time to crack open your laptop, iPad, or other device and IM or talk with your Skype buddies and family members. e.g.

Sprint Nextel Throws Out 489 PBXs - Switches 100% to Microsoft Lync

December 16, 2011


Sprint Nextel thew out 489 PBXs and switched over their 39,000 employees to using Microsoft Lync, a unified commutations solution gaining in popularity. Sprint Nextel said their goal was to "reduce its environmental impact, improve employee productivity, and reduce costs and administration for its cumbersome telephony systems". Whether they truly "threw out" the 489 PBXs and they're sitting in a landfill somewhere or they sold off the PBXs is unknown, but I'm hoping for the latter or it would defeat Sprint Nextel's purpose of "reduced environmental impact".

Here's what their Lync deployment / voice infrastructure looks like now:


Sprint Nextel claims that switching to Microsoft Lync has saved them nearly $13 million annually by reducing the TCO of maintaining hundreds of hardware-based PBXs, on-site maintenance fees, and annual upgrades. It went with Microsoft's software approach and leveraged Sprint's Global MPLS network and SIP trunking to connect their 39,000 employees together seamlessly allowing them to retire 489 PBXs scattered across the country.





Lync for Android Launches!

December 14, 2011

Today, Microsoft released Lync for Android. In an interesting twist, it appears Microsoft released Lync for Android before Apple iOS. It seems more and more these days that Android is getting the app love before the popular iOS platform.

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