Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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China's telecom patent boom - Is China Ready to Enforce IP?

August 25, 2011

China has a reputation for not enforcing other countries' patents and copyrights, including bootleg DVDs that can be found in just about any major Chinese city street corner. It was even alleged that China's telecom giant Huawei stole Cisco's routing software. According to one article:
Bootleg DVDs in China are very slickly produced and packaged. In fact, many have extra features that make them better than those found on legitimate discs.

Microsoft front-facing cameras, Skype & Lync Mobile client Coming Very Very Soon

August 25, 2011

Microsoft confirmed Mango Windows Phone 7 handsets would sport a front facing camera as well as Skype integration and a mobile Lync client. The confirmation came via the TechEd event in New Zealand, where two Microsoft employees mentioned that Microsoft's Lync VoIP client also be available on other mobile platforms, including iOS, Android and Symbian. But the Lync client would be first available on the soon to be launched Mango Windows Mobile 7 software.

The employees stated that the mobile Lync client would support both voice and video on Android, Apple's iOS and Windows Mobile 7, explaining "it will dependent on the device, but it will be enabled at some point at time." They pointed out that some devices don't have a front-facing camera so having a videoconference via a mobile Lync client wouldn't necessarily make sense.

The Microsoft Lync client for mobile devices is a long time coming. I was actually told by Microsoft in NYC during a live demo of Microsoft Lync that mobile versions of the Lync client would be coming out "very soon".



Skype Click to Call Add-on Now Supports Firefox 5 & 6

August 24, 2011

If you're a fan of Skype's Click to Call browser plugins for Windows, you probably know back in January Mozilla "soft" blocked this toolbar because "Skype Toolbar is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week." The Skype Click to Call add-on/plugin auto-detects phone numbers on web pages and lets you dial them via Skype. Personally, I see this as a bit of an esoteric feature of Skype, but perhaps a lot of people do use it?

In any event, Skype just released new updates to the Skype Click to Call as part of release build, 5.6.0.8153.

• Support for Firefox 5 and Firefox 6 on Windows
• Minor improvements to Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox on PC

Here's to hoping they resolved the crashing and performance issues.



Sporadic Cell phone outages due to 5.9 Earthquake

August 23, 2011


There are reports of sporadic cell phone and perhaps even landline outages after an unusual 5.9 earthquake hit Virginia at 01:51:03 pm, with the epicenter located 41 miles northwest from Richmond and 83 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.

A few co-workers and I were unable to get through to some phone numbers. According some reports the carriers are experiencing peak usage related outages. Could be people checking in on loved ones similar to the 9/11 related phone outages.

I felt the earthquake in my office located in Norwalk, CT and have read friends' reports on Facebook that states as far away as Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio felt it. There are also unconfirmed reports that the Washington Monument is leaning.




Physicists build first single-photon router - Positronic brain next?

August 23, 2011

Cool - the first photon router! From PhysOrg.com:
By demonstrating that an artificial atom embedded in a transmission line can route a single photon from an input port to one of two output ports, physicists have built the first router working at the single-photon level. The single-photon router could one day serve as a quantum node in a quantum information network, in which it could provide basic processing and routing of data.
...
As the scientists explain, controlling and directing photons is more difficult than controlling and directing electrons, which are used in most of today’s routers.


Well done physicists! This is one more step in the Star Trek timeline when Dr. Noonien Soong will be able to create Data's Positronic brain, which features a storage capacity of 100 Pb (800 quadrillion bits) and a total linear computational speed of 60 THz (60 trillion operations per second)!

Skype (Microsoft) Blows $85 Million on GroupMe

August 22, 2011

Skype was in talks with GroupMe to acquire them before Microsoft's (pending approval) bought Skype. With Microsoft purchasing Skype you would have thought Microsoft would have squashed any pending purchases by Skype or at least approve them. The fact that Microsoft didn't stop Skype means Microsoft must agree with the GroupMe acquisition. I'm honestly not sure why though.

GroupMe is simply a group SMS platform that enables you to create group messages leveraging SMS.

Home Surveillance using Dropbox Catches Possible Thief in the Act

August 20, 2011

I've been meaning to test out my home surveillance recipe which combines a standard webcam, Dropbox (hosted backup solution), iPhone & iPad mobile Dropbox app, and the free Yet Another Webcam Software (Yawcam). I went to Cape Cod last week and hired a pet sitter to watch our family's dog (Jessie) and cat (Boaz), which offered a perfect opportunity to test out my "poor man's home surveillance" setup. What I found happening in my house while on my vacation shocked me!

But first, my home surveillance recipe:
  1. Setup and install Dropbox (comes with 2GB free).



The Demise of the HP TouchPad Plus "The Value of VoIP"

August 19, 2011

I wrote this morning about HP's surrender to Apple in the PC, laptop, and tablet space. Ironically, I just happened to glance at a CDW catalog sitting on my desk and saw this:

                                                                 Click for larger view

A now defunct HP TouchPad 16GB model is prominently displayed on the back cover of the CDW catalog. The front and back cover are "prime" positions that in the publishing world command a higher premium in advertising rates. This is also sometimes true of catalogs.



The Apple Downgrade Kills HP

August 19, 2011


We all know about the S&P downgrade caused by the rating agency's view of U.S.'s debt and debt ceiling. S&P saw the writing on the wall that U.S. is on the road to insolvency and default on the debt. Well, apparently the Apple iPad tablet has had a similar downgrade affect on HP's PC, laptop, and tablet business.

BT Kills the Rabbit, err Ribbit

August 10, 2011

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