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


Axvoice Offers Unlimited VoIP for $8.25/month

January 3, 2011

The race to zero/free calling continues with Axvoice dropping their unlimited calling to the U.S. & Canada to just $8.25/month or $99/year - under the psychological $100 barrier. They also offer a US/Canada 200 minute Calling plan costs for $5.99/month. For the really cheap, they offer Pay As You Go for $4.99 with outgoing calls costing 1.5c per minute and incoming calls are free.

China Cracks Down on VoIP, including Skype

December 30, 2010

China is cracking down on VoIP applications such as Skype, which is impacting the profits of state-owned carriers.

"We are carrying out with relevant authorities a campaign to crack down on illegal Voice over Internet Protocol phone services", the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a circular posted online earlier this month.

Skype Video For iPhone!

December 30, 2010

Skype Video for iPhone is here! You can now make video calls from your iPhone with the latest update from the Apple App Store. Rich Tehrani and I tested it this morning on his iPhone 4 with my iPhone 3GS (only rear-facing camera).

The video quality was pretty good. I estimate between 5-12 fps over WiFi. After awhile my 3GS started going black for a few seconds and then would turn back on.

Skype Details the Great 2010 Outage

December 29, 2010

Today, Skype CIO Lars Rabbe detailed what caused the Skype outage:

What was the cause for the failure?

On Wednesday, December 22, a cluster of support servers responsible for offline instant messaging became overloaded. As a result of this overload, some Skype clients received delayed responses from the overloaded servers. In a version of the Skype for Windows client (version 5.0.0152), the delayed responses from the overloaded servers were not properly processed, causing Windows clients running the affected version to crash.

Users running either the latest Skype for Windows (version, older versions of Skype for Windows (4.0 versions), Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype on your TV, and Skype Connect or Skype Manager for enterprises were not affected by this initial problem.

However, around 50% of all Skype users globally were running the version of Skype for Windows, and the crashes caused approximately 40% of those clients to fail.

IRS Closes Online Sellers Income Tax Loophole

December 28, 2010

Starting in 2011, all U.S. payment providers including PayPal will be required by the IRS to report sales information about certain merchants to the IRS. Power sellers on eBay and other online selling websites will be impacted by this new tax requirement. Before PayPal did not report your income to the IRS, so online sellers could 'fudge' their revenue reporting.

Apple iOS vs. Google Android

December 28, 2010

There was an interesting discussion of iOS-vs.-Android news that began with this report by Seth Weintraub for Fortune. He explains in the article the downward spiral cost of creating smartphone components and the end product smartphone as well. He also says Apple could be in big trouble as Android activations surpass iPhone because of the lower cost of Android phones. Seth writes:

Cheap smartphones could change the way carriers price contracts here in the U.S.

Skype Down

December 22, 2010

Skype is experiencing a massive worldwide outage today. The last major outage was in 2007, in a story that I broke and it lasted a day. They also had a DNS issue back in 2004. Not exactly good timing with the impending IPO and people wanting to wish each other Merry Christmas in 3 days.

Hitachi America Launches CPX9 Portable Series LCD Projector

December 21, 2010

Hitachi America today announced the CPX9 Portable Series LCD projector, useful anywhere a lightweight, high-quality projector is needed. It weighs less than five pounds and measures just 12 x 8.7 x 3 inches. The CPX9 can project images up to 300 inches (diagonal measurement) with XGA resolution, 3,200 lumens brightness and 16.7 million colors.

Net Neutrality Passes, But Is It Necessary?

December 21, 2010

The FCC voted 3-2 in favor of deploying net neutrality rules. I agree with net neutrality in principle, but as always, the devil is always in the details.

I suspect like anything the government does, there will not be an equal application of net neutrality. For instance, hundreds of companies already got waivers from Obamacare.

If the FCC is the determiner of who breaks the rules, don’t forget FCC chair people are political appointees that change. Even this decision was a 3 (Democrat) to 2 (Republican) split, indicating a clear political split.

If an ISP wants to get away with bending the rules a little all they have to do is fund an election campaign for some high-powered politician(s) in either party to get a “favor”.

HP G72-C55DX Review

December 21, 2010

The HP G72-C55DX is one of the best bang-for-the-buck laptops you can buy. The HP G72-C55DX sports a huge 17.3" LED (1600 x 900) backlit display and the latest Intel Pentium P6100 processor. You don't break the bank with this laptop since the HP G72-C55DX is available on sale at Best Buy for $449.99! My family and I were looking for a laptop to purchase for my mother-in-law as a gift for Christmas and this laptop certainly fit the bill.
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