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Video Conferencing

Skype 5.5 Now Available

July 28, 2011


Skype 5.5 for Windows is no longer just a beta and is now available for download. The new version lets Skype users instant message their Facebook friends via Skype, making Skype a nice consolidated app for all your IM needs. You can also comment on friend's Facebook status updates. You also have the ability to use the Facebook News Feed within Skype to "like" a friend's status or comment on it without logging into Facebook.

I have some Facebook friends that I don't know who friended me and constantly IM me via Facebook, but because it's not VoIP-related and is sometimes "spammy" I just ignore these IM windows within the Facebook window.


Microsoft Releases July Cumulative update package for Lync 2010

July 27, 2011

Microsoft released a cumulative update package for Lync 2010 with several bug fixes. Thought I'd share the list of fixes. They include:

  • 2571523  A Lync Server 2010 Standard CAL user cannot use certain functionality of a HID device in Lync Server 2010.
  • 2571525  A user receives an "Audio Join” notification message unexpectedly when opening a conversation window in Lync 2010.
  • 2571527  A user cannot enable video in a conference after you assign a conference policy to the user in a Lync Server 2010 environment.
  • 2571529  A PSTN or a PBX call is disconnected without a notification on a Polycom CX600 or Polycom CX700 telephone that is running Lync 2010 Phone Edition
  • 2571530  A Lync 2010 client cannot download the address book file by using a UNC path
  • 2560097  A Lync 2010 conference organizer cannot invite other users to the Lync 2010 conference
  • 2571531  The voice mail LED on a Polycom CX300 telephone does not turn on when you receive a new voice mail in a Lync 2010 environment
  • 2560100  The Enter key is not recognized correctly when you enable Input Method Extension and then perform a search in a Lync 2010 client
  • 2560101   The Presence calendar data does not publish in Lync 2010 after users install update 2496325
  • 2577950  Error message when you try to open a modified Live Meeting item in the calendar in a Lync Server 2010 environment
  • 2577955  A user cannot sign in to Lync 2010 when the primary Front-end server is unavailable in a Lync Server 2010 environment
This update package also fixes the issues that are previously documented in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles:
  • 2517766  A warning message is cut off in a localized version of Lync 2010
  • 2517757  The “Start Recording” command is still available after you transfer audio to a PSTN telephone during a conference call in Lync 2010
  • 2517754  The Outlook.exe process is still running after you close Outlook on a computer that has Lync 2010 installed and that is running Windows Vista
  • 2517747  The Lync 2010 Recording Player window displays incorrect localized language in Lync 2010
  • 2517739  A short audio delay occurs after a RGS agent accepts a call in a Lync Server 2010 environment
  • 2517736  You take over a presentation when you double-click the “Return to Presenter’s View” button in Lync 2010
  • 2517735  "Your online meeting invitation needs to be updated due to changed server policies." message on a computer that has Lync 2010 installed
  • 2517721  Lync 2010 cannot publish the "Presence" calendar data of a user
  • 2517691  A user cannot retrieve a parked call from a paired Lync 2010 client when the orbit number contains "#" or "*"
  • 2517673  Texts in an office application are cut off or the office application does not respond when you copy the texts from a Lync 2010 instant message input window
  • 2503538  Lync 2010 prompts you for credentials when it is retrieving availability data through Exchange Web Services
  • 2500416  The AVModalityPropertyChanged event is not triggered in Lync 2010 SDK
  • 2499613  A Lync 2010 client crashes with an access violation when you click the "A" icon of an emoticon in a conversation
  • 2498410  A user name is still in Lync 2010 after you remove the user account in AD
  • 2497779  "Connection is not established" error message in a Lync 2010 client when an attendee is disconnected from an application-sharing session in a large conference
  • 2464823  The Lync 2010 client crashes during a conference video call that includes ACP users
  • 2520139  Lync 2010 does not prompt you for credentials when the credentials are deleted in Windows Credential Manager
  • 2464821  An Exchange error notification displays in Lync 2010 when an authentication proxy is deployed in a Lync Online environment
  • 2520142  Lync 2010 cannot connect to Lync Online service through a proxy firewall while in automatic configuration mode
  • 2520144  Your instant message is not delivered if your URI is the same as the email address
  • 2464810  A credential dialog box appears or an error message is received when you log on to Lync Online
  • 2464811  The icon of the speakerphone in Lync 2010 is not generic
  • 2464817  You have to press the TAB key two times to select the “Save my password” check box after you type your password in the Lync 2010 logon screen
  • 2464828  The “Learn More” link does not indicate as a selection when you press the TAB key to select it in the “Edit Location” dialog box in Lync 2010
  • 2464840  You are directed to the MSN website when you try to download software that is required to log on to Lync online by using Lync 2010
  • 2464841  Lync 2010 does not populate your location information automatically
  • 2464842  “Cannot sign in to Lync because this sign-in address was not found” error message during the Lync 2010 logon process when the default user is Lync-disabled
  • 2464845  A Silverlight application for Lync 2010 does not start from a URL address that does not contain the page name
  • 2464850  The conference disclaimer is missing from the “Disclaimer” window when you try to join a Lync 2010 conference by using an Office Communicator Object Model
  • 2464872  Certain text in an invitation email message for an online meeting are displayed incorrectly when you create the invitation email message by using a Hindi or a Kazakh version of Lync 2010
  • 2464873  Your audio and video is enabled automatically when you click “Retry” to rejoin a Lync 2010 Audio/Video conference
  • 2464874  A Lync Online disabled user is not handled correctly during the logon process in Lync 2010
  • 2483227  Your Live Meeting Service presenter password is included in the INVITE message when you start a meeting by using Live Meeting Service in Lync 2010
Download the Lync.msp x86 package.

Download the Lync.msp X64 package.



Atlantis Shuttle's Sandra Magnus has Bad Hair Day During Video Call to President Obama

July 18, 2011

The STS-135 mission is the last shuttle mission, so I decided to check out the video call with President Obama. As I was watching the Atlantis crew video call with President Obama I noticed Sandra Hall Magnus had a "hair malfunction". For a split second I thought Carrot Top had stowed aboard the Atlantis shuttle! See for yourself:

[click for larger view]

Damn that zero gravity!



Spirit DSP and Polycom Ink Licensing Deal on Polycom CX5000

July 7, 2011


Today, SPIRIT DSP signed their fifth licensing agreement with Polycom. Polycom has licensed SPIRIT's product to support quality videoconferencing on the CX5000 Unified Conference Station, Polycom's branded version of the Microsoft RoundTable, which I reviewed here.

As a Polycom-branded version of the Microsoft RoundTable collaboration and conferencing device, the CX5000 system provides engaging group telepresence and also can be used as an analog conference phone.
 
The Polycom CX5000 Unified Conference Station makes for an engaging group video experience to Microsoft Live Meeting session or to Microsoft Office Communicator conversation.  With five cameras and six microphones, the CX5000 is primarily a USB peripheral device that delivers a unique, engaging 360-degree group video experience to Live Meeting 2007 applications, and when used only with Microsoft Office Communication 2007, the client functions as a video switched webcam.  Interestingly, there is no mention of support on Polycom's website for the latest version of OCS now called Microsoft Lync. It should work with it since it is a USB webcam, though I heard it may only display the standard active speaker view and not the panoramic 360 degree view.




Skype Users Make 300 Million Minutes of Video Calling Per Month

July 6, 2011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Skype CEO Tony Bates Share the Stage

July 6, 2011

Facebook Livestream Users >40,000 users for Skype & Project Spartan (HTML5) News

July 6, 2011

Facebook Launching HTML5 Skype App?

July 6, 2011


I've griped for awhile about the lack of VoIP or video calling within Facebook and even pointed out some 3rd party Facebook VoIP "kludges", but none truly gained much traction. Well, tomorrowtoday, Facebook will be making two huge announcements. The first is that according to various sources, Facebook will be announcing  browser-based Skype video calling. The second is that Facebook will be announcing the release of Project Spartan, which is the codename for a an entirely HTML5-based platform, with the specific goal of reaching mobile users and in particular mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPad platforms.

Blue Jeans Network Launches Video Conferencing Service

June 29, 2011


Today, Blue Jeans Network announced the commercial availability of its cloud-based multi-party video conferencing service, which they've dubbed "any(ware) videoconferencing". I reviewed their impressive video conferencing product last month. I liked how their platform bridges together various business video solutions from Cisco/Tandberg, Polycom, Lifesize along with consumer video offerings from Skype and Google Talk. Users each get a private “meeting room” in the Blue Jeans cloud that they can use to schedule, host, and manage meetings through an easy web interface. Users can join the meeting using anything from a high-end Cisco/Tandberg videophone all the way down to a user running Skype and a cheap webcam.

As part of its public release, Blue Jeans announced that it has raised $23.5 million from Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Norwest Venture Partners.


U.S. House of Representatives Approves Skype for Video Calls

June 28, 2011

Looks like the U.S. House of Representatives is adopting Skype to lower costs. According to Skype's Big Blog:
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Administration announced that they will open up the world of Skype communications to Members of Congress and their staff.
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