Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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ITEXPO Austin, Texas - Day 1 Photos Slideshow

September 13, 2011

Hookflash for iPad Launches

September 13, 2011

Hookflash is skipping the iPhone and jumping right to the larger screen iPad to offer their feature-rich peer-to-peer communications and social media app. This goes to the heart of an article I've been thinking about  for months about how the iPad could replace the desktop phone. But that is an article for another day.


Hookflash for iPad is like a softphone application on steroids featuring  group video conferencing, group messaging, and participant profiles automatically created from information derived from business and social networks. You can also think of Hookflash as a "business" version of Skype, which tends to be more "consumer" focused.

Users can set up group video calls with Hookflash from the iPad with a simple swipe of the finger.




HTC Unveils HTC TITAN 4.7" and 3.8" Radar Smartphones

September 6, 2011


HTC has unveiled HTC TITAN (image above), its largest screen smartphone featuring a 4.7 inch WVGA 480x800 pixel display and the smaller 3.8 inch HTC Radar, both of which run on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system. The HTC TITAN sports a slim 9.9 mm (0.39 inch) aluminum shell and a whopping 8 megapixel camera with a f/2.2 aperture lens, dual LED flash, BSI sensor (for better low-light captures) and 720p video recording.

The HTC TITAN, previously codenamed HTC Eternity, is powered by a 1.5GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset  with 512MB of RAM and integrated GPS. The internal storage memory of the device is only 16GB. I'm really surprised such a high-end smartphone sporting a large screen and a high-end 8MP camera doesn't sport 32GB of internal storage for storing lots of photos and other media (music, videos).


Steve Jobs the Man, the Myth, the Legend: How it began.

August 26, 2011


I grew up as a computer geek in the late 70s through the 80s into the 90s admiring Bill Gates much more than Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was just "that other computer guy" whose computers were used by less than 8% of the computing world. Microsoft was #1 and Apple was #2 and I liked a winner. Steve Jobs was an also ran to Bill Gates and Microsoft, especially after Windows 95, which arguably copied much of the Macintosh ideas. Microsoft took over the desktop PC world and Apple was relegated to Apple enthusiasts.

Then a funny thing happened.


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".



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.




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.

Bob Metcalfe Keynotes StartupCamp, Communications Edition, collocated with ITEXPO

August 8, 2011

Bob Metcalfe is a living technology legend who invented Ethernet in 1973 while at Xerox PARC and he also founded 3Com. Without Ethernet, where would local area networks, WANs and the Internet be? We owe Bob a great deal of gratitude for his contribution to computer networking. Metcalfe is also known for his 1995 prediction that the internet would suffer a catastrophic collapse the next year and he'd eat his words if it did not. Well, he was wrong on that, but everyone loves or loves to hate an opinionated pundit, whether its someone like David Pogue at the NY Times, Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal, or a fiery political pundits like Bill O'Reilly or Keith Olbermann.

So I am ecstatic to announce that Bob Metcalfe will keynote TMC's fourth installment of StartupCamp, Communications Edition, collocated with ITEXPO West, on September 14 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

Vonage Time to Call iPhone App Makes Cheap International Calls

August 3, 2011

Vonage today launched Time to Call for the iPhone, a new mobile VoIP app that aims to deliver low-cost international calling. Vonage claims Time to Call is the first downloadable app that allows pay-per-call international dialing to more than 190 countries.  The app, designed for iPhones, lets consumers make 15-minute international calls and it features payment directly through iTunes, which will no doubt improve the adoption rate.

For a limited time, Vonage will provide a free international call, up to 15 minutes, to 100 countries. 

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