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May 31, 2005

First Video Plugin For Skype

How cool is this:

Slashdot reports the availability of the first video plugin to be released to work with Skype for providing video calls over the popular VoIP service. Dialcom's video4skype ( clever, huh?) is available for free to be downloaded from their web site. Dialcom states they are working on versions compatible with other VoIP programs for future release.

 

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First video plugin for Skype

Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by voip429.
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Dialcom Offers Video for Skype VoIP

Another report on the Skype video plugin:

Digital Media Europe is reporting that Dialcom (Spain) has released a video plugin for Skype VoIP users which enables users to make video calls on the Skype service. The call is encrypted, and Dialcom claims the capability is firewall and proxy friendly.

 

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Dialcom Offers Video for Skype VoIP

Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by voip429.
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New Moto RAZRberry = PTT VoIP?

phones motorola razr-berry Whether we like it or not:

I read some interesting comments on Andy's VoIPWatch regarding a potentially new cel device from moto.

This new RAZR-thin EDGE enabled cel phone could very well inlude Push To Talk VoIP making use of the EDGE layer on the network. Very cool! I hope it's not as big and bland as it looks ;)

 

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New Moto RAZRberry = PTT VoIP?

Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by motoro421.
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Skype WiFi Phone In Works

Lots of development around the Skype platform:

Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom announced the company plans to put out a VoWLAN phone, which will allow customers to connect to the Skype voice network via WiFi. Not too many specifics were given, other than that it’ll be out later this year. Let’s hope they inject it with a little more style than Vonage’s retro-cell aesthetic employed on the UTStarcom F1000, their first offering in the WiFi phone department.

 

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WiFi phone in the works from Skype

Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by vonage431.
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Cingular Scaling Back 3G Plans

Not clear whether this leaves Verizon a big opening.

The analysts conclude that Cingular is simply over-committed right now and does not have the resources to meet its original 3G schedule. If Cingular is scaling back its 3G plans, it could lose even more ground to rival Verizon Wireless, which launched 3G in the US at the end of 2003. Verizon is aggressively building out its EV-DO network and will likely remain the US 3G market leader, especially if Cingular pulls back on its 3G plans.

Opportunities for cross-promotions abound but are unlikely to take off on a big scale until more sophisticated multimedia messaging supplants today's simple texts. The reason is economics. Say the Boston Red Sox teams up with Verizon Wireless in a promotion to get fans to vote for their favorite player on an ESPN telecast. Today, those three companies would have to divvy up the text revenues, which average only 3 cents to 10 cents apiece in the U.S. But within two years, say analysts, multimedia messages, complete with color video and music, might...

If users switch to EDGE/3G data rapidly, this could hurt Cingular. Otherwise, it's probably a good move.
 

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Cingular scaling back its 3G plans

Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by verizo413.
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Score One For Cable Companies

The Texas legislators have really turned the screws on the telcos:

And with Verizon spending about $1,000 per home to connect residents to it's new fiber-optic network in Texas, according to a Monday Associated Press article, a slow rollout is the last thing the telecoms want. The AP article says that now the phone companies will turn to Washington for legislative relief as opposed to going to each state. Because if SBC can't win in its home state, it doesn't look good for the rest of the industry.

 

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Score one for cable companies

Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by verizo413.
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Verizon Wireless Says They're Ready for 2005 Hurricane Season

It's  

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Verizon Wireless Says They’re Ready for 2005 Hurricane Season

Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by verizo413.
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SBC Tries Naked DSL

About time:

Via Om Malik, SBC will trial naked DSL, but could go with a partially bundled service to protect voice revenues. Follow this Houston Chronicle link. Qwest and Verizon either already offer the service or plan to.

 

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Posted on May 31, 2005 05:35 PM by verizo413.
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Email Best Practice On The Treo

Click through for the whole story on Treo and email:

The Treo 650 comes with a very capable mail program for IMAP4 and POP3. However, checking your mail on a regular basis means that you are polling your server. Open connection, log in, check for new mail, download if available, disconnect. That adds up quite some traffic if you are on a metered contract. It also means that you cannot receive mail faster than your polling schedule allows.

 

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Email best practice on the Treo

Posted on May 31, 2005 04:34 PM by treo 6428.
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Skype vs. Vonage : TomsNetworking :

Good comparison of Skype and Vonage here:

TomsNetworking : This article shows the differences btween using SKYPE and Vonage. Which VOIP is good for you?

 

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Skype vs. Vonage : TomsNetworking :

Posted on May 31, 2005 02:31 PM by skype430.
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Skype using some SIP?

I didn't think Skype was using SIP, but maybe I'm wrong?

According to Aswath, there looks to be some evidence that Skype is using some parts of SIP for their PSTN connectivity. Maybe open standards is not totally lost upon them, that is good news.

 

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Skype using some SIP?

Posted on May 31, 2005 02:31 PM by skype430.
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Skin It

Here's a recommendation for some cell phone customization:

If you want to add some color to your gadgets to add that extra personal touch, check out SkinIt.com. These guys were at E3 and had a real nice setup that included all their custom made vinyl designs for Mac, PDA, MP3, Cellphones and Game devices. You can even upload your own photos. They were kindly handing out skins to their visitors which was really nice. I got two one pink (because no one else wanted them) for my PSP and one Blue. I am really diggin it! I know some of you have been looking to personalize your RAZR, TREO and even XM Radios, this...

 

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E3: Skin it booth

Posted on May 31, 2005 01:29 PM by motoro421.
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I have played with a N90 phone

phones nokia n90 Every review says the new N series from Nokia are terrific, including this:

Just arrived in Helsinki with Xavier, I have played with Christian's brand new N90 Carl Zeiss optics (rotating), very nice design, amazing picture quality you can check on Christian's blog (whose TypePad blog design is very cool too).

 

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I have played with a N90 phone

Posted on May 31, 2005 10:29 AM by nokia 423.
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May 30, 2005

Geek-wear

They sell pocket protectors as accessories:

Eleksen announced a deal with outdoor apparel manufacturer O'Neill to incorporate the fabric in its H2 apparel line, which includes a backpack with a built-in solar panel and coat with a control panel for cell phones or MP3 players. The coat will also contain built-in headphones and microphones, so you won't have to take your coat off to speak or listen to music. A built-in Bluetooth module handles communications and also switches feeds from the MP3 player to the phone and vice versa.

 

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Eleksen - wearable electrical panels

Posted on May 30, 2005 11:28 PM by cell p392.
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Sailing Aboard The VoIP Titanic?

A different take on Vonage's spending spree:

Hmm, wonder if I should be concerned about my favorite VoIP company: Vonage? Om Malik says that they are on a spending tear:

Vonage is spending $21.829 million a month on Internet advertising alone, making it the second biggest money spender online.

 

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Sailing aboard the VoIP Titanic?

Posted on May 30, 2005 05:31 PM by vonage431.
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VOIP Regulation In Canada

Should have a decision shortly on Canadian regulation of VoIP:

Can you feel the excitement?! Only 32 hours before the CRTC decides whether it's going to regulate Internet telephony. Judging by recent analyst reports and news stories, regulating ILECs such as Bell and Telus could destroy their local phone businesses, while making them uncompetitive in the fast-emerging Internet telephony market. It's all a bit dramatic. It's not like Bell and Telus will be unable to offer Internet telephony. It's not like they won't be able to use their strong brands, customer relationships, and ability to offer multi-service...

 

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VOIP Regulation in Canada: 32 Hours to Go

Posted on May 30, 2005 05:31 PM by vonage431.
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A Tool to Pick a VOIP Service Provider

If you're deciding on VoIP vendors, maybe this will help:

If there's ever too much of a good thing, the VOIP market is a perfect illustration. With low barriers to entry into a market just starting to emerge, there is plenty of confusion among consumers about which service provider to use. Do you sign up with Vonage because they aggressively advertise and just raised US$200-million in private equity? Or do you go with your cableco because they offer VOIP within an attractive bundle? Stepping into this selection "void" is Whichvoip.com, which offers consumers an easy way to select the best VOIP service provider based on their specific requirements. A particularly nice feature is the Web site's advanced search capability that kicks back service providers that meet a consumer's personalized needs. Whichvoip.com also offers reviews and tools to select a VOIP SP for business users. I'm not sure if there are similar sites to Whichvoip.com but the Seattle-based company deserves kudos for recognizing an opportunity and rolling out a easy to use service.

 

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A Tool to Pick a VOIP Service Provider

Posted on May 30, 2005 05:31 PM by vonage431.
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Vonage Canada Cranks It Up

Vonage going wild in Canada:

Now that the CRTC has shackled ILECs when it comes to VOIP, Vonage Canada has decided it's time to crank up its marketing machine. This will see Vonage sponsor two high-profile events in Toronto this summer - the Molson Indy and the Distillery Jazz Festival. From a marketing/advertising perspective, it will be an interesting summer for the VOIP industry as existing players get more aggressive, and Rogers launches its cable telephony service in July. You have to expect Bell Canada will respond by promoting its own VOIP service - Bell Digital Voice...

 

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Vonage Canada Cranks It Up

Posted on May 30, 2005 05:31 PM by vonage431.
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Canada Regulates VOIP

This kind of surprised me:

As expected, Canada's telecom regulator has decided to regulate VOIP. It means ILECs such as Bell Canada and Telus Corp. will have to seek pricing approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commision to ensure they don't sell Internet telephony service below cost, while cablecos and third-party suppliers such as Vonage and Primus are free to price any way they want. Bell Canada, Sasktel and Telus have already said they will appeal the decision to the federal cabinet, and could pursue legal action. The bottom line is the CRTC...

 

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Canada Regulates VOIP

Posted on May 30, 2005 05:31 PM by vonage431.
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Skype And The Virtual Office

Every company's dream: the center of the virtual office.

Not much new here but put it all together and you do have a virtual office with Skype as a center piece.

 

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Posted on May 30, 2005 02:29 PM by skype430.
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May 29, 2005

Privacy and Security

Good question:

Millions of people carrying camera cell phones or portable instant messaging devices are being encouraged to share what they see, hear, and think as it happens -- and by Google, no less. Think about that: the owners of the world's largest data storage and retrieval system are gathering audio, video, photos, and text messages from all over. Should we be pleased? Or worried?

 

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Posted on May 29, 2005 11:26 PM by cell p392.
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Favorite Cell Phone Features

Another good question:

Anyone who has heard me gripe about cell phones, (and most people who know me have,) might be surprised at this, but cell phones do come in handy at times. I’m thinking about this because I’m really liking my Nextel phone I got with my new job. The walkie-talkie feature is really pretty handy. Of course, with a company phone, you don’t always get everything you want. Two features I’d love to have are text messaging and a camera. I can see where both would be very handy in the everyday working world, (I’d love to be able to take pictures of broken parts I need to order,) but both my last employer and my new one do not allow them. What are your favorite cell phone features? What new ones would you like to see invented?

 

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Cell phones - what are you favorite features?

Posted on May 29, 2005 11:26 PM by cell p392.
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Vonage Scary Big Spending Ways

If you've got it, flaunt it. Vonage is plowing through it's $200M financing to buy market share:

This just in - Vonage is spending $21.829 million a month on Internet advertising alone, making it the second biggest money spender online. If you look at the number of customers they are adding - 15,000 a week or 60,000 a month, that makes it about $363 per customer in acquisition costs. Never mind that they are advertising like crazy on television and in the print media. If those figures are taken into account, then we could see final customer acquisition cost of around $400.

 

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Vonage Scary Big Spending Ways

Posted on May 29, 2005 05:28 PM by vonage431.
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The Telecom Bill Is Dead

Cost and time to get video over phone just went up.

Cable companies and a coalition of Texas cities also fought the proposal, which would have allowed SBC Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to get a single statewide franchise for their planned Internet television service instead of negotiating scores of agreements with individual cities, as cable companies do.

Good for the incumbents, bad for consumers.
 

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The telecom bill is dead

Posted on May 29, 2005 05:28 PM by verizo413.
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U.S. Cell Phone Market Share

If you need the U.S. cell phone market share numbers, click through.

Standard & Poor’s claims 4 nationwide wireless operators will serve close to 85% of the US wireless subscriber base. Cingular Wireless has the top spot with 50 mln of the industry’s 180 mln wireless subscribers. Verizon Wireless is #2 with more than 43 mln subscribers, followed by the combined operations of Sprint and Nextel serving approximately 40 mln customers. T-Mobile USA is #4 with more than 17 mln subscribers. AllTel Wireless currently has 10 mln customers and will acquire Western Wireless and US Cellular with their 5 mln...

No discussion exists, click here to start it.

 

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US wireless customer base: Cingular - 50 mln, Verizon - 43 mln, Sprint - 40 mln

Posted on May 29, 2005 05:28 PM by verizo413.
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Sony MDR-101LP Overhead Headphones

phones sony mdr-101lp headphones With more audio featuers in cell phones, stereo cell phone accessories like the Sony MDR-101LP should be big sellers in 2005.

PalmOne Treo 650 Hybrid Headset and Stereo Headphones Reviews, PalmOne Treo 650 Hybrid Headset and Stereo Headphones - Product Reviews

Remember, most states prohibit stereo headphones if you operate a motor vehicle.
 

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Sony MDR-101LP Overhead Headphones (Headphones)

Posted on May 29, 2005 04:27 PM by treo 6428.
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But Can It Take Good Pictures?

phones samsung a800 I'm waiting for a phone that takes good pictures, too:

So since they didn’t have it we looked at the phones they currently had on display. I still like the Palm Treo 650. But I really want to see the Samsung A800 before making my decision on which phone will replace my Sanyo 8100. We took pictures with a few of them and they all seemed clear on the phone’s display but I want to see it once it’s emailed. The pictures taken with my 8100 look clear on the display too but are pretty lame when emailed. Just check out my MoBlog pics.

 

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I don’t get it

Posted on May 29, 2005 04:27 PM by treo 6428.
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Cell Phone TV

Idetics is one of many companies breaking out in the video over cell phone field:

Idetics products deliver live tv and video to Sprint and Cingular cell phones, currently available at a low frame rate of 1-2 frame per second rate for most of the video-capable phones now available. Idetic was recently named to the prestigious Red Herring list of 100 Hottest Private Companies in America.

 

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Idetics honored - More on Cell Phone TV

Posted on May 29, 2005 03:25 PM by sprint415.
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Share Skype Blog

If you can't get enough 4-1-1 from us here at Phones, check out the Skype blog:

Well, Skype just launched their official blog site, ShareSkype. Have a look at their blog here.

 

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Share Skype

Posted on May 29, 2005 02:28 PM by skype430.
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Yahoo! targeting Skype with Yahoo! Messenger 7 Beta

I don't know if this extension of Yahoo Messenger really makes sense.

In addition, the company has also added a Voice Mail feature allowing the buddies on the messenger to leave voice messages when the user this side is away from the computer. However, Yahoo! is currently not supporting the normal phone lines like Skype does (for a small fee), but this might just be the beginning of the competition. Yahoo! has the advantage of the user base though Skype itself is not lacking behind on the number of subscribers to their services on the net.

 

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Yahoo! targeting Skype with Yahoo! Messenger 7 Beta

Posted on May 29, 2005 02:28 PM by skype430.
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Hedge Fund Activism

Interesting hedge fund perspective on the MCI deal that I didn't think about:

First, thus far hedge funds have been mainly followers. The high profile cases in which hedge funds have - or likely will - played a major role have mostly been cases in which there was an individual activist around whom the hedge funds rallied: Roy Disney and Stanley Gold at Disney, Icahn at Blockbuster, and, possibly coming down the pike, Kerkorian at GM. The leading recent case in which hedge funds tried to affect boardroom deliberations without a rallying figure was MCI, in which the hedge funds (thus far) failed to sway the MCI board from its...

Click through for more.
 

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Hedge Fund Activism

Posted on May 29, 2005 12:19 PM by qwest434.
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Nokia And Apple

I think there are too many combinations of cell phones and organizer applications to make everything work with everything. Time for some standards.

Looks interesting but frankly I would be happy if Nokia and Apple could get their collective act together so that users of popular Nokia phones, such as the Series 40 model 6230, could sync with iCal, Address Book et al. There is a standalone application for Mac OS X, not integrating with iCal etc, that can communicate with 6230. So what goes on?

 

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test stressing

Posted on May 29, 2005 09:26 AM by nokia 423.
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May 28, 2005

Last Stop To Nextelville

Maybe google maps could add a feature that shows level of cell coverage for each carrier?

God, I love my Cingular phone (Siemens sx66). But, they are simply boneheads when it comes to service. I live on an elevation of about 2 miles above my local city, but Cingular can’t figure out how to give me the same service as those in the “valley”. What’s up with that? I can get Nextel service 100%. Is Nextel that much better? Does Nextel’s network take into account the number of folks that MAY live on a hill in the U.S.?

 

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Cingular may be a last stop to Nextelville

Posted on May 28, 2005 11:26 PM by cingul417.
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Theater Time

I. hate. cell. phones. in. theaters. too.

I. hate. stupid. people. I have very little patience with people who don't have common sense, that's one of the reasons I can't stand my SIL. The other big pet peeve I have is people in movie theaters that put their feet on the seats, talk, play on their cell phones, kick your seat, and rattle packages during the whole movie. I actually have contemplated not going to the movies anymore and just waiting for things to come out on dvd because the general public annoys me so much. It all comes back to the common sense.

 

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Interview

Posted on May 28, 2005 11:26 PM by cell p392.
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I Finally Have A New Phone

phones motorola razr I really like the design of the RAZR, but I want more functionality.

If you're in the market for a new phone, Cingular has the 5600 for $250 with 2-year contract (online only, I haven't found any stores that have these yet). If you don't want/need a smartphone, they have the silver Motorola RAZR for $199.

 

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I Finally Have A New Phone

Posted on May 28, 2005 11:26 PM by cingul417.
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Mobile Phone Tone Becomes Top Single

I love that cell phones now drive the singles market.

Coldplay had hoped to go straight to No. 1 on this Sunday’s British singles chart with its new song, Speed of Sound. But by today, it appeared that Crazy Frog Axel F - which is available for digital download and as a compact disc single in retail stores - would prevail, said Castaldo. The ring tone was expected to replace the Oasis tune Lyla as the No. 1 hit on the list released Sunday by the Official UK Charts Co. The weekly singles chart, which has been released since 1952, is based on the sales of 5,600 retail shops across Britain. While...

 

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Mobile phone tone becomes top single

Posted on May 28, 2005 11:26 PM by cell p392.
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Got Customers?

Customer service is by far and away the worst part of all this great new technology.

I’ve had similar issues (no pun intended) with other companies that were “#1” or otherwise huge. AT&T, Comcast, BellSouth, and SunTrust Bank all come to mind immediately (based on experience) as having obvious organizational problems when it comes to managing customer information. The last time I called Comcast, for example, they said I didn't have an account with them - I wonder who was sending me bills (complete with account number) and providing internet access for me all those years then? I’m sure...

 

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Got customers?

Posted on May 28, 2005 09:26 PM by bellso433.
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Cable Versus DSL

I ended up with cable instead of DSL because I ditched the land line in favor of a cell phone and the telco can't offer me video over copper (yet).

I’ve learned that I could probably live with DSL in lieu of cable. I’m at my parents home, and they’ve gone DSL from dialup. It seems to be just as zippy as our cable connection at home, and it’s a good bit less expensive. If we go with the alternative phone carrier in our area, which we’ve been talking about anyway, we can get our phone service and DSL for something like $50 a month, plus long distance (at only 5 cents a minute). And, Verizon is only about $10 more per month than that. Hmmm…

 

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Various Technical Thingies

Posted on May 28, 2005 04:25 PM by verizo413.
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Made It Home

phones treo 650 top reveal The Treo 650 really worked out in this situation:

Reading the email, voicemail, comments to the blogs (Steven's site & the MoBlog), and seeing the visitors that stopped by our hospital room made the last few days a little less stressful and were a nice distraction from Thursday and Friday. I can't tell you how nice it was to have my Treo 650 camera phone that could send/receive email and take short movies.

 

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We made it home after a long week...

Posted on May 28, 2005 04:25 PM by treo 6428.
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Room For Improvement At Skype

Skype users are saving lots of cash, but they do want improvements:

But there are any number of problems with the service. The voice quality of SkypeIn and SkypeOut is poor - much of it strikes me as mobile phone quality where transcoding is taking place. There have been an increasing number of service problems recently. Second attempts have always worked, but it is clearly an issue.

I was shocked, simply shocked.
 

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skype - lots of room for improvement

Posted on May 28, 2005 02:27 PM by skype430.
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Calling the Grandkids

Internet phone seems like the perfect solution.

All the other grandparents live locally, see the kids a LOT more than I do and have ongoing relationships. I don’t call very often because I’m frugal with my money, and I don’t have a cell phone with unlimited minutes and free long distance and all that stuff. I did suggest that my kids look into Skype, an online free internet phone system, so that I could call them more often. No one said they would. (I do call every now and again, just not very...

Someone needs to talk to the grandkids!
 

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To the Dr. !

Posted on May 28, 2005 06:24 AM by intern394.
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May 27, 2005

VDSL2 Ratified

The eternal optimist:

The standard for VDSL2 was ratified today, which means Bellsouth should be rolling out in approximately 80 years or so.

 

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VDSL2 ratified

Posted on May 27, 2005 09:27 PM by bellso433.
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Vonage Roams Abroad

Good report on Vonage in Europe:

Recently, Vonage has released two different packaged plans in the UK this week. Vonage's main competitor in the VoIP market is BT, which could be forced to overlook their pay plans due to Vonage's entrance into the scene. When tested, the overall quality of the Vonage product was good but suffered from latency and a slow internet connection. Overall I believe that Vonage is very well capable of grabbing a large international market due to their marketing plans and price plans. According to VNUNet:

Click through for the full report.
 

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Posted on May 27, 2005 05:26 PM by vonage431.
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European Regulation Of VoIP

Extensive post on possible European regulation of VoIP.

But much of the regulatory power in Europe remains on the national level, and the situation differs dramatically among the 25 EU countries. Some national regulators have welcomed VOIP - Britain and the Nordic countries are most often mentioned. Others seem to see their role as protectors - of both consumers and incumbent phone companies - as more important.

I written this before: regulation makes sense for monopolistic utilities, but not for competitive services.
 

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Posted on May 27, 2005 05:26 PM by voip429.
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Cheap Broadband

Put your wallet back in your pocket!

Check out the prices of verizon fiber service! Of course, they probably should get their existing infrastructure up to snuff first. I’m not even CLOSE to being a rural customer and I can’t even get DSL. Not cool. Of course unless they’re planning on just running fiber to my house, in that case my wallet is wide open baby!

 

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Posted on May 27, 2005 04:27 PM by verizo413.
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VOIP, Skype, and Cell Phones?

Dual-purpose phones are on their way.

Of course the ultimate in convergence here would be a cell phone (in particular a smartphone) which would also be able to use one of these internet telephony services, and thereby avoid some of the pricing weirdness of mobile phone plans. Microsoft has built in VOIP over Wifi functionality into their newest Windows Mobile 5. Vonage, probably the best known and perhaps oldest VOIP provider already offers a version of their software that works with Windows Mobile devices, including smartphones. Skype has also has a version for Windows Mobile Devices....

 

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Posted on May 27, 2005 02:28 PM by skype430.
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Skype Spam

Good question here about the Skype API and spam:

It had to happen some day. I’ve got my first Skype authorisation spam. I won’t grace the perpetrator with publicising their ID or URL, but here’s the text from their profile:

I wonder if the Skype API will make this problem worse? Much easier to build a spambot that way.

 

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Posted on May 27, 2005 02:28 PM by skype430.
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Skype Now Taking PayPal

Skype's growth is phenomenol.

After a few months of testing, Skype is now out of beta with PayPal as a means of payment.

I really think we will see a cottage industry spring up around Skype, much like eBay has already seen.

I don't know whether Skype's VoIP implementation over P2P will hurt them in the long run.
 

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Posted on May 27, 2005 02:28 PM by skype430.
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Silicon Valley Tea Leaves: The End of the VC Game?

It is harder for VCs to play here.

Friday's WSJ ran a front-page story on how difficult it may turn for new companies to make money in WiFi. Why? he quickness of the market dominant tech companies to respond.In the prior high-tech cycles, the entrenched tech leaders were often overtaken by the little furry mammal companies. This time the entrenched leaders have stolen from the VC playbook and quickly jumped into the WiFi arena. Cisco bought two leading compaes, Aeronet (Clarity) and Linksys, and dominates the access-point market. Intel is commoditizing WiFi chips so rapidly...

 

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Silicon Valley Tea Leaves: The End of the VC Game?

Posted on May 27, 2005 01:33 PM by sbc432.
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May 26, 2005

Cell Phone Firms Adopt Spam Rules

Staying one step ahead of the regulators:

The nation's leading cell phone service providers have adopted the first set of guidelines for mobile marketing, according to a report by AdAge.com.

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 11:28 PM by cell p393.
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CableVision Doing Things Right

More VoIP competition:

This is what I call doing things the smart and right way. Cablevision is upgrading their customers and making them VoIP ready.

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 05:27 PM by voip429.
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Heading Back From Speech-World

This blogger has some good points about VoIP reliability:

Then there is the issue of third world country broadband connections. If VoIP has an Achilles heel it is that it relies on broadband providers. Eventually service providers will provide better broadband service but in the mean time companies need to protect themselves by having redundant systems in place so when there is an internet problem with one connection, switching over to another is seamless.

Click through for more.
 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 05:27 PM by voip429.
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Forbes: Raising VoIP's Costs

Those VoIP companies that got in before the FCC 911 mandates had much lower cost of entry into the market.

Forbes believes that the E911 VoIP mandate is a clear entry barrier and instance of raising rivals' costs.

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 05:27 PM by voip429.
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Setup A Cisco 7960G With SIP

Here's a good tutorial if you're working with a Cisco 7960G:

I purchase the 7960G from VoIPSupply.com about a week ago, and just got time to mess around with it yesterday. Ironically the system comes with zero documentation, either hardcopy or a pdf on a CD. Zip, nil, notta, nothing… not even a CD period.

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 05:27 PM by voip429.
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Positioning Vonage And Skype

Vonage's CEO spoke to Engadget recently and tried to position Skype as a phone card company. I agree with this blogger:

As for the landscape of VOIP as a whole; I believe it has a large future. Some of the comments from Citron included a roundup and analysis on the competitors in the market. He feels that skype is more of a phone card company, rather than a provider like vonage. I think that many heavy users would disagree. Mass market products always "seem" to work better on the outside, but this is usually in direct correlation to a few million dollars spent in advertising.

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 05:27 PM by vonage431.
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Can You Hear Me Now?

Setting up E911 sounds painless:

The one thing I was a little worried about was all the recent hoopla about VoIP 911 capabilities. Well, I set mine up just fine. 10 minutes after I registered the service (which only took 5 minutes), the line was working. I logged in and setup 911 (1 page form, took all of 30 seconds), and a few hours later I got notification that it was working. I'll probably call tonight and do a line test to make sure it's functioning properly, but I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about.

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 05:27 PM by voip429.
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Switching From ISDN To DSL

The frustrations of dealing with broken marketing programs at Verizon:

Last time I tried to get DSL the good people at Verizon told me that to qualify for my free installation I would have to put a new line into the house, which is the kind of huckstering (FREE installation!!! Only $250 in fees!!!) that oughta get a company shut down. Let’s remember that my ISDN is a premium service that I actually pay for, every single month. Pay to get in and pay to get out.

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 04:33 PM by verizo413.
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How to Transfer Pictures Via Bluetooth With Verizon Treo 650

Good tip if a carrier has disabled picture transfer via bluetooth (a stupid marketing ploy if I ever heard one):

Since the bluetooth transfer is disabled in Verizon Wireless’s treo 650, blueseeker has posted an alternative way to transfer your pictures over bluetooth. Instead of using “Send” in the media, you can send the pictures as an album. (Apparently the bluetooth option in the Album Sending is not disabled)

 

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Posted on May 26, 2005 04:33 PM by treo 6428.
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May 25, 2005

Seattle Task Force Proposes Municipal Fiber Strategy

Seattle is one example of what's going on across the country. Communications is getting so competitive that it makes sense to de-regulate ... but then cities may lose revenue.

“Our view is that incentives for us, as an existing broadband provider with the network and resources already in place to operate in Seattle, would be far less expensive and far faster to market than attempting to create a new telecommunications system,” Comcast Senior Vice President Len Rozek wrote. Qwest wrote that it would prefer that the city let the market for broadband develop in an “open and unfettered environment.”

 

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Posted on May 25, 2005 12:24 PM by qwest434.
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Yahoo! Catches Google, Targets Internet Phone Market

We've looked at this a couple times to make sure:

Filed under: Uncategorized — Internet Phone @ 1:35 am

… Yahoo has employed VoIP or Internet Phone Service as … Instant Messenger cannot call traditional wired or wireless phones, only computers with Internet access …

 

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Posted on May 25, 2005 06:30 AM by intern394.
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May 24, 2005

Maui A Cingular Exception

If the sales rep says you'll have coverage, don't believe it.

I went to the Cingular store before purchasing my Siemens sx66, and the salesman told me that I would be covered completely. After 3 calls to Cingular (twice before Maui and once after Maui), they told me that I’m not covered. Of course, before my trip to Hawaii, the Cingular folks told me I should be fine.

 

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Posted on May 24, 2005 11:31 PM by cingul417.
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Amber Alerts

Great service and great marketing.

Beginning immediately, most of the nation's wireless carriers -- including Sprint PCS, Cingular Wireless, Nextel, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile -- will relay information about abducted children to subscribers who ask to be notified.

 

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Posted on May 24, 2005 11:31 PM by cingul417.
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Cell Phone Suggestions

phones motorola razr cell phone I think the Razr is a real sharp phone.

Our current top contended is Cingular, and the Razr. I normally wouldn’t consider spending that much on a shoephone, but I like its looks, and the features seem pretty nice, and Amazon has a swanky special on them.

 

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Posted on May 24, 2005 11:31 PM by motoro421.
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School District Moves To VoIP, Linux

Companies like Microsoft usually give huge discounts to educators. It they're switching, I guess the discounts aren't large enough.

This case study demonstrates how a school system saved by making the transition to VoIP and migrating 50 servers to Red Hat Linux. The effort represented a significant overhaul of existing intrastructure. I believe we'll be seeing more and more of this type of story.

 

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Posted on May 24, 2005 05:32 PM by voip429.
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May 23, 2005

Skype In India

phones blogging in india Click through for very interesting story about blogging in India.

All of this week i've been in remote villages in India, which had no electricity, a smattering of landlines that donot work, a few cell phones. And i have been able to chat with friends in the US and UK on Skype and beam pictures to my blog from there. LIVE !

At several levels - the most basic is the invitation to call when you see someone is 'online', or the knowledge that you shouldn't be disturbing someone right now. This doesn't happen with landlines, and unless you send an sms in advance, not on cell phones either. I personally still prefer to send a small chat ping before I call someone, unless I know them really well, in which case, I call them any which way.

- What is it replacing in your basket of communication products both online and off ... IM clients? Landlines? Cell phones?

The team at Skype has done a great job in helping a new generation become aware how easy it is to communicate using VoIP. But before any of us can talk about a true communications revolution, we need to take a hard look at the communication habits of this segment of the "always on" generation and see how much, if any, of their core communication needs is being replaced by the advent of services like Skype rather than depending upon their cell phones and/or other communication products & services.

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 11:26 PM by cell p392.
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Electronic Monitoring Survey

If big brother isn't watching, your boss might be:

This survey of 526 U.S.companies has found that 5 percent use GPS technology to monitor cell phones and 8 percent use GPS to track company vehicles."When it comes to workplace computer use,employers are primarily concerned about inappropriate web surfing,with 76% monitoring workers’ website connections.Fully 65% of companies use software to block connections to inappropriate websites".Further,"26% have fired workers for misusing the Internet.Another 25% have terminated employees for e-mail misuse.And 6% have fired employees for misusing office...

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 11:26 PM by cell p392.
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Backpackers And Homeland Security

Excuse me, but how do you get this again:

Rheingold writes about the phenomenon of mobile phone users -- whose devices weren't designed to support community uses -- doing it anyway. In what I choose to interpret as yet another affirmation of Stephenson's Law #1(when you have a problem, look for a solution to someone who suffers from it but to the nth degree), Jeff Axup, Mobile Community Design specialist at the University of Queensland's Information Environments program, studied how one ad-hoc group of phone users -- backpackers -- use their cell phones to build community. ...

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 11:26 PM by cell p392.
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Who's First?

It's between Vonage and Skype.

GadgetSpy in the UK thinks Vonage is setting out to be the world's first global VoIP Brand. I think Skype, even though I don't consider them a Telco, is in that position in most people's minds.

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 05:38 PM by vonage431.
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Radicati: VoIP Poised to Change Consumer Calling

VoIP is the new killer app. It's official:

Radicati says adoption of Internet telephony was slow until recently, but the research firm believes that the technology is about to hit the mainstream thanks to its incorporation into instant messaging applications by AOL, MSN and Yahoo!, and the efforts of independent service providers like Skype and Teleo. Radicati's 12-page report reviews and compares these five services.

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 05:38 PM by voip429.
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VoIP Finding A Problem

Click through for the lengthy report.

After assiduously avoiding damage that would have been done to emerging Voice over Internet Protocol by labeling it as a telecom service, the FCC requires VoIP to clean up its 911 act. As Jeff Pulver pointed out in his blog a couple of days ago there were always 3 non-technical hurdles VoIP would have to leap to pass muster with DC plutocrats - numbering, surveillance by the good guys and location awareness for use with public safety networks.

I'd say the FCC 911 action is good politics and paid for by the incumbents.
 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 05:38 PM by voip429.
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More on Verizon's Quest For TV in New Jersey

The Telcos are pushing the FCC to slow down the VoIP companies and, not surprisingly, the cable companies are pushing legislators to slow down the Telcos from introducing video over phone lines.

Read this very informative article on the steps that Verizon is taking to streamline the approval process to offer cable TV to its customers over its Fios FTTP network. Verizon is working the New Jersey legislators but is meeting fierce opposition from the Cable TV companies serving New Jersey: Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and US Cable.

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 05:02 PM by verizo413.
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Verizon Fios: Insanely Cheap Fiber To The Home

Just when you think wireless will take over all the last mile connections, then comes FTTH:

With friends like that, who needs colocation facilities? Seriously though, I pay several hundred dollars for a 5Mbps downstream/768k upstream package from Time Warner. With the $199 Verizon package, you can get 5Mbps of upstream server bandwidth, which would let you serve almost 40 128k MP3 streams, or over a dozen 300Kbps video streams. This kind of upstream bandwidth is also sufficient for you to hook up your TiVo or PVR to the network and watch it in full quality in some other broadband downstream location. (While DVD bitrates are sometimes 6-8Mbps,...

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 05:02 PM by verizo413.
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Super Cheap Wi-Fi Mobile Phone

phones wifi phones Skype's P2P underpinnings may require more CPU power in any kind of WiFi handset.

Skype phone that would work without computer is difficult because Skype uses P2P and not classic VoIP techniques (i.e. H.323 and SIP)… but Pocket PC phones already offer Skype of course.

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 02:38 PM by skype430.
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Emergent Bits of Security: Analyzing Binaries, Code

Good piece on Skype and security:

Also, many significant pieces of Skype's traffic are not encrypted. This could lead to exposure of information about who's being called, directory lookups, etc. The voice may be encrypted (regardless of how effectively) but many other, almost-as-significant pieces of the call set-up are not adequately protected.

Click through for more.
 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 02:38 PM by skype430.
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Push-to-Talk May Evolve as Standard Cellular Feature

I find push-to-talk very annoying, especially when people use Nextel phones as walkie-talkies and I can hear the entire conversation all the way across the room.

In the highly competitive cellular marketplace, carriers are always on the lookout for an edge, a way to differentiate their services from their competitors’ offerings. Somewhat surprisingly, for more than a decade, Nextel has been able to use one enhanced service, Push-to-Talk (PTT), not only as a differentiator but also as a way to prop up its revenue and margins. That may soon change, however, as other carriers are now poised to deliver similar services.

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 09:35 AM by nextel418.
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Nokia Expanding N-Gage Platform

More Nokia phones will play N-Gage games:

Probably doesn’t mean the end of the N-Gage as a standalone device (no comment), but Nokia announced today that they’re going to start expanding the N-Gage’s “mobile gaming solution” platform to several new Nokia smartphones (presumably ones with enough oomph to handle 3D gaming). Mainly means that lots of other Nokia phones’ll be able to play N-Gage games, which is probably how it should have been from day one. But we digress. The first compatible phones should be out sometime in the first half of next year.

 

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Posted on May 23, 2005 09:35 AM by nokia 423.
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May 22, 2005

Face To Face

The power of face-to-face is strong:

–Dean Landsman has written an essay on the history of ubiquitous connectivity, from cell phones to email to instant messaging and its ramifications. For those of you who are unnerved by this trend, take heart, I suspect that none of these technologies will ever replace the power of the face-to-face (F2F) encounter.

 

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Posted on May 22, 2005 11:29 PM by cell p392.
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XTen contemplating Sony PSP VoIP Softphone?

VoIP will be running on anything that has Internet soon, it seems:

XTen CEO on his blog is wondering if it was time to develop a softphone client for Sony PSP. “Since we can browse the web on this thing, and it has a USB port, Wi-Fi and a TCP stack you would think we should be able hack together a softphone for VoIP. Video will come later, camera attachment. I will keep you posted.” Yo Erik…. this is a slamdunk, don’t wait too long. How about one for Symbian phones as well? via"

 

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Posted on May 22, 2005 05:27 PM by voip429.
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May 19, 2005

Time and money comments

Consumers are switching their calling plans at lightening speed with all the changes in phone service:

We got rid of our long distance phone carrier and use Sam's calling cards.

 

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Posted on May 19, 2005 10:32 PM by callin396.
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E911 Order Raises Big Issues for Small Providers

The government has given VoIP providers 4 months to provide 911 service.

Where does this leave independent providers? Vonage, for its part, issued a obviously timed press release today saying it had worked out a deal with SBC and BellSouth to gain access to those telcos’ E911 facilities, which, when combined with a deal already in hand with Verizon, gives Vonage the ability to offer the mandated emergency calling service in three of the major four RBOCs’ regions.

This is clearly motivated by politics and lobbyists rather than economics.
 

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Posted on May 19, 2005 04:32 PM by verizo413.
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Skype Game

I'm glad you notified us ... we were having some trouble finding your name in the database.

came across skype again and yes, i'll never learn. actually... i have. no more filling in of personal info! decided to give it one more try after a freak called me up on my landline last year. a very egotistical one i might say.. he claimed he was a 1337 hax0r who knew everything about me. said he found my info online and can get into my computer. he said he had his ways.. so i take it with a pinch of salt.. never mind the fact that i was out of my mind to carry on the convo with him in the first place. curiosity got the better of me. it killed the cat, i know. thank goodness im a chicken. *chirp* so i egg him on.. where did you find all this info about me? i pressed.. ohhh, i have my sources. y'know, msn and skype and stuff. i can hack into their databases. sure buddy.

anyway, i've basically redownloaded skype. trying to build up address book again so i'd appreciate any of you with an account to msg over your user names ^^

 

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Posted on May 19, 2005 02:16 PM by skype430.
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Yahoo Messenger Is Not VoIP

I'll bet all the IM services are considering a VoIP upgrade to their VoIM services.

Jeremy blogged anout the Yahoo Messenger announcement and he complained that Ryan Naraine over at eWEEK miscategorized Yahoo Messenger as having VoIP capabilities when Yahoo Messenger can merely do PC-to-PC calling. He preferred the term VoIM (voice over instant message) instead of VoIP. While Yahoo Messenger technically is doing voice over IP (VoIP) packetization it is limted to buddy-to-buddy calling (doesn't do PSTN calling) and that's what stuck in Jeremy's craw. I have to admit, I thought the same thing when reading the Yahoo Messenger news...

 

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Posted on May 19, 2005 02:16 PM by skype430.
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Gaelic Podcasting

Push the button that says "Gaelic" on it and then get back to us.

I have been trying to figure out how to record conversations in Skype so we can launch a new Gaelic language podcast.

 

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Posted on May 19, 2005 02:16 PM by skype430.
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3 Million Skype Users Online Concurrently

Gotta love it!

Moments ago Skype passed another threshold. 7:30 AM in British Columbia Canada, 8 PM in Bangalore, India according to Vir Bhanu of Knowledge Systems who gave me the heads up.

If you follow Voice on the Net this is an important moment. About 8.5 percent of the Skype User community is online at one time.

The next largest player in this space is probably Vonage with a total of 650,000 users. Players in the VON space can't ignore Skype if they want to have a worthwhile strategy for this market segment.

For Skype Users the opportunities to connect and build a global personal network get better everyday. So when will the next threshold of 4 Million users online occur? Any math wizards out there care to give us a date?

 

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Posted on May 19, 2005 02:16 PM by skype430.
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May 18, 2005

The Return Of The Exciting Phones

phones nokia n series The Nokia N-Series is looking very exciting:

When working in the industry, it’s sometimes difficult to get excited about new mobile phones. But with the new Nokia N91 there is really a phone packed with features that I would love to have.

Nokia thought at the user and put some things there in that have been long overdue: a 4GB hard drive, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, support for playback of MP3, M4A, AAC, and WMA audio files, and USB 2.0. That would already make it a great phone, but it also is a 3G phone (WCDMA), has Bluetooth and more surprising WiFi. The power management on such a phone must be a challenge.

 

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Posted on May 18, 2005 04:24 PM by nokia 423.
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Report From The Senate On HB789

Given how quickly the industry is changing, does it make any sense that the Senate has to pass any laws about this?

Under King's changes, SBC and Verizon Communications Inc. could get statewide franchises for their planned television service, bypassing cities, which stand to lose millions of dollars.

 

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Posted on May 18, 2005 04:24 PM by verizo413.
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Verizon Takes on Franchising in New Jersey

The pinch of VoIP must be getting the telcos to take action on video over phone (finally).

As Cynthia’s last post noted, cable/telco battles are brewing over telco-TV franchising in New Jersey and other states. A 5/17 WSJ article also talked about what’s happening in New Jersey and in Texas, SBC’s home state, where it and Verizon are both lobbying hard for a state-level franchising process.

 

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Posted on May 18, 2005 04:24 PM by verizo413.
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Where is the "iPhone"?

Motorola has said the phone will hit stores this summer, but I haven't heard the carriers announce any plans yet.

Last summer Forbes discussed the possibility that the wireless carriers wanted to sell music themselves and the current Business Week has a great article about what they're up to and asks, "iPod killer?" when looking at this standoff. In an article in Fortune magazine from last year it was discussed that the new, hot Motorola Razor phone was not pleasing to the mobile carriers since all it did was voice and the carriers wanted to sell data services.

 

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Posted on May 18, 2005 09:17 AM by motoro421.
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May 17, 2005

Those Vonage Ads

Good point on the Vonage visual metaphor:

One other totally unrelated thing: have you noticed how violent the online Vonage ads are? Especially the one with the snowmobile guy flying across the road and crashing in what was surely a seriously injurious or even deadly crash? I hope that doesn't become a metaphor for Voice over Broadband providers like Vonage who are a little weak when it comes to a video offering. He-he, couldn't help myself. :-)

 

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Triple Play Comes to ILECs and RLECs

Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by vonage431.
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The Art of Non-IPO IPO

I didn't think of the latest $200M investment in Vonage as a non-IPO IPO, but with SarbOx regulations costing so much in time, money and reporting infrastructure, it makes sense. Unfortunately, it moves the "IPO" market even further out of the reach of small investors.

Vonage is just the latest company to participate in a “private IPO,” a way for a startup to raise capital for operations and for founders and executives to cash out of the startup without having to trade shares publicly. Internet advertising firm Fastclick and online poster merchant Art.com, two small but profitable companies, also went this route recently because their founders were eager to get paid without the time, expense, and uncertainty of going to the public markets. Michael Copeland writes in Business 2.0!

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by vonage431.
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Free Cell Phone TV

Is anyone suprised about an ad-based TV network? Just because it's via cell-phone doesn't mean TV can't take advantage of an American tradition.

An estimated 10 million cell phones with Windows' Media Player software inside will be able to receive and display programming from the Digital Music Video Network when it debuts in mid-June with Top 40 music videos, organizers said Tuesday. Rather than paying a monthly fee for the programming, all viewers need do is wait through 15-second advertisements sandwiched between the music videos, and pay the data-service fee for downloading all those bits onto their cell phone.

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by verizo413.
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Do We Really Need Voicemail Instructions?

It's hard dealing with lowest-common-denominator products:

Sometimes I believe that companies do things to make us feel stupid. I am so sick of the detailed voicemail instructions. And yes, I do understand that not all Americans have had a cell phone since the 90's, but how hard can it be? Right now, my favorite is Verizon. A few of my friends have them as a service provider, and they rarely answer the phone. So, I find myself listening to it quite often and it makes me more and more mad each time.

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by verizo413.
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MCI Shareholders Speak

This transaction should have been a reality TV program.

Shareholder disapproval by withholding votes only sends a message to the board if the directors believe that (1) disapproval would grow and they might not be re-elected next time (unlikely) or (2) the disapproval will result in a price decline. Of course here, the MCI directors are in the quintessential final period and have agreed to receive a certain price for their shares from Verizon. So, the withholding of votes may prove to be an effete gesture.

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by verizo413.
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No WiFi for the Samsung i730

phones samsung i730 Either the cell carriers will reduce their rates for data services or the cell phones will get WiFi someday soon.

Well, we can’t say that we’re really too surprised to learn that there’s apparently not going to be any WiFi action happening with the Samsung i730 — at least, not in Verizon’s implementation of it. As we all know too well by now, that would be just too much functionality, now wouldn’t it.

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by verizo413.
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Is VoIP Service the Next Big Target for Hackers?

Yes!

“As VoIP is rolled out en masse, we’re going to see an increased number of subscribers and also an increased number of attackers,” says David Endler, chairman of the VoIP Security Alliance VOIPSA, a recently formed industry group studying VoIP security.

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by voip429.
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Nightmare On Phone Street

Good to have a sense of humor about these things:

Who knows where Covad Communications will land after the inevitable voice over IP telephony shake out. But in the meantime, we're getting a kick out of the San Jose company's latest TV spot touting its enterprise and small business VoIP service. Conceived by GJP Advertising in San Francisco, the horror movie-themed ad (it's called "The Ringing") features a group of office workers that are terrorized by their current phone system. The 30-second spots just launched in San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago. But the full-length version...

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 04:33 PM by voip429.
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Pollsters Left Out in Cell Phone World

Pollsters and telemarketers have to adapt in the new cell phone world.

The rapid growth in cell-phone only households is pressuring public opinion researchers to adapt their surveying methods, which are based heavily on telephone interviews of people with traditional landline phones.

 

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Posted on May 17, 2005 07:28 AM by land p395.
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May 16, 2005

License-Free Cellphone Games: Some Assembly Required

phones lg 7050 cell phone Click through for game info on specific LG phones.

Through most cellphone providers, you can download full mobile games from their servers at the cost of $5 per game. Some providers, such as Telus, offer 30 day, 2 day, or 2-run trials, or even games that require you to renew a license every 30 days to keep playing. I noticed that when a trial/lisenced game checks to see if it’s allowed to run (if it’s still within the alloted trial timeframe) it doesn’t make an outside connection from the phone. What’s this mean? It means that the phone checks something in it’s own filesystem to see if the game is allowed to run. Bad call on the designers’ part!

 

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Posted on May 16, 2005 08:28 AM by lg pho422.
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May 15, 2005

A Dog's Best Friend

This is a cell phone service I'd never, ever thought of.

South Koreans hoping to communicate with man's best friend could be getting help soon from their cell phones. KTF Corp., a South Korean mobile phone operator, said Thursday it will begin offering a service that will enable dog owners to know whether their pets are feeling happy or sad.

 

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Posted on May 15, 2005 11:24 PM by cell p392.
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Review: Sony VAIO VGN-T350P With Cingular EDGE

phones sony vaio vgn-t350p Click through for the full Vaio review:

Laptop Magazine reviews the new Sony VAIO VGN-T350P notebook with built-in Cingular EDGE connectivity. Quote: "Freedom. That's what separates the Sony VAIO VGN-T350P from the ultraportable pack. This tiny three-pounder is the first notebook .

 

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Posted on May 15, 2005 11:24 PM by cingul417.
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Does Skype Have Infrastructure?

Eventually, there has to be infrastructure.

One of the most amazing aspects of Skype has been this unshakeable belief that the company does not have any network infrastructure, barring a few directory servers and other more web-related boxes. In the early days Vonage offered same arguments – we don’t have network infrastructure – thus we are more efficient. More subscribers signed on, network outages began, and well there is infrastructure. And increasingly it costs money.

For a long time Vonage and its apologists were claiming that they do not have any network infrastructure and are still able to offer voice service. It has stopped as the network failures became well known. Slowly it is becoming Skype’s turn.

 

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Posted on May 15, 2005 06:26 PM by vonage431.
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Application Development Advisor

Application developers are bringing all kinds of innovation to VoIP:

There’s a couple of rather good articles on SIP and how it’s not just for VoIP. My only client running VoIP at the moment is on H232 which works fine, so I’ve no plans to suggest changes to it yet - but after reading the article on SIP presence it’s clear that a VoIP system could be tied into the Windows logon procedure. We could have a user’s SIP presence set to online at logon, offline at logoff and perhaps even busy when the screen is locked. Such a system would vastly improve the current system of the receptionist...

 

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Posted on May 15, 2005 06:26 PM by voip429.
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What Will It Take to 'Get There'?

Regulation made sense when there were monopolies. Now, with tons of competition, maybe it's time for regulation to go away.

Despite Washington's desire to bring new competitors to TV and telephone services, the regulatory morass isn't about to be cleared up quickly. Last week, the FCC turned down SBC's request for blanket exemption from "common-carrier," or telephone-style, rules that govern a wide range of broadband services, including video. SBC plans to spend $7 billion over the next three years to upgrade its network called Project Lightspeed.

 

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Posted on May 15, 2005 02:32 PM by sbc432.
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Qwest Sneaks Into Residential VoIP

This is the first time I've heard of Qwest in the VoIP market.

Qwest quietly has begun offering residential voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service in its 14-state service area – with no public announcement – but at prices far higher than most non-telco VoIP providers.

 

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Posted on May 15, 2005 01:23 PM by qwest434.
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May 14, 2005

HTC Universal Will Run Windows Mobile 5.0

phones htc universal pc pocket phone This sounds pretty close to a real PC!

The Universal, HTC’s nicely spec’d out new 3G Pocket PC Phone (this thing has a built-in QWERTY keyboard, UMTS, a large VGA touch screen, 1.3 megapixel digital camera, 128MB of RAM, 520MHz Intel XScale processor, WiFi, and Bluetooth), is anything but a secret, especially since T-Mobile Deutschland introduced it as the MDA IV earlier this year, but HTC, a Taiwanese manufacturer which usually stays behind the scenes, took the unusual step yesterday of formally announcing that the phone will be available globally in the 2nd half of the year. The announcement, which coincided with yesterday’s unveiling of Windows Mobile 5.0, also answered one of the nagging questions about the Universal/MDA IV—namely whether or not it would run on the newest version of Microsoft’s mobile OS (it will). So when is Cingular going to get this?

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 11:29 PM by cell p392.
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PalmSource Mobile Summit & DevCon 2005

The same way that PCs have had a huge impact on office productivity, handhelds will have a huge impact on productivity in the field.

Richard Goetter, Marketing Manager for Palm OS Solutions - Cingular Wireless is giving a presentation on Mobilizing Business Processes on Palm OS: Best Practices and Lessons Learned. That should be interesting. Businesses are still only scratching the surface of what can be done to utilize mobile technologies in the field. There are so many opportunities to improve processes, speed up response times and enable access to corporate resources.

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 11:29 PM by cingul417.
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HP pushes the hw6500 back until November

phones hp hw6500 cell phone pda Thought you'd like this one:

We feel sorta bad now for having raised anyone’s hopes when we passed along the news the other day that the iPAQ hw6500 Mobile Messenger was supposed to be out in the States by September (on Cingular, in case you were keeping track), but the ever-reliable Pocket PC Thoughts reports that HP has pushed back the release of the hw6500 until November in order to avoid a repeate of the same quality control issues they’d had with the h6315 Pocket PC Phone.

Click through for other HP phones coming soon.
 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 11:29 PM by cingul417.
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Cell Phone Directory?

I didn't know these existed:

If you are looking for Free Reverse Cell Phone Directory, you are on the right site. Use the links to locate the specific information you are looking for. We’re sure you will find exactly what you were looking for.

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 11:29 PM by cell p424.
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LivePhone Adds New Categories

More and more from LivePhone:

Power Warsaw website Live Phone has expanded their webpages to include video phones, free IP to IP phones, and a larger selection of free VoIP (SIP) softphones. Live Phone is the “Voice over the internet knowledge center” and is located at LivePhone.us - although their free phones can be used world wide.

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 06:24 PM by voip429.
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"Peer-to-Peer" Labor Arbitrage?

Interesting way to look at the economics of P2P and VoIP:

Chris Selland, ex Yankee and Aberdeen CRM analyst strongly believes VoIP will "disintegrate" the contact center. Stay-at-home moms and dads can effectively do many tasks as Jetblue has shown around its reservations over the last few years.

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 06:24 PM by voip429.
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The Gadgeteer Loves Her Treo 650!

phones treo 650 guide While we're still young:

Julie Strietelmeier, a.k.a. “The Gadgeteer”, has posted an update on her site to the story she began almost 8 weeks ago. She began with her initial thoughts on owning a Sprint Treo 650, and yesterday gave her “8 week appraisal”.

It seems Julie is really loving her Treo 650, and has some very positive things to say:

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 05:32 PM by treo 6428.
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Treo 650 Sets Speed-Typing Guinness World Record

New technology, new world record:

Mike Slocombe of Digital-Lifestyles.info witnessed the new Guiness World Record for speed-typing. The record was made on the Treo 650. Apparently, they even had to create a new World Record for the Treo keyboard - this record is for the mini-QWERTY keyboard.

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 05:32 PM by treo 6428.
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PC Magazine Reviews Verizon Treo 650

Harsh:

“Verizon’s palmOne Treo 650 is still an excellent smartphone, and it gets special kudos for its audio quality. But we’re going to withhold Editors’ Choice because, unlike its Sprint and Cingular siblings, it doesn’t make the most of its carrier’s data network, and, what’s more, it overcharges for the existing one.”

 

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Posted on May 14, 2005 05:32 PM by treo 6428.
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May 13, 2005

Canada's CRTC VoIP Decision

The blogosphere seems split on whether this is good news in Canada:

Instead, the CRTC decided that it would regulate the large phone companies' prices in the VoIP market to prevent the large phone companies from deep rate pricing that would prevent VoIP competitors from entering the Canadian VoIP market. The CRTC's decision implied that their decision was at least until there is legitimate competition in VoIP phone services. Thus, the large phone companies' competitors, such as Vonage, Packet8, or the cable companies, will not have their VoIP prices regulated.

 

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Posted on May 13, 2005 06:25 PM by vonage431.
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VoIP is killing Deutsche Telekom

VoIP is biting profits at telcos worldwide.

James Enck on why things are getting really ugly at Deutsche Telekom. He describes that things are “messy, confusing, and not terribly inspiring. Management were frank in admitting that DSL unbundlers are pressurizing the voice market, as I expected already. Sipgate’s 100k, plus maybe 300 - 400k on Freenet/United Internet VoIP products, plus another c.1.4m Skype accounts (and whatever number may be using DT’s own VoIP product). Whatever double-counting may be involved here, I think it’s safe to say that we’re probably...

 

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Posted on May 13, 2005 06:25 PM by voip429.
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Florida Removes VoIP Tax From Books

If states start trying to tax VoIP, what a mess! How would a provider really know where a call initiated?

Lawmakers in the Florida state Senate voted on the last day of the legislative session, Friday, to repeal a portion of the Substitute Communications Systems tax law. The tax could have been applied to companies that run their own VoIP networks as well as to commercial services from providers such as Vonage.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Florida removes VoIP tax from books | CNET News.com:

 

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Posted on May 13, 2005 06:25 PM by voip429.
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StreamEngine Net Accelerator Prototype

As Internet traffic increases, so will the need for bandwidth shaping products.

Apparently, this is something new called a "net accelerator". It is a kind of QoS-in-a-box that analyzes your internet connection and the traffic on the link, and configures itself. Supposedly it detects all kinds of applications on its own. This is so that you can do games, VoIP, file sharing, video, etc. on the internet at the same time and they don't clobber each other. The guy said that it shapes traffic into "streams" that share the connection. It has a special chip from a company called Ubicom that was designed to identify each stream...

 

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Posted on May 13, 2005 06:25 PM by voip429.
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Free AOL Web-based Email

Not a big surprise. It costs less and less to provide email service and it's one of the stickiest services.

AOL is now offering free web-based email for AOL Instant Messenger users. And it'll have 2GB of storage. It's about time. The decision is part of AOL's broader strategy to integrate communication channels (AIM, email, voicemail, SMS, etc.). AOL's decision is great news for a friend - who has continued to pay AOL monthly fees (even though she has Yahoo! SBC DSL) solely because her email address is her "first name"@aol.com.

 

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Posted on May 13, 2005 02:17 PM by sbc432.
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May 12, 2005

Bell South Connects Louisiana Schools with Fiber

BellSouth pushing the fiber alternative.

"As a result of this project, about 30 miles of additional fiber have been placed throughout the parish - basically going out to every major neighborhood in the parish," adds John Williams BellSouth's regional manager for Southwest Louisiana. "This will make it more economical for local businesses as well as consumers to access high-speed Internet services throughout the parish."

 

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Posted on May 12, 2005 09:27 PM by bellso433.
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SMS vs Skype

Some interesting observations on Skype and SMS here:

Now, it seems Skype has more and more competitiors including not only Vonage, the largest VoIP service provider, and also online messengers. SkypeJournal released a white-paper on using Skype as a server platform With its largest users base, Skype is easy to extend its service into different area, though the risk is that it may be hard to attract new customers as the vast diversity of user habits.

 

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Posted on May 12, 2005 06:18 PM by vonage431.
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Packet8 Slams Vonage

Vonage looks like the VoIP winner right now, especially given their recent $200M round of funding.

Boy, I wonder who they are talking about. As I wrote about today, Having the best product doesn’t mean anything, it is the best marketer than wins every battle. If Packet8 had access to the capital that Vonage has, they might be the market leader but until then they will be a niche player in VoIP services. The only exception to this is if the mainstream media were to pick up on this story and hammer it home for months, perhaps consumers would check out Packet8 before they pick up a Vonage box at Best Buy.

 

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Posted on May 12, 2005 06:18 PM by vonage431.
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Vonage Reaches The U.K.

Now the Brits can replace BT with all the cool features Vonage offers.

Vonage recently launched their VoIP telephony service in the UK. The pricing is attractive, but I am just as interested in the services. In particular, the voicemail, which includes email notification and web access. I am just so frustrated that on an ordinary carrier, like BT, you're either stuck with an answering machine or using their incredibly basic voicemail service (with zero notification options).

 

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Posted on May 12, 2005 06:18 PM by vonage431.
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SyChip Dual-Mode VoIP Module

A friend of mine from Qualcomm said WiFi would never replace cell phone. I wish we'd made a large monetary wager.

Of course, the cellular company would have to "support" handing off the call to the WiFi network, so perhaps the "cost-effective" statement has more to do with saving cellular companies money than it does saving the customer. I'll have to find out more. I'm also curious why they chose 802.11g instead of 802.11g/b (or 802.11g/a/b) since 802.11b is certainly more ubiquitous. But I am excited to see more dual/hybrid cell/WiFi VoIP technologies coming to market. The cell phone companies may not like it, but the VoIP revolution is...

 

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Posted on May 12, 2005 06:18 PM by vonage431.
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Block VoIP To Stay In Business?

Google will tell you the most interesting things if you just know how to ask it:

Use google to search VoIP plus block, you will get a huge list of web links to different news. Among them, the most significant is a U.S. North carolina-based telecom company named Madison River Communications was fined $15,000 for blocking VoIP traffic. The regulator, Federal Communication Commission, proceeded the case brought by Vonage, the No.1 VoIP service provider in the U.S.

But VoIP is not service limited in one nation. Vonage also alleged Telmex, Mexico's national telephone monopoly, to deliberately slow down the speed of the broadband to users who access to Internet via Vonage's modem.

Vonage's spokesperson said it would make Vonage's service unusable. Andy in VoIPwatch also said there is a high possibility for British Telecom, the largest call provider in U.K to block the usage of Vonage and other VoIP providers as well.

 

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Posted on May 12, 2005 06:18 PM by vonage431.
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Suspicious Skype Issues

Is Skype going to force users to watch advertising? Here's an interesting post on just that:

I find it strange that Skype.com should become inaccessible in Shanghai after making a deal with Tom.com. I would think that Tom.com would have the guanxi to protect its partner fromthe chill shadow of the Great Firewall. On the other hand, since the Tom.com Skype page still works just fine, maybe Tom.com is using its guanxi to force Chinese surfers to use its version of the Skype software in order to drive more traffic to Tom.com?

 

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Suspicious Skype Issues

Posted on May 12, 2005 02:29 PM by skype430.
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May 11, 2005

Iraq Care Baskets

phones at&t calling cards If you need an gift idea for U.S. troops in Iraq, think phone card.

His mother told me the AT&T cards are the only calling cards that work from Iraq and the minutes purchased on the card are only worth about a third of that purchased. As we all can imagine, those calls home are pure gold.

 

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Adopt-a-Squad Relaunch

Posted on May 11, 2005 10:28 PM by callin396.
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Vonage Blamed For Girl's Death

This will be an unexpected legal liability for Vonage. Will it stop further financing?

A Florida couple are blaming Vonage for the death of their 3-month old daughter. Cheryl Waller called 911 when her daughter Julia stopped breathing. But she got a recorded message telling her the sheriff’s office was closed. She ran to a neighbour’s house to make the call but the delay proved fatal for her daughter.

 

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Posted on May 11, 2005 06:23 PM by vonage431.
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Vonage's Spending Plans

I expect more of Vonage's new found wealth will to 911 support and litigation than anticipated.

Now that Vonage's US$200-million financing exercise is finally official, some interesting tidbits of information are starting to flow. According to CFO John Rego, Vonage plans to "easily" spend 90% of the money on advertising, which can only be good news for all those Web sites sporting Vonage banner ads these days. Despite the heavy focus on marketing, Rego expects the company will be profitable within the next 12 months as it adds more than 75,000 new customers a month.

 

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Posted on May 11, 2005 06:23 PM by vonage431.
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Skype Hype

These are valid concerns as the VoIP market grows.

What I'm more concerned about is compatibility with other VoIP standards. When will Skype do a SIP gateway, for example? That could be accomplished (maybe as an another add-on service) without jeapordizing Skype's ability to "just work." The downside, of course, is that such gateways would introduce a whole new set of security concerns.

 

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Posted on May 11, 2005 05:30 PM by voip429.
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How To Create A Video Blog

Some simple steps on making video interviews.

While we are polishing up this feature for a future release of eyeBeam I will be posting some video interviews with some key people in VoIP, Video Blogging, IM and some key individuals involved in IETF standards regarding the same.

 

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How to create a Video Blog - Video Interviewing Tools

Posted on May 11, 2005 05:30 PM by voip429.
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Telmex Blocking Skype, Vonage In Mexico?

Another monopolistic telco block VoIP. It won't last long.

Not that it should come as a surprise, since I have written about it in the past, but looks like there is more proof that Telemex is giving the VoIP providers a “club bouncer” treatment. A major daily has picked up on the problems VoIP users are having over Telemex. Even US trade office has become involved. via

 

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Posted on May 11, 2005 05:30 PM by voip429.
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IP Telephony Has Security Issues

Click through to get the pdf briefing.

It's no surprise to most security pros, but ZD.Net notes that VOIP has security issues too. A US industry group, the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), today released a briefing (downloadable as a pdf) that sets out several reasons why VoIP is insecure, and the issues these weaknesses raise to industry.

 

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Posted on May 11, 2005 05:30 PM by voip429.
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Earthlink Wireless Treo 650 Coming Soon

What if you need a toaster? Is there an add-on?

I particularly appreciated how the demo walks a prospective Treonaut through the core convergence features of our Treo in a simple but graphically rich presentation asking "What if you could take a computer with a high speed internet connection and combine it with a mobile phone, a speakerphone, an organizer, an MP3 player and a digital camera?" - look no further, as their website state the Treo 650 is "All you need, all in one"...

 

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Posted on May 11, 2005 05:30 PM by treo 6428.
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Qwest May Return To MCI With An Offer

How surprising.

Despite the appearance of finality in the merger war between Qwest Communications and Verizon Communications when Qwest withdrew from the bidding a week ago, the battle might not yet be completely over.

 

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Posted on May 11, 2005 01:23 PM by qwest434.
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Hey, What Happened To The Browser?

Good info here for BWC users trying to get their browser to work.

I applauded Nextel for giving BWC users full access to the HTML browser. But as of two days ago, I lost connectivty to the internet service on the HTML browser and went hunting to get it back. If you have issues with the HTML browser (called Internet Browser for BWC users), I've documented my experiance below with every possible solution I have found.

 

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Dude, Where's my HTML browser?

Posted on May 11, 2005 10:20 AM by nextel418.
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May 09, 2005

iTunes Mobile Set for July

I think this is a killer combo, cell phone and iPod.

Gizmodo is reporting that Motorola is confirming a July launch of iTunes Mobile for cell phones.

 

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Posted on May 9, 2005 11:29 PM by cell p392.
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Princess Pager

phones decorated pager A great alternative to a cell phone and fun to personalize, too.

I can't believe I haven't posted about decorating my pager yet! About a month ago, I bought 2-way pagers for myself and Blake. The idea was that they would be a cheap alternative to cell phones. We can send each other text messages, send and receive email messages, and exchange text messages with anyone who has a cell phone. It's quite handy, and about half the cost of cell phones per month. The pagers themselves were $9 each, and are plain back used models. I wanted to make mine cute, so, inspired by Sara's Handbling over at Going Jesus, I decided to paint it and then stick on some "jewels." I found some spraypaint especially for plastic and some acrylic crystals at JoAnn's. I decided not to ante up for the real Austrian crystals, since they cost three times as much. I didn't want to spend $20 on crystals for a $9 pager.

 

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Lisa: fit for a princess

Posted on May 9, 2005 11:29 PM by cell p392.
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Annoy with Napstertones

If you didn't know about it, here's Napster for your ring tones:

Napstertones - buy ringtones for your cell phones ($1.99 USD) with (some of) your favorite songs and annoy all those who wished for simpler days when phones just rang.

 

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Posted on May 9, 2005 11:29 PM by cell p392.
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VOIP: A Basic, Basic Intro

Good for first time VoIP buyers:

Another really cool thing is the virtual phone numbers. You can get extra numbers that ring the same phone, but they are local numbers to any area code you want. So if I live in Dallas and have family in New York, I can get a local phone number here and there. That way my family in New York can call a local number (free) and talk to me! Vonage charges $4.99/month for that. I’m not sure about the others.

I use Vonage b/c that’s what I was told about first and it was one of the first. There are others and I’m sure they have their strengths, but Vonage has the cheapest base option at the time I did my research.

 

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VOIP: A Basic, Basic Intro

Posted on May 9, 2005 06:18 PM by vonage431.
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VC Tired of VoIP?

How much more money will chase the VoIP opportunity?

Ben Charmy thinks after investing “$1.6 billion into VoIP during the past four years, it’s time for venture capital firms to look elsewhere to invest such large sums.” Sun Rocket is looking to raise another $15 million, but even that may not be enough. Vonage envy is sweeping Silicon Valley. Oh I think the dumb money is only getting started!

 

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Posted on May 9, 2005 06:18 PM by vonage431.
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moblog!

Some people are doing this with Flckr, too.

After a tedious search through the internet expanse, I finally found a solution to the unposted problem which was plaguing my new wordpress blog. The ability to send pix & txt messages from my verizon phone. So many times I’ve wanted to blog from the road because I saw something cool, now I can! Thanks to This post I found from Carmine Granucci. Sweet!

 

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Posted on May 9, 2005 05:25 PM by verizo413.
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Municipal Wireless Networks Coming

WiFi has started to become a utility.

The Reuters article below captures how SF and other Bay Area cities are lagging behind Philadelphia, Lompoc, and Madison in deploying low-cost or free wireless for their residents. MA has been leading the effort to move deployment forward in SF and recently succeeded in convincing the city to initiate a $300k feasability study...but SBC, Comcast and Verizon are fighting against it with all their might.

"With so many other issues challenging municipalities today, why on earth should cities waste millions of taxpayer dollars to compete with carriers already offering high speed Internet service?" said Allison Remsen, spokeswoman for the U.S. Telecom Association, which represents incumbents like SBC Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications.

 

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Cities set up their own wireless networks

Posted on May 9, 2005 05:25 PM by verizo413.
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Treo vs. Ipod

phones treo 650 versus ipod It seems natural that iPod would have superior audio to the Treo 650. The same thing is true in Mexico, too!

Hoy probamos la calidad de audio del Treo 650 contra la calidad de audio de= l Ipod 3G, y tan solo noté una pequeña diferencia en el bajo acustico q= ue es un poco menos acentuado en el Treo650.

 

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Posted on May 9, 2005 05:25 PM by treo 6428.
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Will Overlay Network Be The Next End-to-End Paradigm?

Interesting points about network architecture:

But as I think further last few weeks, he might have a point. The Internet today is no longer the end-to-end network we original envision. Thanks to NAT, firewalls and private IP address, writing an applications today for IP network for end-to-end communication requires a lot of tweaks and hacks, and eventually some sort of overlay network. The most popular applications in the last few years, such as Napster, Kazza and Skype all have ways to 'overcome the NAT' or 'bypass the firewall' in order to achieve end-to-end.

Services like Skype could not exist unless the network automatically makes decisions for you in this area of assembling routing paths throughout, and through your machine. This decision making is neither good nor bad - it's just something users should be aware of, and, consequently either consent to or not.

 

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Posted on May 9, 2005 02:26 PM by skype430.
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May 08, 2005

Buying A Cell Phone

phones nokia 6230 cell phone cingular This is a helpful article, but I don't think AT&T is in the cell phone business right now.

One of the most important features when looking for a cell phone is dependable service. There is no point in having a cell phone and the most up to date cell phone accessories if the phone is not reliable. Some cell phone companies advertise that they provide the best cell phone service but unfortunately this isn’t always true. Ensure that you deal with experienced cell phone service providers such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 11:22 PM by cell p393.
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Vonage Raises Another $200M

How much of that $200M is going to 9-1-1 implementation?

My tongue was in my cheek when I wrote this post about Vonage being the first billion dollar VC investment.

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 06:20 PM by vonage431.
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Vonage Swings For The Fences

Some different views on the $200M round of financing that Vonage just closed.

Must-read post from Om Malik on Vonage's recent fundraising. He apparently believes, as do I, that only the Greater Fool Theory can justify this amount of $$$.

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 06:20 PM by vonage431.
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Using a Bluetooth Headset with your PC

phones stereo bluetooth headset bluetake Bluetooth headsets are a great way to get rid of wires.

If you use your computer for Voice over IP (VoIP) applications, chances are that at some time you’ve experienced frustration with the cords associated with traditional PC headsets. Imagine being able to roam throughout your home whilst talking to people around the world using a PC headset unencumbered by the constraints of wires. Whether you use a headset for PC to Phone conversations, instant messaging, gaming or video conferencing a Bluetooth solution may be just the ticket for your wireless cravings.

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 05:23 PM by voip429.
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Cablevision Seen Taking Verizon Customers

Very smart marketing. Cablevision is hitting Verizon before Verizon can attach Cablevision with its video service.

Cablevision Systems Corp. is likely to steal away more of Verizon’s customers in the New York area in the coming months, after it upgraded its systems to allow customers who switch to its digital voice service to take their phone numbers with them.

Consumers are the big winners in all this.
 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 05:23 PM by verizo413.
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Sprintel WiMax

phones wimax logo I heard the first deployment will be in Seattle.

Now that you've heard the stories about Sextel , get ready for Sprintel, as Intel and Sprint have joined forces to roll out WiMax based networking.

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 03:25 PM by sprint415.
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Skype Mobile Phones?

phones skype mobile phone Follow the links to the full story.

Skype to hit mobile phones this year.

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 02:31 PM by skype430.
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Skype Voice Mail problems

I use Skype, but not the voice mail feature. Might be a good thing:

I got 75 Skype voice mail messages on one of my accounts - just today.

Some of these messages are long (10 minutes!), some are short. However the build-in player in Skype client can only “start playing” and “stop playing", there is no rewind and there is no convertion to MP3 format (to convert Skype Voice mailbox messages to MP3 I use this program).

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 02:31 PM by skype430.
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HP iPAQ Mobile Messenger Big and Slow

phones t6500 hp ipaq The blogosphere is full of negative reviews on the new HP iPaq 6500. Too bad.

… as you can see on photos here (compared there with Treo 650 and other PDA phones). It has also too slow processor (only 312 MHz) to be of interest to me (I need at least 400 MHz to run Skype client in it).

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 02:31 PM by skype430.
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Whence Value

Valuation is a matter of perspective.

If you are a long-term shareholder (which usually includes employees and board members), a very strong case can be made that Verizon's bid is indeed superior - because the company is clearly in a much better position to leverage the value of MCI - and deliver returns to shareholders - over the long-term. On the other hand if you're a hedge fund or other more short-term investor, you're only really looking at the near-term cash value where Qwest's offer is obviously preferable.

 

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About Last Night

Posted on May 8, 2005 01:23 PM by qwest434.
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Motorola Razor

phones motorola razr v3 I'm considering a Motorola RAZR V3 phone.

If you're looking for a durable and compact cameraphone that's loaded with the latest multimedia technology, the new Motorola RAZR V3 phone, now offered by Cingular, may be just up your alley. The phone, made out of aluminum and magnesium and boasting a chemically-etched keypad and hardened glass, can be used internationally with its quad-band capability.

 

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Posted on May 8, 2005 09:29 AM by motoro421.
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May 07, 2005

Support The Troops...

This is a case where maybe it's ok to use your cell phone in class.

Cell phones are allowed on campus but may not be used during school hours. When a teacher told him to hang up, he refused. He said he told the teacher, "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom."

 

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Posted on May 7, 2005 11:22 PM by cell p392.
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Upload Your Cell Phone Data

I haven't tried this, but it may be a good way to save your vital data.

I was checking out some stuff on the internet and I found a cool link to upload stuff to your cell phone. This is from their site (weblogstoolscollection.com):

 

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Cool link! Upload your ringtones, screensavers, pictures, games…

Posted on May 7, 2005 11:22 PM by cingul417.
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Verizon Versus Cingular

Cingular bests Verizon for IP throughput.

The results are in. In a head-to-head comparison between my Cingular wireless card and Glenn Reynold's Verizon wireless card, Verizon clocked in at 112.9 kbps, while Cingular came in at 353.4 kbps. We used CNET's Bandwidth Meter Speed Test for the comparison.

UPDATE: My original results seemed abnormally high and they were - I had forgotten to disable my wi-fi connection and it took precedence over my Cingular connection. I've updated my results after re-testing. Still quicker than Verizon, but then again there's no Verizon wireless broadband service in Nashville

 

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Posted on May 7, 2005 11:22 PM by cingul417.
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EarthLink to Expand VoIP, Offer Dual Cell/WiFi Phone

I'm thinking about getting a Motorola Razr phone, but I might wait to get a dual cell/wifi phone.

EarthLink reportedly plans to expand its VoIP service with plans to launch an IP telephony and broadband Internet service bundle. EarthLink currently offers VoIP service by reselling Vonage. The company said it plans to expand its VoIP service by building its own, non-Vonage service. The company plans to launch dual VoIP/broadband service later this year for roughly $70 per month. EarthLink said it expects to generate up to $500 million per year from VoIP by 2009, with market penetration of 2 percent of US households.

 

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Posted on May 7, 2005 06:18 PM by intern394.
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New York Times On VoIP

Good article over at the NY Times today:

Ken Belson of the New York Times has a nice piece on the benefits of VoIP. Being that it was written for the "Your Money" section of the Sunday paper the focus was on cost savings but also went into cable companies and call quality. it also included a reference to VONAGE, Verizon and AT&T.

 

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Posted on May 7, 2005 05:23 PM by verizo413.
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May 06, 2005

Integration of Phone and Care

phones car integration audi a6 Slowly, but surely, better integration.

So that whole Bluetooth-car integration is old news, but the latest twist is the ability to check out your phone directory and call logs on a panel built into your dashboard. As with most such developments, you’ll only find this in very specific car models (the 2005 Audi A6 and A8 models), and it only works with very a specific subset of phones (Treo 650, e.g.).

 

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Posted on May 6, 2005 05:25 PM by treo 6428.
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Skype Tweaks Belong To Skype

This licensing term actually is not uncommon in open source software.

Kudos to my fellow VoIP blogger Ted Wallingford for pointing us to a Skype API end-user agreement that would seem to reserve all rights to anything tweaks you create with the Skype API to the company.

 

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Posted on May 6, 2005 05:25 PM by voip429.
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Covad Winner After Megamergers

I didn't realize Covad's post-merger advantage until I read this post:

On paper the merger of SBC & AT&T would have spelt doom for Covad. After all AT&T was a big buyer of Covad’s DSL lines and was now part of SBC which itself has a pretty hefty footprint. Instead it is proving to be a big boost for the company. As the new SBC gets all set to compete with new Verizon, it would need DSL/T-1 lines to compete with Verizon in Verizon territory. Covad, which has taken investment dollars from SBC in the past, fits the bill nicely. The San Jose, California based Covad today announced that SBC (and AT&T)...

 

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Covad, wins thanks to megamergers

Posted on May 6, 2005 01:27 PM by qwest434.
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What's Qwest To Do?

At least Qwest announced a good financial report for Q1, so no need to panic.

Having lost the battle for MCI to Verizon, Businessweek says that the future for Qwest might be very cloudy, and it would need a lot of juggling by the its 57-year-old CEO Dick Notebaert to revive the sinking fortunes of the company, which has to clean up its act, and get rid of the $17.3 billion in debt. Options include going after XO Communications and Time Warner Telecom, and become the third option for the business market. “They don’t have any clear exit plans or alternatives,” Timothy Gilbert, a telecom analyst at Principal...

 

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Posted on May 6, 2005 01:27 PM by qwest434.
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Skype, Vonage & Who Will Buy Them?

With all the merger activity with the "old-time" phone companies, I was wondering when this conversation would start.

Andy says now that Bain Capital has invested in Vonage, it won’t be too long before they get bought out. I ask the question who will buy them? Mark Evans is backing Sprint as likely suitor. Dan Berninger, now with Tier 1 Research sent me an email suggestion Qwest could also be a likely Vonage buyer. I buy that… Q has been doing some interesting things lately and is willing to do anything to become a serious national player. But given the post money valuation of $1.1 billion for Vonage, it could be too rich for the Colorado bunch. But...

 

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Posted on May 6, 2005 01:27 PM by qwest434.
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Nextel Rant!

Click for details.

I pay Nextel way too much money to have service as unreliable as this. With all of the network problems, the constant dropped calls, and the reception issues, I have decided that I will not be renewing my contract this year.

 

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Posted on May 6, 2005 10:29 AM by nextel418.
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All About Ringtones

Tucows has this excellent tutorial on ringtones:

FThere are a number of websites that offer ringtones, graphics or even games to download onto your cell phone. The websites vary in that some allow you to purchase specific ringtones while others offer subscriptions that allow you to download an unlimited number of ringtones. When you locate a ringtone be sure to first ensure that it will work with your cellular model phone and that the site is respectful of the artists copyright. Like any original works, artists receive royalties for ringtones, be sure that the website has the permission to distribute the ringtone.

Click through for links to free ringtones.
 

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Posted on May 6, 2005 03:23 AM by free r409.
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May 05, 2005

Cingular Launches Audiovox SMT 5600

I'm still skeptical of handsets running Windows. I think it's irrational fear of the blue screen of death.

Cingular Wireless is launching the Audiovox SMT 5600 Windows Mobile 2003 smartphone handset. The tri-band (850/1800/1900 MHz) GSM/GPRS handset will feature Bluetooth wireless, VGA camera with 4x digital zoom, and speaker phone.

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 11:25 PM by cingul417.
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When 'Dicta-phones' Rule the Earth!

I'm not sure VoiceMode will change things too much. After all, voice recognition software has been available inexpensively for PCs and it's not flying off the shelves. Also, there are a lot of SMS conversations I'd rather say out loud!

You may have noticed something called VoiceMode quietly making its way into cell phones --the speech-to-text solution for text messaging and email on the road. More on this later, but suffice to say that it is way too time consuming. The few tumb typers I know in Sri Lanka would beat voicemoders to a punch!

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 11:25 PM by cell p392.
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Google SMS

Maybe this new google service will get Americans to adopt SMS:

Google SMS, while still in beta, is nothing new and yes, we have all already heard about it. It’s great to use Google via our cell phones without actually paying for internet access. I was at a party and some people were debating the age of Micky Mouse. I send a text message to 46645 (GOOGL) and types “how old is micky mouse”, and a couple seconds later, I received a text message that said “Did you mean MICKEY Mouse Date of birth 1928” - kind of cool. It may be worth the time to actually learn how to use Google SMS...

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 11:25 PM by cell p392.
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Directory Assistance Reconsideration Order

This is one of the most confusing clarifications I've ever read.

The Order clarified that a LEC must not provide access to numbers that are unlisted at the customer's request. Although competing directory assistance providers may be entitled to nondiscriminatory access to directory assistance information, they must adhere to the privacy requests made by LEC customers. The Order further clarified that competitors must comply with other state and federal laws and regulations governing use of these data. The Order rejected the SBC and BellSouth argument that LECs should not be required to provide access to local...

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 09:29 PM by teleph410.
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Is VoIP Service the Next Big Target for Hackers?

Yes, there will be security problems with VoIP.

VoIP companies like Vonage are growing rapidly, with their promise of nifty new features and lower monthly phone bills. Vonage, one of many Internet telephone service providers, says that about 1500 people sign up for its service alone per month. But some computer security experts say that, just as with wireless networking, VoIP’s rapid-fire adoption will be closely followed by revelations of security vulnerabilities and electronic attacks.

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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Vonage's $10-Million 911 Plan

It's an expensive solution, but it's good P.R.

Red Herring reports Vonage will be setting aside $10-million dollars in a campaign to provide 911 services to its customers. The first of such plans will be rolling out over the next six-months with Verizon at the tune of $1-million dollars a month rental fee.

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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Vonage Raises Another $200 Million

It looks pretty easy to raise capital for VoIP. Ah, shades of the dot-boom.

As I had hinted at earlier this week, Vonage did go out and raise new money - $200 million or so, but its not from venture capitalists. Instead the company is doing a private sale of securities, according to SEC filings. Since its a paper filing, no details as yet, on who is buying into the company. Reuters says the company has now raised a total of $408 million. Maybe some of the money will be used to keep this guy happy? By the way, he is showing up as the number one search result for Vonage and SEC.gov on Google.

Is it just me that has a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people will end up lossing money on Vonage in the long run? All they need to do is trick Time Warner into buying them . . .

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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Chip Makers Roll Out VoIP

With residential use of VoIP skyrocketing, chip makers have jumped into the fray.

Until now, the bulk of VoIP installations was for big business. Last year 67% of all VoIP ports delivered to the market was for business applications. According to research group In-Stat, it is expected that by 2008 those numbers will reverse with 67% going to residential subscribers.

Click through for the whole story.
 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 05:28 PM by voip429.
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VOIP Devices Reviewed

Click through for this New York Times review of VoIP devices.

With recent VOIP proliferation, operators as well as manufacturers are trying to come up with easy-to-use devices that anyone can set up and use. The New York Times provides an overview of the VOIP devices currently available, including Wi-Fi-enabled handsets and video-over-IP devices.

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 05:28 PM by voip429.
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The Aftermath of the MCI Contest

It ain't over until the fat lady sings, as you probably know.

To be sure, MCI's shareholders and Chief Executive Michael Capellas owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Notebaert. His persistence kept forcing Verizon to raise its offer, which is now 25% higher than its original $6.75 billion agreement to acquire MCI in February

The Verizon-MCI combination isn't final until it is approved by MCI shareholders and state and federal regulators. There is concern that the industry's consolidation could lead to higher phone rates.

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 05:28 PM by verizo413.
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Hand Rolled Cigars in Orange County

phones treo 650 with appointments The Treo 650 is a vast improvement over smoke signals.

This past weekend my Brother from Florida was out to visit me (along with Mom and Sister from Yuba City NorCal). WHile the women went to an event, Bill and I went driving around for a Cigar fix. Using the Treo 650 and Google Local we visited 5 different supposed Cigar shops, then we found El Beso Cigar Company. Inside a small building on Whittier in Northern Orange County is a jewel of a find. Family run operation that hand rolls cigars with imported leafs. The Cigars are great. Fresh, good flavor, and inexpensive.

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 05:28 PM by treo 6428.
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Marc Orchant Gets a Treo, Rob Bushway Loses One

Sometimes it's great to be connected, sometimes it's important not to be connected.

Rob Bushway writes on his blog that he has gotten rid of his Treo 650. The reason- being connected via email all the time was cutting into his personal life. Be very careful, Marc. I joke about this but it is a genuine concern that I have written about in the past. Fortunately, I know Marc is well grounded and as our Aussie buddies would say, no worries mate.

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 05:28 PM by treo 6428.
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New GSM Treo 650 Firmware

If you're a Sprint customers with a Treo 650, read on:

Not long ago, users of the Sprint-branded Treo 650 got an update that fixed some issues that have been annoying Treo 650 owners. Namely, the memory issue that caused much more memory to be consumed than for the Treo 600, and very low speakerphone volume levels. Now a version of the firmware for GSM Treo 650's has been leaked via a Singapore Palm User Group. Users with Unlocked Treo 650's as well as Cingular-branded Treo 650's have been trying out this “test” version of the new 1.21 firmware. It seems a bit risky to be playing with an unaproved...

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 05:28 PM by treo 6428.
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Dan Gillmor on Operating Systems and Recent History

Sane comments on the state of applications and the dwindling importance of operating systems.

Applications are still king, but there's now a different list of applications-that-matter. The Web browser has been the most important for a long time, but application developers are just getting the hang of creating really compelling software for it. Gmail is one of the best email clients available, and it runs on any operating system with a modern browser. Other earth-shaking applications such as Skype, several varieties of blog readers and Flickr (for photos) are also almost equally useable on Windows, the Mac and Linux. Word processors, spreadsheets...

 

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Posted on May 5, 2005 02:27 PM by skype430.
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May 03, 2005

Battery of the Future

phones toshiba lithium ion battery The lithium ion battery Toshiba announced recently is great ... charges up to 80% of capacity in one minute!

Of course, I don’t like the idea that it won’t be released for two more years, nor than it will find initial applications in things other than cell phones, portable electronics, etc. But when I think about what this will mean for portable electronics in the next few years, I feel the warm, fuzzy, engineer’s appreciation of technological advance.

 

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Posted on May 3, 2005 11:25 PM by cell p392.
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Handsets and Carriers

It won't be long before the market starts pressuring the carriers to let consumers use the handset of their choice rather than the handset of the carrier's choice.

I’ll give you an example, when I bought my new Nokia phone in the US, it’s locked to the Cingular network, and is feature-limited. No authorized Cingular stores sell any accessories for the phone, despite the fact it’s been out in the states for quite some time now. You can’t get cases, covers, headphones, etc. In Taiwan, the same Nokia phone can be bought at any of the millions of cellphone outlets, with no contract, completely unlocked, and with all the features originally built-in by Nokia turned on by default. Not...

 

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Posted on May 3, 2005 11:25 PM by nokia 423.
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International VoIP

VoIP doesn't work well to all countries. Good idea to try it before you make a large monetary commitment to any given VoIP service.

Evan has written up his bad experience with Vonage, which he was using to call India. I posted earlier about my bad experience with Skype, also calling India. What is interesting is Evan's (understandable) comment that:

One has to wonder if it represents the quality of Vonage's service, but since I was calling India, I gave them a break on that.

 

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Posted on May 3, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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VonageIPO.com Available On eBay

It's only worth $1,000 if someone buys it!

Even as the speculation around Vonage IPO continues, an enterprising Vonage customer (Matthew Brown 100253XXXX) is trying to sell www.vonageIPO.com on Ebay. His reserve is $998. You can bid for the domain if interested.

 

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Posted on May 3, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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Vonage Click-2-Call Feature

This is kind of like the walkie-talkie feature from Nextel, except not as annoying.

Thanks to the recent newsletter from Vonage, I found out about their Click-2-Call software. This is a cool little application that sits in the system tray (Windows only, sorry). When you highlight a phone number on your computer and press the hotkey (F6 by default), it first dials your default number (if you have more than one, you can set one as default), then you pick it up and it connects you to the selected number. Cool!

 

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Posted on May 3, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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VoIP: More Than a Less-Expensive Replacement for Copper Wire

Service offerings are the huge value-add of VoIP, especially with companies like Skype providing APIs for their service.

Serious demand for the technology, vendors have said, will kick in when users discover that the real value of VoIP is more than just a way to make less expensive phone calls. According to the telcos and service companies pushing the technology, it is an enabler of a myriad of voice-integrated, software-based services.

 

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Posted on May 3, 2005 05:29 PM by voip429.
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Verizon Treo 650 Coming This Month

Look for the Treo 650 near you soon.

Phone Arena reports Verizon’s ’soon’ may finally be just around the corner. It said the operator’s business channels should roll out the Treo 650 on May 11th with consumer customers gaining access to the smartphone 12 days later.

Verizon would sell the Treo 650 for around $400 with a 2-year service agreement and $450 for a single year of service. No contract gets you the Treo 650 for $530….’

 

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Posted on May 3, 2005 05:29 PM by treo 6428.
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May 02, 2005

Cingular's Systematic Customer Destruction Process

Here's a rant on Cingular's customer service:

The first place I turned was Cingular, my current wireless provider. Turns out they had exactly the phone I wanted, the Blackberry 7100g, but here is where they start the process of doing whatever they can to alienate the customer.

Click through for much more.
 

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Posted on May 2, 2005 11:27 PM by cingul417.
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Cingular's Faster Network

It might not be clear to all consumers why a fast network is important, but check out this post:

A couple of weeks ago I said that I was switching from T-Mobile to Cingular because I wanted the Treo 650 and I wanted the bandwidth that was available from Cingular. The greater bandwidth allows me to run Chatter Email, a full IMAP email client that is the most Blackberry-like email implementation I've seen on a PalmOS device. It works, it's worth it, and I'm not looking back.

Who knew...
 

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Posted on May 2, 2005 11:27 PM by cingul417.
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VC Explains SunRocket Investment

Here's a peak into how venture capitalists think about the VoIP market:

InternetNews.com has an interesting interview with John Malloy, managing general partner with BlueRun Ventures (formerly known as Nokai Venture Partners). In particular, he talks about the firm's decision to invest in SunRocket's latest round at a time when Vonage continues to grow and new competition is entering the VOIP market. In explaining BlueRun's decision, he talks about how SunRocket's executive team comes from MCI, which means they are consumer marketers. "Now that the technology is ready, it's all about value to the end-user. It's alternative...

 

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Posted on May 2, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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VOIP: It's the Features, Stupid

Thought you'd like this one:

There has been lot of talk today about what's driving VOIP. The industry is naturally excited about the technology and its potential to drive adoption and revenue. The problem is there seems to be disappointment about the rate of growth. The main driver continues to be price rather than features. AOL Canada's Craig Wallace said research suggests the primary driver for early adopters is price as 81% of VOIP early-adopters have jumped on the bandwgon to save money. Primus' Matt Stein said features need to stay front and centre to make a VOIP mainstream...

 

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Posted on May 2, 2005 06:22 PM by vonage431.
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Skype Poaches Microsoft Exec

This is the kind of news that comes in pairs:

You'd think Skype's Niklas Zennstrom would have wanted to crow today at VON Canada about poachin Microsoft executive Lenn Pryor, who headed up Channel 9 and was Microsoft's director of platform evangelism. Om Malik has this wicked quote from Pryor's blog on why he left: “I decided to swap problem sets from one that I am not passionate about any more to one that I AM deeply passionate about. I just couldn’t go on being an evangelist for a gospel that I don’t believe I can sing. I am returning to focus on what I enjoy most, building...

 

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Posted on May 2, 2005 02:30 PM by skype430.
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May 01, 2005

Qwest Provides 911 Service To Vonage

I'm seeing lots of reports about POTS telephone providers giving Vonage 911 access, like this:

Qwest Communications has agreed to give Vonage access to its 911 infrastructure. The deal will allow 911 calls from Vonage customers to travel over Qwest's emergency calling infrastructure in 14 states, enabling the calls to proceed directly to emergency dispatchers. News of the arrangement appeared in a letter Vonage sent to the FCC earlier this week.

 

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Posted on May 1, 2005 06:13 PM by vonage431.
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Michigan Might Sue Vonage Over 911

At the same time that Vonage is signing up 911 deals with the POTS telephone companies, states attornies general are turning up the heat on Vonage.

More trouble for Vonage? Looks like Michigan state Attorney General Mike Cox is threatening to go after the company for “allegedly misleading consumers about the company’s 911 service.” His complaint is the same as Texas - Vonage is not making it clear to the customers that they don’t have access to traditional 911. Cox laments the fact that Vonage 911 calls don’t go to emergency dispatchers, instead are routed to a call center, which may or may-not be answered outside of regular business hours.

 

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Posted on May 1, 2005 06:13 PM by vonage431.
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Skype Versus Vonage

A good analysis of Skype versus Vonage in the VoIP market.

There is a school of thought which believes that Skype’s value added services, SkypeIn, SkypeOut and Skype Voice Mail could become a major nightmare for Vonage. Allan Tumolillo, COO of Probe Financial Associates is one such person and he believes that, “Skype now has a product set similar to Vonage and cable and telco providers. What is most important, though, is that Skype’s product set allows us to examine what the likely cost to a subscriber will be from VoIP providers.” He believes that others will have to lower their...

Read the whole thing.
 

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Posted on May 1, 2005 06:13 PM by vonage431.
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Finding the Right Cellular Carrier

I'm having the same problem: how do you get the carrier you want and the handset you want. It'd be great if the U.S. market carriers becamse handset agnostic.

Lately I've been researching my options regarding new cell phones. I currently use Verizon Wireless, and well, their phone selection sucks. Referring to my last post, why would Verizon not want to appeal to its customers by offering top of the line cell phone design. The ONLY thing pulling me away from Verizon is the selection of phones... I love the network, I love the service I get, I'm very happy with my bill, but when it comes to getting an attractive phone, it just can't happen.

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Posted on May 1, 2005 06:10 PM by verizo413.
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A Phone or a PDA?

Luckily the flight attendant agreed:

While on the plane to KB two days ago, I was told by MAS stewardess to stop using my 'handphone' when the plane was cruising.When I told her that what I was using is PDA(personal digital assistant), she kept quiet and left me alone. Actually, I was updating my calendar on my Treo 650( a smart phone-phone/pda combo) and not using the phone function.Btw, Treo 650 is also a phone.

 

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Posted on May 1, 2005 06:10 PM by treo 6428.
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