Posts Tagged ‘VoIP’

Todays Tech

Lots of news as always.

This one is more so I don’t forget where it is at, as I plan on covering this in the future. Compete CEO: ISPs Sell Clickstreams For $5 A Month David Cancel, the CEO of Compete Inc. reveals that ISPs happily sell your clickstream data — and that it’s a big business. They don’t sell your name — just your clicks — but the clicks are tied to you as a specific user (User 1, User 2, etc.). How much you ask? About 40 cents a month per user (per customer)… and the Compete CEO estimates that there are 10-12 big buyers of this data. In other words, your ISP is probably making about $5 a month ($60 a year) off your clickstreams. And they aren’t the only ones, ever wonder how some of these sites are making money…

DOD blocking YouTube, others As many organizations are doing nowadays, this social stuff should be taken care of from home, not from a school or work computer, the DOD is blocking Youtube, Myspace and others.

Microsoft Claims Open-Source Technology Violates 235 of Its Patents Microsoft is using the threat of patent violations by the free and open-source software community to try to drive enterprise customers to SUSE Enterprise Linux and to further muddy the waters around the next version of the upcoming GNU General Public License.

Microsoft’s (Beta!) VoIP Device Blitz You can?t buy them yet, but if you are an enterprise IT exec who is kicking the tires on VOIP telephony offerings you might at least want to take a gander at the wide range of Microsoft-centric IP voice devices ? phones, headsets, videocam monitors ? being informally unveiled Monday at the Windows Hardware Engineering conference in Los Angeles.

Second Life Key Metrics – April 2007 Another batch of Second Life key metrics were released by Linden Labs this week; I’m struck by how different this Second Life report is from a recent ComScore report about Second Life population.

Battle of the botnets Criminal gangs are fighting over your computers, no longer do they just want a small slice of the money to be made online, they want it all, and they want their botnets to rule.

Help Key: The Essential Guide to Piracy Piracy is an action sport. The ability to infringe copyright and steal valuable work induces a rush like no other. Whether you steal music, movies, books, applications, or whatever, it feels like breaking the law and it saves our wallets and purses from becoming empty.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 14, 2007 at 6:38 pm

Categories: Security   Tags: , , , , , ,

And Now the Zune Phone?

Microsoft FTC filing
There has been some speculation that Microsoft was going to release a Zune Phone ever since Apple announced their new iPhone. Two articles today talked about Microsoft filing with the Federal Communications Commission, and that filing suggests the technology giant will likely add phone service to its line of hand-held media players, known as the Zune. The article on Marketwatch said it would be a wireless advice using OFDM.

In the filing, Microsoft describes a wireless device that utilizes OFDM, a technology that can be used to route digital TV and voice calls among devices. Versions of OFDM have been tested and deployed for mobile phone use by carriers including Sprint Nextel Corp. and closely-held Clearwire Corp.

Microsoft is part of a broad coalition of tech companies that has lobbied regulators for expanded wireless access to the Internet. Others in the coalition, which are mentioned in the filing as taking part in submitting the device for testing, include Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp.

The coalition has focused on encouraging the FCC to make unused wireless spectrum — originally allotted for things like digital TV — available for Internet communication. Source: Microsoft to submit wireless device for FCC testing

Talk has been it will be a VOIP, voice over IP, mobile phone, while the iPhone is a cell phone, or a smart phone. Microsoft has stated that it will be used for consumer broadband access and networking. There is some big speculation going on at Crunchgear, saying it will be using WiMax and taking the social nationwide.

The Zune Phone remedies this by allowing you to share music not via WiFi, but via WiMax, so that anyone on your friends list who is online can sample your music, and vice versa. By using the mobile WiMax network, you can be in New York and your friend can be in San Jose and you can send him that Shins song you like.

By taking the proximity limitations from an otherwise sound idea and reversing them macro-syle, Microsoft opens up the Zune experience to everyone, making the ecosystem reach from coast-to-coast. The Social, as they say, goes national. We love the idea, as it really frames the concept of portable social networking in a wide, wide light. Source: Zune Phone Confirmed! Launch Scenario! 4G WiMax Action! Rumors Off the WTF-o-Meter

Lots and lots of speculation. Bill was asked recently about a Zune phone and he said no, but they have submitted this to the FTC, and they have said it will offer broadband access and networking. Their source did say that this has been in development for awhile, but is just now being rolled into the Zune. Time will tell.

Added: Engadget has dug some more into the FTC filing and says this probably doesn’t have anything to do with the Zune Phone, though they say they know one is coming.

…but what passed through the FCC was a pre-approval application document that ran down a list of questions the FCC had for a CE “coalition” consisting of Microsoft, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Philips, who are apparently in on some device together. (Strike one. You really think Microsoft’s gonna collaborate on the Zune phone? And with that many non-cell phone carrier companies?) From what we can tell, it’ll be wireless (duh) with DTV signal detection and transmission (i.e. cognitive radio), and BPSK, WPSK (and likely QAM) modulation and OFDM. Doesn’t mean a lot to most people, we know, but the FCC plainly asked the consortium to describe the product’s purpose… Source: Debunk: Microsoft files for Zune phone with FCC — probably not

But, they do say, they will know for sure when the filing actually hits the FTC in the near future.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - February 10, 2007 at 7:21 am

Categories: Gadgets   Tags: , , , , , ,

Free Month of BroadBand Phone Service

Vonage the Broadband Phone Company is so confident that you will like their VOIP broadband phone service, that they are now offering everyone one month of free service. When you switch to Vonage Internet phone service, you could pay a lot less to get more from your home phone. Just choose the plan that?s right for you. Sign up for the Premium Unlimited plan and get unlimited local and long distance calling for only $24.99/month. Or, sign up for their Basic 500 plan at only $14.99 a month. Either way, you?re making a smart decision. They also offer great international rates, exceptional sound quality, and a bunch of included features: Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Forwarding, and more! And you can even choose your area code or keep your phone number wherever you go. It is win win for everybody. Signup now with Vonage and get One Month Free!

Technorati tags:
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voip, VOIP, voive over ip, internet calling, broadband phone, broadband calls, broadband calling

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - February 5, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Categories: VoIP   Tags: , ,

UDP Hole Punching

Just read this great article on how Skype and other peer to peer applications are using UDP hole punching to get around firewalls and allowing them to establish direct connections between clients, which speeds up their applications as nothing really has to go through the main servers. They still can, if this type of connection does not work, such as on busy networks, but it really slows things down on the client and on Skype’s servers.

But anyone who has used the popular internet telephony software Skype knows that it works as smoothly behind a NAT firewall as it does if the PC is connected directly to the internet. The reason for this is that the inventors of Skype and similar software have come up with a solution.

The trick used by VoIP software consists of persuading the firewall that a connection has been established, to which it should allocate subsequent incoming data packets. The fact that audio data for VoIP is sent using the connectionless UDP protocol acts to Skype’s advantage. In contrast to TCP, which includes additional connection information in each packet, with UDP, a firewall sees only the addresses and ports of the source and destination systems. If, for an incoming UDP packet, these match an NAT table entry, it will pass the packet on to an internal computer with a clear conscience.

Network administrators who do not appreciate this sort of hole in their firewall and are worried about abuse, are left with only one option – they have to block outgoing UDP traffic, or limit it to essential individual cases. UDP is not required for normal internet communication anyway – the web, e-mail and suchlike all use TCP. Streaming protocols may, however, encounter problems, as they often use UDP because of the reduced overhead. Source: heise Security

The easiest way to stop this is to block all or limit all outgoing UDP traffic. Read the article, it has some good information and examples on how you can do this yourself.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 16, 2006 at 6:23 am

Categories: Networking, Security   Tags: , , ,

Microsoft Jumping Into the VOIP Arena

Steve Ballmer, Executive Officer for Microsoft, announced Monday that their latest software will have VOIP and video conferencing, and will enter the market the first of next year.

Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said Monday that the company’s new software will enable voiceover IP and video conferencing functionality.

“We will enter the voiceover IP market at the beginning of next year,” Ballmer said at a Microsoft conference in Tokyo, adding that the software giant will also enter the video conferencing market early next year. Source: MarketWatch

Microsoft and Google can affect markets the same way, but in different ways. When Google enters a market, they might be able to dominate it with a free offering, might, since not all of their pet projects go well. When Microsoft enters a market, you can count on them gaining a big share, if they don’t dominate it outright, and making big money.

What does this mean? Well likely in January Microsoft will begin to show off some consumer VoIP products in a big way at CES, either under cover in private briefings or in their booth. It also means a flurry of activity with so called partners who will all become “Microsoft Certified.” Source: VOIP Watch

Good read at VOIP Watch, describes Microsoft’s strategy when entering a market, and how they are far from inexperienced and probably already have their roadmap all laid out for Live Communications Server.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 7, 2006 at 2:09 am

Categories: Microsoft News, VoIP   Tags: , , , , ,

Swiss Malware Experiments

A Swiss newspaper, Schweizer Sonntagszeitung is reporting that the Swiss Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications has conducted malware experiments with a spyware program that is only given to Swiss authorities and that it cannot be detected by any firewall or antivirus solution.

The department is clearly considering the use of spyware that has been specifically developed for tapping into encrypted Voice-over-IP connections (e.g. Skype). It is still unclear whether using such a tool could be made legal. In any event, a judge would have to approve each case in advance, similar to the procedure for monitoring normal telephone calls. Source: via Schweizer Sonntagszeitung

Undetectable, I know a few people who would like to test that claim. Bring it on.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 12, 2006 at 5:33 pm

Categories: Malware, Security   Tags: , ,

AOL Adds Voice Over IP Product

Looks like AOL is jumping into the Voice over IP market, with the release of AIM Phoneline, that will allow instant messaging users to make calls to and receive from regular phones. This will particularly useful to people who want to be able to talk to their online buddies, but don’t want to give out their home phone number. I also smell another way for pedophiles to contact your children without you knowing, but that’s another blog post altogether.

AOL is pushing farther into the Internet Protocol telephony market with its latest product that allows instant-messaging users to make calls to and receive calls from regular phones.

AOL has already had a “talk” button integrated into its instant-messaging client, but previously it only allowed users to talk to other AIM users online from computer to computer. Beginning May 16, AOL users will be able to use AIM Phoneline, which allows them, from their IM client, to talk to people who are using regular phones.

The basic version of AIM Phoneline is free and allows AOL’s instant-messaging users to get a local telephone number where they can receive phone calls. If the AIM user isn’t online, the call goes directly to voice mail, which can be retrieved from an e-mail account. Users can also make free unlimited local and long-distance calls in the U.S. Canada, and 30 other countries.

AOL users can also subscribe to an unlimited service for a monthly fee of $14.95 (a limited number of subscribers will get a special rate of $9.95 per month). The unlimited service allows users to call landline or cell phones from their IM client using the AIM phone number. Source:

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 6, 2006 at 1:37 pm

Categories: Tech News   Tags: , ,

Not Using Skype Yet?

Call ordinary phones anywhere in the world from your computer for the price of a local call with SkypeOut. Skype is a little piece of software that lets you talk through the Internet for free. You can talk to anyone else on Skype, wherever they are in the world, and it won’t cost you a thing. Not bad, eh?

If the people you want to talk to aren’t on Skype yet, you can still make pretty cheap calls to landlines and mobile phones around the world using SkypeOut.

Here are the top ten reasons to use skype:

1) Call friends for free, no matter where they are in the world.
2)Download Skype for free, just takes a second or two to install.
3)With already over 60 million users, some of your friends are probably already using it.
4)Make long distance calls at local rates to landlines and mobile phone with SkypeOut.
5)Make sure you can be reached at all times with Skype voicemail.
6)Forward call to your mobile phone or home phone with SkypeOut.
7)Send instant messages when you don’t feel like talking on the phone.
8)Make conference calls for free with up to 5 people!
9)See if the people you want to call are online before you call.
10)Trasnfer files(really big ones)

If you’re not using Skype now, you will be soon, try it now for Free!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - February 17, 2006 at 11:03 am

Categories: Reviews, Tech News   Tags: ,