Thursday, November 30, 2006

VOIP Security. VOIPSA comes to our aid.

VOIP security is not a subject we read or write much about because we are busy with getting products to the market. But VOIPSA, which I wrote about a year ago "VoIP Security Threat Taxonomy" has come to our aid again, this time with a new project, VOIPSA Best Practices project.
The media is awash with VOIP security concerns. I consider this is to be an excellent track as VOIP IP Telephony is picking up steam as never before. But most of the articles I read last week was by/about research. Facts are good and applies to all of us, but the main reason I did not publish any article on it was because, Sacnit research was mainly based on it's clients in a few middle eastern countires, an area where VOIP is banned in some places.
The new project by VOIPSA will start this week and here is the project description, From VOIPSA;
"This project aims to define a common set of industry-wide ‘best practices’ for securing VoIP systems against the threats outlined in the Threat Taxonomy. While specific practices will vary according to vendor and architecture, the document created by this group will provide an overall view of how best to secure VoIP systems.

These best practices will aim to mitigate security threats across the VoIP ecosystem including individual VoIP building blocks, supporting security technology components (SBCs, Firewalls, etc.), architecture and network design (NAT, VPN, port security, etc.), network management, and end point Access and Authentication to name a few.

The end objective of this project is to create a document that can be used as a companion to the Threat Taxonomy. This document will by its nature evolve over time and we expect to periodically issue new versions.

Right now, though, we are just getting started and we welcome the participation of anyone who would like to be involved. To participate, please sign up to the Best Practices working group mailing list."

So get your gears ready and join. It will be good for all of us.

VOIPSA Blog Article
VOIPSA Best Practices working group mailing list
And of course VOIPSA

Silver needle in the Skype

Philippe BIONDI and Fabrice DESCLAUX has written a paper / a presentation for Blackhat Europe.
The paper is a bit old but gives a view of how Skype works. Anyone who is interested in Skype, technically, may want to browse through the presentation.
Here are the contents;
1 Context of the study

2 Skype protections
Binary packing
Code integrity checks
Anti debugging technichs
Code obfuscation

3 Skype seen from the network
Skype network obfuscation
Low level data transport
Thought it was over?
How to speak Skype

4 Advanced/diverted Skype functions
Analysis of the login phase
Playing with Skype Tra±c
Nice commands

5 Conclusion
Enjoy your skype!

Silver Needle in Skype

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Connect two FreePBX's together

I was at FreePBX site today when I noticed the article under hints and tips for FreePBX that explains how to connect two FreePBX together. This is very good if you have two branch offices that has FreePBX boxen. If you follow the instructions, you will have a seamlessly integrated VOIP IP Telephony systems that will act and behave like on as far as users are concerned.
I also learned that there are more VOIP providers, at least two more than I mentioned in my earlier article. Thanks Rob.
Follow the link and get your FreePBX boxen connected!

FreePBX hints and tips, connect two FreePBX's together.
Robs favorite Australian VOIP provider 1 Faktotel
Robs favorite Australian Voip provider 2, Mytel

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Australian VOIP IP Telephony subscriptions begin to add up.

MyNetFone's announced that it had added 20,000 since it's IPO in May.IInet has about 40,000 subscribers according to their announcement. Then Engin earlier this month of mentioned that it has 49,000 users. Engin Also mentioned that it was on track to reach 100,000 by June 2007. But the largest of all is Freshtel which had 351,000 at June 30 2006.
So all these come to about half a million users. Is this right? How about external providers, like Skype?.
Remember those mentioned above are Australia based VOIP providers.

News source

PhoneGnome 2.0 is out with Bang, a Big Bang!

Today Jo Ito directed me to PhoneGnome site announcement of PhoneGnome 2.0 release. What sweet words to read!
The PhoneGnome blog is excited too! "This is the most comprehensive update of the PhoneGnome service since its initial launch in 2005. It’s so big, we’re calling it PhoneGnome 2.0. Sure there’s a new look to the PhoneGnome website — but this is a lot more than a face lift."
The original complaints about earlier PhoneGnome has been also answered on the weblog;
PhoneGnome were:

1. $119 is a lot of money
2. You need two
3. It only works with landlines, requires broadband, and I need to install a box

New low price $99.99 for the PhoneGnome box, with a Limited time offer of just $59.99. What’s more, you don’t need the PhoneGnome box at all. You don’t need to purchase anything or install any software to enjoy Free calls and other benefits of PhoneGnome service with PhoneGnome 2.0.
It has never really been true that you needed two PhoneGnome boxes, because you could always use PhoneGnome with a calling plan to call any number cheap (which is exactly what at least half the PhoneGnome customers do), but the perception was there. To make free calls, both parties must be registered at the My PhoneGnome site, but given that neither must purchase anything to do so, I think we can safely say the “you need two” objection is a non-issue with PhoneGnome 2.0.
Finally, perhaps one of the most exciting things about PhoneGnome 2.0 is that now you can create a My PhoneGnome account for all your numbers, so you can call them free too, including mobile numbers, and locations with no broadband Internet access.
So go find your Gnome, Links below;

Jo Ito's article
PhoneGnome Weblog
PhoneGnome site

BT (Brtish Telecom) goes ALL-IP in Village of Wicks

More than 100 consumers in the U.K. village of Wick are among the first customers to be connected to BT Group’s next-generation telecommunications network, which went live Tuesday.

The BT 21st Century Network, dubbed 21CN, is one of the most ambitious network overhauls of its kind in the world. Instead of using traditional circuit-switched systems to transport phone calls, the U.K. operator is switching its entire networking infrastructure to IP technology.
The move to an all-IP network will allow BT to offer consumers and businesses "triple-play" voice, data and video services over a single ADSL2+ (asymmetric DSL) broadband connection, at speeds up to 24Mbps. Among the new services supported by the network are voice over IP and IPTV.

At the same time, the move will allow the operator to lower operating costs. It expects to save about 1 billion pounds (US$1.9 billion) per year as a result of the network overhaul. Total cost of the overhaul is estimated at 10 billion pounds.

CIO article

FreePBX release candidate is out!

Update, Apologies to Rob, I addressed you Tom! Now corrected!
On the heels of many a beta releases and hard work, FreePBX has announced that the release candidate is out. If you are a freePBX user, tester it is time to give a final push and check what Rob and the team has done. This time, we can see a real changelog, thanks!
FreePBX 2.2
- New Modules: phpagiconf, announcement, blacklist, cidlookup, customerdb, dictate, inventorydb, parking, pbdirectory, phonebook, printextensions, speeddials, ZoIP
- New option in amportal.conf for remote backups (as well as significant backup fixes)
- Changed Call Recordings to user MixMontior, better performance and more reliable.
- Fixed prefix lookup to use XML interface
- Fix potential security hole in CALLERID(name) and CALLERID(num) (see r2076)
- Redo front end with the new look, Thanks to Steven Fischer for the template
- Using new redirect() call, so the back button on the web browser is usable again
- New module management, including progress of downloads
- Added ability to 'lock' a trunk to only use a specified CID ('KEEPCID' patches)
- Add support for Hebrew (RTL) text formatting
- dialparties.agi now written in PHP
- Went rummaging around through the old sourceforge forums and found some patches that had been lost in the move
- FOP now using the latest version, .26
- Huge number (200+) of minor bug fixes
- Policy change with relation to releases. There is now a 'base' and a 'withmodules' package. The 'withmodules' pack is useful for machine that don't have easy internet access, and contains all the modules currently available at the time of the release. This is also useful for new installations, too.

So if you are a FreePBX user, you must be feeling like a kid in a candy store while big boys feels like a bull in a porcelain store!.
Pay a visit, down load, install, test and complain (report) to Rob.

FreePBX 2.2 RC announcement

Fonality PBXtra, averages 1.5 million calls a week and peeks at 50 million calls

Another press release by Fonality states that it's PBXtra customers have placed more than 50 million calls and are now averaging more than 1.5 million calls per week across its award-winning IP-PBX platform. This rapid ramp in call volume further demonstrates Fonality's success in the middle market and customer demand for high quality, value priced, reliable and fully supported IP telephony solutions.
So where are the Trixbox call volume info? well I guess it is forth coming. The success in PBXtra could translate in two ways for TrixBox. It might get the Chance to ride the wave and become a successful OSS IPPBX for brave SMB's or it might get left behind if Trixbox cannot keep up or if Fonality loses interest.
So where did I hear about that Trixbox fork? No there is no such thing yet, but if need to be, OpenPBX will be a good contender, when they get all the kinks straightened out.
Meanwhile, PBXtra is available direct from Fonality or through a Fonality reseller. For more information about PBXtra or becoming a Fonality reseller, visit fonality, link is below.

VOIP IP Telephony: OpenPBX RC2 is ready for testing.

FirstHand Technologies Granted Patent for Wireless Telephony

Now yu can add one more to the list of VOIP Patents. According to a press release from
FirstHand Technologies, The have announced today that it has been granted a patent for a multi-protocol data communication system supporting wireless telephony and content delivery.
This patent is licensed from Columbia University, along with several pending applications on which Prof. Henning Schulzrinne of Columbia University is an inventor. Patents pending include inventions for reducing MAC layer hand off latency in wireless networks; for call routing in an IP telephony network; for unified messaging in internet,intranet telephony; for an Ethernet-based telephone and system for internet intranet telephony; for internet telephony based on SIP; and for a system and method for cooperative roaming.
Also according to the same news, For enterprises needing to mobilize their employees, FirstHand Technologies delivers the FirstHand Mobile Console and FirstHand Mobile Assistant. Both products extend the functionality of various IP PBXs to a variety of mobile devices. Using Mobile Console, enterprise workers can place and receive a call over the best available network - WiFi or cellular - optimizing for lowest cost, highest call quality or user preference. The Mobile Console delivers personal command and control of communications services over WiFi or WiFi and GSM or WiFi and CDMA network interfaces. Using Mobile Assistant, activities normally confined to the office can now be performed on a mobile device such as making and answering enterprise calls, checking and reviewing voice mail, looking up colleague availability and connecting with one or more of them with the click of a phone button.

Firsthand Technologies

Monday, November 27, 2006

One stop VOIP service from IBM and Vocaltec

IBM has developed a complete VoIP service package together with it's telephony business partner, Vocaltec, based entirely on open standards, Please note, not Open Source as many systems I attribute here. But it is a part of our domain and some customers demand assurance that company like IBM could afford to offer them. The main artery, I think it is the heart, of this solution is the application server Essentra BAX™, VocalTec. Essentra BAX™ features a three-tier architecture, consisting of a database, Web and Call Control & Feature servers. It runs on an IBM eServer x336 or IBM Blade Center under Red hat Linux. The x336 system already supports up to 20,000 users. But that does not stop there, the solution is scalable up to 2 million users, as customers are able to distribute the various components of the three-tier system on a number of X-Series servers or Blades, like database on one or two servers, Web control on another or a server farm, Call control on one or more servers etc. Even larger server farms like this could be managed as easy as a single server, thanks to the design of the system. Once deployed, communications take place within customer premises over own LANs or WANs, via SIP. To connect to existing PBX's or PSTN is conducted through Voice Gateways. A Session Border Controller (SBC) is provided for integrating with existing VOIP networks or other VOIP providers. If the customer requires more than the provided services, there are interfaces and APIs for services such as application servers, Voice mail, conferencing or Billing features. The IBM / Essentra-Bax solution offers a broader array of features and services, such as Boss Secretary Functions, Hunt Group or Attendant Console, required to manage telephony systems within an organization. The icing on the cake is, services by IBM, which offers one stop service for hardware and software procurement and implementation. This includes roll out Services, operations , maintenance or project management.

Vocaltec Essentra Bax
IBM Essentra BAX

OpenPBX RC2 is ready for testing.

If you not heard before, is a community driven software PBX project.OpenPBX in the same line of Asterisk but with differences. The most important differences between OpenPBX and Asterisk are;
Built-in STUN support,
The use of SpanDSP for better codecs
Full T.38 fax over IP support
Sqlite instead of Berkeley DB
Universal jitterbuffer,
POSIX timers to avoid Zaptel timing dependencies
Greater speed
Efficient dialplan execution.

Support is via mail list and Wiki
I am testing the current release on a FreeBSD 7. But I have not come across any major issues. I did have some trouble, my own making, with Zaptel drivers. You can help out the development by testing on your favorite platform, which includes NetBSD, FreeBSD 6.2 and 7, Mac OS X, and of course your favorite, happy feet, linux distribution.

OpenPBX home
OpenPBX wiki
OpenPBX mailing list

VOIP Patents, here we go, 2049 of them in USA

In all, the U.S. has to date issued 2,049 patents related to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a technology that enables low-cost or free calling using the same method that zips e-mail around the Internet.
So where are the battles? They are coming but I think we should find out who and what these patents are? NO, If you knew about the patent you are in violation. Hmmm.
Don't take my advise, I am not a lawyer (IANAL).
But here is the story, According to Businessweek article,

The Patent & Trademark Office is approving patents aplenty for Internet-based calling. On Nov. 14 alone, it handed out a patent on what IBM calls a "conversations computing system," and granted chip maker Intel a patent for a computer-based phone "eliminating the need for a telephone set."

Those were among dozens of patents granted on two separate days in November to companies including Texas Instruments (TXN), Motorola (MOT), and Nokia (NOK). In October, the PTO gave an additional 76 patents to the likes of Qualcomm (QCOM), Nortel (NT), Broadcom (BRCM), Time Warner's AOL (TWX), and NTT DoCoMo (DCM) of Japan.

Patent Battles

As I said they are coming and the article lists some of them already in the process. But Our own Pundit, Jeff Pulver said that
"Chances are, many patent battles will be fought outside the courtroom. Patent holders are likely to use their intellectual property portfolio to extract concessions on cross-licensing deals, where one company may share its VoIP expertise in exchange for use of another company's patented technology, It's certainly going to be something somebody could use against somebody."

VOIP Patent article on Business week

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Little big Stir in Dutch VOIP IP Telephony Market

Dutch VoIP market reaches 1.4 million subscribers at the end of Q3, 2006.
The Dutch VoIP market is continuing its strong growth of the past quarters, reaching 1.4 million VoIP subscribers at 30 September 2006, according to the latest research by Telecompaper. The on going competition on the residential fixed telephony market has caused the market penetration of incumbent KPN to drop below 70 percent to 68.8 percent. Despite the company's successful sales of its VoIP product InternetPlusBellen (Internet plus calling) with 115,000 net additions in the three month period, the incumbent lost more traditional lines to its own VoIP service and to competitors VoIP services. Especially the cable sector made good progress selling nearly 124,000 VoIP subscriptions in the third quarter.
Read and get more info at telecompaper.

Update - link added
Telecompaper article

Desktop Notification for Asterisk

Sven Slezak has released Notify application module for the Asterisk PBX, App-notify version 1.0. Asterisk Notify is an Asterisk module which can be configured to send notifications over the network to announce the callers name and telephone number to a desktop PC.

At the moment Mac OS-X and Unix clients are available. Windows support is coming up next. The Unix client sample source code is included in the app_notify package.
The Mac OS-X client says the callers name and pops up a transparent Window with the name, number and picture of the calling person. It uses the lokal Address Book to lookup the information.If you have Growl installed you can select the Growl view plug-in in the preference pane. though the built-in viewer shows bigger pictures.
AppleScript support enables you to create your own actions for a telephone call. Included are an iCal and Address Book AppleScript. The iCal script adds an event to the Asterisk calendar and the Address Book script adds unknown telephone numbers into the Asterisk group.
To activate your own AppleScripts put them into /Library/Application Support/AsteriskNotifier/Scripts in your home directory.

Additionally an Address Book dialer is included in the package. You can enable it in the preference pane. You will have to configure a manager account in the Asterisk PBX.

The client uses Bonjour (aka. Rendezvous, aka. Zeroconf) to find Asterisk servers in the network automatically. (not necessary though)
The Bonjour support for Asterisk can be added with res_bonjour

Asterisk Notify

Saturday, November 25, 2006

VOIPr Conr

This site has a new additional domain name now, VOIPr.CO.NR. Thanks to the Free service provided by If you want to secure a domain based on CO.NR, I suggest that you head over there.

So what exactly CO.NR give you? Well, they’ll provide you with a domain, for absolutely free., for life. They’re reliable, fast and dedicated. My registration went very well only 2 min and I have the new domain redirected to this site. All you have to do for them in return, is include a mini link back on one of your front page. I added it to my footer so ever page has it. Once I get a site going, I might have dedicated voipr site. The name is easy to remember, because it saves you from having to remember from a long winded name like I much prefer the simple VOIPr.CO.NR domain.

Chat free, talk cheap with Talkonaut from GTalk2VOIP

The same team that developed GTalk2VoIP has come out with Talkonaut. It is about to offer all mobile users a combination of VoIP technology and IM chats based on Jabber (XMPP) protocol. Mobile VOIP, VOIP IP Telephony technology for mobile devices are picking up everywhere, and this is one way to do it.
Talkonaut is based on revolutionary GTalk2VoIP gateway technology and allows you to make voice calls to any Google Talk[tm] and MSN/Live Messenger[tm] users, to any SIP capable device or to other mobile or landline phones for low cost. Rates are available at GTalk2VOIP, see links below.
Talkonaut application is designed to be able to run trouble free on almost any J2ME capable handset with MIDP-2.0 and CLDC-1.1 support. Though, some handsets might be difficult to configure to run Talkonaut.
Talkonaut leverages portable J2ME framework technology developed by GTalk2VoIP TEAM, which makes it possible to run on almost any mobile handset with minimal MIDP 2.0 support. A list of devices is available on site to help with handsets and PDAs with their status regarding the operation of Talkonaut. If your handset is not on the list, do not despair, it does not mean it is not supported. Just that the particular device has not been tested yet.
All IM chats made through this method is free but there is a charge for SMS and VOIP calls. Check GTalk2VoIP site or links below for information.

Talknout Home
Talkonaut feature set
List of supported devices
Rates at GTalk2VOIP

Chat free, talk cheap with Talkonaut from GTalk2VOIP

The same team that developed GTalk2VoIP has come out with Talkonaut. It is about to offer all mobile users a combination of VoIP technology and IM chats based on Jabber (XMPP) protocol. Mobile VOIP, VOIP IP Telephony technology for mobile devices are picking up everywhere, and this is one way to do it.
Talkonaut is based on revolutionary GTalk2VoIP gateway technology and allows you to make voice calls to any Google Talk[tm] and MSN/Live Messenger[tm] users, to any SIP capable device or to other mobile or landline phones for low cost. Rates are available at GTalk2VOIP, see links below.
Talkonaut application is designed to be able to run trouble free on almost any J2ME capable handset with MIDP-2.0 and CLDC-1.1 support. Though, some handsets might be difficult to configure to run Talkonaut.
Talkonaut leverages portable J2ME framework technology developed by GTalk2VoIP TEAM, which makes it possible to run on almost any mobile handset with minimal MIDP 2.0 support. A list of devices is available on site to help with handsets and PDAs with their status regarding the operation of Talkonaut. If your handset is not on the list, do not despair, it does not mean it is not supported. Just that the particular device has not been tested yet.
All IM chats made through this method is free but there is a charge for SMS and VOIP calls. Check GTalk2VoIP site or links below for information.

Talknout Home
Talkonaut feature set
List of supported devices
Rates at GTalk2VOIP

Celliax GSM and CDMA manager for Asterisk .

Celliax is a channel driver for the Asterisk Free PBX that manages GSM and CDMA cellular phones through an adapter, composed by a data cable (for commands) and an audio cable (for the voice) interfacing the computer sound card.

chan_celliax is also capable of making and receiving Skype calls through the cellphone, and has an app like app_directory that let you choose which one of your Skype contacts you want to call.

Celliax runs on Asterisk 1.2 on Linux and Windows (with cygwin and a little modification to the compilation of Asterisk to avoid the calls to sigkill), and on Asterisk 1.4 only in Linux (because Asterisk 1.4 itself does not build on Windows, at date).

Together with chan_celliax is distributed the Celliax LiveCD, with a working installation of Asterisk, chan_celliax, and configuration utilities based on Knoppix. The Celliax LiveCD contains also all is needed to run Celliax on Windows:the cygwin installer and the tgz with the asterisk-celliax stuff to be untarred in a basic cygwin installation.


RTX Cordless DualPhone 3088 for Skype and PSTN

Skype Gadgets and Skype itself are reporting about RTX Cordless DualPhone 3088.
Model: RTX DUALphone 3088

• Cordless Skype Phone
• No PC Required
• Make Skype calls without a computer

Best part for Skype is that it does not require a PC to make Skype calls or receive Skype calls. You can also use the same phone for call out through PSTN, aka your local phone system.
The LCD display of the RTX Standalone Cordless Skype Phone shows all of your Skype friends/buddies who are online. So make your VOIP IP Telephony experience a PCless, cordless one.

Skype Gadgets
Skype gear road test on Skype site.
Product site.

Friday, November 24, 2006

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 will held from December 4-8 in HongKong

Bringing the world's leading ICT companies, decision-makers, organisations and governments together, WORLD features a major Exhibition, a high-level Forum and numerous opportunities for meeting, discussing, networking and getting business done.

Play your part in ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006! Be there on December 4-8.
Take part on the show floor either in the Exhibition, or in your own Corporate Headquarters or Office Suite in the TELECOM VILLAGE, where you can hold meetings and key discussions. Or else consider one of our Turnkey event solutions- fully customized booths tailored to meet companies’ exact needs and budget. Benefit from an extensive range of discounts across all areas of the event with one of our Advantage Packages.

Or maybe you are looking to promote and strengthen your company's brand and image, without having a physical presence on the show floor? Or put across your company's message to the ICT industry's top names? Whatever your needs, we can offer a wealth of opportunities to meet them…

World Telecom Site
Programme Preview

Residential VOIP market gears up be Fat and Healthy

ZDNet Research reports that the residential market will reach 11.9 Billion by 2010. This figure is supplemented by the number of residential VoIP subscribers worldwide is expected to increase to 151.2 mln by 2010, rising at a CAGR, Compound Annual Growth Rate of 57.1% from 15.8 mln in 2005.
These are healthy figures for the VOIP providers as well as VOIP equipment makers. I think that these figure will also reflect healthy benefits to the VOIP users, be it corporate or Residential.
According to the article, "The residential segment is the second-largest market for VoIP gear. Equipment in this segment includes residential gateways and IP phones. Equipment makers are vying for a piece of the residential VoIP market, hoping to capture a slice of this growth. Telecom service providers also are aggressively targeting this segment in an attempt to maintain their share of the $430 bln annual voice market and to offer so-called triple-play services, i.e. suites of multimedia offerings consisting of video, audio communications and broadband Internet access."

ZDNet Research article

Rob Thomas releases FreePBX 2.2.0B3

While thanking all the people who helped by downloading and running FreePBX 2.2.0B2, by sending in bug reports, Rob Thomas has released the next version of the FreePBX's beta release, FreePBX 2.2.0B3.
He has stated that it is in the stage of release material but that he chickened out at last minute. I don't think so, Rob is a very good developer and he wants assurance. Unlike "release now and fix later" type folks.
I have tried the FreePBX 2.2.0B2 and I am very happy with it. Did I find any bugs? Yes, but before I could report it at his TRAC site, someone has beat me to it!. I guess I am a slow tester or Rob has many followers that do due diligences.
I will upgrade one of my TrixBox, a brand new tiny little box, after the holidays. Too many of my friends have kids! Uncle Ravenii has to help them with choosing right gifts for the up coming holidays, and make their parents some what unhappy! So I an evaluating gifts with four kids now, while parents go and do the actual shopping.
Good luck Rob, I am waiting for official release, so that I can slap FreePBX on some of my clients that still running the old version. Of course after testing on my boxen.

Rob's release article.
FreePBX TRAC site.

Digital common sense puts sense on U3 Skype.

Ken Camp over at Digital Common sense has tried to put some sense into that fact of using Skype and breaching network security or and company policies. He has gone further than I have with the Cruzer thumbdrive and skype, than I did. I just tried it on a well secured? Active Directory environment workstation, during a security assessment of a site. As he said, I could run it without any problems. Now the client is changing it's AD policies. I will be back there after the thanks giving holiday and I will try what Ken did, Plug it in to a server!
But it is not the reason I am writing about Ken. Among other things I like FBI look Photo! and this guy has taste, While I was having 4 year old Italian wine at my friends place tonight, He had opened a bottle of A'bunadh 20 year old single malt scotch tonight ;).
But more about the article, he carries you through some advice on how to secure USB ports and general etiquette of following corporate policies. But the gem is, he brings out the idea of educating corporations or small business' today.

"Corporate policies regardin the use of Skype, the use of thumbdrives, and the use of other U3-based applications are all very weak today. That will have to change over time, but the education really needs to begin now, and become an ongoing part of the corporate culture."
I think it is a very good idea, today when anyone could pick up a 2GB Cruzer drive for $40.
Enjoy your scotch Ken!

Digital Common Sense article.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to all the people in the world for everything you have done!

What to do when free Skypeout runs out in December? get VOIPBUSTER

Now people in USA and Canada could call landlines for free using Skype and Skypeout until the end of 2006. So all those free callers going drop out if they don't want to pay. I think we will see a drop in usage sometime after that. I better keep visiting Skype Numerology site to keep track.
So what are all these users going to do? Well I have an offer. Not exactly me but a resource that will provide free calls to landlines, not only in USA and Canada, but most of the world.
This is from VoipBuster! Not only can you call your online friends for free, VoipBuster also offers free* calls to any regular land-line in various popular destinations, like;
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hong Kong (+mobile), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan and lots more.
Wow, so how I use it and what do you get?
You can call anyone with a normal phone for free using Voipbuster! And yes, you don’t have to get connected to the internet to receive phone calls from someone using Voipbuster.

You use it exactly like Skype, you can download it here and call any phone number for free for a period of 120 days. Buying credits entitles you to 120 Freedays (unless stated otherwise). This means you can call all countries in the free* destinations list for 120 days at no costs. When the 120 days are over, you will keep your credit, and the normal rate will be charged for these destinations.

Skype Free Calls

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

FaxDigits, Free faxes and support for T.38 protocol

I came across this company fax digits, via Luca Filigheddu's site. I think fax digits is a very good idea, and liked what they do. Basically Efax in a VOIP world. In these days of paperless electronic offices, you will find at least one fax machine of digital fax service in any office. So some papers are still getting stacked somewhere.
All the IPPBX's and services are still struggling with T.38, FOIP, Fax over IP protocol and yet to find a reliable product.
What I liked about their products and services, first and foremost, at personal level you get a free fax service. One sends you a fax to an assigned number, and th fax appears in your email box as a PDF file.
The other services include comny faxes via an 800 number
From the faxdigits site, some information;

1. What is FaxDigits
FaxDigits is a free fax service that allows you to receive your faxes as PDF format delivered to your Email inbox.

2. How Do I Sign-Up for FaxDigits Free Fax Service
You can sign up for your free fax service online. A valid email address is required. Upon sign up you will receive a free US fax number. For local or 800 service you can upgrade to FaxDigits Premium services.

3. How Do I Receive a Fax?
Your FreeDigits fax number will allow you to receive faxes from any standard fax machine. The faxes are converted to PDF format and delivered to your Email inbox as an attachment.

4. How Do I Send a Fax?
FaxDigits is the only fax service that allows you to send faxes using your standard fax machine. You will need to purchase an Internet Fax Adaptor from GrandStream. Once you plug your fax machine into the Fax Adaptor, your fax machine will operate like it would on a normal phone line. All the features of your fax machine will be available.

5. How Much Does FaxDigits Cost?
Our free service costs nothing! When you sign up for a FaxDigits account, you will be provided with an unlisted US telephone number.
Each FaxDigits number provides unlimited inbound faxing. Premium local numbers and toll-free numbers can be purchased at low monthly rates.

7. Do I Need Special Software?
You do not need special hardware for inbound fax services. Outbound faxing will require a Internet Phone adaptor that can be purchased from Grandstream. For best results, devices should be SIP (sessions initiation protocol) compliant and support T.38 protocol.

8. Do I need Special Hardware?
You do not need special hardware for inbound fax services. FaxDigits utilizes VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology for outbound faxing. Your fax machine will require an Internet Phone adaptor that can be purchased from Grandstream. For best results, devices should be SIP (sessions initiation protocol) compliant and support T.38 protocol.
But to gt the whole scoop, I suggest you visit the site following the links provided below.
Luca Filigheddu

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New GUI for Asterisk, Callware Voiceone.

A Source forge based Open Source project has developed an Management Gui for the IPPBX, Asterisk. I know all of you will say Go for Trixbox (I am already there ;)) but I want to give exposure to all applications that enhance Asterisk. I have not tried the product yet an all information I am providing is based on VoiceOne website.
The current release is 0.4.2. If you are a code Guru, you can grab the SVN version from the Sourceforge site.
From the outlook of the product, it seems promising. The interface is based on PHP and even though it is in it's infancy many a features listed below are functional. They have an online demo that you could test out application and the function. Since these interfaces to Asterisk are personal tastes, some may prefer VoiceOne and asterisk to Trixbox!
Following are the feature list from the web site. So even if you already have Asterisk IPPBX management console, go check it out, give a boost to OSS developers.
* Client/Server architecture based on web services
* Relies on Asterisk real time Architecture (ARA) for database storage
* Two different panels, Personal for users and Configuration for administrators
* Extensions management
* Fully customizable users profile, including Voice mail, Call Forwarding ("Follow Me") and Do Not Disturb
* Highly configurable rule sets for outbound and inbound calls
* Static LCR (Least Cost Routing)
* Supports VoIP providers (SIP and IAX) and traditional Telco carriers
* Links remote offices via IAX with RSA public key encryption
* Powerful IVR creation system
* Queues management
* Conference rooms handling
* Sounds and Music On Hold management
* Applications and macros editor
* System Macros and Functions preloaded (DID/DDI, Call Back and DISA included)
* Plugins system to share ready-to-use macros and application with the VoiceOne community
* Powerful configuration of mISDN and Zap drivers based hardware
* Java SIP phone embedded
* I/O interface and PBX CLI (Command Line Interface)
* Static-like text editor for conf files

Callware VoiceOne
VoiceOne Demo
Quick Install Guide
Sourceforge Project

Monday, November 20, 2006

Why Skype Business version might not Fly!

Today I came across an article about skype folder pollution, by Skype Numerology. At first, I could not believe what was in the article, 281 folders? What are those programmers at Skype thinking? May be they thought we all are 80 year old grandma's installing skype to call grand children? I think they rely too much on users need to use free calls to do any proper programming or thoughtful arrangement of folders on users computer. May be they too busy hiding what skype is!
Well I am sure, it will not fly with any admin in any respectful business or corporate will allow such pollution on client computers. Imagine the nightmare, if you have to remove Skype, I am sure there will be whole bunch of those left behind.
I have not installed the version 3.0 beta yet. But I will try to install it on one of my virtual machines. For now I have to rely on the information provided bu Skype Numerology.

At the same time SN provides some requests and solutions to the problem. But if I see 281 folders, there are no solutions other than Skype programmers get their act together. Once this information gets out, I would like to see how many network or sys admins will go ahead and install the Skype Business version.

Skype Numerology: Skype Folder Pollution

Fonality acquires (hires) another Open Source resource!

Fonality today announced that it has hired Kerry Garrison, said to be an expert on Asterisk and trixbox as a Senior Product Manager. Garrison is the founder of the and, two educational sites focused on voice over IP and Asterisk software.
I have visited both his sites in my quest to learn as much as possible about Asterisk and was impressed with various resources provided by him. I hope he will not neglect his sites once he start on his new carrier.
Also I hope Fonality puts Garrisons abilities to best use and make the VOIP IP Telephony community a happy one.
“Kerry is a huge addition to our trixbox project. He represents the trixbox community and will insure that the Asterisk ecosystem has an open, stable and easy to use application platform on which to build their businesses,” said Chris Lyman, founder and CEO of Fonality. “I’m very pleased to have him as a part of our organization, and his hire shows our continued commitment to supporting the trixbox project.”
“Kerry is a well-respected Asterisk expert and well-known within the trixbox community. His background brings real-world knowledge of the Asterisk market to the trixbox team,” said Andrew Gillis, founder of trixbox and director of community development at Fonality. “His insider knowledge and technical understanding will help with our goal of making trixbox the number one application platform for open source telephony.”

Links; article on hiring

SunRocket get powerd by GE engine!

Who does not know of GE, everyone here in USA does as it is a household name. I also have seen many a GE stuff in other countries. So it is safer to say, GE is one of the well known global Brands.
So what happens when a company like GE makes and brands the VOIP phone for your VOIP IP Telephony company. My guess is that it will fly like a rocket, or take off like a rocket. I think that is what SunRocket is expecting when the made the announcement on last Friday.
I guess this is good news for SunROcket and for VOIP in General. More the people know about the product, more will be using it. GE is a brand name that even my grand father would recognize. GE has the clout to bring any household product to the forefronts of departmental stores.
This is what SunRocket pres release has to say;
"World's largest manufacturer and distributor of phones combines with one of the fastest growing Internet phone service providers to explore promotional and product opportunities"
"SunRocket, one of the nation's fastest-growing Internet phone service providers, today announced that Thomson, Inc., licensee of the GE brand for telephony products and the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of landline phones, will enter into an agreement to explore various promotional activities to expand the presence of SunRocket's VoIP services."

SunRocket Press release

Remove skype from your computer and use a "portable skype", on any computer.

The Skype, one of the leading VOIP IP Telephony solutions today, has much benefits and drawbacks to a user. Whatever the reason, the popularity of the application, shows that users are satisfied or it is providing whatever VOIP needs a user has.
Then again time and time, many network admins run around trying to find out how to stop skype users. Be it company policies, bandwidth usage or security reasons.
I have written earlier about "remove skype", one of the popular articles;
VOIP IP Telephony: Remove skype, stop skype or detect skype with skypekiller.
But say you want to use skype application but do not want to be /or want to be a skype supernode, then the post;
VOIP IP Telephony: How to be or not to be a skype supernode?
should help.

But how about carrying your skype with you, and sneak past the admins that stopped your skype on your office computer? yes, you need "portable Skype".
The easiest method is to grab a U3 USB stick. U3 drive, according to the U3 sites statement;
"Imagine carrying your software on the same flash drive that carries your files. That’s what you can do with a U3 smart drive. You can plug it into any PC and work, play a game, message friends, send email, edit photos and more. A U3 smart drive makes any PC your own PC. And when you unplug it, it leaves no personal data behind."

U3 sticks are available everywhere now, this weekend I picked up a 2GB for around $45 from OfficeMax. Check your local weekly ad from OfficeMax.

So what is "portable Skype"?, according to the U3 site description;
"Skype is a little piece of software that lets you make free calls to your friends all over the world:

- With superior call quality, Skype is the best ever for talking, laughing and sharing stories through both voice and video.
- You can chat with up to 50 people at the same time, or make conference calls.
- Secure and encrypted communication - nobody’s able to listen in.
- Fast transfer of big files.
- Personalize your Skype — play around with sounds, ringtones and pictures to show the world who you are.

Useful things that cost a little
You can talk to anyone over the Internet for free with Skype, and you’ll always be able to do that. There are some other useful things you can do on Skype that aren’t free (but they’re pretty cheap, actually):

- SkypeOut is a low-cost way to make calls from Skype to traditional landlines or mobile phones or send SMS messages.
- SkypeIn is a phone number so people can call you from traditional phones or mobiles.
- Skype Voicemail takes your calls when you’re busy or offline.
- You can also forward your Skype calls on to mobiles, landlines and other Skype Names.

System Requirements
- U3 smart drive
- Microsoft Windows 2000 / Windows XP"

So get that USB Stick and make your Skype portable, among other things that you can do with 2GB USB stick.
I erased U3 software and loaded Linux, so I can run my Linux desktop, where ever I go!

U3 Portable Skype

Sunday, November 19, 2006 search

There have been many a search for marketingvoip domain. So I went and checked the domains. does not have anything other than advertisements. Looks like a holding page at, a domain registrar, the one I have all my domains registered at. is a voip service provider. This is the blurb on their website. I do not endorse them though, because I don't know them.
"CVirtual is a company of consultancy in Computer science and telecommunications focused in services of Value Added by means of the provisionamiento of products and services of complete technology for the development and implementation of technological projects in Latin America.

Our main seat is in the state of New Jersey. We worked with clients in several countries from Centro and Suramerica to those who we provided devices of networking, services and devices of Telephony by Internet, systems of monitoreo and monitoring via Web. We counted on but of 6 years in the commercialization of calls by Internet in agreement with several Carriers important and of recognized name world-wide level. Offering to our users the best tariffs, quality and service. "

Visit the site and find about it yourself. Site is available in english and Spanish. The link is for the English site.

Faxing with Asterisk, using Asterfax

I was looking at various faxing solutions for Asterisk IPPBX. This also includes the famous Trixbox. I am sure it is also possible to use the solution on any other Asterisk based IPPBX or VOIP IP Telephony solution.
The article seems to be a bit long from the outlook and I am thinking of splitting the post in to two or three. I will decide as I go along.
Asterfax? what is it?
AsterFax is an email to fax gateway for the transmission of faxes using Asterisk. Build on the services provided by Asterisk to provide a full fledged email based Fax Gateway. Notice, it is email to fax gateway!
Asterfax is a product of Asterisk I.T, an Asterisk support, development and deployment company.
Asterfax is free for a single fax line but needs a license if you are planing to use more than one fax line.

What that translates is with AsterFax and Asterisk you can send faxes from your desktop using your standard email client without have to install any software on your desktop.

AsterFax can translate a normal email message into a fax message. You simply enter the destination phone number in the 'To' address, compose your email message and click send. Its that easy. AsterFax also supports a growing number of file formats such as Tiff, PDF, postscript, MS-Word, MS-Excel and the OpenOffice Writer. You can either attach the file to your email message or for applications such as MS-Word and OpenOffice you can fax directly from the applications by using the 'Send Email' option. The resulting email is sent as a fax message.If any errors occure during the transmission a error report is sent to your inbox.

Another feature is that one could preview how the fax will look by sending email to the special 'preview' address, which simply formats the message ready for transmission and then sends it back to you via email for previewing before the fax is sent.
In addition to the file formats listed above, AsterFax is also extensible in that you can easily add support for additional file formats via the AsterFax.xml configuration file providing that can convert your required file format to one of the supported file formats such as PDF or tiffg3 supported by Atafax. Astafax plans to add Additional file formats in the near future.

For the technically minded AsterFax is written in pure Java and utilizes the Asterisk Manager API to submit jobs and uses external applications to perform the conversion of attachments to the required tiff format for transmission.

AsterFax includes a simple standalone SMTP gateway which handles the receipt of emails. AsterFax is not a complete SMTP gateway in that it will only accept messages which are to be faxed. Alternatively AsterFax can be integrated with your existing SMTP server (Sendmail. Postfix, Exchange Server) by way of tools such as Procmail.

AsterFax currently requires trixbox (has spandsp already) or Asterisk with the spandsp (txfax, rxfax) extensions installed.

Current Astafax features:
Built as an extension to Asterisk.
Support for inbound and outbound faxes
Integrated SMTP gateway provides a simple one stop install.
Support for a number of file formats including: Tiffg3, Postscript, PDF, Word, Excel, OpenOffice Writer.
Preview mode allows previewing of rendered faxes.
Support for multiple Asterisk Channels as well as group channels (e.g. Zap/g0).
Send faxes without specialized Fax Modems (just use your existing Asterisk/Digium hardware).
Send faxes directly from applications such as MS-Word and OpenOffice Writer
Client does not require any software other than a standard Email client.
Send standard email (text or html) as fax or attach a Word, PDF, Writer etc.. for transmission as a fax.
Email body is the Coversheet for attachments
Send multiple attachments in a single fax.
Send to multiple recipients in a single message by providing multiple 'To' addresses.
No special formatting required in the email.
Extensible support for additional file formats via simple xml configuration file.
Built-in test suite to aid in configuration and installation.
Automatic Archiving of all faxes to a designated mailbox.
Automatic Delivery receipts.
Customizable routing of inbound and outbound faxes to specific file system locations, e-mail addresses and more.

Simple Usage Scenario.
Addressing a Fax
When sending a fax the destination phone is entered in the to 'To' address of the email. The format of the 'To' address should be of the form:
where should be replaced with the destination phone number. Note: the phone number may not includes spaces nor any other non-numeric characters i.e. it may only contain digits. The phone number does NOT require you to enter the dial prefix digit (9 or 0 typically) to get an external line .
So if you are trying to send a fax to the phone number 555 1234 the 'To' address should be:

Note: it is important to remove any spaces from the phone number as per the following examples of good and bad formats.
5551234@fax.local - good
555 1234@fax.local - bad
555-1234@fax.local - bad

Sending a Fax
When you want to send a fax simply compose your email as per normal with the exception of the 'To' address. The To address should contain the destination phone number as above.AsterFax supports both plain text and HTML formatted messages.

Receiving Faxes
When AsterFax receives a facsimile it forwards the fax as an e-mail attachment to a configured list of addresses.
Asterisk must be set-up to handle faxes with RxFax and the list of e-mail addresses must be configured into AsterFax.

AsterFax can also send a file attachment such as an MS-Word document as a fax. If you attach a supported file type to an email message, AsterFax will send the file using the body of your email as a cover sheet. AsterFax will only send the first supported attachment that it finds. All other attachments will be ignored.

Faxing from within applications.
Microsoft Word
You can send a fax directly from within Microsoft Word. Compose your Word document as per normal. When ready click the File menu and then the Send option and finally the Send as Attachment menu item. Enter the phone number in the 'To' address as described above and click the Send button.

Open Office Writer
You can send a fax directly from within OpenOffice Writer. Compose your Writer document as per normal. When ready click the File menu and then the Send option option and finally the 'Document as Email' menu item. When your email client opens enter the phone number in the 'To' address as described above and click the Send button.

Previewing a fax
If your not certain what the resulting fax will look like you can request that AsterFax send you a preview rather than transmitting the file.
If you specify the word 'preview' in the 'To' address rather than a phone number then AsterFax will generate the fax ready for transmission; however instead of faxing the message, AsterFax will send you an email containing the rendered Tiff file. You can then preview the Tiff file to make certain it looks OK before you send it. Of course you will need a Tiff viewer unless you email client has one built in (which most do).


Multiple Recipients
AsterFax can also deal with multiple recipients, so if you need to send a single fax message to multiple fax machines go ahead and add the additional 'To' addresses.

Delivery Receipts
Depending on how system administrator has configured AsterFax you will either automatically receive a delivery receipt upon the successful transmission of the fax or you may request a Delivery Receipt. If AsterFax is not configured for automatic delivery of delivery receipts then you can request a receipt using your email clients standard 'Return Receipt' feature. In the case of an problem occurring AsterFax will send you an email regardless of whether you have the 'Return Receipt' option selected or not.

So next post will be about installing and configuring Asterfax.

Asterisk IPPBX
Asterisk I.T

Gold's Gyms quest for VOIP Upgrade

I was reading an article on computer world today, It was a good article and shows how short sighted some people could be in their quest to hit the front line of technology. I think it is a good read if you are in anyway involved in technology at your company. It also shows how important to know your environment and your stock of technology and devices you have in place.
One thing I always tell people, if you have to anything that involves more than 25 device deployments, have a pilot, specially in the cases of VOIP or DATA networks. How ever funny it seems to be, you will come out a star after the full deployment. You can show those who laughed at you all the things that you attended or fixed.
So have a read how Gold's gym messed up a simple deployment with the aid of Quest. So before you run out and sign those contracts, take a deep breath, read them over and over, again.
Computer worlds The good bad and the ugly and the ugly of a VOIP Implementation

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Skype combines FON to give "SMC Wi-Fi Phone Pack"

A new package made out of old stuff, "SMC Wi-Fi Phone Package" that merges the SMC WSKP100 handset, Fon's La Fonera router, 500 SkypeOut minutes, and a full year of Skype voicemail, all for $160. What a good Voip Ip Telephony deal? or is it?

The SMC WSKP100 is a nice phone in the likes of a mobile phone and I first read about it on Reg-hardware. If you need to know more about it, follow the link given below.
The La Fonera, made a quite a stir when the offered it at $5! subsidized. As Gizmodo puts it "FON is that company that lets you hop other FON user hotspots, in exchange
for making your hotspot open, too. Their new hardware, dubbed La Fonera, which literally translated means "The Winged Mallard Flies at Midnight." We wrote about it a few months ago, but they're available now."

I was interested but did not feel like sharing my line with college kids around me, let Google do it when they launch the Wi-Fi in San Francisco. But I guess it would be a quite good addition to various devices cluttering your computer,router,Modem, and what else attached to your network. I will poit you to Gizmodo to read more about La Fonera.
It seems a good deal butyou need to give a free skype call to skype to find out what happens at the end of the 12 months regarding the free voice mail.

Here is the scoop from Skype site;

Manufacturer's Description:

Everything you need to make Skype calls without a computer. The Wifi package includes:

* SMC WiFi Phone
* 500 SkypeOut minutes to call landlines and mobile phones
* 12 months of Skype Voicemail
* WiFi Router*
Key features:

* Make Skype calls without a computer
* Enjoy free Skype-to-Skype calls with complete mobility
* Use Skype in any open wireless network in the world
* Use your existing Skype account
* Light and simple design, with the Skype software pre-installed

WiFi Router
La Fonera is a tiny wireless router. It allows you to securely and fairly share your WiFi with FON, the largest WiFi community in the world, and get your own private encrypted connection.

* Your free FON router will be shipped separately from your WiFi phone. For any question related to the shipment of the router, please email:

La Fonera on Gizmodo

SMC WSKP100 on REG-Hardware
Skype deal

Friday, November 17, 2006

Google Click2call lets you Click on Google Maps to call

Despite all the hoaxes, discussions and wondering, Google Click2call is alive and doing well. Sometime back, I read on Om Malik's weblog about this same issue. He stated that "Strange development on Google’s official blog which indicated that Google’s click-to-call project was canceled. Many readers including Aswath had pointed out that it was a hoax. We have updated the previous post to reflect that, and have also closed the comments on the previous post."
Anyway it turned out to be a hoax.
But just to make things clear, There is an article on Google Official weblog about the new developments with Google Click2call.
Ming Zeng of Google Maps team tell us how he found Blue Xmas lights using Google Click2call!
It works like this on the Google maps;
Search for a business, like a hardware store, on Google Maps, and click the 'call' link next to its phone number. This is on the left hand column of the map search page.(see the picture). Then, enter your phone number and click 'Connect For free.' Google calls your phone number and automatically connects you to the hardware store.
I would say great. Because I prefer to click than typing, whether on a keyboard or on the phone.
According to Ming's post, the business's phone number is automatically stored in your caller ID, when you make the first call, so you can easily call back in the future. And by checking the box to remember your phone number, you can make future calls from Google Maps with just two mouse clicks.
So who pays for this? Ming has the answer for this as well.
"We're providing the 'call' link as a free service to all businesses. These aren't ads and don't influence the ranking of businesses in the search results. We foot the bill for calls (local and long distance), but airtime fees or other mobile fees will still apply if you use a mobile phone number. Currently, the calling feature works if you live in the U.S. and are looking for a business located in the U.S."

You can learn more about this feature at Google Maps help page. The link is provided below.

Click on Google Maps to call
Om Malik's article.
Google Maps Click2call help

Thursday, November 16, 2006

SMB plus VOIP is SIPxNANO from Pingtel

Pingtel has teamed up with Patton Electronics to create SIPxNANO, a small, mac mini style, IPPBX designed for small businesses with no more than 30 extension needs.
Although it is small in size, it is designed to deliver enterprise class, SIP based VOIP IP Telephony to SMBs. The hardware consists of Patton's NanoServ ultra compact server technology. The software is based on Pingtels SIPxChange ECS and tailored to fit the hardware.
This combination is able to provide, Integrated voice mail, email, auto attendants, IVR, and web based configuration and management at a low cost. According to the information, the SIPxNANO is compatible with industry standard IP Telephony devices. So it is plug, configure and play for most of the IP phones.
From the other devices on the market, SMB targeted devices in this class are not feature set similar to SIPxNANO. They are manufactured to wet the appetite and if the user to ask for any of the mentioned features, they are asked to upgrade to the next level, enterprise IPPBXs.
SIPxNANO seems to fill a void created by other manufactures themselves at a low cost and a small space in the hardware closet.

Feature list from Patton;
Full Function Enterprise PBX -- Complete call control, voicemail and administrative systems.

Drives Intra-Enterprise Calling Costs Down -- All voice traffic is transported as data across your data connection on the enterprise IP network.

Geographically Unified Calling Features -- All employees with an Internet connection can have access to the same PBX features from any location.

Easy to Use System Configuration -- Full system and user administration via web interface.

Voice mail and Email Integration -- Sends your voice mail to your email.

Web-Based Self-Administration -- Users can specify call forwarding, call routing and voice mail preferences through the web interface.

Pingtel SIPxNANO
Patton Electronics

Canada de-regulates VoIP

Uh-Oh Canada: You’re about to deregulate VoIP by ZDNet's Russell Shaw -- Yesterday, the Canadian federal government announced it would overrule that nation's CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission) and de-regulate VoIP. Last year, the CRTC regulated VoIP by enacting pricing restrictions on traditional telephone companies and the rates they were able to charge without regulatory approval. The fear was that in a regulation-free environment, these services [...]

Russel has some views on this act by Cannadian Government. Is it good or bad, Read the article and you decide.

Now you can have a Degree on VOIP IP Telephony

VOIP News reports that Rochester Institute of Technology will be offering a course in VOIP IP Telephony in their applied network and system administration, software engineering, information technology and computer science. Way t go VOIP, and way to go VOIP News.

VOIP News Article.

IHT's Kevin discusses Skype and Ebay culture.

Kevin O'Brien at International Herald Tribune has written a lengthy but good article about Skype and Skype business at Ebay. "Waiting For Skype to Pay Off Ebay". He brings good and bad information about culture clashes, stiff headed managements and more than doubled Skype users (free skype downloads) together to paint a nice picture.
Once you read the article, you may wonder where Skype is going. It will certainly will not go out of business but the question arises as to if they could make a proper business out of Skype. Where Skype would become a day to day word in corporate world.
Andy Abramson over at VOIP WATCH, who lead me to the IHT article mentions hiring Michael Robertson in as president, (Michael is the guy who got you Lindows (Hey Micheal where is my PC?) and then Linspire and Freespire. He also has the SIPphone and MP3tunes under his arms now. SIPphone I think came from somewhere in France a while ago. But one thing is for sure, Andy is right and Michael is a sure footed business man. Skype will go ways if Micheal is at the helm. Thanks Andy for putting Disruptive thoughts in my mind.
IHT Kevin O'Brien's article
Andy's IHT on Skype
Micheal's Minute

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

VOIP News publishes 50 Most influential people in VOIP for 2007.

Although many of people I admire, made to the list, see the end of the article for the my list out of VOIP News list. I think the list is not complete, not in anyway closer. But I consider this to be a stirrer. Missed out names will surface from the mire. The task of even attempting to create a such a list is admirable. Knowing very well that this will bring out praise and admonition.
One thing is for sure, people and things on the list are connected to VOIP IP Telephony in one way or the other. But the number one, Asterisk Community, I agree with the creators. But they left out other outfits like SER and OpenSER. May be I don't know what I am talking about! In that case where is the TrixBox? may be if the list was 100 most influential, they might have made it.
The item 2, 3 skip, don't bother to even notice. I would replace those with reed, bend along with wind, wherever it blows.
The Gorillas list, I would skip that too. But read it, you might get to know some names in big companies.
Now comes the list. Start reading carefully from number 13, follow the links if you have not visited those people or sites before. I like most of this list and they do make VOIP get further either through their efforts or creativity.
The other interesting part of the list starts from #26. Now if you are bored, read number 21 for a laugh!
From number 26-38, I like all of them, Thanks VOIP news. VOIP Security, VOIP News teams are all good but I like the mention of VOIP-INFO.ORG in the VOIP communities list.
So at the end I ended up with 32 PEOPLE from the list. So if I listed all it would be fair by the creators of the list. So I decided to guide along to the list, so you can decide for yourself.
VOIP News' list

Asterisk + Outlook = Outcall

Bicom Systems, which is a provider of PBX and soft switch turn key solutions, has released it's application OUTCALL, an outlook integration solution for Asterisk.
Bicom Systems announced today it has released its first freeware software to the “Asterisk Community”, OutCall. This is to be the first of similar releases of proprietary tools that can assist users with getting the most out of Asterisk and will also be released as freeware.

“Bicom Systems uses a variety of closed and open source software in its telephony systems. OutCall is an easy to use and install desktop application that assists users to integrate Microsoft Outlook™.” with use of making/receiving phone calls. OutCall was built for the purpose of working with PBXware that is Bicom Systems’ turnkey IPPBX and best results are to be had with PBXware. Nonetheless OutCall will work perfectly well with any Asterisk based system and integrate that system with Microsoft Outlook™.” said Stephen Wingfield, Bicom Systems.

OutCALL application is designed for integration with MS Outlook giving users powerful tools at hand placing and receiving calls. OutCALL features are:

Integration with one or unlimited system extensions (SIP/IAX)
Automatic integration with Microsoft Outlook 2000 and higher
Call History
Real time call notifications via pop windows
Placing calls within Outlook, email message or contact
Automatic contacts data update
Automatic application updates notifications
Clear debug information
Full PBXware / SWITCHware or vanilla asterisk integration
Also Developer/partner editions available

Asterisk outlook integration OutCall

Install Asterisk 1.4 and Asterisk GUI afterwards.

AstRecipes had two recipes for Asterisk users or budding Asterisk users. (And one more if you need to uninstall older Asterisk). The document carries one through steps needed to install new Asterisk 1.4 on your box. According to the document the installation / compilation is a bit different from the Asterisk 1.2.
The icing on the cake is that this allows you to install Asterisk IPPBX on a box already populated wit TrixBox!
It is also advised that you remove Asterisk (older version) before attempting to install/ compile the new version. The tutorial uses the following versions of the application;
Asterisk Version 1.4.0-beta3
Zaptel Version 1.4.0-beta2
Libpri Version 1.4.0-beta1

Once that is done you can install the new ajax gui for the embedded web server on the Asterisk server / machine. Here too yo are guided through necessary routes get the application installed and to look at your Asterisk 1.4, through your favorite web browser.

Install Asterisk 1.4 (beta)
Install Asterisk GUI
Remove Asterisk

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