Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SwitchVox Integrates with SugarCRM, Salesforce.com® and Google Maps to support SMBs

San Diego, CA – July 30, 2007 – Switchvox, a leading provider of IP PBX phone systems for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), today announced the availability of Switchvox SMB v3.0, the latest version of its IP PBX that now supports real-time sales and customer service applications.

Switchvox customers can now analyze and manage sales leads through Switchboard panels designed to work directly with their customer relationship management (CRM) programs. Detailed information from SugarCRM and Salesforce.com automatically pop-up on incoming calls via the Switchboard, Switchvox's real-time call control panel, eliminating the burden of having to access records manually. The integration of Google Maps makes it easy to identify the location of inbound calls, helping to more easily adapt to potential leads.

Switchvox SMB v3.0 also features customizable Switchboard panels, where developers have access to a toolkit and the ability to build custom panels to fit the specific needs of the business. Additional features include:

  • Integration with external voicemail servers: Switchvox now has support for third-party, SIP-based voicemail servers, like those made by Esnatech
  • Sound packs: allows organizations to select from professionally recorded male and female voices that best complement their business
  • Upgraded operating system: increased capacity to handle more concurrent calls with faster hardware systems
  • Firedialer 2.0 upgrade: now includes automatic updates and support for local and international numbers
"With the integration of key CRM applications, our SMB customers are able to take the guess work out of their sales strategy. They now have the ability to manage incoming and outbound lead generation, and even locate prospects with Google Maps," said Joshua Stephens, CEO of Switchvox. "This is a key element that had been lacking in the industry which allows smaller businesses to take full advantage of communications technologies available to them in one simple package."

Switchvox builds its products from open source software and uses open standards. The company's products are sold as turnkey solutions that include server hardware and pre-installed Switchvox software. Switchvox provides an easy-to-use and manage system that allows companies to make calls using traditional analog lines, as well as VoIP services.

The new Switchboard panels for SugarCRM, Salesforce.com and Google Maps integration are available immediately and free of charge for a limited time. Switchvox SMB starts at $2,495 and can be purchased from Switchvox directly or through its network of channel partners. Further information on Switchvox can be found at www.switchvox.com. Information on the Switchvox reseller program can be found at www.switchvox.com/resellers.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Pre Unified Communications unplugged , OCS 2007 Tour!

A comment on VOIP IP Telephony: Office Communications Server 2007, (OCS/2007) what is it? lead me to a post by Eileen Brown at Technet Blogs, Where I found a gem of post about OCS/2007, well a bunch of gems.
I think if you have tiniest interest in OCS 2007 or Unified Communications, you should watch some of the videos she has presented. You will find two Field Engineers and a Consultant guiding you through the turns and corners of the product.
Thank Eileen, for the comment and the post.
Here is her own words about the post;
"We filmed several sessions recently on Unified Communications and we've put them all up on IT's Showtime. All of them talk about OCS 2007, presence, management and voice. If you're planning to move forwards with VOIP they're well worth a look at to give you a good understanding of the product. Dave (from MCS) Andy and Duane (from PFE) cover loads of ground in these modules."

OCS 2007 videos on IT's showtime

The most wired college wins with Avaya's intelligent communications networking

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., July 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As the most wired college in the U.S. plots its technology future, new intelligent communications networking and applications give Villanova University a powerful, flexible foundation to further its vision and provide a wealth of new capabilities today. The new Avaya and Extreme Networks IP telephony network now links 60 buildings on Villanova's Philadelphia campus. It was delivered in less than two months by Empire Technologies, a Platinum- certified BusinessPartner for Avaya Inc. , a leading global provider of business communications applications, software and services.

In December 2006, PC Magazine and The Princeton Review ranked Villanova first among the Top 20 Wired Colleges in the nation. With new intelligent communications capabilities -- including converged networking, unified communications and contact center applications -- the university now is extending its technology leadership and improving campus safety.

"Villanova has a reputation for understanding how advancements in technology can assist in the development and delivery of high-quality education for our students," said Robert Mays, director, Networking Communications, Villanova University. "When we needed to upgrade to next- generation communications capabilities, we knew we needed partners who could provide a flexible, resilient solution that would serve us now and for years to come. The new network, new applications and the Avaya, Empire and Extreme Networks team have delivered just what Villanova required."

Networking for the future, managing costs today

Based on industry-leading Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software and Extreme Networks switches, the highly available network incorporates Quality of Service capabilities to protect communication applications. Since the solution features integrated management between Avaya phones and Extreme Networks switches and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to provide power to IP handsets, Villanova gains a solution that precisely fits current requirements and takes the university into the future. Over time, data traffic will be migrated to the same network as well, giving the university a single, converged infrastructure that can support voice, data and video.

The network currently supports a mix of 3,500 IP, digital and analog phones, allowing Villanova to use the type most practical for a given use and location. For example, feature-rich IP or SIP phones are used by staff members and will be incorporated into all new buildings. Simpler analog phones are used in dormitory halls and other public areas.

"This converged platform has enormous, long-term value as well as more immediate benefits for greater collaboration," said Steve Fugale, CIO, Villanova. "The implementation couldn't have been any smoother, and the working relationship between Villanova, Avaya, Empire and Extreme has been that way since Day One. We are very pleased with both the technology and the team that's been driven to make this a success."

Better access through unified communications and customer service applications

With the new network in place, Villanova now is incorporating unified communications applications that represent a giant step forward from standalone voice and email messaging. Avaya Modular Messaging will enable faculty and staff to access messages at any time, from anywhere, over a wide array of devices. With an Avaya one-X Speech voice user interface that integrates with Microsoft Outlook, they will be able to access and manage critical business tools hands-free by calling a single number and speaking simple voice commands into the phone. For example, they can tell the virtual personal assistant to organize, read and help compose e-mails, check and schedule appointments and reach contacts quickly and easily using the power of their voice. In addition, voice mail messages will be visible in and manageable from their email inbox. New presence capabilities will eliminate time-consuming phone tag by showing employees who is in the office and free to take their call, and they can "click-to-dial" a colleague from their buddy list.

When the new semester begins this fall, callers will be greeted with speech-driven menus that allow them to reach the proper department and to access directories or other standard information. Potential and current students, parents, alumni and sponsors will find inquiries to the Bursar, Admissions and Development offices handled more efficiently with Avaya contact center applications, including Avaya Contact Center Express. Eventually the same offices will be able to route multi-channel communications directly to the appropriate staff member, just like phone calls are today.

Safer and more secure through intelligent communications

Improving campus safety is of paramount concern for virtually every university. Villanova's new system provides a number of significant enhancements, including E911 capabilities that link directly to municipal emergency communications operations. E911 enables first responders to identify exactly where on campus an emergency call originates, saving valuable time when help is needed. Whenever an emergency call is made or a fire alarm is activated, crisis alert capabilities in Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software automatically notify designated on-campus personnel via pagers, desktop and mobile phones and PCs.

"The Avaya and Extreme Networks platform is already giving us the flexibility we need for improved access and campus safety," said Mays. "It opens the door to easy integration with hundreds -- if not thousands -- of solutions from Avaya DeveloperConnection members like Meru Networks, Nuance and others, helping us get more out of our communications investment."

Villanova University Charts Technology Future with Avaya Intelligent Communications and Extreme Networks Infrastructure

FCC will Rule on Wireless Auction on 31st of July

The Federal Communications Commission will set the rules tomorrow governing the auction of $15 billion of public airwaves, a decision with stakes so high that the major U.S. cellular carriers and Google have spent millions of dollars on a lobbying campaign in an attempt to influence the outcome. The decision could dramatically alter the nation's cellphone industry.
Read the two page report at Washington Post.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Will FreePBX 2.3 be final soon?

I am sure in no time. The developer team at FreePBX has been at it since I got to know them a long while ago. The Version 2.3Beta2 has been released but I am still on Beta1 on two my locations. I will be upgrading to Beta2 this coming week. As it always has been, I do not expect to be faced with major challenges.
I was reading about the 2.3Beta 2 release and noticed the answer to above question answered in this post; FreePBX® 2.3.0beta2 - When will it be final?
So after going through the weekly review, Philippe says that RC1 or release candidate 1 might reach us soon! Thank FreePBX team!

Visual DialPlan for Asterisk, a new beta ready for testing.

If you are like me, setting up dial plans has been one of the trivial task of setting up and deploying Asterisk. I have now seen the light. After Daily Asterisk News directed me to the Apstel's Visual Dial Plan, I am feeling better about creating and using dial plans.
I down loaded the application, which is in beta and I have not registered yet. But the trial version is so promising that I wonder if we need to call it a beta.
Of course I did not have time to go through all the variables of the program but I intent do do so. But I did go through the provided sample applications and so far I did not have to use help!, which is also very extensive, just by looking at it.
One more good thing about the application and beta testing, If you register for beta testing and if you are accepted, you might end up with a free copy of final product!. (The Visual Dial Plan is not a open source product.)
Here is what Apstel tell what Visual Dial Plan is;
"Visual Dialplan for Asterisk® is revolutionary visual modeling platform that enables Asterisk users and consultants to create, maintain and test dialplan in an easy, fast, convenient and natural way.

Take advantage and comfort of windows user interface with drag and drop capabilities, use predefined samples (templates) and components, and validate Asterisk dialplan without even deploying it at the Asterisk box. Simply model it, don't code!"

Go here to apply for beta testing.

Daily Asterisk news is now on a new domain, Venturevoip.com

Matt Ridell over at Sineapps have mentioned that he is moving the Daily Asterisk News over to his new business domain, VentureVoip.com.
Today I visited the new news site, no difference, good information, as usual. So it is time to pay a visit!

SunRocket Countdown has began!

What is this? We all thought that we are done with Sunrocket by now. But Tom Keating posted about "SunRocket 10 Day Countdown"! So if you are a SunRocket customer and blissfully unaware of that your service provider does not exist, (Teleblend is taking care of the back haul of SunRocket customers and keeping lines open at their cost")
So head over to VoIP and Gadgets and read the letter from SunRocket!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

TeleBlend snaps Sunrocket assets. Offers lower rates with old numbers

As reported by Narayan Bhat of TMC and Russell Shaw of ZDNet, Teleblend has acquired strategic assets of SunRocket, the now defunct VoIP provider. According to the Teleblend site, now the SunRocket customers will be able to keep their old numbers as well as receive service for discount;
SunRocket Subscribers! The best value in Internet phone service is still available. TeleBlend Internet phone service offers you outstanding customer service along with all of the products and features of SunRocket. We have already been successful in getting your services restored and ready to go. Included is a special offer only available to SunRocket customers. Until the end of your annual contract, TeleBlend will give you the exact same services you know and love for only $12.95/month. (if no annual contract, the fee will be $19.95 a month)

Take advantage of:
• No startup costs
• FREE activation
• USE your existing hardware
• FREE and quick transfer of your current number
• UNLIMITED calling to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico

The terms and conditions could be found here.

Skype has been found guilty of violating the GNU GPL

Skype has been found guilty of violating the GNU General Public License (GPL) by a Munich, Germany regional court, a decision likely to influence the way companies approach GPL compliance in the future.

The decision found that Skype had violated the GPL by the way it distributed a voice over IP (VoIP) handset, the SMCWSKP100, which incorporates the GPL-covered Linux kernel in its firmware.

The phone is manufactured by SMC, the target of a separate case that hasn't yet been decided, but the court noted that Skype was liable to fulfill the conditions of the GPL because it sold the phone on its website.

The decision reinforces that companies must adhere to the conditions of the GPL just as with any other contract, and that "inaccuracies" aren't to be allowed, according to the court.

It also emphasizes that organizations can be held liable for GPL violations even if they are simply distributing a product and don't themselves manufacture it.

Another implication is in the fact that neither of the two companies involved is German -- Skype being based in Luxembourg and SMC in Spain. The decision shows that companies may be held liable for GPL violations in any country, even if the GPL isn't upheld in their home country.

The case was brought by gpl-violations.org, a German organization run by open source software developer Harald Welte, which aims to force companies to take the GPL seriously.
Heise English

Worlds Fastest Broadband Connection demoed at 40GB

A 75 year old woman from Karlstad in central Sweden has been thrust into the IT history books - with the world's fastest internet connection.
Sigbritt Löthberg's home has been supplied with a blistering 40 Gigabits per second connection, many thousands of times faster than the average residential link and the first time ever that a home user has experienced such a high speed.
"This is more than just a demonstration," said network boss Hafsteinn Jonsson.
"As a network owner we're trying to persuade internet operators to invest in faster connections. And Peter Löthberg wanted to show how you can build a low price, high capacity line over long distances," he told The Local.
Sigbritt will now be able to enjoy 1,500 high definition HDTV channels simultaneously. Or, if there is nothing worth watching there, she will be able to download a full high definition DVD in just two seconds.
The secret behind Sigbritt's ultra-fast connection is a new modulation technique which allows data to be transferred directly between two routers up to 2,000 kilometres apart, with no intermediary transponders.
According to Karlstad Stadsnät the distance is, in theory, unlimited - there is no data loss as long as the fibre is in place.
"I want to show that there are other methods than the old fashioned ways such as copper wires and radio, which lack the possibilities that fibre has," said Peter Löthberg, who now works at Cisco.
"The most difficult part of the whole project was installing Windows on Sigbritt's PC," said Jonsson.linux_enguin
Sweden's News in English

Friday, July 27, 2007

ShoreTel in Unified Communications Horizon.

LONDON, July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ShoreTel(TM), Inc. , a leading provider of enterprise IP solutions, today announced its distribution agreement with Horizon Solutions. The distribution partnership will enable Horizon to sell ShoreTel's IP telephony solutions as a key component in its new Unified Communications (UC) offering.

Horizon Solutions is Horizon UK's division responsible for developing and delivering the group's UC strategy. It's the only distributor to have a specialized UC program with centralized resources that provides the seamless deployment of voice, video and data -- all unified within a common, simple management interface. Working with ShoreTel, the new strategy will lower costs, increase productivity and deliver business advantages to both vendors and resellers. ShoreTel's IP telephony solution will enhance the voice and video capability of Horizon's UC business group.

Horizon sees ShoreTel as an open, distributed architecture, which fits with the company's expansion plans. "We have selected ShoreTel as a fundamental part of our UC strategy. ShoreTel's IP telephony solution is reliable, scalable, feature rich, and a profitable and in-demand product for resellers," said Joel Chimondes, business unit manager at Horizon Solutions. "We are looking forward to working with ShoreTel."

"We see Horizon as a key partner is growing our business in the UK," said Steve Timmerman, vice president of marketing at ShoreTel. "Horizon has a strong position in the enterprise market and is a valuable partner for ShoreTel."

     Press Contacts:
Kim Rose K.C. Du Fay
ShoreTel, Inc. Sterling Communications, Inc.
408-331-3357 415-392-2300
krose@shoretel.com kcdufay@sterlingpr.com

ShoreTel Grows Its Unified Communications Channel

Office Communications Server 2007, (OCS/2007) what is it?

OCS/2007 has been released for manufacturing by Microsoft. It is usually two to three weeks after a product is released to RTM, we could expect to see to product on the shelves for sale.
At its annual financial analysts meeting taking place Thursday, Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft’s business division, said the development of Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 and the Office Communicator 2007 client is complete, and they will be released to manufacturing (RTM) Friday.

So what is this OCS/2007? If you did not know, Network World has a good explanation but the same magazine says that OCS need to grow up! I think as usual Microsoft will feed it after selling it to customers.

* Voice-over-IP: OCS/2007 basically is a Voice-over-IP phone system that allows you to install the Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 client software and have a softphone for incoming and outgoing telephony communications. There are hardware phones coming out on the market to coincide with the release of OCS/2007 that will allow organizations the ability to replace physical phones with either Voice-over-IP phones or with softphones for OCS

* Instant Messaging: OCS/2007 is the replacement of Live Communications Server 2005 (LCS). LCS was Microsoft’s instant messaging system, now OCS takes over that server role

* Application Sharing: OCS/2007 also allows sharing of apps among users in an organization, similar to Live Meeting or WebEx, however instead of having to pay a fee per session on an externally hosted app sharing system, OCS/2007 allows an org to host their own sessions (note: I’m asked all the time whether OCS/2007 can completely replace WebEx type services, and the answer I give is “OCS 2007 can typically replace 80-90% of an organization’s external hosted provider application sharing needs as OCS/2007 is extremely easy to use for typical 5-10 user online meetings. However when you are trying to do an online meeting with hundreds of users from all over the world both internal and external users, a Live Meeting or WebEx hosted solution is a better fit for those occasions”)

* Video Conference: OCS/2007 also allows for video conferencing, and not just one to one sessions like NetMeeting used to do, but also one to many, and many to many video conferences

* Presence: You’ll hear this a lot about OCS/2007 integration with Office 2003 / 2007 and SharePoint is the concept of “presence” that is built in to OCS/2007. Basically OCS/2007 knows when a user is logged on and active on their system, so at any point a user can see whether someone is “online”, “out of office”, “busy” and a user can right click on another user’s name and start an email, open up a IM session, initiative a video or audio conference, or make a Voice-over-IP phone call to the person.

Burma bans a VoIP Service

The Burmese military junta has banned the use of the popular Internet telephony, Mediaring Talk, an online telephone enabled overseas telecommunication system, which was available at cheap rates, sources in Rangoon said.

Mediaring Talk was banned by Burma's Ministry of Communication, Post & Telegraph as of mid-July, said an official working at one of Rangoon's internet cafes, the Cyber World.

Read the article by Nem Davies
Mizzima News

Ofcom (UK) VoIP providers should provide 999 emergency service

Similar to 911 and e911 services in the USA, the British counter part 999 now requires VoIP providers to provide e999 services.

Ofcom today published proposals to require certain types of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers to allow users to call 999 by early 2008. This follows research revealing that as many as 78% of VoIP users who cannot use their service to call 999 thought they could, or did not know whether they could.

Ofcom proposes that any VoIP service allowing users to make calls to ordinary phone numbers must also offer access to 999.

Ofcom wants to ensure that users of mainstream VoIP services do not suffer as a result of trying to dial 999 using a service that does not offer them access. If they had to then locate an ordinary landline or mobile phone, users might face a delay of seconds or minutes in getting through to emergency services, which could prove critical.

Some VoIP providers – for example, BT and Vonage - already allow users access to 999. For other VoIP providers, Ofcom estimates the cost of allowing their users to call 999 is likely to be around ninety pence per household per year.

Confusion and lack of access

Ofcom’s research shows that only 64% of UK households with VoIP use a supplier that provides 999 access.

VoIP services are increasingly adopting the look and feel of traditional telephones, which increases the risk of confusion as to whether or not users have access to 999.

There are four main types of VoIP services:

  • ‘Peer-to-peer’ services that make and receive calls to other PCs and connected devices (Type 1);
  • ‘VoIP Out’ services which allow users to make calls to ordinary phone numbers but not receive them (Type 2);
  • ‘VoIP In’ services which allow users to receive calls from ordinary phone numbers but not make them (Type 3); and
  • Full-service VoIP which allows users to make and receive calls to and from ordinary phone numbers (Type 4).

Under Ofcom’s proposals, providers of types 2 and 4 services would be required to offer access to emergency services.

Unlike other telecoms services, VoIP is not bound by national borders. That is partly why these measures are reflective of current initiatives underway across the EU. Ofcom is working closely with other European regulators to ensure that VoIP providers enjoy the maximum degree of regulatory consistency possible.

The deadline for responses is 20 September 2007. The consultation, along with accompanying research, can be found at http://www.ofcom.org.uk.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lessons Learned about real life in VoIP World

Sometimes good people can teach one a lesson, specially when one is somewhat juvenile and not examining something deep enough. My friend Solarion warned that I will have to write this someday and sooner would have been better! Today I had another reason!
Good Person = Tom Keating
How = By being a gentleman
the other one who learned the lesson = me!
The rest is for you to find out.

I think that is enough for a VoIP Blog ;)

Clustered Asterisk with BioCluster

With promises and road maps to cluster anything that could be clustered as well as traditionally unclusterble devices, BioCluster peer-to-peer clustering engine, has come out with Asterisk Cluster solution.

BioCluster now in beta, is a peer-to-peer clustering platform for Asterisk, the Open Source PBX. It is meant to be installed on several machines together with Asterisk, and turns them into a VoIP cluster, which can then be managed as a whole, with data replicated across it. Thus there is no single point of failure, and machines can be easily added or removed from the cluster.

BioCluster Features

Among the features that BioCluster Free Edition 1.0 Beta supports are:

  • SIP extensions
  • Trunks: SIP, IAX2, Zap
  • Priority routes
  • Dialplan editing
  • IVR
  • User roles
  • Call recording
  • Music on hold
  • Sound files
  • Credits
  • CDR - tracking, queries, summaries, and sending to a central local or remote CDR database
  • Voice mail
  • Voice channels - monitoring active channels and hanging up channels

BioCluster Free Edition comes with a command line interface to configure various aspects of the cluster. BioCluster can be easily extended with various other PBX features, and its protocol can be adapted for clustering of other applications.

In addition to the above features, there are several commercial addons available for BioCluster. These can be obtained from Atelis, among them:

  • Web interface for managing the cluster (accessible through a web-browser)
  • Personal portal for each user, accessible through a web-browser, with ability to manage user's voicemail, recorded calls and call forwarding
  • Call groups
  • Direct Dial In
  • Conferences
  • Call parking
  • Queues

The web interface with all above features can be previewed at the BioCluster demo.

BioCluster Licensing

Atelis BioCluster is released as open source under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and it is available for download free of charge.

A demo of the cluster is available here.

The down loads are available at the Source Forge site.

Project website also known as VoIPCluster.org

skype supernode, Skype and Firewalls, updated information

I got this information as a comment left on "How to be or not to be a skype supernode?" and following up gave me some good information. I think I should share it.
The comment can be found at the above link.
First of all how not to be a skype supernode and do it properly and without drawbacks:
How not to be a skype supernode!
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

using your favorite registry editor. Be carefull with that registry and always make a backup.

Also keep this in mind;
Best Advise is NOT to run as Administrator or Skype can, and does, make changes to your firewall. If you do run and a non Administrator you will have to remove any Skype exceptions you don't want while running as Administrator and then switch back.

There is an article about this called "Enterprises Need to Deal with Skype Boom" published on Eweek :http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2043368,00.asp

Windows XP Firewall and Skype

"Skype also attempts to modify desktop firewall settings to
allow itself to run optimally. If the firewall rule gets
disabled, the next time Skype starts it will re-enable its
firewall exception (if the user has permission to modify
firewall settings)."

Using Skype behind a NAT - note for home users of Skype behind a router

"A firewall that blocks inbound traffic or uses NAT
(Network Address Translation) also won't stop Skype.
When a Skype client starts, it opens a session with
a supernode in the Skype network.

If the client cannot be contacted from the Internet,
the supernode will notify the client when a call comes
in?via the open connection. If the recipient cannot
directly contact the sender, the supernode or a relay
agent can then act as a proxy between the two callers. "

This information came directly from Skype.
Skype uses peer-to-peer communications in order to allow users to find one another. Consequently, a small percentage of our users will hold a record reflecting the online presence of other users. When one user holds a record concerning the presence of other users, the former is called a "supernode", or directory node.

Even though the traffic sent to supernodes is negligible, some institutions are interested in preventing users on their network from becoming supernodes and, thereby, answering directory enquiries for other users.

There are several ways to prevent Skype from becoming a supernode:

  • Beginning with Skype 3.0, an explicit switch is provided in the registry settings to allow the disabling of supernode functionality.
  • Any computer hosted on a network that is behind a network address translation (NAT) device or restrictive firewall will disable supernode functionality.
  • Skype clients behind an HTTP or SOCKS5 proxy will not serve as supernodes.

Enterprises typically opt for using the registry setting technique for turning off supernode functionality, simply because it is very straightforward to deploy a Windows GPO that contains the appropriate registry key setting. However, universities often find this more problematic because the computers may not be owned or operated by the host institution, making it difficult or impossible to ensure that registry keys are set properly.

In these cases, it may be more useful to set up a SOCKS5 proxy. Skype can be configured to use a SOCKS5 proxy, regardless of whether the client finds itself on a network with a public IP address or on one with a private IP address.

While the use of a SOCKS5 proxy still requires manual intervention by the user, the use of a proxy allows the economical "shaping" of Skype traffic. It has the additional positive side-effect of reducing supernodes on the network, reducing false-positive intrusion prevention system alarms and allowing for accurate measurement of Skype usage on the proxied network.

Why iPhone matters

Whatever purpose people have in paying attention to the iPhone, the product sets out at the onset to challenge its competitors and itself. Such challenge comes from a background of 3C integration. The iPhone model marks a change in the business models for traditional ICT consumer products. At least, two aspects of it can now be seen. Firstly, as far as the product is concerned, the iPhone is not a simple mobile phone. It marks Apple Inc.'s understanding of 3C integration. Though there is certain randomness in the product evolution path of MAC-iPod-iPhone, the iPhone has become a viable product line once it is introduced into the market. The iPhone is an Apple-type embodiment of computing and personal entertainment, it gives play to the characteristics of the best 3C integration platform for mobile phone and opens for Apple a huge niche market of billions of users. It also presents a challenge to the traditional evolution path of Phone+product. In the business field, the PDA+Phone model has scored considerable achievements, such as RIM's Black Berry and PALM's Treo. But, traditional mobile phone makers represented by Nokia and Motorola have firmly controlled the market with their Phone+Model. Secondly, as for the marketing model, iPhone does not just remain at terminal sales. Apple has also joined forces with its partners to sell services (software) and contents, with a focus on the consumer entertainment field. Analysis of iPod's successes will easily reveal that the key to its success lies in iPod+iTunes. Apple has maintained this successful model and added more operators' services for bundling and activation to show its differentiation and extension. This is also the change following iPod+iTunes's entry into the mobile phone field. In the future era of mobile broadband (3G or higher mobile communication technologies), it is far from enough to rely on computers to share music

resources. Similarly, in the era of mobile broadband, it is also dangerous for operators to ignore infrastructure control. Apple has,therefore, further specified the trend of change in the mobile phone market in recent years, namely, mobile phone firms are not merely mobile phone firms, they also need to become services and content operators. In this aspect, Nokia has started to take a series of actions. This is also the problem that all terminal firms must consider to cope with 3C or 4C integration.

CCID Consulting: iPhone Opens New Business Model

Video over IP for Live TV at WSB-TV

T-VIPS, a technology company that designs, builds and supplies world-leading solutions for contribution & distribution of broadcast quality video signals over IP networks, and its North American business partner Controlware Communications Systems, Inc., announced today that T-VIPS TVG-420s have been deployed at WSB-TV. The application enables the Atlanta station to provide live remote compressed HD feeds over IP using microwave links, from ENG relay stations back to the WSB-TV studio. Controlware Communications Systems, Inc. supplied the market leading T-VIPS solution, achieving full operational status in early June.

The T-VIPS TVG-420 solution provides exceptional reliability through its forward error correction module, an absolute requirement when we put remote news locations live on-air, states Gary Alexander, WSB-TV Chief Engineer. The broadcast quality compressed HD signal of about 20Mbps, wrapped in ASI, is supplied to the TVG420, then IP encapsulated with highly robust error correction and supplied to the microwave radio input for line-of-sight transmission to our studio complex. Where it is de-encapsulated to ASI by the receiver side T-VIPS TVG420 and externally decoded to HD-SDI for news master control switching.

A pioneering TV broadcaster first on-air in 1948 and based in Atlanta, Georgia, WSB-TV Channel 2 is a highly successful Cox-owned ABC affiliate. Recent Nielsen Media Research ratings show that WSB-TV wins 21 of 24 hours of the total broadcast day each weekday in the Atlanta market. Perennial hit shows like Oprah, Regis and Kelly, and Entertainment Tonight along with ABC programs like Good Morning America, The View and ABC World News Tonight, draw the largest and most loyal audiences, and, when layered in with the power of Channel 2 Action News, create strength in reach and coverage unparalleled in other major markets.

Key Features of T-VIPS TVG-420:

  • Transmission of MPEG2 Transport Streams over Gigabit Ethernet
  • Flexible Forward Error Correction
  • Redundancy
  • End-to-end Quality of Service
  • Compact, cost-effective solutions
  • User-friendly configuration and control

News release

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NCTUns 4.0 Network Simulator and Emulator Released

I just got this announcement today about the NCTUns 4.0 network simulator
and emulator has just been released on July 24, 2007.
Compared with the 3.0 version, the 4.0 version includes new supports for (1) IEEE 802.16(d)
WiMAX wireless networks (including the PMP and mesh modes), (2) DVB-RCS satellite networks (including complete MPEG encapsulation and ATM cell processing), (3) wireless vehicular networks (including vehicle-2-vehicle and vehicle-2-Infrastructure communication mechanisms), and (4) multi-interface mobile nodes for cost-effectively using heterogeneous wireless networks.

I have/am using the 3.0 and looking forward to install and test the version 4.0 of this wonderful software.
More detailed information about it can be found at its download web site at http://NSL.csie.nctu.edu.tw/nctuns.html.

Internet Telephony Magazine's Rich Tehrani's Microsoft outlook on communications

As I have informed before, Internet Telephony magazine is still one of the paper magazines that I continue to read. And Rich's weblog is one of the VoIP IP Telephony webblogs that I frequent for it's in depth and some times .
Keeping with his usual style, Rich Tehrani has published an article "Microsoft Pushes into Communications and Beyond" carries you through Communications and Microsoft from 1990's to the unified communications in the future.
I suggest that you read the article if you are interested in communications. I think the reason is evident in following excerpt;
"Microsoft has lots of really great communications and other products which are just about to ship. If everything works according to plan, within one year we could be looking at Microsoft as a very serious player in communications. Really, this is Microsoft’s game to lose. When we saw the demos of unified communications throughout the day, my two coworkers and I looked at each other a few times and asked, “When can we get this?” I suspect many others will soon be asking the same question."

Rich Tehrani: "Microsoft Pushes into Communications and Beyond"

Pingtel acquired by Bluesocket

Long standing but still trying to find it's niche, Pingtel, a VoIP company I have know for a long while has been acquired. Pingtel was known among the Open Source community for it's release and support of SipFoundry/SipX project. I have even used their sip client in beta for a test deployment project. I think it is best that Pingtel find it's niche and the future should be good with integration of Bluesocket's mobility solutions.

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bluesocket, Inc., today announced it has acquired SIP-based enterprise communications solutions leader Pingtel Corporation. This strategic move establishes a solid foundation for the delivery of converged mobility and unified communications offerings, and places Bluesocket in a leadership position to provide complete enterprise mobility solutions that combine secure wireless LAN and Voice over IP (VoIP) - including unified communications server technology which will be a key foundation for Bluesockets enterprise fixed mobile convergence (FMC) architecture.

Combining Bluesockets award-winning WLAN and security capabilities with Pingtels leading SIP PBX technology creates opportunities in two key market segments. The first is providing software-based, OEM-ready solutions to larger ecosystem partners seeking faster approaches for delivering integrated wired, wireless and voice offerings to their mid-market enterprise customers. Additionally, the combination enables Bluesocket to now target mid-sized and small enterprises interested in implementing a standards-based mobility solution oriented toward unified voice and data communications.

The opportunity lies in the fact that the wireless LAN and unified communications markets are converging to create a $10 billion plus market for enterprise mobility solutions, said Mads Lillelund, CEO at Bluesocket. As a result of this acquisition, we are better positioned to deliver an integrated solution that meets the mobility needs of customers across a variety of industries. Bluesocket is redefining the meaning of enterprise mobility by seamlessly combining leading unified communications, mobility and security solutions, with significant improvements to the user experience and an overall lower cost of ownership.

As part of the transaction, Bluesocket and Pingtel will unite their product development efforts, channel partners and end-user base. Pingtels SIP-based, unified communications technology will form the basis of Bluesockets future FMC solution to manage call hand-off between cellular and enterprise Wi-Fi networks. Bluesocket will accelerate the open source development championed by Pingtel, including full support for the sipXecs open source project and the SIPfoundry open source community. All Pingtel employees will remain with Bluesocket and the company plans to significantly increase R&D investment to accelerate its strategy of being first to deliver a fully integrated offering to the market.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Uninstall Asterisk , remove Asterisk when needed

If you are like me, you will have Asterisk complied many many times over. I have gone through various Linux distro's and various Asterisk versions. May be it is other lib's that forces me to recompile or test out some new hardware.
What ever the reason I do it and assumed that others might be interested in it. I got this from ASTRecipes and follow the link at the bottom for many other Asterisk related trick tools and recipes!. Lets say we need to uninstall Asterisk because you need to install a newer version.

First you need stop Asterisk and unload its modules that it may be using, e.g Zaptel's.

The following lines will brutally terminate Asterisk and kill all ongoing conversation. But there is a method to the madness, you have to kill safe_asterisk first, otherwise it will re spawn Asterisk. ( The safe_asterisk script is the preferred way to run Asterisk for most of us. This script starts Asterisk and monitors it to make sure it is still running. If the Asterisk process dies, the script will attempt to restart it.)

killall -9 safe_asterisk
killall -9 asterisk

Then you'll have to unload the Zaptel drivers; check which ones are loaded by issuing a:

# lsmod | grep zaptel
zaptel 214820 2 wcfxo,wctdm
crc_ccitt 2113 1 zaptel

This means that the submodules wcfxo and wctdm are loaded for zaptel. You will have to remove them in reverse order:

modprobe -r wcfxo
modprobe -r wctdm
..repeat for all zaptel submodules....
modprobe -r zaptel

If you repeat the lsmod | grep zaptel command now, it should find nothing.

Now to Delete Asterisk files
By running the commands below, you will delete with no possible recovery an Asterisk system. First make a backup of things you'd like to keep, like the log files or configuration files. Because once you issue the following commands, everything will be gone. Unless you are a good data recovery person, it is hard to get these files back. Basically you can't!

rm -rf /etc/asterisk

rm -f /etc/zaptel.conf

rm -rf /var/log/asterisk

rm -rf /var/lib/asterisk

rm -rf /var/spool/asterisk

rm -rf /usr/lib/asterisk

Now Asterisk has been removed from your system and it is time to read those installation instructions and install the new Asterisk version.


Sharp SH704i will go on sale July 27 in Japan

The Sharp SH704i will go on sale by NTT DoCoMo on July 27th. This long awaited phone from sharp and features a 2.6-inch QVGA 260k color Mobile ASV LCD display, a 1.3 Megapixel camera, support for digital TV, IrSimple, microSD card slot.
The operation of digital TV will not interfere with calls.

The NTT DoCoMo SH704i measures 106×49×18.1mm and 128g. It is available in 5 colors, Gold, White, Black, Blue, Pink.

This is supposed to be followed by P704iu that is only 11.4MM thick which is shown below.

JoIP, a new VoIP service from Panasonic and Deltathree

JoIP is a new twist in telephony communications solutions, a joint effort by industry leaders Panasonic and deltathree. Bringing POTS and VoIP in to single device.

JoIP is a service enabling users to enjoy two different worlds of communication that exisit today, the “plain old telephone service” or POTS and the exciting new world of Voice Over IP or VoIP. With joip, you can benefit from your regular phone line and a next generation joip free line and number provided when you buy the phone and register. You do not need to have a computer to enjoy the new service. So what is the catch? Yes you need a phone, from Panasonic marketed under the name GlobaRange GlobaPhone.

Although the concept is not new, the use of P2P technology makes a difference. Just like popular Skype Service.

The Globaphone costs from $99.95 to 129.95 depending on the model. My current POTS phone is a Panasonic phone san the VoIP and I am very Happy with the phone. From experience, I am sure Globaphone will be of no difference, a reliable hardware piece.
Using the joip line, you can make and receive free calls to and from any other joip number in the world, creating a huge -- and free -- communication community. With joip, family members in different countries can now talk as much as they like for free provided that they all use Globaphone.

Get more information from Joip.com

Enhanced VoIP Open Network Platform from Deltathree, Inc.

NEW YORK, July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- deltathree, Inc. , a leading provider of SIP-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions for service providers and consumers worldwide, today announced that it has launched an upgraded network telephony backend infrastructure to its Open Network Platform offering customers greater flexibility and more innovative features. Developed in-house by deltathree in the span of over two years, the Open Network Platform allows customers of deltathree's newly formed consumer brand joip, as wells as deltathree's Reseller and Hosted Consumer VoIP Solution channels, to experience a broader range of benefits while enhancing customer convenience and growth potential.

The Open Network Platform was primarily developed to support the launch of joip, deltathree's newly formed consumer group that powers the VoIP service of Panasonic's new GLOBARANGE hybrid landline/VoIP phones. GLOBARANGE phone owners automatically become part of the global joip community, where members can call each other around the world for free, and enjoy a wide variety of advanced features and services. The Open Network Platform allows for those in the joip community to experience the latest advantages VoIP has to offer as they continue their traditional methods of telecommunications with Panasonic's new phone. joip enabled GLOBARANGE phones will be available this summer in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Austria and Russia.
Prnewswire article:deltathree Launches Enhanced VoIP Open Network Platform

Other Compnies who ride iPhone wave, the profit wave!

Eric J. Savitz. of Tech Trader Daily at Barron's pointed out another company that stand to gain from every iPhone sale!, as much as $8.00 per iPhone, per activation. Were these people responsible for initial activatio snafu?
Sychronoss Technologies (SNCR) generated over 70% of its revenue from AT&T (T), which has an exclusive carrier relationship with Apple for the iPhone; the company provides transaction management services, generating fees when new customers register their phones for service.
ThinkEquity analyst Eric Kainer raised his price target for the company and have caused activity on Sychronoss shares.
Eric's post at Barron's.

Security Experts finds iPhone flaw

A team of computer security consultants say they have found a flaw in Apple’s wildly popular iPhone that allows them to take control of the device.

The researchers, working for Independent Security Evaluators, a company that tests its clients’ computer security by hacking it, said that they could take control of iPhones through a WiFi connection or by tricking users into going to a Web site that contains malicious code. The hack, the first reported, allowed them to tap the wealth of personal information the phones contain.

Although Apple built considerable security measures into its device, said Charles A. Miller, the principal security analyst for the firm, “Once you did manage to find a hole, you were in complete control.” The firm, based in Baltimore, alerted Apple about the vulnerability this week and recommended a software patch that could solve the problem.

A spokeswoman for Apple, Lynn Fox, said, “Apple takes security very seriously and has a great track record of addressing potential vulnerabilities before they can affect users.”

Read more at New York Times

AT&T backs away from 700MHz spectrum complaints

AT&T Inc. has backed away from earlier complaints about proposed open-access rules on parts of the 700MHz spectrum to be auctioned by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission by early next year.
Draft auction rules floated by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin have "struck an interesting and creative balance between the competing interests" that are lobbying the commission, AT&T said of its understanding of those rules in a statement Wednesday.

The Free State Foundation, a digital rights group, has said Martin's draft rules don't go far enough. While Martin wants device portability and no blocking of Web applications, he hasn't called for wholesale access to the spectrum. Without wholesale access, it's unlikely a third broadband service could challenge cable and telecom services, Public Knowledge has said.

Art Brodsky, communications director for Public Knowledge, called the new AT&T position a "remarkable turnaround."

But Randolph May, president of the conservative think tank, The Free State Foundation, said he disagrees with AT&T's interpretation of what the auction rules would allow.

"My impression (perhaps erroneously) had been that Chairman Martin's proposal would mandate an open access ... regime in the one block [of the spectrum]," May wrote in an e-mail. "There is a significant difference between 'allowing' and 'mandating.' My understanding is that absent a mandate, nothing at all in any existing or proposed FCC rule would prevent the winning bidder from voluntarily adopting an open access business model."

Complete article at PC World

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Thumb Tribes" forcing development cell phone business in Japan

As always Japan stands tall in providing innovative solutions when it come to communications, like 300MB download bandwidth to cell phones.
But according to a private survey conducted in Japan by MMD Labo/Update Inc, nearly 50% cell phone owners rarely use their handsets the way they were originally intended--for calls.
Of 9,584 respondents to the poll, conducted by MMD Labo/Update Inc. through a cellphone Web site, were heavy cellphone users. About 97 percent said they had signed up for flat-rate data communication services. Forty-four percent said the number of phone calls they made or received each day was "extremely few." And an additional 35 percent said they talk on their cellphones "less than three times" a day.Added together, it means almost 80 percent of the respondents rarely use their cellphones for calls.

"We were very surprised because the survey showed that cellphones are not functioning as phones for more than 40 percent of heavy cellphone users," said an official at the research institute.

Industry officials said cellphone service providers are under pressure to develop new business models and increase the average revenue they make per subscriber.(IHT/Asahi: July 23,2007)

Read more at Ashahi Shimbun

VoIP for Braille PDA named Voice Sense?

Although not really a VoIP or IP Telephony device, this could be a best way to give visually impaired people access to mobile computing, and of course a communication medium. Since it comes with all the tools packed in, like WiFi, Bluetooth, it will be simple(?) task to create a VoIP application.
Follow the link to get complete information.
Geemodo: Braille PDA named Voice Sense

Truphone wins in court against T-Mobile in UK

In what might turn out to be a landmark decision for mobile VoIP, Truphone, a mobile VoIP service provider, has won a court injunction;
Truphone press office: Truphone wins court injunction against T-Mobile blocking tactics,
against T-Mobile. According to the ruling T-Mobile UK must allow Truphone application to be used on cell phones operating on T-Mobile contracts.

Truphone’s ability to get an injunction against T-Mobile in this case must be showing as a five bar signal on other wireless phone providers. Those must be in drawing rooms with their lawyers rethinking how to deal with these industry disruptors, perhaps forcing them to aadapt and provide their own mobile VoIP. The Truphone case is the first of it's kind that interim relief was granted against a mobile network operator under the Competition Act in UK.

A video showing the victorious Truphone CEO James Tagg, could be found here;
iWantmyGTV: Truphone CEO James Tagg, After injunction win against T-Mibile

If you are still wondering What Truphone is it routes your mobile calls via the internet. That means free mobile calls to other Truphone users & very cheap calls to anyone else.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Super 3G, 300MB per second down load, on your cell phone!

Japan's largest mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc. said Friday it began testing a new cellular network nearly 100 times faster than its current system.

The company said in a press release it had started testing equipment it hopes will yield download speeds of up to 300 megabits per second. Current maximum down speeds are 3.6 megabits per second.

Super 3G features low-latency data transmission and improved spectrum efficiency. It is a highly advanced version of High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), which have been evolved from W-CDMA packet transmission technologies standardized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). The 3GPP, a telecommunications standards organization, is currently discussing standardization of Super 3G under the name Long Term Evolution (LTE).

DoCoMo will begin with an indoor experiment to test transmission speed using one transmitting and one receiving antenna. The company will then expand the experiment to examine downlink transmission by employing up to four Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas for both the base station (transmission side) and mobile station (receiving side); the goal is to achieve a downlink transmission speed of 300Mbps. MIMO is an antenna technology for wireless communications in which different data streams are spatially multiplexed using multiple antennas for both transmission and reception on the same frequency. Also to be examined is the "handover function" — switching of the connection between two base stations.

Completion of the new network is scheduled by 2009.

Competition in Japan's saturated mobile communications market has been driving down margins for voice services, and DoCoMo and its rival carriers are trying to capture more business by turning to date-based services, which require more bandwidth.

DoCoMo press release

iPhone disrupting wireless network, at Duke U

The popular Apple iPhone is turning out to be a worst nightmare for the Duke University IT staff. The Duke WiFi network is currently being crippled by the iPhone's wireless Internet adapter, even though the problem never arose with other WiFi devices.

A single iPhone was powerful enough to cause the problem, and there are 100 to 150 of them registered on the network, Bill Cannon, a Duke technology spokesman, said. Network administrators have noticed the problem nine times in the past week.

According to the university IT staff, the iPhones are distributing as many as 18,000 data requests per second to the university network -- and it appears that each iPhone on campus is requesting a router address that is not available. After the phone does not get a return signal, it keeps sending requests, which leads to dozens of access points becoming overloaded.

Is Duke running a Wireless Grid? May be iPhone is not smart enough to recognize that the gateway had changed! Or does it make the first wireless (Wi-Fi) connection the default one when in a single class C or B subnet?

Only time will tell as all involved are trying to resolve the issue, Duke wireless, Cisco and Apple.

Sokol & Associates of Astricon fame acquired by Digium

I almost missed this news! Sokol & Associates has been acquired by Digium. I am sure you know who Digium is and if not here is a link!.and if you did not know what Astricon or Sokol is, here is blurb from Astricon site itself;
" AstriCon is the official conference for the wildly popular Asterisk PBX and telephony platform. AstriCon includes a wealth of information for those who are getting started with Asterisk, as well as those who have already discovered the power of open source telephony. AstriCon is also the meeting place for the Asterisk community, a diverse group of users, developers, entrepreneurs, and other fans."
So it is no surprise that Digium, the maker of Asterisk the Open Source Telephony platform, wants to acquire Sokol & Associates. And Asterisk CTO, Mark Spencer said: "Sokol & Associates has run Asterisk training classes around the world and has long been a central part of this community."
"By bringing Steve and his group on, Digium gains another conduit to new and advanced Asterisk users around the world."
I think this will be good union to both the companies.
By the way Astricon 2007 registrations are open! register now.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Open Broadband encouragement from Google! 4.6 Billion of them!

Google wrote last week on their Public Policy Blog about Google's interest in promoting competition in the broadband market here in the U.S., to help ensure that as many Americans as possible can access the Internet. However, it takes more than just ideas and rhetoric if you want to help bring the Internet to everyone.
"Google has become increasingly involved in U.S. spectrum policy issues this year. One of our top public policy objectives is to expand the Internet's reach to more Americans. In part, that means creating new competition to challenge the existing broadband access duopoly (between cable and phone companies), by paving the way for consumers to gain meaningful alternatives via advanced wireless services.

Unfortunately, the wireless airwaves required to develop such a service traditionally have been allocated in a fragmented and inefficient manner. The federal government’s upcoming auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz bands (as part of the digital television transition) offers a tremendous, and probably unique, opportunity to promote competition and web-based innovation.

Earlier this year, Google and other members of the “Coalition for 4G in America” urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt flexible rules that encourage competitive entry by new and innovative broadband companies. At the time, we stated that our advocacy in the 700 MHz proceeding did not necessarily signal our intention to participate in the auction itself, although no final decision had yet been made."

Today, Google has decided to put consumers' interests first, and putting Google's money where our principles are -- to the tune of $4.6 billion.
In the U.S., wireless spectrum for mobile phones and data is controlled by a small group of companies, leaving consumers with very few service providers from which to choose. With that in mind, last week, as the federal government prepares for what is arguably its most significant auction of wireless spectrum in history, Google has urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules to make sure that regardless of who wins the spectrum at auction, consumers' interests are the top priority. Specifically, Google encouraged the FCC to require the adoption of four types of "open" platforms as part of the auction:
  • Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize their handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: third parties (like Internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee's wireless network.

There are some who have claimed that embracing these principles and putting American consumers first might somehow devalue this spectrum. As much as we don't believe this to be the case, actions speak louder than words. That's why our CEO Eric Schmidt today sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, saying that, should the FCC adopt all four license conditions requested above, Google intends to commit at least $4.6 billion to bidding for spectrum in the upcoming 700 Mhz auction.
Bravo! Google.
Official Google Blog: Our commitment to open broadband platforms

Uninstall Skype, Updated, MAC OS X, Linux added

After seeing that people are still looking for this post and the other posts that lead to this, I am going to keep it alive, lest it get buried in Google indexes.
VOIP IP Telephony: Uninstall Skype, Remove skype, stop skype or detect skype with skypekiller

Many other solutions are offered but all ask you to remove Skype using windows control panel uninstall programs but it leaves lot's of skype junk behind.

Best way I found long ago is still the best for PC platform! you have all the information needed if you are using a PC. But here is how you remove it from a MAC!
Uninstall Skype from Mac OS X

To uninstall Skype, first quit Skype if it is running, and open your Applications folder, drag your Skype folder to the trash. This only removes the Skype application, it is good if you plan to reinstall skype later to keep your user information, including your Contacts list and call log, is retained on your computer. But if you want to get rid of all, remove “username/Library/Skype folder. You may have to do this for all the users.

Uninstalling Skype from Linux

You can uninstall Skype the same way that you uninstall any Linux software program, depending on how the application was installed:

* If you used tar to install Skype, you can remove the Skype application and its associated directories with the rm command.
* If you installed Skype with rpm, you may want to refer to the documentation for your particular Linux distribution for specific instructions.

Uninstalling Skype with tar

If you installed Skype with tar, uninstalling it requires great caution because you need to use the rm command, possibly as the superuser (root).

Because Skype has a daemon that runs as a background process, it is best to stop it before attempting to uninstall Skype.

To stop the process, first you must identify the process identification number. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Log in as the user who is running Skype, and type ps -aux | grep skype
2. When you have found the Linux process identification for the Skype application, kill the process by issuing the following command: kill -9 skype_process_ID where skype_process_ID is the process identification number associated with Skype.
3. Change directories to the directory where tar was originally executed to install Skype. In other words, cd to the directory directly above the Skype directory.
4. When you are absolutely certain that you are in the correct directory, enter the following command to remove the Skype subdirectory and associated files forcefully: rm -rf skype-directory where skype-directory is the specific name of the directory in which Skype is installed.

Uninstalling Skype with rpm

If you installed Skype with rpm, uninstalling it is simple. You may want to check the man page for rpm on your Linux distribution to make sure that there is nothing special you need to know.

Because Skype has a daemon that runs as a background process, it is best to stop it before attempting to uninstall Skype. To stop the process, first you must identify the process identification number. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Log in as the user who is running Skype, and type ps -aux | grep skype
2. When you have found the Linux process identification number for the Skype application, kill the process by issuing the following command: kill -9 skype_process_ID where skype_process_ID is the process identification number associated with Skype.
3. Enter the following command to uninstall the Skype application software: rpm -e skype_package.rpm where skype_package is the specific name of the rpm package that installed Skype—for example, skype-0_90_0_1.rpm.

Google Talk gadget for Google Apps

Google talkabout informs us that if you are a user of Google Apps at your business, organization or school, now you can use the Google Talk Gadget on your Start Page to have chats with colleagues or classmates (including group chats).
Google Apps, among other things lets your organization create Gmail accounts that use your domain name
-- like you@yourorganization.com -- instead of you@gmail.com in the email address. Other tools in the offering are collaborative tools, like Google Calendar, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, and the customizable Start Page, where all your students, employees, or members can view relevant content, preview their inboxes and calendars, and now, chat with one or more colleagues or classmates -- all from the same webpage.
Perhaps it is time that you add your GoogleTalk gadget to your Google Apps.

Prosody X is market success for Aculab

Aculab, a leading provider of enabling technology for the communications market, has achieved great success with the market adoption of its award winning Prosody X media processing platform. Aculab has delivered products to 114 customers worldwide, with a significant total media processing capacity suitable to serve beyond 300,000 voice ports.

One such company, Interactive Intelligence, is very pleased with what Prosody X has to offer. "Interactive Intelligence was built by taking the next step each time an opportunity has called for innovation. Aculab understands our focus and listens carefully to our requirements. With Prosody X, Aculab has delivered innovation and value. Prosody X capabilities will help ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our worldwide customers both today and into the future," said Don Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of Interactive Intelligence (NASDAQ: ININ). "The IP-centric architecture together with proven global TDM signalling options makes Prosody X very well suited for a range of valuable communications applications. We intend to leverage Prosody X in both the Interaction Gateway and Customer Interaction Center (CIC) solutions."
Alan Pound, Managing Director and Founder at Aculab commented "I am elated with the huge adoption of Prosody X technology. It has far exceeded our expectations and the trend is set to continue. Further developments and enhancements are in the pipeline and this will continue to place Aculab as the market leader in providing high quality, well engineered technology for the communications market."
From the Press release by aculab

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