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November 2007
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Posts from December 2007

When Will We See Adobe's Pacific for VoIP?

I keep hearing rumors over twitter and elsewhere about Adobe having a project called Pacifica. It's supposed to be a Flash based platform which will have a SIP stack embedded inside. That means handsets with faster user interfaces, more compact and powerful processors may not be as necessary as some.

It also is a great boon to client Vringo and their video ringtones market because converting video into Flash is easy, then layering it into the call set up and tear down becomes a no-brainer. That means quite simply that Vringo can be in front of and after the call with all kinds of cool content, and the concept of ads, offers, updates all delivered to your handset becomes simpler.



We Need More Power

LooseWire's Jeremy Wagstaff reminded me of an ever present peeve that I have when I travel. Trying to find an open power outlet.

This is really evident when I fly on SouthWest out of San Diego or Oakland where there isn't an airline club to be seen. Its enough for me to sometimes even fly American Eagle down the coast from San Jose sometimes because at least with an AMEX Platinum Card or my HQ Network Access privileges I can score "free" admission to the American Airlines Admirals Club, which has amazing WiFi and power to spare.

Oh and San Diego Airport still has lousy WiFi even if it is free.


How To Roam Cheaply

Jeremy Wagstaff pulled together a nice list of WiFi roaming options.

I've been using my Boingo Unlimited Global account almost non-stop since hitting the UK, France and Spain and its been a sheer joy to use.

On the off occasion where Boingo wasn't available I used T-Mobile and know I'll pay for it later.

I also have a FON account, but I find too much inconsistency on the connectivity from the users and would rather pay a local provider and get AMAZING bandwidth rather than the unpredictability of FON's individual users connections.

Considering I recall the era not to long ago where WiFi in hotels, coffee shops and airports was a luxury, and a rarity, its great to see how many options, and at affordable business person's prices there are.


We Need More Power

LooseWire's Jeremy Wagstaff reminded me of an ever present peeve that I have when I travel. Trying to find an open power outlet.

This is really evident when I fly on SouthWest out of San Diego or Oakland where there isn't an airline club to be seen. Its enough for me to sometimes even fly American Eagle down the coast from San Jose sometimes because at least with an AMEX Platinum Card or my HQ Network Access privileges I can score "free" admission to the American Airlines Admirals Club, which has amazing WiFi and power to spare.

Oh and San Diego Airport still has lousy WiFi even if it is free.


Free Jajah This Christmas-But Will they Convert

PhoneBoy reminded me that Jajah is giving away more free calls on Christmas but it was his post on The VoIP Weblog that is more in line with my thinking.

But I do have to wonder, though: how many people will sign up for Jajah Direct just to take advantage of this offer and then never use the service again? That's the problem with giving stuff away: very few people actually convert to a paying customer.

I've been saying for years on KenRadio that the never pay a thing crowd believes in the following mantra: "if its free its me. If I gotta pay, no way," a line I first heard from a minority shareholder in the Chicago White Sox, Jay Pinksy, many years ago.

In my mind, the many new Jajah users won't be come converts like Tony Blair has.


Thoughts On Ribbit

Hat tip to Stuart Henshall for his link to pal and client Thomas Howe's critical first look analysis on Ribbit.

Both Stuart and Thomas are constantly pulling things together with voice and collaboration, so their viewpoints should matter.

I for one like the idea of more development tools being put out there and welcome the large cadre of new developers coming into the voice applications game. Thomas Howe has to stand at the top or pretty close to it. His company already has some real live paying clients, who in turn have real users and thus is able to land real contracts based on what he has done, delivered and proven. His insight is magnified even more when he riffs on a post by Disruptive Analysis' leader Dean Bubley, who wrote about the upcoming eComm 2008 conference slated for March in Mountain View.

So here comes the rub.

There is a big difference between garage developers and real development teams that can turn out a product that someone can buy and actually implement. Thus its the "professional" piece of the "services" that will matter, not just the large number of "garagistas" who come along and write some code based upon the impressive toolkit that Ribbit is creating to work with Adobe's FLEX platform.


Skype's New Codecs Showing How Better They Can Be

Skype dumped GIPS about a year ago, and as previously reported here on VoIPWatch, their audio seemed to be improving since the switch.

Now that I've been working from Europe for three weeks, while I've been working out of hotels I've been making extensive use of all types of mobile and laptop software for communications ranging from CounterPath's Eyebeam that works incredibly well with client Junction Networks onSip platform, GizmoProject, Skype and SightSpeed, I have to admit that Skype has really improved their off net audio quality, especially when it comes to calling mobile phones in the USA. At all times my connection has been WiFi, also providing additional validation to my concern that both DSL and Cable networks in the USA are not that "modern" and while good for non-real time data service, not very good for voice or video. To that end, all of my SightSpeed and Skype calls have been much "brighter" while here in Spain, where Telefonica has pretty much control of the network. I've had the same experience in the past in Portugal where PT pretty much has the access sewn up.

The quality of calls to the mobile users back home was always one of my concerns and pet peeves, but over the past few months that quality has gone way up. Sadly, this is coming near the end of the term of my Skype Unlimited Plan that expires in January.


MaxRoam Audio Is Impressive

I've been alternating between my Telefonica and MaxRoam SIMs when making and taking phone calls while here in Spain.

I have to admit, Pat and Sean have pulled together a very impressive IP network, with amazing audio quality that is hands down better than the local carrier network here in Madrid. The handset shows that I'm "roaming" on the Orange network when using MaxRoam, but the comparison to my last round of calls on Orange hen here previously tell me MaxRoam is better because the clear, clean and high voice tonal quality of the International calls clues me in that the MaxRoam team has done their homework on the IP side of the house.

Coming back from dinner the other night I placed a series of calls back to the USA to my team. Each call connected rapidly, via the call bridging technology that MaxRoam has that initiates a callback. Once the call had connected, it was as if I was in the same town.