iNeen is a new service from XTEN. Using the Eyebeam technology and SIP you can make free calls to other ineen users. In a way this is a lot like GloPhone without the hype and with Video. With this out there for free the pressure is now on Packet8 and Sightspeed to say why they are needed...
While not VoIP related, Today's New York Times has a story on how blogging is impacting the world of gossip in the media. In the past, when sources mattered, scoops were the key and reporters valued relationships and sought to build new ones, as one never knew where that would lead.
Today, reporters and editors seem to have lost the art of personal relationships for the most part, or are a lot more standoff like than in the days gone bye. Part of that falls on those in the PR trade as we've all relied too much on technology the last ten years or so and forgotten the art of the story, the relationship and the scoop. News also has become more instantaneous, making gossip seem more real, and the need for spin control more necessary.
As someone on all sides of the news, and who loves the right use of a rumor, this story is one more nail in the coffin of traditional media.
Vonage understand the media and the power of the blobs very well.
The recent 911 incident in Texas, which really is only bad for Vonage if the user had set up the 911 service with them correctly, and the ClearWire incident involving the blocking of Vonage service on ClearWire, only goes to prove that they are now big enough to pick on.
I tend to think that both issues will be cleared up very soon as it's in their best interest to do so. But the power of the press keeps Vonage in the news and it allows them the ability to tell what they are doing.
Being controversial isn't a bad thing. Actually it's a good thing as it keeps the principals at a company in the news. Ironically, Jeffrey Citron has been quiet on both issues, letting his PR person do the talking to date.
My guess is when the issues get resolved Citron will be out in the front lines. He needs to be there now, especially if Vonage is trying to raise more money. Hero's and champions don't hide behind skirts and pin-stripe suits. They get out and deal head on with the combatants.
A lot of media coverage has fallen on Vonage's complaints about Port Blocking by a couple of companies. The real credit goes to Paul Kapustka, who has been like a proverbial bloodhound on breaking and covering the story from its very start.
Kapustka, editor of Advanced IP Pipeline for CMP. He's been on the story ever since the first issue and always maintained a steady watch.
While Paul is not a Blogger, the line between journalism and blogging is very thin, and Kapustka always links to the blogosphere when stories there help with his writings.
The folks at XTEN and Broadvoice were kind enough to help me sort out configuring the awesome SIP softphone, Eyebeam with the BroadVoice service. Having been on the road for over ten days in broadband enabled WiFi hotels all over France all I can say is the combination is the VERY BEST softphone/VoIP experience I have had to date. Easily on par with SkypeToSkype, the call quality has been pristine and in most cases people I have been calling have not known I'm on a softphone or in Europe. That's the acid test.
Eyebeam is a significant step up from the X-Pro or X-Lite clients I previously tried from XTEN. Those improvements and the well engineered BroadVoice network makes for a seamless conversation process.
All I can say is if you're a road warrior like me, this allows you to not have to travel with a Telephone Adapter and if you're in good WiFi locations and use a solid headset as I do (The Plantronics DSP 100 that Tom Keating first suggested) then you have the makings of a very useful, portable phone system. I don't know how much more one needs.
The only rub has been when I fire up my HotSpotVPN, which seems to disrupt things. I plan on getting XTEN and HotSpotVPNs Glynn Taylor talking as their has to be a fix possible. It's just software. As for BroadVoice, they have rapidly become an easy to reccomend provider, in the same league as CallVantage. Their quality is superior to Vonage, and they provide incredible support. That, and they're very nice people to boot makes them the kind of company that's hard not to like.
Om presents an interesting case about Clearwire. While they have admitted to blocking Vonage one has to remember that they are still in trial mode. My guess is they will come around and offer two tiers of service.
One that is more of an AOL walled garden approach, while the second, and at a higher price, delivers the customer unfettered access to the Internet.
As an FYI, Metricom in their Ricochet days tried to limit what could run over their network too. They wanted to bar streaming media over the net using their wireless network. Clearwire would do well to look at the past and see their future.