GizmoCall? Can’t Penetrate Firewalls.
There’s been quite a bit of hulabaloo around Michael Robertson’s newest shot-across-the-bow at Skype: GizmoCall. It’s basically a way to make telephone calls using Macromedia Flash. It does require a small download that is easy to install. Once you’ve done that, you’re on your way to making free calls. You’re limited to 5 minutes if you don’t register, 10 minutes if you provide your email address. If your a Gizmo Project user already and have GizmoOut minutes, then you can log in and use that.
According to an interview that Michael Robertson had with Ken Rutkowski on KenRadio on Wednesday, the service will continue to remain free and be advertising supported. Right now, there is no ads in the applet, but he will have the ability to target ads based on who and why you’re calling. Interesting stuff.
For me, the true test of a ubiquitous calling solution is: will it work on the corporate machine that forces Internet access through a web proxy? Skype, which rightfully gives all security administrators worth their salt a fit, will work just about everywhere, including my corporate laptop where everything is forced through a web proxy. I’ve had a wonderful-sounding call over Skype with someone at the office while they were sitting inside the corporate firewall. GizmoCall, sadly, fails this test as does AbbeyPhone’s Firefox Extension.
Being the geek that I am, I did some snooping when trying GizmoCall on my Mac. Yup, it uses good old fashioned UDP traffic. I don’t see any SIP, but I do see what looks like normal RTP packets. Presumably, they are using the call control over the existing https session with GizmoCall. I’m sure that will give some firewall administrators some headaches.
This is, of course, not to diminish in any way the wonderful work that the Gizmo team has done on this application. However, if they can improve their ability to penetrate firewalls, they’ll really have something here.