The PhoneBoy Blog


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The “Let’s Get Caught Up” Roundup

One of the problems with leaving home and going on a trip, business or otherwise, is that I can easily get behind trying to keep up with all the blogs I read. I didn’t make much of an attempt as I had an opportunity to enjoy some excellent company and “live a little.” Much evidence of that is available on my personal blog (specifically here, here, and here).

Herein is my attempt at catching up, doing my usual “link to a bunch of stories and briefly comment on them” schtick. This isn’t complete because I’ve got a bit more to read, but this is as much as I can get out before I fall asleep at the keyboard.

AOL Goes Voice 2.0: Andy explains why he thinks it’s good that AOL killed their Vonage-like AOL Total Talk service and went a different direction with it. I have to agree, VoIP service that simply replicates the Voice 1.0 experience is a non-starter. But the purple minute concept that people are referring to, I have somewhat of an issue with the concept because it seems archaic. I will explore this in a different posting.

A New Nokia N80 Does VoIP?: The VoIP Weblog (different site from what Ted Wallingford used to write for) and Andy Abramson weigh in on this topic. My take: all of the newer N series and all of the E series phones Nokia has put out uses the Series 60 Third Edition platform, which has a SIP stack in it. That makes them VoIP capable. I would therefore expect the N80 to be SIP capable. Hopefully we’ll see a better SIP stack forthcoming, though, as I’ve experienced problems using that SIP stack with network address translation. At least it will be (theoretically) possible to upgrade the phones thanks to the Nokia Software Updater.

More Top VoIP Blogger Foo: This comment to my blog raises a couple of good points about ranking bloggers. Namely that an “objective” measure such as Technorati or Google rating means nothing because a lot of these people blog about things other than VoIP. There’s no reasonable way to distinguish the VoIP links from the non-VoIP ones, as Alec points out with a personal example. At the end of the day, I don’t there is any way to rank anything in a manner that at least some people won’t be upset with for one reason or another. I think all of us VoIP bloggers are greater than our individual contributions, as long as we continue to support and encourage each other.

GTalk and Skype Interop: Aswath got called to the carpet by Om about the possibility of Skype and GTalk interoperating. Aswath rightfully points out “it is eminently feasible for these two networks to interoperate.” I believe it is possible for any two networks to interoperate in some manner. Certainly in each case some details would have to be worked out, but I have a hard time coming up with a way that two “networks” cannot easily interoperate with one another.

SMS Your Kids: This press release from Cingular falls into the “no duh” category, which is “communicate with your kids in a manner that is familiar to them.” Yes, the younger generation is a lot more familiar with SMS or Texting. Heck, I can even see it in my younger sister, who is four years my junior, yet SMSes very frequently. And gee, Cingular would benefit from you texting your kids more often. A wee bit of self-interest in this message, perhaps? Anyway, neither of my kids tote cell phones–yet. When they reach that age, you can bet it will be on a short, prepaid leash.

Hows my FON?: A while ago, I had purchased a WiFi router from FON, which is trying to build a large WiFi network on the top of consumer-grade WiFI routers and Internet connections. My rationale for the purchase, even though I have a ton of WiFi routers already, is beause I want to be able to use a FON access point wherever I go for free. Given where I live and how far my access point seems to reach outside my house, it seems “unlikely” that a real user is going to find my access point, let alone use it. So I’m basically getting free WiFi access to all FON access points for a $13 investment. I’ll have to see if I “make my money back” so to speak. Fat chance, methinks, but hey, it was only $13 and I can always reflash the unit back to a stock Linksys WRT54GS when FON goes bankrupt.


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