But who gets the phone number 192.168.0.1?

Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2014 - 11:52 AM |
Tagged: voip, verizon, pots and pans, att

AT&T and Verizon are investigating this newfangled thing called VoIP and if it works as an alternative to switch based telephone systems.  The FCC has decided to allow them to do some limited testing on how the world would change if users were assigned IP addresses as opposed to telephone numbers.  Hopefully at some point they will realize this will have more to do with MAC addresses than static IP addresses but it is nice to know that they will at least do some research into the consequences of dumping switch based physical circuits.  The Inquirer's coverage mentions that the FCC will not regulate this testing which could be a good or bad thing; they are a bit technologically impaired but at the same time Ma Bell has never been good at respecting their customers rights.

photo-chicago-c-t-a-switchboard-operator-merchandise-mart-1957.jpg

"TELECOMS PROVIDERS in the US have been given a green light to explore the idea of replacing traditional telephone communications with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

An Open Source and encrypted Skype alternative called Jitsi

Subject: General Tech | March 6, 2013 - 10:03 AM |
Tagged: zrtp, sip, xmpp, voip, skype, open source, Jitsi, encryption

Jitsi seems to be a lot of things, from an IM Client agglomerator such as Pidgin or Digsby, a combined XMPP and SIP VoIP client to a videoconferencing hub with all traffic encrypted using ZRTP.  This Open Source software also claims integration with Microsoft Outlook and Apple Address Book, putting it in competition with Skype on more than one front.  Unfortunately it will not connect to all online SIP or XMPP provider but Jitsi does offer an open XMPP bridge to host video calls and as it is open source there is no reason you could not construct your own.  With the release of version 2.0 a host of new features and improvements have been added which you can read about by following the links at Slashdot.  They have also partnered with the FMJ Project to allow recording of sessions as well as other possible customization thanks to the developers Wiki.

jitsi_logo_876x1311.png

"Among the most prominent new features people will find quality multi-party video conferences for XMPP, audio device hot-plugging, support for Outlook presence and calls, an overhauled user interface and support for the Opus and VP8 audio/video codec. Jitsi has lately shaped into one of the more viable open Skype Alternatives with features such as end-to-end ZRTP encryption for audio and video calls. The 2.0 version has been in the works for almost a year now, so this is an important step for the project."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Google Extending Free Domestic Gmail Calling Another Year

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2011 - 10:09 PM |
Tagged: voip, google, gmail

Just in time for the holidays, Google is extending the free domestic calling via the Gmail VOIP service another year. Last year the company extended the free computer to telephone VOIP service another year and now they are doing it again. “This is our way of helping you connect with friends and family across the country,” states their recent blog entry.

call_phones.png

In case you haven’t used the Gmail VOIP service yet, it is similar to the computer to computer and computer to cellphone (or land line) calling that you can do in Google Voice, only this is integrated into Gmail. It does require a small browser plug-in; however, it is worth it. Accessing it by clicking on the “Call a phone” link in the Gmail sidebar (in the chat/SMS section), you are able to put that headset to work by calling anyone in the US and Canada for free. I’ve used it a couple of times and found it to be rather handy for quick conversations while at my computer. Have you tried it out yet, and did you find it useful?

Source: Google

Gmail Now Supports Multiple Calls and Placing Calls On Hold

Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2011 - 01:27 PM |
Tagged: networking, voip, google

The Gmail blog recently showed off a new feature that allows you to put one call on hold while accepting another, a feature that standard phones have had for a long time now. Inside Gmail, you are able to start a call to another computer or a physical phone and then you are free to place this call on hold by hitting the “hold” button. When you wish to return to the call, you simply hit the “Resume” button- just like a normal phone. When a second person calls you, you will be asked to accept or reject it, and if you accept the call the first call will automatically be placed on hold.

multiplecalls.png

According to Google, the call hold feature “works across all call types (voice, video, and phone)” and the only caveat is a limit of two outgoing calls to physical phones can be active at a time. The only feature I see missing from this function is integration with Google Music that would allow me to set up custom hold music to the chagrin to telemarketers and customer support everywhere. After all, it is almost a Friday and everyone would just love to hear some Rebecca Black, right!?

Source: Gmail Blog