Twitter Talk

May 28, 2008 by Garrett Smith

My friend and colleague, Nicole Schuman, recently posted about Twitter and its ability to “facilitate better connections.” I wanted to extrapolate a bit further on the flexibility, versatility, and visibility that Twitter enables Voip Supply to have and to offer our customers. First off let’s talk about Twitter. If you don’t already know, Twitter is a micro blogging platform. It alows for communication between Twitter accounts by simply putting an @ in your tweet. Which brings me to tweets…what are they? Well if you have seen instant messages, then you know what a tweet is. So just how does Twitter offer flexibility, versatility and visibility for us here at VoIP Supply? Well here goes…

Flexibility: You can access it from anywhere…and I mean anywhere. Your IPhone, any Web connection through IM, or web applications such as thwirl. Which enables you to keep people up to date. This helps hot news spread. Whether you are at work, at home or in commute, you can update.

Versatility: With in the 140 character limit (yes there is a limit, but its a good thing–it forces you to get to the point) you have the ability to simply point your readers in the direction of a story or put a question out there for anyone to answer. It really is as much or as little as you want it to be.

Visibility: Twitter automatically updates from our Voip Insider blog which is fantastic! With the auto updating (by way of a third party application) it grants visibility into what we are doing with in the company, community and marketplace. With blog articles written by our dynamic team of authors including our CEO Benjamin Sayers all things VoIP are covered in both the blogging space and the micro blogging space that Twitter allows us to utilize.

Ultimately Twitter is another channel used to communicate with our customers, partners and friends. It’s a tool that everyone can appreciate. Some come take a look and Join us on Twitter!

VoIP on iPhone Via RingFree

One of the products that I have recently begun playing with is the RF Dialer for the iPhone from RingFree. RingFree is a San Francisco-based company that is creating mobile telephony softwares and services with their first product being the RF Dialer for the iPhone.

The RF Dialer is a slick web based application that allows users to make SIP calls via your cellular or WiFi network using an existing service provider. That’s right, this software as a service is BYOP “bring your own provider.”

The last few days I have been using the RF Dialer in conjunction with service from Junction Networks and have been impressed with the ease of use and call quality that I have experienced. I wrote a more detailed review of the service here.

Overall, if you are an iPhone owner looking to make SIP based VoIP calls, you cant go wrong with the RF Dialer from RingFree.

Asterisk Lags Behind Other Platforms in SIP over TCP Support

Alex Lewis over at NetworkWorld has written a story on SIP protocol support (UDP, TCP, TLS). Currently, Asterisk only supports SIP over UDP, and is lagging behind most of the “Tier 1” vendors in support for SIP over TCP.

Alex’s story includes a comparison of platforms and supported SIP frameworks.

I did find a SIP over TCP patch in development here, but it does not appear to have much developer activity in the past few months.

What’s Your Number One Consideration When Purchasing VOIP Equipment?

What VoIP questions do we field here at VoIP Supply

Being the number one online retailer of VoIP equipment, VoIP Supply and its employees experience a wide variety of customers on an everyday basis. Some are calling for replacement equipment, some for endpoint hardware, some for complete IP Phone systems, some for guidance and support on product applications, some for services such as technical support and product configurations. Each consideration is unique to you, the customer, and whether you’re an installer, reseller, or end-user, you will have certain considerations which need to be addressed. As you can see the list goes on, and each and every customer is unique in their own ways. As a sales engineer, I get to listen to and hear each and every customer’s request, and then make recommendations as to which product or application would correctly meet their specifications. This is often a daunting task, especially on larger IP PBX complete phone system orders…there are so many variables to cover before even offering a solution, then much fine tuning to get it just about right in the customer’s eyes. My question to all of you…what is the number one consideration when you call VoIP Supply for product inquiries?

Here is a short list of some concerns that I have seen and dealt with in the past, and have seen repeatedly. Please comment and add to the list as needed:

-Product cost

-Product warranty (VoIP Supply’s go3 or Manufacturers?)

-Product quality (Hardware and Software)

-Product functionality and features

-Product support

-Return policy (Can I return this product if it doesn’t meet my specifications?)

-Will this product work with my service provider?

-Past experience with the product (Good or Bad)

This is just a short list of concerns that I have heard from customers on a pre-sales basis in the past. Obviously this list continues to grow with every customer need and specification, and I encourage you all to post your comments on what you look for and consider when purchasing VOIP equipment from VoIP Supply.

What’s all this noise about Nanny Cameras?

Nanny Cameras translated

So essentially what were talking about today is IP surveillance in the home, or as you may have seen splashed across any and all media outlets, the use of Nanny Cams. The long and short of it is your security and piece of mind when you are away is what I am talking about here. It’s crazy right? No? Well good and to those out there who think its boring and your house and children don’t need a camera watching over them your house probably just got broken into. Ok, that’s a little bit dramatic but seriously you have got to become more hip to your families security, it is 2008. All you need is a camera and a recorder what else do you have to remember? Well a bit so here goes.
A 4 camera nanny cam setup

First and foremost…what the heck is a nanny cam

Well it’s a camera…obviously! It’s a camera that is used to watch over your kids when you are not around (not to be confused with a responsible babysitter of course).

Nanny Cams with remote access = IP Network Cameras

An IP network camera is similar in form and function to an analog surveillance camera in that it captures and sends live video streams, except that with IP Cameras the live video streams are transported via digital packets across an IP network such as a LAN (Local Area Network)or the Internet. Which enables you the parent to log in from work and see exactly what little Timmy is up to. So because IP Network Cameras are on an IP network, the video streams can be accessed and stored remotely. This enables users to view and/or manage the IP camera using a standard Web browser or video management software from different locations, giving businesses increased flexibility and visibility into the lives of your children when you are away or even at your desk at work. It’s piece of mind and it will give you the satisfaction in knowing that the babysitter that you have entrusted the well being of your children with is doing a great job!

What’s all this noise about Nanny Cameras?

Nanny Cameras translated

So essentially what were talking about today is IP surveillance in the home, or as you may have seen splashed across any and all media outlets, the use of Nanny Cams. The long and short of it is your security and piece of mind when you are away is what I am talking about here. It’s crazy right? No? Well good and to those out there who think its boring and your house and children don’t need a camera watching over them your house probably just got broken into. Ok, that’s a little bit dramatic but seriously you have got to become more hip to your families security, it is 2008. All you need is a camera and a recorder what else do you have to remember? Well a bit so here goes.
A 4 camera nanny cam setup

First and foremost…what the heck is a nanny cam

Well it’s a camera…obviously! It’s a camera that is used to watch over your kids when you are not around (not to be confused with a responsible babysitter of course).

Nanny Cams with remote access = IP Network Cameras

An IP network camera is similar in form and function to an analog surveillance camera in that it captures and sends live video streams, except that with IP Cameras the live video streams are transported via digital packets across an IP network such as a LAN (Local Area Network)or the Internet. Which enables you the parent to log in from work and see exactly what little Timmy is up to. So because IP Network Cameras are on an IP network, the video streams can be accessed and stored remotely. This enables users to view and/or manage the IP camera using a standard Web browser or video management software from different locations, giving businesses increased flexibility and visibility into the lives of your children when you are away or even at your desk at work. It’s piece of mind and it will give you the satisfaction in knowing that the babysitter that you have entrusted the well being of your children with is doing a great job!

IPCS Word(s) of the Day: FPS

FPS = Frame rate, or frames per second. 30FPS is generally accepted as “real time.” Most security systems are set to record at 4-7FPS, but can also record at higher frame rates. Think about it like a photographer snapping photos of a scene, taking up to 30 individual digital photos every second. The more FPS, the more bandwidth is necessary to transport the images.

First Look: Elastix IP PBX Appliance

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Jose Landivar, co-founder of PaloSanto Solutions, an OSS pioneer in Latin America, with locations in Ecuador, Colombia and Florida.

Palosanto are the creators of Elastix, an OSS IP phone system and telephony platform derived from Asterisk. Elastix is growing in popularity outside of its native Latin America, and is characterized by its simple installation, clean user interface, integrated Hylafax server (Fax over IP) and virtualization support (using VMWare). Elastic also includes a wealth of integrated software packages including OpenFire integrated Instant Messaging Server, SugarCRM, mail server, billing software and support for more than a dozen languages.

PaloSanto is looking to build mindshare for Elastix here in the US marketplace, and they have engineered an appliance specifically for the needs of the application. Jose left one behind after visiting our offices last week, and I am excited to see how it performs.

We intend to explore the Elastix phone system appliance in more detail over the next few weeks, and we will share our findings with you here on the VoIP Insider. If any of our readers are testing Elastix, or have deployed it in production, I’d love to hear your comments.

More from: Asterisk Garrett Smith