One Month Emboldened By The Blackberry 9700

blackberry-bold-9700-2As opposed to elsewhere, where I do in depth reviews of certain devices, this is a little mini-review that reflects the experience of my first month carrying the new Blackberry 9700, aka the Bold2. If you’re looking for a more general overview of the device I suggest Crackberry.com’s review.

In the weeks just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday my 3 year old Blackberry 8100 was failing. The mechanical trackball from which the models “Pearl” nickname was derived was simply failing. I cleaned it a couple of times but each time it would again become unresponsive after just a few days. It’s time had come.

I wasn’t settled upon another Blackberry as it’s replacement. I had been happy with the handset for a long time, but felt that a full keyboard would better meet my needs moving forward.

Further, while I was interested  in Android powered phones, I wasn’t willing to change carriers based solely on hardware availability. I’m basically happy with T-Mobile. I wasn’t about to move to Verizon Wireless just to get access to a Motorola Droid.

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Holiday Gift Ideas for the VoIP Geek In Your Family

Here’s a short list of things that we think would make great gifts for the VoIP geek in your life. Whether it’s a just-starting-out VoIP Geek, like my coworkers son taking a year of University in Spain and needing to call home cheap, or the more accomplished of the nerdy…these items should hold considerable appeal.

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Holiday Headset Deal

Logitech-ClearChat-Pro-USB-HeadsetI do a lot of my holiday shopping online. I have done for many years. Today I found a deal that I can’t use but I think I should share. Ecost.com is offering the Logitech Clear Chat Pro USB headset for $16.99. This looks like a very good headset for the serious gamer or VoIP enthusiast…for a trivial amount of cash. It’s USB connected which makes it well suited to desktop or laptop/netbook use.

I’ve not used it myself but it certainly looks like a good deal. Further, at the sale price it’s even less expensive than the Skype Freetalk Everyman, which is known for being inexpensive.

OT: Visualizing Harmonic Nodes

This is a very neat video of salt on a vibrating surface. The surface is being excited by a transducer of some sort across a range of audible frequencies. The salt reacts to this energy. The pattern of the salt on the surface illustrates the nodal breakdown of the surface into various harmonics. That is, as the frequency increases the surface changes from moving as a single piston to breaking down into ever smaller “nodes.”  This is an excellent visual example of resonance in action.

This link came to me by way of the Twitter feed from The Art And Science of Sound, a project lead by master recording engineer and musician Alan Parsons. The project is a DVD set explaining the many mysteries of modern recording studio techniques.

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Zoiper Softphone Goes HD In A Big Way!

zoiperHere’s the headline:

Zoiper is the First 3rd Party Softphone to Support Skype’s SILK, Polycom’s SIREN and the Broadvoice Codecs

How does that sound? Pretty major, right? Wanna know more? Here are the details.

Given that ZoIPer Communicator is available in web, Windows, Mac & Linux flavors this could jump them to the head of the class for HDVoice support in a soft phone. And of course, ZoIPer Communicator has long supported both SIP and IAX protocols. Yes, you have options. Very nice.

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Mr Pulver Goes To Washington….again…this time in HDVoice…with a few friends

The HDVoice trio of HDConnect, FWD & Polycom have announced a seminar on HDVoice in Washington DC on December 10th. Here’ s the gist of the matter from the Polycom press release:

The HDConnect Project and Polycom, Inc. invite members of the Washington, D.C. tech policy community to experience high definition telephone calls via an HD calling trial starting Dec. 10, 2009. HDConnect Steering Committee members will hold a seminar and demonstrations in Washington, D.C. to help legislators and others learn more about why high definition telephony promises to transform the communication landscape. After the seminar, attendees may register to participate in the trial.

…further…

High definition telephony offers more than twice the voice quality of standard phone calls, and is the biggest advancement telephony has seen in more than 100 years. HD calling makes telephone calls significantly more productive because it all but eliminates the misunderstandings that arise because the standard phone system cuts out four-fifths of the human voice.

Sometimes a legislative mastery of the patently obvious is not so easy to achieve. Best of luck to Mssrs Pulver, Berninger & Rodman as they work to persuade the regulatory crowd that the 1930s technical standards of the PSTN are simply not adequate in the 21st century.