IEEE Spectrum Podcast With Dan Berninger of VCXC

IEEE-Spectrum-Podcast-in-thinkpad-x1-carbon Earlier this month Steven Cherry of the IEEE Spectrum podcast interviewed Daniel Berninger of The Voice Communications Exchange, aka VCXC, about the end of the PSTN. Dan certainly knows this space well. He covers a number of topics, including IP peering between carriers and potential new services, including HDVoice. It’s a good interview, well worth a listen.

However, like the CNet & Ooma interview from June 2012, the production of the interview is done completely ignoring the possibility of using HDVoice to craft the podcast itself.  I’m sure that this was a simple matter of choosing convenience over all else on the part of the IEEE staff.

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Measuring The Real Impact Of Smart TVs

Skype-For-TVSince the introduction of “Smart HDTVs” a couple of years ago I’ve been wondering just how much impact the built-in applications have on the purchase process, and the user experience. A new report from NPD Group sheds some much-needed insight into this area.

The headline of the report states very plainly that, “Internet Connected TVs Are Used To Watch TV, And That’s About All.” Beyond the traditional role of TV the leading role of the smart HDTV seems to be for using “Over-the-top” services like Netflix. Fully 60% of smart TV users report taking advantage of this feature.

The next most common use of the Smart TV is for listening to OTT music services, but that’s only reported as used by around 15% of the installed base. All other applications, including “video calling” services like Skype and Google Chat see use by less than 5% of users.

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Twelephone: Profile Of A WebRTC Application

Friday, December 28th the VUC will be joined by Chris Mathieu for a discussion of his new project called Twelephone. Twelephone leverages Twitter and WebRTC to provide clientless peer-to-peer voice, video and IM right inside Google’s Chrome browser.

With a little luck the initial part of the session will be an interview conducted using Twelephone. We hope to be able to bring the Twelephone session into the Google Hangout.

It’s unclear just how practical it will be to connect Twelephone, the Hangout and ZipDX. We may revert to our more typical Hangout+ZipDX combination in order to engage the entire audience.

I will be sitting in for the vacationing Randulo. Rumor has it that Randulo may drop by from his location in Thailand.

Twelephone is ringing…you got me one the run…” – it’s like Elmer Fudd sings Alice Cooper Winking smile

DoorBot: A Wifi Enabled Smart Doorbell

DoorBot-LogoSome time ago I installed an analog DoorBell Fone to replace our ancient, traditional doorbell. I described that project hereabouts at the time.

At the time I considered some SIP enabled solutions as well as some video capable gear. In the end budget pressure constrained my decision to the very old skool DoorBell Fone.

Sadly, that device was not long lived. Less than a year later it failed. I now wish that I had gone the extra cost for the Algo Solutions SIP door phone.

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Connecting The Dots: WebRTC, Twelephone & Hangouts

We have invited the folks from Twelephone to appear as guests on the VUC call Friday, December 28th. If you’ve not heard of them, Twelephone is a new video calling service built using WebRTC and effectively leveraging Twitter as namespace. It’s just one of many new web communications applications arising from from the newly evolved WebRTC standard.


Chris Mathieu is the founder of the project. Chris has appeared on a number of VUC calls in the past. Chris has long been involved with telecom related APIs, including spending some time worth with the Voxeans who created Tropo.

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Live From Las Vegas! We’re Now Hosted At Lightning Base In Las Vegas!

Lightning-Base-Logo-Lenovo-X1-CarbonThis is the fourth installment in the long-running tale (parts one, two & three) of my search for the most appropriate host for this site.

The very fact that you’re reading this means that the site is now live on a server operated by Lightning Base. In the past I’ve used a shared host and couple of different VPS providers. In point of fact the site was at for over two years.

I have nothing but nice things to say about That service is excellent, but it wasn’t exactly a perfect fit. It was an unmanaged VPS, which meant that I was responsible for everything.

Every few weeks I would need to update some aspect of the OS or supporting software. Some updates were trivial. Some, like major Apache or MySQL updates, were a bit scary. Despite five years running this site I’m no Linux guru.

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