Ooma: HDVoice For The Thrifty Consumer

ooma-teloOoma has been around for quite some time. While the core of their service offering is free domestic long distance one you’ve bought the hardware, they have also made some effort to promote improved call quality…all the way to HDVoice.

The companies end-point device, a $199 device known as “Telo”, can be inserted inline with an existing landline, making your traditional home phone both voip and analog-capable. It can also be inserted inline with your internet access. Connected in this manner it provides managed quality of service (QoS) for voip traffic on your network. This is a sensible strategy, well established in many ATA type devices.

Telo is actually Linux-based and runs an instance of Freeswitch to handle its telephony functions. That open source project has consistently moved quickly to deploy new technologies…especially new HDVoice codecs. Ooma leverages this fact in offering what they call “PureVoice.”

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Hey, Mr Podcaster! Audio Quality Matters, M’kay?

ibm-podcast-galaxy-nexus While I travel I like to listen to podcasts. While there are a variety of podcasts that are routinely found on my cell phone, I also try new things from The Conversations Network and similar sites.

This evening as I’m on a flight to Raleigh-Durham NC I happened to give a listen to a short podcast from IBM. It was The IBM Institute For Business Value podcast entitled, “The Changing Face Of Communication.” It’s an older podcast, from June 2009.

While this file had been on my phone a while I had thought that it still might be interesting. IBM certainly knows a thing or two about communications. I was at Astricon 2009 when IBM had a keynote address. They also announced a partnership of some sort with Digium.

However, I was startled to hear the audio quality of this podcast. It’s simply atrocious. Seriously. It’s really bad.

Remember Marshall McLuhan? The medium is the message. In this case the medium, poor quality podcast audio, completely destroys the message…and along with it the credibility of the participants.

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First Look: Gigaset C610A & L410

Gigaset C610AL410_TR_whi_300 Some weeks ago Gigaset sent me a a couple of their newer US offerings to try. The first of these that I’ve unboxed is the new C610A Cordless DECT phone with the L410 Hands-free Clip.

Unlike the various Gigaset systems I’ve considered in the past, the C610A is not an IP-capable system. It sports just one old school analog line interface. Normally I wouldn’t even trouble myself to take such a phone out of the box.

The C610A itself is a pretty basic phone. The DECT base includes voicemail capability, with a small speaker on the base so that you can listen to voice messages at the base even if the handset is elsewhere. The VM system can also be used to record a call in progress.

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Hiding In Plain Sight: 24 Hours Of DNS Server Troubles

Some time early on May 31st I received a page telling me that this site was down. This has happened occasionally in the past and was almost always the result to something that I had done. That was not the case this time.

While I could not reach the domain I found that I could reach the server via its IP address. I was able to shell into the VPS and verify its status. It was in fact alive and healthy. By adding a hosts file entry in my desktop PC I was able to provide a local DNS solution, confirming that the server itself was completely happy.

It turns out that the company that handles DNS for this domain, which is not the hosting provider, was hit by what they characterize as a “larger than normal DDOS attack.” They tell me that the attack focused specifically on the DNS servers. They had been working to thwart the attack, and also adding additional servers to help handle the load.

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