This caught my eye today. AvantiMobile in the UK is marketing something called Least Cost Routing for mobile phones. When you make a call, the Avantimobile application in your phone checks to see if it can be routed cheaply through their VOIP network. If it can’t, the call goes through the regular cell network. You don’t have to do a thing except dial. It sounds simple and I like that.
Trying to absorb all my choices when it comes to new VOIP handsets, services and applications makes me feel like I need a flow chart just to make a call. Just look at Andy’s list of what he uses day to day!
Luca Filigheddu just posted some interesting comments on testing the N95 the last few months. It reminded me to add a comment of my own. The cord for the ear buds is two short when the handset is carried at the waist. You’ve got to bend over or tilt your head sideways (looks dorky). The ear piece jack is not a standard size (3.5 mm instead of 2.5 mm) so you may have to hunt around to find something else with a longer cord and mic.
This week thevoipgirl.com went down in flames for the first time. I think it was out for a couple of days after I upgraded my WordPress template and then managed to hose my site. After the initial shock, depression set in since I have absolutely NO idea how PHP works. Thankfully the WP template I’m using is superbly supported by its creator and other code wizards. It turned out to be something wonky with the permissions in my index.php and nothing to do with upgrading (greek to me). So, the reason for this post, in a nutshell, is to recommend this highly customizable and well supported template. Check out Semiologic Pro by Denis de Bernardy. Cheers!
Yes, I just bought a new headset. So when I read about Jajah’s new No Headset movement, I thought, ‘forget it Leanne, you can’t win’. They even have a web site: http://www.noheadset.com. You can check out flicks of people trashing their headsets. (I’m not going to slapshot my shiny new $100 headset thanks.)
However, my take on this campaign can be summarized by their new tag line "If You Liked Skype, You’ll Love JAJAH". It’s a way to put themselves in the same league as Skype but also to differentiate in a way that says we do what Skype does and we do it better. Unlike Skype, JAJAH lets you make internet calls using your regular desktop phone, which is great. But, don’t some people choose headsets because they want to be "handsfree"? If that’s the case, blowing up your headset would be BAD. Whatever.
It’s been about a year since I bought my Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop and I’ve really loved it, except for one little thing that’s become a big annoying problem. When I have a headset plugged in, I quite often hear squealch-like static that renders the conversation inaudible. Calls I’ve had on SightSpeed and Skype have been plagued by this problem, and until now I always put it down to cheap headset hardware. Instead it turns out to be a Dell design flaw. My searches on the Dell forums indicate that it’s been more than just me experiencing this static and the culprit seems to be a wonky bit of wiring in the headset jack.
So, I’ve broke up with analog headsets forever and purchased a Plantronics DSP-400 folding USB headset. So far so good. It’s a wired headset and costs about $100.
Some wireless headsets worth a look if you’re having a similiar Dell moment is the Plantronics CS-50 USB Wireless Headset, Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset, or the Plantronics Audio 910 Bluetooth headset. All are pricey but going wireless may be worth it.
The intrepid Tom Keating reviews two headsets here:
This morning I was down in our basement office pecking away. It’s a great spot to hide. I am effectively cut off from the what’s going on in the rest of the house (a blessing at times). Can’t hear a thing…no doorbell, kids pummeling each other, or the kettle… I guess my husband got tired of the kettle screeching away so he sent me a text message from the kitchen PC. "Hi…water boiling". Now that’s practical IM.
Thanks to Tom Keating for alerting me to Skype’s new call transfer feature. Tom points out that this feature that smooths the way for Skype as a practical business phone system.
Call transfer is available as part of Skype 3.5 BETA so it’s still in trial mode. You won’t get this version by updating Skype from the Help menu. You need to go here and download the beta.
Bloggers like Andy and Phoneboy have made mention of Gizmo Project growing pains and bugs. Sometimes timing is everything because I was just thinking that. Well, maybe I’m feeling a little cranky today. I haven’t seen the problems Andy and Phoneboy have, but I do see other Gizmo-related errors and general “not responding” messages regularly, and it’s getting me down.
I’ve also never been able to get GizmoCall to work for me at all despite numerous pleas to tech support and the forums. I reported on it’s launch but was waiting to give a user opinion. Never happened. I really think that Gizmo is going in the right direction with the additional services like SMS, web calling, integration with other IM networks. I recently decided to use Gizmo as my primary chat interface since I can integrate with MSN,Yahoo, Google, and others. A new features lets you import your MSN contact list into Gizmo at one shot instead of laboriously one by one. And Gizmo is SO easy to set up with the Nokia N95 which means I can use it to make mobile internet calls. I also use Gizmo to handle all my incoming calls through GrandCentral. Another big plus.
When the sun is shining you can overlook application not responding and other weirdness. But you can also get tired of making excuses. Sigh. I feel it’s kind of like a great outfit, love the color, the style, looks good on me, perfect for the occasion, but it doesn’t quite fit right.