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FRIDAY - JANUARY 13, 2006 - ISSUE NO. 195

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brad dye
Wireless Messaging Newsletter
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi
  • Paging
  • Wi-MAX
  • Telemetry
  • Location Services
  • Wireless Messaging
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BlackBerry Meets Google Talk

January 12, 2006

By Susan Kuchinskas

Research in Motion (RIM) announced on Thursday that its BlackBerry platform will support Google Talk instant messaging and Google Local for mobile.

Google also announced Google Mobile Personalized Home Page, while RIM said it would distribute synch software for Macs.

"Instant messaging and local content are two increasingly important areas of focus for mobile applications and we are very pleased to work with Google in extending these two popular Google services to BlackBerry users,” Mark Guibert, vice president of corporate marketing at RIM, said in a statement.

Google Talk for BlackBerry, expected to be available in the spring, is a version of Google's instant messaging application specifically designed for BlackBerry handsets. BlackBerry users will be able to send and receive instant text messages with other Google Talk users; the BlackBerry app will have the same functionality as the desktop version.

When it launched Google Talk, the search goliath said it wanted to make its IM service, which is based on XMPP, interoperate with the other networks. Google executives weren't available to discuss whether the creation of a special version for BlackBerry means that global interoperability of Google Talk isn't likely.

BlackBerry users also can download Google Local, giving them access to maps, satellite imagery, driving directions and searches for local businesses.

Also on Thursday, Google expanded its mobile offerings with Google Personalized Home for mobile devices, a new service that lets users access their personalized Google homepage on mobile phones and PDAs.

The free mobile home page mirrors personalized content on registered users' desktops, including Gmail, customized news headlines and RSS feeds. Information is optimized for the smaller screens and slower bandwidth of most mobile devices.

In a statement about bringing Google services to the BlackBerry, Deep Nishar, director of product management for Google, said it was a way to extend Google Talk and Google Local beyond the desktop.

RIM is laboring under the threat of a shut-down of its U.S. service because of a patent infringement suit brought by NTP. The NTP patents are being reexamined as the litigation continues.

Google also is being sued by RTI, which claims Google Talk violates its intellectual property rights.

Despite the looming patent suit, RIM showed a substantial increase in revenue. Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2006, reported in December 2005, was $560.6 million, up 53 percent year-over-year, with 70 percent of revenue coming from handheld devices. RIM reported shipments of approximately 2.9 million handheld devices for the first three quarters of the year.

PocketMac for Blackberry

RIM made another interoperability announcement at the Macworld Expo conference today. Information Appliance Associates (IAA) announced that RIM will offer IAA's PocketMac for BlackBerry free of charge. PocketMac for BlackBerry is a desktop application that enables Mac users to synchronize data between their BlackBerry devices and Macintosh applications, including e-mail, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes. PocketMac is expected to be available as a free download from the BlackBerry Web site beginning in February.

Tim Goggins, vice president of sales and marketing for IAA, said PocketMac was first demonstrated a year ago, in RIM's Macworld booth. He said the deal, in which RIM will license PocketMac and distribute it, shows the BlackBerry maker's commitment to the Macintosh market.

"RIM has always been enthusiastic about The Mac market," Goggins said, "and they supported us when we developed it. We both realized there was only so far we could go with us being a third-party vendor."


Carter Blumeyer Responds to Blackberry Issue

Subject: Blackberry?
Date: January 6, 2006 12:14:05 PM CST

Thanks for correcting me on my statement on the Blackberry. I know the systems are completely different and yet I was trying to relate to the users, since 70-90% of the "Blackberry styles" including palm's do run on the phone networks. But you made a good point and i only hope that we educated the general public even better. But to us true geeks know the difference! :) Thanks again

Carter Blumeyer
Nextel 301-573-5578 164*988*1742
Cingular GSM 573-268-3000
USA Mobility 866-227-6582

Carter Blumeyer Offers More Ideas and Opinions on Wireless

Happy New Year! Hope 2006 will be a GOOD one! In my last email I stated that I was going to give you my thinking on what can and could be done to ReFLEX in the future. As I sit here in BWI airport heading to CES in Vegas I cant stop thinking about CES 6-7 years ago when ReFLEX units from Motorola was unveiled to the public as “THE NEXT THING” for personal communication. Well times have changed. RefLEX is one of the most reliable networks that can be used for so many things, no just a personal pager.

In a past article you stated a company that made a “paging style” unit that would keep the public informed on happenings going on and to keep them informed. This idea is great but if you could take it one step further and add not just a one way unit but have a way for the public to “register” or something like that to help respond to issues kind of like an On-Star type service. Have one touch buttons for Police, Fire, Medical or just a yes or no answer to go back to officials if help is needed. In the wake of the flooding when people were trapped if this system was in place the public could have informed officials on who was still out there with the GPS chip in it. This same idea can be applied to hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, avalanches, blackouts etc. anywhere where everything is down but we need accountability. The unit could be mounted on a wall with ease of removing it to take with you.

Data, Data, Data that where this network needs to head to expand and to keep it going. There is so much out there that could use the system and for its inexpensive price for the infrastructure compared to a new PCS system you can grow for less. US Post Office and other shipping style companies is one thing I see. There handheld delivery confirmation units are just perfect for the small size of the Reflex transmitter and dumping data can be done in an instant to update there system. To help grow the network in the smaller towns a grant could be written to help this process out. Why not have the Government help out the expansion of the networks.

Cruise lines is again something that they can provide an extra service to keep in contact while on board and off the the outside world. Use there onboard satellite internet connection to communicate with the NOC since there is no issues with timing or syncing the transmitter with others this should be easy.

This idea of sending the info over the net can also be applied to other areas such as places far away, Antarctica. The NSF has government grants all the time and down there they have as many as 2000 people occupying the area. There phone and data all come from the same dish. There is only so much bandwidth and when it is full, from everyone trying to use the phones, the phones get busy and internet goes to a standstill. With the Reflex I believe this would free up bandwidth by 10-20% because people can now use there units to communicate back home instead of the phone for everything.

Data for dollars as I call it, for marketing purpose is the next thing in a small package. Satellite radio, terrestrial radio as well as TV can benefit from the use of the network. Lets start with sat radio the companies have to continue to listen to there users on what they like and don’t like about the service. Although getting ideas from there customers to create new channels is great how do they know who’s listening? With the small size and the fact the antenna is outside or can stay in the unit you could design the player to download data on the users channel picking and how long they listen. This would be huge to them to actually know if a channel is a hit or not! This same idea can also be applied to the plain old terrestrial radio and the new digital, over the air, “cable style” TV systems for there research.

My personal favorite newspaper, soda and snack machine, this is a easy one. I had back in 2000 tried to develop retro fit kits for the leasing soda machine companies and a simple kit for newspaper machines to give data on sales, time, date, temp, and alarm and out of product. I know there is new soda machines have this feature on them but there are a lot older ones out there.

Last but not least the Federal Government has mandated that the old analog data network will be coming down soon and where else are you going to be able to find a 1 watt transmitter for your data needs?

Well I am off to the show and looking forward to good show and just maybe someone will offer a new RefLEX unit that will sync with outlook and be a little smaller then the 935, I can dream can’t I!

Take care and just know in the next big event I will stay in contact with you and your readers.

Carter C. Blumeyer
Telecommunication Specialist
Nextel 301-573-5578 164*988*1742
Cingular GSM 573-268-3000
USA Mobility 866-227-6582



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FlashPhone Cuts VoIP-PC Tie

Mplat's new device lets people make and receive Skype calls at Skype prices but on more than one machine.

By Michael Brandenburg
Personal Tech Pipeline
Jan. 9, 2006

Skype Technologies S.A. and voice-over-IP offerings from other companies make it possible to have high-quality--and free--global calls over the Internet.

One advantage of using cell phones and wireless mobile devices over VoIP is that despite the phone charges, you've got much more flexibility. With VoIP, you have to be tethered to the PC that contains your calling information, plus the hardware and software that enables calls. Or do you?

A $40 product called FlashPhone F2K from Mplat Technology Ltd. puts all that information, along with the software and hardware, into the palm of your hand. The FlashPhone F2K is designed to be a self-contained device for making and receiving Skype calls. Mplat has combined a flash memory drive and a USB sound card into a device only slightly larger than a lipstick holder. Earbuds with a built-in microphone plug into one side of the device, and a USB connector is hidden under a cap on the other side.

Worked As Expected
When I connected the FlashPhone to an available USB port, I was prompted to start Skype Mobile. After a surprisingly long load time, the application was up and ready for use. When Skype did finally load, the FlashPhone did exactly as promised.

Initially, I made a couple of calls to Skype's Echo Test service, allowing me to hear another caller and also get a recorded clip of my voice played back to me. Audio quality was pretty good through the included headset, both for sending and receiving.

flash phone
The tiny FlashPhone F2K combines a flash memory card and a USB sound card.

I ran into an issue during testing: I kept losing my Skype settings and contact list after exiting the application. In looking through the files on the flash drive, I discovered that a required freeware application was missing. A text document in the director where the file is supposed to be gives a Web link to download the file. It's a bit unclear if this is a simple mistake or some kind of licensing issue, but my problems with settings cleared up when the application was downloaded and in the right place.

After ensuring that the FlashPhone worked well on my primary machine, I walked over to a different machine and plugged in. Just like the first time, the new machine detected and installed both the flash drive and the audio controller. As Skype launched, all of my user settings and contact lists were carried over to the other machine. Everything worked exactly as expected, but I did have administrator authority on both test machines. In a locked-down business environment, or even at an Internet cafe, computer policies may prevent the hardware from being installed or the application from loading.

The FlashPhone is based on a sound idea: Take all of the components needed to run Skype and build them into a small, simple device. I'd like to see better documentation, but for the price, the F2K is a nice little package that lets you take your VoIP with you.

Source: InformationWeek

VoIP Week in Review from TMCnet: Certified Devices

January 6, 2006
TMCnet VoIP Minute Watch Columnist

The first week of the New Year was filled with announcements made during The 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which took place in Las Vegas from VoIP providers teaming up with technology manufacturing giants to certify multiple devices including wireless phones, headsets, and ATA adapters. Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google all had major presence and announcements at CES as well.

Wireless phone manufacturer Ascalade Communications Inc. announced on Monday that it signed a development agreement with VoIP service provider Skype Technologies S.A. in order to develop multiple Skype-certified telecommunication products including wireless VoIP phones. The first multi-product deal device has already begun shipping to a major global networking company and is available in North America and Europe. It is part of Ascalade's Companion series of PC-based VoIP cordless phones. The device allows users access to their Skype contact lists, make Skype calls, change their online presence and access voicemail away from their PC. The phone features a color screen, speakerphone, polyphonic ring tones, and caller line identification and uses Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology. DECT enables uses a digital cordless technology that does not interfere with 2.4 GHz devices in the home and office.

A partnership announced on Tuesday between photography giant Eastman Kodak Company and VoIP service provider Skype Technologies S.A. will enable us to gather together online and share our digital photos just as if we're sitting in our living room even if we're in different parts of the globe. The companies teamed up to unveil the latest in digital storytelling, the KODAK Photo Voice. The new service combines live voice and online photo sharing. The beta version of KODAK Photo Voice, the first Skype-certified online photo sharing experience, is now available as a free download online.

Mobile phone headset manufacturer Aliph of San Francisco, California introduced on Thursday the Skype-certified Jawbone PC Edition VoIP communications headset. The device integrates Aliph's military-grade audio processing and product design to eliminate background noise. The device has a metal outer edge that protects the internal electronics, while the inside surface is made of medical-grade plastic to provide a comfortable, soft, and smooth feel on the skin. Jawbone's docking and storage mechanism allows it to fit in a user's pocket enabling better portability.

Skype announced a partnership with Philips Electronics yesterday to introduce a new Internet phone, the VoIP321. The new cordless phone has dual functionality so consumers can make free Skype calls, as well as ordinary landline calls. The Internet phone operates on Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephone (DECT) technology. This technology enhances the sound and security available in a cordless phone.

The VoIP service provider also made news yesterday when it teamed up with NETGEAR Inc to develop a suite of new products, including the world's first Skype wireless mobile telephone and a router equipped to optimize Skype. NETGEAR's Skype WiFi phone will work wherever a consumer is connected to a wireless Internet access point, be that in a home, office, cafe, open public hotspot, or any open municipal wireless access point being deployed worldwide. The NETGEAR phone is pre-loaded with Skype’s software, ready out-of-the-box to use with a wireless network. Pricing and availability info for the Skype WiFi phone will be released during this year's first quarter.

Internet access product manufacturer USRobotics announced on Thursday its introduction of the USR9610, a Skype-certified USB Internet Speakerphone. The device is the newest in the company's family of Skype-certified products, which also includes the USR9600, a USB Internet handset. The speakerphone will be available through resellers later this month and is priced at $49.99 (MSRP).

USRobotics' spokesperson Gena Mazzeo gave the VoIP Minute Watch a sneak peek at what the company is planning to release during this year's first quarter. It turns out that through its partnership with Skype, USRobotics is planning to introduce a USB voice switch, or double-port ATA adapter, that will enable users to forward Skype calls to cell phones by using an "intelligent routing" technology. The device seems like a must have for VoIP service subscribers in case of a power or Internet access failure.

VoIP service provider Vonage announced on Tuesday that it teamed up with wireless electronics manufacturer Uniden America Corporation to retail the Uniden UIP1869V, a 5.8GHz digital expandable cordless broadband phone system configured with Vonage's phone service. The phone is now available in CompUSA and Fry's Electronics. The device bundles Texas Instruments' (TI) TNETV1060 VoIP chipset, enabling consumers to carry out conversations though applications compatible with the Vonage service. It has a retail price of $189.99 and offers a $50 mail-in rebate to consumers after sixty days of service.

Vonage announced a partnership with networking systems provider D-Link on Tuesday that will enable both companies to develop a co-branded broadband telephone adaptor configured with Vonage's phone service. The Vonage-enabled D-Link VTA is a small, fully portable stand alone adapter that has the capability of supporting two broadband telephone lines. The D-Link Vonage co-branded VoIP gateway enables consumers to carryout conversations through voice applications that are compatible with Vonage's service. The initial VoIP telephone adapter will be based on Texas Instruments' TNETV1015 VoIP gateway chipset.

The Minute also heard from networking hardware company Linksys, who introduced a line of products for VoIP providers on Thursday comprised of an SIP-based IP PBX/Key system, a range of IP desktop phones and an Analog Gateway for connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network. The products seem to be ideal for enterprises with up to sixteen users. According to the company's news release, the new products will complement the recently announced Linksys One solution. Linksys One integrates voice, video, and other applications for small businesses with 5-100 users. The LVS series was developed to address the residential and very small business with 1-4 users that may grow to 16.

There you have it folks, another exciting week in the VoIP industry! Stay tuned and read the VoIP Minute Watch for the latest news…

Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet and Internet Telephony magazine. To see more articles by Johanne Torres, please visit Johanne Torres' columnist page

Source: TMCnet


Thanks for reading this far—all the way to the end. I hope that you benefited from some of the information here. Please come back next week and tell a friend or colleague about the newsletter. Remember, it's free and without any obligation.

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With best regards,

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Brad Dye
Wireless Messaging Consultant

P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. —M. Scott Peck

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