VTel Video Conferencing Presentation

31 03 2010

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

On March 31st 2010 I attended a presentation hosted by Sprint and VTel showcasing a video conferencing system (and Sprint wireless connectivity for the device). The lunch and learn was held at Maggiano’s in Nashville TN.

VTel CEO Richard Ford lead the presentation and was joined by Ken Hall the South East Regional Sales Manager.

They showcased their iPanel Room video conference system. It comprised of an HDTV,  High Def SVideo Camera, a customized slimline PC (that was attached of the rear of the Flat Panel TV) and a paired wireless keyboard. A Sprint wireless device was tethered to the system to provide 3G connectivity. (Sprint mobile 4g is not available in Nashville currently – Sprint 4g is currently limited to WiMAX via their relationship with Clearwire). Read the rest of this entry »





Skype on Android / Verizon = Crippleware

27 03 2010

At long last Skype is available on my Droid!!!! The news on the new app is Good, Bad and Ugly.

Click to enlarge

The Good.

  1. Cheap calls to international destinations directly from your cell phone. This is Huge!
  2. Skype calls do not use any of your wireless plan minutes. Yak all day long if you want to! Especially useful for those long tech support calls to 1-800 numbers during peak hours.
  3. All of your Skype contacts are automatically imported/synced when you sign-in to Skype.
  4. Contact presence is indicated. The online contacts filter to the top of the list, just like with the desktop application.
  5. Call Quality is good.
  6. It’s available at last – Yippee!!!

The Bad Read the rest of this entry »





Google Maps 4.0 OTA update available for Droid

11 02 2010

I got an Over the Air update this morning on my Droid for Google Maps. The new version is 4.0, just last week we got version 3.4 which added multi-touch.

3.4 to 4.0 sounds like a significant jump, however the only new feature I could find was an additional map layer that is integrated with Google s new social networking product, Buzz.

Multi-touch was a huge usability improvement and got no mention from Google, it was just slipped in. Clearly they are jazzed about buzz at Google. I’ve got one follower on Buzz and automatically was made follower of 12 others. Looks like Google are going after twitter with the way the Buzz network is setup. Is buzz a twitter killer? I don’t think so (just yet) because it integrates with Twitter, right now I view it more as a supplement to twitter and other social micro blogging. It maybe a freindfeed killer.





Multi-Touch for the Droid Starts to Rollout!!!

6 02 2010

Google recently released a new version of Google Maps for the droid which supports multi-touch (aka pinch-zoom). Mutil-touch zooming is vastly superior to the Plus-Minus zooming previously available on Google Maps. This is a great feature upgrade.

The release of this feature has been done very quietly by Google, almost stealth like. I noticed this morning that an updated version of Google Maps was available. I performed the upgrade and it informed me of some new features. Oddly multi-touch is NOT listed as a new feature even though it is present.

The new Features listed for version 3.4.0. of Google Maps are :-

  • Starred Items synced with maps.
  • Search Suggestions from maps.
  • Night Mode for Navigation

Read the rest of this entry »





Microsoft Releases short Office 2010 videos

6 12 2009

Microsoft have released some short videos showing the latest features in Office 2010.

They could have used professional presenters for a better result, but the message is the same.





Google DNS to take on OpenDNS?

4 12 2009

I have used OpenDNS for several years now with great results. I encourage others to use the service where possible. ISP’s really don’t want to sink money into services such as email or DNS, it’s a money pit as far as they are concerned so their services can bog down due to underfunding or otherwise be managed poorly.

Google now announce they have a DNS service. Is this a OpenDNS killer or will the Google name brand simply legitimize the idea of using an alternative DNS provider and actually help grow the market for everyone including OpenDNS?

OpenDNS are serving almost 20 billion DNS requests per day and have presence in ten markets around the world. It is likely that Google can reach more markets more quickly and have the money to provide more equipment. However failed URL requests from OpenDNS end up at a customized google search page, why would Google want to hurt this extra business? I see the Google move as benevolent towards the internet in general and also towards third parties like OpenDNS. Poor DNS can spoil the internet experience, Google want to ensure you can get to websites (including theirs) quickly an efficiently.

Which is best, Google or OpenDNS?

OpenDNS offer content filtering that rivals that from premium appliance providers such as WebSense. For small to medium businesses this is a great enhancement to their internet productivity. For those with kids, it serves as net nanny without having to load down the PC’s in the house with filtering software. Neat!!

Google will probably have a DNS server closer to you, but without the extra features of OpenDNS it is a service of last resort, not one of choice.

I’ll be interested to see if Google starts adding services to their DNS offering in the coming months/years. Then we will know what their true intentions are.








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