Archive for the ‘Commercial Applications’ Category

VoIP….for free….sort of

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

So everyone has been harping over VoIP (that’s Voice over Internet Protocol for the uninitiated) as one of the next big innovations in telecommunications. You might have heard of Skype, which is just one of many VoIP service providers but probably the de facto one if you ask most people. The pay model for most VoIP services is no different than other telecommunication technologies (cell phone, landline, etc.) - monthly billing or pay as you go (prepay). But what if you could make calls for life after making one single payment? That’s an interesting concept and one that a new service called ooma is touting (NOTE: We don’t endorse here we just inform).

Straight from ooma’s FAQ:

How much do ooma products cost? Do you charge a monthly fee?
As an ooma White Rabbit, you get the hardware (MSRP for ooma Hub is $599!) for just one penny. This includes Free Domestic Long-Distance Calling, the Instant Second Line™ feature, and the Broadband Answering Machine™, all for the life of your ooma device with no monthly fees! You will need a credit card to sign up as we charge a nominal $.01 to get started.
Beginning in September, ooma will offer a special introductory rate of $399. ooma Scouts are priced at $39 per unit. But as a White Rabbit invitee, you’ll get the Hub and Scout for only one penny.

Btw, White Rabbit refers to you as an initial user as part of their nationwide, invitation-only White Rabbit BETA program.

Re-visiting the Semantic Grid

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Back in May 2005, readers were reminded (and some informed for the first time) about the Semantic Grid effort that’s been underway since 2001. Recently, IST Results did a piece on the Semantic Grid by touting more of the potential commercial benefit of such a resource. A significant component of the Semantic Grid, a methodologically sound technological infrastructure, is being addressed by the OntoGrid Project.

More indepth information on both the Semantic Grid and the OntoGrid project can be found in this article.

A meeting of the minds?

Monday, December 19th, 2005

Software research collaboration between universities and private business may soon become easier, depending on the results of the new intellectual property model recently announced by 11 academic and commercial partners. The New York Times also has a piece about this new partnership, which includes HP, IBM, Stanford and Georgia Tech among others.

IBM slows light for emerging chip

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

The title–with a healthy “Holy Cow!” thrown in there–probably says enough.

ZDNet reports.

The article is in Nature for those with access.

Municipal Wi-fi

Friday, October 7th, 2005

Ubiquitous wi-fi isn’t reality yet, but there is progress. In this article from CIO Today, big city (Philadelphia) wi-fi infrastructure is discussed. By 2006, Philadelphia hopes to have city-wide wireless capability, utilizing one service provider that will provide various price points to other entities, including other ISPs. Coming on the heels of news about Google providing free wi-fi to San Francisco, the stage is being set for quite a showdown between telcos and broadband companies as other cities start planning municipal wi-fi networks. With McCain and Lautenberg’s Community Broadband Act of 2005 on the legislative table, public service could get a much needed boost - depending on your perspective.

eBay integration of Skype

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Here’s one for the VoIP crowd and eBay fans. It was reported earlier this month that eBay purchased the Internet communications company Skype for $2.6 billion in cash and stock. How eBay intends to integrate Skype technology into their operations isn’t entirely clear except that it’s clear eBay’s sole reliance on e-mail as the primary form of communication between parties has become rather archaic and untimely. VoIP has potential and is getting more and more press lately, but it seems that Skype’s technology, which includes peer-to-peer service (IM) and file transfer capability, and its marriage with eBay may have some problems.

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