February 15, 2008

Another new home VoIP provider: Phone.com

Phone.com launched back in December. For a $29.95 start-up fee and $16.88/month (annual plan) you get unlimited inbound and outbound domestic calls, your own DID, an ATA and all the standard features you've come to expect (voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, etc -- see their features page). You can pay monthly and you can opt for a plan that only offers 200 minutes -- see their pricing and plans page.

Posted by tony at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

Free Windows-based VoIP PBX from 3CX

Something else I forgot to post about is 3CX Phone System - Free Edition. Here's a review from WindowsNetworking.com.

It's amazing what you can find when you start clearing out your Inbox! :)

Posted by tony at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

Vumber: Fewer features than GrandCentral for $4.99/month

VoIPPlanet published this article last month but I missed it somehow. Anyway, they discuss Vumber which, as near as I can tell, is GrandCentral with fewer features for $4.99/month.

Both GC and Vumber let you customize the handling of individual numbers -- including always sending a call from a particular number straight to voicemail or even playing a "Not in service" message. GrandCentral lets you ring multiple phones and, to a certain extent, even customize which inbound calls ring which numbers; Vumber only rings one number. When a call comes in, you can request that GC show you DID (so you know it's coming from GC) or the caller's ID; Vumber always shows the original caller's ID. When you answer your phone, GC lets you select to take the call, send the call to voicemail, send the call to voicemail and listen in or send the call to SPAM; Vumber lets you take the call or send it to voicemail. They share other features and differ on yet others but I'll stop there. Email me if you want more details.

Why would you choose Vumber over GrandCentral? GC is owned by Google so it's probably fairly safe to believe it'll be around for a while. Call quality is good to excellent and outbound calls through GC are free so the only reason I can think of for going with Vumber is that you'd want to go with a commercial provider. Think about it.

FYI, I've been with GrandCentral for almost a year, now, and, while I have a few complaints, I'm incredibly well satisfied with their service. Yes, I'd pay $5/month for it.

Update, Feb. 19, 2008: Got an email from the folks at Vumber with the explanation that their service is really about privacy and the speed of setup -- from your control panel you can change, add and delete vumbers; with GC, you've got one number and you're stuck with it. Vumber says number set up is "immediate". Of course, I didn't give the whole story on Vumber.com. For that, you should really go to their site and check them out.

Posted by tony at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2008

Accessing work calendar and email when away

I've been using AirSet and Soonr to get to my email and calendar from my mobile device while away from work. Why don't I use a Blackberry? Been there, done that and have long since switched to a Windows Mobile platform. Since it my personal device, I'm not really interested in mixing my personal data with my professional.

So, now I hear that both AirSet and Soonr are is gonna start charging and Soonr is going into a private beta so what do I do? For calendaring, I tried Google Calendar. With OggSync I can synchronize my work calendar with it and, while it will send me a daily agenda, it won't reliably send me reminders of upcoming meetings. OK, that's out. What else?

Yahoo Calendar seems to fill the bill. They've got an autosync client that will watch for changes to my schedule and upload changes, it reliably reminds me of upcoming meetings but it doesn't look like it will send me a daily agenda on its own. To solve this last little big, I think I can probably cobble something together, maybe with Yahoo Pipes.

And email? I think one of my previously posted browsers will give me OWA. So, if I can get OWA, won't that address my calendaring needs as well? In truth, I really need an offline copy or daily synopsis of my calendar so I can plan even when I'm offline whereas email is more immediate and that's is why I believe I need something like OWA. eMoze may give me email without my having to launch a browser but I don't yet know how it integrates with Pocket Outlook. I've sent them questions and, once I get answers, I'll be able to tell you more about that particular solution.

Posted by tony at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

Foldable gray scale display

This Mobile Gadgeteer entry discusses (and has pictures and a video) of eInk's Polymer Visions e-Ink Readius mobile reader. Way cool!

Posted by tony at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

New IM client:: Digsby

Ran across Digsby a couple of days ago so I downloaded and installed it. Meebo is great, don't get me wrong, but Digsby can also track my email and, if I was interested, my social networking sites. It passes my main requirement for IM clients in that it allows me to be logged in to the same service with several userids at the same time.

Posted by tony at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2008

Windows Mobile browsers: Skyfire vs Iris

I got my invitation from Skyfire last week so I downloaded and installed their mobile browser and have been playing with it off and on for the past few days. Today, I see over on Engadget that Torch Mobile has made their Iris Browser beta available to phones running Windows Mobile 6. OK, I've downloaded and installed it. Time to do some comparing. No, I won't forget Opera Mobile.

More later.

Posted by tony at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)