VoIP

Geek Speak and Holiday Headaches

Geek Speak and Holiday Headaches

Holidays are generally a time for high blood-pressure, so it's always nice when technology steps in to smooth frustrations and make things easier. Unfortunately, time with family - or indeed away from them - can also introduce its own electronic headaches. Many of us make the annual pilgrimage to the family home with a bag full of cables, gadgets and thumb-drives loaded with anti-malware software, along with the apprehension that we'll be the unpaid Geek Squad while we're there. Some things, though, should be simple: talking to distant family via Skype, for instance. Unfortunately, as I discovered myself this Christmas, that wasn't to be the case.

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Skype adds Facebook to Facebook video calls

Skype adds Facebook to Facebook video calls

Skype has added Facebook-to-Facebook video call support, allowing users of the social networking site to initiate calls with their webcams to their Facebook contacts. Part of Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac and Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows, once your Skype and Facebook accounts are associated it's a case of hitting the video call button in Facebook and making sure your hair doesn't look ridiculous.

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Microsoft finalizes Skype deal, promises “ubiquity of experience”

Microsoft finalizes Skype deal, promises “ubiquity of experience”

Microsoft's acquisition of Skype has been finalized, bringing the VoIP service under the software company's wing in a deal worth $8.5bn. Skype CEO Tony Bates will now be president of the Skype Division at Microsoft, but in a separate blog post reiterates that the new owner "is committed to the ubiquity of the Skype experience" and that "communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus."

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Skype boosts Android video calling (but adds ads) in v2.5

Skype boosts Android video calling (but adds ads) in v2.5

Skype has added video calling support for Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, the original Google Nexus One and the Motorola Photon 4G, as well as a host of other Android devices. Skype for Android v2.5 adds fourteen new phones and tablets to the compatibility list, bringing the total to 41, as well as adding support for switching between portrait and landscape orientation midway through a video call.

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Google Voice in pre-launch Euro testing

Google Voice in pre-launch Euro testing

Google has confirmed that its Google Voice service is currently in testing in Europe, though has blamed legislative hurdles as well as engineering issues for not yet publicly launching the VoIP service. European Director of Business Development, Jens Redmer, announced the dogfooding at the European Pirate Summit event in Cologne, Germany today, TNW reports, saying that he himself was trialling the service and was making particular use of the voicemail transcription.

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Windows 8 phone functionality spotted

Windows 8 phone functionality spotted

Windows 8 could support voice calls, it's been suggested, after a Metro UI tile for phone functionality was spotted during a BUILD 2011 session last week. The slide, istartedsomething caught, has a Windows Phone 7 style "Missed Calls" dialog complete with times and dates of recent incoming voice calls. However, it's also possible that this could be a VoIP service, or indeed some form of wireless call management when pairing a Windows 8 tablet or phone with a Windows Phone 7 handset.

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Ooma Telo Air hands-on [Video]

Ooma Telo Air hands-on [Video]

Ooma has been pushing its Ooma Telo VoIP adapter for some time now, promising free US calls and cut-price international rates, and now the base-station has received some home-friendly accessories to help snip through the ethernet cable. The new Ooma Telo Air wireless adapter is, as the name suggests, a WiFi dongle that gives you more freedom to place the main unit away from your router, while the Ooma Bluetooth option is getting extended to all users. Check out our hands-on after the cut.

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Vonage Time to Call iPhone app offers international pay-per-call with iTunes direct billing

Vonage Time to Call iPhone app offers international pay-per-call with iTunes direct billing

I think most of us are familiar with Vonage, the VoIP calling provider that has been around for a long time. The company has a new app for the iPhone that is interesting in that it is the first app to allow pay-per-call international dialing to more than 190 countries. The new app is called Time to Call and lets users make 15-minute calls at a lower price than the wireless carrier allows.

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MetroPCS eyes VoIP roll out in early 2012

MetroPCS eyes VoIP roll out in early 2012

The amount of bandwidth that all wireless carriers have for voice calls and data use is finite. There comes a point where the bandwidth just isn't there to support more calls and more services in some areas. To help alleviate this bandwidth issue and speed the network overall, most of the major carriers and even some of the smaller ones are moving to carrier VoIP solutions to help spread the load of voice calls over to other parts of the network.

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