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VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions



Published: 2014-03-14T16:09:49-05:00

 



Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e Video Conferencing for SMB Review

Fri, 14 Mar 2014 16:09:49 -05002014-03-14T16:09:49-05:00

Logitech, a leader in USB-based computer peripherals is targeting their new Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e towards the SMB, which cannot afford $50,000+ telepresence video systems, but is looking for something a step up from a webcam for conference room based video conferencing.The Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e is easy to setup with everything clearly numbered and labeled so you know how to make all the connections. Since it uses USB you can use your favorite UC or Web conferencing application, including Microsoft Lync, Skype, Vidyo, and Cisco. The CC3000e has a remote control for changing the camera angle including left/right and up/down movements. You can do incremental movements with single presses of a certain direction or you can press and hold for faster movement, which was very smooth. You can also press the zoom in/out function keys and it too was very smooth. It was a constant zoom and I would have liked to have seen it speed up the zoom after holding the zoom key for longer than 2s, but all in all it worked pretty well. The optical field of view is a very wide 90◦ field of view and it sports a 10X lossless zoom.The camera supports Far End Camera (FEC) control with certain apps. I'm not sure which apps those might be, but it would have come in handy. I left the remote control in the office and took the unit home to test and I had no way to adjust the camera angle, except by manually manipulating the camera. Fortunately, the camera is not "locked" tight at the angle it is resting at, so moving it doesn't give you the sense your going to break a motor. Still, I wish Logitech offered software to move the camera, especially since I couldn't adjust the zoom level by hand. I know remotes in conference rooms get misplaced, broken, or the batteries die, so having the ability to adjust the camera via a Logitech utility would be beneficial.The product sports a "hub" which sits on the conference table and importantly the product comes with a long 32-foot cable that connects to the camera. This long cable is essential since often your "mobile" laptop or even a permanent conference room PC is located far from where the projector screen or TV (plus the camera) is mounted. USB is limited to 15-16 feet so the 32 feet cable doubles that and allows you to "cleanly" snake the cable under the rug to the Logitech camera mounted above a TV. The hub, which you position on the conference table, also connects to the speakerphone and your laptop (via USB) using cables that are obviously shorter that the 32-foot hub-to-camera cable since both the hub and speakerphone are both positioned on the conference table within reach of your laptop.CC3000e Features:•Camera:–90◦ Wide Field of View–Full HD H.264/SVC–10X lossless zoom, PTZ controls•Speakerphone:–Omni-directional 20-ft diameter range–Noise/echo cancellation, full duplex, stereo/mono–Bluetooth/NFC for pairing to mobile device•Hub:–Components centrally connected–32-foot range speakerphone to camera•Other:–Camera and hub mounts–LCD caller and function display–Call and camera controls–Kensington Security Slot–Dockable remote controlThe speakerphone has a LCD display that shows CallerID info and the speakerphone features your classic call control functionality - answer, hang up, volume up/down. One really cool feature is the NFC/Bluetooth pairing, which allows your to pair your NFC-enabled phone over Bluetooth just by touching your phone to the speakerphone. I tested this using a Nokia 1020 Windows Phone,which supports NFC and it performed flawlessly. I was able to use the base speakerphone as a high quality speakerphone for calls made to/from my cell phone.The lens cap for the unit is a bit flimsy, which is ok, but because it is flimsy it can be stepped on and be easily lost or crushed. Thus, I'd like a plastic wire attached to it, which then hooks to a notch places on the bottom of the camera or perhaps the rear of the camera. This way, when you remove the lens, it stays attached to the c[...]



TransCertain CertainSafe Review - 2014

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:38:26 -05002014-02-19T16:38:26-05:00

You may have seen my 2013 review of TransCertain's CertainSafe product, a cloud-based file sharing platform. Well, I decided to take a look at their newer version which was published in the 1st quarter issue of Cloud Computing. Here's my full unedited copy in all its glory, which differs slightly from the magazine's version. Enjoy! There is no shortage of cloud-based file sharing solutions on the market, such as Box, Dropbox, or Skydrive, which are very popular with consumers. However, businesses often require a higher level of security due to compliance regulations. Even if compliance isn’t a concert, many businesses want stronger encryption levels for peace of mind, especially when you consider several high-profile hacks of supposedly secure cloud providers. Transcertain’s CertainSafe enables organizations to share mission critical information across multiple platforms at a very high level of security. CertainSafe sports PCI DSS Level 1, plus AES256-level encryption, with support up to 1024-bit or any other custom algorithm that may be required. TMC Labs reviewed CertainSafe a few months ago in Internet Telephony Magazine, and it earned favorable marks. TransCertain has made some improvements so we thought it was worth a second look. If you aren’t familiar with CertainSafe, the platform is what Transcertain likes to call “the virtual safety deposit box”. This is for your files where you need compliancy and or high levels of security such as medical records, financial data, or files requiring PCI compliance. You don’t use this platform for mass storage backup of all your files, but instead you upload only your most sensitive files that you need to store and share. When we first logged into CertainSafe as a new users we were prompted to pick out own security questions and then we could set how often after we login that we’re challenged. You can choose how often to be challenged, i.e. once per week, once a month, randomly, etc. Once logged in, you can create folders and then share the folder with other people, including people who are not currently CertainSafe users. Any CertainSafe user can share their folders and files with anyone though non-CertainSafe users only have “read” access. It’s a non-editable secure view of the file and cannot be downloaded or printed. Dragging and dropping files from your file manager (i.e. Windows Explorer, Apple Finder) into CertainSafe is very easy. Leveraging HTML5 you can drop-and-drop multiple files at once in to your browser windows to upload your files. Surprisingly, although you can drag-and-drop files into the browser window you cannot drag-and-drop files in one of CertainSafe’s folders to another folder in order to move it. Though it was simple enough to tap the file and be prompted for various file operations, including: view, delete, download, rename, move, comments, and audit logs. Different icons represent the various file types such as documents or images to help you understand what the files are. There used to be icon view and list view in the prior version we reviewed, however, TransCertain removed list view in favor of icon view since it’s more touch-friendly. In the latest version they changed the upload to a new browser window so you can continue to use your primary CertainSafe window and continue to work. CertainSafe’s UI was redesigned to be more touch-friendly with larger screen elements that are more easily selected with your finger. Also, a new feature they’re working on is the ability to add a signature on touch displays using just your finger to your name. The document is still “locked” and not editable, but it enables digital signatures on touch screens. A critical feature is that when sharing a folder you can set a data range, including the ability to share a folder in the future. You don’t need to remember to “unshare” a folder at a later data, which is important for reporting, HIPAA compliance, and other compliancy issue[...]



Jumper Card - The Swiss Army Knife of Portable Chargers

Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:42:43 -05002014-02-10T09:42:43-05:00

The Jumper Card is a very unique portable charger that meets just about every portable charger requirement - it's small/portable, it has decent power for its size, and it sports multiple connector types, including MicroUSB, Apple's Lightning, and iPhone 30-pin connectors. Launched on Indiegogo, the founder Eli Regalado sent me a review unit to check out.Looking at the Jumper Card from the top with the connectors popped out, sporting 3 different connection types, you can see why I call this the "Swiss Army Knife" of portable chargers:It measures 3.54 x 2.24 x 0.25 inches. By comparison, a credit card is 3.34 x 2.12 x 0.030 inches. So how well would this do in a wallet? That depends. If you use a tri-fold wallet, that obviously won't work. As for bi-fold wallets, it does work if you don't mind having a slight George Costanza wallet. That said, if you don't have many credit, membership, or gift cards stashed in your bi-fold, then the Jumper Card actually fits pretty well. Of course, the device is portable enough for pocketbooks, shirt pockets, pants pockets, laptop case, or any travel bag.Sporting the three most popular connectors for mobile devices and gadgets: microUSB, Apple's Lightning connector, and the 30-pin iPhone connector all on a single adapter comes in super-handy. But that's the only trick up this device's sleeve. It also sports a bright blue LED that passes through two clear plastic orbs. Here's a profile view with the blue LED light turned on and a Papermate pen for scale:Features 480mAh battery [iPhone 5 has 1440mAh so 1/3rd the "juice"] 1/4-inch thick Overcharge/discharge protection Charging light indicator About the size of a credit card MicroUSB, Apple's Lightning, and iPhone 30-pin connectors Meets military specs LED flashlight and power on/off An important question buyers will want to know is how long the Jumper Card will hold its charge. The answer according to their FAQ is one year. The FAQ also states that the Grade A Hi-power Lithium Polymer battery can be charged 300 times plus. Importantly, you can connect the USB connector to your PC/laptop, as well as the device you are charging and the Jumper Card will be charging at the same time you can sync files from your device. So how did the Jumper Card perform in my tests? Well, I got about a 15% boost in my phone's battery charge, which is plenty for an emergency power situation. The Jumper Card is a well-designed and well-executed product that covers just about every need you would have in a portable charger. At just $25, this "Swiss Army Knife" of portable chargers should be added to every gadget-lover's arsenal! Tags: george costanza, iphone, jumper card, lightning, mobile phone, portable battery, portable charger, power, swiss army knife Related tags: portable charger, knife portable, portable chargers, microusb apple, lightning iphone, jumper Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries How Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Gorilla Glass - Sep 25, 2012 iPhone 4S GPU Busted - Icons & Screen Shaking Problem! - Jul 06, 2012 Samsung Mocks Apple Fanboys in Hilarious Galaxy S II Ad - Nov 23, 2011 Scientists boost battery strength by Drilling Holes in Battery. Say what? - Nov 16, 2011 Adobe Surrenders Mobile Flash - Steve Jobs FTW, Users FTL! - Nov 09, 2011 New Skype for iPhone & iPad Released - Sep 27, 2011 Skype Integrated GroupMe App? - Sep 20, 2011 Cotendo Accelerates Mobile Content Delivery Via Mobile Acceleration Suite - Jun 15, 2011 fring Group Video Calls for iPhone and Android! - Apr 05, 2011 Why Spirit DSP Powers Viber's Popular HD Mobile VoIP App - Feb 15, 2011 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: Jumper Card - The Swiss Army Knife of Portable Chargers Copyright VoIP & Gadgets Blog Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]



Interesting Tidbits from ITEXPO

Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:04:52 -05002014-01-30T17:04:52-05:00

Cisco quietly let go 50 engineers and other people responsible for their low-cost SPA line of desktop IP phones (SPA300, SPA500, etc.) - I believe back in November. The IP phones targeted the SMB and I'm told it's a $600 million business for Cisco that Cisco just decided to let go to focus on the "enterprise". Must be nice to say no to $600 million! They're still selling the SPA line of products (and may even still be manufacturing them), but there is no more development on the SPA line of IP phones. Considering new bugs and exploits are found on many IP phones, this isn't good news.In one of the BYOD sessions I moderated at ITEXPO, the panelists discussed virtualizing your corporate profile so that you have to identities on your mobile device (business & personal). I expressed my concerns that users like a unified mailbox and won't like having to switch to a business profile to view corporate email. The pull of corporate interests (security) vs. user's expectations of frictionless and painless use of their mobile apps will be an interesting thing to flesh out over the next 18 months. The panelists had some interesting thoughts on this, that if you missed this session you missed a good one!Yealink was my favorite designed booth at the Las Vegas ITEXPO (very Apple-esque), but now competitor Grandstream has upped their game with an impressive booth of their own at the 2014 Miami ITEXPO. Check out these photos:Obihai has a new color IP phone they're launching very soon and they gave the first public demonstration of their new phone at ITEXPO. It's designed with service providers in mind since it uses Obihai's cloud-based provisioning model for easy plug-and-play. It's based on a unique serial number (possibly the MAC address) and the phone automatically queries Obihai's cloud provisioning server to get all the relevant account info such as SIP credentials.Of course, power users can also purchase the phone directly online and provision the SIP credentials themselves. Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSP) have the option of "locking" the device or letting you move to another ITSP. I believe Obihai said it supports up to 24 SIP registrations. Here's a sneak peek of the phone!I met with Xorcom and they had some interesting news. They basically solved a long standing problem in Asterisk, namely the changing of telephony interfaces. When you remove an interface it messes up the numbering. Several years R&D team combined with Digium to solve this challenge in Asterisk and completely redesigned the way Digium numbers telephony ports. Now can plug, unplug, reboot and not change integrity of the system. Each interface has its own unique numbering and it works with any DAHDI device. They also announced Blue Steel PBX. The Blue Steel product line is a stand-alone, pre-configured, out-of-the-box IP-PBX featuring Xorcom’s CompletePBX distribution. Blue Steel features hot-swappable server-grade hard disk drives, hot-swappable power supplies, and built-in power for up to four Astribanks.It supports various combinations of telephony ports both internally and via Astribank units connected via USB2: up to 960 PSTN/analog phones ports, up to 16 E1 R2 / T1 CAS PRI ports, up to 1,000 users, and up to 550 concurrent SIP calls.I also met with Digium and they announced some news at ITEXPO. Here's my notes. To go cloud they first partnered with VocalCloud and then acquired them. They did the Switchvox Cloud that Digium now sells at $35/seat.Switchvox 5.8 now has advanced peering tools inside it. The newest version of Outlook integration now allows you to change presence status from within Outlook.Announced at ITEXPO they now offer an interesting risk free trial with 0 upfront cost. They give you 5 licenses, ship you 5 Digium phones, and give you a toll free number! You don't even pay for shipping!One benefit of Switchvox and Switchvox Cloud is that it's the EXACT same UI for customer premise and cloud-based version. They offer a channel program wi[...]



Midokura Virtualizes Your Network to the Cloud

Wed, 29 Jan 2014 11:27:40 -05002014-01-29T11:27:40-05:00

I met with Midokura, a company founded in Japan, in the press room at ITEXPO to learn about their network virtualization solution. Midokura offers IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) for both public and private cloud. They plug into Openstack / CloudStack / vSphere and can run them in a distributed software environment. midokura's Adam Johnson, General Manage explained how Midokura Midokura came about. They started about 4 years ago as an alternative to Amazon's cloud offering. Adam told me that Dan Mihai Dumitriu, Midokura CEO, CTO & co-founder served as Senior Researcher at NGI Group and Technical Lead at Amazon.com, which certainly gave him insights on how to built public & private network clouds.Their customers had hosted solutions for computer & storage, but nothing for hosted networks. Existing hosted network solutions were a bit of kludge leveraging VLANs, which is limited to 4096 for different tenants making it not scalable and harder to manage and setup.Midokura created overlay networks. They developed a software agent that sits next to every hypervisor that provides distributed virtual switching. They kept going up the OSI stack and developed distributed switch & distributed NAT and covered Layer 2-4. They went GA with their product at the end of last year and integrated with OpenStack becoming the first to be certified. Their solution takes known thing – networking and makes it distributed and very efficient. You don’t have to replace any gear – only requirement is forwarding network packets. Adam mentioned their solution is built for scale and compared with with VMware which uses a centralized controller, which can very overloaded as more devices have to communicate with it. Midokura on the other hand uses an agent at each Hypervisor, so it’s more distributed.Further, they maximize the performance of existing switches – there is no need for middle boxes to perform ARP broadcasts and such. They do it via the agent so it's more efficient. Their core solution is MidoNet, which features: Fully Distributed Architecture with no single points of failure Fully virtualized Layer 2 through 4 networking VLAN-less VLANs – Virtual L2 Distributed Level Isolation with virtually no limitations Virtual L2 Distributed Switching Virtual L3 Distributed Routing Distributed Load Balancing and Firewall Services BGP Routing Stateful and Stateless NAT Floating IPs Access Control Lists (ACLs) Restful API Web Based Management Control Panel Monitoring of Networking Services Live Migration It costs $1899 per host/year 24/7 support , which is very simple pricing unlike VMware which is not only costly but very complex licensing. They also offer a 60 day trial.Check out Adam's video intro of Midokura that I took at ITEXPO: src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RHHO0cMKXF0" width="600" height="338" frameborder="0"> Tags: cloud computing, cloudstack, itexpo, midokura, midonet, networks, openstack, virtualization, vmware, vsphere Related tags: public private, distributed, midokura, network, virtual, solution Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries CosmoCom and Telesphere Announce Partnership at ITEXPO - Sep 14, 2011 Is Virtual for You? - May 19, 2008 Interesting Tidbits from ITEXPO - Jan 30, 2014 HiperPBX Bridges M2M and PBX Creating "Industrial Unified Communications" - Jan 29, 2014 Digium's Billy Chia Opens Asterisk 1-2-3 Session to Packed Room - Jan 28, 2014 Schmooze Com Showcasing FreePBX HA Appliances at ITEXPO - Jan 15, 2014 Steve Wozniak Keynote Video - Aug 29, 2013 FreePBX Booth Showcases 200 VoIP Devices - Aug 29, 2013 Yealink has an Amazing Booth at ITEXPO! - Aug 28, 2013 FreePBX World Live Blogging - Aug 28, 2013 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: Midokura Virtualizes Your Network to the Cloud Copyright VoIP & Gadgets B[...]



HiperPBX Bridges M2M and PBX Creating "Industrial Unified Communications"

Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:32:51 -05002014-01-29T10:32:51-05:00

HiperPBX's Gustavo Scheveloff, Sales Director gave me an introduction of HiperPBX at ITEXPO Miami 2014. Their solution is unique in that it's a VoIP PBX that not only features Unified Communications (UC), but it also sports some interesting M2M features. They have developed a software industrial module and defined a new concept - "Industrial Unified Communications", which leverages M2M.It leverages mobile TCP & SNMP for monitoring devices, routers, switches and can send SMS, make a phone call or send an email if a machine has an error. In industrial environments it can be useful to monitor high temperature, humidity, switch not responding, machine under heavy load. Using HiperPBX you can essentially bridge IT (Information Technology) & control management of the factory, which have typically been two distinct camps. Using HiperPBX you can also use SIP speakers for paging a certain sector of the factory to notify a special alerting condition, i.e. valve needs to be turned to relieve pressure. It also integrates with access control systems. The software in HyperPBX can let you control access on doors with RFID or PIN/keypad. One innovative approach is that it can play a message as you swipe your RFID door access key or enter your PIN. For instance, after swiping your card, it can say “Welcome Tom. You have voicemails waiting.” Or “You have a meeting, Tom”. It’s now a communications device – not just an authentication device.The user interface lets your record prompts to a user profile in order to do this. I asked Gustavo Scheveloff about integrating with Exchange Calendar or other Calendars to automatically pull relevant upcoming meeting info and he said that is possible. He also mentioned TTS is coming so you don’t have to record prompts. Speech-recognition is also on the roadmap.Gustavo explained that you can map an extension of the PBX to standard port using SNMP or mobile TCP. So if you dial x100 it turns off a light and if you dial x101 it turns it on.Based on Asterisk, you can use an appliance or a virtualized instance. I mentioned to Gustavo Scheveloff that his solution reminded me of the old Centrex days of carrier hosted phone systems. HiperPBX is like Centrex Plus - now carriers can manage door access systems, alarm systems, M2M devices, PBX, unified communications, voicemail, etc. Definitely opens the door to carriers to offer managed "M2M & UC".Their high-end CPU-3000 supports up to 4 T1/PRIs and 500 extensions. Full specs: SIP, H.323 and IAX2 Up to 4 T1 interfaces Web friendly interfase Trunk support for SIP, H323 and IAX accounts Up to 500 local extensions Remote extensions support Call Forward, transference and conference support Personalized Dial Plan Voice messaging for evey user/extension VoiceMail to EMAIL functionality Personalized IVR Cluster configuration support for High Availability Support for multiple codecs (GSM, ILBC, G.711a, G.711u, G.729, G.723.1) XMarteK is their distributor and they use Sangoma hardware.Check out Gustavo's introduction to HiperPBX: src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9bjbCN_vHAU" width="600" height="450" frameborder="0"> Tags: asterisk, hiperpbx, itexpo, m2m, miami, uc, unified communications, voip Related tags: unified communications, gustavo scheveloff, introduction hiperpbx, industrial unified, record prompts, hiperpbx Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Asterisk 1-2-3 Workshop Well-Attended at ITEXPO - Jan 29, 2013 Hosted Microsoft OCS/Lync Provider Supports Direct SIP Trunking - Feb 03, 2011 ITEXPO Named Top 50 Fastest Growing Tradeshow - Jan 19, 2011 Digium's Billy Chia Opens Asterisk 1-2-3 Session to Packed Room - Jan 28, 2014 Schmooze Com Showcasing FreePBX HA Appliances at ITEXPO - Jan 15, 2014 Microsoft Lync Session Jam Packed at ITEXPO - Aug 27, 2013 Logitech H650e Headset Review - Ju[...]



Digium's Billy Chia Opens Asterisk 1-2-3 Session to Packed Room

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:25:03 -05002014-01-28T11:25:03-05:00

Digium's Billy Chia kicked off the Asterisk 1-2-3 session, an all day workshop taking place at ITEXPO in Miami. He's discussed dynamically loaded modules, how to view core channel types, and how to load the Scooby Doo of Asterisk - rasterisk. (Billy does a pretty good Scooby Doo impersonation) He also touched on how to load codecs and the current IP issues with some codecs such as Opus, which can be used in WebRTC. It's fun to watch Billy SSH into an Asterisk box and run various Linux and Asterisk commands. Very educational. Here's a photo of the jammed packed session: Tags: asterisk, billy chia, itexpo, VoIP, webrtc Related tags: asterisk session, asterisk, billy, session Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries New Digium IP Phones Up Close - Feb 01, 2012 HiperPBX Bridges M2M and PBX Creating "Industrial Unified Communications" - Jan 29, 2014 webrtc2sip Enables Cross-browser WebRTC & SIP Interoperability - Nov 25, 2013 AstriCon Keynote Photos - Oct 10, 2013 Digium's Billy Chia Speaks to Packed AstriCon Session - Oct 08, 2013 Microsoft Lync Session Jam Packed at ITEXPO - Aug 27, 2013 Special Technology Innovation Panel at ITEXPO [VIDEO] - Aug 27, 2013 FreePBX - Most Powerful & Flexible Phone System Known to Man - Aug 25, 2013 FreePBX World - Just Days Away! - Aug 12, 2013 Asterisk 1-2-3 Workshop Well-Attended at ITEXPO - Jan 29, 2013 Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: Digium's Billy Chia Opens Asterisk 1-2-3 Session to Packed Room Copyright VoIP & Gadgets Blog Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]



Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e Video Conferencing Targets SMB

Mon, 27 Jan 2014 04:00:00 -05002014-01-27T04:00:00-05:00

According to Frost and Sullivan in 2013 that said, "We believe that globally there are 60-70 million physical conference rooms. We estimate that about 5% of these are penetrated with video conferencing capabilities." A big part of the reason for such low penetration is the cost of room-based video conferencing systems, which can be hundeds of thousands of dollars for high-end telepresence systems. Many businesses simply get by with traditional audioconferencing "UFO-shaped" phones in board rooms due to the high cost of videoconferencing systems. Logitech, a leader in USB-based computer peripherals aims to change that with the new Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e, which is launching today. Logitech sent me a ConferenceCam CC3000e which I plan to do a full review on after the ITEXPO show taking place in Miami this week.The Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e is designed for the 6-10 person conference and is super easy to setup. I unboxed my review unit and everything is clearly numbered and labeled so you know how to make all the connections. Since it uses USB you can use your favorite UC or Web conferencing application, including Microsoft Lync, Skype, Vidyo, and Cisco. In many ways, the Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e is the successor to the Logitech BCC950 camera that I reviewed last year (image right). If you recall the BCC950, it featured 1080p HD video, 30 fps, high-quality omni-directional microphone/speakerphone with a range of 8 feet, and the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom from the unit itself or the included remote control. It also sports a 9" stem and a 78◦ field of view. The CC3000e has an almost identical looking remote control and it also sports the same fast auto-focus that the BCC950 had, but at a wider 90◦ field of view and with a 10X lossless zoom.One of my complaints about the BCC950 was that the step motor was a bit jerky and the motor's sounds was picked up by the unit's speakerphone and sent to the remote calling party, which is a bit distracting. I asked Logitech is the CC3000e sports a smoother and quieter motor and they said that indeed it does.  It also features PTZ controls and supports Far End Camera (FEC) control with certain apps.The product sports a "hub" which sits on the conference table and importantly the product comes with a long 32-foot cable that connects to the camera. This long cable is essential since often your "mobile" laptop or even a permanent conference room PC is located far from where the projector screen or TV (plus the camera) is mounted. USB is limited to 15-16 feet so the 32 feet cable doubles that and allows you to "cleanly" snake the cable under the rug to the Logitech camera mounted above a TV. The hub, which you position on the conference table, also connects to the speakerphone and your laptop (via USB) using cables that are obviously shorter that the 32-foot hub-to-camera cable since both the hub and speakerphone are both positioned on the conference table within reach of your laptop.CC3000e Features:•Camera:–90◦ Wide Field of View–Full HD H.264/SVC–10X lossless zoom, PTZ controls•Speakerphone:–Omni-directional 20-ft diameter range–Noise/echo cancellation, full duplex, stereo/mono–Bluetooth/NFC for pairing to mobile device•Hub:–Components centrally connected–32-foot range speakerphone to camera•Other:–Camera and hub mounts–LCD caller and function display–Call and camera controls–Kensington Security Slot–Dockable remote controlThe speakerphone has a LCD display that shows CallerID info and the speakerphone features your classic call control functionality - answer, hang up, volume up/down. One really cool feature is the NFC/Bluetooth pairing, which allows your to pair your NFC-enabled phone over Bluetooth just by touching your phone to the speakerphone. Definitely looking forward [...]



Schmooze Com Showcasing FreePBX HA Appliances at ITEXPO

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 17:10:36 -05002014-01-15T17:10:36-05:00

With ITEXPO just around the corner (January 28-31st) in Miami, companies are already announcing their wares that they'll showcase at this premiere communications tradeshow. One of my favorite VoIP solutions is FreePBX, so I'm excited to check out the new FreePBX High Availability (HA) Appliances that Schmooze Com, Inc. will be showcasing.Check out the news below & make sure you attend ITEXPO... Schmooze Com, Inc. and maintainers of FreePBX, the world’s leading Open Source PBX platform, announced today that it has added two new FreePBX High Availability Appliance solutions to it’s line of FreePBX Appliances. FreePBX Appliances are certified hardware solutions specifically designed to support and run FreePBX.  The SMB HA Appliance is designed to target businesses with up to 75 users/extensions, and the Xtreme HA Appliance Bundle will support installations with up to 350 extensions. FreePBX HA was recently released to utilize DRBD, Cluster Manager and Pacemaker technologies, to enable automatic mirroring and failover between two FreePBX phone systems. If there is a system impacting outage on the primary PBX, phones, SIP trunks, and PSTN connections (requires additional hardware) are redirected to the secondary PBX. When the primary PBX is repaired or recovers, the system can switch back to the primary PBX in just seconds. The SMB HA Appliance is a rack mountable 2U unit that houses two completely independent systems with separate drives, motherboards, power supplies, and PCI-e ports for PSTN connectivity (requires additional hardware). The Xtreme HA Appliance bundle is built using the popular FreePBX Xtreme Appliance. Each appliance is a 4U rack mountable PBX. “We looked at what FreePBX HA could do and then we built a system around that. Our new SMB High Availability Appliance was built from the ground up with FreePBX HA in mind. Before we ship them we get them setup with the latest stable version of FreePBX and pre-configured with an HA configuration, allowing our customers to add phones, SIP trunks or PSTN lines as well as have an out-of-the-box HA PBX system.” says Tony Lewis, CEO of Schmooze Com, Inc. Schmooze Com, Inc. will showcase an active SMB FreePBX HA Appliance at ASTERISK World at ITEXPO, January 28-31. Tags: disaster recovery, freepbx, ha, high availability, itexpo, miami, pbx, sip, smb, voip Related tags: availability appliance, appliance bundle, requires additional, freepbx appliances, additional hardware, freepbx Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries FreePBX High Availability Project Launches at AstriCon - Oct 09, 2013 Ringio On InPhonex Launches at ITEXPO - Oct 04, 2010 Interesting Tidbits from ITEXPO - Jan 30, 2014 How FreePBX is Revolutionizing PBXs - Let Freedom Ring! - Jul 15, 2013 BroadSoft, Fonality, and ITEXPO news all rolled in one - Jul 16, 2008 HiperPBX Bridges M2M and PBX Creating "Industrial Unified Communications" - Jan 29, 2014 FreePBX Booth Showcases 200 VoIP Devices - Aug 29, 2013 Grandstream UCM6100 PBX - Security & GPLv2 Disaster? - Aug 05, 2013 TMC Showcases the Top 40 "Newsmakers" at ITEXPO - Feb 02, 2012 Cisco UC320W Review - Oct 05, 2011 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: Schmooze Com Showcasing FreePBX HA Appliances at ITEXPO Copyright VoIP & Gadgets Blog Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]



AT&T Syn248 Review

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 12:24:03 -05002014-01-15T12:24:03-05:00

The AT&T Syn248 is a new Do It Yourself (DIY) IP-based phone system that supports up to 8 analog lines and 24 phones (hence the Syn248 naming), which truly hits the SMB sweet spot. I was intrigued that AT&T was offering a corporate PBX, considering most carriers in the past didn’t sell CPE-based PBXs and instead sold Centrex (hosted) and now currently sell cloud-based VoIP into the SMB space, that certainly piqued my interest. I requested an evaluation kit to review the AT&T Syn248. I was sent one of their 4-port 1U SB35010 gateways/PBXs, which can be expanded to 8-ports simply by adding a second 4-port gateway to reach the 8 port maximum.  There are two model desksets. The first is the SB35025 basic deskset with DECT 6.0 phone features a 2.5” backlit display, PoE, dual Ethernet ports, 9 programmable buttons, and multi-line call appearances. The second is the SB35031 feature deskset with DECT 6.0 which features a monstrous 5" backlit display, can handle 5 calls simultaneously, and sports 6 quick-dial keys next to the LCD. Both phone models can be paired with AT&T DECT headsets, up to a maximum of 10. Installation Installing the Syn248 was drop-dead simple. I didn’t even bother looking at the quick start guide and just started connecting the devices. I connected the SB35010 gateway to a PoE switch, plugged in its AC adapter and then connected the SB35031 feature deskset phone to a Power over Ethernet port causing the phone to instantly power up. I watched the SB35010 boot up and the LCD screen indicated the IP address, date/time, and number of PSTN lines. As it was booting, the four LEDs flashed red and then turned off. If one of the lines is unplugged it turns red, which is a nice visual indicator of an issue with one of the lines.  The phone automatically acquired an IP address from my corporate DHCP server and the phone auto-discovered the SB35010 gateway/PBX and was assigned extension 200. I had dialtone and could initiate calls in less than 5 minutes! Operational Testing I made an inbound call to the Syn248 and immediately heard x200 ringing. Surprised there wasn’t a default auto-attendant configured I went ahead and answered the call and was connected. The call quality was superb. I investigated why an auto-attendant didn’t answer by checking out the full documentation, which is only available online. The full documentation is in PDF format and has clickable elements to jump to different sections and not just the table of contents. The entire document has clickable keywords to jump to various sections making it very easy to find what you’re looking for. For instance, I was able to get admin password to the gateway device and the phone itself very quickly by clicking ‘Accessing Web Administration WebUI’ - a major topic heading in the Table of Contents. I can’t sing enough praises for the documentation for how well organized it was, the clickable elements, and the plethora of pictures. Considering the goal of this product is to be a DIY phone system, having comprehensive and easy-to-navigate documentation is critical and AT&T executed this part beautifully. Further, the deskset itself sports a Help '?' button that lets you navigate various help topics on the LCD, including how to conference calls, transfer a call, place a call on hold, use voicemail, directory, redial, etc. Definitely a nice usability touch. In any event, I looked up how to configure the auto-attendant within the PDF doc and it explained I could set various auto-attendant options from the web portal or from the deskset designated as the “operator”. I logged into the web portal to the gateway and configured some auto-attendant touch-tone options.It’s important to note that from the specially designated operator extension you c[...]



TringMe Launches WebRTC Chrome Extension

Fri, 10 Jan 2014 10:52:21 -05002014-01-10T10:52:21-05:00

I've been covering TringMe since 2007, when they launched an Adobe Flash-based VoIP app. Later they added support for ChromeOS, VoiceXML, and even Silverlight. Today, TringMe's Founder and CEO Yusaf Motiwala informed me they've launched a WebRTC solution. WebRTC apps are a dime-a-dozen you say? Not so fast. The problem with WebRTC solutions is you must be in your browser, logged in, and on the WebRTC webpage. Who leaves a specific web page or tab open all the time, especially on their mobile phone? That's where TringMe's unique approach comes in. Yusaf Motiwala explained: Traditionally, browser apps had their own limitations as the user had to visit a website, login to the account etc. to get online before he or she can start communicating, not as convenient as native application or mobile app. Fortunately, programmable browsers like Chrome and Firefox offer the flexibility to write extensions which are always running in the background requiring no effort from user and that’s the win-win approach we took. Today, we are releasing the first one for Google’s Chrome Browser. TringMe’s Chrome extension is one way to package and deploy an always ON application which can make and receive calls between TringMe users on Chrome extension, Mobile application or TringMe’s website. To throw some more light on the extension market, as you may already know, there are a couple of Chrome VoIP extensions including Google’s own Google Voice that claim to offer VoIP service from extension. However, when you notice carefully, they redirect you to their website or provide only callback calls. In other words, no other Chrome extension provides real live peer-to-peer calls directly from within itself. With TringMe's Chrome extension, we would like to bring Chrome users an experience similar to a native desktop application (for e.g. Skype) where you are always online and ready to make/receive calls from the desktop on Windows, Linux or Mac OS. Also, unlike other MobileVoIP solutions which only offer mobile-to-mobile p2p communication, TringMe also opens door to p2p communication between browsers and between browsers & mobile. Users can call TringMe's mobile app from browser and vice-versa. We have currently enabled this functionality for Android and hope to make it available on our Blackberry app soon too. Very cool and I'm told it supports HD audio. The always on connectivity makes WebRTC a good alternative to traditional mobile VoIP apps you install from mobile app stores (or desktop VoIP apps like Skype for that matter). I'm about to test it, but feel free to download the TringMe extension from the Chrome Web Store and check it out as well. Tags: android, browser, chrome, extension, firefox, mobile voip, tringme, voip, webrtc Related tags: chrome extension, receive calls, yusaf motiwala, between browsers, tringme, chrome Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries webrtc2sip Enables Cross-browser WebRTC & SIP Interoperability - Nov 25, 2013 Skype Click to Call Add-on Now Supports Firefox 5 & 6 - Aug 24, 2011 WebRTC Conference & Expo Photos - Nov 20, 2013 Zangi - New Mobile VoIP Player in Town - Nov 18, 2013 Dot-com and VoIP Explosion - Is WebRTC Next? - Oct 24, 2013 iotum Adds WebRTC VoIP to Calliflower Conferencing - Aug 07, 2013 WebRTC Screen Sharing Using Openfire - May 14, 2013 WebRTC Challenges - Jan 22, 2013 Localphone.com Offering Free Calls To Taiwan - Nov 08, 2012 E911 on Mobile VoIP is Seriously Broken - Here's How to Fix It - Oct 03, 2012 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: TringMe Launches WebRTC Chrome Extension Copyright VoIP & Gadgets Blog Sponsored by [...]



Smartphone Shortcomings - Graphene Supercapacitors to the Rescue!

Wed, 08 Jan 2014 09:32:32 -05002014-01-08T09:32:32-05:00

It's the start of a new year and surely we've all read several "Best of 2013" lists ad nausem. But I thought I'd share an interesting infographic I was sent titled 'Smartphone Shortcomings', which examines one of the biggest complaints about smartphones - namely battery life. Count me in as a complainer. Nothing worse than playing Hill Climb Racing or Jetpack Joyride and feel your smartphone getting hot enough to fry an egg (sorta) due to the higher CPU & GPU utilization and watching the battery drain from full to zero in just 3 hours of game play. Hill Climb RacingBesides draining the battery more quickly when playing high CPU/GPU games, the high temperatures are bad for the battery and shorten its lifespan. So where are we today with smartphones and where are we going tomorrow? Check out this infographic to learn more. I for one cannot wait for graphene supercapacitor batteries and graphene-based chips, which will revolutionize smartphones, tablets, and electric cars!Source: ComputerScienceHub.org Tags: battery, computersciencehub, electricity, graphene, hill climb racing, jetpack joyride, lithium-ion, mobile phone, smart phone, supercapacitor Related tags: smartphone shortcomings, battery, smartphone, smartphones, graphene Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries HTC Droid DNA vs. Nokia Lumia 920 - Nov 26, 2012 What??? No More Exploding Laptop Batteries? - Nov 12, 2009 Elektrobit MID Reference Design Aims to put Linux Desktop apps + Smartphone in your pocket - Jun 12, 2009 Never Charge your gadget again - Free Electricity! - Dec 08, 2008 Mojo Mobility Charges Gadgets Wirelessly - Nov 14, 2008 Battery Breakthrough = 40 hour Laptop Batteries - Jan 18, 2008 D2 Technologies mCUE mobile convergence softphone launches - Jan 07, 2008 Toshiba SCiB Battery Breakthrough - Dec 12, 2007 What's the Best Gadget To Take on Vacation? - Feb 15, 2007 Kapanga Mobile Edition for mobiles and smart phones - Dec 13, 2006 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: Smartphone Shortcomings - Graphene Supercapacitors to the Rescue! Copyright VoIP & Gadgets Blog Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]



Skype's Social Media Accounts Hacked

Thu, 02 Jan 2014 09:56:06 -05002014-01-02T09:56:06-05:00

Skype social media accounts including their Twitter account, Facebook page, and blog were hacked by a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). Athough Skype gained control of their accounts and deleted the SEA's posts, the SEA tweeted in their own account this message: Don't use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.http://blogs.skype.com/2014/01/01/dont-use-microsoft-emails-hotmailoutlook-they-are-monitoring-your-accounts-and-selling-the-data-to-the-governments/ … Apparently, Edward Snowden and his release of NSA secrets, which impacted 2013 like no other story (except maybe ObamaCare) will continue to impact 2014. What I find amazing is that the SEA hacked two different social media accounts plus Skype's blog web server. I'm curious... Did the SEA spend months hacking all three accounts until they found all the credentials and then waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike? Does Skype use the same credentials on all three websites and thus their 'hypothetical' laziness in creating unique passwords caused all three to be vulnerable? Or does Skype have a saboteur working within their organization that is a Syrian Electronic Army sympathizer and they know all the credentials and provided them to the SEA?I find it hard to believe the SEA figured out the username and password for two major social networks and their own blog server purely by brute-force password guessing. I'm betting both Facebook and Twitter eventually lock out an account after certain number of failed attempts. I also doubt the SEA discovered vulnerabilities in two major social networks and a blog server. Perhaps "human" social engineering was employed to gain access?Further, I know Facebook offers two-factor authentication, which sends a code via SMS to your registered mobile phone device. Twitter also offers two-factor authentication. I don't know how the SEA did it, but perhaps Skype should turn on this feature and this hack wouldn't have happened.Via The Next Web Tags: facebook, hack, hacking, microsoft, sea, skype, social media, syrian electronic army, twitter, voip Related tags: media accounts, social media, factor authentication, offers factor, monitoring accounts, skype Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Skype (Microsoft) Blows $85 Million on GroupMe - Aug 22, 2011 Nimbuzz VoIP app on Apple App Store - Nov 30, 2008 Skype on the Xbox One - the Future Has Arrived! - Nov 20, 2013 Skype Ends Desktop API. Now What? - Nov 04, 2013 How Skype Changed the World! - Sep 17, 2013 Logitech H650e Headset Review - Jun 28, 2013 2013 - The Year of WebRTC - Jan 09, 2013 Facebook Testing Free VoIP calling in Messenger app - Jan 03, 2013 Skype vs. Facebook - How WebRTC Will Turn Friends into Enemies - Dec 27, 2012 Skype for Windows 8 Launches Simultaneously with Windows 8 & Microsoft Surface - Oct 22, 2012 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: Skype's Social Media Accounts Hacked Copyright VoIP & Gadgets Blog Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]



Ooma Office Review

Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:12:50 -05002013-12-17T11:12:50-05:00

Many small businesses dread buying a new phone system - and for good reason. Besides the dizzying array of hardware-based phone systems, there are cloud VoIP phone systems, VoIP phone systems, digital phone systems, and more. A feature-rich phone system with an auto-attendant, multiple phone lines, conference bridge, voicemail, ring groups, extensions, and other features can certainly give a small company the appearance of a larger organization. However, these features require equipment and professional installation. Many small businesses are not ready to shell out $3000+ for such a setup and aren't quite comfortable with a 100% cloud-based phone system either.Ooma addresses the SMB market with a low-cost phone system ($249.99 + $19.99/line/month) that doesn't skimp on advanced phone features. Based on the Ooma Telo that I reviewed last year, the Ooma Office leverages many of the same features. The web interface is nearly identical, both support up to 4 DECT devices, both have a USB port that allows either the Ooma WiFi module or the Ooma Bluetooth module (pairing with Bluetooth mobile phones) to be connected. Both devices also combat packet loss via adaptive redundancy. The Ooma systems both detect packet loss and sends duplicate packets to cover the gap. I tested the latency on the Telo device and came up with 238 outbound and 258ms inbound latency. I didn't test latency on the Ooma Office, but I'm guessing they'd be nearly identical due to the similar hardware architecture.There are some differences between the two, however, since Ooma Telo was designed for residential and not business. The Ooma Telo supports both the Ooma WiFi Module and the Ooma Bluetooth Module while the Ooma Office currently only supports the Ooma WiFi Module. Further, the Ooma Office Base Station requires approximately 90 kb/s of bandwidth per call, while the Ooma Telo requires 40 kb/s of bandwidth. I'm betting Ooma opted to use more bandwidth for higher call quality required for business.Ooma Office lets you specify the CallerID name and it supports up to 10 phone lines. Ooma Office lets you port you phone number or you can select one of their phone numbers. During the easy activation process it lists local area phone numbers from you to choose from. One snafu was the stringent address correction mechanism. I was trying to put "1st Floor East" into the Address 2 field, but it kept auto-correcting it (incorrectly) and giving me this warning:Note how it changed "1st Floor East" to "E Ave FL East". I'm going to assume Ooma does a 911 database dip / query and "1st Floor East" doesn't match, thus causing the warning and inaccurate auto-correct. It wouldn't let me keep the Address2 that I wanted either. Fortunately, since our offices are in a corporate park with a security desk, if there was a 911 call, the security desk could route emergency responders to the correct location. The "1st Floor East" is likely a building designation and not a "registered" address with the postal office. For Address1, it makes sense to be stringent to ensure no human error, but I'd like to see their auto-match be less stringent with Address2.The main base unit has a built-in FXS (analog) port for connecting a corded, cordless phone system,  or fax machine. Then you use Linx DECT devices connected to wall outlets or power strips to add additional phone devices. Pairing the Linx DECT devices was pretty straightforward, although I attempted to pair two Linx devices at the same time and it didn't work. I had to pair one device, start the pairing mode on the base unit a second time, and then pair the second Linx device. From the web portal you enter in the Linx's unique identifier shown on its label to activate the device,[...]



Microsoft Store Sells Out Dell Venue 8 Pro in Minutes & Website Crashes

Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:15:33 -05002013-12-09T10:15:33-05:00

Microsoft has a sweet $99 deal for a $299 Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. However, it was only the first 20 at each Microsoft Store will have these tablets available at that price, after which it becomes a still pretty reasonable $199 for the next 10 units and then full price after that. Well, the deal got some pretty good press coverage, and everyone was looking to cash in on this door buster deal, which is part of Microsoft's Christmas "12 Days of Deals". I went to the Danbury Mall's Microsoft Store at 8am this morning to try and snag one but the line was already 40 people long , so I headed to work to try and get one online, since the promo also applies to the online store, with the $99 price for the first 100 orders and then $199 for the rest of the day while stocks last.I had multiple Google Chrome tabs open http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-Venue-8-Pro-Tablet-32-GB/productID.289455200 to try and get the $99 deal and the Microsoft Store website was unbearably slow!Check out the errors I received from the website:First the tantalizing red spinning arrow, indicating it's adding me to the placeholder. Soon after I get a blank page with the text "Placeholder not found".Then I got this error:Then the red spinning circle showed the Add to Cart button, so I frantically clicked it: (10:04am ET)And lastly this heart-breaking error message:It SOLD OUT in 4 minutes! Guess Microsoft did a nice job building some buzz around this 8" Windows 8 tablet. I've never seen Microsoft have any sort of buzz like this (excluding the Xbox) that caused their site to slow. It reminds me of Apple during the iPhone's heyday and how their site would slow and lines for form outside Apple stores.The Amazon Kindle HDX (7"), which I considered as a Christmas gift, is the most popular 7-8" tablet right now, but at $229, the Kindle HDX has serious price competition from this Dell Venue 8, which has more features due to the fact that it runs full Windows 8! Install the Kindle app and the Dell Venue 8 has almost all the features of the Kindle HDX plus support for Windows software and the "Metro" app store as well.Microsoft's first Christmas holiday deal (of 12) definitely built some buzz. There were at least 4 people in my office trying to snag this deal and NONE of them were even considering a Windows tablet before this deal was announced. Perhaps that was Microsoft's plan all along. Tease us with something we can't have so we want it more. Well played Microsoft. Well played... Tags: apple, dell, microsoft, tablet, venue 8 pro Related tags: microsoft store, windows tablet, played microsoft, microsoft, store, tablet Follow me: Facebook Profile FriendFeed Profile Google+ Profile LinkedIn Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Intel's North Cape Super-thin ultrabook/tablet Haswell Reference Design Impresses - Jan 08, 2013 Microsoft Surface Wi-Fi Only? Easy Workaround... - Jun 22, 2012 Daring Fireball Gets It - Windows 8 Will Rival the iPad - Sep 15, 2011 The Apple Downgrade Kills HP - Aug 19, 2011 Wow! A Quick Boot PC -- About Time! - Oct 27, 2008 Microsoft Zune takes on iPod - Jul 24, 2006 Microsoft Vista; Horizon Now Stretches Further ... - Mar 22, 2006 It's the Tablet Size Niches! - Feb 07, 2013 WebRTC Challenges - Jan 22, 2013 WebRTC - Mobile Communications Game Changer or Flash in the Pan? - Sep 24, 2012 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with del.icio.us | VoIP & Gadgets Blog Home | Permalink: Microsoft Store Sells Out Dell Venue 8 Pro in Minutes & Website Crashes Copyright VoIP & Gadgets Blog Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]