Tag Archives: Gtalk

First Impressions: ObiHai 100

I received the ObiHai 100 earlier today, and after dusting off my Gigaset A510, I have a home phone. The reason for this is I wanted a phone that would remain home without costing a lot of money. Even with T-Mobile’s plans with a third line costing $10, it will still be a significant additional cost, and using a phone that has been less reliable as the days rolled on.

So, why did I want this device. It is one of the few devices that has direct support with Google Voice. This will mean that I will be able to make calls using GTalk, and likewise – receive calls. This (as of 2013) will be treated as free if I am calling US, or Canada as well as +883. This allows a phone to remain home, and allows a single phone number to display when making calls.

Continue reading First Impressions: ObiHai 100

2012 Predictions

So, the end of 2011 is almost here, and 2012 will soon be here. So, what do I think will happen in 2012? This is my predictions for 2012, and some will be ridiculous, but others may make sense. I will also divide my predictions into groups.

Pittsburgh Local

Port Authority to try to stay in the black will do things to upset many people. Bus fare will go up, and service will go down. In addition, the fare system will be streamlined to make it easier. All standard bus routes will be in 1 fare price rather than possibly two. This will increase the base fare to $2.75 (mid point between the two zone prices), and will keep transfers at $1 for a 3 hour period. Services will also drop. Bus routes now not offering Sunday/Holiday service will also loose Saturday service. Express, Rapid Buses, and Subways will have a 75¢ surcharge. In addition, there will be the use of a magnetic card/cash combination. The card will replace bus passes, and will eliminate transfers requiring the rider to use the card if they will want to have transfers. A card will be keyed to a particular person, and therefore provide for half fare transit for disabled which will also require a photo on the card.

Apple

Apple will release the iPhone 5. It will have a new shape, but I don’t see the screen going above 4”. Even with the license spectrum that T-Mobile has with AT&T, I don’t see it coming to T-Mobile, unless Apple produces an iPhone supporting all of the HSPA+ bands. Unless Sprint abandons WiMax (therefore pissing off current 4G phone owners), or Light Square comes in as a White Label LTE provider, Apple will not go to 4G. They will still stay with a 64GB max capacity.

Apple will release a Macbook Air 15” model, and drop prices on the other two models. I could see the 11” going to $800. The 11” will still lack a SD card reader – however the 13, and 15 inch models will have one. The Mac Book Pro will be dropped, and the iMacs will get a refresh. I can also see another virus hitting Apple Mac OS lines.

The iPod Shuffle – dropped. The iPod Nano – price reduced, and runs a minimal version of iOS. Don’t expect a robust app store compatibility. iPod Touch will be the flag ship, and the Classic will be changed to support SSD rather than a mechanical hard drive. This will drop prices in SSDs and make it more attractive to the end users. I could see SSD prices hitting $1/GB because of this.

Apple will release a television. This television will have integrated access to the iTunes Store, will have a cable card adapter and support for 4 simultaneous channels. It will have a camera for FaceTime, PiP, and a power button. The power button will be out of sight, and will rely on an iOS device as a remote control. Remote control will take the form of wifi, and LAN access with UID authentication for controlling individual TVs. They will come in 36”, 40” and 50” models, and will cost 75% more than a lower high end TV. It will be pretty, but will not sell.

Google

Google will continue to offer free GTalk calling services, and I could see them considering to going into SIP, however this may not seem to be likely. I will like to hope that they would have done something with the 2 year Gizmo Acquisition and at least offer +883 support. I could also see Google offering better URLs for their Google Plus Service, and with the increasing adoption of Android devices, this service will increase by default. I don’t see many people using the service though. Android 4.0 will be a success, but only for the devices that have it. Manufacturers and carriers will continue to drag their feet on updates, and one my only expect an upgrade to 1 platform even if there can be support. So all phone originally with 2.2 will not get 4.0.

In the end, Google will continue to have dominance, but will start to stagnant. Google will also most likely sell the Motorola acquisition they possessed but of course keep the patents to use to protect Android. As for the Android OS, it will start to off branch into other areas. It will be reasonable to see the OS running cars, homes, and little tiny Androids. Non Approved devices will still not get the Market, or other Google Integrated Services instead – companies will continue to offer their own store with paranoids like me not opting to use them. Instead, people will get the Amazon App Store – therefore will be a serious competitor to Google.

Internet

A major company will acquire its own TLD (example IBM acquires .ibm). GoDaddy will suffer in 2012 as many small consumers who knew of their support for SOPA will alienate consumers, and they will change close to the expiration dates. TelNIC will continue to not have a widespread adoption and will only be used by people who want a contact page, or knows the full potential.

There will be another major security issue that happens on the Internet. In addition, a US infrastructure system will be targeted via the Internet. I also see something coming into public light that accuses the United States having committed a cyber attack on an unfriendly country.

Verizon will make a deal with Comcast. They will take Comcast’s wireless spectrum, and offer the network to allow Comcast to offer a “Quad” Play package – adding mobile into their deals. However, Verizon will stagnant on expanding their FiOS markets, and eventually stop taking customers. Instead, they will recommend Comcast. Comcast’s prices will rise. Ala’ Cart Television will still be a consumer’s dream.

Netflix will face a serious competitor either in Amazon, or Apple. They will not offer DVD rentals, but offer streaming services for less than Netflix.

Microsoft

Windows 8 will integrate better with the gaming and mobile platform. The design will cater to those using those systems, and newbies, but will isolate the long time Windows 95+ users who have been familiar with the Start Menu and task bar. Microsoft will unify their OSes, and line ups. One might see Windows Game, Windows Mobile, Windows Home, and Windows Professional with the version starting at 8 for everything. Game will be the XBox platform on a new XBox system.

Technology

The rise of prices in mechanical hard drives will stagnant in the second quarter. About this time, I could see prices of SSDs dropping. They will be higher than the price of mechanical hard drives, but at $1 per GB which is what I will assume the price to be eventually will drop the prices to where it will be reasonable for most people. Thin notebooks will start having SSDs as an option. End of the year, I will suspect a low end PC to have a 120GB SSD (PC less than $500).

Tablets will take a center stage, and will try to replace PCs. In some people who are just using it to consume media, this will become an option. For people that create content, the tablet will serve secondary. Smart phones will rise with the major players being Android, and iOS. Windows Phone will stagnant at 15-20%, and RIM will fall to 10%. If they don’t have a game changing lineup of phones, they will declare bankruptcy or seek a buyer.

SIP will start to gain more attraction for people needing or wanting a home phone. One might even see a consumer grade cordless telephone that will connect into both an RJ11 and RJ45 jack. This will hit brick and mortar stores, and will carry an attraction niche such as cheap phone service. One company once keeping their SIP services behind walls (such as Vonage, or NetTalk) will open it up allowing people to not have to buy their router.

Wireless

Republic Wireless will go out of BETA and will have better integration with Google Voice. This might actually help convince Google Voice to accept +883 adoption. T-Mobile will declare bankruptcy, and Deutsche Telekom will simply just abandon them. Without the sufficient subscriber base, and the bankruptcy news, they will start to bleed customers. This will drive higher prices of current cellular plans. VMNOs such as Cricket, or Virgin Mobile will reap the benefits of T-Mobile’s wounds.

World – America

Canada will loose RIM to a bankruptcy, or company buyout as their market share in the mobile space drops below 10%. The United States will re-elect Barack Obama unless the majority of the population will blame him for another hit in the financial market. If this Ron Paul or Mitt Romney will be elected. Housing and Urban Development which provides financial assistance to low income families will offer a program for long term recipients to provide a similar home/condo to where they will provide for a 10 year assistance payment on a mortgage. This will only apply to recipients of 10+ years with no landlord complaints of non-payments.

No changes in other parts of America with the exception of Mexico. I could see a very public assassination of a government figure by the cartels. I also see a mass murder spilling over on the US side of the border. This will involve the US to go into Mexico on the blessing of the Mexican Government to either use Special Ops forces, or drones to strike cartel gangs.

World – Asia

Having seen that Capitalism has “failed”, the youth will seek to try to bring Communism back to Russia for hopes of jobs, and meeting the basic needs. Russian/US relations will falter, but there will not be a cold war attitude. The nuclear armistice will still allow the US to help Russia get find and dismantle their nuclear arsenal as agreed with.

Having lost their long time great leader, North Korea’s successor will flex its muscles by “test” launching flag ship nuclear ready ICBMs. There will also be rumors that South Korea will be invaded by North Korea. China will have to step in to try to make things better at least in regards to North Korea.

World – Middle East

Iraq since our departure in late 2011 will fall into a Civil War, and there will be concerns of Iraq splitting into two or even 3 separate countries. However, Iraq will remain 1 country. Talks between Palestine and Israel will be in the final stages, but Hamas must not be allowed in power. In addition, a successful cease fire will have to take place with both sides. Country lines will be mostly Israeli based, but some adjustments from there.

Confirmation that Iran has a nuclear weapons program will become apparent. The United States will still have a strong presence in Afghanistan, however there will be considerations of pulling out. Pakistan will tighten permissions to use their border in efforts to get more financial aide.

Free Phone Service (Restrictions Apply)

In these tough economic times, people on low income are trying to find ways to make their money stretch. So, how does one do so with the phone. POTS based phone service can be as high as $30 or even more. VOIP providers are typically not much cheaper, and if you need a cell phone so doctors, or schools (if you have children) needs to reach you, this will mean even more.

Now what would one say if I can say there can be free calls if you are on low income, and not have to worry so much on counting minutes? Needless to say, restrictions apply. However, here is what you would need.

  1. A Broadband Internet Connection
  2. A Google Voice Account
  3. An ObiHai ATA with ObiTalk Service
  4. A standard POTS telephone
  5. A Safelink Wireless Phone Service
  6. A willingness to do some configurations, or treat your favorite geek to his favorite dinner.

Now, once you have all of this, you would need to put it all together. I will go into detail why you would need all of this. I will then define why you would need these things, and then I will describe how to put everything together. Continue reading Free Phone Service (Restrictions Apply)

RIP Gizmo, and no SIP for Google Voice

With Google’s acquisition of both Grand Central, and Gizmo, it would seem as if they bought their Google Voice service. However, they have decided to ax some of the important features. Right now, if you wanted to use Google Voice on your PDA, or SIP phone, it will be nearly impossible, or require jumping through hoops. You would first have to get a SIP provider that would provide you with a US telephone number. Then you would have to set that telephone number up with Google Voice which will be impossible if the provider doesn’t support DTMF. And then when you wanted to make a phone, you would have to log into Google Voice, and either use the GTalk client, or do a ring back.

At least with Gizmo, you could show your Google Voice number, and spend 2¢ per minute for a US/CA call. And unlike Google Voice, Gizmo supports SIP. So, you would figure Google will not kill off the service without offering an alternative? Well, you are wrong there. You would still have to rely on the computer to make a call which puts it on the same level of usability as Magic Jack. At least with Magic Jack, you do not have to count your minutes after 2011. Yes, you have to pay an annual fee, but at least you have unlimited calling, and even E911 which is something I will gladly pay Google if they offer an actual SIP service.

Continue reading RIP Gizmo, and no SIP for Google Voice