Sunday, August 27, 2006

A word about VoIP

Of course you all have heard the term VOIP floating around the internet (and maybe at the local Best Buy), but do you know what it is? Voice over IP (VoIP) stands to be the de-facto replacement for traditional phone services. Even now, when you make a phone call using your local land line phone that call may be routed right over the internet! If you want to learn more about the details on what you can do with VOIP check out this site. Now for some of my more interesting observations on how VoIP can be a useful tool.

Many businesses pay tons of cash to support traditional phone systems (PBX, etc) and alongside this investment they also spend considerable amounts of money supporting a data network. Common sense tells us that if you could use the data network to support both the data and phone services then you could save considerable amounts of money. This is exactly what many companies are now doing!

VoIP also works for home users who want to lower the cost of long distance (and in some cases local calls) by using an existing high speed data connection to make phone calls. So if you make tons of calls and wish you could save some money or just want to play with some really cool technology then you will want to check out this good resource for further information. Personally, I have used several VoIP services myself such as Skype and Vonage with good results and can see exactly what all the fuss is all about!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Addicted to Information?

Recently I saw this story about how officials in China have opened up a clinic for those who are "addicted" to the net. Interesting to be sure, the idea that the internet could be just as addicting as a physical drug has been raised many times in the past, to much debate. The validity of this claim I won't dispute here, but I think the larger issue of just how much information we are asked to process in our daily lives is at least partly to blame for the reports of internet addiction. My perspective on this issue leads me to put forth the idea that some who seem to be addicted to the endless supply of information on the net are simply finding the process of filtering what information they are exposed to more difficult than the rest of us. For those who can absorb large amounts of information the rewards are great, so many of us spend a considerable amount of time trying to improve this process. This process in itself is not always a bad thing, but taken to extremes it can lead to addiction-like symptoms and possibly lead to other physiological effects.
Now if you take this whole idea to an extreme you might get something like this. As much as I love my Blackberry I can't imagine my employer forcing me to use it (trust me, they don't need to!).

New Blackberry?

For those who just love their Blackberry but hate the fact that they don't support all the new nifty features you see on all the latest phones then this new model might just be for you. The RIM Blackberry 8100 "Pearl" has not been announced just yet, but several decent photos have been leaked onto the net along with several short video clips. Features include removable storage and a camera making a powerful combination indeed. Personally, I just love my 8700 but I do miss having a place to store extra junk. Having a built-in camera is not a huge deal to me since I would rather use a more capable digicam for that task. All things considered, this may just be the coolest model RIM has developed and may drive Blackberry into the mainstream.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Iphone sounds so much better than Ichat Mobile

If you ask me, the latest rumors about an Apple-based phone are starting to really wind up. I ran across this latest "leaked" image which is supposed to show the new phone concept from Apple. The design seems solid if you are just looking for a basic phone with maybe some Itunes and Ichat (sans mini-keyboard) functionality. I personally wish they would develop something that combines the Blackberry level of connectivity with the simplicity of Mac OS X. Hopefully we shall see "something" on Monday when Steve Jobs will conduct the annual developers keynote....and on another note...I have a strong feeling (noting some recent changes at my local Apple retail store might have something to do with this) that Monday may bring a new Imac as well. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Space the Budget Hotel Frontier?

If you have not checked it out yet, take a peek at what Bigelow Aerospace has been up to, you might be surprised...Inflatable hotels in space? Dream....now becomes reality! (see photo ;-)

As many of my friends already know, I am a total space nut. No holds barred, I have always been a true believer in putting people into space. I personally believe that no single achievement of mankind has or ever will be greater than leaving this planet to journey out among the stars. If the human race is going to survive then there is simply no choice but to find other worlds and other opportunities. To think that mankind can stay on this planet indefinitely is naive and foolish on too many levels to count.
That said, back in 2004 I put my own money where my mouth is and flew myself and my father out to see Scaled Composites and SpaceShipOne do what should have been done years before. That year we saw the dawn of a new era in spaceflight, one where anyone can go (provided you want to!) and it won't take the full power of a national government to get you there. Flash forward to today and we are now seeing the first steps breaking new ground with the first commercial space station. Granted this first step is only a "beta test" but from the photos I would say they are off to a great start!