Futurephone.com is offering free long distance to a couple of dozen international destinations for people who already have free US long distance or a bucket of minutes they can utilize for US long distance. No VOIP adapters or softphones required. Instead, callers make a phone call to an IOWA phone number and are then provided with a dial-tone to dial internationally. Right now the company appears to be trying to build up its user base. Next year we may see them introduce commercial messages that are played before a call is put through.
According to ZDnet, the licensing terms being proposed by Microsoft for its new Vista software will only allow a single, one time, transfer from one computer to another. After that, a user will need to buy a new copy. Also, only the initial licensee will have a right to transfer their license to a third party. After that, the software license may no longer be transferred.
Toronto Hyrdo Telecom recently launched the initial phase of their OneZone wi-fi service in downtown Toronto. Access is free during the first 6 months but you’ll need to provide a cell phone number if you want to try out the service. The sign up process sends an SMS message with the new user’s username and password.
Continue reading Toronto Wi-Fi – Toronto Hydro Telecom’s OneZone
Charles C. Mann writes in Wired about the growing problem of spam blogs. He reviews a number of techniques, suggested by David Sifry, founder of Technorati, of identifying potential splogs. These include:
Well, let me suggest another potential technique, one that would be very easy for the pay-per-click firms such as Google and Yahoo to implement.
Continue reading Identifying Splogs
Road warriors may be interested in hField Technologies’ Wi-Fire – a USB wi-fi client with a built-in directional antenna designed to provide enhanced performance over longer distances. Similar features are promised by the Hawking Techbnologies HWU8DD Hi-Powered USB Wireless-G Adapter. Unfortunately, neither company is clear about how much RF power their devices put out.
Canada’s telecommunications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), reaffirmed an earlier decision to continue to regulate what the major telephone companies can charge for VOIP services – at least until the incumbent telephone companies lose 25% of their market share. In doing so, it ignored the government’s desire to allow free market forces to play a bigger role. From the Globe and Mail.
Philips is apparently joining Netgear, Belkin and others in announcing PC-less cordless Skpe-compatible handsets. However, unlike Netgear and Belkin, who have announced wi-fi based handsets, the Philips offering will be based on DECT standards. Sounds like that means it will operate like a home cordless phone but without the need for a PC. For more information, see PCWorld.
I wonder when we will actually see these devices available for sale. In May and June, Netgear starting taking pre-orders for a June 30th launch. However, its now 2 months later and they are still not shipping.
The current version of Califoria Assembly Bill 2415, as last amended on August 21, 2006, may make it much more difficult to prosecute someone who piggybacks off someone else’s wi-fi service that is not password protected.
It states that:
There is disagreement as to whether it is legal for someone to use another person’s WiFi connection to browse the Internet if the owner of the WiFi connection has not put a password on it. While Section 502 of the Penal Code prohibits the unauthorized access to computers, computer systems, and computer data, authorized use is determined by the specific circumstances of the access. There are also federal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. Sec. 1030 et seq.), that prohibit the intentional access to a computer without authorization.