Archive for January, 2006|Monthly archive page

I freaked a little bit to see my weekly artist chart this week until I realised I haven’t been home and my wife streams music from my PC to the laptop in the lounge so it all uses my iscrobbler plugin!

However I was even more freaked to see my most recent recommendation !!


Made it Home

I got home finally around 21:30 as expected….just in case you were worried about me…..

The Terminal Part II

I really shouldn’t have made that post as was just about to go get on my flight and checked the board – 1hr 20 delay so now I land at 21:00 and actually get home around 21:30 which basically makes it a loooong day since I started travelling…


Now I’m worried that posting this will tempt fate into cancelling it and I’ll get stuck here all night as it’s the last flight home…..

The Terminal……

I feel like Tom Hanks in The Terminal already…….

too many cups of coffee, strange little biscuits, a couple of glasses of wine, some nachos so now I’m knackered and feeling a little sick…..

roll on home time, just over an hour to go…

edit: I just stretched after writing that and got a MASSIVE pain in my shoulder and neck – OUCH! and it’s not going away – no more posts from me today

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ETel: Exec Summary

Thought I ought to summarise, wrap it up etc.

Overall I thought it was an excellent conference, especially a it was the first time it had been run, why did I like it? because it had a good atmosphere, it lacked pretensions, it had humour and it had just enough pure geekery to make you smile rather than retch..

Considering we were surrounded by people out to wreck and subvery our business models, or more specifically US telco models, we were very well recieved, this had a lot to do with Norman Lewis’s speech but equally the team we had there gave across a consistent messge and constantly engaged people in open discussions, quite often the other party were quite mystified by us I think because we didn’t act or talk like a typical telco.

I figured I’d do some mini awards in a slightly irreverent fasion to suit the general mood of the conf.

Best Service

YackPack which is a very well crafted web2.0 service, invite me to a pack at my mail to the right, it was also the most complete really

Best Presenter

Brian Capouch was way ahead, he really engaged me, more than Cochrane even though Cochrane’s material was more my thing

Best Hack

Has to be the Jabphone from the Poly9 guys, lot’s of hype but well deserved in this case, I chatted to them for a while and they are just really genuine guys, I want to get a M600 in their hands and see what they can do, I bet I don’t get to do that though.

Best Meal

Probably the curry we had on the final night there at a place called Chutney, recommended by Surj and very good it was too!

Best Drink

Guinness – nuff said except the hotel ran out of it completely on Wednesday night, vastly underestimating a the geek/hacker love of the black stuff

Was it a useful thing to attend, yes I believe it was, if for no other reason than to see BT up on stage promising to be even more open than we admitted to, and we are not presenting a signed off vision for the company unlike the BT guy but rather a shared vision across the research teams of Home & Personal that we are trying to deliver through some projects we are running.

Also made some good contacts and met some very bright people, NDAs are going out, proposals for trials and possibly the very first FON mesh network in the UK, but there is some doubt about that now I think

Do I want to attend next year, yes I do and I’d liek to speak, and be speaking about the wonderful new platform we have available to developers but let’s see about that, after all it’s only a year away …..

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ETel: The Return & iPass

The conf is over, the travel back is half way through, the flight from SFO to AMS was uneventful apart from being way too hot to sleep which is a pain as exhausted now but daren’t go to sleep in case miss next flight.
To be fair I’ve been in the lounge here for almost 6 hours and still have 3 to go so maybe should have had a kip earlier but one reason why not is I have free WiFi access again thanks to iPass. Since I updated the phonebook it’s free WiFi all over baby !
What bug me is I have a newly built laptop and that means the iPass client comes with a 3 year old phonebook and so the WiFi isn’t there…. I wonder how much extra that costs Orange for everyone that doesn’t even know that they have free wifi in a lot of places, for some reason not in France, you’d think that was an obvious one but I’m guessing whoever did the deal in the UK for iPass a long time ago hasn’t had any luck getting Orange France to sign up, or maybe it’s up to iPass !? I don’t know but in this instance I do care as that would really help
Hey Ho, my flight is on the board at least now, may do some more posts or may have a snooze as I am dead on my feet, my back is killing me, knee, wrists etc etc – what an easy life I lead….

ETel: The Last Day – The Last Session

Jingle: Jabber Does VoIPPeter Saint-Andre

cool – fast – we’re in it, we’re doing it apparently, nuff said

Innovation at Scale: The Power of Hosted VoIP and Web 2.0 Mash-upsShirish Andhare

He starts off with what a great conference this is and we all clap and cheer….

what is innovation at scale we’re asked, then shown how Google et al have far higher market cap than the traditional guys like us – no surprise there.

Nice tagline though : Traditional Phone Network:tired – web2.0 services:wired

big graph on screen about how you can hook everything you can think of into the Sylantro open VoIP server, it’s a sales pitch but here comes the demo.

Demo is google talk over XMPP with a voice app from Tellme on SIP/HTTP(VXML) running through the Sylantro server according to the slides so lets go to the actual demo:

SIP desk(soft)phone up and a personal web page and GT, he asks for timelady and the demo says sorry i didnt get that (ha) but 2nd time it works and she reads out the time

he fools around with GT window sizes for a while so he can get to his bot app, uses it to dial a person to get a text message read back, not overwhelmed by this but the underlying stuff is cool.

SightSpeedAron Rosenberg

Video Bloooooooging, this guy must be from NuYooork !

they have the best video platform out there according to PC World, PC mag

never heard of them before but they seem to have a polished product and website, they have big companies as customers, they have been published in many many magazines

they do videomail, recipient gets a mail telling them to go to the web and view it

they do presense, IM Chat etc etc so up to this point it’s a straight sales pitch

main users is families to keep in touch – $5 a month for service

next steps to get their product into the living room on the TV, handheld etc

Filtering Relevant CommunicationAlec Saunders

makes calls relevant, who is calling you, too many ways to reach you….

how does your phone know which call is important, we move on to how distracted we all get and then to “work life balance” and how many different ways we currently mix work and home life

now we get a real demo, up and running in Ottawa, plugins for Outlook calendar, contacts and IM

change to busy on IM and the call doesn’t get through but goes to voicemail

now we add a meeting to the calendar and this changes the context too, the call is routed to the mobile as the calendar reckons you are out of the office – it’s pretty neat stuff

AstlinuxKristian Kielhofner

It’s the graveyard shift, one more after this, the crowd is thinning out and I saw this (and blogged I think) earlier in the conf, in fact it was the second session, this is another overview session – I may try this out !

The Last Word in TelephonyMartin Geddes

This is also the last session, thank the gods as my body is giving up on me

Check out his blog here

Would like to get his slides and will try to – mainly cos I dont want to type anymore, I almost made it this time…

we get some sllides that show satisfaction of various types of telephony and they are good, will get them hopefully as they are (by nature) very graphical !

Imran is right, people, place, time is a familiar one for us

we close out with SMS is old and tired and we should do voice messaging, we tried that a long time ago !

The session is over , that’s all folks, Surj gets up to close out. I’ll probably do an overview summary post later. possibly on the 10.5 hr flight home, g’night folks

Surj mentions Imran in his thanks which is nice

ETel: Digium and lessons learned

DigiumMark Spencer

He invented Asterisk and now CEO of a company that makes hardware for it.

Surj thanks the bloggers – guess that includes me

he goes through why it’s a boring utilisation of VoIP and wants to move on

“The Event”

tells a tale of people getting messages to call a number, they reroute the calls to a girls phone and she gets hundreds of calls but they have no clue why? what is the mysterious 6062 extension, an internal testing extension, with a really fun message about being so far down the line you should hang up, play with the kids etc!

funny and worth a clap and then it turns out it’s a worm/meme who just wanted to have fun but it killed them on traffic, so they switched on the VoIP routed traffic and it solved the problem without a noticeable drop in voice quality.

He runs out of things to say to opens up to questions “they dont allow questions here” shouts someone but Surj caves and allows a question….

In the end he plays a very funny spam clip for Asterisk that gets a shit load of laughs and claps and wooo hooos etc but it was funny !

ETel: Freedom to connect

Freedom to Connect by David Isenberg (nothing on the site as a last minute replacement)

does his opening skit in a Dr Seuss style which is fun – it’s all about how bad the telco is and we are soo bad and how freedom of speech is being impinged and how we want to toll everything

he is getting very animated – we’ve got to fight!

The internet has to be free – big claps for “you dont need big brother f%^&ing with you”

The next Motto “fat pipe, always on, get out of the way” and the crowd chants along is about the Freedom to Connect conference, the crowd chants the new mantra again, and again, and again

when Sony does root-kit, NSA spying on you etc etc “it takes kids to keep the stupid network free”

all good fun

ETel: More Security stuff

CALEA – Wiretapping VoIP and Keeping Garage Innovators DownBrad Templeton

More on how bad central orgs are at keeping telecom innovators down, and how we have massive resources to keep the garage developers down and that’s how we keep the ‘man’ down, very American slant to this

check out Calea here

all new systems must be certified by the FBI as being compliant for wiretapping

if you want to choose your cable provider you can, move house..

Whoo hoo and yeeha because EFF is going to file a lawsuit against all this, I’m really not sure where I sit on this, most propably on the EFF side but I have a nagging sense that there is a requirement to keep people/states safe and sometimes that might infringe, I’m not going gung ho but it’s a very dificult line to take and I find all the talk of why it’s so bad, the references to drugs being ok to hunt down unless you are a stoner ‘man’ !

The usual argument that there are so few people that need catching for whatever that it’s insane to spend so much money making sure that everyone can be tracked or tapped – then you can posit against this the argument “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear”

Not getting involved in this one and certainly not giving it up for the man