While companies like Vonage are charging $24.99 per month for VOIP service, Massachusetts-based RNK Telecom is offering lifetime VOIP phone service for a one-time fee of $999 USD. That’s right - for a cool G, those in Massachusetts can make unlimited local and long distance calls. The fee also includes calls to 22 countries as well. While $999 sounds like a lot, it comes out to about 39 months of Vonage service. Of course, the other factor here is the question of how long will this company be around? If they happen to go under in three years, you are out of service and out of one thousand bucks. And even if they do stay in business, are you saying you plan on staying in Massachusetts for the rest of your life?
Read More | BillingWorld
I know structured wiring and home automation aren’t exactly at the tip of your tongue. All I can say is that it will be. If you want to be able to integrate all of your high tech audio and video toys with your home entertainment systems, and build them into multi room designs, you will need both home automation and structured wiring. The reason I mention this is that Leviton has announced that it is releasing the LE&AP, a multimedia hard drive distribution unit for its structured wiring enclosures. With a Linux based operating system, the LE&AP allows you to distribute your digital music and videos across multiple platforms. Send your MP3’s to your stereo and your digital videos and digital camera images to the televisions. The distribution unit will also share out your broadband connection. I’m an MCSE and I’m going to be looking at this way before I look at mounting a computer with windows media system loaded on it.
This is an 8-zone commercial grade gateway and firewall, with 4 USB expansion ports, and a 120 GB internal drive. It can be upgraded to larger storage capacity as well as software upgrades. From the looks of the system eventually it will integrate with your security and home control devices as well.
With basic audio and video connections as well as advanced digital connections, the unit connects to your TV or stereo and uses your home network for communications. With the remote and some easy to use menus on the TV homeowners can browse and select all of their audio, video and photo storage.
Read More | Leviton
We all spend a lot of time writing textual content on the net. This content comes in many forms such as movie reviews at Yahoo, posts on a message board, and even comments on a blog. For some sites such as Slashdot, its user submitted comments are the sites main attraction. But who owns this content - the original author or the site that displays the content? Forget about what the law officially states, for all intents and purposes, it is the site that controls the content. They control the user submitted content, and if the site disappears so will the said content. There have been documented cases of sites shutting down and people no longer having access to their work. Even most message boards do not retain every post. Its amazing that more people don’t store their posts in some fashion. Literally hours ago a new web application launched that allows its members to store, organize and download all of their textual content. It also allows members to add del.icio.us-like labels to their posts. These labels are aggregated at the single member and community levels, so you can view all of your posts labeled “NFL” and you can also view all of the community’s posts labeled “NFL”. The main benefit of course is that it gives the author control of their textual content. Try it http://www.bbBuddy.com.
One thing that gives Firefox its mass appeal is it’s solid pop-up blocker. Now Mozilla’s pop-up blocker is being challenged. There are some websites that have found a way around the blocker after its first pop-up is blocked. One such website is Ngemu.com; Firefox and Mozilla will both block the first pop-up, however after the user clicks on a link such as “XBOX”, a pop up appears. Bugzilla’s website contains a bug report of the problem including the source code for the work around.
Read More | Bugzilla
Microsoft plans to release a new version of Internet Explorer this summer as a beta edition. Bill Gates claims that this new version will have stronger built-in security features, but how many times have we heard that? This announcement came after rumor on the web was that Microsoft would not upgrade IE before the release of Longhorn. Sticking with the whole security thing, it looks like this beta will require XP SP2 in order to be installed. Can the software giant succeed in convincing ex-IE users to switch back? If Microsoft continues to shun tabbed browsing, I don’t care how far along they come in the security department. It’s a no.
Read More | IEBlog
It’s nice to have a change from the regular listing of albums and singles Billboard is normally known for. USA Today reports that the company has actually been tabulating downloads, using Nielsen SoundScan, since 2003. Now that they’ve ironed out all the kinks and feel more comfortable they’ve begun publishing the lists. They are only tracking songs that have been legally purchased though, for obvious reasons. For top song swaps, you might want to check out BigChampagne.
Read More | USA Today
A couple of days ago, TRUSTe made it known to the internet community that for the first time in two years they were going to suspend a sites status as a TRUSTe sealbearer. Gratis Network was to be the one to garner that dubious acheivement, but today the companies announced they have come to an agreement. If you read the release, you basically see that Gratis has decided to comply and go through corporate training. This basically tells us that they are admitting to wrongdoing. Regardless of what kind of training they go through and compliance they follow from here forward, what about all the damage already done? Multitudes of Gratis members have complained about all the spam they get just from signing up to any Gratis Internet site looking to gain free electronics. Check out the full press release after the jump.
Those of you without a Valentine this year can’t possibly be this desperate. In a publicity stunt sponsored by Match.com, a 29 year old man has enclosed himself in a bubble at a Sydney, Australia shopping mall until Valentines Day, where he hopes to come out and meet his new girlfriend. May not be considered much of a stunt since it looks like he has all that he needs (read: a laptop and a broadband connection). While I’ve always wondered what it would be like to meet a girl that’s as into technology as I am, something tells me there’s some good to having “opposites attract”. For example, I can help her with free tech support while she can help teach me about personal hygiene. Oh well. We hope you all have a decent Valentine’s Day, whether alone or with another.
Read More | Cnet News
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