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Posts from February 2009

Want to know why I enjoy working at Voxeo? Listen to this interview (or read the transcript)...

voxeologo.gifTo get a sense of why I completely enjoy working for Voxeo, simply listen to this interview (or read the transcript) from Lee Dryburgh over on the eComm blog: (Voxeo CEO) Jonathan Taylor on the Origins and Near-Future of Voxeo

Do I need to say anything more? There is an immense amount of fun in being part of a company whose focus is on disrupting existing players and in the end helping people developer better voice applications... and hopefully bringing about better communication.

For those of you going out to eComm next week in San Francisco, I'll see you there. And if you haven't registered yet, there's still time - check out this blog post for a 20% discount code.

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Skype changes "Fair Usage Policy" to stop businesses from being too cheap...

skype_logo.pngOver on his new "Voice on the Web" blog, Jim Courtney outlines some changes Skype has recently made to their Fair Usage Policy. This subject came up on the "Skype 4.x" public Skype chat hosted by Skype Journal and in the discussion it appeared to most of us that what Skype is really trying to do is to:
eliminate businesses making tons of calls on cheap monthly subscriptions.

The idea for the business is simple really... get Skype... get one of the cheap monthly plans and start dialling a zillion numbers for your business. Made even easier if you use one of the various appliances these days that let you do "Skype trunks" from an existing PBX or other call server.

The new "Fair Usage Policy" makes these changes:

  • calling to a maximum of 50 numbers per day
  • maximum six (6) hours of SkypeOut calling per day
  • each subscription is to be used by one person only and not to be shared with any other user (whether by a PBX, call center, computer or any other means).

As Jim's post discusses, there are a number of caveats and other points to this (for instance, you can call the same number repeatedly and not have it impact the 50 call limit).

Note, too, that if you exceed your "fair usage" limit, your calls are not stopped but rather you start paying for calls on a per-minute basis (assuming you have SkypeCredit).

It's understandable to see Skype making this move. Infrastructure is not cheap and obviously they have to figure out how to pay for it all. Still, it will be interesting to see what if any reaction there is from existing customers.

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An insanely busy couple of weeks... (and VoiceObjects training)

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much lately... or podcasting..... I've certainly been twittering since it's fast to do... but I haven't been writing much here or across any of my blogs and podcasts lately.

Several good reasons... mostly that today is the last day of two weeks of travel, broken only by about a 40-hour visit home over the weekend. Last week I was down at ITEXPO in Miami and then spent the end of the week with one of my periodic check-ins at Voxeo's corporate office in Orlando, FL.

voiceobjectslogo.jpgThis week I've again been at Voxeo's office in Orlando, although not for meetings but instead to participate in a week of in-depth training in the VoiceObjects service creation environment for creating voice applications. You may recall that Voxeo acquired VoiceObjects back in December and so we've had a series of training sessions in Orlando for our development and support staff to learn all about the product.

It's the first time in a while that I've spent a week in a training session where my time is focused on a topic (or at least is supposed to be). I've come away from it very impressed by what the VO tool can do to help people very easily and quickly build very complex voice applications. It's also been a great way for me to learn more and more about the Eclipse tool, which continues to impress me with the plugins that are available for it. (Probably the most common way to use VoiceObjects is as an Eclipse plugin, although it can also be used through a web interface.)

I'll be writing more about VoiceObjects and what it can do - although probably over on the Voxeo Developer's Corner blog - but I'll mention here that if you'd like to try it out yourself, you can download a free copy of the VoiceObjects "Developer Edition" from the VoiceObjects Developer Portal.

Of course, during this week of training, all the other normal work tasks don't stop... so the nights and mornings have been long... and much of my blogging and podcasting has had to be put on hold.

Next week I'll be back up in my home office in New Hampshire and would like to hope that the pace might be a tad bit better... but... well... the Emerging Communications (eComm) conference is only 2.5 weeks away, and there's a lot to be done before that! :-)

Somewhere in here I should be able to start posting more again...

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Voxilla Tutorial - Running Asterisk in a EC2 Cloud

Long-time readers will know that I have been intrigued for a long time with what we now call "cloud computing" (and have written about it and spoken about it) and also continue to find the world of open source telephony interesting.

So naturally when I'm pointed to a step-by-step tutorial about running Asterisk in Amazon's EC2 cloud, I'm interested. :-) It's a nicely done tutorial and I look forward to seeing what people will do with it. (Unlike Mark Headd, who pointed to the tutorial in a tweet, I won't be trying it out this weekend, but I will be doing so at some point soon.)

Cool stuff...

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