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March 2008
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May 2008

Posts from April 2008

My "Black Bag Security Review" hits IT Conversations' Top 10 Downloads for March 2008...

itconversations.jpgI was rather surprised but pleased to see that my "Black Back Security Review" was on the list of the "Top Ten IT Conversations Shows for March 2008". My "surprise" was mostly because that particular talk is over a year old and was given at the ETel 2007 show back at the end of February 2007.

To be honest, I was not actually aware (or didn't remember, anyway) that the IT Conversations Network had distributed my talk but I'm guessing they did so with a number of the ETel sessions.

Unfortunately, they don't include the slides, which I put up in the Blue Box posting and also just generally made available on SlideShare. Without the slides, I suppose it works perfectly fine.. I've just never listened to it that way. It was still one of the most fun presentations I've ever given. Also took a ton of time to prepare. 243 slides in 14 minutes... :-) (I did write up some notes about the presentation and the style, etc.)

Anyway, it's cool to see people discovering that session again. Nice surprise!

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Skype 2.7 for the Mac publicly released (back in February)

skype_logo.pngThis is relatively old news, now, but if you didn't know, Skype released version 2.7 for the Mac back in February. I'd been using the 2.7 beta for quite some time, but missed the announcement that the production version had been released. (Annoyingly the "Check for Updates" in the 2.7 beta never indicated that there was a newer version.) I just learned of the production version as a result of an amusing little bug that I'll write about sometime. :-)

If you are a Mac user and haven't upgraded to 2.7, I've been using version 2.7 for quite some time and have been quite pleased with it. The integration with the Mac's native Address Book is quite nice to have.

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Creating voice applications that interconnect with Skype and SIP

voxeologo.gifGiven that I write on Voxeo's blog site, I tend not to write much here about things we are doing at Voxeo.

But I thought I'd mention here one specific post I put up recently called "Skype-ifying your voice applications" which talks about the intriguing ways in which you can use our hosted platform to make voice applications accessible through a number of different mechanisms.

voxeo-inbound-outbound-1.jpgAs shown in the diagram to the left, an application that you write and is hosted on our platform can be called into over the PSTN, over a direct SIP connection or via Skype or FWD. Likewise calls can go out to PSTN numbers or to SIP endpoints.

This flexibility is one of the many things that intrigues me about the platform (of which I knew nothing about prior to joining the company in October).

Anyway, more information is in the full blog post. I just thought I'd mention it here. (By the way, if you'd like to try it out yourself, developer accounts are free.)

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Skype releases new 3.8 beta for Windows

skype_logo.pngIf you are on Windows, you can now download Skype 3.8 beta. As Raul Liive indicates, this beta release is primarily focused on quality improvements, including improved audio quality.

I did find it interesting that Skype wrote their own UPnP implementation for this release and stopped using Microsoft's UPnP code. UPnP ("Universal Plug and Play") is one of those things you either love or hate. Consumers love it because it lets applications "just work" through their home firewall. Security folks like me usually loathe it because UPnP punches holes in firewalls (and lacks any kind of authentication whatsoever). However, it makes sense for Skype to attempt to use UPnP and, given what they wrote, it makes sense for them to write their own version and not be subject to the issues with Microsoft's version.

I'll be curious to hear what others think of the Skype 3.8 beta for Windows... given that I'm on a Mac these days, I won't be giving it a try.

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