Just use a pstn to VOIP auto switch easier and you get surge protection FREE.
Interesting point of view.
> >>> Mostly the cost difference and the convenience.
>>>> Why not just get a two-line RJ-14 type telephone?
>> Well, you can go to Radio Shack and get a very nice two line GE phone
>> with caller ID, speakerphone, and a bunch of other features for about
>> fifty dollars. I just got one because I'm going to have two different
>> VOIP services at my new place in NC for a while. When I have the
>> bucks, I'm going to get another one, too.
>> I used to be leary of phones being sold by Radio Shack. But what I've
>> seen there lately has been an improvement. It used to be off brands.
>> But now there's not so many different model phones but a few good ones >> insteads.
> Voice Over Internet Both Simple, Complex
> By FRANK BAJAK, AP Technology Editor
> We have more ways than ever of communicating, but trying to keep up
> with family and friends can be exasperating. Our overlapping free time
> seems to shrink. We constantly play phone and voice mail tag. And
> e-mail, in its tone-deaf impersonality, barely helps.
> One of the most unorthodox and intriguing among 32 new products
> launched onstage at this week's DEMOfall conference, a showcase of
> tech innovation, was a Web-based tool with a mission: to encourage
> emotional connection via audio messages.
> Not two-way conversations, mind you. Just me telling you my
> news. Click, talk and send.
> The product is called YackPack because the user creates groups, or
> packs, of people who can be audio-messaged individually or
> collectively. Each member of your pack gets an icon with his or her
> picture on it. An e-mail notification tells you when a Yack has
> "It turns out that asynchronous audio is the secret sauce for what
> keeps relationships alive and fresh," said B.J. Fogg, the company
> founder and chief executive. Much of YackPack's recipe came from the
> year Fogg spent with a focus group of women over age 50.
> Unlike Fogg, the typical tech startup CEO will bend your ear with
> metrics on market potential while spouting technobabble that would
> befuddle all but us geeks.
> Such people abounded at DEMOfall, where other promising products
> pitched to an elite crowd of investors and press also sought to better
> manage relationships: by turning a cell phone into a conference-call
> manager, helping eBay users place bids wirelessly, protecting the
> privacy of online consumers.
> Fogg, on the other hand, was more apt to be accused of
> psycho-babble. He is, after all, a Stanford psychologist in addition
> to being a computer scientist.
> "We're helping people connect emotionally, and that leads to
> happiness," he said.
> Santa Rosa, Calif.-based YackPack goes live in mid-October and will be
> free while in beta, then cost well under $10 per month, with a free
> ad-based version, Fogg says.
> There's no software to download, and Fogg says YackPack even works
> with dial-up connections. All you need is to get a microphone working
> with your computer.
> "Three-year-olds can do it. Grandmas can do it. People who can't read
> and write can do it," said Fogg.
> He sees the product as benefiting circles well beyond families --
> cancer support groups, for example.
> DEMO's semiannual shows have been springboards for such industry
> standouts as TiVo, the Palm Pilot and the Danger HipTop. After six
> years under the DEMOmobile moniker, this year's fall show got a name
> change in recognition of our ability to finally go online wirelessly
> with increasing ease.
> DEMO show producer Chris Shipley says the legions of ultra-productive
> but also constantly reachable and thus often harried "always-on
> people" are driving today's tech market. Shipley calls it the dawning
> era of "ultrapersonal computing."
> Software and services thus dominated DEMOfall, with a number of
> products appearing poised to humble industry giants, especially in > telecommunications.
> One was Mobile Call Manager from Menlo Park, Calif.-based TalkPlus
> Inc., which uses Internet phone technology over the traditional
> cellular network. It makes cheap calls available on cell phones while
> adding such features as the ability to have multiple phone numbers
> ring on a single handset and on-the-fly conference calling with up to > 10 participants.
> That's something no wireless carrier now offers.
> CEO Jeff Black claims he'll be able to offer low, low rates -- 2 cents
> a minute for calls within the United States and Canada -- and he's
> lining up multiple carriers internationally for a Jan. 1 launch. He
> wouldn't name the partners.
> Jingle Networks Inc. of San Francisco sees directory assistance as
> another huge market -- worth an estimated $8 billion a year in the
> United States -- that's ripe for the plucking.
> To bypass the traditional carriers, Jingle connects callers for free
> to the business, government office or residence of their choice. The
> trade-off for using 1-800-FREE-411: Callers must first listen to a
> 12-second recorded pitch.
> Jingle's success will depend on its ability to sign up local
> merchants. When I called the service to get my home phone number, the
> pitch I heard, after following the voice prompts, was for Jingle > itself.
> The cell phone is also the key for Camden, N.J.-based Smarter Agent
> Inc. Its first service, expected next year, will deliver real estate
> listings to mobile handsets based on a user's location.
> If you like a neighborhood but are nowhere near a computer, you'll be
> able to use a map on your cell phone screen to see what nearby houses
> are on the market, the asking price and other details. You'll even be
> able to search to see recent selling prices for comparable homes in
> the neighborhood. Smarter Agent, a registered Realtor, draws on the
> Multiple Listing Service used by agents across the nation on their Web > sites.
> Safeguarding privacy online has become an ever more serious concern
> with identity theft a mounting problem. That was reason enough for a
> company called UniPrivacy Inc. to build a business on protecting
> consumers proactively.
> The company's newly launched DeleteNow product will, for $2.99 per
> month, remove information about you from more than 100 online sources
> -- search engines and databases including Google Inc. -- and check
> those sites daily to make sure the information stays off.
> However, plenty of sites that might contain personal information about
> you, such as Claria Corp., aren't cooperating, says chief executive
> Chaz Berman. The more customers UniPrivacy acquires, the more clout
> it will have, and Berman says it plans to eventually "out" those sites
> that refuse to cooperate.
> After all, "When you join we become your legal agent."
> Frank Bajak can be reached at techeditor(at)ap.org
> On the Net:
> Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.
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