Benefits Of VoIP In The Home

As the Internet grows ever larger and can be found in increasing numbers of homes across the world, the communities in which we live are shrinking in terms of contact ability every day. As more contacts are made among people globally, there has been a strong demand to improve conversational abilities beyond the capacity and cost of the traditional phone market.

One technological innovation that seeks to bridge the distance gap between people is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). This procedure is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet through a packet-switched network, as opposed to the telephone system of circuit-switched networks.

The immediate benefit that is apparent for users of Voice over Internet Protocol at home is in the cost. Traditional telephone long distance costs have made it unaffordable to call distant friends or family members to all but the most dedicated, which results in a loosening of the family ties which can be detrimental to the individuals and also will end with most families feeling a significant amount of regret. With the VoIP technology, family members and friends who live far apart from each other need worry no longer about the significant costs involved in keeping in touch. When both parties are using the VoIP technology, for example, the entire call may be free of charge, no matter where in the world the parties are calling from. It is important to remember, if you are a brass-tacks budgeter that the cost of the overall Internet charge to your premises should be included in the overall cost, but this s usually still significantly less than just one call to a family member in Florida from Canada or even the northern United States would cost.

It is also possible to use VoIP technology to call a regular phone line, but in these cases there will be a cost involved, usually to the VoIP user. These costs are usually lower than equivalent telephone services, and the charges depend on the type of public switched telephone network to VoIP connection that is used.

VoIP in the home also carries some significant advantages in terms of functionality. The technology can be used concurrently with video conversation, so that the callers can also see each other and their homes as they talk. It can also act simultaneously with file exchange or instant message services such as MSN in order to achieve immediate discussion and application of the files being exchanged. Incoming calls that use VoIP can also be routed from anywhere, regardless of where the connection to the Internet is taking place.

Finally, the technology available through VoIP makes it possible to take your phone number with you anywhere in the world without having to inform your numerous contacts of where they can reach you at a certain time and number. The number assigned by the company, such as Skype, remains the contact number no matter what location the user may be at.
Author: Willie Reynolds is a technology nut, and maintains a website on VoIP. It can be found at:

100 Million iPods Sold

CUPERTINO, California—April 9, 2007—Apple® today announced that the 100 millionth iPod® has been sold, making the iPod the fastest selling music player in history. The first iPod was sold five and a half years ago, in November 2001, and since then Apple has introduced more than 10 new iPod models, including five generations of iPod, two generations of iPod mini, two generations of iPod nano and two generations of iPod shuffle. Along with iTunes® and the iTunes online music store, the iPod has transformed how tens of millions of music lovers acquire, manage and listen to their music.

“At this historic milestone, we want to thank music lovers everywhere for making iPod such an incredible success,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPod has helped millions of people around the world rekindle their passion for music, and we’re thrilled to be a part of that.”

“It’s hard to remember what I did before the iPod,” said Mary J. Blige, GRAMMY Award-winning singer. “iPod is more than just a music player, it’s an extension of your personality and a great way to take your favorite music with you everywhere you go.”

“Without the iPod, the digital music age would have been defined by files and folders instead of songs and albums,” said John Mayer, GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist. “Though the medium of music has changed, the iPod experience has kept the spirit of what it means to be a music lover alive."

The iPod has also sparked an unprecedented ecosystem of over 4,000 accessories made specifically for the iPod that range from fashionable cases to speaker systems, and more than 70 percent of 2007-model US automobiles currently offer iPod connectivity.

“I take my running shoes and my iPod with me everywhere,” said Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France champion. “I listen to music when I run. Having my music with me is really motivating.”

Every iPod features seamless integration with iTunes 7. The iTunes Store ( features the world’s largest catalog with over five million songs, 350 television shows and over 400 movies. The iTunes Store has sold over 2.5 billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies, making it the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

Wedding planners pit iPods against live deejays

BERKELEY, Calif. -- If video killed the radio star, will the iPod take out the DJ? Not quite, but if wedding-planning message boards are any indication, more and more people are considering the cheap and convenient alternative to hired entertainment at weddings and other events.

Adam Love and his wife, Jennifer, were looking at trying to keep their costs down and their ceremony intimate when they decided to use an iPod for their reception in 2005. They created a five-hour playlist and found that the celebration turned more into a social affair than a dance party -- just the way they liked it.

"We had a lot of folks from out of town and there were those I went to college with, so it was more about getting together to talk and get reacquainted rather than highlighting a band or DJ," said Adam Love, who now lives in Berkeley.

"If the music isn't something you expect to be the centerpiece of the wedding, it's just an easy, less expensive way to handle (your event)."

Finances are a big part of the increasing popularity of MP3 players as a DJ alternative. Hired DJ services can come in anywhere between $600 to more than $1,000, depending on his or her experience and equipment. Even with an Apple iPod (ranging from $149 to $350 depending on the gigabytes), people have had to rent speaker equipment that can average $100. For a live band, costs can climb into the thousands.

Still, some say an iPod can't replace a human who has the ability to maintain pace and read a crowd's mood to keep the dance floor alive and know when to bust out the chicken dance. Couple that with other perks including a top-notch speaker system and a catalog of music outside of iTunes boundaries and you've gone from background music to a party.

"(IPods are) nice because it does save money and they're able to play songs they choose, but you don't have the DJ there to keep the flow of things, so it's almost like you need an emcee to direct the crowd and get people on the dance floor kind of thing," said Alanna Grossnickle, event coordinator at Garre Winery in Livermore.

Drax, executive director and president of the American DJ Association of the 1,500-member association, agrees.

"An iPod is music, and what brides really want is an eloquent spokesperson that can represent them at their event in front of family and friends to create a once-in-a-lifetime, memorable experience," Drax said "We work in harmony (with photographers) to craft deeply powerful, poignant memories for friends and family where they feel that they've experienced something that was unique," Drax said. "The Kodak catches the moment -- it's the DJ's job to create it."

Meanwhile, some businesses are working to make sure that prospective clients have an option. The sound system at Garre's event center has led to an increase in iPod use for special events such as company and holiday parties, and birthdays.

And it's not just happening at special receptions. Some bars and clubs have taken to using iPods in between jukebox sets to maintain an ambience, while hot spots such as Walnut Creek's Spoontonic Lounge hold special nights where patrons can create their own iPod playlists.

Walnut Creek native Erin Bristow and her husband, Marcus Roll, decided to take their music into their own hands. When they began planning their wedding in September, they initially considered hiring a DJ, but as the months passed and plans were set, they decided it would be easier to cut out as many vendors as possible, including a DJ.

"In the end, we decided that it would be fine to do it ourselves," said Bristow, 23. "It's been a fun project to make this playlist for us anyway, to think of songs we love and some songs that we haven't listened to in years, and we had fun doing this together."

Bristow, who married Saturday in a smaller ceremony in Berkeley, set up a Web site where guests recommended songs for the event. The bride said it helped bring guests into the fold more.

"We've had a really good time doing all the planning and I think that comes from not having to worry about so many things at one time," like juggling too many vendors, Bristow said. "Getting married is stressful, but planning a wedding should be fun."

Still, Spoontonic owner Jeffrey Sun admits that his iPod can never replace two turntables and a microphone.

"DJs still bring in the crowds," he said. "There's definitely an art to DJ-ing. There's an actual talent required for making music flow that only a DJ can do."

Denim Code

TrendHunter: Levi’s invented jeans and Diesel turned them into a fashion item. Now DENIM CODE is taking jeans into the interactive digital communication era. DENIM CODE, the new French brand of jeans, has come up with a revolutionary concept consisting of making it possible to access an audio/video recording free of charge from a pair of DENIM CODE jeans.”

Simple and glamorous:
- The consumer can choose not only their jeans but their universe: by snapshotting* the tag** with their mobile phone, they can watch video clips, listen to music, see films, watch programs, listen to the news…..
- A collection of over 200 different models for men and women enabling you to access the worlds of music, sport, films, video games or people…
- Jeans are evolving in line with the times, thanks to the content of the denim code tag, which will be regularly updated.

Sony Ericsson W880i

Sony Ericsson W880i: the Walkman gets slim and sexy

Walkman phones have been successful in creating a reputation for being a nice bundle of features. But in order to put in as many features as possible, manufacturers have somehow overlooked the 'fat' size of the phones. With the rise in popularity of fashion solution and the growing clout for slim phones, it was, but obvious for Sony Ericsson to come up with a 'slim' Walkman phone.

The Sony Ericsson W880i is till date, the slimmest phone from the giant. The drought of slim phones from Sony Ericsson ended in a high note as the Sony Ericsson W880i is not only the slimmest with 9.5 mm width but also one of the lightest 3G phone at just 71 gm. Most importantly, the Sony Ericsson W880i is successful in maintaining Sony Ericsson's reputation for giving its user a nice bundle of features.

Being a member of the Walkman family, the Sony Ericsson W880i is a master technician when it comes to music. Endowed with an advanced Walkman media player V2.0, the Sony Ericsson W880i plays all popular media formats with great power and clarity. The phone has everything you'd expect in a music phones – A2DP Bluetooth profile for wireless stereo headset, 3.5 mm audio jack adapter, graphic equalizer, playlist support, memory card support and a host of treadmark Walkman features like Track ID, Mega Bass and Album Art.

3G technology of the Sony Ericsson W880i makes it a strong communication tool. The phone can take part in video calls and has a dedicated VGA resolution camera just for that purpose. The primary camera module is 2.0 megapixel with video capabilities. The triband phone is operational in five continents across the globe. The handset includes the easier to use NetFront browser so that finding and downloading your preferred web content is easy and quick.

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Notebook or Desktop Computer, What`s the Best Buy?

The idea of purchasing a personal computer may be appealing to a lot of people, however they may feel undecided as weather to go for a traditional desktop computer or for a light weight portable notebook. Several aspects should be taken into consideration as for the purposes of such acquisition. If the main purpose of buying a computer is for occasional use, regardless if it is for work or entertainment activities, one may consider buying a traditional desktop computer taking in consideration that its price is usually lower than the portable version.

The maintenance and eventual upgrade of a desktop computer is also much easier to perform and less costly. If the buyer is looking to spend the least amount of money, definitely the desktop computer models offer more choices of finding better deals weather it is used or new. One may look around the local computer stores for special deals or may consider browsing the many possibilities offered online stores.

Perhaps the greatest feature a desktop computer has is the fact that quite often it can be upgraded and personalized to suit the user needs without having to be sent back to the manufacturer. In most cases a local authorized computer store can perform the technical changes or upgrades to satisfaction. The desktop computers are meant for work and leisure as well and regardless of its configuration or how fast it can perform, it seems that it became an everyday tool of modern times.

On the other hand, if the main reason for the purchasing of a computer is portability, then in this case the notebook will be the right choice. There are several brand names available on the market offering all kinds of configurations, from very basic up to the most sophisticated and powerful late models of notebooks. After a careful research on which model will better suit your needs, then you will still have the option to choose to buy a new, reconditioned or used unit for the sake of saving some money. Keep in mind that a reconditioned laptop purchased from a computer store, usually comes will full warranty, just like as if you had purchased a brand new model but for a much less cost.

Just like any other purchase, it is important to do a careful research to find out what exactly your needs are and what are you going to do with it. The lightweight and portable notebooks are much nicer to carry around even though they are usually more expensive. Also the lightweight models almost always have a smaller screen and a more compact keyboard than traditional models of notebooks. So, in this case if weight is not a critical issue, than you may just consider to purchase a traditional regular-model notebook as long as it meets your requirements. If you choose this later option you will certainly be saving a great amount of money.

If you are the kind of person who feels skeptical about purchasing a reconditioned computer, because it has been previously returned from the manufacturer, relax, some times there is absolutely nothing wrong with the returned unit. It may have just been a matter of model preference or some minor detail that didn`t quite match the previous owner`s preference. Keep in mind that a reconditioned notebook with a full warranty is just as good as a brand new one and maybe even better for the great discount it usually offers.

Also you may find some good deals in refurbished notebooks. Beware that the difference between refurbished and reconditioned notebooks is that the former is usually an older notebook that has been used and then reconditioned, often by a third party, and the later usually means that it had some problem, went back to the manufacturer, got fixed and now it is available at a fair discount price with full manufacturer guarantee.

The right solution for one`s computer related tasks, whether desktop or notebook, will depend mostly on one`s working or leisure needs. Search carefully for the best deals and avoid paying extra for accessories you will hardly use. Also take a look at reconditioned (full warranty) computers. The price will certainly surprise you. And the performance might too!

Roberto Sedycias
IT Consultant

This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author´s name and all the URL´s (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.

This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page PoloMercantil

Roberto Sedycias has a bachelor degree in Business Administration and over 20 years experience in systems analysis and computer programming. Currently working as IT consultant for

Caring For Your Laptop

After spending your hard earned cash on a notebook pc, and relying on it in a variety of ways, some time should be spent looking after your investment to make it work more efficiently, and to prolong its life.

The Screen

Some notebooks come with their own cleaning cloth. If not, ask your local pc store about a spray or what is best for cleaning the display. Do not use household domestic cleaners. As a last resort and if your budget is stretched, just use a damp cloth. Make sure you unplug the power from the machine before you start cleaning. If you are using a spray, never apply it directly to the screen, as it can run down the screen and into the circuitry. Instead, spray a small amount onto a soft cloth and then very carefully wipe the screen. Do not apply too much pressure. Never use tissues or even a wool based cloth as these can damage the display with scratches and also leave behind residual fibers. The best type of cloth to use is something similar to the cloth you use to clean your sunglasses.

The Battery

If your notebook is going to be left idle for more than two weeks, or it will be continuously plugged into AC power, take the battery out. If your notebook spends most of its time plugged into AC power, it's a good idea to run the battery down once a week until it is completely flat, and then fully charge it.

The Keyboard

Over time the keyboard on your system will collect dust, food crumbs and all sort of other rubbish. After a while the rubbish works its way between the keys and actuators and makes typing less accurate. As a way of dislodging some of the build up in your keyboard, turn off your notebook, open up the screen and then turn it upside down. Being very gentle, shake it sideways a couple of times and tap on the underside and around the edges of the case. This should remove some of the larger particles. If you want to take it one step further, you could try using a can of compressed air to blast away the dust etc. Just be careful you don't jam objects in place even tighter. To clean up the keys, use a lint free cloth moistened with water. Go very easy on the water as you don't want the water to seep anywhere.

The Chassis

To give the chassis on your laptop a clean, it is a very good idea to contact the manufacturer first, on their tech support line, for advice on how to clean your particular model. The reason for this is there are so many different types of materials used in the making of cases.
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