GoogleVoice has recently improved its functionality on the iPhone by upgrading its optimized iPhone website, both esthetically and operationally. In light of the misinformation published by some other tech journalists, I must clarify that GoogleVoice has been working fine on the iPhone for many months, at least with three of its features. I have been using GoogleVoice on my iPhone since July 2009 to place inexpensive outgoing international calls, which has been my main reason for using it. Since that date, GoogleVoice has also worked for incoming calls to the iPhone, although I don’t regularly use that feature for now. Even though I don’t regularly use the incoming call feature —or GoogleVoice’s other features so far— I do cover all of them in this article, in addition to explaining specifically how GoogleVoice has improved when placing outgoing international calls from the iPhone as a result of this recent update. I’ll also cover how I expect the GoogleVoice service to grow even further in the coming months. (Read the rest here…)
Posts from ‘January, 2010’
Apple recently approved voice over iPhone’s 3G data connection, and now Fring and iCall have beaten both Skype and Truphone in updating their respective iPhone applications to take advantage of the newly approved feature. The other two possible voice conduits —which already existed for the iPhone and some other smartphones— are GSM and WiFi. In this article, I’ll review what these two applications have done so far, and what they’ve added with this newly approved third option. I’ll also cover Fring’s new video calling over 3G option. (Read the rest here…)
As I explained in the related article Skype goes HD, Skype software now supports full-raster HD 720p (1280×720) for Windows computers, and I expect the same support for Mac computers very soon. So far, Skype has certified HD webcams from two different manufacturers. All of these certified models use onboard H.264 hardware encoding to alleviate CPU cycles and bandwidth, and are expected to be available in early 2010. In this article, you’ll see the their photos, prices, and published specs. Each manufacturer has chosen to emphasize different types specifications, as you will see. (Read the rest here…)
Earlier this month, Skype announced its support for progressive, full-raster HD 720p (1280×720) on Windows computers, and is to be embedded in certain consumer HDTV sets. For readers unfamiliar with it, Skype is free software for Mac & Windows computers —in addition to certain mobile phones and other handheld mobile devices— which facilitates 1-on-1 or multi-user communication. Skype software offers any combination of text chat, high-quality audio chat, and video chat (device dependent). Regardless of the device used at either end, all Skype-to-Skype communication is free (less the cost of the device itself and the Internet connection. In addition, at extremely low cost, Skype optionally offers the placing Skype calls to POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) numbers, and/or receiving POTS calls via Skype. As has been Skype’s historical fashion, the company has upgraded the Windows versions of the software first, although I expect the HD capability added to the Mac version shortly. Skype is also used for remote invitees in TV talk shows, and the addition of HD 720p will certainly augment its use in that application. (Read the rest here…)
Avid contracted the translation/localization to Rubén Abruña and Allan Tépper.
After many months of teamwork, the Avid Media Composer 101 courseware is now available in a translated and localized version for Latin America & Spain. As a result, many Avid MC101 students in those areas can now benefit from having this courseware in their own language. My friend Rubén Abruña of iLevel and I had the honor of receiving this contract from Avid in 2009. The first draft of our translation/localization was initially used in September 2009 at an Avid training event in Santiago, Chile, South America, both to teach a group of new students, as well as to generate feedback from certified Avid instructors from the region. In this article, you’ll see the behind the scenes of this project, which combined our knowledge of the techie video terms in each language, as well as that of the regionalisms and political debates that surround this type of a project. (Read the rest here…)
Google/Android’s current advantages; demystifying Nexus One misinformation
While many writers are concentrating on the anxiously anticipated Apple tablet, I have chosen to leave that topic alone until after its official announcement. If you are interested in that, see Alex Lindsay’s and Chris Meyer’s great articles here in ProVideo Coalition. I have decided to publish my predictions for iPhoneOS 4.0, based upon my own desires for features, as well as those expressed by the general market, and some features offered already on some Google/Android-based mobile devices —especially the recent Nexus One— which are currently missing from the iPhone. I am surprised that these desirable features haven’t even been mentioned by other popular media outlets who have reviewed the Nexus One. So keep reading to discover my predictions for iPhoneOS 4.0, and some little known capabilities of the Nexus One and some other Google/Android devices. (Read the rest here…)
Endorsed by Apple for FCP; 4TB RAID5 for US$799; Look ma, no controller card!
I have been aware of Promise Technology for decades. I installed their IDE cards way back in the Amiga (Commodore) days; I configured a Promise NAS (Network Attached Storage) connected with Gigabit Ethernet for a local Miami client in 2008; and Apple recently replaced their XserveRAID line with Promise’s VTrak E-Class Fibre Channel RAIDs for SAN (Storage Area Network) applications, which start at US$7,499. However, it was only recently that I became aware of Promise’s powerful yet inexpensive SmartStor DS4600 RAID for DAS (Direct Area Storage). I was intrigued to see Apple’s endorsement for its use with FCP, and I was impressed with the price performance, considering that an Apple-certified 4TB (gross, 4x1TB) RAID5 configuration costs US$799 with inboard controller and free shipping. (A comparable Fusion D400QR5 model from Sonnet costs US$1,595.) Learn more about eSATA, RAID5, the SmartStor DS4600 and its “partnership” with Apple in this article. (Read the rest…)
Many of our ProVideo Coalition readers already know that Matrox’s MXO2 family now includes four members, especially since I have covered them quite recently in my Direct DreamColor interfaces article. However, fewer of our readers may remember the original MXO device from Matrox, which is quite different from the MXO2 family members. The original MXO is still a current Matrox product, even though it doesn’t get nearly as much press lately, and it is not nearly as flexible as the MXO2-family devices. However, the original MXO “crashed the Direct DreamColor interface party” just after I made a product suggestion to the Matrox product manager and later tested it. In this article, you’ll learn how the original MXO differs from any MXO2 family member, the cases where it’s still an attractive —or the only— choice, how it managed to crash the Direct DreamColor interface party, and how it can even work with iMovie ’09! (Read the rest…)
Early this morning, I was surprised with an e-mail from a bikini store from the Basque Country. For those who don’t know, the Basque Country is an Autonomous Community of northern Spain. They obviously knew that I don’t speak Euskera (Basque), so they wrote in perfect Castilian, and fortunately were not attempting to sell me a bikini (since being a man, I really don’t need one). They explained that they had experienced a great increase in volume in online sales of their bikinis. “Due to budget constraints”, they recently purchased a Canon 7D to create their new video catalog. They went on to say that they were considering a new Swedish process which apparently recovers the original 4:4:4 shot material from the Canon 7D’s live HDMI output, which only carries 4:2:2. I wasn’t familiar with that Swedish process, so I looked into it and found that —according to the developer, even though in live mode the Canon 7D currently outputs an uncompressed cropped image of 1620×910 (not full 1920×1080), that is indeed the “same crop as the 1080p compressed material on the camera’s memory card”, meaning that after upscaling, there is no resolution loss compared to what would have been recorded in the camera. Wow! That’s a lot of bad news, and a lot of good news in a single sentence! (Read the rest…)