"voip" entries

21st century communication with WebRTC

Engaging in-depth on the web with peer-to-peer connections.

As the web platform continues to evolve, tools have emerged for connecting people and computers in new and interesting ways. Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) stands out as one of the most significant and disruptive of these emerging technologies, allowing developers to embed peer-to-peer real-time communication in the browser without proprietary plugins, while breaking away from the traditional client-server paradigm.

Since Google released and open-sourced the WebRTC project in early 2011, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have been working together to formalize the WebRTC standard and 1.0 stable release. Companies like Twilio and Vidyo have adopted WebRTC as a protocol for video chat in the browser, and established telco and VoIP players such as Cisco, Ericsson, and Telefónica have also lent support to the project.

At the most recent meeting of the IETF, Simon Pietro Romano, author of Real-Time Communication with WebRTC, hosted a panel to discuss developments in the WebRTC community and the road ahead. The panel, who are driving forces behind ongoing standardization and implementation, included:

  • Justin Uberti, tech lead for the WebRTC team at Google
  • Eric Rescorla of Mozilla
  • Dan Burnett, editor of the PeerConnection and getUserMedia W3C WEBRTC specification
  • Cullen Jennings, Cisco Fellow and Co-Chair of the IETF RTCWeb

I’d encourage you to listen to the whole conversation, but to get started, you might explore these highlights.

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VoIP Drupal reaches out to the developing world

The VoIP modules form a door through which Drupal can move into a vast
world of touch tone telephones, smart telephones, and text messaging,
and therefore toward integrating a huge range of users in developing
regions who use those technologies instead of desktop or laptop
computers.

Comments: 4
Four short links: 18 October 2011

Four short links: 18 October 2011

Search Education, Classic Source, Analyzing Encrypted VoIP, and SQL Injection

  1. Web Search Education (Google) — lesson plans and materials for teaching people how to use search, from operators to critically evaluating sites. This latter area is the weakest: when I teach innocents about the web, I show them organic vs paid results, discuss why people advertise, how people pay for their sites, noticing domain names and organizations, etc. I wonder how much of the weakness of Google’s materials is due to their business model.
  2. Metroid Source Code — reverse-engineered source code from the original classic Metroid. (via Hacker News)
  3. Speaker Recognition From Encrypted VoIP Communications (PDF) — speaker identification, even one encrypted VoIP communications, is 70-75% among a pool of 10 candidates. Impressive. (via Bruce Schneier)
  4. SQL Injection Cheat Sheet — rundown of the different techniques for doing SQL injection. (via Gaëtan De Brucker)
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Four short links: 16 May 2011

Four short links: 16 May 2011

Minority Report, Embedded Strings, GNU Voice Software, and Nigerian Emotional Masters

  1. Entering the Minority Report Era — a survey of technology inspired by or reminiscent of Minority Report, which came out ten years ago. (via Hacker News)
  2. Sally — a tool for embedding strings in matrices, as used in machine learning. (via Matt Biddulph)
  3. GNU SIP Witch Releasedcan be used to deploy private secure calling networks, whether stand-alone or in conjunction with existing VoIP infrastructure, for private institutions and national governments. (via Hacker News)
  4. Chilling Story of Genius in a Land of Chronic Unemployment (TechCrunch) — fascinating story of Nigerian criminal tech entrepreneurs. He helps build them up; he listens to their problems. He makes them feel loved. He calls each an innocuous pet name, lest he accidentally type the wrong message into the wrong chat window. He asks for a little bit of money here and there, until men are sending him steady amounts from each paycheck. He says it takes exactly one month for a man to fall in love with him, and once he has a man’s heart, no woman can take it. I wonder what designers of social software can learn from these master emotional manipulators?
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Four short links: 28 March 2011

Four short links: 28 March 2011

Demo Talks, Twitter Analysis, Free Courseware, Open Source VoIP

  1. Anatomy of a Y Combinator Demo Day Pitch (Bryce Roberts) — lovely deconstruction of the basic six slide show, demonstrating exactly how to give a talk with your audience in mind.
  2. Who Says What to Whom on Twitter (Yahoo! Research) — we find a striking concentration of attention on Twitter—roughly 50% of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users—where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed. One of the researchers is Duncan Watts of Small Worlds fame.
  3. Saylor Foundation Free Education Initiative — notes, readings, tests, that take you through the curriculum for real university courses. Important because most online education stuff is either lectures, or course notes, but never enough for you to autodidacticise. (via Regan Mian)
  4. BlinkA state of the art, easy to use SIP client available for Mac, Windows and Linux. SIP = open standard for voice over IP. (via Simon Phipps)
Comment: 1

One hundred eighty degrees of freedom: signs of how open platforms are spreading

Visualize open networks–and remember how far we've already come from
the days before flat-rate long distance phone calls (much less app
stores for cell phones).

Comments: 2
Four short links: 19 October 2009

Four short links: 19 October 2009

YouTube Bandwidth, RFID Visualization, Social Software Arms Race, Google Voice to the Laptop

  1. YouTube’s Bandwidth Bill is Zero (Wired) — they buy dark fibre and peer with the major ISPs.
  2. Immaterials: The Ghost in the Text (Vimeo) — visualising RFID fields. See also the blog post about the work by Timo Arnall from Touch and Jack Schulze from BERG.
  3. The Commercial Speech Arms Race (Bruce Schneier) — Whenever you build a security system that relies on detection and identification, you invite the bad guys to subvert the system so it detects and identifies someone else. Sometimes this is hard ­– leaving someone else’s fingerprints on a crime scene is hard, as is using a mask of someone else’s face to fool a guard watching a security camera ­– and sometimes it’s easy. But when automated systems are involved, it’s often very easy. It’s not just hardened criminals that try to frame each other, it’s mainstream commercial interests. Bad actors game systems, and social software is just another system to be gamed. It’s very difficult to create a system with no incentive to misbehave or to accuse others of misbehaving.
  4. A SIP of the Future (Tim Bray) — he connected Google Voice with Gizmo5 so his Google Voice number forwards to his laptop. FTW.
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Four short links: 4 Mar 2009

Four short links: 4 Mar 2009

  1. Wall Street on the Tundra — Michael Lewis’s long but fascinating glimpse into Iceland’s rise and fall as hubris-filled banker to the world. One of the many lessons is not to believe the post-hoc explanations for success: “Icelanders—or at any rate Icelandic men—had their own explanations for why, when they leapt into global finance, they broke world records: the natural superiority of Icelanders. Because they were small and isolated it had taken 1,100 years for them—and the world—to understand and exploit their natural gifts, but now that the world was flat and money flowed freely, unfair disadvantages had vanished. Iceland’s president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, gave speeches abroad in which he explained why Icelanders were banking prodigies.”. For more on the financial meltdown, also read The Real Cause of the Financial Crisis–it’s spot on.
  2. The Cult of Done Manifesto (Bre Pettis) — magnificent call to arms for JFDI, Just Do It.
  3. Twilio — your web apps can trigger voice calls and respond to incoming calls through a simple REST and XML API. It’s wildly simple. Using it, This Line Is Secure was able to launch very quickly. I’m still not able to think in terms of phones, unable to see when a voice-drop or numeric-key interface works for an app, but I’ll bet that playing with Twilio will help me develop that sense without the cost of Asterisk hardware.
  4. Let Startups Bail Us Out — Reid Hoffman writes in favour of ensuring an adequate supply of startups. “Consider a few start-ups from the past century: Microsoft, MTV, CNN, FedEx, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Burger King. Each opened during a period of economic downturn. Today, these brands employ hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. We need to prepare for the next Burger King. By empowering individuals and small businesses, an innovation stimulus can help germinate stable industry players for the long term.” (via Caterina)
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Four short links: 16 Feb 2009

Four short links: 16 Feb 2009

A lot of Python and databases today, with some hardware and Twitter pranking/security worries to taste:

  1. Free Telephony Project, Open Telephony Hardware — professionally-designed mass-manufactured hardware for telephony projects. E.g., IP04 runs Asterisk and has four phone jacks and removable Flash storage. Software, schematics, and PCB files released under GPL v2 or later.
  2. Don’t Click Prank Explained — inside the Javascript prank going around Twitter. Transparent overlays would appear to be dangerous.
  3. Tokyo Cabinet: A Modern Implementation of DBM — ok, so there’s definitely something going on with these alternative databases. Here’s the 1979 BTree library reinvented for the modern age, then extended with PyTyrant, a database server for Tokyo Cabinet that offers HTTP REST, memcached, and a simple binary protocol. Cabinet is staggeringly fast, as this article makes clear. And if that wasn’t enough wow for one day, Tokyo Dystopia is the full-text search engine. The Tyrant tutorial shows you how to get the server up and running. And what would technology be without a Slideshare presentation? (via Stinky)
  4. Whoosh — a pure Python fulltext search library.
Comments: 2

You Become what You Disrupt – (part two)

Google's GrandCentral (Radar coverage) was down over the weekend resulting in missed calls and other phone problems for its users. This is very similar to the the two day Skype outage last year where I said that "You Become what You Disrupt". I've spoken about this issue several times, most recently at the Princeton CITP "Computing in the Cloud" workshop….

Comments: 10