One Phone, Many Identities

TalkPlus CEO Jeff Black's resume demands a new cliché: uncontrollable entrepreneur. Black loves being at the leading, bleeding edge. His history includes launching the first U.S. retail computer store (Tandy Radio Shack), the Alta Vista search engine, and the first Internet maps, just to name a few. And he's been dabbling in VoIP for two decades. At DEC in the 1980s, he worked on an early DECnet phone. "The problem was, there wasn't enough DECnet in the world to ship one," Black recalls. … [Read more...]

The FCC Thinks Truth is Wrong

One of the biggest gripes about cellular service in the US is that the carriers' year-long and longer contracts give the customer no way out if the service is less than adequate -- say, as is often the case, beset by frequent outages. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can go a long way to helping consumers make an educated decision before they agree to a long-term contract. But it refuses to do so. MSNBC's Bob Sullivan reports that the FCC has maintained a detailed database of cell … [Read more...]

Driving Ms. Carolyn

It took almost a century for the telephone to become a platform for doing things that Alexander Graham Bell never dreamed of when he uttered those history-making words, "Mr. Watson come here, I need you." But it's taken a mere decade for Internet telephony to become the mechanism driving a myriad of applications that were unheard of not too long ago. Most of the time we drive new technology by what we want to do with it. Recently, I allowed a new technology to drive me. And it was well … [Read more...]

Sprint’s Little Secret

Sprint Nextel has a secret. You can use Sprint’s high speed wireless data service to make VoIP calls at a fraction of the cost of traditional cell phone calls. But the company isn’t going out of its way to tell you about it. PeerMe hopes to change that with its new, free service that lets subscribers to Sprint’s mobile broadband make unlimited free VoIP calls between PeerMe users. And PeerMe isn’t the only player promoting the cellphone as the center of the VoIP universe. This week … [Read more...]