Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Videoconferencing from home

I recently tested Skype's webcam feature. Last time I used a webcam over the plain Internet was with the first release of Yahoo Messenger. It was OK, back then. Just slightly slow.
I have to admit that Skype's codecs are great. I think it supports G.711, G729 and iLBC. Though I don't know exactly which one is the one used over the Internet (not G.711 for sure, because it is too fat.) I also don't know anything about the Video codecs... I'll find that out on my free time.
Anyway... I just thought of mentioning that the webcam is great. Very sharp video quality in a low-bandwidth environment (less than 1 Mbps).
Too technical?... well, I guess all I want to say is that the quality is great. I just wish Skype's client was a bit simpler to use.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How to be part of the Web 2.0 trend?

Some people do it without even knowing that they are going into the Web 2.0 trend. Here are some points on how to be part of it:

  • Edit an article in Wikipedia
  • Write a comment in a blog
  • Join a Social Netowork like LinkedIn or Facebook
  • Watch and upload a video in YouTube
  • Get a free web-based email from Yahoo or GMail
  • Make a free phone call or video-phone call with Skype
  • Read the news via an RSS feed from a major newspaper or news-site
  • Participate in a chat with a virtual-stranger in SecondLife
  • Use Instant Messaging, like Yahoo IM, as a primary source of communication
  • Listen to a podcast
Feel free to add a comment with your way of participating in Web 2.0

Monday, August 20, 2007

Can Facebook be a business tool? is getting a lot of attention lately. It was said to reject a $1B bid from Yahoo, because its founders believe that it is worth much more than that. According to Alexa's Database, its traffic has tripled in the last three months.

But, when do we think that is going to stop as a web 2.0 tool? People is saying that it will become a tool at the office, as well that as in the home. I say that it will too... it just seems odd to me to have your mom and girl-friend in the same Facebook as your manager and customers. I wonder what a customer might think as when I send him a fish-bowl. Facebook will need to have a "Business" look and feel to succeed in that realm.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Smart phones are not so smart

When you need to buy something, buy what you need and nothing more, nothing less.

My goal, was selecting one mobile phone where I could comfortably synch with my outlook calendar. Notice the wording. It says selecting a mobile phone, therefore it should be a good phone. It should have basic mobile phone features like an address book, speed dials, voice recognition and bluetooth for a handset.
Second, this phone should be comfortable to synchronize and use. That is, the calendar should be in a good readable format, fast, and it must have the ability to synch with outlook, so that I do not have redundant calendars.

Well, in today's smartphone-mania era, it is easy to get immerse in features, and dual-mode phone, and 3G high speed data rate, and ultra slim. Notice that non of those are on my list of requirements. There are a ton of smartphones out there: Nokia, Samsung, Motorola. Every major brand has one. The key in selecting a device, lies in the one that has the best fit for your needs.

Of course, you'll say here "well, Leo, but that is for any purchase that I make". Yes. Absolutely. The problem is that you can very easily fall in the trap of marketing, and think that you want all the bells and whistles.

This happens in corporations and companies too. Technology can be very complicated. That's where vendors come into play, and they recommend products. That should be the product with the best fit for the company's need. So, my advice: when you think about your next big project: go with the vendor that provides a solution to what you want, not to what they tell you that you need.

Oh, and by the way... I got a Samsung Blackjack, which has my second requirement to the perfection. On the other hand, it is an awful phone with not even voice recognition as an option for dialing.