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Recent Entries

Fon Adds Spotigo Client for Phones
Project Alleges Cisco Violating GPL in Linksys WIP300 iPhone
BT Launches UMA Tomorrow
Round Up of Three Portable VoIP Phones

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« December 2006 | Main | February 2007 »

January 24, 2007

Fon Adds Spotigo Client for Phones

By Glenn Fleishman

IP phone-toting Foneros may find it easier to connect to in-network hotspots: The Spotigo client will work first with Symbian phones made by Nokia. The first time a user connects to a Fon hotspot, they’ll need to enter their login information, but they can configure the client for automatic connections thereafter. Fon currently claims over 20,000 activated hotspots worldwide.

Posted by Glennf at 1:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2007

Project Alleges Cisco Violating GPL in Linksys WIP300 iPhone

By Glenn Fleishman

Cisco hasn’t released all the source code they’re required to, says GPL Violations Project: The Linksys WIP300 iPhone has that moniker that’s landed Apple in hot water, but the GPL Violations Project is focused on the code that runs the phone. The GPL is one of several common software licenses that carries requirements that commercially distributed uses of fee-free code have modifications distributed to the developer community. (There’s a lot more nuance than that, too, but I’d like to be brief.)

While open-source projects are often described in the mainstream press—and sometimes by Microsoft—as forgoing all intellectual-property rights, that’s generally incorrect. The GPL and related licenses retain copyright and other rights to the various code developers, and offer a negotiation-free and fee-free license that carries with enforceable obligations for the use of the code.

A coordinator for the project made good progress with Cisco on other devices that needed better license compliance, but hasn’t made additional progress on the iPhone. Colleague Nancy Gohring writes that Cisco didn’t respond to a request for comments.

Update: Cisco acknowledges one issue they need to resolve; the researcher from the GPL Violations Project contents there are more.

Posted by Glennf at 4:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 7, 2007

BT Launches UMA Tomorrow

By Glenn Fleishman

The largest rollout of unlicensed mobile access (UMA) is expected by BT tomorrow: While you can find UMA, which uses Wi-Fi as an extension of a cellular network, in Italy, Sweden, and the US, none of those deployments are very large yet. T-Mobile requires you to go to a corporate store in Washington State, where I live, to obtain  their HotSpot@Home service.

BT, on the other hand, is apparently ready to supercede its short-range Bluetooth-based UMA with Wi-Fi, which would work with in-home Wi-Fi gateways as well as BT OpenZone, thousands of hotspots across the UK. The Inquirer says that three handsets will be offered initially: the Nokia 6136 (also sold by T-Mobile), Motorola A910, and Samsung P200. (T-Mobile offers an alternate Samsung model that has gotten poor reviews.)

Initially, BT will sell the service nationally to its existing broadband customers.

Posted by Glennf at 5:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2007

Round Up of Three Portable VoIP Phones

By Glenn Fleishman

The Chicago Sun-Times rounds up the Belkin Skype phone, the Sony Mylo, and Vonage’s VPhone: The columnist likes the Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype, which can connect over a local Wi-Fi network to allow Skype-to-Skype and other Skype-based calling. He found it flexible and liked the interface. While the list price is $190, he found the item for sale for as low as $160. The Mylo also uses Skype, and offers browsing and other features, but runs $350; the writer doesn’t have an opinion about the Mylo, which other reviewers have found somewhat lacking in usability.

The Vonage VPhone is a Windows-compatible USB dongle that has Vonage software and your configuration preloaded, as well as a headset jack; it comes with a headset the writer didn’t find comfortable. The VPhone is $40, and requires a monthly subscription to Vonage at $15 per month (500 North American minutes) or $25 per month (unlimited N.A. minutes).

Posted by Glennf at 9:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack