Saturday, January 14, 2006


Choosing VoIP: The Pros And Cons Of An Internet Phone

Until recently, our options have been limited when it comes to making local and long distance phone calls. It has been standard to have to pay high monthly and by-the-minute charges to keep in touch with loved ones that live far away. With mobile phones, you have the freedom to take your communications with you, but the reception is often sketchy, and roaming charges can take a big bite out of your wallet. That is why VOIP is so attractive to so many people. Quite a few people have made the switch to this technology as their primary mode of phone communication for work and everyday life because of the freedom it allows, and the very low cost to subscribe to the service. And the popularity of VOIP and Internet phone service is continuing to gain momentum. If you are thinking of making the switch VOIP phone service, there are a few issues that you should give careful consideration to before making the decision.

When you subscribe to VOIP service, you are exchanging your traditional landline for a phone that hooks up to your Internet connection. The phone accesses the Internet over your broadband connection, either by cable modem or DSL. Using a piece of equipment that is plugged into the modem known as a telephony adapter, electrical pulses from the IP telephone are translated into data packets that move over the Internet. Thus, your phone line and your Internet connection are one and the same. This provides a myriad of communications option for the subscriber, but also introduces many issues such as security breaches, power outages, Internet service interruptions, and sub par reception due to Internet traffic.

VOIP is gaining popularity primarily because of the low cost to subscribe to a service. Local and long distance calling is bundled together along with other options like Caller ID and Call Waiting for one low monthly rate, and International calling rates are very reasonable. Rates for calling oversees are usually .03 - .04 per minute, and calling Canada falls under the domestic long distance region. In addition, it is also customary for service providers to allow subscribers to call one another within the service free of charge.

In order to subscribe to VOIP phone service, it is necessary that you have a broadband Internet connection. If your Internet service is not totally consistent, and you tend to lose service on occasion, you will lose your phone service during Internet service outages. As a subscriber to VOIP, your service will provide you with a telephony adaptor that you can connect to any home phone, which you in turn connect to your modem, which will give you VOIP phone capabilities. Keep in mind that you will pay for VOIP service in addition to your monthly Internet service charges. However, charges for VOIP phone service are far lower than traditional phone company charges.

Other issues, such as power outages, need to be addressed before switching to VOIP. In essence, if your power goes out, so does your phone service. It is possible to avoid losing phone service during power outages by hooking your computer up to a universal power supply. This keeps your computer - and your phone service - operational during power outages. The sound reception over an IP phone is often just as clear as that of a traditional telephone. Unless your Internet service is experiencing heavy traffic, your calls will likely come through clear and audible. One thing to note is that the quality of 911 services depends on the service you decide to subscribe to. Some services route emergency calls to different call centers than traditional 911 calls, therefore emergency response might not be as efficient as you are used to.

With all of the questions that arise from VOIP phone service, there are still many reasons to consider subscribing. Aside from the attractive cost savings, you can take your IP phone with you and connect anywhere that there is broadband Internet service, you can more than likely keep your current phone number, and since VOIP services is federally regulated, there are no state fees to pay that you customarily do with traditional phone service. And as long as you stick with a well-known service provider that you feel confident will provide long-lasting service to you with the best prices and options available, you have nothing to worry about. VOIP phone service is not only convenient and cost effective, but it is great way to make the most of your Internet capabilities.

by Mark Woodcock

Panasonic SV-MP0x0

Appealing to the music lover on the go, Panasonic debuts two new digital audio players. The models have the PlaysForSure™ logo, certifying their compatibility with music downloaded from PlaysForSure certified Music Service Providers on the Internet.

The new miniature models come in two attractive designs. The SV-MP010 and SV-MP020 boast a small footprint about the size of a lipstick.

The SV-MP020 boasts 2 GB of built-in memory, while the SV-MP010 has GB of embedded memory for hundreds of minutes of MP3 music. To help simplify downloading of MP3 or WMA files from a PC, there’s the “Drag and Drop” feature, which allows users to easily download and transfer music files directly to the unit.

“These colorful digital audio players, not only look great, but boast superior sound quality and ease of use,” says Yong Lee, Product Manager for Panasonic Portable Audio.

Models SV-MP010V and SV-MPMP020 provide extensive 75-hour playback using just one AA alkaline battery.


SV-MP010 Digital Audio Player:
- “Drag and Drop” file feature
- MP3 and WMA playback
- Easy-to-See
- Large
- 2-Line LCD
- High Quality Sound: D-Sound & Re-Master for WMA/MP3
- 75-hour playback with 1 AA alkaline battery
- Includes headphones, CD-ROM (USB Driver); USB cable
- Available in white or pink
- 1GB embedded memory

Available in March 2006 for about $ 99,95

SV-MP020 Digital Audio Player
- “Drag and Drop” file feature
- MP3 and WMA playback
- Easy-to-See
- Large
- 2-Line LCD;
- High Quality Sound: D-Sound & Re-Master for WMA/MP3
- 75-hour playback with 1 AA alkaline battery
- Includes headphones, CD-ROM (USB Driver); USB cable
- Available in white or blue
- 2GB embedded memory

Available in March 2006 for about $ 149,95

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T9: review

Shams Tarek has reviewed this digital camera from Sony, the Cyber Shot DSC-T9. It's a great tool whether you're a casual shooter or a more serious photographer.

- excellent design
- portability
- build quality
- decent photo quality
- very quick performance
- optical image stabilization
- 58MB of internal memory

- lens is slow and not very wide at f/3.5 and 38mm
- excessive red-eye

Read more at cnet

Monday, January 09, 2006


Palm Treo 700w: review

Bonnie Cha has reviewed the Palm Treo 700w, mobile phone.

- Runs Windows Mobile 5 and sports the same great, compact form factor as the Treo 650
- Bluetooth
- a 1.3-megapixel camera
- EV-DO support

- Unfortunately
- doesn't include integrated Wi-Fi
- somewhat poor 240x240-pixel resolution

Read the full review at cnet

The best of CES 2006

Cnet has reported about the best products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

- Creative Zen Vision:M
- Pioneer Inno
- Sanyo Xacti HD1
- Denon AVR-2807
- Pioneer AVIC-Z1
- Pioneer BDP-HD1 Blu-ray player
- Samsung ZX20
- Intel Centrino Duo Mobile Technology
- The D-Link SecureSpot All-in-One Internet Security Appliance
- ZenSys Z-Wave
- Belkin CableFree USB hub
- Nvidia GeForce Quad SLI
- Samsung HL-S5679W HDTV

You can read the full article over here.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Digital Camera Vs. Film - Pros And Cons

Consumers have been pretty receptive to the lower priced "point and shoot" models (some 5 million digital cameras were sold in the U.S. during the Christmas 2005 holiday season), but there are still some holdouts.

Great strides have been made in digital technology over the past few years, but more sophisticated digital cameras have only recently come down in price enough to attract the "serious amateur" market. In the past, the price of high-end digital camera equipment was more suited to the professional who could turn that investment into an income source.

Even traditional film buffs are slowly coming around to the benefits of digital photography. Among the holdouts, the chief problem seems to be confusion. There are so many choices, with a broad range of options, and just as many price ranges.

It's cheaper not to make a decision, than to make a mistake.

They get lost in the terminology, and have reservations about the quality of digital photos and about the reliability of the digital cameras. With the whirlwind of innovation flooding our lives everyday, it's become really difficult to keep up.

Technology advances, prices come down, and a deal today may be obsolete tomorrow. At least that's what worries many potential digital camera owners.

So let's look at five of the most common questions about digital camera photography to shed some light on the matter, for those who are hesitant about this new technology, or who have dismissed it as a mere fad.

1. Do digital cameras produce quality photos? Digital photos can be displayed at very high resolutions, and could easily surpass conventional photographs, but many have seen poorer quality images. Early color printers could be used to print color photos from digital cameras, but the quality just wasn't there. Blurry images on low-grade computer monitors or on the small LCD screens of the cameras themselves, do nothing to increase your confidence.

But view the high resolution images available from today's digital cameras on a capable monitor or after being printed on one of the newer photo quality printers (using photo quality paper) and you'll see the crystal clear quality of what is available today.

2. How durable are digital camera photos? Digital camera photos are not stored on film. They're stored on electronic memory devices that actually require much less care than negative film.

As long as reasonable care is taken of the particular storage device, there shouldn't be any problems with protecting images caught on a digital camera, and you can easily make copies of the digital image files on your computer or even burn them to a CD - an option that isn't available with film.

3. Are digital camera photos more expensive to process? Not anymore. First, you can eliminate any poor images before printing and only pay for those that you print. With "easy share" technology and photo quality printers now available, it is both affordable and convenient to print digital camera photos.

You can even do the task yourself, in the comfort of your own home - without buying expensive development chemicals that are required for film processing! Or, you can send your images electronically to a professional processor, and receive professionally produced photos back in the mail in just a few days.

4. Can I get different effects with a digital camera? That depends on the digital camera. High end models have built-in features that allow different kinds of effects. But even if your digital camera doesn't have these advanced features, you can always manipulate the photographs on your desktop computer, using any image editing software.

5. Are zooming features comparable? Here digital cameras actually have a distinct advantage over film cameras. While cheaper digital cameras may only have digital zoom (which is really just a form of in-camera enlargement that results in a lower resolution original image), high end models are available with both digital and optical zooming.

When shopping for your digital camera, give priority to the optical zoom capability and buy the highest power optical zoom that fits within your budget. Digital zoom is a nice extra, but the effects can easily be replicated during the "processing" of the image on your computer, prior to printing the images.

About the Author
Brandon Layne uses both film and digital photography primarily for fast action and nature shots, and publishes
tips and techniques for digital photography on the web. Read tips on digital photography and learn to shoot better photos with your digital camera.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?   Get Chitika eMiniMalls

© Gadget Flash 2005-2007