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Monday, November 17, 2008

STUN stack for Android SDK 1.0r1

Hola,

continuing the "season of giving" for Google's Android, HSC has also ported the popular java stun stack, JSTUN for the android platform. Download it here.

Updated Sip stack and UA for Android SDK 1.0r1

Folks, my company just released an updated version of the SIP stack and UA (MJSIP) ported for the latest SDK 1.0r1. This is the same SDK that G1 uses. This is an update to this post.

The new SDK changes several things in the UI and well as some APIs. Kudos to the team lead Nitin Khanna (first.last at hsc.com) for continuing the commitment to android. 

Grab a copy of the latest version from here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The colors of Google Chrome: A user review

So the rumors of many years ago were true. Google finally did release a browser. Naturally, I downloaded it and took it for a test drive. Here is the short of it.

Version reviewed:

Google may be rolling out updates regularly (For example, I suddenly see evident popup blocking), so to put it in context, this is the version I am reviewing





Installation:

The installer is just around 470K to download, but of course that is the 'pre-installer'. Once you grab the pre-installer, it downloads the rest of the browser from the net. As of now, in its first release, focus seems to be on super simplicity. It does not even ask you where to install it. I am OK with that, but it really does choose a weird location to install it (in Documents and Settings!)

(click on any image to see a full size version)







Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yahoo Fire-Eagle: 'Joe! Where you at' ?


Yahoo recently launched Fire-Eagle, which is essentially an 'open platform' that allows two simple things:

A) Users can update the system whenever they want with their location

B) Application Developers can access the system whenever they want to know the location of consumers and do anything with it (i.e. serve any application that can make use of that information)

Of course, 'Users' can explictly set permissions on who can or cannot view their location.

For a long time, I have wanted to see such an open and simple platform, where 'executing a service based on location' is completely independent of 'the technology used to provide the location'. Because I believe providing individually accessible repositories of data is the key construct to building a hierarchy of innovative products. You collect data, expose it to others so they can transform your data into information. And your information, is data for the next application. So turns the wheel of the Web 2.0 circle. And a location repository is one key missing element to personalize services.

Monday, June 9, 2008

iPhone 3G: New: server push mechanism for apps






Ever since iPhone SDK got released, we have seen a lot of requests from customers wanting us to build iPhone apps. Naturally, we have loved to oblige -after all, we love hacking on new platforms.

The biggest problem, however, was not being able to run background applications, which KOed out a lot of neat things one could do, especially for location related apps. At the keynote today at WWDC, Scott Forstall said this:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rapid Prototyping

If you are in this emerging 'applications' market, and are in the business of building applications for OEMs/ISVs or Service Providers (yes, some Operators actively invest in R&D work), the term 'Rapid Prototype' is not new to you. In short, people are always looking at 'quick and dirty' demonstration code that shows off a cool concept which they can take to prospective customers as a viable product or service to be rolled out. Customers who ask for this are not sure if that idea will go anywhere, but are willing to test the waters with you (if you are willing). A typical software development organization follows the 'Build Rome one stone at a time' model whereas this particular market needs the 'pre-fab modular home in 1 month' model and therefore struggles with this particular market. I know of many organizations who  believe this is not an area to be in, because of the limited scope and length of such projects. The problem however, is that they fail to understand that this market is actually very attractive and profitable, but only if you look at it the right way, and approach it the right way. Last week, I was chatting up with a friend on the same issue and was sharing some insights into what one should try and institute to make this model work. He suggested a blog post, so here goes - some common problems, pitfalls and solutions:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

SIP UA for Android (+stack + RTP) released

Update: Nov-20-2008: Updated SDK + UA for 1.0 SDK released here. Also released jSTUN port for android here.



Hi folks, as promised, HSC released the ported SIP UA including the stack. This is an update to our previous 'stack only' release. We have overwritten the old release with this new one in our download area. You can get it from here (look for the post titled "SIP UA + Stack for Google Android).

This release includes a short illustrative manual on how to use the SIP client and some things you need to do to configure it (mostly because of the limitation of the android emulator and what it does(not) support as of the current date). We have also included a ported RTP stack with this release. Theoretically, this release is all set for a signalling + media use case. I say theoretically, because it seems the android emulator does not support audio capture, so everytime one tries to start a media conversation, the emulator crashes. Folks @ the android-dev group have confirmed this is currently not supported in the emulator (but works on their actual phone).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Microsoft Popfly - Yahoo! Pipes meets Facebook and Google Mashups

I had the opportunity to do a sneak preview of Microsoft's popfly mashup platform a few months ago. Based on the quick look, at that point of time, it was just a prettier looking  version of Yahoo! Pipes. However, another peek a few months later and I am much more impressed. I must admit that till now, of all the mashup editors I have evaluated, Google Mashup Editor has been my favorite. And that was because I truly feel powerful mashups which are globally useful will be written by developers, not my grandmom, so the interface need to provide more powers and not just pretty 'connectors'.

I must admit, Popfly on second look has good potential.

So here is my quick analysis of why I think it is like Pipes, like GME, like Facebook and somewhat different. In other words, I think Microsoft has been watching how the others do it, and picked some good features from all, along with some very irritating ones.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

(Offtopic): From Blogger to Wordpress.com - what a bummer and I am to blame

11.jpg You know, one would think a person interested in technology always would do his research before adoption. Well, in my case, my heart always conflicts with my mind. Consider my sudden move from blogger to wordpress.com. It went sort of like this "oh cool, there are some neat wordpress.com templates, I'm bored of blogger, so let me migrate". I know, it was a ridiculous reason. I did not research wordpress.com's limitations. After migration, I realized:

  1. No google-ads allowed. Darn. I had just about started to see a reasonable return on my old blog

  2. The import tool imported the articles alright but did not import images - they kept the blogger URLs. Once I removed my blogger blog, several of the images disappeared. My guess is others will disappear over time

  3. No detailed stats. Wordpress.com's own stats is very limited. Statcounter was far superior, but since I can't plug in JS code, statcounter works with wordpress, but cannot show referrer stats

  4. No linkage to analytics.

  5. No customizations to CSS unless I buy it.

  6. Article URLs were not rewritten - so if you go to my yearly roundups (which I forgot to do for 2007), they will all point to my blogspot.com URLs which don't exist.


Like I said, a badly researched option for me. Guess I deserve it. Can't blame wordpress.com at all. Gee, maybe I'll migrate back and pain my readers to re-do their entire subscriptions etc. Or maybe I'll just stick to this limited functionality. Gee.

On the plus side, I think Akismet rocks. It's a godsend for spam.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mjsip SIP stack port for Google Android released



Update: Apr 29 2008: UA+Stack code released here

Hey folks, HSC released the android ported mjsip stack source code.

Grab it from here. Look for the attachment to the post titled "Ported GNU Mjsip stack for Google Android"

If you see a "PDF" icon under that post, don't worry, its actually a ZIP with source in it. Our website folks will fix that annoyance soon.

Note that this is a "developer's release". It will allow you to start building applications using the mjsip stack on android. It's not an "automatic solution for long distance calling" (as some blogs reported it) - it is a tool for developers within you to make such applications.

We also have a working SIP UA we ported on top of this stack (which we called 'SIPDroid' - no points for being imaginative here). We are yet to release that port - will do so in a short while.

Note that this is just a SIP stack. There is no RTP included. We did some initial experiments with porting open source RTP stacks - seems very simple. We may just do it later, or you do it and add to this effort :-)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dip in VON == Rise in Deployments?

For those who attended VON spring, it is likely that they thought it was particularly low key in terms of attendance. I was there, both at the main event and the unconference (which was interesting, especially with Ken's 'online' proposal to his partner Sheryl which was covered using Qik, a company started by Ramu Sunkara - ex head of RTC @ Oracle & a really inspirational guy. Congrats Ken & Sheryl, glad we finally met after reading each other's blog for a long time - you make a great couple).

But I digress. Back to VON San Jose. The Boston and San Jose VONs have always been very well attended. So I was surprised seeing the attendance. But then again, I thought, maybe I shouldn't be surprised. And maybe it is also a testament to how well VON has actually worked.

The 'Hype' of many technologies like IMS, WiMAX etc. have passed. If you look at the typical exhibitor space of VON, they are OEMs. OEMs build products before they get deployed. They need to publicize. They need to excite people. And that is exactly where VON helps them. When technology is 'new', you need forums like VON to spread the word. When technology gets into deployment, people are too busy deploying to actually attend shows and talk about them. This is when the 'money gets real'. The hooplah is over. And this is exactly in line with what I am seeing in the market. I had posted earlier that we have started seeing a significant rise in people deploying applications over IMS, or, deploying IMS and they are paying money for it (not the build and we will see story).

Monday, March 10, 2008

We have SIP working on android!

Final update: For folks who are still reaching this post via searches, the [SIPDroid] project took our initial work and have extended it for a full featured application. Instead of downloading our stuff, check them out - their work will be more recent. We (HSC) are not updating our files.

Update: April 2 2008: Source code of stack released here

1.jpg

Update: Mar 17 2008

See here for a screencast :-)

Update: Mar 12 2008

Some other sites linking here seem to be reporting this news with their own verbiage. Lets be specific on what we are doing:

  • We have taken the GPL'd mjsip SIP stack and our objective is to make it work on android (this is mostly a porting activity). We are not writing our own stack.

  • We are not doing any optimizations, etc. The scope is exactly what I wrote - make mjsip work on android, so developers can use the mjsip APIs to build apps in android.

  • It is a very straighforward 'take from community (GPL/mjsip), give back to community (post ported code back to GPL/mjsip)' activity.

  • We are targetting to release the port in a week or so... (as-is - as I mentioned the objective is straighforward -a port of mjsip - if it has bugs when you do funky stuff , fix it yourself when we release it :-) )


We (my company) had started an internal project to get SIP working on Android and some smart folks belted out some nifty code to get SIP working on android. We hope to release the ported SIP stack on android pretty soon. We used the GPL'd mjSIP stack and will be releasing the modifications as per GPL, obviously - so other developers have a good SIP API to build apps. This should happen pretty soon. Some time ago, we did a rss-to-presence implementation stub (concept here) over Google Mashup editor. I look forward to seeing the "google-phone" talk SIP to the "google-server" and other cool stuff.

Stay tuned!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A call to report: VoIP 'geek-talk' blogs

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Update: I have now created a sidebar widget titled "Tech Blogs I read" instead of updating this post. Please continue sending me quality tech blogs (with more focus on concepts and less on marketing) as you come across them and refer to the sidebar for updates and not this post - thx.

Total number of 'market reporting' VoIP blogs = k+1

where k=number of times you can blink in a day.

However, there are very few blogs that talk about more technology & architecture details and less market details for all things VoIP, SIP, IMS, web 2.0 (with focus on telecom).

So here is a call to unite!

We need a list of what I call 'geek-talk' - those that provide more technical insight into how things are.

Here is my list so far. Please update me /comment here with more tech-blogs and I will update this list

Many of these blogs are a mix of techno-marketing, but are written by people who are neck-deep in actually developing/architecting many of the talked about solutions themselves, and hence offer a more detailed insight.

last updated: Apr-30-2008

  1. TurnGeek - focus on P2P, SBC, etc.

  2. IMS Lantern - IMS architecture related

  3. Voice of VoIPSA - VoIP Security

  4. IMS Quality - Testing and Monitoring with focus on IMS

  5. VoIP Survivor - general voip, with significant focus on their company products

  6. TelCAB - IMS B/OSS

  7. iConverged - this blog

Friday, February 8, 2008

Concept: telcoAJAX - making AJAX libraries telco aware

21.jpg

I recently wrote a paper that investigates how SDP vendors can provide AJAX based telco-aware libraries and mechanisms to interface these libraries with existing telecom application servers. I personally believe that this is a gaping hole in the market. While AJAX libraries have evolved significantly, no one is currently working on adding functionality that makes it telecom aware (in terms of understanding what UI, actions, events are typically associated with telco services) thereby making t he job much harder on developers who are trying to grapple with what it really means to "web 2.0" their SIP call control app.

Abstract:

With the increasing acceptance of AJAX as a mechanism to deliver real-time user experiences without the need of proprietary local clients and the increasing demand from consumers to have a better user experience with more features, both the Telecom and the Internet world are looking at means to be able to converge their offerings. However, being able to provide converged services is a challenge largely due to the fact that Telecom players already have existing applications they would like to monetize in addition to having limited know-how of Web 2.0 related technologies, whereas the Internet players, while proficient in Web 2.0 technologies have limited understanding of wireline and wireless networks to be able to offer ubiquitous service access. The author believes that middleware SDP providers can help bridge this gap and provide “convergence” building blocks that would allow developers on both sides of the world develop functionality, or integrate existing functionality with ease. Specifically, this paper, proposes the concept of “TelcoAJAX” – a set of building blocks that are aware of telecom primitives and how to represent and interact with users using a browser interface which developers can implement on top of SIP/Presence based applications.

You can download it from here.

(Search for paper titled "A Concept Approach at bringing Legacy Telecom Application Servers to Web 2.0")

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Unconferencing Conferences

unconf.jpgIn one of my conversations with Carl Ford, I was told that VON is now actively trying to create an "unconference" in their next shows. For those who know unconference, it is a pretty old concept, often used in hard-core geek gettogethers. The concept here is to set up an "ad-hoc" speaking environment, where a 'leader' stands up, talks about a topic and attendees interact. The interesting part about unconferencing is that there is no 'one-leader', like traditional speaking slots. You don't get to talk 1-way while your viewers listen, snore or just ignore. You are all peers. If you can defend your idea, so be it, or you may just be hissed (sort of like how the IETF meetings work).

The problem with un-conferences, however, is that without some moderation, it can go nuts with personal agendas, general confusion and so-forth. Furthermore, generally, for companies to fund you to travel, they want to gain some marketing mileage from it. Which is why most main-stream conferences avoid un-conferencing.

This is where is looks like VON is likely bridging best of both worlds. They have set up a wiki called "VONCamp" where you can suggest your own topics. But to keep some sanity, it is moderated, and limited to 12 or so slots. Futher, they also ensured that unconferencing does not conflict with any other panel, so people are encouraged to attend. In addition, they are also looking at being able to advertise the unconference topic leaders, just as they would be advertising conference speakers (I hope they carry this thought through to execution!)

So naturally, with all things "2.0 and social networking" I am in. I am likely going to talk about connecting Social Networks and IMS (a topic which I've done a lot of work on). I will also be speaking at a regular panel in VON amsterdam, so between the two I'll get a good idea of which works and is better!

So anyway, head on to VONCamp and support these folks!