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Facetime on Iphone 4: Vanilla unencrypted STUN and SIP

(July 13: sorry for the downtime, looks like my bandwidth limits were exceeded. Upgraded my hosting package – fixed) (note: Only the call part is Vanilla SIP. The procedure for registering a Facetime user into their servers etc. is all non-SIP, encrypted/ciphered.) (for my user review of the iphone4 and bumper read here) Well heck, good job Apple! I just tested facetime and did a quick check on its protocol. No hacking needed – just an on the wire black box inspection – its just plain SIP and STUN for firewall discovery. Apple plans to make this protocol public, and they seem to have done an excellent job. And thanks for showing the world that you don’t need complicated encryption and proprietary tunneling tricks for an excellent experience. You need a good codec set, a good media stack that can adaptively switch codecs and manage buffers  and a good ‘point-of-presence’ network for the most part. I am just going to restrict this post to an overview of the flow. Enjoy: click on each image for a larger size (if they are small) This is a facetime all flow – good, plain, SIP (they use MESSAGE for some proprietary data exchange

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IPhone 4 Review

(Updated Jun 30 with iphone 4 bumper strip review) I was one of the 600,000 people who managed to get in their iphone 4 orders on day one, before all the servers collapsed. So anyway, I got my iphone 4 yesterday (Fedex dropped it in at around 11:30 in the morning). Here is my brief review so far: (These are just my observations as a user. For a more indepth review, read Engadet’s iphone 4 review. )

 
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More tweeting, less blogging

I finally get why people tweet. It lets you speak your mind the way it is, without requiring you to make a paragraph out of it. When I blog, I think, then form, then rehearse then post. When I tweet, I think and tweet. The link between my thoughts and the tweets is more direct. And of course, very often, I don’t have paragraphs to talk about, but still experience exciting new things that can be written in 3 lines. So now I understand the subtle difference of tweeting vs blogging. I’ve wiped the dust off my twitter account. I will use that more often now. I will still occasionally post, but only if I have lots to say. Follow on at http://twitter.com/arjunrc

 
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Switching from Blackberry 8800 to Iphone 3Gs: For Business Use

After 4 years of serious Blackberry 8700 and 8800 use, my wife convinced me to switch to the sexier iphone. I was pretty wary knowing it is not very good for business usage. However, my wife’s prime interest was to get me off the keypad while driving. To her dismay, I am now an expert fast typist on my iphone virtual keyboard – but I do listen to her and for my own safety don’t thumb responses to email while stopping at a light. Here are my experiences (so far) on what I did to bring my iphone closer to my needs. I have the iphone 32G 3GS. My previous phone was the wonderful, but, well not oomphy BB 8800.

 
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Chrome OS: A Web OS ?

There has been a lot of posts and flutter on Google’s new purported Chrome OS and how it will be a great battle with Microsoft, how it will confuse and/or kill Android etc. And also, of course, taking off from the Google Blog on Chrome OS “For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies” people are also throwing in “Web OS” everywhere. I thought I’d write a post detailing my thoughts (technical) on this entire issue.