Archive for the 'skype' Category

Star Trek First Contact LIVE DVD Commentary with Q&A

April 27, 2007

Star Trek First ContactI would like to invite you to join me, Sebastian Prooth in a LIVE Q&A and DVD Commentary of Star Trek First Contact on April 28th 2007 at 8PM GMT, that is 3PM Eastern Time. Get there early because there are a limited number of places!

The session will require the participants to have the program Skype as the session will be a Skype Cast. It will cost you nothing to take part in the session.

You do not need to have a microphone if you do not wish to have the opportunity to speak during the Q and A.

The session can be reached here:

Skype can be downloaded here:

Click here for more of my Star Trek related work

Click here for a recorded DVD Commentary of Star Trek First Contact.


Call 911 If You Need Genuine Help, Not Psychiatric Help!

January 17, 2007

I was just talking with a couple friends of mine on Skype and the conversation lulled so where do we end up but looking at funny videos on YouTube. I sent them one that I count as a favourite and it involves a woman calling 911 and they actually offer to come over and shoot her daughter. The operator is saying it as a joke but it is obviously not in least bit funny whatever way you spin it.

I looked for a few more examples of 911 calls gone bad or funny and came across a few more examples. Not only do people misuse the emergency phone number that is there for people to call when there is a genuine emergency. 911 has the same function as the UK’s 999 allows the citizen to contact the emergency services from any phone that has a dialtone, regardless of the cost. I would call these people who are using it as a number to complain about their order in Burger King or other trivial endevour hardly worth the time it takes to speak the words.

The video above is the worst of any of these examples. The police are called via 911 and the idiotic woman caller tells the dispatcher that she was attracted to a police officer who had just been out to her house and wanted to know if the dispatcher could relay her phone number to him! You have to hear it to believe it.

My message to everyone and anyone who is tempted to call the emergency services, unless it’s obviously very serious like your mother is lying on the floor in writhing pain, think twice before phoning the emergency services…they are there to offer emergency help, it’s not there as a free dating service or burger patrol, be smart!

New Tesco VOIP USB Phones, No Mac Users Though!

December 3, 2006

tesco logoWhen I was doing some late night shopping in Tesco tonight I came across a curious piece of technology. Well it might be curious to the non-geek anyway. The device in question is what Tesco are calling a “Tesco Internet Phone.”

tesco usb cordedThere were two models to choose from, one a wired USB handset at around 15 pounds and a cordless, USB handset at around 30 pounds. At first glance these little phones appeared to be quite cheap and nasty gadgets, but closer examination of the boxes brought understanding and some irritation.

These phones that work via VOIP or Voice Over IP which is the same technology behind the popular internet telephony application Skype. The internet telephones appear to have been designed to be somewhat idiot proof with extremely basic instructions and information on the packaging.

One thing that shocked me while examining the features of these phones is a clearly stated incompatibility with Macs! This seems to be a marketing error what with the growing popularity of Apple computers both in and outside the geek world partly due to their embracing the Intel processors and the ability to run Windows operating systems. Why would a company like Tesco who are making inroads into the United States with corporate grocery selling power with such a bright vision of the future ignore such a large force in the internet using market?

tesco usb cordlessTesco’s reasoning may have some basis in market research. The fact is there are more PC users than MAC users. But most USB devices are compatible with both platforms and it is strange to see a brand new product so blatantly incompatible.

I would like to test the functionality of these “Internet Phones” for myself. I would like to see if the quality is anything as good as Skype is on a good day, partly because as it appears you have to pay for general use of the service. Luckily, there is an offer in place at the moment where you receive 5pounds worth of airtime when you purchase a new USB phone.

If you would like to find out more technical details or buy one of these phones point your browsers to Tesco.