Archive for the 'General' Category

The Top 10 Ways To Use VoIP That You Probably Didn’t Think About

Posted in General on October 24th, 2006

Here’s the top ten list of fun and interesting things to do with VoIP.

  1. Caller ID Spoofing – Use Asterisk to spoof Kevin Rose’s home phone number. Call all your friends and tell them you’ll be on the next diggnation.
  2. Beat the telemarketers by implementing Asterisk Zapateller. Their predictive dialer software will think your number is disconnected and you’ll be deleted from their database!
  3. Use a free SIP client like X-lite and Voipbuster to make free calls to Europe.
  4. Signup as a volunteer with your favorite political party. Use Skype to make free “get out the vote” calls to registered voters in swing states.
  5. Torture a telemarketer! Replace your answering machine with Asterisk and setup the Telemarketer Torture dial plan.
  6. Integrate Asterisk and the Google Calendar API. Have Google Calender Call to remind you of appointments.
  7. Make unlimited cell phone calls with Sprint for $5 month.
  8. Use BottleRocket to integrate your X10 system and Asterisk. Have fun turning your lights on and off with your cell phone.
  9. Can’t afford an iPod? Use TrixBox to stream podcasts to your cell phone.
  10. Three-Way Caller ID Spoofing (the ultimate in Caller ID spoofing). Call person A and spoof the CID so it looks like person B is calling. Simultaneously call person B, but spoof the CID for person A. Connect all three of you to an Asterisk Meetme Conference call. Make sure to mute your mic so they can’t hear you laughing. This work even better if you pick two random people that don’t know each other.

Dell Fix It, Please!

Posted in General on October 23rd, 2006

A few years ago, my brother purchased a new Dell Inspiron laptop. He also shelled out a few hundred dollars on the extended warranty program, assuming that Dell would fix it when it broke. The new Dell Inspiron arrived in perfect condition and performed flawlessly for months.

About a year after he purchased the new Dell, his battery gave up and died on him. “No problem” he thought, “I’ll just call Dell and have them Fix it!”  Wrong! After spending many hours on the phone with Dell technical support, he found out that the extended warranty didn’t cover the battery. Apparently, Dell treats the battery as an accessory, and not a critical component of the laptop. To this day, the only thing wrong with that Dell Inspiron laptop is the battery that died and Dell won’t fix it.

Descrambler Cable TV for Free

Posted in General on October 23rd, 2006

Using a Descrambler to get Cable TV for free may sound appealing, but users should be aware of the possble legal ramifications. A number of strategies have been used by providers to control or prevent the widespread use of Descramblers on the Cable TV signals.

One approach has been to take legal action against dealers who sell Cable TV descrambler equipment. In some cases the objective has been to obtain lists of clients in order to take or threaten to take costly legal action against end-users. Providers have created departments with names like the “office of signal integrity” or the “end-users group” to pursue alleged Cable TV descrambler users.

As some equipment is useful for other purposes, this approach has drawn strong opposition from groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. There have also been US counter-suits alleging that the legal tactics used by some Cable TV providers to demand large amounts of money from end-users may themselves appear unlawful or border on extortion.

Much of the equipment is perfectly lawful to own; in these cases, only the misuse of the equipment to descramble signals is prohibited. This makes provider attempts at legal harassment of would-be pirate descrablers awkward at best.