I love Apple – what can I say? I know some of you may not agree with me but here’s a piece of news worth sharing. For all those iPhone fans out there, Asterisk Voicemail for the iPhone is coming out very soon. I ran across a developer’s announcement about his project  This is what he has to tell you:

Asterisk Voicemail for iPhone allows you to check your voicemail messages on your house or business line from your iPhone. You can think of it as “Visual Voicemail”, but for your Asterisk PBX numbers instead of your AT&T cell number. The technology behind it is Asterisk (The Open-Source PBX), with iUI, Joe Hewitt’s UI interface for iPhone. This software can be installed on any Asterisk server (though you will want to use one that is available via the Internet) and will allow you to check messages in multiple folders, listen to messages, delete messages, move messages, and change voicemail settings – all from your iPhone.

This software is unreleased. Most of the features are fully functional, but I need to clean up certain portions of the code before releasing it in order to avoid public ridicule. This software will be released under the GPL or some other free license.

I know, it’s more of a teaser right now, but hey, with something like this, all you need is a teaser – for now. I am sure that hordes of iPhone fans using VOIP are going to be thrilled about this. In fact, I have seen several blogs and web sites already featuring Chris Carey’s announcement. It is not a surprise, really. For those who are already using Asterisk and have iPhones (I am not sure about the number of these people), this is something to look forward to.

So what is the potential of this development? I suppose you can describe it in one word –HUGE. Imagine being able to access your voicemail messages anywhere. With today’s trend of everything going mobile, this is the perfect solution to the traveling individual’s needs.

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Fonality, the world’s largest deployment of Asterisk-based phone systems, today announced that more than 2,500 customers with 53,000 phones in 50 countries have adopted its award winning business phone system, PBXtra, and have used it to place more than 130 million VoIP and traditional calls.

The high growth is fueled by increasing demand from small and medium-sized businesses for affordable, easy to use, feature-rich alternatives to the high-cost offerings sold by traditional communications companies.

PBXtra is a VoIP-capable phone system designed to be purchased, installed and managed by non-technical professionals. Fonality’s patent-pending, hybrid-hosted technology enables seamless use of PBXtra to support branch offices, as well as mobile and home-based workers. PBXtra has garnered industry accolades including Editors’ Choice by PC Magazine in a recent roundup of competing phone systems from Digium, TalkSwitch and others.

“The open telephony market is continuing to accelerate,” said Chris Lyman, Fonality CEO. “Fonality is proud to be leading that charge with PBXtra and trixbox.”

Fonality’s PBXtra business phone system delivers more functionality with significantly improved ease of use at 40 to 80 percent less than the cost of comparable systems from larger companies.

Out of the box, PBXtra supports advanced auto-attendant features, telecommuters, branch offices, drag and drop call controls, conferencing and cross-office intercoms, as well as a host of other easy to use advanced features.

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Who doesn’t? Well, if you really want to save that much, you might want to consider switching over to asterisk VOIP for your business. It has long been acknowledged that asterisk VOIP services are far more cost efficient than traditional telephony services. This is, in fact, the main reason many individuals and businesses are now opting to make use of Asterisk VOIP.

For Hail & Cotton, the experience is something to be proud of and share with others. Hail & Cotton is a tobacco distribution company in Springfield, Tennessee. When Tres Ransom, the IT director of the company, was tasked with the overhauling of their telephone system, he was faced with a decision. This was whether to either upgrade what they were currently working with or whether to totally trash the system and go with a new one – that is, asterisk VOIP.

As with many IT personnel, asterisk VOIP seemed like a very feasible option. Ransom had some concerns, however, as he was not sure of what he was getting into. More so, he was not sure that he could do the work all by himself. Still, he did some preliminary legwork and calculated the costs of each option.

flappy bird cheat . winter skin problems If the company were to simply upgrade their current system, it would have cost them as much $64,000. On the other hand, his researched showed that the company would have to shell out only $25,000 with VOIP. Ransom did his research on Asterisk and Trixbox at this time. As a matter of fact, Ransom did not have to do all the work on his own as he had some outside help from Voice Pulse, a well known asterisk VOIP service provider. What happened was that Voice Pulse gave the company a free trial using Voice Pulse’s Connect for Asterisk . Ransom was quite impressed with the free trial PLUS the fact that the whole package cost almost $40,000 less than his other option.

This is indeed a prime example of what asterisk VOIP can do for a business. I think it is important to note the important role of the asterisk VOIP service provider as well. If Voice Pulse was not able to provide a clear option for Hail & Cotton and if they were not able to provide that free trial which was what impressed the client, then the deal would not have been possible.

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asterisk-usb-hub2If you are an Asterisk fan boy (or girl, for that matter), then chances are that you have a particular affinity for various kinds of gadgets as well.  If so, here is another toy that you can add to your ever growing collection of techie stuff – an Asterisk USB hub.

You may already have an Asterisk shirt (or two), you may even have a couple of Digium shirts.  I am sure you have at least one Asterisk book or even a mug, but I think this toy will beat them all!

I, for one, cannot seem to have enough USB ports.  My desktop PC has 2 in front and 2 at the back.  Naturally, I mainly use the 2 USB ports in front as they make for easy access.  Sometimes, though when I have all my gadgets in use the 2 are not enough.

My notebook computer is gifted with more  I have 4 in all.  Believe it or not, sometimes, I still need more.  What with all the gadgets that can be connected to the computer these days, this is not really surprising.  A mobile phone, a iPod, a flash disk, a digital camera, and so on – the list can be quite long!  I cannot imagine how people with only one USB port can manage!

Thank God for USB hubs – they can really come in handy.  The Asterisk USB hub, I think, is a big plus.  It not only provides you with the functionality you need but it also gives you that extra something when it comes to style and making a statement.  The Asterisk is colored a bright red (talk about making a statement!) and is shaped like – surprise! – an asterisk.  It also comes in a cool light blue shade, which I actually like as well but the red seems to have more “bang” in it.  It has four ports – greatly extending your USB capacity.

The Asterisk USB hub is the brainchild of industrial designer Joel Escalona.  I have not had the chance to get one for myself as of yet but based on the pictures that I have seen, it seems that this particular toy has a big edge over more conventional USB hubs.

How so?  It is because of the fact that the design of the USB hub makes for more space in between the four ports.  Compare this with some conventional USB hubs which do not leave much space in between the ports, making things a little cramped and tight at times, especially if you have 4 gadgets connected at a single time.

With the Asterisk USB hub, the spacing has been well thought of and does away with that complication.

What are you waiting for?

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