Friday, April 27, 2007

Why You Need Conference Calling Services

If you need to connect with people in your company or group conference calling services is the way to go. Conference calling services can handle small groups to thousand of people at a time. This article will look at some of the advantages of using a conference calling service.

Most conference calling services charge by the minute. You can find conference calling services that are complex enough to hold a conference call within minutes. Usually you will plan well in advance for your conference calls. You will want to decide on the importance of a few features that are commonly found with most conference calling services.

Please Stand by For Recording

You may wish to record your conference call and then market your call or just make the information available to your staff for review. Recording a conference call is a very common feature of most conference calling services.

Most of the time you will have people reserve a spot for the call, but there are conference calling services that will allow for a reservationless rule. There are many other types of conference calling services that you might befit from.

The main factor that will determine what type of service is bets for you would be the motive for the call. Many network marketers use conference calling to teach their down line. Major corporations use conference calling services for training sessions with offices that may be located in other states or countries.

Most people are reluctant to spend their money for training conferences, but if the information will earn them more money they are usually willing to spend a few bucks per call. You may want to email a set of notes that they can use to follow along if you are investing the money to train them.

A quick search online for conference calling services will reveal just how big this market is. You will find several companies that offer very valuable services for pennies on the dollar. You may want to contact some larger companies to see if they have any experience with conference calling services. You are also likely to find chats online that will expose the good conference calling services from the bad ones.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The New Way To Buy Your Cellular Phones

In a fast pace society, you find yourself too busy to make it to the stores to buy any product whether it be a Cell phone, Car Audio, Beauty Supplies, or Clothing. It seems we just cannot find the time anymore. What I have found is that most people do all of there shopping, down to buying there groceries, Online. It's fast, it's simple, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

Now, there is no need to rush to the stores after work to get what you need, you can simply go home, hop on the internet and find everything that you have been looking for, plus much more; in addition more often than not you find it for a discounted price! Anything from Anti-itch cream to ordering tickets to the zoo is at your fingertips and waiting on you to click the Proceed to Check-Out button.

The one thing that I have found utterly amazing is the fact that you can buy any Cellular Phone from just about any Carrier including: Cingular, Sprint PCS, Verizon, T-mobile, Nextel, Cingular,Alltel, etc for the price of your monthly plan! No costly phone price’s, no activation fee’s, and no hidden fee’s either, when I came across this I was stunned. I couldn’t understand how you could get a phone that would cost you approximately $250 in the store but online it was FREE? Then I started to take into consideration that there were no overhead costs for these websites. They had no monthly rent bills, no electric bills, no water bills, nothing. It all started to make sense, so I decided to look further into this and found that there were no gimmicks at all. It was true. You could literally walk away with a new phone, at only the price of your monthly contract.

So, I decided to not only get me a new cell phone but also to find more information out about this cool new way to buy and sell all sorts of electronics. I found information out about how you can purchase Alarm Systems Online, for only the cost of the monthly monitoring fee. Then someone in your area will come and install your system for free! The same goes for Satellite Dish providers; you purchase it for only the cost of the monthly subscription fee, you can get up to four receivers in your home for as little as $19.95 per month. Then someone will come out and install all of the equipment free of charge. That’s a deal!

So before you go out and spend hundreds of your hard earned dollars, grab a computer, do a little surfing, compare some prices and get what you want for a price that you can afford! there are websites out there for anything that you are looking for, so take advantage of there amazing deals, you won’t regret it!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Selecting a Toll Free number?

Toll Free numbers have gone a long way; nowadays there are hundreds of toll free companies and resellers out there that provide the same basic features. Enhancements on telephone applications enabled toll free service to acquire most if not, all of the telephone applications inherent in landline services.

Consumers now look for quality of service provided by telecommunication companies with respect to appropriate pricing. The advancement of T1 lines and their corresponding circuits, collocation and cooperation between competing companies now allowed to consumer to call different networks which was just a dream 10 years ago. Now wireless phones, VoIP phones, enhanced landline, drives voice communication to its peak.

Analysts believe that wireless communication is going to take over as the main medium of mass media in the near future as wireless bandwidth becomes faster and more secure. Businesses are now trying to integrate as much of their well-invested telecommunication products to wireless and web based applications. Toll Free numbers are a staple for a successful business venture, proven again and again by many different experts, white papers, feasibility studies and old fashion experience. Technology convergence remains fast but what will happen to toll free numbers?

VoIP long distance companies are able to provide toll free service, which is nothing, more than a collect call forwarding service at a much cheaper price than most stand alone toll free providers. Consumers are still wary of using VoIP phone, which have major disadvantages such as calling emergency numbers like 911. Consumers believe that the lack of access to such important government service is not worth the price of reduced long distance cost.

Toll free numbers however, which are dependent on incoming rather than out going minutes are less affected by this and is able to fight and win on a service price war.

The minute cost of toll free numbers has been drastically reduced for the past few years but are they really cheaper? Toll free providers have found myriads of ways to increase profit by adding additional monthly service fees on top of your phone subscription, minimum monthly minutes, expiring prepaid minutes, and the biggest scam of all to win the price war is the multiple leg pricing scheme.

Toll Free numbers as explained before are call forwarding service, which effectively makes it 2 phone calls. The first call from the original caller to the toll free service provider, then another call from the toll free service provider to the service subscriber. This is a great opportunity to charge for more while legally advertising a cheaper price. This annoys consumers but found it difficult to change service provider or acquiring a new number. Vanity numbers are hard to find and takes a week to register. For most businesses the cost of changing service providers is very expensive on wasted time and opportunities

A lot of consumers don’t know that their numbers are “portable” and can be used on any service provider assuming proper legal procedures have been done; this normally takes just as long as registering a new vanity number. There are people who also thought that Telco’s such as AT&T have more numbers in their database for them to choose from, what they don’t realize is that all toll free companies get their number availability from the same place.

Today even experienced toll free service subscriber still fall for tricks made by service provider to make money. The best advice for a good deal is the same as any other consumer advice, shop around, be thorough, and find great toll free service providers out there.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Advantages of Prepaid Phone Cards

Prepaid phone cards, also named calling cards, international phone cards are fast selling out from convenience stores, supermarkets and hundreds of web sites online. There are many advantages associated with prepaid phone card. The main among them are:

Can make calls from a phone that is not international calling enabled. People choose international phone card, when they want to call up their friends, relatives or business partners who live half way down the globe. No agreements to sign and no bills to wait for.

Customers save 54% to 76% on international calling with prepaid phone cards. With advancements in technology, people can today cut costs of international calling by 50% or more, simply by using international phone card. For example the cost of calling to India from USA starts from 4-5¢ a minute. For toll free access of international calling, the per-minute charges can be a bit higher. The customer also doesn't have to pay hefty taxes as much as they would if they use their regular telephones or mobile phones to make long distance international calls.

No bills. The cheap international calling card that is prepaid avoids the worry of waiting for an astronomical bill at the end of the month. The expenses are well within control of the customers.

Mobility and flexibility are other key benefits of prepaid phone cards. Customers can make calls from any phones. You can call from home, office, pay phone or from your friend's house. The phone doesn't have to be enabled with international long distance calling provisions.

Monitor usage history. Different online phone card sellers give the provision of tracking your call history online. You can know when and for how long did you make an international call.

Some Significantly Important Terms Prepaid Calling Card Customers Must Know About

Connection Charge – if the phone card has a connection fee, the amount will be deducted from the number of available calling minutes. Most prepaid calling cards today come without a connection charge. Look at the fine print, if the card you purchase has connection fee. The amount will be deducted from your account if the call reaches a voice mail or a wrong number.

Maintenance Fee – this is another fee charged on the card on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. No maintenance fee if the full value is used in a week, fortnight or a month.

Local Access Number – this is the number you dial to access the service offered by the prepaid calling card. Using local access number to access prepaid phone card service gives more minutes than while using toll free number to access the service.

Validity and Expiry – different prepaid phone card companies have different policies regarding validity and expiry. Validity can vary from 90 days of purchase of the card to 365 days after the last use of the card.

With dozens of companies selling prepaid calling card, it is a tough task to make the right choice. Go in with the simple math of comparing the number of minutes you get against the amount you pay.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Firm's Decisions where to Incorporate

by Lucian Arye Bebchuck, Harvard Law School and National Bureau of Economic Research; Alma Cohen, National Bureau of Economic Research

Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the decisions of publicly traded firms where to incorporate. We study the features of states that make them attractive to incorporating firms and the characteristics of firms that determine whether they incorporate in or out of their state of location. We find that states that offer stronger anti takeover protections are substantially more successful both in retaining in-state firms and in attracting out-of-state incorporations. We estimate that, compared with adopting no anti takeover statutes, adopting all standard anti takeover statutes enabled the states that adopted them to more than double the percentage of local firms that incorporated in-state (from 23% to 49%). Indeed, the incorporation market has not even penalized the three states that passed two extreme antitakeover statutes that have been widely viewed as detrimental to shareholders. We also find that there is commonly a big difference between a state's ability to attract incorporations from firms located in and out of the state, and we investigate several possible explanations for this home-state advantage. Finally, we find that Delaware's dominance is greater than has been recognized and can be expected to increase further in the future. Our findings have significant implications for corporate governance, regulatory competition, and takeover law.

From The Trademark Blog

Martin's take on the sony SHOCK AND AWE trademark filing:

Several readers pointed me to this article indicating that Sony has 'registered' the term SHOCK AND AWE in the U.S. for video games. I did not see Sony's name among the 15 applications for SHOCK AND AWE or SHOCK & AWE that the U.S. trademark database here shows as having been filed since March 20. It's not possible to say whether any of the listed applicants were working as agents for others. One applicant, Trademarks, Etc., is in the business of filing trademark applications for others. One applicant appears to have crammed goods and services from approximately 20 classes into his single class filing, and will likely receive an office action requesting an additional $7000 in filing fees.

As for a SHOCK AND AWE video game, well, to quote Donald Rumsfeld, this is not a game. I think these filings are in poor taste and disrespectful to the families of those who lost lives in this conflict.
This does not speak well of the legal profession:

Attorneys nationwide reportedly plan to deploy decoy patients at health care organizations to see if doctors, dentists, hospitals and insurance companies have the policies, procedures and protections that ensure patients' privacy, as required by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Those that don't comply risk hefty fines, possible criminal prosecution and costly civil lawsuits. Companies have had two years to educate staff, designate a privacy officer and adopt basic security measures. But there's a good chance some providers will miss the deadline.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bob Dalton is at it again. It seems that Ricart attorney Charles "Rocky" Saxbe is threatening to file a contempt motion against Dalton unless he removes the deposition of Kenneth B. Fink from his website. See Paul Alan Levy's (of Ralph Nadar's Public Citizen) letter to Rocky explaining why he believes that such a motion would fail and that such a motion would stimulate the interest of the press.

I really admire Dalton's tenacity in informing the public about Ricart's sales tactics, and admire Levy's zeal in protecting Dalton's first amendment right of free speach.

Oh, and as a matter of disclosure, Dalton is a client.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How Skype Works

Skype is a software application that allows you to make free phone calls to more than 75 million people worldwide, and shockingly cheap calls to practically everywhere else on Earth! As a result of that, Skype has become the fastest growing service in the history of the Internet. Recently, the company was acquired by eBay, another step forward towards achieving the final goal of making Skype the world’s largest communication company.

Skype is easy to install and use. It allows its users to make crystal clear calls, regardless of their location, send instant messages, switch seamlessly between text and voice communication, make video calls, conference calls, transfer files, call landlines and cell phones for a fraction of the cost of a traditional call. Skype is truly making a revolution in the way we communicate.

But how does it actually work? This article focuses on describing the Skype network and the technology behind it.

Skype is a type of peer-to-peer Voice-Over-IP client, based on the Kazaa file sharing program. The developers of Skype claim that it provides better voice quality than similar applications like MSN and Yahoo Messenger. It also encrypts calls end-to-end.

There are two types of machines in the Skype network – ordinary host (Skype Client) and Super Node (SN). An ordinary host is the computer of a regular user who has the application installed and connects to the network in order to communicate with other users. The Super Nodes are the end-point of ordinary hosts in the network. In other words, ordinary hosts connect to the Super Nodes. Any computer with a public IP and proper hardware configuration can be a SN. An ordinary host must connect to a super node and must register itself with the Skype login server for a successful login. The Skype login server is the only central unit in the whole network. It stores the usernames and respective passwords of all Skype users. Nslookups have shown that this server is located in Denmark. All Super Nodes connect to the login server in attempt to verify the username password of the client. It stores your Skype Name, your e-mail address, and an encrypted representation of your password.

If you are a regular Skype user, then your computer is considered an ‘ordinary host’ that connects to a Super Node. The Super Nodes are servers, located in different parts of the world. But your Skype client, must know to which SN it has to connect. Therefore, every Skype client (SC) maintains a local table that contains the IPs and corresponding ports of Super Nodes. This is called a host cache and it stored in the Windows Registry of the given SC. So basically, every time you load up Skype, it reads the date from the host cache, takes the first IP and port from there and tries to connect to this SN. If the connection fails for some reason (the SN is offline; it is no longer part of the network, etc) then it reads the next line from the table. In case it fails to connect to any of the IPs listed, the Skype returns a login error upon start-up. Hence, the host cache must contain at least one valid entry in order for the application to connect to the network and work properly. Valid entry means an IP address and port number of an online Super Node. The path to the table in the Windows Registry is HKEY_CURRENT_USER / SOFTWARE / SKYPE / PHONE / LIB / CONNECTION / HOSTCACHE. You can verify that on your computer by opening the Start menu, then click Run and enter ‘regedit’, without the dashes. Of course, the exact path could be different in the next versions of the application.

As a concept, Super Nodes were introduced in the third-generation P2P networks. They allow improved search performance, reduced file-transfer latency, network scalability, and the ability to resume interrupted downloads and simultaneously download segments of one file from multiple peers. Basically, they help ordinary hosts connect to each other and guide efficiently the encrypted network traffic.

Super Nodes are also responsible for the 'Global Indexing'. This technology enables you to search for other users in the network. The company guarantees that it will find a user if he has registered and has logged in during the last 72 hours.

A very interesting moment about the Skype network is that it 'self-modifiable'. If you have the application installed, your computer may turn into a Super Node, without you even knowing it, because those capabilities don't have a noticeable impact on a computer's performance. SNs basically store the addresses of up to several hundred Skype users, without carrying any voice, text or file-transfer data. In that manner, the more Skype users come online, the more super nodes become available to expand the capacity of the network.

Skype routes the traffic intelligently by choosing the optimum data transfer path. Since it uses either TCP or UDP protocol, it breaks the whole data stream into separate packets, which can take different paths to the end destination. The final arrangement is done at the receiving end.

As far as safety and privacy are concerned, Skype uses Advanced Encryption Standard, known as Rijndel, used also by the U.S. Government organizations to protect sensitive data. Skype uses 256-bit encryption.

The programmers of Skype have implemented wideband codecs which allows it to maintain a good sound quality at a bandwidth of 32kb/s and allow frequencies between 5-8,000Hz to pass trough.

Your list of contacts, the application stores in the Windows Registry. This is called the Buddy list and once again, it is digitally encrypted. So, the list is local for every machine, or in other words, it’s not downloaded from the central server.

Let’s briefly describe the tasks of the Skype client. First it connects to the network. It then listens on particular ports for incoming calls, refreshes the host cache table, uses wideband codecs, maintains the buddy list, encrypts messages and determines if there is a firewall or not.

The login process: The login process is the most important one and it consists of several phases. As mentioned, SC must connect to a valid SN in order to authenticate the username and password with the Central Server.

Skype gets the fist IP from the host cache, sends it a UDP packet and waits for response. If there is no response after 5 seconds, it sends a TCP packet to the same IP. It tries to establish a TCP connection to the HC IP address and port 80 (HTTP port). If still unsuccessful, it tried to connect to IP address and port 443 (HTTPS port). If this does not work either, it reads the next address in the HC. If Skype is unable to connect to a SN, it will report a login failure.

The application comes with several build-in addresses of different nodes, called bootstrap super nodes.

If the connection attempt is successful, the client must authenticate the user name and password with the Skype login server, which holds all user names and passwords and makes sure they are unique across the whole network. When the application connects to an SN, it receives an up-to-date list of other active SNs, so it has the most current information.

The Media Transfer process: The video/voice communication through SKype is established through UDP. The trick here is that quite often, one of the users is behind a firewall or a router, hence it doesn't have a real IP address. But if both Skype clients are on real IPs, then the media traffic flows directly between them over UDP. The size of the voice packet is 67 bytes, which is actually the size of UDP payload. One second conversation results in roughly 140 voice packets being exchanged both ways, or 3-16 kilobytes/s.

If one of the callee or both of them do not have a public IP, then they send voice traffic to another online Skype node over UDP or TCP. The developers of Skype have preferred to use UDP for voice transmission as much as possible.

An interesting fact is that even if both sides are not speaking, voice packets will still be flowing between them. The purpose of these so called 'silent packages' is to keep the connection alive.

Conclusion: There are several factors responsible for the success of Skype. First of all, the voice quality is better compared to other applications. It works without a problem on computers with firewall. It is very easy to install and use. Skype's security is also a big advantage. Everything that is being transferred across the network is being encrypted to ensure privacy. As a result of that, even if hackers intercept the data being transferred, they won't be able to decode it.

The Skype application does not include any adware or spyware. But, there are cases when third parties have managed to add such functionalities (not only for Skype), so it’s really important that you download it from the right place.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Call Center Software Services

Call Center Software Services is a system that can handle all your incoming calls for your business like no other system. Why hire a host of operators or an answering service that would cost you much more and provide less service?

Call Center Software is designed to process incoming calls as they come in, in a manner that will give your business customers a sense of self-directing attention for their personal needs. Many large and small business have come to realize that they have as many unseen customers or potential customers that wish to reach you as walk-in customers.

Choosing a Call Center Software Service can be a little intimidating unless you focus on the service you actually need. Is your business totally dedicated to incoming phone calls or is it a secondary need to have calls processed? Do you want to have callers re-directed to a specific person or give your caller an opportunity to leave a message so they don't have to wait? Do you want to offer online music while your customer waits for a call to be processed? So, you see there are different applications within a give field of call center services you can apply your business needs to.

Call Center Software is available in your area, check online for a system administrator near you. You will have the ability to set-up and install your own package or you can hire a call center service installer to make it totally hands-free set-up. Be sure to not over or under estimate your personal business needs. Too small a system will jam your phone lines and cause you to miss very important callers and too large a call center service system will have you wasting much needed business expenses.

A great way to decide on the right call center service is to call a similar business such as yours and see how they handle their incoming calls. At the same time think of ways you can upscale their way of answering incoming calls. The fact that you want to save money is a given, but having a top notch call center software that provides the absolute best service to your existing and potentially new customers is priceless.

Call Center Software can be overwhelming to your callers, so don't make your system so complicated that the caller hangs up. Keep your message to your callers short, direct, and give the caller as many choices as you feel would satisfy the customer's needs, until an actual person can return or answer the call.