Ok, I admit it, the topic sounds ultra geeky and nurdy – but I can’t help it, there is something about booting up your computer from a USB pen drive, having all your nicely wrapped tools in there and having fun with it.

In this case, my pen drive is actually the driving force behind an extremely powerful call recording system, based on the Asterisk Open Source PBX system. Essentially, the Cruzer boots up a CentOS 5.1 system, fully equipped with an Asterisk + Zaptel + LibPRI + FreePBX. The system is configured to utilize up to 12 E1 circuits, with auto sensing scripts that will automatically configure your system upon first boot-up. Once the system had booted up, it will start identifying your hardware hard drives, and will start cataloging to these hard drives all the recordings according to the pre-determined logic.

I currently use a MySQL database on the Pen Drive to store catalog information only, which is working nicely – but I need to figure out a better way to store more information – 2GB of MySQL storage may be enough for a short while, but serving a large contact center won’t be much of a good idea – I think.

The Pen Drive was created using tools from www.pendrivelinux.com, which contains wonderful information about how to create your own custom Linux based Pen Drive – Excellent!

I’ll start off with this: I Like Adam Sandler Movies, they always make me laugh. For some strange reason, Adam Sandler movies are among the few movie subject my wife and I agree on. While we watch many movies on our home theater system, Adam Sandler is one of the only things we’ll agree to see a real theater. In any case, tonight we’ve gone to see his latest one: “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan!”.

In one sentence that sums the entire movie: The movie is really funny and enjoyable. However, I’d like to address some the stereotypes and obvious misunderstanding of Israeli nature that are portrayed in the movie. First of all, the movie shows Zohan, walking around the beach of Tel-Aviv, and portraying a macho man on steroids, in our case, the ultimate Israeli soldier enjoying his vacation – while parading nude on the beach and flapping his salami all over.

Hello! We don’t do that – While it is true that Israeli men are considered somewhat rough around the edges, we don’t usually parade our personal parts on the beach. Actually, there are laws in Israel prohibiting that, no matter if you are Soldier or war hero.

Anti-Terrorist fighters are celebrities – How un-true! In Israel, anti-terrorist fighters are well kept secrets, you never see their faces. Even combat pilots are never shown on TV. According to the movie, Zohan, an anti-terrorist fighter is a well known figure in Israel and people regard him as a legend. Actually, he is so know, that even when coming to America, he can’t flee his fans who recognize him – a situation that can’t happen in real life.

In addition to the above, the Tel-Aviv beach portrayed in the movie, while truly being shot in Tel-Aviv, is not a hyper-drived version of Miami. I admit that during summer the Tel-Aviv beach is crowded and picturesque, but it is nothing like the movie portraits.

The movie continues to portray Zohan as an over dozed sex maniac, capable of performing sex with almost any female partner. In addition, this portrait is later on in the movie taken over by the character of Uri, another Israeli living in New-York – managing a would be called electronics shop. I’m very happy to say that most Israeli men don’t behave like the ones in the movie, it’s just plain silly.

Over the course of the movie, one of Israel’s national foods is being exploited all over – the Humus. For those of you who don’t know, Humus is a paste like dish, made of a mixture of Chickpeas, Sesame paste (also know as Tehina) and other herbs and spices. It is true, we love our Humus, but we don’t use it to brush our teeth, dip our glasses in it, put it in our tea or coffee – it is a good starter dish, but it doesn’t define us.

Another thing to say about the movie, is the cast. While Zohan (Adam Sandler) is the main character of the movie, other characters are portrayed by memorable actors. “The Phantom”, a Lebanese terrorist, is portrayed by John Turturro, a fairly interesting choice. While John’s comic talents had been observed over the years, his role as a terrorist, turned fast-food giant, turned show sales man is hysterical. Salim, a Lebanese farmer who’s goat was taken by Zohan is portrayed by Rob Schneider. Rob is well known for his role as Duece Bigalow, America/European Gigolo. Rob does an amazing job at portraying a fairly simpleton farmer, trying to rebuild his life in the US, while being confronted by an old nightmare – Zohan. His almost cartoonish attempts to harm Zohan and later on dialing the “Hizbella” terrorist hotline – is simply as funny as funny can get.

Well, other than the above, I highly urge you to go see the movie, a really funny flic and a nice 90 minute get away from your regular day hassle bussle. Btw, if you ever come to Israel – don’t look for the Fizzy Bubbly drink – IT DOESN’T EXIST – WE DRINK COKE!

When people hear other people talk about “The Annoying Thing”, most probably the first thing that pops into their mind is the below video:

However, today I’d like to refer to another annoying phenom, the one that I call: “letting the piss get to your head – even if you didn’t do anything or contribute to anything!”.

As I am a consultant, I work with a multitude of customers, each one with their own craziness and weirdness. Now, there is nothing wrong with being weird or crazy, but being out blunt rude and insulting, that’s something completely different. For example, when I walk into a meeting, I have the best interest of my customer in mind, however, when that customer mistakes my willingness to assist and promote his company, mistakes that willingness to being a sucker – that’s annoying.

Why would an IP carrier tell something in the form of: “Haaaa… Are you kidding? they need to pay me for using their product, I’m promoting it!” – that’s plain rude. Fuck man, your founders built your entire company on this product, when they raised VC money and charged money from their customers, the makers of the product (an open source one), didn’t make a dime of from you. That statement is blunt out RUDE!

I think that the best option would be to go about an establish inside the Open Source license model a statement that says: “If the GPL product is used in conjunction with a service, that surpasses the size of X concurrent/registered users, the product shall no longer be considered a GPL product – but a comercially licensed product, requiring the user to pay royalties to the creator”. Why is this a good thing? – very simple, sustainability of Open Source. In one of my previous posts, I talked about the sustainability of Open Source – defining the border when a usage of an Open Source product is considered commercial – and requires a form of royalty payment to the project’s maintainer/creator is a crucial element in making sure the project continues and evolves.

Imagine for example, that the Apache foundation didn’t exist. The foundation supports and funds (partially) the development behind the Apache web server project and related projects. The project is capable of sustaining itself, as companies which are making commercial usage of Apache are taking an active part in the funding of the project. With the Apache project, there was no need for a definition of “Commerical Use”, as the Apache project started from a Commercial need. Other projects start from non-Commercial needs, but evolve into Commercial products – that case needs to be addressed.
 

As some of you noticed, I’ve started a “Say No To TrixBox” campaign. In order toPL go about and monitor the usage of the banner, and it’s deployment across the net, I’ve installed an OpenX ad server to support the campaign. I guess that I didn’t realize what the little campaign would do!

Current statistics show that the banner had been deployed to over 300 different websites across the world, had been viewed over 60,000 times and had been clicked on for about 800 times. Not a bad CTR ratio for a little community oriented campaign.

If you are an Asterisk user, and you are fed up with the way Fonality/TrixBox had been conducting their business over the past 3 years, it’s time to show your support and put this banner on your website. If you have a blog, a company website, an Asterisk oriented business, show your support to FreePBX and other Open Source Asterisk oriented projects and website by showing the world that the community has power.

I am all for competition, as a healthy competition always keeps us on our toes and makes sure we always progress and improve – but Fonality/TrixBox’s actions must be denounced and rejected.

A recent post on the FreePBX forum suggests that Fonality and Kerry Garrison are utilizing various unlawful techniques to discourage people from using FreePBX/Elastix/PBX-in-a-flash while promoting the TrixBox brand. These actions are currently under investigation by the FreePBX website maintainers, but they had published their initial findings of these actions.

While the possibility of NAT/PAT firewall from Fonality network is possible, it is clear that the tactics used are promoted by Fonality (Maybe by Kerry himself, but this has not been proved yet).

If you believe that the actions by Fonality are of negative origin and targeted at discouraging other Open Source projects, please put the following banner on your website:




The banner code follows below:

<!--/* OpenX Image Tag v2.4.5 */-->
<a href='http://ads.asterisk.org.il/delivery/ck.php?n=a299919b'
target='_blank'><img src='http://ads.asterisk.org.il/delivery/avw.php?
zoneid=7&n=a299919b' border='0' alt='' />
</a>