As I recently explained to a good friend of mine, the essence of Jewish holidays is, more or less, the ever growing consumption of food – due to our great fortune with people trying to kill us and not being able to do so. Putting that aside, now a days, the essence of Jewish holidays, at least in Israel, is to basically sit at home and do nothing.

Last week was Passover. For those not in the know, Passover is the weird Jewish holiday when we’re not allowed to consume any bread or bread like products. On one hand, it reminds us our ancestors who travelled the desert for 40 years, and had to leave Egypt in a rush, so their bread didn’t rise. So, we eat Matza Bread to remember that time. However, today, you can make bread from a multitude of other ingredients, not only White Flour. For example, you can make bread from Potato Flour, Soy Flour or even Rice Flour – in other words, anything else by White Flour. I’m confident the orthodox Jew will claim that I’m wrong – but hey, that’s my 2c on the matter. In any case, Passover started on the 7th of April, and lasts 7 days. The first 2 days and the last 2 days are national holidays. So, the only work days that remained were: 9th, 12th, 13th. The 9th was a Thursday, no use working for one day, 12th was a Sunday, most of my customers abroad are not working, 13th was a Monday – hence – a single day of actual work to do. For a workaholic, like myself, that is more or less a nightmare.

VoIP Providers

Recently, a post on voip-info.org had caught my eye:

  • 2009-04-15 – VoIP Providers Ranking AZ-VoIP-Providers publishes latest International Top 10 VoIP Providers Ranking on 15-April-2009.

I’ve decided to visit that website and take a look at the providers the “so-called” list offers. So, in general, the site is nothing more that a so-called “VoIP Link Farm”, promoting some services over others. In general, the site only contains some logos of service providers, a shit-load of Google banners, and some poor content relating to the actual pricing of the service providers – in other words, nothing new. So, if you’re looking for the real thing, stay away from this site, there is nothing special in there.

Fax For Asterisk

Digium Releases Fax for Asterisk

Per Digium’s website, the Digium Fax for Asterisk is:

Digium's Fax For Asterisk is a commercial facsimile (Fax) termination and origination
solution designed to enhance the capabilities of Open Source and commercial Asterisk
as well as Switchvox. Fax For Asterisk bundles a suite of user-friendly Asterisk
applications and a licensed version of the industry's leading fax modem software from
Commetrex. Fax For Asterisk provides low speed (14400bps) PSTN faxing via DAHDI-
compatible telephony boards as well as VoIP faxing to T.38-compatible SIP endpoints
and service providers. Licensed on a per-channel basis, Digium's Fax For Asterisk
provides a complete, cost-effective, commercial fax solution for Asterisk users.

Ok, Fax is one of the most anticipated parts that Asterisk had been in need, since the creation of Asterisk. While back in the days of SpanDSP and Hylafax you were able to go about and send/receive faxes, in a somewhat reliable manner (who am I kidding, it was only 80% reliable), Digium’s Fax for Asterisk is surely a new step-up. This new add-on shows that Digium is maturing, becoming increasingly serious about their approach to the Enterprise market. I’ve been working with the FREE Fax-For-Asterisk license, which provides a single license and I have to admit – it works fairly well (what am I talking about, currently, 100% of faxes pass through without a hitch!).

New blog – The GreenfieldTech Blog

Well, after working on my own, for a period of more or less 2 years time – I’ve finally expanded GreenfieldTech. GreenfieldTech now enjoys 2 distinct divisions: the telecom division and the web analytics division. To read more about it, you’re welcome to visit our new company blog at http://blog.greenfieldtech.net/

Ever since the introduction of JaJah to the world, the world of free telephony services had been booming with various solutions and services. While each service concentrated on a different market niche, none of the services really is free of charge (at least not in full). For example, JaJah requires you to register and purchase additional air-time, RebTel operates under a similar approach, so does TruPhone and others alike.

Over the past 10 months, I’ve been working closely with a company called Parrot-Media, who operate the PokeTalk.com website.

PokeTalk Website

PokeTalk Website

PokeTalk is a free international calls service, allowing users to make international calls FREE of charge. The service allows a user to make up to 50 free calls per month, of up to 10 calls per calls (that’s 500 of FREE minutes per month). Judging from normal ACD traffic around the world, a normal call duration is around 5-6 minutes, thus, the service is a great solution for making phone calls for FREE.

According to the PokeTalk economic model, the calls are being funded by the advertisement on the website. So, while you watch the ads on the website, the advertisers are paying for your call – it’s as simple as that.

As you may have guessed, the service utilizes the Asterisk Open Source PBX (after all, this is what I do). In addition, it utilizes a highly advanced, high-speed, highly-reliable Asterisk based dialer framework – enabling the system to initialize up to 140 calls per second, and sustain a total of 1200 concurrent phones calls across the entire platform. All in all, a fairly big and robust platform for a new service.

To enjoy the service, simple point your browser to http://www.poketalk.com, regsiter, and start making calls to your loved ones.