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Communications

Project Gizmo Challenges Skype 207

valmont writes "The Register is offering an interesting introduction to Project Gizmo, a new player in the Voice over IP field, poised to challenge Skype with its ability to interoperate with others thanks to the SIP protocol it complies to. Whereas Skype has selectively licensed usage of an API that offers limited insight into a closed protocol, a closed ecosystem solely controlled by one organization, the SIP protocol is open. Free open-source proxy/server implementations are sprouting up, and many developers are actively working on SIP clients. The Gizmo Project is the first to bring a truly-usable, user-friendly, cross-platform SIP client (Mac, Windows, Linux coming soon) to market. Meanwhile, theappleblog.com is already offering a Gizmo Project Wish-List to promote better interoperability between current and upcoming SIP providers, to make it more practical for users of disparate SIP clients to communicate with one another."
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Project Gizmo Challenges Skype

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  • by FrontalLobe ( 897758 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:00PM (#12997720)
    Just don't get it wet... or feed it after midnight...
  • by valmont ( 3573 ) * on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:02PM (#12997739) Homepage Journal
    I've also posted a couple of tips and tricks on getting Gizmo working with other SIP systems [blogspot.com], and also listing some other players in the SIP field.
    • by mtaht ( 603670 ) * on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:40PM (#12998056) Homepage
      SIP devices still have the problem of routing correctly through firewalls and the like. True P2P telephony is difficult with SIP, due to this. Skype gets around it by using their proprietary protocol. The much simpler and cleaner and far more open IAX2 protocol (a feature of the open source asterisk pbx) is being used by some devices to get around SIP limitations while still retaining (or exceeding) SIP voice quality. At least one IAX2 provider, firefly, gets it - (https://www.virbiage.com/products.php [virbiage.com]) calls to their network are automatically switched to the other user, getting the middleman out of the loop, and dramatically improving voice quality. Example - I place a call to a friend a block on vonage via vonage on comcast, and the packets get routed through about 17 routers, with a delay of 80ms - to get up the street. I place the same call via firefly - one router, and a delay of 25ms. Yes, theres windows, mac, and Linux clients. Also clients for most unixen, and several embedded devices....
      • by valmont ( 3573 ) *
        you might consider reading-up on the STUN protocol, which came out in 2003, and solves the VAST MAJORITY of NAT traversal issues, albeit, not *all* possible issues. But this is where your SIP provider comes in, and offer to relay RTP (voice data essentially) traffic for you, which is a similar practice as Skype using people as "supernodes" without their knowledge or conscious consent. Except that in the SIP model, it's the SIP provider who spends the extra network resources, not some hapless random person S
        • you might consider reading-up on the STUN protocol, which came out in 2003, and solves the VAST MAJORITY of NAT traversal issues, albeit, not *all* possible issues.

          Spoken like someone who has never worked with stun. It helps, but it is by no means a panacea.

      • Actually, SIP is only a signaling protocol. It has nothing to do with voice quality. Voice quality is determined by the compression codec. Most SIP systems in North America use G.711 uLaw for maximum interoperability with public telephone systems.
  • Linux? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:03PM (#12997745)
    What about a BSD compatable client? Last I checked... there are no x86 voip clients that run on openbsd. Although, it is great to see them creating a cross platform client.
  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:05PM (#12997762) Homepage
    Ineen [ineen.com] is similar to Gizmo but it also has IM and video. It seems like companies are falling over themselves to give away SIP clients these days.

    Ineen and Gizmo are still client-server SIP systems, but to truly compete with Skype, the IETF is working on P2P extensions to SIP [p2psip.org].
  • by Jim_Maryland ( 718224 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:08PM (#12997797)
    SunRocket, a VOIP company, has a hardware device called "The Gizmo" (see SunRocket How to Install [sunrocket.com] and you'll see their adapter named "The Gizmo"). I can't find anything to indicate which came first though.
    • Is it a collision in the same market, though?
      This is a program, and that's a hardware device.
      • According to The Register they are looking for a new name anyway.

        "Indeed, Gizmo is even asking for suggestions on a "cooler" name under which to operate."

      • Is it a collision in the same market, though? This is a program, and that's a hardware device

        I would think so, since they are both in the same field. In fact, both being into VoIP, it's a fairly specific field - a lot narrower than what spawned the Apple Computers/Apple Records feud.

      • True that "Project Gizmo" is software and "The Gizmo" is hardware, but given how companies value names, I wouldn't be totally surprised if someone from SunRocket eventually notices this.

        Is it a collision in the same market, though?

        Given both Gizmo devices are used for VOIP, I'd worry about collision. While the actual "gizmo" differs, they both fill part of the VOIP solution.

        BTW, I use SunRocket (replaced my home phone for $199 USD for unlimited service for 1 year) and their material highlights the
    • yeah, this confused me. I have a sunrocket gizmo and was excited that that perhaps it was going open-source. The folks working on the software gizmo must have come across this fact - probably why they're changing the name soon.
  • by dudeman2 ( 88399 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:08PM (#12997799) Homepage
    Michael Robertson of MP3.com and the Linux distro formerly known as Lindows. Say what you want about the guy, he's a very good self promoter and knows when to jump on a new technology. This should be interesting to watch.
  • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:13PM (#12997839)

    Having competing standards and companies in the field will make for better services for the users. Open standards are great, since they improve interoperability and reliability. For example, people can writing their own clients, etc.

    However, the project is not open-source. At least, their about us [gizmoproject.com] page doesn't mention it. They only say:

    At the core of Gizmo Project is a commitment to open standards
    Methinks someone at the Register got confused. Those other clients written may be open-source or even free software, but the client they offer surely isn't. Their server software is not even offered for download (nor should it necessarily be -- that's what they want to make the money off, of course).
    • The license for Gizmo Project software [gizmoproject.com] is quite clear, the software doesn't even qualify for the weaker standard of "open source" (weaker than "free software" which requires that the user have permission to make private derivatives):

      License Restrictions

      You may not reproduce or distribute the Software for any purpose whatsoever. Without limiting the foregoing, you may not copy the Software to any server or location for reproduction or distribution. You may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Software. The restrictions contained herein apply equally to any updates that may be provided to you by SIPphone.

      The company offers what they call "Opensource support" [gizmoproject.com], which appears to be little more than name-dropping. But I expect people around here to know better than to take on faith whatever a proprietor says.

      At the very least, even if there is no intention to bamboozle users into adopting the software, this is yet another use of the term "Opensource" which shows how people don't understand what that term means. Reminiscent of examples of same from the FSF essay on the differences between the free software and open source movements [gnu.org] (examples include Neal Stephenson's writing, the State of Kansas' definition, and a particularly interesting example from a trade show in late 1998).

      As a result of a little digging into Project Gizmo, I still see no real competition for GNOMEMeeting. I see one more proprietor asking me to install a mysterious program on my computer so that the proprietor can do something on my computer that I am prohibited from inspecting, sharing, or modifying.

  • Let's not forget (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Swamii ( 594522 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:15PM (#12997861) Homepage
    Credit where credit is due: Project Gizmo is yet another invention of Mp3.com creator, Lindows/Linspire creator, long-time enemy of Microsoft Michael Robertson.

    Can't remember his connection to SCO, though...
  • SIP and NAT (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:17PM (#12997875)
    SIPs achillies heel is its inability to play nice once NAT and/or firewalls are added to the equation.

    For me Skype's most important feature is its ability to play nice with firewalls and NAT.
    • Re:SIP and NAT (Score:5, Informative)

      by valmont ( 3573 ) * on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:36PM (#12998020) Homepage Journal

      WRONG, NAT was SIP's weakness ONLY until the STUN protocol came out in 2003. Since then, all SIP clients use the STUN protocol [wikipedia.org] to traverse NAT at least as well as Skype does. I've used EarthLink SIP, sipphone.com SIP, FWD through multiple layers of NATs without a glitch.

      STUN is a major enabler of SIP

      • Re:SIP and NAT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gst ( 76126 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:04PM (#12998276) Homepage
        STUN helps - but only in about 80% - 90% of all cases. E.g. it won't be able to traverse symetrical firewalls. And even if you get the basic call setup right - try to transfer a call between different phones which are behind different NATs - and have fun! While some may argue that broken firewalls are the users fault, just see this from a users view: Skype works - always. SIP works - sometimes. Which one would you prefer?
        • Re:SIP and NAT (Score:3, Informative)

          by valmont ( 3573 ) *

          It depends on who your SIP provider is. When all else fails, your SIP providers might relay RTP traffic between you and your party, which is similar to practices employed by Skype whereby they'll get around network limitations by routing calls through various members, without members' knowledge. Which I find insanely unethical. Do give Gizmo a try and see for yourself instances where you're unable to place or receive calls where Skype can. I have personally not run into such instance, but it'd be interesti

        • SIP over IPv6.
    • Re:SIP and NAT (Score:3, Interesting)

      by miffo.swe ( 547642 )
      Its not just NAT Skype does in a way no client have ever done before. Take a read on their site about how skype gets around blocked ports, proxies and every other peice of hardware that can be in the way. Skype handed SIP its own head on a silver plate.

      The sound quality on Skype is also pretty amazing. The only thing i lack in skype is a box to connect to the central PBX and hello cheap functional Voip, good riddance expensive routers and all the other hacks needed for implementing most existing implementa
  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:17PM (#12997880) Homepage Journal
    Project Gizmo could do very well if it can attract users quickly enough. Indeed, Gizmo is even asking for suggestions on a "cooler" name under which to operate.

    My picks:

    Project Dealie-bob
    Project Doohickey
    Project Chingadera
    Project Whatchamacallit
    Project Thingamajig
  • SIP SCHMIP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:19PM (#12997901)
    Is it P2P? Does it use strong encryption? Does it have comparable voice quality? So far, the answers have been no, no, no, and that's why Skype is doing so well. There is such a thing as premature standardization.

    Although this [p2psip.org] project looks kinda interesting...

    • Re:SIP SCHMIP (Score:5, Informative)

      by valmont ( 3573 ) * on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:50PM (#12998127) Homepage Journal

      SIP by its very definition defines and enables P2P based on open standards. The SIP protocol is a signaling protocol, which enables two machines to find each-other on the internet and start exchanging data in real-time without going through a 3rd-party.

      SIP opens the doors to far more than just real-time communications (text, voice, video), it also opens the doors to file sharing. It's a matter of someone writing a client that does file sharing over SIP. OH WAIT, someone already did as a proof of concept, and released the source code under a BSD-style license [earthlink.net].

      Voice quality is absolutely fantastic with Gizmo, but it entirely depends on which SIP client you use, and which SIP client the party you're calling uses. The SIP protocol, is only a signaling protocol. There are a buttload of other open protocols such as SDP (Session Description Protocol) that come into play and allow for infinite layers of interoperability based on users' computing and network resources. Through handshaking, two SIP clients can easily agree to the best codec to use.

    • Re:SIP SCHMIP (Score:2, Informative)

      P2P - Answer is NO. But neither is Skype -- Skype uses "special" super nodes as a central meeting for regualr nodes. If you ask me -- this is the definition of a CLIENT -- SERVER setup. Encryption: In BETA stage encryption makes troubleshooting a nightmare hence answer is a "NO" for now. But its a matter of setting a boolean flag to "true" for us to enable it. Takes 5 minutes. Comparable Voice quality: Since we do not rely on "super nodes" running on end user computers / net connections overall you will
  • Intercompatibility (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Capricous ( 847089 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:20PM (#12997903)
    Finally a solution for Linux gamers that will actually be a reality. Solutions like Teamspeak (which doesn't work with ALSA and isn't even open source) don't work very well. It's exciting to finally hear that Linux gamers and Windows gamers can finally listen and talk to each other soon on one free client. Anyone use any teamspeak-like client on Linux to talk to other gamers on Windows and both can use the soundout without using ARTS or other similar methods?
  • We use skype and (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:30PM (#12997980) Homepage
    Me and some of the people I know use Skype and we use Skype for mostly one reason: There's a mac version, and we need to have an application that both the PC and mac users in the circle can use.

    If we could have a choice of more than one application to use for this purpose, that would be pretty cool. If we could have the option of an alternate application to use for this purpose that supported or had, like, even a fraction of the featureset of Ventrilo, that would make us deleriously happy.

    That said... I may (or may not, depending on my degree of laziness) in the indeterminate future be writing a network-based application into which I want to embed a VoIP / voice chat aspect in the easiest way possible. How hard is it to get that Skype API access, would that be a good way to do it, and am I opening myself up to risk of some kind of license fuckery by doing so?

    Come to think of it, how hard would it be to use the Skype API to write a Skype/Gizmo bridge?

    And could they seriously not have come up with a better name than "Gizmo"? I mean come on.
    • Have you downloaded and tried Gizmo Project for Mac? I have reviewed it for theappleblog.com (currently down because slashdotted), and it's very very nice, albeit still in beta with rare glitches. It works flawlessly with all sound input and output devices you've registered with Mac OS X, including the bluetooth motorola h1810 headset i use.

      Gizmo run on Mac OS X, Windows and there's a linux version due out in a month or two.

      • Re:We use skype and (Score:3, Informative)

        by chrome ( 3506 )
        Well, I just installed it on my PC and my Mac.

        PC version: Worked initially. Started up, created an account, and I edited my profile. Saving my profile however made it lock up and I had to kill it. Starting it again just makes it spin at the Login window.

        Mac version: Initially brought up login window, but now dies silently while trying to start. No error log to system.log.

        Oops, I guess getting exposure on /. wasn't such a good idea just yet. They will need to get the stability working otherwise a lot of p
    • by killjoe ( 766577 )
      Now that yahoo messenger supports ip telephony you can use the yahoo messenger to make calls from your mac. Too bad they charge more then skype or sipphone though.
  • by carlmenezes ( 204187 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:31PM (#12997987) Homepage
    I've seen a lot of comments here about open vs. closed etc etc. The reason skype is so popular is because is just works and because the sound quality is so good.

    So how good is Gizmo in comparison? Worse, Equal or Better?

    Once that question is answered, then there may be something to talk about.
  • From their "FAQ... [gizmoproject.com]

    You only pay for the calls you make, and your credits only expire if you don't use your account for six months.

    What a crock! They make it sound like they're doing you a favor by taking your money only after 6 months. I've heard of gift card companies that take a percentage off your credit every few months, but taking all your credit after 6 months? Yikes!
    • Form the Skype Announcement:

      Luxembourg, November 26, 2004:
      When Skype first launched our SkypeOut service, we didnt realise exactly how long 10 Euro would last. At our launch, we announced a policy that unused credits would expire after 180 days (6 months). Well, we're soon reaching 180 days from our beta launch, and can see that many of you still haven't used all of your original credit. As a result, we are pleased to tell you that Skype has revised our policy. We won't be clearing any balances until 6

  • Not FREE (Score:4, Informative)

    by jtosburn ( 63943 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:43PM (#12998068)
    Free beer, yes.

    Free speech, no. There's a EULA (http://www.gizmoproject.com/gizmo-end-user.html [gizmoproject.com]) which grants:

    License

    This Agreement grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable right to use one copy of the Software for your own personal use on a single computer and/or workstation. SIPphone reserves all rights in the Software not expressly granted herein, including without limitation ownership and proprietary rights.


    Among other items is this:

    EMERGENCY/911 CALLS

    YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT EMERGENCY 9-1-1 CALLS ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE CARRIED/SUPPORTED BY THE SOFTWARE OR SERVICES AND THAT NEITHER SIPphone NOR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, PARENT COMPANIES, AGENTS, NETWORK SERVICE PROVIDERS, PARTNERS, OR EMPLOYEES ARE OR WILL BE LIABLE FOR SUCH CALLS.
    • Re:Not FREE (Score:3, Informative)

      by SirPrize ( 590850 )
      I don't see anything wrong with either of those statements. They let you use the software, you can't sell it, and they retain rights to it. Nothing wrong there. And about E911 calls, all VoIP providers have to provide such a declaration, to make users aware that the 911 service via VoIP does not provide location information, etc., to the 911 call center, which standard calls via PSTN would. I think Vonage is one of the few services that actually DO provide a 911 service.
  • by dJOEK ( 66178 )
    No Encryption. Less Peers than Skype. Lame.
  • by MCRocker ( 461060 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @05:51PM (#12998137) Homepage
    FreeWorldDialup [freeworlddialup.com] has been doing pretty much the same thing for years now. They even have their own pre-configured software. If you don't like the Pulver Communicator [pulver.com] you can always get one of half a dozen other SIP phones (soft or otherwise) that work with the service. They even offer a pre-configured version of The SJPhone [sjlabs.com], which is essentially what the Gizmo folks are offering. If you want a dial-out service FWD offers a choice of affiliates who can give you that portion a-la-carte!

    So, why would you want to use Gizmo?
    • So, why would you want to use Gizmo?

      Having played around with Gizmo for the past few hours, the answer seems to be "the interface."

      For lack of a better way to describe it, it's Skype, but with all the interoperable goodness using SIP offers. It's a little easier to work with than the majority of SIP softphones out there. You get the ease-of-use of Skype with the flexibility of being able to dial any SIP URI. I've already used it to call into my Asterisk box, and it's all hunky dory.

      For the telephony gee
  • free of P2P (Score:2, Interesting)

    by npcole ( 251514 )
    Some "ISPs" (eg UK Universities) have banned the use of Skype because of concerns about the "P2P" aspects of it - i.e. becoming a supernode. Their concern is both about bandwidth, but even more about the terms of the EULA.

    "Gizmo" _seems_ to be free of such problems, and if that is so it could be a great advantage.
  • The real question is how long before Mike Jones decides he wants his own Gizmo #... for now you'll have to hit him up @ 281-330-8004.
  • Gizmo [don't feed after midnight, is an open] pay service. Confused? So am I.

    SIP is a free and open method for making voice calls. But, you need to buy time to use Gizmo's network. Not exacting a great thing since I can already do the same thing on other IM and SIP clients for free.
  • SIP security (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MimsyBoro ( 613203 )
    Hi, I've really wanted to get a SIP phone/service but I'm very worried about security. Not only are the actual connections not encrypted but even the number I'm dialing from/to. Why don't all these VOIP companies use some sort of encryption? Are there any good ones that do?
    • Re:SIP security (Score:3, Informative)

      by elgaard ( 81259 )
      > Why don't all these VOIP companies use some sort of encryption?

      Some of them do (eg. musimi.dk which i use). They use S-RTP AES.

      Not all clients support it though (Sipura, Zultrys do).

  • if the phone calls are free- how do they justify taxing you for them?
  • Small but brilliant (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Celt ( 125318 )
    If you sign-up for Skype you can't make outgoing calls to cell phones or landlines, you need to get credit to do this and its a big jump for the average joe.

    Although its a very small thing, its great to see project gizmo offer 25c worth of credit.
    It allows the average joe to get their feet wet and they'll be more likely to make the jump and buy credit once they see how great it can be.
    • Isn't that just begging for abuse, though? People could use proxies to create limitless amounts of free accounts, each with several minutes of talk time... you could probably even write a script to automate that.

      I don't see a way around it, other than demanding a credit card number up front; but even if you stress that it's 'just for verification purposes', people and slashbots alike tend to balk at that kind of thing.
  • by OlivierB ( 709839 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:35PM (#12998544)
    Skype for all the gripe we may have against it for being closed source and not interoperable with other VOIP providers (FWD, Vonage etc..) does have the most important feature (and holds a monopoly for it too):Encryption

    I didn't like having an old fart snooping on my AIM conversations a few years ago and I put an end to it very quick; I've been using Trillian and now Adium with secure IM and OTR encryption.

    As much as I like having cheap calls and all I rather my private conversations stay.. well... private.

    Skype is the only interplatform secure voice application.

    Gizmo can take it's fancy gui and go right back to the drawing board as far as I'm concerned.

    If you ask me voip with sip (ala vonage) is just a disaster waiting to happen, sooner or later somebody will write an article in NYTimes or some mass distribution newspaper about how insecure and easy it is for somebody on your campus/office/wifi... LAN to record your conversation and everybody is going to freak out.

    Encryption should be built-in NOW before it is too late to change the standards.
    • SIP is only a signaling protocol which allows two machines connected to an IP network to find each-other and exchange data in real-time. That data can in theory be anything, including encrypted UDP packets. It should be a simple matter of software writers to implement encryption. From here, the Session Description Protocol, which helps to SIP clients do handshaking to determine how they'll be talking to one-another, ought to help two clients exchange encrypted data.
    • Worthless (Score:3, Interesting)

      by apankrat ( 314147 )
      Repeat after me - security architecture must be open in order to be secure.

      Skype developers saying they use 32768 bit keys means absolutely zero if you cannot verify that.
  • More about Gizmo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:50PM (#12998650)
    Ok, we admit it's a lame name, but we think the product is solid. Here's why it's significant:

    - It is based on SIP so other SIP hardware and software should interoperate. Check out http://www.siphardware.com/ [siphardware.com] for some of the hardware devices. I have a Call-in-One so a SIP call rings my home phone. Even a wifi SIP phone should work with Gizmo.

    - It navigates firewalls and NATS. Skype has done this well, but SIP clients have generally not. Gizmo Project should penetrate just about any firewall or NAT setup. I used it successfully on Boeing's wifi service on flight to Frankfurt 2 weeks ago bouncing calls off satellites.

    - It's Mac/Win today and YES, there will be Linux client shortly. No, really.

    - We're committed to an open directory meaning that we will interconnect with everyone. We already connect to many big and small networks. See: http://sipphone.com/numbers/ [sipphone.com]. We do enum lookups. We even support the intriguing DUNDI extension for Astericks. I want VOIP world to be like email where one address is reachable by everyone. I hope VOIP does NOT become like IM where AOL can't talk to MSN who can't talk to Y, etc. If you care to read more about why I think this is important, you can go to: http://michaelrobertson.com/ [michaelrobertson.com].

    - All calls on IP network are free as is voicemail, call recording, conference calling, etc. (try calling 1-222-xxx-xxxx and create an instant conference call with unlimited number of callers.) Only have to pay if touching the PSTN. We do give you 25 cents for free to check out the PSTN quality.

    - Be nice because it's just beta software! Thx.

    -- MR
    • Somebody mod parent up, it would appear Michael Robertson has graced us with his presence, hehe.
  • by Critical_ ( 25211 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:51PM (#12998660) Homepage
    One of the greatest things about Skype is its API. Someone brilliantly wrote a plug-in for Skype that ties together my bluetooth headset with Skypes calling functions. This way, my headset works like a normal headset. Get it here: http://www.skypeheadset.co.uk/ [skypeheadset.co.uk] Case in point:

    1. The headset is automatically detected and Skype's sound devices dialog is changed automatically to use the bluetooth headset.

    2. The headset sits in standby mode. Before this plug-in, the headset would have to be tied to the machine in its active mode which drained the battery within 4 hours even though there weren't any calls. This plug-in only activates the headset if there is an incoming call or you hit the quickdial button.

    3. The quickdial button can be configured to any # you have in your phonebook.

    Now show me any SIP client out there integrates bluetooth (even via third party plug-in) as well as Skype. If you can find one, then I'll ditch Skype in a heartbeat.
    • as a side-note, if you're a Mac OS X user, you already get this for free with just about all VoIP software out there. Mac OS X lets you register various audio input/output devices, whether they work over bluetooth or USB. Any OS X application developer can easily "surface" those devices to enable their users to pick where the sound should come from, and where it should go out. Pretty cool if ye ask me.

      And the beauty of SIP is that no software vendor needs to define an API ... because SIP is an open prot

  • by Britz ( 170620 )
    The cool thing about Skype (and the major reason for its success IHMO) is it's ease of use.

    1.Download
    2.Install
    3.Works
    4. ...
    5. Profit

    No seriously. Skype has no problems with firewalls, can operate on very low bandwidth (both do NOT apply to SIP) and basically works everywhere. There are also clients for Mac, Win32, Linux and PocketPC. I don't know if the original poster has any real experience with VoIP, since Skype's protocol overcomes many serious issues at the price of no interaction with former standar
  • by intro ( 896028 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @10:21PM (#12999715)
    I often use skype, but in the quest for a SIP# along with my skype experience, I tried this yesterday.

    I is a fairly hopeless alternative to skype, at least for the time being. Gizmo gives you "free" minutes of which you can use to test the system, but, try as I might, I was unable to make a call outside of the US, as 001, the country code for the US was prefixed onto any number I entered in.

    Add the random shutdowns when editing certain options (of which there are a distinct lack of) and odd, finicky menus which stay open and dont have a close button, and you have yourself Gizmo.

    Having said that, if they can sort those problems out then they will be onto a winner. It is certainly far easier setup than any other SIP/softphone system Ive used.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.

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