Ooma Preps Office Phone

As so many of us have replaced both land and VoIP lines with cellular service, and given the telco-cable incumbents largely cornering the residential VoIP market, Ooma appears to have successfully expanded their telephonic services into business sector. And now, via the FCC, we learn Ooma intends to similarly expand their hardware into Cisco and … Read more

Logitech To Intro Wireless Mac Webcam

It’s been some time since Logitech has produced dedicated Mac video conferencing solutions. While several recent cameras actually work on Mac OS X, it happens via universal driver and they don’t leverage any of the Logitech value add… which I discovered the hard way when trying to repurpose the Google TV Revue camera. However, based on this unannounced … Read more

Logitech To Introduce Skype TV Cam HD

If the FCC and this promo video are any indication, Logitech is poised to unveil a new television-based video conferencing solution. However, unlike their previous entrants into this field, the TV Cam HD doesn’t rely on Logitech’s video conferencing software (like Google TV) or a tricked out television and offers a stand-alone Skype solution — something … Read more

Ooma To Launch Linx Telo Extender

Thanks to the FCC, we learn VoIP service provider Ooma is still trucking and intends to release a wireless accessory for their long-running Telo basestation ($200). Unlike, say Vonage or your cableco’s telephone service, Ooma sells you their network gadget for a one time fee and then provides unlimited US calling using your phone handsets or … Read more

Verizon FiOS TV Lands Digital Voice Services

CallerID on your DVR? Childs play. Verizon has launched an app on FiOS TV set-top boxes to manage your digital voice account. The rollout started earlier this month, but now that all subscribers have been successfully upgraded to IMG 1.9 (including us here in the DC region), the FiOS Digital Voice functionality is universally available. And, … Read more

Question of the Day: Tabula Rasa Edition

Today’s question of the day comes to us from George C…

My brother-in-law just moved from the West Coast back to Texas.  In doing so, of course he dropped his triple play Internet/TV/Cable.  He also sold/gave away his old CRT televisions.  They watched Netflix via an old computer (they didn’t know about Roku type of devices).  He and his family (wife, two younger kids) just bought a new house and he is very open to new configurations.  He is technically capable of installing software, routers, etc…. But would not delve into (for example) Myth TV, pyTivo, etc…

He’ll probably need two TVs, one for the living room and one for the master bedroom.  OTA is a possibility, as there is a clear shot to the towers.  The wife really wants a land-line “in case of emergency”.  He thinks that they can stay with cell phones (I suggested Ooma).  The house alarm system come with an independent wireless system.  He doesn’t mind paying a fair price for a device, but really, really wants to avoid recurring monthly fees.

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Logitech Amps Up Panasonic HDTV Skype Calling

While HDTV Skype video chat isn’t entirely new, Logitech’s joining the fray – bringing their webcam expertise to Skype-enabled 2011 Panasonic Viera televisions. What looks to be the same fantabulous HD USB camera/mic array offered to (the very few) Logitech Revue Google TV customers will ship later this month as the Logitech TV Cam for … Read more

Blocking Calls With Verizon FiOS and wireless

verizon-fios-call-block

We haven’t had a true home phone since 2005, when we sold our last place in favor of a gypsy lifestyle. But, now that we’ve settled down once again, we’ve bundled voice services with our Verizon FiOS plan. I’d probably have settled for putting the first gen Ooma back into service or abstaining entirely. Especially as the wife subscribes to an unlimited AT&T wireless calling plan. Yet, the way Verizon constructs bundles, their triple play (voice, data, tv) is the best value – effectively giving us unlimited national calling and various phone features for about just $10/month. So, why not?

The original idea was the new home phone line would exist for our convenience (i.e. outgoing calls) and we’ve only given the number to relatives for emergency use. But I seem to have forgotten how insidious the telemarketers can be. Sadly, the worst offender has been the Indiana University (which is where I picked up my master’s degree). Due to where our phones are located and the times when they typically call (dinner), I’ve been unable to pick up in time and tell them to knock it off. I began contemplating dropping Verizon voice as it’s become a (minor) nuisance and we’ve made only a handful of outbound calls in the last couple months.

So yesterday I went online to see if Verizon offered some sort of Ooma-esque blacklist for FiOS Digital Voice. And, given the existence of this post and screenshot above, you already know that they do. Once the feature has been enabled, nuking specific incoming numbers is as easy as bringing up a context menu and clicking Call Block via the VZN web portal. Although, we’re limited to prohibiting only ten total numbers (along with all anonymous callers). I’m not exactly sure how future calls from these numbers are handled – are the perpetrators sent to voicemail, get a busy signal, or, better yet, receive some sort of message indicating that they’re unwelcome ’round these parts?

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