KDDI has inked a deal with Skype such that the VoIP service will be made available through a Skype Android app on KDDI's handsets; initially Sharp’s IS03 It appears that KDDI's partnership with Skype will be similar to Verizon's in the US, where Skype over WiFi will not be allowed, additional restriction is that Skype to land or mobile lines within Japan are also not possible.

More details at Mobile In Japan.


gooogle-voice-logoI had Google Voice for almost a month now. I was so excited to receive the Google Voice invite, as I had been wanting to get an account ever since GrandCentral days; the company and service that Google purchased and rebranded it into Google Voice. For those who does not know, Google Voice is a service where Google assigns you an unique USA telephone number. Then whenever you receive a call at your Google Voice number, you can set up the service to ring any (US) telephone numbers you have. It also enables screening and grouping of these callers so that certain individuals can be directed to voice mail or a specific telephone number.

As you may notice from the above, the service is only designed for telephone numbers in the USA. Plus to activate the Google Voice account, a US telephone number must be provided to the Google Voice account as verification (your location). So after I received the Google Voice invitation I had to find someone in the US to validate my Google Voice account. Having done that, I then need to get Google Voice to forward all calls to a US telephone number that I can access outside of USA.

This is where Gizmo5 (aka GizmoProject) comes in. Fortunately, today Gizmo5 announced a new feature where it can connect itself to GoogleVoice for free. Detail instructions on how to set it up are at

Gizmo5 Google Voice NumberBTW: if you do not have a US telephone number to perform the initial verification of your Google Voice account, you can purchase a CallIn Number service. Since you will only need this CallIn Number for the initial Google Voice verification process, you can purchase the CallIn service for the minimum 3 months.

After you have verified your Google Voice account, you can proceed to hook up Google Voice and Gizmo5. Don't forget to click on Save.

Google Voice Gizmo5 Settings

If you did not use Gizmo5 to verify your Google Voice account, you can enter your Gizmo5 SIP telephone number into your Google Voice as one of the telephone numbers to forward to.

If you like, you can download a copy of the Gizmo5 desktop application to use as your VoIP client. But if you are like most and use Skype as your VoIP client/service, you can use Gizmo5's built in feature to forward all calls to your Skype account.

Gizmo5 forward to Skype

You are now all set. Any calls to your Google Voice account will be forwarded to your Skype account. If you have an iPhone you can answer these incoming calls there too with the Skype iPhone native application.

I hope in the future Google will open Google Voice to telephone numbers outside of the United States.

Categoriesadvice, iphone

Skype Logo 200 pixelsLast week Skype iPhone application was approved by Apple and made available through the iTunes App Store. This was one of the most anticipated application for the iPhone after Qik for the iPhone and cut/copy & paste.

For those who do not know what Skype is, please allow me to quickly explain. Skype is classified as a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service. It was created in 2003 by the trio, Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn who also created Kazaa, the peer-to-peer file sharing application.

The client application is also called, "Skype", and it is a free download, you can install onto your mobile phone or computer, enabling you to make station to station calls free of charge over the IP network (ie. Internet).

In the past several years Skype had made its client available on Windows Mobile and Nokia phones, it is not until last week that this client is available on the iPhone. As in the past, this availability had not been well received by the global mobile carriers.

The Skype for iPhone is cripple in such a way that it cannot be used on the EDGE or 3G mobile network, and this mobile network block is done at the application level. Assuming this was the reason Apple was able to approve the application for the iTunes App Store.

I am sure that the only reason Skype and Apple had to impose this restriction is due to pressure from the mobile carrier partners around the world. I can't believe these carriers are still focused on the old business model of making money off their customer through VAS (value added services).

The mobile carrier should wake up and begin to focus their efforts on delivering the best network quality and coverage to its customers. While at the same time make available high quality contents that customers are willing to pay for. Rather than placing restrictions on hardware manufactures and software developers, which results in slowing technology growth and adoption.

Although, Skype is accessible through WiFi network it is still not a good solution for mobility communication. As WiFi network in most cities are still not roam-able, meaning a client's connection to one AP (Access Point) cannot be passed along to another AP while the client move about through out the city. Using Skype in such an environment makes it a good client for a stationary conversation within a WiFi hotspot.

Eventually wireless technology will develop in such a way that it will be roam-able and we will have seamless WiFi connectivity as we move about from hotspot to hotspot. At that time VoIP will become a definite challenge to regular cellular communication.



For all those Skype for Mac OS users who are as eager as I am to begin using the Skype version with video conferencing capability, please be "Warned" that the latest development version floating around the Internet should NOT be used.

This development version as stated by one of the Skype developer, Jaanus, will destroy your Skype data.

The one good news is that the new Mac version (v2.0) is almost ready for prime time.

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In the past year I had signed up for services that are now no longer independent. First it was Blogger which was purchased by Google.

Next it was Skype, which everyone knows was purchased by eBay. I personally feel that the future of Skype is numbered with eBay at the helm.

A few months ago Flickr was purchased by Yahoo. Like Skype I hope Flickr will not be destroyed by Yahoo.

Today the creator, of Upcoming announced on his blog that it will be purchased by Yahoo.

What is happening? Is everything I signup for going to be gobble up by the big guys?

There are many who thinks of Microsoft as the evil empire who tries to take over the world from the technology perspective.

Others who falls into this category are: Starbucks, Disney and Virgin. Although these other three are not as commonly regarded as Mr. Gates' company.

At least for the software industry there are new kid(s) on the block trying to take the title from Microsoft; namely Google.

Although I cannot totally disagree with the critics about their new label for Google. I personally do not have as much dislike for Google as I have for Microsoft. I like Google, except for their recent decisions to keep releasing services that are platform specific (Windows). Rather than developing service that are based on Open Standards, which is what the Internet is.

Will the new "Evil Empire" be Google or Yahoo. I guess we will soon know.



Two days ago, the growing popular software "Skype"; by the company of the same name, finally released a Beta version for the Macintosh (OS 10.3.5 and later). This is after only 9 months where our friends on the Windows, Linux and Pocket PC platforms have been enjoying the features and functionalities of VoIP with Skype.

The creators of Skype are the same ones who created one of the most popular Internet software "KaZaA"; a P2P software that people used to exchange documents, MP3, movies and images.

The Skype team further enhanced what they learned from KaZaA and introduced a bunch of other technologies to produce a VoIP client that automatically locate the shortest path between Skype users.

They also have a service called SkypeOut where you can call any telephone, either fixed line or mobile, at a very low cost.

So if you have time and a microphone attached to your computer do give this software a try, while you're at it you can drop me a line (Skype ID: "vinko66").