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January 17, 2006

VoIP Hacks: Changing the Telephony Landscape at Home and at Work

For Immediate Release

Sebastopol, CA--Voice over IP, or VoIP, may be the most important IP technology to emerge in the last year or two. VoIP is a family of technologies that enables voice applications and telephony to be carried over an IP network such as the Internet. These technologies include protocols, hardware and software standards, and computer programs. VoIP is employed in telephony applications, from analog phones to next-generation IP phones and wireless headsets, and in desktop voice chat services, from web-based party-line chat services (like Yahoo Chat) to the well-known Skype desktop voice-calling service.

According to Ted Wallingford, author of VoIP Hacks (O'Reilly, US $29.95), "IP PABX shipments have now passed traditional PABX shipments and two thirds of the world's largest companies indicate they'll shift completely to pure VoIP telephony within the next few years, according to research quoted by MSNBC.

"The subject of VoIP is absolutely crucial to enterprise decision makers and Joe Blow consumers alike right now," Wallingford continues. "The infrastructure upgrade cycle triggered by VoIP is transforming corporate networks, just as home users are seeing their telephony habits transformed. I haven't had a traditional landline in my home since early 2004, and I've saved hundreds of dollars as a result. VoIP changes the telephony landscape at home and at work."

Wallingford wants to make the technology more approachable and more useful. "Everybody from Philips to Netgear--big-name consumer electronics firms, are introducing VoIP hardware to compliment the explosion of VoIP services that sprung up in 2005: Skype, Google Talk, Gizmo, and of course, Vonage. All of these new products and services are hackable to some degree, and VoIP Hack explores useful and unconventional ways of exploring and customizing them."

After reading VoIP Hacks people will be able to integrate all kinds of voice services together in very personal ways. Wallingford says, "Some readers may choose to forward calls to their home phone line into the Skype network so they can answer them on a laptop. Other users may fashion their own telephone privacy management or find interesting ways of converging telephony and other electronics--like X10 electrical controls, for example. It's hard to say which of these concepts is the most important or the most consequential, because there's really something in this book for everybody!"

Topics covered by the book include:

  • Creating a software PBX with Asterisk
  • Making free long-distance calls
  • Gauging VoIP readiness on an enterprise network
  • Using SIP, H.323, and other signaling specifications
  • Providing low-layer security in a VoIP environment
  • Employing IP hardphones, analog telephone adapters, and softphones
  • Setting up voice mail and recording conversations
  • Let VoIP Hacks serve as your introduction to the world of VoIP and teach you how to use it to save money, be more productive, or just impress your friends. If you love to tinker and optimize, this is the one technology--and the one book--you must investigate.

    VoIP is among the many web telephony technologies covered in depth at O'Reilly's Emerging Telephony Conference (ETel), to be held January 24-26, 2006, in San Francisco. Not "Yet Another VoIP Conference," ETel examines the best of what's happening at the cutting edge of the entire IP telephony spectrum now, and how new technology is being deployed by forward-thinking pioneers.

    Additional Resources:

    VoIP Hacks
    Ted Wallingford
    ISBN: 0-596-10133-3, 306 pages, $29.95 US
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

    About O'Reilly

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