Voice calls from planes

Voice calls from planes: A social debate, not a

technology dilemma

FCC to allow public comment on removing an in-flight calling ban, but U.S. airlines say passengers don’t want voice calls

By Matt Hamblen

December 13, 2013 01:59 PM ET

Computerworld – Making voice calls via cell phone aboard a plane doesn’t hold much interest for U.S. airline passengers or airlines, but there isn’t a technological reason to ban them, according to federal authorities.

The debate over making voice calls at 35,000 feet has become like so many debates with technology: Sure, we can do it, but do we want to?

In essence, whether voice calls are banned on planes comes down to a behavioral discussion and not one about technology.

“This is now a political and social question and not one of technology,” said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. “I personally would not want people talking loudly and incessantly during a six-plus hour trip, and I’m betting most airlines will ban in-flight calls in the U.S. because they are worried it will anger their passengers.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx this week said that voice call concerns have been aired by airlines, travelers, flight attendants and even members of Congress. “I am concerned … as well,” he said in a statement. The Department of Transportation oversees the U.S. aviation industry.

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to start a long public comment period to consider removing a 22-year-old FCC prohibition on phone calls during flights over concerns they would interfere with cellular networks on the ground.

FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler voted in the majority, saying there is new on-board technology that prevents ground interference and renders the FCC restriction unnecessary. The restriction would remain in place if any airplane didn’t have the new equipment to manage cellular signals installed on its planes.

Wheeler conceded in a statement, “I don’t want the person in the seat next to me yapping at 35,000 feet any more than anyone else.” But he added that removing the prohibition would be a de-regulatory move that “gets the government out from between airlines and their passengers…the free market works best to determine the appropriate outcome.”

Wheeler said the DOT would be the body to address “behavioral issues” related to phone calls on planes, not the FCC.

However, at the FCC hearing when the vote was taken, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel voted with the majority to let the public comment period start, but said she doesn’t ultimately support removing the FCC prohibition on calls, and asserted that the FCC’s role goes beyond acting only as technicians. She envisioned a future time when planes will have “quiet” sections that cost more than areas of the plane where calls are allowed, and there is also support for the FCC’s changing the regulation, including from the Telecommunications Industry Association, which notes that in countries allowing phone use, the calls usually last less than two minutes with only a few people making them at once. Some of the voice calls are made by passengers checking voicemail, without the passenger doing any talking.

Foreign airlines that allow phone calls are poised to extend that permission in the U.S. if the FCC lifts its ban, but analysts believe it’s pretty clear that such competitive pressure won’t induce U.S. airlines to go along.

British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air France, KLM, Emirates, Aeroflot and Virgin Atlantic allow voice calling, but Lufthansa and Aer Lingus do not.

The in-flight voice services of those airlines use small cellular base stations onboard planes called picocells, which communicate with the main cell network via satellite to reduce interference. That’s the category of technology that Wheeler described as making it possible to lift the FCC ban.

In October, the Federal Aviation Administration lifted a longtime ban on using personal devices at takeoff and landing below 10,000 feet, provided the devices remain in airplane mode, which means they aren’t connected via Wi-Fi, a wireless technology now widely available on U.S. airlines. The FAA’s action means a device could stay on during an entire flight without interfering with a plane’s electronics and communications as once feared. Several airlines immediately adopted the policy change.

Conceivably, in-air Wi-Fi could be used as a means to send Internet Protocol voice calls, or even video calls or a service like Skype, but that ability is usually not allowed over Wi-Fi, and airlines would probably ban that approach if they also decide to ban cellular calls.

Wheeler described how an onboard access system would give an airline total control over what type of mobile services to permit, even giving passengers the ability to send texts and emails, surf the Web and make phone calls without the need to sign up for Wi-Fi. That’s because the signal would be managed over the cellular network.

Of course, an airline could also use onboard access systems to shut down voice only, while allowing other services.

Having Wi-Fi for browsing and email, without voice calling distractions, suits some frequent fliers just fine, including Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

“As much as I love having Wi-Fi on planes so I can get some work done, I love even more that I do not get phone calls, so that I can get work done!” she said.

This article, Voice calls from planes: A social debate, not a technology dilemma, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt’s RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

OpenStack Cloud Platform

Dell, Red Hat team to sell OpenStack cloud platform

Dell building high-end system to run Red Hat’s OpenStack implemention

By Joab Jackson

December 12, 2013 03:24 PM ET

Add a comment

inShare

IDG News Service – Dell will start selling systems early next year that run Red Hat’s version of the OpenStack open-source cloud platform.

The offering will be tailored for large enterprises that wish to set up private clouds, said Radhesh Balakrishnan, Red Hat general manager for virtualization and OpenStack.

Dell announced the partnership Thursday at the company’s Dell World enterprise users conference in Austin, Texas.

Dell is the second major enterprise systems company to use OpenStack as the basis for a line of enterprise private cloud products. Earlier this week, Hewlett-Packard also announced that the newest version of its own CloudSystem private cloud systems run the company’s HP Cloud OS, which is based on OpenStack.

Both announcements suggest that OpenStack may be ready for enterprise use, or at least coming close to enterprise readiness.

In a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about its goals, and OpenStack vendors lack transparency around their business models. As a result, enterprises should still be wary of OpenStack, Perilli argued.

“There are definitely parts of OpenStack platform that are still have a ways to go in terms of maturing,” Balakrishnan said at DellWorld, pointing by way of an example to its still nascent technologies for offering networking as a service. The core parts of the software, however, are operationally solid and Red Hat has worked to bring these components to the level of an “enterprise grade implementation,” he said.

“We fundamentally believe that OpenStack will be the new data-center fabric of the future,” Balakrishnan said.

Dell and Red Hat will work together to engineer the system, which will be built using Dell hardware and the next version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Dell did not delve into details about the possible hardware configurations, though the package will use Red Hat’s Linux OpenStack Platform 4, which is currently in beta.

This Red Hat software package includes the latest version of OpenStack, named Havana, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5.

Dell’s Cloud Services will sell the system, which will be implemented by the unit’s Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform practice.

The offering will be among the first products of a newly expanded partnership between Dell and Red Hat. Dell and Red Hat have been long-time partners. Dell has been using Red Hat software in its own packaged systems for 14 years.

Dell and Red Hat will also work together on a number of projects to further improve OpenStack. They will work on OpenStack Neutron, a project to bring Software-Defined Networking capabilities to OpenStack, allowing the platform to offer networking as a service. They will also collaborate on Ceilometer, a project to improve OpenStack instrumentation for monitoring and billing purposes.

In related private cloud news, Dell also announced Thursday that it would include the open-source Eucalyptus cloud software on its packages of server, storage, and networking equipment.

Eucalyptus replicates the APIs (application programming interfaces) of the Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), allowing organizations to replicate the AWS service on their own networks.

REBLOG FROM:  Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab’s e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Dell, Red Hat team to sell OpenStack cloud platform

Dell building high-end system to run Red Hat’s OpenStack implemention

By Joab Jackson
December 12, 2013 03:24 PM ET

IDG News Service – Dell will start selling systems early next year that run Red Hat’s version of the OpenStack open-source cloud platform.

The offering will be tailored for large enterprises that wish to set up private clouds, said Radhesh Balakrishnan, Red Hat general manager for virtualization and OpenStack.

Dell announced the partnership Thursday at the company’s Dell World enterprise users conference in Austin, Texas.

Dell is the second major enterprise systems company to use OpenStack as the basis for a line of enterprise private cloud products. Earlier this week, Hewlett-Packard also announced that the newest version of its own CloudSystem private cloud systems run the company’s HP Cloud OS, which is based on OpenStack.

Both announcements suggest that OpenStack may be ready for enterprise use, or at least coming close to enterprise readiness.

In a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about its goals, and OpenStack vendors lack transparency around their business models. As a result, enterprises should still be wary of OpenStack, Perilli argued.

“There are definitely parts of OpenStack platform that are still have a ways to go in terms of maturing,” Balakrishnan said at DellWorld, pointing by way of an example to its still nascent technologies for offering networking as a service. The core parts of the software, however, are operationally solid and Red Hat has worked to bring these components to the level of an “enterprise grade implementation,” he said.

“We fundamentally believe that OpenStack will be the new data-center fabric of the future,” Balakrishnan said.

Dell and Red Hat will work together to engineer the system, which will be built using Dell hardware and the next version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Dell did not delve into details about the possible hardware configurations, though the package will use Red Hat’s Linux OpenStack Platform 4, which is currently in beta.

This Red Hat software package includes the latest version of OpenStack, named Havana, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5.

Dell’s Cloud Services will sell the system, which will be implemented by the unit’s Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform practice.

The offering will be among the first products of a newly expanded partnership between Dell and Red Hat. Dell and Red Hat have been long-time partners. Dell has been using Red Hat software in its own packaged systems for 14 years.

Dell and Red Hat will also work together on a number of projects to further improve OpenStack. They will work on OpenStack Neutron, a project to bring Software-Defined Networking capabilities to OpenStack, allowing the platform to offer networking as a service. They will also collaborate on Ceilometer, a project to improve OpenStack instrumentation for monitoring and billing purposes.

– See more at: http://feeds.computerworld.com/s/article/9244756/Dell_Red_Hat_team_to_sell_OpenStack_cloud_platform?taxonomyId=158#sthash.U0frauxZ.dpuf

6 reasons your small business needs VOIP

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone systems: 

6 reasons your small business should switch.

1. No on-site equipment:  More space in your office.

2. Always up to date: As new features become available, a virtual system can add them swiftly and easily.

3. Work from anywhere:  change you message alerts and download call data from home, at a business convention or from the comfort of home just as easily as you can in the office.

4. Never need to worry about maintenance, repairs or upgrades: no physical hardware.

5. Saves you money:  No hardware to install or maintain, they have next to no service costs.

6.  Achill Computer Services can provide you with a FREE consultation.

901-457-4230

Small business mobility

Mobile technology is becoming increasingly vital to your small business as the number of employees working from home or away from office is growing significantly. More than 50 million US workers are considered mobile, spending at least 20% of the time away from their primary work space. Some of your employees, such as your salespeople or representatives, may be constantly on the move.
Today, productivity in and out of the office is imperative to keeping your small business running efficiently and gaining a competitive edge. For example, when you or your team are away from the office without connectivity and need important information, that time often proves to be unproductive and wasteful. However, if you connect your mobile workers to your company network through mobile devices such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), you can enable them to maintain a continuous workflow on the road or from home. Investing in mobility solutions will maximize the productivity of your employees. Mobility is essential for your business since your employees and your customers require anytime/anywhere access to each other and vital information.
What is Mobility?
Mobility is the ability to access your office information and data remotely, and to conduct business anywhere, anytime. Mobility solutions provide mobile and remote access to your company data and e-mail.
Find out how your small business can go mobile.  Contact Achill Computer Services 901-457-4230

Who do I call for Memphis Computer Repairs?

Who do I call for Memphis Computer Repairs?

Question:  Who do I call for Memphis Computer Repairs?

Need your computer repaired in the Memphis, TN, area and not sure who to call? Many people believe that the only place to get computer repair service in Memphis is that company with the full page ad in the newspaper.

That computer repair service might be the best one in town, but how can you be sure? There must be other computer repair service options in Memphis, right?

Achill Computer Services is the answer.  Customer service is the first priority for Achill Computer Services.

 

10 Things We Do Better 

  • 60 minutes or less:  We’ll Answer Your Call Promptly – Our Guarantee.  Our team of experienced technicians will respond immediately or return to you within sixty minutes or less. You don’t pay if we don’t get back to you in sixty minutes or less.
  • Remote repairs:  You should not have to wait around all day for your computer to be repaired. We understand how important your computer network is to you; that is why we offer our remote support services. Thanks to this service, we can securely access your computer network via the Internet so you don’t have to wait around for a technician to show up. If we can’t fix it remotely, we’ll dispatch a technician the same day
  • No Computer Jargon: You deserve to get answers to your questions in PLAIN ENGLISH. Our technicians will not talk down to you or make you feel stupid because you don’t understand their “computer jargon”.
  • 100% Unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee:  You deserve complete satisfaction with our products and services. We will do whatever it takes to make you happy. No hassles, no problems.
  • No Unpleasant Or Unexpected Surprises:  You should EXPECT that no damage will be done to your network or your data. Before we start working on your computer or network, we will evaluate your problem and alert you to any potential risks involved in fulfilling your job. If there are any risks, they will be explained in full, and your authorization and agreement will be obtained before the work commences. You can also choose to have your data backed up before we start any work on your machine.
  • All Projects Completed On Time and On Budget – Guaranteed:  When you hire us to complete a project, we won’t nickel and dime you with “unforeseen” or “unexpected” charges. Some incompetent or unethical technicians will do this because they haven’t properly planned or researched the project, OR they use it as a way to extract more money from you. Either way, we don’t feel that is correct or ethical. That’s why we guarantee all projects to be done ON TIME with no excuses.
  • Accurate Billing – Guaranteed. Every bill you receive from us is guaranteed to be accurate and detailed. You’ll know exactly what you are paying for, and ALL charges will be pre-approved by you. No more one-line “mystery” bills that don’t outline what you are paying for.
  • Peace of mind:  We provide you with a peace of mind no other company can.  Achill Computer Services puts an end to your IT Support worries, with our proactive solutions to all your technology woes.
  • We are there for you:  We take the time to fully understand your business, your budget, and your expectations to make sure we are delivering what you want instead of what we think you should have.
  • Our team is your team!

Protecting Your Data: Free Online Webinar

Join Achill Computer Services for a free webinar on September 25, 2013.  “Protecting Your Data For Worst Case Scenario In The Best Ways Possible”

Are you doing enough to safeguard and protect your small business data? 

According to a July 2012 study by accounting software company Sage, the bulk of small businesses are backing up key data such as financial information, but most businesses back up that data on-site only. Furthermore, the study found that only 38 percent of surveyed small businesses have a formal emergency or disaster preparedness plan.

Every small business has important data stored on their computers and their employees computers. Whether it is client data, financial information or other important documents, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your data. Protecting the information on your computer is your responsibility.

Find out the best way to make sure your small business data is secure and available at all times – attend Achill Computer Services online webinar.

Register Here

Star2Star Features

Star2Star Feature Benefit
End-to-End Integrated Solution from a single vendor We supply the phones and related equipment as well as the telephone service and maintenance. Everything is designed to work together, and our around-the-clock system monitoring makes sure that it does.
Blended Architecture™ Our exclusive technology combines the best aspects of cloud-based and on-premise systems.
Quality sound over standard Internet connections The StarBox™ PBX manages the traffic flow between your Star2Star phone system and Internet connection to provide the highest possible call quality with no delay, echo, or distortion. No expensive conditioned circuits are needed.
Find-Me/Follow-Me
Call Forwarding
Never miss a call again. Incoming calls can ring your home, office and cell phones, either one at a time or all at once.
Best-In-Class
Multi-location Operation
All of your company’s phones – at the main office, satellite offices, home office workers, and even mobile phones – appear and operate as a single, unified system. Everyone is reachable by dialing their extension number, no matter where they happen to be. Call transfers, ring groups, call queues, automated attendants, and shared operator features operate across all locations.
Unlimited Conference Calling Set up “Meet Me” Conference Rooms for quick, easy, and secure conference calls for up to 150 users. Talk as long as you like – there’s no per-minute charge.
Multi-Layer Automated Attendant You can quickly create multi-level automated attendant menus which allow callers to choose from any number of destinations or locations.
Extension User Rights Extensions can be individually configured to allow or restrict certain activities such as outbound calling, international calling or directory assistance.
Unlimited Free Voice Mail Store as many voice mail messages as you like, for as long as you like.
Web Based User
Administration
Users can easily set up their own speed dial, call forwarding, find-me/follow-me and voice mail options from any web browser.
Paging and
Group Paging
Page to individual extensions, groups of extensions, or overhead speakers.
Voice Mail Groups Easily create and broadcast recorded messages to voice mail groups like Sales, Service, Accounting, etc.
Line Pooling Between Locations Use excess line capacity from one location to cover excess demand at another location.
Line Bursting If all your lines are in use and you get another incoming call, we can add an extra line “on the fly” so you’ll never miss a call. Subscribe to only as many lines as you need for normal business operations, without having to pay for excess capacity that you only need a few days a year.
Reduced TCO Our monthly rates include all the extras that our competitors charge for – like conferencing, voicemail, ring groups, automated attendants and more.
Ring Groups Work Across Locations Ring groups can include users in multiple locations, including remote and home offices.
Keep Your Old
Telephone Numbers
We can port your existing number(s) to your new Star2Star phone system and we can also provide additional new numbers in almost any area code.
Flexible Call Routing Route incoming calls to specific extensions, menus, ring groups, queues or conference calls. Each department can have its own phone number.
Call Transfer Transfer calls to other extensions, ring groups or voice mail at any location. Even to cell phones.
Call Parking, Intercom and Paging Allows a user to park an incoming call and then intercom or page multiple phones to announce the call for pickup. This is especially helpful for small offices used to working with a “square key” system.
Voicemail to Email /
Unified Messaging
Voice messages can be delivered to your email address as an attachment, with a reminder notification sent to your cell phone.
End-to-End QoS
Management
Prioritization of voice on the data network eliminates jitter, echo, and latency.
Quiet, Low-Power, Reliable operation The StarBox is a 100% solid state platform with no moving parts. We will replace any broken component, including phones, within 24 hours.
Low International Rates Our International rates are highly competitive. For example, calls to the UK, France, and Germany are as low as $.04 per minute.
Time Based Call Routing Define a different set of open / closed hours for each day of the week. Combine this feature with incoming call routing for unique daytime and after-hours activities.
Analog Device Support Connect your legacy analog phones, overhead paging system, cordless phones or door phones to your Star2Star system.
Customized On-Hold
Music & Messages
Customize your on-hold music and prompts with downloaded music, professionally recorded prompts, or your own custom messages or music.
Soft Phone Extensions Soft Phone extensions for laptops and personal computers provide users with mobility and flexibility.
Home Office Extensions Support remote telecommuter or “road warrior” extensions over home DSL or Cable connections.
Microsoft Outlook®
Integration
Our free dialer provides click-to-dial phone numbers from your Outlook Contacts directory. (Windows only)