Discussion:
Google Worsening Google Voice on May 15, 2014. Dropping XMPP support. No more free "landline" service.
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SMS
2014-01-30 13:56:29 UTC
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Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.

If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).

The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.

There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.

<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
Travis James
2014-01-30 16:10:54 UTC
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Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
I have never seen nor heard and ad related to GV. No ads on Chrome. No
ads related to my linked iPhone.

I've always assumed GV will eventually die since they've done nothing
with it in years - another idled Google project, but until then it has
been a great tool.
sms
2014-02-03 10:42:07 UTC
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Post by Travis James
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
I have never seen nor heard and ad related to GV. No ads on Chrome. No
ads related to my linked iPhone.
You may be right. Between Adblock and my hosts file I get very few ads
and I just assumed that Google Voice would be pushing out ads just like
Gmail does when used with the web interface.
Post by Travis James
I've always assumed GV will eventually die since they've done nothing
with it in years - another idled Google project, but until then it has
been a great tool.
There was nothing that needed to be done with it--it worked fine the way
it was.

What sucks is that Google Voice drove a bunch of VOIP providers out of
business because there was no longer any reason for consumers to pay for
VOIP services (other than the lack of E911 service; Sunrocket and
Stanaphone are two defunct companies, and other companies struggled
because free is better than not free (Ooma, Vonage, Magicjack,
Callcentric). But being free was necessary for Google Voice so it did
not have to be classified as a VOIP provider. You could use Google Voice
with third-party apps and devices but Google Voice was not classified as
a VOIP service that was subjected to government regulation such as the
requirement to provide E911 service.
d***@08.usenet.us.com
2014-02-27 18:51:34 UTC
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Post by sms
What sucks is that Google Voice drove a bunch of VOIP providers out of
...
Post by sms
because free is better than not free (Ooma, Vonage, Magicjack,
I never understood the business model of "free". Advertising only goes so
far, and I never click on any of the Google ads.

I had a Skype number for a soccer club voicemail, and continued to pay $60
a year for it even after GV came out, which would have been a lot better
fit, with it's ring through, and dial back, and ___FREE___

I tried to make GV work the way I wanted it to, as some people did, as a
"business" line, separated and camouflaged from my personal home/cellular.
That worked, but I didn't have all that much need for it.

I have a Vonage BasicTalk home phone, at $9.99, not the $19, or $24, or $34
that various Vonage plans cost.

That's a reasonable amount for me, and I don't have to cobble my own
solution with another VoIP provider, which I always felt was necessary with
the others.

I used to have a telephone though my cableco, which is a dedicated port on
their Cisco 3925 modem, and a separate cable channel, so not really VoIP.
That started out at $9.99/mo, but jumped to $29.99 after one year, and
$49.99 after two years. Really? I think I'll switch to Vonage.
And then they offer me $9.99 for a year, again, every time I talk to them
about anything, and on the occasional robo-call.

Some of Google offering are half baked, and the rules can change at any
time, and you are altogether on your own for support.

I'd rather pay $9.99/month.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
David Kaye
2014-02-28 10:48:51 UTC
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Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I never understood the business model of "free". Advertising only goes so
far, and I never click on any of the Google ads.
Many ads are sold on impressions and not on clicks. When a movie comes out,
you're likely to see graphics in a banner ad and maybe a trailer for the
movie on many web portals such as Yahoo. No need to click through.
Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I'd rather pay $9.99/month.
This is the "you get what you pay for" model. People complain when their
free services have problems, but refuse to pay even a small amount to
subscribe to something. Well, the services I consider mission-critical I
make sure I pay for. That way I'll get customer service when I need it, and
the service will likely be more stable than the free ones.
sms
2014-02-28 17:11:00 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I never understood the business model of "free". Advertising only goes so
far, and I never click on any of the Google ads.
Many ads are sold on impressions and not on clicks. When a movie comes out,
you're likely to see graphics in a banner ad and maybe a trailer for the
movie on many web portals such as Yahoo. No need to click through.
Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I'd rather pay $9.99/month.
This is the "you get what you pay for" model. People complain when their
free services have problems, but refuse to pay even a small amount to
subscribe to something.
In the case of Google Voice, people would be happy to pay a small amount
for the service to continue as it had. They'd also be happy to pay for
the ability to do international forwarding. Google doesn't want to be in
this business anymore.

What is annoying is that Google Voice essentially drove several other
services out of business by providing an equivalent service for free.

That said, there are still fee for service VOIP providers that offer
fair prices and good quality with a non-proprietary system. Vonage is
not one of those providers. Callcentric is fairly priced. Well for a
proprietary system, at $9.99, Vonage isn't bad (though Ooma is less) but
$9.99 is not a price that you can sign up for. It's always amusing when
someone proclaims that a particular service is a great deal when they
are getting a price obtainable only by being grandfathered in, or by
continuously threatening to unsubscribe.
Roy
2014-02-28 20:07:51 UTC
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Post by sms
Post by David Kaye
Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I never understood the business model of "free". Advertising only goes so
far, and I never click on any of the Google ads.
Many ads are sold on impressions and not on clicks. When a movie comes out,
you're likely to see graphics in a banner ad and maybe a trailer for the
movie on many web portals such as Yahoo. No need to click through.
Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I'd rather pay $9.99/month.
This is the "you get what you pay for" model. People complain when their
free services have problems, but refuse to pay even a small amount to
subscribe to something.
In the case of Google Voice, people would be happy to pay a small amount
for the service to continue as it had. They'd also be happy to pay for
the ability to do international forwarding. Google doesn't want to be in
this business anymore.
What is annoying is that Google Voice essentially drove several other
services out of business by providing an equivalent service for free.
That said, there are still fee for service VOIP providers that offer
fair prices and good quality with a non-proprietary system. Vonage is
not one of those providers. Callcentric is fairly priced. Well for a
proprietary system, at $9.99, Vonage isn't bad (though Ooma is less) but
$9.99 is not a price that you can sign up for. It's always amusing when
someone proclaims that a particular service is a great deal when they
are getting a price obtainable only by being grandfathered in, or by
continuously threatening to unsubscribe.
OOMA is less than $4/month and seems to work just fine. A friend has
had it for years and I finally added it here and switched my landline
number to it.

One nice thing about OOMA is that there no configuration necessary for
the box in most cases.
Thad Floryan
2014-03-01 10:16:43 UTC
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Post by Roy
[...]
One nice thing about OOMA is that there no configuration necessary for
the box in most cases.
Hi Roy,

The only documentation I'm seeing is a quick start guide that sort-of
indicates it's a plug'n'play solution with some alternative hookups.

Since you have a functioning Ooma Telo, I hope you don't mind answering
a few Qs.

1. Lacking spec sheet, my guess is its Ethernet ports are only 10/100.
Is that correct?

2. If one places an Ooma Telo on one's LAN, I'm assuming DHCP will be
used by the Telo to acquire a LAN IP and the gateway IP. Is this a
correct assumption or is there, say, a webpage config setup within
the Ooma Telo to setup its IP, gateway, DNS, and more?

3. If one places an Ooma Telo on one's LAN, that implies port(s) will
need to be opened on one's firewall/router and then it will appear
to be a server running at one's home violating many/most/all ISP's
TOS for "normal" home Internet access accounts. Any workarounds?

4. My present security router has the capability of establishing a DMZ
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMZ_%28computing%29 ] and that would
obviously be how to best connect the Ooma Telo isolating it totally
from the LAN for safety.

But that means the Ooma Telo would still appear to be a server from
the point-of-view of the Internet with the same caveat as (3).

Any thoughts you have about the above and/or related matters would be
greatly appreciated!

Thad
Roy
2014-03-01 16:26:50 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Roy
[...]
One nice thing about OOMA is that there no configuration necessary for
the box in most cases.
Hi Roy,
The only documentation I'm seeing is a quick start guide that sort-of
indicates it's a plug'n'play solution with some alternative hookups.
Since you have a functioning Ooma Telo, I hope you don't mind answering
a few Qs.
1. Lacking spec sheet, my guess is its Ethernet ports are only 10/100.
Is that correct?
Yes although I have the older generation box. I believe the new box is
also 10/100.
Post by Thad Floryan
2. If one places an Ooma Telo on one's LAN, I'm assuming DHCP will be
used by the Telo to acquire a LAN IP and the gateway IP. Is this a
correct assumption or is there, say, a webpage config setup within
the Ooma Telo to setup its IP, gateway, DNS, and more?
The simple setup is to plug the box in and let it use DHCP which is what
I did.

It does have a router function. You can connect to the "inside" port on
the OOMA and access the box's IP settings and some other features. If
you needed to set it to a static address, this would be the way to do it.

I don't know why you would use it as a router. I don't.
Post by Thad Floryan
3. If one places an Ooma Telo on one's LAN, that implies port(s) will
need to be opened on one's firewall/router and then it will appear
to be a server running at one's home violating many/most/all ISP's
TOS for "normal" home Internet access accounts. Any workarounds?
No changes to your firewall are needed. Plug and play. See below
Post by Thad Floryan
4. My present security router has the capability of establishing a DMZ
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMZ_%28computing%29 ] and that would
obviously be how to best connect the Ooma Telo isolating it totally
from the LAN for safety.
But that means the Ooma Telo would still appear to be a server from
the point-of-view of the Internet with the same caveat as (3).
Not needed. See below
Post by Thad Floryan
Any thoughts you have about the above and/or related matters would be
greatly appreciated!
Thad
The only "setup" was via the OOMA website to create my account. Other
than connecting the box, I did nothing to it or my router

OOMA uses its own protocols. The box connects to the OOMA cloud via its
own VPN. That is for control traffic and it stays connected. I only see
UDP traffic when making a call.

The OOMA server I am connecting to is in the Bay Area. Ping time to
their server is 9ms.

As far as my setup, I ignored the router function and the "inside" port.
I just plugged its "To Internet" port into my LAN.

I use the OOMA to feed into my legacy phone wiring. All the phones in
the house work as before. I disconnected the landline at the box on the
side of the house. That was a simple unplug of a standard modular
connector. I have three conventional phones and a cordless system.

Roy
Thad Floryan
2014-03-02 04:47:46 UTC
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Post by Roy
[...]
The only "setup" was via the OOMA website to create my account. Other
than connecting the box, I did nothing to it or my router
OOMA uses its own protocols. The box connects to the OOMA cloud via its
own VPN. That is for control traffic and it stays connected. I only see
UDP traffic when making a call.
The OOMA server I am connecting to is in the Bay Area. Ping time to
their server is 9ms.
As far as my setup, I ignored the router function and the "inside" port.
I just plugged its "To Internet" port into my LAN.
I use the OOMA to feed into my legacy phone wiring. All the phones in
the house work as before. I disconnected the landline at the box on the
side of the house. That was a simple unplug of a standard modular
connector. I have three conventional phones and a cordless system.
Hi Roy,

WOW! Many thanks for your reply!

What you wrote above has potentially saved me hours of attempting to
locate information on Ooma's website and forums and should be included
on Ooma's home page as a sidebar because you summed it up so nicely!

Thanks again!
Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-03-02 05:36:05 UTC
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The Ooma device really appears to be a great plug'n'play device and,
though I hate to say this, it's easier to setup a home VoIP with it
than using Asterisk as I've done at client sites before I retired:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_%28PBX%29

I ordered an Ooma Telo a short while ago from Amazon. If anyone
else is interested, here's the pricing I found today March 1, 2014
to save time:

Telo
https://go.ooma.com/buy/step1
$149.99

Telo
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002O3W4LE
$123.16 + FREE SHIPPING

HD2 Handset
http://www.amazon.com/ooma-HD2-Handset-Phone-Device/dp/B00A14ZUGE
$59.99 + FREE SHIPPING

Telo with Linx
http://www.costco.com/Ooma-telo-voIP-Free-Home-Phone-Service-with-Linx-.product.11752829.html
$139.99
http://www.costco.com/Ooma-Telo-VoIP-Free-Home-Phone-Service-with-HD-Handset.product.100085539.html
$179.99 with HD2 handset + FREE SHIPPING

Telo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833888002
$129.99 + FREE SHIPPING
HD2 handset is out of stock

Telo
http://www.frys.com/product/6044048
and in-store
$129.99 + FREE SHIPPING and available in-store

HD2 Handset
http://www.frys.com/product/7650717
$69.99 + FREE SHIPPING

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9511405&type=product&id=1218117369181
and in-store http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=cat12090&type=page
$149.99 + FREE SHIPPING
$59.99 for HD2 handset

Thad
Roy
2014-03-02 07:12:29 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
The Ooma device really appears to be a great plug'n'play device and,
though I hate to say this, it's easier to setup a home VoIP with it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_%28PBX%29
I ordered an Ooma Telo a short while ago from Amazon. If anyone
else is interested, here's the pricing I found today March 1, 2014
Telo
https://go.ooma.com/buy/step1
$149.99
Telo
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002O3W4LE
$123.16 + FREE SHIPPING
HD2 Handset
http://www.amazon.com/ooma-HD2-Handset-Phone-Device/dp/B00A14ZUGE
$59.99 + FREE SHIPPING
Telo with Linx
http://www.costco.com/Ooma-telo-voIP-Free-Home-Phone-Service-with-Linx-.product.11752829.html
$139.99
http://www.costco.com/Ooma-Telo-VoIP-Free-Home-Phone-Service-with-HD-Handset.product.100085539.html
$179.99 with HD2 handset + FREE SHIPPING
Telo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833888002
$129.99 + FREE SHIPPING
HD2 handset is out of stock
Telo
http://www.frys.com/product/6044048
and in-store
$129.99 + FREE SHIPPING and available in-store
HD2 Handset
http://www.frys.com/product/7650717
$69.99 + FREE SHIPPING
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9511405&type=product&id=1218117369181
and in-store http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=cat12090&type=page
$149.99 + FREE SHIPPING
$59.99 for HD2 handset
Thad
Costco has them on sale this month. Its a TELO with Linx for $139.99.
Nice thing there is if you don't like it, return it.

The handsets are nice but not needed if you are using your legacy
phones. I just use the Telo. Also the HD handsets are incompatible
with the older Telo boxes (and vice versa).

Note that OOMA is not entirely free. There is a $4 or so charge per
month for FCC and state fees.

I went with the "premier" service. It included a free port of my home
number when you sign for a year. The other very useful premier feature
is "backup number". If the cloud loses contact with the box then
incoming calls are automatically forwarded to the backup number.
Thad Floryan
2014-03-02 08:57:50 UTC
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Post by Roy
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
Telo with Linx
http://www.costco.com/Ooma-telo-voIP-Free-Home-Phone-Service-with-Linx-.product.11752829.html
[...]
Costco has them on sale this month. Its a TELO with Linx for $139.99.
Nice thing there is if you don't like it, return it.
Hi Roy,

Costco is excellent in that regards. The Telo+Linx URL is above and
the sale is good until 3/16/2014.

I didn't see any need for a Linx so getting the "basic" Telo from
Amazon seemed the best deal.

I noted on Ooma's website they now have an "Office" product which
seems to be identical to the Asterisk PBXs I setup for clients way
back when and it appears to be a great deal for SOHO and medium-
sized businesses:

Ooma Office Quick Start Guide (36 pages, 2.17MB):
http://ooma.com/sites/default/files/media/Ooma-Office-QSG_0.pdf
Post by Roy
The handsets are nice but not needed if you are using your legacy
phones. I just use the Telo. Also the HD handsets are incompatible
with the older Telo boxes (and vice versa).
I debated buying the handset -- I can always buy one later. This item
in Ooma's forums dated within the past several weeks indicates there
may already be a "new" Ooma Telo device:

http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17120
Post by Roy
Note that OOMA is not entirely free. There is a $4 or so charge per
month for FCC and state fees.
Very true but still an incredible bargain over conventional land lines.

I abandoned all four of my PacBell lines in 2002 due to the cost that
was always seemingly increasing averaging $2.50/minute for me given
how little I was using the lines at that point.

The fees are based on ZIP code; for ZIP 94024 (South Los Altos) it's
these per the calculator at http://ooma.com/how-ooma-works/savings

Regulatory Compliance $1.78
911 Service $1.59
Federal Universal Service Charge $0.42
State and local taxes and fees $0.12
=====
$3.91/month

That's about half the cost of an In-N-Out 3x3 medium rare w/onions and
fries. :-)
Post by Roy
I went with the "premier" service. It included a free port of my home
number when you sign for a year. The other very useful premier feature
is "backup number". If the cloud loses contact with the box then
incoming calls are automatically forwarded to the backup number.
I don't have any landline number(s) to port anymore. :-)

Here's an interesting description and a photo of the Telo's innards:

The Ooma Telo is no dumb adapter. It's actually a small, networked-
managed, secure Linux computer packed with processing power to keep
your calls clear and reliable.

Loading Image... 271kB

They have a bunch of ancillary products including Bluetooth and a mobile
app: http://ooma.com/products

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-03-02 11:39:32 UTC
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While searching my archives I found this post from David Arnstein
dated Fri, 21 Oct 2011 23:16:41 +0000 (UTC) posted to ba.internet
which allays concerns about 911 service:

Dave Arnstein wrote:
" In article <***@thadlabs.com>,
" Thad Floryan <***@thadlabs.com> wrote:
" >
" > It's good to hear confirmation Ooma's service is "solid as a
" > rock"; I'm still debating buying a unit -- I don't use the phone
" > all that much and I've been cellphone-only since 2002.
"
" If you enjoy working with computers, you could also consider a
" "bring your own" VoIP provider. I have been using CallCentric
" with a Cisco/Linksys ATA. The latter is the "bring your own"
" part.
"
" I did have to fiddle with it quite a bit, but I am getting pretty
" good results. It is very cheap. Like Ooma, it has e911 service.
" This is a nice addition to the e911 service on your cell phone.
" In particular, the e911 service you get with Ooma and Callcentric
" "knows" your street address. Your cell phone e911, not so much.
"
" AT&T POTS service is more reliable than Callcentric, and it
" probably beats Ooma as well. But the cost of AT&T service keeps
" rising. Since I do most of my blabbing on a cell phone, I
" finally had to act.

Thad
David Arnstein
2014-03-02 21:31:21 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
While searching my archives I found this post from David Arnstein
dated Fri, 21 Oct 2011 23:16:41 +0000 (UTC) posted to ba.internet
" AT&T POTS service is more reliable than Callcentric, and it
" probably beats Ooma as well. But the cost of AT&T service keeps
" rising. Since I do most of my blabbing on a cell phone, I
" finally had to act.
Right, both Ooma and Callcentric include e911 service. That's why
neither service can be 100% cost free. A small fee must be paid to the
government.

I switched from Callcentric to voip.ms about a year ago. Both of these
VoIP services are less reliable than AT&T, for sure. Between your home
network and your ISP, you will occasionally experience unintelligible
audio, and even failure to complete a call. The VoIP service itself
craps out sometimes as well.

I bailed from Callcentric after 1) a DDoS attack of historic proportions,
and 2) a long outage due to flooding in New York City.

I am impressed by Ooma's service, yet I have a concern that kept me
away. Their free service tier is funded entirely by sales of devices.
That seems borderline unsustainable to me. What I mean is, Ooma could
go out of business at any time.

I still think about switching to Ooma Premier. Maybe it is more reliable
than what I have got.

The nice thing about all of these services is that they are so cheap.
I might subscribe to Ooma Premier, and keep it running in parallel with
voip.ms for a few months. Let the best box win.
--
David Arnstein (00)
arnstein+***@pobox.com {{ }}
^^
Roy
2014-03-02 23:42:15 UTC
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Post by David Arnstein
Post by Thad Floryan
While searching my archives I found this post from David Arnstein
dated Fri, 21 Oct 2011 23:16:41 +0000 (UTC) posted to ba.internet
" AT&T POTS service is more reliable than Callcentric, and it
" probably beats Ooma as well. But the cost of AT&T service keeps
" rising. Since I do most of my blabbing on a cell phone, I
" finally had to act.
Right, both Ooma and Callcentric include e911 service. That's why
neither service can be 100% cost free. A small fee must be paid to the
government.
I switched from Callcentric to voip.ms about a year ago. Both of these
VoIP services are less reliable than AT&T, for sure. Between your home
network and your ISP, you will occasionally experience unintelligible
audio, and even failure to complete a call. The VoIP service itself
craps out sometimes as well.
I bailed from Callcentric after 1) a DDoS attack of historic proportions,
and 2) a long outage due to flooding in New York City.
I am impressed by Ooma's service, yet I have a concern that kept me
away. Their free service tier is funded entirely by sales of devices.
That seems borderline unsustainable to me. What I mean is, Ooma could
go out of business at any time.
I still think about switching to Ooma Premier. Maybe it is more reliable
than what I have got.
The nice thing about all of these services is that they are so cheap.
I might subscribe to Ooma Premier, and keep it running in parallel with
voip.ms for a few months. Let the best box win.
One thing I use in selecting a VOIP provider is the location of the
servers. The closer they are, the more likely that your packets get
through on time.

I have a client on Callcentric. The server is NYC. voip.ms says they
are in LA. As I mentioned, my OOMA box is connected to a server here in
the Bay Area and the company is based in Palo Alto.

I would suspect OOMA reliability will be better.

As far as OOMA finances, you have to look at the company as a whole and
not just focus on the "free tier".

It will be interesting to hear about the result of your tests
David Kaye
2014-03-03 01:12:57 UTC
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Post by Roy
Post by David Arnstein
Post by Thad Floryan
While searching my archives I found this post from David Arnstein
dated Fri, 21 Oct 2011 23:16:41 +0000 (UTC) posted to ba.internet
" AT&T POTS service is more reliable than Callcentric, and it
" probably beats Ooma as well. But the cost of AT&T service keeps
" rising. Since I do most of my blabbing on a cell phone, I
" finally had to act.
Right, both Ooma and Callcentric include e911 service. That's why
neither service can be 100% cost free. A small fee must be paid to the
government.
I switched from Callcentric to voip.ms about a year ago. Both of these
VoIP services are less reliable than AT&T, for sure. Between your home
network and your ISP, you will occasionally experience unintelligible
audio, and even failure to complete a call. The VoIP service itself
craps out sometimes as well.
I bailed from Callcentric after 1) a DDoS attack of historic proportions,
and 2) a long outage due to flooding in New York City.
I am impressed by Ooma's service, yet I have a concern that kept me
away. Their free service tier is funded entirely by sales of devices.
That seems borderline unsustainable to me. What I mean is, Ooma could
go out of business at any time.
I still think about switching to Ooma Premier. Maybe it is more reliable
than what I have got.
The nice thing about all of these services is that they are so cheap.
I might subscribe to Ooma Premier, and keep it running in parallel with
voip.ms for a few months. Let the best box win.
One thing I use in selecting a VOIP provider is the location of the
servers. The closer they are, the more likely that your packets get
through on time.
I have a client on Callcentric. The server is NYC. voip.ms says they are
in LA. As I mentioned, my OOMA box is connected to a server here in the
Bay Area and the company is based in Palo Alto.
I would suspect OOMA reliability will be better.
As far as OOMA finances, you have to look at the company as a whole and
not just focus on the "free tier".
It will be interesting to hear about the result of your tests
David Kaye
2014-03-03 01:16:39 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
As far as OOMA finances, you have to look at the company as a whole and
not just focus on the "free tier".
People are willing to put up with really crappy voice, chopped up by low bit
rates and small bandwidth, so it seems that companies can provide voice
services for next to nothing. Ooma could have enough turnover selling
upgrades that they might have a sustainable business model just by selling
units.
Roy
2014-03-03 02:14:10 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by Roy
As far as OOMA finances, you have to look at the company as a whole and
not just focus on the "free tier".
People are willing to put up with really crappy voice, chopped up by low bit
rates and small bandwidth, so it seems that companies can provide voice
services for next to nothing. Ooma could have enough turnover selling
upgrades that they might have a sustainable business model just by selling
units.
I have not noticed any of the "crappy voice, chopped up by low bit rates
and small bandwidth". I have a friend that I speak with regularly and
he has had OOMA for years.

I just measured bandwidth during a call and it was about 40 kbps. That
would rule out the low speed lossy codecs used by some other cheap services.
Thad Floryan
2014-03-03 05:06:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
[...]
I have not noticed any of the "crappy voice, chopped up by low bit rates
and small bandwidth". I have a friend that I speak with regularly and
he has had OOMA for years.
I just measured bandwidth during a call and it was about 40 kbps. That
would rule out the low speed lossy codecs used by some other cheap services.
Ooma's voice quality demo and specifications here:

http://www.ooma.com/how-ooma-works/voice-quality

strongly suggests I'm going to be in for a treat when my Ooma Telo
arrives.

For some reason, probably my /etc/hosts blocking, I cannot play the
two voice demos directly from the above Ooma web page, so I downloaded
the two MP3s using wget and played them locally using VLC noting wget
preserves files' original dates and times. MP3 runtimes are both 59
seconds:

$ ll
total 1388
-rw-r--r-- 1 thad staff 708480 Dec 19 2012 Melissa_30_loss.mp3
-rw-r--r-- 1 thad staff 708912 Dec 19 2012 Melissa_Ooma_PureVoice.mp3

The voice quality of the "Ooma PureVoice" is reminiscent of the asterisk
VoIP system I operated for Levanta (formerly Linuxcare) in San Mateo until
they went belly-up on March 31, 2008 -- in other words, as good or better
than landline quality. Here are the two URLs for the above MP3s:

http://c512cabccea92b18cc98-3c223c80d4dea1d1c2330e018f707944.r0.cf2.rackcdn.com/Melissa_30_loss.mp3

http://c512cabccea92b18cc98-3c223c80d4dea1d1c2330e018f707944.r0.cf2.rackcdn.com/Melissa_Ooma_PureVoice.mp3

Thad
David Kaye
2014-03-03 09:25:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
I have not noticed any of the "crappy voice, chopped up by low bit rates
and small bandwidth". I have a friend that I speak with regularly and he
has had OOMA for years.
I wasn't clear about this; I'm actually not saying that Ooma puts out
"crappy voice", but that people will put up with just about anything to hear
someone's voice.

That said, is Ooma good enough to pass 5kHz, aka "broadcast quality" audio?
If not, why not? In this day of high speed internet why must a telephone
connection sounds like a telephone connection? Why shouldn't it sound like
broadcast quality?
Post by Roy
I just measured bandwidth during a call and it was about 40 kbps. That
would rule out the low speed lossy codecs used by some other cheap services.
Yeah, again I didn't mean to indict Ooma. I haven't heard their audio so I
really don't know.
Thad Floryan
2014-03-03 09:44:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by Roy
[...]
I just measured bandwidth during a call and it was about 40 kbps. That
would rule out the low speed lossy codecs used by some other cheap services.
Yeah, again I didn't mean to indict Ooma. I haven't heard their audio so I
really don't know.
VoIP can be subjectively better than landlines as I experiences
operating asterisk-based VoIPs systems for clients.

And as I wrote earlier in this thread:

[...]
Ooma's voice quality demo and specifications here:

http://www.ooma.com/how-ooma-works/voice-quality

strongly suggests I'm going to be in for a treat when my Ooma Telo
arrives.

For some reason, probably my /etc/hosts blocking, I cannot play the
two voice demos directly from the above Ooma web page, so I downloaded
the two MP3s using wget and played them locally using VLC noting wget
preserves files' original dates and times. MP3 runtimes are both 59
seconds:

$ ll
total 1388
-rw-r--r-- 1 thad staff 708480 Dec 19 2012 Melissa_30_loss.mp3
-rw-r--r-- 1 thad staff 708912 Dec 19 2012 Melissa_Ooma_PureVoice.mp3

The voice quality of the "Ooma PureVoice" is reminiscent of the asterisk
VoIP system I operated for Levanta (formerly Linuxcare) in San Mateo until
they went belly-up on March 31, 2008 -- in other words, as good or better
than landline quality. Here are the two URLs for the above MP3s:

http://c512cabccea92b18cc98-3c223c80d4dea1d1c2330e018f707944.r0.cf2.rackcdn.com/Melissa_30_loss.mp3

http://c512cabccea92b18cc98-3c223c80d4dea1d1c2330e018f707944.r0.cf2.rackcdn.com/Melissa_Ooma_PureVoice.mp3
[...]

Thad
David Kaye
2014-03-03 09:21:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by Roy
As far as OOMA finances, you have to look at the company as a whole and
not just focus on the "free tier".
People are willing to put up with really crappy voice, chopped up by low
bit rates and small bandwidth, so it seems that companies can provide
voice services for next to nothing. Ooma could have enough turnover
selling upgrades that they might have a sustainable business model just by
selling units.
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-05 17:38:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
People are willing to put up with really crappy voice, chopped up by low
I am surprised at how poor the call can be before people complain.
I had a router that was dropping packets. Lots of packets.
People on the phone only complained if they really could not understand me.
It seems the assumption is that everyone on a phone is driving through the
mountains on a cell phone, so you take whatever you get.

A company softphone would sometimes go wonky on a conference call, and it
seemed like it was when I got excited, maybe talking too loudly.

One coworker would send me an instant message, saying that Darth Vader had
joined the bridge. We would always comment on each other's voice quality.
He on a multitude of gadgets and headsets, me on several different
softphones and VoIP adapters, or cell phone, sometimes on Microcell, with a
variety of wired and bluetooth headsets.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Thad Floryan
2014-03-05 21:31:00 UTC
Permalink
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Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by David Kaye
People are willing to put up with really crappy voice, chopped up by low
I am surprised at how poor the call can be before people complain.
Hi Clarence,

Tolerating mediocrity is not a virtue, it's a failing.

A good system (e.g, any of the Asterisk VoIP systems I setup for clients)
should be "transparent" with conversation participants sounding like they
are in the room with you. Anything less is crap.

Want a funny story? My best friend worked for the Office of the CTO of
Nokia at 955 Page Mill Road in Palo Alto before that division was shut
down (and he moved on to Cisco in San Jose). Whenever they were using
the Polycom phones in conference everyone had to power down their
cellphones due to GSM interference which swamped all conversation.

GSM interference is NOT a laughing matter and we've have some l-o-n-g
discussions about it in comp.dcom.telecom One instance of the GSM
interference that was really nasty was that it would "accidentally"
turn on at FULL an electronic stove in a kitchen and caused a fire
as reported in the NY Times (URL is available on request). Those
wearing hearing aids need to be f-a-r away from GSM phones. Etc etc.

I never had that problem with the Asterisk systems I operated/setup
and voice quality was subjectively "perfect" and the voice system was
superior to anything else on the market (vs. the garbage voice mail
system from AT&T Wireless which is my only complaint about AT&T).
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
[...]
A company softphone would sometimes go wonky on a conference call, and it
seemed like it was when I got excited, maybe talking too loudly.
Hmmm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softphone doesn't sound (no pun) like
anything I'd ever want to use.
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
One coworker would send me an instant message, saying that Darth Vader had
joined the bridge. We would always comment on each other's voice quality.
He on a multitude of gadgets and headsets, me on several different
softphones and VoIP adapters, or cell phone, sometimes on Microcell, with a
variety of wired and bluetooth headsets.
That sounds like you've been assimilated with implants by the Borg. :-)

Thad
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-06 00:21:03 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Thad Floryan
Hmmm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softphone doesn't sound (no pun) like
anything I'd ever want to use.
The first softphone I used was from Cisco, very expensive per seat. The
onscreen presentation looked just like a picture of the Cisco VoIP phone on
my desk. That always worked fine. We had a server inhouse, and separate
networking for the phones.

I have since used softphones from Vonage, CallVantage, Skype, and Lotus.
None as good as the Cisco.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Travis James
2014-03-03 06:10:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
Post by Thad Floryan
The Ooma device really appears to be a great plug'n'play device and,
though I hate to say this, it's easier to setup a home VoIP with it
I went with the "premier" service. It included a free port of my home
number when you sign for a year. The other very useful premier feature
is "backup number". If the cloud loses contact with the box then
incoming calls are automatically forwarded to the backup number.
I'm another satisfied Ooma customer. I had to dig up my number port
email where I ported from AT&T to Ooma. It was November 2009.

It was really bad for about a year or so, then the service became stable
to the point that I don't think about it. We probably don't even need it
any longer except that the sound quality is just very good for extended
phone calls -- so much better than cellular.

I've been on the premier tier for $10/mo the whole time which gives
features like a second number with custom ring, flexible forwarding,
blacklisting. They recently freed up their iOS app (was $10 with bad
reviews - I never bought it). Now it's free and quite decent. It even
has a softphone for outbound calls that ID back to the home number. It's
handy for making calls from the iPhone when cell service is out but wifi
is in.

I am still using the original pre-Telo hardware (the main device and the
remove "scouts").

I use Google Voice - going back to the Grand Central days - as my
universal contact number. That way my calls ring my iPhone, my PagePlus
phone and my Ooma secondary line.
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-05 17:27:58 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
I ordered an Ooma Telo a short while ago from Amazon. If anyone
else is interested, here's the pricing I found today March 1, 2014
That seems pricey.
March 5, 2014: http://basictalk.com (Vonage)
BasicTalk $ 9.99
BasicTalk Box ($29.99) $0.00
Total Today $ 9.99

$9.99/month, every month.

I already had a cordless base set that I plugged in to the Vonage Adapter.
I think it was a three handset unit at Walmart for about $50.

Vonage includes one "Extension", an app you can run on a cellphone (not my
tablet though, it needs a SIM). That allows WiFi calls.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Roy
2014-03-05 19:37:57 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by Thad Floryan
I ordered an Ooma Telo a short while ago from Amazon. If anyone
else is interested, here's the pricing I found today March 1, 2014
That seems pricey.
March 5, 2014: http://basictalk.com (Vonage)
BasicTalk $ 9.99
BasicTalk Box ($29.99) $0.00
Total Today $ 9.99
$9.99/month, every month.
Basic Talk says $11/month with fees. Ooma is $4 (all fees).
So the box pays for itself in a year abd a half or so.
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
I already had a cordless base set that I plugged in to the Vonage Adapter.
I think it was a three handset unit at Walmart for about $50.
Vonage includes one "Extension", an app you can run on a cellphone (not my
tablet though, it needs a SIM). That allows WiFi calls.
Ooma has similar capabilities

Here is a big difference

Ooma named best home phone service again

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/technology/ooma-named-best-home-phone-service-again/nNQhs/

Yes the post is old but its still true. There are a number of reviews
of Ooma on the internet.

It basically goes with the old ba.internet motto: Inexpensive, fast,
reliable: Pick two. In this case fast means call quality.

BTW, Vonage (the $30/mo version) is a clear winner if you make a lot of
international calls.
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-06 00:28:50 UTC
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Post by Roy
Basic Talk says $11/month with fees. Ooma is $4 (all fees).
So the box pays for itself in a year abd a half or so.
I missed that Ooma was "free", but that gets back to the business model
question. Not only do I not trust "free", I would rather have someone
making money on my business, so they stay in business.
Post by Roy
BTW, Vonage (the $30/mo version) is a clear winner if you make a lot of
international calls.
I used to pay the full fare so that I could have a Vonage softphone on my
PC. I never actually used the adapter.

Does Ooma not do International? Or do they charge too much?
All of this comes _after_ my daughter was in Mongolia, when we would save
up our pennies for one phone call per month. None worked worth a darn
except AT&T.

That might have been before Ooma, and my eyes got blurry trying to figure
out how to cobble something together on my own.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Roy
2014-03-06 00:37:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by Roy
Basic Talk says $11/month with fees. Ooma is $4 (all fees).
So the box pays for itself in a year abd a half or so.
I missed that Ooma was "free", but that gets back to the business model
question. Not only do I not trust "free", I would rather have someone
making money on my business, so they stay in business.
Post by Roy
BTW, Vonage (the $30/mo version) is a clear winner if you make a lot of
international calls.
I used to pay the full fare so that I could have a Vonage softphone on my
PC. I never actually used the adapter.
Does Ooma not do International? Or do they charge too much?
All of this comes _after_ my daughter was in Mongolia, when we would save
up our pennies for one phone call per month. None worked worth a darn
except AT&T.
That might have been before Ooma, and my eyes got blurry trying to figure
out how to cobble something together on my own.
Ooma has various international plans

http://www.ooma.com/products/international
Thad Floryan
2014-03-05 21:06:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by Thad Floryan
I ordered an Ooma Telo a short while ago from Amazon. If anyone
else is interested, here's the pricing I found today March 1, 2014
That seems pricey.
March 5, 2014: http://basictalk.com (Vonage)
BasicTalk $ 9.99
BasicTalk Box ($29.99) $0.00
Total Today $ 9.99
$9.99/month, every month.
Hi Clarence,

The cost for the Ooma Telo box is a one-time expense. Then the
monthly costs are less than $4/month as I wrote previously:
"
" The fees are based on ZIP code; for ZIP 94024 (South Los Altos) it's
" these per the calculator at http://ooma.com/how-ooma-works/savings
"
" Regulatory Compliance $1.78
" 911 Service $1.59
" Federal Universal Service Charge $0.42
" State and local taxes and fees $0.12
" =====
" $3.91/month

Two years (24 months):

Vonage: 24 x $9.95 = $238.80

Ooma: 24 x $3.91 = $ 93.84

$238.80 - $93.84 = $144.96 which is more than the $123.16 cost of the
Ooma box I bought at Amazon this past Saturday.

So, in 2 years Vonage costs more than Ooma and as the duration increases
Vonage becomes much more expensive than Ooma.

Thus, Vonage seems pricey. :-)
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
I already had a cordless base set that I plugged in to the Vonage Adapter.
I think it was a three handset unit at Walmart for about $50.
Looking at the "How it works" at the Vonage website you cited, it's not
clear the Vonage can support an entire home's existing telco wiring with
multiple instruments as Ooma can -- that capability is important to me.
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Vonage includes one "Extension", an app you can run on a cellphone (not my
tablet though, it needs a SIM). That allows WiFi calls.
Ooma supports 4 "extensions" (via a Linx) which I don't care about and it also
has an optional featurefull controller handset which I might buy later, but
I'm not a "heavy" phone user anymore -- I just wanted a better phone connection
than cellphone and a good e911 system and Ooma provides both (and more with
their Premium service).

Thad
Roy
2014-03-05 22:58:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
A couple of points.

Ooma has two service levels: free and premier. Vonage has two levels
too: basictalk and Vonage regular.


Vonage also tacks on fees so they need to be included with your cost
comparison

Ooma also has an app for making calls from your smartphone as well.
There may be costs involved based on your platform and subscription.
Note that Vonage ($29.95/month) has the app and not the "basictalk"
version of Vonage.
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by Thad Floryan
I ordered an Ooma Telo a short while ago from Amazon. If anyone
else is interested, here's the pricing I found today March 1, 2014
That seems pricey.
March 5, 2014: http://basictalk.com (Vonage)
BasicTalk $ 9.99
BasicTalk Box ($29.99) $0.00
Total Today $ 9.99
$9.99/month, every month.
Hi Clarence,
The cost for the Ooma Telo box is a one-time expense. Then the
"
" The fees are based on ZIP code; for ZIP 94024 (South Los Altos) it's
" these per the calculator at http://ooma.com/how-ooma-works/savings
"
" Regulatory Compliance $1.78
" 911 Service $1.59
" Federal Universal Service Charge $0.42
" State and local taxes and fees $0.12
" =====
" $3.91/month
Vonage: 24 x $9.95 = $238.80
Ooma: 24 x $3.91 = $ 93.84
$238.80 - $93.84 = $144.96 which is more than the $123.16 cost of the
Ooma box I bought at Amazon this past Saturday.
So, in 2 years Vonage costs more than Ooma and as the duration increases
Vonage becomes much more expensive than Ooma.
Thus, Vonage seems pricey. :-)
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
I already had a cordless base set that I plugged in to the Vonage Adapter.
I think it was a three handset unit at Walmart for about $50.
Looking at the "How it works" at the Vonage website you cited, it's not
clear the Vonage can support an entire home's existing telco wiring with
multiple instruments as Ooma can -- that capability is important to me.
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Vonage includes one "Extension", an app you can run on a cellphone (not my
tablet though, it needs a SIM). That allows WiFi calls.
Ooma supports 4 "extensions" (via a Linx) which I don't care about and it also
has an optional featurefull controller handset which I might buy later, but
I'm not a "heavy" phone user anymore -- I just wanted a better phone connection
than cellphone and a good e911 system and Ooma provides both (and more with
their Premium service).
Thad
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-06 00:40:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
There may be costs involved based on your platform and subscription.
Note that Vonage ($29.95/month) has the app and not the "basictalk"
version of Vonage.
I have the Vonage Extensions Smartphone app, which works with my BasicTalk.

The full priced Vonage offers a smartphone program for a PC, or did when I
had it.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-06 00:36:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Looking at the "How it works" at the Vonage website you cited, it's not
clear the Vonage can support an entire home's existing telco wiring with
multiple instruments as Ooma can -- that capability is important to me.
Not sure what you mean by "support". We had Vonage once before, and had
the unit cabled to the existing house wiring, with three phones, and a few
DirecTV boxes.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Thad Floryan
2014-03-06 00:58:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by Thad Floryan
Looking at the "How it works" at the Vonage website you cited, it's not
clear the Vonage can support an entire home's existing telco wiring with
multiple instruments as Ooma can -- that capability is important to me.
Not sure what you mean by "support". We had Vonage once before, and had
the unit cabled to the existing house wiring, with three phones, and a few
DirecTV boxes.
Hi Clarence,

I didn't see anything during a quick perusal of Vonage's website; thanks
for clarifying that.

Seems both Ooma and Vonage are clearly better than "Magic Jerk". :-)

Thad
Marcus Allen
2014-03-08 16:19:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by Thad Floryan
Looking at the "How it works" at the Vonage website you cited, it's not
clear the Vonage can support an entire home's existing telco wiring with
multiple instruments as Ooma can -- that capability is important to me.
Not sure what you mean by "support". We had Vonage once before, and had
the unit cabled to the existing house wiring, with three phones, and a few
DirecTV boxes.
I used to have Vonage and did the same as you. Simply disconnect the home
phone wiring at the telco demarc, then plug the Phone jack of the Vonage
adapter into any convenient phone jack to light up the entire home.
Roy
2014-03-08 17:03:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Marcus Allen
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by Thad Floryan
Looking at the "How it works" at the Vonage website you cited, it's not
clear the Vonage can support an entire home's existing telco wiring with
multiple instruments as Ooma can -- that capability is important to me.
Not sure what you mean by "support". We had Vonage once before, and had
the unit cabled to the existing house wiring, with three phones, and a few
DirecTV boxes.
I used to have Vonage and did the same as you. Simply disconnect the home
phone wiring at the telco demarc, then plug the Phone jack of the Vonage
adapter into any convenient phone jack to light up the entire home.
A problem that can occur if the VOIP box can't supply enough power to
operate all the phones. This shows up with the inability to ring all
the phones (especially older ones). Another symptom would be low sound
if multiple phones are off hook.

Those of us old enough to remember back to the days where the phone
company charged for extensions. They could measure the power drawn and
calculate how many phones were ringing. A common trick was to open the
extension phone and disconnect the bell.
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-08 17:06:11 UTC
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Post by Roy
Those of us old enough to remember back to the days where the phone
company charged for extensions. They could measure the power drawn and
calculate how many phones were ringing. A common trick was to open the
extension phone and disconnect the bell.
I remember connecting my first cordless phone, from Radio Shack.
I had to call Pac Bell, give them the FCC ID number, and when I told them
the REN was 1.0, they said I had exceeded my allowed ringer count, even
though nothing else was connected. I think that was a bluff, and wondered
if they could tell, or ever bothered to try to tell.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Steve Pope
2014-03-08 19:30:04 UTC
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Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
I remember connecting my first cordless phone, from Radio Shack.
I had to call Pac Bell, give them the FCC ID number, and when I told them
the REN was 1.0, they said I had exceeded my allowed ringer count, even
though nothing else was connected. I think that was a bluff, and wondered
if they could tell, or ever bothered to try to tell.
They may well have checked. They were (maybe still are) concerned
that there's not too much current off the battery. Sometimes folks
would power a light bulb (or something) of the phone line if
they had not paid their PG&E bill recently.

Steve
Thad Floryan
2014-03-08 22:10:09 UTC
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Post by Roy
[...]
[...]
[...]
A problem that can occur if the VOIP box can't supply enough power to
operate all the phones. This shows up with the inability to ring all
the phones (especially older ones).
Hi Roy,

FWIW, I checked several Ooma forums:

http://ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5802
http://henryranch.net/reviews/ooma-review-a-real-look-at-the-ooma-voip-phone-system/

and it's clear the Ooma Telo can provide up to a 5.0 REN.

REN = Ringer Equivalence Number and that number is "somewhere"
on every piece of telco gear I have and it's usually on the
underside of equipment alongside the part number and other info.

RENs are additive so if there were three phones on the line with
RENs of 0.5, 1 and 1.5 the total load would be 3.0 REN.

Just about everything I have has a REN of 0.0 or 0.1 except for
an AT&T CS2500DMGH (aka a Touch-Tone 500) whose REN is stated
on the label on the underside as "0.4A, 0.78" and there's a PacBell
wallphone in the kitchen whose REN I haven't checked yet since my
immediate priority is to clean up the demarc.
Post by Roy
Another symptom would be low sound if multiple phones are off hook.
Older phones and electronics could present that problem. A Plantronics
headset phone I have (Model SP-4) lists its REN as '0.0B' -- yes, that's
a 'B' and not an '8' as I just now checked using a magnifying glass.
Post by Roy
Those of us old enough to remember back to the days where the phone
company charged for extensions. They could measure the power drawn and
calculate how many phones were ringing. A common trick was to open the
extension phone and disconnect the bell.
Another trick "way back when" was to reverse the red and green wires in
the block on the wall to give oneself Touch-Tone service which was priced
at $2.50/month circa 1960s and 1970s even though the CO could handle both
without any difficulty. :-)

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-03-10 04:55:13 UTC
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Earlier today I connected my old Plantronics SP-04 headset
phone (REN = 0.0B) to the Ooma Telo and it worked perfectly
and I used it to activate a CC which arrived in yesterday's
postal mail.

After cleaning it up (since I bought it in July 1998) I
then connected my CIDCO SA-99A-22 Caller ID unit between
the Ooma Telo and the Plantronics headset and called the
Ooma from my AT&T Wireless cell phone.

Whoa! It worked perfectly and a 3-line CID display appeared
on the unit's LCD display:

1: 650-###-#### my cellphone's number
2: FLORYAN THADDEU name presumably from AT&T Wireless'
database; no room on the LCD to show
the S" at the end of THADDEUS
3: Date and time of the beginning of the call

and the date and time is now correctly set in the CID unit
which has a builtin battery backup (standard 9VDC battery)
so the database of the last 99 callers isn't lost. I also
put the CID external PSU on the same UPS as several of my
critical LAN services.

And not only that, the CID UNIT picked up on the Ooma's
Voice Mail status and it's displaying "MESSAGE WAITING" along
with a blinking red LED in unison with the blinking icon on
the Ooma Telo.

Have you ever heard the expression: "Happy Camper" ?

That's what I am right now!

It's rare that I pat myself on the back for doing something good,
and the purchase of the Ooma Telo is just such an occasion.

:-)

Thad
Roy
2014-03-10 05:51:42 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Earlier today I connected my old Plantronics SP-04 headset
phone (REN = 0.0B) to the Ooma Telo and it worked perfectly
and I used it to activate a CC which arrived in yesterday's
postal mail.
After cleaning it up (since I bought it in July 1998) I
then connected my CIDCO SA-99A-22 Caller ID unit between
the Ooma Telo and the Plantronics headset and called the
Ooma from my AT&T Wireless cell phone.
Whoa! It worked perfectly and a 3-line CID display appeared
1: 650-###-#### my cellphone's number
2: FLORYAN THADDEU name presumably from AT&T Wireless'
database; no room on the LCD to show
the S" at the end of THADDEUS
3: Date and time of the beginning of the call
...
Item #1 is the CID (Caller ID). This is provided by the origination
phone company and passed along with the call.

Item #2 is the CNAM (Caller Name). It does NOT come along with the call
from the originator.

Seeing the CNAM can cost extra. Its like checking you bag for the
plane. Fees mean revenue. CNAM is part of the Ooma premier level. A
new subscriber gets free access to premier for two months.

The CNAM info can come from one of several places.

1) There are CNAM databases that hold the info. This is where your
phone company puts the data in. The database is paid for by fees when
querying it which is another reason for the fees. The destination phone
company can look up the CID in the database and get the CNAM and send it
to your phone.

2) There may be s lookup function in the phone. When my wife calls my
cell, I see the entry from the phone's address book and not the CNAM
database.

3) The phone company can maintain an address book for you and look it up

OOMA's explanation and process to change a CNAM

http://www.ooma.com/app/support/outbound-caller-id-name-cnam-display
David Kaye
2014-03-10 05:54:59 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
1: 650-###-#### my cellphone's number
2: FLORYAN THADDEU name presumably from AT&T Wireless'
database; no room on the LCD to show
the S" at the end of THADDEUS
Do other cell companies send the user's name to the called party, Verizon
Wireless, for instance? I don't like that one bit.
Travis James
2014-03-10 14:55:10 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
1: 650-###-#### my cellphone's number
2: FLORYAN THADDEU name presumably from AT&T Wireless'
database; no room on the LCD to show
the S" at the end of THADDEUS
Do other cell companies send the user's name to the called party, Verizon
Wireless, for instance? I don't like that one bit.
Not by default. You can control it on VZW.

http://support.verizonwireless.com/support/faqs/FeaturesandOptionalServices/faq_share_name_id.html
David Kaye
2014-03-10 21:48:48 UTC
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Post by Travis James
Not by default. You can control it on VZW.
http://support.verizonwireless.com/support/faqs/FeaturesandOptionalServices/faq_share_name_id.html
Thank you!
Roy
2014-03-10 22:06:05 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Travis James
Not by default. You can control it on VZW.
http://support.verizonwireless.com/support/faqs/FeaturesandOptionalServices/faq_share_name_id.html
Thank you!
Note that this is for the name (CNAM). There is a different option to
turn off outbound callerid (CID). The feature is "Caller ID Blocking"
on this web page


http://support.verizonwireless.com/support/features/calling_features/caller_id.html
David Kaye
2014-03-11 07:37:25 UTC
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Post by Roy
Note that this is for the name (CNAM). There is a different option to
turn off outbound callerid (CID). The feature is "Caller ID Blocking" on
this web page
I have no problem with the called party knowing my name, but I've had
situations where I've called a place for info and then gotten a return call
from their sales force. I really don't want them addressing me by name
if/when they call back.
m***@gmail.com
2014-03-31 14:46:05 UTC
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Have you seen the GVMate at http://www.gvmate.com ?

I've got one and it supposed to keep working with Google Voice using Google Hangouts in the future. I like being able to pick up the phone call out using my Gmail contact list.
Thad Floryan
2014-03-06 23:13:27 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
$238.80 - $93.84 = $144.96 which is more than the $123.16 cost of the
Ooma box I bought at Amazon this past Saturday.
[...]
First time ever any problems with Amazon. I bought the Ooma Telo on
Saturday 1 March 2014 with free shipping delivery stated to be today,
Thursday, 6 March 2014.

But I never received a shipping notice email, and logging in to my
Amazon account has been showing "Preparing for Shipment" the past 5
days and nothing had been debited from my card as of 12noon today.

So I cancelled the Amazon order and ordered the Ooma Telo from Newegg
at 12:33pm today, the payment was debited within seconds, and just a
few minutes ago I received shipping and tracking info via OnTrac which
means 1 day in the 8 Western states served by OnTrac so I'll have the
Ooma Telo very likely tomorrow and that's free Newegg shipping. The
Newegg price for the Ooma Telo was only several dollars more than Amazon.

Has anyone else experienced such a shipping issue from Amazon? FWIW,
Amazon "free" shipping normally means 2-3 days in my experience.

Thad
sms
2014-03-07 03:20:26 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
$238.80 - $93.84 = $144.96 which is more than the $123.16 cost of the
Ooma box I bought at Amazon this past Saturday.
[...]
First time ever any problems with Amazon. I bought the Ooma Telo on
Saturday 1 March 2014 with free shipping delivery stated to be today,
Thursday, 6 March 2014.
But I never received a shipping notice email, and logging in to my
Amazon account has been showing "Preparing for Shipment" the past 5
days and nothing had been debited from my card as of 12noon today.
So I cancelled the Amazon order and ordered the Ooma Telo from Newegg
at 12:33pm today, the payment was debited within seconds, and just a
few minutes ago I received shipping and tracking info via OnTrac which
means 1 day in the 8 Western states served by OnTrac so I'll have the
Ooma Telo very likely tomorrow and that's free Newegg shipping. The
Newegg price for the Ooma Telo was only several dollars more than Amazon.
Has anyone else experienced such a shipping issue from Amazon? FWIW,
Amazon "free" shipping normally means 2-3 days in my experience.
I'm experiencing one now. A two day Prime shipment was supposed to come
yesterday via OnTrac but it's still not here. "Expected delivery:
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, by 8:00pm." If it's not here by tomorrow I'll
cancel it and order from Newegg.
Thad Floryan
2014-03-07 04:16:28 UTC
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Post by sms
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
First time ever any problems with Amazon. I bought the Ooma Telo on
Saturday 1 March 2014 with free shipping delivery stated to be today,
Thursday, 6 March 2014.
But I never received a shipping notice email, and logging in to my
Amazon account has been showing "Preparing for Shipment" the past 5
days and nothing had been debited from my card as of 12noon today.
So I cancelled the Amazon order and ordered the Ooma Telo from Newegg
[...]
I'm experiencing one now. A two day Prime shipment was supposed to come
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, by 8:00pm." If it's not here by tomorrow I'll
cancel it and order from Newegg.
[...]
Hi Steven,

Google isn't finding anything about Amazon shipping in 2014 but there
are the ton of hits for last December's holiday shipping delay fiascos.

The "funny" thing is that ever since I made the Amazon purchase last
Saturday my online checking account was showing "Processing" for the
Amazon purchase until today when it disappeared online. That's when
I realized I wouldn't have a problem [at my bank] canceling the order
and so I did and then I bought from Newegg which has gone smoothly as
usual.

The symptoms I'm seeing strongly suggest a failure at Amazon. Given
I have no knowledge of their internal operations, speculation would
be futile. I've seen nothing about the Amazon problem in any of the
online newspapers that I frequent daily, either.

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-03-07 22:19:09 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
So I cancelled the Amazon order and ordered the Ooma Telo from Newegg
at 12:33pm today, the payment was debited within seconds, and just a
few minutes ago I received shipping and tracking info via OnTrac which
means 1 day in the 8 Western states served by OnTrac so I'll have the
Ooma Telo very likely tomorrow and that's free Newegg shipping. The
Newegg price for the Ooma Telo was only several dollars more than Amazon.
[...]
Newegg and OnTrac never cease to amaze: I received the package at 1:05pm
today -- that's Newegg 1-day free shipping; tracking record (1 page, 40kB):

http://thadlabs.com/FILES/OnTrac_20140307_delivered.pdf

Overnight from Commerce CA (near LA) to Silicon Valley is per Googling:

distance from commerce california to menlo park california

5 hours 32 minutes, 366.5 miles

Thinking back to the symptoms I saw regarding Amazon's failure, the
problem appears to have been their billing system wasn't interfacing
properly with the account I charged (though it's worked many times just
fine in the past) and the disappearance yesterday of that pending charge
from the online site confirms it since the billing never occurred after
5 days so there was nothing shipped which is why I never received any
email with shipping info; fortunately it was so easy to cancel the order.

I wonder if Steven (sms) noticed a similar symptom with his "missing"
order.

And I wonder if Amazon was hacked again? After the Target fiasco nothing
would surprise me anymore.

Thad
sms
2014-03-08 01:07:44 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
So I cancelled the Amazon order and ordered the Ooma Telo from Newegg
at 12:33pm today, the payment was debited within seconds, and just a
few minutes ago I received shipping and tracking info via OnTrac which
means 1 day in the 8 Western states served by OnTrac so I'll have the
Ooma Telo very likely tomorrow and that's free Newegg shipping. The
Newegg price for the Ooma Telo was only several dollars more than Amazon.
[...]
Newegg and OnTrac never cease to amaze: I received the package at 1:05pm
http://thadlabs.com/FILES/OnTrac_20140307_delivered.pdf
distance from commerce california to menlo park california
5 hours 32 minutes, 366.5 miles
Thinking back to the symptoms I saw regarding Amazon's failure, the
problem appears to have been their billing system wasn't interfacing
properly with the account I charged (though it's worked many times just
fine in the past) and the disappearance yesterday of that pending charge
from the online site confirms it since the billing never occurred after
5 days so there was nothing shipped which is why I never received any
email with shipping info; fortunately it was so easy to cancel the order.
I wonder if Steven (sms) noticed a similar symptom with his "missing"
order.
And I wonder if Amazon was hacked again? After the Target fiasco nothing
would surprise me anymore.
Now Amazon tells me that the delay is because the package got sent to
the wrong carrier. It is coming via OnTrac. Probably got given to UPS
who returned it.

OnTrac is indeed amazing. I like that they deliver early in the morning,
before I leave the house, unlike UPS which typically delivers in my
neighborhood 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Monoprice also delivers next-day. They use "Norco" for California,
Arizona, and Nevada.
Thad Floryan
2014-03-08 02:23:11 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
Newegg and OnTrac never cease to amaze: I received the package at 1:05pm
today ...
[...]
Wow! Voice quality is excellent and, as Roy wrote earlier in a related
thread, it's a no-brainer plug-n-play solution that "just works".

The Telo firmware updated itself upon first powerup and it was fast due
to my Comcast cable connection.

It took a while to find some of my old phones with a low REN and I see
I need to get a new foam earpiece cover for my Plantronics headset (for
truly hands-free phone usage at the keyboard) -- the old foam crumbled
to dust after 12 years in a box in my garage.

I still need to cutback a large hedge to get to the old PacBell demarcs
so I can disconnect them and have the Ooma be the sole interface with
the phones [that will soon be re-connected] on the primary internal
house telco line (I used to have 4 land lines, 3 of which went only to
my home office for an HP FAX machine and 2 modems/voice lines.

At this point I can definitely say I'm a happy camper with Ooma! :-)

Thad
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-04-15 05:56:13 UTC
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Post by sms
proprietary system, at $9.99, Vonage isn't bad (though Ooma is less) but
$9.99 is not a price that you can sign up for. It's always amusing when
March 5, 2014: http://basictalk.com (Vonage)
BasicTalk $ 9.99
sms jinxed it.
The site is still there in April, but I received email notifying me that my
plan was ending.

"During May 2014, the Vonage BasicTalk promotional calling plan will no
longer be available. Effective with your 04/10/2014 bill cycle, you will be
upgraded to our Vonage Preferred U.S. & Canada Unlimited calling plan, a
new _exclusive_ home phone service plan at an $11.99/month rate (plus
taxes). "

Looking back at the original site, I see "$9.99 every month". Not "$9.99
until we send you an email that says differently."
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Thad Floryan
2014-04-15 06:29:21 UTC
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Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
[...]
sms jinxed it.
The site is still there in April, but I received email notifying me that my
plan was ending.
"During May 2014, the Vonage BasicTalk promotional calling plan will no
longer be available. Effective with your 04/10/2014 bill cycle, you will be
upgraded to our Vonage Preferred U.S. & Canada Unlimited calling plan, a
new _exclusive_ home phone service plan at an $11.99/month rate (plus
taxes). "
Looking back at the original site, I see "$9.99 every month". Not "$9.99
until we send you an email that says differently."
I just had my first Ooma autopay debited from my checking account
for the incredibly massive amount of $3.94 on April 11, 2014, one
month after I initiated the free service.

That $3.94 is solely the 911 fees and all taxes. That's for excellent
quality free VoIP throughout the USA. I may elect to upgrade to the
Premier service, $9.99/month, for its other features when the 2-month
free trial of Premier expires:

http://www.ooma.com/

http://www.ooma.com/products

http://www.ooma.com/products/basic the free service

http://www.ooma.com/products/premier

To say the least, I'm very impressed with Ooma's service and I'm
still incredulous the Ooma Telo device is acting like a telco CO
and providing a Ringer Equivalence Number (REN) of 5.0 servicing
all the phones in my home along with a standard dial tone after
the short Ooma "dialtone" upon off-hook.

The phone instruments presently connected to my Ooma Telo are:

- Plantronics SP-04 headset phone with a Cidco SA-99A-22
caller ID box with 99 number memory and backlight in my
home office

- PacBell wallphone with Caller ID in my kitchen

- Western Electric 2500 with backlit keys in my bedroon

I'm still examining reader reviews of other phones because I want
one more for another room in the house. It's critical to be sure
a new landline phone doesn't use expensive exotic batteries, have
a backlit LCD display, and have a Caller ID Memory along with an
indicator showing there are Voice Mail messages waiting.

Yes, the Ooma uses standard, "everyday" landline phones vs the very
expensive VoIP phones such as a Cisco 7960 or equivalent.

Thad
Roy
2014-04-15 13:20:43 UTC
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Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by sms
proprietary system, at $9.99, Vonage isn't bad (though Ooma is less) but
$9.99 is not a price that you can sign up for. It's always amusing when
March 5, 2014: http://basictalk.com (Vonage)
BasicTalk $ 9.99
sms jinxed it.
The site is still there in April, but I received email notifying me that my
plan was ending.
"During May 2014, the Vonage BasicTalk promotional calling plan will no
longer be available. Effective with your 04/10/2014 bill cycle, you will be
upgraded to our Vonage Preferred U.S. & Canada Unlimited calling plan, a
new _exclusive_ home phone service plan at an $11.99/month rate (plus
taxes). "
Looking back at the original site, I see "$9.99 every month". Not "$9.99
until we send you an email that says differently."
The Basictalk website still shows that as of today.

The Vonage website shows the $9.99 rate is only good for six months

It may be worth a call. Maybe its some bureaucratic foul-up.
sms
2014-04-15 14:47:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
Post by sms
proprietary system, at $9.99, Vonage isn't bad (though Ooma is less) but
$9.99 is not a price that you can sign up for. It's always amusing when
March 5, 2014: http://basictalk.com (Vonage)
BasicTalk $ 9.99
sms jinxed it.
The site is still there in April, but I received email notifying me that my
plan was ending.
"During May 2014, the Vonage BasicTalk promotional calling plan will no
longer be available. Effective with your 04/10/2014 bill cycle, you will be
upgraded to our Vonage Preferred U.S. & Canada Unlimited calling plan, a
new _exclusive_ home phone service plan at an $11.99/month rate (plus
taxes). "
Looking back at the original site, I see "$9.99 every month". Not "$9.99
until we send you an email that says differently."
Sorry.

The good news is that you are now going to be on a "new _exclusive_"
service; you should feel very special.

Switch to Ooma.
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-04-15 18:57:00 UTC
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Post by sms
Sorry.
The good news is that you are now going to be on a "new _exclusive_"
service; you should feel very special.
I feel so special.

Mediacom is sending me email and USMail offering their wonderful phone
service at $9.99/mo for two years.
Post by sms
Switch to Ooma.
Gotta love that number portability.
(That drove me nuts as a small carrier, where we rented space on a switch
in Oakland that was also rented to our competitors. If someone ported from
one of us to the other, especially with someone else in between, the
billing would wind up on the wrong Telco, which would make for irate
customers.)

I'm not ready to jump off the Vonage wagon yet, and if I do, it would
probably be back to Mediacom for two years.

Right after I use my Vonage "Extension" to make some calls in Europe this
summer.

By then, we'll see if Ooma is still high on the list for sms and Thad.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Thad Floryan
2014-04-15 23:27:06 UTC
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Post by d***@69.usenet.us.com
[...]
I'm not ready to jump off the Vonage wagon yet, and if I do, it would
probably be back to Mediacom for two years.
Right after I use my Vonage "Extension" to make some calls in Europe this
summer.
By then, we'll see if Ooma is still high on the list for sms and Thad.
Hi Clarence,

Add Roy to the list.

Though I've been "looking" at Ooma for over 6 years I just
didn't have enough incentive to change my cellphone-only
stance after abandoning PacBell landlines in 2002.

Roy's comments about 5-6 weeks ago plus my need to contact
a service for a water heater replacement plus my need to
contact the Santa Clara County Tax Collectors office re:
removing items from my tax bill finally were the incentives
I needed to get Ooma so I could use my Plantronics headset
phone hands free while also using a computer keyboard.

I had called over 80 so-called water heater plumbing companies
all of whom rudely hung up after I asked for a quote and that
was becoming annoying using my cellphone.*

I had been on hold for over an hour some days attempting to contact
the Tax Collector and that was becoming annoying and frustrating
using my cell phone especially when the battery would deplete
after being on hold.

So I got the Ooma and I'm kicking myself for not doing it earlier.

Ooma's voice quality is exemplary and as good or better than the
Asterisk systems I've setup for clients over the years which were
better than PacBell's landlines and I'm simply flabbergasted that
the Ooma setup was so easy with BIG thanks to Roy for his tests
and comments -- it was simply a plug'n'play on my LAN followed by
a simple setup at Ooma: choose a phone number, billing info, E911
info, then later the Voice Mail setup (e.g., greeting, etc).

Now here's something strange: it seems Roy and I bought the Ooma
Telo at the "right" time because there's a new model Telo that
appears to be stripped down and I cannot find a manual for it but
photos of both are here for comparison:

http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17120

and another picture of the "new" Telo can be seen on this page:

http://www.ooma.com/products

It doesn't have as many buttons as the model that Roy and I bought
and it's not clear what's on the back panel. This probably explains
why the model that Roy and I bought had a price reduction from Amazon,
Newegg, et al a month or so ago. I'm not complaining and I'm very
pleased with the model I have.

Thad

* the company that did provide me a quote and a special financing
arrangement [I'm retired now] and spent an incredible 9 hours from
9am until 6pm with only a short lunch break on March 10 bringing
everything up to code with a new gas line, superior drain pan, all
copper piping, etc etc etc and including an "infinite" warranty is
this one whose work replacing the old heater (a Bradford-White
40-gallon which lasted 4 years beyond its 10-year warranty) and made
it all looking like a work of art is:

http://www.mikecounsilplumbing.com/

for whom I have the highest respect for quality of work *AND* good
business practices (i.e., not hanging up on me when I asked for a
ballpark quote so I could have money transferred into my checking
account).
Steve Pope
2014-04-16 00:47:38 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Thad Floryan
I had called over 80 so-called water heater plumbing companies
all of whom rudely hung up after I asked for a quote [...]
* the company that did provide me a quote and a special financing
arrangement [I'm retired now] and spent an incredible 9 hours from
9am until 6pm with only a short lunch break on March 10 bringing
everything up to code with a new gas line, superior drain pan, all
copper piping, etc etc etc and including an "infinite" warranty is
this one whose work replacing the old heater (a Bradford-White
40-gallon which lasted 4 years beyond its 10-year warranty) and made
http://www.mikecounsilplumbing.com/
for whom I have the highest respect for quality of work *AND* good
business practices (i.e., not hanging up on me when I asked for a
ballpark quote so I could have money transferred into my checking
account).
I'm glad you found a good plumber, and am a little shocked at
the "over 80" number.

I've swapped out water heaters twice, and had a new tankless
one installed recently (which involved replumbing both gas
and water lines)... any plumber should be able to do it
and should give you an idea of the cost.

Steve
Thad Floryan
2014-04-16 01:29:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steve Pope
Post by Thad Floryan
I had called over 80 so-called water heater plumbing companies
all of whom rudely hung up after I asked for a quote [...]
[...]
http://www.mikecounsilplumbing.com/
[...]
I'm glad you found a good plumber, and am a little shocked at
the "over 80" number.
Hi Steve,

I was frustrated beyond belief with the attitude of so many
plumbing operations and breathed a deep sigh of relief when
the company (above URL) demonstrated sound business practice.

The plumbing company with which I'd done business for over
40 years no longer exists in the same form -- it's now just
one technician and apparently his girlfriend answering the
phone in a surly tone.

The company whose URL is above didn't even pop up in any
search I did and I found it solely looking at Yelp and saw
they service Mountain View and Los Altos but there were no
reviews at all. At that point I called them really out of
desperation and they came through with flying colors.

If there was a place from which I could buy a water heater
my best friend and I could probably have installed it but
the code issues, new gas piping arrangement, etc. made me
uncomfortable though my friend had once installed a water
heater in his home in Palo Alto and is likely to be soon
in need of a replacement for that one.

I have another water heater (also 40 gallons) at the other
end of the house which still has 4 years left on warranty
and if it acts like the one that was just replaced 4 years
after its 10-year warranty expired I'll be in fine shape
for awhile and will have the above company replace that one,
too, when it's time.

Don't laugh too hard, but I had 15 3"x6"x1" sponges on the
floor surrounding the leaking water heater and I'd squeeze
them out once a day into a bucket during the period I was
seeking a plumber -- fortunately it was a slow leak from the
bottom of the heater whereas prior heaters just blew their
guts out with the water escaping out the emergency drain.
Post by Steve Pope
I've swapped out water heaters twice, and had a new tankless
one installed recently (which involved replumbing both gas
and water lines)... any plumber should be able to do it
and should give you an idea of the cost.
That's why I was shocked calling so many "services" and being
rudely hung-up-upon -- I never expected there to be some kind
of "plumbing cabal" conspiracy among all the local plumbing
shops who withhold all their pricing secrets until one gives
them their firstborn. Or something like that. :-)

In any event, I'm happy to have found a reputable service and
I hope they can be of service to others in need, too.

Refrigerators are another issue and I was surprised to learn
8 years ago that many folks replace theirs after 10 years
whether they need to do so or not. Long story short, my
previous fridge went belly up (losing about $300 worth of
food) and getting a replacement normally would take a week.
I finally contacted Meyer Electric in Mountain View and
they also stated 1 week for a new fridge but I couldn't wait
and they accommodated me by selling and delivering one the
same day from their showroom floor. They, too, are a great
company to deal with.

Thad
David Kaye
2014-04-16 11:32:08 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
The company whose URL is above didn't even pop up in any
search I did and I found it solely looking at Yelp and saw
they service Mountain View and Los Altos but there were no
reviews at all. At that point I called them really out of
desperation and they came through with flying colors.
Many of the very best businesses do not use websites. For myself I have two
websites (they focus just a little differently), but I can't say that I've
ever gotten more than about 5 clients in total from them.

I know an excellent commercial plumber. He does bars, restaurants, and
other smaller commercial jobs. He has been in business for about 15 years,
provides reliable service, and has never had a website. He does McDonald's,
several bars in SF, etc., and gets new leads via word of mouth. He can
design plumbing systems, tear up concrete and replace mains, etc., but as I
said, he has never had a website.

I know two cabinet makers, a metal worker who installs awnings and
handrails, a guy who does upscale kitchen remodels, a karaoke jockey, and a
personal chef -- and none of them have websites, either.

Given the difficulty I've had in driving people to my websites and given the
excellent word of mouth I've gotten over the years, it's easy to see why
some of the most successful business people, especially those in the trades,
don't even BOTHER to have websites.
Thad Floryan
2014-04-16 20:53:58 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
[..]
Refrigerators are another issue and I was surprised to learn
8 years ago that many folks replace theirs after 10 years
whether they need to do so or not. Long story short, my
previous fridge went belly up (losing about $300 worth of
food) and getting a replacement normally would take a week.
I finally contacted Meyer Electric in Mountain View and
they also stated 1 week for a new fridge but I couldn't wait
and they accommodated me by selling and delivering one the
same day from their showroom floor. They, too, are a great
company to deal with.
I erred, its name is/was Meyer Appliance not Meyer Electric.

I wanted to look up their address for my records and discovered
they've moved from Castro Street in Mountain View to what seems
to be Sunnyvale but is, in fact, still Mountain View just east
of Hwy 237 at their new location on El Camino:

http://mountainview.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/where-did-meyer-appliance-go

Name, product focus and product selection have changed also:

http://kitchensbymeyer.com/

http://kitchensbymeyer.com/appliances/

Thad
d***@69.usenet.us.com
2014-03-05 17:19:24 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Since you have a functioning Ooma Telo, I hope you don't mind answering
a few Qs.
It is probably similar to the Vonage box.
It works plugged in behind my cable modem - router - Vonage.
It has a locally assigned DHCP address.

On the upstream side
Nmap scan report for 192.168.56.102 Vonage, taken with -Pn
Host is up (0.015s latency).
Not shown: 999 filtered ports
PORT STATE SERVICE
10000/tcp closed snet-sensor-mgmt

It has a passthrough port, with a web interface available on the LAN side.
The web interface offers various firewall-ish features, and I have one
device downstream that doesn't seem to care that it winds up with a
double-NAT for my purposes.
Post by Thad Floryan
2. If one places an Ooma Telo on one's LAN, I'm assuming DHCP will be
used by the Telo to acquire a LAN IP and the gateway IP. Is this a
correct assumption or is there, say, a webpage config setup within
the Ooma Telo to setup its IP, gateway, DNS, and more?
The web interface is only available on the LAN side, but I don't recall
that there is anything there that you need to visit.
Post by Thad Floryan
3. If one places an Ooma Telo on one's LAN, that implies port(s) will
need to be opened on one's firewall/router and then it will appear
Maybe the Vonage adapter opens an outbound connection to a server and keeps
it open for incoming calls. I have no incoming port forwarding set, and
UPnP is disabled.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
d***@gmail.com
2014-05-18 05:14:47 UTC
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Post by Roy
Post by sms
Post by David Kaye
Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I never understood the business model of "free". Advertising only
goes so
far, and I never click on any of the Google ads.
Many ads are sold on impressions and not on clicks. When a movie
comes out,
you're likely to see graphics in a banner ad and maybe a trailer for the
movie on many web portals such as Yahoo. No need to click through.
Post by d***@08.usenet.us.com
I'd rather pay $9.99/month.
This is the "you get what you pay for" model. People complain when their
free services have problems, but refuse to pay even a small amount to
subscribe to something.
In the case of Google Voice, people would be happy to pay a small amount
for the service to continue as it had. They'd also be happy to pay for
the ability to do international forwarding. Google doesn't want to be in
this business anymore.
What is annoying is that Google Voice essentially drove several other
services out of business by providing an equivalent service for free.
That said, there are still fee for service VOIP providers that offer
fair prices and good quality with a non-proprietary system. Vonage is
not one of those providers. Callcentric is fairly priced. Well for a
proprietary system, at $9.99, Vonage isn't bad (though Ooma is less) but
$9.99 is not a price that you can sign up for. It's always amusing when
someone proclaims that a particular service is a great deal when they
are getting a price obtainable only by being grandfathered in, or by
continuously threatening to unsubscribe.
OOMA is less than $4/month and seems to work just fine. A friend has
had it for years and I finally added it here and switched my landline
number to it.
One nice thing about OOMA is that there no configuration necessary for
the box in most cases.
I have Obihai 100 which is still working even though it is May 17. The nice thing about the Obi is that (so far) you can dial right on the hand set instead of dialing through GV. I have a free Callcentric number from New York (all in-coming calls are free) and use their 911e service for $1.50 per month. I also have a Cisco adapter coupled with Callcentric at another place which will continue to work -- even when Google discontinues the xmpp service, but I have to dial using the Google Voice website (my google site) -- and (except for the 911 fee) calling and receiving calls is completely free.

I also have two Android devices (a htc phone and a Nexus 7) from which I can call any phone in the US for free. I use the free Groove IP Lite app which is now working with another company which gives you a free phone number -- and free calls (receiving and outgoing). So Google's actions haven't stopped people from calling for free at all.
d***@08.usenet.us.com
2014-03-05 17:03:35 UTC
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Post by sms
proprietary system, at $9.99, Vonage isn't bad (though Ooma is less) but
$9.99 is not a price that you can sign up for. It's always amusing when
"For 2013, the Company reported a positive swing of nearly 25,000 net line
additions compared to the prior year, aided by the addition of subscribers
to BasicTalk, "

http://www.basictalk.com/ is the site where you can sign up today, for
Vonage for $9.99, "every month". It was Vonage.com/basictalk for a while,
but it is not there any more.

What I find annoying is products that pitch a low entry price without
telling you what it is going to be in 3 months, or one year, or whatever,
and then, _after_ you quite, try to get you to come back at the old price.

I use the Vonage adapter at home, and Vonage Extensions to make WiFi calls
on my cell phone.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
Jake
2014-04-23 20:54:59 UTC
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Post by SMS
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
I believe Google does collect advertising metrics from voice and text. There have been a few occasions when I've discussed a product with someone on the phone and then I was fed Google ad banners for the same products on various web sites immediately after the call. Seemed to be more than just a coincidence.
m***@gmail.com
2014-04-23 23:54:25 UTC
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Would google voice still work on my android phone? One solution I am considering is to use a cheap android phone as a home phone with google voice.

Milind
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
d***@08.usenet.us.com
2014-04-25 05:35:55 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Would google voice still work on my android phone? One solution I am
considering is to use a cheap android phone as a home phone with google
voice.
As nearly as I can tell, the tools that allowed WiFi usage of Google Voice
on your phone are gone, or soon will be.

With the standard Google Voice app, when you place a call, Google calls
you, and you answer your cell phone. For international, that can be a cost
savings, but it is a cellular call to your phone, and cellular minutes
during the call.

In the US, you might be able to use the Vonage Mobile app to make WiFi
calls, if that is what you are after. I use that from both my cell phone
and my WiFi-only tablet.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vonage.TimeToCall

-- Clarence
c***@gmail.com
2014-05-15 17:37:42 UTC
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And so here we are...I haven't seen any coverage of this yet today, and I won't be able to try Groove IP until later this evening.

So what gives?
m***@gmail.com
2014-05-15 17:45:13 UTC
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This is a dumb thing to do because it seems they forgot about the revenue they make from international calls. The best example is myself: while it is true that I was using a Google Voice number for free on an Obi device, I was making $10-$20 worth of international calls each month using Google Voice. Now I will be spending that money on international calls made through my new VoIP provider, which has comparable and sometimes cheaper rates. I will not be making international calls with Google Voice through the PC because it is inconvenient.
d***@gmail.com
2014-05-15 20:47:08 UTC
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I'm glad the browser calling option still works (for now) since that's what I use the most. I can still send SMS though hangouts on Android, so that is good enough. I currently pay $10 a month for LTE data on my Nexus 5 (no voice plan) and have more than enough data to spare. I refuse to pay for a voice plan on this phone.

Now that GV Jack and Talkatone no longer work, it seems silly that I can't just use hangouts to make calls on Android like I do on my desktop or laptop. It's time for Google to modify their basic phone app, or google voice, or hangouts, so that calling through google voice on Android is as simple as it is through my browser.

Oh well. Just texting for me for now. I'll be just fine.
i***@gmail.com
2014-05-15 23:08:44 UTC
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I use simonics to connect my google voice to sip. And it still works so far.
Thad Floryan
2014-05-15 23:51:24 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by i***@gmail.com
I use simonics to connect my google voice to sip. And it still works so far.
FWIW, today is still 15 May 2014, in California, at 4:51pm PDT

The announcement stated "... after May 15 ..." blah blah blah

Try again tomorrow, Friday, 16 May 2014. :-)

Thad
Travis James
2014-05-16 05:48:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by d***@gmail.com
I'm glad the browser calling option still works (for now) since that's what I use the most. I can still send SMS though hangouts on Android, so that is good enough. I currently pay $10 a month for LTE data on my Nexus 5 (no voice plan) and have more than enough data to spare. I refuse to pay for a voice plan on this phone.
Now that GV Jack and Talkatone no longer work, it seems silly that I can't just use hangouts to make calls on Android like I do on my desktop or laptop. It's time for Google to modify their basic phone app, or google voice, or hangouts, so that calling through google voice on Android is as simple as it is through my browser.
I'm so glad my job interview with Talkatone didn't go well. I thought it
would be an interesting place to work (Java + iOS), but their needs
didn't line up with my particular skills. It's a cool app, but without
GV, I don't know where they can stand out and monetize. Basic text/voice
over IP apps on iOS are a dime a dozen.
i***@gmail.com
2014-05-16 16:31:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
It still seems to be working event today!
d***@gmail.com
2014-05-16 16:56:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
My Obi unit is still letting me make calls via my analog phone and today is May 16. Anyone hear of any announcement of the fact that it was delayed or just not going to happen right away. Maybe when they say "not going to support XMPP protocol" might mean they are not going to keep it updated to work with Google Voice. Maybe it will work unless they happen to hit a button to change it in some way.
s***@gmail.com
2014-05-16 18:03:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by d***@gmail.com
My Obi unit is still letting me make calls via my analog phone and today is May 16. Anyone hear of any announcement of the fact that it was delayed or just not going to happen right away. Maybe when they say "not going to support XMPP protocol" might mean they are not going to keep it updated to work with Google Voice. Maybe it will work unless they happen to hit a button to change it in some way.
Yep mine is still working... I had researched alternatives but never made the switch. I'll probably just wait until it's disconnected.
e***@gmail.com
2014-05-16 17:26:17 UTC
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I know.
k***@gmail.com
2014-05-16 23:14:16 UTC
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Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
I, like many in my situation, rely on the free VoIP service with my Google Voice number. I can't pay for a home phone, nor can I afford cell phone service. I do not want to change my Google Voice chat feature and home phone voice service to another provider. I can't afford to. This totally sucks! Was anyone thinking of the negative impact it would have on people on fixed incomes who rely on this service? I am totally upset and very much hurt financially and physically by this change!
Thad Floryan
2014-05-17 01:06:43 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
I, like many in my situation, rely on the free VoIP service with
my Google Voice number. I can't pay for a home phone, nor can I
afford cell phone service. I do not want to change my Google Voice
chat feature and home phone voice service to another provider. I
can't afford to. This totally sucks! Was anyone thinking of the
negative impact it would have on people on fixed incomes who rely
on this service? I am totally upset and very much hurt financially
and physically by this change!
I sympathize with your plight. I was down to $13 in my checking
account this morning and had to call my financial advisor to move
some funds into the account to cover food purchases later today,
DMV car registration, and a pizza since my Social Security deposits
are the 3rd Wednesday of every month (bastards wouldn't change it)
which is next Wednesday, 21 May 2014. I literally budget down to
the penny and I know the current prices of everything I [will] buy.

From events and things I've heard and seen over the years, whenever
a Google project manager gets bored, the project goes belly-up and
that's my take on the Google Voice issue.

TANSTAAFL -- There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

As we've discussed here before, Ooma VoIP service is essentially
free except for a $3.91 monthly fee for federal/state taxes and
E911 service. The purchase of the Ooma Telo box (probably can be
found refurbed/used) is necessary as is a relatively hi-speed
Internet connection -- DSL will work, cable is better -- as can
be tested here:

http://www.ooma.com/support/internet-speed-test

and they'll tell you if your connection will work satisfactorily.

What company *IS* your present home telephone service provider?

How would you be able to change to another one if you wanted to
do so?

You're using gmail and Usenet which implies you have an Internet
connection, so what's wrong with the idea of cancelling your
present home telephone service and going VoIP over, say, Ooma?
[Or are you using DSL over your present phone service?]

Perhaps other respondents will have some other ideas for you.

Thad
Roy
2014-05-17 05:51:25 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Thad Floryan
...
I sympathize with your plight. I was down to $13 in my checking
account this morning and had to call my financial advisor to move
some funds into the account to cover food purchases later today,
DMV car registration, and a pizza since my Social Security deposits
are the 3rd Wednesday of every month (bastards wouldn't change it)
which is next Wednesday, 21 May 2014. I literally budget down to
the penny and I know the current prices of everything I [will] buy.
...
Just as a odd factoid, the payment date for regular social security is
determined by your birthday unless you started receiving benefits prior
to May 1997

Benefits paid on Birth date on
Second Wednesday 1st to 10th
Third Wednesday 11th to 20th
Fourth Wednesday 21st to 31st

See

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031.pdf

Also

If you apply for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income
benefits, a new law went into effect March 1, 2013, requiring that you
receive your payments electronically.
Thad Floryan
2014-05-17 21:00:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
[...]
... since my Social Security deposits
are the 3rd Wednesday of every month (bastards wouldn't change it)
which is next Wednesday, 21 May 2014.
...
Just as a odd factoid, the payment date for regular social security is
determined by your birthday unless you started receiving benefits prior
to May 1997
Benefits paid on Birth date on
Second Wednesday 1st to 10th
Third Wednesday 11th to 20th
Fourth Wednesday 21st to 31st
See
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031.pdf
Hi Roy,

That is "odd" in that they never told me why they couldn't change the
payment date which frequently falls past the due dates of many bills.

I've since been accommodated by most businesses except PG&E who keeps
moving the due date closer to the beginning of each month -- payments
often cross PG&E bills in the mail but it hasn't been a problem yet
especially since I'm on PG&E's "CARE" program (and Cal Water's LIRA).
Post by Roy
Also
If you apply for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income
benefits, a new law went into effect March 1, 2013, requiring that you
receive your payments electronically.
Which makes sense since there's no chance of checks being stolen from
one's mail box. Plus, the deposits (at least for me) appear by 1:30am
on the payment date seen via online banking -- I always check to be sure
the money is in the account before I drive to the post office and mail
my monthly bill payments for accounts that vary monthly whereas Comcast,
Ooma and Verio are the same amount each month and are auto-paid.

Thad
Roy
2014-05-17 22:51:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Roy
[...]
... since my Social Security deposits
are the 3rd Wednesday of every month (bastards wouldn't change it)
which is next Wednesday, 21 May 2014.
...
Just as a odd factoid, the payment date for regular social security is
determined by your birthday unless you started receiving benefits prior
to May 1997
Benefits paid on Birth date on
Second Wednesday 1st to 10th
Third Wednesday 11th to 20th
Fourth Wednesday 21st to 31st
See
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031.pdf
Hi Roy,
That is "odd" in that they never told me why they couldn't change the
payment date which frequently falls past the due dates of many bills.
I've since been accommodated by most businesses except PG&E who keeps
moving the due date closer to the beginning of each month -- payments
often cross PG&E bills in the mail but it hasn't been a problem yet
especially since I'm on PG&E's "CARE" program (and Cal Water's LIRA).
...
PGE runs on their own billing time. Check your bill and it will show
the number of days in the billing period. It varies from 28 to 32 days.
In the "old" days of meter readers, the cycle moved around to
accommodate weekends and holidays when the readers didn't work

With "smart" meters, I don't know why they cling to their billing cycles.
Thad Floryan
2014-05-18 04:06:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Roy
[...]
... since my Social Security deposits
are the 3rd Wednesday of every month (bastards wouldn't change it)
which is next Wednesday, 21 May 2014.
...
Just as a odd factoid, the payment date for regular social security is
determined by your birthday unless you started receiving benefits prior
to May 1997
Benefits paid on Birth date on
Second Wednesday 1st to 10th
Third Wednesday 11th to 20th
Fourth Wednesday 21st to 31st
See
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031.pdf
Hi Roy,
That is "odd" in that they never told me why they couldn't change the
payment date which frequently falls past the due dates of many bills.
I've since been accommodated by most businesses except PG&E who keeps
moving the due date closer to the beginning of each month -- payments
often cross PG&E bills in the mail but it hasn't been a problem yet
especially since I'm on PG&E's "CARE" program (and Cal Water's LIRA).
...
PGE runs on their own billing time. Check your bill and it will show
the number of days in the billing period. It varies from 28 to 32 days.
In the "old" days of meter readers, the cycle moved around to
accommodate weekends and holidays when the readers didn't work
With "smart" meters, I don't know why they cling to their billing cycles.
Hi Roy,

Another thing PG&E doesn't tell people is the Smart and TOU meters last
only 10 years or so before they go belly-up due to internal battery death.

Back about 35-40 years ago I was one of the 100 households who volunteered
and was accepted for the Time-Of-Use (TOU) meter test program which allegedly
would save me money by charging a high rate for electrical usage between
12 noon and 6PM Monday-Friday, and a much lower rate at all other times
and on weekends. The program was a resounding success and I save a LOT of
money.

Fast forward 10 years and one month's bill more than tripled due to the TOU
meter's internal battery having died and the internal clock W-A-Y off so that
my laundry (electric dryer), cooking and computer usage which I was doing at
7pm to 1am was being charged as if it was 12noon to 6pm. YIKES!

PG&E and I resolved that amicably (esp. since I'm a shareholder) and every
10 years since then PG&E has installed a new meter. My "Smart Meter" was
installed 11 January 2012 and I expect it to belly-up during 2022 and
require replacement -- I wonder if PG&E has forgotten about the battery
failures in such meters and will have to replace them all. :-)

I'm on the 5th meter since I moved here in 1966. Original meter was an
analog one, then 3 TOU digital meters, and now a "Smart Meter".

My present PG&E bill is $55.16 with a 14 May 2014 due date that I cannot
pay until 21 May 2014 when Social Security deposits money to my checking
account. My PG&E bills used to be due around the 25th of each month.

As a result of the original TOU failure, every night since then I record the
present meter's readings so I can catch when a battery fails. The different
forms I use to record TOU and "Smart Meter" (SM) readings are here:

http://thadlabs.com/FILES/PG+E_elec_meter_reads_TOU.pdf 24.2kB

http://thadlabs.com/FILES/PG+E_elec_meter_reads_SM.pdf 10.5kB

and here's a similar form I use to track water usage to detect leaks:

http://thadlabs.com/FILES/Cal_Water_meter_reads.pdf 6.48kB

Feel welcome to use those forms. For the curious, I use xfig to produce
the forms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xfig which runs on UNIX/Linux.

Thad
Mike Stump
2014-05-20 21:17:31 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Roy
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Roy
[...]
... since my Social Security deposits
are the 3rd Wednesday of every month (bastards wouldn't change it)
which is next Wednesday, 21 May 2014.
...
Just as a odd factoid, the payment date for regular social security is
determined by your birthday unless you started receiving benefits prior
to May 1997
Benefits paid on Birth date on
Second Wednesday 1st to 10th
Third Wednesday 11th to 20th
Fourth Wednesday 21st to 31st
See
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031.pdf
Hi Roy,
That is "odd" in that they never told me why they couldn't change the
payment date which frequently falls past the due dates of many bills.
I've since been accommodated by most businesses except PG&E who keeps
moving the due date closer to the beginning of each month -- payments
often cross PG&E bills in the mail but it hasn't been a problem yet
especially since I'm on PG&E's "CARE" program (and Cal Water's LIRA).
...
PGE runs on their own billing time. Check your bill and it will show
the number of days in the billing period. It varies from 28 to 32 days.
In the "old" days of meter readers, the cycle moved around to
accommodate weekends and holidays when the readers didn't work
With "smart" meters, I don't know why they cling to their billing cycles.
Hi Roy,
Another thing PG&E doesn't tell people is the Smart and TOU meters last
only 10 years or so before they go belly-up due to internal battery death.
A curious read:

http://www.waterworld.com/articles/print/volume-28/issue-8/advanced-metering-infrastructure/smart-power-for-ami-smart-meters.html

but, I kinda wonder why they just don't have a way of sipping a little
power from the mains and have a supercap to even out any downsides...
Maybe the employees union forced them to have a battery? :-)
Thad Floryan
2014-05-18 04:36:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
[...]
Just as a odd factoid, the payment date for regular social security is
determined by your birthday unless you started receiving benefits prior
to May 1997
Benefits paid on Birth date on
Second Wednesday 1st to 10th
Third Wednesday 11th to 20th
Fourth Wednesday 21st to 31st
See
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031.pdf
[..]
Hi Roy,

And here's a document from the Congressional Reference Service which
describes how Social Security benefits are computed noting FAS is the
Federation of American Scientists' website I've mentioned previously:

"How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief," May 12, 2014,
10 pages, 264kB:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43542.pdf

For those who've forgotten:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_American_Scientists

who provides for free all documentation the US Government doesn't want
its tax-paying citizens to see or know about including military docs,
Department of State docs, Executive Orders, and much more.

Free "Secrecy News" here:

The Secrecy News Blog is at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
http://blogs.fas.org/secrecy/subscribe/

Secrecy News is archived at:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-05-18 04:40:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
And here's a document from the Congressional Reference Service which
[...]
Oops, make that "Congressional Research Service" whose website can only
be accessed from a *.gov or *.mil location:

http://www.crs.gov

Thad
m***@matthewmcbride.com
2014-05-19 16:05:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
I have yet to see Google make this announcement. Obihai said that it will stop working, and then offered to sell me phone service.

Google, on the other hand remains silent.

Thoughts?
sms
2014-05-19 16:18:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@matthewmcbride.com
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
I have yet to see Google make this announcement. Obihai said that it will stop working, and then offered to sell me phone service.
Google, on the other hand remains silent.
Thoughts?
They are under no obligation to make such an announcement. They never
promoted Google Voice as working with these services. Talkatone also no
longer works either.
Roy
2014-05-19 17:09:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by sms
Post by m***@matthewmcbride.com
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
I have yet to see Google make this announcement. Obihai said that it
will stop working, and then offered to sell me phone service.
Google, on the other hand remains silent.
Thoughts?
They are under no obligation to make such an announcement. They never
promoted Google Voice as working with these services. Talkatone also no
longer works either.
Here is the "announcement"

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NikhylSinghal/posts/MjyncJEbzxK
c***@gmail.com
2014-05-27 23:17:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
Here is the "announcement"
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NikhylSinghal/posts/MjyncJEbzxK
Haha, the recent comments to that are great.

And good on GrooveIP! Wouldn't be surprised to see Obahai move to ring.to as well.
c***@gmail.com
2014-05-27 23:18:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roy
Here is the "announcement"
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NikhylSinghal/posts/MjyncJEbzxK
Haha, the recent comments to that are great.

And good on GrooveIP! Wouldn't be surprised to see Obahai move to ring.to as well.
t***@gmail.com
2014-05-25 22:38:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
I'd would like to see them to come out own VOIP adapter and just be a cheaper service then the others if they would beat the other VOIP services I'd get it. Also google would still a big profits. I'd use because the features that let's me have way better control then the other companies that either don't have those features or they get to costly. I also think that since the google fiber service growth that a lot of services well be gone from free. but from what I'm hearing is the best service out and a lot of other companies are worried.
j***@gmail.com
2014-06-03 18:30:57 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
Ooma has been great to me. I've had it since 2009 and grandfathered in on the completely FREE service, no fees, taxes etc for the last 5 years. Works fine, sounds fine. Although today the internet connection went out and I touched Ooma box on it was HOT! really hot. I reset it and it still works though.
Easy to set up. I'd get another one. Although it's $10/mo if you want call Blocking. Id like that and I see that $35/yr Vestalink service plus a $70 OBi202 VoIP Phone Adapter would get me E911 and call blocking. So $3/mo, which is reasonable and I don't do many calls. Many I can do on Google Voice.
b***@gmail.com
2014-06-04 03:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SMS
Google is dropping support for Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) in Google Voice on May 15, 2014.
If you are using Google Voice with an ATA (analog telephone adapter),
such as one of the Obihai or Grandstream VOIP devices (or a hacked
MagicJack Plus), this combination will no longer work after May 15,
2014. Google Voice is very popular with these devices since together
they enable local phone service completely free of any monthly charges
(but no E911).
The reason for this change is probably because users of these devices
are not seeing any advertising when using Google Voice.
There are no no-cost alternatives, though Localphone and Callcentric are
pretty low cost alternatives, especially if you're not making thousands
of minutes of local calls per month. Ooma is a good alternative as well,
but it costs a bit more and you must use their VOIP adapter.
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
Is this working for anyone else?
My OBI device has seemed to stop working? How about you guys?

This is on June 3rd 2014
Thad Floryan
2014-06-04 03:43:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by b***@gmail.com
Post by SMS
[...]
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
Is this working for anyone else?
My OBI device has seemed to stop working? How about you guys?
This is on June 3rd 2014
Did you not read what's at the above URL?

It clearly states the Google service was to end on 15 May 2014,
3 weeks ago. Look back 3-4 weeks in this group's messages for
the thread discussing this issue.

Your OBIhai device is likely still fine; it's an ATA device and
you'll probably need to find another VoIP provider if you wish
to continue using it. FYI: 'ATA'='Analog Telephone Adapter'.

I opted for Ooma earlier this uear and I am very pleased with
their services.

Thad
w***@paternina.org
2014-06-04 04:45:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by b***@gmail.com
Post by SMS
[...]
<http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html>
Is this working for anyone else?
My OBI device has seemed to stop working? How about you guys?
This is on June 3rd 2014
Did you not read what's at the above URL?
It clearly states the Google service was to end on 15 May 2014,
3 weeks ago. Look back 3-4 weeks in this group's messages for
the thread discussing this issue.
Your OBIhai device is likely still fine; it's an ATA device and
you'll probably need to find another VoIP provider if you wish
to continue using it. FYI: 'ATA'='Analog Telephone Adapter'.
I opted for Ooma earlier this uear and I am very pleased with
their services.
Thad
OBI still working here...

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