While researching news on the Comoros, (the elections are almost here) I read an interesting site that describes Offshore Anjouan as an excellent tax haven for banks and casinos. The same site also advocates buying a second passport and nationality to escape taxes. Ugh.
Afan mentioned the Open H323 Project, which clearly aims to free the H.323 teleconferencing (VoIP) protocol stack and has some excellent backgrounder information on related standards. I also came across this handy PocketGuide to VoIP.
Working with NetMeeting, an H.323 application that runs over IP, I noticed TCP port 1720 is the trigger but it needs all incoming UDP ports 1024 to 65534. Obviously not a well thought out network application. In any case, here is an incomplete reference to ports for popular applications.
There are many serious and well documented security concerns for a NetMeeting call, although you can read Microsoft’s firewall configuration guide and judge for yourself…and I quote: “There are few available products that an organization can implement to securely transport inbound and outbound NetMeeting calls.”
The IP voice communications market can only get hotter as telecomm giants come under pressure to maintain revenue growth. Here are some interesting marketing blurbs by Gartner and The Tolly Group regarding Shoreline’s enterprise solution. Shoreline boasts high-availability and ease of integration with enterprise directory and messaging services. Is it goodbye PBXs or hello open-PBX — like running Linux on the mainframe?
Several people from the Comoros have written me via email. I expect even the most remote areas will have some sort of Internet access within five years. This will have to be driven by knowledge-based workers receiving or transmitting data for their research, such as doctors, aid-workers, or even local entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it is impossible to overlook the fact that the forces of nature are not easily overcome by gadgets that are based on a fault-tolerant network and supplies. The best tools for the job are ones that are easily and cheaply repaired or, even better, replaced. Unfortunately digital cameras do not grow well in the jungle, so when my Olympus 3040Z started to die, I was forced to make hasty field repairs and dream of organic and disposable digital cameras.
I will put a few shots from the trip together today and put them online, although one photo just had to go into the scrapbook; there are over a thousand photos that take up about 5.5 GB of space. I need to consider paper for exhibits and friends in the Comoros. Right now I am pricing the Epson Perfection 2450 photo scanner and Canon S900 printer. Suggestions welcome.
Hello again! I am back from the Comoros. I have to admit it was nice to have virtually no access to electricity, let alone a phone line, for a whole month — surrounded by mangos, coconuts, guava, bananas, fish, bats…not to mention a dance every night. More news tout de suite.