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Browsing Privacy

How easy is it for someone to track our movements in the world wide web? Dynamic IP addresses? NAT? Disabling cookies?
This all seems to be of not much help!  Interestingly our individual PC and browser configurations are so diverse that there are rarely two of the same kind! And this information is available for the server. Means two corporations using a common database could identify you as being one and the same person accessing their web pages.
You can put this to the test here:
At least my configuration proofed to be unique out of 1,379,358 tested so far!

IPv6 Privacy Implications

The 128 IPv6 address space is divided into a 64 bit prefix and a 64 bit interface identifier. Especially the interface identifier is of interest here. The Interface Identifier was planned to have the MAC address embedded. The MAC address can identify the used HW uniquely. Furthermore it will tell us the manufacturer plus potentially the type of equipment if there are different MAC blocks used for different products.

This privacy design flaw can be corrected by using the Privacy Extensions. Those do not embed the MAC address and change the Interface Identifier regularly, while listening additionally on the previously assigned Identifiers for some time.
IPv6 privacy extensions are available on many OS, but for example not on iOS (4) and Android (>=2.1). As especially those devices are personal devices, the users are easily re-identifiable if IPv6 is used!

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Skype Background App for iPhone Released

The new Skype App can run in the background to be used as main App for making calls.
At the same time Skype announced to put plans to charge for Skype-to-Skype calls on hold.

Does this mean new plans for revenue sharing with mobile network operators?

FierceVoIP Story
Skype blog

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HD voice is coming!

After over 100 years of telephony, this is the first revolution in voice quality in terms of extended bandwidth!

Telephony has always been limited to about 3.4 kHz bandwidth. Improvements have been made to eliminate background noises, amplify weak signals and avoid uneven attenuation of the upper frequencies. But the 3.4 kHz limit was and is always present, even in the latest digital PSTN technology.

Skype was the first major service provider to provide wide band HiFi like (HD or High Definition) voice quality with their advanced proprietary voice codecs. But this is kind of closed user group, not available for most users in their normal daily telecommunication. HD will not become available for standard POTS phones. Codecs and switches are fixed to use G.711 codecs with limited BW.

Already for some time there are improved codecs available which support more audio bandwidth (up to 7kHz, e.g. double of what we have today) while not consuming more transmission bandwidth. Those codecs consume more processing power for encoding and decoding, but processing power is not a big issue anymore.

G.722 is a wide band codec mainly used for fixed wide band VoIP. It exists already for a long time and has not so high processing requirements. G.722 is license free. On the other hand it consumes still 64kbps BW. Many soft clients and VoIP desktop phones support G.722.

AMR-WB is a more efficient codec specified by 3GPP for mobile communications. It consumes only 12.65 kbps for almost the same quality as G.722. It requires more processing power and the algorithm needs to be licensed. AMR-WB can be found almost exclusively on mobile phones.

AMR-WB is available, some phones support it already, but network operators were very hesitant to support this new codec. The network needs to recognize the codec and open a transcoder free (TrFO) or tandem free (TFO) transparent connection end to end.

First operators are now deploying HD voice using AMR-WB. This looks very promising and I think once subscribers get to try this high quality audio, they will never want to miss it! Competition has to catch up fast and we can expect that HD voice will now come faster to us!

See the convincing stories below:

Orange UK HD voice trial

Orange Armenia HD voice launch

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Local access numbers in Thailand for VoIP

VoIP is already available for some time in Thailand, but never had a VoIP account been linked to a reachable Thai phone number.

TOT, the national PSTN carrier, offers new phone numbers for its already for some time existing VoIP service. The national prefix 068xxxxxxx has been used so far, but is not reachable from the PSTN.

The new prefix 060xxxxxxx can be reached from other networks in Thailand and globally. This is the first step to make replacements of POTS phones by VoIP devices possible. Other use cases are Thais living abroad being reachable under a local Thai number.

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Mobile Skype Users Are Good Customers!

Now, after a year of offering the service, 3UK has seen a reduction in churn, a surge in subscribers and an increase in revenues among its Skype users, according to research from CCS Insight.

Read more: Research shows 3UK Skype users spend more, churn less - FierceBroadbandWireless

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