Saturday, December 30, 2006

Finarea/Betamax VoIP

Finarea S.A. is a Swiss company that operates discount phone services under different brands. Even if you are in VoIP, you probably never heard Finarea until now, but brands such as voipbuster, voipstunt are probably very well known especially if you are after deals to international calls.

Betamax GmbH & Co KG is a German company that according to their press release, in December 2005, they took over all of the VoIP services previously run by Finarea SA. A few more VoIP services were added after that to the group.

Group companies:

The rates and promotions are always different between these providers. The following table lists the rates with Romania as extracted by the guy at

Rates with Romania

Other source of non-official but good information about these companies can be found at Wolf’s pages.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Call Skype contacts from mobile/any phone

If you ever wanted to use your mobile phone to call Skype contacts or make cheap SkypeOut phone calls, then you should look no further than VOXLIB.

Its usage is plain and simple:
- install Vox for Skype on your home computer;
- leave the computer and Skype on;
- while on the road, from your mobile or any phone, dial your SkypeIn number;
- the system recognize your CallerId and let’s you call any Skype contact you have in the list or make a SkypeOut phone call.

The ones without SkypeIn can use SMS. See VOXLIB website for more information.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cheap calling plan from Skype

Pay until the end of the year $55 and you can have:
  • 1 year of unlimited nation-wide phone calls
  • A new phone number
  • Voice Mail

All this is possible due to a new disruptive calling plan announced recently by Skype. For only $14.95 (or $29.95 after January 31st 2007), Skype gives you a full year of unlimited calls to anyone, on any phone, within the US and Canada.

Add a regular phone number and Voice Mail via SkypeIn service and for $55 you’ll have a very cheap calling plan for the next year.

To complete the experience you need to purchase a hardware Skype device, preferable one that doesn’t require a computer (see DUALphone 3088).

And if you decide to visit Skype to check this great offer directly at the source, take a few minutes to download also the latest Skype 3.0.

IE7 annoyances and how to fix them

All fixes involve registry changes. If IE is opened, close it before doing anything. Then start your registry editor (Start -> Run, type regedit in the run field and press OK).

Put menu bar at the top

Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\

Create a new DWORD Value, and name it "ITBar7Position". Double click that new value, and assign it with a decimal value of 1

Restart IE7

Remove search bar

Create the following key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions]

Create a new DWORD Value, and name it " NoSearchBox". Double click that new value, and assign it with a decimal value of 1

Restart IE7

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cell phone providers in US and Romania

* Only the most popular providers are listed.

Use the following links to reach listed companies websites:

US: Cingular, T-Mobile, TracFone, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, Alltel, Virgin Mobile
Romania: Vodafone, Orange, Cosmote, Zapp Mobile

Although GSM is standard and well established in lots of countries, you may have surprises when you travel abroad with a phone that is not multi band. Read more about international phones in CNET’s Quick guide to World roaming.

If you need a quick introduction to 3G, it worth checking: CNET’s Quick guide to 3G.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The pixels are coming back

...and this time it's YOUR chance to get rich.

At least this is what Alex Tew, the kid that made $1.000.000 by selling pixels, is saying. Last time he sold the pixels of a 1000x1000 image at The Million Dollar Homepage with $1 each (a minimum square of 10x10 pixels per purchase required).

Now he is trying to do the same thing again but this time at a rate of $2/pixel on a new site called Pixelotto. The gotcha is that he will offer via a lottery half of the collected money (meaning $1.000.000) to a lucky guy who bought some pixels.

Email for elderly people

... or how to receive emails on a printer without a computer or internet connection.

This is what Presto service is offering. To benefit from this service you need to purchase a special HP inkjet printer. This dials into the Presto network and downloads and prints messages that have been received. To fight spam (which is even worse when comes on paper ;-) ) you can define the Presto friends list so to only receive messages from trusted sources.

One number rings all phones

Do you want an unlimited voice mail box with classical answering machines advantages such as real time listening on voice messages?
Do you want a single phone number that people can use to reach you no matter if you are at work, at home or on the road?
Do you want privacy by blocking unwanted callers?

If you answer yes to at least one of the above questions then go to and find more info. At this moment the service being still in beta allows potential customers preview premium features for free. After you finish with this one, don’t forget to check also

Best phone rates to Romania as of December 1st, 2006

If VoIP doesn’t scare you, chances are pretty good to obtain very advantageous rates to call Romania.

Cheap providers to call Romania

Update: A colleague presented me today another service for making cheap calls to Romania. It is called focusTALK and was introduced by focustel in October, 2006. Their rate is 4.2 euro cents / minute with national landline network.

Additional charges or discounts may be available for each provider. Make sure you check their offer carefully. Above displayed rates assumes you are calling on a Romtelecom landline somewhere in the country.

For more information see my previous related posts: Cheap calls to Romania (Suna ieftin in Romania) and VoIP rates with Romania as of April 01, 2006.

While talking about Romania, it worth mentioning a free Fax by Email service available through: