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Monday, October 29, 2007

DigitalLife

"Let's say you have a family member in Scotland and you live in northern California,"
"You could buy the MagicJack, select a northern California telephone number, mail the MagicJack to your family member in Scotland and they could have a North American phone number in Scotland and use it like they were next door at home."
How?
With a cheap $40(£20) USB dongle device that also accommodates landline handsets.

Like many net phone services, the MagicJack, which comes with its own telephone number, offers the flexibility of making and receiving calls for free wherever the device is plugged in around the world.

DigitalLife is not a trade show. Its doors are open to anyone with $15 (£7.50) to spare, who wants to see what will be on shop shelves in the coming months.
Making all kinds of telephone calls very cheap is the goal for several startups. There were internet telephony hubs on display that work with any analogue phone and you only pay for the unit itself, with the service free thereafter.

Among the other eyecatching gadgets on display was a dedicated wi-fi-enabled instant messaging device primarily for home use, again low cost.

It is one way to stop teenage chit chat on the home phone and for other family members to get some time on the PC. The Zipit 2 is free, although to many adults a teenager with unlimited texting opportunities might not be such a good thing.

Ian Hardy
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