VoicePHP: Indian Startup Marries Voice with PHP

hiww2Marrying web applications with voice has long been seen as the proverbial pot of gold: easy to dream about but hard to actually find. A few startups (and some large companies) are trying to solve the problem; some are using Voice XML, while others are betting on Adobe’s Flash. Today, TringMe, a Bangalore, India-based startup has thrown its hat in the ring by coming up with a way to marry VoIP with PHP, the lingua franca of the contemporary web. TringMe describes VoicePHP as an extension of PHP that now outputs voice instead of text and also takes input as voice instead of text. [digg=http://digg.com/tech_news/Indian_startup_arranges_a_marriage_of_VoIP_and_PHP]

Basically, VoicePHP is intended to do the same things as VoiceXML, but by using the familiar PHP programming methology. In doing so, it wants to attract a large pool of PHP-savvy developers and have them develop voice applications. (See how it works.) This is an even simpler approach than the one floated by Ribbit, a Silicon Valley-based company that was acquired by British Telecom in July 2008 for $105 million. Ribbit is betting on the large-scale adoption of Flash and hopes its Flash-centric solution would become the engine that powers web-voice applications.

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New MacBook HDCP Impairing External Displays

In what seems like another addition to a long list of examples of how when you rent digital content, you’re actually renting it with a strict set of conditions, Apple owners are running into trouble with High Definition Content Protection (HDCP). The problem, affecting owners of the new aluminum MacBooks and MacBook Pro, occurs when you try to play some iTunes-rented movies on an external display attached to your notebook.

The HDCP causing the problem is intended to prevent copying high-def content across an HDMI connection. It’s also included in DisplayPort tech, which is the new standard for video output on current generation Mac portable computers. According to Ars Technica, the problem seems to affect movies protected by Apple’s FairPlay Version 3 DRM, although not all files which have Version 3 protection are affected. Whether or not the movie plays appears to be somewhat random, at least in Ars’ limited sample pool.
The person who pointed out the problem to Ars was just trying to play Hellboy 2 for a class of high school students using an external projector. Another case reported in an Apple support discussion thread occurred when a MacBook owner tried to playback content to his external 19-inch monitor. This report was quickly joined by many, many others. In all cases, playback works fine on the computer’s built-in display.
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Aircell: On U.S. Planes, VoIP Will Be Muted

Ever since Andy Abramson figured out a way to make VoIP calls over GoGo, the in-flight broadband system from Aircell, there has been a flurry of activity leading to the banning of some of the services he used. “The carriers and Aircell have taken a position on this because we don’t want people talking on the plane,” a company spokesperson told me. But where does it all stop?