NetTalk and MagicJack – Some Leftovers

A Router Tip

There’s an interesting answer to why use a router, found in the newsletter at terryscomputert…. The author recommends using a router to enhance security, even if you only have one computer. Here’s what they say – in part:

“A cable/DSL router isolates your computer from direct connection to the Internet. Your computer can easily request your email, web pages, etc. through the router. The responses come back to the router and are smoothly routed to your computer. But, someone on the Internet side of the router can not initiate a connection to your computer — they can only respond to your request.”

Back to NetTalk shipping

Remember that UPS package I got? Well, I thought it might be from NetTalk – I was wrong. It was from my local bank. It would be so much easier if NetTalk shipped all US products by Priority Mail with Electronic Delivery Confirmation or UPS Ground. Of course, if you want this, you must pay them an extra $12. That’s in addition to the $10 already paid.

I have talked with Customer Service and the US postal service in Carol Stream, Illinois (USA).  Apparently NetTalk shipped it by UPS and UPS transferred it to the postal service.  Carol Stream is a regional postal service.  I was given a USPS tracking number, but the postal service hasn’t received it from UPS.  NetTalk has shipped me a second device and I’ve signed up for email tracking on device #1.

Another mystery here!  I called the local UPS store.  They haven’t heard of UPS transferring packages to USPS.  But I did find a story confirming UPS-USPS at  A bit of searching on the web found USP mail innovations – this is the name of the UPS/USPS mailing hybrid service.

  • NetTalk customer service claims that UPS delivered the first shipment to Carol Stream on August 14, 2010
  • The Carol Stream post offices claims they haven’t received a shipment, when I gave them the NetTalk supplied tracking number, on August 19, 2910.
  • The USPS email tracking said they received the package on August 20, 2010.
  • I did receive the device on August 20, 2010.  I have set the device up and activated the phone service.
  • I have called NetTalk to stop the second delivery or just return the package.  They are mailing me a return label and a code to put on the package.  I’ll drop it off at the local UPS store.
  • What can go wrong in delivering an item from UPS to USPS in the same city?  I can only conclude that the package sat in a UPS Carol Stream facility for 7 days, before being delivery to the Carol Stream USPS.

NetTalk Has Video Soft-phone?

As Jerry Seinfeld would say – what’s up with that? Nothing, really. Except that Skype has been working on – and perfecting – a video soft phone for a while now. Can NetTalk really compete with Skype?

Updated Drivers and MagicJack

I’ve ordered Driver Detective and have updated my drivers – it’s worth the $30 fee. Of course, there are other vendors. But I like this vendor because:

  1. I’ve used them before.
  2. They are a Microsoft certified partner.
  3. They are a BBB accredited business with an A+ rating.

I have a PC I got a year ago. Recently, I bought Driver Detective for around $30. Now other software vendors offer similar PC Driver software, at the same price. After I upgraded all my drivers (which included the sound drivers), my sound quality went from mediocre to excellent – just a thought.

I should add that Driver Detective and similar competing vendors offer a license for 10 computers – just put in the registration code.

It makes my PC run better – But! And I do have a big but here! It did nothing to stop my Skype/MagicJack conflict, written about in last week’s blog post.

Company Acquisition of MagicJack

Here’s some interesting news I found about MagicJack, while looking at the COD Hoovers tonight. I’m looking at the VocalTec Communications entry out of Israel, which had $6.9 million in sales in 2009. “In July 2010 the company acquired YMax, maker of the popular magicJack phone product and service. ” Great – a strong company is now behind MagicJack – I think

Does that mean that the MagicJack customer service will improve? Or will it be the same as the NetTalk shipping policy? Stay tuned.

Improving Creativity

I’ll leave the reader with an exercise I use to improve creativity and thought process. Take 5 diverse books and read them. Let me suggest 5 you can get from or your local public library:

  1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  2. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  3. The Morning of The Magicians by Louis Pauwels
  4. Dune by Frank Herbert
  5. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Try this and report back to me.

Well, this creativity exercise is more useful that a certain project road map.  This small business owner hired me and another vendor to help with marketing.  The other vendor came up with a project road map, of things he plans on doing. Only one problem – no project start, end and milestone dates.  This is something that apparently doesn’t bother the person who hired him.  How good is such a roadmap? What’s that old cliché?  “About as useful as a screen-door on a submarine.”

I know! I know! You want to hear more about my NetTalk testing.  Perhaps next week?

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