Comparison of Inbound DID SIP rates

SIP Provider Comparison

Until now I’ve been using les.net which is a Canadian SIP provider, so they must comply with Canadian privacy law by keeping personal information private. As SIP providers can’t/don’t provide end-to-end encryption, in the post-Snowden era we can safely assume all VoIP/SIP calls are being recorded by the NSA. Because of this, I decided to do a SIP provider comparison with les.net and two other low-cost solutions, voip.ms and callcentric.com.

For the non-techies who are still reading this for some reason, SIP is a popular Voice Over IP (VOIP) protocol that allows you to make really cheap calls over the internet, from your computer, landline, and/or mobile/smart phones. If you want to know how to use this for home or business, drop me an email.

In the first graph I compare inbound (DID) rates, first on a per minute basis, and then with each provider’s unlimited plan. If you receive more than 200 minutes/month of calls, unlimited voip.ms is the winner at $4.25/m. Note, the below graph is not only interactive (hover your mouse over it), I have configured it to update dynamically based on the exchange rate.

I then did a comparison of outbound SIP calls, as with SIP providers these rates are separated from inbound. It’s also interactive and exchange rates are updated every 20 minutes.

As you can see, once again voip.ms is the clear winner.

A few points of note:

  • I did my comparison based on Canadian rates.
  • Android has built in SIP functionality. Click on the phone icon, then go to “Settings” in the dialer and scroll to the bottom, you should see “SIP accounts” under Internet Call Settings.
  • Unfortunately none of the providers seem to offer SRTP (TLS/Security). My next plan is to test zrtp on these providers, which provides end-to-end encryption.
  • Skype provides unlimited calls for $2.99/month, but it doesn’t use SIP, Microsoft gives the NSA a direct backdoor to all your calls, and Skype is a battery killer on mobile/Android, so they’re not on the list.
  • If you’re geeky enough to get SIP working, you should also check out Asterisk which will blow your mind.

Let me know if there are any other providers I should add to the list.

View from the roottop of spacelist.ca

Vancouver Sales Event Meetup

Last night I got to attend my first Vancouver Sales Event Meetup run by my friend Erin Dalzell and hosted at Spacelist. I tried to write down as many URLs as I could pick up in this fast flowing informative meeting. Sorry for the lack of context with each one, but if you’re interested you can click on each one as I will, and see how it may provide value to your needs.

Email related question:

Erin tweeted about http://www.priceintelligently.com/. $6-7k, but worth it if you have the scale/volume. It’s the best blog about pricing on the planet. Also read their top 5 list, and their wall of shame. Don’t be listed on that wall.

http://www.crazyegg.com/ heat map software for your website.

A good exercise for your organization, fill in a chart using these column titles:
Feature | Alternative | Advantage | Benefit

More URLs mentioned:

Interesting discussion about replacing onboarding time trails (14 days free, like Shopify) with money based ones (ala Google Adwords). The former has people not sign up, if they think it will be better to do so strategically in the future. The latter allows you to move at your own pace, no pressure.

Overall I really enjoyed the meetup, the format, and the people. It started with informal introductions, but Erin quickly got the group’s attention and invited anyone to ask their sales questions. As soon as someone asked a question, no matter how silly, shy, or confusing, at least one person was eager and willing to respond. In many cases there were multiple different solutions provided for a given question. This continued for most of the evening until it quickly evolved to multiple questions being asked and answered simultaneously, at which time Erin moved us all to the pub.

I know I missed at least 5-10 URLs that were provided over the evening, if you remember any I’ve missed, let me know.

If you’re interested in the next event, and other events in the tech startup ecosystem, check out the Vancouver Pixel Crafters meetup group.

Snopes Logo

Did you check snopes?

When I read articles, forwards or shares I know aren’t true, sometimes I reply, sometimes I  just delete them. I see the same emails getting forwarded around again, from those who were maybe a little newer to the internet. I often just want to ask them, “Did you check snopes?”

The longer you’ve been using the internet, the higher your odds you’ve seen the same bogus story popup on social media and in your emails. We needed a solution to verify the authenticity of these stories. Snopes.com was created to resolve this issue.

My solution is to write this post, so instead of writing a similar explanation out each time, I’ll now have a simple link I can reply with, or post in response to. If you’ve received this URL from a family member or friend, this is not intended to be mean, but help you along.

Before you forward another email, or share another link on Facebook, first go to snopes.com., it has a search box, just like Google does. Picking the right keywords to search for, is the trick, just like it is on Google. Say for example there is an email stating that Bill Gates is giving out $5,000 to every person who forwards this URL on … it doesn’t really hurt anyone if I send it on just in case, right? Wrong. The internet bandwidth from this email alone costs us all, and slows us all down! So how could we look it up? I would search for bill gates on snopes. When I do that search right now (at least, as of writing this) — it shows most popular Bill Gates’ emails or stories being sent around the internet, so it’s right at the top of the search list! It tells you which are fake, and if any are real.

As soon as you click on any snopes story, you’ll see a large green, yellow, or red circle with the words True, or False. That’s all you have to do to verify the story! If you want to learn more, they always explain it in detail underneath for you to read, which I usually do, as I find it interesting.

The more we all follow these steps, the sooner we can end the plague that is sending on false or fake stories around the internet. While most of them are harmless, I’m writing this as I just read a shared link on Facebook from a friend that suggests people avoid a dental procedure as “97% of people who’ve had this [dental procedure] done die of cancer”. This is a terrible thing to pass around without verifying first, as it could have the affect that someone avoids this simple dental procedure now! It’s important to note that even the smallest of inappropriate dental hygiene can have a serious long-term affect.

Sharing these stories also has a cry wolf affect. This is the second time this year that this friend has shared a link as an URGENT – MUST READ, and both times it was a fake (the other, was for a missing child with a photo of a license plate number, which was a fake! Perhaps a disgruntled ex sending this around with the hopes of finding their former spouse?). As a result, I’m going to trust anything this person now posts a lot less — forever. Trust is very hard to get back, so do what you can to not lose it.

So it’s more important than ever to ensure we don’t pass on anything that could negatively affect someone’s livelihood. So in summary, don’t forward or share anything on the internet anymore, without checking with snopes, or verifying from the source yourself.

To get you started on understanding the truth on popular stories, here’s a list of common misconceptions (mythconceptions) taken from the Knowledge is Beautiful book:

Common Mythconceptions

Common Mythconceptions image credit: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/common-Common Mythconceptions

 

BC Liquor Stores

Government liquor stores (LDB) in British Columbia

This map of government liquor stores in British Columbia was originally posted to victoria.intoxicant.ca on May 18, 2012.

After publishing a list of wineries in B.C, as well as the private liquor stores, I made a request to open DataBC for a list of government liquor stores, which they’ve just provided. I believe this might be the first successful request of data from DataBC. As a result of receiving this data, I’ve created this for your alcohol searching pleasure:

This information is provided by the Province of British Columbia under the Open Government License for Government of BC Information v.BC1.0

If you’re wondering what your options are once you’re there, here is the BC Liquor Store product Price list.

If you’re interested in all things fermented and distilled, here are a couple Facebook groups that might be of interest, one is for those in Victoria and the other for those in Vancouver.

Wineries in British Columbia

Wineries in British Columbia

This map of wineries in British Columbia was originally posted to 250life.ca on Oct 10, 2011, and is one of the first uses of the B.C. Open Government License.

Wondering where to find a winery near you in British Columbia? Wonder no more!

If you’re the owner of one of these wineries, and would like your business name, website and a 200 word description of your establishment when someone clicks on your winery, or edit the data in any way including geographic accuracy, email kris at ideawave.ca.

This information is provided by the Province of British Columbia under the Open Government License for Government of BC Information v.BC1.0