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Re: [ontolog-forum] Testing a different service on 2006.11.02 [was - Dis

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Peter P. Yim" <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2006 00:27:49 -0800
Message-id: <45485A85.7020709@xxxxxxxx>
Hi ALL,    (01)

1. Appreciations to Chris Menzel, Attila Elçi, John 
Bateman and Bob Smith for your feedback relating to the 
conference call quality/disruption issue, and their 
help and pointers towards diagnosing the problem.    (02)

2. I would also like to thank Matthew West, for 
offering us the use of the Shell conference bridge. ... 
I have responded to Matthew that if our test (see 
below) doesn't go well this Thursday, I might take up 
his offer. I do want to try to keep the solution 
community-based, with cost spread over the 
participants, as much as we can. ... I believe we scale 
better that way.    (03)

3. I've got good news ... I've been testing out the 
service from <highspeedconferencing.com> by Vapps. 
Seemingly, they'll support:    (04)

(a) upto a few hundred callers;    (05)

(b) both landline dial-in as well as Skype dial-in;    (06)

(c) global, as well as selective muting;    (07)

(d) audio recording;    (08)

(e) "hand-raising" in the Q&A mode, and    (09)

(f) they are even lower cost than what I've been paying 
before.    (010)

Whether or not it's too good to be true, there's only 
one way to find out ... try it out! (My preliminary 
tests were quite satisfactory ... at least, I've 
discovered a  few workarounds, where their software is 
still getting cleaned up.)    (011)

4. We don't have any invited speaker for this 
Thursday's session (Thu 2006.11.02 start time: 1:30pm 
EST / 10:30am PST / 7:30pm CET / 18:30 GMT/UTC & 
Midnight in India ) ... which turns out just great! We 
have decided to use this regular Thursday conference 
call time slot to test out the new conferencing 
service, and to do some community planning.    (012)

I would like to invite everyone to join us, especially 
if you are concerned about future conferencing 
feasibility and quality. It would be great to see (a) 
as many people as we can (that way, we can stress test 
the system and the process), (b) those of you who plan 
to be using VoIP, (c) Skype users in particular (you'll 
love it ... they even have a direct number for Skype 
call-in), and (d) especially, our International 
community members (because a lot of the quality issues 
come from the long distances, and number of disparate 
telcos/systems involved.)    (013)

5. I won't be ready with the session page and the 
invitations until tomorrow (because I have to recompile 
the invitation list again), but please mark your 
calendars and plan to join us for, say, the first half 
hour, even if you can't spend the whole 1.5 hours 
(which is the time scheduled for this Thursday's call) 
with us.    (014)

Again, RSVP (to the sender, offline) ... so we can 
better estimate the resources required.  ... Look 
forward to talking to you this Thursday.    (015)

Thanks & regards.  =ppy
--    (016)

John A. Bateman wrote Sun, 29 Oct 2006 14:51:52 +0100:
 > Hi Peter,
 >> (i) you were calling in via Skype yesterday, and
 >> it work (or didn't work);
 > I was using Skype and did not notice any problems!
 > And did not introduce the squeal, as far as I can
 > tell.
 > John B.    (017)

Atilla Elçi (DAÜ) wrote Sun, 29 Oct 2006 11:58:13 +0200:
> Hi Peter,
> Reason for disruption in the cases of articles 1c & 1d below
> is likely to be positive feedback from speaker-to-mic. This
> would not only cause echo but would tend to enhance loudness
> gradually over time. If one doesn't use a headphone-cum-mic
> with a NB and instead rely on the NB's speakers and a
> separate mic that is what happens. Same is quite likely with
> desktop computer especially when the user is not talking,
> which is usually the case with our telconfcalls. The mics
> used by PC/NB users are "dynamic", meaning that they tend to
> elevate environment noise if there is no other source of
> sound nearby.
> The obvious remedy is to use a headphone-cum-mic, and to
> keep mic muted when not needed.
> Ref. 2c, I'd like to point out that FreeConferences.com
> definitely discourages use of Skype/Vonage-like VoIP
> services. Whever I dial in, I have considerable difficulty
> getting the conference access code accepted by the service.
> Often the code recieved by the service is not correct and
> consequently the connection is dropped after the
> announcement requesting me to not use Skype/Vonage/Cellular
> VoIP services. I have to dial in QUITE a few times to get
> accepted. At times I can't succeed in so many tries that I
> simply get frustrated and give up trying. 
> FreeConferences.com appear to have no operator on duty to
> handle such cases to take in access code verbally. Intel
> Conference Services however has person on duty to assist
> callers not only in the above cases but also to advise them
> if any one tries to connect at wrong times, for example, too
> early or too late or at wrong date. These latter cases I
> believe happen a lot due to the global nature of our
> membership.
> Have a good day. / Iyi günler dilerim.
> Atilla Elçi
> http://cmpe.emu.edu.tr/aelci/
> http://conferences.computer.org/compsac/2006/ESAS.html 
> http://www.sinconf.org/ http://www.abg-sinconf.org/
> http://conferences.computer.org/compsac/2007/    (018)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
> Peter P. Yim
> Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 3:55 AM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Disruptive squeal at our
> conference call today (2006.10.26) [was - Re: Skype]
> 1. To share my experience and add a few more 
> data-points for the situation:
> (a) we never used to have this 'squeal' before, until
> our Thu 2006.10.19 session. (So, this problem is new 
> ... only appearing in the last week or so!)
> (b) For the past several weeks, I had been running a 
> parallel Skype session (and using that to conference 
> Nabonita Guha into the session from India.) And, it 
> worked ok before.
> (c) On Thu 2006.10.19, I did the same, but attempted to 
> use my notebook computer (rather than my desktop) to 
> run the Skype session. That, though, seemed to* (or, 
> were among one of those who) introduce the 'squeal' 
> into conference call. I changed back to running the 
> Skype session from my desktop, and the call went 
> through properly.
> (d) On Thu 2006.10.26, I did the same thing ... 
> although this time, neither my notebook, nor my desktop 
> seemed to work. Both were, apparently, introducing the 
> 'squeal.' In fact, even my land-line call seemed to* be 
> ending up with the 'squeal.'
> (e) *The above said, there is actually no way** I can 
> tell  whether it was REALLY 'me' who introduced the 
> 'squeal' (because the conference line could already be 
> 'squealing' due to another person when I connect into it!)
>   ... [** (unless we isolate the connections, have 
> someone monitoring, and then add one person at a time)]
> 2. (a) I had an extensive discussion with the bridge 
> technician from freeconference.com. He did say that 
> calling in via VoIP has in fact been causing problems 
> (bad voice quality), particularly if the caller is 
> working from a location where the bandwidth to the 
> Internet is challenged.
> (b) I explained that our problem wasn't one of line 
> quality, but rather, it seems that someone connected in 
> with the signal phase reversed, and causing (runaway) 
> positive feedback into the line.
> (c) I asked if they are beginning a policy to try to 
> stop people using VoIP calls (Skype, in particular.) He 
> said "No", they don't do that, and has no intention to 
> do it.
> (d) he said, though, that they are also investigating a 
> problem themselves, where apparently, a certain MCI 
> trunk from the Washington DC area (for certain calling 
> card users) seems to be causing the type of problem (a 
> 'squeal') when a calls connects in from there.
> (e) he explains that the same calling card would 
> generally always route you to the same trunk.
> (f) further, he said, that calling cards are 
> leveraging, more and more, on VoIP technologies too.
> 3. Based on the above, I'd still hope to receive more 
> input from you folks, especially if,
> (i) you were calling in via Skype yesterday, and it 
> work (or didn't work);
> (ii) you were calling in via another VoIP service 
> yesterday, and it work (or didn't work); and
> (iii) you were calling in via a land line yesterday, 
> and it didn't seem to work. In this case, please advise 
> if you were using a calling card (which company's), and 
> where you were calling from, geographically.
> 4. I am thinking (out loud), maybe we could start 15 
> minute early for certain participants (skype users; 
> calling card users, ... etc.) to make sure the 
> conference line is stable. However, I think I need more 
> input before we should come to conclusions.
> 5. Other ideas or suggestions are welcomed.
> Regards.  =ppy
> --    (019)

> Peter Yim wrote Thu, 26 Oct 2006 13:01:32 -0700:
>> All Ontolog Event participants,
>> Sorry for starting late today (last week too) due to this
> disruptive squeal.
>> Thank you, Chris, for the message, and for doing the test.
>> I know (I've been among them) Skype used to work ... and
> this squeal
>> has only started happening since our last conference call
> on Thu
>> 19-Oct-2006 (prior to that, we've never has this kind of
> problem
>> before.)
>> I'd love to see others who has an insight, especially if
> you called
>> in, and we had to ask you to hang up (sorry, we weren't
> trying to be
>> rude), to share your experience with us, so that we can
> all learn what
>> is ok and what isn't.
>> In the mean time, I'll try to contact FreeConference.com
> to see if
>> that actually something they are doing, and where are they
> heading
>> with it. ... I'll let everyone know the outcome, and set
> further
>> guidelines for future event call-in's.
>> Regards.  =ppy
>> --    (020)

>> On 10/26/06, Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> Peter,
>>> I remembered that someone wrote to the Ontolog list and
> said that he
>>> was going to try to dial via Skype.  On a hunch about the
> cause of
>>> the horrid whistle that almost destroyed Pat's talk, I
> just tried
>>> that myself.  Sure enough, the whistle started right up
> again.  I
>>> ended the call immediately of course.  So that's your
> culprit --
>>> obviously, Skype calls need to be banned.  Sorry for the
> disruption,
>>> but there was no other easy way to prove the point.
>>> -chris    (021)

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