Another article on the posting of false metadata to p2p networks in an attempt to poison them, presumably with the intent of selling more CD's and DVD's. Interestingly, at the end it suggests that an impending release of Morpheus will have some kind of authentication built in. That will be interesting.
I spend quite a bit of time with other Ghostscript people on the phone. It's a good way to keep in contact, but I'm not happy with shoveling lots of money at the phone company. Calls to Russia, in particular, were radically overcharged (basic WALD is around a dollar a minute). I've tried phone cards, but they're not great either. Call setup takes a long time and isn't 100% reliable. Voice quality isn't all that great either. Finally, even though they're pretty cheap (about 4 cents a minute to Russia), the billing seems to be unreliable. In fact, I now strongly suspect that the card (Original Gold in my case) is just lying about how much time is available.
Of course, phone cards just route voice over IP. So why am I routing voice through a patched up network of analog hardware and IP gateways, when I have high quality audio equipment and good bandwidth here? Sadly, the answer is convenience. So far, my experiments with VoIP have been a pain in the royal ass. Today, I played a bit with SpeakFreely.
Even so, I did succeed in setting up a conversation with Ray Johnston. Voice quality varied, and I had to use two separate computers to get full duplex (anyone know how to sample a microphone input on an Audigy with alsa?). The SpeakFreely client is crude; it doesn't even seem to report packet loss. It also seems to be hardwired for 8kHz sample rates. Since I've got plenty of bandwidth and CPU, what I really want is 22.05 or 44.1, and Vorbis compression to 32kbps or so.
We spend enough time on the phone, though, that it's probably worth perservering. If we come up with a magic recipe, I'll certainly post it.