VoIP makes telephony even more hackable than it was in the halcyon days of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and their legendary “black boxes.” To get a taste of what’s possible, get VoIP Hacks, another entry in O’Reilly’s marvelously hands-on Hacks series.
Some of these are “true” hacks, in the sense that they require significant technical expertise. (Set up Asterisk, the full-fledged business PBX that also happens to be open source software running on Linux, Mac OS X, or BSD. Then, configure it to make and receive free calls on the Skype network.) Others just require downloading a little software. (Skype the contacts in your Outlook or Mac OS X address book.) Both types of hack are fascinating, and -- think of this as a bonus -- most of them are quite useful. Bill Camarda, from the January 2006 Read Only