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|Founded||March 8, 2007|
|Founders||Dan Borislow and Donald Burns|
magicJack is a device that plugs into a USB port on the user's computer (or in the case of magicJack Plus, plugs directly into a router) and has a standard RJ-11 phone jack into which any standard phone can be plugged. This allows the user to make unlimited phone calls to the U.S. and Canada. It is a computer peripheral that, in combination with telephony service from the related YMAX Corporation, provides Internet-based telephone service (VoIP) to the United States and Canada. In 2011 the company introduced magicJack Plus, which no longer requires a computer (but still requires the user to have an Internet service provider).
A registered jack (RJ) is a standardized telecommunication network interface for connecting voice and data equipment to a service provided by a local exchange carrier or long distance carrier. Registration interfaces were first defined in the Universal Service Ordering Code (USOC) system of the Bell System in the United States for complying with the registration program for customer-supplied telephone equipment mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1970s. They were subsequently codified in title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 68.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.
The magicJack device works exclusively with the company's captive landline supplier and CLEC (Competitive local exchange carrier), YMAX. Voicemail is stored on the magicJack servers and is delivered via direct telephone access, and email with WAV audio file attachments. Downloadable feature upgrades for the magicJack USB dongle are available from third-party software companies.
A competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), in the United States and Canada, is a telecommunications provider company competing with other, already established carriers.
Waveform Audio File Format is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing an audio bitstream on PCs. It is an application of the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) bitstream format method for storing data in "chunks", and thus is also close to the 8SVX and the AIFF format used on Amiga and Macintosh computers, respectively. It is the main format used on Microsoft Windows systems for raw and typically uncompressed audio. The usual bitstream encoding is the linear pulse-code modulation (LPCM) format.
Dongles were originally created in the 1970s to protect computer software which would function only if the dongle was plugged in – see the History section below.
CEO Dan Borislow invented the product in 2007 and had applied for patents from the U.S. government while he and Donald Burns shared the payment of $25 million to start up the company.
Daniel Marc Borislow was an American entrepreneur, sports team owner, inventor, and thoroughbred horse breeder. Originating in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, Borislow attended Widener University and worked in cable construction and landscaping before going into the telephone business. He founded Tel-Save, Inc. to resell access to AT&T long-distance lines in 1989. Borislow took the company public in 1995, and two years later brokered a $100 million deal with AOL at the "Cafe Europa" that made it the exclusive telephone service of its users. At its peak in early 1998, Tel-Save had sales of $300 million and was valued by Wall Street investors at $2 billion. However, due to the financial strain of paying off the AOL deal, Tel-Save lost $221 million in 1999, and Borislow sold his stock for approximately $300 million and retired.
The firm's first product, introduced in 2007, is a USB device that has both the software necessary to place Internet-based telephone calls via a customer-supplied high-speed Internet connection and the electronics (technically known as a SLIC, or Subscriber Line Interface Circuit) which allow conventional landline telephones to be plugged directly into the device.
USB is an industry standard that establishes specifications for cables, connectors and protocols for connection, communication and power supply between personal computers and their peripheral devices. Released in 1996, the USB standard is currently maintained by the USB Implementers Forum. There have been three generations of USB specifications: USB 1.x, USB 2.0 and USB 3.x.
Computer software, or simply software, is a collection of data or computer instructions that tell the computer how to work. This is in contrast to physical hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. In computer science and software engineering, computer software is all information processed by computer systems, programs and data. Computer software includes computer programs, libraries and related non-executable data, such as online documentation or digital media. Computer hardware and software require each other and neither can be realistically used on its own.
A line card or digital line card is a modular electronic circuit designed to fit on a separate printed circuit board (PCB) and interface with a telecommunications access network.
In September 2011 the company introduced magicJack Plus, which does not require the use of a computer after its initial online registration and account set-up procedure. The device connects directly to a modem or router's ethernet port, and has a standard phone jack (which allows a phone to be connected to the device) as well as an AC power adapter that plugs into a standard U.S. electrical outlet.
The products are promoted through television infomercials and a website. The company's website attributes the invention of magicJack and the founding of YMAX to Dan Borislow, who has numerous patent claims pending on voice-over-IP (VoIP)-related technology.
An infomercial is a form of television commercial, which generally includes a toll-free telephone number or website. Most often used as a form of direct response television (DRTV), long-form infomercials are typically 28:30 or 58:30 minutes in length. Infomercials are also known as paid programming. This phenomenon started in the United States, where infomercials were typically shown overnight, outside peak prime time hours for commercial broadcasters. Some television stations chose to air infomercials as an alternative to the former practice of signing off. Some channels air infomercials 24 hours. By 2009, most infomercial spending in the U.S. occurred during the early morning, daytime and evening hours, or in the afternoon. Stations in most countries around the world have instituted similar media structures. The infomercial industry is worth over $200 billion.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also called IP telephony, is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. The terms Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service specifically refer to the provisioning of communications services over the public Internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
In July 2010, YMAX (the creator/owner of MagicJack) merged with VocalTec to form magicJack VocalTec Ltd which is headquartered in Netanya, Israel (NASDAQ : CALL).
In January 2008, PC Magazine reviewed magicJackand rated it as Very Good. It also received their Editors' Choice award. In February 2009, PC Magazine re-reviewed magicJack because of dozens of complaints received about the support for the device. As a result, PC Magazine reduced its rating of magicJack from Very Good to Good, saying the company's technical support was "severely lacking." The company offers support only via web-based chat.
Consumer Reports gave magicJack a thumbs up in the February 2010 print issue.
In 2016 TheVoIPHub released the most comprehensive review of magicJack seen to date, including information on every device they have ever released.
In September 2011 magicJack began offering local number portability, with an annual fee to keep the "ported-in" number. This allows customers to keep their existing phone number when switching to magicJack. MagicJack charges its customers to transfer their telephone number out of their MagicJack telephone service into a different telephone service provider. Not all US area codes are available.
According to their EULA (End User License Agreement):
3.b Outgoing Calls: "Once you have registered your magicJack device you have agreed to these Terms of Service. You may now elect to choose the feature allowing you to make free outgoing calls over the Internet. You can make free calls to other magicJack device users located anywhere in the world, and to subscribers on traditional telephone networks or wireless networks in the United States. You will not have the ability to call any number that would require the addition of any charges to your phone bill, such as 900 or 976 numbers or any other 'fee per call' type service."
A separate prepaid minutes purchase is required for calls to conference lines, platforms, calling cards, certain non-ILEC area calls, area code 867 (Northern Canada) and most of Alaska.
According to MagicJack's EULA (End User License Agreement):
4. What Is Free and What is Not: "We may require prepaid purchase and/or we may charge you for calls to conference lines, platforms and certain non-ILEC area calls, or any call wherein we incur a cost from another carrier. We may provide for a fee, premium prepaid services, which may be powered by YMAX Communications Corp. (YMAX), and may include some inbound, international, conference, platform and outbound calls that receive a recording and certain calls to non-ILEC areas, and the rates for those services will be governed by listed price lists or tariffs. International calling purchases expire six months after purchase. magicJack, YMAX Communications Corp. (YMAX), and/or Vocal Tec may make available to you, for an additional fee, enhanced versions of the magicJack and/or magicJack Plus device or magicJack APP Software (Upgraded Software) that provide new features and functions."
Originally magicJack did not provide an uninstallation method in either the software or the documentation, causing a lot of users to get very upset with the company. As a result, since 2010, the version for the Windows platform has had an uninstaller accessible through the "Add/Remove Programs" in the Windows Control Panel.
In March 2009, MagicJack took legal action for defamation against Boing Boing over its assessment of MagicJack's terms of service,which included assertions that the MagicJack End User License Agreement (EULA) allows the company to "snoop" on users by analyzing their calls for the purpose of targeting advertising and that the EULA requires users to waive the right to sue in court. MagicJack's suit was determined to be a strategic lawsuit against public participation and was dismissed. MagicJack was also ordered to pay Boing Boing's legal expenses of $50,000 US.
MagicJack sued netTalk in April 2012 for patent infringement. The federal court has dismissed the entire case with prejudice, including all claims, counterclaims, defenses and causes of action.
On September 21, 2012, NetTalk.com, Inc. filed a complaint in United States District Court For the Southern District of Florida, Civil Action No.: 9:12-cv-81022-CIV-MIDDLEBROOK/BRANNON, against MAGICJACK VOCALTECLTD, MAGIJACK HOLDINGS CORPORATION f/k/a YMAX HOLDINGS CORPORATION and DANIEL BORISLOW. In the complaint, netTalk alleges patent infringement by the defendants, seeking injunctive relief and damages of two hundred million dollars ($200,000,000) as a result of the alleged patent infringement by defendants.
As a result of this action, MAGICJACK/ VOCALTEC LTD filed a document with the United States Patent Office (“USPTO”) requesting reexamination of netTALK patent 8,243,722. The USPTO granted the reexamination petition and the claim against MAGICJACK/VOVALTEC LTD was stayed pending the outcome of the USPTO reexamination.
In December 2013 netTALK received a USPTO Notice of Intent to Issue Ex Parte Reexamination Certificate (“NIRC”) for netTALK’s U.S. Patent Number 8,243,722.
In January 2014, netTALK petitioned the courts to restart the aforementioned lawsuit against MAGICJACK VOCALTECLTD, MAGIJACK HOLDINGS CORPORATION f/k/a YMAX HOLDINGS CORPORATION and DANIEL BORISLOW. The case is set for trial in early 2015.
On February 27, 2014, netTALK received the reexamination certificate which restated that all three claims of the ‘722 Patent are deemed allowable by the USPTO. The three claims of the ‘722 Patent were minimally amended during the proceeding.
On April 2, 2014 DANIEL BORISLOW and TECHNOCHAT INC. sued MAGICJACK VOCALTEC LTD and YMAX CORP for defamation, fraudulent inducement and many other allegations.In December 2014, the case was settled out of court by Daniel Borislow's widow.
AppleTalk is a discontinued proprietary suite of networking protocols developed by Apple Inc. for their Macintosh computers. AppleTalk includes a number of features that allow local area networks to be connected with no prior setup or the need for a centralized router or server of any sort. Connected AppleTalk-equipped systems automatically assign addresses, update the distributed namespace, and configure any required inter-networking routing.
A telephone, or phone, is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals that are transmitted via cables and other communication channels to another telephone which reproduces the sound to the receiving user.
A phone connector, also known as phone jack, audio jack, headphone jack or jack plug, is a family of electrical connectors typically used for analog audio signals.
General Magic was an American software and electronics company co-founded by Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld and Marc Porat. Based in Mountain View, California, the company developed precursors to "USB, software modems, small touchscreens, touchscreen controller Ics, ASICs, multimedia email, networked games, streaming TV and early e-commerce notions." General Magic's main product was the operating system Magic Cap, which was used on the Motorola Envoy PDA and the Magic Link PDA by Sony in 1994. It also introduced the programming language Telescript. After announcing it would cease operations in 2002, it was liquidated in 2004 with most of its patents purchased by Paul Allen.
PhoneNet was an implementation of the AppleTalk networking physical layer created by Farallon Computing (now Netopia).
A VoIP phone or IP phone uses voice over IP technologies for placing and transmitting telephone calls over an IP network, such as the Internet, instead of the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN).
VocalTec Communications Inc. is an Israeli telecom equipment provider. The company was founded in 1989 by Alon Cohen and Lior Haramaty, who patented the first Voice over IP audio transceiver. VocalTec was a leading VoIP company having supplied major customers such as Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia and many others.,
Mobiola is a wide range of software by SHAPE Services.
GoToMyPC is remote desktop software that allows users to access computers remotely using a web browser. It was developed by ExpertCity and launched in 1998. Citrix Systems acquired ExpertCity in 2004 and maintained the GoToMyPC brand and services. Citrix spun off the GoTo products, which were acquired by LogMeIn in early 2017. There are three versions: "Personal", "Pro", and "Corporate".
Windows Live Call was part of Microsoft's Windows Live services. It integrated into Windows Live Messenger to allow users to make PC-to-PC and PC-to-Phone voice and video calls. Microsoft partnered with telecommunication companies around the world to allow users to use a PC equipped with a microphone and speakers and a high speed Internet connection to call almost any regular telephone anywhere in the world.
Click-to-call, also known as click-to-talk, click-to-dial, click-to-chat and click-to-text, namely Webcall is a form of Web-based communication in which a person clicks an object to request an immediate connection with another person in real-time either by phone call, Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP), or text. Click to talk requests are most commonly made on websites but can also be initiated by hyperlinks placed in email, blogs, wikis, flash animations or video, and other Internet-based object or user interfaces. Click-to-call also known as Click-to-Talk or Web Call Real Time Communications
Google Voice is a telephone service that provides call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging, as well as U.S. and international call termination for Google Account customers in the U.S. and Canada. The service was launched by Google on March 11, 2009, after the company had acquired the service GrandCentral.
Visual voicemail is direct-access voicemail with a visual interface. Such an interface presents a list of messages for playback, as opposed to the sequential listening required using traditional voicemail, and may include a transcript of each message. In 2007, Apple's iPhone was the first cell phone promoting this feature. Since then, several telecommunications companies have integrated a visual element into their voicemail services, such as on Samsung's Instinct and the BlackBerry Storm and Torch.
Monsoon Multimedia was a company that manufactured, developed and sold video streaming and place-shifting devices that allowed consumers to view and control live television on PCs connected to a local (home) network or remotely from a broadband-connected PC or mobile phone.
A softphone is a software program for making telephone calls over the Internet using a general purpose computer rather than dedicated hardware. The softphone can be installed on a piece of equipment such as a desktop, mobile device, or other computer and allows the user to place and receive calls without requiring an actual telephone set. Often, a softphone is designed to behave like a traditional telephone, sometimes appearing as an image of a handset, with a display panel and buttons with which the user can interact. A softphone is usually used with a headset connected to the sound card of the PC or with a USB phone.
Call blocking, also known as call block, call screening, or call rejection, allows a telephone subscriber to block incoming calls from specific telephone numbers. This feature may require an additional payment to the subscriber's telephone company or a third-party.
Dmailer specialized in portable backup and synchronization software for a range of mobile devices, including USB flash drives, memory cards, external hard disk drives, MP3 players, embedded phone memories, SIM cards and flash-based memory cards for mobile phones.
Daniel Nissan is an Israeli-American Internet entrepreneur who had a leading role in the development of VoIP, e-commerce and marketing automation. Since 1993 Nissan has been a senior executive, co-founder and CEO with three companies: VocalTec, who patented the first Voice over IP audio transceiver and released the first VoiP software (1995), NetGrocer, the first online, nationwide ecommerce supermarket (1996), and StructuredWeb, the first marketing automation software for local and channel marketing (1999).
Force Touch is a technology developed by Apple Inc. that enables trackpads and touchscreens to distinguish between various levels of force being applied to their surfaces. It uses pressure sensors to add another method of input to Apple’s devices. The technology was first unveiled on September 9, 2014, during the introduction of Apple Watch. Starting with the Apple Watch, Force Touch has been incorporated into many products within Apple’s lineup. This includes notable MacBooks and the Magic Trackpad 2. The technology is known as 3D Touch on the iPhone models. The technology brings usability enhancements to the software by offering a third dimension to accept input. Accessing shortcuts, previewing details, drawing art and system wide features enable users to additionally interact with the displayed content by applying force on the input surface.
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