With the innovations and Web List Posting inventions popping up every day, one begins to think back just a few years ago, when Dick Tracy watched phone and Sci-Fi movies and shows (The Jetsons) and had video conference calling with people from all around the world. Well, those are no longer sci-fi dreams and wishful futuristic inventions. From communications to health benefits, science has made life as we know it much simpler and easier. Today, I returned from the Republic of Panama, where I spent two weeks traveling around the country, checking out the usual tourist sites and popular events.

Hi Tech

Not only could I contact the local resort areas, restaurants, and hotels using my computer and a combination of Magic-Jack and Skype, but I could receive all my messages and return all calls to the United States for free or just a few cents per call. While driving throughout the city of Panama and along the American highway, I would pull into a local McDonald’s coffee shop or any establishment

that offered Wi-Fi, turn on my computer, and either dial through my Skype account to local numbers for less than .10 cents a minute or through Magic jack to the United States or Canada for free ($29.00 per year). Skype calls allow video conferencing between Skype users for free to anywhere in the world. I was able to have several teleconferencing calls with friends in Russia from any Wi-Fi location in Panama with ease.

Skype is a free download, and all calls to other Skype users are free. Using any handset or microphone, you can dial anyone’s Skype number or, for a few cents per minute, make international phone calls anywhere in the world. With an Internet camera, you can video conference any Skype user internationally. Skype also has voicemail, private phone numbers, and other calling features.

Magic-Jack offers a 2-inch USB hardware device that automatically downloads the software necessary to make calls anywhere in the world. The hardware runs $29.00, and a one-year subscription of unlimited phone calls to Canada and the U.S. is a mere $29.00. Presently, Magic-Jack is offering five years of service for $60.00.

Plug any landline phone into the hardware device and dial away. Magic-Jack also has international accessibility at a slightly higher rate for the minute. Magic-Jack also has voice messaging that can be sent directly to your e-mail account and listened to at your leisure. You can choose a phone number from any area code in the U.S. to allow your friends to call locally, even though you may be located on another continent.

There is one more internet telephone company making headway, OOMA, for those without computers or who don’t want to carry one around. Presently on sale at $199.00, a one-time charge, this device allows you to call unlimited in the United States with NO MONTHLY FEES and meager international rates. My favorite part of OOMA is you don’t need a

computer or headset; connect to your internet service plu,g in your existing phone set, and start dialing. While you are traveling, you will, of course, be taking pictures to remind you of all that you are experiencing. What better way than through a new SD card, “Eye-Fi,” a Wi-Fi-enabled memory card that allows you to upload your pictures and videos to your computer from your camera or to share them

on your favorite sharing site? From 2 G.B. to 8 G.B., home and professional versions, with Geotagging available for an additional fee that will tag all of your pictures and show where they are from and locate them on a map. It will automatically free up space on your card once your photos and videos have been safely delivered to your destination of choice.