Entries Tagged as 'Skype'

Thoughts on Skype Mobile for Android

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

This is funny as hell. I mean seriously. Does this guy even understand how power works? Less trips to the charger? WOW. Okay… a little lesson on how telecom radios work folks. It’s a really easy concept actually. A base station is usually located somewhere between one to two miles away. Ideally. Sometimes farther, sometimes closer. But the amount of power it takes to generate a signal that far is a lot more power on the forward channel than any WiFi signal. Ever.

So buying into the whole … Verizon is the best 3G network so we’re making use of their network thing is total marketing mumbo jumbo. I would know, considering I’ve worked on the infrastructure. What’s funny is that someone at Verizon made this call on banning WiFi which I have no clue about because from a telecom business perspective it makes absolutely no sense. Probably a sales guy that didn’t do his bean counting correctly.

So if you have a Verizon smart phone, you have to pay for a line and a data package. You don’t have a choice in this matter. And more than likely you use it for way more things than Skype. Believe me, the last thing I consider use for my data package for is voip. So why would you ban voip? Because some brilliant guy somewhere thought that it would decrease sales in lines, without actually thinking through who actually uses Android phones.

Here’s food for thought. The point of Skype is voip, but RF spectrum is actually expensive to run. Why not allow people to do their voip on WiFi but still pay for their data packages? You’re basically allowing more spectrum available for both actual data and voice use (depending on how the channels are configured). It’s the most optimal use of your current network from a business perspective and network perspective. Again, something else I’d know since I spent over ten years optimizing network traffic and analyzing KPIs.

It seems that Skype couldn’t break their full client in to Verizon and they didn’t know the telecom lingo to actually sell it. What’s amusing is that it makes them look bad in throwing the Skype Lite out since it really doesn’t help with those of us that run SkypeIn numbers or allow us to conduct business the way Google Voice does. Oh right, Verizon isn’t afraid of Google Voice which makes connections over the voice lines? That’s more traffic taken up for no reason when it doesn’t have to be routed as such.

All in all, both of Skype and Verizon Wireless need to revisit how their technologies work and why one thing is superseded by another when they’re two different things. I get the whole Verizon wants to make money and are afraid that they would lose subs. But come on… are you serious? Releasing a product that half par is worse than not releasing one at all. It just makes both ends look terrible from a public relations perspective and becomes a marketing nightmare. In the end, you’d spend more money trying to fight the non-existent problem instead of just letting the thing through.

Right now? I can say that as a telecom veteran, I have to say that this application might as well have been left in beta. In fact, the beta was better since it didn’t disable the wifi. That’s a little sad. There’s nothing great about the final Android version and continues to win subpar remarks because of bad decision made on both ends.

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Skype Pro takes a shift towards pleasing subscribers

The Skype Pro subscription plans have taken a turn for the better.
Now, not only can you call 34 countries at a flat rate with no hidden fees, the fair use calling per month is now at 10,000 minutes. 10,000 minutes?!?! That’s insanity. In a good way.
That’s five hours a day, every day for four weeks straight. And believe me, when I say that even people that I’ve known to talk a whole lot on the phone, have never been close to that limit. I suppose if you run sales calls all day long, you MIGHT… but that’s a pretty big “if”.
In any case, it’s still costing $2.95 a month for US/Canada. And you get a number cheaper coming in. All in all, it’s looking even better as a business alternative as long as you don’t need dial-tones for whatever reason. For me? They’ve sold it for me. I might be getting some more numbers for my other businesses.

Call Graph

callgraph.png If you need to record your calls for Skype, Call Graph could be your meal ticket.
Call Graph allows you to record all of your calls, but in and out, and tag them to manage them. It records all of your calls in mp3 format. This plugin only works for Skype on Windows, so it’s tough if you got Skype in other operating systems. But hey… life’s tough. Deal. Freeware for you Windows freaks.

Free Mother’s Day calls from Skype

If you have Skype, and you need to call mom, no sweat. Free calls until 4:59AM EST tomorrow, for US and Canadian based residents. Some rules apply.

Wake up Skype to invisible from Mac sleep

One of the more annoying things about putting your Mac to sleep are the applications that you would leave up as real-time applications. Such as IM, or Skype. There’s nothing like everyone under the sun finding out that you’re back online and pinging you from the sun and back.
No sweat. Murphy Mac has a script for Sleepwatcher which will take care of that. Sleepwatcher is an open source utility that will perform certain functions on waking or sleeping of the Mac. You tell it what you want it to do and it’ll run whatever you tell it. Watch their screencast on how to do this.
TUAW > MurphyMac

Qool Labs SkyQube

skyqube2.jpg A very cool new device by Qool Labs being introduced at CeBit. THe SkyQube is a VoIP gateway that interfaces with Skype. So what it does is: if someone calls you at home and you just happen to be out of the country. The VoIP reroutes the call through Skype to any other phone number you designate and basically defers the call through the cheap SkypeOut minutes versus regular international carrier minutes. This can also be done with the version that can reroute GSM calls by inserting your mobile’s SIM card in the device and having it forward calls to whatever number you designate.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a price or where it’s going to be distributed from the Singapore company.
Slashdot < CNet.UK

High resolution Skype video calls

Usually, when you’re using Skype, your little webcam is only busting out a nice 320×240 resolution. But what if your webcam can handle SO MUCH MORE? then it’s a tough break… until now. In the developer forums, there’s a couple interesting hacks that you can perform to get your Skype to transmit in 640×480. Break out the hi-res, baby. For both PC and Mac.
Via MAKE

Nokia N800

The Nokia N800 could be my next high-angled toy. It’s a full touchscreen running linux. Basically a handheld that will be able to support Skype soon. You can’t believe how cool that is considering that the only other Skype enabled mobile device that can be used in ANY hotspot would be the Sony Mylo. And personally, I’ve been hesitant to buy one even though they’re neat looking based on the bad support of other Sony products just as the current Sony Location Free (LF-PK1) that I own. There’s just a lot that can be done with these products that isn’t pushed out by firmware releases.
In any case, the N800 will provide everything except a mobile keyboard. That might become a hassle since IM is a big deal, but we’ll just have to wait and see if it will be better off than the Mylo. The drooling can now begin.
Via Skype

Skype Email Toolbar

Skype Email Toolbar allows you to call someone from directly in your email as long as they have a Skype contact or phone and you have Skype installed. You can also see if your contacts are online and start instant messaging following up on an email. For Windows only.

Skype unlimited US/Canada plan

Skype just announced starting January 1st of 2007, they will be offering an unlimited calling plan via Skype for $30 a year.
Not a month, mind you. A YEAR. That firms up everything for my startup on costs. Now to just get more devices that can be anywhere without restrictions, like the Sony Mylo. Thank you, Skype for not ripping us off like the rest of the Bell monopoly conglomerate.
Update (10:36AM): Until January 31st 2007, the plan is for $14.95/year (Thanks tdavid!).
Via NYT