Free Skype--for some
by Erica Sadun
Today, Skype announced free calls to all landlines and mobile phones in the US and Canada. The SkypeOut service lets you place phone calls your computer. Great freebie, very kind of them to offer this, but it's not working for a large number of Skype subscribers. Is it working for you?
This is a different approach from competitor Jajah.com. With Jajah, you place the call at the website and then wait for Jajah to call you at home. It then acts as an operator and connects you to the number you requested. You don't talk over the computer, you talk over your normal landline handset, which I find very handy. Also, unlike Skype, you can also place free short calls to Europe. For longer calls (world wide), you need to set up and fund an account.
There's been a lot of talk about the US National Security Agency and call privacy, but somehow I feel more private calling over my land line than my computer, let alone over my cell phone. Am I off base here?
Finally, if you have nothing better to do with your life and you have the emotional maturity of, say, a donut, Jajah makes it very easy to place prank calls. You could connect your friend's phone to, for example, the local restaurant take-out line, any number of porn shops, or even Dial-the-Truth ministries. You may need to clean the Jajah cookies (Safari -> Preferences, Security, Show Cookies), wash your hands, and visit your local cleric to seek absolution between calls.
Report back here.
somehow I feel more private calling over my land line than my computer, let alone over my cell phone. Am I off base here?
|Telecom Guy, so what is the most private way to communicate? Which way is a machine more likely to be listening for key words? What about actual people listening in? Should I trust Jajah or Skype not to monitor my calls? Is hacking into cell phone communication as easy as they show it in the movies?|
Erica, the most private way to communicate is using strong encryption, via email or via phone.
Unless you're calling known or suspected terrorists overseas, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about with the NSA.
|so old skype is no longer free and nothing else is|