Skyping Across the Atlantic

by Niel M. Bornstein

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My friends have been talking about Skype, the new internet telephony service. Calls between Skype clients are free, and client software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

I downloaded the Mac OS X client last night. It installed easily, in true Mac fashion. Within minutes I received a call from my friend and colleague Edd Dumbill -- the first time we've actually ever heard each others' voices.

He came through loud and clear, even on the iBook's tiny built-in speakers. And although the iBook has no audio in port, Edd reports that the built-in mic produced decent sound on his end of the connection across the pond.

If I were planning to use Skype more than occasionally, I would certainly be investing in a USB headset or handset.

Ultimately I expect to be using Skype mostly to have some fun chatting with some of my imaginary friends on the internet. With its conferencing feature, Skype will also make for some interesting group chats.

And with its "SkypeOut" feature -- allowing you to call a regular telephone line from Skype for a low rate of € 0.017 per minute -- I may find a practical use for Skype on those rare occasions when I do need to call a regular phone from the road.

I haven't been interested in VoIP technology until now. I'm still not saying it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I can see the advantages.

Do you Skype?


2005-01-12 09:22:29
Interview to a Skype VoIP user

I have an urgent and completely random request...

My name is Vivian and I work for a tv production company in London, FBC Media. We're producing a show for CNBC Europe called World Business and are going to interview Skype on Friday.

Do you know anyone in London who uses Skype that I could contact to try and set up a very brief interview with on Friday, in order to ask them how they like using the software? It's good for us to get independent reviews of the technology from someone who doesn't work in the company...

Thank you and I appreciate any lead you might have!