Monday, August 01, 2005

Skype

I don't know if most people have heard about Skype. Created in 2003 by the makers of Kazaa, its a p2p program which is meant to make communication easier. Its a rather simple program which allows you to talk to, not message, other contacts; all you need is a microphone and a speaker or a headset. It makes life easier for people who are too lazy to actually sit and type (I'm not yet at that level) and for those who have friends all over the world. The best part is that there is a free version for those college students who can't even afford to pay that much.

Basically all you have to do is download the program at www.skype.com and then create a login name. Add contacts and then you can call them. I've talked to friends in Boston and in India and have had clear lines all through out the call. This spares the user from having to bear with calling cards and staticky sounds. Just a warning for those who will be using their speakers, you will possibly get an echo which can be quite frustrating; use earphones.

People with dial up connections will probably have problems as it would take a few minutes for the voice to travel. Skype was primarily made for broadband internet, so its not too smart to actually use it otherwise. Another problem I've found with Skype is that it does not transport your contact list, so if you change computers, you'll also have to add your contacts all over again.

Perhaps this is the future of the 'telephone'. Though Skype has all its faults it allows easy communication for people across the globe. Skype also has a messaging system similar to MSN Messenger so that it consists of more than just calls; but I don't know who would want to message someone else when they can talk instead.

I would understand that if a random person messages you before you actually talk to them and realise they are really really creepy. Its like Kevin was mentioning in tutorial today, about people you don't know sending you messages. Perhaps this is the future... hopefully someday it will be even easier to talk to a loved one across the world.

“I knew it was over when I downloaded Skype,” Michael Powell, chairman, Federal Communications Commission, explained. “When the inventors of KaZaA are distributing for free a little program that you can use to talk to anybody else, and the quality is fantastic, and it’s free – it’s over. The world will change now inevitably.” (Skype website)

I really do wonder how most people I talk to about Skype have never even heard of it, when it is just so convenient and easy to use. Maybe its because it hasn't been publicized too much, or perhaps it is because there is still so much more to be done in the study of Internet telephony.

5 Comments:

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Becky Gavagan said...

Skype is a definite possibility into the future of voice talking. I have heard discussion the skype will make cell phones much cheaper as cell phones have already made traditional phone calls much cheaper, at least in the states. Not only is it impressive to be able to talk to anyone in the world for free computer to computer, but its amazing to be able to call computer to phone for a universally low rate of 1.8cents a minute.
Skype has more features than the average user realizes. It has instant messaging/file sharing abilities as well as the classic identity profile much like that of aim or other messaging system.
Its clear that they are still working out kinks, I have experienced some computer to computer calls with some serious lag or echos, but it never lasts too long and its impossible to get frustrated with it because in the end, its so free.

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Ayesha Cooper said...

That's why I didn't go into too much detail about all the other abilities that skype has, as a lot of them are still works in progress, and have just come out.... recently I actually find that I only load the program if I have a specific time to talk to a friend as too many random people msg me all the time... oh well... at least its free

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger Spivey said...

Check out Vonage. Its an american based company who has made VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet Protocol) a profitable business and cut many of the kinks you used to know. The best part of that one, unlike many of these other programs like Skype, it uses your telephone lines once entering your house via broadband router. This means you can you your home phones to make calls over the internet, and when you want to take your phone number with you, just take the router. You can have a local phone number (only US numbers at the moment) anywhere in the world that there is a reliable broadband. Nifty.

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=5&ObjectID=10339560

^^ Interesting, seems that rupert murdoch plans on taking over skype and that Skype is valued at US $3bn dollars with 47million users already signed up.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Chen Yang said...

i had been using skype for about 3 month now. It save me heaps of money for talking to my girl friend overseas. I think one of the best function skype has is you can add multipule user to the conversation. So lots of people can chat together in the same time. And unlike msn, you can randomly add online user to your conversation without having them in your contact. It occurs to me once, when my friend just add this guy who my friend assume was a girl from no where, quite an experince.

 

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