Tag: Skype

Skype coming to PSP

I’ve never touched a PSP, so I’m inclined to be ignorant on the subject (what’s new?), but rumor has it Sony’s handheld gaming console will soon be Skype-capable. Despite my cluelessness with regard to gaming, I’d imagine that killing zombies while voice-chatting via Skype might eat up quite a bit of bandwidth.  This might be okay if you are at home on your Comcast 4MB connection, but everyone in the coffee shop is going to slow you down (as well as kick your ass for screaming “shoot, shoot, shoot” all the time).Is the combination a wireless carrier killer? I think not – the juice just isn’t there. With WiMAX or 3G, ubiquitously available? Maybe…someday. Wireless phones are picking up where landlines left off – they’re already killing the dial tone (although even the smallest players still act like nothing’s wrong). Cell signal reliability and voice quality still have room for major improvement, and that’s what the carriers should be concentrating on for their mainstream base while everyone chases their tails with toys. And yes, I did suggest that Research In Motion and Skype might be a good combination, but that was more for the messaging prospects.It’ll be fun for gamers, but that’s about it.

UPDATE: More “Skype will kill the cell phone calls.” The 3 Skypephone technically could be, although gaining mass share will be difficult.

Shape Services IM+ for Skype gets F-

Following up on my Skype on the Blackberry experiment

I wound up using the IM+ for Skype program very little, primarily because I start getting SMS messages instead of Skyped the moment I leave my desk. The program worked fine the few times I did use it, but it still gets a big F-. Why? Because it is virtually impossible to get the program off the device. I tried deleting it via the app manager – it doesn’t show up. I tried deleting it from the device – it’s not listed under applications. I tried deleting it module by module, but the associated modules don’t have a menu item available for deletion.

Then I trolled the forums, and it seems everyone has this problem. And nobody has a credible solution.

Bad, bad, bad.

When you chips are down, look at the bright side

Something of a cliché – just don’t hit me if you’re down too.

Eric Savitz of Barron’s Tech Trader follows today’s “downs” and yours truly puts some much needed spin on it:

  • Charles Schwab’s online trading was down all morning [Editor’s note: along with position reporting, etc. etc. and even the dang login screen, for a while at least]. But look at the bright side: the market was down 300 points, yet managed to bounce back. Why? Schwabies couldn’t dump their stock.
  • Skype is down, and Mr. Savitz can’t check for blog reactions at Technorati either. But look at the bright side: Skype is rarely down – I can’t even remember the last time it was down. And Technorati? Well they’re always down, so who cares?
  • Trading was halted in Dell shares. But look at the bright side: maybe they’ll quit sending all those fricken catalogs.
  • And while we’re at it…

  • Red Robin’s profits are down. Maybe instances of heart disease will follow that direction.
  • The amount of outstanding commercial paper is at it’s lowest level since the 9-11 attacks. And, there haven’t been any recent instances of airliners getting purposefully plowed into very large office buildings.
  • Last but not least…

  • The secondary mortgage market is getting pummeled, and many hedge funds are getting pummeled. But some crafty web entrepreneurs are having fun with it.
  • UPDATE: STOP THE PRESSES – Some German physicists have broken the speed of light! And as any student of Einstein’s theory of relativity should know, this means we may soon be able to travel back in time. Absolutely nothing to worry about now.

    Skype via Blackberry via OS X = Hoop Jumping

    No nonsense.

    I wanted Skype on my Blackberry since I use a whole lot of Skype IM. There’s a program for this – IM+ for Skype. You need Blackberry Desktop Software to install it, which runs on Windows. I’m on a Mac, as are a whole lot of other folks.

    Some people have had trouble with this for some reason. While I’m usually the one with the trouble, I think a few folks were just missing a piece here or there that either kept them from getting the Blackberry connected properly, or getting the BB Desktop Software jammed up somehow. Nevertheless, here’s the quick and dirty to getting it done…

  • Download the trial version of IM+ for Skype
  • Have Parallels 3.0 handy (3.0 I said – I couldn’t get a Windows to Blackberry connection working, but after the upgrade all was well)
  • I used Windows XP within Parallels
  • Make sure Sun Java is installed on that Windows virtual machine – the Blackberry application loading software needs it (you can get that here)
  • Move that IM+ for Skype app into “Drop Box” under your Mac Public Folder
  • Bring the app onto the Windows desktop, and unzip it
  • Open Blackberry Desktop, then connect your device; enter password if necessary
  • Click the Application manager icon, and choose the app folder you unzipped onto the desktop
  • Go
  • Now, this puppy is going to run for a few minutes, then stall. Be patient, because it will never “unstall.” Wait. Wait some more. Wait even more. Go out to lunch, then come back and wait again. It will always look half finished. I tried three times, then got a clue and simply unplugged the Blackberry from the cable. The software had loaded, and worked just fine.

    I’d go into gross detail, but you get the idea and I don’t want a lot of technical questions I can’t answer flying my way. But I do have a few notes on the IM+ software. First, it does its intended job – I’ve had no problems sending or receiving IMs. Second, if you have unanswered chats on your desktop Skype when you hit the road, it’s going to upload those as though it thinks you want to continue. Minor prob, if one at all. Last – being logged in via the phone does not signify web presence, as in folks don’t know you’re online by looking at those fancy little icons like I have on my contact page. Again, who cares.

    Based on my initial review, I’ll probably purchase the IM+ when the trial period runs out (if it even does – who knows). It’s pretty handy if you are a Skyper, and also have a Blackberry permanently fused between your two hands (I know a good surgeon who can do this if you like too).


    UPDATE: A few additional points…

  • I did not need to disable the Blackberry USB extensions (/System/Library/Extensions/BlackberryUSB.kext and /System/Library/Extensions/BlackberryUSBDev.kext) – the device connected fine, but if and only if you launched the desktop app first and then connected the cable.
  • If the desktop software failed, a reboot of the virtual machine was required, which isn’t really much of a pain since it is virtual. This was the case whether the extensions were enabled or disabled.
  • UPDATE 2: Now, there’s Skype for the iPhone, compliments of the same company. Hope it’s easier for Mac users to install.

    Twittering from Skype

    This would be nice. But like Dan York, I’m reluctant to cough up any passwords.

    Skype is stealthy, and vulnerable

    skype.jpgThe folks at Skype have figured out some pretty cool ways to get round firewalls (h/t to Slashdot), as well as stay one step ahead of the everyone trying to block the service (of course, no telco would try to do that, would they?).

    Nonetheless, with all that complexity and purported invincibility, there are bound to be some lame-asses lurking in the shadows trying to spoil the party. Well, they actually crashed the shindig today, but WebSense is reiterating that it is really no big deal.

    I know quite a few folks that are slowly transitioning from AOL IM over to Skype (including yours truly). What timing. Can’t really say there wasn’t any warning this stuff might happen.

    Where’s a good scapegoat when you need one?

    UPDATE: Oops. It isn’t really a worm anymore. Let’s be fair – it’s just a virus.

    UPDATE 2: Skype’s security chief speaks out on what might be next in terms of threats (and keeping users safe).

    VoIP trappings of success

    Skype, that free (and quite secure) voice-over-IP program we all know and love, was purchased by eBay for billions. Niklas Zennstrom & Co., who were previously responsible for peer-to-peer file sharing application KaZaA, made out like bandits, and I couldn’t be happier for them.

    Now they are being sued by StreamCast Networks, maker of the Morpheus file-sharing program, for alleged RICO violations.

    I can’t help but think this event is fueled by jealousy and contempt. I am a bit suspicious as well – I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon heard that StreamCast is cutting deals with big telcos and media players.

    Simple phone tech thwarts government eavesdropping

    If the telecomm industry wanted to get a leg up, they should have thought about partnering with real innovators in the industry long ago. Instead, they sat on their uncreative behinds, and let companies like Skype run right over them. Skype fetched a multi-billion dollar purchase price via eBay not too long ago – not bad for a company without any copper lying behind the walls.

    Now it seems the product might just be capable of making the Bush Administration, the NSA, and whomever else is lying in wait to douse basic personal privacy, look like the same asses the telecomm executives resemble now. The free product is being called a hell of a way to thwart eavesdropping – the software uses strong encryption, which has been available for things like email for some time, but a little more difficult to apply to voice communications due to the need for “devices” at both ends of the call. The free software is that “device.”

    You can bet Skype/eBay executives will be getting hauled in front of Congress any day now to explain.

    How to stop telco innovation in the US

    As if just letting the wireline incumbents ruffle their plumes wasn’t enough to keep the US in the dark ages of telecomm innovation, why not scare the shit out of the wireless companies while you are at it. They are “the establishment” just like the copper-loving crowd, and their customer service is just as bad, IMHO. So all you have to do to ensure that us American folks don’t ever get any fancy new services is to release a disruptive service for use on wireless networks.

    The Register may call it the end of VoIP for guys like Skype and Vonage. I just say it is another nail in the coffin for US consumers and businesses wanting desperately for something competitive.

    Pop software trojans soon the rage

    For all you folks making free “phone” calls at eBay’s expense (meaning, using Skype) here’s a warning for you. Skype just released a new client (about a week ago), and now an email attachment is circulating claiming to be that update.

    In fact, it is a trojan that attempts to turn your computer into a zombie. Beware. Skype is popular, so its no surprise some nitwit is trying to take advantage of the fact.