Todd Cochrane interviewed Rick Osterlash, VP of Consumer Products for Skype at CES 2011. Skype announce several new products and partnerships either at CES or just prior to it.
The first product Mr Osterlash talked about was a new version of Skype for the iPhone, which allows two-way video calling. The calls can be either phone to phone or phone to desktop. This update was issued just before New Years and over the New Year’s holiday there were more than 1 million video calls made from the iPhone. Apple was very helpful in getting the application on the iPhone. Second Skype announced a partnership with Verizon which will enable Skype on LTE Advance devices including Android. Furthermore they announced a partnership with various TV manufactures. Skype will come installed on certain TVs, allowing consumers to make video Skype calls directly from these TVs. At the same time they also announced partnerships with some Blue-Ray manufactures which would allow customers to use Skype on older TVs. Finally they announced that the new version of Skype on the desktop will allow group video calls. This is available for both Windows and Mac, although the Mac version is still in beta.
Skype is doing very well in fact there was a study done by TeleGeography which said that 25 percent of all international calls are now done through Skype, and that number is only increasing.
Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
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This week’s unofficial style and design award goes to Native Union and their beautiful Moshi Moshi range of handsets for mobile phones, USB VoIP and Bluetooth.
There’s four in the range, the first three created by designer David Turpin and the last by Michael Young. They’re a stylish mix of retro and modern and I think they’re reasonably priced for a well-designed item. I’m tempted to get the Bluetooth handset (MM03) myself.
Two of them have 3.5mm jacks and two are Bluetooth. A range of adaptors are also available from the web site, including one for converting to USB for Skype, GoogleTalk and so on.
Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite but the website has full photo galleries.
And if you are wondering what “Moshi Moshi” is, it’s what Japanese people say when they answer the phone. You can read about the myth behind this phrase over on WikiAnswers.
“Security center has detected malware on your computer.” Have you ever seen that message pop up on your computer? Have you ever seen it happen over Skype? Well, I’ve received that message three times in the last month as a Skype message. It tells me that my Windows software is infected and I need to install a patch. It even gave me a website (link) to go to to help me install the patch.
I may have fallen for the trick but I don’t know how a Windows patch would fix my iMac running OSX. I don’t run Bootcamp, or Windows in a virtual machine, nor does my iMac know what an .EXE or ActiveX file is. I’m sure if I clicked on this link and installed the patch on my Windows machine, my machine WOULD have been infected with malware! (For now Mac machines may be safer from malware infections but it’s wise to still be careful.)
I’ve written before about being safe on the Internet and not going to sites you don’t know or clicking on links in emails, but this is the first I heard of a message over Skype. If you look at the message box (on my iMac), it doesn’t even say it’s from Skype and the window title says. “Software Updates.”
What concerns me is that many people may fall for this trick. I know most readers of GNC and listener’s to Todd’s podcast are tech savvy enough that they wouldn’t fall for something like this, but what about mom (or dad) or your grand parents who get a web cam for Christmas and install Skype so they can talk to the grand kids? Would they click on this link and install the “patch” if this message box appeared?
Google is trying to find sites that install spyware and root-kit software on your computer, but you can’t depend on this for every “bad” website. Recently there was a SQL-injection virus that infected a large number of websites. The virus takes advantage of PCs running Windows that have not been patched with the latest updates. You don’t have to click on any links to get infected — just visit a site taken over by this malware software. It does this by linking to the site 318x dot com (please don’t go to this site). If you search for 318x dot com using google, the first search listing says “This site may harm your computer.” That because this site has been around for a while and has given enough time for Google’s security bots to find the site and determine that it’s up to no good. Here is the link for the Google Safe Browsing page for the 318X site: http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=318x.com/
Now back to my Skype message. I mentioned that this is the third time I’ve received this message in the past month. Each time I did a Whois search of the linked website and found that the website was created within one day of when I received the message. The website mentioned in the most recent warning message was created the same day I received the message. This tells me that the author of this warning message is changing the website URL to keep it from being flagged by Google and the security monitoring sites. If you do a Google search for this site it comes up clean. Oh, did I mention that the owner of this site (and the previous two sites) is from Prague, Czech Republic (outside US laws)?
As you visit relatives and friends over the holidays make sure everyone knows about safe surfing on the Internet. Don’t click on links in emails (or Skype message boxes) and make sure to keep your computer’s OS patched and up to date.
Well the free ride to make Skype calls to regular land line phones ends Dec 31st, but through the end of the year you can sign up for their half price plan at $14.95 for a year of unlimited long distance calling to the United States and Canada.
This is great deal for those that use the SkypeOut function to call land line phones. [Skype.com]
Shout Out to all Veterans, Thank You for your service! I have a great show tonight and I get up on my soap box a couple of times. Lots of great show feedback from my family of listeners. Make sure you check out whats hot at Blubrry.com
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A friend of mine in the UK was on a Skype call with another person I know out in Nevada when they were interrupted with another incoming call. It was directed at the caller in Nevada, and when he answered he was blown away when it turned out to be a recorded telemarketing pitch in Spanish.
This is pretty discouraging but you have to expect this type of activity. Firms can now use technology to call people cheaply and automatically to anyone in the world hawking their products or services.
I am sure we will all have to look at out Skype configurations if this trend grows. The question I have is have you received a Skype call yet from a telemarketer pr received some prerecorded garbage? [tektrekgamer.wordpress.com]
The folks at Skype in a absolute amazing marketing move has made calling any United States or Canadian telephone number a free call. That’s right you can call any land line phone from your computer for free. This is HUGE, the calls had already been cheap but this opens up Skype to those that may have been resistant to depositing credits for the account. [Skype]
The service introduced by Skype today could very well shift the dynamics of podcasting a little. I am going to run a test later today, and see how well it works with a group of people, You are limited to having a live session with 100 people but this will be perfect for a lot of events, group discussion, and meetings that happen on the net.
The only limit I see at this moment is not being able to make the skypecast private, thus having a private online meeting using this service is not possible yet. But you could use it to broadcast your podcast live. [skypecasts.skype.com]
I discussed last week how one of my Team members at RawVoice has Skype running on a computer with a AMD processor, and was pissed that he could not do a conference call with more than 5 people. Skype imposed conference call limit to those running AMD processors, well this limit has been hacked. Up to today only those with certain Intel chips in their desktops could do conference calls of more than 5 people.
A hacker who has been giving Apple some grief is now giving the Skype folks some grief, and has a patch available to unlock that AMD limitation. In all likelyhood the patch is illegal but I have already received a large number of e-mail from people telling me they have installed it. [News.com] [Maxxuss.com]