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Monday, April 03, 2006

Skype News Roundup

Skype as a Call Center ? VOIP Phones: Retro and Cell Phone Styles Phil Wolff in Maryland for Freedom to Connect: Actionable items. For example, furnishing every VoIP user with a "Call to Civic Action" button that pops up their elected representatives' phone numbers. Getting staffers on the Hill to use Skype. Writing platform statements that Republicans and Democrats can include in state platforms, to which we can hold congressional candidates accountable, which we can feed to the press as newsworthy questions. Acta non verba! And Lastly, my favorite: WISPA.IT (go Italy): You know the fancy system you get with your cellphone that provides access to your voice mail. Now imagine you could dial your own Skype Assistant and retrieve all your chat messages, voice mails, and emails too. Then add in the capability to direct / forward your calls to others when you aren't there. Plus you would like to access Skype's low rates from your cell. For some this could be pretty cool. Wispa enables you to access your Skype account (you must have SkypeIn!) from any phone. Simply call up your Skype account and start interacting with the voice attendant and DTMF tones. The voice is one of those MS voices so it isn't the sexiest choice in the world. Still it is intelligible and you have a few voices to choose from. Video Interview and Demo info here (very cool stuff). EQO lets you extend Skype onto your mobile phone, complete with buddy lists, incoming and outgoing IM chat etc – all done via their clever servers. It’s global, free at the moment for basic services and it works brilliantly. You need a permanently running Skype server at home to act as the hub, but any old computer will do as long as there’s a permanent Internet connection. I haven’t tried Hotxt yet, but it’s the same kind of principle, move communication onto the data channel to lower the rates. So you pay £1.00 a week for all the txt messages you can eat, plus around 1p a message for the data charge on GPRS. That’s a bunch cheaper than the 12p the networks charge, even bearing in mind that you pay for incoming and outgoing messages. Each text is 2.5 times bigger than the measly 165 characters of standard SMS, and it all works instantly. UK only at the moment, but I’ll see if I can get a trial account here and report back. Previous: I recently posted about Skype being sued. Well, now it's getting really weird; A SkypeTech Millitary Net?

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