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Archive for the 'Skype' Category

Why not use your mobile phone as a wireless webcam?

WWIGO can be used with Skype and othe IM apps - gersbo.dk For some time I have been using a free program that enables me to use my mobile phone as a wireless webcam. The program is called WWIGO - Webcam Wherever I GO - and all you need to use it is a compatible handset; a Windows computer; and a very basic knowledge of using bluetooth.

Did I mention it is completely free?

I am pretty psyched about this - it is such a clever application and it is really only the imagination that limits the potential ways in which it can be used. WWIGO can of course be used for video conferencing - e.g. with Skype, MSN Windows Live Messenger and such. But what is keeping you from using the phone as a wireless surveillance camera? Maybe with some additional webcam software? WWIGO works with several older phone models so it is not like you need to have the latest gear to use it. Besides these applications, WWIGO can also be used to record video directly on the computer, using the phone's camera.

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Free SkypeOut Credits in October

Every wednesday during the month of October, Skype will give away free SkypeOut credits equivalent of 20 minutes call time.

Get free credits here

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Netgear Skype WiFi Phone

Netgear will on January 8. demonstrate a Skype-enabled wireless phone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (Netgear press release).

The phone will come with the Skype software preloaded and can be used on regular 802.11b/g wireless networks.

I wonder what the price will be for this thing? In comparison to USB Skype phones it is certainly an improvement.

Netgear Skype WiFi Phone

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Skype Hype

I have been looking further into handsets to use with Skype or SkypeOut.While I was doing this, I also checked the SkypeOut rates. As it turns out, the saving on mobile telephony I had hoped for is not possible. In Denmark, calls made through SkypeOut costs €0.02 per minute (DKK 0.15) for a landline number, and €0.259 per minute (DKK 2.00) for a mobile number. Neither one of these rates are competitive when compared to the available telephone subscriptions in Denmark :-(

This means that the SkypeOut service is only interesting for long distance phone calls and that the investment in a special handset - which integrates with Skype - is not worth while. Unless, of course, a significant number of friends and family decide to start using Skype. In that case, using a headset with a PC will probably be too cumbersome in the long run and a regular, wireless phone will come in handy.

I sort of had my stare fixed on the Cordless Dualphone, which I have also seen branded as an 'Olympus' phone. The phone seems to be manufactured by the Danish company RTX, though. So, in order to satisfy my techno lust, one of two things must happen:

  1. SkypeOut rates have to come down a bit.
  2. I have some advocating (evangelism?) to do, convincing everybody I know to start using Skype.

The last one is a hard one, since this sort of phone requires the PC running Skype to be turned on. I do not know that many people that have their computers running 24-7 (besides myself). Which is probably a good thing, sanity wise, or else my time would be filled up by Mike Oldfield, Star Trek , LOTR and Douglas Adams…

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Skype phones

Yesterday, I received several emails from family members who were concerned about a new bill, which the Danish parliment may pass. The bill is essentially about removing the protection of family names: If passed, the bill will make it easier to take a family name that is not your own (e.g. a divorcee can take/keep the family name of ex) and if enough people (1000) all have the same familiy name, that family name is no longer protected. By 'protected' I mean that other people cannot just buy a family name, unless that name is very common (e.g. the Danish 'Smith': 'Jensen'). The concern of my family and others, is that these two rules constitute a slippery slope, which will make almost any family name common and accessible to all. A protest movement has been started at www.mitfamilienavn.dk where you can read the details of the law bill, and maybe voice your concern by sending an email to the appropriate state department.Furthermore, I have been discussing Skype phones with my mother, sister and oldest brother. My sister lives in the US and the rest of us have recently started to use Skype or SkypeOut when calling her. I initiated the discussion as I will be moving soon and I am considering what telephone and internet subscriptions to get for the new place. I am considering the Skype phones because 1) They will enable me to call my sister and 2) The SkypeOut rate is competitive for calling mobile phones in Denmark. One of my ideas is to get a telephone subscription which will get me landline calls at a flat rate (i.e. subscription only) and then use Skype for calling mobiles. Should save us a bit of money.

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