Voice over IP communication is entering a new era, one that will hopefully help break down language barriers. Or so that's the plan. Using innovations from Microsoft Research, the first phase of the Skype Translator preview program is kicking off today with two spoken languages -- Spanish and English. It will also feature over 40 instant messaging languages for Skype customers who have signed up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1.
Make browser-based calls via Skype using a new plugin
If for whatever reason you don't want to download and install Skype to your PC but are still interested in making calls through the service, you now can (or soon will be able to). Microsoft today introduced Skype for Web, a beta plugin that allows you to make Skype calls from your browser without having the download and install the full software package. You can also use it to send and receive chat messages.
Ever since Skype updated its network to transfer the supernodes that power the service away from a P2P system and onto secure, Skype-run data servers, rumors have run rampant that the update occurred solely to make Skype more amicable to government wiretapping requests. Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a story claiming that Skype recently expanded its cooperation with authorities, and the architecture changes let the company provide more chat and user info to feds. Last evening, Skype officially responded to the various allegations in a blog post by COO Mark Gillett. In a nutshell, Gillett says the rumors are nuts.
Microsoft on Monday confirmed that a wily bug in Skype could, in some instances, cause instant messages (IMs) to be delivered to a different IM client than the one intended. It only occurs when Skype crashes during an IM session, which Microsoft said could result in the last IM entered or sent ending up finding its way to a random contact. Today Microsoft started rolling out a hotfix.
Do you use Yahoo Voice? If so, go change your password immediately. Hackers collectively known as D33Ds Company are taking credit for an SQL injection attack on a Yahoo subdomain believed to belong to Yahoo Voice. The hackers posted a document containing 453,492 plaintext Yahoo user accounts and passwords. The original website where the stolen information was posted appears to be down for the moment, but there are no do-overs on the Internet, and all that sensitive data is currently floating around torrent sites and other portals.
As far as multi-billion acquisitions go, Microsoft's bid to takeover Skype was, for the most part, nothing but smooth sailing. It took U.S. regulators all of about 2 seconds to approve the $8.5 billion merger, while the European Union took a little longer deciding whether or not to give its stamp of approval, which it did. With all the paperwork in place, Microsoft closed the deal with Skype on Thursday after originally announcing the transaction on May 10, 2011.
It's been nearly five months since Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion, so why hasn't it happened yet? For the simple reason of waiting for regulatory approval. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the merger back in June, and now so have regulators from the European Union who determined the deal "would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area."
The number of Android smartphones and tablets that now support video calling over Skype grew by more than a dozen with the release of Skype 2.5, the latest version of Skype's mobile software that allows users to make free voice and video Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G or Wi-Fi. Skype now supports video calls on 41 Android devices in all.
We took a look at the Ooma Telo recently, and found that this almost free VoIP service was a great solution for penny pinchers. Ooma’s Telo bay station connects to your home network and offers nearly unlimited calls, and all you have to pay is a few bucks in taxes. Today, Ooma has announced the system is getting a refresh with a new wireless adapter and free Bluetooth capability.
It’s no secret that the number of minutes the average American spends talking on his or her home phone has been in steep decline in the last few years. The truth is that for most of us, the landline is more neglected than one of Octomom’s children.
Despite that trend, many of us still cling to the comfort of a dial tone at home. That’s where Ooma’s Telo comes in. Offering a stand-alone VoIP service that’s essentially free (other than the taxes to the Man), this sleek device is a home phone alternative that lets you flip the bird at Ma Bell.