Wednesday, June 20, 2007

IM+ for Skype Software: BlackBerry, Palm, Symbian, Java Phones, What's Next?

SHAPE Services announced today the availability of three beta versions of IM+ for Skype Software for Java phones, Symbian S60 and Palm OS. These beta versions are intended for people, who want to make cheap mobile calls within Skype ecosystem and to landline numbers. Since Java version of the application works on all Java-enabled phones including smartphones with Symbian OS, Skype on mobile is now available for hundreds of millions users worldwide. SHAPE welcomes everyone to participate in a beta round and experience Skype features on the new platforms.

IM+ for Skype Software lets the users "experience a new era in the AlwaysOn world" as noted by Jim Courtney, Skype Journal's editor and a big fan of Skype.

Read whole article

Monday, June 18, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Skype's Ironing File Transfer

Is this a new feature of Skype? You might have thought you missed something at Skype’s Blog.
Do you like the idea? I am sure a whole new business is born....

Imagine you live in Friesland and are talking to your friend in Liverpool who told you he had done the ironing today but he has to force himself to do it (he doesn't like it). You tease him by asking him if he would like to do some more, e.g. your blouses, trousers and tea towels.
He replies he could handle the tea towels and of course, you don’t say no.

So off you go, you add them to a sheet or two (preferable Excel for a speedy transfer), click the File Transfer button and if you are lucky, your friend accepts.

I asked if they could be ironed before Monday, which gives me some time to sit with my feet high up on Sunday.

I like it. A Virtual Ironing Business for Busy Businessmen and Women.

What next?

(With thanks to Ian who was so nice to do my tea towels…)
Paul Potts winning the Semi Final

Surprise? Of course not!! View and lsiten....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Paul Potts sings Nessun Dorma

I know, I am a female and female seem to spill tears more easily then males.
But I bet that after viewing this video, you, male or female are either as speechless as I was and / or cry your own tear or two.

This man does not only have a fantastic voice but also (from my point of view) a very high cuddle rate.

A huge applause for Paul Potts with a thank you to Mark who e-mailed me the link.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Using Skype to teach English in Germany

Mark O’Neill, a true and proud Scotsman, living in Germany is a part time language teacher.
He is teaching English to Germans. Surprisingly enough, he does not suffer from an identity crisis (yet)….

Mark who loves his own private space and who is a great Skype believer, thinks the world of Skype when it comes to teaching English.
It allows him to work from home and it allows the pupils not to invite them into their home.

With a webcam you only need to be presentable with your upper body parts (and wear pyjama trousers and checker slippers underneath) and off you go. The pupil can watch you pronouncing the word and when it gets really tough, you use the Skype Chat to write.

With the “Send Money” feature in Skype, you don’t have to be afraid you don’t receive your teaching fee.

Mark has some excellent additional ideas but appreciates help to achieve them. Mark: “I do have a problem which perhaps someone could help me out with. I am going to scan some flashcards into a Powerpoint presentation and I am looking for a way to share that presentation online with the student in real-time. So when we are both on Skype and the lesson starts, I would open the Powerpoint presentation and it opens at the same time at the student's end. They see what I see. Anyone have any idea how I could go about that?”

If anyone wants English lessons over Skype, do not hesitate to contact Mark!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ineke’s life

A while ago I blogged about my friend and namesake Ineke who received at the age of 32, a horrible message from her Oncologist. Her Skin Cancer had spread to her ribs, there was no cure. She was going to die.
Oh yes, radiation was possible when the metastases were going to cause her pain. However, no cure, no solution.

Ineke wanted a second opinion and went to the Anthony van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis(specialized in Cancer treatments) and was told that she probably qualified for a new treatment. Not that it would cure the Cancer but it could slow down the growth.

Unfortunately, her dossier was missing, the other Hospital sent it and the AvL never received it.
They took blood of Ineke, did a CT scan and after two weeks she returned for the outcome.
They could not find anything wrong in her blood and they could not see anything on the CT scan so she did not qualify for the trial.
This was an odd outcome after the statement of the other Hospital. Although her dossier was back, the MRI scan was still missing. The Hospital scheduled an MRI scan of the brains and Ineke returned for her appointment.
She lay on the table for her scan and had to wait for a very long time. Then the doctor showed up, told her that they finally received the MRI results from the other Hospital and based on that and the outcome of their own test and that MRI scan, there was no reason for another MRI.

Ineke, glad she lay down already, got dizzy and confused. “But they told me I had metastases and that I was going to die!” The doctor understood her feelings and said that he only saw a broken rib on the old MRI and some blood cloths but no Cancer!
He called for an Oncologist (Ineke’s own Oncologist was in the US attending a seminar) who explained again that there was nothing wrong apart from a slightly swollen node in her left groin. Something that needs be to monitored closely but nothing to worry about right now.

Ineke got more and more confused, afraid someone was very wrong here. The Oncologist made sure she went for her MRI straight away and again no Cancer.

Ineke explained in an e-mail how she felt, what was going round and round in her head, her worries, her joys, her disbelieve and finally realizing she got a life again, a future! That her boyfriend Mark was not going to live in their new house which they just started to build, on his own but together with Ineke. And that the possibility of raising a family was back.

But she also realized that if she hadn’t asked for a second opinion, she would never had known she was not going to die. And every painful spot was treated with radiation. And believe me, if you are diagnosed with metastases, you will accept that every little painful spot, is related to that. What a very scary thought….

Ineke asked all of us not to e-mail her with euphoric Hurray’s but to respect her wish to let it all sink in. She would come back to us with another e-mail if she felt up to replies.

One week later we received an e-mail with the text: “Please click the link below, you are invited to a party”
This alone was good news, knowing that Ineke was going to celebrate her new life!

But when I logged on to the link, the photo album of Ineke and Mark, I cried. Happy tears though!!
It was not just an invitation to a party…. No, it was an invitation to their wedding! Ineke and Mark are going to get married the 27th of June.

What a wonderful way to celebrate life. A future together…..

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Skype Reaching Out to Developers

The fourth annual eBay Developers Conference opened yesterday in Boston, and Skype is encouraging developers to attend and become part of its Skype Extras program. The conference runs through Wednesday.

The company built Skype Extras up to bring some direction and momentum to the efforts of independent apps developers who are making use of the program's APIs to create applications that extend and enhance the VoIP service. Accessible through the latest version of the softphone client (Tools/Do More/Get Extras), Extras Manager showcases and facilitates the downloading of more than 50 Extras, in some 10 categories.

The basic idea is that Skype selects and certifies the interoperability of the best add-ons submitted, thus enriching the Skype experience, and developers get a far more efficient conduit through which to distribute their work.

Ted Stevenson reports

Monday, June 11, 2007

Upgraded Skype version needed to continue using Skypecasts

Skype's engineers have made Skypecasts sound better than ever before. And they want to make sure you enjoy them more than ever before.

Which is why they are asking users to upgrade their Skype software. Windows users should download Skype for Windows 3.2 or later, and Mac users should run at least Skype for Mac 2.6.

Why do all that? As of June 13, older versions will simply no longer be compatible with Skypecasts. Sounds like a bummer, but it’s actually a good thing. The whole Skypecast experience will be better. And upgrading — even just for the hell of it — should make everyone feel good and fashionable anyway..

Villu reports

Friday, June 08, 2007

Skype To Go (part of SkypePro)
Make international calls from your mobile at local rates

"You live in Sweden and you have a mobile in your pocket. And a friend in San Nicolás de los Garza. But calling this impossibly beautiful-sounding place in Mexico would burn a hole in said pocket.

Enter Skype To Go. It’s part of Skype Pro and you can use it to ring your Mexican friend — let’s call him Ishmael — from your mobile phone for as long as you want. It’s not entirely free, but at least there’s no burnin’ holes in anybody’s pants.

Allow me to demonstrate:

Start by downloading Skype onto your computer. Sign up to Skype Pro for €2 (€2.30 with VAT included) per month and, as a Skype Pro customer, you will receive a Skype To Go number at no additional cost. To activate your Skype To Go number, enter Ishmael’s number and in return, you’ll get a local number to use instead. To reach Ishmael, just dial this number from any phone. Including the one in your pocket.

Voila! Calling San Nicolás de los Garza now costs the same as calling the bowling alley across the street, plus the small SkypeOut rate to call Mexico. (For an official explanation, see the official Skype To Go page)

Skype to Go is not yet available in all Skype Pro countries, however. So for now, I’m afraid you need to live in one of these places: Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Sweden, UK and the US."

Villu reports at Skype's Blog
Skype complains to FCC about locked phones

Jun 7 2007 - VoIP industry giant Skype has filed a complaint with the US FCC complaining about the locked mobile phones which are supplied by the mobile service providers in the country.

They said in their complaint: “Carriers are using their considerable influence over handset design and usage to maintain control over and limit subscribers’ right to run software communications applications of their choosing.”

The complaint adds: “In an effort to prefer their own affiliated services and exclude rivals, carriers have disabled or crippled consumer-friendly features of mobile devices.”

Skype is further claiming that these actions are in violation of the FCC rules which allow the customers to use any device to connect to the phone networks in the country.

Skype wants the mobile users in the country to be free to choose the services they want to access using their mobile devices.

Gene Kimmelman, director of Consumers Union is in support of the demands made by Skype: “You’re never going to get a competitive market if the device you use is controlled by one company and you have to spend an arm and a leg to shift to alternatives.”

Jun 7 2007.Press Release

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I got blogtagged and I tag some more

Once in while I browse the blogs of colleague bloggers. For sure I subscribed to their feeds but I know in busy times, I miss posts.
Today I came across the blogtag post of Jaanus from December 2006.

Blogtagging is a little game where you got blogtagged by someone else. You then have to share five things that are not commonly known about you.
Then you tag 5 more people and the game starts rolling.

5 things that not many people know, mmmm….. not that easy as I am quite open in my newsletters to family and friends. But I give it a try.

1) I am not a gardener. Which sounds strange because I am definitely a country girl. Maybe the lack of free time is partly the cause of it. I have loads of gardening plans though!

2) I don’t drink coffee. I love the smell but somehow it causes headaches and an upset tummy. For pure tea I only drink Redbush. Oh, and I very seldom drink alcohol. I used to like it but after someone close started to drink way too much, I quit drinking any alcohol for years and now drink rarely. Instead, I drink Waterkefir and Kombucha Tea.

3) Although work wise surrounded by hundreds of people (all my working life from 1974 on) and with a great circle of friends, I am in private life a bit of a Hermit. A modern one with a mobile, car and internet connection but preferable living in the middle of no-where, where I do not need to see the lights of neighbours. I have done that for a while and I would love to live like that again.

4) I hate cigarette smoke. At the age of 12 I tried less then half a cigarette and disliked smoking immediately. I never ever tried a cigarette again. You won’t see me around in smoky places and at my front door is a little sticker which kindly requests you not to smoke in my house (let alone in my car!!!)

5) Apart from an allergy for pork, I don’t have any other. In my teens I have done an extensive allergy test. Sitting for hours in the waiting room of the doctor with cotton sticks in my ears and nose, injections at my back, scratches at my back and arms…. You name it. I had them all and absolutely none, gave a reaction. I bet you did not know I am that fortunate!!!

Now I have shared my five not so widely known facts, I tag Jean, Tamas, Joerg, David and Sebastian.
Of course they are free to join or to ignore