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Telefonica Launches Skype Competitor Tu Me

May 9, 2012

Telefónica today launched a new mobile app called Tu Me, which essentially takes the approach if you can't beat Skype, join em'. Tu Me features texts, voice calls, messages, and location and photo sharing - all free of charge, with the caveat that it uses your data plan more, so it isn't technically "free" unless you are on an unlimited data plan or you use free Wi-Fi hotspots most of the time.

The app is currently only available on iOS however Android is coming. Tu Me enables communication and sharing between mobile phones, recording every interaction through a searchable timeline, obviously borrowing some elements from the Facebook social network and others.

There are some major caveats with this app.

Skype Aware of IP Security Flaw Back in 2010

May 3, 2012

Some more interesting information has come to light regarding the IP revealing security flaw in Skype. Researchers from Inria, a research institute in France, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University discovered the flaw. Stevens Le Blond, one of the team's researchers who discovered the exploit told the Wall Street Journal that the team first discovered the flaw in November 2010. They were actually able to track the city-level location of more than 10,000 Skype users over a period of two weeks simply by making short calls to users that don't cause a Skype notification popup and the calls don't appear in the call histories.

Skype Responds to IP Address Privacy Vulnerability

May 1, 2012

Yesterday it was reported that a simple script could expose any Skype user's IP address. A Microsoft representative saw my article and gave me this official response, which they also provided to other media outlets:
“We are investigating reports of a new tool that captures a Skype user’s last known IP address. This is an ongoing, industry-wide issue faced by all peer-to-peer software companies. We are committed to the safety and security of our customers and we are takings measures to help protect them.”

Adrian Asher, director of product Security, Skype

It's a bit of a non-answer if you ask me.

Does HTML5 Rock Your Mobile World?

May 1, 2012

We've heard the hype surrounding HTML5, but does it live up to its promise? If TMC's recently completed DevCon5 show in Santa Clara, California is any indication, HTML5 will soon rock your mobile world!

At DevCon5, an international community of HTML5 developers and designers gathered to focus on Mobile Apps, Consistent UI Development, and more. Gaming was a huge draw featuring a large, enthusiastic group.

With breakout sessions led by experts from Adobe, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Joyent and Qualcomm, DevCon5 has quickly established its position as a “must attend” event for developers and designers looking to take advantage of business opportunities presented by the advent of HTML5.

DevCon5 – created for Web developers, software architects, graphic artists and business executives – helps developers, designers and engineers learn how they can use HTML5 to create engaging mobile applications and create consistent, positive Web user experiences across any device. The DevCon5 conference program encompasses a multi-track program covering important topics related to HTML5 adoption, including browser compatibility, user experience design and Web 3.0.

Skype@Home Telephone Products Coming?

April 20, 2012

Today, Rich Tehrani wrote about Microsoft "working on Skype Everywhere Initiative" based on another job listing. Just a few days ago I wrote about a Microsoft job listing was pointing toward Microsoft and Skype building a HTML5 Web version of Skype.

Rich believes there are some good synergies with Microsoft and Skype that can result in a whole like of Skype at home phone products (Skype@Home?) including DECT 6.0 phones. The problem with DECT wireless phones over WiFi phones is you need a base unit, which adds to the cost. Wi-Fi phones can just connect to the Wi-Fi access point with no additional hardware necessary.

However, what if the next XBox 360 has a built-in DECT transceiver?

Google's Chrome Team Reveals WebRTC Roadmap

April 18, 2012

Google's Chrome team stated in their recent WebRTC roadmap that the main components of WebRTC are now stable and they will be releasing it to the 200M+ Chrome users later this year. However, they want developers to get a sneak preview of what will be in the first WebRTC release. I should mention that two days ago I discussed how Skype and Microsoft were working on a HTML5 web-version of Skype. I felt that HTML5 would be inadequate and any Skype web app would likely also use WebRTC.

Skype Releases Retina-Optimized Skype for iPad

March 26, 2012

Skype For Windows Phone Available With Group IMs But No Group Video

February 27, 2012

Today Skype announced their Skype for Windows Phone Beta app, which is the last major smartphone operating system to not have Skype. Ironic, considering Microsoft owns Skype, but obviously with the relatively new Windows Phone operating system Skype had to be redesigned by Microsoft's Skype team. The new Skype follows the elegant and clean Metro tiles design.

Check out this video to see how it works.

With Skype for Windows Phone Beta you can make free audio and video calls to your Skype contacts over 3G and 4G or WiFi, and of course make calls to landlines and mobiles using your Skype Credit. Also you can create and hold one-to-one and group chats, and update your profile and account information.

Dell Voice Launches in Canada - Will it Fail As Badly As Dell Video Chat?

February 9, 2012

Dell has partnered with Ontario-based Fongo to offer Dell Voice, a VoIP app exclusively available exclusively in Canada that offers a Canadian phone number and free calls to most of Canada. Also, incoming calls and Dell Voice-to-Dell Voice calls are free of charge. This reminds me of how Dell partnered with Sightspeed, now a part of Logitech to offer a multi-party video conferencing service called Dell Video Chat. I reviewed the software and it works well, but with free alternatives like Skype, having the ability to do 9-way (3x3) Brady Bunch video is a very niche application. Practically nobody has ever heard of Dell Video Chat, so here let me share a couple screenshots of it...

Screenshot of me testing it:

2x2 (4-way video call)

I suspect Dell Voice will suffer the same ignominious fate as Dell Video Chat. There's just too much competition, including superior offerings from Google Voice, Skype, and most recently Vonage.

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