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Tom Keating
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Madison Cain, Daughter of Journey's Jonathan Cain, uses Skype for Vocal Teaching

September 21, 2011


Madison Cain, 17 year old daughter of legendary Journey keyboardist and song writer Jonathan Cain apparently works with a vocal teacher via Skype to improve her singing skills. Score another useful feature for Skype! I knew Skype was used for teaching others how to speak other languages, but didn't know the "universal" language of music was also taught via Skype. You would think that the acoustics would be different speaking into a microphone which is then transmitted over VoIP to a vocal teacher wouldn't be as accurate as the vocal teacher being there in person.

Then again, sometimes a room's acoustics can "hide" weaknesses in a singer's voice, especially if they are a loud singer with the sound bouncing off the walls.


XSS Exploit in Skype Lets Hackers Steal iPhone Address Book

September 20, 2011


If you are using Skype for iPhone or iPod Touch, your Address Book can be compromised and stolen using a simple chat message. It leverages a Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability within the "Chat Message" window in Skype 3.0.1 and earlier versions for iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

How does it work? Skype does not properly encode the incoming users "Full Name", allowing an attacker to encode malicious JavaScript code that runs automatically when the victim views the chat message, thereby giving the attacker access to the user's file system. Apple iOS does offer some protection via a sandbox to prevent access to the core operating system's critical files.


Hookflash for iPad Launches

September 13, 2011

Hookflash is skipping the iPhone and jumping right to the larger screen iPad to offer their feature-rich peer-to-peer communications and social media app. This goes to the heart of an article I've been thinking about  for months about how the iPad could replace the desktop phone. But that is an article for another day.


Hookflash for iPad is like a softphone application on steroids featuring  group video conferencing, group messaging, and participant profiles automatically created from information derived from business and social networks. You can also think of Hookflash as a "business" version of Skype, which tends to be more "consumer" focused.

Users can set up group video calls with Hookflash from the iPad with a simple swipe of the finger.




Daily Skype Stats in An Infographic

September 6, 2011

Would you like to see just how successful Skype is? Well, look no further than this infographic put out by Skype to celebrate their 8th birthday last week:


It's indeed impressive. Skype's Big Blog writes, "700 million minutes of free Skype-to-Skype calls each day. To put it in perspective, 700 million is the equivalent of going around the earth 28,000 times in one day, if each minute represents a mile.


HTC Unveils HTC TITAN 4.7" and 3.8" Radar Smartphones

September 6, 2011


HTC has unveiled HTC TITAN (image above), its largest screen smartphone featuring a 4.7 inch WVGA 480x800 pixel display and the smaller 3.8 inch HTC Radar, both of which run on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system. The HTC TITAN sports a slim 9.9 mm (0.39 inch) aluminum shell and a whopping 8 megapixel camera with a f/2.2 aperture lens, dual LED flash, BSI sensor (for better low-light captures) and 720p video recording.

The HTC TITAN, previously codenamed HTC Eternity, is powered by a 1.5GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset  with 512MB of RAM and integrated GPS. The internal storage memory of the device is only 16GB. I'm really surprised such a high-end smartphone sporting a large screen and a high-end 8MP camera doesn't sport 32GB of internal storage for storing lots of photos and other media (music, videos).


Skype From Your Home Phone - FINALLY!

August 31, 2011


Skype has finally built a standalone analog telephony adapter (ATA) (via their FREETALK brand) that you can hook up with your home phone line. Called the FREETALK Connect•Me Home Phone Adapter it is a PC-less standalone Skype device. It's a relatively small device that can be plugged directly into a wall outlet. It's sort of an oversized AC adapter with connectors on the bottom, as seen here:


In the picture above you can see the two-prong electric plug and then a white phone wire (to landline), black phone wire (to phone), and a blue network wire.



Microsoft front-facing cameras, Skype & Lync Mobile client Coming Very Very Soon

August 25, 2011

Microsoft confirmed Mango Windows Phone 7 handsets would sport a front facing camera as well as Skype integration and a mobile Lync client. The confirmation came via the TechEd event in New Zealand, where two Microsoft employees mentioned that Microsoft's Lync VoIP client also be available on other mobile platforms, including iOS, Android and Symbian. But the Lync client would be first available on the soon to be launched Mango Windows Mobile 7 software.

The employees stated that the mobile Lync client would support both voice and video on Android, Apple's iOS and Windows Mobile 7, explaining "it will dependent on the device, but it will be enabled at some point at time." They pointed out that some devices don't have a front-facing camera so having a videoconference via a mobile Lync client wouldn't necessarily make sense.

The Microsoft Lync client for mobile devices is a long time coming. I was actually told by Microsoft in NYC during a live demo of Microsoft Lync that mobile versions of the Lync client would be coming out "very soon".



Skype Click to Call Add-on Now Supports Firefox 5 & 6

August 24, 2011

If you're a fan of Skype's Click to Call browser plugins for Windows, you probably know back in January Mozilla "soft" blocked this toolbar because "Skype Toolbar is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week." The Skype Click to Call add-on/plugin auto-detects phone numbers on web pages and lets you dial them via Skype. Personally, I see this as a bit of an esoteric feature of Skype, but perhaps a lot of people do use it?

In any event, Skype just released new updates to the Skype Click to Call as part of release build, 5.6.0.8153.

• Support for Firefox 5 and Firefox 6 on Windows
• Minor improvements to Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox on PC

Here's to hoping they resolved the crashing and performance issues.



Skype (Microsoft) Blows $85 Million on GroupMe

August 22, 2011

Skype was in talks with GroupMe to acquire them before Microsoft's (pending approval) bought Skype. With Microsoft purchasing Skype you would have thought Microsoft would have squashed any pending purchases by Skype or at least approve them. The fact that Microsoft didn't stop Skype means Microsoft must agree with the GroupMe acquisition. I'm honestly not sure why though.

GroupMe is simply a group SMS platform that enables you to create group messages leveraging SMS.

Skype releases Skype 5.3 for Mac OS X

August 8, 2011

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