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Fring Calls Skype 'Cowards'; Skype Responds

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the pot-comma-kettle dept.

Cellphones 152

An anonymous reader writes "It seems that Skype and Fring are not getting along so well today. First, Fring made a claim that Skype was blocking Fring and in a subsequent blog post, called Skype 'cowards': 'Now that Fring expanded capacity to support the huge demand for video calling for all users, Skype has blocked us from doing so. They are afraid of open mobile communication. Cowards.' Skype has responded, stating that Fring's misuse of Skype software was damaging their brand and reputation: 'There is no truth to Fring's claims that Skype has blocked it. Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own.'

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152 comments

I tend choose Skype side in this one (3, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884010)

Well I tend to believe Skype on this one. About the not-blocking. I can even see why they want to protect their brand and especially continued service for their customers. As a Skype user I actually am happy they do so. Nah, no complaints about skype from me so far. Calling your the company whoms api's you have been using for years a coward is not done in my book btw. Just keep to the license and everything should be fine. Al least, that is my experience with Skype. Your mileage may vary though.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (-1, Flamebait)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884176)

Lol at the -1 mod... @that mod. Disagreeing is no reason to mod down. Had to get that of my chest :P

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (-1, Offtopic)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884488)

whoever moded you down is just annoyed that you ruined a perfectly good first post with some real discussion, not a "FRIST PSOT" like it should have been.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (4, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884178)

Same here, although I'm basing this on my past experiences with Fring on Windows Mobile and Android - not sure what the iPhone version is like.

They were pretty awful...

1. Horrible interface - incredibly ugly, unintuitive, and not very consistent
2. Not very reliable in either the sense of program stability or the ability to connect consistently
3. Horrible, horrible horrible horrible (!!!!!) Skype VoIP quality. Skype calls through Fring on Android, for instance, sound far worse than with, say, Nimbuzz. While Nimbuzz Skype calls are better than GSM in terms of clarity and on par in terms of latency, Fring sounds scratchy, overly compressed and introduces pretty bad latencies.

I can definitely see where Skype's coming from, and would agree: Fring has been damaging Skype's image.

That said, I don't like what Skype's been doing lately either - exclusive partnerships with Verizon, no Android app whatsoever...

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884290)

Horrible, horrible horrible horrible (!!!!!) Skype VoIP quality. Skype calls through Fring on Android, for instance, sound far worse than with, say, Nimbuzz. While Nimbuzz Skype calls are better than GSM in terms of clarity and on par in terms of latency, Fring sounds scratchy, overly compressed and introduces pretty bad latencies.

So Fring is like a vuvuzela button for Skype?

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

jesset77 (759149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884666)

Skype calls through Fring on Android, for instance, sound far worse than with, say, Nimbuzz.

Yay, thanks for the shout out! When I searched Android Market for "skype" a few weeks ago all I could find was "iSkoot", rickety but at least I got that working. Now I'mma try out Nimbuzz instead. :3

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884822)

Then I should probably remind you that Nimbuzz has its own set of problems. They are, however, not as bad as Fring's, IMO.

The problem with Nimbuzz is that it sometimes has problems connecting to certain services. I use ICQ, MSN (Windows Live), Google Talk and Skype, and all of them have had connection problems in Nimbuzz at some time or other. The problem seems completely random, and usually goes away by itself after an hour or two... but you COULD find yourself without connectivity for a while if you use Nimbuzz as your sole IM app.

That said, the Skype voice quality is still the best I've heard on Android, and rivals that of Skype on the desktop with decent microphones and headphones.

Now if they'd just address the connectivity issues (not to mention the application itself just dying in the background if Android decides it's low on memory - but this happens with all Android IM apps other than IM+, which restarts itself when it's kicked but doesn't support Skype at all), we'd have a full-featured Android chat client that does crystal-clear Skype VoIP. :P

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

Sohbet Et (1854758) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884674)

You have written an excellent blog that has convinced me to read this! Excellent Job!

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885222)

What the heck are you talking about? I have Skype for Android. I use it all the time. It came pre-installed on the phone even. Have you tried looking on the market?

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (-1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884202)

Calling your the company whoms api's you have been using for years.....

Don't you just love it when people try to sound educated by using "whom" but get it wrong! Nearly as good as when someone says "these seats are reserved for my wife and I".

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (5, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884238)

We can continue in Dutch, German or French if you want? English isn't my first language. Thanks for the education though. You forgot to actually reply on my comment btw.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884264)

LOL owned!

Nothint to own in Fantasyland (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884906)

Notice how the parent speaks languages from countries that subjugate America with Nazis, Pacificists, and back-asswards religious sects known as Amish.

It's only recently that France has proved to be a closet Islam cock-sucker while Germany continues to be the Illuminazi Freemason capitol of the world.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884862)

You forgot to actually reply on my comment btw.

"Parent" linky in his post says you're wrong about that, btw.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884902)

Non, je veux
mit dir auf
Lëtzebugesch weiderschwätzen!
Because in Dutch, I only know
Sinaasappelsapp een Zeeeent!

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (2)

Vorghagen (1154761) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884270)

I understand why the "whom" in the parent is wrong but what's wrong with "these seats are reserved for my wife and I" ? Serious question. I thought that was the correct way.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (3, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884302)

what's wrong with "these seats are reserved for my wife and I" ?

"My wife and I" is only grammatically correct when "I" would be correct on its own: you wouldn't say "reserved for I", so you shouldn't say "reserved for my wife and I" either. "These seats are reserved for my wife and me" is correct.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885060)

I from Jamaica, mon.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884310)

I understand why the "whom" in the parent is wrong but what's wrong with "these seats are reserved for my wife and I" ?

Serious question. I thought that was the correct way.

The correct sentence would be:
"These seats are reserved for my wife and _me_",
as the sentence needs to make sense when the other person is removed.
So, "The wife and I went to the shops" -> "I went to the shops".
"These seats are reserved for my wife and me" -> "These seats are reserved for me".

You see?

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0, Redundant)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884346)

what's wrong with "these seats are reserved for my wife and I" ? Serious question.

It should be "me," not I. You certainly wouldn't say "That seat is reserved for I." Adding a second person doesn't change that.
And easy way to know is to substitute "we" or "us" as appropriate. If it's us, use me. If it's we, use I. In this example it would of course be "those seats are reserved for us," so you know you should say me instead of I.

By the way, if you begin to use it properly be prepared for people to "correct" you.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884624)

Cools. I's gots mys dailys grammars leasons fors thes days froms slashdots

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1, Offtopic)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884770)

By the way, if you begin to use it properly be prepared for people to "correct" you.

As they very well should, because in fact you are wrong. Language is not about an adherence to rules for the sake of appearing more educated or correct than others. Rather it's a constantly changing method of communication intended to be used with people outside yourself. For that reason, you must learn to speak in a way that helps you communicate with a majority of people. If few understand the meaning of a word or phrase, you are the one that needs to make an adjustment, not them.

A great example of this is the use of the phrase "begs the question." Some would insist this is a way of avoiding a question by use of a logical fallacy. The problem is, few people use the verb "beg" to mean "evade" or "dodge" (check your dictionary). Naturally so, because people found better words that can be used instead. The language changed but some people (yourself included) still insist on sticking to the old ways. Now... where have we seen that before?

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1, Offtopic)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884874)

As they very well should, because in fact you are wrong.

I've no problem with people saying "you and I." I understand what they mean, and I agree that communication is what's important. I was simply answering his question. And it doesn't even bother me if someone thought the GP post begged it.

However, I don't agree with your assertion that "you and me" is wrong, and your example does not apply. It is about the definition of a word, not of grammar. Languages evolve, but syntax and grammar evolve *much* more slowly than definitions. I can think of dozens of words that have taken on new meanings during my lifetime, but I am hard-pressed to think of any significant changes in grammar. (admittedly, when I was once asked "where do you be?" I understood the question.)
English is perhaps the most flexible language in the world, and its grammar is the scaffolding that allows that flexibility. If the scaffolding weakens so does the language.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1, Offtopic)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884850)

And, for an example of where "You and I" is correct, refer to the Bard: "Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably."

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884672)

The previous posts are, strictly speaking, correct. However,

and I is often used informally in double objects. Examples:

Between you and I, I think his marriage is in trouble.

That's a matter for Peter and I.

I often think of the old days and how you helped Bertie and I. (letter from Queen Elizabeth, wife of the future King George VI, to King Edward VIII.)

These structures are often condemned as 'incorrect' but they have been part of educated speech for centuries.

Source: Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, Oxford University Press

So, Chrisq, please consider yourself an over-pedantic grammar Nazi, given that such a speech would almost certainly be informal.

Disclaimer: IAAET (I am an English Teacher)

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884946)

I is nominative first person singular. It's just that simple. The reason they call it grammar is because there is a grammar.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1, Offtopic)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885252)

Wrong! Grammar exists to help describe the way English is used. It does not prescribe the way to speak. Mod grandparent up.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (5, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884226)

I believe Skype, but I don't side with them.

Look at what skype said:

"Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement."

Note that they don't say what, and given what other people have said here it would fit in perfectly that what is actually happening is:

1) Skype are notoriously slow about adding new features to the official client
2) Fring added the features themselves.
3) Skype told Fring to stop adding features that they haven't added to the official client
4) Fring did not want to remove the features that their users demanded and in frustration and to get attention they removed video support.
5) Both sides feel that they are the victim.

This seems to fit in with what the comments are saying. For example
"People want to use Skype NOW!!!! Skype takes FOREVER to release updates for their iOS software!! You had a working demo of Skype on iOS 4.0 back when Apple first announced iOS 4.0 yet there STILL hasn't been a release months later. "
  and
"And the whole issue with charging for Skype Over 3G? I already pay you for a monthly subscription, now I will have to pay extra to use it on my iPhone over 3G? "

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (2, Informative)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884402)

Skype isn't just slow on IOS, they still haven't released a 64-bit version of the Linux client which is a major problem for video-calling because 32-bit apps cannot talk properly to the 63-bit V4L driver. You can see cams from outside but your own cam is just a jumbled mess of static.
The short result of this is that I haven't bothered to log into skype in a very long time. It takes some kludging to get google-video going on Linux but at least it CAN be done.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (2, Informative)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884858)

That's among the things which made me laugh at all their protests about protecting the quality of their name. Skype works great on windows and pretty well on osx. That's two platforms out of a multitude they have clients for. And outside of those two, skype is by default buggy and with insane design flaws. Quality software is the last thing I've ever thought about when hearing their name.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0, Offtopic)

neumayr (819083) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885486)

You, sir, are suffering from delusions of relevance.
Windows and OSX are what people use on their workstations.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884998)

Skype still haven't released a 64-bit version of the Linux client

Errmmmm, what, apart from this one?

Skype Downloads [skype.com] page

Ok, it's one of those perpetual "beta" releases. But it works, runs with Pulseaudio, and I'm looking at the webcam prefs right now and my face is definitely there.

I agree, the 2.0 and prior releases were dreadful but the 2.1 builds have been good for me.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (3, Informative)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885334)

Nope, that's 32-bit only. The "64 bit" .DEB they offer contains only this executable:

$ ar -x skype-ubuntu-intrepid_2.1.0.81-1_amd64.deb && tar -xf data.tar.gz && file usr/bin/*
usr/bin/skype: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.8, stripped

They only make it installable on 64 bit system through the package manager. It's still compiled for 32 bits only.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885172)

32-bit apps cannot talk properly to the 63-bit V4L driver.

*Sucks teeth* I see your problem. Right there. You see, you've dropped a bit. That's what all that static's about. You need to be talking to the 64 bit driver.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885470)

Huh? I've been using 64 bit linnics ever since I had a 64 bit cpu - a while that is. And I've used Skype the entire time. While there were issues with the sound drivers - but that's the linnics way I guess - I never had any issues with the v4l driver.
But then, all my webcams used the UVC driver, so there probably are drivers that are a little more buggy..

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885578)

What?

Skype videocalling does work on Linux 64 bits. I know because I'm running openSUSE 64. It's not great and clicking on Show My Video will generate artifacts on the screen but otherwise it does work. Maybe you experience other problems that prevented it from working?

And, by the way, if by google-video you refer to gmail video chat capabilities, how did you put it to work?

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885936)

>Skype videocalling does work on Linux 64 bits. I know because I'm running openSUSE 64. It's not great and clicking on Show My Video will generate artifacts on the screen but otherwise it does work. Maybe you experience other problems that prevented it from working?

Well I'm glad it works for some people - that suggests it's not a V4L issue but an issue in the specific webcam driver instead. It's not distro specific or kernel specific as I've tried it on several of each.

>And, by the way, if by google-video you refer to gmail video chat capabilities, how did you put it to work?
Sorry yes that's what I meant. Answer: newest pidgin has a plugin for it.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

ericvids (227598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884954)

Let's face it -- Fring is piggybacking on Skype infrastructure. So change #3 to:

3) Skype told Fring that they should be PROPERLY using their infrastructure. It has nothing to do with adding stuff in their client that wasn't in the official client -- it has everything to do with "stop leeching off of us, we are explicitly not providing that service! If you want it, go build your own infrastructure, but don't piggyback on us!".

After that, #4 seems like a bitch response to intentionally tarnish the Skype brand.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885244)

Simple Solution:
Don't use an iPhone.

Anything with Android on Verizon is apparently free to use over 3G.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (2, Informative)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884254)

Problem with skype at least on Android is that they delivered a close to unusable client, now Fring and others have jumped in where skype failed to deliver.
The skype client on Android does a normal phone call to the next dial in server btw. which is exactly what a user of the software who already has an ip connection
does not want.
So they should stop to complain if others deliver and they dont

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884300)

I wonder win and if the time comes to renew the license. Fring could put themselves out of business being assholes. But I'm disappointed Skype hasn't put video chat on the iPhone 4 yet. I read elsewhere it's something to do with the camera being an open platform. Open is something Skype doesn't like anymore.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884460)

It's really funny, no skype on iphone but Camfrog's working on a client.

I wonder how they're going to fit pro functionality on that?

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884836)

I'm going to side with Skype for no other reason than Fring is acting like a petulant and spoiled child.

As you say, Fring has been making use of Skype's APIs for some time (their blog post says 4 years), and as soon as something goes wrong, they turn around and say this? It's juvenile. The header image [fring.com] speaks volumes, and the document they link to that they claim is Skype "championing the cause of openness" [fcc.gov] in order to try and make them look hypocritical is a "Petition to Confirm A Consumer's Right to Use Internet Communications Software and Attach Devices to Wireless Networks", which isn't related.

The skype side being ... spin and damage control (4, Informative)

bpbpbp (1693824) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884856)

If you read the Robert Miller, Skype's VP of Legal, post, you will surely notice, that they deny technically blocking fring, but don't deny leagally threatening them if they continue to provide skype connectivity. Which is exactly what fring has written in it's press release. The rest about fring damaging their brand reputation is peanuts compared to what they have done themselves with this move. With prompt response skype has generated enough spin, through which they were able to confuse some pinheads, which now resort to nothing more than blind faith when choosing sides. #$%&!

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885306)

Yes, it seems odd that Skype released their API's at all. But for a company to use and then complain... they should do this themselves if they were that good at programming. I don't see why Skype have not done this themselves but I would think if they are worried about quality and bandwidth, they should release a beta version.

I've had hrs of video chat on my PC with Skype and this has all been good (untill the ISP starts throttling). My mobile phone is v.old and I'm not upgrading untill I can get a phone that will video call using my Skype account (directly on a wi-fi hotspot). So who's it going to be then?

I know that many people still don't like the fact that the protocol is not open source, so nobody can explain what it's doing. I mentioned to my IS department and they started muttering about worm technology, but personally I think it's amazing for free.

Re:I tend choose Skype side in this one (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885778)

Since you're a Skype user perhaps you can lessen my ignorance here. I RTFA hoping to find out WTF "Fring" was (never heard of it), and what is iOS 4? TFA, like tha summary, assumes that we have a clue what these things are, and I don't.

catch Fring's lie (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884040)

+1 for Skype here. Just think about the cost of the servers (datacenter) doing the "video transcoding" between Skype and the mobile formats and see why it would be too expensive for a company like fring (with no revenue) to keep supporting Skype's video call. I think they must have realised that they would run out of money, and thus shut down Skype support, and tried to blame Skype for it.

Re:catch Fring's lie (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884830)

They shut down skype support due to bandwidth issues after the launch of their own video chat service. They then went to re-enable support and found that Skype had blocked their access to API. Now skype says "they chose to remove Skype" but it seems like a pretty obvious half-truth at best and lie at worst.

Skype, Make an ANDROID CLIENT!! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884080)

If skype would just make a fully featured android client then we wouldn't have to resort to fring or nimbuzz or anything else. Come on skype. I don't care about the finger pointing, just want my functionality back!

Re:Skype, Make an ANDROID CLIENT!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884106)

Fucking agreed.

No VOIP calls on the most capable OS out there?

Your brain called. It wants it's headcage back.

Re:Skype, Make an ANDROID CLIENT!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884520)

the most capable OS out there?

Hmmm, uhhhh, I think not.

Re:Skype, Make an ANDROID CLIENT!! (0, Offtopic)

TehDuffman (987864) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884618)

the most capable OS out there?

Hmmm, uhhhh, I think not.

Hmmm, uhhhh, I think so.

Re:Skype, Make an ANDROID CLIENT!! (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885930)

the most capable OS out there?

Hmmm, uhhhh, I think not.

Hmmm, uhhhh, I think so.

Well good - now that this is settled, perhaps we can move on?

the source (1)

hdon (1104251) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884082)

If only there were a way the public could verify these claims... has anyone ever thought of developing software that exposes its source codes so that users can explore and improve their programs?

Re:the source (2, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884188)

It's been done, bro. Unfortunately, it turned out no users cared about exploring and improving their programs, and the few developers who were interested didn't care about the users.

Re:the source (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884204)

That, and the fact the source code you get back is almost never representative of the source used to compile the app in the first place. It generally doesn't work (at least with C/C++ anyway).

Not so sure Fring is the bad guy here. (4, Interesting)

mogness (1697042) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884090)

According to the article:

Skype’s client does not offer many of the new iOS4 features that Fring is quick to jump on, namely video calling, background operation, and even push notifications which have been around for a long time. One could argue that Fring’s client allows Skype users to use these features with Skype, which is something that users want. Skype is notoriously slow at adopting new features such as these, and is also slow at their geographical expansion. You still cannot get a Canadian Skype-In number, but there are a host of Canadian VOIP services offering phone numbers for example.

Basically, sounds like the vanilla Skype client is not ready to adopt this technology on their iPhone apps, but Fring already has, using Skype's API. This makes Skype's devs look bad, obviously, if a third party's app is surpassing their native app on their native API. Sounds like a lot of code-dick measuring as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, Skype still wins if Fring violated any licensing agreements (which it seems like Skype is implying)

Re:Not so sure Fring is the bad guy here. (4, Insightful)

Another, completely (812244) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884154)

Basically, sounds like the vanilla Skype client is not ready to adopt this technology on their iPhone apps, but Fring already has, using Skype's API. This makes Skype's devs look bad...

It would also make the API look bad if this over-extends it (i.e. using it "in a way it wasn’t designed to be used" as Skype claims), resulting in reduced reliability. Skype is trying to build a reputation for being as reliable as the fixed telephone networks which, whatever else you might say about them, are pretty damn reliable. Something that usually works, but sometimes gets turned off without notice (like Skype claims happened last Friday) is not going to compete with the predictable (if boring and audio-only) plain-old-telephone-service.

Re:Not so sure Fring is the bad guy here. (1)

guzelsozler (1854674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884224)

According to the article:

Skype’s client does not offer many of the new iOS4 features that Fring is quick to jump on, namely video calling, background operation, and even push notifications which have been around for a long time. One could argue that Fring’s client allows Skype users to use these features with Skype, which is something that users want. Skype is notoriously slow at adopting new features such as these, and is also slow at their geographical expansion. You still cannot get a Canadian Skype-In number, but there are a host of Canadian VOIP services offering phone numbers for example.

Basically, sounds like the vanilla Skype client is not ready to adopt this technology on their iPhone apps, but Fring already has, using Skype's API. This makes Skype's devs look bad, obviously, if a third party's app is surpassing their native app on their native API. Sounds like a lot of code-dick measuring as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, Skype still wins if Fring violated any licensing agreements (which it seems like Skype is implying)

That's an excellent point

Re:Not so sure Fring is the bad guy here. (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884358)

And that's not even strictly about iOS4 - Fring is quite popular, from what I see, also on Symbian; where there is also an official Skype client, also without Skype videocalling (which Fring brought to the table last year)

And Fring is? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884104)

I have no idea what Fring is, but I'll just read the summary which will surely define it.... no, well then, there must at least be a link to it.....no, of course not. I don't know what I was thinking.

Re:And Fring is? (4, Informative)

PARENA (413947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884122)

Well, clicking one of the links in the summary brings you to a page on the Fring website, which explains what is going on and that "Since its foundation in 2006, fring’s rich mobile communications have been available to both fring users and open 3rd party networks including GoogleTalk, SIP, Twitter and, until now, Skype."

Re:And Fring is? (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884756)

"Rich mobile communications"?

Would that be "rich" as in "fecund" as in ... (well you get the point) ?

Facetious? (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884144)

"They deserved the block, and we didn't block them anyway" sounds like an odd denial.

Mind you, I think Fring is going about it wrongly and nobody who seriously wants an open standard and a sensible platform should even glance at Skype. Work with XMPP or the Wave protocol or something.

Re:Facetious? (0)

Auto Insurance Compa (1854780) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884694)

We can continue in Dutch, German or French if you want? English isn't my first language. Thanks for the education though. You forgot to actually reply on my comment btw .

To be frank (1, Insightful)

glasnt (1171735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884180)

If it wasn't for this article, I wouldn't have a clue who this Fring mob are. If anything, I think they're trying to break Skype brand by spreading these stories about how the big guy is hurting the little dudes...

Re:To be frank (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884222)

If it wasn't for this article, I wouldn't have a clue who this Fring mob are.

Sounds like a niggah gang to me. Skype were probably cowards because the brother visiting them had a switch-blade.

Re:To be frank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32884444)

i lol'd at that.

Re:To be frank (2, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884394)

Fring is a program that lets you connect to other chat clients (IM or video) - it's no different than the countless other multi-client chat programs out there except that this one also included Skype and you could do video calls from a phone to Skype. It's been around for quite awhile, yet it was never an issue until now, when Fring has more features than Skype for iPhone - then all of the sudden Skype bans them.

Fring was the app that would make it easy for everyone to video chat, regardless of what client or hardware they were using. That's not possible now. Nice going, Skype assholes. Society suffers just because you can't accept that your programmers suck.

Re:To be frank (1)

ericvids (227598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884832)

Society suffers just because you can't accept that your programmers suck.

Do you have proof of this "suckage"? Skype is pretty good for me -- it does not drop my video calls like Yahoo's VoIP does, and I get a higher frame rate. If I had to describe their programmers, "suck" is the farthest thing from my mind.

Frankly, judging from the comments of other users here about Fring's UI, it seems to me Fring's programmers are more deserving of that title.

then all of the sudden Skype bans them.

Skype firmly claims the direct opposite of this accusation. Not a downplaying like "they were using functionality that was not supported", but a firm denial, "they removed their support THEMSELVES". Again, I'd rather believe them than you.

Re:To be frank (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884940)

Skype firmly claims the direct opposite of this accusation. Not a downplaying like "they were using functionality that was not supported", but a firm denial, "they removed their support THEMSELVES". Again, I'd rather believe them than you.

Yes, Fring just decided to remove one of it's biggest features and piss off it's entire user base (probably killing off it's user base)for no reason. Which is more likely - a company willingly choosing to self-destruct, or another company sabotaging them and then lying about it?

Use a little common sense here...

Re:To be frank (1)

ericvids (227598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885010)

EXACTLY! Use common sense!

This is Fring's blog post that Skype has posted in their response, which many apparently have not read:

http://www.fring.com/blog/?p=2303 [fring.com]

And since people still don't bother clicking links:

As even more fringsters video call their friends on Android, Nokia and iPhones, we have seen some network ’stress’ (as the techies are telling me). So to free up capacity for more the fring-to-fring video calling, we are temporarily reducing support to 3rd –party Skype. Thanks for your patience.

Tell me NOW, is Skype sabotaging them and lying about it by merely linking to Fring's OWN blog announcements? :D

Re:To be frank (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885072)

Except that, if you read more, you'd know that Fring temporarily limited Skype use - then Skype cut it off entirely.

THAT is what the ruckus is about - the fact that Skype cut them off entirely.

Re:To be frank (1)

ericvids (227598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885160)

Except that, if *you* understood what you read, "Skype cut them off entirely" is NOT a "fact" as you so claim -- it is an unproven accusation, one that Skype totally rejects.

And Skype's rejection has a much stronger basis -- it is provably true that they reduced the support to Skype; Fring admits it themselves in their own blog. What's Fring's basis for their accusation? Nothing but a few press releases [fring.com] with no technical facts [fring.com] proving that the block exists at all.

Frankly, it leads more credence to the likelihood that Fring INTENTIONALLY decided to remove one of their biggest features, pissed off their users (by accident), and NOW blaming it on Skype in an effort to save their faces. Rather unprofessionally, too -- who calls a company they are piggybacking on "cowards"?

Re:To be frank (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885310)

Wow, pull your head out of Skype's ass for a second and think about it. How does "temporarily reducing" the number of people using Skype on Fring equate to Fring eliminating it entirely, hm? That's right - it doesn't.

Fring is free (as in beer) and has nothing to gain by cutting off Skype support and lying about it. Skype on the other hand is a for profit company and has plenty of reasons to lie about cutting off Fring.

Skype cut them off entirely" is NOT a "fact" as you so claim -- it is an unproven accusation, one that Skype totally rejects.

Yes, because guilty people (or companies) are always so eager to admit to being guilty. Oh, and since apparently you have a really hard time with basic reasoning, I should point out that I was being sarcastic there.

Re:To be frank (1)

ericvids (227598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885704)

Wow, who is failing basic reasoning here and has his head up Fring's "ass" as you so call it. The facts remain that Fring intentionally crippled access (with the temporary part apparently an exaggeration judging from the blog commenters' complaints afterwards), while there is no evidence, technical OR legal, that Skype pulled the plug on them. Solely on that, it is reasonable to assume that the party with technical evidence of the other party's actions is more credible. What's YOUR basis for trusting Fring other than a press release with unfounded legal accusations and an apparent loathing of Skype's programmers (from your own scathing post)?

Fring has a very good reason to lie--they had a blunder and their users are irate about it (see their own blog post). For a free service, losing users is the worst thing to happen. And as you yourself said sarcastically, "guilty people (or companies) are always so eager to admit to being guilty".

I rest my case.

Re:To be frank (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32886016)

Video calls are awesome. I get to see your stupid face and your lips move, while consuming tons of bandwidth for no useful reason (except, maybe, so I can give you the finger or show you my penis just before I hang up).

Re:To be frank (1)

priegog (1291820) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884714)

But trust me, all of us with a smartphone (that also use skype) did know what Fring was. And apparently that became a problem for Skype.
Don't get me wrong, I hate the closedness of Skype, but as it usually happens with other services (MSN messenger, Facebook) I need to use them (as opposed to the open alternatives) because that's what my friends use. Fring allowed us mobile users (pretty much every smartphone is supported) to use Skype; but not only that, it was also a SIP client, for instance. So it was a good way to have both things.
Google has been able to sway the balance a bit in the IM front, and a lot of people (yeah, even non-geeks) are moving to gtalk these days. Hopefully they'll do the same with Gizmo5 and bring SIP to the masses, so that this once cool little hip company, that grew too big for it's own good (and now is leaving it's users without a way to use their service) will be reminded of what is really important: It's customers

Skype has lost the plot (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884542)

The things Skype has done lately demonstrate that Skype can be added to the list of "companies that dont care about their customers anymore".

By not releasing an Android client (for anyone other than Verizon customers) or a better iPhone client, all they are doing is driving customers to their competitors.

Although maybe some of this business model comes from top people put in place during the time Skype was controlled by eBay.

Reliance on third party == Bad business model (4, Insightful)

NynexNinja (379583) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884582)

Let that be a lesson to all, that those who base their business model around a third party are doomed to fail... In Fring's business plan, I'm sure one of the single points of failure is the fact that at any time, Skype can choose to put them out of business by adding one or two lines of iptables filter rules to their firewall.

They should do what skype does, not attempt to piggy-back on skype. It doesn't work, because eventually your business will actually grow, and then what happens is skype becomes your competitor, rather than your friend. Once this happens, it becomes in their best interest to remove you from the equation.

Re:Reliance on third party == Bad business model (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884772)

Fring allows also voip to other networks, Google voice chat for instance, which google for now does not deliver itself for android.
(Works way more reliable than Skype, Google Voice Chat that is, btw...)

Re:Reliance on third party == Bad business model (1)

kaladorn (514293) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884796)

Well said.

Skype has reasons for moving their feature set forward at a deliberate (slow by some standards) pace.

If Fring is using their API within the terms of use, then they're good. If they aren't, then not so much. Beyond that, I'll bet the Skype Terms of Use for the API will have a clause allowing them to change at Skype's whim, so ticking off the Skype folks is a quick recipe to a bad end for any clients.

Obviously Fring can shoot their mouths off about how slow the people providing them with something they can't be bothered to develop themselves are. Maybe they should save that energy and develop a replacement that is better and has all the features they want and which they own the IP for. Or maybe they should STFU and use the product within the terms of use.

It's always hilarious when groups not implementing feature X because they get it from (other company/API/open-source project/library/etc) start carping about that stuff they have integrated rather than produce themselves. That sort of approach is both politically stupid (alienate the provider's devs) and ultimately does not help the using group because they aren't going to get the new features they want any faster by acting like infants throwing a tantrum.

Fring, I certainly wouldn't support your product now. Infantile petulance is about as non-professional as it gets.

How about testing it? (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884602)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Skype says that Fring cut the functionality themselves and Skype haven't blocked them? Isn't that testable? Like setting up Fring and some sniffing program and see if they handshake?

I don't have the required technical expertise in that field myself, but if someone could check it out I think it would be interesting.

Re:How about testing it? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884682)

Well, therein lies the rub. Skype's response states, in the same post, "they've been asked repeatedly to stop and we did something about it to ensure the high quality our customers expect" and "we didn't block them".

Not sure which it is.

Re:How about testing it? (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884730)

Yes. Contradictory statements. Which is why I propose it is tested if possible. If you can't trust your sources or cannot retrieve a clear answer, you have to look in other places for it.

Re:How about testing it? (1)

ericvids (227598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32884888)

Skype's response says "Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We’ve been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably." Nowhere did they claim that they blocked them.

Heck, Skype's response links directly to the Fring blog post where Fring ADMITTED that they reduced Skype functionality.

It's pretty clear cut. Fring is being VERY unprofessional by accusing Skype of things that Fring broke themselves, and then later calling Skype unpleasant names.

Fring means something different by 'blocked' (2, Insightful)

Trinn (523103) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885038)

It is clear from the few posts on Fring's website that what they mean when they say Skype has blocked them is not that they implemented a technical measure to stop Fring from connecting but that they (likely through a C&D or something) threatened Fring that they would take legal action if they did not remove the functionality. So it is pretty clear that Skype did in fact block Fring, just through the legal system rather than by denying connectivity directly.

Pfui (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32885062)

Skype is pretty much the coolest program out there so I don't think I'm going to agree with Fring at all. Just like I prefer DubLi over eBay. Ain't gonna listen...

Hmm (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#32885176)

Sounds to me like Skype are doing to Fring what the land-based networks/ISPs did to Skype when it started up.
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