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Skype Is Evaluating Adding Typing Suppression Feature

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the well-that-sounds-awfully-soviet-of-them dept.

Communications 77

An anonymous reader writes "At a press event in Stockholm, Sweden today, Skype confirmed it is evaluating the addition of a typing suppression feature to its desktop clients that will automatically filter the sound of your fingers hitting the keys. Unfortunately, the Microsoft-owned company isn't ready to ship the functionality yet, despite it being available in the company's enterprise-focused Lync tool."

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I'd rather have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425498)

The ability to manually transfer calls to other phone numbers and skype contacts

Re:I'd rather have... (2)

bvt (595267) | about 10 months ago | (#45425788)

I rather have the DTMF tones transfer to the call attendant. Skype is sorta useless when using these 'steering' digits. Of course I'm on Linux, so this product is only going to get worse.

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426296)

This. Many times I have been "hosting" a group call and my friends have been forced to call each other back manually if I have to leave.

we are going touch and maybe voice control so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425504)

we are going touch and maybe voice control so if you are not enterprise then we don't really give a dam about the keyboard.

Clicker (4, Funny)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 10 months ago | (#45425528)

Let's see how it deals with my IBM model M keyboard

Re:Clicker (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#45425562)

No part of a computer 'deals with' a Model M. They are suffered to exist, by its grace; for it was forged in the ages before they were conceived of, and shall persist in the ages when they have been reduced to scrap.

Re:Clicker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426152)

I like the cut of your jib.

Re:Clicker (1)

real gumby (11516) | about 10 months ago | (#45430033)

Au contraire, I hear they can be destroyed by simply casting them into mount doom.

Re:Clicker (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#45430751)

One does not 'simply' walk into Mordor...

Re:Clicker (1)

real gumby (11516) | about 10 months ago | (#45433903)

One does not 'simply' walk into Mordor...

Indeed, one must file six copies the B17XX44/3, signed by a Nazgûl. Each must be bound in a black folders, one marked "original" and all others marked "duplicate" although one must be in an orange binder and labeled "microbiology". A different Nazgûl must file each copy in halfling blood. Once approval is obtained, regular TPS reports must be filed until the trip is completed. Even then you must remain with your orc tour group, and most importantly keep track of your luggage! Losing, say, a mithril shirt could cause major problems!

Exiting is a separate problem although Eagles may be used by prearrangement.

PS: That sentence about the black and orange binders is an actual FDA regulation I had to follow to file an IND.

Re:Clicker (1)

LeeRyman (1942792) | about 10 months ago | (#45430717)

I have a few of them at the steel mill where I work. Every so often we throw one of them in the electric arc furnace to clean the lint out of them.

Re:Clicker (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45426368)

Exactly my thoughts. My M will easily drown out the rest of a conversation. From my audio background, I also know that it's going to be a pain to actually cut. It has a wide frequency range, and the sound varies from when the key is struck - the Model M doesn't "click" so much as it "rattles quickly". I expect fast fingers will be able to easily overwhelm the software, but I'll be happy if I'm wrong.

Re:Clicker (1)

djbckr (673156) | about 10 months ago | (#45427921)

I've had the pleasure of using a duplicate clicky keyboard [pckeyboard.com] for many years. Loved it, but frankly I type so much that the sound was just driving me crazy. I've tried many keyboards - from the MS Natural and everything down to the pathetic Dell keyboards (which I can't believe how bad they are). My new favorite keyboard: The Apple Keyboard [apple.com] . At first, it took a little getting used to, but it didn't take long. And of course it's for a Mac, which I use. But it's quiet, easy, and fast to type on. It doesn't feel flimsy, even though it's quite small/thin. I don't think I'll ever go back to the big clicky keyboard again.

What's wrong with typing? (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#45425542)

The sound of typing tells you that the person on the other end is doing something. e.g. you call someone up with a question. They say "hold on, let me look that up". In this case, intermittant typing lets you know that something is happening. It's a lot better than dead air.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425586)

Also you can tell if they are dome key typing pussies or if they belong to the glorious Model-M toting master race.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (2, Insightful)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 10 months ago | (#45426112)

testify Bother testify

Re:What's wrong with typing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425596)

Tap, tap, tap, tap... Oh sorry, Sharper Image is sold out of gaydar.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#45425678)

For that use, sure, it's fine. But everyone who's ever tried to use voice communications while playing a game has known that guy, who continuously pounds on his keyboard like it banged his wife, and who absolutely refuses to use a push-to-talk key.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 10 months ago | (#45425960)

Or that guy who sounds like he's working on his novel during the game.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425962)

I've lead several competitive clans on various games, and I made it a rule that you have to use push to talk, and any excessive/annoying noises coming over VOIP will result in a reprimand. The system is: first offense = warning; second offense = booted from clan and GUID is blacklisted.

There is literally zero reason to use VOIP and annoy the shit out of everyone playing. When you're talking about 16-32 people on one channel, that shit gets old fast. Small talk? Sure thing. Jokes? Go for it. Exclaiming your frustration? Fine. tk tk tk tkt ktktk ktktk kt ktktk tktktk tk? GTFO.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426010)

"There is literally zero reason to use VOIP and annoy the shit out of everyone playing"

Sometimes annoing the shit out of everyone is its own reward.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 10 months ago | (#45425704)

It also lets you know when they're doing something when you think they're supposed to be listening. When you're complaining about your terrible break-up or going into tremendous depth about your accomplishments for the week during a business meeting, I'd just as soon you not realize that I'm searching out lolcats and sharing them on Facebook rather than listening to you drone on.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425818)

yeah...

uh-huh...

totally...

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 10 months ago | (#45425824)

For some /.ers that's going to mean they have to do grunt suppression.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 10 months ago | (#45425954)

I could kind of use a click suppression. I'm not actually going to do any serious typing while you're talking, since I do at least need to listen closely enough to be able to go "uh huh... that's awful... good for you" at appropriate intervals. But a quick game of solitaire doesn't take all that much attention...

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 10 months ago | (#45425898)

Lol!! Because that's what I want when I'm calling someone. Silence with a background of keyboard typing.

As far as I can see, this will be another feature that can be disabled. No harm done here. Now I need them to add this to Team Speak 3 so I don't hear the other players bash their keyboards cause they're tired of me killing them.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 10 months ago | (#45425986)

We have a lot of people who absolutely refuse to believe that something as simple as waiting for a process to finish or rebooting will fix an issue, so when I get sucked into covering the Helldesk, I just run my fingers over the keyboard while waiting so the user thinks I'm doing some hardcore problem-fixing. It also helps keep them from getting impatiently as quickly because they think I'm doing something.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426066)

Maybe they can tell what you're typing:

http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~daw/papers/ssh-use01.ps

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 10 months ago | (#45426094)

Not if they are using a decent mic - you wont hear something happening 2 foot away from your mouth.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426312)

The sound of typing tells you that the person on the other end is doing something.

If you call Apple's sales line, the automated voice recognition system will play the sound of tapping computer keys while it processes your request.

Not sure why - maybe I'm holding the phone wrong.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

Malc (1751) | about 10 months ago | (#45427368)

Everything's wrong with it! I was complaining to somebody just today about how shit Skype can be, whilst we were on a conference call and the person who was running it had dialled in via Skype. Laptops like to have the mic near the keyboard, and this person was talking notes and updating some documents at the same time as splitting our ear drums. Get a f*****g headset people, and everybody else: learn how to mute if you're not talking.

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45427983)

The sound of typing tells you that the person on the other end is doing something.

And what's what wrong with it.

"Uh-huh. Yeah. No, I'm listening. No, I'm not looking for porn."

Re:What's wrong with typing? (1)

superswede (729509) | about 10 months ago | (#45430041)

Solved a related issue a couple of years where we wanted audible feedback on the keyboarded being types. The use case was a complete mute person Text-To-Speech (TTS) generator to talk over phone/VoIP (in this case it was Skype). Without being able to hear the keyboard clicks the receiver of the call gets long periods of silence while the "speaker" is typing the next word. This silence is confusing and often leads to interrupts from both parts, similar to the problems one gets with walkie talkies. By adding virtual keyboard typing sounds, the other party (the "listener") knows that the "speaker" is typing and naturally waits. It was really helpful! (This was a Windows machine and the solution we ended up with was to use Sound Pilot [http://www.colorpilot.com/soundpilot.html].)

It's a shame since the NSA uses this feature (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45425548)

Being able to hear the sounds of the keyboards allows us to accurately identify your typing patterns and tie the passwords used into the other metadata.

Re:It's a shame since the NSA uses this feature (1)

Dracos (107777) | about 10 months ago | (#45425926)

Not to worry, they won't filter out the keyboard noise until it's being sent from the server to the other person(s) on the call, so the NSA can still hear and analyze the keystrokes.

Re:It's a shame since the NSA uses this feature (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45426766)

Not to worry, they won't filter out the keyboard noise until it's being sent from the server to the other person(s) on the call, so the NSA can still hear and analyze the keystrokes.

good to hear.

Won't work (3, Interesting)

Roadmaster (96317) | about 10 months ago | (#45425560)

It'll just lead to a lot of head-scratching and "can you repeat that" over weird, distorted-for-no-apparent-reason audio. At least I hope it works better than Google+'s "looks like you're typing, so I auto-muted you" feature, that one was a disaster for collaboration since the speaker couldn't go anywhere near the keyboard while talking. At least there's a way to say "don't mute me" now.

Why not make keyboards quieter? (0)

Max_W (812974) | about 10 months ago | (#45425642)

And mouses too.

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45425670)

And mouses too.

Dude, are you still using one of the old fashioned steam powered mice with the big metal cogs or something? ;-)

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425708)

Probably.

I reckon the OP thinks we should also have asphalt tires and rubber roads.

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426378)

I reckon the OP thinks we should also have asphalt tires and rubber roads.

I'd rather have brick or cobblestone tires for the old-timey look.

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427746)

I vote chiseled sandstone.

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (0)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 10 months ago | (#45425720)

And, of course, big brass balls.

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425868)

mouse left/right click are relatively loud, also the scroll wheel. There's no need for a mouse to make clicking noise whenever you "click".

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 10 months ago | (#45425946)

Yes there is - same reason keyboard keys make a noise, and why touchpads have the option of key tones.

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#45426132)

Because people are weak and need comfort instead of having self confidence? is that it? I'm going with that.

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45426554)

Yes. People (specifically the finger joints of people) are weak. After learning that the silent button may not register with a light tough, but a hard smash certainly will, the people will learn that smashing the button is the only way to be sure of a click.

As injuries mount, a few companies will start putting audible and tactile indicators in their devices, so there is feedback when the contact is made, but before the button is fully depressed. Then people will begin to trust the indicators, rather than just smashing. Since this also allows for a smoother acceleration cycle, people's typing and clicking speed will increase. Finally, everyone will realize that they have multiple senses for a good reason, and they will come to love their multiple-sense interface devices!

The Model M shall rise again!

Re:Why not make keyboards quieter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426794)

Why not use a good mic? Mine is excellent at blocking out background noise.

where is the open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425660)

alternative to Skype video calling? can someone please point out a working client/server app?

Hidden use (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45425682)

And at the same time, the key-recognized and processed typing can directly be sent to the NSA.

Re:Hidden use (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45425766)

And at the same time, the key-recognized and processed typing can directly be sent to the NSA.

No need, since you've installed the client on your machine they likely have direct access to your keystrokes and can already send them.

You really think Microsoft couldn't easily build this into the Skype client and remotely enable it upon request?

Re:Hidden use (1)

cusco (717999) | about 10 months ago | (#45427168)

Ten years ago? Sure. Today? It would take two or three programming groups, continually competing for resources, six project managers arguing over budgets, four executives dithering over whether to promote or sabotage the project, and six to eight months. Then it would crash or lock up the Skype client because no one dared hire enough testers to accommodate anything but default configurations.

Re:Hidden use (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45428231)

Hehehe, I see what you mean.

Re:Hidden use (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45428209)

Of course I meant that second machine you use for security. Sorry for being unclear. On the machine Skype runs on, all is lost of course.

Wrong way round. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425684)

Where's my Skype Suppression Keyboard? Preferably one that can do it in an area-denial fashion.

Re:Wrong way round. (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 10 months ago | (#45426204)

Type M for the win

Re:Wrong way round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45429445)

M

Where's my prize for winning?

Software is hard (2)

jamesl (106902) | about 10 months ago | (#45425774)

Unfortunately, the Microsoft-owned company isn't ready to ship the functionality yet, despite it being available in the company's enterprise-focused Lync tool.

And we all know that once it works with one product, it's just a matter of waving the code over all the other products in the company's portfolio to make it work everywhere.

Re:Software is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426760)

Have you not heard of copy-paste, jeez...

Re:Software is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427626)

Also Lync is awful and any claim that something in Lync "works" is to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

Re:Software is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427754)

Lync is awful? What crack are you smoking? What version are you using? What server version? Do you lack a competent admin to run it? It's a complex product to run correctly, but set up and configured correctly it's awesome... I can't imagine going back to work life before Lync.

Re:Software is hard (1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 10 months ago | (#45429825)

Lync 2010 is the biggest steaming pile of shit I have ever used. Leaks memory like a sieve. Can't handle it crashes when the conversation in the window gets too long (chatting all day for example.)

MSN and Skype have NONE of these problems. Maybe newer versions of Lync are better but 2010 is truly abysmal.

No idea what version the server runs, sorry.

Re:Software is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430747)

Maybe you've failed to install the hotfixes / cumulative updates for Lync 2010? Yes, when it was released it had some big issues, but those were mostly fixed years ago (literally). I'll chalk your problems up to an incompetent admin, since they should be pushing those client updates to you. I use Lync 2010 every work day, and sometimes have the same chat window open with the same person for 2 weeks, using it frequently. I can't remember the last time my Lync client crashed. If you're having that many problems and your admin isn't pushing out client updates, go install them... you might be much happier with the end result.

Re:Software is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430769)

Try this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2884632

And then cane your administrator for not pushing out the CUs as they're made available.

This feature already exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45425884)

Skype's instant messaging doesn't work half of the time already?

NSA Backdoor having install issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426334)

Seriously, they have to develop a filter for the people that you are talking to, while transmitting those sounds directly to the NSA for storage.

Captcha: denials

skype is still a total piece of crap though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427734)

They should focus on making it actually not suck ass, especially on mobile. I can't tell you the number of times it has failed to send and/or receive messages on mobile. Its file transfer system is also total garbage. Sadly microsoft messenger actually worked a lot better than this.

How about giving us back decent image sharing? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45428003)

Why are they working on this kind of crap when they could instead be working to give us back the image sharing we used to have in MSN Messenger? I'm getting fed up of having to mess around with file transfers when all someone wants to do is show me their screenshot of an unexpected error for my diagnosis.

Re:How about giving us back decent image sharing? (1)

thewolfkin (2790519) | about 10 months ago | (#45429169)

For tech support I find Teamviewer much more useful if that helps. It does have VoIP and video conferencing capability. refreshed passwords mean the helpees get a sense of security that you can't dial into their computer at will (though that's not hard to set up if your Mum trusts you like that). I believe you can even have them broadcast as a view only so you can't control their screen but you can put giant "click here" arrows where you need to.

Re:How about giving us back decent image sharing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430393)

Or decent screen sharing! Oh wait, we already had that with Skype until Microsoft decided to charge for it.

How about instead something we want (1)

thewolfkin (2790519) | about 10 months ago | (#45429153)

How about maybe clean up my contacts list?

How about you make it easier to search for people you know. Here's a fun experiment. Try setting up a relative on skype and then importing their contacts.. they don't use facebook? Well I'm glad they use mail.ru and rediff oh she's a bit more obscure than that.. well under "other" you can import contacts from 163.com and Fastmail.

I'm the only person I've even known IRL who has ever used Fastmail. I loved the interface but the gmail storage space forced me out years ago. But it seems to me that unless you're an old russian lady you have no way to import contacts unless you know their information. How well does your aunt know her address book? Mine tried searching for contacts and ended up just creating contact lists named after her emails.

Wish there was a way to better organize contacts so having a bunch of phone numbers didn't just completely fill up the list. Kinda want my offline contacts rated above phone numbers which are never "online".

Oh but no.. by all means spend all your time erasing the typing sound. That's obviously more important than the fact that casual users can't navigate the Skype UI.

WebRTC (1)

tomontheweb (2942715) | about 10 months ago | (#45429397)

WebRTC [webrtc.org] is the future of real-time video. As an example, check out vLine link [vline.com] .

Background noise (2)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | about 10 months ago | (#45430051)

I'd rather them work on an actual, functional background noise filter. Or at least filter out the noise of a loud laptop fan.

basics (1)

tstur (38065) | about 10 months ago | (#45430907)

Each iteration of Skype adds more features I don't want, makes the fundamental features harder to use, and bogs down the host device even further. It would behoove Skype to bear in mind that their revenue comes from people who pay for the VOIP capabilities and focus on making sure that actually works well. Also, don't make it so damn difficult to find the international rates.

Skype already filters cat purring (3, Funny)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | about 10 months ago | (#45431711)

Skype has been able to filter out the sound of cats purring for a long time now. I tell you that it's really useful when you're sitting in your island lair, plotting world domination, and issuing orders to your minions via Skype. The sound of the purring kitty on your lap is completely filtered by Skype. So when a suave British spy tries to infiltrate you, the minions can hear your voice loud and clear. I tell you, this is a great win for evil overlords everywhere.

I'd settle for a linux client that doesn't crash (1)

Sxooter (29722) | about 10 months ago | (#45433683)

I'm stuck on skype v4.0.0.8 because the latest linux skype client crashes literally every minute or so. And I'm not the only one who has this problem.

My Linux version doesn't crash at all (2)

Phil Urich (841393) | about 10 months ago | (#45438261)

It's the one that's baked into the Nokia N9 (and sometimes I use the one baked into the N900). Hilariously, it's integrated into the OS at such a level that it acts like normal phone calls, and in that and other ways it's more seamless of an experience than on the platform Nokia now uses which Microsoft actually develops. Oh, the irony layered upon irony there . . .
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