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Skype Offering SkypeOut Service for Free

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-em-hooked dept.

331

Skudd writes "In an effort to boost new customer acquisition, Skype has begun offering its 'SkypeOut' service for free. The free service is slated to last until December 31, 2006." From the article: "While the SkypeOut service will allow free calling to regular phones, the company will continue to charge people to get calls using a service it calls SkypeIn, which costs about $38 for an unlimited 12-month subscription. Consumers can get the service for three months for about $12.80."

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RogersCustomers, forget Rogers Home Phone (1)

BRUTICUS (325520) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339918)

Just tried it, works great!

Rogers Customers should drop the Rogers HomePhone service. This is FREE!!!

Re:RogersCustomers, forget Rogers Home Phone (3, Informative)

BRUTICUS (325520) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339928)

Check this site out for other gripes concerning rogers.
Telecom service companies need to go down. Communication companies should be charging what the service is WORTH.

http://www.ihaterogers.ca/ [ihaterogers.ca]

Re:RogersCustomers, forget Rogers Home Phone (2, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340125)

It should be no surprise that different VOIP providers offer different levels of support, service and infrastructure.

I don't know about rogers per se, but if Roger's voip is anything like what its counterpart Shaw is offering, it deserves to be more expensive, its run on a dedicated network, separate from their broadband internet service -- meaning it doesn't rely on your internet being up!

This dedicated network is also independantly powered and with backup, right down to including a battery backup for your voip modem, meaning you can even make or receive a call during a power outage! Its really almost at the same level as POTS, and light years beyond what other voip providers can even theoretically provide in terms of infrastructure and reliability.

Of course you *do* pay a premium for it but it really is competing with POTS from the local telecom on a completely separate level from what you'd see from a Skype or Vonage. Its not for everyone, some of us don't need that level of infrastructure, fault tolerance, or reliability. Some of us do.

And yet (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15339920)

Apparantly it doesn't work for people with IPs starting with 7...

Re:And yet (2, Interesting)

mieses (309946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340026)

Anyone know why?
I have an IP starting with 7 and skypeout calls still consume credits.

Re:And yet (2, Interesting)

31551551991 (972380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340070)

Same problem here. I just paid $10 for free calls and consumed 7 cents to test it out. What a scam!

Not For Everyone (4, Informative)

Red Pointy Tail (127601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339924)

Note to submitters/editors: Not everyone lives in US/Canada.

Re:Not For Everyone (-1, Flamebait)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339939)

Note to readers/RedPointyTail: Slashdot is US Centric, so unless clarified it's safe to assume that offers are valid for US only.

Re:Not For Everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340024)

How on earth do you reach that conclusion ?
Because it's hosted in the USA ? Because most of the work is done in the USA ?

So by that I should assume that Google is US-centric too ?

Get off your high horse and stop thinking you're the only place in the universe that matters. I'm sure that there are FAR more Slashdot readers in the "rest of the world" than in the United States. So, if you wanted to divide everyone into two groups, USA and "The Rest", then the USA is in fact a minority audience. You might be have a majority of readers on a country by country basis, but when it's USA vs The World... we outnumber you significantly.

Please take that into consideration, especially when posting about a service that is available globally

(Note, I don't know actual readership figures, but this is a pretty obvious conclusion to draw and I don't think anyone in their right mind would disagree with this)

Re:Not For Everyone (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340181)

http://slashdot.org/faq/editorial.shtml#ed850 [slashdot.org]

Slashdot seems to be very U.S.-centric. Do you have any plans to be more international in your scope?

Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S. We're certainly not opposed to doing more international stories, but we don't have any formal plans for making that happen. All we can really tell you is that if you're outside the U.S. and you have news, submit it, and if it looks interesting, we'll post it.

It is worth noting that there is a Japanese Slashdot run by VA Japan. While we helped them a little in their early days, they essentially run their own content without any real involvement from us... none of us can read Kanji! There are currently no plans to do other language or nation specific Slashdot sites.

Answered by: CmdrTaco
Last Modified: 10/3/04

Re:Not For Everyone (1)

binarybum (468664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340289)

"this is a pretty obvious conclusion to draw and I don't think anyone in their right mind would disagree with this"

  Oh dear, I'd be a rich man if I could write a script clever enough to filter out any permutation or paraphrasing of this statement - it's the hallmark of idiocy. People claiming just this have wasted massive amounts of other people's time throughout history.

Re:Not For Everyone (2, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340142)

Slashdot is a global community and Skype is a product that has been released globally so in this case it should be made clear. If it was talking about some new Taco Bell sauce then no one outside the US would even stop to read it and it would not matter.

Re:Not For Everyone (1)

boldra (121319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340249)

If it was talking about some new Taco Bell sauce then no one outside the US would even stop to read it and it would not matter.
There's at least one Taco Bell in Sydney.

Anyway, would anyone inside the US read a story about a new sauce on Slashdot? Food journalism isn't what this site's famous for.

Re:Not For Everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340274)

oh man, there must be thousands of them in mexico right? those guys love the tacos!

Re:Not For Everyone (1)

Dis*abstraction (967890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340175)

Note to fellow Slashdotters: Not all Americans are as self-centered as "OverlordQ" apparently is. Please don't imagine he speaks for all of us--it's his kind (Republicans, mostly) that give America a bad name.

Re:Not For Everyone (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339941)

Exactly, Also does anyone have any good numbers to call in the US?

Re:Not For Everyone (1, Informative)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339984)

I think it's only free from within the US to the US. Europe-to-the-US still costs money because they want people to buy their overseas services.

Re:Not For Everyone (3, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340126)

Incorrect. It's only free from within the US and Canada (not just the US), TO within the US and Canada. For example, sitting in Montreal, I can call Dallas for free, or I can call Toronto for free, or somebody in LA can call me for free.

Re:Not For Everyone (2, Insightful)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339995)

(202) 775-0101

Re:Not For Everyone (2, Funny)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340116)

867-5309.

For a good time, call...

Re:Not For Everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340261)

Here in good ol' Rhode Island, USA, that number will get you "Gem Plumbing and Heating"

Yes, they did go out of their way to get that phone number.

--
BMO

Re:Not For Everyone (1)

metasecure (946666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340013)

This free offering is great, free calls to Canada and USA, however I think that Skype should begin offering SkypeIN numbers in Canada. Right now I am using www.vbuzzer.com for an incoming # in Toronto and their client and service leaves something to be desired. Skype all in all has been pretty decent, with eBay's acquisition, hopefully it will get better. And yes, this is definately a loss-leader to bring people onto their software.

Re:Not For Everyone (3, Funny)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340069)

You mean those other lands outside of North America aren't just for tourists?

Whoa...I'm gonna need to sit down after learning this...

It's a TRAP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15339925)

Run!

It's an eleborate plan to get you 'signed up'.

Looking Forward To... (4, Insightful)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339932)

I'm looking forward to calling my current land line provider, AT&T, and tell them I'm switching because of their choice to hand over phone records to the NSA. I'm sure VoIP won't be much more secure, but I hope if enough people do this they get the message.

Re:Looking Forward To... (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339949)

You forget one important landline feature you want to keep. SkypeOut can't dial 911.

Love SkypeOut, but it has serious limitations.

Re:Looking Forward To... (1)

kupan787 (916252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339987)

And that is what my cell phone is for. I currently have a land line via ATT. I was on the "life line" service (cost me $4/month, and was VERY basic services). I have not used my land line in over 2 years, and am going to cancel (its a bitch, can't do it via the web, have to call them so they can convince you not to cancel). I am sure at some point in my life, 911 will be nice to have, but I have only called it once (car accident, so it was via cell phone) in 23 years. I could care less if VoIP providers (or SkypeOut) gives me 911 access, if I absolutely need it, I have a cell phone. Now I just need a reasonably priced wi-fi phone that is skype ready, and I am good to go!

Re:Looking Forward To... (2, Insightful)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340012)

Most landlines are powered. So they still work during power outages - cell phones don't... as long as you don't have a phone that otherwise depends on electricity.

That alone is worth the cash.

Re:Looking Forward To... (3, Insightful)

seinman (463076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340071)

Last I checked, cell phones run on batteries. You know, the whole portability thing.

Re:Looking Forward To... (0, Offtopic)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340185)

The networks, the towers..... DON'T run on batteries.

Re:Looking Forward To... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340288)

Hmm... during the big blackout in August 2003, my cellphone had no trouble connecting to a tower (which was handy, since I was able to browse news sites to find out that the power wasn't just out locally, and would be out for a while). I imagine enough towers have emergency generators to keep the network up.

Re:Looking Forward To... (1)

kupan787 (916252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340080)

Most landlines are powered. So they still work during power outages - cell phones don't...

Last time I checked, my cell phone still operated during a power loss, seeing as how it is run off a battery. I charge it every night, so it is fully powered the next day, and it generally lasts me two days between charges (if I forget to charge it at night), coupled with the fact that he power has never gone off for more than a few hours at a time (and I live in California!), I don't see this as an issue at all. This feature alone is NOT worth the cash to me.

Re:Looking Forward To... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340107)

I believe the GP was talking about the entire network, not just the handset.

During 9-11 the mobile network went down, but the POTS lines were still working.

Re:Looking Forward To... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340145)

Where to start...

If you remember 9-11 wasn't a power failure, it was one of the main towers going down (I was 2 blocks away during the whole thing) I still had service, but couldn't make calls (after the second plane hit I still received a text message). The network was saturated. Some people got calls over the remaining towers.

And sure the POTS were technically working, but they were so overloaded it was impossible to place a call for 2 hours afterwards.

I ended up IM'ing people in other states from in internet cafe and tell them to try calling my family (also outside NYC). They got right through.

Don't they have to? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340072)

Doesn't every phone have to be able to dial 911 anyway?

I was under the impression that they couldn't cut that off, by law; similarly, you can turn on any cell phone and even if it isn't registered with the network, you can use it to dial 911. That was at least my understanding of how things worked, I admit I've never tried either.

The house I live in currently has phone wiring, but it's a real mess and I've never used it. Some day I'll have to unscrew one of the jacks (they're all of the old 4-pin variety, and painted over anyway) and see if there's dial tone. We certainly aren't paying for anything, we use cellphones and VoIP via cable internet.

Re:Looking Forward To... (4, Informative)

tapo (855172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340018)

By U.S. law, even a disconnected phone line is able to dial 911.

activation (1)

amazon10x (737466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339936)

I read somewhere that you need to pay an activation fee of $10 USD. Is this true?

Re:activation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15339943)

The caller can be FROM anywhere, right? ~coward

Re:activation (1)

amazon10x (737466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339982)

Nope, both people have to reside in the United States/Canada

Re:activation (2, Informative)

toxcspdrmn (471013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339950)

No - I tried it today and it Just Works(TM).

Re:activation (3, Informative)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339981)

no. I didn't have to.

I tested it by creating a new UID. The first two times I tried calling a friend's mobile phone, I got error messages. The third time and every time after was smooth sailing. The sound isn't the best, not cell phone quality, but it works. The number showed up as "000123456" on the recipient's phone, so its usefulness is limited; those who screen calls would likely not pick up, and since you can't get incoming on it without upgrading - well.

If you have an outgoing number, I'm sure you can solve this issue by being issued an incoming number. IMO, it seems to be a loss leader of sorts, to get folks to upgrade to paid service.

Re:activation (1)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340103)


If you have an outgoing number, I'm sure you can solve this issue by being issued an incoming number. IMO, it seems to be a loss leader of sorts, to get folks to upgrade to paid service.


Subscribing to SkypeIN does not change your outgoing ID. It still shows 0123456789.

Fucking Whores (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15339937)

I submitted the story 12 hours ago with a better summary and I fucking get rejected. Oyvey.

wombats.

Re:Fucking Whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340039)

Right, like having nerds spew biased arrogant wrong headed shit on Slashdot is worth notoriety

Re:Fucking Whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340172)

That's why your post is at 0, man.

Only to the US and Canada... (3, Informative)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339945)

One of Skype's biggest perks is cheap international calling. Submitter sucks, should have put that in the summary. It's in the fucking article's title, fps.

cheap international calling - not! (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340119)

I call my parents in Europe quite often and always keep an eye out for a good deal on international calling. I have been looking at SkypeOut rates ever since it was introduced, it is still 2x more expensive than a good phone card.

Re:cheap international calling - not! (2, Informative)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340183)

Good phone cards to Asia that beat Skype are hard to find. And Skype is way easier.

Re:cheap international calling - not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340291)

Perhaps this has changed, but I used to make a lot of calls to Europe and I never found a phone card that was half as good as Skype's rates that didn't royally fuck you over in the small print.

Sure, you can get your calls at 1 cent/minute... on top of the 50 cent connection fee, the $3/month service fee, the three-minute charge interval, the 20 minute minimum charge, etc.

I once found a card that gave me insanely cheap rates with no extra fees at all. After a couple of hours of calls, all the credit was gone. When I called to find out why, it turned out that they had simply lied about the extra fees. Unfortunately in a situation like that there isn't much you can do to get your money back, since these are usually small operations that depend on duping at least some of their customers in order to earn money.

I eventually gave it up and went with the best cheap service I could find at the time which was BigZoo. It was relatively pricey at 4.5 cents/minute, but they didn't play games with your money and so in the end it was cheaper. Skype is almost three times cheaper than that, and they don't play games either, so I would have been all over that. Skype's call quality is also spectacular, unlike most cheap phone cards. I don't make many calls now, but when I do, SkypeOut is it.

Skype may not be the cheapest service out there, but as far as I've seen it's just about the cheapest service that doesn't suck.

Re:Only to the US and Canada... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340224)

I didn't RTFA, but does this new service include free incoming international calls?

New partnership? Something else? (4, Insightful)

Sosarian (39969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339946)

Did Skype suddenly form a new partnership with someone to handle these calls?

Or is this some sort of grab for customers so that they can have more P2P nodes?

Just some initial thoughts.

Re:New partnership? Something else? (1)

kupan787 (916252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340007)

Did Skype suddenly form a new partnership with someone to handle these calls?

ebay perhaps [slashdot.org] ?

The AOL of VOIP (3, Interesting)

Zemran (3101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339951)

Skype is the AOL of VOIP and they are desperate to get everyone into their camp before people realise that they can have the world if they stay outside of that camp. True VOIP offers you the same freedom that the real internet offers those that are/were not AOL subscribers. I have a dial in line for free on VOIP and I can dial out for free already. I can call many countries for free. I do not need a restricted cobbled service just because it has a good marketing department.

Re:The AOL of VOIP (2, Insightful)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339957)

Please name this magical service that we in the unwashed masses may also benefit.

Re:The AOL of VOIP (5, Informative)

Zemran (3101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340001)

For my UK incoming number I use www.sipgate.com
For my US incoming number I use www.sipphone.com

For outgoing calls I use www.voipbuster.com (they also offer an incoming number but I already had one)
www.voipcheap.com or www.voipcheap.co.uk (same stuff really).

I have a Sipura ATA so I do not even need to have my computer turned on to make or recieve calls. You can get other ATAs and I do not think the Sipura is the best but I bought it 3 years ago when it was.

BTW I live in northern Thailand and with this I can call and chat to my friends as much as I like.

Re:The AOL of VOIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340045)

Too bad this does no good for the 330 million people in North America. The same North America that Skype is giving free calls to.

Re:The AOL of VOIP (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340065)

Too bad this does no good for the 330 million people in North America.

How do you work that one out? It works for anyone that has a credit card wherever they are on the planet. As I said, I am currently in Northern Thailand.

Re:The AOL of VOIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15339972)

A Geocities person complaining about AOL and marketing? That's funny.

That aside (ha), I must ask: What service do you speak of? Free or "free as included" in your VoIP plan?

Re:The AOL of VOIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340006)

It's called VaporVOIP.

I forget who makes it...phantom something or other.

Re:The AOL of VOIP (1)

icedcool (446975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340027)

Mod parent witty.

Re:The AOL of VOIP (1)

mikapc (664262) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340219)

Skype is not the AOL of VOIP. I've tried other services like dialpad and the quality and reliabilty just don't compare. With skype you get crystal clear audio quality with few dropped calls.

Only good until end of 2006 (2, Interesting)

CyberZCat (821635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339959)

It's only guaranteed until the end of 2006. So most likely it's one those things to get people hooked on using the service and more willing to pay the charges after this year. But hey, the business model works for drug dealers. Once you get addicted to the sample drug, you'll be a long-term customer.

Conspiracy theory: The reason is free is because it's funded by the NSA, that way they won't need to ask anyone for phone records. Shhhhhhhhhhh

Not as good as heroin (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340128)

Seriously, who'd get "addicted" to poor quality phone calls that need to be made through your PC (or Mac)? For a bit more a month you can get real VoIP service with an ATA which will work with all your existing phones. The quality is indistinguishable from POTS. You get unlimited calls within North America and also some other countries. I mean, unless you REALLY can't afford an extra $15 a month or whatever, come on. Might as well try to convince a heroin addict to switch to asprin because it is cheaper (to stay with the addiction theme).

-matthew

Huh. (4, Informative)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339963)

Just tried calling my cell phone on it from my old Powerbook G4 Ti @ 500 Mhz with OS X Tiger. Works -excellently-. No activation or anything needed to my account. Downloaded latest version, ran it, and it worked right "out of the box".

This offer is valid until..... (3, Informative)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339967)

December 31, 2006. After that, They are unsure of what they are going to do. I remember a company called dialpad years ago that did something similar, except in reverse, they started out giving unlimited free calling to anyone. Then they cut it down to 10 minutes, 5 minutes, then 1 minute and then they were forced to shut down because no one would subscribe. I'm sure this isn't the case with Skype but given they're past record I'm not sure this is a good idea.

Dialpad (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340098)

I remember Dialpad ... actually my introduction to them was from the floor of one of the computer shows, it might have been Macworld Boston or NYC; I remember calling some friends from their booth and asking about the audio quality.

Unfortunately by the time I got around to getting broadband, they had already stopped the unlimited free service, and it was all downhill from there.

I hope whenever people get around to writing the history of VoIP that there's more than a footnote there about Dialpad, because boy were those guys just a few years ahead of their time. I think broadband penetration was just a little too light, and wireless internet hadn't hit it big enough for people to think of computers as something around their house that could be as ubiquitous as telephones ("why would I want to go into the computer room to make a phone call?"); if they had held out for a year or two longer ... well, they would have been Skype.

Re:Dialpad (1)

PorkNutz (730601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340192)

Didin't dialpad make you listen to a 20 second or so advert before connecting your call? I have often wondered why this didn't catch on.

Re:Dialpad (1)

whoop (194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340206)

Not in the beginning. Though for me, Dialpad was the first time I saw some practical use for a Java applet. Even the cypherpunk username/password worked, they didn't check how many people were logging in at once or from different IPs. Them were the good ol' days.

Not as useful to someone with a cellphone (2, Interesting)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15339970)

I already have a cellphone that has enough monthly minutes that, for as little as I use the phone, it might as well just be unlimited. And I can take it with me anywhere, too.

Nonetheless, it's kind of neat making these free phone calls with Skype and hearing the people's voices come out of my computer speakers.

Have to see if I can get through to Dial-a-Song [dialasong.com] at 718-387-6962. Now it's free if I call from home as well as work...

And since Skype is owned by an American company, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15339985)

we can safely assume that all our Skype calls are screened by good ol' NSA.

This is useless. (3, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340009)

Almost everyone who has a cell phone has free domestic long distance. This sounds like an amazing offer, but it's giving people nothing they didn't have before. It might get a few more people to actually try Skype, but the practical uses of this offer are almost nonexistent.

Re:This is useless. (1)

Marsmensch (870400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340264)

I see some potential impact among people who live outside of the US and Canada who will be able to call the acquaintances for free, but I'm not sure how many actual users this represents.

Re:This is useless. (1)

Marsmensch (870400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340279)

Sorry, but I'm correcting myself here. It turns out only users IN the US or Canada can call for free, to numbers in the US of Canada.

All you need is... (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340021)

Some pretty cheap headsets [newegg.com] .

Re:All you need is... (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340136)

Personally, I'd stay away from the really cheap analog headsets. If you want to use your computer for anything except a dedicated VoIP terminal, they're obnoxious in a major way.

Unless your computer has multiple analog audio outs, and you can set it up so that Skype uses one and your regular audio uses the other, every time you want to make or answer a call you'll have to swap cables. Not cool.

My feeling is that to use Skype, most people are going to want a USB headset or phone, so they can leave it attached all the time.

On another note, does anyone know if there is a USB-to-POTS adaptor (that would allow you to use a real telephone) which is compatible with Skype for Mac OS X? I've been browsing through the list of VoIP stuff at NewEgg and it's very Windows-centric. I'm curious as to whether there's some sort of a standard USB device that they appear as, or whether every device and dongle requires special proprietary drivers.

Great but.... (1)

gregeth (688579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340025)

I think this is wonderful that Skype is offering this. Although I read in several forums that people with IP's in the range of 70.x.x.x to 79.x.x.x. Not sure if that's true, but I have an IP in the range with Verizon DSL and am prompted with needing to buy skype credit to make a call.

I'm guessing it's due to ISP's that are using packet shaping for VOIP, etc. Anyone else had problems with this, whether with Verizon or other ISPs?

Re:Great but.... (1)

wizzat (964250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340062)

I assure you that Verizon doesn't care what you do with your DSL. If you got prompted to buy it with credit, either you did it wrong or Skype just wants your money. You decide...

Warning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340034)

As of the time of this posting, the free SkypeOut doesn't work for IPs starting with any number between 70 and 79!

Hi is Ben there? Last name Dover? (1)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340042)

Oh the prank calls that can be made with this ..all the calls come in as 1000023456

Bad launch (1)

ubercombatwombat (803501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340048)

Skype is getting beat up by posters, you have to scroll down to feel the heat: http://share.skype.com/sites/en/2006/05/free_calls _to_all_landlines_an.html [skype.com]
Seems that it does not function in the 70~80.xxx.xxx.xxx range. My ISP Qwest is in that range. In other words they missed a few of us. I use Asterisk and Telasip and don't really care. Bad marketing.

Not working for many (1)

Snof (964040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340063)

Quite a few people are unable to get it to work. It seems that they attempt to limit it to US and Canadian customers based on IP, but their filter has problems. I'm unable to use the service on my internet connection (Comcast), but using my neighbors wireless network it works great. They're on a different ISP, not sure which one. I submitted a support ticket and got this (somewhat entertaining) response: "Thank you for writing to us. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions today about the error you are receiving when you are attempting to call a US number. I am sorry to hear that you encountered this situation. It does appear that this is an apparent issue. Our Engineers are working on to resolve this. I really appreciate your information on this and your patience. Your IP address will be further looked into. In the meantime and would like to apologize for any concern or inconvenience this is causing you. You may want to continue using another computer to use your SkypeOut at the moment."

Any better than it was? (1)

cmason (53054) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340066)

I got really excited about skypeout a year or so ago. I bought a bluetooth headset, got it working on my mac, installed skype, bought minutes. All of this went pretty smoothly, but I've only used about 10 of those minutes: skypeout had terrible voice quality, signficant echo, and large lag. This was calling US phone numbers from a cable modem connection in the US with > 128kbps upstream. I tried on several occassions but always the people that I called complained about the sound quality and the echo. From my perspective, making this service free does nothing to increase it's value to me; I was willing to pay but was completely dissapointed.

I wonder if it's improved enough to be worth trying again.

-c

Hm, not working. (1)

Captain Scurvy (818996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340067)

I'm using the linux version of Skype (1.2.0.18), and it tells me that I need SkypeOut to make outgoing calls. I have tried several times, and have even tried creating a new account. Same deal. Any ideas?

Also... (1)

Captain Scurvy (818996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340076)

I'm in the 71.*.*.* IP range, and judging by the other comments I'm seeing, this is the problem.

SkypeOut service (2)

under_score (65824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340082)

I've been using SkypeOut for quite some time now. I first purchased SkypeOut credit in Oct. 2004. My main motivation has been that my brother lives in Beijing and I live in Toronto. But I also talk with other family and friends quite regularly using the feature. One thing I've noticed: my connection and audio quality tend to be better to when I'm talking to my Brother in Beijing than when I'm talking to my wife while I'm travelling in the US. Skype has gradually become more and more important in my suite of communication tools. I'd much rather Skype someone than email them. I used to use Yahoo! messenger and ICQ quite a bit. I've completely stopped. Maybe they've improved, but Skype's conference call/chat feature has been extremely helpful. I did an hour-long 3-way business call between Toronto, Baltimore and London in the UK for only a few dollars!

All that said, there's a problem too: I've been using it on my laptop and it means carrying around a headset with a microphone. The built-in mic is terrible. For anyone adopting Skype as a phone replacement (which it sill isn't for me), this is an important consideration. The big "discount" they are giving with free SkypeOut in North America will probably help adoption here a little, but I'm not convinced it will make a really big splash. I think they need to figure out a nice way to integrate with a cell-phone-like headset that still works through one's computer/laptop or on one's wireless LAN. This would be the item that would allow me to get rid of my home/office phones.

Free IN & OUT calls by NSA Communications (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340083)

President Bush asked the Congress to pass a bill with a 1.3 billion dollar supplement to fund a landline\wireless\VoIP phone, email, SMS service.

Users of the free service only need to click on an agreement that they acknowledge that the NSA may record, etc. all forms of communication for training, etc. purposes.

President Bush said, the new initiative will bring unprecedented freedom not only for Americans, but for the entire world. "It's shame that so many people around the globe can not enjoy the benefits of modern technology", Mr. Bush said. His government is determined to change this and sign up every human beings.

The service will be called Speach for Free, it is already endorsed and sponsored by the World Bank, Microsoft, RIAA, even the Chinese, North Korean, Iranian governments have shown strong interest.

Fascinating to me how the economics have ended up (5, Interesting)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340091)

I do a lot of work with Asterisk and have investigated pricing on inbound and outbound rates to such an extent that it would be considered obsessive.

With most VoIP, inbound call phone numbers are at least as expensive to get as outbound when you get to any kind of volume. I'm not talking about 1 line for a few bucks, or a few test lines at fixed cost, but the ability to just recieve a bunch of calls at once on a phone number. It comes down to about $18 (US) for the ability to recieve each concurrent inbound call. You can get unlimited at a penny or two per minute per call, but that ends up being more expensive if you do good pooling with a fixed number of lines. Outbound can be as little as half that.

Where is the cost in all this? The cost is the connection to the copper based system. At some point, somewhere, someone has to get paid for a link to that big addressing system.

The sick part is, most of the big telcos are doing voip any way, and their ability to hold onto that master address space is the key last item for them to hold the power to charge what they do. ENID (including free systems) are functional -- and can work just like DNS -- but the providers wont use it.

There's a system (ENID based, I believe) that would allow any number you dial from your regular phone or cell phone to be checked against a registry, and if a voip address is listed for it, the telco could bypass the entire infrastructure and route the call directly to the person you called over voip. So if I registered a voip address to my phone number (which I have done) and you called me from say, Verizon Wireless, they could route the call to me without going over a single bit of big telco as anything other than VoIP. No telco switching involved. It would bypass my per-minute inbound costs entirely other than my internet connection.

It works if you call from a voip phone that knows about the registry (Asterisk based systems, for example can do this). The telcos and cell companies don't do it. Why not? As a whole, they make their money by controlling that master address -- the phone number.

Keep hoping they ignore it; alternative is worse. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340182)

Given the way techology and politics have been going lately, perhaps we should all be thankful for the fact that all the big telcos are doing is ignoring ENID and hoping it will go away.

I wouldn't be surprised if they were to campaign to make it illegal if it ever starts to make significant inroads on their cartel--excuse me, business model.

Let's see, what excuse would they use for outlawing it? Child pornography is always a guaranteed sell, but hard to work in this case. Maybe they could roll it into the next anti-terrorism bill: bypassing the POTS switching system might make the calls harder to intercept, therefore it'll only be used by terrorists, drug dealers, and MySpace users.

I'm only half-joking here. The POTS "namespace" is going to be the big telco's Alamo: it's a gigantic source of revenue and not one they're going to let go without a fight. They'll probably lose in the long run, but it'll be long and unpleasant in the meantime.

But I'm Po' (2, Informative)

DaMamaJama (975126) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340093)

As a poor student who moves to a new town every four months because of the program i'm in at uni (yay co-op), i GREATLY appreciate Skype making my calls free.

1) Because i move all the time, i don't maintain a landline;
1) All of my family and friends are out of town;
2) cell phones in Canada haven't been deregulated yet and Rogers, Bell, Telus, etc., charge through the nose and other unpleasant orifices.

Skype is making my life a HECK of a lot easier. I've tried it already... a lot... and it works wonderfully.

Skype trying to reach performance goals ? (2, Insightful)

OneInEveryCrowd (62120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340110)

It was mentioned [techcrunch.com] when ebay bought Skype that if Skype could achieve certain performance goals that the deal would be worth an extra 1.5 billion dollars. It looks like the number of users in North America may be one of these performance goals.

Also this is a good way to compete with Yahoo! Messenger, which was recently upgraded to use the same voice codec [globalipsound.com] as skype.

Great, my money again doesn't work for me (2, Insightful)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340150)

You know, it's great that I find out when I spend money on Skype, doesn't benefit me, but rather, a nation far away that already has a lot of their telecommunications provided for free.

Yeah, maybe I shouldn't be so selfish, but then again, when a good paying wage for a fulltime job is 200USD, here. Not even enough to pay for a small apartment a month, in this country, I'm thinking more in terms of self preservation.

If connection costs to other telecommunication systems were really the issue, then they would allow people to call US numbers from Europe (and other places) for free.

A thought occured to me, I some how doubt AOL users will have problems placing calls to the US for free, since the IP ranges used in AOL ISPs are shared internationally.

Re:Great, my money again doesn't work for me (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340295)

You know, it's great that I find out when I spend money on Skype, doesn't benefit me, but rather, a nation far away...

I think the same thing every time I go to Wal-Mart. It's called globalization, you might as well learn to love it, because it ain't going away.

Besides, a whole lot more money flows OUT of the U.S. than in, so as a country, we're not exactly making money here. The way things are going right now, it won't be too long before debt is our biggest export. (Pity there's no export market for lawyers...)

Nothing new but really nice anyway! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15340152)

http://www.voipbuster.com/ [voipbuster.com]
http://www.sipdiscount.com/ [sipdiscount.com]
http://www.voipcheap.com/ [voipcheap.com]
voipdiscount.com
voipstunt.com ...

gives... well... around 40 countries free! (well... you pay 10euros for 2 or 3 months and you can call a lot of countries for 0 cent/min or 1 cent/min)

I use it a lot (with sjphone) and for this price... this is unbeatable! But for a good VOIP, you need a good High Speed Internet Access! A delay of 1 or 2 seconds and cause a hang up before you can even try to say "hello" ;-)

sip compatible with any hardware SIP or softphone like sjPhone (mac, pc, linux, pda...)

sip server: sip.voipbuster.com (port 5060)
domain: voipbuster.com
stun server: stun.voipbuster.com

sip server: sip1.sipdiscount.com (port 5060)
domain: sipdiscount.com
stun server: stun.sipdiscount.com

etc ;-)

Faxes? (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340184)

Anyone try Skype with a fax machine? Are there any problems?

I'm paying for a land line at home only to send/receives faxes. Being able to use Skype with a fax would be a significant drop in costs for me.

Re:Faxes? (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340241)

I've never tried it, but I know some people who have attempted to use fax machines on other VoIP systems with mixed results. I believe the problem stems from the psychoacoustic compression (e.g.: G.729) that's used to reduce the bandwidth requirements of calls: it's very low bitrate and designed for speech only, and doesn't have anywhere near the data-carrying capacity of a standard POTS line.

I think some VoIP systems (Vonage) are smart enough to increase the bandwidth so as to not block fax and data calls completely, but how well it works I don't know. I'm not sure what codec Skype uses (and I suspect nobody outside of Skype does, either), but judging from the audio quality I think it's compressing pretty hard. And if the artifacts are that audible in speech, I can't help but think that a data transmission is probably going to do poorly. YMMV based on network conditions, though.

For outgoing faxes, especially if you only send them occasionally, it might be worthwhile to give it a shot. The cost savings might be worth having to try it a few times to get it to go through, or for it to transmit very slowly. If you receive a lot of faxes though it might be a bad idea, since you can't ever be sure how many times the person on the far end will retransmit if the call fails the first time. Having a fax machine that only works some of the time, to me, is worse than not having one at all since you wouldn't be able to trust it.

Tried it and it works great (1)

damonlab (931917) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340215)

I am on a shared cell phone plan and was looking for a way to make cheap calls online. Can't beat free. Tried the free SkypeOut and it works great. I plan on using the flavor out of this until year end.

How good is skype ? (1)

ravee (201020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340232)

I have heard that making calls through ones computer, one has to put up with reduced clarity and unnecessary noise. I am curious how good skype is w.r.t making calls using a normal phone. Does it suffer from low clarity and noise interference ?

Some Hidden Benefits (3, Informative)

JackRazz (707629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340234)

I've been using Skype for a couple of months with a mic/headset combo and it has been surprisingly good. One of the benefits of Skype is that you can make conference calls. This is something I've never done at home with a landline. I had $9 Skype-Out left and don't know how I'm gonna use it up now(-:

UK (1)

Viperlin (747468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15340246)

doesnt work with UK land lines..........
would of been nice to mention that, retards
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