The High-Tech Texan Blog

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Skype Says Let It Be Free

I haven't talked much about Skype lately but lately I've been talking a lot via Skype. PC-to-PC calling has been around quite a while and it's been hit-and-miss. Skype, that wholly owned subsidiary of eBay, made voice calls easy and even allows for PC-to-landline and mobile phones for a fee.

Make that FREE. At least through the end of 2006. Skype recently announced it's SkypeOut service will be free within the US and Canada. So if your cell phone is running out of minutes just use a microphone headset or a USB phone to make all the calls you want.

Speaking of (and into) a USB phone, I have been testing out the SkyTone RST101 from Radian Technologies. It's the size of a small cell phone with a USB cord. It installed without a hitch and so far works flawessly with Skype. For users who can't get into wearing a headset to use a PC phone this mode goes back to the "old days" of holding up a phone to your ear.

I'm always trying to push the limit on portability so here's my latest trick: I plugged the USB phone into my laptop. Now when I'm connected to a WiFi network or Verizon Broadband Access I can use the phone and Skype anywhere! Looks a bit weird walking around holding a laptop with a corded phone handset attached to it but I can talk anywhere I go for free.


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