The Fate of New Acquisitions: Whither or Wither?

By Jeremy Wagstaff I’m writing this on a Windows PC using a great piece of Microsoft software called Windows Live Writer. And that’s only part of the problem. As you no doubt know, Microsoft have announced they bought Skype, the Internet telephony company, for $8.5 billion. You’ll have to look under a lot of stones […]

Google Voice Blog

via I seem to have missed the fact that Google Voice is now available outside the U.S. Seems to work well, too, and, at least in my part of the world, half the price of Skype. With Skype’s growing footprint on my desktop, I’m all for dumping the klutz where I can.

Skype’s New Dawn?

We talk about Facebook, twitter, MySpace and Friendster as the big social networks but we keep forgetting one that is far bigger than that: Skype. This from a Bloomberg piece on Skype’s vacillating fortunes: Skype has soared in popularity since it started in 2003 and has about 548 million users worldwide—more than Facebook, MySpace and […]

Into the Light

Part of my job is explaining the world of new/social media to old media veterans. It’s not easy, either because they’re very resistant to change, or because they tend to see the changes  being wrought on their industry as somehow different to the much bigger changes taking place. It’s not a bunch of separate revolutions—it’s […]

Software, Slowly, Gets Better

Is it just me, or are software developers beginning to get their users? For a long time I’ve felt the only real innovation in software has been in online applications, Web 2.0 non-apps—simple services that exist in your browser—but now it seems that ordinary apps are getting better too. Evernote, I feel, is one that’s […]

If You Know the Answer, Why Ask the Question?

Just downloaded and installed the new beta version of Skype, and am now removing it. Why? Because it’s humongously big, and doesn’t have any option I could find for reducing its footprint. Compare this: with this: (and notice the Compact Mode option that I couldn’t find in the 4.0 version.) What bothers me is that […]

The Way Chat Should Be

Great to see that Google Talk is adding improvements. I just noticed this one, for example: Drag a photo into a chat window and it appears in the chat itself. Click on the picture and a little progress bar lights up on the right as the recipient accepts the picture. Resize the window and the […]

Meet Veronica, Sexy Skype Spammer

Maybe this is commonplace for others, but I’ve just got my first sex-chat-spam on Skype. It’s from someone called Veronica Sexy, whose profile indicates that it’s unlikely to be someone I’ve met and just forgotten about (as if I would): Just in case you can’t read that last bit, it reads: can’t wait to get […]

What Your Product Does You Might Not Know About

Empty vodka bottles used for selling petrol, Bali Tools often serve purposes the designers didn’t necessarily intend — increasing their stickiness for users but in a way not clearly understood by the creator. Take the System Tray in Windows for example (and in the bar, whatever it’s called, in Macs.) And this array currently sitting […]

Phones Aren’t About Telephony

Skype is a powerful tool because it’s found its way into the hands of people who need it most — ordinary folk. Now it and the companies that make devices to use Skype on need to understand that it’s not about telephony anymore, if it ever was. It’s about two or more people sharing each […]