Skype will be launching a new client tomorrow just for Mac users, which provides screen sharing, bigger avatars and Wi-Fi hotspot access to the ubiquitous VoIP service. Skype Beta 2.8 for Mac goes into Beta release tomorrow, according to Disruptive Telephony, and offers a range of new features that take the product well beyond …
Unless it works with everybody else's VoIP offerings (read: Asterisk), who actually gives a flying one?
Telecommunications is absolutely not the kind of market where uncooperative players with their own incompatible, proprietary technology are welcome.
Skype does questionable stuff
I've noticed summat odd when running a previous version of skype, that when browsing with FF and with skype on-line, FF was suddenly trying to serve up stuff which was blocked via the hosts file. This stopped when skype was off-line, and URLs were blocked as normal (FF did not have any skype extensions in it, BTW).
It looks like skype decided to act a proxy server, though I know not how. Or why.
One post mentioned that in similar situations the HTML source in his browser would get extra tags linked to skype (though this didn't happen with me).
Big-time not ok, so now skype runs in its own VM.
I don't know if newer versions have such dubious behaviour, but caveat emptor anyway.
@Skype does questionable stuff
If it has to use port 80 to get through a firewall it will have to act as a proxy to let your browser also use 80 - it shouldn't change the html though
I care, because I use it... You may care about Asterisk and proprietary technology, but your average computer user just wants to call their friends either on their computer or on their normal phone, and Skype allows them to do that. So, the vast majority of people don't care.
I'd like interactive screen sharing, as someone who does support for various people, it'd be very useful. I've used Yuuguu, but it's just added complexity plus it's not very stable. There don't seem to be any other stable, _easy to use_ cross-platform screen sharing apps...
Re: HTML modification
You will see modifications to HTML if you happen to have installed/enabled the Skype browser plugin (IE/FF) which attempts to automagically convert phone numbers in web pages into clickable links that initiate a call via SkypeOut.
If you haven't got that plugin, perhaps there is something afoot. But probably not.
@BigglesZX: There was no such plugin, and as I mentioned, it was reported by another person; it didn't happen for me.
@Martin: Neat suggestion & it made me think, however while networks are a weak point with me, I'd have thought skype used UDP (as its voip), and even if it used TCP then as the socket is defined by the combination of local & remote port & local & remote IP address then as the remote IPs would be different for browser & skype then the communication should be totally independent; no proxy needed. But I am a few clues short in this area.
It's already posted
Re: HTML modification
BigglesZX is right. My mom's laptop has Skype and it does modify HTML to phone numbers under IE, but I've never seen it happen under Firefox (maybe it's because I installed Firefox AFTER I installed Skype). My suspicion is that it may not be a Firefox plugin but an IE AxtiveX doing that. If it's appearing in FF, perhaps you installed the ActiveX wrapper plugin?
In any case tho, parents weren't really bothered by that. I don't use Skype myself since it's proxy settings screen on the Linux version is so badly programmed that it puts you into a Catch-22: You need to get Skype connected before you can get to the Proxy setup screen, but to get Skype connected you have to get to the Proxy setup screen to set up your proxy.
On MacOS? about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. Unless Skype have done what Apple haven't and managed to hook an RDP-style vectoring driver into the display layer, we are left with the usual, shitty, ARD/VNC bitmapped dinosaur that requires a pipe like the Mersey Tunnel to even work adequately.
Paris, coz you could run ARD down her wide pipe, just.
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