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Archive for the ‘Skype’

UK snoopers’ charter faces severe criticism

June 15, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Browser, Cyber Security, data security, Email, Gaming, internet, search engines, Skype, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Civil liberty groups have voiced severe criticism over the newly published Data Communications bill aka snoopers’ charter. UK snoopers’ charter faces severe criticism   The controversial bill extends the type of data that Internet Service Providers must keep to include your emails, web browsing history and social media posts- including Skype.

The government claims that the legislation is need in the fight against criminals and terrorists.

However activists have dubbed it a snooper’s charter.

“This is all about giving the police unsupervised access to data. It is shocking for a government that opposed Labour’s plans on this to propose virtually the same thing,” said Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group.

“It will cost billions of pounds and will end up only catching the stupid or the innocent. Terrorists will circumvent it.”

Dyenamic Solutions also points out the non UK organisations may not be compelled to store your data- thus not only driving a coach and horses through the intended effectiveness, but also forcing many UK ecommerce business abroad.

Publishing the bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Communications data saves lives. It is a vital tool for the police to catch criminals and to protect children.”

But Mr Killock argues that knowing where a citizen has been online is equally intrusive.

Drawing a parallel he said: “If I’m having an affair then who I’m talking to is just as revealing as what I say,” he said.

The bill – an update to the controversial RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) legislation – lays out new duties for the UK communications companies.

The new proposals would require ISPs to keep details of a much wider range of data including use of social network sites, webmail, voice calls over the internet, and gaming. Websites you visit will also be recorded.

The Internet Service Providers’ Association said that it would be lobbying MPs in the coming months.

“Ispa has concerns about the new powers to require network operators to capture and retain third party communications data,” said a spokesman.

“These concerns include the scope and proportionality, privacy and data protection implications and the technical feasibility.

“Whilst we appreciate that technological developments mean that government is looking again at its communications data capabilities, it is important that powers are clear and contain sufficient safeguards,” it added.

Please join the Snoopers Charter Petition– it takes just 2 minutes and could have a huge effect against this red tape- which the Financial Times estimates will cost us £2.8 billion over the next 10 years.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is finalised

October 21, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, internet, Microsoft, mobile phones, Skype, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Microsoft has finalised the £5.3 billion acquisition of VoIP service Skype.Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is finalisedThe deal had to pass regulatory approval in several markets, with Europe being the biggest hurdle for Microsoft. The EU Commission has previously fined Microsoft for it’s antitrust behavior.

Under the terms of the agreement, Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of that division.

Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.

It was bought by eBay in 2005, but eBay couldn’t find a way to integrate it into its business and subsequently sold it to an investment group led by Silver Lake in 2009.

The deal with Microsoft is a very profitable exit for that group of investors, which includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board- as they paid £1.71 billion for Skype.

As for the future of Skype and the challenges Microsoft faces, the first and foremost will be the fact that Skype is not yet profitable. However, Skype’s huge user base (more than 663 million users, 170 million of which use the service monthly) and constant growth make it an appealing purchase for a company that knows what to do with it.

“Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily,” said Bates in a statement.

You can watch the video at:

Facebook and Skype combine video opportunity

July 08, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Ecommerce, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Skype, Social Media, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Video Marketing

Facebook and Skype have announced a partnership to add video chat to the social networking site.

Facebook and Skype combine video opportunityFacebook and Skype have teamed up before – they already share some instant messaging tools.

Skype is in the process of being bought by Microsoft- which is a major shareholder in Facebook.

The new video-call service was launched by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who also revealed that the site now had more than 750 million users.

However, he contradicted himself by saying that the total number of active users was no longer a useful measure of the site’s success.

Instead, the amount of sharing – of photographs, videos and web links – was a better indication of how people engaged with the site, explained Mr Zuckerberg.

Coming hard on the heels of Google+, Facebook’s Skype offering is likely to be compared to its rival’s Hangout feature. That product allows up to ten people to chat at any one time, while the Facebook/Skype video chat feature facilitates just one-on-one video chatting.

Skype did hint that there will be added features in future, but Google has stolen the lion’s share of the headlines and Facebook will not enjoy being seen as following in its footsteps.

At the launch in California, Mark Zuckerberg was reluctant to get involved in a tit for tat comparison but he did say that he saw such products as part of the narrative that in future companies which have not traditionally looked at social networking will be layering it on top of all their products.

Mr Zuckerberg said that it was likely that other “premium” Skype functions would be added in future.

He also appeared to offer a back-handed compliment to Google+, saying that its creation was a vindication of Facebook’s vision for the social web.

Microsoft buys for Skype for £5.2 billion

May 11, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, internet, Microsoft, search engines, Skype, Social Media, Uncategorized

The free internet phone company Skype is being bought by Microsoft for £5.2 billion as the software comapnyincreases its battle with Google and Facebook in the rapidly evolving world of online communication.

Microsoft buys for Skype for £5.2 billionThe deal is the largest in Microsoft’s 36 year history and also represents a remarkable return for the group of investors who acquired Skype from eBay in 2009 in a deal that then valued the company at £1.83 billion.

The price for Skype, which lost £4.37 million last year and had revenues of £535 million, has raised eyebrows in Silicon Valley but also underlines the pressure Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, is under to secure a bigger share of online and mobile advertising revenues.

Mr Ballmer, who took over from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, is grappling with a market in which more advertising revenues are moving online but, critically for Microsoft, more basic computing services are too.

Microsoft said that Skype, which 170m people used last year to hold video conversations online, will be integrated into a variety of its products including XBox, its video game console, and Outlook, its email product.

Analysts said that Microsoft is also likely to integrate Skype into part of its next Windows 8 operating system, which is planned for release next year.

Mr Ballmer said he made the offer to Skype last month because the company “was on a path to [flotation] and I thought we’d be better off if we owned it… The number of Skype users is rapidly accelerating, which was really exciting to me.”

Microsoft is not the first corporate behemoth to try to ride the popularity of Skype, which, apart from 8m customers who pay to make cheap non-video calls, is a free service.

In 2006 eBay stumped up a then incredible £1.7 billion in the hope that its users would use the video service to help negotiate deals.

Three years later the auction site cut its losses, selling Skype to a group of investors including Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm- who are the current beneficiaries. Although eBay kept a 30% shareholding.

Tony Bates, the British chief executive of Skype who was hired from Cisco only last October, said that the company will focus on generating revenue from video advertising as well as exploiting the growing use of video on mobile.