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Cellphones Communications

Fring Calls Skype 'Cowards'; Skype Responds 152

Posted by kdawson
from the pot-comma-kettle dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems that Skype and Fring are not getting along so well today. First, Fring made a claim that Skype was blocking Fring and in a subsequent blog post, called Skype 'cowards': 'Now that Fring expanded capacity to support the huge demand for video calling for all users, Skype has blocked us from doing so. They are afraid of open mobile communication. Cowards.' Skype has responded, stating that Fring's misuse of Skype software was damaging their brand and reputation: 'There is no truth to Fring's claims that Skype has blocked it. Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own.'
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Fring Calls Skype 'Cowards'; Skype Responds

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  • by santax (1541065) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @01:31AM (#32884010)
    Well I tend to believe Skype on this one. About the not-blocking. I can even see why they want to protect their brand and especially continued service for their customers. As a Skype user I actually am happy they do so. Nah, no complaints about skype from me so far. Calling your the company whoms api's you have been using for years a coward is not done in my book btw. Just keep to the license and everything should be fine. Al least, that is my experience with Skype. Your mileage may vary though.
    • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @02:14AM (#32884178)

      Same here, although I'm basing this on my past experiences with Fring on Windows Mobile and Android - not sure what the iPhone version is like.

      They were pretty awful...

      1. Horrible interface - incredibly ugly, unintuitive, and not very consistent
      2. Not very reliable in either the sense of program stability or the ability to connect consistently
      3. Horrible, horrible horrible horrible (!!!!!) Skype VoIP quality. Skype calls through Fring on Android, for instance, sound far worse than with, say, Nimbuzz. While Nimbuzz Skype calls are better than GSM in terms of clarity and on par in terms of latency, Fring sounds scratchy, overly compressed and introduces pretty bad latencies.

      I can definitely see where Skype's coming from, and would agree: Fring has been damaging Skype's image.

      That said, I don't like what Skype's been doing lately either - exclusive partnerships with Verizon, no Android app whatsoever...

      • Horrible, horrible horrible horrible (!!!!!) Skype VoIP quality. Skype calls through Fring on Android, for instance, sound far worse than with, say, Nimbuzz. While Nimbuzz Skype calls are better than GSM in terms of clarity and on par in terms of latency, Fring sounds scratchy, overly compressed and introduces pretty bad latencies.

        So Fring is like a vuvuzela button for Skype?

        • by jesset77 (759149)

          Skype calls through Fring on Android, for instance, sound far worse than with, say, Nimbuzz.

          Yay, thanks for the shout out! When I searched Android Market for "skype" a few weeks ago all I could find was "iSkoot", rickety but at least I got that working. Now I'mma try out Nimbuzz instead. :3

          • Then I should probably remind you that Nimbuzz has its own set of problems. They are, however, not as bad as Fring's, IMO.

            The problem with Nimbuzz is that it sometimes has problems connecting to certain services. I use ICQ, MSN (Windows Live), Google Talk and Skype, and all of them have had connection problems in Nimbuzz at some time or other. The problem seems completely random, and usually goes away by itself after an hour or two... but you COULD find yourself without connectivity for a while if you use N

      • You have written an excellent blog that has convinced me to read this! Excellent Job!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by zarthrag (650912)
        I agree 100%. Skype says they want their client everywhere, that makes the verizon deal is just 100% retarded. My wife spends no less than $400/yr with them calling home to Jamaica - they are the cheapest out there. I got her an android, and was a bit pissed/surprised there isn't a skype client on the market. But Fring.... my wife hates it, but uses it for lack of choice: sothanks for the heads-up on nimbuzz, I'll put her on it asap. I uninstalled f'n fring the moment I realized that it was actually re
      • That said, I don't like what Skype's been doing lately either - exclusive partnerships with Verizon, no Android app whatsoever...

        no Android app? Really?

        What's this, then? http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/on-your-mobile/skype-mobile/android/ [skype.com]

        I have it on my android phone

        • Do you have it on your non-Verizon Android phone? If so, it's Skype Lite, which does not have any VoIP capabilities whatsoever.

          Didn't you wonder why the word Verizon pops up about ten times on the page you linked to?

      • Actually I would not rate Nimbuzz high either, the problem is that both have latencies, depending on your location because they have to route through a central server before going into the skype network. Both Nimbuzz and Fring also drain the battery like nothing (they are pretty much the only apps which do that except for the pointless task killers which no one really needs on android)

        My personal preference for VOIP on Android simply is to setup a sip account and use SIP, best voice quality and you can call

        • Sipdroid is, obviously, unbeatable, but doesn't offer Skype per se (although you could theoretically connect the voice portion via PBXes.org, IIRC) - for many people it's not about calling phones via SkypeOut, but rather keeping in touch with their many Skype contacts via both IM and voice.

          I have to disagree with the call quality problems on Nimbuzz though - I use it as my day-to-day Skype app, and the calls are always crystal clear. The only problem I have is getting it connected in the first place.

          As for

          • Actually I have to revert my conclusion about nimbuzz the latency is really better, however the latest version does seem to have a noice volume problem if you call someone on skype (android 2.2 frf91 on a n1 that is), the volume is so low the person cann hardly hear you, and yes I have turned up all internal volume controls to max on my mobile. I checked the forums, seems to be a problem with that version, they are investigating.

            • Well, that's the Android hardware fragmentation problem rearing its ugly head once again. They really need to hurry up and implement some common APIs for accessing audio hardware properly...

    • by JohnFluxx (413620) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @02:30AM (#32884226)

      I believe Skype, but I don't side with them.

      Look at what skype said:

      "Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement."

      Note that they don't say what, and given what other people have said here it would fit in perfectly that what is actually happening is:

      1) Skype are notoriously slow about adding new features to the official client
      2) Fring added the features themselves.
      3) Skype told Fring to stop adding features that they haven't added to the official client
      4) Fring did not want to remove the features that their users demanded and in frustration and to get attention they removed video support.
      5) Both sides feel that they are the victim.

      This seems to fit in with what the comments are saying. For example
      "People want to use Skype NOW!!!! Skype takes FOREVER to release updates for their iOS software!! You had a working demo of Skype on iOS 4.0 back when Apple first announced iOS 4.0 yet there STILL hasn't been a release months later. "
        and
      "And the whole issue with charging for Skype Over 3G? I already pay you for a monthly subscription, now I will have to pay extra to use it on my iPhone over 3G? "

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by silentcoder (1241496)

        Skype isn't just slow on IOS, they still haven't released a 64-bit version of the Linux client which is a major problem for video-calling because 32-bit apps cannot talk properly to the 63-bit V4L driver. You can see cams from outside but your own cam is just a jumbled mess of static.
        The short result of this is that I haven't bothered to log into skype in a very long time. It takes some kludging to get google-video going on Linux but at least it CAN be done.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Joe Tie. (567096)
          That's among the things which made me laugh at all their protests about protecting the quality of their name. Skype works great on windows and pretty well on osx. That's two platforms out of a multitude they have clients for. And outside of those two, skype is by default buggy and with insane design flaws. Quality software is the last thing I've ever thought about when hearing their name.
        • Skype still haven't released a 64-bit version of the Linux client

          Errmmmm, what, apart from this one?

          Skype Downloads [skype.com] page

          Ok, it's one of those perpetual "beta" releases. But it works, runs with Pulseaudio, and I'm looking at the webcam prefs right now and my face is definitely there.

          I agree, the 2.0 and prior releases were dreadful but the 2.1 builds have been good for me.

          • by Steve Max (1235710) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @06:54AM (#32885334) Journal

            Nope, that's 32-bit only. The "64 bit" .DEB they offer contains only this executable:

            $ ar -x skype-ubuntu-intrepid_2.1.0.81-1_amd64.deb && tar -xf data.tar.gz && file usr/bin/*
            usr/bin/skype: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.8, stripped

            They only make it installable on 64 bit system through the package manager. It's still compiled for 32 bits only.

        • by vbraga (228124)

          What?

          Skype videocalling does work on Linux 64 bits. I know because I'm running openSUSE 64. It's not great and clicking on Show My Video will generate artifacts on the screen but otherwise it does work. Maybe you experience other problems that prevented it from working?

          And, by the way, if by google-video you refer to gmail video chat capabilities, how did you put it to work?

          • >Skype videocalling does work on Linux 64 bits. I know because I'm running openSUSE 64. It's not great and clicking on Show My Video will generate artifacts on the screen but otherwise it does work. Maybe you experience other problems that prevented it from working?

            Well I'm glad it works for some people - that suggests it's not a V4L issue but an issue in the specific webcam driver instead. It's not distro specific or kernel specific as I've tried it on several of each.

            >And, by the way, if by google-v

        • by molo (94384)

          Works for me. I have Debian AMD64 installed. Skype runs in a 32-bit chroot and accesses the UVC webcam with no issue. Looking at video of my kid on it right now.

          -molo

      • by ericvids (227598)

        Let's face it -- Fring is piggybacking on Skype infrastructure. So change #3 to:

        3) Skype told Fring that they should be PROPERLY using their infrastructure. It has nothing to do with adding stuff in their client that wasn't in the official client -- it has everything to do with "stop leeching off of us, we are explicitly not providing that service! If you want it, go build your own infrastructure, but don't piggyback on us!".

        After that, #4 seems like a bitch response to intentionally tarnish the Skype br

      • Here's the kicker.
        "And the whole issue with charging for Skype Over 3G? I already pay you for a monthly subscription, now I will have to pay extra to use it on my iPhone over 3G? "

        May it be on apple, android, rim, symbian, windows phone or whatever..

        As we evolve our usage from voice to video calls, and it becomes the new mainstream, the operators
        like to take advantage of this change which they believe justifies (or at least they hope) additional charges
        on the consumers.

        And Skype happily jump aboard, they ar

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        I'm inclined to side with Skype given that Fring were already withdrawing Skype support from arbitrarily-chosen users as a way of balancing their load. They took away - without warning or explaination - my ability to use Skype over the weekend. It simply isn't a service my account is permitted to use in the Fring application. This was before they started claiming they'd been blocked.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        "And the whole issue with charging for Skype Over 3G? I already pay you for a monthly subscription, now I will have to pay extra to use it on my iPhone over 3G? "

        Oh, isn't that a cute one? I don't even have an iPhone and that pisses me off. Basically, Skype-to-Skype calls are currently free. Well, in a few months, Skype wants to start charging you if your end of the TCP tunnel is in a 3G netblock. You're still getting the exact same service as if you were connecting over Wi-Fi, but paying Skype for the privilege of using AT&T as your ISP instead of whatever hotspot you happened to be near.

        The fanboys defending them claim that AT&T is requiring Skype to do th

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MemoryDragon (544441)

      Problem with skype at least on Android is that they delivered a close to unusable client, now Fring and others have jumped in where skype failed to deliver.
      The skype client on Android does a normal phone call to the next dial in server btw. which is exactly what a user of the software who already has an ip connection
      does not want.
      So they should stop to complain if others deliver and they dont

    • by Chewbacon (797801)
      I wonder win and if the time comes to renew the license. Fring could put themselves out of business being assholes. But I'm disappointed Skype hasn't put video chat on the iPhone 4 yet. I read elsewhere it's something to do with the camera being an open platform. Open is something Skype doesn't like anymore.
      • by Khyber (864651)

        It's really funny, no skype on iphone but Camfrog's working on a client.

        I wonder how they're going to fit pro functionality on that?

    • by hagiwhat (1854736)
      thanks for information..
    • by hagiwhat (1854736)
      skype to die..
    • by bpbpbp (1693824) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @05:00AM (#32884856)
      If you read the Robert Miller, Skype's VP of Legal, post, you will surely notice, that they deny technically blocking fring, but don't deny leagally threatening them if they continue to provide skype connectivity. Which is exactly what fring has written in it's press release. The rest about fring damaging their brand reputation is peanuts compared to what they have done themselves with this move. With prompt response skype has generated enough spin, through which they were able to confuse some pinheads, which now resort to nothing more than blind faith when choosing sides. #$%&!
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Since you're a Skype user perhaps you can lessen my ignorance here. I RTFA hoping to find out WTF "Fring" was (never heard of it), and what is iOS 4? TFA, like tha summary, assumes that we have a clue what these things are, and I don't.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shitzu (931108)

      The trouble with Skype is that the thing they are calling an "API" is not really an API to the Skype network. It is an interface to a running Skype process. That makes it quite hard for other networks to communicate with Skype network - the protocol is not open and there is no proper API.

      5 years ago, when Google announced Google Talk (which is based on open protocol Jabber/XMPP), Skype soiled its collective pants, and without much thought, promised a proper api which they called SkypeNET API - http://blogs. [skype.com]

  • catch Fring's lie (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    +1 for Skype here. Just think about the cost of the servers (datacenter) doing the "video transcoding" between Skype and the mobile formats and see why it would be too expensive for a company like fring (with no revenue) to keep supporting Skype's video call. I think they must have realised that they would run out of money, and thus shut down Skype support, and tried to blame Skype for it.

    • They shut down skype support due to bandwidth issues after the launch of their own video chat service. They then went to re-enable support and found that Skype had blocked their access to API. Now skype says "they chose to remove Skype" but it seems like a pretty obvious half-truth at best and lie at worst.

  • Fring (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @01:42AM (#32884060) Journal
    *Fring* *Fring* - *Fring* *Fring*

    -picks up phone-

    "Hello sir, this is Skype calling"

    -hangs up-

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If skype would just make a fully featured android client then we wouldn't have to resort to fring or nimbuzz or anything else. Come on skype. I don't care about the finger pointing, just want my functionality back!

  • If only there were a way the public could verify these claims... has anyone ever thought of developing software that exposes its source codes so that users can explore and improve their programs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bonch (38532)

      It's been done, bro. Unfortunately, it turned out no users cared about exploring and improving their programs, and the few developers who were interested didn't care about the users.

      • That, and the fact the source code you get back is almost never representative of the source used to compile the app in the first place. It generally doesn't work (at least with C/C++ anyway).
  • by mogness (1697042) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @01:48AM (#32884090) Homepage
    According to the article:

    Skype’s client does not offer many of the new iOS4 features that Fring is quick to jump on, namely video calling, background operation, and even push notifications which have been around for a long time. One could argue that Fring’s client allows Skype users to use these features with Skype, which is something that users want. Skype is notoriously slow at adopting new features such as these, and is also slow at their geographical expansion. You still cannot get a Canadian Skype-In number, but there are a host of Canadian VOIP services offering phone numbers for example.

    Basically, sounds like the vanilla Skype client is not ready to adopt this technology on their iPhone apps, but Fring already has, using Skype's API. This makes Skype's devs look bad, obviously, if a third party's app is surpassing their native app on their native API. Sounds like a lot of code-dick measuring as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, Skype still wins if Fring violated any licensing agreements (which it seems like Skype is implying)

    • by Another, completely (812244) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @02:06AM (#32884154)

      Basically, sounds like the vanilla Skype client is not ready to adopt this technology on their iPhone apps, but Fring already has, using Skype's API. This makes Skype's devs look bad...

      It would also make the API look bad if this over-extends it (i.e. using it "in a way it wasn’t designed to be used" as Skype claims), resulting in reduced reliability. Skype is trying to build a reputation for being as reliable as the fixed telephone networks which, whatever else you might say about them, are pretty damn reliable. Something that usually works, but sometimes gets turned off without notice (like Skype claims happened last Friday) is not going to compete with the predictable (if boring and audio-only) plain-old-telephone-service.

    • According to the article:

      Skype’s client does not offer many of the new iOS4 features that Fring is quick to jump on, namely video calling, background operation, and even push notifications which have been around for a long time. One could argue that Fring’s client allows Skype users to use these features with Skype, which is something that users want. Skype is notoriously slow at adopting new features such as these, and is also slow at their geographical expansion. You still cannot get a Canadian Skype-In number, but there are a host of Canadian VOIP services offering phone numbers for example.

      Basically, sounds like the vanilla Skype client is not ready to adopt this technology on their iPhone apps, but Fring already has, using Skype's API. This makes Skype's devs look bad, obviously, if a third party's app is surpassing their native app on their native API. Sounds like a lot of code-dick measuring as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, Skype still wins if Fring violated any licensing agreements (which it seems like Skype is implying)

      That's an excellent point

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sznupi (719324)

      And that's not even strictly about iOS4 - Fring is quite popular, from what I see, also on Symbian; where there is also an official Skype client, also without Skype videocalling (which Fring brought to the table last year)

  • And Fring is? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I have no idea what Fring is, but I'll just read the summary which will surely define it.... no, well then, there must at least be a link to it.....no, of course not. I don't know what I was thinking.
    • Re:And Fring is? (Score:4, Informative)

      by PARENA (413947) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @01:56AM (#32884122) Homepage

      Well, clicking one of the links in the summary brings you to a page on the Fring website, which explains what is going on and that "Since its foundation in 2006, fring’s rich mobile communications have been available to both fring users and open 3rd party networks including GoogleTalk, SIP, Twitter and, until now, Skype."

      • by macshit (157376)

        "Rich mobile communications"?

        Would that be "rich" as in "fecund" as in ... (well you get the point) ?

  • Facetious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @02:02AM (#32884144) Homepage

    "They deserved the block, and we didn't block them anyway" sounds like an odd denial.

    Mind you, I think Fring is going about it wrongly and nobody who seriously wants an open standard and a sensible platform should even glance at Skype. Work with XMPP or the Wave protocol or something.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      The actual phrasing is more like "we didn't block them, they're being douchebags, but we categorically didn't block them". Seems pretty definitive to me.

    • by mounthood (993037)

      "They deserved the block, and we didn't block them anyway" sounds like an odd denial.

      Read: We threatened them with lawyers and they stopped, so we didn't have to block them.

  • To be frank (Score:1, Insightful)

    by glasnt (1171735)
    If it wasn't for this article, I wouldn't have a clue who this Fring mob are. If anything, I think they're trying to break Skype brand by spreading these stories about how the big guy is hurting the little dudes...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Totenglocke (1291680)

      Fring is a program that lets you connect to other chat clients (IM or video) - it's no different than the countless other multi-client chat programs out there except that this one also included Skype and you could do video calls from a phone to Skype. It's been around for quite awhile, yet it was never an issue until now, when Fring has more features than Skype for iPhone - then all of the sudden Skype bans them.

      Fring was the app that would make it easy for everyone to video chat, regardless of what client

      • by ericvids (227598)

        Society suffers just because you can't accept that your programmers suck.

        Do you have proof of this "suckage"? Skype is pretty good for me -- it does not drop my video calls like Yahoo's VoIP does, and I get a higher frame rate. If I had to describe their programmers, "suck" is the farthest thing from my mind.

        Frankly, judging from the comments of other users here about Fring's UI, it seems to me Fring's programmers are more deserving of that title.

        then all of the sudden Skype bans them.

        Skype firmly claims

        • Skype firmly claims the direct opposite of this accusation. Not a downplaying like "they were using functionality that was not supported", but a firm denial, "they removed their support THEMSELVES". Again, I'd rather believe them than you.

          Yes, Fring just decided to remove one of it's biggest features and piss off it's entire user base (probably killing off it's user base)for no reason. Which is more likely - a company willingly choosing to self-destruct, or another company sabotaging them and then lying about it?

          Use a little common sense here...

          • by ericvids (227598)

            EXACTLY! Use common sense!

            This is Fring's blog post that Skype has posted in their response, which many apparently have not read:

            http://www.fring.com/blog/?p=2303 [fring.com]

            And since people still don't bother clicking links:

            As even more fringsters video call their friends on Android, Nokia and iPhones, we have seen some network ’stress’ (as the techies are telling me). So to free up capacity for more the fring-to-fring video calling, we are temporarily reducing support to 3rd –party Skype. Thanks fo

            • Except that, if you read more, you'd know that Fring temporarily limited Skype use - then Skype cut it off entirely.

              THAT is what the ruckus is about - the fact that Skype cut them off entirely.

              • by ericvids (227598)

                Except that, if *you* understood what you read, "Skype cut them off entirely" is NOT a "fact" as you so claim -- it is an unproven accusation, one that Skype totally rejects.

                And Skype's rejection has a much stronger basis -- it is provably true that they reduced the support to Skype; Fring admits it themselves in their own blog. What's Fring's basis for their accusation? Nothing but a few press releases [fring.com] with no technical facts [fring.com] proving that the block exists at all.

                Frankly, it leads more credence to the lik

                • Wow, pull your head out of Skype's ass for a second and think about it. How does "temporarily reducing" the number of people using Skype on Fring equate to Fring eliminating it entirely, hm? That's right - it doesn't.

                  Fring is free (as in beer) and has nothing to gain by cutting off Skype support and lying about it. Skype on the other hand is a for profit company and has plenty of reasons to lie about cutting off Fring.

                  Skype cut them off entirely" is NOT a "fact" as you so claim -- it is an unproven accusation, one that Skype totally rejects.

                  Yes, because guilty people (or companies) are always so eager to admit to being guilty.

                  • by ericvids (227598)

                    Wow, who is failing basic reasoning here and has his head up Fring's "ass" as you so call it. The facts remain that Fring intentionally crippled access (with the temporary part apparently an exaggeration judging from the blog commenters' complaints afterwards), while there is no evidence, technical OR legal, that Skype pulled the plug on them. Solely on that, it is reasonable to assume that the party with technical evidence of the other party's actions is more credible. What's YOUR basis for trusting Fring

        • Video calls are awesome. I get to see your stupid face and your lips move, while consuming tons of bandwidth for no useful reason (except, maybe, so I can give you the finger or show you my penis just before I hang up).
        • by sznupi (719324)

          So how come Skype programmers can't bring video to any mobile platform they support? How come Jingle VoIP and videocalls (what Gtalk/Gmail uses) work much better on "lesser" connections, ones that don't hide the suckage of given protocol/application?

          • by ericvids (227598)

            I haven't used Gtalk's videocalls or Jingle VoIP.

            But even if they are better, that's hardly proof that Skype programmers suck. Skype handled beautifully even when my connection in Singapore was bad when I was videocalling to Canada. That was enough for me. Maybe gtalk was better, who knows, but my experience definitely didn't SUCK (that is the point of contention, isn't it?) as compared to yahoo's service.

            Not being able to bring videocalling to mobile is not necessarily a programming decision. It may be a b

            • by sznupi (719324)

              C'mon, it's obviously about relative suckage - or do you want to use, as a benchmark, unix talk? (which does have some nice properties, hm... NVM them)
              Skype did change how people communicate, after all (plus hey, it's not bad in comparison to some other stuff we have to live with, if wanting to communicate with some stubborn people...)

              But for some reason mentioned solutions based on Jingle work much better when in really hard conditions, which tend to expose any faults (think VoIP via typically whimsical di

              • by ericvids (227598)

                C'mon, it's obviously about relative suckage

                1. It is NOT obviously about relative suckage. The original contention was that Skype "can't accept the fact that your programmers suck". Furthermore you only provide debatable personal experience with the clients you are using. I'm merely pointing out that if you're going to give quality metrics the way you are doing it now (i.e. pretty subjective metrics), then I will give my own personal experience running counter to your experience, the same way you delivered

        • For VoIP I love my Ooma phone I bought at Best Buy. $15.99 /year for taxes and no other fees whatsoever. It's a landline, with 100% the quality one would expect from a landline, and my computer doens't need to even be on. It's a one time investment of a couple of hundred bucks that has already paid for itself in less than a year. It calls phones, not computers, for free, and can call internationally for rates comparable to skypes. No videophone, but come on 99% of the time that's not what you want.

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        yblockquote>Nice going, Skype assholes. Society suffers just because you can't accept that your programmers suck.

        Nah, Skype's progrmmers ar alright. I mean, they managed to build an actual working cross-platform VoIP product that's easy to use. Usually you only get ones that work (SIP) or that are easy to use (TeamSpeak) but not both.

        Skype just really doesn't like mobile computing.

  • Excellent article, explained very clearly. Congratulations on the quality of your website. Greetings from Turkey.
  • Someone is embarrassing themselves over the iPhone and for once it's not Apple.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @03:38AM (#32884542)

    The things Skype has done lately demonstrate that Skype can be added to the list of "companies that dont care about their customers anymore".

    By not releasing an Android client (for anyone other than Verizon customers) or a better iPhone client, all they are doing is driving customers to their competitors.

    Although maybe some of this business model comes from top people put in place during the time Skype was controlled by eBay.

    • anymore? When they did something that would count as "caring for their customers"? They've been not caring since day one.

    • by delinear (991444)
      You might find that it's a hell of a lot less work to maintain a list of companies that do care about their customers.
      • by jonwil (467024)

        Most companies dont care about their customers. But most sane companies havent adopted a "screw the customer, who cares if they stop being our customer" model like Skype or eBay or Games Workshop has.

        Take Skype for example, one would assume that its in their best interests to have as many users possible (since AFAIK their profit comes from their users paying them money for the services Skype offers). Logically therefore, it would appear to be in the best interests of Skype to provide support for the platfor

    • Official Skype clients are available on many platforms, but not all carriers, and the reason is to do with the implementation.
      In the US the partner carrier is Verizon, and in the UK and Australia (at least) it's the "3" network.

      "3" actually provide Skype clients for a lot of platforms including Symbian and Android - they officially support the HTC Desire and that client runs happily on my Nexus One - but only when I'm on my home "3" network, and the client will not launch if Wi-Fi is on.
      I have "3" network S

  • by NynexNinja (379583) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @03:47AM (#32884582)

    Let that be a lesson to all, that those who base their business model around a third party are doomed to fail... In Fring's business plan, I'm sure one of the single points of failure is the fact that at any time, Skype can choose to put them out of business by adding one or two lines of iptables filter rules to their firewall.

    They should do what skype does, not attempt to piggy-back on skype. It doesn't work, because eventually your business will actually grow, and then what happens is skype becomes your competitor, rather than your friend. Once this happens, it becomes in their best interest to remove you from the equation.

    • Fring allows also voip to other networks, Google voice chat for instance, which google for now does not deliver itself for android.
      (Works way more reliable than Skype, Google Voice Chat that is, btw...)

    • by kaladorn (514293)

      Well said.

      Skype has reasons for moving their feature set forward at a deliberate (slow by some standards) pace.

      If Fring is using their API within the terms of use, then they're good. If they aren't, then not so much. Beyond that, I'll bet the Skype Terms of Use for the API will have a clause allowing them to change at Skype's whim, so ticking off the Skype folks is a quick recipe to a bad end for any clients.

      Obviously Fring can shoot their mouths off about how slow the people providing them with something t

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but Skype says that Fring cut the functionality themselves and Skype haven't blocked them? Isn't that testable? Like setting up Fring and some sniffing program and see if they handshake?

    I don't have the required technical expertise in that field myself, but if someone could check it out I think it would be interesting.

    • Well, therein lies the rub. Skype's response states, in the same post, "they've been asked repeatedly to stop and we did something about it to ensure the high quality our customers expect" and "we didn't block them".

      Not sure which it is.

      • by ericvids (227598)

        Skype's response says "Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We’ve been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably." Nowhere did they claim that they blocked them.

        Heck, Skype's response links directly to the Fring blog post where Fring ADMITTED that they reduced Skype functionality.

        It's pretty clear cut. Fring is being VERY unprofession

  • by Trinn (523103) <livinglatexkali@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @05:44AM (#32885038)

    It is clear from the few posts on Fring's website that what they mean when they say Skype has blocked them is not that they implemented a technical measure to stop Fring from connecting but that they (likely through a C&D or something) threatened Fring that they would take legal action if they did not remove the functionality. So it is pretty clear that Skype did in fact block Fring, just through the legal system rather than by denying connectivity directly.

    • Fring's press release only *claims* that Skype blocked Fring (probably through the legal system, but in that case they should have been more clear with that). We do not see any actual C&D to remove any functionality whatsoever. (If you do find one, let me know.)

      Skype's position clearly states otherwise.

      "In this case, however, there is no truth to Fring’s claims that Skype has blocked it. Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own."

      It's one company's word against another, ye

  • by Stooshie (993666)
    Sounds to me like Skype are doing to Fring what the land-based networks/ISPs did to Skype when it started up.
  • I don't need the gateway to the legacy telco world. I just want a cross platform system which works on Windows, Linux and Android (and maybe the iPhone) which allows free calls and video and can be used by a grandma.

    What should I be using?

  • Fring is bullshit ripoff tech and Skype is piloted by a bunch of blind fag hags.

    They're both useless wastes and to make it worse, when you buy any Skype service, THEY STILL SHOVE ADS DOWN YOUR THROAT.

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