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Skype is very useful for lots of things and now there's another feature that UK and us users will be able to check out - video messaging.

It is as it sounds with users able to record a video message that they can then send to another Skype contact. They can access the service via the Conversations tab.

You'll be able to send up to 20 video messages to begin with, after that you will have to subscribe, though we have no news from Skype yer as to how much that will cost.

Microsoft, which owns Skype, is to also merge the service with its own Windows Instant Messenger. On April 8th, Messenger users will receive updates that will upgrade them into Skype clients.

If you are an Android, iOS, or Mac user who has got the most recent software update then you can use it. Skype users on Windows will receive video messages as a link, not a video clip.


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Everyone's favourite video calling service, Skype, has started selling its prepaid cards in the UK today after signing a number of deals with leading shops.

Skype has teamed up with big players, like Asda, Currys, Asda, PC World, WHSmith and Sainsburys, meaning the prepaid cards will be on sale at more than 1,400 stores across the country. You'll be able to get your hands on £10 or £20 cards, which you buy in-store and then can redeem next time you log-in online.

A lot of Skype's simple calling features are free to use, but there are premium features, like video conferencing, free wifi access in airports and calls to mobiles and landlines that you have to pay for. The new prepaid cards can be used to pay for these premium options, as well as to pay the £4.99 a month subscription fee for unlimited calls to Europe and the rest of the globe.

[Via The Next Web]

crazy-computer-woman.jpgA lot of people hate the way they look so much they're willing to have their faces slashed open and moved around, but is Skype and video chat really to blame for our self-loathing?

As we all happily bumble through life many of us are all far too familiar with the tragic moment when we catch sight of our stupid laughing faces in the mirror or see a photo that shows just how hideous our teeth REALLY are. Your poor bruised little subconscious whispers to itself, "Ohhh so that's how my face ACTUALLY looks?!" and for the rest of the day you feel a bit like Quasimodo. Or maybe that's just us, you beautiful, beautiful Shiny Shiny readers.

Obviously the fact we take 3,253,475 photos for Facebook/Instagram/Hipstamatic/Path now makes us well aware of our quirky and endearing (see:gross) little traits, but some are suggesting the biggest culprit for making us all feel rubbish about our faces could well be Skype.

According to stats published over on io9, there's been a big, scrap that HUGE rise in the number of people deciding to have chin implants over in the US. The American Association of Plastic Surgeons has said that there was a 71% increase in the surgery (known as a mentoplasty because they shove mentos in there) last year, which is nearly 21,000 chin hating people over in the states alone.

Wait, so what the hell has Skype got to do with this we hear you say. Well, when these fancy plastic surgery experts were asked why there's been such a meteoric rise in the number of surgeries they began to attack the world of tech.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

"The procedures were about evenly divided between men and women, with the largest increase in patients 40 and older.

The group's president, Malcolm Z. Roth, suggests one reason may be the fact that more people see themselves on video-chat technology. "They may notice that their jaw line is not as sharp as they want to be."

Now we can see how this makes sense. We're not psychologists here, but we'd assume that the more you see your imperfections the chances are you'll either learn to accept them more and more (that's the grounded, positive ones amongst us) or instead you'll just loathe your face more and more. However, if it makes anyone feel better we're convinced no one looks good that moment they accidentally turn on their web cam and see their NINE chins staring back at them.

We've got some answers to this problem, because we're concerned this fact-hating, chin-implanting trend will spread like some kind of plague across the globe. Firstly, Skype and other video chat tools could introduce lovely filters to tone down our ugly, isn't that why Instagram is so damn popular?! Secondly, we could all just go tweak our Skype settings so we only see the face of the person we're talking to, not our own ugly mug. Thirdly, we could just all learn to love our quirks and weird traits. OK scrap that we want vintage, blurry filters EVERYWHERE and we want them NOW.

[Via io9 Via WSJ]

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Users of Skype are having problems using the phone service again this morning. This is the second time this has happened in just one month.

A number of Skype customers are finding that they cannot sign in, with the process getting stuck at the 'connecting' stage. The same thing happened about two weeks ago, when the solution was eventually to delete a file called "shared.xml" on each individual user's machine. This file had somehow become corrupted, but as this was a fiddly process to explain to each user, Skype has now automated the solutions process of this particular glitch.

Skype says it is in the process of looking into what's causing the problem this time, and says on its website: "A small number of you may have problems signing in to Skype. We're investigating the cause, and hope to have more details to share soon."

Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion last month. At the time of Skype's last outage, just days after the takeover announcement, there were suggestions the problems were related to Microsoft and transfer processes to the .Net framework. If that's true, it would be a shame for Microsoft, which is already accused of having overpaid for Skype. If it ain't broke, try to keep it that way.


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It's not final yet, but speculation has it Microsoft is close to bringing onboard calling service Skype. The deal would set Microsoft back $8.5 billion, and it would be its biggest acquisition to date.

Skype has 124 million monthly users, although many of them do not pay for their usage. Overheads are low, though, as most of the costs of bandwidth and computer processing are covered by the users.

eBay tried its luck as guardians of Skype in the past, but suffered losses as it failed to incorporate the VoIP group into its operations. eBay paid $3 billion for Skype before selling it on for $1.9 billion. Skype fits into the Microsoft business model, but still there has been speculation Microsoft is overpaying.

Skype is profitable but not massively so, meaning much of the value lies in the potential. It's now up to Microsoft to tap into this potential. Google or Facebook may well have been a better business match for Skype in the longer run, but they probably wouldn't have paid as much.

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With the wedding day set, Samuel Kim and Helen Oh weren't going to let a small thing like a lung infection ruin their big day. The fact that the groom was confined to a hospital isolation ward didn't stop them from carrying out their plans - via Skype.

With guests flying in from abroad for the ceremony, which took place in California, Kim told Reuters he admired his fiancée for standing at the altar "alone and not crying the whole time".

Five cameramen were present to film the ceremony for guests to watch on big screens in the church, as well as for the groom, who watched his wedding unfold on his laptop in his hospital bed.

The groom expects to leave hospital this week and will join his new wife for their honeymoon - in person this time.

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There have been rumors circulating since September that Skype could be integrated into Facebook, but now Tal Alter, a Facebook app developer has discovered a code called VideoChat in the API.

While working on his own app, the developer came across this code, and according to him it has "everything needed to introduce video chatting functionality." What is even more telling, is that portions of the code mention Skype directly. Alter believes that this could mean it would soon be possible "to video chat with Skype users, or maybe even associate your Skype ID with your Facebook identity."

There has been no denial or confirmation from Facebook, but could this just be one more element of their new messaging system, or is it a greater attempt to move all of our communication into their walled garden?

Via GreenAnySite

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