Discussion:
OT - Skype alternative?
(too old to reply)
Mayayana
2017-07-28 00:45:26 UTC
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I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
before showing a window that said:

"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"

Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
Wildman
2017-07-28 01:10:12 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
The price you pay to be an MS user.
Post by Mayayana
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
I would suggest ICQ, but, like Skype it is only
free when used with other ICQ users.

On Linux I would use Pidgin. Don' know about Mac.
--
<Wildman> GNU/Linux user #557453
The cow died so I don't need your bull!
Good Guy
2017-07-28 02:54:01 UTC
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Post by Wildman
The price you pay to be an MS user.
Microsoft never calls anybody so whatever you hear is a scam by
professional scammers. It is up to you to fall victims of scammers
lurking on these newsgroups.

Let me repeat once again, Microsoft never phones anybody. Only the
idiots receive calls and they believe everything they hear on the
phone. No wonder I call them idiots and nutters.

My signature tells you everything you need to know about satisfied
customers.
--
With over 500 million devices now running Windows 10, customer
satisfaction is higher than any previous version of windows.
Diesel
2017-07-29 05:17:10 UTC
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Post by Wildman
Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
The price you pay to be an MS user.
Post by Mayayana
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
I would suggest ICQ, but, like Skype it is only
free when used with other ICQ users.
On Linux I would use Pidgin. Don' know about Mac.
I've used Pidgin for years on Windows. [g] I found it to be very
handy to manage multiple chat networks without having to use a
dedicated app for each one. Although it's still installed on this
machine, I haven't actually started it up in several years now.
--
https://tekrider.net/pages/david-brooks-stalker.php

A cat is a friend who will never betray you.
Paul
2017-07-28 01:15:02 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
On Linux, there were a couple Skype replacements,
but... they're no longer under development.

I don't understand why there isn't a vibrant market.
It costs nothing to make mesh virtual networks, and
have "PogoPhone" users talk to one another, with no
connection to the telephone network.

It's the connectivity to the telephone network, and
the usage of CCS7 that costs money.

If calls could be kept totally on the Internet,
there'd be no support cost (other than the
Internet connection of course).

That's why the original Skype had SuperNodes, normal
user machines that carried traffic. This role was
reserved for users stupid enough to connect their
Windows PC *directly* to the broadband modem, with
no NAT router. That's how Skype decided candidacy for
the role. Now that Microsoft owns Skype, SuperNodes
are no longer used, and the protocol is "centralized
for easier snooping". The spirit of Skype was not
preserved when it was bought. Skype was a marvel of
encryption before it was bought out, as well as distributed
function. Then Skype didn't need a "big computer room"
to run it.

No researcher dare reverse-engineer Skype now, for fear
of DMCA. I've not seen any work on Skype, since the
original reverse engineering and analysis by academics.
And even back then, the web site alluded to them seeking
legal advice as to how much danger they were in, by
even describing how it works. There was DMCA overhang
even back then, but now I don't think anyone has the
balls to touch it (and publish the results).

Paul
Mike Easter
2017-07-28 01:22:43 UTC
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I wonder if there's some other alternative that works well and isn't
so slimy. What do people like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those? What is this class of
program even called?
There are alternatives, but the problem is that they don't interconnect.

The general class is VoIP. The subclasses are the various protocols,
which must be the same for each end, eg SIP & EMPP.

Consequently, if you are 'something else' and your protocol is
different, then you don't skype (proprietary protocol), which is what
most everybody is.
--
Mike Easter
Diesel
2017-07-28 01:20:48 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
The buzzword may have changed, but, it used to be known as VoIP, video
conferencing, video teleconferencing, video chat, etc. I'm not a
skype user myself. except when configuring it to run for clients.
It's not something i'd ever personally subject myself to otherwise.

http://www.informationweek.com/software/social/9-skype-alternatives-worth-considering-/d/d-id/1323986
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/fed-up-with-skype-here-are-6-of-the-best-free-alternatives/

Good luck!
--
https://tekrider.net/pages/david-brooks-stalker.php

I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
Mayayana
2017-07-28 12:09:55 UTC
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"Diesel" <***@privacy.net> wrote

|
|
http://www.informationweek.com/software/social/9-skype-alternatives-worth-considering-/d/d-id/1323986
|
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/fed-up-with-skype-here-are-6-of-the-best-free-alternatives/
|

Good find. Thanks. I couldn't get the actual
list at the first link. Maybe it requires script. But
the 2nd link provides a detailed, clear list of
possible alternatives to look into.
Wolf K
2017-07-28 14:10:48 UTC
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Post by Diesel
|
|
http://www.informationweek.com/software/social/9-skype-alternatives-worth-considering-/d/d-id/1323986
|
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/fed-up-with-skype-here-are-6-of-the-best-free-alternatives/
|
Good find. Thanks. I couldn't get the actual
list at the first link. Maybe it requires script. But
the 2nd link provides a detailed, clear list of
possible alternatives to look into.
AFAIK, the people you want to call must have the same software on their
machines, right?

Anyhow, thanks for raising the issue, and thanks to Diesel for doing the
legwork.

PS: I still don't know how MS got in touch with your friend about Skype
"problems." We have had no problems, and no phone calls about any. If it
was a phone call, my immediate suspicion is that you and your friend
were scammed.
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
Mayayana
2017-07-28 15:18:44 UTC
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"Wolf K" <***@sympatico.ca> wrote

| AFAIK, the people you want to call must have the same software on their
| machines, right?
|

Yes. That's why I was also interested in support
for other OSs.

| PS: I still don't know how MS got in touch with your friend about Skype
| "problems." We have had no problems, and no phone calls about any.

You might want to reread the original post. It went
like this:
Start Skype. Skype window comes up for login. Login
doesn't work. Message says there's "...a problem with
your account. Please visit the website with a browser."
Visit website. Log in. Message says something like,
"Forgive us for our extra caution. You need to change
your password and add an alternate account." After
some fiddling it turned out the only thing that would
work was to create an outlook.com account. The
password wasn't changed. The user name wasn't changed.
It was all just sleaze to make her create an outlook.com
account and hopefully get her to hang around at their
website.... live.com or whatever it is.
Once the outlook.com account was created, the next
window wanted her to go shopping. It had logged her
into the MS shopping mall. Close all that. Open Skype.
Skype now works.

I'm half expecting to start seeing Microsoft employees
hanging around on street corners in trench coats, trying
to sell me a Rolex.
Wolf K
2017-07-28 15:26:42 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| AFAIK, the people you want to call must have the same software on their
| machines, right?
|
Yes. That's why I was also interested in support
for other OSs.
| PS: I still don't know how MS got in touch with your friend about Skype
| "problems." We have had no problems, and no phone calls about any.
You might want to reread the original post. It went
Start Skype. Skype window comes up for login. Login
doesn't work. Message says there's "...a problem with
your account. Please visit the website with a browser."
Visit website. Log in. Message says something like,
"Forgive us for our extra caution. You need to change
your password and add an alternate account."
[...]

Sorry, careless of me. Still, weird, we haven't seen anything at all
like this.
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
David E. Ross
2017-07-28 16:21:59 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| AFAIK, the people you want to call must have the same software on their
| machines, right?
|
Yes. That's why I was also interested in support
for other OSs.
| PS: I still don't know how MS got in touch with your friend about Skype
| "problems." We have had no problems, and no phone calls about any.
You might want to reread the original post. It went
Start Skype. Skype window comes up for login. Login
doesn't work. Message says there's "...a problem with
your account. Please visit the website with a browser."
Visit website. Log in. Message says something like,
"Forgive us for our extra caution. You need to change
your password and add an alternate account." After
some fiddling it turned out the only thing that would
work was to create an outlook.com account. The
password wasn't changed. The user name wasn't changed.
It was all just sleaze to make her create an outlook.com
account and hopefully get her to hang around at their
website.... live.com or whatever it is.
Once the outlook.com account was created, the next
window wanted her to go shopping. It had logged her
into the MS shopping mall. Close all that. Open Skype.
Skype now works.
I'm half expecting to start seeing Microsoft employees
hanging around on street corners in trench coats, trying
to sell me a Rolex.
Windows 7
Skype 7.36.0.101

I just now logged-in to my Skype account. It prompted me to update, but
I declined. I did not get any request to create an outlook.com account.

I plan not to update Skype any time in the future.
--
David Ross

<http://www.rossde.com/>
President Trump now denies there are any tapes that
recorded his conversations with ex-FBI Director Comey.
Between when Trump hinted there might be such tapes
and his denial, there was sufficient time to destroy
any tapes.
Wolf K
2017-07-28 19:03:46 UTC
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[...]
Post by David E. Ross
Post by Mayayana
I'm half expecting to start seeing Microsoft employees
hanging around on street corners in trench coats, trying
to sell me a Rolex.
Hah!
Post by David E. Ross
Windows 7
Skype 7.36.0.101
I just now logged-in to my Skype account. It prompted me to update, but
I declined. I did not get any request to create an outlook.com account.
I plan not to update Skype any time in the future.
Win8.1
Skype 7.35.0.103

No offer to upgrade.

OTOH, I'd like to know how to force it to come up with my Profile view,
instead of the Skype Home.
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
Wolf K
2017-07-28 02:40:32 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems".
Huh?

Phone call? Or what?
Post by Mayayana
[...]
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
Ammammata
2017-07-28 06:45:37 UTC
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Il giorno Fri 28 Jul 2017 02:45:26a, *Mayayana* ha inviato su
Post by Mayayana
Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
if you want software for free, you shouldn't go to microsoft
--
/-\ /\/\ /\/\ /-\ /\/\ /\/\ /-\ T /-\
-=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- - -=-
Post by Mayayana
http://www.bb2002.it :) <<<<<
........... [ al lavoro ] ...........
Ammammata
2017-07-28 06:46:34 UTC
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Il giorno Fri 28 Jul 2017 02:45:26a, *Mayayana* ha inviato su
Post by Mayayana
I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy.
http://filehippo.com/software/messaging/voice/
--
/-\ /\/\ /\/\ /-\ /\/\ /\/\ /-\ T /-\
-=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- -=- - -=-
Post by Mayayana
http://www.bb2002.it :) <<<<<
........... [ al lavoro ] ...........
Bob Henson
2017-07-28 07:37:39 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
I've just tried Google Duo, which is ultra-simple and seems to work
quite well for video calling. Whatsapp is good for voice calling too,
and messaging, of course.
--
Bob
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England

A slug is just a homeless snail.
Mayayana
2017-07-28 12:07:32 UTC
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"Bob Henson" <***@gmail.com> wrote

| I've just tried Google Duo, which is ultra-simple and seems to work
| quite well for video calling. Whatsapp is good for voice calling too,
| and messaging, of course.

You seem to be talking about phone apps. This is
for Windows, and hopefully Mac/Linux.
David B.
2017-07-28 17:26:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime

I just 'works'! :-)
--
David B.
mick
2017-07-29 01:21:32 UTC
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Post by David B.
Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime
I just 'works'! :-)
Agreed it 'always' works, I am a windows user but have an iPad just for
using Facetime.
Can keep in touch with family around the world who mostly have iPhones.
--
mick
Mayayana
2017-07-29 01:42:36 UTC
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"mick" <***@junk.mail> wrote

| > FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime
| >
| > I just 'works'! :-)
|
| Agreed it 'always' works, I am a windows user but have an iPad just for
| using Facetime.

So your suggestion is to spend several hundred
dollars for a device that provides free video chat?
I have a bridge I think you might like. It's an even
better bargain. For only $500 you'll be able to walk
from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Would you like to send
a check or use PayPal? :)

The only reason I know of to use Skype is to
avoid big phone bills for things like overseas calls.
That's the purpose in this case. It would, of course,
be cheaper to just pay for the calls than to buy
an iSomething.
Paul
2017-07-29 02:15:32 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| > FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime
| >
| > I just 'works'! :-)
|
| Agreed it 'always' works, I am a windows user but have an iPad just for
| using Facetime.
So your suggestion is to spend several hundred
dollars for a device that provides free video chat?
I have a bridge I think you might like. It's an even
better bargain. For only $500 you'll be able to walk
from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Would you like to send
a check or use PayPal? :)
The only reason I know of to use Skype is to
avoid big phone bills for things like overseas calls.
That's the purpose in this case. It would, of course,
be cheaper to just pay for the calls than to buy
an iSomething.
In the article here, they advocate setting up an emulator
and running FaceTime that way. This will use $500 of your
time, instead of $500 of your money.

https://www.techntrack.org/download-facetime-for-windows-pc-and-laptops-windows-7-8-and-10/

Paul
Mayayana
2017-07-29 12:42:38 UTC
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"Paul" <***@needed.invalid> wrote

| In the article here, they advocate setting up an emulator
| and running FaceTime that way. This will use $500 of your
| time, instead of $500 of your money.
|
|
https://www.techntrack.org/download-facetime-for-windows-pc-and-laptops-windows-7-8-and-10/
|

Sounds great. I know Windows is going downhill
when people start talking about ways to run VMs
to get Apple software, rather than the other way
around. :)
mick
2017-07-29 11:15:49 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
Post by mick
Post by David B.
FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime
I just 'works'! :-)
Agreed it 'always' works, I am a windows user but have an iPad just for
using Facetime.
So your suggestion is to spend several hundred
dollars for a device that provides free video chat?
I have a bridge I think you might like. It's an even
better bargain. For only $500 you'll be able to walk
from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Would you like to send
a check or use PayPal? :)
The only reason I know of to use Skype is to
avoid big phone bills for things like overseas calls.
That's the purpose in this case. It would, of course,
be cheaper to just pay for the calls than to buy
an iSomething.
With family members in Canada(x4), Australia(x8), Dubai(x1) and those
near home(x3) all using ipads or iphones Facetime is a no brainer.
Hardly a day goes by without someone(mostly grand children)who do not
call. Not only that, I get to see their wider environment too.
$500 is chicken feed to be able to have that live contact and all those
memories.
--
mick
Wolf K
2017-07-29 13:03:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mick
Post by Mayayana
Post by mick
Post by David B.
FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime
I just 'works'! :-)
Agreed it 'always' works, I am a windows user but have an iPad just for
using Facetime.
So your suggestion is to spend several hundred
dollars for a device that provides free video chat?
I have a bridge I think you might like. It's an even
better bargain. For only $500 you'll be able to walk
from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Would you like to send
a check or use PayPal? :)
The only reason I know of to use Skype is to
avoid big phone bills for things like overseas calls.
That's the purpose in this case. It would, of course,
be cheaper to just pay for the calls than to buy
an iSomething.
With family members in Canada(x4), Australia(x8), Dubai(x1) and those
near home(x3) all using ipads or iphones Facetime is a no brainer.
Hardly a day goes by without someone(mostly grand children)who do not
call. Not only that, I get to see their wider environment too.
$500 is chicken feed to be able to have that live contact and all those
memories.
Cheaper than travelling....

:-)
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
mick
2017-07-30 14:44:43 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Wolf K
Post by Mayayana
Post by mick
Post by David B.
FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime
I just 'works'! :-)
Agreed it 'always' works, I am a windows user but have an iPad just for
using Facetime.
So your suggestion is to spend several hundred
dollars for a device that provides free video chat?
I have a bridge I think you might like. It's an even
better bargain. For only $500 you'll be able to walk
from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Would you like to send
a check or use PayPal? :)
The only reason I know of to use Skype is to
avoid big phone bills for things like overseas calls.
That's the purpose in this case. It would, of course,
be cheaper to just pay for the calls than to buy
an iSomething.
With family members in Canada(x4), Australia(x8), Dubai(x1) and those near
home(x3) all using ipads or iphones Facetime is a no brainer. Hardly a day
goes by without someone(mostly grand children)who do not call. Not only
that, I get to see their wider environment too.
$500 is chicken feed to be able to have that live contact and all those
memories.
Cheaper than travelling....
:-)
Too true :-)

Don't tell Mayayana though as he would have a breakdown if he knew I
was throwing money away on air travel and presents as too. lol
--
mick
Mayayana
2017-07-30 14:57:09 UTC
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"mick" <***@junk.mail> wrote

| Don't tell Mayayana though as he would have a breakdown if he knew I
| was throwing money away on air travel and presents as too. lol
|

Only if you thought you needed to buy a Macbook
Pro Premium Deluxe in order to buy airline tickets. :)
Wolf K
2017-07-30 15:17:46 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| Don't tell Mayayana though as he would have a breakdown if he knew I
| was throwing money away on air travel and presents as too. lol
|
Only if you thought you needed to buy a Macbook
Pro Premium Deluxe in order to buy airline tickets. :)
Round trip Toronto - Brownsville TX last November: Just under $1000 for
two, including taxes and fees. That's barely enough for the cheapest
MacBook. Plus I got some more points towards our Europe flights next year.

Hah!
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
Mayayana
2017-07-30 16:18:57 UTC
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"Wolf K" <***@sympatico.ca> wrote

| Round trip Toronto - Brownsville TX last November: Just under $1000 for
| two, including taxes and fees. That's barely enough for the cheapest
| MacBook. Plus I got some more points towards our Europe flights next year.
|

Hmm. I guess that first there's the glaring question
of why anyone would pay to go to Texas. :)

These discussions also remind me that there's a big
audience here. If people have money to burn on travel
that's their choice. I could afford to travel if I had to,
but it would be a financial burden for me. Many, many
people have no such options. So advice like $500 being
chicken feed is, for them, an upper-middle-class, Marie
Antoinette-style comment:

"Can't afford phone bills? Then let them buy iMacs
and use FaceTime." :)
Wolf K
2017-07-30 19:29:42 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| Round trip Toronto - Brownsville TX last November: Just under $1000 for
| two, including taxes and fees. That's barely enough for the cheapest
| MacBook. Plus I got some more points towards our Europe flights next year.
|
Hmm. I guess that first there's the glaring question
of why anyone would pay to go to Texas. :)
Family.
Post by Mayayana
These discussions also remind me that there's a big
audience here. If people have money to burn on travel
that's their choice. I could afford to travel if I had to,
but it would be a financial burden for me. Many, many
people have no such options. So advice like $500 being
chicken feed is, for them, an upper-middle-class, Marie
"Can't afford phone bills? Then let them buy iMacs
and use FaceTime." :)
I don't fly for amusement.
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
mick
2017-07-30 15:27:26 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
Post by mick
Don't tell Mayayana though as he would have a breakdown if he knew I
was throwing money away on air travel and presents as too. lol
Only if you thought you needed to buy a Macbook
Pro Premium Deluxe in order to buy airline tickets. :)
One of these will do nicely for buying first class tickets :-)
https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ASUS-ZenBook-Pro-UX550VD/
--
mick
Mayayana
2017-07-29 13:08:48 UTC
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"mick" <***@junk.mail> wrote

| With family members in Canada(x4), Australia(x8), Dubai(x1) and those
| near home(x3) all using ipads or iphones Facetime is a no brainer.
| Hardly a day goes by without someone(mostly grand children)who do not
| call. Not only that, I get to see their wider environment too.
| $500 is chicken feed to be able to have that live contact and all those
| memories.

I guess that's a good example of how Apple stays on
top. They can't do it with patent extortion, slave
labor and tax fraud alone. The real trick is engineering
extreme incompatibility. Get one sucker to buy a device
locked into the Apple Mall and their friends will fall
like dominoes.... no matter what the cost.... because
most people simply won't bother to figure out the best
way to do things. And if there's anything that Apple
does well it's "no brainers".

Personally I don't think of $500 as chicken feed for
anything.... Well, maybe for ambulance rides or Teslas.
David B.
2017-07-29 21:54:05 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| With family members in Canada(x4), Australia(x8), Dubai(x1) and those
| near home(x3) all using ipads or iphones Facetime is a no brainer.
| Hardly a day goes by without someone(mostly grand children)who do not
| call. Not only that, I get to see their wider environment too.
| $500 is chicken feed to be able to have that live contact and all those
| memories.
I guess that's a good example of how Apple stays on
top. They can't do it with patent extortion, slave
labor and tax fraud alone. The real trick is engineering
extreme incompatibility. Get one sucker to buy a device
locked into the Apple Mall and their friends will fall
like dominoes.... no matter what the cost.... because
most people simply won't bother to figure out the best
way to do things. And if there's anything that Apple
does well it's "no brainers".
Personally I don't think of $500 as chicken feed for
anything.... Well, maybe for ambulance rides or Teslas.
Perhaps you don't realise that an iPad is also a powerful computer that
can perform many other tasks.

It's beyond doubt the best gadget I have *EVER* purchased! I even use it
as a 'hot spot' so that I can connect my laptop computer to the Internet
when I'm swanning about on my narrowboat! ;-)
--
David B.
Mayayana
2017-07-30 14:10:58 UTC
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"David B." <***@nomail.afraid.org> wrote

| Perhaps you don't realise that an iPad is also a powerful computer that
| can perform many other tasks.
|
Indeed. It can act as a dynamic picture frame. One
can shop online while lying on the sofa. iPads are a
marvel of ergonomic disaster that no self-respecting
modern shopper should go without.

Your example looks like
a typical case of the logic for throwing money at
Apple. It begs the obvious question: Why do you need
two computers to go online when you go boating?
Why are you boating if you want to be online? What's
wrong with this picture?

| It's beyond doubt the best gadget I have *EVER* purchased! I even use it
| as a 'hot spot' so that I can connect my laptop computer to the Internet
| when I'm swanning about on my narrowboat! ;-)
|
Wolf K
2017-07-30 15:14:13 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| Perhaps you don't realise that an iPad is also a powerful computer that
| can perform many other tasks.
|
Indeed. It can act as a dynamic picture frame. One
can shop online while lying on the sofa. iPads are a
marvel of ergonomic disaster that no self-respecting
modern shopper should go without.
The MS Surface is a powerful computer. The iPad is not a general purpose
computer, it's deliberately crippled, so's you will buy a MacBook as well.

However, there are a number of really useful apps for the iPad, eg, one
used by a Board I served on. The exec sec. posted the agenda and docs to
the in-house server, as long as the iPad was connected to a wi-fi
router/modem, you could get them via auto-magic VPN even before you came
to the meeting, or else it connected as soon as you walked in the door.
It was cheaper than paper (the cost of the 2nd-hand iPads plus the app
was recovered within 3 meetings). The app also allowed markup of your
copies with your notes.

YMMV. :-)
--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
"Wanted. Schrödinger’s Cat. Dead and Alive."
David B.
2017-07-30 17:06:33 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| Perhaps you don't realise that an iPad is also a powerful computer that
| can perform many other tasks.
|
Indeed. It can act as a dynamic picture frame. One
can shop online while lying on the sofa. iPads are a
marvel of ergonomic disaster that no self-respecting
modern shopper should go without.
Your example looks like
a typical case of the logic for throwing money at
Apple. It begs the obvious question: Why do you need
two computers to go online when you go boating?
Why are you boating if you want to be online? What's
wrong with this picture?
| It's beyond doubt the best gadget I have *EVER* purchased! I even use it
| as a 'hot spot' so that I can connect my laptop computer to the Internet
| when I'm swanning about on my narrowboat! ;-)
I'm not sure if you are serious about this, Mayayana, but ...

I've found severe limitations with using my iPad - only - to access
Usenet. I've only found NewsTap to do so ... and it's 'fiddly!

It is MUCH easier to use my laptop and Thunderbird!
--
David B.
Mike S
2017-07-30 06:19:03 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| > FYI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime
| >
| > I just 'works'! :-)
|
| Agreed it 'always' works, I am a windows user but have an iPad just for
| using Facetime.
So your suggestion is to spend several hundred
dollars for a device that provides free video chat?
I have a bridge I think you might like. It's an even
better bargain. For only $500 you'll be able to walk
from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Would you like to send
a check or use PayPal? :)
The only reason I know of to use Skype is to
avoid big phone bills for things like overseas calls.
That's the purpose in this case. It would, of course,
be cheaper to just pay for the calls than to buy
an iSomething.
To be fair you can get an iPad 2 16GB for roughly $100 in many cities.
Mayayana
2017-07-30 14:04:06 UTC
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"Mike S" <***@yahoo.com> wrote

| To be fair you can get an iPad 2 16GB for roughly $100 in many cities.
|

You consider that a fair assessment? A quick
search finds that $100+ is the cheapest price
offered on Amazon for a *used* iPad2. I don't
know what "in many cities" means. Swap meets?
Yard sales? What's a good price for a used device
that one neither needs nor wants?

I'm continually amazed at how much money
people are willing to spend on dubious, overpriced
Apple gadgets. (Or even clearly idiotic, wasteful
gadgets, for that matter. Look at all the Keurig
coffee maker owners. What are they thinking?
"Finally, I'm released from the unbearable tedium
of using a coffee scoop. I thought it would
never end. And to think, it only cost me $100
plus $20/week. Technology is so amazing!")

But whether or not one thinks iPads are a useful,
reasonably priced invention, it has nothing to do
with using chat programs on Windows computers.
I use a computer. I'm trying to help two people who
use computers. One of them has no money to spare.
No one's looking to go shopping for useless gadgets,
new or used. I suspect that if person #2 had money
to burn he might just get a cellphone and they could
have their overseas conversation that way, over wifi.

On the other hand, if you can find me a used
fidget spinner for, say, $1.50, then I'm all ears. :)
WayFarer
2017-07-29 00:02:04 UTC
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On 28/07/17 07:45, Mayayana wrote:

{snip/edited}
Post by Mayayana
I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works...
https://www.maketecheasier.com/best-skype-alternatives/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=26072017
(PeteCresswell)
2017-07-29 14:31:54 UTC
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WeChat.

The UI is a bit more complicated at first, but the capabilities are far,
far, far greater - including text messaging without burning up cell
phone minutes.

The downside is that, while a lot of people have Skype installed on
their devices, not so many have WeChat.
--
Pete Cresswell
Mayayana
2017-07-29 15:06:28 UTC
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"(PeteCresswell)" <***@y.Invalid> wrote

| WeChat.
|

People seem to be misunderstanding the question,
suggesting options for Mac or mobile. This is for a
Windows computer.
(PeteCresswell)
2017-07-29 16:49:08 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
People seem to be misunderstanding the question,
suggesting options for Mac or mobile. This is for a
Windows computer.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/wechat-for-windows-10/9nblggh4slx7

Kind of a funny distribution of ratings though: about evenly split
between one star and five stars.
--
Pete Cresswell
Mayayana
2017-07-29 19:38:25 UTC
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"(PeteCresswell)" <***@y.Invalid> wrote

| https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/wechat-for-windows-10/9nblggh4slx7
|

I see. Apparently it's a Metro app. So it's really
a mobile app but can run on machines where
Metro is operational. I'm looking for real Windows
software.
Zaidy036
2017-07-29 21:38:06 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| WeChat.
|
People seem to be misunderstanding the question,
suggesting options for Mac or mobile. This is for a
Windows computer.
There is a "Desktop Messenger for WhatsApp" add-on for some browsers.
al
2017-07-29 18:53:04 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
Take a look at the free version of Brosix ("Brosix for Personal Use"),
might solve all your concerns.
https://www.brosix.com/

I've used it for 4 years with no issues.
Mayayana
2017-07-29 19:44:51 UTC
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"al" <***@nospam.net> wrote

| Take a look at the free version of Brosix ("Brosix for Personal Use"),
| might solve all your concerns.
| https://www.brosix.com/
|

It says "start for free", implying there's a fee.
It also seems to be a "cloud" service, yet doesn't
support XP, which seems odd. I think I'm looking
for something very simple and not a subscription.
Though I actually don't know much about how
these things work. I imagined a program that could
just create a connection, without any intermediary.
Is some kind of intermediary required?
Paul
2017-07-29 20:41:37 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| Take a look at the free version of Brosix ("Brosix for Personal Use"),
| might solve all your concerns.
| https://www.brosix.com/
|
It says "start for free", implying there's a fee.
It also seems to be a "cloud" service, yet doesn't
support XP, which seems odd. I think I'm looking
for something very simple and not a subscription.
Though I actually don't know much about how
these things work. I imagined a program that could
just create a connection, without any intermediary.
Is some kind of intermediary required?
You can use "alternativeto" in a search, to find stuff.

http://alternativeto.net/software/skype/?platform=windows

Now, I flipped quickly through there, looking for the
first "soup can with string" equivalent. This example is
an open source core for point-to-point communication.
It appears to use TOR DHT to convert a unique user
identifier, into a current IP address. Which unfortunately,
is a bit more than a "purely manual" chat channel.

https://github.com/irungentoo/toxcore

"distributed hash table" (DHT)

http://www.bittorrent.org/beps/bep_0005.html

There are a variety of clients that use that
protocol. And then you'd have to track them down
to test. The table has a few Windows entries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tox_%28protocol%29

Have fun,
Paul
Mayayana
2017-07-29 21:38:19 UTC
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"Paul" <***@needed.invalid> wrote

| You can use "alternativeto" in a search, to find stuff.
|
| http://alternativeto.net/software/skype/?platform=windows
|
That's an interesting site that I wasn't aware of. It
doesn't give much info, though. I'm more interested
in hearing peoples' experience, since I don't know
much about the field. But it seems that most people
here don't use "chat" programs.

I've been looking into brosix. It seems clean and simple.
But I can't find much info other than their website and
a few software download sites. A company wants
my email and phone number, and yet there's almost no
record off them online. I'm not used to dealing with
products that require me to give up privacy, and I'm
naturally suspicious of free things that say no strings
but then inexplicably need my personal information.

Skype is creepy that way. Maybe they all are. I guess
I was hoping there might be actual free, clean services
of some kind where two people just install a network
program and then call each other. But most of the
available products, like Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts,
etc, seem to be "consumer oriented", commercial products,
mainly for teens and college students. I'm curious about
Brosix because it lacks that theme. But I also wonder
about the overall business model. It seems like it must
be an expensive business to run, yet they all promise
free with no ads.


| Now, I flipped quickly through there, looking for the
| first "soup can with string" equivalent. This example is
| an open source core for point-to-point communication.
| It appears to use TOR DHT to convert a unique user
| identifier, into a current IP address. Which unfortunately,
| is a bit more than a "purely manual" chat channel.
|
| https://github.com/irungentoo/toxcore
|
I'm afraid you're wandering off the deep end
again, Paul. :) I don't want to compile some
funky beta product to talk about revolution with
russian dissidents. I'm just looking into video/audio
chat programs that are free, easy and non-intrusive.
Paul
2017-07-29 21:50:13 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| You can use "alternativeto" in a search, to find stuff.
|
| http://alternativeto.net/software/skype/?platform=windows
|
That's an interesting site that I wasn't aware of. It
doesn't give much info, though. I'm more interested
in hearing peoples' experience, since I don't know
much about the field. But it seems that most people
here don't use "chat" programs.
I've been looking into brosix. It seems clean and simple.
But I can't find much info other than their website and
a few software download sites. A company wants
my email and phone number, and yet there's almost no
record off them online. I'm not used to dealing with
products that require me to give up privacy, and I'm
naturally suspicious of free things that say no strings
but then inexplicably need my personal information.
Skype is creepy that way. Maybe they all are. I guess
I was hoping there might be actual free, clean services
of some kind where two people just install a network
program and then call each other. But most of the
available products, like Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts,
etc, seem to be "consumer oriented", commercial products,
mainly for teens and college students. I'm curious about
Brosix because it lacks that theme. But I also wonder
about the overall business model. It seems like it must
be an expensive business to run, yet they all promise
free with no ads.
| Now, I flipped quickly through there, looking for the
| first "soup can with string" equivalent. This example is
| an open source core for point-to-point communication.
| It appears to use TOR DHT to convert a unique user
| identifier, into a current IP address. Which unfortunately,
| is a bit more than a "purely manual" chat channel.
|
| https://github.com/irungentoo/toxcore
|
I'm afraid you're wandering off the deep end
again, Paul. :) I don't want to compile some
funky beta product to talk about revolution with
russian dissidents. I'm just looking into video/audio
chat programs that are free, easy and non-intrusive.
What I'm trying to find for you, is just a soup can with
string. No fancy Cloud features. No directory information!

The thing is, if you know the IP address of the other party
(say, the person sends it to you by email, five minutes
before your call), then it should be possible to do video
and audio transport, with no frills at all. Sending the IP
by email, handles the most common case of the ISP using
DHCP for address assignment to ISP customers.

I think you understand this.

While you may accuse me of "sending you off on an adventure",
it's just possible the client for the TOX protocol, has an
option for direct IP input. If so, then you get your
soup can with string.

The idea is, to find a client with the flexibility to
configure it for "soup can mode", were there is the
least possible interference from "stupid stuff".

You can still use public key/private key encryption,
as you're in charge of everything, and won't have to
share that stuff with anyone except the intended target.

So while the real tool would try to automate that stuff,
you should be able to do it manually too. And with less
privacy intrusion.

Paul
Mayayana
2017-07-29 21:57:52 UTC
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"Paul" <***@needed.invalid> wrote

| The thing is, if you know the IP address of the other party
| (say, the person sends it to you by email, five minutes
| before your call), then it should be possible to do video
| and audio transport, with no frills at all. Sending the IP
| by email, handles the most common case of the ISP using
| DHCP for address assignment to ISP customers.
|
| I think you understand this.
|

In theory, I guess. But does it really work that way?
I have a relatively fixed IP from a cable company, but
my understanding is that cable service is a neighborhood
thing. That there might be 500 customers on my IP
address.
Even so, I've got multiple machines here. So maybe
there has to be an external connection point? That's
the part that's not clear to me. how does something
like Team Viewer or other remote desktop software
work? Do those require connecting to a common server?

You're right that I'm looking for the cleanest, but
it also has to be something that others can install.
In this case, my friend wants to talk to a pensioner
in Britain, with a Windows PC, a shoestring budget,
and when asked what kind of computer he has, he
says "Lenovo". So he may not even know that he
has Windows. (And who knows about Britain? Maybe
Lenovo also sells Linux boxes there?)

If I found something really clean and simple I might
even use it myself, to video chat with old flames.
Paul
2017-08-01 07:54:26 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
| The thing is, if you know the IP address of the other party
| (say, the person sends it to you by email, five minutes
| before your call), then it should be possible to do video
| and audio transport, with no frills at all. Sending the IP
| by email, handles the most common case of the ISP using
| DHCP for address assignment to ISP customers.
|
| I think you understand this.
|
In theory, I guess. But does it really work that way?
I have a relatively fixed IP from a cable company, but
my understanding is that cable service is a neighborhood
thing. That there might be 500 customers on my IP
address.
Even so, I've got multiple machines here. So maybe
there has to be an external connection point? That's
the part that's not clear to me. how does something
like Team Viewer or other remote desktop software
work? Do those require connecting to a common server?
You're right that I'm looking for the cleanest, but
it also has to be something that others can install.
In this case, my friend wants to talk to a pensioner
in Britain, with a Windows PC, a shoestring budget,
and when asked what kind of computer he has, he
says "Lenovo". So he may not even know that he
has Windows. (And who knows about Britain? Maybe
Lenovo also sells Linux boxes there?)
If I found something really clean and simple I might
even use it myself, to video chat with old flames.
I tested the Linphone here.

1) Works on Win10 15063.
2) Crashed on Win10 10586 (right when picking up a call).
3) Linux version in Ubuntu 17.04 worked, but resolution of
video during call was reduced to 320x240 (and the LAN is
GbE). Preferences had been set to 640x480 on both ends.

Since 15063 has Frameserve on video, it behaved a bit strangely
at first. I had to uninstall the software, delete the bin and lib
folders in Program Files (x86) after a reboot, then try installing
again. And for some reason, it could see the webcam then.

The 10586 laptop didn't have trouble with the initial install,
or the setting of preferences, but the crash on receipt of a call,
I couldn't fix that.

The Linux version worked, but I couldn't tell which webcam was
which, in the Settings panel.

Call syntax used:

***@192.168.1.2 # When calling the Windows Linphone

***@192.168.1.3 # When calling the Ubuntu installation

There was no particular need to set up any SIP stuff or
use the Linphone "free" SIP server to find the recipient.
But because everything was working so "smoothly", I didn't
spend time on a network analysis. All machines are now
restored from backup, and toys put away.

So that was just some LAN testing, to see if it's worth
using or not. I would say "it worked about as smoothly
as a copy of AMCAP". If you see some story about
somebodies 86 year old grandma setting it up, my
guess would be probably not. Granny would be pissed
if she was using my copy of Win10 10586 (old release)
with the crash on call receipt. Granny would need
her Visual Studio and debugger or something :-)

Paul
al
2017-07-30 15:29:30 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Mayayana
| Take a look at the free version of Brosix ("Brosix for Personal Use"),
| might solve all your concerns.
| https://www.brosix.com/
|
It says "start for free", implying there's a fee.
It also seems to be a "cloud" service, yet doesn't
support XP, which seems odd. I think I'm looking
for something very simple and not a subscription.
Though I actually don't know much about how
these things work. I imagined a program that could
just create a connection, without any intermediary.
Is some kind of intermediary required?
FYI- The personal version is NOT fee based, subscription based, adware,
etc. Totally free. I am as unfamiliar as you are as to whether it is a
"direct connection".
Mayayana
2017-07-30 16:20:37 UTC
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"al" <***@nospam.net> wrote

| FYI- The personal version is NOT fee based, subscription based, adware,
| etc. Totally free. I am as unfamiliar as you are as to whether it is a
| "direct connection".

Thanks. After more exploration of the site I did
see that they were explicitly saying it was free.
I was confused at first because most of the
info there is aimed at the business customers.
Mayayana
2017-07-29 20:06:46 UTC
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"al" <***@nospam.net> wrote

| https://www.brosix.com/
|

I just tried downloading the portable version and it
seems to work OK on XP, though I can use Win7 if necessary.
How does this work? I just create an account, create a
"network", then get friends to also install and join my
network? They don't bother you with spam, etc.? It
appears they'll want a phone number. Hopefully that's
not really necessary? I don't really get the mechanics
of these things. ....Once it's set up I can just somehow
ping a friend and we can then connect for audio or
video calls?
Linea Recta
2017-07-30 17:28:27 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
Here's an overview:

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lijst_van_instant_messengers
--
|\ /|
| \/ |@rk
\../
\/os
Paul
2017-07-31 11:27:32 UTC
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Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
Found another one, that could potentially be
"soup can plus string" material.

Traditional executable w. NSIS installer. There is
also a Win10 UWP in the App Store (to make the exercise
even worse). At least this version, I think there is
a text file to configure some stuff.

http://www.linphone.org/releases/windows/Linphone-4.1.1-win32.exe

Source (not sure why this doesn't say 4.1.1)

http://www.linphone.org/releases/sources/linphone/linphone-3.11.1.tar.gz

Manual (wasn't exactly easy to find, was expecting PDF)

http://www.linphone.org/user-guide.html

"Direct SIP calls in local network

Just enter sip:<hostname or IP address> in the SIP url
bar of Linphone to place a call to another Linphone running
in your network.

This also works on the public internet, provided that the
two machines have public IP addresses or appropriate firewall rules.
"

https://www.pks.mpg.de/~mueller/docs/suse10.1/suselinux-manual_en/manual/cha.linphone.html

"sip:***@192.168.1.3

open the SIP port (5060) and the RTP port (7078) on
the firewall machine to enable Linphone traffic
across the firewall.
"

[ May be able to Wireshark-trace to figure out... ]

It seems to be running a daemon (wouldn't be my first
choice, if this damn thing needs Port Forwarding and
it's always exposed on the Internet - will be about
as much fun as watching the LEDs on my VOIP box for
trouble). I expect my VOIP box has already hijacked
those on the WAN side.

Punching a hole for a traditional VOIP stack isn't all that easy,
and in this case, it's going to depend on how good
the manual is. Some of the other products have their
own tunneling methods (probably not as good as the
Skype boring machine, but good enough). Since this
product claims to be a traditional SIP client, it
could (potentially) be quite a mess.

I love these kinds of products. Minimal documentation.
User does testing. What's not to like. I don't know
how many of these things I've looked at, where the
privacy considerations aren't addressed.

*******

I was looking at Firefox Hello. It happens to use
WebRTC (real time communications, built into the browser).
Well, Hello has been discontinued, so I didn't have to
pursue it any further. Then I happened to find a comment
about "WebRTC being abused by a web server and site, by
pinging the WebRTC interface and requesting the real
IP address". Presumably some sorta scam to unmask VPN
users.

Just about every stinking thing they add, has to suck...

*******

Well, at least (potentially), you can now take
two webcams and "talk to yourself" on the same
LAN segment, using your new Linphone :-) I can't wait
to test mine out.

Paul
Mayayana
2017-07-31 12:09:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"Paul" <***@needed.invalid> wrote

| This also works on the public internet, provided that the
| two machines have public IP addresses or appropriate firewall rules.
|

Returning to the earlier question, do I have
a unique IP? I doubt it. My understanding is that
the cable neighborhood has a unique IP and the
cable company handles the local delivery.
(Remember in the early days of cable how people
were accidentally seeing each others' desktops
in Network Neighborhood?)


| Well, at least (potentially), you can now take
| two webcams and "talk to yourself" on the same
| LAN segment, using your new Linphone :-) I can't wait
| to test mine out.
|

Yes. What'll they think of next, huh? But
before I got a chance to try that out I came
across another gem that looks even better:
YellDownstairs v. 1.04 beta. So far it seems
to work quite well, as long as there isn't a loud
truck driving by. And it doesn't require any
special hardware other than functional vocal
cords. :)
Paul
2017-07-31 13:10:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mayayana
| This also works on the public internet, provided that the
| two machines have public IP addresses or appropriate firewall rules.
|
Returning to the earlier question, do I have
a unique IP? I doubt it. My understanding is that
the cable neighborhood has a unique IP and the
cable company handles the local delivery.
(Remember in the early days of cable how people
were accidentally seeing each others' desktops
in Network Neighborhood?)
| Well, at least (potentially), you can now take
| two webcams and "talk to yourself" on the same
| LAN segment, using your new Linphone :-) I can't wait
| to test mine out.
|
Yes. What'll they think of next, huh? But
before I got a chance to try that out I came
YellDownstairs v. 1.04 beta. So far it seems
to work quite well, as long as there isn't a loud
truck driving by. And it doesn't require any
special hardware other than functional vocal
cords. :)
Well, talking to yourself, is all part of the VOIP
experience.

When I got VOIP here, the provider wisely offered a
two week period with a "trial" phone number. I got to
keep my POTS phone in a functional state for those
two weeks (before number portability brought the
phone number to the new provider).

And it took me a week of testing before
I was reasonably happy. I bought a second physical
phone, connected it to the VOIP box and "talked" to
my old POTS phone. And adjusted settings (VOIP box has
eight CODEC choices etc). I also hooked up the answering
machine, visited a payphone, and tried a "real" call on
the "trial" number, as one of my test cases. I considered
that test time to be essential to building my confidence.
If I needed help from Tech Support from the ISP, it
would have been hell to do that with a dead POTS phone.

What that test did not uncover, is the VOIP server
drops a call, after the call reaches two hours of
runtime. I neglected to do timeout testing... Oh, well.

*******

Since you mention hardware, I think you already know
that webcam microphones suck. If I were to set this
up for real, I would use my separate microphone that
happens to have a powered amp inside. It's not the amp
that makes it special, but the microphone part seems
to be better than the other "examples" I have sitting
around here.

My point and shoot camera, shoots video. It has a microphone
built in. And it picks up digital electrical noise from
the rest of the camera (and webcams do this too). If you
shoot a movie in your kitchen, the background noise sounds
like an episode of the original Star Trek.

Based on my experiences so far, I would not underestimate
the difficulty of dialing in a microphone. Don't rely
on the webcam. Even if the webcam had connectors on it,
so you could do satellite microphones, that would be better
than nothing. I doubt I could successfully do a video call
with the webcam I have now, and it would be the audio
part that was lacking. The video is good enough.

My upload is limited to 1Mbit/sec, and that will limit
some of the video clients as to what resolution they can
support. So maybe the open source one with the VP8 codec,
might run out of bandwidth or something. It's still
considered a video call, even if the video has to
be in a 160x120 pixel window :-) That's how small video
was when I got my first (goofy) webcam.

While you're "talking to yourself", you can use
the performance monitor to record network transfer
rate, and see just how much bandwidth a video call
with a modicum of movement in the picture field uses.

We used to video conference at work, with a 2B+D or so
connection. And the video was so fancy, if you waved
your hand in front of the camera, there would be a
"cloud" of pixels following your hand. That was about
the limit of the fun we could have with that. The setup
used half the bandwidth for the overhead presentation
(you put up a slide and it would be transmitted to the
other site), and the other half was used for the live video.
I think my cheesy ADSL, it has more "upload" than that
thing did. I doubt I could connect an HD camera though.

A lot of webcams slow down to 5 FPS, when they're set to
"max res". If you want 30FPS from your source, that's
pretty well guaranteed with 640x480, but anything higher,
YMMV. This is something they're careful not to state
on the outside of the box. They will say "30FPS" on
one line of the box, and "fancy high res WxH" on a
second line on the box. But they'd get sued if
they put them together like "1920x1080 @ 30FPS",
because a USB2 camera won't do that. It's more
likely to be 640x480 @ 30FPS and 1920x1080 @ 5FPS.
And there aren't a lot of true USB3 cameras yet.
The last time I checked, there was only one chipset
for USB3 so far.

Paul
Char Jackson
2017-07-31 17:54:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Paul
Post by Mayayana
| This also works on the public internet, provided that the
| two machines have public IP addresses or appropriate firewall rules.
|
Returning to the earlier question, do I have
a unique IP? I doubt it.
(Replying to Mayayana here, since I don't otherwise see his posts)

Your cable modem requests a single IP address on your behalf and assigns
it to the first device that you connect to the modem. That could be a
PC, a router, whatever. From that point on, you have (or rather, that
device has) a unique IP address.
Post by Paul
Post by Mayayana
My understanding is that
the cable neighborhood has a unique IP and the
cable company handles the local delivery.
That has never been the case.
Post by Paul
Post by Mayayana
(Remember in the early days of cable how people
were accidentally seeing each others' desktops
in Network Neighborhood?)
Fixed with the advent of something called Baseline Privacy, implemented
somewhere around 2000, give or take. The explanation for why it happened
in the first place is long and boring.
Post by Paul
When I got VOIP here, the provider wisely offered a
two week period with a "trial" phone number. I got to
keep my POTS phone in a functional state for those
two weeks (before number portability brought the
phone number to the new provider).
And it took me a week of testing before
I was reasonably happy. I bought a second physical
<snip>
Post by Paul
What that test did not uncover, is the VOIP server
drops a call, after the call reaches two hours of
runtime. I neglected to do timeout testing... Oh, well.
Paul,
With the purchase of an Obihai VoIP adapter, you get pre-configured
access to Google Voice, Google's free VoIP service. It works perfectly,
but calls are dropped every three hours. So now you have two data
points, one showing two hours and one showing three. I use the VoIP
service from my cable company, but it's not free. $4.99 a month gets me
unlimited calls of unlimited duration, or so they say. I think about 15
hours is the longest call I've had. Network troubleshooting can really
drag on.
--
Char Jackson
Paul
2017-07-31 18:12:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Char Jackson
Post by Paul
Post by Mayayana
| This also works on the public internet, provided that the
| two machines have public IP addresses or appropriate firewall rules.
|
Returning to the earlier question, do I have
a unique IP? I doubt it.
(Replying to Mayayana here, since I don't otherwise see his posts)
Your cable modem requests a single IP address on your behalf and assigns
it to the first device that you connect to the modem. That could be a
PC, a router, whatever. From that point on, you have (or rather, that
device has) a unique IP address.
Post by Paul
Post by Mayayana
My understanding is that
the cable neighborhood has a unique IP and the
cable company handles the local delivery.
That has never been the case.
Post by Paul
Post by Mayayana
(Remember in the early days of cable how people
were accidentally seeing each others' desktops
in Network Neighborhood?)
Fixed with the advent of something called Baseline Privacy, implemented
somewhere around 2000, give or take. The explanation for why it happened
in the first place is long and boring.
Post by Paul
When I got VOIP here, the provider wisely offered a
two week period with a "trial" phone number. I got to
keep my POTS phone in a functional state for those
two weeks (before number portability brought the
phone number to the new provider).
And it took me a week of testing before
I was reasonably happy. I bought a second physical
<snip>
Post by Paul
What that test did not uncover, is the VOIP server
drops a call, after the call reaches two hours of
runtime. I neglected to do timeout testing... Oh, well.
Paul,
With the purchase of an Obihai VoIP adapter, you get pre-configured
access to Google Voice, Google's free VoIP service. It works perfectly,
but calls are dropped every three hours. So now you have two data
points, one showing two hours and one showing three. I use the VoIP
service from my cable company, but it's not free. $4.99 a month gets me
unlimited calls of unlimited duration, or so they say. I think about 15
hours is the longest call I've had. Network troubleshooting can really
drag on.
Well, POTS can have timeouts too. But usually they're a bit
longer. POTS won't stay up forever. The timeout could be somewhere
in the 12-24 hour vicinity. People who used to do long downloads
over dialup probably know this value with great precision :-)

I have to admit, the package I got isn't "the best", and the
only advantage is the VOIP and ADSL are on the same bill at
the end of the month. My plan doesn't have E911 either, which
sucks. If I were to phone 911 right now, nobody knows where I am.

Paul
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-08 21:17:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mayayana
| Well, at least (potentially), you can now take
| two webcams and "talk to yourself" on the same
| LAN segment, using your new Linphone :-) I can't wait
| to test mine out.
|
Yes. What'll they think of next, huh? But
before I got a chance to try that out I came
YellDownstairs v. 1.04 beta.
Ah yes, the original "Voice Activated Interface."
Post by Mayayana
So far it seems to work quite well, as long as there isn't a loud
truck driving by.
Always there are signal to noise issue, eh no?
Post by Mayayana
And it doesn't require any special hardware other than functional vocal
cords. :)
Yep. And I don't have to start anything in order to stop.

tschus
pyotr
--
pyotr filipivich
Next month's Panel: Graft - Boon or blessing?
Ken Springer
2017-08-19 04:17:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mayayana
I just went through a maddening session
of Microsoft sleaze for a friend. Skype said
her account "had problems". It turned out
they were trying to force her to set up an
outlook.com account without admitting that
was their plan. They pretended there was a
mixup and then pretended there was a security
issue. But once she set up outlook.com, presto,
the mixup and the need for a new password
magically disappeared. Skype came up, but not
"There have been no recent purchases from
this account. Let's go shopping!"
Maybe people are used to this kind of thing. I
was amazed at the bald-faced sleaze of it all.
Anyway.... I don't use Skype or anything like
it. I wonder if there's some other alternative
that works well and isn't so slimy. What do people
like? What about if some friends are on Mac
or Linux? Do other programs work on those?
What is this class of program even called?
Hi, Mayayana,

Yep, late to this thread. LOL

I don't have any alternatives to suggest, other than Yahoo Messenger
which I gave up on when they did a complete rewrite and removed a lot of
features. I haven't checked since I removed it from my computers, so
they could have added the features back.

I skype with just one person on a regular basis, and we've not seen
anything like what your friend saw. My friend has 8.1, and I've got it
on W7, W8.1, W10, Mac El Capitan, and Linux Mint 18.0 Sarah.

But, here's what I wonder...

Does she sign into Skype using a Microsoft account? We don't, even
though we each have one. Neither do I use my Apple account for
anything, except when I go to the App Store to see what's available there.

So I'm wondering if by using a Microsoft account, that gave MS the
opening they needed to do that?
--
Ken
Mac OS X 10.11.6
Firefox 53.0.2 (64 bit)
Thunderbird 52.0
"My brain is like lightning, a quick flash
and it's gone!"
Mayayana
2017-08-19 12:36:59 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"Ken Springer" <***@greeleynet.com> wrote

| Does she sign into Skype using a Microsoft account?

No. That seemed to be the cause of the problem.
They were forcing her to create one, and then trying
to redirect her into shopping options. My impression
was that it was a marketing scam: For anyone not
already using MS services, coerce them to sign up
in the hope that they'll hang around MS properties
more, maybe use outlook.com email, then be exposed
to MS spam.

Maybe you didn't see the same thing because you
already have an account. She's not forced to sign in
with the outlook.com account. She was just forced
to get one. The alleged reason was for security -- that
she needed another email for security confirmation or
some such. But nothing worked to satisfy that demand
until she took the option to sign up for an outlook.com
account. Now Skype is working fine, despite that she
hasn't actually set up outlook.com email and has no
plan to ever log into anything Microsoft.


I can't say for sure. All I know is what I saw: Skype
suddenly had a problem with her account. Going through
the obvious steps had no effect. Getting an outlook.com
account solved the problem and brought us to some
kind of shopping and ads screen, which I guess must have
been the Outlook portal. But it actually did say something
crass at the top to the effect of, "You haven't been buying
much lately. Let's go shopping!" Then we closed that. Then
Skype was working again.

I don't use any of these products so it's somewhat new
to me, but I have noticed articles about both security
and privacy problems with Skype in the past. So I was
prompted to get a handle on it and figure out the options.
I figured maybe there are safer and more civilized options
that are less well known.
I can't say that I really understand it any better now. :)

And I still don't understand the actual mechanics involved,
and the technical options available, in regard to
communicating directly with another machine across
the Internet. I don't understand why there aren't simple
relays somewhere, where two people can get some kind
of IP and passcode, then both connect to the relay.
But in asking about that it seems clear that no one here
really understands it either. So my only guess is that
companies like Skype(MS) or Team Viewer must be acting
as commercial versions of such a relay.

That seems to make sense. I don't see how anyone
could call directly to a remote machine that's not a server
operating at a dedicated IP address. And ISPs moved to
block that option for non-business customers many years
ago. So sharing an Internet connection point seems to
be necessary. But the the question becomes: What's the
possible variety -- and respective functionality -- of
Internet communication relays?

Part of the reason I find it all so hard to grasp is that
I don't use any similar products and don't consider them
to be safe. But that's a different issue: Whether remote
calling could be done in such a way as to avoid remote
networking vulnerabilities that accout for so many online
security issues.
Ken Springer
2017-08-19 16:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mayayana
| Does she sign into Skype using a Microsoft account?
No. That seemed to be the cause of the problem.
They were forcing her to create one, and then trying
to redirect her into shopping options. My impression
was that it was a marketing scam: For anyone not
already using MS services, coerce them to sign up
in the hope that they'll hang around MS properties
more, maybe use outlook.com email, then be exposed
to MS spam.
Maybe you didn't see the same thing because you
already have an account. She's not forced to sign in
with the outlook.com account. She was just forced
to get one. The alleged reason was for security -- that
she needed another email for security confirmation or
some such. But nothing worked to satisfy that demand
until she took the option to sign up for an outlook.com
account. Now Skype is working fine, despite that she
hasn't actually set up outlook.com email and has no
plan to ever log into anything Microsoft.
And she's using Windows 7, I'll assume. Did she sign up for the
Microsoft Store, and download and install Skype from there?

That version of Skype is different from the desktop program. We use the
desktop version that you download and install like any other program.

When you install W10 (I don't know about 8.1), the MS Store version is
installed and displayed as a tile, just awaitin' for you to log in. I
think it's a Live Tile, too. On my W10, I turned the tile off and
removed it from the W10 Start Menu. But I didn't uninstall the store
version from the computer.

If it is the desktop version, I wonder what would happen if you
uninstalled Skype, cleaned the system from all references to Skype, then
reinstall and login with a local account.
Post by Mayayana
I can't say for sure. All I know is what I saw: Skype
suddenly had a problem with her account. Going through
the obvious steps had no effect. Getting an outlook.com
account solved the problem and brought us to some
kind of shopping and ads screen, which I guess must have
been the Outlook portal. But it actually did say something
crass at the top to the effect of, "You haven't been buying
much lately. Let's go shopping!" Then we closed that. Then
Skype was working again.
Even on the desktop version, you'll get ads, but what you see for ads
seems to vary by the OS. What I see in Windows is slightly different
than what I see on this Mac.
Post by Mayayana
I don't use any of these products so it's somewhat new
to me, but I have noticed articles about both security
and privacy problems with Skype in the past. So I was
prompted to get a handle on it and figure out the options.
I figured maybe there are safer and more civilized options
that are less well known.
I can't say that I really understand it any better now. :)
And I still don't understand the actual mechanics involved,
and the technical options available, in regard to
communicating directly with another machine across
the Internet. I don't understand why there aren't simple
relays somewhere, where two people can get some kind
of IP and passcode, then both connect to the relay.
But in asking about that it seems clear that no one here
really understands it either. So my only guess is that
companies like Skype(MS) or Team Viewer must be acting
as commercial versions of such a relay.
Teamviewer assigns each computer a unique ID number, so they must be
keeping some kind of records of who's who on their servers.
Post by Mayayana
That seems to make sense. I don't see how anyone
could call directly to a remote machine that's not a server
operating at a dedicated IP address. And ISPs moved to
block that option for non-business customers many years
ago. So sharing an Internet connection point seems to
be necessary. But the the question becomes: What's the
possible variety -- and respective functionality -- of
Internet communication relays?
Part of the reason I find it all so hard to grasp is that
I don't use any similar products and don't consider them
to be safe. But that's a different issue: Whether remote
calling could be done in such a way as to avoid remote
networking vulnerabilities that accout for so many online
security issues.
--
Ken
Mac OS X 10.11.6
Firefox 53.0.2 (64 bit)
Thunderbird 52.0
"My brain is like lightning, a quick flash
and it's gone!"
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