While messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Google Allo have all incorporated end-to-end encryption into their products over the last few years, Skype has lagged behind. But that's changing today - Skype is adding end-to-end encrypted messaging, with the help of Signal.
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Skype is now absent from several app stores in China, namely Apple's, making it the latest victim of the nation's harsh internet censorship efforts known as the Great Firewall.
With an eye towards the developing world where people are more likely to own cheap phones and have spottier wireless data access, the big names in tech are developing simpler versions of their apps. These apps are lightweight, use little data, and don't burn through battery life. Sound good? It does to us too, and here's how to give them a test drive.
Way back in 2012, it came to light that a flaw in Skype made it easy for hackers to acquire your IP address. Now, finally, Microsoft has updated the software so those details are hidden by default.
Two weeks ago, we surveyed 3670 people online about how they communicate. We discovered a remarkable difference between people over 41, who say they often talk on email more than they do in real life, and younger people who love in-person meetings and use a variety of apps. Is this our first digital generation gap?
Ever wish your Lego bricks could fly? Someone invented the next best thing -- BitDrones are tiny box drones that work like 3D building blocks.
Remember what happened to hitchBOT this summer? You know, the hitchhiking humanoid that was ripped limb from limb two weeks into its solo journey? Because two of the original founders of Skype want to make robots that will similarly traverse streets, in order to ship goods to your house. It could be a great alternative to delivery drones... assuming the 'bots make it to your doorstep in one piece.
From FaceTime to Skype to WhatsApp, there's no shortage of ways to chat with people on the other side of the globe. But screw Jetsons-style video chatting: Make way for this Ted-like robotic bear that mimics your gestures and projects your voice from far away, even letting you "see" through its own eyes. It's like if you woke up one day as Teddy Ruxpin, pretty much.
Skype Translator is out of beta and headed to the Skype Windows desktop app. The tool supports six languages outloud as well as 50 messaging languages] We tried the service and found it promising, but not quite the Babel Fish of our hearts' desire. No word on when the service rolls out to other platforms yet.
Skype Translator is an amazing feat of engineering, even if it isn't perfect. But reports suggest that, in Chinese at least, it has somewhat of a potty mouth.
If you use Google's new Photos app, Microsoft's Cortana, or Skype's new translation function, you're using a form of AI on a daily basis. AI was first dreamed up in the 1950s, but has only recently become a practical reality -- all thanks to software systems called neural networks. This is how they work.
Skype Translator is one of those technologies that makes you stop and say "whoa, future." A mythical service that can translate your speech in seamless real time, with accompanying transcripts, could eventually surmount the language barrier. But until then, we have Skype Translator, and it's a great start.
Skype's best known for video and audio calling, and even a bit of old-school instant messaging, but there are plenty of other uses for it. One of these alternative uses is to set up a free, instant access home monitoring system that you can launch from your office or your vacation whenever you like. Here's how to set one up.
It's kind of the oldest trick in the book. Catfishing is where you pretend to be someone you're not online so that you can trick someone else into doing something. And based on a new report, this is exactly how pro-Assad hackers have been robbing intel from opposition forces: They have been posing as hot girls on Skype and stealing battle plans from the Syrian rebel army.