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Skype For Mac OS X and Linux 329

Pablo Martinez-Almeida writes "Skype has just announced full versions of its software for Mac OS X and for Linux. Now I'm only waiting for some conversations recording feature. (via Om Malik on broadband)"
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Skype For Mac OS X and Linux

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  • by GMFTatsujin ( 239569 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:11PM (#11545844) Homepage
    All it takes is a moment to fill out the Freedom of Information Act forms.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Aren't they the spyware kings? Can I really actually trust these people with software I install on my computer?

    So far the Mac OS X world has been generally free of spyware and malware. Looking at this Skype release, I feel like the Native Americans watching the first wave of pilgrims coming off the boat, smiling and wanting to trade smallpox-infected blankets with us.
  • by Staplerh ( 806722 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:14PM (#11545869) Homepage
    Great move for Skype, anything that lets people on different platforms use the same software and interact freely with each other is a good thing. I speak from a the perspective of a Mac OS X user. However, the OS X port isn't all the way there - at least Skype admits it. From their FAQ page:

    I click on the links that say "Skype Me" but it does not seem to work?
    Sorry, in some cases SkypeMe links do not currently work with Skype for Mac OS X.

    Hopefully they can iron out that little quirk and we can get Skype everywhere. Now I'm going to have to check this thing out for myself!
  • Spyware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by _damnit_ ( 1143 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:15PM (#11545877) Journal
    Can anyone tell me if this is loaded with spyware? I'm up to my neck with a project and don't have the normal time to research this.

    My apologies for the lazy attitude today, but somebody had to ask.
    • Re:Spyware (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jxyama ( 821091 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:18PM (#11545907)
      maybe i'm naive, but this news is about skype for Mac and Linux. are they *any* spyware for either platform?
      • According to several sources, spyware is still Windows [theregister.co.uk] only. That may someday change, but I haven't even been able to get the few viruses I have tried to install correctly inside of wine yet...
      • Re:Spyware (Score:5, Informative)

        by cgranade ( 702534 ) <cgranade AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:29PM (#11546014) Homepage Journal
        You're naive. OK, sorry. That was rude, but I couldn't resist. Anyway, the difference is that under MacOSX and Linux, you must opt to install spyware... it won't be installed by browsing the net. In fact, someone could create a fully open source spyware program! Then all you'd have to do is convince people to install it. That's the easy part. The other thing is that if one luser installs spyware, the other users are not adversely affected.
        • In fact, someone could create a fully open source spyware program! Then all you'd have to do is convince people to install it. That's the easy part.

          Install Adbar [squarefree.com] now! ;-)
        • You're naive.

          I don't think his point is that there couldn't be spyware on either platform; just that as a practical matter there isn't any (yet).

        • What spyware? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by hellfire ( 86129 ) <.deviladv. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:24PM (#11546442) Homepage
          In other words, you are saying it's very hard to install spyware on a Linux or Mac and therefore no one actually codes spyware for the Mac because they neither get enough people to be worth while nor is it as easy as say on a windows box and therefore no effective spyware programs exist.

          I would much rather you have said "yes you are naive, here are a list of Spyware apps for Linux and Mac." Instead you basically said "Yes it's possible to get spyware on your Mac or Linux box if someone bothered to code it and someone went around their ass to get to their elbow." What kind of logic is that? There is no rock hard evidence that either platform has any kind of penetration into spyware common on the PC.

          PS, I just googled spyware for mac [google.com] and found discussions on spyware, adds for PC spyware, and a mac company I'd never heard before with a broken website that promise a list of mac spyware "coming soon" and a forum that hasn't been updated by anyone in the company for over 6 months.
    • Re:Spyware (Score:5, Informative)

      by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) <djand.nc@NosPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:19PM (#11545919)
      If you click on the linux link, it shows a graphic that says:
      • What motivation do you have to trust them? I'm not saying it is spyware, but rather that to simply say that since they say it isn't it can't be is a tad naive. As far as things go, yes, they could get sued for false advertising if it is false, but I don't know how much that scares Sharman.
      • Yes, everything you read on the internet is true, especially what manufacturers say about their own products.
    • Nope.. (Score:2, Informative)

      Not sure why you should believe me, but no it doesn't. :)

      I've been using it for over a year now and it's been spyware-free from the start.
    • by VValdo ( 10446 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:26PM (#11545989)
      Nope. Not that I've found, and I've been using the betas for both Linux and OS X up to the release today. Both work pretty well, and I get the feeling that Skype is pretty clueful as far as spyware goes. I mean, they encrypt communication by deafult.

      I have noticed some problems though with both the release of Linux and OS X's I would think it's my machine only, but testing Skype requires (okay there is that echo account for testing, but you know what I mean) others, and others ahve been having problems too.

      In Linux, I've had problems getting conferencing working properly, when using a USB headset (/dev/dsp1), rings are not heard on the /dev/dsp as set in the preferences. Also, I had a weird thing happen where the skype screen is only half-drawn.

      In the 1.0 Mac version, someone who I was talking to suddenly cut out. Turned out Skype crashed on 'em. I also had some conferencing issues on my mac.

      Overall however, skype is great. The fact that you can do conferencing + IMs and voice chat is encrypte is a big plus. the sound quality is great as well. Congrats Skype!

      Gentoo users-- 1.0 was in ~arch this morning!

    • Stop spreading FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman ( 671371 )
      What spyware? I've got the latest build of Skype installed on my XP machine. When I run Ad-Aware, it finds no spyware. 0, zero, ziltch, nadda, NOTHING!

      Please people, stop spreading FUD!

  • by Alexander ( 8916 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:19PM (#11545917) Homepage
    With the latest release.

    use Wiretap. Worked like a charm, creates a nice .aiff file.
  • by Mr. Cancelled ( 572486 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:20PM (#11545927)
    Now I'm only waiting for some conversations recording feature. I'm not positive, as I haven't used Skype, but I think that Audio Hijack [versiontracker.com] will likely record such items just fine. It wouldn't be automated, although it probably wouldn't be too hard to automate it with some Applescript, and maybe some Unix scripting on the backside.

    Just a thought...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:22PM (#11545943)
    ... is always going to be problematic given the legal implications. Different states have different laws, and things only get worse once you factor in the international implications. (Come to the EU and you have to deal with data protection problems as well as interception of communications problems.) So I don't see Skype offering this anytime soon.

    The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press has a superb guide ("Can we tape?") to state and federal laws: http://www.rcfp.org/taping/ [rcfp.org].
  • What the hell? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grey Ninja ( 739021 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:22PM (#11545948) Homepage Journal
    I've been using Skype on Linux for months, and using it to talk to my girl who has a Mac. I really fail to see the newsworthiness of this?
  • Skype box (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nik13 ( 837926 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:24PM (#11545969) Homepage
    Although I don't use it on Linux or Mac OS X, Skype works pretty well, voice quality is good, and the NAT traversal is nice - not so much with me, but it saves me from guiding technology-challenged family members and friends through opening ports in their firewall/router, having them read the screen out loud for you can't guess what options are on the screen (quite a pain).

    But the nicest thing I did is buy a Skype box (the kind that plugs in your RJ11 and phone "passing thru" the POTS, and the USB port plugs to your PC, allowing you to use a real phone on skype - including having the phone ring (don't have to leave your 5.1 channel set of speakers on in case the "phone" would ring, no need turn monitor on and fumble with all that to take the call). It lets one dial out skype contacts easily too (my 53yo mom can make skype calls with it without having the slightest idea of how it all works).

    It's great overall, however it's a bit more complicated, especially given that my "POTS" line is actually coming from a VoIP box. So I have an extra digit to dial on all numbers (1 then the number) for the VoIP box, and the Skype box has some buttons too. Not really hard, just slightly inconvenient, but great savings and features.

    I wonder if those USB Skype box thingies will also work with Linux or Mac OS X, they're worth it (unlike the USB Skype phones with a short cord that looks like from a dollar store).
  • First thoughts... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ghoser777 ( 113623 ) <fahrenba@ma[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:25PM (#11545974) Homepage
    - Nice interface for creating a new account
    - Password can't have characters (boo)
    - Birthdate has to be MM/DD/YY instead of MM/DD/YYYY

    Now... I have to find someone to call for free...
  • by mlmitton ( 610008 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:25PM (#11545980)
    Is it legal to record conversations on POTS? If not, is it legal on VoIP, since perhaps the Internet doesn't fall under regular wire-tapping laws? Oh BTW, maybe reference back to the /. story a few days back about Google apparently starting a VoIP product (at least in the UK, which was the source of the article) in the near future. I think we can assume that if Google doing VoIP is true, they'll have a way to record coversations.
    • by xtrvd ( 762313 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:20PM (#11546408)
      From http://www.pimall.com/nais/n.recordlaw.html

      "The federal law makes it unlawful to record telephone conversations except in one party consent cases which permit one party consent recording by state law. What that means is a person can record their own telephone conversations without the knowledge or consent of the other party in those states that allow one party consent."

      There are twelve states that require all party consent. They are:

      New Hampshire

      See the above URL for other state restrictions.
  • by SpacePunk ( 17960 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:27PM (#11546000) Homepage
    Otherwise you pay for calls to a standard landline or cell user. You can get unlimited voip from at&t to calls in the U.S. (and I think canada) for a flat rate that's relatively low if you use it a lot.

    If you don't use it that much then Skype might be a better deal.

    • If you want to use it like a regular phone, I have to recommend Vonage. Really easy to setup, my GF uses the phone just like normal without having to know the internet is even involved - you can call anyone in any country. $15 a month gets me some insane number of minutes I never get close to using and all the addons like voicemail etc. International calls are also cheap, and I have a virtual number in the UK which allows people there to call me (in the US) for the cost of a local call.

      Really great service
  • Bluetooth? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hazzey ( 679052 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:32PM (#11546038)
    Can I now get a bluetooth headset and have all the advantages of a cordless phone? The website mentions headsets, but there is nothing about bluetooth.
    • Re:Bluetooth? (Score:3, Informative)

      by JohnnyGTO ( 102952 )
      Ya, I'm using a Logitech Freedom(?) Bluetooth headset with my Powerbook and it works great. Sound effects come through the Mac and Skype is setup to pipe its audio and mic through the headset. My office says it sounds very good.

    • Re:Bluetooth? (Score:4, Informative)

      by piltdownman84 ( 853358 ) <piltdownman84@m[ ]com ['ac.' in gap]> on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:04PM (#11546297)
      Im using a Motorola HS820 headset and D-Link DBT-120 Bluetooth Adapter with my powerbook. Works great. Two very important things though if you are using OS X: 1)You MUST use either the D-Link DBT-120 Bluetooth Adapter or the Apple internal Bluetooth. Headsets are not supported with any other adapter but these. 2)You must upgrade the Bluetooth Firmware I wasted the better part of an afternoon with a iogear(?) bluetooth dogle before I was able to find it wasn't gong to work. Also I found that I had to turn the "Input level" all the way up in the Sound Preference pane, so other people can hear me. The output volume works with the buttons on the headset which is great. Good Luck
    • Yes. I was given a Jabra [jabra.com] headset for my birthday and it works fine with Skype, iChat and my ancient Nokia phone. It's also very comfortable, tiny and sorta space-age. The only catch is you can't pair it to your phone and Mac at the same time and it's a slight pain to try to re-pair it in a hurry. I tend not to use it with my phone, and occasionaly use it at work if i want to Skype or iChat and not annoy my workmates any more than me talking on the phone would.
  • Bravo! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Micah ( 278 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:32PM (#11546041) Homepage Journal
    I just discovered Skype about a week ago. I was thrilled upon seeing that there was a Linux version, even if beta. I live in Ecuador and badly wanted a way to call the States cheap, but was unwilling to put Windows on my computer for that purpose.

    Experiences: Downloaded their version from skype.com. Ran it. It instantly hung on the registration screen. Ran it as root, and that worked.

    Then realized that it was in Gentoo's portage. Emerged it. It started OK, but crashed immediately upon trying to make a call.

    Went back to the first version I had downloaded, running as root, and everything worked fine!

    Normally, there's little I hate more than running closed-source software as root, but I'll forgive them this time since 1) it's a beta, 2) they're bringing a valuable service to Linux, and 3) from what I can tell, they are a reputable company with a reputation to tarnish if it did something bad to my box. (Also, my personal box isn't *that* important anyway, and could be re-installed worst case scenario.)

    I will try this new version tonight. If the issues are fixed and I can run as non-root, I'll be very happy! If not, I'll be mildly annoyed but still thankful.

    Thanks Skype.
    • Re:Bravo! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Grey Ninja ( 739021 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:20PM (#11546411) Homepage Journal
      Well, I'm on Ubuntu. But I've never had to run it as root. I just downloaded the dynamic binary, put it in my home folder, and ran it. It works fine. =)
      • Re:Bravo! (Score:3, Informative)

        by jlo ( 587297 )
        Better yet, download the Skype Fedora package, convert it with alien:
        alien --to-deb the-skype-fedora.pkg
        sudo dpkg -i the-skype-fedora.deb
        This way you have it nicely integrated with gnome and apt.
    • Re:Bravo! (Score:2, Informative)

      by markandrew ( 719634 )
      i emerged it a couple of days ago, used it, no problems (apart from it using Qt - ugly).
    • Almost unbelievably you said "Normally, there's little I hate more than running closed-source software as root, but I'll forgive them this time since 1) it's a beta...".


      I'm not sure even your Jesus can help you.

  • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:35PM (#11546059) Homepage
    Interoperability is good but open source is better.

    Does anyone know what's happened to the Helix grant that was supposed to bring VoIP to Jabber last year. https://jabber.helixcommunity.org/ [helixcommunity.org]

  • It refused to be installed on Red Hat 9 (qt 3.1)
    Time to change to Fedora Core 3, I guess :)
  • by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:43PM (#11546137) Journal
    For about a year and a half, I had to locate myself in Philly while keeping operations of our company up and running in California. My business partner and I had weekly meetings, starting out with Chat on OS X, then audio chat. When we discovered Skype, we switched to that. We found that it seemed to work a bit better. I even used my PS 2 USB headset (originally purchased for SOCOM II) and enjoyed the experience.

    Granted, we used it on a very basic level...simply for online chat. I'm looking forward to bigger and better uses, especially loading it onto a wifi-enabled PDA and using it as a "cell phone".
  • is there a port for the Sharp Zaurus? has anyone used it?
  • It takes commercial, formerly spyware company to bring a useful too to the masses based on little other then word of mouth. Where is the FOSS tooling to save us from this evil?
    • Yes, these are the guys that invented Kazaa. Which was an amazing app!
      They then sold it too some other evil company that added more and more spyware each version.
      If I'm not mistaken, the original kazaa merely had harmless ads.
      Don't confuse the original kazaa with its' current beastly incarnation!
      I remember my first time using kazaa/morpheus, it was quite cool.
      Those guys sold kazaa and went on to develop this more legit app, and the world is better for it, I believe.
  • by sprocketbox ( 636698 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @07:57PM (#11546225)
    Turns out that Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] will do this just fine. In fact a quick google for skypecasting will pop up some instructions on how do this.

  • Old news? (Score:4, Informative)

    by nighty5 ( 615965 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:00PM (#11546256)
    I've been using Skype on Linux for at least 2 months.

    This seems like old news to me.

    Btw, the way they achieve cross platform is they use the QT libraries from Trolltech, of KDE fame.
  • Now, if only it worked on my thinkpad x21. It already works, if by "works" you mean "produces horrible awful distorted sound on both ends".

    I'll be happy when they introduce ALSA support.
  • No Spyware (Score:4, Informative)

    by Azeroth48 ( 855550 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:04PM (#11546291) Homepage
    The Reason that they have no spyware , is because they offer a service called Skypeouthttp://www.skype.com/products/skypeout/ [skype.com], A telephone service allowing you to call an outside line, which of course you have to pay for
    • Re:No Spyware (Score:3, Informative)

      by IANAAC ( 692242 )
      And billing complaints aside (there are many, unfortunately), Skypeout works beautifully. I can make clear calls from the US to any landline Europe, no problem. At around 2 cents a minute. Calls to European mobiles aren't all that cheap though.
  • They have RPMs for every modern RPM distro but not a single .deb. Darn. I could compile it from source, but I have been avoiding that ever since I switched to Ubuntu.
  • I see that it appears to be a eurocentric device and winders compatible.

    Now that Linux is supported, will the Olympia be usable with Linux and in the USSA???

  • Credit Card Issues (Score:3, Informative)

    by B4RSK ( 626870 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @08:13PM (#11546357)
    I've been using Skype on Windows for some time now. It works really well overall, and especially the PC2PC sound quality is excellent. Usually as good or better than a local landline call.

    I have also been using SkypeOut, their 1.7 Euro cent/minute (2.2 US cents). SkypeOut has saved me a lot of cash, both in international calls from home and when making calls from hotels when traveling. Yep, Skype gets out of the usually heavily blocked hotel networks! So instead of being stuck paying exorbitant hotel long distance rates I pay the standard SkypeOut rate. Awesome!

    Except.... Skype now refuses to take my credit card to buy more pre-paid SkypeOut credit. I've tried 3 different cards, all of which work on Amazon US and Japan as well as various other sites. No go. :( I contacted their "live support" chat option but was told that Skype is having issues with their card approval company.

    Anyone else have the same problems?
    • It took me a few tries the first time I used Skype. And recently they stopped accepting Canadian credit cards for a bit... but I whined like hell, and they reinstated it a few days later.

      If it helps at all... I'm a Canadian, using a Scotiabank Visa card (with Secured by Visa activated). I would suggest just trying a few more times, and seeing if you can get it through.
      • Thanks for that.

        I'm also a Canadian, but now living in Japan. My Royal Bank Visa was rejected by Skype, as were both Japan-issued cards I have. :(

        I'll try again later with the Canadian card!! If it goes through I'll buy a bunch at once and hope to not have to go through this again for a while...
    • by driptray ( 187357 )

      Yes, I have the same problem, so no Skypeout for me. If you check the Skypeout forum [skype.com] you'll see that many other people have this problem, and that the Skype people don't seem to have any solution.

    • I personally know of several people who could not use their credit cards at Skype. Its a shame.

      I personally have had mixed results. Sometimes my credit cards work and sometimes they dont. I have never had this sort of trouble with an online vendor before.
  • .torrent (Score:2, Informative)

    download was pretty slow from skype.com so I made a torrent after I finished @ 20kB/s

    skype- []
  • I've been using Skype for Mac for a little while now, and I'm impressed with the quality of the UI on Mac OS X, and the fact that they're supporting four (count them, four) platforms with fully native interfaces on each platform. That's not something to sneeze at (we have enough problems with two where I work). These guys seem to really get attention to detail.

    Just the fact that they can afford to do the UIs as well as they have, as fast as they have, hints at how lucrative their SkypeOut business is.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?