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My Amazon Book Pics
  • The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1)
    The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1)
    by Stephen King
  • The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Book 1)
    The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Book 1)
    by Tad Williams
Contact Me


If you have Skype just click on the "S" button to call me. If I am not available you can leave me a voice message.

Click on the "G+" button to contact me on Google+


When not engrossed reading a good book on my kindle, watching science fiction, singing with the Cappella Singers or looking for new apps for my Iphone or Ipad l also trawl through the Internet and post useful articles on my Blog. I welcome your thoughtful contributions or questions.  I mainly hangout on Google+ where I find a nice level of engagement and plenty of interesting posts. I also use Twitter and Facebook. For video conversations I use Skype but am actively looking for an alternative. I am still amazed at what you can do on the Internet and where it's possible I enjoy being an early adopter.

I am a Secular Humanist and passionate supporter of Social Justice issues and can be found on Google+ in heated but respectful debate on these and many other topics. When reading I enjoy Science Fiction, Fantasy and History as well as good smattering of Politics. If I had to choose a hero a word that is often over used I would say Carl Sagan. So that's me if you want to know more just drop me a line via my Contact Page or through the social media sites I have mentioned. 

My Google+ Profile ||  My Facebook Account ||  My Flickr Account ||  My Twitter Account ||  My Google+ Page

I have recently become a Co-Manager of a Google+ support page called Oasis in the Stream If you are new to Google+ or want to learn more about it and other Google products please pop on over and join the discussion.



Entries in Skype (6)


What drives me mad with Skype

I have been using Skype for many years and found it to be a great way to communicate. Lately how ever I have been getting more and more annoyed with it. Firstly there has been an on going issue which has been around for years where Skype fails to accurately show the online status of users on my contact list. I know that many users have made Skype aware of this issue via the Skype forums. Skype promotes its self as a business solution but it really needs to deal with this problem because how can business rely on it if they can't be sure who is online.

My next gripe is that over the last few upgrades Skype has placed annoying adds that appear when you load it up. It really has become nagware and that is a real shame. With Skype recently being sold to Microsoft maybe some of these issues will be addressed. Skype needs to work on fixing the bugs and the online status issue rather than ignoring them and adding new features. With new players like Google+ Hangouts Skype needs to be aware that there is now real competition in the web chat market.


Facebook adds Skype Video Calls

Facebook and Skype have joined forces to enable Skype video calls from within Facebook. You don't need to have the desktop Skype client or a Skype account.  You can click on a video button either on your friends profile or chat window. The first time you do this you will be asked to accept a small software install. Here are the instructions.

Facebook video


Before you can call your friends, you need to complete a quick, one-time setup:

  1. You will be asked to complete the setup the first time you try to call a friend, or the first time a friend tries to call you. To call a friend, click the video icon at the top of your chat window.
  2. Simply click the “Set Up” button and follow the instructions for how to set up video calling on your browser.
  3. Once you’ve successfully completed the setup, the call you’ve started with your friend should connect automatically. If it doesn’t, you can call again by clicking the video icon at the top of your chat window.

It is interesting that Facebook and Skype have released this just as Google has started opening it's Google+ that has video conferencing built it. 

Tell me what you think of Skype on Facebook.


New Skype Windows Beta (5.5) with Facebook Chat

Skype have just announced a new bate version for Windows. The main new feature is that now you can IM your Facebook contacts from with in Skype. I downloaded the beta and have been giving it a test drive. There are also some other smaller changes which are also listed on Skypes latest blog post. If you are a Facebook user you may find this change to be a bonus. Please remember though that this is a beta version and so there may be some bugs  floating around.

Skype Blog - For further information

Download Skype Windows beta


Microsoft buys Skype

SkypemicrosoftIt has just been announced this week that Microsoft is going to acquire Skype paying a reported 8.5 billion US dollars. Skype will become a division off Microsoft. It is unclear what plans Microsoft has for Skype but they have said they will continue to develop Skype for all platforms that it currently works on. I hope that if this acquisition goes through Microsoft fixes some of the more infuriating bugs that Skype have ignored for years in particular the flakey way Skype shows your online status. I use Skype a lot so I will be an interested observer.

What do you think of Microsoft buying Skype? Let me know what you think. post a comment below I have also created this as a topic on my Tech Forum.


Video Calls now on Skype Iphone App

Today Skype finally released the long awaited update to it's Iphone App which allows users to have video calls via the Iphone. I tested it on my Iphone 3gs and it worked well even though my Iphone only has one camera at the back. If you are lucky enough to have an Iphone 4 you will get the full benefit. Also I noticed that when the App is running in  the background it does not chew up the battery as much as the previous version. All in all so far I have been impressed with it. I have included a promotional video about it from Skype. I don't know if this video will encourage you to get the App or run for the hills I will let you be the judge.



New Skype Beta

If you a Skype user you may be interested to know that Skype has just released a new beta for version 5. If you don't mind playing with a beta version the most important new feature is a 10 way group video call function. As always before you download a beta you should check out what stability issues may effect it's performance.