Skype & Co.

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Skype & Co.

Post by ^rooker »

It's ridiculous!

Voice-over-IP is absolutely NOTHING new. And if we consider the incredible speed-increase over the last few years, I was actually NOT expecting any troubles finding some useful internet-telephony client.

But I was wrong.

They're either using some stupid proprietary protocols, or are impossible to use, or they're linked to a fixed telephony provider.

What the hell is wrong with this planet?

I thought that I might be successful when looking for a simple SIP client, so I could set up Das-Werkstatt's own SIP-proxy/registrar to offer people around me non-proprietary, open, easy-to-use telephony over Internet.
Most of the desktop computers are easily capable of encoding audio in real-time in some useful streaming codec (come on... our GSM phones can do this since years...)

(I don't like to use swear words, but I'm currently incredibly pissed off. :evil: )

I've spent the whole night yesterday to set up a working SIP proxy (SER), but I wasn't able to test it yet due to the lack of a useful client.

Of course, I'd absolutely prefer a platform-independent version, but I'm already giving up on this idea....

Here's a list of the clients I've tried and a short feedback:

- Gizmo Project (linked to
- X-Lite (incredibly confusing/unbearable user interface)
- Babble (linked)
- SpeakFreely (can't remember)
- JaJah (linked)
- Wengo (linked)

- Yate (seems to be unconfigurable in Win-version)
- ExpressTalk (seems useful)

I don't want to just give up and let Skype fuck things up by pushing those stupid morons out there some proprietary-only-we-play-this-game shit-protocols and codecs up their asses.

If Skype would conform to existing standards and open protocols, they'd probably kill their business plan.... so what? Their work is not great at all, they're just surfing on the wave of windows-user-mentality (don't know/don't care/don't wanna know).

Why can't there just be simple plugin for an existing IM? If there was a SIP module for Miranda, that probably be one of the best solutions for this.

Merging all the IMs (including IRC) into a single IM application could finally make it possible to move from strangely-motivated freaks (e.g.: ICQ usage policy: Whatever you send over our servers belongs to us!)
to a nice, open protocol which serves the needs (Jabber?)

I'm actually sad....

I was so eager to get this SIP stuff up and running today, but the results almost make me cry. What's missing??
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Post by gilthanaz »

A tissue?

Anyway, we should set up that jabber server soon. I wrote the 3rd great book and sent it to a friend over ICQ for pre-reading, and they already released it under the name of some ghostwriter. Legally, its their book now. Damn.

Or my idea for a endless, clean, and cheap energy source! Mankind would be saved (and the US out of arguments for their oil-wars), but i told someone about it over ICQ, and now its patented by Mirabilis :lol:

Well, i get your point. Economy is whats ruining us, but we'd die without it, too. Its a deamon in yourself - sure, you can kill it, but you'd rip out your own heart and won't even have enough time to be happy about your victory, before you go to hell arse forward (Satan likes 'em that way!).
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Post by poppycat »

Skype have me pissed off for a different reason now. I have it on my machine and they keep pushing me to 'upgrade'. Thing is, I am one of those annoying bitches that actually reads the eulas and I found some worrying differences between the one on their site and the one that they expect you to skip over when you install. I will be upgrading when hell bloody freezes over! Work on a new one and I will use that one instead. We need to bring down the man :twisted:
I will give you $5 for your soul...mwuhahahaha
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Post by ^rooker »


First of all:
thanks for moral support, poppycat!

If you tell me a useful SIP-client which is able to connect to any SIP compliant server, we're actually ready to start talking.

I DO know that bringing down economy as a whole is not a very good idea, but currently there are a lot of extremes occuring which I am not willing to simply accept.

I don't have the feeling that building our own VoIP network will bring economy down, but it will give at least a handful of people an alternative.

Monopolies. That's what I'm really afraid of. And I'm willing to spend my free time to balance things out a little bit...
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News from the world of VoIP

Post by ^rooker »

Finally, I think I've found a somewhat useful VoIP client: "ekiga" (formerly known as "gnomemeeting")

1) It's user interface is simple and I think also "normal" users are able to get it up and running using the wizard that comes with it.

2) It was actually written for linux, but there's a windows port for it, too (which I'm currently evaluating so I can convince people to get rid of Skype for ever :twisted: )

Unfortunately, I have had only 1 chance until now to try and do an actual call with it - and it was stuttering soooo badly that it was actually unusable. I hope I can provide positive feedback on that issue soon!
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"Skype" or: "Playing the proprietary game&

Post by ^rooker »

While reading some background info about SIP and H323, I ran across the Wikipedia entry for Skype.

There were some interesting things listed there which I'd like to quote here.
A design limitation of Skype is, if given access to an unrestricted network connection, Skype clients can become supernodes. These supernodes hold together the peer-peer network and provide data routing for those behind restrictive firewalls. Unfortunately, these supernodes can generate a significant amount of bandwidth—saturating a high speed, 100 Mbit/s connection is not unheard of. For this reason some network providers, such as universities, have banned Skype.
* Skype is a proprietary software program using undocumented protocols, and laws prohibit reverse-engineering it;
* Skype implements some kind of "peer-to-peer" network over client machines, with clients on fast connections becoming major exchange points; since research centers typically have very high speed connections, machines running Skype in those centers may generate very high traffic; some networks were reportedly nearly saturated by Skype traffic;
* the information flow implemented by Skype is unknown; though encryption is used, it is unknown where traffic goes.

As such, Skype is considered a security hazard for research networks, in which there may be significant intellectual property.
Recently, Intel and Skype entered into a partnership resulting in Skype providing advanced conference-calling features exclusively on PCs that run Intel chips. With this deal, customers who want to take advantage of multiperson conference calls cannot do so on AMD-based machines. AMD has questioned the legality of this agreement as part of its anti-trust lawsuit against Intel.
...I really like the fact that skype's using up your whole bandwidth if it declares your machine as a supernode. Due to the fact that skype is built to use your system ressources as it likes, I think skyped-computers could be used for unauthorized grid computing... Sounds more like a trojan to me. 8)
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