Skype 3.1 Moves into Information Services

VoIP provider Skype has announced Skype 3.1 for Windows which rolls out two new features which take the application out of the realm of voice communication and into the realm of information services: SkypeFind, and a new beta service called Skype Prime.

SkypeFind is intended to be a user-generated guide to businesses and services: Skype users can rate, review, and post comments about their favorite (and least favorite) businesses and locations, no matter where they live. SkypeFind debuted in beta form in late February and has so far accumulated almost 5,000 listings in over 120 countries. Skype (obviously) expects the database and utility of SkypeFind to expand as more of the service’s 171 million worldwide users tap into SkypeFind and add their own content: it expects more than a million listings by the end of 2007.

“SkypeFind brings the global community to your doorstep. Skype users love sharing knowledge with one another because it is so liberating and empowering. ” said Sten Tamkivi, general manager of eCommerce for Skype, in a release. “SkypeFind is also so easy to use— even if you’re abroad. If you’re traveling in France and you want to find a great restaurant, just log onto Skype, click on SkypeFind and you have recommendations you can trust, direct from the Skype community.”

Skype has also introduced a new service (in beta form) called Skype Prime. The basic idea behind Skype Prime is to tap into Skype’s enormous user base and give those users—whether businesses or individuals—a chance to earn real money for sharing their expertise and knowledge with other Skype users. Users can set up and promote their information services via Skype Prime, and set their own per-minute or one-off fees for their on-call services. Skype Prime fees are paid by users via PayPal; Skype takes a 30 percent cut off the top.

At first glance, Skype Prime looks like it may quickly descend into a morass of psychic astrologers and “adult chat” connections which charge outrageous per-minute fees for…”services,” but Skype’s call conferencing features may enable new sorts of online businesses, such as real-time translation, technical support, or even real-time information services. Skype Prime has only just launched, and Skype expects the service will grow organically.

Skype 3.1 is currently only available for Windows; system requirements don’t currently include Windows Vista, although soe users report the software is functioning under the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system.


Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.

Wi-Fi helps connect all of our devices at high-speed, but what exactly is it?

What is Wi-Fi? It's a technology we all use everyday to connect all of our portable devices, but understanding how it works and how far it's come from its humble beginnings is another thing entirely.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Are you one of the billions who have watched these super-popular YouTube videos?

Viral videos can quickly garner millions upon millions of views, but even they fall well behind the view counts on the most watched YouTube videos ever. Those have been watched billions of times.

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.

Speed up your system by tweaking the startup application in Windows and MacOS

Bothered by programs that automatically start when you boot your computer, or want to add a new one to the list? Here's how to change your startup programs in Windows 7, 8, and 10, along with Apple's MacOS.