The guerrilla roots of the Skype calling service

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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ARAB TIMES, WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2011


                                                                                                             Still has room to grow on phones

The guerrilla roots of the Skype calling service
NEW YORK, May 17, (AP): In buying               national borders, ignoring the fences that       entertainment industry, which accused         Skype languished under eBay, with a        Cellphone companies feared that allow-          base — the roughly 170 million people
Skype, Microsoft is getting one of the          phone companies put up in the form of            Kazaa of facilitating the theft of millions   rapid succession of CEOs. Despite low      ing Skype on phones would hurt revenue          who have the software installed, know
rare companies that has turned its name         international calling charges. Usernames         of copyright-protected songs and videos.      operating costs, revenue was small; just   by letting callers save their minutes.          how to use it and tell each other “to
into a verb, like Xerox or Google. “Let’s       take the place of phone numbers.                 The Australian company ended up fight-        a few percent of active users paid any        The phone companies came around              Skype.”
Skype” is a phrase understandable, with            Calling from computer to computer is          ing long battles in court, while              money to Skype. Those who did were         slowly after US regulators started to take          Competitors have to replicate that
slight translation, in much of the world.       free. Skype charges for calls to phone           Zennstrom and Friis walked away.              mostly Europeans, as they made a lot       an interest in Skype’s complaints. AT&T         user base somehow because communi-
   For most people, it means sitting in         numbers on the traditional phone net-                             Genius                       more international calls. In the U.S.,     said in late 2009 that it would allow           cations software is only as good as the
front of your computer to talk, often for       work. It also charges for getting a phone                                                      state-to-state calls are already cheap.    Skype calls over its wireless network.          number of people you can contact with
free. Four out of ten times, there are          number associated with your Skype                   The pair turned their efforts instead         In 2007, eBay had to write down         Since then, the other major carriers have       it.
cameras involved too, turning the ses-          username, so people can call you from            toward applying the peer-to-peer princi-      much of Skype’s value. Two years later,    joined, figuring that Skype calls are a             Google Inc. is trying. Its Gmail serv-
sion into a video chat.                         regular phones.                                  ple to communications.                        eBay sold two-thirds of Skype to an        way to sell data plans.                         ice has more than 190 million users and
   The service has become popular for              Skype wasn’t the first to offer phone            This was the genius of Skype: Thanks       investor group that included Zennstrom        Another area Skype has a foothold but        serves as a springboard for voice and
long, rambling chats with distant friends       calls over the Internet when it launched         to peer-to-peer technology, it could get      and Friis for roughly $2 billion.          no dominance is the living room. TVs            video chats. It can even be used to place
and relatives. Children too young to talk       in 2003, but the way it did it was unique        started with very little investment. The         Microsoft announced an agreement        are increasingly connected to the               calls to phone lines, just like Skype.
on the phone can still be entranced by          and rebellious. It relied on a technology        heavy lifting of running the network —        Tuesday to buy the company for $8.5        Internet. Panasonic and Samsung TVs                 Other competitors are piggybacking
the image of Grandma on the computer            that had already disrupted the music             figuring out how to find users and con-       billion — three times what eBay had        come with the capability to do Skype            on the popularity of Facebook, which
screen.                                         industry — peer-to-peer file sharing, in         necting their calls — was mostly done         valued it at. Microsoft sees in Skype a    video chats, but no built-in cameras.           has more than 500 million active users.
                                                which computers connect to share things          by the users’ computers. With very low        way to support its own products.                                                           T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 cellphone
                   Social                       directly, without an intermediary vulner-        costs, Zennstrom and Friis could afford                                                                 Advantage                        company in the US, launched software
  “Skype really is that inner circle, that      able to legal action.                            to give the software away, feeding its                       Phones                         “It’s an area where we’d like it just to     that lets Facebook friends call one anoth-
inner set of social experiences,” CEO              The founders, Niklas Zennstrom, a             popularity.                                     Skype still has room to grow on          be easier,” Bates said.                         er.
Tony Bates said Tuesday.                        Swede, and Janus Friis, a Dane, had run             As Skype grew, eBay Inc. came call-        phones, including those running               Today, Skype’s technology doesn’t                Facebook could adopt Skype itself, or
  Skype bypasses the traditional phone          a peer-to-peer file-sharing network              ing. In 2005, it bought the company for       Microsoft’s Windows software.              give it much of an advantage over com-          launch its own calling service. In ten
system by routing calls and video over          called Kazaa. They sold it to an                 $2.6 billion, with a plan to integrate it       Skype has been slow in getting onto      peting services. Video-chatting software        years, people might still say “Skype
the Internet, just like email and Web           Australian company in 2002 after com-            into its auction site.                        cellphones, which have seen explosive      isn’t hard to create.                           me,” but the actual call might use some
pages. The calls vault effortlessly over        ing under intense legal pressure from the           The synergies never materialized.          growth since Skype was founded.               What Skype does have is a big user           other software entirely.


             Dr Hajri with British Ambassador and ESF management                                                British Ambassador presenting award to Head Girl                                                            Guests at graduation

                            Officials with senior management                                                           British Ambassador presenting awards                                             Awards being presented by British Ambassador’s wife

                   Int’l Student Award speech                                                                                                                        ESF graduates
                                                                 ESF celebrates 43rd year of excellence
                                                Years 11, 12, and 13 students and                Germany,       Cuba,     Azerbaijan,          the tune of ‘The Valiant Years”.              The winner of The International       
                                                hundreds of guests attended The                  Romania, Austria, Switzerland,                  During the course of the evening         Student      Award     (Council     of          ivisions/challenger.htm or contact Mariam
                                                English School Fahaheel’s 43rd                   South Africa, Russia and Serbia.              the ESF choir headed by Ms                 International Schools) award this               Noor at 9982-4597 or mariamnoor@hot-
           click                                Annual Graduation and prize-giving
                                                ceremony in style again at the opu-
                                                                                                   The Head of the Department of
                                                                                                 Private Education Fahd El Ghais
                                                                                                                                               Ledgard and Ms Grmusa performed
                                                                                                                                               mellow numbers.
                                                                                                                                                                                          year was Nawaal Zuberi.
                                                                                                                                                                                             The special French award was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ❑        ❑       ❑
                                                lent Hashemi 2 Ballroom at the                   also attended.                                  Certificates and prizes were pre-        then presented to the winning stu-
                        Latest                  Radisson SAS Hotel.                                The ESF Chairman and owner                  sented to Years 11, 12 and 13 grad-        dent Tina Raad by a very kind sup-              Kwt-Brits football supporters: A
                                                  The chief guest at this special                Ibrahim Shuhaiber was accompa-                uates by His Excellency the British        porter of the school Fredrique Asfar.           new football supporters website for British
         Continued from Page 25                 event was His Excellency the                     nied by Vice-Chairman Jasmine                 Ambassador to Kuwait Frank Baker              The 43rd Annual Graduation at                expats living and working in Kuwait has
                                                Ambassador for the United Kingdom                Shuhaiber, Principal and Department           accompanied by the owner and               The English School Fahaheel came                been set up by an Everton supporter,
d’Affaires Embassy of India, Kuwait and         to the state of Kuwait Frank Baker.              Heads and Upper School staff.                 Chairman of The English School             to a close with a vote of thanks in             Trevor Powell. The Kuwait Brits Football
the guest of honor will be prominent per-       Among the other dignitaries attend-                The evening commenced with the              Fahaheel Ibrahim Shuhaiber.                English, French and Arabic after                Supporters Association (KBFSA) site aims
sonalities from Kuwait.                         ing were former minister of Housing              national anthem aptly performed by              Principal Bowery and Head of             which a sumptuous buffet was                    to provide contact information for support-
   So, join us for entertainment on June 10,    in Kuwait Dr Abdullah Rashed Al-                 the ESF band. Following this the              Upper School Cox then addressed            offered to all diplomats, honoured              ers of each others’ whereabouts and also in
at 07:30 pm sharp at: Auditorium Kamil Al       Hajeri    and    ambassadors     of              graduates class of 2011 entered to            the audience.                              guests, parents’ students and staff.            the future hopes to organise social events
Rays, American Int’l School, near Police                                                                                                                                                                                                  such as quizzes and even five-a-side
Station Maidan Hawally Kuwait. For more                                                                                                                                                                                                   matches on a home international teams
details, please contact 97690035,                                                                                                                                                                                                         basis. We need expats to register their sup-
66568147, 94450833, 97270386,                                                                                                                                                                                                             port and hence we can then start to cast
97286577, 67030839, and 99757214 email:                                                                                                                                                                                                   around for a suitable meeting venue. The Web Page:                  British Academy of Sport under the patron-                                                                                                ■ The children will play the game of base-      site can be accessed at                       age of H.E. The British Ambassador is                                                                                                     ball with accommodations as are necessary                    ❑       ❑        ❑
                                                pleased to offer yet another new activity in                                                                                              for the individual child and team.
                                                the 2011 community sports programme.                                                                                                      ■ The value of the Little League                Kuwait Basketball Academy: The
                               Art              Air Rifle target shooting takes place in a                                                                                                Challenger Division is beyond baseball,         English School Fahaheel will play host to a
                                                safe, supervised environment at the                                                                                                       and is found in the proven therapeutic and      series of basketball camps run by the
Miniature Rug Workshop: Al-Sadu                 Hunting and Equestrian Centre target                                                                                                                                                      Kuwait Basketball Academy. The camps
Weaving Society will hold the Miniature                                                                                                                                                   socialization benefits for the players for
                                                shooting range with specialist tuition from                                                                                               participating in sports, the strengthening of   will be split into two age groups 8-11-
Rug ‘Sana’ Workshop a tapestry weaving          Coach Howard Banks. This course is                                                                                                                                                        years-old and 12-15 years old with the pri-
technique used in the tribal rugs of Iran and                                                                                                                                             participants’ self-esteem, sportsmanship
                                                offered to anyone aged 15 years and above,                                                                                                and fair play.                                  mary focus of learning skills and tech-
Afghanistan by Hussein Ali. Four sessions       from beginner to experienced participants.                                                                                                                                                niques. Children be exposed to a series of
Sunday and Tuesday, 4 – 7 pm. Starts on                                                                                                                                                   ■ Playing with the same equipment on the
                                                For further information contact Coach                                                                                                     same fields, the players have the opportuni-    training methods which improve essential
the Sunday, April 10 evening (4 pm – 8          Howard on 65788817.                                                                                                                                                                       fundamental skills of the game and chil-
pm). Fee – KD 55 (Table top loom and                                                                                                                                                      ty to experience the joys of pulling togeth-    dren will learn what it takes to be a com-
tools included in the price).                                ❑        ❑       ❑                                                                                                           er as a team, being cheered, and earning        plete offensive and defensive player.
   At Sadu House, Arabian Gulf Street,          KLL introduces Challenger                                                                                                                 awards for their achievements.                     The camps will run for eight consecutive
next to the National Museum of Kuwait           Division: Kuwait Little League, (KLL)                                                                                                     ■ The Challenger Division works with the        Saturdays until June 4 with the 8-11 year
providing minimum numbers of students           (chartered with Little League International                                                                                               help of “Buddies” for each player. The          old age group playing between 9 am and
are available.                                  Pennsylvania, United States) is proud to                                                                                                  Buddies help the players in all aspects of      10:30 am and the 12-15-year-old category
   Please confirm or reconfirm your inten-      announce that there will be a Challenger                                                                                                  the game, defense and offense.                  playing between 10:30 am and 12:00 pm.
tion to participate via email to                Division for the 2010- 2011 season! The                                                                                                      Participation/Volunteer                      Each player will receive an exclusive camp Tel: 22432395, Mob:         Challenger Division is a separate division                                                                                                   If you would like your child to partici-     T-shirt and DVD which provides an analy-
99368147 (for English only). Please pro-        of Kuwait Little League to enable boys and                                                                                                pate in the Challenger Division or if you       sis of their own performance. There will be
vide name, email and Tel. number of each        girls with physical and mental challenges,       The Sultan Gallery will hold an exhibition by artist Reza Doust titled ‘Get              would be interested in volunteering as a        many opportunities for players to win
participant.                                    ages 6-12, to participate in an athletic envi-   Tested’ from May 24. The exhibition will open on May 24 at 07:00 pm, and runs            Buddy (teenagers or adults), coach, team        prizes during the 8 weeks with awards
                                                ronment structured to their abilities.           until May 26. Timings are as follows: from 10:00 am to 02:00 pm and from                 parent, and/or sponsor, please register         going for Most Valuable Player (MVP),
                        Sports                  ■ Today more than 30,000 children partic-        07:pm to 09:00 pm on May 25 and on May 26 from 10:00 am to 02:00 pm. For                 online at                             Most Improved Player (MIP), Best
                                                ipate in more than 900 Challenger                details contact 24714325/6 ext 110 or email at,                 For more information about the
BAS Air Rifle Target Shooting: The              Divisions worldwide.                                                  or log on to                                  Challenger Division please go to:                         Continued on Page 27

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