Interesting Articles: Microsoft buys Skype, Ai Weiwei, Internet’s power usage, Larry Page’s Google 3.0

Tuesday, 10 May, 2011

* Techcrunch, “Done Deal! Big Deal. Smart Deal? Microsoft Buys Skype For $8.5 Billion In Cash

* Telegraph, “Ai Weiwei: they silence him, but his voice grows louder and louder

* Guardian, “‘It feels rotten putting the show on in Ai Weiwei’s absence’ – While Ai Weiwei remains interned by the Chinese authorities, Nicholas Logsdail, director of the Lisson Gallery, talks about a forthcoming exhibition of the artist’s work and his growing influence on the global stage

* AFP, “Hong Kong arrests pair over Ai Weiwei graffiti

* CNN Money, “The Internet: One big power suck

* BusinessWeek, “Larry Page’s Google 3.0 – The company co-founder and his star deputies are trying to root out bureaucracy and rediscover the nimble moves of youth”


Call regular phone numbers free from Gmail

Wednesday, 25 August, 2010

You can now call regular phone numbers from within gmail. (for more see NYT, PCWorld, CNNMoney, NYT Pogue’s Posts) I’ve tried calling Calgary numbers, there were some time delay but it was pretty neat.

According to Google, calls within Canada & US will be free for the rest of 2010 and calls to “U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan” will be $0.02 per minute.

Looks like Skype is going to have a tough competitor.

Here is an excerpt from the NYT article,

“Sure, you could reach for your cellphone instead of dialing your browser. But my extensive use of Skype and smartphones  has shown that most of the time an Internet phone call has better voice quality. People don’t ask me to repeat myself. There are sometimes annoying delays of up to four seconds between the time someone says something at one end and the time it pops out at the other end. These delays come from the Internet itself, which will make them hard for even Google to fix. And every now and then, Internet calls get dropped just like a cellphone.

What’s in it for you? If you already use Skype and Gmail, you can move to having only one Web page and one address book that combines e-mail, IM-style chat, and phone.”


Skype estimated US$100m offering

Tuesday, 10 August, 2010

Skype’s offering document at the SEC contains some interesting financial info, risk factors, etc about the company. Enjoy. [HT G&M]

For example, here is an interesting excerpt that helps understand Skype as an operating business, (emphasis added)

“Many of our products are free. As a result, we have generated nearly all of our historical revenues from our paid communications services products, which are purchased by a small minority of our users. During the three months ended June 30, 2010, we generated on average net revenues from calls made by approximately 8.1 million paying users to landline or mobile phones. These paying users represented less than 7% of our average connected users during this period. If even a small percentage of our paying users cease paying for our products, this could have a significant impact on our net revenues.

In addition, we have historically derived a substantial portion of our net revenues from a single product—SkypeOut. For the pro forma year ended December 31, 2009 and for the six months ended June 30, 2010, 86% and 87% of our pro forma net revenues and net revenues, respectively, were derived from the use of SkypeOut. Due to this dependence on SkypeOut as our primary source of net revenues, we are subject to an elevated risk of reduced demand for our SkypeOut product.”

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Aug 13, 2010 Update: Check out this interesting blog entry, “What the Skype IPO Filing Says About Facebook“.


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