Just use Google Hangouts...

Story: Microsoft's Linux app, Skype, gets updatedTotal Replies: 13
Author Content

May 24, 2013
9:39 PM EDT
I was able to talk a good deal of my friends into dropping Skype and just using Google hangouts for voice chat awhile ago. They pretty much encompass all the functionality of skype, with none of skype's issues at this point on all desktop operating systems.


May 24, 2013
9:50 PM EDT
Google is a data mining company. How do you know they aren't storing your conversations just like Microsoft does with Skype?

May 25, 2013
4:03 AM EDT
Data mining is a lesser evil in this case (for me). More significant is the fact that google provides me with a simlar experience on all platforms (linux being the one I care about). The Skype client on linux ranges from usable to horrible depending on distribution and moon phase. Also, the protocols are different, which is important for several reasons. Skype is an abomination. On that note, so is google...but at least google plays decently with linux.

May 25, 2013
4:06 AM EDT
I'm not going to disagree with any of your points. I have family members and friends overseas who use Skype. The issue for me is to convince everyone to change. Oh, and yeah, I am concerned about privacy as well.

May 25, 2013
6:18 AM EDT
My family uses Skype as well. I am nagged enough to have Skype installed on all my machines.

May 25, 2013
11:04 AM EDT
google hangout would be nice if it was available in every country. however for our team we discovered something different. teamspeak or mumble. it has quite some advantages over both skype and google hangout.

for one it works more like an irc server with channels, where you enter a channel and others can join and leave on their own. skype doesn't do that. (ok, hangout does allow that, but there is more). this is much better than having to call people to get them to join, and worse, having to call them again if they drop out. it has admin control over channels and server admins can move people from one channel to another.

and that's the next big advantage: you can run your own servers! this should solve your privacy issues. (note that we use teamspeak at work, and i have not tried mumble yet, but given that google hangout and skype are non-free too, a non-free teamspeak is still a clear winner)

greetings, eMBee.

May 27, 2013
7:16 AM EDT
I agree with catilyn,

Lately, I've been getting severely INTRUSIVE Google Hangout messages nearly every time I log into GMail. Here is one such message:

"Upgrade Chat to the new Hangouts experience for free

Hangouts bring conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android and Apple devices."

While you peeps may say that I don't HAVE TO approve getting Hangout, it certainly seems to me that it's all too easy to fairly CARELESSLY subscribe to their service, but much more intricately HARD to UNsubscribe (boo!! hiss!!) Also gotta wonder, like caitlyn says, what OTHER juicy bits of personal info the G ??-hats are collecting about me and marketing each time I try escaping from G's Hangout and/or its other intertwined pushed services?

My 2c

May 27, 2013
9:21 AM EDT
So carrier pigeons were not that bad after all, uh?

May 27, 2013
12:26 PM EDT
Actually, there is another alternative to Skype, and it's called Jitsi. From what I understand, conversations are encrypted, thus ensuring privacy. And yes, it's available on Linux.

May 27, 2013
1:11 PM EDT
Quoting:Actually, there is another alternative to Skype...

How about P2P demonstrated by both Google & Mozilla on youtube: WebRTC: A conversation Between Chrome and Firefox.

See WebRTC for more information


May 27, 2013
2:25 PM EDT
Quoting:Lately, I've been getting severely INTRUSIVE Google Hangout messages nearly every time I log into GMail.

The last time I tried to access my GMail account, I received an intrusive message. The message claimed there was "suspicious activity" on my account. What "suspicious activity"? To this day, I still don't know and I don't really care any more. The message instructed me to provide them with my phone number. This wasn't the usual "we need your cell phone number" for backup or security reasons. I was given the choice of providing a number they could send a voice or text message to. There were no other options, and there was no way to bypass it as it had been presented in the past.

I did not try to login from an emailed link. I used my bookmarked link. I tried several different browsers on 4 different machines. In many instances, the URL was entered manually into the address bar. The result was always the same. Give us your phone number in order to log in.

I finally did the only thing I could do. I gave them my phone number in order to access my email account. Why? In order to DELETE the account. ALL of their "services". Every one of them. Not two seconds after providing my phone number, the phone rang with a roboized voice giving me an access code to enter. I entered it and logged into my email account. Some "security" process. Do they even know whose phone number I gave them? I have my doubts.

My Google, YouTube, Blogger, etc., et al, accounts are all deleted. They will forever remain so. After deleting them, I checked my "backup" email address. Yep, sure enough, there was the [sarcasm] most helpful [/sarcasm] message that my accounts had been deleted. I could reenable them within 6 hours. They had my "backup" email address the entire time. That wasn't good enough. They insisted on my phone number, too. The antics of Google's persistent "alternate contact" messages had already become antagonizing enough. This was the last straw.

Google crossed the line.


May 27, 2013
10:33 PM EDT
did it say anything about a different ip-address? that's what i occasionally get when i log in from a location i never used before.

i am using gmail for work, but i just have it forward all emails (and no spam filtering) so i don't need to log in.

greetings, eMBee.

May 28, 2013
1:03 AM EDT
Quoting:did it say anything about a different ip-address?

No. Actually, it says "unusual activity". My mistake. I only accessed the account from home, and all 4 machines are behind the same router. So, the IP address would always be the same.



If you're wondering about the red patches in the lower right corner, I've obfuscated my IP address.


May 28, 2013
1:04 AM EDT

>> ...They had my "backup" email address the entire time. That wasn't good enough. They insisted on my phone number, too. The antics of Google's persistent "alternate contact" messages had already become antagonizing enough. This was the last straw. Google crossed the line.<<

Let it be my tinfoil hat, but I sorta suspect the G ??-hats have a series of alternate line-crossing algorithms already set in place to address what those outside of them deem "deficiencies". The first thing is they throw up their unfinished deficient products onto the unsuspecting GUser sheeple and see what sticks well and what bounces back flat (like fully-done vs half-done pasta) Any complaints like yours that made you delete all their srvcs, they may note but probably will AVOID directly addressing over the short-term, as long as its a minimal few peeps.

At a certain threshold of ticked-off G-Users, the G-managers will get some techno-spouting PR person to try picking off and quieting down the more *obvious* G-Users one-by-one (make no mistake...they'll STILL discretely throw up onto *other* G-sheeple their deficient SW well under-the-radar). Should even MORE ticked-off G-Users speak up or defect, then you get some sort of formal public statement to all G-Users how *so sorry* they are and how the fix will be *SO much better*! Once it reaches the popular outrage level of lawyers and politicians (remember Buzz?), then the top-level G-suits will enact a permanent fix or product withdrawal.... "permanent" meaning until they estimate that the G-Sheeple and the media will all FORGET what happened!!

SURE this is tinfoil-hatty, but remember that tinfoil hats just ain't colored BLACK or GRAY!!

-Bunch more coppers thrown G's way......

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