Skype from your mobile phone with iSkoot

I won’t be surprised if Apple sends a cease & desist to the folks who make iSkoot for using an "i" word but I can tell you the program and service works really well.  What iSkoot does is install a program on your supported handheld that works just like Skype on your desktop for the most part.  You can work with your contacts, make and receive Skype calls, all from your mobile phone.  You must have SkypeOut credit to receive Skype calls on your handset but if the call is normally free on Skype it is still free in iSkoot.  There are versions that support Nokia S60 devices, Palm Treos and they recently added BlackBerry support which is what I’ve been testing.

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I downloaded and installed iSkoot over-the-air and went straight to work.  I can see my standard contact list and can make Skype calls and chat sessions with anyone on my list.  It looks like and works just like Skype except it is really using the iSkoot servers to route the call to and from the mobile phone.  I called several people and had chat sessions with a few others and the program worked flawlessly.  Everyone I spoke with said it sounded just like a mobile phone call and it sounded great from my end.  Kevin installed iSkoot on a Nokia N80 and we had an iSkoot to iSkoot call which worked perfectly.  This means you can now make VoIP calls with your mobile phone handset without a WiFi hotspot.  It is also a cost-effective way to make international Skype calls from your cell phone.  iSkoot is in beta and is free for now, don’t know if it will stay that way when it goes live.

How to manage geeks

Microsoft-1978Geeks are, well, special people.  They don’t think like normal people and they get excited over the strangest things.  I’m not making fun of geeks since I’m firmly in that fraternity myself.  One thing I can tell you having run some large companies with geeks on staff is that because of the traits above geeks can be a real handful to manage.  Russ Mitchell of FastCompany has written a great article, “How to manage geeks”.  Russ shares the things you need to know about geeks to successfully manage them and provides good tips for keeping them working well with the entire team that includes non-geeks.  It’s a good read that anyone who is in a position to supervise techies would be wise to give a read.  Besides, that’s a great title. 

Grumpy Old Telecoms

It is like you are watch telecom version of Grumpy Old Men – Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau fighting over Ann Margret. Qwest and VZ are sniping at each other, as they tussle over MCI. Never mind, that anyone who ends up with MCI is going to love to regret it. But that’s for later. So here is a little sample of the sniping via Denver Post. On Monday, VZ Chairman Ivan Seidenberg wrote in a letter

Qwest’s bid for MCI is full of false statements and ‘might be more appropriately considered in the category of Modern Fiction.

Qwest chief executive Richard Notebaert today wrote in his own letter…

Verizon, who has released no details of the underlying benefits of its offer, continues in its shrill attempt to change the focus away from delivering maximum value to MCI shareholders.

Qwest is complaining that MCI board is ignoring its overtures despite offering more money. It recently upped its offer to $8.5 billion or roughly $25.60 a share. Never before anyone has offered so much money for something which is not worth half as much. Oh well now to more important question: Who is Matthau and who is Lemmon? You decide!