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All posts tagged "Skype"

  • Google’s barrier breaking real-time voice translator is almost here

    The world is more connected than ever before. Yet, foreign languages still seem to be the biggest barrier to achieving a truly interconnected planet. It doesn't matter how many fibre cables you lay or smartphones you create, if people can't easily understand and learn from each other, what's the use? In a mission to break these barriers down, major tech companies such as Microsoft and Google are gearing up to release real-time voice translation services. As the New York Times reports, Google is about to unveil a real-time language translator that would be able to automatically recognise a popular spoken language...

  • Microsoft reveals Skype Translate: a real time voice interpreter

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that in the future Microsoft’s Skype will be able to translate voice and video calls in near-real-time. Nadella’s news came yesterday at the Code Conference, where the head of Skype, Gurdeep Pall, demonstrated the interpretation capabilities of the current version of Skype Translator. In the demo, Pall engages in a Skype video call with one of his German colleagues, Diane Heinrichs. Heinrichs speaks in German, which is immediately translated to English and read out by the programme, while Pall responds in English, which is then translated into German. The result is a virtually comprehensive multilingual...

  • 10 pieces of consumer tech that have transformed PR over the past decade

    While we may not yet have the hover boards, flying cars and self-lacing shoes promised in 80s cult movie Back To The Future, the past 10 years have seen the introduction of an unprecedented number of cool, useful tech products and services that have made the life of the modern PR so much easier. Some among us may remember a time before mobile phones, when we had no way of keeping in touch with important calls after hours. Or even worse, who remembers a time when press releases were printed and hand-delivered (in a personalised manila envelope no less)? Since our...

  • Twitter wants to be a messaging app, Instagram wants to be Snapchat. And that’s missing the point…

    Of course Snapchat turning down a US$3-billion offer from Facebook has made everyone sit up and take notice. That’s real money, even for the Valley. Is it a surprise that Twitter last week moved direct messaging to the timeline? Is it a surprise that it's added photo messaging to DMs? Is it a surprise that Instagram launched private (‘Direct’) messaging? No. No. No. And it's also not a surprise that those two companies unveiled these features within a day of each other. It's a fight for attention. Right now, there’s no winner takes all. Even WhatsApp (ironically the least innovative...

  • Ashton Kutcher joins Lenovo as product engineer, no seriously

    So it looks like the trend for Hollywood celebs taking on roles at large tech companies isn't about to slow down any time soon. The latest A-lister to take on a corporate role is Ashton Kutcher, who is now a product engineer meets brand ambassador for Chinese tech giant Lenovo. Yup, that would be the same Ashton Kutcher who played Steve Jobs in the most high profile biopic about the legendary Apple CEO. "This partnership with Lenovo brings together my love of technology and design that makes your life better. I can’t wait to dig in and help Lenovo...

  • Making education interactive: tech, web and creative tips to engage students

    Technology is constantly redefining education, and not only does it provide teachers, parents, and students with a steady stream of new resources it also transforms the way our society stores, processes, and transmits information. Technologies change the way we think and play a key role in determining what we think about. As invention gives rise to new branches of knowledge, it drives education in new directions. Past innovations ranging from the codex to the internet have left indelible marks upon the academic world, and there can be no doubt future innovations will continue to alter the face of education...

  • Skype gets newer look for Windows 8, and stays awake while you sleep

    With the advent of Windows 8 and the completely new look it has received, many are somewhat sceptical. But at the same time Skype has decided to change its look for the new OS with a "new full-screen immersive and uncluttered Skype experience" that should please, especially if you use the video calling feature a lot. Mark Gillett, Skype's chief development and operations officer, writes on the company's blog that bringing "the people and messages that matter most to you at the heart of our new experience". Skype was bought by Microsoft last year, and has over 40-million concurrent...

  • Are we underestimating Skype’s potential as a social network?

    One thing missing from most social networking sites is the most basic form of communication: talking. Sure, conversations are happening all the time, but generally take on a written form as opposed to a verbal one. Online sharing platforms (that don’t involve actual speech) are increasingly becoming the commonly and socially accepted way to converse. To let people know where we are, we check in. To arrange or RSVP to a party or event, we do so on Facebook, or Google+. To tell our friends about an awesome new product, we tweet it, and to give our boyfriends birthday present...

  • How social is killing TV as a one-way medium

    Take a moment and think about how you watched television last night. Were you glued to the screen, just you and the TV? Or did you sit phone in hand, scrolling through your social channels, replying to an email and Whatsapp’ing with your friend on the other side of the country about said show? One of my favourite quotes sums it up: “social media makes you social with the people who aren’t there, and unsocial with the people that are”. Translate this into TV viewing habits and what I find in my network is that people are connecting in communities...

  • The problem with iMessage

    iMessage doesn't work. Well, that's not entirely true. It works perfectly well as a traditional text messaging replacement. To a point. The first problem with iMessage is its lack of awareness. It's a simple broadcast bus (think back to parallel connectors used to transfer data between components or computers). At its launch, Apple admitted that iMessage runs on top of its notifications engine (based on XMPP). But that's the problem: it's treating messages -- two-way communication - as what seems to be one-off, one-way bursts. It all syncs, which is great as you're able to be messaged or message (should that...

  • New record for Skype as 34M people use it concurrently

    Have you ever taken a moment in the middle of Skype conversation to think how many people might be using the service at exactly the same time as you? If you’d done so yesterday, the answer would have been 34-million. That number of concurrent users is a new record for the Microsoft-owned communications service. Even Skype doesn’t seem particularly clear about what caused the sudden user spike, less than a week after...

  • Is Skype a social network?

    Nothing Microsoft has ever built, or bought for that matter, has ever succeeded in the social sphere. But what about Skype? Surely Skype should be counted as a social network. It fulfills many of the same functions that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. You can set a status "mood" message, you can text message, use it as a group chat system, you can share files, photos, your computer screen. Plus, you can talk with...

  • Microsoft finalises Skype deal, promises ‘amazing new experiences’

    The announcement of Microsoft's Skype acquisition was greeted with scepticism,irritation and eventual happiness. Months later, the acquisition of Skype has now been finalised. The US$8.5-billion deal ended with a handshake and a smile from CEO Tony Bates who will now be named president of Microsoft's Skype Division. An official Microsoft blog, written by Bates, outlines the details of the acquisition in full: Joining forces with Microsoft is the best way to accelerate this mission and...

  • Facebook is fast becoming irrelevant and has lost the real-time battle

    I remember the glory days of Facebook. We used to share voraciously on our news feeds. Our movements. Interesting links. Videos. It was where the conversation happened. Daily. And then came Twitter. The real conversation (and the real-time one) shifted to Twitter. The shift was slow to begin with, which made Twitter a hollow place. After all, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does...

  • The ‘Maker Movement’ will produce the next Steve Jobs

    I used to meet with Steve jobs in the 1980s, when he was lauded as a visionary. To be honest I wasn't that impressed with him. Sure, he deserved credit for the Apple I and then Lisa, which turned into the Macintosh but it was too early to tell what he was capable of doing. Lots of people are successful in Silicon Valley and he was among them but you never know how much luck is involved. In the case of Steve Jobs it wasn't about luck. Steve Jobs stands out because of his consistent success, he's hit more balls...