In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 29, 2005 / 20 Nissan, 5765

Skype is not hype

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | ST. LOUIS — I can't believe I haven't written about this before: Skype, a free Internet chat service which also offers super-cheap calls to regular telephones, is a magical addition to the computing world. The software is free; using it over a broadband Internet connection (your office network, your home high-speed hookup or even from a hotel or coffee shop) will let you chat with other users, regardless of platforms. As of March, Skype, which is based in London and Tallinn, Estonia, claims 29 million downloads of its program, and a million customers of its optional pay-to-call-regular-phones service.

Sitting a half-mile from the Mississippi River and the famous Gateway Arch, I was sending written "instant messages" to my wife back home in Rockville. Suddenly, I remembered Skype, and suggested she download the software. She got busy on her PC, I was doing the same on my Mac, and, presently, we were chatting away without hassle, and for free, or essentially so; we have high-speed Internet at home, while my hotel supplies the same service as part of the room rate.

This is the same as a "voice over Internet Protocol," or VoIP (stet), call, but also different. Traditional VoIP services such as Vonage and Lingo — and a new one from AOL — involve a box that bridges a traditional telephone and a high-speed network connection. Here, the processing is done in the PC or Mac, but with the same result: speech is converted into data packets, sent over the network to a destination, and reassembled at the other end to become speech. With Lingo or Vonage, you pay a monthly fee; with Skype, computer-to-computer calls are free, while calls to regular phones are charged, but again at low rates.

The convenience of Skype is something else. After chatting with my spouse, I "rang" a friend in Riga, Latvia, who I noticed was available. Such a call would cost more than a few pennies the traditional way, but was cost-free to us. There is an immediacy and personal "feel" to a voice conversation that no "IM" can duplicate, which will be apparent to most users when the fire up the program the first time.

The Skype software (http://www.skype.com) is available for PCs, Macs, Linux systems and even Microsoft Pocket PC devices. Add an Internet connection and you're good to go, although you'll also need either a built-in microphone and speakers or an equivalent headset for conversation. The headset is a good idea if you're working in an office or want more privacy.

Once you "find" another user and determine if they're online, you simply click an on-screen button to "call" them, and you'll hear a traditional telephone ring. If the other party answers, you're in business.

Sound quality can vary given the demands of network traffic. I'd imagine a Skype call from New York to Washington in the height of a workday might sound different than the same call placed at a more quiet time. However, there seems to be enough robustness in the software - and the Internet - to carry most calls clearly; my wife and I chatted for about an hour this evening without too many hassles.

Having additional paid services — a voicemail service is in a free Beta trial right now — enhances the value of Skype as a business tool. Being able to place long distance and overseas calls for less money than traditional services charge can help a small business grow, for example.

The software does require some setting to avoid echo and feedback on the line (you don't want to hear yourself speaking while trying to have a conversation, for example). But the results are so good that the effort should pay off. As I said, I'm surprised I didn't tell you about this earlier.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com