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Re: Skype under Fedora-10

Kevin Kofler wrote:
Linux Media wrote:
I just wanted to speak up also and say that I agree that it's a good
program. I've been telling anyone that wants to use Skype that it's one
of the easiest, trouble free programs to install and use.

The people behind Skype clearly went out of their way to create a
program that works and is easy to understand/use.

Sheesh.... they even have that very simple "User" called "Test Call" for
testing that your sound is working correctly. So simple... so

I would have to vote Skype the best Multi-platform program that I've
used with Linux.

But it's proprietary software.

I KNEW this was going to happen.

Kevin, yes, there are H.323 and SIP gateways out there which offer
PBX-type services.  Most of the ones I've used are not reliable, cost
far more than Skype and most don't offer reverse phone numbers.  I do
have accounts on several SIP systems and I use them.

Regardless of your feelings about proprietary software, the vast
majority of Windows users--through ignorance, stupidity or laziness--
use Skype.  There's no getting around it.  Sorry, but that's just how
it is.  No one said life was fair or was going to conform to your
expectations, despite how noble they may be.

Quoting from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html :

| Powerful, reliable software can be bad
| The idea that we want software to be powerful and reliable comes from the
| supposition that the software is designed to serve its users. If it is
| powerful and reliable, that means it serves them better.
| But software can only be said to serve its users if it respects their
| freedom. What if the software is designed to put chains on its users? Then
| powerfulness only means the chains are more constricting, and reliability
| that they are harder to remove. Malicious features, such as spying on the
| users, restricting the users, back doors, and imposed upgrades are common
| in proprietary software, and some open source supporters want to do
| likewise.

(The article then goes on to rant about "Open Source" DRM implementations.)

I've read so many of these "proprietary software = evil, open source =
all-goodness-and-light" pieces that I'm sick of them.  They're generally
written by someone with an axe to grind, ignore any comments to the contrary of their position, and gloss over holes in their own premise.

Taking just the excerpt you provide above, it is utter nonsense that
those "malicious features" are _common_ in proprietary software.  Some
yes, but I'll posit that most spyware comes from some criminal
enterprise, installed by people who don't lock down their systems.  Does
that appear anywhere in that article?

As far as constrictions, the F10 installer won't let you change an LVM
group name unless you're doing a GUI install.  If your machine can't do
a GUI install out of the box, you have to carve a penguin in your forehead, sacrifice a chicken and dance naked on an ice floe in
Antartica under a full moon to do it (or know the magic "xdriver=vesa"
installer incantation).  I'd call that pretty damned restrictive.

Different analogy: people don't rail about the concept that Cummins
diesel engine parts don't work in Volkswagens.  They're different
beasts, do different jobs and are just, well, different.

Skype locks you into their proprietary network/protocol, by using it, you
also force other people into the same lock-in (so you're actively taking
their freedom away), it also abuses clients as tunnel servers ("supernodes")
whenever it feels like it (consuming your bandwidth), it even artificially
disabled features depending on your CPU vendor (not sure if they still do
that, but that was quite outrageous)!

No one is taking anyone's freedom away.  I don't see anyone holding a
gun to your head to use Skype. Use an H.323/SIP program and relay of your own choosing. Just be aware that not everyone is going to be available on it. You can't IM Yahoo chat users unless you have a Yahoo account, whether you use AIM, Pidgin, Kopete or some other client.
There's no one program, system, or protocol that is appropriate for
every possible use, and insisting that there is, is short-sighted to say
the least.

It's also not really portable, it doesn't even have a 64-bit version! So you
have to litter your 64-bit system with 32-bit compatibility multilibs to use
their crap.

Portable? Almost nothing binary is portable unless it uses some lame intermediate "virtual machine" thing like Java (which isn't a new
concept at all...we old timers can recall UCSD P-System Pascal in the
'80s).  They were called "compiling interpreters".

As for 64-bit, this is true.  But there's a LOT of stuff (open source
even) that don't have 64-bit binaries available unless YOU rebuild it
yourself--and not everyone is capable of doing that.

Ok, we've gone far enough astray on this.  All I'm saying is that Skype
is available for most of the major OSs out there (Winblow$, Mac, Linux),
so in that sense it is portable.  It is not the only solution, but it
is one.  It is common enough and for newbies or non-computer-literates,
Skype is a lot easier to set up than most open-source alternatives.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming (and
- Rick Stevens, Systems Engineer                      ricks nerd com -
- AIM/Skype: therps2        ICQ: 22643734            Yahoo: origrps2 -
-                                                                    -
-          When all else fails, try reading the instructions.        -

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