Skyip? question

Jon Radel jon at
Thu May 12 01:23:20 UTC 2011

On 5/11/11 8:20 PM, Gary Kline wrote:

> (How hard/easy woold be be to hack out a better one...or do GOOG and YHOO
> already have their own versions of skyip?)

Not all that trivial, really, but, frankly, rather beside the point. 
The value of communications networks is more than the technology, it's 
in whom you can communicate with using it.  So even if you were to hack 
out something more elegant than Skype, the vast majority of the world 
wouldn't care in the slightest, as they want to talk to their friends, 
family, and business associates, and have no interest in talking to you 
and the 137 hacking buddies who built the better mousetrap.

There's a reason the PSTN still does so well despite its 19th century, 
low-bandwidth, voice-only roots.

> Lastly, a few years ago, somebody on this list said that skype was "free like
> free beer."  Pretty sure they had that saying when i was a kind back in the
> twelfth century, but still have no ides what it means, so  would appreciate it
> from my fellow geeks who get that 'free-beer' swipe.

Free beer = you can use it without paying money, but the stuff behind 
the curtain is proprietary and you can't necessarily look, never mind play.

Free speech = you can do as you wish with the bits behind the curtain 
(give or take various license terms that can start religious wars)

I believe the term doesn't pre-date Linux; wasn't it first used when the 
unwashed masses started getting confused as to what it meant for Linux 
to be "free?"

BTW, I believe this discussion belongs over in the discussion list, as 
it has nothing to do with FreeBSD, so I will sin no more after this.

--Jon Radel
jon at

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