I have a dear friend who lives in New Zealand. We e-mail all the time, but until recently, we didn’t talk on the phone much because it was so expensive. Lately, I’ve been using Vonage and paying 6 cents/minute to call her, which is pretty darn cheap. $3.60 for an hour of yakking is tough to beat. But the last time I talked to her, she told me about a service she had recently started using, called Skype. All you need is for both people to have an internet connection with at least a 33.6 Kbps modem (according to their website) and microphones on the computers. Then you just download the skype software, give each other your user names, and you can ‘call’ each other for free over the internet. We created an account right away, and my friend called us on the skype line while I was on the phone with her. We could hear her just fine through our computer speakers, but we found out that our computer doesn’t have a mic, so she couldn’t hear us. So we’ve ordered a mic, and soon we’ll be able to chat for free. This works anywhere in the world, and I think it’s a pretty cool service. It wasn’t that long ago that it cost $1/minute to call overseas!
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