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BUSINESS
June 16, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
If you're heading to Ethiopia sometime soon, I'd like to offer you one small but crucial bit of advice: Don't get on Skype. The Ethiopian government last month passed a law making it a crime for people to utilize audio or video communication using Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services, which include Google Voice, Skype and essentially any other video chat service available. So what's the punishment? Well, the maximum penalty for breaking the law is 15 years in prison.
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BUSINESS
June 13, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Looking for five minutes of mindless fun? Check out Pointer Pointer, a ridiculous, time-wasting, website that shows you a picture of someone pointing to wherever you put your computer's pointer. If it sounds stupid, it is. But it's silly and weird, not to mention popular. Eight hundred thousand people have already visited the site since it went live on Monday. All you have to do is use your mouse to place the little white arrow on your computer screen anywhere in the blank box. A few seconds later, an image will will appear of someone pointing to where you placed your pointer.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
The days of ad-free Skyping are ending. On Wednesday, the company announced that it plans to insert display ads into what used to be ad-free Web conversations. In a chirpy post on Skype's official blog, the company said it is "excited" to introduce a new ad service as a way for marketers to reach its hundreds of millions users in a place where they can have "a meaningful conversation about brands. " For now, the ads will display only on 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls made with Skype for Windows.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 2012 | By Jevon Phillips
MTV's"Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew" will crown its seventh champion  Wednesday, and an all-girl crew made up of members from Los Angeles and Hawaii is poised to take the crown. The reign of 8 Flavahz could be upon us. The dancers, who range in age from 10 to 17, met at a dance competition in Las Vegas. They clicked, so the Honolulu contingent -- that's Tamara Rapp (17), Camren Bicondova (12), Summer Waikiki (12) and Tiara Rapp (17) -- invited their new friends from Los Angeles -- Kaelynn Gobert-Harris (16)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 2012 | By Jamie Wetherbe
Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's latest artistic endeavor was presented Thursday on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in London -- 5,000 miles away from the city Ai can't leave. The pavilion -- the 12th so far commissioned by the gallery -- was co-designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron, who worked with Ai on the Bird's Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ai, who is under constant surveillance and not allowed to leave Beijing , collaborated with the Swiss architects via the video chat application Skype.
BUSINESS
May 29, 2012 | By Jonathan Landreth
BEIJING - Will Smith appeared live in Beijing last week, talking via Skype, on a giant movie screen, with Chinese moviegoers who had just watched him star in "Men in Black 3. " The virtual appearance of one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors - the first of its kind in the Chinese market - was arranged by "MIB 3" studio Sony and the website Mtime, and is the latest evidence ofChina's growing importance as the movie industry's biggest overseas...
BUSINESS
May 4, 2012 | Los Angeles Times
That stereotypical image of the American teenager glued to the phone needs an update. A new study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 37% of Internet users ages 12 to 17 participate in video chats using such applications as Skype, Google Talk and iChat - and girls are more likely to engage in them than boys. "As more and more devices in our lives have video capabilities - as laptops and computers come with built-in video cameras, and many smartphones have cameras that allow for video chatting, for taking videos - teens are taking advantage of that," said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist with Pew Research Center.
BUSINESS
May 4, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
For many of us with families spread across the country and the world, video chatting has become a staple of our relationships. But gathering around a small Web camera and squinting at a small screen kind of kills the vibe a bit. Biscotti TV Phone is zooming in on that market. The aptly named $149 camera system is an unintimidating 720p HD camera with wide-angle lens that connects via HDMI cable to your big-screen HDTV. You use the small remote to set it up and connect to your Wi-Fi, and that's about it. No computer needed.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
Microsoft has released a full version of a Skype app for the Windows Phone operating system. The free app, available in 18 languages, adds Windows Phone users to the 200 million people using Skype on computers, smartphones and tablets monthly. Users can connect over the Internet telephony and chat service via 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi.  In beta from February, the formal app adds video calling in portrait mode and friend management capabilities including invite, accept invitations, block, and unblock contacts.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2012 | By Mike Swift
SAN JOSE — Christine Egy Rose realized she was on to something powerful. Instead of the awkward monosyllabic two-minute exchange her 2-year-old son, Jackson, typically had over a video chat link with relatives, he spent a full 50 minutes happily working on a shared drawing with his grandmother in Florida, using the video chat's embedded drawing feature that Egy Rose was developing. Egy Rose's mother-in-law, feeling so much closer to the little boy in California, was almost in tears by the end of the chat.
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