Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Skype gets sold. Gmail goes down. Time for tea.

The big news out of Techland today is eBay's success in finally pawning off Skype - which it bought for some $3.2 billion four years ago - on suckers...oops, a group of private equity investors including Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and Canada's pension board (!) It's a significant story in that this acquisition has long been considered the most notable failure of any tech deal in recent years to achieve so-called synergies. Well, at least that's where I sit.

I spoke with BNN's Michael Hainsworth and Jacquie McNish on their show, Market Morning, earlier today. If you've got the stomach to see me in living color, the video is here. Tummy or not, I enjoyed this hit immensely. Talking about cool topics with really smart people is always a highlight of my day, and I never forget how lucky I am to have the opportunity to do this.

I also chatted with CBC Radio's Meegan Read at the business desk in Calgary, as well as the Toronto Star's Chris Sorensen for his piece, Canada Pension Plan buys Skype stake. More links to follow as I find 'em. (And since I missed mentioning my chat with BNN's Pat Bolland last Friday, here's the link. We assessed Intel's prospects on his show, Market Morning.)

Your turn: Do you use Skype? Would you pay for the privilege or do you expect this kind of thing for free?

(FWIW, my Skype address is "carmilevy". Imaginative, eh?)

One more thing: The other big news out of Techland today? Google Mail (Or Gmail, because short forms always seem to sound cooler, for some bizarre reason) is down. As I write this, squillions of Tweets, Facebook updates and unincorporated IMs are flying back and forth across the Internet tubes, raising the blood pressure of countless messaging addicts and forcing the economies of emerging African nations into temporary default to their Nigerian royalty overlords.

Last I checked, the planet was still spinning on its axis and the sun was still hovering in the sky, roughly where I'd expect it to be at this time of day. Life goes on, apparently. So I'm going to pick up the little folks from day camp. I suspect they'll have other worries, like which ear the dog should nibble on when they get home.


Mike Wood said...

"Carmi blames Gmail on Nigerian spammers." Is that what I got out of that? Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. :)

Anonymous said...

LOL..You are too funny. Why does panic set in when Google, yahoo or AOL goes down?

AussiePomm said...

I am a 'newbie' when it comes to Skype, and I don't know IF I would pay to use it... There are other forms of having a video chat with distant family and friends...

I only got it though as I might be going to work in Doha, and telecommunication charges are hideous to say the least! Let me exlain... In July, I made two international calls from Australia, one to Doha (1:34sec) and the other to the London, UK (3:47sec). Here's the thing, the Doha call was $5.34 whilst the UK call was only $1.95!!!! Go figure!

AussiePomm (Bernie)

Carolyn R. Parsons said...

I downloaded skype on my computer...that's where it stopped. I might use it if it meant better(read cheaper) communication between me and my travelling sweetheart...but he's been away too much lately to look into it.

I couldn't check my gmail and I was pretty sad...but I thought it was my phone's fault until I got home and realised it was the server...no important business on my gmail so I was ok once I realised my brand new phone was ok.


Mojo said...

Well I don't use Skype currently, though I'd considered it as an alternative to exorbitant international calling plans... then it dawned on me, I don' tmake international calls.

But when Gmail hacked up its furball today, it came at a time when I really needed Gmail to ... not do that. I was in the process of making plans to meet someone tomorrow who's leaving on a rather long road trip in the morning and passing through my little burg around dinner time. And we kinda needed to hammer out meeting plans and such. What? the ... phone.

Oh yeah. Guess that would work too.

Mojo said...

Oh and the Nigerian overlords bit?


Quilly said...

Gmail went down. I experienced a 7.3 second blood pressure spike, then I went to the grocery store.

No to Skype. I only have a home phone because it came with my cable/net package. My cell keeps me happy, and I don't want video on my phone. I like being able to chat in my underwear, pick my nose and/or visit the loo -- and do a host of other things I likely wouldn't do if someone were watching.

kenju said...

I am resisting Skype, although mr. kenju is all for it.

jessica magert said...

Seems like a good deal for Ebay. Is this good or bad for Skype? I love Skype, and would hate to see it go down in quality.

srp said...

My brother uses SKYPE to call us here in the states from Spain, Japan, Brazil and all the other places he performs. It is cheaper than using his cell, though it does come with a strange echo and hiccup type of pause every so often. If we both happen to be on at the same time we can take advantage of the free video conference mode on the computer. Not sure if I like it enough to pay for it though.