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Re: [tlug] Skype or Something Better?

On 02/14/2017 07:52 AM, Darren Cook wrote:
I may have misunderstood, but I heard the Linux Skype client will be
retired from service on March 1st. (Old clients on Mac and Windows too,
but the difference there is that they have newer versions to upgrade to.)

News to me, but not the End of the World. The Linux client is a POS and they've never figured out how to make a 64-bit version, requiring a command-line Arch installation, re-installation, and upgrade. Also, it required Pulse Audio setup, which nothing else I use requires.

(Apparently Linux users will still be able to use the web client.)

What are people using? Or what choices do you not recommend? I mainly
use Skype for 1-on-1 calls, sometimes video, often just audio.
Screen-sharing is nice to have every now and again. I don't need much
else, so if that got me in the free tier of a service it is a bonus :-)

A lot of my clients are now requiring a Whatsapp account for communicating with their reps. The "good" program that would run as a Linux standalone was forced off the net by Whatsapp's lawyers, but there is still a good plug-in (?) that allows you to run the web app as a separate window. The one BIG problem is that you need a keitai with a camera for setup, it needs to be left idling while you're online / waiting for calls, and the keitai should be running off your WiFi to ensure zero cost for phone calls and zero data charges for forms exchange (don't ask how I found this out).

To be perfectly honest, I use Whatsapp's WIN version running in a VirtualBox because 1.) it keeps Whatsapp off my work desktops the most effectively, and on a connection other than my Linux desktop connection and 2.) While the Linux implementation is seamless, the WIN version just feels more robust and better integrated (personal opinion, not verified fact).

A few companies were requesting Viber for a while. Viber has never heard of Linux, but it is such a bad option otherwise -- bad voice quality, poor connections, slow speeds, etc. -- that both its WIN and Linux web clients were rejected by all but one client (they are French, what can I say?).

(I would add encrypted connections, and real peer-to-peer, but I'm not
sure that can work if both ends are on a private IP on their respective

Whatsapp has end-to-end encryption once it is set up ... or so the message says. Setup is pretty easy. You grab the bar code from your screen with your keitai camera and bar code reader and the rest is automatic.


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