Bringing Inexpensive Mobile Access to Researchers in Antarctica

A unique approach combines some of the benefits of walkie-talkies and satellite phones while using ordinary cellphones connected to a base station from startup Range Networks.
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Calling Overseas on Wi-Fi

Walt Mossberg answers a reader’s question about using Wi-Fi to make international calls.

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Vonage to Acquire Vocalocity for $130 Million

Vonage has agreed to acquire voice-over-Internet-protocol company Vocalocity for $130 million.

News Byte

Free Call Service Fring Bought by Genband

Fring, a seven-year-old Skype alternative, has been bought for a reported $50 million by Genband, with plans to help carriers and MSOs compete with cheap and free Internet app providers. Fring had raised more than $30 million, and its development will remain in Israel.

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Price Discrimination and Data Caps Are Not the Same Thing

Speed tiers have a number of positive attributes that data caps lack.
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Oracle Acquires Acme Packet for $1.7 Billion

Oracle’s first deal of 2013.
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Facebook Messenger Finds Its Voice

Facebook Messenger, now with voice capabilities, is the company’s key to continued growth.
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Cloud-Collaboration Service FuzeBox Hires VoIP Pioneer Michael Knappe

The surprisingly cool cloud-based virtual meeting and collaboration service names a new director of engineering.
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News Byte

Skype Adds Photo Sharing to iPhone, iPad Apps

Today, Skype released an update to its iPhone and iPad apps that brings photo sharing and improved performance. A “frequently requested feature,” Photo Share allows you to send photos to other Skype users, with no size limit on the files. In addition, Skype says, the app will consume less power and load contacts faster. Skype for iPhone and iPad is available for free from iTunes.

Tony Bates on Skype Becoming the Virtual Kitchen Table (Video)

Today at D10, Skype boss Tony Bates said that the integration of the two companies is going well, and that he’s busy coming up with ways to serve billions of monthly users. Here are the video highlights.
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Microsoft Closes $8.5 Billion Skype Deal