Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1047 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] What do you use for skype?
On 22/01/16 00:16, James Knott wrote:
I also prefer Hangouts to Skype. But I have one friend who insists on
using Skype. Either way, you need an account and a GMail account is
generally more useful than Skype. I believe Google is less evil than
MS. ;-)

Another possibility is WebRTC, where you just email someone a link.
It's supported in a few browsers, such as with Firefox Hello.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebRTC


I've finally, after years of having no luck with anything WebRTC or indeed anything non-Skype, got Firefox Hello working at a level that is just about passable. The echo cancellation is sometimes appalling and on two separate calls to people on opposite sides of the planet the same problem kept arising whereby a minute or so of problem-free talking then descends into a minute or so of heavily-delayed and fragmented speech that drives you mad, and it keeps swinging back and forth like that. Strangely, the video seems much less affected. I think I saw something the other day suggesting the general audio echo problems on Linux are due to be resolved somehow with a new update to some part of the stack in the near future. Didn't catch the exact details.

I've been desperate to ditch Skype. It was once a peer-to-peer network but MS invested in 10,000 *linux* servers to handle all Skype calls in one big datacenter, all happily overlooked and screened by the western world's security services. Then they did something despicable and against all the ethics of the open source world. They held all users of the (proprietary) Linux client to ransom in summer 2014 by remotely terminating the functionality of older versions, forcing users to upgrade to version 4.3, which also required other more stringent login measures and ruled out the use of any other sound system than PulseAudio.

Despite that forced change, they can't be arsed since then to update the Linux client by providing a x86-64 version that doesn't require installing a hundred or so 32-bit compatibility libraries pointlessly consuming some hundreds of megabytes of additional download and disk space. So I refuse to install it on my 64-bit machine. Another 32-bit machine I have uses JACK and needs jumping through hoops to install PulseAudio on it, so that's ruled out too.

Virtually everybody I used to call on Skype no longer uses it. My parents were the last hold-out. I just replaced their PC with a 64-bit machine and decided Skype, MS and the NSA should never come anywhere near it. Whereas it had always failed before, FF Hello succeeds by the skin of its teeth so I will doggedly push them onto that.

I think other Linux users should give WebRTC a try, be it via FF Hello (which can also work with the Chrome browser) or another client such as talky.io. Apps that require all users to have the same client should be a thing of the past. WebRTC is open, is slowly improving and is making inroads into more applications that support elements of its protocol (not just voice/video calls).

gumb
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