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As skype improves, are Google+ Hangouts becoming obsolete?

Despite an overwhelming disparity between actual Skype vs. Google+ Hangout users, Skype is still adding features to compete. Which do you prefer?

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The chicken or the egg? Skype vs. Google Hangouts

Depending on who you listen to or what your overall opinion is, it’s easy to fall victim to the hype regarding Google Hangouts’ chat benefits and consider it the next best thing on the VoIP service horizon.

Introduced as a challenge to the durable presence of Skype, Google Hangouts was introduced in May of 2013 and has built up a sizeable following. In that time, like all social media platforms, both Skype and GP continue to tweak themselves in an effort to demonstrate who is king of the roost.

But according to Global Web Index, for Google Hangouts it may all be a case of smoke and mirrors. User data culled during the month of September 2015 reveals a significant disparity between the two chat service providers. Nearly 21% of internet users rely on the Skype app compared to only 6% who fall in line with Google Hangout. You can pin all your dreams on GH, but the numbers don’t lie.

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Consistent Performance

Far from becoming “your Dad’s VoIP service”, Skype has continued to build on it’s I-was-here-first notoriety. In fact, Skype’s position as the IM app has remained consistent over time. What’s more, Skype’s dominance is pronounced across all age groups. Skype can boast of already being the go-to-VoIP app and its recent addition of shareable chat links (once a feature exclusive only to Hangouts) could well enable Skype to broaden its user-base even further by allowing non-account holders to chat via the service.

Skype and business

So what is it that apparently gives Skype the edge among chat users who can choose between the two services? Rather than itemize the pluses and minuses of each, Richard Costello, senior research analyst for the global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation, feels that in some respects both Skype and Google Hangout have more similarities than differences, but in the business arena, Skype has pulled away from the pack thanks to its integration with Microsoft Lync. Following Lync 2013’s recent rebrand as Skype for Business, the new platform is a plus for users.

“Merging the consumer and business worlds closer together will improve the user experience and reduce the necessity for users to move between applications.”

Costello commented further that some users may want to unite various Skype personas using only one account for both business and personal contacts, which should add value from an end user perspective.

Although Hangouts does have a loyal following, Skype’s added versatility in offering these chat links is likely to bring it a boost.

#Skype

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. James Edwards

    November 13, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Although both are similar with the use of VOIP but with a difference- Hangouts does not charge for calls made in the US but does charge for international calls whereas Skype charges for calls.

  2. Alice PB

    November 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

    There seems to be a little fan-boy bias here. In the same way Google has eclipsed Microsoft Office’s stranglehold on office productivity and led Microsoft to adapt it’s business model, I think Skype has a way to go to compete with Hangouts’ more inclusive utility.

  3. Gregory Kramida

    January 2, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I use linux so… GH is the default. If MS continued its development of Skype for Linux, I would really care less what to use.

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Tech News

A look into why AI couldn’t save the world from COVID-19

(TECH NEWS) AI is only as powerful and intelligent as the teams building it, but we just don’t have the data yet. So perhaps, we just aren’t there quite yet.

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Even in the best of times, the human race can hardly be defined by our patience in the face of uncertainty. COVID-19 has rocked our feelings of safety and security. Hospitals have struggled to keep up with demand for care, and researchers are working tirelessly to create a vaccine. Early on in the fight against this virus, some looked to artificial intelligence technology to lead the pack in finding a solution to the global health crisis, but science takes time and AI is no different.

Over two months ago, when COVID-19 was still most prevalent in China, researchers were already attempting to use AI to fight the virus’ spread. As Wired reports, researchers in Wuhan, China attempted to screen for COVID-19 by programming an AI to analyze chest CTs of patients with pneumonia.

The AI would then decipher if the patient’s pneumonia stemmed from COVID-19 or something less insidious. This plan failed for the same reason many pursuits do – a lack of time and data to pull it off.

The United Nations and the World Health Organization examined the lung CT tool, but it was deemed unfit for widespread use. The lung CT tool, and all other AI driven projects, are limited by the humans designing and operating them.

We have struggled to collect and synthesize data in relation to COVID-19, and as a result tools, like the lung CT scans, cannot hope to succeed. AI is only as powerful and intelligent as the teams building it, so perhaps, we just aren’t there quite yet. Our tenacity and optimism continue to drive AI forward, but progress can only be sped up so much.

Like all science, AI has its limitations, and we cannot expect it to be a miracle cure for all our problems. It requires data, experimentation, and testing just like any other scientific pursuit. There are many problems to unlock before AI can be a leader in the driving force for positive change, but its shortcomings do not outweigh its potential. AI couldn’t save us from COVID-19, but as researchers continue to learn from this global event, AI may still save us in the future.

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Chrome can now group and color code your open tabs

(TECH NEWS) Do you have too many tabs, and can’t tell what’s what? Google has tab groups that make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

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Are you a tab collector? That’s Google’s name for people who have tabs upon tabs upon tabs open on their Google Chrome browser. And while third party apps are already available to help collectors manage tabs, Google is now stepping in with Tab Groups.

Tab Groups, try it here, allows users to color-code, group and add text or emoji labels to separate clusters of tabs in their browser.

Right-click on any tab and choose Add to New Group. A gray dot will appear to the left of the tab and outline it in the same color. Clicking on the dot lets users update the color, label and name the group. Once grouped together, the tab groups can be moved and reordered. They’re also saved when Chrome is closed and reopened.

Google said after testing Tab Groups for months, they noticed people usually arranged their tabs by topic and that appeared most common when people shopped or were working on a project.
“Others have been grouping their tabs by how urgent they are, “ASAP,” “this week” and “later.” Similarly, tab groups can help keep track of your progress on certain tasks: “haven’t started,” “in progress,” “need to follow up” and “completed.”

Of course, this new feature does nothing to dissuade users from opening too many tabs, despite research that says multitasking may change the structure of your brain and Chrome is notorious for using too much RAM. So now you can’t concentrate, and your computer is running hot and slowing down.

A solution? Use Chrome extensions such as The Great Suspender, which suspends tabs that have been inactive for a specific amount of time. Don’t worry, you can whitelist specific websites so if you always need a tab for Twitter open, it won’t be suspended.

Another tip is to focus on one task at a time using the Pomodoro Technique, breaking tasks and your workday into 25-minute bursts of productivity with five-minute breaks in between. FocusMe uses a timer and website blocker to reduce the risk of getting distracted. You’re on the internet, after all.

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Quarantine bod got you down? AI trainer Artifit lifts you up

(TECH NEWS) If staying home has caused some unfortunate weight gain, Artifit can help you keep your home body fit during and way after quarantine is over.

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Mandatory lockdown’s have changed people’s routine’s in every conceivable way. From the way we work and cook to how we exercise. Home workout routines have been a hot topic in the last couple of months. People are trying to find a way to retain some sense of normalcy and maintain their healthy lifestyles We’ve all heard jokes about the so called “Quarantine 15” online and maybe you’ve even made a disparaging comment or two about your weight since gyms closed.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with a little weight gain the face of a global pandemic. The world is changing, your life is changing, and times are scary. Be gentle with yourself and those around you.

If you are looking for a way to get regular workouts back into your life and YouTube videos just aren’t cutting it, there is a high-tech solution. Artifit is an AI personal trainer designed to make your solo workouts safer and more effective. The app acts as your personal trainer by creating your workout plans, tracking progress, and providing posture corrections.

The app uses your phone’s camera to track your reps and spot errors in form while providing real time audio feedback. According to the app creators, [Artifit] recognizes 20 major joints movements via mobile camera, and we are constantly working on adding new joints and improving the algorithm.”

Beyond the workouts, Artifit taps into your competitive side by providing you with a score at the end of each work out that you can then share with friends. The app measures and analyze your progress over time and uses this data to create a workout plan that is best suited for you.

There are a ton of reasons you might be looking for a tech-driven approach to your workout routine. Most of us already rely on technology to track out movement in one way or another – think about the Health app on your phone or your Fitbit. Working out from home isn’t for everyone, but some are thriving under a more flexible schedule and want to keep it that way.

If you are not sure when you’re going to feel comfortable going to the gym again or you no longer want to fuss over scheduling appointments with a personal trainer, this could be the app for you. Artifit can help you keep your homebody tendencies intact way after quarantine is over.

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