Skype: 10 years of shrinking the world | Bangkok Post: learning

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Skype: 10 years of shrinking the world

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Launched in 2003, 300 million users now make 2 billion minutes of video calls a day. Sold for $8.5 billion to Microsoft in 2011. 

A woman communicates with her family abroad by using the Internet telephone system Skype. Skype celebrates its 10th anniversary on Thursday.


Skype marks 10 years of shrinking the world



If David Huang had left his native Taiwan for Sweden a generation ago, he would have taken a giant leap into the unknown.

Now, with the help of Skype, the 35-year-old businessman is able to reach relatives from his Stockholm home as easily as if they lived around the corner, and not half a world away.

"Skype has made work easier, but more important than that, it has enabled me to talk to my family whenever I feel like it," he said.

Internet messaging service Skype, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Thursday, has shrunk the world in profound ways that few could have foreseen in 2003.

A total of 300 million users make two billion minutes of online video calls a day...

..."The significance of Skype was and is the 'Wow!' experience of high definition voice, and the sense of 'being there' with your distant friends and family in a way not possible before."

Skype was released in August 2003 -- written by a team of Estonian software developers ...and launched by two Scandinavian technology entrepreneurs... who expanded on existing peer-to-peer networking technologies.

...While Skype helps people to stay in touch with those they already know, it also enables new connections to be formed.

One example was when students aged between 11 and 15... in Britain and ... Wisconsin carried out a cross-Atlantic dance contest...

"They had seen films from abroad, but to actually physically speak to these kids in America was absolutely brilliant. It was amazing."

Skype isn't for humans only. At one Texas zoo, orangutans are rewarded for completing tasks by being allowed to communicate via Skype with orangutans in other zoos.

The question many ask however is: Is it possible to make money on a business offering free calls? US software maker Microsoft thought so, paying $8.5 billion for Skype in 2011.

In the 12 months ended on June 30, the Microsoft division which includes Skype made $848 million, up from $380 million the year before.

Learn from listening

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abroad: in or to a foreign country - ในต่างประเทศ

absolutely: completely - อย่างแน่นอน, อย่างแท้จริง

actually: used for stressing what is really true or what really happened - ตามความเป็นจริง

allow: to let somebody/something do something; to let something happen or be done - อนุญาต, ยอมรับ

amazing: very surprising, especially in a way that makes you feel pleasure or admiration - น่าสนเท่ห์, น่าพิศวง, ซึ่งทำให้ประหลาดใจ

anniversary: a date when you celebrate something that happened in a previous year that is important to you - วันครบรอบ

brilliant: very skilful, impressive, or successful - ยอดเยี่ยม

celebrate: to do something enjoyable in order to show that an occasion or event is special - ฉลอง

communicate: to express thoughts, feelings, or information to another person or animal, for example by speaking or writing - ติดต่อสื่อสาร

complete: to finish something; to bring some project to an end after having done everything successfully - ทำเสร็จ, ทำให้สมบูรณ์

connection: a relationship between people or groups - ความสัมพันธ์

contest: a competition - การแข่งขัน

corner: a part of something where two or more sides, lines, edge, streets, etc. join - มุม, หัวมุมถนน

cross-cultural: involving or containing ideas from two or more different countries or cultures - ข้ามวัฒนธรรม

developer: software developer, a person who writes computer programs and apps as their job -

division: one part of a large company or organization - แผนก

enable: to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible - ทำให้เป็นไปได้

entrepreneur: someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves risks - นักลงทุนทางการเงิน

expand: to make or become larger (noun form: expansion) - ทำให้กว้าง, ทำให้ขยาย

experience: to have something happen to you or to live through some event - ประสบ

foresee: to see ahead to what will happen in the future - รู้ล่วงหน้า, รู้, หยั่งรู้, คาดคะเน

generation: a time period of 20 years -

high definition: when an image or audio includes a lot of details (resolution, information) making it easier to see, hear and understand - ความชัดสูง

launch: starting something - การเริ่มต้น

leap: to make a large jump or sudden movement, usually from one place to another - กระโดด

mark: to celebrate something - เพื่อเฉลิมฉลอง

message: a piece of written or spoken information that you send to someone, especially when you cannot speak to them directly - ข่าวสาร, ข้อความ

native: connected with the place where you were born and lived for the first years of your life - พื้นเมือง

network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย

peer-to-peer network: "a type of decentralized and distributed network architecture in which individual nodes in the network (called "peers") act as both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the centralized client–server model where client nodes request access to resources provided by central servers. In a peer-to-peer network, tasks (such as searching for files or streaming audio/video) are shared amongst multiple interconnected peers who each make a portion of their resources (such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth) directly available to other network participants, without the need for centralized coordination by servers" (Source: Wikipedia) - สถาปัตยกรรมแบบเพียร์ทูเพียร์ (เครือข่ายคอมพิวเตอร์) [วิทยาศาสตร์และเทคโนโลยี]; เพียทูเพียหมายถึง วิธีการจัดเครือข่ายคอมพิวเตอร์แบบหนึ่ง ที่กำหนดให้คอมพิวเตอร์ในเครือข่ายทุกเครื่องเหมือนกันหรือเท่าเทียมกัน หมายความว่า แต่ละเครื่องต่างมีโปรแกรมหรือมีแฟ้มข้อมูลเก็บไว้เอง การจัดแบบนี้ทำให้สามารถใช้โปรแกรมหรือแฟ้มข้อมูลของคอมพิวเตอร์เครื่องใดก็ได้ แทนที่จะต้องใช้จากเครื่องบริการแฟ้ม (file server) เท่านั้น วิธีการจัดอีกลักษณะหนึ่ง ที่เรียกว่า client-server นั้น คือการกำหนดให้คอมพิวเตอร์เครื่องหนึ่งเป็นเครื่องบริการแฟ้ม หรือเป็นที่เก็บโปรแกรมและแฟ้มทั้งหมด คอมพิวเตอร์ในเครือข่ายจะเรียกใช้โปรแกรมหรือแฟ้มข้อมูลจากกันไม่ได้ ต้องเรียกจากเครื่องบริการแฟ้มเท่านั้น ดู file server ประกอบ

physically: in a way that is connected with a person's body rather than their mind - ด้านร่างกาย, เกี่ยวกับร่างกาย

profound: very great; serious - ยิ่งใหญ่

relative: a member of your family - ญาติพี่น้อง

release: the act of making something available to the public - การนำออกแสดง, การออกวางจำหน่าย

rewarded: receiving something given in exchange for good behaviour or good work, etc - ได้รับรางวัล

shrink: to become smaller, or to make something smaller - หดตัว, เล็กลง

shrink (past form: shrunk): to become smaller, or to make something smaller - หดตัว, เล็กลง

significance: importance; the importance that something has because it affects other things - ความสำคัญ

stay in touch: contact people often enough to know what is happening in their lives -

task: something that you have to do - งาน, หน้าที่; ภารกิจ

voice: the sounds that a person makes when they speak or sing - เสียงพูด, เสียงที่เปล่งจากปาก, เสียงร้องเพลง

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