Skype App Adds Video Calling

When traveling for business, I often use Skype to video chat with my family at home. This is a comforting way to connect while sitting in a hotel. I’ll even leave the call on for hours at a time, just to watch what they do and hear the homestead background noise, which often includes the screaming of little ones.

The coolest thing about the Skype application for my iPhone has always been the ability to make calls from other countries to any phone number the USA for a flat rate of $3 per month. Skype-to-Skype calls are free to and from anywhere in the world.

Skype now works on the 3G network, but you may not want to use another carrier’s network in another country, at a cost of a dollar or more per minute, plus connection fees of $20 or more in many cases.

The new Skype app for the iPhone allows users to make video calls to any Skype user. With the new app, you can make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls over 3G and Wi-Fi, share your Skype video calls with users on iPhones, PCs, and Macs, and you can talk face-to-face or display what you’re seeing with the iPhone’s front and rear-facing cameras.

Share that spectacular sight…show off those new shoes…include others in the big event…speak to clients face-to-face… Now Skype for iPhone lets you get more out of any moment with friends, family, and colleagues.

CNET reports, “Skype for iPhone will work for anyone on Skype’s network, be they desktop or mobile users. While you can only broadcast video on on Apple devices with rear-facing or front-facing cameras–namely the iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4, and iPhone 3GS, you can also receive incoming video broadcasts on the iPad and third-generation iPod Touch. As an extra bonus, desktop Skype users (Windows|Mac) can share a view of their computer screen with Skype users on iPhone.”

If you haven’t used Skype for video calling, give it a try. In my home we use it almost daily. I have an in-law in Australia, and she and my family talk via Skype all the time. The connection is nearly perfect, and best of all, it’s free!

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses sharing too much information on the Internet on Fox News. Disclosures

How to Mess With a Burglar’s Head

So you follow set guidelines for home security tips and installed all the necessary technologies like a wireless alarm system to prevent the bad guy from breaking in. But Murphy’s Law dropkicked you and all failed for whatever reason and the bad guy is in your home while you are away on business or at work.

Here’s a do it yourself cheap way to have a home security camera system to spook the jerk and possibly get him caught. This is easier than it sounds. But take your time and have fun.

If you are like me, you have old computers in your closest collecting dust that are too slow to actually surf the Net and get things done efficiently. Now is a good time to put them to good and fun use.

1. Clean up the operating system and make it functional. Connect it to the Net and leave it on.

2. Install cheap $10 webcams that have audio and the cam will pan the area, tilt and zoom.

3. Dig out your old computer speakers and connect them to the PC and set them to LOUD.

4. Download and install free Skype. Skype is voice over the internet that also supports webcams. With Skype you can call anyone on Skype and talk to them via a webcam. Make sure your home and work PC has Skype and a webcam or your road ready laptop has Sykpe and a webcam.

5. You need to set up 2 different accounts on Skype, one for home and one for work. Each has a different user name and set them to auto login when the PC starts.

6. Download and set up the dusty home PC or laptop with free “” remote access technology software. This software allows you to remotely access the home PC from anywhere. When you log into your home PC from the road you can fully control that home PC like you are sitting in front of it.

7. From work, Skype into the Home PC and call it from your work PC then “answer” the call while remotely logged in.

8. Now you have full control over the web camera on the home PC and you can pan, tilt zoom and your voice now broadcasts over the home PC speakers.

9. Download Korn, Disturbed, MegaDeath, Marilyn Manson, Metallica or my personal favorite, the ultimate creep tune: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Or the Police’s “Every Breath You Take I’ll be Watching You. Record a dog barking on a loop. If you’re a movie buff dig out some sound clips from horror movies with lots of blood curdling screams that play incessantly on a loop. Now we’re cooking with gas!

10. When you Skype in and see a burglar call the police. Then start talking to him like you’re in the next room and tell him that the cops are coming to get his sorry self. Then blast the music at level 10 to freak him out. If you really want to mess with him play anything from Yoko Ono. Loud!

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Using Skype and Webcams to Spy on The CW. Disclosures.