Monday, May 23, 2011

The Domician Republic, Chile, and Chatting Via Skype and Gmail Chat

"The Domician Republic, Chile, and  Chatting Via Skype and Gmail Chat"
Darrel Hammon

Joanne and I had the opportunity to visit with Bishop and Sister Roberts on Skype last night. They have been serving as Perpetual Education Fund missionaries in the Dominican Republic/Caribbean for the past almost two years. Bishop Roberts was our former bishop when we lived in Idaho Falls. It was wonderful to chat with them.

What is incredible to me is the technology! Here we are in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and they are in the Dominican Republic, and we chatted for more than an hour about their mission and our upcoming mission in the Dominican Republic/Caribbean. Just before Mother's Day, I spoke with the entire Avendaño Family in Talca,Chile--Manuel, Mauricio, Priscila, Sister Avendaño, and their families--via Skype. My companion and I had taught the Avendaño Family many years ago. Now, they are all still active in the church. We talk to our children via Gmail Chat.  Recently, I have even chatted with a few of my siblings via Skype. 

Now, we are mere novices in this chatting business. But we are enjoying our time online. We can see the people. We can hear them. We can talk to them. We actually have wonderful conversations. You can even see their smiling faces. Our little granddaughter even talks to us via Gmail Chat, sometimes her sweet face right up in front of the camera. It is just way too fun!

With all this technology, who needs telephones? And they say it's just going to get better and better.

Just recently, we all stood attention when the announcement flashed across the net and the news media that Microsoft and Skype have "entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash...." with the sole purpose to "increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities."

So, my question is this: "What revenue opportunities" will there be? I surely do not want to have to subscribe to Microsoft Skype (the "new" name) and pay a monthly fee to use it. Skype must have been doing very well--thank you, very much--for Microsoft to shell out $8.5 billion for the company. We'll see what happens. I am hoping they will improve the communication and bandwidth opportunities and not charge us. How's that for a plea? 

Thanks in advance, Microsoft, for not charging us to use Skype. I still want to chat with my friends in Chile, Dominican Republic, and all points in the world. Besides, when Joanne and I are in the Dominican Republic, we want to chat with our children, our little granddaughter, and others--free of charge.

That all being said, I am just amazed when I think of being able to communicate with people around the world via Skype and Gmail chat. It is, indeed, a miracle.

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