Nice to Skype You
Mrs. Sip and I spent a fair portion of our dating years in a long distance relationship. Just through various schooling, I estimate we spent nearly two and a half years physically apart. So, when Skype came along and allowed us to not only chat on a daily basis, but also see each other – and all for no cost – we considered it a godsend. I bet you didn’t know this miracle was created and operated in Estonia by Estonian programmers. Let’s take a look at the great invention:
While Mrs. Sip and I didn’t learn about Skype until around the time I was heading over to the UK for six months in 2007, the program was actually launched in August 2003, building on previous peer-to-peer technology.
As of its 10th birthday in 2013, Skype has approximately 300 million users who make more than 2 billion minutes worth of online calls each day. It goes without saying that Skype holds a large share of the long distance calling market. That’s about equal to the time it takes Mrs. Sip to get ready in the morning… especially when we’re in a rush!
The program is no longer confined to only computers. With the advancement of cell phone technology, Skype can be downloaded to most smart phones and used while people are commuting and out and about. The app has been downloaded onto over 100 million Android phones worldwide. So, when you’re getting annoyed by that dork on the bus who’s shouting into his phone and making funny faces, you have the fine folks of Estonia to blame for your misery.
If you want proof of Skype’s use as a wonderful long distance relationship tool (as well as its proficiency as a live sex show instrument), look no further than its demographic split of 52% male users and 48% female operators.
Somewhat surprisingly, only 42% of Skype calls use the video function. I guess old fashioned phone sex and using your imagination still has a place in today’s more visual society.
Much like Google (“to Google”) has found its way into the popular lexicon, so too has the verb “to Skype”. Sadly, this amazing website will never experience that joy as “to Sip” is kind of already an established act.
The program is available in countless dialects, thanks to Skype allowing users to create new language files. You know some uber geek out there is working on a Klingon version of the chatting software.
Skype can hold up to 25 people in a conference call, making it entirely possible to tell off every single one of your co-workers in one place, should the need for an epic meltdown ever come up.
In September 2007, eBay bought Skype Technologies for $2.5 million (U.S.) and stock in eBay. In October 2011, Microsoft purchased Skype Communications for $8.5 million (U.S.), replacing their Messenger services in favour of Skype. The going rate for The Sip Advisor and all its subsidiaries is a box of pizza and three cans of pop… not too shabby!
‘Skype in the Classroom’ is a free tool the company has set up on its website for the program to be used for educational purposes by teachers and students… I could joke about teacher-student sexual relationships, but we all know this is a high-brow publication, read by industry moguls and the world’s wealthiest.
Similarly, orangutans Mei and Mukah at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas have been known to get their Skype on with primates at other zoos, a reward for good behaviour. Yes, I did just compare students and teachers using the program to chimps, thank you very much.
Now let’s load up our webcams and microphone headsets for the world’s largest toast in honour of Skype and its ability to let complete strangers see each other’s naughty bits!
- 1.5 oz Vana Tallinn
- Top with Ginger Ale
- Splash of Lime Juice
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- Garnish with Orange Twist
This wraps up our brief stay in Estonia, which I found to be a totally underrated stop on our Baltic cruise last year. Going in, I thought it was a mere add-on amongst the big name countries like Russia, Sweden, and Finland, but was pleasantly surprised by the charm and beauty of the port of call!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
It might not be the most elaborate cocktail, but it sure is delicious. The vanilla-flavoured Vana Tallinn is a very nice spirit and I’m sad I only brought a small bottle home with me from Estonia. Put it together with the uber-reliable mixer that is Ginger Ale and you have a winning combo. It might also be my favourite recipe yet to use Angostura Bitters!