Like most working Canadians, I am required to contribute a percentage of my earnings to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), a government retirement plan, which will provide me with a monthly pension benefit on retirement. Well, that’s the promise.
This is a bit of a joke, since I have yet to meet a retired person who could survive on this benefit – although there may be some, somewhere.
Since most of my family are Americans, I’m reasonably familiar with that country’s Social Security program as well. So, the lack of adequate income upon retirement produced by Social Security, is also a familiar refrain.
It’s not startling news of course that government run plans such as these, are generally poorly managed; often producing a less than adequate return on investment, which naturally leads to a reduction in income stream at retirement, for those who have contributed over a working lifetime
I was surprised then (actually I was shocked), to learn this morning, that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has taken an investment position in Skype, my favorite Internet communication application. My first thought – maybe the Canada Pension Plan has decided to reassess its antiquated investment rules, and boldly step into the twenty first century.
It has long been rumored that eBay was looking for a buyer for its Skype internet phone service and today it appears it’s a “done deal”. eBay Inc. is spinning off Skype in a deal worth more than $2 billion US, to an investor group that includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. eBay however, will continue to hold a 35 per cent stake in Skype.
So, faithful reader, if you want to ensure my Canada Pension contributions add up to something more than a miserly sum when I retire, consider adding Skype to your list of must have applications.
You won’t regret it, and hopefully, neither will I since I’m sure to need the money on retirement.
All kidding aside, Skype is a terrific free application; an application I would be lost without. I use it through the day, every day, to communicate by video calling worldwide for free.
Take a look at my earlier review of Skype, and you might be surprised at the impact this application can have on your communications.
Skype – Right for Your Life?
Despite the fact that I’m an early adopter of most technology, surprisingly, it took me forever to give Skype a try. For communicating, I found the old fashioned telephone worked; and it does what it’s supposed to do with a minimum of fuss and bother. Just pick it up, dial and voila – instant communication. What could be simpler and easier than that?
As I found out, after giving Skype a test drive – maybe this free communication application! In fact, it has now become my preferred method of contact. I use the Skype video calling feature dozens of times a day to speak with contacts worldwide.
Kudos to my good friend TechPaul, at Tech for Everyone, for finally convincing me to give Skype a test drive. I’m glad I did.
In its basic form, Skype is a free communication package, using proprietary code, which allows users to make free computer to computer calls, including video calls, across the globe. As well, there are a bundle of additional features, that can be purchased at a low cost, which will expand the application’s functionality.
Improved sound quality over regular telephones.
Secure end-to-end encryption.
Uses peer-to-peer technology for even more enhanced security.
Video calling – I have to admit I find this feature fascinating.
Conference calling – a very cool feature.
Online status notification – online, away, do not disturb, invisible, offline.
Contact creation, including groups, and importation from MS Outlook and Outlook Express etc.
Screen sharing – I find a lot of uses for this feature.
Chat – I find this a great help for sharing URL’s which can then be opened during a video call to facilitate the sharing of information.
Call phones and mobiles
Receive calls from phones and mobiles with an online number
Voicemail – Send and receive voicemails
Forward calls to phones
Transfer calls to phones and mobiles
System requirements: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. Sound input and output devices – microphone and speakers, or a headset. Of course, for video calling you’ll need a webcam.
Download at: Skype
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