A SkypeIn account includes up to three phone numbers with different area codes in the subscriber's home country, plus voice mail. Folks who call those numbers pay whatever long-distance fees their own phone carriers charge, even if the recipient takes the call on a laptop one or two continents away.
To date, Luxembourg-based Skype has been known mostly for enabling computer-to-computer calls, a free service that requires use of the company's Internet calling software at both ends. It also offers a paid service called SkypeOut that lets people place calls from computers to regular phones.
Transcript: .com's Leslie Walker hosted a live Web chat with Udi Manber, CEO of Amazon's A9.com search engine. They discussed the future of Web search.
Skype has long been popular with international callers who talk frequently to people in other countries and want to cut their bills.
Opera 8 Takes the Web Stage
People fed up with Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser have a new option -- an updated version of the Opera Web browser, long admired by power users but considered too complicated by some Web novices.
The latest version, released Tuesday, offers tighter security and a simplified interface, although users can still customize Opera to take advantage of its many hidden features. Opera 8, developed by the Oslo company of the same name, also adds a new voice-browsing feature that can read aloud the text on Web pages.
Opera is free if people are willing to have ads displayed in the browser window; an ad-free version costs $39.
E-mail Leslie Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.