Skype 1.4 Released for Mac -- Skype decided to release the final Mac version of their flagship voice and instant messaging program just as Macworld Expo started, ensuring that new features such as call forwarding and iTunes pause/resume would be lost in the shuffle. The new forwarding feature means that someone can call your Skype account and you can forward that call off to a real phone number, such as a cell phone. The incoming call can be made either from another copy of Skype to your Skype account name, or, if you have paid separately for this feature, to a SkypeIn number, which maps a real telephone number to your Skype account. Forwarding costs a few cents a minute to most landlines worldwide and to many cell phone systems in the U.S. and abroad. It's not unified messaging, but it's another step in having your calls follow you (when you want them to). Skype's Mac version has lagged the Windows version's feature and releases, and version 1.4 lacks the video conferencing that's available on that other platform, although that video support has been generally criticized as being less than state of the art. [GF]
Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations
You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.
Published in TidBITS 812.
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