In College I used to date a girl who lived about 50 miles away. We got along really well, we could talk on the phone for hours at a time. That’s what killed my pocketbook. Back in the mid-nineties only local calls were free. The fact that she was out of my area code made her call a local-toll call, which usually ended up in $100+/month in phone calls. It’s much easier nowadays with mobile phones offering free long distance throughout the country, but you still pay a flat rate for a certain number of minutes.
When will we be satisfied, not until everything is the internet’s favorite price: free. Niklas Zennstrom knows this more than anyone else. Along with friend and colleague Janus Friis he created Kazaa, which became bigger than sliced bread after Napster. His new venture (which isn’t so new) is Skype. Skype uses the internet to make phone calls for little to no cost. Almost every day I read about Skype and how it’s making advances and becoming more popular. Soon you will be able to make a phone call from your computer to someone’s phone and vice versa via Skype. Needless to say I lost the girl, probably since I didn’t call her enough. So instead I’ll just have to Skype my sister who lives a few hundred miles away.