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Google voice versus skype

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Yes, it’s finally happened, we can call regular phones with Google voice. That Google Voice VoIP functionality based on Gizmo5 technology [http://www.google.com/gizmo5/]. Also good news are: Google agreed to trial free calling booths at an airport and a pair of universities!

Now, all that we need is to compare prices and test quality.

Prices comparison

Country Google voice Skype
United States free 2.4 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
Canada free 2.4 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
India 6 ¢/min 10.6 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
UK landline 2 ¢/min 2.4 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
UK mobile 18 ¢/min 29.10 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
Mexico landline 10 ¢/min 11.4 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
Mexico mobile 19 ¢/min 38.6 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
France landline 2 ¢/min 2.4 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
France mobile 15 ¢/min 23.3 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
Russia landline 4 ¢/min 5.5 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
Russia mobile 6 ¢/min 8.2 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
Russia Moscow 2 ¢/min 2.4 ¢/min (incl. VAT)
Russia Saint-Petersburg 2 ¢/min 2.4 ¢/min (incl. VAT)

As you see Google set lower prices for all cases, even if it’s few cents. You can make own comparisons for your local places:
Skype rates [http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/prices/payg-rates/]
Google rates [https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/rates].

Quality testing

We have compared quality of sound in the same places with same computer configuration. For most cases they show almost same results.

Here we need to mention only 2 things:
Gmail Voice has clearer sound in most cases.
Skype provides better noise cancellation.

3 new great book you should read

Friday, April 2nd, 2010


Jason Fried, and David Heinemeier Hansson’s | buy on Amazon

“Jason Fried and David Hansson follow their own advice in REWORK, laying bare the surprising philosophies at the core of 37signals’ success and inspiring us to put them into practice. There’s no jargon or filler here just hundreds of brilliantly simple rules for success. Part entrepreneurial handbook for the twenty-first century, part manifesto for anyone wondering how work really works in the modern age, REWORK is required reading for anyone tired of business platitudes.”
–Chris Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of THE LONG TAIL and FREE

The Laws of Simplicity

John Maeda’s | buy on Amazon

“Keep it simple, Stupid” is an old piece of advice, so much so that it’s often abbreviated as the “KISS principle.” But it’s advice that’s often ignored, and MIT Professor John Maeda aims to change that. . . . Designers and marketers will find Maeda’s book both interesting and useful….”
— New York Post

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems

Steve Krug’s | buy on Amazon

“It’s been known for years that usability testing can dramatically improve products. But with a typical price tag of $5,000 to $10,000 for a usability consultant to conduct each round of tests, it rarely happens.

In this how-to companion to Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Steve Krug spells out an approach to usability testing that anyone can easily apply to their own web site, application, or other product.

By paring the process of testing and fixing products down to its essentials, Rocket Surgery makes it realistic for teams to test early and often, catching problems while it’s still easy to fix them. Rocket Surgery Made Easy adds demonstration videos to the proven mix of clear writing, before-and-after examples, witty illustrations, and practical advice that made Don’t Make Me Think so popular.“
– Amazon editorial

Top factors of software development cost

Friday, March 26th, 2010


It depends on where the software is built due to there are countries with cheap labor, tax benefits, etc.
To get valid results we should compare costs based on equal productivity of labor. The productivity estimation is a separate and hard task.

The outsourcing is not only about “Cost savings” it has number of advantages and disadvantages.
Check for details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outsourcing


The duration of development heavily impacts cost, and is not inversely to number of developers, there are at least 2 factors:
1. Work can’t be divided intentionally into several independent parts.
2. Developers should spend part of their time on interaction.


The unit cost of software is different for software of different complexity.
Think about corporate blog where bug can cause annoyance and bank(aerospace, medical) software where we can lose millions of dollars or people.

We should distinguish between accidental complexity and essential complexity.

Accidental complexity relates to problems that we create on our own and can be fixed— for example, the details of writing and code optimization or platform related disadvantages for particular software development.

Essential complexity is caused by the problem to be solved, and nothing can remove it— if customer wants program with 10 different features, then those 10 things are essential and the program must do those 10 different things.

Finish line

I’ve noted 3 most influential factors and missed other 997, also some universities created complex theories of software price calculations. But the knowledge of life says that software cost estimation is still hard task and only previous experience together with risk management still work well.

Related information:

Advices for customer as part of project

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Today even great application can die alone .. world has too many great applications.

Do you know what software development company sell?
Not just some abstract peace of software but application that can solve customer’s problems .. we should understand what customer wants from the application, what tasks he/she wants to solve with application.

We provide to customer our vision and suggest technology/platform/approach, customer provide ideas/plans/limitations .. together we will end with some satisfied result. But what then?
Then as usual we get our money and leave customer alone with his application.

What else we can give to them?

We should give business advices that can bring closer customer’s target.
Client can take them or not but part of our work is to give ones. Customers see that we care, that help to build better relationship and get great satisfaction .. we make great applications that work!

©Helion-Prime Solutions Ltd.
Custom Software Development Agile Company.