2UE With Steve Price

Today we are discussing how Skype makes money, my helpful hints at Sony's Vaio Village, and answering all your questions.

Steve queried how Skype makes its money, after all the VoIP provider doesn't charge a thing when you Skype PC to PC using your webcam. Well, they make their money by providing a Skype -in and Skype-out service, whereby people pay to call mobile phones and landlines. But what makes them good from a consumer point of view, is that they are relatively cheap compared to other forms of telecommunications.

Steve also queried why his wife's phone faded out more on the road to skiing as he is on Optus and she uses Telstra. Telstra being the biggest kid on the block means its reach is better, although both Optus and 3/Vodafone have said they are going to be improving their reach.

Jason queried a problem he was having with his PS3 playing blu-rays. Initially the blu-ray discs were working fine, but of late Jason says the picture is pixelating, like the DVD is from the wrong region. I'm not 100 percent sure what the problem is, but I'm guessing it's probably a firmware update that hasn't been actioned. Every so often, Sony will send these updates out, in what they see as improving a console's features or performance.

Connie was asking about the Motorola Hiptop phone for her son. She was worried about the cost of texting because he seemed to be doing a lot, and if he went over the limit it cost him a lot of money. The phone itself is fine, but I always tell people to check out their plans thoroughly before embarking on a deal.

Poor Deborah called about her son's Xbox getting the dreaded red ring of death. This means there is probably a fatal hardware problem with the console. I remember a while ago Microsoft stating they would extend warranties on Xbox units that suffered from this problem, for up to three years. Unfortunately Deborah said that they had had their unit for the best part of four years, so probably doesn't qualify. If you have a problem with your Xbox, call the Microsoft helpdesk on 13 20 58, and then press 6 for Xbox enquiries.

Also, had a lot of interesting inquiries at the Sony Vaio Village last Saturday. I'll be there again from 11.30-2ish this Saturday and next. So pop along and we'll have a yarn, and I can help you with social networking, or any other technical question you have about laptops.