Skype users, rejoice: eBay's VoIP giant has just given video calling
a major kick in the pants by teaming up with Logitech to create a platform capable of displaying your ugly mug in full VGA glory at 30fps without the inelegant hack
. With the release of version 3.6 for Windows (sorry Mac users, but you have your Leopards
to play with), Skype now supports High Quality Video when employing one of three Logitech webcams already on the market -- the QuickCams Pro 9000, Pro for Notebooks
, and Orbit AF -- along with a dual core-powered machine. Of course, performance is highly dependent on your internet connection as well; the HQV spec calls for a minimum of 384kbps, and both parties will probably require more than that if they want to avoid throttled frame rates. Updated software (v. 11.5) already being rolled out will teach supported QuickCams their new trick, bringing with it the all the facial imperfections and embarrassing quirks that are likely to remind us why video calling has never really caught on in the first place.