Zoom became a household name shortly after the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as folks flocked to the easy-to-use software for hosting group video calls. The company’s freemium model doesn’t hurt: calls up to 40 minutes are free, while you have to pay for a subscription for longer group video calls.

Up until this month, there were no time limits for calls that only involved two people. Now there are. Whether you’re calling one person or a hundred, you can only chat for 40 minutes using a free account. While Zoom is probably hoping this’ll get more free users to pony up some money, there are still plenty of free alternatives that offer longer time limits, or no limits at all.


In other recent tech news from around the web, Google has acquired a microLED display company, most likely for its expertise in making augmented/mixed reality displays, a mobile version of the Thunderbird email client is in development and could launch soon, Sonos is apparently planning to launch its own voice assistant service soon, and Microsoft has released the source code for Microsoft 3D Movie Maker, which first debuted in 1995.

Fun fact on that last one: you know what you can do with the YouTube Go app that you can’t with the main YouTube app for Android? Download videos without paying for a YouTube Premium subscription. So maybe this decision isn’t just about improved efficiency in the primary YouTube app.

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2 replies on “Lilbits: Google buys Raxium, Thunderbird is going mobile, and Zoom puts time limits on free 1:1 calls”

  1. This continued war on call recording just makes me want to do it more, even though I really don’t have a practical reason to do so. It seems bizarre that they’re taking so much responsibility for it when anyone can just put the phone on speaker and stand near another device with a microphone.

    Sonos’s digital assistant is the corpse of Snips, who I am still mad at for selling out.
    At least there is the option of running Mycroft completely offline (not counting looking stuff up with it), but it requires a server with a Nvidia card to sound nice.

    If you want to download videos on android, you could either use yt-dlp via termux or use Newpipe, although at this point you have to get those from sources other than the play store.

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