A fresh coat of gleam covers the gums as the introductions go round, the bows going semi-deep.
But people who know about these things believe that nearly all phone calls will soon run over the Internet, even cellular calls, and that little, 140-employee Skype will force the world's telephone giants to accept the new religion or be soundly routed—and probably both.
Skype calls transmit as clearly as regular calls, and, you see, they are free.
Refer to the pivotal event as the "Y meeting," and make sure no one is listening in.
Meantime, the boutique streets are floating in color-coded nametags. And when you're sucking wind off the squeaky-kneed 0 billion telephone industry, then old may as well be dead. The figures plotting the shift, in this Cannes café, are slope-shouldered and Scandinavian, one six feet four, the other six-five.
Simply, Skype is a virtually bug-free computer program that allows you to make telephone calls over the Internet anywhere in the world.
Skype is not the only company of its type, nor was it the first.
Once Napster fell, Kazaa raised the flag, quickly going on to become the most downloaded software on the brief time line of the Internet: 390 million total downloads, with three billion files traded per month.
Having what amounts to roughly every citizen of America on board, plus another 95 million, would seem to cue the party.
Night is getting on when three Korean girls in negligée cocktail dresses slip through the crowd, carrying electric violins on their way to the aft stage.
The yacht yaws to port as the group saws into a number that no one can understand. The boat sits on yacht row, made up here for the 3GSM World Congress.
The bar here hangs sweaty with the sex reek of money rubbing together, the high clatter of capital bouncing off the four walls. "I'll be watching for you," says one teeth-showing suntan.