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Businesses Communications

Skype Outage Hits Users Worldwide 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-talk-for-you dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that millions of Skype phone users worldwide couldn't make calls or were dropped in mid-conversation because of a network connection failure that began about 9 AM Wednesday PST. 'For a communications system this large to go down, it's almost unheard of,' says Charles S. Golvin, a Forrester Research analyst. 'Usually when phone lines are disrupted, the blackout is confined to a specific geographical area. This is worldwide.' In theory, Skype, which is based on peer-to-peer networking technology, shouldn't see an outage, but that is not really the case — the company has a massive infrastructure that it uses for purposes such as authentication and linking to the traditional phone networks. 'The outage comes at a time when Skype is starting to ask larger corporations for their business,' writes Om Malik. 'If I am a big business, I would be extremely cautious about adopting Skype for business, especially in the light of this current outage.'"
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Skype Outage Hits Users Worldwide

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  • Year end reviews (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:11AM (#34650898) Homepage Journal

    Apparently this article [slashdot.org] was published too soon. Those year end reviews should include the last few weeks of the year before.

  • Centralaisation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by isorox (205688) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:11AM (#34650900) Homepage Journal

    Increasingly more and more communication is becoming centralised. People use Facebook to send messages rather than email, Skype rather than direct voip calls, Twitter to keen people informed. Even email relies on central webservers. Gone is the days that typical emails would travel from your computer to the other persons directly, or at most via their local ISP.

    Aside from being exactly what the internet is designed to avoid, it's also handing control to corporations that are
    1) Too big for governments to influence
    2) Too big to fail

    I for one hope for more large scale outages, hopefully it will stem the tide, but like Cnut, we can't stop the inevitable.

  • Re:Centralaisation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377@g m a i l.com> on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:24AM (#34650950) Homepage

    Aside from being exactly what the internet is designed to avoid, it's also handing control to corporations that are
    1) Too big for governments to influence
    2) Too big to fail

    Hang on, I'm waiting for the "W" to finish, before I get to the "TF" part.....

    ok. Done.

    Too big for government to influence? Depending on how much credence you give to the fringe of the internet, Joe Lieberman may have personally yanked Wikileaks' servers from Amazon's datacenters and pissed on the still spinning fans. There isn't a company on earth, from a dollar store on 8-mile to Google themselves, that isn't above government influence.

    Too big to fail? I'm gonna go ahead and guess that Facebook and Skype combined don't directly employ as many people as a single GM or Chrysler assembly plant. If facebook or skype fails today, I'm pretty sure the sun will come up tomorrow. Now, IBM might be a different story...

  • Don't forget.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:34AM (#34651012)

    ...'parallel to serial to parallel' and 'optical to electrical to optical' :)

    Seriously though, as technology improves it often leads to 'old concepts' being re-examined and implemented in a new manner that is usually more effective than the initial parts.

    While not always true a lot of technology has sprung up like this, especially in the computer world.

  • Re:Centralaisation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:41AM (#34651050)

    1) Too big for governments to influence

    Governments prefer big corporations. One or two big corporations are much easier to control than a lot of small companies (some of which the government might not even be aware of). This is part of the reason why the more an industry is regulated, "to protect the little guy", the more it is dominated by big corporations (and the more the little guy gets screwed over). The effect of government regulations is to consolidate control of an industry in the hands of a few corporations, even if a government regulation is.intended to do the opposite.

  • by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:49AM (#34651098) Homepage
    ...but I still think that Admins, or so called 'IT-Specialists', which are suggesting Google Documents and Skype for serious business use should be moved to the cleaning staff (or at least as far away from the IT infrastructure as possible).
  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @10:50AM (#34651466) Homepage

    I think you're making an overly broad and general statement about a very situation specific topic. For *many* businesses *much* of the time, a service like Google Documents and Skype provides adequate levels of QOS, and may be considerably better than that same company could do on its own. If you have a ten or twenty person business with a relatively small IT budget, Google Docs is likely better than what you could do for yourself. By the time you pay a specialist IT guy, buy servers, buy backup solutions, buy an office suite ( you could save this cost by using Open Source, but frankly office suites are one area that I'd rather just pay for it. I've never cared much for OO.org or whatever they call themselves now that they forked) for every workstation... You're talking a huge investment. Google will do it cheaper, likely better, and if you have to deal with the occasional outage, well it's not likely to destroy your business if it's down for a couple hours. Anyway it's just as likely that your local file server might go down for a few hours (or even a few days if you paid for the cheap support package).

    Now if you're the sort of business where any downtime is costing you a fortune, then you're in a different boat and Google may not be the best choice. If you've already made the infrastructure investment, then a lot of the reason for using Google goes away. If you've got the in house expertise to handle this stuff for minimal expense, then maybe Google isn't a good idea. If you're a big enough operation that you can develop your own economies of scale, it may make more sense for you to do so... There's lots of reasons to not use Google, but just to globally say that anyone who ever suggests it should be made a janitor is quite foolish as well.

    As a side note, if you're the kind of business where any down time will cost you a fortune, and you haven't paid for redundant *everything* (Internet connection, mail server, file server, web server, power, HVAC... and on and on), you're fooling yourself thinking that you avoid outages by not using Google.

  • Re:gee.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cwix (1671282) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @11:02AM (#34651538)

    Slashdot is a news aggregator. They don't report news. They don't have reporters or journalists.

    You have a 4 digit UID.. how do you not know this?

  • Re:RIP skype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stooshie (993666) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @11:15AM (#34651626) Journal
    Open source alternative to skype? Skype isn't just software! Who would pay for all the links to national telecoms etc... ?
  • Re:Oh the irony... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday December 23, 2010 @11:22AM (#34651700) Journal

    Serves you right! Why would you introduce your boss to Skype instead of SIP!?

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