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76 comments

Whatever went on... (4, Insightful)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655816)

It totally classifies as epic fail.

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655874)

So is having two articles about the same issue on the front page of SlashDot.

Really, what more is there to say about this, than to have Skype fess up that their new software version seriously broke things...

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

Exclamation mark! (1961328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656242)

To be fair Skype is a synonym for VOIP these days to the general public and a lot of people rely on it. I'm sure we'd get same stories if Facebook or Titter went down. As for your second comment. Oh my God do they need to apologize for the new version of Skype! I'm lucky the Linux version is basic and they don't focus too much on it.

Re:Whatever went on... (2)

Exclamation mark! (1961328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656266)

He he he... I typed Titter instead of Twitter... Tweet your boobies bouncing in 140 pictures or less...

Re:Whatever went on... (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656734)

>>>in 140 pictures or less

How about 140 bytes or less? http://girls.c64.org/ [c64.org]

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661384)

When I tried the Linux version, I wasn't able to see group chat names... Something we use heavily at several organizations I work with...

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656434)

Actually there were THREE articles. The third was titled, "Skype outage continues into second day," and I was about to post a comment but then the article got deleted.

I've considered trying Skype but just never bothered. Instead I use a calling card. 5 cents a minute ($30 for 10+ hours) means it's as cheap as Skype but a lot more mobile. I can carry it in my wallet & use it any gas station or hotel or home landline. (Also cheaper than my cellphone plan at 18 cents/minute.) And the landline is only $7/month; I can't think of any reason to drop it.

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656486)

Actually, calling cards are not "just as cheap as skype" because the overwhelmingly vast majority of skype users use it for FREE with skype-to-skype.

Skype-to-skype calls whether computer to computer or smartphone to smartphone are free anywhere in the world.

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660700)

Skpye-to-skype calls are either 3 cents/minute or $4/month, so I don't know how you can call that "free" unless this is some new definition I'm not aware of? Besides: I wouldn't be making those skype-to-skype calls because nobody in my family has skype (or a computer). So I'd be paying the 4 cents or whatever per minute of a Skype-to-landline phone.

Also I cannot use Skype anywhere... like if I'm at a gas station when my tire goes flat. The Skype would be useless since my computer would not be with me, and I'd still need to have a calling card. Ditto when I'm in a hotel which often doesn't have internet but always has a phone for my calling card.

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660796)

Skype to skype is free. Zip. Nada. Anywhere in the world.

Skype to land lines is three bucks a month. Unlimited minutes.

Skype runs on computers as well as smart phones.
So you can make a skype call from anywhere with your smart phone to any other skype user for free.

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

damaged_sectors (1690438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34663622)

Skpye-to-skype calls are either 3 cents/minute or $4/month, so I don't know how you can call that "free" unless this is some new definition I'm not aware of?

Sadly, your parents either failed to warn you about the brown acid... or you didn't listen

Re:Whatever went on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679970)

Yet more BS from this troll. Skype to Skype is free. Try it.

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

damaged_sectors (1690438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34663562)

5 cents a minute

Ouch! Maybe Skype callout rates are (much) higher in the US.... you are quoting your International call rates right?

Disclaimer: I have no association with Skype - I simply use them for my calls to land/mobile phones and free calls to other computer users. Because it's so commonly installed on all OSs - not because Skype is cheap. Compared to other VOIP solutions (yes, Skype is VOIP) Skype is not cheap.

The outage frustrated and inconvenienced me, mostly because it's uncommon. Unlike the daily afternoon outage of the #@$k@#g! Optus mobile network in my area :-(

Re:Whatever went on... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34655948)

So does the advert-ridden Computerworld article linked to in TFA.

At least it's their fault (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656220)

I took a very angry phone call from my clients CEO yesterday morning who was trying to log onto Skype for some a conference call with a few of his staff members in another state.

After confirming that their Firewall/Proxy was under Christmas embargo, no changes requests had been processed and the ports were open I checked the Skype twitter feed and noticed the service was out.

It still took a few attempts at explaining that it wasn't our fault and there was nothing I could do to access their network which was offline, I eventually sent him the link to the Skype twitter feed to shut him up.

POTS vs VOIP (5, Interesting)

pinkfalcon (215531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655870)

I've worked in the telecom industry and I've seen the type of testing they do on their products, and I've worked in the software industry and I've seen the type of testing they do on their products...

It will be a long long time before I give up my hardline from ATT and rely only on VOIP as my main contact with the world. or anything more than I'm bored - let's see who I can talk to....

A LONG time....

Re:POTS vs VOIP (1, Informative)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655980)

How long ago did you work? Currently all POTS calls *are* VOIP calls!

Re:POTS vs VOIP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34656154)

You're missing the point.

Re:POTS vs VOIP (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34656224)

Not Yet, There are still tons of TDM trunks and GR303 based pots lines in service and will be for a long time. But yes your point it correct that you may be using voip whether you know it or not.

POTS vs VOIP: Hard vs soft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659052)

Soft-switches are more the norm than the traditional.

PSTN vs independent VoIP (4, Informative)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657056)

Currently all POTS calls *are* VOIP calls!

Good gods, how did *that* get modded "Informative"? (Yah, yah, pretend I'm new here.)

POTS calls, by definition, start on a line with Plain Old Telephone Service. 48 volts, analog, more or less the same thing that's been in use for roughly a century now.

Now, once you get to the CO, you're almost certainly going to go digital. That digital channel is still commonly pure TDM and circuit-switched (especially if you don't leave the exchange). You have a 64 Kbit/sec timeslice dedicated to your call all the way. Or it may go into an ATM network ("A technology that lets telephone companies turn your WAN problems into something they can tariff") and be cell-switched. Or, yes, it may go into a packet-switched IP network. Maybe even the Internet, if you're using a cheap LD carrier.

But "all"?? No. Not by a long shot.

Even if your call *does* go VoIP, you may still never leave the domain of the PSTN, where things like QoS can be enforced end-to-end. The Internet's generally a "unreliable, best effort" service. Different operators do different things, and all you can do is plug in somewhere and hope for the best. A telco deploying VoIP as a backhaul internally is a very different beast.

Re:PSTN vs independent VoIP (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657414)

My point was that most calls are currently packet-switched. They even in fact share the fiber that carry general internet traffic, only with additional QoS enforcements. The last mile is still 48-volt analog system, but (almost) everything else is packet switched. And of course, as you pointed out, this does not apply, if the connection does not leave the exchange (I guess I am allowed to get away with it, as I said most :)).

Even if your call *does* go VoIP, you may still never leave the domain of the PSTN, where things like QoS can be enforced end-to-end. The Internet's generally a "unreliable, best effort" service. Different operators do different things, and all you can do is plug in somewhere and hope for the best. A telco deploying VoIP as a backhaul internally is a very different beast.

I guess, your point is one can rely on VOIP, but not on the Internet (at present atleast), which I guess agrees with my point.

Most calls packet switched? (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657738)

My point was that most calls are currently packet-switched. They even in fact share the fiber that carry general internet traffic, only with additional QoS enforcements.

Can you cite a source on the claim that most calls are currently packet-switched? While it's been some years since I've been up close to that part of the IT field, I don't think there's been enough time to physically change over that many phone switches, let alone the money or telco inclination.

Note that just because a call is running down the same fiber as an IP feed doesn't mean the voice is packet-switched. It is (or was) much more common to find the IP feeds existing as channels within a TDM trunk. A given stand carries a buttload of DS0 channels, any one of which might be a voice call, or might be assigned to data usage.

Note also that I'm not considering ATM packet-switched, although some do. The uniform, small size of the transmission unit, and complicated control protocols, mean it doesn't really behave like a traditional packet-switched network. (Which is, after all, the point.)

One other thing: Telephony over the public Internet has seen a huge increase in usage. Mobile telephony has seen an even huger increase, and I'm told many of those are IP-based. It could be that "most calls" are VoIP now because most calls have moved off the traditional PSTN to "new" public telephone networks. Which does count, I suppose, but I think the context of the OP was more about the traditional PSTN.

Re:PSTN vs independent VoIP (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34658216)

Telus up here went to an all IP backbone for everything some years ago (voice, fax, internet, etc.). So up here any call is a VOIP call.

Re:PSTN vs independent VoIP (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659392)

This is only true for long distance. Telus calls -- or at last those that don't leave the exchange -- are not VoIP. I'd also be surprised to find out that local exchanges were interconnected with VoIP.

Re:PSTN vs independent VoIP (1)

damaged_sectors (1690438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34663750)

Currently all POTS calls *are* VOIP calls!

Good gods, how did *that* get modded "Informative"? (Yah, yah, pretend I'm new here.)

POTS calls, by definition, start on a line with Plain Old Telephone Service. 48 volts, analog, more or less the same thing that's been in use for roughly a century now.

Now, once you get to the CO, you're almost certainly going to go digital. That digital channel is still commonly pure TDM and circuit-switched (especially if you don't leave the exchange). You have a 64 Kbit/sec timeslice dedicated to your call all the way. Or it may go into an ATM network ("A technology that lets telephone companies turn your WAN problems into something they can tariff") and be cell-switched. Or, yes, it may go into a packet-switched IP network. Maybe even the Internet, if you're using a cheap LD carrier.

But "all"?? No. Not by a long shot.

Even if your call *does* go VoIP, you may still never leave the domain of the PSTN, where things like QoS can be enforced end-to-end. The Internet's generally a "unreliable, best effort" service. Different operators do different things, and all you can do is plug in somewhere and hope for the best. A telco deploying VoIP as a backhaul internally is a very different beast.

If you're describing the US carriers (all of them) then you may be right. I wouldn't know - never worked for them.

In Australia - where there is only one copper carrier (Telstra) the line voltage is significantly higher, the Nortel cards do VOIP, demux is VOIP, and even within .50 cal range of the National Parliament mobile is unreliable. I have a "standard" POTS on the farm (capital city) - which is analogue measuring 92VDC (this morning), but between my place and the Civic exchange it most certainly is VOIP (for 200 metres). Reliable? Only when it hasn't been raining recently when the loss to earth causes the calls to drop. SIP isn't an option. Mobile is more reliable than the landline but on any day between 4pm and 8pm all callers will be told my phone is switched off (bullshit, 3 different phones, three different carriers?) and their calls go straight to voicemail.

In last years bushfires I was only able to call the affected areas with Skype. In the recent floods all the landlines in the valley were out (0 VDC on POTs). My power was off (batteries work fine though) so I'm glad I had Skype then.

Just wish some of the other VOIP choices were more popular with Windoof users *and* had a GNU/Linux client

Disclaimers: I was a Telstra Complex Data tester - I don't get my info from Whirlpool - Linux is the kernel on my laptop, Hurd isn't Linux

Re:POTS vs VOIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34658506)

Well, all POTS calls from *my* house certainly are VOIP. We use fibre for everything - TV, Phone and Internet.

Re:POTS vs VOIP (2)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656016)

Implying his life is so important he can't go without a telephone at home for a few days. Sadness.

While it may seem unlikely... (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656092)

and remote: there exists a real possibility that both his internet and cell phone service don't work during the same period he needs to call an ambulance. Some people value preparedness over trendiness.

Re:POTS vs VOIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34657664)

The need is quite real. If you have a medical condition and it goes bad at the wrong moment, a few minutes, even seconds delay can be the difference between life and death. What if something triggers a fire. Will your home survive a mere few days delay?

This is the one problem I have with doing VoIP over cablemodem, DSL, or FTTP, both require power to the home in order to work. I'd very much like to see PoE extended for working over fiber to solve this (perhaps using conductive fibers or running power over armored fiber).

Don't claim battery backups will cover you either. Near Y2K I was living between two large cities (less than 10 miles from either downtown area). There was a major windstorm and a tree fell across some high voltage feeder lines. This took out 5 power poles and a fairly large area was without power for a week (around 10K people without power from one tree). No one would have been able to make calls in an emergency without POTS.

Re:POTS vs VOIP (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662830)

This took out 5 power poles and a fairly large area was without power for a week (around 10K people without power from one tree). No one would have been able to make calls in an emergency without POTS.

Unless, of course, their POTS lines were on those poles too...

Re:POTS vs VOIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34656144)

My landline is down fairly often. It is a standard, suburbs (100,000 plus city) POTS line we have had for years. Frequently, it will start going "click click click click, click click, click click" (in a sound reminiscent of old rotary phone dialers; actually very much like how it would sound 40 years ago if you had a "party line" and the other user picked up and started dialing without checking to see if the line was clear first) and drop the party on the other end of the call. Once it does this, even hanging up and trying again just produces a no dial tone situation. Typically this lasts for 5 to 10 minutes. Then the phone line works again. We've replaced all the equipment in the house - every phone and every cord. However, just try opening a ticket on this since it does not happen on demand and the odds of it happening while a technician was there are extremely low. Recently, in an unrelated happening, our answering machine "quit answering". It answers maybe 1 in 25 calls. We had stopped personally answering the landline a few years ago since it seems to always be from these categories of "exempt" from do-not-call list:

Political messages (recordings)
charities - lots of them
One of the kids schools with a recording about "tomorrow is a regular day"

The odds that a caller on our landline is someone we are interested in talking to is about 2% or less. At this point, rather than buy a new phone / answering machine combo I think we will just get rid of the damn thing.

Help Desk (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34655872)

Operator: Can I help you?
Skype: YES, all of our peer-to-peer servers just went down. We have 23 million users offline right now.
Operator: Have you tried turning it off and then turning it on again?

Re:Help Desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34655888)

I, for one, welcome our new power-cycling overlords.

Re:Help Desk (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656104)

Operator: Can I help you? Skype: YES, all of our peer-to-peer servers just went down. We have 23 million users offline right now. Operator: You're holding it wrong

There. fixed that for you.

Re:Help Desk (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656216)

Operator: Have you tried turning it off then turning it on again?
CONTINUED

Operator: I don't believe you.
Skype: What?
Operator: Nothing.
Skype: What do you mean -
Operator: Does the power cable have an end with only 2 prongs?
Skype: Yes it does.
Operator: Older Model. Sometimes the current gets all mixed up inside, can you go to the wall socket where you have it plugged in, and try unplugging it, turning it 180 degrees, and plugging it back in?
Skype: Isn't it alternating current?
Operator: Yes, you'll be using the alternate setting now, but it should work just fine.

Re:Help Desk (1)

biobogonics (513416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661620)

Operator: Can I help you?
Skype: YES, all of our peer-to-peer servers just went down. We have 23 million users offline right now.

Actually it's more like this:

Skype customer service. This is Peggy.....

Conspiracy Theory : (5, Interesting)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655902)

Sabotage by Comcast and AT&T. It's clear that they're scared that net neutrality bill is a big threat to business in the land line department... so the new plan is to make skype totally unreliable by sabotage. Eventually all the skype users will realize that VOIP is a bunch of crap and they'll go back to using land lines. It's so obvious!!

/tinfoilhat

Re:Conspiracy Theory : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34656116)

Comcast is selling POTS now?

Very serious this. (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655906)

Just the other day I needed to call 911 and I couldn't!

Re:Very serious this. (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655928)

well you should have dialed the REAL number for 911

Re:Very serious this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34656106)

I always forget. What's the number for 911?

Re:Very serious this. (2)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656164)

0118 999 881 999 119 7253

Re:Very serious this. (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656188)

Shuuuutttt uuuuuppppp!


The real number is for No Homers members only.

Re:Very serious this. (5, Funny)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655946)

That's why there's Twitter: "@911, need help, was watching football game, now choking on a pretzel, my address is 1600 penn" [140 char maximum reached]

Re:Very serious this. (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655970)

Any real twitter story would have the person text a friend who put it on twitter for them.
That extra level of redirection makes it far more compelling.

Next: The six degrees of 911 dispatchers.
"Hello, is that Kevin Bacon? I'm choking on a pretzel!"

Re:Very serious this. (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656162)

That's nothing. A friend got stuck in the toilet in a lone cabin - the lock broke or something (the rest of us camped out in tents a few miles out).

So, since she had no gadgets on her, she started crying for help out of the window. Some kids heard her, brought an old lady in some hours. The kids didn't come back, the lady couldn't help, and our friend was reluctant to be alone (it was getting late in the afternoon), so she tried to have the old lady make a call on her cell.

There was no reception in the area, and the old lady apparently has never used a cellphone anyway, BUT ... but they somehow managed to send an email to a common friend of ours on a different continent - using the intermittent and weak WiFi that was available from somewhere.

So, the friend got the mail (written by the old lady, so pretty incoherent and scary-sounding) in the middle of the night, then looked up my phone, called me and asked me could we find a better time for pranks.

So, we went to check out what's up and had to break the door.

/ true story
/ still no idea where that wifi came from
/ cool story, too

Re:Very serious this. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656566)

>>>still no idea where that wifi came from

Wouldn't it make sense it was just standard cell service? Sometimes you can send texts or emails across intermittent connections that would not normally work for "live" voice calls.

I got locked in a bathroom in a girl's dorm one time. Stuck my head out and asked students for help, but of course they all ignored me. Then I saw two friends who assumed I was joking, but I told them to come check the doorknob themselves and sure enough, it was broke. I had to wait about an hour for security to open-up the place.

Another time I was in a friend's room reading a textbook, and this chick showed-up wearing nothing but a towel. I excused myself but she said, "No need to leave" and dropped the towel right in front of me.

I miss college.
The most exciting thing that happens in the post-college world of office work is..... well, I can't think of anything. Zzzzz.

Re:Very serious this. (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657178)

Another time I was in a friend's room reading a textbook, and this chick showed-up wearing nothing but a towel. I excused myself but she said, "No need to leave" and dropped the towel right in front of me.

Let me guess... You were using a t-shirt with a C= logo when that happened..

Re:Very serious this. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660850)

That was over 15 years ago - I've no idea what I was wearing. Probably jeans and a sweater (I remember it was winter time).

Re:Very serious this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34656228)

Did someone tweet about a fire?

Re:Very serious this. (1)

MalHavoc (590724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656432)

I know you're probably joking, but it's worth mentioning that Skype isn't a replacement for 911. They specifically say this on their site, in case people consider replacing their POTS service with Skype, completely.

Re:Very serious this. - E911 (1)

olden (772043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659630)

Trusting Skype "fortunately-nobody-does-it-like-us P2P" for an emergency call? Well, at least it might get you a Darwin award... :/

As POTS replacement, I use (and would recommend) JustVoip [justvoip.com] coupled with E911 service from SIPgate [sipgate.com] (and a tiny UPS for the ATA [voipsupply.com] and router/modem) => true emergency dialing for $2/mo.
Plus, naturally, others calls remain way cheaper than Skype [progx.ch] given how many SIP providers there are to choose from...

Re:Very serious this. (1)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656516)

I've never been able to dial it, as there's no eleven on my phone.

Re:Very serious this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34658566)

I've never been able to dial it, as there's no eleven on my phone.

You see, most phones only goes to 10. But mine goes all the way to 11.

How come this wasn't on /. sooner? (0)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655930)

They're posting about the fact that it's back up, but I never saw a story saying anything about it going down.

Re:How come this wasn't on /. sooner? (2)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655956)

Disregard my previous post. I expected the outage on Wednesday story to have been posted on Wednesday, not this morning. My mistake.

theory... (2)

pinkfalcon (215531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655986)

Somewhere there's a junior sysadmin going "so if this script didn't push the latest build onto the test servers, where did it get pushed to?"

The stupid is strong among the online users (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656020)

I just turned it on, and already got about 3 chain mail style messages about Skype having to purge its invalid user base, so please forward this to 15 of your friends.

So, the Internet is the same as ever.

Has anyone tried voxox? (1)

d6 (1944790) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656562)

Anyone have opinions on voxox [voxox.com] ?

Re:Has anyone tried voxox? (1)

angus77 (1520151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657816)

Sorry, don't have a Windows or Mac box.

Other services spike? (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656656)

I wonder, did PennyTalk, OoVoo, Line2, and Google Talk all pick up more traffic while this was down?

Re:Other services spike? (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660502)

I wonder, did PennyTalk, OoVoo, Line2, and Google Talk all pick up more traffic while this was down?

I see that Fring.com jumped on the chance to connect stranded travellers in European airports during the Skype outage with a free service credit. Brilliant market play that costs them next to nothing to execute. Even slicker, the signup gets the new users' tweeting right off the bat.

Centralized? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34656806)

Can't believe no one's mentioned this yet.

All Skype does is connect users and punch holes in NATs. Take something at least standard (like SIP), if not peer-to-peer, and you don't have massive failures just because one VOIP provider goes down.

Re:Centralized? (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657906)

So? Even if Skype uses SIP, these millions of users would still have gone offline because they're Skype's SIP users.

You're already free to use SIP services if that makes you happier and, provided both you and your Skype peer sign up for something called a "phone number" you'll be able to reach each other as well.

Re:Centralized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659746)

So!?

If Skype used SIP, people and companies who weren't happy with the outage or service could simply switch to another SIP provider. Now they can't because the other provider isn't connected to their old provider in any way and if their associates or friends don't switch, the switch would be pointless.

Re:Centralized? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660272)

If we both use a POTS number, that kind of defeats the point of VOIP in the first place -- Skype computer-to-computer calls, for instance, are free aside from the bandwidth used.

If we don't, there's no way to connect us. By contrast, if Skype used some sort of standard, I could actually switch to a new service and bring all my Skype contacts. In other words, people are stuck with Skype the same way they're stuck with Facebook, with the various non-Jabber Instant Messaging services, and so on -- but not the same way they're stuck with, for instance, email.

Re:Centralized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660820)

Eh. It's not a POTS number per se. In fact some number ranges can't be assigned to POTS even if you wanted to. As long as both parties use SIP systems with proper ENUM, the "phone number call" is just as free as a SIP to SIP call.

Re:Centralized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34658156)

The magic of Skype is the hole punching in NAT. That is exactly why other services are not popular, since setting up Ekiga for example, is freaking hard for a card carrying geek and totally impossible for anyone else.

Re:Centralized? (2)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660280)

Only difficult if you're actually behind a NAT.

Just one more reason to stop pussyfooting around with NAT and actually switch to IPv6.

epSos.de was interrupted in it's operations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34657418)

The outage lasted for an hour or two.

It was possible to make paid phone calls, but the free voice chat was impossible for the 7 to 10 million people that were using Skype, during that short time.

Yes , I have been affected too. The outage forced us to move over to gTalk, which still has lover voice quality. Surprisingly, the face-book chat was very slow during that time too. Very coincidental.

Homeland Security Upgrades (1)

hackus (159037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657568)

You know....it takes a while to do those NSA upgrades to monitor all of the growing phone calls placed by Skype users.

Just be patient as Homeland Security completes those upgrades.

-Hack

Skype running mega-supernodes on EC2? (3, Insightful)

Phil Karn (14620) | more than 3 years ago | (#34657888)

Last night I was running Skype on a publicly routable IP address, which probably made my machine a supernode candidate. I noticed a lot of idle traffic between my Skype client and quite a few IP addresses within the Amazon EC2 compute cloud. I'd never seen that before. Usually my background traffic is to random cable and DSL addresses. My guess is that Amazon is where Skype brought up their "extra mega-supernodes". EC2 is handy for things like that.

Re:Skype running mega-supernodes on EC2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34658560)

You are more likely to have been a relay than a supernode, particularly if you have good uptime.

A supernode is just a directory of online users, whereas a relay participates in joining two NATted Skypers.

Being a supernode isn't much of a problem, as it only involves a large volume of small queries, but relaying is very data-intensive.

At least their home page was honest! (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34658734)

Re:At least their home page was honest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660928)

Nice Catch!

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