That statement from the OP rubbed me the wrong way. Trusted services going down are a fact of life. It is going to happen. I agree Skype's last outage was three years ago which is a good track record compared to more traditional services that you might pay a lot more for. Other "trusted" services like electricity, water, heat, transportation fail from time to time even in the most modern of cities. The key is how a company responds to it, triages it, and communicates it to their customers (i.e. with frequent updates)
Hopefully, Skype provides a postmortem describing what happened and how they fixed it.
Note: I know some people rely on Skype for their businesses, and that it sucks that it went out. All I'm saying is that most people should have some sort of contingency plan for when this situation occurs.
* that I'm aware of
We have highly redundant communication systems compared to when landlines were the only option and SPOF in the building.
Then there is a high chance that also my land line would be down.
Thinking of it, I must get some homing pigeons _now_ ;)
it's a pretty bad outage though. we're fixing it.
As to why it was chosen, I can briefly list my (biased) opinion as to the benefits of Delphi: an easier to use language than C++, proven IDE and framework, a lot of third-party code and components available, but without sacrificing low-level control to a VM.
here's some official info http://blogs.skype.com/en/2010/12/skype_downtime_today.html
good luck to fix the bug, you have a great product!
22nd December 2010
Skype downtime today
Skype structureEarlier today, we noticed that the number of people online on Skype was falling, which wasn’t typical or expected, so we began to investigate.
Skype isn’t a network like a conventional phone or IM network -- instead, it relies on millions of individual connections between computers and phones to keep things up and running. Some of these computers are what we call ‘supernodes’ -- they act a bit like phone directories for Skype. If you want to talk to someone, and your Skype app can’t find them immediately (for example, because they’re connecting from a different location or from a different device) your computer or phone will first try to find a supernode to figure out how to reach them.
Under normal circumstances, there are a large number of supernodes available. Unfortunately, today, many of them were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype. As Skype relies on being able to maintain contact with supernodes, it may appear offline for some of you.
What are we doing to help? Our engineers are creating new ‘mega-supernodes’ as fast as they can, which should gradually return things to normal. This may take a few hours, and we sincerely apologise for the disruption to your conversations. Some features, like group video calling, may take longer to return to normal.
Stay tuned to @skype on Twitter for the latest updates on the situation -- and many thanks for your continued patience in the meantime.
I didn't try to restart it, since I very rarely use it anyway, but I did find it quite odd since I've never seen that happen to Skype.
I still get robotic 'network busy' announcements from my mobile phone network, and I pay an awful lot more for that (under an infinitely more draconian contract) than I do for Skype.
It's almost as if these proposed solutions wait for the slightest problem to occur, then everybody rushes to pitch a Tor utopia.
I personally would greatly fear a decentralized system like Skype, for many reasons. Peer-to-peer anything comes with its own truckload of problems, and would do more harm here than good (as with the DNS).
I personally would greatly fear a decentralized system like Skype, for many reasons.
"Greatly fear" seems hyperbolic. What do you find fearsome about a decentralized Skype?
would do more harm here than good
Such as? I think the adoption of Jabber for IM has worked quite well so far. If Facebook goes down, I don't have to worry about my Google Chat not working.
What problems do you foresee in terms of decentralizing audio/video along with instant messaging?
And as michaelchisari said, we already have distributed IM via the magic of XMPP federation.
- Just set up a sip server with appropriate SRV records in the DNS.
- Discover that you also need A records (that now collides with webserver on your domain), because not every client supports SRV. (and some also need NAPTR)
- Discover that half of the phones are not compatible with your server out of the box.
- Discover that to support vendor A you need to enable X and to support vendor B you need to disable X.
- Discover that you cannot call users on network xyz.com because you're not authorized to.
XMPP, email, etc. are nice and well defined (yes, even email with all its problems) compared to SIP. SIP works ok-ish within one limited domain and one set of (clients-servers). It does not work between unrelated people. Additionally big internet telephony "supporters" like Cisco will do a lot to make sure your phone works correctly only with their gateway and almost nothing else (voip non-supporters like MS will do the same).
We do have a distributed voip network. But yes, it does need work to improve it. Skypes simplicity is what makes it so popular.
XMPP/jingle is in a much better position to be the distributed answer. SIP is not.
"I personally would greatly fear a decentralized system like Skype, for many reasons. Peer-to-peer anything comes with its own truckload of problems, and would do more harm here than good (as with the DNS)."
Thank you for mentioning Jingle. I was not aware of its existence.
A phone line could work, but is not ideal due to distance. Thanks.
UPDATE: Skype just signed me in. Anyone else have this happen?
UPDATE2: Back down again after only a few minutes. Hopefully they're close to a fix.
I've actually resorted to sending out e-mails (like it was 2001, hah!)
The lack of distractions is quite nice, though. =) It's amazing how productive everyone seems to be (when we're not complaining about skype being down...)
I dont pay for skype so I cant really complain if its down. But what about those who pay? I would be really pissed if I had a ton of skype credit and couldn't call.
But maybe it is more likely that it was just an innocent bug. I just asked the question because it seemed like a big coincidence that Skype should go down right before these guys do a big exposee on the protocol and encryption.
Either I'm really lucky, or it's recovering.
EDIT: Spoke too soon. After being online for 15 minutes, it's gone offline again.