VOICE OVER Internet Protocol outfit Skype has suffered one of the worst outages since, well, a long time.
Almost the entire network suffered during yesterday's outage with most users losing connections. While most people are able to use the network today, others are claiming that they still can't use the P2P messaging system.
According to the BBC a Skype executive when talking about the problem channelled the fictional Mavis Tranmere the woman who was the voice of British rail. Tony Bates, Skype chief executive officer told BBC News "We apologise for the inconvenience users are having."
It is not inconvenient, it is very annoying.
He didn't mention leaves on the line, or a badger eating a junction box at Crewe, but apologising for inconvenience in the face of this sort of crash is a bit like Lord Cardigan saying "oops" to the families of the Light Brigade soldiers.
The problem appears to have come from the outfit's supernodes suddenly shutting down. There was a rumour that it was all to do with them not being compatible with the newer versions of Skype's software.
However those who attempted to roll back their versions of the software reported that the older skype software suffered from the same problem
What is perhaps more alarming was the speed with which Skype reacted to what must have been a serious problem. It only started to act when it noticed that traffic on the network dropped.
"It looks like clients are coming on and offline and sometimes they are crashing in the middle of calls. We are deep in the middle of investigating the cause of the problem and have teams working hard to remedy the situation," Bates said.
Bates did not rule in or rule out the possibility of a malicious attack and said "all avenues" were being explored.
However 24 hours later and we still can't connect to our fearless news editor, who has been forced into the pub for an early liquid lunch.
Skype has always been seen as a fairly stable voice over IP outfit and is currently trying to market itself to businesses on that basis. With mega outages like this it should probably forget that. µ
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