Archive for: skype

[Update] Skype Goes Down…Again. European Users Affected.

It looks like Skype is going through some growing pains (or acquisition pains for that matter) as of late with another outage coming just a couple weeks after the last. This time it appears to affect only European users, however.

On Skype’s heartbeat monitor they’ve acknowledged that “a small number of users may be affected by this ongoing problem and that the company is looking into it”. Hopefully things pick up for the better. Nothing kills a great service and loyal user base faster than instability and constant downtime.

Update: A message from Skype

A configuration problem has meant that some of you have been disconnected from Skype.

We’ve identified the cause of the problem, and have begun to address it. If you’ve been affected, you should start to see improvement in the next hour or so. You shouldn’t need to manually sign back in to Skype - it should reconnect automatically when it’s able to do so.

We apologise for the disruption to your conversations.

Skype Issues New Update Following Yesterday’s Outage.

Were you one of the many Skype users who were knocked offline by some random bug? You’re not alone. Yesterday we showed you how to manually delete the “shared.xml” file in question in order to get Skype back online. Today, a new update has been released that automates the removal of the corrupted file, though unfortunately Skype doesn’t include any further explanation as to why the corruption occurred in the first place.

If you’re still unable to connect to Skype now, quit all running Skype processes, download the update latest Windows update located here, and install. Mac users will see their own update pushed out later today.

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Temporary Fix For Today’s Skype Issues.

While the exact cause of today’s Skype implosion (Microsoft acquisition jokes aside) is unknown, a temporary fix has been offered by by Skype themselves that should at least get desktop users back online. It’s not too involved as it involves deleting a single shared.xml file, so even computer beginners should be able to follow along. With that said, we’re not quite sure how a single file located on multiple platforms could take down Skype on a global scale.

Instructions after the break…
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Mozilla Bans Skype Firefox Toolbar.

If you like Skype and you like Firefox, it might be a time to forge ahead with a new partnership — at least for the near term. Today, Mozilla announced that they were blocking the Skype toolbar on all versions of Firefox due to it’s extreme crash-prone nature. This past week alone Mozilla claims to have tied over 40,000 crash logs to the toolbar/plugin alone!

The current shipping version of the Skype Toolbar is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week

While I’m not a fan of plugins in large numbers due to the fact that they slow down the browser, many other people are. I can certainly understand people being a bit peeved of being unable to use Skype’s in-page calling whenever and wherever. Skype understandably, can’t be too happy either. Though the company hasn’t officially spoken on the matter yet. We’ll let you know if/when they do.
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China Cracking Down on VoIP Phone Services.

Internet phone services such as Skype are about to have a much harder time operating within China’s borders, if at all. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated that “We are carrying out with relevant authorities a campaign to crack down on illegal Voice over Internet Protocol phone services” — In this case, “illegal” means any service that is not state-owned and under the direct control of the Chinese government. On that same note, vice-minister Xi Guohua was quoted by the Beijing Morning Post saying that “only state-owned major Chinese telecommunications operators were licensed to provide internet phone services linking telephones and computers”.

In a country with 450 million+ internet users, such a restriction has far-reaching consequences that will affect one of the world’s largest internet markets. Not surprisingly, Chinese citizens are already voicing their displeasure on internet forums and websites, claiming the crackdown is being enforced solely for the benefit of state-owned monopolies and their over-priced services — services that Skype and others offer at much lower costs. Regardless, such a crackdown is a disappointing and unnecessary.

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Skype: “Windows Bug Brought Down Our Systems”. #skype

Right before Christmas last week — Exactly the same time in which millions of separated individuals were trying to Skype loved ones no less — Skype’s service went down in a glorious explosion of failure. And now, we know why. Hint: Blame Windows…
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[Update] As Cisco acquisition rumors heat up, Skype starts cutting off 3rd party services.

Bad news for Nimbuzz users — Skype is no longer a supported service. But before we get too far, let’s back track a bit.

A couple of months back, Fring intentionally blocked Skype because of network issues. But when the company moved to re-activate the popular VoIP service, they found out that it was Skype that had gone on the offensive this time and chosen to block service.

And now, Nimbuzz is seeing the same end of the ban hammer, with Skype requesting that all Skype services be discontinued by October 31st. But even worse for Skype users, the company is pushing to disconnect all 3rd party services that use their API.

The general consensus is that Skype is merely preparing for their IPO which they filed back in August. But the growing story is that Cisco is eying an acquisition. Good for Skype, apparently bad for consumers.

With Cisco being a hardcore corporate company, can we write off Skype in the consumer sphere? I mean, once acquired by a suit and tie type of organization, will it be business as usual — limit services, access, and consumer-oriented features while simultaneously jacking up the price because it carries the “corporate” tag?

Any Fring (and now Nimbuzz) users feeling a bit peeved?


A Skype PR rep just shot me an email highlighting the following:

Skype believes and were concerned that Nimbuzz’s application was in violation of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement (EULA). Skype offered to meet with Nimbuzz and discuss the issue; however, we have not heard back from them since our last correspondence with them in early August. Like any company that has APIs or an SDK, Skype has certain rules that guide the development of apps using those tools. Such rules help protect the Skype brand and our end user experience.

Skype makes two development platforms available to developers. Skype’s Public API, which has been available for a number of years already, is a great solution for hardware accessories such as headsets and webcams that connect to Skype’s standard desktop clients (this tool is what Nimbuzz is using improperly). However, ever since we released the Public API, developers have been asking for a solution that works WITHOUT the Skype desktop application. Enter SkypeKit. Think of SkypeKit as a “headless” version of Skype — that is, a Skype client with no user interface that runs invisibly, not only on PCs, but also TVs, notebooks, and other Internet connected devices. Developers communicate with SkypeKit through the SkypeKit API, surfacing Skype features (i.e., IM, voice or video calls) through their own applications.

Some fodder to chew on.

Non-VZW Skype/Android calling over 3G now possible thanks to “unlocked” version.

Hey, fuck the system. That’s the main premise behind Android and it’s open nature full of extremely talented hackers and developers, right? This is one of those moments that perfectly captures that — Skype for Android was exclusive to VZW handsets only. Finally, someone loosened their grip and allowed Skype for non-VZW Android-powered handsets with one big feature missing — 3G calling. Likely due to some stupid exclusive agreement which helps no one and just screws over countless Android fans, the Android devs didn’t stand by waiting and took matters into their own hands, specifically a talented Android dev by the name of Xeudoxous — his website here. If the mood strikes you, 3G calling capable Skype can now be had on your Android device.

The best part of it all is that you don’t have to root your phone to get access to this. All you need to do is point your phone’s browser right over here for the unlocked .apk. It’s great when common sense and the will of the community overcomes stupid, harmful business deals isn’t it?

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Fring vs. Skype: The mobile chit-chat showdown.

And here we thought “highschool drama” was dead and buried once we left…highschool. But in reality, such things occur in everyday life, even amongst professional adults. Today’s highschool drama spills into the adult world is provided compliments of Fring and Skype. Most notably, Fring has had a lack of Skype support within the app for the last several days. So far, it’s been chalked up to a minor technological problem that would see a quick fix. But today, Fring let the cat out of the bag, outright bashing Skype and calling them out as “cowards” and accusing them of “trying to muzzle the competition”. According to Fring, Skype is blocking Fring (and other 3rd parties) from using Skype’s services. Fightin’ words no less.

Skype’s response is quite the contrary, and accuses Fring of doing the dirty deed and removing Skype support proactively. Skype goes on further to more or less lay blame on Fring’s improper use of Skype’s API’s as the reason for the whole skirmish in the first place. And then it gets all law & order:

Skype has been in discussions with Fring regarding our belief that Fring is breaching our API Terms of Use and End User Licence Agreement. Skype is disappointed that an amicable resolution was not possible but Fring’s decision to withdraw Skype functionality immediately was of its own choice. Skype encourages developers to build products that work with Skype in accordance with our various API licences. However, Skype will rigorously protect its brand and reputation and those companies that do not comply with our terms will be subject to enforcement.

Lawyers, lawsuits, and courtrooms — the perfect crescendo to a tech battle. Either way, it’s a bad situation for Fring/Skype users looking to get some mobile chatting action on the cheap in the here and now. Still, the fact that Skype is all of a sudden getting all touchy with 3rd parties and API’s hopefully means they’re going to break they’re exclusivity with Verizon Wireless in the near future. While such things are great for corporate pockets, exclusive deals rarely benefit the consumer.

With this turning into a he-said/she-said ordeal, be sure to stay close as we’ll keep you up to date. Here’s to hoping some pro-consumer products come out of all of this. Thoughts?

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