Codebreaker

Skype goes down

John Moe Dec 23, 2010

The popular internet telephony service crashed hard yesterday, booting millions of users offline. As of today, the service is staggering back to life but still erratic and crashy. The problem appears to be connected to something called “supernodes”. Rather than operate in a hub and spoke system with everyone feeding into centralized servers, Skype operates in more of a peer-to-peer capacity with users moving each other along. Anyone could be a supernode, if you’re on Skype you may sometimes be a supernode yourself, it’s part of the deal for a free service. Skype says it was a problem with software that made supernodes unable to move calls along. The solution, they say, is to build new “mega-supernodes.” Of course, it might also be a good idea to figure other ways to communicate with someone in case the mega-supernodes just aren’t nodes enough.

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