Skype the computer phone service relied on by many Americans with loved ones in other countries had a glitch today. As with many things that operate smoothly, you don’t notice them until something goes wrong. One thing that most don’t know about the Skype that magically brings their grandchildren into their living rooms and vice-a-versa takes you into theirs is that the signal has bounced through millions of other computers and phones to reach you.
The glitch came earlier in the day Wednesday of the Christmas season on December 22nd. By 1 am on Thursday it began to be resolved.
Skype administrators came on and apologized especially to those who were not as yet back on. Talk about not preaching to the choir. They used a Twitter feed, as well, to keep users in the know.
The feed referred to their engineers and site operation team who the message noted was working non-stop tor return Skype to normal.
The matrix monitors noticed that Skype was falling or at least the number of users on line had dropped to an unusual low position.
The problem seems to be with certain ‘supernode’ computers which act like directories for signals reaching them. Think of a game of hot potato. The potato is thrown from person to person who has multiple options of sending it on. Now suppose that several don’t want to play and begin to drop out of the group. The options for getting rid of the hot potato become increasing limited and the chances of it getting dropped increases.
For some reason several supernodes were offline because of a problem with certain versions of Skype. Consequently millions of users suddenly didn’t have anyone to whom to pass their signal. In older phone systems it would be like all of the phone operators suddenly going on strike.
Like the old phone company the Skype engineers were rounding up new operators to stand in for those on strike. They were quickly putting up new ‘mega-supernodes’. Audio service as well as individual video calls were mostly getting connected. Group video calling will gradually return to the expected standard that Skype typically maintains.