by Mike Masnick
Thu, Aug 16th 2007 11:32am
Lots of folks (including many of us here at Techdirt) have discovered that VoIP/IM service Skype is having a pretty massive outage right now, where most, if not all, Skype users simply cannot login. There are plenty of alternatives for people to use, but for those who are used to using Skype (or who use it as a phone replacement, as some do), it's probably a bit of a nuisance. Still, this has to raise some questions. Part of the value of P2P networks was supposed to be their lack of a central point of failure. The idea was you couldn't easily take down (or censor) a P2P network for that reason. With Skype, the fact is that it wasn't completely a P2P app, as the authentication was still centralized. However, this may make some people wonder. After all, there were accusations in the past that Kazaa wasn't really decentralized, and it was Kazaa's founders who built Skype -- and some have said that they simply reused Kazaa's underlying code in building Skype. So, don't be surprised to see some question how decentralized Skype really is after seeing a failure like this one.
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