Skype Calls Now Illegal in China

Residents of mainland China got a rude awakening today. According to The Telegraph, popular voice over IP (VoIP) app Skype has been declared illegal in the country. The only Internet voice calls that will be legal to place are those made over the two g…

Residents of mainland China got a rude awakening today. According to The Telegraph, popular voice over IP (VoIP) app Skype has been declared illegal in the country. The only Internet voice calls that will be legal to place are those made over the two government controlled telecoms, China Unicom and China Telecom. This effectively ends Skype’s ambitions to break into the rapidly growing Chinese market.

This is far from the first western online product the Chinese government has blocked. Service like Twitter and Facebook are banned as well. Google even closed down servers in China early this year amid the censorship controversy. While Skype calling mat technically be illegal now, it is uncertain what actions the Chinese authorities will take against it.

As of now, most users still report being able to connect to Skype, and most can still download the client. Skype has said only that Chinese users should look toward their Hong Kong partner Tom Online for VoIP services. Though, many fear that Tom Online is monitoring traffic.  

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Skype Blames Recent Outage Fiasco on Outdated Client Software

In a blog post on Wednesday, Skype offered up a post-mortem explanation to the recent outage that affected thousands of users who were unable to connect and communicate.
“For starters, it helps to understand that Skype is based on a peer-to-peer (P2P) …

In a blog post on Wednesday, Skype offered up a post-mortem explanation to the recent outage that affected thousands of users who were unable to connect and communicate.

“For starters, it helps to understand that Skype is based on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, which is explained here. Last week, the P2P network became unstable and suffered a critical failure,” Skype explains.

“Users running either the latest Skype for Windows (version 5.0.0.156), older versions of Skype for Windows (4.0 versions), Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype on your TV, and Skype Connect or Skype Manager for enterprises were not affected by this initial problem.

“However, around 50 percent of all Skype users globally were running the 5.0.0.152 version of Skype for Windows, and the crashes caused approximately 40 percent of those clients to fail. These clients included 25-30 percent of the publicly available supernodes, also failed as a result of this problem.”

In other words, users should be pointing the finger partially at themselves for running outdated software, though Skype wasn’t as blunt about this. Instead, the company said it’s looking into several ways to avoid something like this from happening again, including revamping its process for automatic updates and continuing to invest in capacity upgrades.

Image Credit: financebehavior.co.uk

Facebook, Skype plan to combine communications services

Social networking site Facebook and Internet telephone provider Skype are planning to combine their communications services, according to a media report.
Under the partnership, Facebook users will be able to sign into Skype through their Facebook Connect accounts.
Those users would then be able to text message, voice chat and video chat with their friends on Facebook from within Skype, the Wall Street Journal reported.

An announcement in this regard is expected within the next few weeks.

The partnership would link Skype’s 560 million registered users with Facebook’s 500 million members.

“The partnership will likely step up pressure on Google, which is battling Facebook for Internet users’ attention and last month moved to integrate voice calling into its Gmail service,” the report added.

Google is also trying to make its services “more social” as it aims to get more people to spend time on it rather than on the social networking site.

Now India want Google and Skype to Meet Security Needs after BlackBerry

According to recent reports, the Government of India has decided to go after companies including Google and Skype, after cracking down on BlackBerry in the quest to keep it’s mobile phone market safe from militants and cyber spying. Wherever there is a concern on grounds of national security the India government wants access and lawful interference to the mobile network.

According to Reuters, the Indian authorities have for more than a year been looking at Google’s messaging, Skype and other providers of communication in India. They have already forced mobile phone operators to follow strict import rules when buying telecoms network equipment.

India has given Research In Motion (RIM) until August 31 to comply with a request to gain access to encrypted corporate email and messaging services using BlackBerry or those services will be shut. A shutdown would hit one million users in India out of the 41 million smartphone users. India is one of RIM’s fastest growing markets.