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Innovation

Taking Out the Skype Garbage

I don't write much about Skype any more, mostly because I find the entire company, its product and the situations surrounding it totally disgusting. However, a couple of things have come up which I just have to comment about.
Written by J.A. Watson, Contributor on

I don't write much about Skype any more, mostly because I find the entire company, its product and the situations surrounding it totally disgusting. However, a couple of things have come up which I just have to comment about.

1. The recent "settlement" of Skype's supposed legal problems. If you have read my blog before, you know what I think about that whole situation. If you believe those "problems" were real, or that the whole thing was anything other than a pre-planned and carefully orchestrated campaign to get a maximum amount of free publicity, I believe that you have been duped. Now that it is all "settled", the world is supposed to breathe a collective sigh of relief and absolutely everyone, from your great-grandmother to the world's largest corporations, should all immediately start using Skype. Right.

2. If you do choose to use Skype, make sure that you keep an eye on the performance of your computer and your internet connection. I have just heard again from someone who noticed that whenever he had Skype running on his (very powerful) system, the CPU load and the internet bandwidth use went up dramatically. Massively. He did a lot of research to determine why, and everything led clearly and without doubt back to Skype. It would appear that Skype decides to use his computer as a "Super Node" in their P2P network, of course without asking permission or informing him of that decision. But what does that actually mean, and what is Skype actually doing when it takes control of a computer in that way? No one knows. The bottom line is, if you have Skype running, be very alert for changes in the system performance, and keep eye on your internet use. If you have a router with activity LEDs on it, position it so that it will catch your eye if they start to blink madly, especially when you are not otherwise doing anything of significance on the internet.

Oh, and one last note. I am sad to report that Skype marketing's campaign to foist the bogus "XXX million registered users" number on the world has been totally successful. That garbage number is now parroted with question by any and every reporter, "analyst" and blogger who writes anything about Skype. This is clear and indisputable proof that no matter how outrageous your claims, if you repeat them often enough, they will be accepted as truth.

jw 11/11/2009

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