According to Skype’s partly owned by web retailer EBay, some users were having problems signing on. Users in the US, Asia and Europe complained of the outage on social network site Twitter.
In its Twitter feed, the company apologized for the disruption and stated that it was investigating the cause.
Around 3.30pm EST, it alleged that the service was returning to normal, but that it may take several hours for everyone to be able to use it again.
The so-far unexplained outage, just days before the Christmas holiday, marked the latest blow to the service’s reputation.
Dropped calls and service quality have long been seen as a weak point for Skype, which offers free voice and video services between users as well as low-cost calls to landlines.
It now also faces competition from rival online phone providers such as Google, which lets its users make calls through their Gmail accounts, and high-end videoconferencing tools like Cisco Systems’s umiâ€ service.
Mobilicity, Canadian wireless service provider, has announced a new phone on its network- the Motorola Spice.
According to Motorola, Spice delivers an excellent smartphone experience with its sliding QWERTY keyboard and large multi-touch screen, which can be customized through seven home screen panels with easy access to Google Search, Google Maps with Google Latitude, Gmail and Android Market.
Users can easily view and manage content from a single application – keeping track of call histories, messages, calendar events, photos and videos, all of which can then be mapped onto a timeline on the home screen. Plus, the device has a unique rear-touch Backtrack panel that makes it possible to navigate and scroll through web sites without obstructing the screen.
The handset will soon be available at Mobilicity stores across Canada.
Google is going to block Facebook and other Web services from accessing its users’ information, highlighting an intensifying rivalry between the two Internet giants.
Google has always allowed its users to transfer data, including their contacts to other websites. Up til now, new Facebook users could find out whether their contacts on Gmail also had Facebook accounts, simply by typing in their Gmail user name and password as part of the Facebook sign-up process.
But Google will no longer let other services automatically import its users’ email contact data for their own purposes, unless the information flow both ways. It blamed Facebook in particular of tapping Google contact data, without allowing for the automatic import and export of Facebook users’ information.
Facebook has more than 500 million users and it relies mostly on email services such as Google’s Gmail to help new users find friends already on the network. When a person signs up to it they are asked to import their Gmail contact list into the social network service. Facebook then tells the user which email contacts are also on the social network.
As per the statement by Google, websites such as Facebook leave users in a data dead-end.
On this act, analysts supposed that the move underscored the battle between Google, the world’s largest search engine, and Facebook, the dominant Internet social network.
As per Gartner analyst Ray Valdes, the fundamental power dynamic on the Web today is this emerging conflict between Facebook and Google. Google needs to evolve to become a big player in the social Web and it hasn’t been able to do that. If people do search within Facebook, if they do email within Facebook, if they do instant messaging within Facebook, all of these will chip away at Google’s properties.
According to Google, while it makes it easy for other Web services to automatically import a user’s contact data, Facebook was not reciprocating. The company has decided to change their approach slightly to reflect the fact that users often aren’t aware that once they have imported their contacts into sites like Facebook, they are effectively trapped. Google will no longer allow websites to automate the import of users’ Google Contacts (via API) unless they allow similar export to other sites.
According to Google spokesman, the company had begun enforcing the new rules gradually.
Google also stressed that users will still be able to manually download their contacts to their computers in “n open, machine-readable format which can then be imported into any Web service.
According to Google’s Chief Executive Officer, Eric Schmidt previous statements, company would add social layers to many of its existing Web products in the coming months, following its less-than-stellar track record of developing stand-alone social networking products like Orkut and the recently shuttered Wave service.
As per Gartner’s Valdes, access to the explosion of new types of data generated by Web services, such as location-based services, would provide further flashpoints between Google and Facebook. It’s one skirmish among many to come.
Sony Ericsson has finally launched the Android-based XPERIA X8 and the GreenHeart Cedar. The XPERIA X8 is launched with Android v1.6 Donut, but will be upgraded with v2.1 Eclair before the end of the year.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 features 3-inch touchscreen display. The device runs on Android mobile OS. It features 3.2 megapixel camera, 1200 mAh battery and WiFi, games, video, internet and more . The device internal memory is 128MB expandable upto 16 GB. The phone additionally features NeoReader barcode scanning app, USB mass storage, Google services, Android Market Client, Gmail, Google Talk, and YouTube. There is no official announcement on prices but the phone is expected to cost around US$256.37.
The other handset launched by the company is the Sony Ericsson Cedar, which is a low budget phone and offers 3G capability. The company has used recycled plastic in Cedar, and has a low power consumption charger, no hard copy of manual, waterborne paint, and small packaging.
The phone features a 2MP camera, VGA video recording, Music player & FM radio. The device has a Bluetooth and also holds 3.5 mm jack for audio. The phone has 2.2 TFT screen with 262K colors and comes with Applications for Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.
Cedar comes with a micro USB charger, and is available in two colors, black/silver and black/red. Company has not provided any details about the price yet, but is expected to be around US$104.75
Saturday, October 07, 2006: New Delhi: Gmail users in India can now access the service on their mobile devices. Google has launched the Gmail Mobile service which works with most Web-enabled mobile phones.
To access Gmail Mobile, users need to visit http://m.gmail.com through the Web browser on their mobile phone and sign in to their Gmail account as they would on the Web. Gmail Mobile automatically optimises the interface based on the phone, given the fact that every mobile device is different.Users can also view attached photos and documents from their phone, and reply-by-call to people whose phone number is stored in their Gmail account. Gmail messages are automatically synchronised, regardless of whether Gmail is accessed from Gmail Mobile or the Web.
Gmail Mobile is currently available for free for mobile phone users in India. However, users need to check with their carriers on their data service plan to determine if there are additional charges for Web access.