Save Skype at SJSU

Ahh, the nerds in charge are trying to turn off Skype at San Jose State University. Of course the podcasting class is pissed. So, what did they do? They blogged it. Caused a stink. And the stink is getting bigger.

I hope they kick IT’s ass. At Microsoft I couldn’t use Skype either. It always pissed me off. How did I get back at them? I got Verizon Wireless. Why? Cause the f***ers couldn’t block me then. That’s how to fight the man. Oh, and I expensed it so the man paid, too! ;-)  

95 thoughts on “Save Skype at SJSU

  1. Where I work Skype is banned, but not just on security, is a bandwidth issue. We have a LOT of bandwidth and a lot of skype loving geek users. I think the worry is everyone would become a superuser immediately and we’d become Europe’s major Skype hub in minutes, so there are at least potential reasons to ban it some places.

  2. Where I work Skype is banned, but not just on security, is a bandwidth issue. We have a LOT of bandwidth and a lot of skype loving geek users. I think the worry is everyone would become a superuser immediately and we’d become Europe’s major Skype hub in minutes, so there are at least potential reasons to ban it some places.

  3. Steve: Fair points. As an educator, but what about a student? It would be interesting to see what percentage of Skype usage by students is personal as opposed to something related to studies.

    I like the idea of Skype, just have some trouble accepting the way it works. I guess it’s something more important for home users which are on capped broadband plans. For these reasons I prefer Google Talk. Although I realize that I’m a disadvantage simply because of the shear force of the many millions of Skype users.

  4. Steve: Fair points. As an educator, but what about a student? It would be interesting to see what percentage of Skype usage by students is personal as opposed to something related to studies.

    I like the idea of Skype, just have some trouble accepting the way it works. I guess it’s something more important for home users which are on capped broadband plans. For these reasons I prefer Google Talk. Although I realize that I’m a disadvantage simply because of the shear force of the many millions of Skype users.

  5. Why does a student need Skype? For the same reason I do as an educator, collaboration and communication. If our university blocks Skype and other universities do not, we will be routed around. We will be at an competitive disadvantage at gaining market share in our market segment
    I use Skype every day in my work at San Jose State University. I have collaborated with fellow educators world wide using Skype. These conversation happened because I make public my Skype name.
    If Skype is so evil, why is it allowed inside IBM and (I am told, Yahoo and other major corporations?) If it is such a terrible evil bandwidth hog why does my ISP route it?
    Skype is the emerging standard in this segment. If there are four universities who block it because it is such a network killer why are hundreds of times that number allowing it? I am looking forward to hearing Ebay’s perspective on this issue on Tuesday.

  6. Why does a student need Skype? For the same reason I do as an educator, collaboration and communication. If our university blocks Skype and other universities do not, we will be routed around. We will be at an competitive disadvantage at gaining market share in our market segment
    I use Skype every day in my work at San Jose State University. I have collaborated with fellow educators world wide using Skype. These conversation happened because I make public my Skype name.
    If Skype is so evil, why is it allowed inside IBM and (I am told, Yahoo and other major corporations?) If it is such a terrible evil bandwidth hog why does my ISP route it?
    Skype is the emerging standard in this segment. If there are four universities who block it because it is such a network killer why are hundreds of times that number allowing it? I am looking forward to hearing Ebay’s perspective on this issue on Tuesday.

  7. Robert, is it your position that at university should pay to relay voice traffic between two parties outside of the university’s network? That’s what Skype can do. The only way to prevent this is to ban / block Skype.

  8. Robert, is it your position that at university should pay to relay voice traffic between two parties outside of the university’s network? That’s what Skype can do. The only way to prevent this is to ban / block Skype.

  9. Penguinista: um, you should take a tour of Microsoft. We had many datacenters right inside our buildings with huge network infrastructures mere feet from our offices. Go look at some of my tour videos from the SQL Server or Windows labs, for instance. And in one building across the street from where I worked they had $18 million worth of datacenter equipment and networking where they could replicate a major corporate network.

  10. Penguinista: um, you should take a tour of Microsoft. We had many datacenters right inside our buildings with huge network infrastructures mere feet from our offices. Go look at some of my tour videos from the SQL Server or Windows labs, for instance. And in one building across the street from where I worked they had $18 million worth of datacenter equipment and networking where they could replicate a major corporate network.

  11. “You should see the network infrastructure there — after all you can download Windows Vista for free right now.”

    Scoble, if you can’t tell the difference between a datacenter on a fat pipe designed to handle bulk downloads and a office network, I must congratulate you for conning M$ into hiring you as a technical evangelist.

  12. “You should see the network infrastructure there — after all you can download Windows Vista for free right now.”

    Scoble, if you can’t tell the difference between a datacenter on a fat pipe designed to handle bulk downloads and a office network, I must congratulate you for conning M$ into hiring you as a technical evangelist.

  13. So what’s the problem? Why does a student need Skype? Is Skype a right and not a privilege now? Is this the students and teachers complaining becuase they can’t talk to their buddies across the hall or families across the country or world for free?

    Bandwidth costs money, and Skype sucks bandwidth, even to the point where some networks have been brought to their knees because of it.

    If people feel they should have Skype to call whoever they wish, I guess they could also use any of the university’s phones to call anyone they wish. What’s the difference?

  14. So what’s the problem? Why does a student need Skype? Is Skype a right and not a privilege now? Is this the students and teachers complaining becuase they can’t talk to their buddies across the hall or families across the country or world for free?

    Bandwidth costs money, and Skype sucks bandwidth, even to the point where some networks have been brought to their knees because of it.

    If people feel they should have Skype to call whoever they wish, I guess they could also use any of the university’s phones to call anyone they wish. What’s the difference?

  15. Windows Vista downloads served to public by Akamai (and 4-8 additional servers OUTSIDE of MS campus) – this has nothing to do with Microsoft campus infrastructure.

    Even more – download speed is throttled (at least was in the past and probably now) due to INABILITY of MS infrastructure to handle this load and users had to wait very long hours to download their Vista DVD image. So download time estimate at page like this ( http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/preview.mspx ) is a lie !

    Hire a fact checker for your blog.

  16. Windows Vista downloads served to public by Akamai (and 4-8 additional servers OUTSIDE of MS campus) – this has nothing to do with Microsoft campus infrastructure.

    Even more – download speed is throttled (at least was in the past and probably now) due to INABILITY of MS infrastructure to handle this load and users had to wait very long hours to download their Vista DVD image. So download time estimate at page like this ( http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/preview.mspx ) is a lie !

    Hire a fact checker for your blog.

  17. >he would be insulting the manager, not IT.

    To make it clear, in my insult above I’m insulting those who made the decisions, not the guys who are implementing. Translation: I +am+ insulting the manager. Even if I didn’t get a memo.

    It’s silly to read my insult as against all IT people. I hope my readers are smarter than that. I guess I gotta dumb down my writing, though, cause there’s some people here who expect me to spell it all out.

  18. >he would be insulting the manager, not IT.

    To make it clear, in my insult above I’m insulting those who made the decisions, not the guys who are implementing. Translation: I +am+ insulting the manager. Even if I didn’t get a memo.

    It’s silly to read my insult as against all IT people. I hope my readers are smarter than that. I guess I gotta dumb down my writing, though, cause there’s some people here who expect me to spell it all out.

  19. It ain’t block (or forbidden) at my company either. At Microsoft (or at my company) the policy is idiotic. I am the VP of Systems, so, don’t worry, I am safe :-P
    Only technical feasible solutions should be implemented and the policy should make it clear to people like Scoble that this isn’t a technical decision, but a managerial one. The problem is that managers do things without reason (and they call it work!). If a manager would have send Scoble a Memo stating the policy, the reasons, and the penalties, he would be insulting the manager, not IT. And the IT would do better being vigilant rather than putting road blocks. If someone violates a policy “by accident” (whatever that means!) they would know warn the person and leave it at that…

  20. It ain’t block (or forbidden) at my company either. At Microsoft (or at my company) the policy is idiotic. I am the VP of Systems, so, don’t worry, I am safe :-P
    Only technical feasible solutions should be implemented and the policy should make it clear to people like Scoble that this isn’t a technical decision, but a managerial one. The problem is that managers do things without reason (and they call it work!). If a manager would have send Scoble a Memo stating the policy, the reasons, and the penalties, he would be insulting the manager, not IT. And the IT would do better being vigilant rather than putting road blocks. If someone violates a policy “by accident” (whatever that means!) they would know warn the person and leave it at that…

  21. Cider: whatever. You are telling me that Microsoft couldn’t find a way to throttle Skype bandwidth to my desktop? Come on now, the people I worked with are far smarter than that.

    It wasn’t a business priority. And if it were, I could have asked for a direct T1 line. Which would have cost the shareholders more than my little Verizon bill did.

    Oh, and if Skype could take down Microsoft’s network there’d be bigger problems than that. You should see the network infrastructure there — after all you can download Windows Vista for free right now. Millions of people are downloading it regularly. And the network doesn’t slow down very much.

    I appreciate what you’re saying. But to say that is an unsolvable problem is why users gripe about IT. Just be honest, it’s a lower priority than other things on your inbox right now. I can grok that.

    But if you’re in IT you’ve gotta realize that your users will find themselves at odds with you from time to time. Hell, you should hear what most people say about their IT staffs inside big companies. F***er is pretty kind, actually.

  22. Cider: whatever. You are telling me that Microsoft couldn’t find a way to throttle Skype bandwidth to my desktop? Come on now, the people I worked with are far smarter than that.

    It wasn’t a business priority. And if it were, I could have asked for a direct T1 line. Which would have cost the shareholders more than my little Verizon bill did.

    Oh, and if Skype could take down Microsoft’s network there’d be bigger problems than that. You should see the network infrastructure there — after all you can download Windows Vista for free right now. Millions of people are downloading it regularly. And the network doesn’t slow down very much.

    I appreciate what you’re saying. But to say that is an unsolvable problem is why users gripe about IT. Just be honest, it’s a lower priority than other things on your inbox right now. I can grok that.

    But if you’re in IT you’ve gotta realize that your users will find themselves at odds with you from time to time. Hell, you should hear what most people say about their IT staffs inside big companies. F***er is pretty kind, actually.

  23. I’ll repeat what I said earlier. The problem is not VOIP, it is the way Skype works. If it isn’t appropriate, choose a different VOIP application.

    Your argument that most developers use Skype and, as such, IT should enable use to this, is ridiculous. What you fail to realise is that if you have an organisation with a fast network and you allow free access to everyone to use Skype, you might end up going online, starting a download from a website and then seeing it go very slow. What would we get then? A Scoble post that IT are f***ers because your download is slow.

    However, why is it slow? Skype is eating all the bandwidth. Look at the chart I posted in that Ja.Net link. It aren’t making these judgments to make their lives easier, they are doing it in the best interests of their users and the business.

    I’d suggest you seriously reconsider your insult to the entire IT Professional industry by saying what they do is out of laziness.

  24. I’ll repeat what I said earlier. The problem is not VOIP, it is the way Skype works. If it isn’t appropriate, choose a different VOIP application.

    Your argument that most developers use Skype and, as such, IT should enable use to this, is ridiculous. What you fail to realise is that if you have an organisation with a fast network and you allow free access to everyone to use Skype, you might end up going online, starting a download from a website and then seeing it go very slow. What would we get then? A Scoble post that IT are f***ers because your download is slow.

    However, why is it slow? Skype is eating all the bandwidth. Look at the chart I posted in that Ja.Net link. It aren’t making these judgments to make their lives easier, they are doing it in the best interests of their users and the business.

    I’d suggest you seriously reconsider your insult to the entire IT Professional industry by saying what they do is out of laziness.

  25. Cider: you too are forgetting how the whole personal computer industry got here. It was a way to give the finger to the IT folks who had too much power and kept people from doing their jobs.

    My job at Microsoft was building relationships with developers using the tools that THEY wanted to use. Most developers I know use Skype. So, when IT blocked it it made my job more difficult. What happens when IT gets in the way? We route around. Just like what happened when people brought Apple II machines into their corporations so that they could do spreadsheets (and later IBM PCs). IT didn’t like that either.

    Maybe instead of calling users names IT should figure out how to serve the business instead of how to make their jobs easier.

  26. Cider: you too are forgetting how the whole personal computer industry got here. It was a way to give the finger to the IT folks who had too much power and kept people from doing their jobs.

    My job at Microsoft was building relationships with developers using the tools that THEY wanted to use. Most developers I know use Skype. So, when IT blocked it it made my job more difficult. What happens when IT gets in the way? We route around. Just like what happened when people brought Apple II machines into their corporations so that they could do spreadsheets (and later IBM PCs). IT didn’t like that either.

    Maybe instead of calling users names IT should figure out how to serve the business instead of how to make their jobs easier.

  27. Alfredo,

    Its best to have both a managerial and technical solution. At least then, you can’t have people contravening policy accidentally.

    I’m not surprised though by the opinion spouted by Scoble in this topic though. While at Channel 9, he and his emotionally-stunted colleague, Charles Torre, said time and again how much they hated IT people and how developers were more important (and bloggers, OF COURSE, more important than everyone else on the planet).

  28. Alfredo,

    Its best to have both a managerial and technical solution. At least then, you can’t have people contravening policy accidentally.

    I’m not surprised though by the opinion spouted by Scoble in this topic though. While at Channel 9, he and his emotionally-stunted colleague, Charles Torre, said time and again how much they hated IT people and how developers were more important (and bloggers, OF COURSE, more important than everyone else on the planet).

  29. BTW, Regarding proxies – Skype (at least on Windows) does not honor any proxy configuration requests.
    It will try to search for non-proxied connection very hard and if will find one – will keep using instead of proxy configured.

    I hit this once then was trying to force Skype Video use much faster incomming channel from sattelite (4Mbit) instead of mobile phone GPRS (28Kbit). Only removing internet routing (i.e. preventing all and any connection except proxy) from machine was able to address this. Probably some firewall applications can do this also – but anyway you see that it’s not an easy task.

  30. BTW, Regarding proxies – Skype (at least on Windows) does not honor any proxy configuration requests.
    It will try to search for non-proxied connection very hard and if will find one – will keep using instead of proxy configured.

    I hit this once then was trying to force Skype Video use much faster incomming channel from sattelite (4Mbit) instead of mobile phone GPRS (28Kbit). Only removing internet routing (i.e. preventing all and any connection except proxy) from machine was able to address this. Probably some firewall applications can do this also – but anyway you see that it’s not an easy task.

  31. #28

    My point is more to the point of the article :-P It’s useless tp block it, not to have a policy saying: “This is not allowed”. Just catch a few people violating the policy and throw them out! Blocking is useless, the policy is not. What Robert did to effectively avoid the blocking would have violated the policy, probably. Most places put a tech solution over a managerial solution. They do the blocking they don’t have the policy. I repeat: Blocking is useless… a complete waste of time and effort. Leave open and detect… and have a policy in place. This is what I have done at every bank that has asked me to block messenger… Put a policy in place, inform employees and watch… Don’t block anything.

  32. #28

    My point is more to the point of the article :-P It’s useless tp block it, not to have a policy saying: “This is not allowed”. Just catch a few people violating the policy and throw them out! Blocking is useless, the policy is not. What Robert did to effectively avoid the blocking would have violated the policy, probably. Most places put a tech solution over a managerial solution. They do the blocking they don’t have the policy. I repeat: Blocking is useless… a complete waste of time and effort. Leave open and detect… and have a policy in place. This is what I have done at every bank that has asked me to block messenger… Put a policy in place, inform employees and watch… Don’t block anything.

  33. #27:

    Don’t confuse what is possible technically from what is or is not against a company’s policy. I’ve known too many people to get in trouble by relying on one “unbreakable” tunneling protocol or another. The fact is that someone with such a persistent connection can be detected and singled out for further scruitiny… such as simply poping into their work-space when there is activity and seeing what is on the screen.

    Of course the risk you take might be different as a student at a university vs an employee at a defence contractor.

  34. #27:

    Don’t confuse what is possible technically from what is or is not against a company’s policy. I’ve known too many people to get in trouble by relying on one “unbreakable” tunneling protocol or another. The fact is that someone with such a persistent connection can be detected and singled out for further scruitiny… such as simply poping into their work-space when there is activity and seeing what is on the screen.

    Of course the risk you take might be different as a student at a university vs an employee at a defence contractor.

  35. Blocking Skype is hard and useless, specially if you got geeks around. You don’t need an expense account, just a connection at home and SSH or other form of tunneling… Anyone can do that.

  36. Blocking Skype is hard and useless, specially if you got geeks around. You don’t need an expense account, just a connection at home and SSH or other form of tunneling… Anyone can do that.

Comments are closed.