We almost got to see what Christmas was like before Skype, and it wasn't pleasant. Of course, VOIP and videoconferencing will never replace Grandma Pat's pizzelles, but the technology sure does make pre-holiday planning a lot easier. For its part, Skype hasn't gone into too much detail regarding the nature of its most recent outage
(something about "mega-supernodes"), although as of this writing group video calling appears to be back and CEO Tony Bates has announced that customers will be compensated for the interruption of service with free and pay-as-you-go customers receiving credit for a free 30-minute SkypeOut call to landlines, while paid subscribers will get a free week of service. Keep an eye out on the Skype Blog for further updates, and we'll keep our fingers crossed that this year we won't have to learn what New Year's Eve is like without Chatroulette. As for Skype itself, with the way they've been courting enterprise customers they'll just be happy if this doesn't do too much damage to their impending IPO.