Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Internet Outages

The Internet has been acting very strange for me today, starting with a brief, but weird Gmail glitch.. later on, WordPress (which hosts this blog) went into “read only mode” and I could not post anything online all afternoon. Then Netflix went totally offline. I suspect there’s some “hacker” shenanigans afoot (aka Denial of Service attacks [DoS]) causing these outages.

Netflix suffers hour-long outage, fans complain via Twitter

CNET (blog) – Greg Sandoval – ‎1 hour ago‎

Netflix managers were investigating the cause of an hour-long outage that has left millions of subscribers without access to their queue or the ability to stream movies. Visitors to Netflix this evening were greeted by a note that notified

Regardless of what the article states, my Netflix is still “unavailable”. A friend on the Right Coast says his services are normal and the Internet is okay.. so maybe it’s a Lefty Coast thing..

Related: A DDoS attack took WordPress offline just a week or so ago..

WordPress Outage Today: Taken Down By DDoS Attack
Product Reviews – Peter Chubb – ‎Mar 3, 2011‎

“A huge percentage of blogs were shocked to learn that there was a WordPress outage today, as it was taken down by a DDoS attack. Although WordPress managed to get things under control, there are fears that it could happen again..”

Ah. The joys of cloud computing..

[update: as of 7:45pm Pacific, both Netflix and WordPress have returned to service.]

March 22, 2011 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Skype outage affecting users around the globe (Twitter Too!)

No, it’s not you, and your machine is not malfunctioning.. Skype is.

Skype outage affecting users around the globe

Skype wrote in an e-mail to CNET this morning that it’s “assessing the matter now and its extent. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our users.”

We will share details as we hear more.”

[update: Twitter went down too! Skype Downtime Complaints Bring The Fail Whale to Twitter [Update: Fixed!]First Skype, Now Twitter Goes Down]

Related: Skype Outage Lesson: Don’t Rely On Consumer Services For Business Functions (EBAY)

December 22, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet, News, tech, VoIP | , | 2 Comments

Facebook Friday | Software Winners Announced

Hey folks, let me introduce a new T4E feature –  Facebook Friday!

Item 1 – A movie about Facebook: (ABC) “The Social Network” will hit theaters on Oct. 1, but already the movie has sparked thousands of conversations, not to mention wall posts.

“Since the movie trailer hit the Web this summer, millions of Facebook Friends have been waiting to see a film dramatizing Facebook’s meteoric rise from Harvard’s campus to global Internet phenomenon.”

Uh. Yeah. Not gonna see it. Not even when it comes out on cable.

Item 2Facebook outage was its biggest ever

(CNN)Facebook’s outage that shut down the site for many users Thursday was its worst since it became a worldwide social-networking powerhouse, according to an engineer for the site.

It seems EVERYONE was affected by not being able to access Facebook yesterday, and today the media is a-buzz. (I don’t watch or read the mainstream media anymore, largely for reasons such as this. Facebook outage.. well, have to fill the airtime I guess.)

I like this headline from Oregon Public Broadcasting:

OPB BREAKING NEWS: Facebook is down. Worker productivity rises. U.S. climbs out of recession.

I do hope the Facebook outage did not cause any Farmville animals to suffer from neglect…


This week’s software license winners are…

The folks at SPAMFighter (last week’s giveaway) generously donated 10 one-year licenses for SLOW-PCFighter to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that.

SLOW-PCFighter is a Registry repair program which “uses the most advanced technologies available” to analyze PC errors and – as the name suggests – speed up a PC which has become slow.

From the author:

SLOW-PCfighter seeks out and removes all unused entries in your Registry from failed software, driver installations and faulty un-installations and optimizes Windows startup.”

To read more about SLOW-PCFighter, and my review, click here.

And the lucky winners are:

SloPCwins

Winners, congratulations! Check your e-mail (you may need to check your Junk folder) for your license key – Subject line: SLOW-PCFighter License winner. Again, I thank the folks at SPAMFighter for making this giveaway possible.

[NOTE: luisc, your mail delivery failed. Please provide me with a valid email address within 24 hours. I will give the license to another random entrant after that time.] The lucky consolation winner is:


Have a great weekend folks!

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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September 24, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet, News, social networking, tech | , , , , | 10 Comments

Internet backbone runs on a prayer

Folks, here in the San Jose area, vandals used hacksaws to cut some fiber-optic ‘wires’ and a large part of “the Internet” went down for many (hundreds of thousands) people and many services. Please read Our fancy Internet infrastructure operates on a wire and a prayer from ZDNet.

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April 10, 2009 Posted by | Internet, News | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wouldn’t you know it?

Folks, a little while ago I heard a rather large “POP”, well.. it might have been more of a “bang!”, and our electricity went out. I was able to finish troubleshooting a remote client, and get this post published because I have taken the precaution of installing special devices; as I wrote about before. So I will let this event serve as a reminder to me to remind you that power outages happen and you can mitigate their effects on your digital devices– I am reposting:

A Power Outage Wake-up Call

This morning I experienced something that I haven’t had happen to me in a very long time — a total electricity outage that lasted for more than an hour. I do not want you to think I’m a complete wimp (in the days of my youth, “brownouts” and “blackouts” were fairly common and frequent), but it did serve to give me a reminder of just how electricity-dependent I am… the fact that I had a page of un-Saved work suddenly and irrevocably lost was my ‘bad’.

Tip of the day: Give yourself time to save your work, invest in a UPS.
I was made aware of my suddenly electricity-less state by a funny sound, and my screen shrinking to a single white dot… followed by black. This was all the evidence I needed: the house had no juice. (…no phone, no light, no motor-car. Not a single luxury… Ahem. Sorry.)

This told me two things; I have gotten lazy with my preventative, regular Save-ing (and Save As Draft-ing), and I need to get my sister an Uninteruptable Power Supply, or “UPS”.
I used to be as regular as clockwork. Start a new document and “Save As” it and give it a name/location. Every paragraph, a “Ctrl+S” (Save). This was a routine I developed not so much because of daily brownouts, but because in Windows 95 (through 98 SE) you simply never knew when the next BSOD would strike. Losing your work was a much more common frustration.

And if there had been a UPS between the wall outlet and my sister’s PC and the modem and the monitor, I would have had ten to fifteen minutes to complete and save my work, and get it published on the Web. That would’ve been nice. Would have saved me an “aaarrgg!!” Even nicer would have been an industrial strength portable generator, tied into the house’s grid… but those ain’t cheap.

 A UPS is, essentially, a battery. It draws current to charge itself  from the line, and then just sits there in case of an outage. When a major dip in the current, or complete failure occurs on the main line, the UPS switches to the charge it has stored in its battery. Because of this fact, a lot of people call a UPS a “battery backup”.  Dependant on the size (which affects the price) of the battery is how long a time you have to run before it runs out of juice. Typically, this is 10 minutes or so.

When you are shopping for a UPS, it is preferable to get one that is “line interactive” (also called “line conditioning”), as opposed to an “offline” type. This is because they will “even out” the ‘spikes’ and ‘dips’ which you get from municiple utilities.

There are several reputable UPS manufacturers, and some are even based here in the good ‘old US of A, APC and Tripplite being the best known, but there are others. You can get a very good unit for about a hundred dollars. If you work out of your home as a “telecommuter”, you seriously should have one (or more) of these devices.

Today’s free link:Today another file recovery program. This one works on both FAT32 and NTFS files. Recover Files 2.0. From site: “Recover Files is a small, fast, useful, practical and powerful. It has a clean, simple interface. Recover Files will work with Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista operating systems.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

 

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June 20, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, PC, tech | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment