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Amazon AWS outage impacts Reddit, Airbnb, Flipboard, and others

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 9:14 pm

You may have trouble accessing some of your favorite websites today as an Amazon Cloud outage is having some detrimental effects on their web services. Many websites are now using Amazon's AWS cloud hosting for their websites and the unfortunate downside to this is that when Amazon has issues, half of the internet comes down with it.




The outage is only affecting one of Amazon's cloud locations, but just that is preventing some web surfers from being able to access their favorite sites. Reddit, Airbnb, Heroku, FastCompany, and Flipboard are just some of the sites that are effected by the North Virginia service issues.


The Amazon Web Services dashboard is reporting "performance issues" on nearly every N Virginia-based service. This isn't the first time that an outage has hit Amazon's cloud offerings. Back in June, Amazon experienced another outage, which resulted in Netflix, Pinterest, and Instagram having issues serving up their websites and video.

Yahoo earnings higher than expected, could signal turnaround for the faltering company

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 8:40 pm

Yahoo has been faltering in the wake of Google's massive successes. Advertising revenue has fallen, traffic has fallen, and they were continuing to produce many products that didn't see much use. They hired in former Googler Marissa Mayer as their new CEO to help turn the company around, and it appears to be working.




Yahoo performed better in the third quarter than analysts expected it to, a nice surprise considering Google and Microsoft both performed worse than expected. Sales only fell from $1.22 billion to $1.2 billion year-over-year. Earnings per share rose to $0.35, which is up from only $0.21 from the same period a year prior.


"Yahoo had a solid third quarter, and we are encouraged by the stabilization in search and display revenue," said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. "We're taking important steps to position Yahoo for long-term success, and we're confident that our focus on quality and improving the user experience will drive increased value for our advertisers, partners and shareholders."


Stock prices weren't too affected by today's results, likely due to stock holders believing that Yahoo is still in a fragile state. After all, Mayer was only installed into the CEO position on July 16.

Hero Academy to receive Shaolin team, Challenge Collection in November update

By: Daniel Perez | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 7:52 pm

Robot Entertainment's hit free-to-play iOS game, Hero Academy, has been receiving regular updates ever since it was released earlier this year. When it was first released, only the Council and Dark Elves, but within months, we had The Tribe, Dwarves and Team Fortress 2. You would think that would be good enough for Robot Entertainment, but today, they announced a new team will be making its way to the Hero Academy stage next month.




The new team that will be released this November is called the Shaolin team and they will focus more on combinations as the more you attack with individual Shaolin units, the higher the amount of damage your team will inflict on the opposing team. Not only that, but the Shaolin team's heroes can reduce the strength of the opposing team, which makes them quite the serious team to go up against.

Continue reading 'Hero Academy to receive Shaolin team, Challenge Collection in November update' (full post)

Bruno Mars saves Pandora in Saturday Night Live Skit

By: Daniel Perez | More News: Online Video | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 1:24 pm

One of the biggest streaming services across nearly everyone's mobile devices has got to be Pandora, although I'm a bigger fan of Spotify. The extremely popular music streaming service has nearly never had any sort of hiccups, but in a skit on Saturday Night Live that aired this weekend, Pandora ran into a little bit of trouble.




The skit started with just another flawless day in Pandora's HQ, but a power outage caused the serious hiccup in its online stream throughout a number of its artist's channels. Thankfully, a lowly intern, who was played by SNL host Bruno Mars, came to the company's rescue as he was able to mimic a number of of artist's iconic sounds like Green Day, Aerosmith and even Katy Perry.


Without looking into the absurdity of one of Pandora's employees being able to karaoke their way through a song without the listeners noticing, the skit was actually pretty good and Bruno kept it together through his performances of other artist's music.

Continue reading 'Bruno Mars saves Pandora in Saturday Night Live Skit' (full post)

AMD unveils "Never Settle" release of drivers, welcome to Catalyst 12.11

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 12:29 pm

AMD aren't taking the graphics war sitting on their hands, with the release of their Catalyst 12.11 driver set which the company are calling the "Never Settle" driver, and rightly so by the looks of things.




These new drivers carry support for the AMD Radeon 7000 series of GPUs, with specific GPUs in mind based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture, such as HD 7750, HD 7770 GHz Ed., HD 7850, HD 7870 GHz Ed., HD 7950, HD 7950 BE, HD 7970, HD 7970 GHz Ed., and HD 7990; and mobile Radeon HD 7700M series, HD 7800M series, and HD 7900M series.


The new Never Settle drivers sport performance improvements of up to 15% in most of the latest games including Battlefield 3, DiRT Showdown, Sleeping Dogs, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and much more. AMD is now able to claim the performance lead for all of their top-end products, with the HD 7970 GHz Edition seeing a 20% performance gain over NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680.

Continue reading 'AMD unveils "Never Settle" release of drivers, welcome to Catalyst 12.11' (full post)

The first Windows Phone 8-powered smartphones reach Best Buy, cheaper than the iPhone and Galaxy S III

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 11:35 am

AT&T's Windows Phone 8 handsets have reached Best Buy's pre-order list, with the Nokia Lumia 920 available in an assortment of colors for $149.99 on a two-year contract. Contract-free pricing for the Lumia 920 sets at $599.99.




HTC's high-end Windows Phone 8X smartphone is also available for pre-order, available in indigo-blue for $99.99 on contract, and $599.99 outright. Best Buy aren't showing any shipping dates for both smartphones, stating they will "ship when available".


The Lumia 920 is priced quite well, at just $149.99 on a two-year contract, bettering the price offered by Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S III which are both priced at $199.99 on two-year contracts.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, plans to become 100% powered by renewable, low-carbon forms of energy

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 10:26 am

Saudi Arabia, currently the world's biggest oil producer, has some very interesting plans - they want to be 100% powered by renewable and low-carbon forms of energy. This process would most likely take decades, but just the hint of it is quite powerful, and interesting.




You're probably thinking 'what does this have to do with tech?', but what is the one thing tech uses above all else? Energy. If the world turned from oil, to renewable sources to somewhere over 50-75% in the next decade, we would be looking at not only an entirely new world of technology, but an entire new way of living.


The news comes from Prince Tuki Al Faisal Al Saud, who is the founder of the King Faisal Foundation, where he told the Global Economic Symposium in Brazil that he hoped the kingdom could one day be powered entirely from low-carbon energy within his lifetime. At 67 years old, this would be much sooner, rather than later.

Continue reading 'Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, plans to become 100% powered by renewable, low-carbon forms of energy' (full post)

Crysis is going Maximum Cardboard, will arrive as a board game

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 9:26 am

I never thought I'd see the day, but that day is coming in 2013. Crysis is reaching out, and moving away from its console and PC gaming roots, and into the world of board games. Yes, board games.




It will be dubbed Crysis Analogue Edition, and the board game will attempt to recreate the first-person shooter's multiplayer modes, where you get use of the Nanosuit offering super-human abilities. There's no word on how the game will play, whether you're aggressive, or playing cooperatively, but the announcement suggests players will need to use "tactical teamwork" in the game.


Crysis Analogue Edition is being developed by German board game company Queen Games, whose resume includes games like Shogun, Chicago Express, Urbanisation, and Kingdom Builder. Crysis Analogue Edition should reach us in March 2013 which is just one month after Crysis 3 reaches us.

Microsoft rips Facebook and Twitter apps from the Xbox 360

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 8:28 am

Before Microsoft pushes out the mandatory Dashboard update to the Xbox 360, they have decided to do some spring cleaning. This spring cleaning comes in the form of the Redmond-based software giant removing social networking apps Twitter and Facebook from their Xbox 360.




The new Dashboard update is in the process of rolling out across the world, and from now on users won't be able to read or update their status through the Xbox 360 itself once the apps have been removed.


A Microsoft representative spoke to IGN saying "we're retiring the Facebook and Twitter apps" in something they push to "streamline" app functionality on the console. Microsoft were asked if the social networking apps would return in the future, which is something they wouldn't comment on at the time.

Continue reading 'Microsoft rips Facebook and Twitter apps from the Xbox 360' (full post)

So it begins - iPad 4 rumors are starting

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 22, 2012 7:39 am

We're only days away from Apple's iPad mini unveiling, Microsoft's Windows 8 and Surface launch, as well as Google's October 29 event, and to top it all off we're now hearing about Apple's iPad 4.




Yes, iPad 4. This would be Apple's fourth-generation slate, and the photo above is of the purported iPad 4's lightning dock connector. The photo compares it to Apple's fourth-generation iPad dock, to the iPad mini dock, where the connector looks to be a completely new design.


This would then lean credit toward a fourth-generation iPad sporting a totally redesigned interior in order to house different components. It shouldn't just be a refreshed lightning dock connector for the third-gen iPad, but something new entirely. Apple are going to need it as competition in the tablet space is heating up, and fast.

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