Edit: And it's back up!
Original story: I was sitting down at dinner chatting to a few friends over Facebook Messenger a few minutes ago, and noticed that my messages weren't going through. I thought it was just me. I drove home, rebooted my phone and the same thing happened.
Facebook is down. Right now, visiting the mobile site or the desktop site, shows that "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can". There's no ETA right now, but Facebook is down. Hopefully we'll have a reason for this soon, as it's a pretty damn big site and service to all of the sudden go dark.
Before today, the cheapest Apple offered its iMac was $1,299 - but now that 21.5-inch iMac costs just $1,099. The new entry-level iMac sports a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor at 1.4GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt ports, four USB 3.0 ports and Intel HD 5000 graphics.
The previous model that was $200 more, featured a slightly better Core i5 processor, and bigger HDD. But, you can always customize it to your liking, where you could replace the 500GB with a 1TB Fusion drive, or a 256GB SSD - something we would recommend doing (especially the SSD upgrade). We should see another iMac refresh in the future, with Intel's next-gen Broadwell processor baked into them. When that'll happen, is something no one knows right now.
NVIDIA has released its new R340 series of drivers, where it starts with the GeForce 340.43 beta drivers. The new R340 series doesn't introduce much in the way of new, with it being an iteration release with minor features, something we'll quickly jump into now.
We have x86 Miracast support, which is probably the standout feature of the new R340 series of driver. Until now, NVIDIA only supported Miracast through its Tegra 3 and later SoCs, but now it works on GeForce products running Windows 8.1. NVIDIA's new GeForce 340.43 beta drivers are also Game Ready for GRID: Autosport and the Battlefield: Hardline beta.
For older GeForce owners, beware: the R340 series will be the last driver series to support NVIDIA's Direct3D 10 generation GPUs - with the 8/9/100/200 and 300 series all not receiving support after the R343 series later this year. These GPUs will be shifted over to legacy status. Go and grab the new NVIDIA GeForce 340.43 beta drivers here.
Sony has just announced that you can now pre-load games on the PlayStation 4, something that was promised a while ago. There is a full list of gmaes that support pre-loading for now, with more to be announced as time goes by.
Destiny, Bloodborne and Dragon Age: Inquisition are the first in the pre-order lineup, and if you pre-order them, they will pre-load by default. You'll have to leave your PS4 in standby mode, and online for this to happen. So the PS4 just caught up to the PC from years ago, yay.
I've been a fan of the Resident Evil movies since the first one, and while the others may not have been as good - the series is a fun thing to watch. Series Director and Producer, Paul W.S. Anderson, has announced that another Resident Evil movie is in the works, currently known as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
Anderson has said that he's on the final draft of the script, with the producers now having to work out a shooting schedule once the draft is done. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will be the sixth movie in the franchise, and will go down the 3D route again - this time, with Anderson shooting the film in 3D this time, instead of converting it to 3D in post-production.
During an interview with Collider, Anderson said: "I approach my films right from the inception, I kind of write action scenes and pick out locations that I think and know because I've done so much of it will translate very well into 3D. Then when we build the sets, we build sets that I know will shoot well in 3D. It's really, even from this point, 3D is something I'm definitely thinking about".
If you thought the 1Gbps on offer from Google Fiber was impressive, well, that would feel like dial-up compared to what the private pipeline the US Department of Energy recently tested - bursting out an incredible 91 gigabits per second between Denver and Maryland.
The reason behind the uber-fast Internet access is that the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and NASA officials having to deal with copious amounts of data, but with access to this 91Gbps connection, that is a thing of the past. Even faster transfers have been benchmarked, but these were done over direct connections.
We reported earlier in the year that Alcatel-Lucent and BT smashed a huge 1.4 terabit connection, but this was a direct connection between London and Ipswich. ESnet does have a goal in mind, where it hopes to see transfer speeds increased to as high as 1Tbps, where it has already started work on a 400 gigabit network. Where do I sign up?
SolarCity has signed an agreement to acquire Silevo, which is a solar panel technology and manufacturing company, where the two are now in discussions with the state of New York to build an initial manufacturing plant in the state.
This plant will eventually be generating 1GW of solar power in the next two years, making it one of single largest solar panel production plans in the world. Better yet, it will be followed in the years after by another one or more significantly larger plants, "at an order of magnitude greater annual production capacity", according to a blog post on SolarCity written by Elon Musk, Peter Rive and Lyndon Rive. Musk being the founder of SpaceX, eBay and Tesla Motors.
The problem with companies of today, is that they are producing "relatively low photonic efficiency solar cells at uncompelling costs" but the work between SolarCity and Silevo should hopefully see a change to that. They continue, saying: "Without decisive action to lay the groundwork today, the massive volume of affordable, high efficiency panels needed for unsubsidized solar power to outcompete fossil fuel grid power simply will not be there when it is needed".
If you've got a spare $21,900 burning a hole in your pocket, you could always slap down that house deposit on Vertu's Signature Touch smartphone - a decent Android-powered handset available for slightly under $22,000.
The Signature Touch features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 - so we have a 2.3GHz quad-core processor on-board, a 4.7-inch 1920x1080-pixel display, 64GB of on-board storage, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 2.1-megapixel selfie-shooter, a 2275mAh battery, Qi wireless charging, NFC and LTE capabilities.
What makes the Signature Touch from Vertu stand out from the rest, and begin to justify its $21,900 price tag? Well, we have Vertu's new Lead Designer, Ignacio Germade, using a masculine "V-spine" design with a D-ring latch for popping the SIM tray open, a ceramic ear pillow that is smaller, with a titanium chin instead of a metallic bezel. Stereo speakers make the cut, thanks to a partnership with Bang & Olufsen.
After being out for a while now, Ubisoft is only just now rolling out a patch to Watch Dogs - something that PC gamers should receive in the next few days, while PS4 gamers get it today, and Xbox gamers receiving it sometime next week.
But now I have a question: will TheWorse/E3 2012 mod still work after this patch? Ubisoft has already alienated and pissed off the PC gaming community with its deliberate gimping of Watch Dogs on PC, but this would just be yet another strike against the publisher. Hopefully the mod still works, so gamers get an even more stable game with bug fixes, with better graphics than they had before.
BitPay is the new sponsor of the St. Petersburg Bowl, the annual NCAA football postseason bowl game, in a three-year deal. Tickets for the game start at $40 and interested football fans will be able to purchase game tickets in bitcoin.
Retailers and companies are accepting bitcoin payments, willing to test the cryptocurrency waters. Bitcoin wallets and storage security still cause concern for security specialists, but technology is evolving.
"This will be a fantastic opportunity to raise bitcoin awareness to millions of new users," BitPay said in a blog post. "Our goal is to make it the largest and most exciting bitcoin event ever produced. The date of the first Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be Friday, December 26 at 8:00 PM at Tropicana Field."