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Yesterday was not a good day for Google's usually reliable Gmail service. Google says that due to a dual network failure, some users experienced partial service interruptions, slow performance, or total outages for up to 11 hours.
The company says that almost one-third of all emails routed through it servers were affected and that about 1.5 percent of all emails sent or received through the service were delayed by as much as two hours. Google has apologized via an official statement, and says that it will be implementing steps over the next few weeks to make sure these issues do not happen again.
Google plans to beef up its network and its backup capacity for Gmail, and says that it will make email delivery more resilient even in the event of a dual network failure. For many of us who use Gmail as our exclusive email provider, yesterday's issues were a little more serious. However, I am sure that the service will not see a loss of users over the recent issues. Google's complete statement can be found after the jump.
Google has just announced the launch of a new project it calls Constitute, a website that organizes all of the world's constitutions in one easily searchable and user-friendly interface. The website allows users to filter charters by the date that they were created and indexes both basic details and policies.
This new service offered by Google is a very important service just for the fact that it makes every constitution in the world easily readable, something that many countries make very hard to find. I am sure that there are more than a few political science majors out there who are viewing this new website as a true godsend and thanking Google for making their research much easier.
Throughout the day, Gmail users have been experiencing spotty performance issues as well as downtime when trying to access their email. Sluggish load times and delayed receipt of emails are the major nuisances, while some users, including myself, were unable to access the service altogether several times throughout the day.
Google has confirmed that as many as 50 percent of users may have been affected by the performance issues and service disruptions, which appeared to start around 2:05PM Eastern Time. Google says that they are working diligently to return things to normal and as of this posting, all of my issues seem to have been resolved.
Netflix's Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos has some harsh words about Canada's big ISPs, where he said that: "it's almost a human rights violation what they're charging for internet access in Canada."
Sarandos' harsh words were said during the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment conference in Los Angeles Wednesday. Sarandos was referring to the low broadband caps in Canadian ISPs like Bell and Shaw, which force their customers to pay more if they exceed their 15GB monthly cap. Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings, has called caps and overage feeds like the aforementioned ones above are "grossly overpriced."
Sarandos was asked if business for Netflix would grow in Canada if consumers' Internet caps were increased, where he said: "The problem in Canada is... they have almost third-world access to the internet."
Today, Google unveiled a new logo and a completely redesigned navigation bar that effectively removes the black bar that resides at the top of the screen when visiting any of Google's online services. The new logo is much flatter and removes the glossy embossing that it featured for so long. Additionally, the font is a little bit different and the colors are a little more subdued.
The other major change is the removal of the black navigation bar we first hated but quickly grew to love. It has been replaced by an icon that opens up to reveal a Chrome Launcher-style window that lets you choose which service you would like to navigate to. I don't know how I feel about this yet as it seems to add an additional click into my workflow. I'm sure that as time progresses I will learn to love it just like I did the black bar.
The new logo and navigation bar will roll out to all users in the coming weeks and will be featured on mobile devices as well. Google says that these changes have been made to help streamline user workflow and to bring the company's UI up to date with current trends.
Yahoo is continuing its image revamp by continually rolling out new products and redesigning existing ones that have become stale. Today, Yahoo released an update to its My Yahoo service that completely refreshes the personalized homepage.
I understand that in today's era of multiple tabs, smartphones, and tablets, the idea of an all-in-one home page seems kind of pointless to some, but there was a time that the homepage ruled supreme. Services like Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and even iGoogle popped up to fill this niche, but they almost all slipped into a stagnant state as tabbed browsing and mobile computing took over.
Yahoo is hoping that its completely redesigned My Yahoo service will once again resurrect the now all but defunct all-in-one home page. With iGoogle nearing its end of life, this does appear to be a smart move on Yahoo's part as Google refugees can equate to big money. Just ask the little-known RSS service Feedly about its increase in traffic since Google Reader shutdown.
Yahoo's newly refreshed My Yahoo allows users to custom tailor their homepage with widgets to access their various email accounts, calendars, stocks, and even sports scoreboards. Weather, Flickr, and and other Yahoo-based content is also available to put into your homepage and the company says that content from around the web can be added. Head over to the source below to check out a new animated GIF from Yahoo that shows how things might work.
We've seen Yahoo recently change its logo and now it is Microsoft's turn, the Redmond-based giant has just unveiled a redesigned Bing logo. The new Bing logo throws its older curly blue logo for a more modern, yellow look.
Microsoft's Lawrence Ripsher, a design lead for Bing's User Experiences, said during an interview with The Verge: "The logo, obviously, is a big deal for us, a lot more angular and fresh and sharper than we've used in the past. Bing has typically been kind of curly, softer, so this fits much more with the modern kind of approach we've taken on some of the other logos."
Google acquired Snapseed close to a year ago, and it looks like the Mountain View-based giant is finally using its acquisition by adding some photo editing tools based off of Snapseed's technology.
You can use these photo editing tools by looking at one of your photos in a lightbox in Google+ and clicking the new "Edit" button above the image which will then display a sidebar with a bunch of options. These tools give you the ability to adjust, crop, rotate, add borders, selectively adjust, tilt-shift, apply several filters and more.
Once you've finished editing your photo, you can either save it or replace the original, if you've made a mistake, you can revert the changes and go back to the original photo. The new Snapseed-like tools should have rolled out to most Google+ users, but if you can't see them yet, give it another couple of days.
Google did something great for the United States when they decided to make the Moto X smartphone on US soil, but now anyone in the world can visit the factory that Google's latest smartphone is made in.
The Mountain View-based everything giant opened the doors to its Moto X factory in Fort Worth, Texas, unveiling a bunch of 360-degree panoramic images of the Flextronics factory that pumps out over 100,000 Moto X smartphones each and every week. Sensitive information is of course blurred out, but you can still check out the factory which looks quite cool.
The images coming in from Google's Trekker backpack loan program are simply breathtaking. Adventurers, historians, and people from all over the world are taking advantage of the company's generosity and are capturing Street View-like images of some of the most spectacular and amazing places on earth.
Today, Google added images from the 800-year-old Wieliczka Salt Mine in Wieliczka, Poland, to the company's Street View product in Google Maps. The imagery is part of the company's UNESCO World Heritage series and takes us inside the 187 mile long, 1,000 foot deep salt mine. The imagery that has been posted includes three hand carved full-size chapels and a massive cathedral that is carved from the natural gray salt deposits.