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Yahoo began doling out good news (or bad) today to its users who applied for a recycled username back in July. The company began firing off emails today notifying users if a username they wished to recycle has been reserved for them are not. Today also marks the beginning of the new policy in which Yahoo will begin recycling user accounts if they go dormant for more than 90 days, so remember to keep logging into your account even if you're not using it if you wish to keep your name.
If you did not receive an email today, do not worry as it is expected to take several days for Yahoo to completely notify everyone who signed up. Additionally, if you did not have the chance to sign up for the original wish list of names, Yahoo will now allow you to do so at the cost of just $1.99. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky few who received my very first request, but apparently was denied for my other four. We want to know how many of you received your requested username, so drop us a line in the comments below!
Early this morning, Apple customers around the world began experiencing outages to several of Apple's services including iTunes, iMessage, and iCloud. The outages started around 12:30 AM EST on August 22 and persisted for some users throughout most of the day.
According to Apple, the outages were only experienced by 1 percent of its user base, but other reports suggest that as many as 16.6 percent of users were unable to reach services such as iTunes. As of this writing, it appears that full functionality has been restored to all affected services. I have reached out to Apple for a comment but have yet to receive a reply. Did any of you experience an outage this morning? Let us know in the comments!
A new report out from comScore says that last month for the first time in more than two years, Yahoo managed to best Google in terms of overall monthly traffic. Yahoo was able to coax in 196.6 million unique monthly visitors during the month of July, while Google only managed to attract 192.3 million unique visitors.
Interestingly enough, these numbers did not include traffic from Yahoo's newly acquired social network Tumblr, which sees more than 38 million unique visitors every month. If these numbers were included, it would put Yahoo far ahead of Google in overall web traffic. However, the report did not include mobile traffic either, and with Google's Android being the dominant mobile OS, we're sure that Google would have topped Yahoo if the mobile numbers were included.
It looks like Google pressed a wrong button on Friday, most likely in the TGIF celebrations, taking down every single service that the Mountain View-based giant has to offer. This obviously includes Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, and every service in between.
According to analytics firm GoSquared, worldwide Internet traffic dropped by a whopping 40% during those hectic 120 seconds, as you can see in the graph, above. Most companies and website owners were scratching their heads for a few minutes, because when Google goes down, it would be like not being able to breathe oxygen for those two minutes - sheer panic. Google came back online two minutes later, to the relief of, well, everyone.
Google should hopefully come out with a report next week, which should stun, and scare thousands across the world.
YouTube appears to be experiencing issues today after a site-wide global outage this afternoon. We were first alerted to the issues while trying to upload a video to the TweakTown channel about 45 minutes ago. At first, the videos manager page was down and a few minutes later the entire site was unreachable.
When visiting the site, users were prompted with a 502 error which translates into "the server is broken". The full error reads "502. That's an error. The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request. Please try again in 30 seconds. That's all we know". We have confirmed that YouTube was not displaying in the US nor in Taipei, Taiwan. As of this posting, YouTube appears to be back up, but issues could still arise throughout the day.
Google has really been stepping up their game when it comes to what they capture using their Street View cameras. With recent treks to the top of mount Fuji, the tallest building in the world, and even the Eiffel tower, the company has taking thousands of photos that were never used or were shots of behind-the-scenes activities.
Instead of letting these images go to waste, Google has put together a behind-the-scenes site that offers a plethora of extra information about the shoots which include photos, videos, audio tours and actual accounts of how the imagery was gathered by those who put in the footwork.
"Our first two multimedia adventures enable you to experience the Canadian Arctic in Iqaluit, Canada, and the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE," Street View program manager Deanna Yick says in a post introducing the new material. "We also invite you to enjoy photos and videos from our past journeys to the Grand Canyon, the base camp of Mount Everest, the Amazon Basin, the Great Barrier Reef and the NASA Kennedy Space Center - minus the extreme temperatures and long plane rides!"
The way Microsoft's Bing search engine displays results may be changing soon. A recent report over at Search Engine Land confirmed that Bing is testing displaying website favicons to the left of search results.
I tried to duplicate the results pictured above in every web browser I have installed and was unable to get any favicons to display, which is consistent with the results that Search Engine Land got. They were, however, able to obtain confirmation from Microsoft that Bing is indeed testing out this new feature.
In a statement to Search Engine Land, Microsoft had the following to say.
We're constantly updating and refining the Bing search experience, and before any changes are implemented they undergo intensive testing and experimentation to ensure the best possible user experience. We have nothing further to share at this time.
It looks like Edward Snowden might have another e-mail service to use in a little while, as Kim Dotcom is working on a secure, encrypted e-mail service that will launch under his Mega service.
The new Mega e-mail service will include most of the luxuries of modern cloud-based e-mail services, all while your data and e-mails are kept safe. Mega's CEO, Vikram Kumar, has confirmed rumors that Mega is working on an encrypted e-mail service, where he told ZDNet that the service is still a work-in-progress, and that it's difficult to provide the same functionalities of something like Gmail, but keep it encrypted.
He continued: "The biggest tech hurdle is providing email functionality that people expect, such as searching emails, that are trivial to provide if emails are stored in plain text (or available in plain text) on the server side. If all the server can see is encrypted text, as is the case with true end-to-end encryption, then all the functionality has to be built client side. [That's] not quite impossible, but very, very hard. That's why even Silent Circle didn't go there."
For many of our readers, Google Drive is a staple in their daily productivity workflow. Some use it for keeping notes in meetings, some use it as a drop box of sorts, while still others use it for collaborative efforts which require real-time editing. Google has decided to make using Drive easier than ever and has decided to implement updates requested by users for sometime now.
The first major update involves the service's spell checking feature. Users can now spell check the entire document or presentation all at once instead of having to individually resolve each error. Additionally, Google has added new presets for numbered and bullet lists. Users can now change the color, size, and style of individual bullets and even create their own.
Today, Google launched a digital textbook section in Google Play Books. The new section is only available in the US and is available through the Google Play website, Android, and iOS apps. Many of the textbooks are available for rental, but most must be purchased outright.
Website GigaOM is advising returning students to be cautious and still shop around as both Amazon and Barnes & Noble also rent digital textbooks and prices varied across the stores on the same books. They found that a psychology textbook rented for $66 for 180 days, while a print version from Amazon can be rented for $25.23 per semester with the option to extend the rental period by 15 days for $5.