Tech News In Brief, February 5

MacHappy Birthday, Mac. Apple is celebrating by fixing that WSOD problem.

It makes us think of Major Major Major Major: There are a whole bunch of new top level domain names now available.

Chicken Little was right: Several of Google’s more popular services — Gmail, Drive and Google+ — all died for over an hour last week… at the same time that the company’s Site Reliability Engineering team was doing an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit; it also caused one guy’s Hotmail account to explode. Best lines from Reddit:

  • So which one of these guys tripped over the power cord to The Cloud?
  • Did you try turing [sic] it off and on again?
  • Give it a couple of slaps on the side, put some tin foil on the antennas.
  • I told you to cut the BLUE wire!
  • It’s those damn interns again.
  • Nice try, Microsoft.
  • In Ukraine we had a small panic, because every malfunction of communications are now considered government activity.
  • That’s impossible the cloud never goes down! (Response: False. Clouds go down so often we have a name for it – fog.)
  • My god, we are living inside an Onion article.
  • Ctrl + alt + delete [Ed. note: We’re pretty sure that was contributed by Jason.]
  • “You were doing an AMA on Reddit during this GMail outage? SECURITY! Get these fools out of here, send them to the PHP dungeon!” (Response: The PHP dungeon? That’s called Facebook. That would be really mean.)
  • Gmail, I know for such long time, but it was your time for die.
  • Sir, could you please unplug your router, then your modem, and wait 60 seconds?
  • Your internet isn’t working on any of your devices? What version of Windows are you running?
  • Did you purposefully take down Gmail so people would talk about something other than Justin Bieber?
  • The free public beta is now over. Thanks for trying out Gmail!
  • Quick, one of you get back to your PC and punch in 4 + 8 + 15 + 16 + 23 + 42
  • So, in light of recent events, my question is was Kevin Mitnick really responsible for the Gmail outage?
  • Anyone else relieved that Postini is still up? No? Just me?

The American way: Vringo, a tiny holding company that bought some patents from Lycos (an archetypical early Internet search engine) and used them to sue Google over AdWords, hit the jackpot.

The Internet way: The owner — or rather, the former owner — of the Twitter handle @N had it extorted from him after someone got the last four digits of a credit card number.

It lasted longer than a Kardashian marriage: Not quite two years ago, Google bought Motorola Mobility. Last week, Google unloaded the manufacturing side for less than a fourth of what it paid, but kept the patents.

Rule No. 2: If you’re going to be a university administrator, learn how to pronounce “ooops”. If you’re going to try to evade an arrest warrant, don’t post your wanted poster on Facebook.

We’ll just call it The New Transparency: That’s what happens when everyone spies on everyone (there’s an app to block it in the works), and when they don’t spy, they just get the information from your provider. They just don’t tell Eric Schmidt about it. And we have bridge you can buy, too — small bills, please.

Snapped again: In our last issue, we made note of the problems SnapChat was having with lousy security, database breaches and generally questionable decision-making. Two weeks later, they’re still having problems.

You’ve been a B-A-A-A-A-D boy: Apple is still stonewalling the court’s monitor in the antitrust case against it; Apple did manage to win round one, barely. Oh, and remember all the ruckus a while back about how Apple doesn’t pay any taxes? Due to the fact that nobody else in Silicon Valley does either, we shouldn’t pick on Apple too much, but it looks like it’s going to get tougher on everyone.

First there was driving: Add going to the movies to the list of things you shouldn’t do while wearing Google Glass.

Just wait until California legalizes: THAT’S when you’ll see Google, Facebook and Twitter start running selling ads for marijuana. “Not as addicting as your cell phone…”

No honor among whatever they are: The Tor network — a system that strives to ensure privacy for its users — has been found to have servers that are monitoring data. Curiously, the NSA is not suspected of being the culprit. Meanwhile, the Chinese came up with a way to keep its people from reading all that western propaganda: send ’em to Wyoming. I hear it’s lovely in the spring.

Rule No. 14: Don’t feed the trolls.

Stupid government decisions of the week: The word “candy” got a provisional trademark from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The Federal Aviation Administration won’t allow beer delivery by drones.

Signs of the Apocalypse: We shouldn’t be surprised that a government is using people’s own cell phones to track them during protests. Betting on tennis. Too much Law & Order.

This post first appeared in the http://www.ee-stuff.com/Newsletter-old/020514newsletter.htm”>Experts Exchange Community Newsletter February 5, 2014

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