Tagged With outages

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It's the gold standard of service-level agreements (SLAs): something being available 99.999 per cent of the time (or 'five nines', as those in the trade often call it). But does it really mean anything?

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Yeah, we told you this would happen. As soon as it launched at 7pm yesterday, the Click Frenzy 'Cyber Tuesday' sale site was entirely inaccessible or unusably slow for most people, a situation that persisted for hours in many cases. Combine that with a so-so selection of bargains and it seems clear that while we're all interested in hunting down a good deal, attempting to corral them all in one place didn't help anyone much.

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Twitter experienced a major outage overnight, which led to some activists taking credit for "breaking" the service. According to Twitter itself, however, the problem was a software bug in its own systems. It has been fixed, and Twitter says it is "conducting a comprehensive review to ensure that we can avoid this chain of events in the future".

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iOS and Mac users who are experiencing a bit of an interruption with their iCloud and iMessage services aren't alone. Currently there is an outage affecting "some users", according to Apple, but the problem appears to be fairly widespread. Apple says it is working to resolve the issue. You can keep an eye on the current progress over at Apple's iCloud System Status page.

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Gmail's reliability honcho jumped on the webmail's official blog last night to explain what happened during yesterday's repeated outages. The gist? They took down a few servers for maintenance Tuesday morning (US Pacific time) for maintenance, expected the webapp's "request" routers to handle all the re-directs to valid servers, and ... were unpleasantly surprised. The Gmail team notes that IMAP/POP worked throughout the outages, and that they're working on a fix for similar problems in the future.

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Gmail acting a bit flaky for you lately? You're not a lone. According to CNET, several Gmail users were unable to access their email yesterday. Ditto, according to a couple of your Lifehacker editors. In fact, we've been seeing quite a bit of flakiness from Lifehacker's Google Apps Gmail lately—another sobering reminder that reliance on the web can be problematic. The small silver lining: With Offline Gmail, you can at least continue to access any email you've got downloaded for offline access. If you've been affected by the recent Gmail outages, let's hear about it in the comments.

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Telstra-owned BigPond is Australia's largest ISP, which means that its glitches tend to affect more people than anyone else. Suzanne Tindal at ZDNet reports that a number of NSW and Victorian customers were left without access to email and other services over the weekend, though Telstra claims those services were due to be restored by Monday evening. Have you been hit by the outage? Is it still a problem? Share your experience in the comments.

Telstra fights with BigPond glitch

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According to the BBC, the Official Google Blog, and a handful of upset tipsters, Gmail went offline for roughly two and a half hours yesterday —with some users reporting up to four hours of downtime. I'm not sure if the alternate options for accessing Gmail when it's down worked for anyone, but if you're rocking the new Offline Gmail, you probably felt pretty smart. Did you suffer the brunt of a down Gmail? Feeling angry at the big G? Vent and commiserate in the comments.

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Last week's heatwave was clearly bad news for residents of Melbourne, Adelaide and everywhere in between, but it also turned out to be bad news for Internet users over a much wider area. Dan Warne at APC reports that a power outage in Primus' Melbourne data centre affected service from several ISPS relying on the PIPE Internet exchange, with potentially hundreds of thousands of customers being affected. Did you have a heatwave net outage? Share your survival tactics in the comments.

Melbourne blackout cripples Internet nationally

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PayPal Australia is scheduled to have a maintenance outage on June 11 between 4pm and 5pm. There's nothing very unusual about that, but if the ACCC allows eBay to go ahead with its plan to make PayPal compulsory from June 17, the decision will effectively double the number of outages eBay sellers and buyers will have to put up with. As far as we can tell, a PayPal outage shouldn't bring eBay to its knees — you can list PayPal as a selling option even if you can't process a payment, so all it really does is delay sending and receiving payments.But given that eBay outages already tend to occur during normal Australian working hours (since they're scheduled for the convenience of the US), we'd hope PayPal outages could be similarly adjusted in Australia's favour. After all, we're the nation acting as guinea pigs for this scheme. Is that asking too much? (Footnote: eBay PR contacted me after this story went up, keen to emphasise that site-wide maintenance outages for eBay now pretty much never happen. But there's still regular maintenance on elements of the site, and PayPal does suffer from site-wide maintenance periods, so the overall problem gets bigger however you dice it.)

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