Smash and grab at Vodafone UK facility leaves ‘several hundred thousand’ users without service

By on February 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM.

Smash and grab at Vodafone UK facility leaves ‘several hundred thousand’ users without service

A late night burglary at a Vodafone technical facility in the UK has affected the service of “several hundred thousand” users. Via its forums, the company explained:

We had a break in last night at one of our technical facilities which resulted in damage done to some of our equipment. This means that some customers may be experiencing temporary loss of voice, sms and internet services. We are working quickly to restore these and will be back to normal as soon as we can. There has been no impact on the privacy of customers’ data.

In a subsequent FAQ post, Vodafone confirms that the vandalized site was in Basingstoke, the event occurred between 1:00AM and 2:00AM GMT, and that “specialist network equipment and IT hardware was stolen.”

The company expects its services to be fully restored by this afternoon. Any of UK readers experience this outage? More →

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Microsoft makes Windows 7 Service Pack 1 available to public

By on February 22, 2011 at 3:02 PM.

Microsoft makes Windows 7 Service Pack 1 available to public

Looking to make your Windows 7 rig even better? Love service packs? You’re in luck! Today, Microsoft made Service Pack 1 for its Windows 7 desktop operating system available to the general public. The update weighs in at a hefty 1.95GB and packs a treasure trove of improvements and optimizations. If you’re not interested in waiting for Windows Update to give you the proverbial nod, hit up the read link and have yourself a manual download. More →

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BlackBerry BIS down nationwide?

By on January 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM.

BlackBerry BIS down nationwide?

We have been getting tips all morning that RIM’s BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) has been down for a number of hours nationwide, for all carriers. Unfortunately this outage looks like it’s not just the email portion of the BIS service, but all data as well, which is quite frustrating. Is your BlackBerry data not working? Hit us in the comments with your carrier and approximate location, alright?

Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

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The Daily Show celebrates iPhone’s liberation from AT&T [video]

By on January 12, 2011 at 10:07 AM.

The Daily Show celebrates iPhone’s liberation from AT&T [video]

In typical Daily Show fashion, Jon Stewart and friends celebrated the arrival of the Verizon iPhone with a hilarious segment Tuesday night. In a seven-minute spot that goes from funny to funnier, Stewart begins by recounting iPhone users’ hardships on AT&T. “For the past three or four years, those of us in the iPhone community have sacrificed one thing for the ability to carry around every photograph we’ve ever taken, or song we’ve ever listened to, or home video, or compass,” Stewart said at the start of the segment. “We have sacrificed the ability to make phone calls.” Things were so bad for Stewart, it seems, that he had to send text messages by typing them out on his iPhone 4 and then having an assistant physically bring the phone to the message’s recipient. Daily Show correspondent John Oliver then joins in, reporting live via video chat from yesterday’s Verizon event using his AT&T iPhone. Needless to say, the quality is horrible and the video call drops several times. Oliver’s subsequent report has him hitting the streets to interview AT&T iPhone users — one of whom compares being tied to AT&T to slavery — and he then sits in on the actual announcement at Lincoln Center. Hit the jump for the full video. More →

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Massive Skype outage explained by company’s CIO; $1 service credit to affected users

By on December 29, 2010 at 11:02 PM.

Massive Skype outage explained by company’s CIO; $1 service credit to affected users

If you’re a frequent Skype user, you probably noticed, or heard about, a massive outage that the service was experiencing last week. In a blog post today, the VoIP company’s CIO, Lars Rabbe, explained exactly what happened to cause the interruption.

On Wednesday, December 22, a cluster of support servers responsible for offline instant messaging became overloaded. As a result of this overload, some Skype clients received delayed responses from the overloaded servers. In a version of the Skype for Windows client (version 5.0.0152), the delayed responses from the overloaded servers were not properly processed, causing Windows clients running the affected version to crash.

Users running either the latest Skype for Windows (version 5.0.0.156), older versions of Skype for Windows (4.0 versions), Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype on your TV, and Skype Connect or Skype Manager for enterprises were not affected by this initial problem.

However, around 50% of all Skype users globally were running the 5.0.0.152 version of Skype for Windows, and the crashes caused approximately 40% of those clients to fail. These clients included 25–30% of the publicly available supernodes, also failed as a result.

Along with its official mea culpa, Skype has begun sending emails to some of the affected users offering a $1 service credit. Skype asserts that it has taken measures to prevents such an outage from happening again. More →

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Sears announces Alphaline Entertainment online movie streaming service

By on December 29, 2010 at 1:23 AM.

Sears announces Alphaline Entertainment online movie streaming service

Retail giant Sears isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think about digital movie downloads, but a newly launched offering aims to change that. The company has announced Alphaline Entertainment, a digital movie rental and download service that runs on the RoxioNow platform. First rumored back in July, Alphaline will offer users 24-hour movie rentals for between $3 and $4 or movie purchases for between $10 and $20. Movies can be viewed on a PC or on any RoxioNow capable device (e.g. Xbox 360). In the future, Sears hopes to support viewing on Macintosh computers, mobile devices, and network connected TVs. What do you think? Does Sears stand a chance against Amazon, Netflix, and the like? More →

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Best Buy Mobile offering iPhone 3GS for free on December 10th

By on December 8, 2010 at 7:57 PM.

Best Buy Mobile offering iPhone 3GS for free on December 10th

We just received a tip from a Best Buy ninja of ours, and well, it seems that Radio Shack isn’t the only game in town in you’re looking for an Apple iPhone. Best Buy will be offering up Apple’s iPhone 3GS for free for one day only, this Friday the 10th. This offer is valid to both new lines, additional lines, and also qualified upgrades. We have been told that all stores have inventory levels to support the promotion, and it’s an instant rebate type deal. Who’s up for a free iPhone?

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Facebook buys fb.com, to be used in upcoming email service?

By on November 12, 2010 at 2:09 PM.

Facebook buys fb.com, to be used in upcoming email service?

It’s no secret that Facebook will be holding another media event on Monday, November 15th. It is widely thought, and has been reported, that the social networking giant will be launching its own web-based email service; purportedly code-named “Project Titan.”  This got us thinking, how will Facebook differentiate its employees, who currently use facebook.com email addresses, from its 500 million users? How about this: fb.com.

In doing a little digging we found that MarkMonitor, a company whose sole purpose is to facilitate online and enterprise brand protection, is listed as the registrar of the domain fb.com. According to the available information, records for said domain were last updated on September 8th of this year. MarkMonitor manages online assets for company’s such as Nokia, UBS, and — according to this eWeek article from 2009 — Facebook.

It’s all a little speculative, but considering: MarkMonitor is the listed registrar of the fb.com domain, they have a working relationship with Facebook, and the social networking giant is in the market for a new (preferable shorter) domain name… all the pieces are there. And we’ll find out for sure on Monday.

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BlackBerry Torch now available in red and white at an AT&T store near you

By on November 7, 2010 at 9:55 PM.

BlackBerry Torch now available in red and white at an AT&T store near you

You’ve read our Torch review and you’ve decided to take the plunge, huh? Well, you might be happy to know that AT&T is now finally offering the Blackberry Torch in two additional colors: Sunset Red and Pure White. The phones are live on AT&T’s website and can be picked up for $499 without a contract and $99 when you sign up to a two-year agreement. If a color other than black is your cup of tea, jump on over to AT&T’s website to get your order on. Just remember the white after Labor Day rule, ok? More →

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Vodafone UK launches Smartphone Professional service

By on November 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM.

Vodafone UK launches Smartphone Professional service

Vodafone, one of the UK’s largest networks, has launched a smartphone security service aimed at business professionals. The aptly named service — Vodafone Smartphone Professional — will allow for companies to manage sensitive corporate data remotely without interfering with employee’s personal content. The service will provide IT administrators with an online portal to tweak, remotely wipe and encrypt data over the air. Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director for Vodafone had the following to say:

With smartphones becoming increasingly popular, securing the way data is accessed and stored on these devices is crucial. Many businesses want to allow employees to use the mobile device that they choose to do their job most effectively. With Vodafone Smartphone Professional, businesses have the peace of mind that mobile devices and data are secure.

The service will include the customary 500MB data allowance and will cost you £20-a-month in addition to a £50 in activation fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind, right? More →

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Qik to power T-Mobile’s mobile video chat service

By on November 3, 2010 at 7:08 AM.

Qik to power T-Mobile’s mobile video chat service

Qik, the mobile video company that is often most closely associate with Sprint’s Evo 4G, will be playing a serious roll in T-Mobile’s Android lineup. A press release, fresh out of the oven, reports that:

The integrated T-Mobile Video Chat powered by Qik will be the first to offer integration into the native Android™ address book with the benefit of indicating live presence allowing customers to connect with friends and family through live video conversations and video messaging over T-Mobile’s network and Wi-Fi.

The integrated video chat service, which will be available on the upcoming myTouch 4G handset, will “allow users not only to conduct live two-way video conversations from their mobile device, but also will allow users to leave video messages.” Video messages are supported on over 200 phone models.

“T-Mobile Video Chat powered by Qik is the ideal showcase for the capabilities of our network and is an example of our focus on providing innovative new solutions to enrich the lives of our customers,” said Andrew Sherrard, T-Mobile’s VP of product management. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Netflix may flip model, offer streaming-only with DVD add-on

By on October 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM.

Netflix may flip model, offer streaming-only with DVD add-on

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reaffirmed Wednesday that the home entertainment giant is looking closely at flipping its service model. Netflix currently offers a range of mail-order DVD rental packages with “Watch Instantly” video streaming as a free perk. As the popularity of streaming video services continues to grow, Hastings has repeatedly made public the company’s interest in a streaming-only plan. Here are Hastings’ most recent remarks from Wednesday’s earnings call:

Three years ago we were a DVD-by-mail company that offered some streaming. We are now a streaming company, which also offers DVD-by-mail… Pure streaming could become Netflix’s core offering in the U.S., with discs being offered as a supplement for an additional charge.

The company got its start as an underdog providing DVD rentals by mail and quickly rose to play an integral role in the eventual bankruptcy filing of movie rental giant Blockbuster. The move to a streaming-centric model is seen by many as the next logical step in Netflix’s evolution. More →

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MetroPCS flips switch on LTE in Detroit

By on October 20, 2010 at 7:54 AM.

MetroPCS flips switch on LTE in Detroit

Via a press release, pre-paid wireless carrier MetroPCS has announced the addition of a third city to its U.S., LTE portfolio, Detroit. “With a state-of-the-art 4G LTE network and an advanced entertainment handset with a brilliant AMOLED screen, MetroPCS’ predictable, flexible and affordable service plans provide a compelling value to consumers while meeting their growing demand to do more with video, social networking and higher speed Internet access,” quips the press release. Metro has already gone live with LTE in Las Vegas and Dallas/Fort Worth. The company’s LTE service plans are quite affordable, at just $55 and $60 — utilization of said 4G plans are obviously geographically-limited for the time being. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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