Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Outage Hits Gmail Users...

A service outage left several users of Google's Gmail without their e-mail late Tuesday. Google's support site (mail.google.com/support/?hl=en) said the problem started at 1:30 a.m. Pacific Time (5:30 p.m. Manila time).

"We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a number of users. This problem occurred at approximately 1.30AM Pacific Time. We're working hard to resolve this problem and will post updates as we have them. We apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused," it said.

News items culled by Google on the service outage had headlines ranging from "Panic: Gmail turns into Gfail" to "Gmail Struck with Service Outage" and "Surfers hit by Gmail breakdown." -

Sunday, February 22, 2009

US Letter Takes Arrives 22 Years Too Late...

LA GRANDE, Oregon – An Oregon woman finally received an invitation to her nephew's high school graduation in New Jersey, but she may be a little late – it was in 1987.
Theresa Schlossarek, of La Grande, found the invitation last week in her mailbox. The envelope, which had been opened, was postmarked June 2, 1987, from Toms River, New Jersey, where her brother, Hermann Ilnseher, lives.

Ilnseher said the lack of response from his sister was noticed but dismissed.
"We just thought that she lived so far away, she couldn't come," Ilnseher said. "She usually would send money, though, so we did joke about that later on, that maybe she could send some and add interest for the years passed."

Peter Hass, spokesman for the US Postal Service's Portland district, called the delay "very unusual and very unfortunate." Hass said the envelope could have been stuck in machinery or misrouted and delivered to the wrong address, which would explain why it arrived opened. But he said no matter the age of the mail, "if it's postmarked, we're obliged to deliver it."

Schlossarek's nephew, Michael Ilnseher, now an assistant principal at an Atlanta-area high school, said he didn't remember his aunt not receiving an invitation. "I never realized something could be lost for 22 years like that," he told The (La Grande) Observer.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tiny Search Engine Alleges Google Abuses Its Power...

SAN FRANCISCO — A would-be challenger to Google Inc. said Tuesday it is suing the Internet search leader for alleged abuses that include illegally rigging its prices to thwart potential competitive threats. In a 38-page page complaint, TradeComet.com LLC accused Google of manipulating its system for setting ad rates to make it too expensive for a specialty search engine called SourceTool to promote itself within Google's vast online marketing network.

In a press release, TradeComet said it filed its antitrust lawsuit in a New York federal court. Google said it hadn't reviewed the allegations as of late Tuesday, but the Mountain View, California-based company reiterated its belief that there are plenty of other online advertising options, including networks run by rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. "As we have consistently made clear, the advertising market in which Google operates is highly competitive, and advertisers have a huge range of choices," Google said in a statement.

TradeComet's lawsuit is the latest legal action to allege Google has used its widening market power to create a monopoly that enables it to bully rivals or squeeze out Web sites that it doesn't like. Google processes nearly two-thirds of the Internet search requests in the United States and sells an even larger chunk of the text-based ad links that appear alongside search results and other content on millions of Web pages served up each day.

That clout spurred a government investigation that would have culminated in an antitrust lawsuit late last year had Google not withdrawn from a planned advertising partnership with Yahoo, which runs the Internet's second biggest search engine. New York-based TradeComet alleges Google stymied the growth of SourceTool in May 2006 when it raised the minimum bids on SourceTool ads that were triggered by specific search requests. Words that resulted in advertising costs of 5 cents and 10 cents per click soared to $5 and $10 per click, according to the suit.

The suit alleges the higher rates prevented SourceTool from promoting its search engine, which helps connect businesses looking to buy and sell products and services among themselves. TradeComet said its traffic plunged by 90 percent after Google imposed its new pricing terms.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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