Friday, July 27, 2012

Twitter, GTalk & Mail to Blogger suffer outages

Users of Twitter and some Google services were unable to communicate throughout Thursday after outages and other technical issues affected the popular platforms. A data centre glitch brought down Twitter for approximately 2 hours on Thursday. It was the second widespread outage in 5 weeks for the micro-blogging service and another blow to its reputation and reliability. 

"I wish I could say that today's outage could be explained by the Olympics or even a cascading bug," said vice president of engineering Mazen Rawashdeh in a blog post after service resumed. "Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy. We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future."

Google also suffered problems with some of its services Thursday with nearly all its users unable to access its instant messenger service Google Talk.

Google confirmed that Google Talk crashed for “a majority of users“ across the globe, though did not give an exact number of those affected. Some users complained they were unable to access their contacts, while others saw their online contacts but were unable to send messages.

The disruption began at around 11:40 GMT and by noon had become a full scale outage. “We're aware of a problem with Google Talk affecting a majority of users, “ Google said in a statement. “The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior.”

Service was restored by 16:25 GMT but there was widespread anger from users who had to resort to Skype, Google’s rival IM clients such as AIM and Microsoft Messenger or even Twitter.

After service was resumed Google offered apologies to its users. "We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

However, users of its popular blogging service were still experiencing problems on Friday, some 24 hours after the ‘mail to blogger’ service stopped working. While the ability to post articles via the Blogger interface still worked, many find it more convenient to post articles by simply emailing to their blog account using a special address.

But early Thursday forums began to fill with complaints that articles were not being posted. “I post to several blogs a day through this feature....i'm SCREWED,” Amy Harvey wrote. It is unclear how many people were affected, though a company representative said the problem would be looked at. “Thanks everyone for reporting the problem; we're investigating now and hope to have a fix very soon,” Brett, a Google employee, said.

With the Olympic Games only hours away social networks and other communications networks will be under great pressure as people tweet, blog and chat to friends around the world. The outages experienced over the last day is an indication not only the reliance people put on such services, but also their lack of reliability.

Other reports: GuardianReuters / Register / PCAdvisoritproportalMobilenapps

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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