Dropbox apologizes for extended outage and says no user data was affected

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dropbox 520x520 Dropbox apologizes for extended outage and says no user data was affected

Dropbox suffered an extended outage that affected some users for over 48 hours, and — now that the service is “back up and running” for all — the company has explained exactly what happened, and confirmed that no data was affected.

Initially, there was suspicion that the cloud storage service had been hacked, but they proved to be unfounded. In a post on its tech blog, Dropbox says that a bug which surfaced during a routine upgrade was responsible. The company assures users that their  data was “never” at risk during the outage, which finally ended on Sunday afternoon at 4:40 PM PT:

On Friday at 5:30 PM PT, we had a planned maintenance scheduled to upgrade the OS on some of our machines. During this process, the upgrade script checks to make sure there is no active data on the machine before installing the new OS.

A subtle bug in the script caused the command to reinstall a small number of active machines. Unfortunately, some master-slave pairs were impacted which resulted in the site going down.

Dropbox says it has since added an additional layer of checks and a new tool that it says will speed up recovering data from backups.

➤ Outage post-mortem [Dropbox Tech Blog]

Image via Ian Lamont / Flickr

full story: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2014/01/13/dropbox-apologizes-for-extended-outage-and-says-no-user-data-was-affected/#!r4iWl

Apple Has A New, Super Serious Ad For The iPad That Premiered During NFL Games And The Golden Globes

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During this afternoon’s football game, Apple debuted a new iPad ad. (It also aired during the Golden Globes.)

The ad has an excerpt of Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society talking about poetry, and life.

Here, via Re/Code is the transcript of what Williams says:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering — these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love — these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman,

“O me, O life of the questions of these recurring.
Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life?
Answer: that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

What will your verse be?

It fits with the company’s latest theme of very serious advertising. There was that dramatic Christmas ad where the kid is secretly making a video about the family. Before that the ad about “Apple’s signature.” And now this one about all the iPad does.

It’s pretty good at showing how the iPad is changing the world, but personally, I think it’s a little overdone. Update: Upon a second, third viewing I’m changing my mind. I like it more, it stands out from the crowd. Not sure how it will resonate with everyone else, but I like it now.

What about you?

Here’s the ad:

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-apple-ipad-ad-2014-1#ixzz2qGB4EekJ

Microsoft more trusted than Apple, study says

A Forrester analysis suggests what some might find surprising: Microsoft gained the only “trailblazer” status by being trusted across generations.

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Trusted?
(Credit: Microsoft/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Trust me, there aren’t many people (or things) you can trust these days.

Everyone is out for themselves, ready to take advantage — often, it seems, because it’s just so much fun to take advantage.

However, I know you have a weak spot. You can’t hide it. I have the research to prove it. You really, really trust Microsoft, don’t you?

How do I know this? Well, while you were at CES wondering what part of your body you would like the gadget-makers to snatch next, I found a piece of highly trustworthy research conducted by Forrester. I know this research is trustworthy because it costs $499 to buy it.

This research, reports Geekwire, revealed the true inner feelings of America’s consumers. When I say “true,” I mean “TRUE.”

Forrester, you see, has something called TRUE ranking. This measures the truth about brands along four axes: trusted, remarkable, unmistakable, and essential.

In this case, it asked 4,551 adults to tell it the truth about tech brands, or else. And only one brand emerged as a trailblazer. This was, naturally, Microsoft.

Though Forrester admitted it was surprised, it insisted: that Microsoft was “at the forefront of brand building with a unique and distinct brand identity that sets it apart from other brands.”

This might be news to those who saw the jigging children in school skirts attempting to launch the Surface and instead sending it into something of a dance of despair.

The difference, though, is that in a world in which we are all being spied upon and let down by those we thought we loved most, Microsoft has made Americans across all generations believe it is both trustworthy and essential.

Some may titter on the method by which Microsoft made itself essential. It isn’t entirely dissimilar, they will say, to the muscular manner in which Google is now trying to entice people to use Google+.

But some shotgun marriages work, and Forrester believes that Redmond’s “One Microsoft” strategy is resonating.

Indeed, Forrester’s Tracy Stokes believes that it is Microsoft’s Tom Hanksish stoicism that currently makes it so enticing: “The very ubiquity that perhaps renders it uncool turns out to also be its strength.”

Should you be of the Apple or Samsung persuasion and are currently clutching your stomach with pain or laughter, Forrester offers some hope. Apple and Samsung are, indeed, seen as innovative.

Apple ranked highest on “remarkable” and “unmistakable.” But with these attributes comes, apparently, danger.

As Recode reports, another piece of research last week offered similarly that Microsoft’s brand was stronger and more marriage-worthy than Apple’s.

This one (PDF) was from UTA Brand Studio. The company’s founder and executive director, Larry Vincent, offered this painful thought: “A lot of the world uses Microsoft products and people relate to it, while Apple is like a prom king or queen, beautiful but not really like us.”

One sentence from this survey some will find charmingly different: “Windows surpassed all other brands that consumers say they can’t live without and relate more to themselves.”

You may not have known it, but, yes, you are like Windows. You are Windows. The ups, the downs, the snakes, the ladders and tiles.

UTA’s Vincent offered another line that might cause a few curses and conniptions: “Apple is vulnerable because of how polarized people were in their views about the brand. And Microsoft is still seen by many as being more like them.”

I can see the brains, um, trust at Apple holding an emergency meeting within the next few days. It’ll discuss how to make its brand duller and more like a spousal prospect, rather than some racy, gorgeous, and ultimately unattainable Jolie-Pitt entity.

Tim Cook will turn to Jony Ive and tell him to cut it out with all that design didgeridooing and show him how the iPhone 6 will look in beige.

The world is too neurotic these days. People can only trust something essential and lasting, rather than a remarkable, unmistakable, exciting brand that might — just might — betray them.

We just can’t take the fear anymore because we know we’ll end up getting hurt.

I mean, what if Apple never makes an iWatch?

full story: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57617097-71/microsoft-more-trusted-than-apple-study-says/

DuckDuckGo’s Popularity Exploded In 2013 Following The NSA/PRISM Leaks

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DDG

See that graph up there? Thats a chart of how many queries the privacy-minded search engine DuckDuckGo has seen each day since early 2010.

See that massive growth near the end? That’s when details of the NSA’s PRISM program first leaked. Pretty much overnight, DuckDuckGo more than doubled its traffic.

I don’t think there’s a better way to portray the sudden and massive surge in the public’s desire for Internet privacy than that graph and the accompanying stats. The month before Snowden’s revelations, DuckDuckGo saw 54.4 million requests. The month after, it saw 105.6 million. Incredible.

Wondering what the heck DuckDuckGo is? That’s okay. But once you know, be sure to tell your friends.

DuckDuckGo is sometimes portrayed as the “anti-Google”, but that’s not quite right. It’s more like bizarro-world Google. It looks similar, it acts similar — but in the end, it has totally different motives. DuckDuckGo aims to offer up the simplicity and functionality of the big search engines, minus all the creepy tracking stuff. The company outlines everything they do/don’t store right here, but most importantly: it doesn’t use tracking cookies, and it doesn’t save a record of your IP.
DDG Logo

All in all, DuckDuckGo’s total search count for 2013 came in at just over 1 billion – more than double what it saw in 2012.

There’s still room to grow, though — lots, and lots of room. Even after their monstrous mid-year spike, DuckDuckGo’s numbers are a tiny drop in the worlds biggest bucket when put up against the likes of giants. Google pulled in over 1.2 trillion searches in 2012, for example. That’s 3.2 billion searches, or roughly 3X all of DuckDuckGo’s annual traffic, eachday.

DuckDuckGo last raised money ($3M) at the end of 2011, long before Edward Snowden was a household name. With these numbers and the ever-growing demand for privacy online, raising another round would probably be like a walk in the park.

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/12/duckduckgos-popularity-exploded-in-2013-following-the-nsaprism-leaks/