Tag Archive | "Amazon"

Instagram, Vine, Netflix and Others Knocked Out by Amazon Server Glitch

It’s a bad day for digital consumers when you aren’t able to spend at least a few minutes mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed, only to find out later that you can’t even watch your favorite TV series on Netflix either. Were you affected by yesterday’s Amazon server issues?

Some of the most popular websites and apps were thrown offline after Amazon Web Services experienced problems around 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. Instagram was among the first to be hit, later followed by Netflix, Vine, Airbnb, IFTTT, Flipboard and several others.

  • Watch Vine videos online with these 7 Vine viewers

Amazon confirmed there was an issue with one of its Virginia-based data centers, and most sites were brought back online after about 30 minutes of downtime. That’s plenty of time for the entire social web to start panicking.

This wasn’t the first time a big chunk of the web had been taken down by Amazon’s cloud-based network, and it likely won’t be the last. If and when it does happen again, take it as an opportunity to shut off your smartphone/laptop/tablet for at least an hour or two and go do something offline.

Photo © Getty Images

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Source: About.com


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Now You Can Visit the Zoo with Google Street View

Google has sent its Street View team to some of the most remote places in the world, which have included the Arctic, the Amazon and even the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Now, you can get up close and personal with a few exotic animals from some of the world’s most iconic zoos with Street View.

  • 10 of the most amazing places in the world to visit with Google Street View

Six new zoos from North America, South America, Europe and Asia have been added to Google Street View, which now let viewers take a peek into different exhibits where the animals live. The recently added imagery now includes panda bears, polar bears, red pandas, tigers, lions, penguins, ducks, flamingos and lots more.

To see it all for yourself, you can go ahead and check out some of these zoos right now at the links below.

  • Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (China)
  • Chapultepec Zoo (Mexico)
  • Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park (Canada)
  • Buin Zoo (Chile)
  • Zoologico de Bauru (Brazil)
  • Asahiyama Zoo (Japan)
  • Zoo Safari Park Stukenbrock (Germany)

Photo © Justin Lo / Getty Images

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Source: About.com


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Facebook is Working on Its Own PayPal-like Mobile Payment Service

Mobile ecommerce is growing, and Facebook knows it. The massive social networking site is reportedly testing its very own payment service for mobile in-app purchases, similar to what companies like PayPal, Amazon and Google have started offering in order to satisfy the growing mobile shopping trend.

For the initial testing phase, Facebook has teamed up with men’s fashion site, JackThreads, as its first pilot partner. Customers will be able to access their credit card information stored in their Facebook accounts to make in-app purchases, bringing a one-click solution to mobile online shopping through Facebook and eliminating the need for every customer to plug in every piece of their billing information to place their order.

There’s been no word on whether or not Facebook will expand its pilot test to include more ecommerce partners, or whether it will surely launch publicly in the future. With over one billion active monthly users, there’s no doubt that this is a huge and very lucrative opportunity for Facebook, and if launched, PayPal could most certainly take a direct hit.

After All Things D reported the news first thing this morning, Facebook responded with the following statement: “We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a simpler commerce experience. This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current provider.”

Photo © Dana Hoff / Getty Images

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Source: About.com


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Avatar Gaming i5-4667k desktop PC

An Affordable Gaming Desktop From Avatar Gaming

Avatar Gaming i5-4667k desktop PC
Image Courtesy Avatar Gaming

Avatar Gaming is fairly new to the system integrator market but is making a name for themselves by producing prebuilt systems that are sold through retailers like NewEgg and Amazon. PC gaming is still a fairly big market for system builders as they tend to be willing to spend more for their computers. Avatar has put together a desktop system capable of PC gaming for under $1000. Does it offer enough features to truly be a gaming system or does it really need a few upgrades? Find out in my review of the Avatar Gaming i5-4667k desktop.

  • Avatar Gaming i5-4667k Desktop Review
Source: About.com


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An Epic Kids’ Camp

My oldest daughter has been wanting to plan a service project. She decided to do a kids camp so a few moms we know can have a day out. After hearing that the movie Epic will be available on DVD/Blu-ray on August 20th, she decided to make the movie the theme of her camp.

She wrote out a plan of activities including watching the movie, making a leaf/nature craft, doing a movie scavenger hunt, reading the William Joyce book the movie is based on, and having some related snacks like pretzels (to look like twigs), berries and other fruit, and maybe some dirt cups (chocolate pudding with Oreos crumbled on top). She’s also going to help the kids write a poem about nature. She based some of the activities on the Epic activity guide we created when the movie came out in theaters.

The movie lends itself so well to related crafts and activities, we just had to take advantage of it. I love that she created a kids’ camp that is educational and fun for the kids who will be coming. I think this will be a great experience for her, especially since she is getting close to the age where she can start earning some extra money babysitting. Not only that, be she and her sisters will have fun doing the activities as well.

And speaking of keeping kids busy… In celebration of the movie’s release on Blu-ray/DVD, the studio has also released a free Coloring Book & Story Book Builder app for the movie. The app is available now, and if you get the movie when it comes out, there will be codes to unlock additional app components. Here are links to download the apps:

  • Android Download of Epic App
  • iTunes Download of Epic App
  • Amazon Download of Epic App

Learn More About the Movie:

  • Epic Movie Review for Parents
  • The making of Epic

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(Photo © Fox)

Source: About.com


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Roundup of Software Deals

Whether August 2013 finds you heading back to school or gearing up for increased productivity, here are some software deals you may not have checked out yet.

  • Office / Productivity Deals from Staples
  • Best Sites for Academic Software Deals
  • Amazon’s Software Deal of the Week
  • Apple Steals & Deals
  • Best Buy Office & Business Software

Whenever you compare software deals, always be careful if a deal sounds too good to be true. About.com Graphic Software Guide Sue Chastain gives a great example: Unbelievably Cheap Prices for Photoshop.

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Source: About.com


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ICANN Officially Approves and Activates Four New Top-Level Domains

Remember back in January when The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) allowed businesses to submit applications for newly suggested generic top-level domains (like .com, .net, etc.) as long as they paid the $185,000 application fee? And there was no guarantee that any would be approved? And somebody legitimately paid the $185K fee to submit .africamagic for approval? Yup. Never forget.

Well, ICANN has officially pushed out four new gTLDs, and none of them are in English. Go figure. They’re all in either Arabic, Chinese or Russian for simple words like “game” or “web” or “online.” See them all here on the ICANN website.

The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com sumbitted .amazon for approval, but it will likely be rejected due to the fact that it is also the name of the world’s second biggest river that runs through South America, and ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee recommended that geographical regions deserve the gTLD over businesses with the same name. Outdoor clothing company Patagonia faced the same issue, and in turn withdrew its application for .patagonia after realizing that it would most likely not receive approval in favor of the actual geographical Patagonian region.

Photo © Andrew Bret Wallis / Getty Images

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Tech For Anyone: Build Your Own Desktop PC

Build Your Own Desktop PC Book Now Available!

Tech For Anyone: Build Your Own Desktop PC

For years, I have advocated that many consumers are better off building their own desktop computer system rather than buying one from a major manufacturer or even buying one assembled by a company. Now I have taken all my experience and put together my first ebook available through Amazon. The book is titled Tech For Anyone: How To Build Your Own Desktop PC and is available for $9.99 for any Kindle compatible device. If you happen to be a member of Amazon Prime, you can also borrow the book for free.

The book is the first to complement a new site called Tech For Anyone that I have started to help promote technology ideas to everyone, not just the technology geeks out there like many sites do. It talks about general technology and news in easy to understand language without a lot of buzzwords. It also covers a wide range of topics beyond just personal computers.

Source: About.com


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Captain Phil Harris Biography

‘Deadliest Catch’ Star On His Father, Captain Phil’s Death

Captain Phil Harris Biography

Until his untimely death in 2010, Captain Phil Harris starred on Discovery Channel’s hit reality show Deadliest Catch which chronicles the harrowing lives of crab fishermen.

Now Captain Harris is the subject of a new biography written by his sons, Jake and Josh Harris, and titled, Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad.

I recently spoke with Josh Harris–who continues to star on the show’s Season Nine–about his father, the new book, Deadliest Catch and the “dark side” of reality TV.

The full transcript of our conversation is available here, while I’ve highlighted some of the interview below.

Diane Anderson-Minshall: Tell us a little about this new biography.

Josh Harris: Our father actually started an autobiography prior to his death in 2010. When he passed away, my brother Jake and I wanted to keep a part of him alive by finishing what he originally set out to accomplish…Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad is an electrifying tell-all that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. We told the old man’s story the way he would have wanted it told. Check it out at Amazon.com.

Diane Anderson-Minshall: What was it like having to share your dad with millions of Deadliest Catch fans?

Josh Harris: Our father was voted least likely to succeed in high school. In fact, his high school, at the time, graduated him early because they didn’t want to deal with him. Since then, until his death in 2010, his main goal was to prove everyone wrong by making something of himself. He worked extremely hard to achieve his well-known status and loved his fans immensely.

Diane Anderson-Minshall: Eight million people watched your father pass away. Is it difficult having such a personal moment air on TV?

Josh Harris: It’s incredibly difficult….Discovery Channel did a really tasteful job airing our father’s passing on the show. They sent us the episode a month before it aired, and it took me a month and half after it aired to finally watch it. I’ve only seen it once.

Diane Anderson-Minshall: There have been a fair number of suicides by current and former reality TV stars. And it seems like being in the public’s eye can be stressful. Has your family felt any of what might be called TV’s dark side?

Josh Harris:I can only speak for myself. We didn’t set out to be actors or reality stars….We were not prepared to deal with this kind of attention, nor did we sign up for it. Yet we accepted it…Others aren’t able to deal with this kind of pressure and choose to take their own life.

Diane Anderson-Minshall: What can fans expect from Deadliest Catch Season 9?

Josh Harris: Fans should expect the same real-life situations crab fishermen go through on a day-to-day basis. When sailing the Bering Sea you can regularly expect hurricane-force winds and four-story waves in a valorous effort to haul in millions of pounds of crab…

Read the full interview here.

Photo cover of Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad.

Source: About.com


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Roald Dahl:Read the Book, Watch the Movie, Put on a Play!

Today while searching for something else on Amazon, I came across a book I had never seen before: The Witches: A Set of Plays (Compare Prices), which is a book of plays based on Roald Dahl books. Additionally, the book offers ideas for props and things for kids to put on the plays.

We read several of Roald Dahl books and watched the Roald Dahl based movies as a family. Our favorite movies were Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the book was our fav. too) and Fantastic Mr. Fox. I ordered the book of plays and can’t wait to give it to the kids.

Movies based on books are my favorite genre of film, though it’s not really a genre. We have so much fun reading the books as a family and then watching the movie. It will be even more fun to watch the kids act out the play as well.

 

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(Photo © WHV)

Source: About.com


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