DNS Issues With Network Solutions Causing Outages

networksolutionslogoNetwork Solutions, a registrar for domain names, is having some sort of outage today which is causing their DNS not to resolve. Anyone that has their domain registered with Network Solutions may be experiencing issues with access to their site. This is impacting some of our clients as well as many other sites across the internet.

What is DNS and why is this happening. DNS = Domain Name Server. Basically it is the listing that tells browsers like Internet Explorer or Firefox where the domain is located. Just image when you need to know what number to dial when you want to order a pizza, you would go to the phone book and look up Joe’s Pizza. Now imagine that for some reason half the pages were missing from the phone book, or you couldn’t find the phone book at all.  The Phone Book is the  DNS in this situation.

Bottom line if your domain name is registered through Network Solutions, and you are using their DNS Servers for your domain, your website and email may be down or intermittently available until the problem is resolved.

The company experienced a similar problem last July that they blamed on hacking, or a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. With such an attack hackers direct thousands of computers to hit the website all at once, which then overwhelms the server.

“Unfortunately, cybercrime is a persistent threat in today’s world. Despite our best efforts, no one is immune–including large providers like Network Solutions,” the company said on Facebook.

I guess we will have to wait and see if this is the scenario this time.

Awesome Google I/O Project Glass Demo

This was definitely a great product demo! A jump from a Zeppelin, mt. biking across a roof top with a jump, repelling down a building and mt. biking to the stage.  There was so much that could have gone wrong, but it went quite smoothly. Great work Sergey!

Do you think you’ll buy Google Glasses?

Amazon Web Services Goes Down and Takes a Multitude of Sites With It

Amazon Webservices LogoEarly this morning Amazon Web Services started experiencing a problem in one of their data centers in Virginia. Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing service from Amazon.com. Many online platforms and services use Amazon’s service to host data for their online applications. It’s been reported that the outages were caused by a networking event. The issue is with their Elastic Block Storage or EBS. EBS is used for block level storage that is used in Amazon EC2 instances. Here’s a statement from Amazon:

“A networking event early this morning triggered a large amount of re-mirroring of EBS volumes in US-EAST-1,”

“This re-mirroring created a shortage of capacity in one of the US-EAST-1 Availability Zones, which impacted new EBS volume creation as well as the pace with which we could re-mirror and recover affected EBS volumes. Additionally, one of our internal control planes for EBS has become inundated such that it’s difficult to create new EBS volumes and EBS backed instances.”

“We are working as quickly as possible to add capacity to that one Availability Zone to speed up the re-mirroring, and working to restore the control plane issue,” Amazon continued. “We’re starting to see progress on these efforts, but are not there yet. We will continue to provide updates when we have them.”

There are a variety of services being disrupted. Here are a few where I’ve experienced outages or limited availability:

Hootsuite
Foursquare
Reddit
Quora

If you know of any others please add them in the comments.

Net neutrality: New Talks With the FCC, Google and Verizon

hares fighting obout net neutrality Net neutrality is very controversial pitting broadband providers against internet companies. The providers claim they are paying billions of dollars for networks that internet companies make money from and they should be able to control and charge fees for the type of data that travels over their networks.

I strongly believe in net neutrality. It is what the internet was build on and it should be looked at like a utility. The electric company doesn’t charge you more if you want to plug in a machine they didn’t make. The water company doesn’t charge you a different price depending on what you do with the water. The phone company doesn’t charge you various prices based on the language or words you use when you talk on the phone. You pay for their service/connection.

What do you think? Should broadband providers be allowed to regulate traffic?
Or should net neutrality prevail?

Read more about Net Neutrality: Source: Google, Verizon near net neutrality plan

Cable and Phone Companies Crying Like Babies.. Again

Just read an article put out by the associated press. “Summary Box: Broadband funds draw complaints

“THE COMPLAINTS: Some phone and cable companies complain that the money is sometimes being used to fund networks that will compete with services they already offer.”

So, the phone and cable companies complain that other company’s are using their networks to make money and they should be allowed to filter this traffic the way they see fit. Their argument is that they are building expensive networks and others are making money on their networks while they alone carry the burden of building and supporting the networks. But, really, this is a way they can filter out and kill their competition. Then they receive money from the government to support their “expensive networks”, but that’s not enough. Now they are whining that the money is creating competition for them. This just has the stink of monopoly all over it. Especially since many of the companies have regional monopolies or near monopolies.

Related articles:
Comcast vs. Net Neutrality: Why is Comcast So Scared?
Net Neutrality Takes a Blow
Net Neutrality — A Letter to US Senator Arlen Specter

Apple a Revolutionary Catalyst – Part 2

In my last post I talked about why Apple is not a hardware or software innovator. This time I will talk about why they are a catalyst.

When you look at the fan base that Apple has created over the years, you would have to say that they are nothing short of fanatics. And I’m pretty sure many of them would be happy to be called that too. If Apple does nothing else right, you can’t deny they have done this right. When you create fans that are this excited about your products they not only buy your products they evangelize them for you. Let’s look at how they were able to do this.

As you read in my previous post, I don’t believe that Apple is really a hardware or software innovator. Their operating system is based on Unix which they did not create, their hardware is technically not that innovative in the grand scheme of things. What they do do well is make things sexy. The sleek designs. Hold a Blackberry in one hand and an iPhone in the other and the iPhone will feel innately sexier. They weren’t the first mp3 player on the market, but they made the first one that people “had to have”. And they certainly weren’t the first smart phone on the market. What Apple has done is create great marketing campaigns around their products. The commercials for the iPod with it’s white earbuds on bright color backgrounds and black figures listening to music, highlighted the product without having to say a word. Their packaging is even sexy. Plus the white earbuds, set it apart from anything else on the market. Instantly iPod owners could recognize another with the earbuds making them feel like an elite group.

What first made the iPod a catalyst was iTunes. An easy to use free software where people could download their favorite music and artists could promote their new music with things like “new music Tuesdays.” Then what really made the iPod touch and the iPhone a huge success was the Apple AppStore. This created a platform for thousands (+) of developers to create applications for the devices and to sell them. This way Apple brings innovation to their products, which makes people want to buy their products because of all the cool new features and they are saving money on development as well as making money on every app that is sold. Not only that, developers are excited about Apple products because they can create an app to promote their product or simply make an app for itself and make money in the process as well.

By becoming a catalyst (an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action | Merriam-Webster) Apple has created a position for itself where their products sit in the middle and enable the reaction/interaction of their customers: consumers and developers.

In the end it’s a WIN – WIN and well… WIN situation.

Apple and iPad Not Revolutionary at All – Part 1

Ok, I know the title will instantly make some people hate me. If you made it past the title, then maybe we can talk.

Let me start with this, yes I do own an iPhone and I do like it. I bought the 3gs version last summer, kind of by default. Here’s why I don’t believe that the Apple is not really an innovator when it comes to hardware or software.

First the iPhone. When iPhone came out it was touted (by the Apple community) to be the greatest thing ever. In fact I had a PC phone from HTC that I bought in 2006 that had more features. For pete’s sake you couldn’t even cut and past until the 3gs. Plus the HTC browsed faster than the original iPhone. I ran a head to head test with a my HTC and a G1 using Google to search for the same term. The HTC won by a long shot. They were both on AT&T’s network. Cause I know that was your next question. Last summer I finally broke down.. mostly because my 3 year old PC Phone did too.. and bought the 3gs. The final selling points were #1 I believe HTC stumbled with their latest version of the PC phone by putting their top heavy software over the phones, which slowed it down and made it unstable. I also was not a fan of the Blackberry’s. So, by default the iPhone. #2 The app store. This is important later.

apple ipad 1st generation

Now we have the iPad. I keep hearing people saying things like it is going to revolutionize how you read and that the print media industry is hoping for a revival because of the iPad. Really? Have we already forgotten the Kindle. That has revolutionized how we read. It is also much easier on the eyes because it is not back lit. Plus, you get free 3G wireless coverage, although limited. Everyone I know that has one, said they wouldn’t give up their Kindle for an iPad. Another thing I’ve heard is how it’s going to change the way we surf.. now that could be true. If developers bow to Apples command to use Html 5. A standard that’s not even finished! Is this Apple’s arrogance? Incompetence? Maybe a bit of both. My guess is… well two things. One, Adobe made them made. Two, they had issues with implementing it on their devices and well, it’s easier to blame someone else than it is to fix the problem. I really thought that Apple learned their lesson back in the 90s when they almost went bankrupt, but here we are again where everything has to be created/approved/sold by Apple to work on their machines. There are also a number of other limitations, such as always needing to have the docking station with you. I was happy to see today that HP is coming out with a competitive device called the Slate.

In my next post I’ll explain in what ways I think Apple is an innovator.

We Live in an Exponential Age, and Life Keeps Moving Faster!

2008 Latest Edition – Did You Know 3.0 – From Meeting in Rome ThClick here for this week’s top video clips

Top 10 Most Wired Countries

According to the World Economic Forum 2008:

 
  1. Sweden
  2. Iceland
  3. Switzerland
  4. Netherlands
  5. Denmark
  6. Hong Kong
  7. South Korea
  8. Norway
  9. USA
  10. Luxembourg

The USA has dropped the past 3 years in a row, barely making the list this year at number 9. Looks like we need to get our act together!

“To rank high on the list–one of 12 included in the WEF’s annual Global Competitiveness Report–countries need to have tech-friendly government policies as well as high tech usage. In the ranking, the WEF focuses on information and communication technologies (ICT), such as cellular connectivity and broadband Internet, noting that ‘ICT has evolved into the ‘general-purpose technology’ of our time … responsible for a large part of productivity increases.'”

From: The World’s Most Wired Countries

Don’t Let Online Gamblers Clog Up The Internets

I was reminded about the huge issues we have on the internets from a fellow tweeter, neoblog. Thanks!
People this is a very serious issue and it’s a good thing congress voted to make online gambling illegal! John Stewart’s piece on it from a couple of years ago does a great job of explaining the problem.

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Stay vigilant people! Keep internet gambling illegal..