Entries in Foursquare (3)


A Tough Week for the Internet as Major Sites Experience Outages YORK) -- Last week it was YouTube for a few minutes, but this week it was more than just the streaming video service that wasn't available to Internet users.

Earlier this week, Amazon's Web Services went down causing sites that rely on Amazon's servers to go down too. Popular sites like Reddit, Pinterest, and Foursquare all experienced outages as a result. The outage lasted for a few hours on Tuesday, and naturally many took to Twitter to complain about the fact that people couldn't get to their services. Twitter itself experienced its fair share of outages.

On Friday a separate outage occurred. Google's App Engine, which powers other sites, along with Dropbox and Tumblr experienced outages. The outage lasted close to two hours for many of the services.

"At approximately 7:30 am Pacific time this morning, Google began experiencing slow performance and dropped connections from one of the components of App Engine. The symptoms that service users would experience include slow response and an inability to connect to services," Google wrote on its site.

Similarly Tumblr tweeted about the outage: "Tumblr is experiencing network problems following an issue with one of our uplink providers. We will return to full service shortly." Two hours later, Tumblr tweeted that the errors had been fixed and it was back online.

"It used to be back in the day, four or five years ago, systems weren't dependent on each other. But now even standard websites -- the things people go to all the time -- are made up of 50 or 100 services that are serving ads and tracking information," Brian Gracely, a Cloud computing expert and editor of, explained to ABC News. "If one of the big services or an Amazon or Google goes down it can affect hundreds of other services."

Tuesday and Friday's outages don't appear to be related, but according to the Internet Traffic Report, traffic across the web in North America declined Friday. The Next Web points out that the same report shows that there was a loss in packet data, which measures reliability of Internet connections.

These issues do not appear to be weather related either. However, many Internet providers will be preparing as Hurricane Sandy makes its way to the East Coast.

"These companies, like Google and Amazon, run the equivalent of what used to be 20th century factories. They are really large and occasionally they have an outage because they have a power failure or weather issues," Gracely said. "It happens periodically, and it used to happen more than we knew, but nowadays we are so connected we know about it more," told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Storm Blamed for Instagram, Netflix, and Foursquare Outages

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you had some trouble over the weekend uploading a photo to Instagram, checking in on Foursquare, watching a movie on Netflix, pinning something to your Pinterest board, or posting to Reddit, you’re not alone.

Amazon’s Web Services, which powers many sites and Cloud services, was taken out by the same lighting storms that caused power outages across the country. Amazon’s main server facility in Northern Virginia was hit hard by the storm, which left over 3 million people on the East Coast without power.

The outages started around 9 p.m. ET on Friday and lasted close to 12 hours for some of the services. Instagram and Netflix informed users via Twitter, however, many still were looking for answers. Instagram became one of the highest searched terms on Google on Saturday. Most services were up and running by Saturday afternoon.

This is the second time Amazon’s Web Services went down this month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Google Competing with Foursquare?

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- Google’s spicing up the competition in its location-based check-in service, and taking Foursquare head on.

Google has quietly added a points system and Leaderboard feature to Latitude, which ties in to Google Maps and Google +.

Those familiar with Foursquare will find that Leaderboard offers a very similar experience: Search for a location in Google Maps, check in, share it with Google + friends, and earn a point for just showing up.

After checking in, you can see how you stack up against your friends on the Leaderboard. As in Foursquare, you earn points for specific check-ins. Google did not respond to ABC News’ request for an explanation of the new point system.

Users can limit who can view where they are checking-in and decide what friends they want to share their location with. Google, however, does add the following disclaimer: “Your points may be visible to other Google+ users, making it easier to find friends and play together.”

The service will be available on Google’s Android operating system first, and while the update hasn’t yet rolled out to all Google Map users, some already see it in the updated version. No word yet as to whether it will be heading to the iPhone or iPad.

The service is a move by Google to better integrate its Google+ social network with Maps, giving it some steam to take on already popular services like Foursquare, Facebook and Path. Foursquare in particular has a similar competitive element, including a point system.

But Foursquare isn’t worried about the new competition. “There are over 15 million people using Foursquare, and they’ve checked in over 1.5 billion times,” Erin Gleason, a Foursquare spokesperson, told ABC News. “Far from concentrating on what others are doing, we’re 100 percent focused on continuing to build an amazing product that changes the way people experience the world around them.”

Either way, it looks like Google and Foursquare are about to compete on their very own Leaderboard.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio