Yahoo Mail Went Down And All They Got Was A Single Tweet

In this day and age, keeping your customers up to date is as important as getting them on board in the first place. Reports started circulating yesterday that Yahoo users weren’t able to access their email accounts, and all they got for their troubles was a single tweet.

Originally reported in the thread titled “Yahoo Mail has been down for 14 hours, affecting thousands of users in Europe”, users went from saying that having their service shut down without any response being unacceptable to the barrage of comments from users asking if the service was ever truly running these days or how many people were actually affected by the problem (including a rather large barrage joking about the use of Yahoo mail for business reasons).

After checking out Yahoo Mail’s twitter page (the quickest way to update people these days on issues it would seem), the page was filled with nothing but advertisements spread out over days with no communications regarding the reported outage. That was until we checked out their support page, Yahoo Care. Amongst a slew of advertisements for their fantasy baseball teams was a single tweet saying that some users were experiencing issues.

With people replying saying that they haven’t been able to access their account for extended periods and with no support, a single tweet hardly seems to be cut it (pun intended).

In this day and age, taking days to fix a problem with little to no support for your users seems like a quick way to lose people to other webmail solutions like Gmail and Outlook. We will try to keep you updated (as well as we can with the little information that seems to be available at this moment).

Uber Accused of Skipping Out of Paying Bug Bounties

With all the apps and systems that are used, created and updated every day it is often impossible for you to be absolutely certain about their security. This resulted in the creation of external help through schemes like bug bounties unless your Uber who change the scope of what bug bounties they’ll be paying.

Bug bounty schemes are simple. If you find a problem in the code or system that a company uses, you report it to the company running the scheme and if they find it was a problem, you get paid. Even Microsoft and GitHub run schemes to help narrow down and find problems with their software. The issue comes here is that only this week popular taxi alternative app Uber launched its own bug bounty scheme.

Sean Melia found a few issues or rather a few admin panels/ports that were open. This fell in line with what Uber wanted under the grouping of “publicly accessible login panels” and “exposed administration ports (excluding OneLogin)”. After reporting the first issue which was quickly accepted as a bug, Melia went about finding others resulting in the large group he ended up reporting. The problem was that by this time Uber had updated their documentation to make these reports invalid, without informing people using the scheme. Free security support anyone?

The reason for the change? Ubers security engineering manager, Collin Greene, has stated they changed the rules so that they stopped researchers wasting their time on minor bugs. Greene then stated that “a successful bug bounty rests on researchers trusting us to run it well, which we take very seriously”, something that may not go down so well when you are willing to change the goalposts without telling people.

Was Uber right in this case? Should they have acted differently? A problems a problem, even with a lesser payment, should Melia have received something given that he did the work under the old rules?

Exquisite Eggshell Carving Artwork Is No Yolk

Artists are always finding exciting and fresh ways to promote their artwork; this is, well, no exception, after the China Youth Network recently reported concerning a craftsman who conveys his artwork on eggshells. The artist in question is based in China and goes by the name Huangwei Xiang; he is 64 years old this year and below are images of this quite amazing yet delicate artwork.

As you can see, the first image below is of this gentleman’s latest series entitled “108 Water Margin Heroes” these were carved in 108 days. the fragility of the eggshell means the need for a delicate hand when applying pressure.

The next image below is of a phenomenal carving within a hollow eggshell, the intricate patterns and imaginative design certainly opens the door for a range of possibilities. On a side note, not long ago a “Hong Kong business person spent 30,000 yuan (£3,195.89) with the aim of buying two hollow egg carvings as well as 12 zodiac egg carvings”.

Below are two images which convey a close up of two of the Margin Heroes, patience is certainly needed when attempting to sculpt the artwork within the shell.

It is certainly unique and also requires a high level of skill to achieve these results, I would not have thought this would have been possible when you consider how fragile an eggshell is, but, it just goes to show what can be achieved within the world.

Parents Will Be Reported by Head Teachers If Their Children Play GTA or COD

British parents are now in danger of being reported to the police and social services if they let their children play videos games not suited for their age, specifically mentioned, were games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

A letter sent by a group of schools in Cheshire raised concerns about the “levels of violence and sexual content” young people are being exposed to by playing games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto which have a PEGI 18 classification. If teachers are made aware of children playing these games then they will contact police and social services.

The fear is that the games violent content could lead to children being left more vulnerable to grooming and abuse. The letter goes further than video games and also recommends that children don’t use Facebook or Whatsapp, but rather other social platforms geared for their generation and not adults.

The letter is clearly a result of the pressure put on teachers and social workers by David Camerons announcement that they could face up to five years in prison if they don’t speak out about suspicions of children that are being neglected or abused. Headteacher Mary Hennessy Jones, who helped draft the letter, told the Sunday Times: “We are trying to help parents to keep their children as safe as possible in this digital era.”

The message from Nantwich Education Partnership has however been criticised by parents as going too far by threatening parents rather than helping them. Margaret Morrissey, of Parents Outloud, told the newspaper: “Accepting the huge concerns about these violent games and their effect on children, I think the schools are stepping outside the realm of what is probably acceptable.”

Thanks to DailyMail for providing us with this information

Reliable Tech – Hardware Repair Rate Rankings Released

As computer enthusiasts often get hostile about their favorite brands warranties, returns and reliability, we’ve just been given an insight into hardware failure and warranty rates across popular technology manufacturers.

Only just being released but complied with data relevant prior to October 2014, these statistics will show the top four performers in each category.

Starting with motherboards, the results read:

  • GIGABYTE: 2.51%
  • MSI: 2.65%
  • ASUS: 2.86%
  • ASRock: 2.99%

Before you grab your pitchforks and book the next-leaving flight to the island country of Taiwan, take a close look at the results and think about what you see. The first thing noticeable is that all four of these figures are land within a 0.5% margin, which is a pretty impressive result. Another interesting fact is that of ASUS’s ranking. We’ve just reported that ASUS are looking to out-sell all other brands in 2014, followed next by GIGABYTE, but looking at these statistics shows they aren’t the most reliable.

As with many other things in life (even including CS:GO tournaments), these broad spectrum statistics aren’t a be-all and end-all. Obviously it’s a little damaging for ASRock to be places last in the race and GIGABYTE are sure to have some PR bragging rights given their first place rating – but warranty tracking is often a fickle thing.

If you wish to see the full list of rankings and percentages (and have a translating app or add-on handy), please feel free to check a list compiled here (in Chinese), or the full comprehensive list (in French).

Power supply rankings came in at:

  • FSP Group: 0.83%
  • Be Quiet!: 0.84%
  • Corsair: 1.32%
  • Cooler Master: 1.51% 

The memory (RAM) rankings are:

  • Kingston: 0.36% 
  • Crucial: 0.57%
  • G.Skill: 0.97%
  • Corsair: 1.20%

Graphics card failure rates are slightly higher than any other statistic – ranking from 5.09% down to 2.25%.

  • MSI: 2.25%
  • Gainward: 2.67%
  • GIGABYTE: 2.98%
  • ASUS: 3.00%

It’s also interesting to note that there’s a rather large (in comparison) failure rate here reported of the Radeon R9 280X – coming in at 8.81%.

Hard Drive manufacturers have reported:

  • Seagate: 0.69%
  • Western Digital: 0.93% 
  • HGST: 1.01% (former Hitachi)
  • Toshiba: 1.29%

SSD’s saw most of the lowest rates of failure and a very close race within the top 3:

  • Samsung: 0.24%
  • Intel:  0.27%
  • Sandisk: 0.29%
  • Crucial: 0.57%

Please note that this statistical data has been taken from French online dealers, meaning some companies were not included due to their product sample being too small to manage. But either way this gives you a pretty fair comparison of companies units as a whole.

Coming from my own experience, as a person who’s previously worked in a hardware manufacturing company for 4 years, here’s a few things I’ve noticed about this warranty/failure rate subject:

  • Not every end user will warranty their broken products
  • Warranty percentages can often be skewed by a bad batch of products due to shipment, storage or factory error
  • Warranty percentages are not always reported, double checked, nor stock-taken

Rankings thanks to Hardware.fr