Video iPod Launch Slows Apple Store

The Apple Store was offline for more than an hour following the launch of a new video-enabled iPod, which was unveiled today after months of anticipation. While the launch of a new Apple product routinely leads to brief "restocking" outages for the Apple store, today's downtime was longer than usual, perhaps due to web traffic generated by the pent-up curiosity of iPod lovers.

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The video iPod has a 2.5-inch screen and will sell for $299 for the 30-gigbyte hard drive, and $399 for 60 gigs. Apple's iTunes store will now sell music videos and some TV programming at $1.99 per video.

Hostway, Datapipe, France Telecom and Express Technologies Most Reliable Hosters in September 2005

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
September 1st - 30th 2005

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Hostway, Datapipe, France Telecom and Express Technologies share the top slot as as the most reliable hosting company sites this month.

Express Technologies (Hosting.com), a provider based in Louisville, Kentucky, makes its first appearance of 2005 among the most reliable hosters after four showings in the top 10 in 2004. This month also marks Express Tech's first time as the leading performer. Datapipe shared the top spot last month (along with Rackspace and Tiscali), while Hostway was the most reliable hoster in our April survey.

Five Linux sites are found in the top 10 this month, along with three sites running on Windows 2000, and one apiece on Windows Server 2003 and FreeBSD.

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Opera Site Slowed by Surge in Free Downloads

Some areas of the web site for Opera have been slowed by a surge in traffic from Internet users downloading software. The activity was prompted by Tuesday's announcement that the Opera web browser would be distributed free. Users previously had the choice of either a paid product or a free version supported by ads displayed within the browser interface.

The ad-free version of Opera 8 was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first two days of availability,according to Opera Software, which said server logs showed a majority of downloads came from Internet Explorer users. This chart shows the performance for get.opera.com, one of several mirror sites serving browser downloads.

Opera download site performance

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Katrina Knocks Out 100-plus Networks, But Few Relocate

Few of the data networks knocked offline by Hurricane Katrina have relocated their operations to backup sites outside the disaster zone, according to a new report examining the disaster's impact on infrastructure. More than 100 local networks on the U.S. Gulf Coast remain offline two weeks after Katrina, but major Internet networks saw only brief disruptions from the storm, according to the report from Renesys, which monitors Internet routing traffic.

"It is suprising to note how few of the networks in the region saw any service restored through disaster recovery services," the analysis noted. "Many networks in the affected region, especially those in Louisiana, have been unreachable for a prolonged period of time. These networks may not see service restored for some time to come, unless they can be brought back online at disaster recovery sites outside of the region."

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Datapipe, Rackspace and Tiscali Most Reliable Hosters in August 2005

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
August 1st - 31st 2005

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Datapipe, Rackspace and Tiscali share the top slot as as the most reliable hosting company sites this month. The results continue a string of exceptional performances by Rackspace and Datapipe, both in 2005 and over the longer haul.

Rackspace, a managed hosting provider based in San Antonio, Texas, has been the top performer in five of the past seven months. The company's web site, which runs on Linux, has not had a measurable outage since March of 2004. Datapipe, a managed hosting provider in Hoboken, N.J., has been the best performer twice in 2005, and was the most reliable hosting company for the second half of 2004. The Datapipe web site, which is hosted on Windows Server 2003, has not had a measurable outage since Necraft began public reporting of monthly uptime performance in June 2003.

In August their performance was matched by Tiscali, a pan-European provider of hosting and Internet access services. This month marks Tiscali's first time as the most reliable hosting provider. Tiscali's site runs on Linux, which dominates with five of the top 10 hosters, with 2 on Windows, 2 on FreeBSD and 1 on Solaris.

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DirectNIC Stays Online in New Orleans Facility

Hunkered down in a data center on an upper floor of a New Orleans office building, a skeleton crew of staff at DirectNIC have kept the domain registrar operating throughout Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophic flooding that has engulfed the city. "We haven't lost service once during this entire disaster, and we have three weeks of backup power secured," CEO Sigmund Solares said on the DirectNIC website. "Our staff is safe and well - some have been working around the clock in New Orleans to keep clients running smoothly, and other employees have left to safer locations to keep an eye on the network from afar."

DirectNIC is housed on the 10th and 11th floors of a 27-floor office tower near Lafayette Square, a portion of the city that has escaped the worst of the flooding. Employees have live-blogged their efforts and posted photos of the storm's impact on the DirectNIC facility. An on-site webcam broadcast video of looting on surrounding streets. DirectNIC is the world's 11th-largest registrar, with more than 1.1 million domains registered. It is part of InterCosmos Media group, which also operates hosting/colocation provider Zipa.