TMCnet Feature
April 23, 2013

Perfect Online Storm Brewing: Twitter, iCloud, iTunes Down For Some Users

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

A strange set of events fired up earlier today for users of several popular services. A Twitter (News - Alert) status page update revealed that, for some users, Twitter was down and the problem causing it--though not clear at the time--was being worked on to get the service back up as fast as possible. But coming in hot on the heels of that particular announcement was a completely different one, featuring similar outages for both iCloud and the iTunes Store.

While some of the outages seem to have been cleared up--and in some cases never really impacted a portion of users--there are still as of this report some outages left to deal with. Apple's (News - Alert) system status as of 11:08 AM showed that "some users" were affected by Apple ID and Game Center "issues," while so too was the case with iCloud account and sign in procedures. Apple boasts a detailed timeline of current issues at its system status page, showing that the iTunes Store was indeed down from 7:20 AM to 9:32 AM, and that issues related to the Apple ID, Game Center and Account & Sign in for iCloud were ongoing as of this writing.

Twitter, meanwhile, is a bit different; a recent attempt to load the Twitter home page was unusually slow, and Engadget was reporting that some of its tweets were running into "some snags", which usually was represented by some tweets "timing out before publishing." The Twitter status page, meanwhile, notes a "Twitter service issue" from the last hour, and indicates that "Our engineers are currently working on this issue."

Perhaps the strangest part of the whole affair is how dispersed some of the outages were. Some users noted problems with Amazon Instant Video, though that could have just been a local matter. Indeed, many users likely never even noticed a problem to begin with, but to see both Twitter and chunks of Apple go down at the same time is a bit disconcerting. Some even brought up the specter of Anonymous, who had reportedly been calling for an Internet Blackout Day yesterday in protest of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act's (CISPA) passing of the House of Representatives. Admittedly, it's a day later than was projected, but considering the decentralized nature of Anonymous, some may have taken to launching the hacking a little later than expected.

While the exact cause of these outages is unknown--indeed, even the exact extent of these outages is unknown, as some users aren't even having a problem to begin with--it's still going to prove at least somewhat inconvenient for the user base. It's not likely to be a long-term issue, but even a short-term issue is an issue too great for the users of said services, and indeed, for the providers of said services as well who lose face and potential revenue for every minute the sites are down.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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