CategoryTechnology

Do you read articles on the go? ‘Pocket’ is your friend.

I admit, I’m a bit late on the bandwagon here. Though Pocket was mentioned to me around a year ago, I didn’t feel I had a need for it at the time so didn’t really look into it.

However, during my recent trip to Turkey, where WiFi is slow and 3G data roaming incredibly expensive, Pocket turned out to be just what I needed!

The concept is simple, but works.
Basically, you download the Pocket app to your devices, then when you’re online, add the article to your Pocket list, then it’ll download to your device so you can read the full article (with pictures) when you’re offline on the go.

Here’s a quick guide to getting it setup:

1. Create a Pocket account.
2. Download the Pocket app to your devices (apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac).
3. Click ‘Share page’, then ‘Add to Pocket’.

It’s as simple as that! Your device will then download the webpage via WiFi/3G/4G, ready for you to read offline if you wish.

Telia Transatlantic Cable Outage

Please note, updates to this post can be found further down the page.

It seems that Telia, one of the underwater transatlantic cables which connects the Internet between Europe and the US, has been reportedly cut or damaged. The specific cable believed to have been cut was TAT-14, the route of which can be seen below as it travels from the US through to the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

TAT-14 Telia Transatlantic Cable Map

For a large number of Internet users in Europe, this resulted in outages of many popular sites including Dropbox, and sites using CloudFlare, until hosts were able to re-route web traffic via other unaffected routes.

Luckily, there are many other transatlantic cables, so this didn’t take too long, and it was at most an hour or so before sites could be accessed again – although there was considerable congestion afterwards, as can be seen by the below screenshot of Akamai‘s website late on 19th May.

Telia Transatlantic Cable Akamai

News quickly spread on a number of online forums including:

TheRegister also published an article on this – although fairly late after it happened.

Digital Ocean and CloudFlare seemed to be the two companies mostly affected (who it is assumed have transit links with Telia), but many other websites and web hosts were indirectly affected through customers using an ISP which uses Telia as one of their connections.

Digital Ocean:

Digital Ocean Status - Telia Cable

CloudFlare:

A number of users also took to Twitter to find out if they were the only ones experiencing problems accessing certain parts of the Internet:

UPDATE (11:45pm GMT – 19th May):

Telia has released a statement via Twitter which explains the cause of the outage as a ‘planned update gone wrong’

Which roughly translates from Swedish to:

“Our previous disruption on our internet traffic against the United States and Asia is eliminated since 23 o’clock, it was a planned update went wrong”

UPDATE 2 (12 midnight GMT – 19th May:

Telia have now published an article in Swedish, in which Bo Djurberg (Manager at Telia) summarises the issues they had.

Again, roughly translated this is:

Problems with Telia Internet
Telia had tonight big problems with their Internet services.
Users could not get into websites registered in the United States.
– There was a scheduled job that went a bit wrong, says Bo Djurberg, manager at Telia.
The problems started at 22 o’clock on Monday evening.
Lots of customers had problems with the internet connection. According to Telia these involved a planned update that went wrong.
– They had problems reaching websites in the U.S. and vice versa, says Bo Djurberg.
At 23 o’clock the problems were remedied, according to Telia.
– Now everything will work out. All traffic was down for about an hour, says Djurberg.
Exactly how many users are affected is not clear.

UPDATE 3 (8am GMT – 20th May):

A further statement by Telia says that the issue was caused by a software ‘route change’ rather than the physical cable being cut. This explains how Telia were able to fix the problem so soon – something which likely wouldn’t have been so soon had it been cut.

UPDATE 4 (10am GMT – 20th May):

Further confirmation of this being a ‘planned update’


This post will be updated as and when more information is released.

UPDATE 5 (4pm GMT – 20th May):

This will likely be the last update, so I just wanted to summarise all of the updates and new developments since this post was first published.

This morning, Telia announced that the disruption was due to a ‘planned update went wrong’. There was no physical damage or cut to any of the cables, so it seems they were doing some form of software update for the cable (which we believe was TAT-14), which didn’t go as planned and resulted in the cable failing to carry data and going out of service.

Thankfully the downtime last night didn’t last too long as ISPs and web hosts were quick to re-route traffic via alternate transit carriers. There are many other transatlantic fibre cables, so this wouldn’t have been to hard – although congestion was caused as traffic had to be funneled to these other routes.

 

Were you affected by the Telia issues? Please get in touch (adam[at]adamowen.co.uk), or add a comment and I’ll feature your quote.

I also wrote another article for my company here – http://www.spiralmedia.co.uk/slow-internet-last-night.

My Top 5 London Travel Apps

If you’re like me, your phone is packed with apps. I could do with having a clear out actually..!

Anyway, I’m often down in London and when I am I usually rely on apps to help me on my way around the City. Although I’m an Android guy, all of the below apps are also available from the Apple App Store.

1. Google Maps

Google Maps app logo
Google Maps is an ‘all-in-one’ app, not just acting as a map with GPS pinpointing, but you can also see local businesses, hotels and restaurants and reviews (thanks to Google+ integration).
It is perfect for tourists and visitors new to the area.

Google Maps comes as standard with Android devices. To download it for iOS, click here.

2. Tube Map:

Tube Map london app logo

This is a must in my opinion and cam save you a fair amount of time figuring out where you need to be. Rather than the app just showing a static map or image, you can tap on individual stations to see the service status and when the next train is arriving/departing. You can also view the status of each Tube line:

Tube map london androidTube map london line status androidTube map london android

Download:

You can download the Tube Map app from one of the following links:
iOS / Android

You can also find out more info by visiting their website here.

3. London Oyster Balance:

London Oyster balance app logo

This is a must for travellers who have an Oyster Card and visit London regularly.

It has a number of features including balance, and also shows your journey history.
There is a free trial version which works for 21 days. But the full version is only £1.99, so worth upgrading to.

You can download the Oyster Master app from one of the following links:
iOS:
FREE / PAID

Android:
FREE / PAID

4. TripAdvisor:

tripadvisor

Looking for somewhere to eat? In my opinion, you can rarely trust what a

You can download the TripAdvisor app from one of the following links:
iOS / Android

5. Airbnb:

airbnb

Airbnb is a new way of booking overnight accommodation, where instead of staying in a hotel you stay in the spare room of somewhere.

Rather than booking a traditional hotel, I’ll often use Airbnb to book a last-minute room.

Also, the app has a handy “Help, I need a place to stay tonight!” feature which can be a lifesaver if you get stuck somewhere with nowhere to sleep.

You can download the Airbnb app from one of the following links:
iOS / Android

LincUpLive #LUL360

I went to LincUpLive (#LUL360) yesterday. Held at the Doubletree by Hilton on the Brayford Wharf in Lincoln, LincUpLive is an annual ‘tweet-up’ style event which attracts businesses from all over Lincolnshire.

The event was well-structured, with a number of keynotes and ‘breakout’ sessions where you could choose the session you felt would be most of interest and beneficial to you.

Keynote speakers included:

Redg Snodgrass (Co-founder, Stained Glass Labs) – who brought a Google Glass prototype)
Redg spoke about the future of ‘wearables’, and how he thinks they will change the world we know today.

Steve Middleborough (Director of Engineering, Siemens) – Steve mainly spoke about the new Siemens Teal Park development on the outskirts of Lincoln. It was interesting to hear him mention that he plans on providing Siemens’ field engineers with Google Glass within the next few years.

Graham Puntis

Wayne Gibbins (Funding expert, Notion Capital) – It was interesting to hear about alternative ways to raise startup capital. Wayne also spoke about Kickstarter (one of my favourite websites).

Richard Duxbury (Lincolnshire Media) – Richard explained how Lincolnshire Media has shifted to the ‘digital age’, focussing its operations around their online presence rather than print.

Alan Moore

Councillor Colin Davie – Colin gave his view on the technological developments and spoke about how the Lincolnshire County Council will be doing their bit to help promote growth within the county.

Throughout the day, there were also a number of breakout seminars which covered all aspects of online marketing.

As with all good local events, the Onlincolnshire ‘#dreamteam’ were there taking care of the PR/Social side of things, along with a number of students from Lincoln University.

Here are a few of my favourite LUL360 Tweets:

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