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Also, PSN and Xbox Live are back online, Pinterest rolls out Promoted Pins, how to stream The Interview, and preferring a chocolate iPhone to the real thing.

Twitter Back Up After Strange Downtime

Twitter is recovering from a prolonged period of downtime which affected Android and desktop users. For around five hours on Sunday (Dec 28), anyone trying to log in via the official apps was hit with an error message. The iOS Twitter apps 10 Almost Useless But Interesting Twitter Apps 10 Almost Useless But Interesting Twitter Apps Who knew that 140 characters could be informative, opinionated, controversial, and hilarious? Well, Twitter is all that and we continue to revel in it. There are lots of Twitter apps out there -some useless; some... Read More remained unaffected by the issue throughout.

Tweetdeck users were hit with a different issue whereby all tweets were dated one year into the future. This could explain the problem, with the premature date change leading to session tokens instantaneously expiring. Either way, Twitter has now fixed the issue… at least until the real 2015 rolls around Keep Your New Year's Resolutions With Help From Reddit [Weird & Wonderful Web] Keep Your New Year's Resolutions With Help From Reddit [Weird & Wonderful Web] Do not allow yourself to fail at keeping your new year's resolutions this time. Help yourself and others succeed using Reddit and its surprisingly helpful community. Read More .

Bitcoin Endures Terrible 2014

It’s fair to say Bitcoin What Is Bitcoin: The MakeUseOf BitCoin Guide What Is Bitcoin: The MakeUseOf BitCoin Guide Whether you just want to find out more about BitCoin or to actually use the currency, you'll want to check out "Virtual Currency: The BitCoin Guide", the latest manual from author Lachlan Roy. Read More had a bad 2014. In fact, its plunge in value makes it the worst performing currency over the past year. According to Bloomberg, the value of Bitcoin dropped a massive 56 percent during 2014, falling from around $770 at the start of the year to around $320 at the time of writing.

This means Bitcoin has performed worse than the Ukrainian Hryvnia, the Russian Ruble, the Ghanaian Cedi, and the Argentine Peso. Which is all a far cry from 2013, when Bitcoin peaked at a value of $1,130. Ironically, this drop in value has coincided with Bitcoin being accepted What Can I Buy With Bitcoin? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Can I Buy With Bitcoin? [MakeUseOf Explains] If you’ve never heard of Bitcoin before, then don’t worry because you’re in the majority. Let’s just say that it’s a virtual currency (meaning you’ll never be able to hold an actual Bitcoin in your... Read More by an increasing number of companies and services.

PSN & Xbox Live Back Online

Both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network are back online after being taken down by determined hackers over the holidays. The online services were severely affected by a distributed denial of service attack What Is a DDoS Attack? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is a DDoS Attack? [MakeUseOf Explains] The term DDoS whistles past whenever cyber-activism rears up its head en-masse. These kind of attacks make international headlines because of multiple reasons. The issues that jumpstart those DDoS attacks are often controversial or highly... Read More (DDoS) which prevented millions of people from enjoying their new games consoles on Christmas Day.

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A hacking group calling itself Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility. In a bizarre twist to the tale, they claim to have called a halt to the hack after Kim Dotcom (of MegaUpload fame) sent them hundreds of dollars in gift cards to stop. Xbox Live was back online by Friday (Dec. 26), with PSN back online by Saturday (Dec. 27).

Pinterest Pushing Promoted Pins

After several months of beta testing, Pinterest is finally ready to roll Promoted Pins out across the whole site. According to The New York Times, Pinterest will officially launch Promoted Pins on Jan 1, 2015, with the 70 million-plus users then faced with seeing ads for the first time.

With Promoted Pins, a brand creates an ad which looks exactly like any other pin, but which ultimately advertises either the company or its products. These Promoted Pins will be targeted at users based on their gender, location, and interests.

Early results suggest Promoted Pins are shared just as often as ordinary pins, which is obviously a major win for both Pinterest The Unofficial Pinterest Guide The Unofficial Pinterest Guide This Pinterest guide will quickly show you how to use Pinterest and all of its features. This guide outlines everything there is to know about Pinterest. Read More and the brands involved.

The Interview Available Almost Everywhere

The Interview is now available to stream on a range of different platforms, meaning everybody who wants to see it has no excuse not to do so. That is, at least, in the U.S. and Canada, where it’s available on Google Play, YouTube, Xbox Video, and iTunes, with Apple being the latest company to add the movie.

The satirical comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen was originally slated for a theatrical release on Christmas Day, but those plans were changed when theater chains pulled the film after a vague terror threat from unknown hackers Hackers Vs. Haters: How Twitter Reacted To Sony Pulling The Interview [Weird & Wonderful Web] Hackers Vs. Haters: How Twitter Reacted To Sony Pulling The Interview [Weird & Wonderful Web] To say the Internet didn't take kindly to Sony Pictures pulling The Interview is putting it mildly. Twitter was equal parts annoyed and amused about the whole thing. Read More . The movie then enjoyed a limited theatrical release, taking millions of dollars in revenue from online rentals.

A Chocolate iPhone Is The Greatest Gift

And finally, it may come as a surprise to anyone under the age of 20, but not everybody wants a smartphone 5 Reasons Not To Buy A Smartphone 5 Reasons Not To Buy A Smartphone You may feel pressured into buying a smartphone, even though you're perfectly happy with your (so-called) dumbphone. Don't be. Read More . This video is proof, showing someone fooling their grandma by buying a chocolate phone, but placing it in a real iPhone box.

Her reaction is priceless, as her obvious anxiety at the thought of having to learn how to use a new gadget gives way to relief. There is lesson here for us all: give people what they want, not what you think they want. Especially old people.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Were you affected by Twitter going down? What does the future hold for Bitcoin? How do you feel about Promoted Pins coming to Pinterest?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: Esther Vargas via Flickr

  1. DoktorThomas™
    January 1, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Twitter is already irrelevant.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      You think so? What has replaced it in relevancy in your mind?

  2. Karen
    December 30, 2014 at 6:51 am

    I am disgusted that Pinterest is going with Promoted Pins :o(
    Ads and Commercials are everywhere and I, for one am so sick of them. Pinterest had a nice community, feel to it, free of anything but what we all wanted to look at and share amongst ourselves. I know ads are a necessity in the real world, but come on, everywhere! Is there no place left you can go and read or interact with others and not be constantly interrupted with ads... uugggh!

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Perhaps I have spent too long on the Web but I honestly don't notice them any more. The problem is websites need to bring in revenue, even if it's just enough to cover their costs. The only real alternative to advertising is to charge users. So, would you be willing to pay to use Pinterest?

  3. John Williams
    December 29, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Oh Wow! They've released a chocolate iPhone!? Should I start queueing for one now? I can't wait.
    I wonder why did Apple used MakeUseOf to slip this under the radar?

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      I got two for Christmas. Sadly, they're now sewage. [Insert joke about the real iPhone being crap here]

  4. Gunsmoke
    December 29, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I was having problems today with Twitter on my smartphone...but only had to come up with a new password and now its ok.

  5. David Kinlay
    December 29, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Just wish that Twitter would be more proactive about informing us about the outage

    • Michael C
      December 30, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      What were they suppose to do, Tweet you? :)

    • Michael C
      December 30, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      What were they suppose to do, Tweet you? :)

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Don't worry, that's what we're here for ;)

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