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Tech

X panic as viral hoax claims Gmail is shutting down

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A hoax statement purportedly issued by Google claimed that the search giant was shutting down its ubiquitous Gmail service — sending the internet into a panic.

The fake news release, which appeared to be addressed to the 1.8 billion users of the service worldwide and was posted on X, stated: “Google is sunsetting Gmail. After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.”

The notice, featuring the company’s logo, emerged shortly after Google announced it was pausing the release of its text-to-image AI tool Gemini following outcry over the software rendering factually and historically inaccurate images.

The statement even provided a specific date — Aug. 1, 2024 — as the deadline until which Gmail users would “be able to access and download all your emails.”

It ominously added, “After this date, Gmail accounts will become inaccessible.”

Spread quickly

The hoax swiftly spread across social media platforms, although many users were quick to identify it as false.

However, speculation arose that the hoax may have originated from Chris Bakke, a self-described tech entrepreneur known for internet pranks.

Bakke has a history of internet pranks, including using a photoshopped news article about McDonald’s Hamburglar to mock a New York Times profile of convicted Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, as reported by Business Insider.

Email platform

Gmail, with a user base of 1.8 billion people representing one-fifth of the world’s population, remains the most popular email platform globally.

Despite criticisms of Google’s privacy policies, including accusations of scanning user messages for targeted advertising, the company has affirmed its commitment to Gmail.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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News

Major Microsoft outage shuts down airlines, news and cloud servers worldwide

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A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks and telecommunications companies.

A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks, telecommunications companies.

There are also reports of outages in Japan and the United States.

The ongoing widespread outage is reportedly related to US-based cybersecurity provider CrowdStrike. Its ‘Falcon sensor’ is installed on many business computers to gather security data.

In a statement to Ticker News, StickmanCyber said:

“Multiple StickmanCyber security engineering and our 24×7/365 security operations teams across the country support reports that this outage is related to a CrowdStrike update. 
 
“It is our understanding that any business running versions 7.15 and 7.16 are affected by the outage, but 7.17 seems to be ok. We are waiting on official advisory from CrowdStrike on these findings but doing our best to help affected customers. It’s a lesson to always update your software, but obviously this is an extreme example. IT security tools are all designed to ensure that companies can continue to operate in the worst-case scenario of a data breach, so to be the root cause of a global IT outage is an unmitigated disaster.
 
“Crowdstrike support is offering a workaround to customers. It claims users may be able to fix the issue by booting windows in safe mode or in the Windows Recovery Environment and deleting a file named “C-00000291*.sys”.   

“CrowdStrike is aware of reports of crashes on Windows hosts related to the Falcon sensor,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“Symptoms include hosts experiencing a bugcheck\blue screen error related to the Falcon sensor. Our engineering teams are actively working to resolve this issue and there is no need to open a support ticket.

“Status updates will be posted below [on the Microsoft websit€0 as we have more information to share, including when the issue is resolved.”

Laptops down

Thousands of users across the world reported problems with Microsoft services to Downdector.com, a website that tracks service disruptions.

Microsoft laptops suddenly restarted across Australia on Friday afternoon.

Outage website Downdetector shows issues across companies including NAB, Bendigo Bank, Telstra, CBA, Google.

Microsoft response

As users take to social media to complain, Microsoft reported a service outage for its Microsoft 365 apps and services, affecting businesses and users across the world.

“We’re investigating an issue impacting users ability to access various Microsoft 365 apps and services,” Microsoft 365 Status said on X early Friday.

Microsoft didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

Frontier airlines

 

The outage forced low-cost airline Frontier to cancel some flights. “Our systems are currently impacted by a Microsoft outage, which is also affecting other companies,” Frontier said in a statement. “We appreciate your patience.” The carrier said it would offer refunds to affected passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Frontier asked it to pause the airline’s departures across the U.S. Thursday night. The ground stop was later lifted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It said it is “observing a positive trend in service availability” as it continues to mitigate the problem.

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Money

Netflix expands use of ads despite slow subscriber growth

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Netflix is intensifying its efforts to introduce an ad-supported tier amidst a plateau in subscriber growth.

The streaming giant hopes to attract new users and boost revenue by offering a cheaper alternative that includes advertisements.

This move marks a significant shift from its traditional ad-free model, reflecting Netflix’s response to competitive pressures and evolving consumer preferences.

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News

Tech researchers argue that ChatGPT’s AI comedy is beating humans to the punchline

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ChatGPT has taken to the stand-up stage, with some researchers arguing that AI has finally beaten humans to the punchline.

GenAI takes the next leap forward, now targeting the comedy scene – but will the machines get the last laugh?

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss all the latest AI updates. #featured

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