Syria's Internet goes dark for several hours

After a more than seven-hour blackout, it appears the Internet has returned to Syria.

On Thursday morning several Internet monitoring firms began reporting a halt of online traffic in and out of the war-torn country. While it was clear something was amiss, it was unclear who or what was causing the outage.

In the past, divergent players such as the online hacking collective Anonymous or the Syrian Electronic Army -- a President Bashar Assad loyalist group -- have waged attacks on the country's Internet. However, Thursday's outage appears to have two different sources.

First, a group calling itself … Read more

T-Mobile employee blackout hints at Sept. 20 iPhone launch

T-Mobile employees are reportedly being kept from logging any vacation time between September 20 through the 22nd, the same weekend Apple's next iPhones are expected to go on sale.

That's according to TmoNews, which citing unnamed sources, says it's likely iPhone related.

A T-Mobile spokesman declined to comment on the report, calling it rumor and speculation.

Employee blackouts can often times be a good indicator of when a major product is expected to launch. That was the case last August, when both Verizon and AT&T slated staff vacation blackouts beginning on September 21, which ended … Read more

Teen's amazing DIY Iron Man suit is superhero chic

On his Blackout Props Facebook page, Archie Whitehead introduces himself, saying, "Hi! I'm 17 and have just got into special effects, props, and costumes." By "just got into," he actually means, "I just build an awesome wearable Iron Man suit from scratch while you were busy surfing cat videos online."

The materials for the suit alone cost around $500. Some portions of the costume are made from foam rubber. Automotive spray paint gives it the glossy, just-built-by-a-billionaire look. Battle scars across the helmet hint at some epic conflict. It took several months to put the costume together.… Read more

Anonymous declares war on Syrian government Web sites

Concluding that the Syrian government was responsible for the country's Internet blackout, the online hacktivist group Anonymous has announced a campaign against Syrian government Web sites hosted outside the country.

The Middle Eastern country began experiencing an Internet outage earlier today, and many people on Twitter reported that phone lines are down as well. All 84 of Syria's IP address blocks have become unreachable, effectively removing the country from the Internet, according to Renesys, which operates a real-time grid that continuously monitors Internet routing data.

Anonymous said it had conducted an "exhaustive analysis" of the blackout … Read more

Blackout: Syria vanishes from Internet

Syria, ravaged by a vicious civil war, has now lost contact with the outside world.

The Middle Eastern country has been experiencing an Internet outage for several hours, and many people on Twitter are reporting that phone lines are down as well. In addition, some airlines are canceling flights to Damascus.

According to Renesys, which operates a real-time grid that continuously monitors Internet routing data, all 84 of Syria's IP address blocks have become unreachable, effectively removing the country from the Internet. The outage started at 10:26 UTC (12:26 p.m. in Damascus or 5:26 a.… Read more

How to keep your devices charged up during a blackout

The night Hurricane Sandy hit New York, I had no reason to believe the power in Manhattan would go out. After all, Hurricane Irene the year before had left the lights on here, even if big swaths of NYC's outer boroughs and suburbs lost power.

But, almost as an afterthought, I pulled out a bulky Dell laptop I had sitting around (just visible in the bottom left of the photo above) and plugged it in to charge its internal battery, just to have as many charged-up devices on hand as possible. Of course, the lights did go out in … Read more

Smartphone survival guide: How to stretch your battery life

With the smartphone increasingly becoming the lifeline for any household, keeping it alive is more important than ever.

But with Hurricane Sandy barreling its way across the East Coast, thousands of homes face the prospect of losing power for several days. That's bad news for power-hungry smartphones, many of which can barely last a day with normal use.

Fear not. CNET has compiled this handy smartphone survival guide to make the most out of your phone's battery. If a power outage hits, you'll know exactly what to do to ensure you remain connected. … Read more

Viacom escalates DirecTV fight, pulls popular shows from Web

The programming dispute between DirecTV and Viacom is starting to affect the general population, with Viacom escalating the issue by pulling some of its popular shows from the Internet.

"The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report," and "Jersey Shore" are among the popular shows no longer available online as of yesterday. Other shows, such as "South Park," remain online, and back episodes of some pulled shows can still be found on Hulu.

DirecTV and Viacom have been arguing over how much a distributor should pay an entertainment company for content. Amid that fight, … Read more

MTV, Comedy Central, other Viacom channels go dark for DirecTV

DirecTV and Viacom failed to reach a new deal on programming fees, resulting in a blackout of many popular cable networks, including MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.

The blackout is the result of the latest dispute between entertainment companies and the distributors, which include cable, telecom, and satellite TV providers. There have been an increasing amount of disagreements over how much distributors have to pay to carry the various networks, resulting in public spats such as this.

Viacom confirmed the blackout on its blog earlier today.

"We are deeply disappointed that DirecTV dropped Viacom's channels before our midnight … Read more

DirecTV-Viacom spat may black out top cable channels today

DirecTV customers may soon need to get their "Jersey Shore" and "Daily Show" fix elsewhere.

A dispute over terms of a new distribution agreement between DirecTV and Viacom, which operates channels such as MTV and Comedy Central, could leave millions of satellite-TV customers without their favorite cable channels if a deal isn't struck by midnight tonight.

DirecTV has rejected all of Viacom's proposal, and has proposed an offer that is below the industry rate, Viacom said in a blog post late yesterday.

DirecTV said the companies continue to talk. It also create a siteRead more