Amusing @SochiProblems spotlights early Olympics fails

By now you've surely heard about the myriad problems encountered by reporters arriving early in Sochi, Russia, this week in advance of the Winter Olympics. There are the odd toilet arrangements, the mobs of stray dogs, unfinished hotel rooms without doorknobs -- and those are just the fun parts of winter tourism in Russia!

The stories and images of a city that didn't quite manage to transform itself into a world-class resort town before the start of the games (despite the whopping $50 billion spent to reach that goal) are all over the Web, television, radio, and social networks. There are so many hilarious examples of tandem toilets, falling ceiling fixtures, and general disarray that it's almost exhausting, like any other meme with serious legs. In fact, someone should make sure this meme hasn't been taking virality-enhancing drugs.… Read more

Sochi visitors entering hacking 'minefield' by firing up electronics

If you've read anything about the Sochi Olympics over the last few days, there's as much a chance that it was about broken and unfinished infrastructure as actual athletics. And now comes word that hackers are having a field day with unsuspecting Sochi visitors.

According to an NBC News report, unprepared Olympics attendees are being hacked the second they fire up their electronic devices.

NBC reporter Richard Engel worked with a security expert to set up two test computers in order to see just how quickly he'd be attacked when logging onto Russian networks. But, he reported, … Read more

Are in-flight phone calls in our future?

CNET Update dials in:

In this episode of Update:

- You may have to invest in noise-canceling headphones if airlines allow passengers to make in-flight calls with their cellphones.

- Learn how Walmart is preparing to battle Amazon for Black Friday.

- Get a free BlackBerry Z10 from some carriers (that is, if you actually want one).

- Get caught up on the verdict of the Apple v. Samsung trial for damages (hint: it's not pretty for Samsung).

- Listen to the horrible grinding sounds that some unfortunate Xbox One owners heard when they put a disc into their … Read more

iOS 7 upgraders reporting installation, iTunes issues

The update to iOS 7 has not been smooth sailing for all.

Many users on Twitter, as well as on Apple's support site are reporting issues when attempting to install the update, which went out earlier today.

Affected users are reporting that the downloads will stop, with a warning error pop-up that says the "software update failed." Others are saying they cannot connect to the iTunes Store to update apps.

The likely culprit is that Apple's servers, which are pushing out the update over the air as well as through iTunes, are being hit by many … Read more

So, how's your 2013 Nexus 7 holding up?

The new Nexus 7 is the best Android tablet yet and surpasses the iPad Mini in performance, screen clarity, and, at $229 undercuts, Apple's mini slate by a full $100. However, as with many consumer electronics products, Google's latest has experienced its fair share of launch technical difficulties.

I'll detail some of those difficulties below, but first it's important to note that not every Nexus 7 unit is experiencing these problems. I reviewed the tablet in July and my review unit has yet to play host to any of these particular problems.

There was a bit … Read more

Apple's iMessage, FaceTime experiencing problems

Two of Apple's communication networks, iMessage and FaceTime, are currently experiencing outages for some users.

According to Apple's fancy system status page, the issues for the two services began just after noon PT.

iMessage, of course, is Apple's proprietary messaging platform that works between iOS and OS X users. FaceTime is the company's live video chat service, also for those two platforms. Affected users report being unable to send or receive iMessages or FaceTime video calls.

This is not the first outage for either service, though iMessage has historically experienced more problems. This latest follows one … Read more

Some Surface covers are splitting seams

CNET Update is counting the cracks:

Friday's tech news roundup looks at Priceline's biggest deal yet. It negotiated to buy rival travel website Kayak for $1.8 billion.

Microsoft is replacing broken Touch Covers for the Surface tablet. Some customers have reported seams splitting where the keyboard cover connects to the tablet.

Verizon plans to roll out 4G LTE to all of its coverage areas in the U.S. by mid-2013.

GameFly, the Netflix for video games, has launched an online shop for PC game downloads. Subscribers of GameFly have unlimited access to play hundreds of Windows games. … Read more

SpaceX rocket engine shut down at launch

Monday's CNET Update finds a few problems:

Although it appeared to be a flawless launch, there was a problem with one of the engines of the SpaceX Falcon 9. About a minute after takeoff, one of the engines detected a drop in pressure and shut down. Video posted on YouTube shows debris falling off in what some have called an explosion. SpaceX said the engine did not explode, but rather the protective fairing for the engine ruptured due to the pressure change. The other engines compensated for the failed engine, as was designed to happen if there was a … Read more

Myspace gets a new face

Tuesday's CNET Update is bringing sexy back to Myspace:

Myspace is getting an extreme makeover. The former king of social media has a video teaser of what the site's relaunch will look like. It's focused around displaying your photos, videos and music in a horizontal-scrolling profile. It looks like a mash-up between Pinterest and Microsoft's Windows 8 interface.

Music is still a major part of Myspace. There's an area to create playlist mixes, and those mixes can also have photos. (You could post a party playlist along with the party photos, for example.) There's … Read more

Some users reporting Wi-Fi issues with iPhone 5

Comments about Wi-Fi issues with the iPhone 5 are beginning to pile up on user forums.

While the cause of the issue is not clear at this stage, a thread on Apple's Support Communities page makes repeated references to Wi-Fi router security settings.

"I deactivate... the WPA2 Personal Wifi Security [on the router] and the iphone started to browse the web normally," wrote one poster identified as C4RLOCO, on the Support Communities forum.

And Apple enthusiast site MacRumors, has its own thread on the topic titled "Painfully slow WiFi on new iPhone 5."

This issue … Read more