Tech News of the Week (10/22)

Boy was there a lot that happened this week! So lets dig right in, shall we?

The Internet Goes Down!

Jen must have dropped it…

The truth of the matter was that hackers took down a major DNS server. DNS stands for Domain Name Server or Service. It’s what tells your computer that “” actually translates to a numerical address, which gives the location of the server that the site or service is stored.  The way the hackers accomplished this feat was through a DDoS attack, which means denial of service.  Essentially they send an overwhelming amount of data to the server, and when the server can’t take it anymore, it shuts down.  I imagine it goes something like when I visit the elementary school to have lunch with my kid for their birthday. Too many children all talking at once! You guys know what I’m talking ’bout!


Major sites were affected including Twitter and Pinterest.  Fortunately we all still had Facebook! Phew! So, if you noticed some of your favorite sites not quite working yesterday, that’s what happened.  No, it wasn’t your computer or your internet.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo announced a brand new, long awaited console.  It looks pretty amazing.  It is a regular console, when you are sitting at your house, and then you can pull it out and it can be a stand alone gaming system (like a pretty large DS). There are small controllers that can attach to the side for easy access and storage, or to just use them while attached as controllers for the tablet mode.  Take a look at the video…

The announcement somewhat angered my husband, who has been wanting Nintendo to get out of the console wars altogether, and just lease their titles to HD consoles like xbox and Playstation.  I think this is a pretty great move on their part. They understand their target, and they are building for that. They know Nintendo isn’t going to get hard core gaming titles like Bioshock and Uncharted, and they are playing to that strength in making a great device that can be anywhere you need it to be.

Movies on Us by Vudu


This week Vudu (my favorite video streaming service ever) announced an AWESOME addition to their offerings called Movies on Us.  It’s a collection of select titles that you can view with commercial interruption.  If you own one of the titles, you will still be able to watch it without commercials, but this totally just increased my already large video collection!  I am very excited to put it to use!

Google Flights

Google has been working on a great tool to help you know about flight price changes.  This would have been SO helpful recently, when my husband booked a flight to Southern California for the PlayStation Experience, and then not even 24 hours later the flight was $80 cheaper.  Same flight, same airline. He was able to call in and cancel his flight and book a new one since he was within 24 hours, so it’s SUPER helpful to be notified of these price changes!

Getting by with a little help from your Facebook Friends

I noticed this the other day, and had to look and see what it was all about.  A friend of mine asked for a recommendation on an HVAC guy.  When I responded, there was a place to enter the recommendation!  It KNEW that she was asking for something like that!  From the Facebook blog “When you write a Facebook post looking for advice on local places or services, you’ll have the option to turn on Recommendations for that post. If you turn on the feature, your friends can comment on your post with suggestions, and you’ll see all of them mapped out and saved in one place. You can also go to your Recommendations bookmark on Facebook (desktop only) to ask a new question or help your friends.”


You can also purchase tickets and order food from certain places, get a quote or request an appointment, and discover local events.  I love when things I use become even MORE useful!!

WhatsApp Adds SnapChat


Since Instagram did it, WhatsApp decided to get on board and offer ways to customize and enhance photos you share within their app, that looks an awful lot like SnapChat’s feature set.  With so many different ways to communicate the same information, it’s very curious who will win these wars.

Amazon Fire TV Gets Flexible

Last, but certainly not least, Amazon Fire TV operating system is opening itself up a bit.  I guess they figured out there was more content out there than just Amazon stuff. Instead of only being able to search across their library, you will soon be able to search across all platforms (such as Netflix), and if the title you are looking for is free on one of the platforms it will let you know. Netflix can even now feature one of their programs on the home screen startup to help you know about it’s new show. Not only do I love when things become more useful, I LOVE when tech companies let their customers decide what they want to see and how they want to use their technology.

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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