The place where Geeks Blog.

Monthly archives for November, 2011

Spotify Apps

Spotify have just announced something rather cool, Spotify Apps.

This looks like it could be a great new way to incorporate more functionality into Spotify with the addition of Apps for things like lyrics and artist information it will certainly add a whole new level to your music listening experience.

As a Spotify Premium customer myself I can’t wait to see what this will be like to use in day-to-day listening and if/how they will work this into the mobile phone apps.

What do you think of Spotify Apps? Let us know in the comments below!

Google acquires Apture

It’s recently been announced that in an interesting acquisition Google has now acquired Apture.

Apture is a great service which I use on most of my blogs, which provides “instantaneous access to information with its award-winning in-page search technology. Its products let readers immediately find and browse the best content from across the web – in one window”.

With customers including the New York Times, Financial Times & Reader’s Digest they have built a useful and widely used tool, this however will change on December 20th as they plan to discontinue all services and products.

It seems this is purely a talent acquisition for Google as  they have stated that “we think now is the best time to expand our efforts by joining Google’s Chrome team to help build the next generation user experience directly into the web.”

I look forward to seeing how Google try to incorporate the  concepts the Apture team have developed and how this will be integrated with Google’s Chrome Browser. It does however seem a great shame that Google doesn’t appear to be continuing the maintenance of the existing Apture services as this will be quite a decrement to some bloggers and site owners who use the service to help improve the readers experience.

HSBC Systems Down – Ground Control, we have a problem.

It appears that for at least the past hour Since 14:45 GMT HSBC’s banking systems have been a total no go after a total system crash (meltdown), with Internet Banking services down and it appears other systems including withdrawals and even card transactions being unavailable. We have to ask, what’s happening at HSBC, and how can this be allowed to happen to such important systems as banking.



Errors include infamous Internal Error 500’s:


People having issues withdrawing money:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/Darr3nL/status/132476359233650689″]

Cards being refused:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/anna_anna/status/132476518042566656″]

On Twitter @HSBC_UK_Online is doing a fair job at tryng to comfort consumers that the systems are being worked on and users are being told to follow @hsbc_uk_press for updates on the situation.

It’s rumored this could be a network failure at HSBC and we will try to keep you updated as learns more on this situation.

Update 16:10: We have learn that this is also effecting First Direct who have also confirmed issues.

Update 16:14: We have also noted images failing to load on due to apparent 404’s, which may be connected to the issues.

Update 16:33: Business internet banking now appears to be functioning fine, and Personal accounts are able to login, but then receive an error stating “Sorry, there appears to be a system problem. Please try again later. (085)”. Other users report they are able to access online banking.

Update 16:47: ATMs should now be back online – [blackbirdpie url=”!/hsbc_uk_press/status/132498588700905472″]

Update 16:50: Internet banking & cards now backonline – [blackbirdpie url=”!/hsbc_uk_press/status/132499948305530880″]

Final Update: – What actually happened?

HSBC stated: “Just before 3pm today HSBC in the UK experienced an IT outage that affected our online banking services, some of our ATMs and some of our customers debit card transactions. The problem was located and resolved at 4pm, and all of systems recovered by 4.30pm. “

In a previous update HSBC did specifically state that the outage was with a Mainframe.

They have also said they will ensure customers are not financially impacted due to the failure and that all pending payments have now been cleared & processed.