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Amazon's Crash Damages Sales and Shares, Insurance Data Breach Affects 470,000

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Highlights from this morning's other big tech headlines....
  • When free services like Twitter and Google crash, users may caterwaul and whine, but the sites don't immediately suffer from significant revenue loss. Outages certainly penalize online retailers, though. Amazon endured a rare three-hour crash yesterday, leading to a 7.8-percent drop in shares by the market's Tuesday close. Based on total revenue, analysts estimate the site burned through approximately $51,400 per minute. [From: CNET]
  • Hackers recently attacked WellPoint, a health insurer which reportedly covers 34 million people. As a result of the breach, the company notified 470,000 individual customers that confidential information, including medical records and credit card numbers, may have been compromised. It's imperative that consumers actively protect their information (as exemplified in these 10 methods), because cyber-criminals have accessed at least 358,400,000 records belonging to U.S. citizens over the past five years. [From: CBS News]
  • Location-based technology has inspired a dramatic progression in social networking, even forcing established platforms like Twitter and Facebook to respond to services that rely on mobile social software (MoSoSo). Foursquare, a MoSoSo pioneer, is currently reaping the benefits of that expanding popularity, as Silicon Valley investors -- after a $95 million valuation -- just plunged $20 million of venture funding into the site. [From: All Things Digital via The Huffington Post]
  • According to leaked internal documents, Apple had actually prepared for the iPhone 4 "Antenna Attenuation" fallout, and provided employees with scripted responses and tips for appeasing angry customers. The document in question included predictable corporate speak, including: "The iPhone 4's wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped," and "It is a fact of life in the wireless world." [From: Mashable]
  • Google actively (and almost desperately) pursues relevance in the competitive social networking market. The next step in the systematic diversification of the Buzz service reportedly involves an expanded intertwining with Social Search. Social Search will now harvest information from all public social networking services, and not just the ones that users add to their Google Profiles. [From: Mashable]
  • The last year has been ominously quiet for MapQuest. The 14-year-old company isn't content with a subservient role to Google and Bing, though, and has now launched a major brand redesign. MapQuest has announced numerous changes and updates, including an upgraded search box, a personalized My Maps feature and improved integration with various AOL services. [From: Mapquest and Mapquest Blog]

Tags: amazon, apple, buzz, FourSquare, google buzz, GoogleBuzz, identitytheft, Iphone4, IphoneReception, mapquest, morningxtra, mososo, socialsearch, top, Wellpoint