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Stock market crash cripples financial Web sites

The stock market crash on Thursday afternoon took financial Web sites down with it, as people hurried online to make trades and check their investments. Yahoo Finance, Fidelity.com and Google Finance are among the sites that people complained were unavailable or slow for a period during the afternoon.A Yahoo spokeswoman would say only that Yahoo Finance experienced intermittent issues. Google said a small percentage of visitors may have experienced “sluggishness” for a brief period of time. Fidelity said it saw near-record peak transaction volumes and had intermittent slowness but no interruption throughout the day.

Universal adapters recalled by Targus

More than 500,000 units of Targus’ Universal Wall Power Adapters for laptops have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Universal power adapters typically come with multiple tips that connect a wall power adapter to a laptop. The CPSC said in a statement last week that faulty wiring caused some tips to heat and melt plastic casing, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Comarco, which manufactured the power adapters for Targus, has received 518 reports of connector tips heating, according to CPSC. The CPSC has asked users to stop using the product and call the company for a free replacement.

VMware acquiring database software firm

VMware’s SpringSource is acquiring database-caching software company GemStone Systems, the company announced Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With this purchase, VMware will obtain a set of technologies and expertise to address one of the major bottlenecks in cloud computing, that of scaling databases. GemStone’s flagship software is GemFire Enterprise, an in-memory caching database for distributed platforms. In-memory databases work by storing the entire database within working memory, eliminating, or at least delaying, the time-intensive process of writing to and reading from a database on a disk.

Google Calendar crashes twice in one week

Google Calendar suffered a major outage on Thursday, the second crash in the past week for the company’s hosted calendaring application. Thursday’s problem, which Google acknowledged at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, affected a majority of Calendar users and locked them out of their accounts. Google declared the issue resolved at 1 p.m., according to information on the Google Apps Status Dashboard. On Wednesday last week, Google Calendar had an outage and performance problems that affected some users for about an hour, after “an unusually large” number of synchronization requests from the mobile Android platform bogged down servers.

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