Seeing an error message on your Samsung phone, tablet or Smart TV today? You're not alone, as the Samsung.com website appears to be down and owners worldwide have reported anything from error messages to being unable to access apps on their smart TVs. Reports have spread on Twitter -- mostly from a community news site called Wikitree -- that a fire at a Samsung SDS building in Gwacheon, South Korea is the culprit. We've contacted Samsung but haven't heard anything back yet, and while some of its social media pages have noted the outage, there isn't an official explanation posted.

Update: Naturally now that we've mentioned it, the outage that lasted several hours appears to have ended around 6:15AM ET. Many of the same users who were having problems with their smart TVs and phones seem to have full access again, and Samsung.com is back up and running. A Samsung SDS blog post confirms the fire and subsequent outage, while apologizing for the inconvenience. Despite some scary photos and video of the blaze (after the break) Korean news reports indicate there were no fatalities. The big question left? Why a fire at one location seemed to have such a large affect on the company's devices and services.


[Thanks, Mark & Martin!]

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Taylor Schilling in a scene from Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” Season 2. Photo credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix.

House of Cards is probably Netflix's most-discussed original series, but fans of Orange is the New Black would argue it matches Frank Underwood & Co. in both deviousness and quality. As usual, the entire second season will premiere at once on June 6th, and it should be an even wilder ride than the first time around, as shown in this trailer (embedded after the break). The gang is back, including Piper, her ex Alex Vause played by Laura Prepon, Crazy Eyes, Pennsatucky and all the rest. Netflix isn't the only service or channel investing in original content to set itself apart, but over the last year or so it's been one of the most consistently successful, and with new additions like Sense8 and Marco Polo coming soon, those trying to catch up will face a tough job in prying any of its 30 million+ customers loose.

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Sony just announced sales of seven million PlayStation 4 consoles and promised more details on its upcoming software update would follow soon, now here they are. We still don't have an exact timetable for when firmware 1.70 will arrive, but now we know more about its new "SHAREfactory" video editor and that game pre-loading is in the update. Many people are familiar with pre-loading via Steam and other PC services, which allows gamers to download pre-ordered games ahead of their release, then simply unlock the digital copy on the day it's "released." All it takes is enabling the PS4's "auto download" feature, and you're done, no more waiting while overloaded servers choke on release day.

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Nov. 14, 2011 - Irvine, California, U.S. - Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, 20, right, is the inventor of a virtual reality gami

Last month's news that Facebook bought startup Oculus VR for $2 billion spurred many loud and often furious reactions from gamers and especially those who participated in the project's initial Kickstarter. If you're among those wondering what's next for Oculus and haven't been convinced by the written words of founder Palmer Luckey and others (including John Carmack and Sony's Shuhei Yoshida), perhaps hearing them will make a difference. Reviewed.com tracked down Luckey at the PAX East event today and got him on camera talking about Oculus and Facebook. As he's expressed before, Luckey says the plan is to "promote the long-term adoption of virtual reality, not short-term financial returns." In his words "the games industry is the only industry that's really well equipped to build interactive immersive 3D worlds," so don't expect the focus of Oculus to suddenly change now that it's in cahoots with Zuckerberg and company. So, after a couple of weeks to think about it -- and the addition of notable former Valve / iD software employee Mike Abrash to the Oculus team -- how do you feel about the acquisition now?

(Iribe/Luckey Photo:Ana Venegas/The Orange County Register/ZUMAPRESS.com)

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Chvrches concert at Columbiahalle in March 2014

It's that time of year once again: Google and T-Mobile are streaming the Coachella festival live on YouTube. Tune in between April 11th and April 13th and you'll see big-name musicians play without making a pilgrimage to Indio. Much of the experience will be familiar if you've watched before. However, there is a social twist to this year's proceedings -- if you're in a Hangouts video chat at the right moment, you'll have a chance to speak with artists like Chvrches and Zedd while they're backstage. Yes, you may have a better time than fans who paid a premium to be there in person. We wouldn't count on getting that VIP treatment, but it's undoubtedly an added incentive to start streaming.

[Image credit: Viktor Rosenfeld, Flickr]

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Since you're here, we figure you're pretty comfortable in using the internet to get your news. CNN has noticed that trend as well, and is making the jump to the next generation with CNNx. Initially available as an update for CNN's iPad app but intended for other set-top boxes and CNN.com in the future (no word on Android, iPhone or other mobile platforms, although live streaming is already widely available), it lets viewers skip through any story segments that have aired in the last 24 hours -- unfortunately that doesn't include The Daily Show's takedowns of its coverage, but you can see a screenshot of the app after the break.. That should end the frustration felt when you flip to the channel halfway through one interesting segment, and are faced with sitting through an hour of disaster-of-the-minute coverage to find out all the information. There's more than just video (live or on-demand) too, with related articles, pictures and social media just a click away.

CNN is a cable channel though, so you'll need a login from a participating provider (DirecTV, Cox and Verizon FiOS right now, but it will come to all services later this year) to use the TV Everywhere service, just like HBO Go. It's not live in the app store for us to try out just yet, but it will arrive later today. For now, there is a video preview explaining what CNNx is all about -- give it a peek and see if the ability to cherry-pick interesting stories is enough to pull you back into the 24-hour cable news cycle.

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When Phil Spencer was appointed the new head of Xbox following the departure of longtime lead Marc Whitten, he promised a re-focus on gaming across all Microsoft platforms. That wasn't a huge surprise, of course -- most folks know Spencer as the Microsoft Studios guy; the guy who makes game deals; the guy who speaks at E3 about games during Microsoft's keynote. While that's all accurate, Spencer is also a longtime Microsoft employee, starting as a programmer and working his way up. In an interview with Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Spencer detailed that 26 year history and how it led him to the lofty position he's in today.

Beyond the history lesson, Spencer teased out at least one juicy tidbit: "we've got a game we haven't announced yet, we're gonna show on stage at E3." Unannounced games at E3? Get right out! Joking aside, he said it's got a "fantastic setting" and a "soulful" feeling (comparisons were made to indie darlings Limbo and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons). Color us intrigued.

Join us below for a bulleted list of quick facts about the man charged with running Microsoft's gaming division, and the full video interview from Microsoft.

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In a three-hour hearing today (watch it here or embedded after the break; read the statements here), executives for Comcast and Time Warner Cable joined a few others taking questions about their proposed $45 billion merger. Unfortunately, after pushing a 180-page explanation of how great an idea the merger is to the FCC yesterday, Comcast's David Cohen and Time Warner Cable's Arthur Minson didn't have much new to say. Senators including Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee grilled the execs with questions about rising cable rates, channel bundles and network neutrality, mostly garnering the same answers we've heard before. Franken's questioning stood out, pointing out comments Comcast made during its acquisition of NBCUniversal citing Time Warner Cable as a competitor that could help keep it in check, even though now it says they don't compete for customers.

The prospect of the two companies joining to create one vertically integrated giant controlling both content and means of access to content for millions of people loomed over the proceedings. Comcast took the opportunity to announce higher speeds on two of its internet tiers in the Northeast, and call out its growing network of WiFi hotspots for customers, while once again promising new features and better tech for TWC areas. Still, with so many networks and access for 30 million customers potentially under one brand, Comcast/TWC's arguments about competition from Google Fiber, Netflix (which Comcast said it didn't fear in 2011), telcos and satellite didn't seem to hit the right notes.

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Here's the thing about Amazon: We can't figure the company out half the time. Few things embody that quite as well as the Fire TV. The company is adamant that the set-top box is not a gaming console, but it's invested heavily in original game development for it and even produced a shockingly good gamepad accessory. Still, video games are just a "bonus." One of the pillars of the streaming-media box is supposed to be openness, but there's no denying that other services like Netflix are treated like second-class citizens here. They're invited to the party; they just better not outshine the host.

The Fire TV may be the next step for Amazon as it tries to build its own ecosystem, but it's also yet another entry in the crowded streaming-media market. And the big question is: Do we need another? We've got TV set-tops for cable, satellite and fiber (at one time joined by a disc player for movies and maybe a game system or two). The next-gen game consoles do double duty as entertainment hubs, and there's no shortage of cheap boxes designed specifically to stream Netflix, HBO Go and Pandora. Add in smart TVs and the rise of pint-sized dongles, and the question of what to watch becomes how to watch. The Fire TV is trying to muscle out competitors with its $99 price and a strong focus on performance, search and openness. Now that we've spent a few days living with one, we can judge whether it's just another option among many, or truly a standout that finally fixes problems the others have so far ignored.

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JUSTIFIED -- Wrong Roads -- Episode 509 (Airs Tuesday, March 11, 10:00 pm e/p -- Pictured: (L-R) Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, Eric Roberts as DEA Special Agent Alex Miller -- CR: Prashant Gupta/FX

Now that the men's NCAA basketball tournament is over, it's back to the post-March Madness grind. The second Hobbit movie is out on Blu-ray this week, but TV viewers will be waiting until Sunday for the premiere of the final season of Mad Men. Tonight though, we're tuning in to the season finale of Justified as our favorite Elmore Leonard character stomps around the hills and valleys of Kentucky doing his U.S. Marshal thing. Today is also the day the world is introduced to Titanfall on Xbox 360. Check after the break for trailers plus our weekly listing of what to look out for in TV, Blu-ray and gaming.

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Why should you have to listen to a sports commentator who's obviously pulling for the other team -- or one who's just plain boring? That's the question Dolby's out to answer with its personalized audio demo here at NAB. The company's showing attendees how they could enjoy a TV experience tailored to their preferences. Following through with the sports example mentioned above, this means different options for commentators during a hockey game. If you're a basketball fan watching the Spurs take on the Pacers while talking with friends on Skype, the system will recognize the VoIP service and mute other audio when they're speaking. Maybe you're more into The Voice; Dolby's tech could bring you audio from your favorite judge, excluding the opinions you don't want to hear.

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Looks like it's not just Microsoft that wants in on Netflix and Amazon's turf. The WSJ is reporting that Marissa Mayer wants Yahoo to produce sitcoms to air on its rumored new video service. According to those persons familiar with the matter, the CEO wants well-known names from TV to produce four, ten-episode series, each one budgeted between $700,000 and a few million dollars -- the going rate for the average network comedy. We won't have long to wait and see if the rumors are true, as Yahoo is said to announce the shows at an event on April 28th. Maybe this is the moment to get pitching our modern-day remake of The Facts of Life that's gonna make us all stars.

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Bruce WIllis in 12 Monkneys

If you're so enamored with time travel in TV shows that even Doctor Who isn't enough, we have good news: you're about to get a lot more of it. Syfy has ordered production of a series based on Terry Gilliam's classic movie 12 Monkeys. While the show will go without most of the apocalyptic flick's cast and crew when it airs in January 2015, its first season (appropriately 12 episodes long) will involve original producer Charles Roven as well as veteran actors from Nikita and X-Men: The Last Stand. The story arc will likely be familiar to anyone who watched the 1995 film -- or 1962's La Jetée, for that matter -- but we're not going to complain about revisiting one of sci-fi's most enduring concepts.

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We've long known that Titanfall was coming to the Xbox 360 in addition to the Xbox One but, aside from that sliver of info, there hasn't been much to go on -- unless you count release delays, that is. Now we're learning that on paper, at least, it won't stray too far from the Xbox One version's shadow when it comes out next week. The last-gen version has all of the maps, modes and features of the Respawn-developed game, but naturally some concessions have been made to accommodate the 360's nine-year-old hardware. As developer Bluepoint Games' senior producer Daryl Allison writes, the game can't hit the same frame rates as its sibling, but it runs "above 30 fps" -- around half the speed you'd get on the Xbox One.

Update: We still haven't seen the actual game on Xbox 360, but copies are apparently out there already. One YouTuber posted a video of the intro sequence including the BluePoint Games logo, but that's all you'll get since the servers aren't available yet -- check out the so-close-but-yet-so-far tease after the break.

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We came away relatively impressed with the Fire TV during our brief hands-on. But we all know that units set up specifically for press demonstrations are hardly the best indicator of how a device will function in the real world. So we immediately went back to our lair and began putting the newest kid on the streaming block through its paces. Once away from the carefully controlled demonstration area, it became clear that the Fire TV is more of a mixed bag -- and still tied to its Android/Google TV roots -- than Amazon would like you to believe.

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