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Yahoo! hit! by! hour-long! downtime! blues!

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Yahoo.com went titsup for about an hour yesterday afternoon, but the company hasn't explained what went wrong yet.

“For a brief period this afternoon, Yahoo.com was inaccessible to some users. We have identified the issue and are working to correct it immediately. We know that this may have caused some inconvenience and we apologise to our users who might have been affected,” said Yahoo!'s top flack Kryssa Guntrum in a statement.

According to reports Yahoo.com, which claims to be "the world's most visited homepage" had a little lie-down at around 2:15pm (US Pacific day time) yesterday.

Users across the world grumbled that the website failed to load, and instead carried a static "Connection Timed Out" message.

Only the main portal and search engine were affected by the downtime. Users said they could still gain slow access to other parts of the Yahoo! online estate, including mail, games and the firm's popular answers page.

Last week the Carol Bartz-headed web company tweaked its search engine, which is in the process of switching over to Microsoft's Bing technology.

Yahoo! is trying to reposition itself as a place for users to go and get the best "experience" out of search, basically by prettifying how results are presented via the portal.

It's possible that last week's interface overhaul could have suffered a few teething problems yesterday.

The timing of Yahoo!'s little lie-down was unfortunate, given all the chatter on the interwebulator about the company being circled by AOL, News Corp. and various private equity outfits, all of whom have mulled the possibility of a merger or buyout of the purple portal. ®

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