Amazon is down; yes, you read that right (Update: it’s back)

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Amazon.com’s web page is down and there is no explanation as to what is going on. Pinging the site for the last 15 minutes yielded an “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable” message on an otherwise white screen.. The mobile app appeared to work fine and if users know which subsite they want, say books or video , they can get there by plugging in the appropriate URL.

We have calls into the e-commerce giant and will update this story when we hear back. Gizmodo was first to report on this at 11:25 p.m. PDT. As of 12:05 p.m. PDT, there were no indications of problems with Amazon Web Services on the AWS status page.

Update: As of 12:34 p.m. PDT, the main Amazon.com page was accessible again.

Since the subsites appear to have worked all along, the inactive main page could be due to a DNS configuration issue, or as some have claimed on Twitter, a DDOS (distributed denial of servie) attack on the site, as reported by  BetaBeat.

While there have been quite a few instances of Amazon Web Services glitches over the past year, for the main site of the online store to disappear is quite a big deal, as evidenced by user reaction rippling through Twitter (which had its own issues today) and other outlets.

Amazon has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Update: At 2:06 p.m. PDT  An Amazon spokesperson issued this comment via email: “The gateway page of Amazon.com was offline to some customers for approximately 49 minutes.  Other pages of the site were accessible and AWS was not impacted.”

This story was updated several times during the day.

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