Today's Tech: Google Talk and Twitter both crash, YouTube pulls Olympic dress rehearsal footage, Mountain Lion reviewed

It hasn’t been a banner day for online communication - both Google Talk and Twitter experienced outages that left users across the globe locked out of those popular services. The GTalk disruption, which was first reported around 11:40, lasted for a few hours before it was eventually restored. Twitter’s outage, however, endures. Ironically, it came after GTalk users took to the micro-blogging site to complain about the crash of their messaging client of choice. Neither company has yet revealed details about the causes of their respective service failures.

Days before Apple and Samsung’s patent infringement trial is set to kick off on 30 July, a California judge has sanctioned the Korean company for destroying evidence related to the case. As per Judge Paul Grewal’s ruling, jurors will be told that Samsung failed to preserve email evidence related to the case by not amending its email system, which automatically deletes messages after two weeks, unless specifically saved by employees.

Google, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon have banded together, along with still-unnamed Internet companies, to form a lobby group that will wine-and-dine Washington decision-makers on their behalf. The group, to be named the Internet Association, will be headed by former congressional staffer Michael Beckerman. The group’s focus will be to “strengthen and protect an open, innovative and free Internet,” which it describes as “the greatest engine of economic growth and prosperity the world has ever known.”

The Olympics’ opening ceremony is now only a day away, with all eyes shifting to East London ahead of film director Danny Boyle’s £27 million artistic spectacular tomorrow night. Some lucky punters were granted a sneak-peak of the 55-year-old’s ‘Isles of Wonder’ extravaganza earlier in the week, prompting controversy after videos of the dress rehearsal began to surface on YouTube despite direct pleas from the IOC and the movie man himself to ‘#savethesurprise,’ as the global Twitter movement was dubbed. The video sharing site has predictably pulled the clips at the IOC’s behest since, with some Olympic organisers going so far as encouraging social networkers to shop people they know to be distributing footage of the exclusive preview event.

Yesterday, Apple released the latest iteration of its Mac OS, the eagerly anticipated Mountain Lion. ITProPortal covered the story yesterday, of course, but since we love Thursdays so much we’ve gone one better today, venturing an in-depth review of the new software. Does it get our venerated ‘Best Buy’ status? You’ll have to click on to get the full scoop, though since we are a bit of a comp-tease, we will give away a little in our digest: the extensive cloud-based sync features got two big thumbs up, but we did notice a few inconsistencies in the overall interface.