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Power cuts shut down MySpace.com

The social-networking site MySpace.com suffered extended outages over the weekend because of power problems at a key data centre in the Los Angeles area.

In a message to MySpace users, the company co-founder and president Tom Anderson said MySpace "has been screwy" since Saturday because of failures in both the main power supply and the backup generators. Visitors to the site were given an opportunity to play Pac-Man while waiting for the restoration of their personal profile pages.

The company blamed a heat wave in California that has increased electricity demand and left tens of thousands of customers in southern California without power.

The first outage at MySpace lasted more than six hours. The second began about 9.30pm Sunday (local time) and continued until 9am yesterday.

MySpace said power had been restored and the site was back up, but the company warned that sporadic outages were still possible.

According to Netcraft , a British company that monitors website performance, MySpace was completely offline for about 90 minutes on Sunday. The rest of the time, profiles were inaccessible as MySpace had a temporary page with the Pac-Man game and an outage announcement.

MySpace said it was exploring ways to prevent a recurrence.

Driven largely by word of mouth, MySpace has rapidly risen to become the second-busiest site in the United States, behind Yahoo, according to comScore Media Metrix. MySpace's 96 million registered users can expand their circles of friends through profile pages, photo sharing and other tools provided by the free, ad-supported site.