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There’s certainly no shortage of competition when it comes to creating news reader applications for the iPad, from Flipboard to Pulse to Zite. That’s why execution for any would-be entrants needs to be near flawless.

But Seattle startup Evri, which released a new version of its news reader app earlier this month for the iPad, hit a tough stumbling block last week after a hardware failure knocked servers offline.

“Although traffic levels looked fine, news articles were moving through the system smoothly, etc., the down time had created a creeping backlog of requests to create new user accounts,” explained vice president of product Adrian Klein in a blog post. “By the end of the week things got bad enough that more than half of our first-time users weren’t able to connect at all. To make things even worse, they got an error message saying that there was a problem with general network connectivity. Which just wasn’t true – the problem was all on our end.”

Klein apologized to users who were unable to access the loading screen, but he said the problem has since been fixed.

“To the thousands of folks who gave Evri for iPad a try last week and weren’t able to get past the loading screen: we’re sorry,” he wrote. “We’re sorry we didn’t have a chance to show you what we’re all about, but we’re even more sorry that you got such a confusing error message from us.”

Founded in 2007 and bankrolled by Paul Allen, Evri’s new iPad app is designed to allow users to create news channels around tens of thousands of topic areas.

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