Our new database server was added into the mix in the early hours of this morning (CET), and with it came a few problems such as high server loads and inability to post comments on newsposts. This is being looked into right now and hopefully we'll be back to full service today.
We also can't post news at the moment, and there are a bunch of staff related things that still need fixing (we can still warn members though )
On behalf of the Neowin team, thanks for your patience and support, it is appreciated.
I forgot to mention that this is the reason members can't log into IRC at the moment. Those still logged in are unaffected by the IRC issues.