Facebook Goes Down for an Hour, As Drone Crashes into White House [Tech News Digest]
Facebook suffers outage, drone crashes into White House, Microsoft announces financials, Nest replaces Dropcams, Funny or Die thinks weather is funny, and the BMW ad celebrating ignorance.
Facebook was Down, Albeit Briefly
Things to do when Facebook is down: 1. Tweet that Facebook is down. #facebookdown
— Jonathan Gebauer (@jogebauer) January 27, 2015
Facebook suffered an outage of around 40 minutes on Monday night (Jan 26), and the Internet immediately lost its head. Instagram, Tinder, Hipchat, Pinterest and others all seemed to be suffering similar fates at around the same time.
Lizard Squad (the hackers who took down Xbox Live and PSN over Christmas , and the Malaysia Airlines website this past weekend ) claimed credit for the outage. However, Facebook blamed itself, stating, “This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems.”
Whoever was ultimately to blame, the panic that ensued online shows just how important Facebook is to many people. And for those still not convinced by the power of Twitter , the alternative social network proved its worth by allowing people to vent about Facebook’s temporary downtime.
Drone Crashes on White House Lawn
A drone has crashed into the White House lawn, triggering a security lockdown over fears an attack was imminent. However, the drone, otherwise known as a quadcopter due to its four rotors, was eventually determined to pose no threat to national security.
The drone landed in the grounds of the White House early Monday morning. The Secret Service investigated the incident as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ) are banned from being flown in the area. However, it turned out there was never a threat to the building or its occupants.
A government employee came forward to claim the drone as his, explaining that he lost control of it while flying the drone for recreational purposes. A statement claims, “The individual has been interviewed by Secret Service agents and been fully cooperative. Initial indications are that this incident occurred as a result of recreational use of the device.” And no one needed to shoot the drone down, either.
Microsoft has a Difficult Quarter
Microsoft has released its financial results for Q2 2015, and the share price has tanked as a result of the news. This despite Microsoft meeting the street’s expectations with $26.5 billion in revenue and $5.6 billion in net income.
The company did rather well in terms of hardware, with the Surface Pro 3 bringing in revenues of $1.1 billion, a record number of Windows Phone handsets being shipped, and the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 in the U.S. over the holidays.
The Verge has an extensive report on all of the various aspects of Microsoft’s latest financial results. But it can be summed up with a simple, “Must do better.” Microsoft is clearly gearing up for a healthier future led by the launch of Windows 10 , but that is, unfortunately, still several months away.
Nest Replacing Old Dropcams for Free
Wife just set off the @nest Protect while cooking. Then @Dropcam recorded a 4 minute clip of the aftermath. Very cool!
— Larry Greenberg (@lgreenberg) January 25, 2015
Nest is offering to replace old Dropcams for free as part of a “legacy camera replacement program.” The cameras that need to be replaced are the original Dropcam and the Dropcam Echo, which were launched between 2009 and 2011. Both will stop connecting to the Dropcam cloud service on April 15, thereby becoming obsolete.
Dropcam explained, “As we improve Dropcam, we’ll no longer be able to give Original Dropcam and Dropcam Echo owners an experience that meets our standards. So we decided to stop supporting these products and offer owners a free replacement Dropcam HD camera.” Affected users eligible for the upgrade will be contacted directly.
Funny or Die App Mixes Weather & Jokes
Funny or Die has released a new iOS app called Funny or Die Weather. As you would expect, in keeping with every other weather app out there, this one tells you the weather forecast for the days ahead.
However, what differentiates Funny or Die Weather from the rest is the joke which accompanies the forecast. Which is especially useful if you, like me, live somewhere cold and wet. Boo to the cold and wet.
BMW Ad Celebrates Ignorance
And finally, while ignorance should never be celebrated, it can be used to sell things. Just ask BMW, which has roped in Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel for its new Super Bowl ad for the BMW i3.
Why these two in particular? Because in 1994 the pair embarrassed themselves on live television by not knowing what the Internet was or how to pronounce the @symbol. I guess the “i” in the i3 stands for “idiots.”
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Did you panic when Facebook when down? Did you even notice?! What punishment should the White House drone owner face? What’s your immediate reaction to the latest Microsoft financials?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Rachel Johnson via Flickr