Tech Friday

 
  • Recent Google outage locked out Nest users:
    • Google had a major outage Sunday that impacted many companies that rely on the Google Cloud as well as some of Google's own services, including YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Docs
    • Affected third-party apps and services include Discord, Snapchat, and even Apple’s iCloud, which relies on Google's infrastructure
    • The outage lasted about four hours and was resolved about 4pm PST
    • The Google Cloud dashboard states that Google Cloud Networking experienced network congestion in eastern USA and parts of Europe during the outage
    • Google's VP of engineering,Benjamin Treynor Sloss,said the cause of last Sunday's outage was a configuration change that was wrongly applied to servers across neighboring regions causing those regions to use less than half of their available network capacity
    • Sloss said "The network became congested, and our networking systems correctly triaged the traffic overload and dropped larger, less latency-sensitive traffic to preserve smaller latency-sensitive traffic flows, much as urgent packages may be couriered by bicycle through even the worst traffic jam"
    • It took some time to fix the problem because the network congestion impaired engineers' ability to restore the impacted server's configuration
    • One side effect of the Google Cloud downtime was that Nest smart home products stopped workingfor some users
    • "Nest is a brand of Google LLC used to market smart home products, including thermostats, smoke detectors, and security systems including smart doorbells and smart locks. The Nest brand name was originally owned by Nest Labs, co-founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010." - Wikipedia
    • During the outage, many people were unable to use their Nest thermostats, Nest smart locks, Nest cameras, and other devices. This meant that some people were locked out of their homes, could not control their heating and cooling systems, lost their alarm systems, etc.
    • This outage illustrates another potential downside of relying on "smart" devices that requires a real-time Internet connection
    • Google has promised a full postmortem review once their investigation is complete
    • Lear more about Nest here:https://nest.com/
    • You can check the Google Cloud Dashboard for status anytime at this link:https://status.cloud.google.com/
  • HouseJudiciaryCommittee looks into Big Tech:
    • As the wealth, power, influence and impact (see Nest story above) of the tech titans continues to grow, calls for regulation have grown louder and more voluminous
    • These calls have not received much attention until recently when elected officials and even some in the tech industry have urged limitingtheir power or even breaking them up
    • Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook have come under increased scrutiny thanks to their dominance in a variety of markets and due to privacy and security scandals
    • The House Judiciary Committee announced a bipartisan investigation that will attempt to determine if there is enough competition among U.S. technology companies
    • In a news release, the Judiciary Committee said "A small number of dominant, unregulated platforms have extraordinary power over commerce, communication, and information online"
    • No companies have been specifically named, but it's widely assumed that the four mentioned above would be included in the investigation
    • The Judiciary Committee also said "Based on investigative reporting and oversight by international policymakers and enforcers, there are concerns that these platforms have the incentive and ability to harm the competitive process"
    • The committee said it is research existing antitrust laws and enforcement levels to determine if they are adequate for the rapidly growing concentration of power in the tech industry
    • Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said"Given the growing tide of concentration and consolidation across our economy, it is vital that we investigate the current state of competition in digital markets and the health of the antitrust laws"
    • The tech titans have had little to say about this so far
    • The Judiciary Committeerelease also said, "The Antitrust Subcommittee will conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms. This is the first time Congress has undertaken an investigation into this behavior" 
    • Senator Elizabeth Warren has recently called for the break-up of Facebook, Google and Amazon
    • Other prominent Democrats and a few Republicans have joined Senator Warren voicing support for either splitting up the major tech companies or taking action to address their power
    • Senator Josh Hawley told NBC News that Senator Warren's plan might not go far enough
    • This will be interesting to watch and we will keep you updated
  • Bigannouncements from Apple at WWDC 19:
    • The 2019 Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) took place this week and there were many big announcements including:
      • Major updates coming for iOS 13 operating system
      • A new desktop OS for Mac called Catalina
      • A new OS for iPad, iPad OS
      • New apps for the Apple Watch
      • A $6,000 high-performance Mac Pro
      • A focus on privacy. Privacy scandals have roiled Facebook and Google recently. Apple emphasized a focus on user privacy, including the ways it won't share your data with developers
      • The death of iTunes. It's being broken up into separate apps on the Mac OS like iOS
    • There are dozens of new features for iOS 13:
      • Dark mode
      • Swipe on the default keyboard
      • Improved Apple Maps
      • Improved Messages app
      • Privacy improvements including:
        • Grant an app one-time access to your location
        • Block apps from using WiFi and Bluetooth data to infer your location
        • Sign In with Apple ID
      • Improved camera and photo apps
      • Audio sharing
      • iOS is slated for release in Fall 2019
    • Get more information about WWDC here:https://developer.apple.com/wwdc19/
    • Get more details about iOS here:https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-13-preview/?cid=CDM-US-DM-P0019310-421193&cp=em-P0019310-421193&sr=em&Email_PageName=P0019310-421193&Email_OID=5d349f1684a893ef854c5d5e8908950152ccb13c0bdf5e6cfe170ecd9ab76d90

Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more

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