With debate over Facebook’s influence rolling on, and questions around the digital dominance of Apple and Amazon, the question needs to be asked – is it beneficial for so few major tech platforms to have such significant control over our day to day interactions and processes?
That influence is only going to increase – we now rely on our smartphones and digital platforms to keep us connected, to keep us informed, and to help us transfer money, pay bills, buy products, etc. It’s a little scary when you consider just how much we depend on these tools, and then, by extension, how much data they have on us, and how they might use such moving forward.
US regulators are already taking a closer look at how the tech giants operate, and Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have flagged their intentions to break them up if elected. Would that be a better outcome?
The team from Great Business Schools has provided the below overview of the case against big tech.
A version of this post was first published on the Digital Information World blog.
Amazon’s AWS logs third outage this month, affecting Slack, Epic Games Store, Asana and more
Amazon’s crucial web services business AWS is experiencing problems today, with issues affecting services like Slack, Imgur, and the Epic Games store for some users. It’s not looking good if you’re working from home, with some Slack users unable to view or upload images, and work management tool Asana also hit by the outages. As of 6:13 AM PST, Amazon said it had restored power to affected servers, but users may still experience issues going forward.
In an incident update, Slack said its services were “experiencing issues with file uploads, message editing, and other services.” Asana said the problems constituted a “major outage,” with “many of our users unable to access Asana.” Epic Games Store said “Internet services outages” were “affecting logins, library, purchases, etc.”
It’s the third time in as many weeks that problems with AWS have had a significant effect on online services. Two incidents earlier this month involving AWS ended up knocking out a huge array of platforms and products, taking out streaming sites like Netflix and Disney Plus as well as smart home devices like security cameras from Ring and Wyze.
Today’s outages seem less widespread but still notable, with some users unable to access services entirely and others merely experiencing intermittent faults. DownDetector.com shows reports of issues with the platforms mentioned above, as well as news aggregator Flipboard, online learning site Udemy, dating app Grindr, streaming service Hulu, and IoT services from Honeywell, Life360, and Samsung’s SmartThings.
The official AWS service health dashboard blamed the issues on power outages in a single data center, affecting one Availability Zone (USE1-AZ4) within the US-EAST-1 Region. At 6:13 AM PST, the company said it had restored power to the data center and was making progress recovering the affected instances. However, users will likely continue to notice the effects of these outages for a while longer while systems are updated and restored.
Update Wednesday, December 22nd, 8:36AM ET: Updated story to add responses from affected services.
Update Wednesday, December 22nd, 9: 34AM ET: Updated story to note that AWS has restored to power to the affected data center.
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