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Facebook says root cause of outage was faulty configuration change

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(Last Updated On: October 5, 2021)

Facebook Inc blamed a “faulty configuration change” for a nearly six-hour outage on Monday that prevented the company’s 3.5 billion users from accessing its social media and messaging services including WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

The company in a late Monday blog post did not specify who executed the configuration change and whether it was planned.

Several Facebook employees who declined to be named had told Reuters earlier that they believed that the outage was caused by an internal mistake in how internet traffic is routed to its systems.

The failures of internal communication tools and other resources that depend on that same network in order to work compounded the error, the employees said. Security experts have said an inadvertent mistake or sabotage by an insider were both plausible.

“We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change,” Facebook said in the blog.

The Facebook outage is the largest ever tracked by web monitoring group Downdetector.

The outage was the second blow to the social media giant in as many days after a whistleblower on Sunday accused the company of repeatedly prioritizing profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation.

As the world flocked to competing apps such as Twitter and TikTok, shares of Facebook fell 4.9%, their biggest daily drop since last November, amid a broader selloff in technology stocks on Monday. Shares rose about half a percent in after-hours trade following resumption of service.

“To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer tweeted, adding that it “may take some time to get to 100%.”

“Facebook basically locked its keys in its car,” tweeted Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

Twitter on Monday reported higher-than-normal usage, which led to some issues in people accessing posts and direct messages.

Facebook, which is the world’s largest seller of online ads after Google, was losing about $545,000 in U.S. ad revenue per hour during the outage, according to estimates from ad measurement firm Standard Media Index.

Past downtime at internet companies has had little long-term affect on their revenue growth, however.

Soon after the outage started, Facebook acknowledged users were having trouble accessing its apps but did not provide any specifics about the nature of the problem or say how many users were affected.

The error message on Facebook’s webpage suggested an error in the Domain Name System (DNS), which allows web addresses to take users to their destinations.

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Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in EU to build ‘metaverse’

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(Last Updated On: October 18, 2021)

Facebook Inc (FB.O) plans to hire 10,000 in the European Union over the next five years, the social media giant said on Monday, to help build the so-called metaverse – a nascent online world where people exist and communicate in shared virtual spaces, Reuters reported.

This would be a significant step the company is taking towards the concept, something top boss Mark Zuckerberg has touted in recent months.

According to the report in September, Facebook committed $50 million towards building the metaverse, where companies like Roblox Corp (RBLX.N) and “Fortnite” maker Epic Games have an early foothold.

The company earlier launched a test of a new virtual-reality remote work app where users of the company’s Oculus Quest 2 headsets can hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves, read the report.

Facebook also said in July it was creating a product team to work on the metaverse which would be part of Facebook Reality Labs, its augmented reality and virtual reality group, Reuters reported.

“This investment (in new jobs) is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent,” the company said.

“Europe is hugely important to Facebook.”

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NASA probe will study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)
NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission on Saturday to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system’s outer planets. Matthew Larotonda reports.
 
NASA launched a new space probe on Saturday (October 16) morning in a special 12-year mission designed to visit more asteroids than ever before.

It focuses on the Trojan asteroids, which are two large clumps of space rocks orbiting the sun. One floats ahead of Jupiter and the other behind it.

Scientists believe the rocks are leftovers from the formation of our solar system.

The probe is called “Lucy” and NASA hopes it will help us learn more about our solar system’s history.

The asteroids are also rich in carbon compounds, and may provide insights into organic materials and life on Earth.

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Nokia to release upgraded version of its classic 6310 ‘brick phone’

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

Nokia releasing an upgraded version of its classic 6310 “brick phone” to mark 20 years since the first original model was released.

The Finnish telecommunications company HMD Global, makers of Nokia devices, said the new version would have the original shape of the classic 6310 with a long battery life.

“The new Nokia 6310 has a host of new features including bigger buttons, zoomed-in menus, a wireless FM radio, and more…all packaged in the iconic shape of the original Nokia 6310,” the Nokia tweeted.

Meanwhile, the long battery life and tough “brick” design remain in place, Nokia said.

But some specifications have been altered for the new model – such as a camera and more memory have also been added to the updated version of the original 6310.

Moreover, the device still features the popular, low-tech game Snake.

The original Nokia 6310 model went on sale in March 2001 and quickly became one of the most popular devices in the world.

The device became popular for its tough “brick” design and long-lasting battery.

Nokia has announced that the new 6310 will first be available for customers in the UK at a cost of £59.99 ($82), news agencies reported.

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