Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp experienced outages on Sunday — which brought down their systems worldwide for over two hours. Now, single point of failure is being blamed, and we're looking at decentralized solutions like BitCoin for an answer.
Part of the problem with many of the online services we use today is that they run on centralized servers. Technology giants are stockpiling data on our activity in massive warehouses. Without colossal servers, all of our online services and websites today wouldn’t be able to run.
It’s no surprise, then, that they so often can fall victim to outages. Once a centralized server fails, the entire system fails — until it is properly repaired. In the case of Facebook, an outage also means downtime for both Instagram and WhatsApp users. It’s a serious liability that a single point of failure could potentially shut down three of the most-used social media services.
Decentralization has the adverse effect of always being available. As Twitter user @RampCapitalLLC humorously tweeted, “Bitcoin never suffered a worldwide outage!”
It’s a valid point. Bitcoin has been continuously running since it was first released — over 10 years ago. It’s gone through complete price collapse (twice), hard forks, hash wars, media cycles, and all kinds of inner disputes.
Such controversy would likely kill any kind of centralized project from the get-go. Yet, Bitcoin has not stopped mining blocks and has continued to run nonstop ever since the very first block. That’s an achievement no centralized server can even hold a candle to.
Of course, blockchain-based networks like Bitcoin can’t handle the complexity Facebook currently serves. However, it’s a real example that decentralized systems are self-regulating and self-functioning. That’s because there’s simply no single point of failure. The fact that Bitcoin can stay resilient for over a decade without experiencing a single outage is a testament that decentralization works.
Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson
Microsoft has admitted that its Outlook.com security breach was worse than the company initially revealed.
The software maker started notifying some Outlook.com users late on Friday night that a hacker was able to access accounts for months earlier this year. Microsoft’s notification revealed that hackers could have viewed account email addresses, folder names, and subject lines of emails, but in a separate notification to other affected users the company also admitted email contents could have been viewed.
Microsoft discovered that a support agent’s credentials were compromised for its web mail service, allowing unauthorized access to some accounts between January 1st and March 28th, 2019.
Motherboard claims the accounts have been used by the hackers to reset iCloud accounts linked to stolen iPhones.
So far, Microsoft is refusing to reveal how many accounts were affected.
Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson
Sony has finally released the first details about its upcoming PlayStation 5 console.
Gamers have been waiting patiently to find out any information about PS4's replacement, but until now details have been kept firmly under wraps.
Now Sony's system architect Mark Cerny has released information about the "next-gen console," revealing it will be much faster, more powerful and include improved audio.
Good news for avid PlayStation users - the new console will include a high-speed solid-state hard drive (SSD).
While that won't mean much to a lot of people, the point of the SSD is to dramatically reduce things like loading times - which will make everyone's gaming experience a bit better.
For example, when playing Spider-Man on a PS4 it can take 15 seconds to fast travel between different locations. Cerny showed the same task taking just 800 milliseconds on the new machine.
Another big focus for the next-gen console is 3D audio.
PS5 (which isn't the official name of the new console) will see gamers being immersed in audio from above, behind and from the side, and will be best experienced through headphones.
The next PlayStation supports ray-tracing graphics - the first time a game console has ever managed graphics like it.
They're usually used in Hollywood special effects, and occasionally in high-end processors.
It means users of the next-gen PlayStation will receive much better, and more realistic, visuals.
It's also worth noting that while the PS5 will have all of these improvements, you don't need to worry about compatibility with PS4 games.
The new console will still take physical discs, and gamers can still play PlayStation 4 games on the new console.
Don't expect to be able to buy one in 2019 - you'll have to wait until at least next year to see it on shelves, and we don't yet know how much it will cost.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
Nintendo fans, you may want to update your bucket list; the world's first Super Nintendo theme park is set to open its doors next year.
The $351 million venture will offer heaps of excitement for video game fans, promising "state-of-the-art rides, interactive areas, shops and restaurants".
One particular highlight is sure to be the real life Mario Kart race course, where pairs of riders will sit in karts running on a rail, with one controlling drift and the other concentrating on power ups and weapons.
So keep your eyes peeled for those pesky bananas!
The park will open at Universal Studios Japan in 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games .
Nintendo and Universal Studios first unveiled the plans for the park back in 2015, but now they've revealed a sneak peek.
It looks like, unsurprisingly, Mario will be the star of the show, as the icon leads the charge and 'interacts' with visitors.
The teaser doesn't give away too much, but it does suggest that the decor will be very much like something directly out of the classic Mario games.
This will be the first of three Super Nintendo theme parks to open, with plans currently in place to open two more in Orlando and Hollywood.
Of course, a trip to Japan won't come cheap, but if you've already started planning a visit for the Olympics, then you may want to leave space on the itinerary for this quirky day out!
Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson