Big Tech &
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus are down. Here’s what we know (2 minute read)
Facebook and all of its services went down today. Investigations revealed major DNS failures at Facebook. Cloudflare reported that all BGP routes for Facebook had been pulled, making Facebook's DNS and application servers unreachable. Some Facebook employees were unable to enter buildings due to badge access being down from the outage. A Reddit user claiming to be a Facebook employee reported that the problem was likely due to a configuration change that was pushed shortly before the outages began.
Amazon Prime members can now send gifts with just a phone number or email address (3 minute read)
Amazon is launching a gifting feature that will allow Prime subscribers to send gifts using only an email address or phone number. The program is limited to mobile users in the continental US. Gift recipients will receive a notice about the gift and will be able to organize to receive it through their Amazon account. There is an option to accept the gift but convert it to an Amazon gift card without the gift-giver being notified. The gift-giver won't be charged for the gift until it is accepted. Amazon will roll out the feature over the coming weeks.
Woman successfully treated for depression with electrical brain implant (4 minute read)
A woman with severe depression was successfully treated using an experimental brain implant. The implant works by detecting patterns of brain activity linked to depression and interrupting them using tiny pulses of electrical stimulation. It has only been tested on one patient. The experiment demonstrated for the first time that the brain activity underlying the symptoms of mental illness can be reliably detected and nudged back into a healthy state. While the success was significant, the device would only ever be suitable for those with severe illness.
Floating Drone Captures First-Ever Footage From Inside A Hurricane At Sea (2 minute read)
The Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 is an uncrewed surface vehicle developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the company Saildrone. It recently captured footage from inside a Category 4 hurricane from the ocean surface. The NOAA will use the collected data to improve forecast models and better predict when and how hurricanes undergo rapid intensification. The footage is available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
React Native Universal Monorepo (GitHub Repo)
NASA’s ‘Armageddon’-style asteroid deflection mission takes off in November (2 minute read)
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will be a practical test of our ability to change the trajectory of an asteroid. It involves sending a pair of satellites out to a pair of asteroids known as the Didymos binary. One satellite will crash into an asteroid at nearly 15,000 miles per hour to change its speed by a fraction of a percent, enough to affect its orbit measurably. The other satellite will attempt to fly by and capture the moment of impact. DART is scheduled to launch on November 23 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9.
This Is What Happens When a Drone Light Show Fails (2 minute read)
Drone light shows have been popular in China over the last few years. Sometimes these extravagant displays can go wrong. Drones began falling out of the sky during a recent performance above a mall in Zhengzhou, hitting buildings and vehicles as they fell. Around 5,000 people were at the event, but no injuries were reported. It is unclear what caused the accident. A video of the event is available in the article.