In what may be an unprecedented outage, all of Google’s services briefly went dark about 4:52 on Friday afternoon Pacific time.
The outage, which reportedly affected most of Google’s services worldwide, led to a staggering 40% drop in global Internet traffic (pageviews), according to analytics firm GoSquared (via Eric Mack of CNET).
The official downtime was between 1 and 5 minutes, according to Google.
One observer estimates that even this brief blip might have cost Google $500,000 in lost revenue. The impact on the rest of the digital economy was likely far greater.
In case you needed a reminder how powerful Google has become–and how much of the digital economy depends on it–this would be it.
Although this level of dominance is alarming, other companies offer most if not all of the services Google provides. If the company ever had a prolonged outage, Internet activity would likely recover quickly as companies and users switched to other services.
That said, the fact that one company touches this much of such a massive and important an industry is unsettling. Single points of failure and control concentrate power in the hands of a few. And they weaken the integrity of the entire system.
Just when you thought the government’s prying eye could pry no further, CNET is reporting that the feds are telling web companies to turn over account passwords, presumably so that they can break in and look at everything these users are doing online. Bummer, huh?
Who’d have thought that pricing a high-end smartphone like the Nexus 4 at $350 or less would lead to strong sales? Google and LG certainly appear to have been caught off-guard. LG’s UK mobile lead Andy Coughlin tells CNET that the pair estimated Nexus 4 shipments in the way you’d expect for any phone, but have been rocked by “huge demand” — in short, they didn’t realize that offering such a giant bargain would lead to sellouts within minutes. While we don’t have tangible shipping numbers, that the spending sprees happen over and over again suggests that LG is producing more than a handful of Nexus 4s as it tries to keep up. We suspect that many of you reading this just want to know when sales resume; sadly, Coughlin’s not telling.
Source: CNET UK
While Apple and Samsung have been duking it out over patents, there’s always been the quiet, underlying irony that Samsung makes a whole bunch of the chips Apple relies on. Now, according to reports from CNET and MacRumors, Apple’s trying to change that.
It’s not exactly surprising. Apple already hired a big chip designer out from under Samsung. Now they’re just taking the next steps.
As an industry source put it to CNET:
“The Apple-Samsung relationship has deteriorated to such a poor point that they’re just looking to fill contractual obligations, then make a change.”
That change, it seems, is moving to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company at 20 nanometers, a company that no doubt considers the giant’s business a huge boon. There are also rumors that Apple and Intel have been in talks when it comes to more advanced 14 nanometer production, though that seems further off.
A change like this doesn’t happen in an instant because it’s such a huge shift, but that makes it all the more noteworthy that it’s starting. If you thought Apple and Samsung were just going to kiss and make up, you were probably a bit deluded from the start, but this just goes to show that the rift is ever-widening. [CNET, MacRumors]
The chart below is based on data that came out during the Samsung-Apple patent trial (via CNET). It suggests that if Apple had been on all carriers in the U.S. Android would not have become as popular as it did.
Alas, Apple was not on Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile. This gave Google an opportunity to win over new customers. Those customers are likely coming off their first Android contracts now. It will be interesting to see if they stick with Google, or if they decide to jump to the iPhone.
Sometimes common “street smarts” fail you. Like when you ask the guy who’s selling you drugs if he’s a cop. Or when you encrypt your hard drive and refuse to unlock it for prosecutors while citing the self-incriminating clause of the Fifth Amendment.
A federal court judge has just ruled that being forced to decrypt one’s hard drive during prosecution does not violate the defendants’s Fifth Amendment rights. The ruling stems from a case against Ramona Fricosu, who is charged with mortgage fraud. She has refused to decrypt the contents of her hard drive arguing that doing so would require her to essentially testify against herself.
Nuh-uh, said judge Robert Blackburn, citing an earlier ruling against one Sebastien Boucher. In that case, the courts decided that, while Boucher’s encryption password was certainly protected, the information on his drive could be considered evidence in the case and was therefore not subject to the same liberties.
“I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” Blackburn wrote in his opinion today. He also cited the All Writs Act, a 1789 statute, could be invoked as well to force Fricosu’s compliance.
Friscosu has until February 21 to comply or face contempt of court charges. Geez, it’s getting to the point that your secrets are better left on microfilm in pumpkin patches rather than on your hard drive. [CNet via The Verge]
Peanut butter and jelly, unicorns and glitter, Beats Electronics and Monster. One of these things just doesn’t belong, one of these things is not like the others. After a five-year collaboration, the two companies have terminated their relationship but do hope to remain friends.
According to Businessweek, the breakup came about due to an irreconcilable dispute between Beat’s Jimmy Iovine and Monster’s Noel Lee over which company deserved more credit for the brand’s 53-percent share of the $1 billion headphone market during the last year. As such, Beats has opted out of renewing its manufacturing contract with Monster when it expires later this year
Monster takes credit for the design and production “They wanted to do speakers and I said, ‘The new speaker is the headphone,’ ” says Lee. Beats, on the other hand believes its celebrity connections helped market the devices as high-quality status symbols. “Now a big part of what you’re paying for is the brand and fashion,” Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis for NPD, told Businessweek.
It’s still too soon to see who will ultimately come out ahead from this. Beats Electronics remains the preeminent brand for twentysomethings. Monster on the other hand will have to find a way to replace the lost revenue—reportedly 60 percent of its of privately held revenues and profit. Its recently announced partnerships with fashion brand Diesel and Radio Shack should do nicely though. Those products are expected to hit shelves later this year. [Businessweek via CNet – Photo by Elsa/Getty]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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