Happy Tuesday, everything is broken. Most significantly, late Monday night T-Mobile experienced what appears to be a fairly major outage across the US, with thousands of customers from California to New York reporting that they were unable to place calls or use other basic network services. T-Mobile says it’s now working at “near normal levels,” so hopefully your own connectivity will be restored by the time you’re reading this.
Next up on the breakages list is Twitter, whose “For You” feed was dominated by Elon. The man himself says Twitter is currently making adjustments to the algorithm, presumably to fix the issue. But look, the important context here is that Musk reportedly fired a senior employee recently in a discussion about his tanking engagement numbers. Maybe this “bug” is just Twitter’s remaining staff covering their asses?
Finally, Google Photos also seems to be having difficulties as of the latest iOS update, with users reporting that the app keeps crashing on launch. Again, Google is aware and working on a fix.
And now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day:
Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Tuesday, February 14th, 2023.
- RSometimes AI chatbot responses are clear, detailed, and wrong.
From last week’s Vergecast: there’s one small problem with this Bing AI response about The Verge’s history with Elon Musk and Elon Musk impersonators.
- TTo be fair, $44 billion should buy you some reach.
Elon Musk claimed he was buying Twitter to promote free speech, but as it turns out, his own speech is getting an exclusive premium.
The whole “free speech” myth of Musk buying Twitter has already been definitively refuted, but this latest development is the final nail in that coffin: this guy just wants everyone to see how funny and popular he is, despite all evidence to the contrary. All of this could have been avoided if Musk just admitted he wanted to buy Twitter because he loves to post.
Sony’s PSVR2 teardowns reveal how the headset tracks the Sense controllers
The PSVR2’s Sense controllers include a hidden ring of IR LEDs.
Feb 15Zoe Schiffer and Casey Newton
Yes, Elon Musk created a special system for showing you all his tweets first
After his Super Bowl tweet did worse numbers than President Biden’s, Twitter’s CEO ordered major changes to the algorithm.
- RGetting approved for a loan from Apple could depend on how much gear you’ve bought.
The details are apparently coming out as Apple tests its “buy now, pay later” service with employees. The service was supposed to launch last year.
From Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman:
The Apple Pay Later service — announced last year but still in the testing phase — will evaluate borrowers based on their spending history and even which of the company’s devices they own. The program, which lets shoppers make purchases and then pay over installments, also will look at whether customers have applied for an Apple Card credit card and the other cards they have linked to their Apple Pay accounts.
- MGoodbye, Instagram shopping tab.
Instagram announced last month that the reshuffled homepage was coming, moving the new post button back to the bottom of the app where it was before.
It’s part of a larger move away from shopping features at the company — it said today it was also getting rid of live shopping features.
Amazon’s weird toaster-shaped robotaxi hits the road in a ‘first’ for the company
Zoox said its steering wheel- and pedal-less autonomous vehicle is the first ‘purpose-built’ robotaxi to operate on public roads.
- DCharging cables have firmware updates now.
Everything’s a computer!
(And yes, you can waste your time with a PDF breaking down the official specs for updating USB-C cables.)
Spotify’s new activist investor is keeping a close eye on podcast spending
Plus, YouTube is coming to Hot Pod Summit.
- NCloudflare says it stopped the largest-ever DDOS attack last weekend.
I mean, it’s a press release designed to scare you into buying Cloudflare’s services, but check out these numbers:
Over the weekend, Cloudflare detected and mitigated dozens of hyper-volumetric DDoS attacks. The majority of attacks peaked in the ballpark of 50-70 million requests per second (rps) with the largest exceeding 71 million rps. This is the largest reported HTTP DDoS attack on record, more than 35% higher than the previous reported record of 46M rps in June 2022.
Some of the attacked websites included a popular gaming provider, cryptocurrency companies, hosting providers, and cloud computing platforms. The attacks originated from numerous cloud providers, and we have been working with them to crack down on the botnet.Cloudflare mitigates record-breaking 71 million request-per-second DDoS attack
[The Cloudflare Blog]
- AFord F-150 Lightning production on pause over battery issue.
We don’t know what’s wrong with the battery, but we do know that Ford has put a temporary halt on production and shipment of its popular electric pickup. There’s no recall, no reported incidents, and no stop-sale order to dealers, so it’s a bit of a mystery at the moment. Ford CEO Jim Farley is reportedly cracking down on quality issues at the automaker, so this could be an example of Ford trying to get ahead of the problem before it gets worse.
- EMeanwhile in Canada...
Feeling insecure about the Canadian presence on digital streamers and social media, the Canadian government is days away from passing a law requiring more Canadian content on TikTok, YouTube, Spotify, Netflix and so on...
The idea, said Peter Menzies, a former official at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, is to promote Canadian artists, tell Canadian stories and “defend Canada from being completely swamped by American programming.”
Sad, isn’t it?
Facebook is going to explain more about how machine learning decides the ads you see
The ‘Why am I seeing this ad’ tool is getting some updates.
Super Bowl LVII was the most-streamed Super Bowl yet
The game had an average of 7 million streams across all services.
EU Parliament votes to effectively ban new combustion engine cars by 2035
The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc and home to key automakers including Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz Group.
Google launches first Android beta for ad-tracking overhaul
The Privacy Sandbox on Android beta is limited to a small number of Android 13 devices for now but will expand ‘over time.’
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is your brain on Kangs
Watching the third Ant-Man film is sort of like being on a Marvel-themed acid trip that’s actually pretty fun until it comes to a confusingly abrupt halt.
Discord Stage Channels adds Twitch-like video and screen sharing
Stage Channels will now support live video, screen sharing, and text chat for up to 300 participants.
- JHere’s how Meteos, a classic Nintendo DS puzzler, launched into orbit.
I’m sorry for the pun. But you really should watch Masahiro Sakurai’s latest YouTube video about his work on Meteos, a great entry in the “falling block” puzzle game genre. I really wish there was a new version of this game.
Hyundai and Kia forced to update software on millions of vehicles because of viral TikTok challenge
Over 8 million vehicles are eligible for the free anti-theft software upgrade after the so-called ‘Kia Challenge’ on social media resulted in thousands of car thefts.
Erase browser history: can AI reset the browser battle?
Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker on competing — and cooperating — with Google, Apple, and the rest of Big Tech.
Quick fixes: how to make your Chromebook’s screen rotate
If the screen doesn’t switch in tablet mode, there are a couple of ways to fix the problem.
OnePlus 11 5G review: a great phone that’s a tough sell
The price is right for the OnePlus 11 5G — $699 to be exact — but after a tumultuous few years for the company, is anyone buying?
Geekbench 6 tests things you actually do with your phone and computer
The goal is to “reflect modern hardware and applications” better than the previous version.
The first teaser for Ted Lasso season 3 is an arts and crafts project
The show’s third season premieres on Apple TV Plus on March 15th.
Gigi Sohn returns to Congress for a third try at securing empty FCC chair
Gigi Sohn’s stalled nomination has blocked the FCC from reinstating net neutrality, among other White House priorities.
If Google Photos is broken for you on iOS, there’s a fix
Several users reported that the app crashes almost instantly when they try to open it. Google has released a fix.
Happy Valentine’s Day: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer divorce is complete
Microsoft will issue an update today to disable Internet Explorer on Windows 10 forever.
Microsoft’s Bing AI, like Google’s, also made dumb mistakes during first demo
Bing AI users have found that Microsoft’s chatbot is making a lot of mistakes. It even made financial errors during Microsoft’s first demos.
T-Mobile suffers major network outage across US
Disruptions were reported all over the country, with many customers unable to place calls or send texts. Retiring network chief Neville Ray cited a “3rd party fiber interruption issue” as the cause.
Twitter is just showing everyone all of Elon Musk’s tweets now
Is your Twitter feed suddenly all Elon Musk, too?