Facebook’s 6-hour outage is the result of one small slip-up


Facebook outage
Photo: Sofitel/Flickr/Cult of Mac

“A faulty configuration change.” That’s all it takes to bring three of the world’s biggest social platforms to their knees for more than six hours, according to an apology issued by Facebook after Monday’s disastrous outage.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp became unavailable worldwide between approximately 9:15 a.m. PDT and 3:30 p.m. PDT on October 4. Facebook said it has no reason to believe user data was compromised during this time.

See here, Apple: Leave cameras out of your smart glasses


See here, Apple: Leave cameras out of your smartglasses
Apple smartglasses can’t make the same mistake as the ones just released by Facebook and Ray-Ban.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Ray-Ban

Facebook and Ray-Ban teamed up on a pair of smart glasses. It’s essentially a camera you wear on your face, making it a perfect example of what not to do with this type of product. They turn the wearer into a walking, talking privacy violation.

Apple is designing its own smart glasses. These better not have a camera or they’re dead on arrival.

WhatsApp’s promise of end-to-end encryption may be a complete lie


WhatsApp encryption message
WhatsApp says no one — not even WhatsApp — can read your messages.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp promises to protect every one of its 2 billion users with end-to-end encryption that ensures their messages cannot be seen by anyone outside of the original conversation. But does it live up to that promise?

A new report alleges that the Facebook-owned messaging platform uses artificial intelligence and more than 1,000 contract workers to examine “millions of pieces of users’ content” using “special Facebook software.”

That’s despite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg telling the U.S. Senate in 2018 that “we don’t see any of the content in WhatsApp.”

App Tracking Transparency hasn’t hurt Facebook’s ad revenue… yet


Facebook logo
Facebook released its latest earnings report Wednesday.
Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature hasn’t been enough to stop Facebook from pulling in a massive $28 billion in ad revenue for the second quarter of 2021. That represents a 56% increase year-on-year. Facebook earned $10.4 billion in total profits for the quarter.

While Apple’s anti-tracking privacy measures weren’t explicitly designed to hurt Facebook, Facebook has been outspoken about the impacts they would have on its business. A recent Facebook-funded research paper called the iOS 14 feature an “anti-competitive strategy disguised as a privacy-protecting measure.”

Facebook’s cloud gaming service finally launches on iPhone


Facebook’s cloud gaming service finally launches on iPhone and iPad
After over a year of delays, the real Facebook Gaming service is available for iPhone and iPad.
Image: Cult of Mac

Add Facebook to the list of companies offering a gaming service for iPhone. There’s a lengthy list of titles available on day one, including strategy, role playing, trivia and other types of games.

But don’t look for these in the App Store — Apple’s stringent rules on gaming services caused Facebook Gaming to be introduced as a web app instead.


Top apps on iOS and Android
Turns out preinstalled apps are the most widely used. Whodda thunkit?
Photo: Comscore/Facebook

Facebook launches Clubhouse clone Live Audio Rooms and new podcast platform


Launching in the US today.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook debuted its Clubhouse-style Live Audio Rooms and new podcast platform Monday, giving users two new ways to engage with the social network — and hopefully keep them hooked for longer.

Public figures and select Facebook Groups in the United States can create Live Rooms on iOS. They can then invite friends, followers, public figures and, well, anyone else who wants to tune in and contribute to an audio session. There can be up to 50 speakers, with no limits on listeners.

Facebook prepares to launch its podcasting platform on June 22


Facebook is getting into the podcast game.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook is gearing up to launch its own podcast platform later this month. Facebook’s podcasts feature will launch June 22, an attempt by the social media giant to muscle in on the incredibly popular and fast-growing podcast market.

Facebook confirmed the news in an email to podcast page owners, seen by The Verge. Users will be able to listen to podcasts directly on Facebook, as well as via a new podcasts tab that has yet to launch. Facebook is also working on a feature that will let listeners create clips from their top shows.