The Morning After: Facebook's empire goes offline

And Shatner in space.

Igor Bonifiacic / Engadget

I locked myself out of my apartment yesterday. It’s a rare occurrence, but when it does happen, I usually text my building’s WhatsApp group, begging someone to buzz me in. So it was not a great time for Facebook’s entire network, including WhatsApp, Instagram (oh and Oculus), to collapse for six hours.

While it’s unclear exactly what happened, during the downtime, the company’s outgoing Chief Technology Officer, Michael Schroepfer, said it was due to “networking issues.”

Even within Facebook, the issues reportedly led to employees being unable to access emails, Workplace and other tools. The New York Times reported that employees were also physically locked out of offices as workers’ badges stopped working. Poor Facebook.

By 6 PM ET yesterday, most of the services were back, though Facebook for Business Status page still showed "major disruptions" to core services. On Facebook — when it was back online — CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the services going down.

That didn’t help me with my low-priority problem. Fortunately, I gleaned some of my neighbor’s phone numbers from WhatsApp, and sent a few SMS SOSes, ‘00s style. Twenty minutes later, I was finally back in my home.

— Mat Smith

Engadget reviews Windows 11

Microsoft’s most pleasant OS — until it isn't.

The Morning After

Windows 11 is almost here, and it is (generally) a solid step forward aesthetically from Windows 10. According to Devindra Hardawar, some of the changes may annoy long-time users. It’s a more secure OS as well, but that also means it’s more restrictive, hardware-wise, and potentially harder to upgrade. For those considering their options, we have a guide to exactly that.

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Facebook whistleblower reveals their identity

She says company 'chooses profits over safety'.

Internal documents published by The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that Facebook allowed VIPs to break its rules, and it was aware Instagram affected the mental health of teens. Now, the whistleblower who brought that information to light has revealed herself as Frances Haugen in an interview with 60 Minutes.

"I’ve seen a bunch of social networks, and it was substantially worse at Facebook than what I had seen before," Haugen told the show. "Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety."

Haugen joined Facebook in 2019, working on democracy and misinformation issues, while also handling counter-espionage, according to a personal website and Twitter account she and her team set up. She worked as a Facebook product manager and left the company in May.

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Blue Origin will fly William Shatner to the edge of space on October 12th

Going where Bezos has gone before.

After decades of pretending to explore the universe in TV shows and movies, William Shatner is actually going to space. Blue Origin's second tourist spaceflight is scheduled for October 12th. Shatner, 90, is to become the oldest person to fly to space. He'll take the record from 82-year-old aviation pioneer, Wally Funk, who was a passenger on New Shepard's first crewed flight in July.

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Apple Watch Series 7 pre-orders open on October 8th

Ready to wear on October 15th.

The Morning After

Apple has announced when you'll be able to snag an Apple Watch Series 7. Pre-orders start this Friday, October 8th, at 8 AM ET. The device, which starts at $399, will be available one week later on October 15th.

The biggest change this year is a larger, always-on display. Apple has bumped up the case size options to 41mm and 45mm while reducing the bezel to 1.7mm, meaning it should feel pretty similar to last-generation Watches, but with more screen. The user interface takes advantage of the larger screen, with a full, swipe-based QWERTY keyboard and two additional watch faces.

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