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Elon Musk v Jeff Bezos: the ridiculous rivalry of the world’s richest men | Elon Musk

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Name: Elon Musk v Jeff Bezos.

Age: About two.

Appearance: Gold-plated, stomach-churning vulgarity.

Oh great, the Godzilla v Kong of turbo-gits. Now now, just because they’re both rich doesn’t mean that Musk and Bezos are monsters.

OK, you’re right, I was too quick to judge. Why are we talking about them? Musk wants to send Bezos a giant statue of the number two, along with a silver medal, after beating him to become the world’s richest person.

Can I judge them now? Sure, go ahead.

This is the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever heard. OK, fine, yes, it is quite gross. But if an obscenely wealthy billionaire can’t make fun of another obscenely wealthy billionaire in public, then what’s the point of having all that money?

You could do something useful with it, such as eradicating cancer. Bezos and Musk keep leapfrogging each other for the title of world’s richest person. Bezos has, for the most part, had more money than anyone since 2018, but a Tesla stock rally in January meant that Musk overtook him for the first time. Bezos regained the crown a month later. Then, in March, Musk had more money, then Bezos did again.

So what happened this time? Bezos lost a billion dollars on Monday.

Oh no, that’s an unthinkably large amount of money. What happened? Was there a devastating fire? A lawsuit? Will he have to sell his house? No. Amazon’s stock declined by half of 1%. That’s all.

Seriously, screw those guys. They’re each worth $200bn.

Sorry, that’s an unfathomably large number. Put it this way: they are each worth the equivalent of New Zealand’s GDP. If the wealth of either Musk or Bezos was divided equally between the population of the UK, we would each be £3,000 richer. If you stacked 200bn house bricks on top of each other, you would get about halfway to Mars.

So this rivalry is all about money? Well, money and space.

Space? Yes. Bezos and Musk are also locked in a battle to see who can become the first uncomfortably rich man to colonise space. Musk’s SpaceX was recently given a Nasa contract worth $2.9bn, and Bezos’s Blue Origin filed a lawsuit to dispute it.

Ugh. Musk wants to colonise Mars, but Bezos has ridiculed him for it. Bezos wants Amazon to launch internet-beaming satellites into space, which caused Musk to call him a “copycat”. It goes on and on.

It sounds like there might be some overcompensating here. What, from a man who literally just flew a giant phallus into space? Never.

Do say: “Musk and Bezos both want to be the world’s richest person.”

Don’t say: “Maybe let’s tax them properly?”

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Amazon Web Services outage hits sites and apps such as IMDb and Tinder | Amazon

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Several Amazon services – including its website, Prime Video and applications that use Amazon Web Services (AWS) – went down for thousands of users on Tuesday.

Amazon said the outage was probably due to problems related to application programming interface (API), which is a set of protocols for building and integrating application software, Reuters reported.

“We are experiencing API and console issues in the US-East-1 Region,” Amazon said in a report on its service health dashboard, adding that it had identified the cause. By late late afternoon the outage appeared to be partially resolved, with the company saying that it was “working towards full recovery”.

“With the network device issues resolved, we are now working towards recovery of any impaired services,” the company said on the dashboard.

Downdetector showed more than 24,000 incidents of people reporting problems with Amazon. It tracks outages by collating status reports from a number of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform.

The outage was also affecting delivery operations. Amazon’s warehouse operation use AWS and experienced disruptions, spokesperson Richard Rocha told the Washington Post. A Washington state Amazon driver said his facility had been “at a standstill” since Tuesday morning, CNBC reported.

Other services, including Amazon’s Ring security cameras, mobile banking app Chime and robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot were also facing difficulties, according to their social media pages.

Ring said it was aware of the issue and working to resolve it. “A major Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage is currently impacting our iRobot Home App,” iRobot said on its website.

Other websites and apps affected include the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), language learning provider Duolingo and dating site Tinder, according to Downdetector.

The outage also affected presale tickets for Adele’s upcoming performances in Las Vegas. “Due to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage impacting companies globally, all Adele Verified Fan Presales scheduled for today have been moved to tomorrow to ensure a better experience,” Ticketmaster said on Twitter.

In June, websites including the Guardian, Reddit, Amazon, CNN, PayPal, Spotify, Al Jazeera Media Network and the New York Times were hit by a widespread hour-long outage linked to US-based content delivery network provider Fastly Inc, a smaller rival of AWS.

In July, Amazon experienced a disruption in its online stores service, which lasted for nearly two hours and affected more than 38,000 users.

Users have experienced 27 outages over the past 12 months on Amazon, according to the web tool reviewing website ToolTester.



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South Korea sets reliability standards for Big Tech • The Register

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South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT has offered Big Tech some advice on how to make their services suitably resilient, and added an obligation to notify users – in Korean – when they fail.

The guidelines apply to Google, Meta (parent company of Facebook), Netflix, Naver, Kakao and Wavve. All have been told to improve their response to faults by beefing up preemptive error detection and verification systems, and create back up storage systems that enable quick content recovery.

The guidelines offer methods Big Tech can use to measure user loads, then plan accordingly to ensure their services remain available. Uptime requirements are not spelled out.

Big techs is already rather good at resilience. Google literally wrote the book on site reliability engineering.

The guidelines refer to legislation colloquially known as the “Netflix law” which requires major service outages be reported to the Ministry.

That law builds on another enacted in 2020 that made online content service providers responsible for the quality of their streaming services. It was put in place after a number of outages, including one where notifications of the problem were made on the offending company’s social media site – but only in English.

The new regulations follow South Korean telcos’ recent attempts to have platforms that guzzle their bandwidth pay for the privilege. Mobile carrier SK Broadband took legal action in October of this year, demanding Netflix pitch in some cash for the amount of bandwidth that streaming shows – such as Squid Game – consume.

In response, Netflix pointed at its own free content delivery network, Open Connect, which helps carriers to reduce traffic. Netflix then accused SK Broadband of trying to double up on profits by collecting fees from consumers and content providers at the same time.

For the record, Naver and Kakao pay carriers, while Apple TV+ and Disney+ have at the very least given lip service to the idea.

Korea isn’t the only place where telcos have noticed Big Tech taking up more than its fair share of bandwidth. The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) published a letter from ten telco CEOs asking that larger platforms “contribute fairly to network costs”. ®

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Twitter acquires Slack competitor Quill to improve its messaging services

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As part of the acquisition, Quill will be shutting down at the end of the week as its team joins the social media company.

Twitter has acquired the messaging platform Quill, seen as a potential competitor to Slack, in order to improve its messaging tools and services.

Quill announced that it will be shutting down at the end of the week as its team joins the social media company to continue its original goal “to make online communication more thoughtful, and more effective, for everyone”.

The purchase of Quill could be linked to Twitter’s new strategy to reduce its reliance on ad revenue and attract paying subscribers.

Twitter’s general manager for core tech, Nick Caldwell, described Quill as a “fresher, more deliberate way to communicate. We’re bringing their experience and creativity to Twitter as we work to make messaging tools like DMs a more useful and expressive way people can have conversations on the service”.

Users of Quill have until 11 December to export their team message history before the servers are fully shut down at 1pm PST (9pm Irish time). The announcement has instructions for users who wish to import their chat history into Slack and states that all active teams will be issued full refunds.

The team thanked its users and said: “We can’t wait to show you what we’ll be working on next.”

Quill was launched in February with the goal to remove the overwhelming aspects of other messaging services and give users a more deliberate and focused form of online chat.

In an online post, Quill creator Ludwig Pettersson said: “We started Quill to increase the quality of human communication. Excited to keep doing just that, at Twitter.”

The company became a potential competitor for Slack, which was bought by Salesforce at the end of 2020 for $27.7bn. The goal of that acquisition was to combine Salesforce’s CRM platform with Slack’s communications tools to create a unified service tailored to digital-led teams around the world.

Last week, Salesforce announced the promotion of Bret Taylor to vice-chair and co-CEO, just days after he was appointed independent chair of Twitter after CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down.

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