Monday, October 11, 2021

A Bad Week For Facebook and Twitch, Windows 11 Launched

It was not the best week for Facebook last week.  On Tuesday October 5, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook manager turned whistleblower, testified before Congress. She stated the company knew it's app Instagram could be hazardous to the mental health of teenage girls, and knew it was not doing enough to combat disinformation on it's social media website that contributed to the worsening political divide in the United States and led to the January 6 riot. While it could have taken measures to protect girls on Instagram and done more about misinformation on Facebook, it had not done so as the company didn't want to cut into it's profits, putting money over the safety of it's customers. Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg would respond with a statement denying her accusations.

But then came more bad news in the form of a six hour outage of both Facebook and Instagram. While for most it was an annoyance, some small businesses have come to rely on Facebook for communication with their customers. Also affected were sets of Oculus VR headgear. The company would eventually offer an apology.  It's estimated that the company lost billions from this outage. Then on Friday, the company suffered another outage and once again Facebook and Instagram were down once more, another blow to it's reputation.

Facebook wasn't the only social media platform to face big trouble. On Wed Oct 6, there was a massive data leak targeting Twitch. Over 100 gigabytes of data was posted online on Wednesday October 6. This includes operational details that the company "fiercely guards," such as how many millions the top streamers made in revenue from broadcasting. "Aside from the salary details, the documents seems to contain the site's source code and even technical details for yet to be released products and platforms," Joe Tidy in an article on BBC News would say, adding if everything was confirmed it would be, "the biggest leak I have ever seen - an entire company's most valuable data cleaned out in one fell swoop." ThreatModeler founder and CEO Archie Agarwal would say of the data breach,"This is as bad as it could possibly be."

While there didn't seem to be any passwords included in the leaked data, it was listed as "part one," hinting there was more to come. Still, it is reccomended that Twitch users change their passwords anyway.

Tuesday October 5 was the release date of Windows 11. Six years ago, Microsoft was saying there would be only new installments of Windows 10. That has changed, and the company has launched a new version that promises to be "clean and fresh and simpler." If you're reluctant to change over to the new system, you'll have plenty of company. The list of machines the company says this version of Windows needs has been described as "ridiculously strict." In a review on PC Gamer, the writers thought Windows 11 had a few nice improvements, but nothing worth upgrading to the new system, and a number of reasons to wait. Officially, PC users have until October 2025 to wait. After that, Microsoft plans no more technical or security updates.

Sources: BBC News, PC Gamer, The Verge   

Bixyl Shuftan

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