The folks at Cloudflare have published a fascinating look into the recent ~6 hour long downtime that the Facebook network went through, taking down not just the Facebook product itself, but also WhatsApp, Instagram, FB’s internal looks, and a lot more. It’s a somewhat technical explanation, but Cloudflare’s Tom Strickx and Celso Martinho have made it very easy to understand.

Today at 1651 UTC, we opened an internal incident entitled “Facebook DNS lookup returning SERVFAIL” because we were worried that something was wrong with our DNS resolver 1.1.1.1. But as we were about to post on our public status page we realized something else more serious was going on.

Social media quickly burst into flames, reporting what our engineers rapidly confirmed too. Facebook and its affiliated services WhatsApp and Instagram were, in fact, all down. Their DNS names stopped resolving, and their infrastructure IPs were unreachable. It was as if someone had “pulled the cables” from their data centers all at once and disconnected them from the Internet.

How’s that even possible?

It’s really interesting to see how a (possibly) minor piece of code can take down large parts of the internet like this. Honestly, it would be a good thing for the internet overall of Facebook disappears from the internet, but I feel for everyone at Facebook behind this issue. Major hugs to the people involved in bringing the network back up.

Then again, imagine messing up so bad that your boss ends up losing $6 billion.

Tiger Walks 330kms to Find a New Home

Ranjeet Jadhav, reporting for Mid-Day:

A young tiger that walked all the way from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Vidarbha to Gautala Autram Ghat Sanctuary of Aurangabad, covering a 330 km road distance, appears to have made the sanctuary its home. Exclusive camera trap pictures accessed by mid-day show the tiger frequenting a watering hole in the sanctuary.

and

In June 2019, a tiger named Walker 1 which was fitted with a radio caller started walking from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Yavatmal where it was born and reached Dnyanganga Sanctuary in December 2019, travelling through eight districts of Maharashtra and Telangana. Forest department officials were able to track its movement till February 2020 till its radio collar was removed. It is said that the tiger walked for close to 3,000 km, the longest journey made by a tiger fitted with a radio collar. After the removal of the collar, there has been no information of where Walker 1 might be.

I wish the report said why the collar was removed and by whom.

Over the official Spark Email blog, I’ve just published this detailed guide to decluttering and organizing your Gmail inbox.

In this article, I’ll tell you the tips and tricks to organize your Gmail inbox and also explain some hidden or lesser-known features that help you organize your emails in Gmail. And for those of you who have thousands of unread emails in your Gmail inbox, I’ll help you bring some sanity to your inbox.

Gmail is arguably the most common email provider today and thus, it is very common to see Gmail inboxes that are just left unattended. I’ve outlined some pretty simple steps that can help you clean up your Gmail inbox in minutes.

Jason Snell, writing on the Six Colors blog:

The trend in laptop design, since the very beginning, has been toward lighter and thinner laptops. In 2001 Steve Jobs boasted about the mind-blowing one-inch thickness of the Titanium PowerBook G4; 19 years later the average Mac laptop is half that thickness.

But it’s one thing to know that laptops trend toward thinness and lightness. It’s another to see a chart that lets you visualize it. So I dug through the specs of past Mac systems at EveryMac.comand averaged the weight and thickness of the Mac laptop product line for every year since the first Mac laptop, the hilariously heavy Mac Portable, hit the scene.

Fascinating graphs. The dive in 2008 in both the graphs is my favorite.

Bron Gondwana, CEO of FastMail, explains on the company blog why “Now more than ever, it’s time for email.

He says,

Through all the interruptions and turmoil in your life, email is a constant. Everyone has email, and every email system can email every other. It lets us stay connected, but doesn’t demand an immediate response. You can read it in your own time, and have the space to craft a thoughtful reply.

The beauty of Email is that you can use it in your own way. While it’s a great form of asynchronous communication, it’s also a fantastic tool for collaborating with your team and getting work done much faster. At Readdle, we have been working on some exceptional new things for Spark that we can’t wait to show you.

I have been using FastMail as my primary email service provider for several years now, and it is worth every $$. It’s great to see an email service so focused on privacy and core email experience. FastMail has been rock solid over the years and I urge you to consider it. If you sign up using this link, you’ll get 10% off.

How cool is this? Manton Reece, creator extraordinaire and the man behind the awesome microblogging service Micro.blog, has created an archive of all posts from the now defunct microblogging platform App.net

In the final week before App.net shut down, I whipped up a few scripts to download every post on the platform via the API. After that finished, I also attempted to download small versions of many of the photos, but ran out of time. This data has been sitting on one of my servers for the last 3 years.

Why did I bother? At a high level, see my post from 2012 called Permanence. I also hoped to build a tool that would let anyone export their personal archive, or even migrate it to a blogging platform like Micro.blog.

Here are all my posts, with my first post created on December 16, 2012 and the last one on February 01, 2017, totaling 3320 posts.

The internet needs more things like App..net, and definitely more people like Manton Reece.

Jacob Kastrenakes has a lovely article up on The Verge explaining the new 6GHz Wi-Fi and what is means to consumers. If you remember, 6GHz Wi-Fi was supposed to be named Wi-Fi 6, but as it turns out, sensible naming for technology is a very rare trait.

Devices are expected to start supporting 6GHz Wi-Fi by the end of 2020, so its implementation isn’t far away. When it arrives, expect to see it branded under the name “Wi-Fi 6E.”

Realistically speaking, Wi-Fi 6 devices won’t be common till 2022 at least.

But what exactly is Wi-Fi 6E? Jacob explains:

To get a little more specific, the FCC is opening up 1,200MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band. For the past two decades, Wi-Fi has been operating with roughly 400MHz of spectrum, and all available channels had to be split up within that limited space. Channels on the 6GHz band are expected to be 160MHz each in size. Only two channels at that size could fit inside the currently available airspace.

This sounds exciting. As someone who lives in an over-populated vertical city like Mumbai, I’m stoked. I currently use 3 Netgear Orbi devices in my house, and will happily switch to whatever reasonable 6E range Netgear releases in India.