WhatsApp Rings in the New Year with a Global Outage

WhatsApp Rings in the New Year with a Global Outage
Published on January 01, 2018 at 12:34AM
WhatsApp went down in several parts of the world today including parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The crowdsourced website DownDetector found the largest concentration of outages in portions of England, Germany, and virtually all of the Netherlands, as well as parts of Italy, Spain, and central Europe. Outages were also reported in many major cities around the world, from Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur, and Tel Aviv to Dubai, Mumbai, and Toronto… “WhatsApp users around the world experienced a brief outage today that has now been resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple’s iPhones Were the Best-Selling Tech Product of 2017

Apple’s iPhones Were the Best-Selling Tech Product of 2017
Published on December 31, 2017 at 11:39PM
An anonymous reader quotes USA Today:
Once again, the iPhone was the best-selling tech product of 2017, selling more units than the No. 2 through No. 5 products combined. According to Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Insights, who compiled the chart for USA TODAY, Apple will sell 223 million iPhones in 2017, up from 211 million phones the previous year… Apple took a risk in introducing three new iPhones for 2017…but all in all, Apple sold more iPhones total, although fewer than the peak year of 2015, when it moved 230 million units. (That was the year of the iPhone 6…)
The global market share for smartphones is dominated by Google’s Android system, which owns 85%, compared to 15% for Apple’s iOS, according to researcher IDC. But the iPhone is the most popular smartphone brand, having opened read more

EFF Applauds ‘Massive Change’ to HTTPS

EFF Applauds ‘Massive Change’ to HTTPS
Published on December 31, 2017 at 10:44PM
“The movement to encrypt the web reached milestone after milestone in 2017,” writes the EFF, adding that “the web is in the middle of a massive change from non-secure HTTP to the more secure, encrypted HTTPS protocol.”
In February, the scales tipped. For the first time, approximately half of Internet traffic was protected by HTTPS. Now, as 2017 comes to a close, an average of 66% of page loads are encrypted, and Chrome shows even higher numbers. At the beginning of the year, Let’s Encrypt had issued about 28 million certificates. In June, it surpassed 100 million certificates. Now, Let’s Encrypt’s total issuance volume has exceeded 177 million certificates…

Browsers have been pushing the movement to encrypt the web further, too. Early this year, Chrome and Firefox started showing users “Not secure” warnings when HTTP websites asked them read more

Hardly Anyone Wants to Ride the Las Vegas Monorail

Hardly Anyone Wants to Ride the Las Vegas Monorail
Published on December 31, 2017 at 09:40PM
Motherboard describes riding the Las Vegas monorail in 2008. “I was literally the only person on a train built to carry 222 people,” arguing that “the tale of the Las Vegas monorail is an allegory for almost every other monorail that exists on this planet.” An anonymous reader quotes their new report:
Las Vegas has struggled to deliver on its monorail promise since the 3.9-mile track opened in 2004. The track runs parallel to the Strip — behind all the massive, block-wide hotels. When the project was first proposed, promoters hoped to bring upwards of 20 million riders a year. In 2016, just 4.9 million monorail rides were taken. For reference, nearly 43 million people visited Las Vegas last year, according to the city’s visitor bureau, and the city has a population of about 632,000.
In 2010, the not-for-profit read more

China halts production of 553 car models over fuel efficiency

There were signs that this crackdown was coming. Regulators had said earlier in December that they would gradually impose stricter emissions standards on new cars, and they recently extended EV tax credits through 2020. Moreover, China hasn’t been shy about wanting to eventually ban all fossil fuel cars. Automakers know they can’t continue the status quo if they want to continue doing business in China, and that means more efficient engines, hybrids and ultimately pure electric cars.

The production freeze stands in sharp contrast to the US. The recently passed Republican tax plan doesn’t include a measure that would have taken away the EV tax credit, but the incentives to move to eco-friendly cars are far from guaranteed to survive when the current administration is determined read more