China’s Latest Space Launches, AWS Hit With Outage And More In This Week’s Top News


This week, the internet was taken for a ride as Amazon’s Web Services were hit due to a glitch. AWS is one of the largest cloud service providers in the world. Its customers include Netflix and many more. There were even complaints of vacuum cleaners and showers not working due to this! While the world tries to wrap their head around the workings of the internet and 5G, China has already launched a 6G satellite this month along with a rocket this week that would collect some rocks from the surface of the moon. Learn what caused the AWS outage and the intent behind Chinese space missions in this week’s top tech news brought to you by Analytics India Magazine.

CIA On Cloud Five

According to reports,a multi billion dollar contract was to five key cloud players: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Oracle and IBM by the Central Intelligence Agency. The companies will compete for specific task orders issued by the CIA on behalf of itself and the 16 other agencies that comprise the intelligence community. CIA’s spokesperson underlined the significance of cloud capabilities resulting from the diversified partnership. The Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) Cloud Service Provider (CSP) contract might bring the cloud wars to a standstill, at least for now, after a year long tussle between the Department of Defense and Amazon for the $10 billion cloud contract, which was awarded to Microsoft Azure last year.


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When Internet Went Down; For A While

On Wednesday, reports of an Amazon Web Services outage started to appear. The problem appears to be an impairment of the programming interface for its Kinesis Data Streams product. As a result, customers weren’t able to read or write data tied to its streams. Amazon Kinesis enables real-time processing of streaming data. In addition to its direct use by customers, Kinesis is used by several other AWS services. Kinesis has a large number of “back-end” cell-clusters that process streams. As a result, stated AWS in their summary,  these slow front-end servers could be deemed unhealthy and removed from the fleet, which in turns, would set back the recovery process. Cloudwatch, Adobe, Flickr were among the popular services that took a hit. AWS, however, recovered before things went out of hand. 

China Launches World’s First 6G Satellite

According to Popular Mechanics, on November 6, China successfully launched “the world’s first 6G satellite”. The satellite, known as Tianyan-5, is a remote-sensing satellite jointly developed by the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu Guoxing Aerospace Technology, and Beijing Weina Xingkong Technology. In addition to Earth observations, the satellite will test a high-frequency terahertz communication payload that could send data at speeds several times faster than 5G. This week, China was again in news in space related activities as they have launched a new mission to dig up the surface of the moon for the first time in more than 40 years. The mission, named Chang’e-5, is the latest in a series of missions to the lunar surface led by the China National Space Administration (CNSA).  If successful, the collected samples can help fill the voids in the history of the moon. Rocks obtained by previous US and Soviet lunar missions suggest that activity on the Moon peaked 3.5 billion years ago. And, Chang’e-5’s samples can give a fresh perspective of the historical activities on the Moon. 

Salesforce Looks To Gain From Slack-ing

On Wednesday, WSJ reported that Salesforce is in advanced talks to buy Slack, which is currently valued at more than $17 billion. If this deal comes through, it will be Salesforce’s largest acquisition ever. One of the consequences of pandemic are companies like Slack and Zoom were given unprecedented impetus. Though Slack wasn’t able to capitalise as much as Zoom, their features however are changing the way corporate workspaces go about their routines. Slack’s ascent puts them at loggerheads with services like Microsoft Teams.

Salesforce currently enjoys a market value of some $230 billion, has made a string of acquisitions recently that includes the $15 billion-plus takeover of data-analytics platform Tableau Software in 2019.

EU Proposes New Rights; The Big Tech Might Not Like It

(Image credits: Unsplash)

The European Parliament wants to grant EU consumers a “right to repair” to reduce electronic waste and empower consumers to make sustainable choices. If passed– among other things– this law would force the smartphone, laptops and other device makers to append their products with a ‘how to repair’ manual to assist their customers. The European Parliament believes that this resolution would establish more transparency with regards to green initiatives and also contain the makers from resorting to trickery such as ‘planned obsolescence’; a newly downloaded update can slow down the phone sometimes. This resolution also pushes responsible marketing and advertising; the environmentally friendly claims in advertisements and bought ecolabel certifications might come under scrutiny as the consumers become more aware.

Amazon To Help India Make Better Drones

The Drone Federation of India (DFI) has collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and announced the Adopt Drones program to promote the adoption of AI-driven drone solutions. The Adopt Drones Program is designed to encourage novel machine learning solutions for drone applications. AWS will extend its technical capabilities to DFI for reviewing the solutions and optimising them. 

Google Plans Fiber-Optic Network

According to the Journal, Google is laying the groundwork for a fiber-optic network that will connect through Saudi Arabia and Israel while opening a new corridor for global internet traffic.

The project linking India to Europe is Google’s latest globe-crossing internet construction effort. Google is vying with Facebook to build more network capacity to support its surging user demand for videos, search results and other products. Google’s ideas to bring more connectivity between Europe and India as the Alphabet subsidiary plans to establish more data centers; the market which is currently dominated by Amazon and Micorosft. 

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Ram Sagar
I have a master's degree in Robotics and I write about machine learning advancements.

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