Some people use their computer screens to light up their rooms. This may be the result of having started working during the day and not noticing that the sun’s gone down, and it’s dark outside, and they need to draw the curtains or close the blinds and switch on a light bulb, if they have one – they’ve been staring at their computer screens all day.
These types of people tend to live their lives through the Internet and probably don’t even notice there is a world outside their windows, and they may even have forgotten what actual sunlight looks and feels like. They clearly need help, but Amazon made things worse for this species of human by shutting down the Internet yesterday.
As the celebrated natural historian David Attenborough might say in advice to this post-modern category of people, “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment.”
But chances are they’ll be too consumed with frustration over Amazon breaking the Internet to listen to the old sage.
Not only did the outage of Amazon Web Services reportedly bring down many of the world’s largest websites – including Medium, Business Insider, Imgur, and Quora – it also switched off many light bulbs in smart homes, according to The Guardian.
Amazon, of course, is not only the leading cloud services provider, used for hosting millions of website files and smartphone apps, it’s also the infrastructure on which its own Nest smart home device depends on.
The taking down of such a large part of the Internet in this way shows Amazon has become too powerful, according to the New Statesman, which says: “When the world’s biggest websites go down, people start noticing who holds the plug.”
No one is saying Amazon deliberately pulled the plug, and Amazon fixed the problem within hours, with the company’s AWS storage facility in North Virginia apparently taking the blame, or “high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1”, as Amazon says – S3 being its web-based storage service.
But some are questioning whether the infrastructure of the Internet needs updating to avoid one single company driving millions of people out of their minds and to the edge of going to the other side of the room and switching on a lamp or something.
As BuzzFeed put it: “Welcome to hell, or 1990.”