Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Amazon: It Was Our Hardware, Not Hackers, That Brought Us Down

Amazon customers in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain lost access to the service for about 30 minutes Sunday. That in itself is rare enough an occurrence that when it happens, it usually makes news.

However, when it first happened, many assumed that Anonymous–the loose affiliation of digital troublemakers who last week overwhelmed the Web sites of Mastercard and Visa–was making trouble again. Not so. In a statement to Bloomberg News, Amazon officially blamed the outage on the failure of some of its hardware at a facility in Dublin. Web monitoring service Netcraft has confirmed this by its own independent observations.

Amazon had last week come into the crosshairs of WikiLeaks supporters for its removal of files related to the organization’s leaks of previously secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

And indeed Anonymous had planned to attack Amazon but realized the target was too big and switched to PayPal instead.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work