Hackers last week launched the largest ever distributed denial of service (DDos) attack, bringing large parts of the Internet grinding to a halt. The attack focused on U.S.-based Dyn, which resolves domain name service (DNS) queries, connecting web addresses to their underlying IP numbers. The result: large numbers of people were unable to reach popular sites such as Netflix and Facebook.
The attack, which may have sprayed Dyn with an unprecedented 1.2 terabytes per second of traffic, came mostly from insecure devices connected to the Internet of Things, meaning that the most significant development in mass communication since the papyrus scroll was brought to its knees by a collection of over-talkative toasters.
The hacking group behind the attack said it was just a stress test for something bigger further down the line, once again cementing 2016’s already confirmed position as the most anxious year ever.
Twitter’s Vine isn’t the only thing that’s withering
Twitter announced that it was shutting down Vine, a video-sharing startup that it purchased four years ago. Thousands of social media users eager to share videos of their dogs singing will be forever disappointed, but the noble canon of Vine videos will remain untouched, the company promised. The shutdown comes amid hundreds of layoffs and a restructuring that will affect almost one in 10 Twitter employees.
Apparently Vine founder Rus Yusupov wasn’t too happy about the news, tweeting:
Don’t sell your company!
— Rus (@rus) October 27, 2016
Perhaps the saddest news for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is that he apparently can’t.
Apple, Microsoft shine up new hardware
Apple launched its first new MacBook Pros in more than a year, replacing the function keys with an OLED touch bar that can show different images. For example, it will show word suggestions as you type and, in a clear sign that the end-times are near, lets you type emojis directly. Still no touchscreen OSX laptops, though, because that would presumably be a little too revolutionary.
Microsoft launched a range of new hardware including a new Surface Book and the ‘Surface Studio,’ a desktop PC that turns into a drafting board and is designed to take advantage of a new ‘Creator’ release of Windows 10. Pre-orders of the all-in-one will ship with ‘Surface Dial,’ a spinny wheel thing that you can use to select things from an on-screen menu, in case just touching the screen was a bit too much effort.
Microsoft also launched a virtual reality headset. We’re looking forward to seeing thousands of people crashing into their living room walls while running blindly toward a tempting spinning logo with the words “Getting Windows ready.”
Dingbat of the week
This week’s dingbat award goes to Donald Trump, who has apparently adopted a new online tactic: using “dark posts” on Facebook. These posts, which are designed to be seen only by African-Americans, cast Hillary Clinton as a racist in an attempt to shrink the electorate and increase Trump’s chances of snatching back some votes, according to a report this week on Bloomberg.
The real takeaway for Trump? Eyeballs. His online campaign will have garnered up to 14 million email addresses at the end of the campaign. And guess what launched this week? Trump TV — a live Facebook video channel designed to bypass the traditional media.