Google Reveals Sunday Outage Cause; Samsung Delays Galaxy Home Speaker; Bird Electric Moped; Apple-Privacy As a Service

A lot of people experienced outages for several hours Sunday on various Google services….YouTube, Gmail, Drive, and other products were impacted, along with third-party services like Apple’s iCloud and Snapchat reliant on Google Cloud. According to 9to5google.com, a configuration change intended for a small number of servers in one region was applied to many servers across a number of neighboring regions. Google also shared the impact…YouTube had a 10% drop in global viewings, Google Cloud Storage had a 30% reduction in traffic, and about 1% of users had problems with their Gmail accounts. It’s kind of like the old saying that when the US economy sneezes, the world catches a cold. Google has an outsized impact on our digital lives!

Samsung has delayed the release of its Galaxy Home smart speaker. Engadget.com reports that it may now reach store shelves between July and September. The company is positioning it as the center of its home appliances…their smart hub, if you will. It already starts off with a substantial disadvantage in that it runs on the Samsung assistant Bixby, which isn’t remotely as widely used as Alexa or Google’s assistant…or, for that matter, Siri. Now, the also delayed Galaxy F folding phone may actually beat the Galaxy Home speaker to the market. After the aborted rollout of the Galaxy F, Samsung might be wise to hold off and get the home speaker pretty bulletproof before releasing it.

When I was probably 12, I had a bike…as did most kids. The paperboy (whom I’ll call Jim…since that was his name) had a MoPed, sold at the time by Sears, which I lusted. Now, scooter-sharing company Bird will be launching an electric MoPed this summer. Theverge.com says it’s called the ‘Cruiser,’ and it will have a 52 volt battery. The Cruiser will have a nice, large padded seat, disc brakes, and an LCD screen (presumably to show how much charge you have left.) No word on what it will charge to rent the bike or its range or speed, or if it will also sell them. Most e-bikes seem to sell in the $1200-$3000 range. Bird HAS announced that they will sell their new custom scooter outright to buyers for $1299.

As noted here yesterday, Apple previewed their Sign in With Apple feature at WWDC. According to techcrunch.com, the feature is part of Apple’s privacy as a service push. Apple has touted for years the fact that they protect your data more than most other tech companies…and don’t sell or share it. In fact, a lot of your info stays on the secure chip in the device and doesn’t live in Apple’s cloud servers. An interesting wrinkle…in addition to the Single Sign On feature that lets you mask your actual email address, is the ability for the user to obtain actual on-device analysis of footage captured by third-party partners to deliver things that security device makers have typically offered as a value-add service themselves. That includes apparent identification of visitors to your home, for instance, and sending alerts when it detects people, as well as being able to differentiate that from other kinds of motion. One possible fly in the ointment…developers have counted on Hoovering up your information to help their own bottom lines. Some may balk at developing on Apple’s platforms without that cash stream from selling or trading your data.

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