The typo that halted the Internet and Snap’s payday: week in tech – USA TODAY
As Snap, Inc., the parent company of Snapchat prepares to go public, what’s next for the company? Jefferson Graham explores on #TalkingTech.
LOS ANGELES â Snap’s all grown up, a typo took down part of the Internet, and a dashcam video put Uber’s CEO in the doghouse again.
ICYMI, here are the top tech headlines of the week.
Letâs start withÂ Amazon, which does a lot more than just send out books and other products overnight in brown boxes. The company also is a mega behind-the-scenes Internet player, doing back-end work for tens of thousands of websites through its Amazon Web Services division.
In a nutshell, Amazon hosts lots of the content used on websites Americans visit every day, such as Netflix, Spotify, Buzzfeed, Pinterest, Expedia and others, helping them store photos, videos and other files, and enabling anyone to create a web business easily.
When a portion of Amazonâs cloud service division went down Tuesday, many of those sites suddenly had broken links and empty rectangles where data, videos and photos should have been. The culprit? A typo that resulted in a cascading set of problems in a key storage system.
USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham gives us the lowdown on YouTube’s new subscription video service.
–No such issue atÂ YouTube, whose website is hosted by Google. The video network, really popular with young people, later this year will launch YouTube TV, offering 40 channels of TV for $35 monthly, which YouTube notes is half the price of the average cable bill. Thatâs fine and dandy, but the service is targeted to millennial cord cutters who have proven they donât want to spend money on TV, and many top networks are missing, like MTV, AMC, Comedy Central and CNN.
YouTubeâs got quite the challenge.
–Snap’s hot debutÂ raised $3.4 billion and made its twentysomething co-founders filthy rich. Snap is the parent company that makesÂ the red-hotÂ Snapchat app, and co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy both sold 16 million shares, raking in $272 million. Their remaining stakes in the company are worth $5.2 billion.
Jefferson Graham explores how Snap, Inc.’s Snapchat app has changed since it’s 2011 debut.
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–Another hot start-up’s leadership is having a much worse week. Uber CEO Travis KalanickÂ spent much of the prior week doing damage control after a female former engineer published an Internet-shaking blog post detailing sexual harassment that management swept under the rug.
This week, Kalanick ousted a recently hired execÂ Â after revelations the top engineer had faced, but not disclosed, an investigation into sexual harassment claims at his prior employer, which he denied.
Midweek, Kalanick was caught on tape berating a driver for the ride-hailing app Uber. After it went public, Kalanick apologized to the driver andÂ promised to get “leadership help.” But the pain didn’t stop there. On Friday, theÂ New York TimesÂ published a report that Uber had used a program to thwart police; Uber admitted to the program, but not the purpose.
–In Barcelona, much of the wireless industry met for the Mobile World Congress, but the two biggest players werenât there with new phones: Apple or Samsung. The big news was the re-emergence of names from the past with retro phonesâBlackberry and Nokiaâand lots of talk about the next big thing in wireless, 5G service. This is said to be even faster than home internet, and while there will be some tests here in limited fashion this year, 2019 is expected to be more realistic, with 5G going mainstream in 2022. So we waitâ¦.and wait.
–And finally, that huge Snap, Inc. IPO. The company went public, with shares pricing at $17 and closing at just under $25 on day one, up 44%, and then adding 11% the next day. Also investing–NBC Universal, which bought $500 million worth of shares. Snap, best known for the Snapchat app, which sends disappearing photos and videos, is now valued at $28 billion.
And the two co-founders arenât even 30 yet.
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham and subscribe to the daily #TalkingTech podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.Â