Yesterday night, while we were blasting the A/C indoors, catching up on the second season of Breaking Bad via Netflix, we noticed that the reliable video service was down. So we decided to snap a picture of the screen, add a Hudson filter and upload it to Instagram. But that wasn't working either. Finally, after two technological fails, we tried our fall-back social network: Pinterest.
Static? What was happening?
Last night, the Internet was rocked with power outages that left the three procrastination titans down and out. Now, you might be asking, how does cyberspace shut down?
Well, In Virginia, there is an Orwellian place called the Elastic Compute Cloud, where Amazon runs a data hub that controls Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest. With heavy winds and extraordinary heat, the center collapsed, leaving the social networks high and dry. And the tweet world was abuzz with angry comments by people who presumably had nothing else better to do on a Friday night.
Netflix and Pinterest were shut down for some time but service was restored by the end of the night. Instagram, on the other hand, remains totaled: as of this moment, my Instagram feed is down due to a "Response Error." This does not prove well for any of us; or, as Gawker's Louis Peltzman points out, "If you don't Instagram your Saturday brunch, is it even worth the empty calories?" Brunchocalpyse?
With temperatures yesterday and this afternoon hovering around 95 degrees, it looks like the heat wave last week was just the beginning of what is proving already to be a helter swelter. But, this time, it seems as if it's back with a vengeance: in the past two days, millions of people have lost power due to 100+ degrees - in Washington D.C. had its highest temperature recorded for June yesterday with 104. Severe thunderstorms have inflicted damage across the country and more is expected to come as we move into Sunday.
But forget the actual physical damage. In the Information Era, trees falling down are outmoded by data towers falling down. In other words, it is hot. And we cannot photograph one minute of it.