GaryVee launches NFT Crypto tickets to his next event

GaryVee and The versatile technology of NFT

With every passing day, people find new original and innovative applications for the versatile technology that are NFTs. If giving a new meaning to digital asset ownership and pretty much revolutionizing the way we think about digital trust and digital property weren’t enough, it is now clear that they’ll be revolutionizing the way we think about real world property too.

Of course, we should have seen this coming already. While nowadays cryptocurrencies are mostly seen as a speculative asset and blockchain as a security technology, it’s important to remember that crypto coins were made to work as actual currency, and the blockchain is a framework to establish trust between parties. GaryVee is just taking us forward in that direction.

Let’s see how this works.

Who is GaryVee?

If you’ve been following Gary Vaynerchuk (better known as GaryVee), you’d have seen this coming too. GaryVee is an American entrepreneur that has been a part of many different endeavors in his life.

In 1998, right after college, he was given control of his family’s wine business, then called Shopper’s Discount Liquors, and basically gave it a different direction using contemporary marketing techniques. He gave it a more modern name, “Wine Library”, created an online store for it, and later on even started a YouTube channel to talk about wine, called “Wine Library TV”.

It was clear that entrepreneurship and marketing were his thing, and he knew that too. So in 2011 he stepped away from Wine Library and started to focus on his own company, VaynerMedia, a marketing company focused on digital marketing. And this was followed by VaynerX, a communications company, Gallery Media Group, a media company, among many others.

In his words, he is a serial entrepreneur. Very fitting.

GaryVee and NFTs

GaryVee is very good at noticing which trends are going to explode and which aren’t. He got into digital marketing before Web 2.0 had fully launched and the internet wasn’t such a part of our lives as it is now, and even pioneered the use of YouTube as a marketing platform, being incredibly successful with it, even though talking about wine is a bit of a niche subject.

So, it wasn’t very surprising that he’d end up deep into the blockchain community as this technology started to explode. When he heard about NFTs, he knew that the only way to figure out its full potential was to get into the NFT community by making his own collection. That’s how VeeFriends was born.

VeeFriends is a collection of 10,255 original tokens, created from 268 original artworks made by GaryVee himself, which depict human traits that he admires in the form of animals. Upon buying a VeeFriend token, you become part of the VeeFriend community, and gain access to many benefits along with it that are valid until 4 May 2024.

VeeCon

One of the perks of being a VeeFriend is access to VeeCon, a conference created and hosted by GaryVee, which is to be held in Minneapolis, and planned to be held yearly until 2024, being focused on the many facets of entrepreneurship: business, marketing, ideas, innovation, competition, among others, in the form of multiple talks, panels, discussions, and collaborations.

However, VeeCon tickets aren’t being publicly sold. Having a VeeFriends NFT is the ticket. If you want to go to VeeCon, you first have to buy a VeeFriends token from its website or from someone that already has it.

And this is a great idea. VeeFriends is GaryVee’s own community, so he’s making a conference for his community, for people who already follow him or are interested in what he has to say. Which is what VeeCon is all about. And NFTs are a great way to verify if someone is part of the community or not: the person connects their wallet, and then you check whether they have a VeeFriend or not. And with the way NFTs work, this can’t be falsified.

This kind of innovative way to sell tickets is bound to become more common this way. And with Gary’s dive into NFTs and blockchain technology, we can also expect some more innovative enterprises from him in the near future.

Will 2030 be the last year of websites on the Internet? Are we in the last decade of websites? What will replace them?

How it all started, where might we go?

As the years go by, technology evolves and things change a lot. We usually don’t notice the changes as they happen, because new features and trends tend to roll out little by little. But when we look back, we notice how much things changed.

With websites that’s no different. They started as simple HTML pages with not the most pleasant colours and occasionally featuring a (very compressed) image or two. Then, slowly, they started getting some newer features: structured designs (thanks to CSS and newer versions of HTML), dynamic pages (thanks to JavaScript), server-side databases and social networks (thanks to server-side programming languages like PHP, as well as database languages like SQL), embedded videos, among many others.

While those old-style websites still exist, it’s clear that modern websites have been dominating the internet. However, are these changing too? Are we getting into the next version of the internet and haven’t noticed it yet?

Possibly. Let’s talk about it.

Meet the web app

If you are into technology, you probably heard the term “web app” being thrown around. The term is very descriptive, but it can also cause some confusion. When we read “app”, we think of phone apps, so what would a “web app” mean? A phone app that needs internet connection to work? Like the Facebook or Twitter app?

On the contrary, a web app is actually a website that looks and feels like a phone app. While programming languages like Java, Objective-C and Swift don’t work on the web, and such can’t be used to make web apps, you can get a similar look and feel using current front-end web technologies, like JavaScript, CSS, Ajax and HTML5. And there are also some tools around which allow you to develop an app once and run it everywhere, even as a web app, like the Flutter framework, developed by Google, and the Electron framework, developed by GitHub.

How widespread are web apps?

Right now? Still not much, surprisingly. While nowadays most websites have a sleek design that makes them look like an app (like Facebook and Twitter), they don’t feel like an app as much, because when you want to go to another section of the website, it has to load a different web page.

Good examples of modern web apps are web versions of famous phone apps, like Discord web, Spotify web and Telegram web. All of these look very much like their mobile counterparts and feel very similar too. They also tend to have a desktop version which looks and feels exactly the same. Other commonly used web apps are some Google products, like Google Documents, Google Sheets, Google Slides, among others.

The future

While web apps aren’t very widespread today, that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the near future. And it’s easy to see why: frameworks like Flutter and Electron don’t just make web apps. They are all-in-one frameworks: they give you the ability to create your app just once, and then deploy it everywhere, be it for the web, desktop (Windows, Linux and Mac), Android, iOS, you name it.

And, even better: these frameworks also make developing an app much easier than before, being shipped with easy ways to create dynamic and good-looking user interfaces, which can be adapted to the local operating system’s look and feel, and that also seamlessly and automatically adapt themselves to whichever resolution they are in, and natively support both touchscreens and keyboard and mouse. They are productivity marvels of our time, and shouldn’t be underestimated.

With the rate that technology changes and evolves, we may see major websites and social networks becoming web apps in the near future, but modern websites will still exist for a while. In the future, other technologies could take the place of web apps as we know them too. Maybe it could be decentralised apps?

How is El Salvador mining Bitcoin with volcanoes?

Bitcoin, the New Legal Currency in El Salvador

About a month ago, the government of El Salvador introduced an economic policy unseen elsewhere in the world: it turned Bitcoin into an official legal currency in the country. Legalisation was only the first step, though, and the country is still transitioning toward widespread use of the coin, and the population’s distrust of this new technology and the applications that come with it along with the currency’s volatility are some of the main obstacles to be overcome in this path.

However, president Nayib Bukele is not discouraged by that, and is still investing into turning El Salvador into a Bitcoin powerhouse. His latest endeavour in this direction caught everyone by surprise, but it’s an ingenious use of the country’s natural resources: mining bitcoins using volcanoes.

The energy problem

Mining bitcoins can take a lot of energy. Bitcoin runs on proof-of-work, meaning that the mining process involves solving a non-trivial computing problem. It takes brute force to solve it, that is, the computer has to try every possible combination in order to figure out the correct one. As a consequence, the price of bitcoin and the number of miners tend to be tied to the cost of energy use.

In a small underdeveloped country such as El Salvador, that becomes a greater problem. Mining is needed to get more coins into the economy, as well as a source of foreign currency for international trade, but the government also needs to supply electricity to its citizens, and importing power from its neighbours can make it uneconomical. So, how can this be dealt with?

Volcano land

El Salvador has around 20 volcanoes, most extinct, but some still active. Volcanoes are basically an infinite source of heat. Heat is what is used to power the thermal power stations, such as the ones that run on coal or petroleum derivatives. When the heat source comes from beneath the ground, that makes it a geothermal station.

While it’s still a kind of thermal source of electricity, it doesn’t involve burning up fuel, so there is no generation of pollutants, and it also doesn’t depend on fuel being available. The volcano lava is pretty much infinite.

Geothermal energy is not new in El Salvador, and volcanoes have been used to power the country for a long time now, along with hydroelectric energy.

What changed?

The difference is that now El Salvador has added to one of its geothermal stations a section dedicated to just mining bitcoins. The government installed 300 ASIC machines inside a station, in partnership with one of the country’s electricity companies, La Geo. Being so close to the source, it means that the higher demand of power is not going to cause bigger loss of power in transmission lines, meaning greater cost-benefit.

El Salvador already has to buy some of its energy from neighbouring countries, and this new power usage can increase their need, but it can also provide a new source of income for the government too, and this income will likely be used to expand the country’s generation of electricity. Similarly, China’s recent crackdown on bitcoin mining and transactions can also turn El Salvador into a mining safe haven, greatly contributing to the country’s economy.

The future

Right now, investments on mining may be a kind of short term investment. While the use of clean energy makes it less concerning for environmentalists and the general public, especially in El Salvador, the push away from proof-of-work and into alternative methods of transaction approval is still very real and very strong.

Ethereum is bound to start transitioning to proof-of-stake in December, even though it faces resistance from many miners. If the transition is successful, Bitcoin may also follow it afterwards, turning bitcoin mining obsolete. While that means one less source of income to the Salvadoran government, it also means more energy available, and Bitcoin will continue to be legal tender, but then hopefully a bit more stable and accessible to the population of the underdeveloped country.

Car-driving technology: will we get self-driving cars soon?

Self-Driving Cars

With all the advances in artificial intelligence during the last few years, it was inevitable that one day that technology would be used to bring to life a very convenient feature of science fiction: self-driving cars.

While self-driving cars have been researched and tested for decades, only recently did we start to see some major breakthroughs, and it is clear that they will start to become commonplace very soon, thanks to the efforts of technology and automobile companies such as Tesla, Waymo, Uber and Google. However, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome before those cars enter our lives. Let’s see what they are:

The current state of the technology

Right now, the technology of self-driving cars is still under research, but very advanced research. We are not in the design and prototyping stage anymore. Instead, self-driving cars are already being tested on the streets. If you’ve been following news on technology, you’ve probably been seeing that, as it’s something that has been happening for some years, especially with Tesla cars.

However, that is a “beta test” in programming lingo, meaning that the technology is near the point of being ready for sale, but still has many technical matters which need to be tested in practice. This involves letting the program run and carry the user from one point to another multiple times while under its supervision. As of yet, we still can’t sleep while we let the car do its thing, unfortunately. But, the technology is bound to be released sometime during the next few years, even if it still needs human supervision.

Challenges

Aside from the technical challenges, there are some other important problems that need to be dealt with before this technology becomes commonplace.

One of them is regulation. Western governments tend to exert tight control over road traffic, and that’s understandable. Everyday thousands of vehicles cross many kinds of roads throughout the world, carrying people, objects, animals and what not. Accidents can be deadly and can even end up blocking all traffic in a road.

So, before self-driving cars can be widely sold throughout a country, the local government will want the companies behind them to prove that they are completely safe, and after that they will enact legislation specifying how people will be able to use those cars, legislation which will probably evolve afterwards and become more permissive with time. Some deadly accidents involving self-driving cars have already happened, something which makes lawmakers and the population more apprehensive about them.

Another challenge is the fact that most cars in the streets are not self-driving, and won’t be for a long time. While self-driving cars are able to follow traffic laws to the letter, the people that drive common cars don’t always do it, meaning accidents can still happen, and owners of self-driving cars still face many risks while using them. As it’s a new technology, we can expect the self-driving module to be quite costly, and present only in newer cars, so common cars and self-driving ones are bound to coexist for some years, maybe decades.

The future

Self-driving cars will certainly be rolling out during the next few years, although it will take some time until they are widely adopted, and even more time until they start to dominate the streets, as is usual with any kind of new technology. While most countries still need to adopt regulations for them, the European Union and Japan already enacted their own laws on it, and other countries will probably use them as models for their own.

However, as the technology improves and becomes more adopted by the population, we can expect our roads and highways to become safer than ever, both for drivers and pedestrians, as the reaction time of an AI is way greater than a person’s, and it can follow traffic laws without fail, thanks to GPS information, connection to other cars and self-updating traffic regulations. They are bound to turn our cities into calm, traffic jam-less paradises.

Meteorite-infused water is being used to create human-alien hybrids

Human-alien Hybrids

Human-alien hybrids have been a staple of space-faring science fiction for a long time now. Star Trek, the main pioneer of the genre, already talked a lot about it since the beginning, with its iconic character Spock being himself half-human and half-Vulcan. As the genre expanded, other kinds of half-aliens appeared, not only from human/alien parents, but also from infections, parasites, and genetic engineering.

Of course, right now we don’t have the technology to do any kind of large-scale genetic engineering to merge two wildly different DNAs, nor do we have access to any alien DNA to do this kind of modification and create hybrids. Still, a small village in Southern Italy claims to be creating them by using meteorite-infused water. How does this work? Check it out:

Meet Jonathon Keats

Jonathon Keats is an experimental philosopher. That means that not only he reflects about our world, but he also makes experiments that make us reflect about it too. And they tend to be pretty entertaining in their own right.

For example, in 2003 he copyrighted his own mind, arguing that it was a work of art he had created by the very act of thinking. That was his way of increasing his longevity, because a copyrighted work remains a property of the author up to 70 years after their death. So, if his mind was still being used after his death by a third party (by licensing the work), he’d outlive his own body, because “I think, therefore I am.”

In 2006, he took advantage of the possibility of the universe being composed of more than three dimensions (according to string theory) in order to sell real estate based on those other dimensions, even designing a four-dimensional “tesseract” vacation home. During the first day of sales he managed to sell 172 lots.

In 2010 he created his own space agency, the Local Air and Space Administration (LASA), in order to carry out his own space exploration, as NASA wasn’t doing that at the time. As he doesn’t have many resources available, he decided to do his own space exploration here on Earth, by simulating the lunar and martian soil using pulverized meteorites. His first astronauts were potatoes he grew on that soil, which explored the alien terrain “by osmosis”. And because they ingested alien minerals, that made them “alien hybrids”.

So, what are these human-alien hybrids?

The last paragraph of the previous sections may have given you a clue.

In partnership with the Italian village of Fontecchio, Keats has placed some meteorites on a hillside close to the village. When it rains, the water partially dissolves those meteorites and carries its minerals to the groundwater, which in turn goes into the village’s water supply and, especially, to a fountain in the village, dubbed now a Fountain of Tolerance.

By his reasoning, when drinking water that contains alien minerals, we become partially alien ourselves, hence “human-alien hybrids”. So, this isn’t exactly the kind of sci-fi stuff you’d expect. Far from it actually, it’s something metaphorical.

Going in line with Keats’s experimental philosophy, this is a way of making us reflect on what it means to be human and what it means to be non-human. The project invites people to have a drink and think about how easy it is to become “less human”, by having alien minerals replace earthly minerals, and how that doesn’t change who are in the slightest. It’s a “perspective shift”, as described by Keats himself, in order to makes us reflect about xenophobia and prejudice in general. Hence “Fountain of Tolerance”.

Still, as he himself also said, we also don’t really need to go to Italy in order to become human-alien hybrids. The planet absorbs around 5000 tons of alien dust each year, which everyday finds its way into our lungs, meaning we already have alien minerals in our veins, and consequently all of us already are human-alien hybrids.

Not exactly what we’d expect, but an interesting little thought experiment.

Augmented Reality NFTs and how Atari founder is behind it

NFTs have been one of the most successful blockchain-powered technologies of the last few years. While Bitcoin is still the main cryptocurrency and becoming a bit of a household name by now, Ethereum has solidified itself as the main environment for blockchain technology and innovation. NFTs are just the tip of the iceberg, and an important one at that, bringing more creative initiatives, from artworks to entire games, into the heart of the crypto world.

With this entirely new world to explore, it’s no surprise that more daring entrepreneurs would be willing to venture into it and find out with this new market has to offer. This time it’s Atari’s founder, Nolan Bushnell, who is developing innovative NFTs. Check it out.

Atari is delving into the blockchain

Bushnell is not alone in this. Recently, Atari, the company that created the first arcades and video games, has created a new company division, Atari Blockchain, dedicated to making blockchain content and technology, headed by Atari’s (now Atari Gaming) former CEO, Fred Chesnais.

When Chesnais had first become Atari’s CEO, he was given the arduous challenge of giving new life to a company which had long been outshined in the gaming world, was seen more as a relic of the past, and consequently had gotten into numerous debts. They were nearly bankrupt, and needed a miracle to take them out of it. Chesnais was that miracle. And crypto was a part of it.

Atari is going deep into the blockchain, creating games that take advantage of the blockchain’s inherent connection to cryptocurrency, such as Decentraland, a 3D environment made in partnership with Decentra Games, as well as Atari Casino, it’s own crypto-based online casino, which lives within Decentraland. And now they also have their own coin, Atari Token.

Bushnell’s project

While Bushnell is not ahead of Atari anymore, he never stopped working and innovating. He has been responsible for creating companies such as Modal VR, which creates large-scale VR environments, Anti-Aging Games, which creates games that help prevent brain aging (by training memory, concentration, among others), and BrainRush, a developer of educational games.

With his new project, however, he’s now looking back a bit, into the beginnings of Atari. The augmented reality NFTs he’s developing in partnership with VFX veteran Zai Ortiz bring to life the past successes of the company.

They consist of realistic 3D renderings of the old arcade consoles that Atari used to develop, remaining true to their style from those times, and bringing with them the old games they used to house. And they’ll be playable! Being AR, you can just put it on your phone and render it whenever you like, be it in your living room or in the middle of the street.

This collection, called “The Arcade OG Series”, consists of five different NFT collectibles, each of them featuring an unique arcade design, with the auctions beginning on 12 October in NFT platform Makerspace, some of them being unique, while others featuring multiple copies. And some of them also come with other, real life bonuses. One grants you a trip to Two Bit Circus in Los Angeles, along with Bushnell himself, and another will also get you an original Atari 2600, still in its unopened box, signed by Bushnell. This is the perfect collection for video-game enthusiasts and people that lived in those early days of gaming. It’s no wonder that one of the NFTs, a red Pong arcade, has as of writing a bid of 18 ETH (about 70 thousand dollars).

Of course, Bushnell doesn’t intend to stop there, and intends to bring about some more innovative NFTs soon. And so does Atari. Maybe we will see some other NFTs like those in the near future too, as Atari has a wide portfolio of classic games and hardware that still feed people’s nostalgia.

China is Creating a 1 km Long Spaceship

Biggest Spaceship In History

Yes, you read that right. A one kilometer long spaceship. If you’re more used to the American imperial units, that’s about 0.6 miles. For comparison, that is bigger than any of the Enterprise ships in Star Trek,  and more than half the size of the classic Star Destroyers from the original trilogy of Star Wars. This spaceship is pretty big even for science fiction standards.

China has been investing heavily in developing aerospace technology and technology in general for some time now, and this has already led to the creation of companies and products that manage to rival American, European, Japanese and Korean ones. In matters of space exploration, they have already put satellites into orbit and have been working on creating their own space station, the Tiangong, but the news about this huge spaceship has come as a surprise to everyone, considering that even the US wouldn’t dream of it nowadays.

Let’s see what this is all about.

The Spaceship is a Long-Term Project

Information on the spaceship came from a research outline released by the Chinese government, defining the construction of spaceships of that size as a future objective and beginning a feasibility study that should last about five years.

While with today’s technology building that spaceship would be pretty challenging, the Chinese government aims to direct research towards making them more feasible, such as by developing new kinds of materials and improving manufacturing process and engineering technology so they would be cheaper to build while also being more durable.

Still, the fact that this is actually being researched means that it is likely to become reality.

The possibilities

But, how would it be possible to build a spaceship that big?

To build it, the clear answer is of course to just build it here on Earth. It’s much easier to haul equipment from one place to another, you have a lot of workforce available and it’s much cheaper. The problem however would be to launch it: a spaceship that big would have to handle a lot of drag while leaving the atmosphere, which would not be feasible at all. It would require huge amounts of fuel just to do that, meaning room and materials that would likely be unused when in space.

The other option would then be to build it in space, Star Trek style. While we don’t have anything nearly as big as the franchise’s Utopia Planitia Mars shipyard, the spaceship could be built over the course of years by hauling equipment, materials and people back and forth, something which could be streamlined with the help of new technologies such as 3D printing.

China’s Tiangong could help with that, but something like a Moon base would make it much easier to store supplies and house more people, so that less trips would be needed. However, we’re still a bit far away from that right now.

Challenges to overcome

And, of course, even if it’s possible to build the ship, there are also many challenges involved in making it actually work.

First, there is radiation. While a 1 km long spaceship could house a lot of people, that won’t matter if they constantly have to deal with radiation poisoning. The farther away you are from Earth’s atmosphere, the greater the radiation is. That means a lot of materials spent just on radiation shielding.

Another problem is orbits. While Star Trek makes it look easy, keeping a spaceship or space station in orbit is pretty difficult, because the orbit is never perfect. Even the Moon is slowly moving away from us. You have to keep adjusting your speed in order to make sure you stay in orbit. And the more mass you have, the more fuel you need in order to change your speed. And a 1 km long spaceship is going to have a huge amount of mass.

With this length, even vibrations would be a pretty big problem. A thruster fired on the front of a spaceship that long could make it shake from side to side as if it were a piece of wire. This also means that it’s necessary to invest in new kinds of dampening techniques so that future spaceships don’t become a giant rattle with humans inside. Maybe Star Trek’s “inertia dampeners” aren’t too far off.

Still, this is thrilling news, as this kind of research is bound to bring us many new kinds of technology, even if not related to the aerospace field.

Is the Race to the Moon being turned into a legal battle between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos?

Internal Space Race

Not only is the US deep into another space race, competing against China for a stake in Mars and the Moon, but inside the US there is also a space race within the recently developed private sector of space exploration. This, of course, is to be expected: as multiple private companies are competing for investor money and looking into creating a market for space tourism and colonization, they’ll also be competing for milestones, such as being the first to reach the Moon, Mars, to land people on them, these kinds of things.

However, with the stakes being high and nerves to their limits, the  peaceful technological competition can sometimes escalate into other kinds of conflicts. This time, fortunately, it’s not a full-scale war, but an important legal battle between the two main competitors: Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Let’s see what’s going on.

NASA technology

If you’ve been following the news on the space race, you probably know where all their technology came from. Unlike the first space race, the current contenders from the American side didn’t start from the ground up. Instead, they got a huge kick start by getting a lot of their technology from NASA and other aerospace companies, in the form of patents that expired, became public domain or were licensed, collaborations, as well as former and current NASA engineers.

And the reason is obvious: no need to reinvent the wheel. The US government has been investing into private space exploration and this is one of the ways that they do that, even while NASA is doing its own space exploration and research.

The dispute

However, as there are multiple companies involved in the race, sometimes the US government has to choose only one among them.

This time, NASA had to pick a company to partner with in order to develop new Moon landers, to send people to the moon for the first time since 1972. SpaceX and Blue Origin were competing for this contract for months, and in the end NASA picked SpaceX. After the decision, Blue Origin contested it, and upon hearing a “no” again, they sued.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time that they got into this kind of dispute. Back in 2013 they already clashed publicly over the exclusive use of a NASA launch pad, in which NASA also opted for SpaceX. Not soon after they also clashed over rights to a patent for landing rockets on the ocean, in which SpaceX was once again favored, and Blue Origin contested and lost.

SpaceX started first, so it’s no surprise that they’d end up being favored in these contracts. Still, Blue Origin has also been striving to catch up, and their newly-unveiled space tourism initiative may bring them some new life and turn the tides for them.

Outcomes

Right now, the organizations involved are locked in the dispute. Because the decision is being contested and the case is currently being analyzed by the Court of Federal Claims, NASA has halted all work on the project, meaning SpaceX did too, from the day the legal action started (19 August) until 1 November. Not to mention that it led to some funny Twitter discussions, in classic Musk style.

Of course, this is merely a setback. After the matter ends, research and development will continue as usual, whatever results might be. If the previous battles are any indication, it’s likely that SpaceX will come out victorious once again, but we’ll have to wait and see, as details on the case are being kept private.

Hopefully this doesn’t become a habit. While legal action is important to maintain fair ground among the companies, it should not get in the way of technological development, nor be used as a way to halt competition. With any luck the decisions coming from this will be able to calm the nerves of the parties involved.

The Facebook Shutdown

What caused Facebook services to shut down?

On 4 October, the Facebook website, other apps and services of the company, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, went down for about six hours. While many social media and online services end up having some extended periods of downtime once in a while, this was one of the longest downtimes from a big company in the last few years, and one which affected more than one service. As many people depend on those services in order to talk to other people and earn their living, this obviously caused some discontent, which people expressed through platforms such as Twitter, Telegram and Discord, as they aren’t part of Facebook and so remained online.

A lot of theories were thrown around trying to explain what happened, but Facebook only released information on it some time after their services had returned. So, what was the problem?

Border Gateway Protocol

Before we get into that, it’s important to have a bit of a background on how the internet works.

The internet is a very large network, so it’s very easy to get lost in it while trying to find a website to connect to. IP addresses exist to help that, assigning an identification to every device connected to the internet. While for home devices those addresses change with time, for websites and web services they don’t change. And they can also have an address associated with them that’s easier to remember, such as “facebook.com”, which are called “domains”. There are servers which translate those domains to IP addresses, allowing you to connect to the server you’re looking for, and they’re called DNS servers.

However, while the IP address gives you the server you need to reach, how do you reach it?

The internet is basically a huge network of ISPs, which are in turn connected to the web servers that you are trying to reach. In order to reach it, you launch a request from your computer that traverses the maze of ISPs until it gets there. Your computer always tries to get through the shortest route, and the ISPs help you by laying it out to you, and do so by means of a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), that is, the protocol that defines what it tells to packets that are on their “border”.

Web servers also have their own BGPs, and these tell you if you reached the right place and if you sent the correct packet using the right protocol, and they also tell the ISPs about their IP so that they can associate the physical location to the IP and guide packets towards it.

So, what happened?

The official reason released by Facebook was that the outage was a result of a faulty network configuration in their routers. While it’s a true reason and enough for the average internet user, it is also very vague.

Network specialists theorize that what happened was that someone in the company changed the configuration of Facebook’s BGP to a faulty one, and either the router or the employee did not notice that it had errors, and as a result the BGP stopped working entirely. Consequently, the BGP also stopped announcing the server’s IP to the DNS and ISPs, which in turn led them to think that the server was offline, so they couldn’t route people to it. Consequently, no one could reach the Facebook servers anymore.

It’s likely that that faulty configuration also affected the internal BGP, the BGP which guides computers to other computers inside Facebook’s private network, which also prevented employees from getting into the building, as you may have heard about.

Going forward

Of course, this will serve as a warning to Facebook and other companies that depend on server reliability that big accidents can still happen. Measures will be taken to ensure that mistakes like these are less likely, such as by increasing checking and security measures before any possibly breaking change, and things will continue as normal.

Raspberry Pi Origins

A Revolutionary Computer

Raspberry Pi is a computer that captures the imagination of the young and old alike. It all started in 2006 with an idea to develop a low-cost computer to encourage children to learn about computing and programming.

In this blog post, I will discuss what a Raspberry Pi is, when and why it was developed.

What is a Raspberry PI?

A Raspberry PI, or PI for short, is a piece of electronics that has exploded in popularity over the last few years thanks to the $35 price tag. If you haven’t heard of it or seen one, they are basically super powerful little computers with some pretty amazing capabilities.

Originally designed for education, it’s available to anyone who is interested in computing and programming, at around $25-$35 (less than £20.

Characteristics of Raspberry Pi

Because it is small and affordable, it consumes less power than other computers. You can use it as an alternative to other operating systems because of its multimedia capabilities that can stream videos and play audio tracks without much effort.

The credit card-sized computer can be plugged into a display unit, keyboard and mouse to work like a desktop computer.

Also, these small computers can be used for other works. Everything from home automation, media streaming to using it as a personal computer, can function as a media center, simple remote controller and so on.

The History of Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a series of single-board computers developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries.

 It was designed by Eben Upton and Rob Mullis in 2006 but later launched in 2012. Since its launch, it’s become one of the bestselling computers in history with over 6 million units sold. It is currently manufactured in South Wales by Sony.

From its humble beginnings as a mere hobbyist project, the Raspberry Pi is now more popular than ever – delivering thousands of units to individual customers all over. This barebone computer has slowly evolved into the world’s most successful lineup of single-board computers

For those who want to begin their programming, this computer has been a standalone device for them as it offers a complete package to work with. Programmers have been able to learn the basics of programming through the Raspberry Pi as it is portable and can be used easily.

Why was Raspberry Pi Developed?

The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

It plugs into your TV or computer monitor and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. The Raspberry Pi is capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop PC to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games.

The design is based around a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and RAM.