How the Amazon Web Services Outage Affected Everything

Source: Amazon

Amazon experienced a cloud computing outage on Tuesday that showed the world just how much it relies on Amazon and its services.

According to CNBC, the outage started around 11 a.m. EST and lasted until 6:30 p.m. Amazon Web Services’ status page stated that it was having issues primarily in its main US-East-1 region.

While the general public may not know much about what the AWS cloud-computing system does or about its existence at all, many users still felt the effects of the outage when trying to use some of their favorite websites or apps.

AWS is a host for institutions such as universities, governments, and companies, according to the Associated Press. When the hosting system goes down, its entities follow suit.

Users had trouble streaming when using Amazon Prime, Disney+, or Netflix. Work and academic performance were affected by the outage of Slack and Canvas. Users could not even access finance-based apps like Coinbase or Robinhood.

The outage disrupted the company’s retail operations as well, as warehouse and delivery workers were unable to scan or deliver packages. Workers were instructed to just wait until services were up and running again. This was unfortunate timing with the holiday season in full-swing.

In the midst of the outage, users took to social media to express their concerns, commentary, and frustration.

Some took this opportunity to criticize the amount of companies and institutions Amazon has a monopoly over.

Seeing how many daily operations were affected by just an hours-long shortage puts into perspective how much the world, more specifically the United States, relies on Amazon. It really poses the question of what would happen if the outage lasted days or weeks instead of a few hours. Or more hypothetically, what would happen if Amazon shut down for good?

With these questions in mind, the more important notion to ponder is: what should be considered a monopoly?


The Lord of the Rings TV show predicted to be most expensive series ever!

But is that a predictor of quality?

In 2017, Amazon bought the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings- a fantasy book series turn movie trilogy with a massive critical and commercial success that continues to be rampant in nerd culture to this day. Scheduled to air in September of next year, this series will take place thousands of years prior to the events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies. Like the prior movies, this series is being filmed in New Zealand. Though, a recent release from the country’s government’s official information act revealed the staggering costs behind the show. Production costs alone have reach up to 650 New Zealand Dollars, which converts to about $465 USD. But that’s just production. After factoring in costs like marketing, distribution, and merchandising, the projected cost may be closer to $1 billion USD. To put that in perspective, one season of HBO’s Game of Thrones costed around $100 million to produce.

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series First Look- Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

With such large budget, naturally, expectations among the public are high, but some more dedicated fans of Middle Earth (including yours truly) are a bit skeptical to assume that budget size will equate to quality and success. There’s no doubt that the production team will be adding all the bells and whistles to the show’s special effects. It will likely be a visual masterpiece. However, it was a comment made by Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos that he wanted The Lord of the Rings TV series to be the next Game of Thrones. On the outside, that comment could make sense, with Game of Thrones being a fantasy series with success in a global market, why not attempt to make the new The Lord of the Rings TV series similar in style? It’s been reported that Amazon will be adding more violence and nudity to their new series in the hopes to gain the interest of the same demographic as Game of Thrones. However, this is where some fans started to criticize Amazon executives for not acknowledging the key differences in the two shows that made them successful in their own rights.

Aragorn & Arwen- Courtesy of Middle Earth Film Saga Wiki

Excessive sex and gore do not have to be present in a story to make it successful. The Lord of the Rings was wildly successful without a major dark undertone in the narrative. You didn’t need to see two characters like Aragorn and Arwen getting intimate to understand their strong romantic chemistry. By using elements from other shows as a template for success, its easy to overlook the characteristics that make the original so iconic and popular. However, there is cautionary tale that they should be following from the progression of Game of Thrones: Game of Thrones season 8 is known in the mainstream as being a critical failure. Without getting into a rabbit hole of details, season 8 of the show presented issues when the show writers were left without any new material from the author of the Song of Ice & Fire author, George R. R. Martin. In lieu of that material, season 8 was written by a team that seemingly missed the mark on a lot of the story structure and narratives that Game of Throne fans loved from Martin’s Novels. The Lord of the Rings TV series will not be based on any existing stories from J.R.R. Tolkien, but writers employed by Amazon. Many fans have claimed that one of the major reasons for Lord of the Ring’s past success was because the stories remained so faithful to the source material, so Lord of the Rings TV show will have a lot to live up to.