WhatsApp messenger hit by temporary outage

Users in Malaysia and Singapore also complained of WhatsApp being down in those countries. (Reuters)
Updated 03 November 2017
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WhatsApp messenger hit by temporary outage

MUMBAI/SINGAPORE: Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger suffered a temporary outage in India and many other countries, according to reports from multiple users on Facebook and Twitter on Friday.
Users in countries ranging from Brazil and Russia to Vietnam and Myanmar reported on social media that WhatsApp was down in their countries. The extent of the outage and the reasons for it were not immediately known.
’Whatsappdown’ was the top trending item on Twitter in India, which is WhatsApp’s biggest market with about 200 million of its billion-plus users. It was also a top trending item on Twitter in Pakistan, Britain, Germany and many other countries.
Users reported WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service, had begun to gradually function again about 30 minutes after initial complaints of an outage appeared on social media.
Users in Malaysia and Singapore also complained of WhatsApp being down in those countries.
A spokeswoman for Facebook in Singapore said the company was still investigating the matter.
Independent websites monitoring outages of popular social media services via online conversations and Twitter messages report regular outages for WhatsApp, often one every few weeks, but these are typically brief and confined to certain geographies.
WhatsApp has faced similar widespread outages this year, including for several hours in May.
WhatsApp is used by more than 1.2 billion people around the world and is a key tool for communications and commerce in may countries. The service was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion.


Japan space probe Hayabusa2 drops hopping rovers toward asteroid

Updated 21 September 2018
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Japan space probe Hayabusa2 drops hopping rovers toward asteroid

  • If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world’s first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface
  • The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020

TOKYO: A Japanese space probe Friday released a pair of exploring rovers toward an egg-shaped asteroid to collect mineral samples that may shed light on the origin of the solar system.
The “Hayabusa2” probe jettisoned the round, cookie tin-shaped robots toward the Ryugu asteroid, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world’s first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface.
Taking advantage of the asteroid’s low gravity, they will jump around on the surface — soaring as high as 15 meters and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes — to survey the asteroid’s physical features with cameras and sensors.
So far so good, but JAXA must wait for the Hayabusa2 probe to send data from the rovers to Earth in a day or two to assess whether the release has been a success, officials said.
“We are very much hopeful. We don’t have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful,” Yuichi Tsuda, JAXA project manager, told reporters.
“I am looking forward to seeing pictures. I want to see images of space as seen from the surface of the asteroid,” he said.
The cautious announcement came after a similar JAXA probe in 2005 released a rover which failed to reach its target asteroid.
Next month, Hayabusa2 will deploy an “impactor” that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo (four-pound) copper object into the surface to blast a crater a few meters in diameter.
From this crater, the probe will collect “fresh” materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, hoping for answers to some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.
The probe will also release a French-German landing vehicle named Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.
Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA’s first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa — Japanese for falcon.
That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed a scientific triumph.
The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020.