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Black Thursday

As we become more and more dependent on the internet, so it becomes more and more upsetting when our favourite web service goes down. If Gmail goes down for an hour, Twitter goes crazy. But imagine if a whole host of websites, including some super-popular ones, went down for hours on end on the same day?

Well, that's what happened this past Thursday. Amazon's EC2 service, a hosting provider which hosts lots of prominent websites, was down for several hours following a database crash. Social network FourSquare, techie Q&A site Quora, Twitter client HootSuite and online link sharing network Reddit were all affected. It was grim.

The question is if there's any foul play behind it. Amazon's EC2 service 'last hit the headlines when it decided to stop hosting a mirrored version of the Wikileaks website,' the BBC points out. That led to Amazon being attacked by pro-WikiLeaks hackers. There's no word so far from Amazon that foul play caused Thursday's problems, but we don't know it didn't, either.

One thing's for sure: as we become more dependent on 'cloud' services for our data needs, outages will disrupt our lives more and more. Let's hope Amazon are investing in some extra backup.

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