Amazon Web Services outage stops vacuums, doorbells from working

Amazon Web Services outage stops vacuums, doorbells from working
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An outage at Amazon Web Services has caused several Roomba vacuums and Ring smart doorbells to stop functioning.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is big part of Amazon’s business and the cornerstone of its sites and services, experienced a widespread US outage on Wednesday, disrupting these services and causing the robot vacuums and smart doorbells to stop working.

Reaction to the outage

Geoff Belknap, LinkedIn’s top information security official, tweeted: “I… can’t vacuum… because US-east-1 [region] is down.” Another Twitter user replied: “Welcome to the future.”

The Roomba robot vacuum’s manufacturer, the iRobot company, acknowledged the outage and said: “An Amazon AWS outage is currently impacting our iRobot Home App. Please know that our team is aware and monitoring the situation and hope to get the app back online soon.”

While these robot vacuums may work without internet connection, online services are used to confine it within a specific area and to remotely activate or schedule cleaning, which is how many owners use them.

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Meanwhile, the Ring company, maker of the smart doorbells, stated: “We are aware of a service interruption impacting Ring. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding.”

Other companies that were affected by the outage were Photoshop-maker Adobe and the Washington Post newspaper, which is owned by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos.

AWS has announced that it already resolved the problems and that all of its services are back online.

Other developments at Amazon

A day ago, Amazon issued an apology to UK customers after they received an email announcing the launch of the Sidewalk service.

An email regarding the launch of the Amazon Sidewalk service, which is just currently available in the US, has been sent in error to customers in the UK. The service creates a neighborhood-wide network for local devices using customer broadband accounts.

The Sidewalk launch email was originally intended to be sent to customers with a US-registered device only but UK customers reported that they have received an email from Amazon regarding the service.

An Amazon spokeswoman said: “We recently began emailing customers with Echo devices registered in the US to give them more information about Amazon Sidewalk. This service will only be available in the US when it launches. We apologize for any confusion.”

Two weeks ago, Ring, a subsidiary of Amazon, announced the recall of about 350,000 smart doorbells following reports that some caught fire.

In a notice posted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of 2nd generation Ring doorbells sold in the US and Canada were affected by the recall due to potential fire hazard.

According to the CPSC, Ring has received 23 reports so far of its doorbells catching fire, causing property damage and eight cases of minor burns.

It was later discovered by product safety officials that the use of a wrong screw was the cause of Ring smart doorbells catching fire or burning their owners.

Safety officials from the US and Canada discovered that if a longer, sharper screw is used at the device’s base, it can damage the battery pack, causing it to overheat and catch fire, leading to property damage and injuries.

The 2nd generation Ring doorbells come packaged with a special small security screw to lock the front cover in place. This should be replaced every time the battery needs recharging, which is every few months.

The package also contains a set of longer wood screws, designed to fix the device to the wall. The overheating occurs when owners mix up these screws and or lose the original security screw and replace it with the longer ones.

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