Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 2 – July 6
United, NYSE, WSJ.com outages expose digital vulnerabilities
- According to the LA Times, United Airlines had a “network connectivity” issue that grounded all its planes for over an hour. Then, the New York Stock Exchange halted trading. And around the same time, the website of the Wall Street Journal went down.
- Wednesday’s outages immediately ignited speculation about a coordinated cyber attack. No evidence so far points to any kind of hacking, but the series of major outages nonetheless underscored the vulnerability of large and vital institutions in the digital age.
- The flurry of problems paralyzed parts of the business world, starting with a computer system outage that wreaked havoc on travelers’ schedules with extended delays. A few hours later, the stock exchange halted trading over an apparent technical issue. Trading in all shares stopped abruptly at 11:32 a.m. EDT, and as of 12:45 p.m. EDT, trading had not resumed. Separately, the website for the Wall Street Journal also appeared to go dark for a short time. According to a spokeswoman, the newspaper’s site experienced an outage starting at about 11:45 a.m.
Jawbone Sues Rival Fitbit for Third Time in Two Months
- According to The Wall Street Journal, Jawbone has filed another legal action against rival fitness tracker company Fitbit – the third in two months. The newest complaint filed Tuesday with the International Trade Commission comes three weeks after Fitbit’s IPO and seeks to block the company from importing fitness trackers or their parts.
- In May and June lawsuits, Jawbone claimed that Fitbit stole trade secrets by hiring away Jawbone employees who allegedly swiped information, and infringed on patents by creating products that Jawbone claimed copy its devices. This new ITC claim, which was mentioned as forthcoming in one of the previous suits, seeks a ruling on those charges within 15 months, and a cease-and-desist order, which could potentially come before then.
- Fitbit’s stock has doubled since the IPO pricing, and was at around $42 on Wednesday. Fitbit denied either charge in May and June and vowed to defend itself from Jawbone’s lawsuits. Fitbit said in a statement that it “plans to defend itself vigorously against all allegations made in the complaint to the International Trade Commission.”
LaunchKit Makes Building Landing Pages For Mobile Apps Ridiculously Easy
- According to the TechCrunch, over the last few months, theLaunchKit team has released a number of tools that make it easier for app developers to launch their apps. The LaunchKit lineup now includes a review monitor, a screenshotting tool to make submitting apps to mobile stores easier, and a service for monitoring app sales. Today, LaunchKit is releasing its newest free service, which makes it very easy for developers to set up landing pages for their apps.
- Setting up a website for mobile apps is often an afterthought for many developers, LaunchKit co-founder Brenden Mulligan believes. If your app is already in the App Store, you can use the service to search for it and then it will automatically import your app description, screenshots and even figure out the right color scheme for the site (based on your logo, I assume). Then you pick one of nine pre-made layouts (you can always go back and change things like colors, fonts, icons, etc.) and you’re good to go.
- LaunchKit will host the site for you, but you need to set up your own domain name for this.Once it’s up and running, the new landing page will automatically adapt itself to the device you are using, so an Android user will see a link to the Play Store, and on an iPhone, you’ll be taken to the App Store.