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Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook's worst-ever outage on Monday is destined to be a case study on the downside when a company uses its own technology to run its operations.

Why it matters: For all of Big Tech's power and resources, a few lines of code can still bring down an entire global service if written badly enough.

Driving the news: Facebook on Tuesday offered a few more details on what happened Monday, blaming errors made during routine server maintenance.

  • "From here on out, our job is to strengthen our testing, drills and overall resilience to make sure events like this happen as rarely as possible," Facebook engineering VP Santosh Janardhan said in a blog post, adding that a review process is underway.

The big picture: Outages due to maintenance errors are not uncommon. The key is to have practices in place that reduce the occurrence of such issues as well as to limit the damage when they do.

Between the lines: Facebook's reliance on its own services for the systems that manage and protect its systems compounded the damage instead.

  • Not only were the company's services down for consumers, but also for Facebook employees, who rely on a business version, known as Workplace, for much of their communication.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Oct 14, 2021 - Technology

Facebook's AI wants to learn the world through human eyes

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook is announcing a new machine learning project that aims to teach AI how to understand and interact with the world through a first-person perspective.

Why it matters: Most computer vision is trained on images and videos taken from a third-person perspective, but to build AI assistants and robots that can work with us in the real world, researchers will need to compile data sets built on what is known as egocentric perception.

Updated 15 mins ago - Health

This arthritis drug cost $198 in 2008. Now it's more than $10,000

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2008, a box of 30 anti-inflammatory rectal suppositories that treats arthritis, called Indocin, had a price tag of $198. As of Oct. 1, the price of that same box was 52 times higher, totaling $10,350.

Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms, Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.