The Sum of All Fears
A Facebook Drone entered free fall over Paris today as a tourist snapped a picture of the drone with their Android Facebook App while on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower. The picture, having been uploaded to the Facebook Datacenter, triggered a chain of computational events that resulted in loss of control of the aircraft.
Too early to tell yet as specifics are hazy, but apparently the image of the drone was fed through the usual data pipeline, which first tried to detect 'People and Places'.. the drone image triggered recognition of a Facebook property which engaged the Coordinated Advertising Platform to begin beaming advertisements to the hapless tourist, using a high power laser beam from the drone.
The advertisement, apparently for a Groupon deal in Tasmania for all-you-can-eat badger belly tacos, was inserted by a piece of Android malware in the tourist's phone through a fairly typical FREAK attack. The errant laser-ad then bounced to the control tower at Charles de Gaulle airport, temporarily blinding ATC operators, who put the entire Paris air pattern on Hold Position. The ATC command was received by the Facebook drone, but due to a non-deterministic issue in its Hip-Hop virtual machine, never propagated upwards to its PHP-based mission computer, which was engaged by this time in a recursive advertising loop with its California-based ad-server.
After the crash, Facebook Central automatically activated its Suicide Prevention Platform for all users that were near the crash or were indirectly affected by it as determined by Social Graph.
At the time of report Facebok officials have yet to issue an official apology, however they have hinted that the country of France may be eligible for a free app upgrade and 1 year of free credit monitoring.