What happened?
September 11, 2001 7:51 PM   Subscribe

What happened? Plastic.com has been down all day. I know that the site has experienced server problems in the past, but usually they get fixed within hours. So this is unusual. Does anyone know if the site's server went down in connection with the World Trade Center thing?
posted by MAYORBOB (18 comments total)
I doubt the status of plastic.com matters much, at a time like this or really at any time.
posted by tomorama at 7:58 PM on September 11, 2001

A lot of internet backbone 'comes together' in Lower Manhattan (the same with the Virginia suburbs of Washington near the Pentagon, coincidentally), so I'm sure that part of today's internet connectivity problems are directly and physically connected with the attacks (especially since they've shut down power to the areas all around the WTC) along with the spike in bandwidth usage resulting from everyone coming online for news and discussion of the incidents.
posted by SenshiNeko at 8:02 PM on September 11, 2001

Plastic was hosted somewhere in New York City, if I remember correctly.
posted by mathowie at 8:02 PM on September 11, 2001

The plastic site is up and functioning, btw.
posted by mathowie at 8:08 PM on September 11, 2001

i second tomorama's thoughts
posted by rorycberger at 8:15 PM on September 11, 2001

Plastic can't cope with even a moderately large load -- I'm sure it and many other underfunded news-ish sites are down and will be for many hours yet.
posted by krisjohn at 8:24 PM on September 11, 2001

An unauthorized apology for tomorama's comment -- would that we had a First Post system like Slashdot's. Also, good to see you over at MeFi, MayorBob. Plastic was housed in N.Y., and it actually still is down right now, but should be up reasonably soon. (And krisjohn is aboslutely correct about underfunding.)
posted by j.edwards at 8:45 PM on September 11, 2001

tomorama: The fact that a website is down is indeed of negligible relevance at a time where people are dead and dying. Still, I think the information exchange and the discussion that takes place at sites like MeFi, Slashdot, and Plastic is very worthwhile during these moments.

Look at Metafilter, there have been over 500 comments posted regarding the disaster, including many very relevant (helpful, informative) links that you won't find on regular news sites. People have also posted some very heartwrenching first hand accounts and everybody's empathizing and bonding, whether they're in NYC or far away. And look at Slashdot, several thousand comments and tons of links. Many members of these community sites probably checked in immediately when they heard the news.

Members of Plastic, on the other hand, logged in to find a constant "500 server error". Obviously they have other news sources and discussion boards to check out, but Mayorbob's concern is understandable (although it's also understandable that his query might have been more appropriate as a posted comment and not as a posted item). With apologies to more pressing issues, I'll state what I've heard about Plastic's status. Plastic went down sometime before the crashes. Usually such a glitch would have gotten fixed in a few hours, but the company that hosts Plastic is located in TriBeCa, which means that they were evacuated along with the rest of lower Manhattan. As a result, it's unsure when Plastic will be back.
posted by Humberto at 8:49 PM on September 11, 2001

Tomorama -- A lot of people go to Plastic for news, and at a time like this, any and all news gateways are especially relevant. As much as I like MetaFilter, Plastic was the first place I went to find out about the situation this morning.

That said, the MeFi community has done a hell of a job giving out info and support today.
posted by Hildago at 8:59 PM on September 11, 2001

OK, thanks for the information. Sorry to post the whole thing as a topic. I wasn't trying to elevate the accessibility to one web site as being more important than anything else. And MeFi has done an excellent job of keeping pace with the story. I think I'm going to swing by church early in the a.m. Night all.
posted by MAYORBOB at 9:05 PM on September 11, 2001

Plastic doesn't have a single admin left. This was recently highlighted in a BUGTRAQ posting when someone described a security hole in their notes feature and they responded that not only do they not have a sysadmin but their ISP has blocked their access for non-payment.
posted by adamsc at 9:09 PM on September 11, 2001

i woke up this morning, and found out about it immediately on mefi. (my computer is my alarm clock, and right next to y bed, and i check mefi in the morning immediately after mail.). was pretty slow at first, but then again, so was cnn, msnbc, and the chicago tribune site.

i must say, the real-time coverage in the 450+ thread was great.
posted by lotsofno at 9:23 PM on September 11, 2001

i can't speak for tomoroma, but personally, i think that plastic, unlike sites like metafilter and slashdot, which i visit hourly, just plain sucks ass...but i guess anything that lightens the load on other news sites now is good, so i'll temporarily suspend my ill will and hope that plastic comes back soon.
posted by rorycberger at 9:33 PM on September 11, 2001

The status of Plastic is as relevant as the status of your family in Texas, or Nebraska, or Georgia... the point here is not the status of a specific website, but the status of the institutions we turn to for comfort. This kind of thing is unprecedented, and I can guarantee you that most of the nation was with their families, or on the phone to them, tonight. The point of a "community" weblog is to provide a feeling of just that, "community". My family is spread out all over the country, and none of them are sitting here in Oregon with me. Part of the community I turn to for comfort is the Internet, including MeFi, and when Plastic is down, it shakes me up a little in light of recent events.
posted by babydoll at 10:00 PM on September 11, 2001

I think there's relevance here. There were so many institutions of finance and commerce and communications housed in the WTC that we'll be feeling the disruption for weeks, if not months, to come. I'd been wondering for some time whether there would be any webhosts affected (though I figured few would be in as pricey a building as WTC 1 or 2).

I don't think that everything relevant has to be important, either. Especially after the first few hours, when everyone already knows the headlines. There are ramifications to be discussed here (even if Plastic itself isn't connected).
posted by dhartung at 10:38 PM on September 11, 2001

One relevant issue concerning Plastic is that many Plastic People live in NYC, and since we have no other way of locating them, we are worried for our friends. Also, many of us also read MeFi and this board is a natural first place to look.
posted by mischief at 5:37 AM on September 12, 2001

Has anyone heard from zyx from NYC? Or Katya from DC? I think bigeyes is from NY too.
posted by mischief at 5:59 AM on September 12, 2001

posted by mischief at 6:00 AM on September 12, 2001

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