Who caused the great flood?
April 30, 2002 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Who caused the great flood?
Yesterday, Ernie posted a notice that Steve from Blue's Clues was leaving to become a rock star. Now Steve's web site seems to be down for bandwidth overages. They might be unrelated; still, it raises important questions about the possibility of accidentally overloading someone else's server. Where do burdens lie in this scenario? Does anyone have a historical perspective on this sort of situation? =]
posted by spaceboy86 (22 comments total)
Steve's site was also linked on MetaFilter yesterday, and two weeks ago.
posted by arielmeadow at 4:32 PM on April 30, 2002

Seems like if you don't want people visiting your site then you shouldn't have a site. I realize that spikes in traffic can be costly, but that's really something you should think about when you set up the site. Are there any hosts that will just disconnect your site when you hit your bandwidth cap? That way you could avoid any onerous charges.

Additionally, you could find a host that just doesn't charge for use of excessive bandwidth.

Also, shouldn't this really be in MeTa?
posted by bshort at 4:34 PM on April 30, 2002

Webloggers also killed the Lego cat church page. It seems that some people with little hosting contracts never consider the possibility that they might exceed their limits and are occasionally blindsided when something cool on their site gets widely linked too.

But maybe bshort is right, this does sound like 'general weblog related'
posted by crunchburger at 4:48 PM on April 30, 2002

Now, wouldn't it be ironic if littleyellowdifferent.com went down from all the hits I'm now getting from MetaFilter?

*nervous chuckle*
posted by littleyellowdifferent at 4:50 PM on April 30, 2002

They might be unrelated

They're not...there's now a notice about the site's popularity and server issues. (and even that is up/down at times.)
posted by gummi at 4:53 PM on April 30, 2002

Holy crap, that tugboat site cost the guy $3,000?!? (they were large gifs, but that's pretty crazy still)

I had no idea the lego church was gone as well. Damn, it was great work.

Remember Mahir? Could a Mahir happen again these days, given super popularity gets you shut out of free servers, and/or footing a massive bill for paid servers?
posted by mathowie at 5:03 PM on April 30, 2002

like the great and tragic NosePilot incident as well...

My server buckled and strained and held up on the day that i got 200 hits. I'm just a survivor that way.

Here is my idea for paid servers...when the traffic limit is exceeded, annoying pop-up ads appear. Like little virtual windmills trying to generate some cash from the passing storm...that would be much better that a bill.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:20 PM on April 30, 2002

I anabashedly admit my novice. Metatalk would have been more appropriate.

Back to discussion, it's true that most people want hits, and should be ready to deal with them.

My imagination asks about a worst-case scenario. Google-bombing is becoming more common. There was open suggestion of bombing Ultimate Search after Succa's site was stolen just two days ago. Denial of Service attacks are common enough as well. Malicious action on the web is not new. There is something uniquely powerful in the application of group effort necessary for a google-bomb's success. A DoS attack, though carried out by an individual, is uniquely powerful because of its ability to halt a given service. The combination of the group action and malicious technology could be very frightening.

It seems possible that groups of average web citizens could use mundane technologies, collectively, for malicious ends. It's not unlike giving swords to plowshares. It adds something to the thought of MeFi teams. I grant that such use is of limited concern to contemporary web users. Still, we've already seen artificial web constructs create real web economies. What prevents the possibility of impactual wars?

It might be too early in the life of the web to ask questions of this nature; it might not. What do you think? If a link posted on Metafilter to a site like Steve's could accidentally overwhelm the site's bandwidth, it could just as easily do so on purpose.
posted by spaceboy86 at 5:33 PM on April 30, 2002

fuzzy memory typing here, but i recall attempts in the past to flood sites have been killed pretty quickly by Matt.

metafilter isn't the only bandwidth cannon on the block, that is why slashdotting is slashdotting.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:56 PM on April 30, 2002

fuzzy memory typing here, but i recall attempts in the past to flood sites have been killed pretty quickly by Matt.

I'm sure they have been. But like you say, MeFi is not the only bandwidth cannon, and certainly won't be in years to come.
posted by spaceboy86 at 6:09 PM on April 30, 2002

And I ask again: Did anyone happen to mirror the Lego Church? I wish, I wish...
posted by y2karl at 6:19 PM on April 30, 2002

So wait, what does Andre with the hosting of Filepile? That must require massive amounts of bandwidth...
posted by bshort at 6:33 PM on April 30, 2002

man, steve was the gig. without him, who else could guide the dog.
posted by clavdivs at 6:40 PM on April 30, 2002

If you stop and think about it, a successful (noteworthy) webite getting killed by its own merit is a complete reversal of what the web started out as.

Back then, if you were popular, it was all kudos, no surprise server bill.
posted by BentPenguin at 8:30 PM on April 30, 2002

So wait, what does Andre with the hosting of Filepile?

He's on a throttled connection, something like 2mbs.

Slashdotting won't go away anytime soon, but webmasters need to stay the heck away from ISPs that have pricing schemes to exploit this. The tugboat guy is simply in with the wrong web hosting. Any web hosting company that doesn't offer a shut-down limit at this point should be avoided like the plague.

I really feel sorry for the tugboat guy. What he should do is appeal to the community and ask for a dollar or so from anyone who enjoyed the site and is willing to help him out of a very bad financial situation. If "Get Your War On" can make over two grand without a sob story then tugboat guy should be able to make something back.

Really, ISPs and web hosts should be taking the initiative here. One big slashdotting to some 14-year old's site means the ISP will be stuck with the bill.
posted by skallas at 9:44 PM on April 30, 2002

People, the FIRST RULE!!! Damn.
posted by anildash at 10:50 PM on April 30, 2002

Y2karl, here are five of the Lego church images, from mirrors mentioned in the original slashdot post.
posted by shinybeast at 11:22 PM on April 30, 2002

The first rule of...metafilter? web hosting? shouting? exclamation marks?
posted by jaden at 11:23 PM on April 30, 2002

actually, anil is referring to Asimov's rules of robotics. First rule: "A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."</foolishness>

Maybe anil was talking about self-linking, but spaceboy86 isn't the same person as littleyellowdifferent, is he?

Or maybe he was referring to what appears to be the first rule on the "guidelines" page, regarding whether people have seen it before or not?
posted by gohlkus at 2:58 AM on May 1, 2002

Anil is referring to the first rule of a certain website mentioned in this thread that specifies that one should not talk about said website. Especially on Metafilter.

Sorry to be so in-jokey, but with a little work you should be able to figure it out.
posted by turaho at 6:21 AM on May 1, 2002

Seems like if you don't want people visiting your site then you shouldn't have a site.

Oh my god shut up.


Paul Ford
posted by ftrain at 7:52 AM on May 1, 2002

Hey, Paul, I thought you were on vacation. I, for one, humbly apologize for any increase in bandwidth usage caused by the thread I posted here the other day. Are you really friends with Steve? Can you tell him I said hi? I digress.

I know one thing some webmasters do to prevent the "slashdot effect" is to deny requests that have slashdot as the referer. Maybe it's not too late to do the same thing for Metafilter? If it helps any, I'll definitely be buying the album when it comes out.
posted by Eamon at 8:40 AM on May 1, 2002

« Older Why the towers fell.   |   If Yao plays in NBA for 10 years, half of his... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments