But it wasn't supposed to break! [not quite OT]

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From issue 1369 of the Telegraph (UK), find them at www.telegraph.co.uk . Not quite on topic, but for those who fear the information infrastructure might just stop working this should add fuel to the fire....


A KEY British part of the Internet, designed to withstand nuclear attack and claimed to be impervious to failure, collapsed yesterday, severing links with America.

For a large part of Britain's Internet users it meant that what they had been assured could never happen, had happened. Over the weekend, their part of the Internet slowly broke down.

The Joint Academic Network - Janet - the largest computer network in the British Isles and a key backbone of the Internet, was unable to route e-mails and other information to and from America after a cable below the Atlantic failed.

An allied problem put any Internet address ending in .com, .edu, .net, .org, .gov or .nu out of reach.

Andrew Burrows, vice-president of Teleglobe International, a telecoms company that carries Janet's traffic, said: "It did not automatically route itself around another way because it was carrying such a large volume of traffic."

Internet companies claim the network can withstand any man-made assault. But Nick Flowers, a researcher working at London University's Mullard Space Laboratory, said: "This is evidence that there are single points of failure."

In common with academics at hundreds of British universities, Dr Flowers was unable to work with colleagues in America. The breakdown came as American space scientists were about to switch on an experiment aboard the Soho spacecraft on which colleagues of Dr Flowers have been working. "We've waited months for this day, but we cannot get anything from the States," he said yesterday.

A back-up system should have ensured that Internet traffic was rerouted via Japan and Europe, but it failed to work, according to an engineer at the London University Computing Centre, which manages part of Janet.

"We do not know why - it could be a cabling problem or a connector," he said.

By late afternoon yesterday, Teleglobe claimed to have fixed routing to America, although users were still reporting slow service.

-- straw berry (strawberry9@worldnet.att.net), February 23, 1999


Murphy's Rueful Compendium, Law 73:

Par. 4(a): If you could see the damn thing coming, you could dodge.

Par. 4(b):Otherwise, not.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), February 23, 1999.

Hi Straw. I don't think OT at all. It shows how even "fool-proof" hi-tech things react in the real world. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), February 24, 1999.

"Janet, dammit ... " LOL! Anybody ever see RHPS? That could become the British Internet theme song ~ ~ ~

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 24, 1999.

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