Network down? Must be New Year's Eve gunfire
Or another fried raccoon...
Gun-touting buffoons and a pesky raccoon were among some of the more bizarre reasons why a number of Americans suffered power and comms outages during the New Year period.
American revellers who were presumably not content with simply opening a bottle of
bubbly moonshine to toast the New Year, decided to fire random gunshots instead.
Cable and broadcast television services in south east Memphis were knocked out for several hours.
Comcast officials said the cause of the downtime was due to bullet holes that had ripped into fibre-optic lines.
Meanwhile, a sleepy, chilly raccoon looking for a hot bed to hunker down in on the final day of 2007 electrocuted himself after running into a transformer at a Warwick substation leaving 8,200 residents without power for an hour.
Dominion Virginia Power spokesman told local reporters: "He probably was trying to find a warm spot as animals frequently do and it didn't work out too well." Quite.
The catalogue of power outage excuses was compiled by internet monitoring firm Pingdom, which scanned US news reports over the past week to see what the various causes were for power and network downtime. Its full results can be viewed here.
Pingdom said that such incidents proved that it's always wise for businesses to have backup power in place. "It may not be too bad for regular consumers to be forced offline for a few hours, but for a company, or worse, a data center, it can be a major head ache." ®
attacks on technology
I keep getting attacked by those flying rats they call pigeons.
The latest one decapitated himself on my car!!! I couldnt believe it.... it had sat in the middle of the road with car after car had going over it as it just sat there at such a hieght it was safe from collision.... then I suddenly saw it appear from under the van in front - at this point, it looked me dead in the eyes and slowly stood up, at the last second an evil grin and a lord of the rings style "YOU WILL NOT PASSSS" stance..... a little clunk and then a feather storm behind my car...... in hindsight I think it was trying to damage my already damaged undercarriage (car full of people + speedbump = BANG!), either that or it saw the damage and wanted to warn me....
I bet the Chinese are training racoons as we speak
About the issue with the optic cables on top of the ground next to the roads:
In my city, Oslo, Norway, some guy with an excavator cut some cable downtown and major parts of the city lost their broadband connection. Also the light signals for the trains went dead and in effect stopping most of the train traffic in and around Oslo for a day or so, moving loads of people over to other transportation clogging those as well. I also knocked out some emergency phone lines and thus affecting emergency plans to police, fire departments and ambulance.
Some contractor association complained afterwards that it was too hard and took too long to get answer from the power companies and therefore they should make their maps, over underground power cables and such, public on the Internet. If a guy with an excavator was able to do that by chance, I really wonder what you can do with the blueprint to the city.
Why does the US fear the Red Chinese Hacker Cyber Warfare Platoons when all they need to do is to have a few people cut a few cables in the desert? Or even better, release cold racoons to seek out and get fried at various power grid gizmos.
Why blow a plane up when you can just tamper with a railroad line?
What is the number to bin Laden if I feel like brainstorming with him?
Why does the black chopper over my house make no sound?
Unfortunately, you fail to take into account the sheer volume of ammunition that gets pumped into the night sky on New Year's Eve here in the good ol' U.S. of A. We happily tut-tut at the Iranis/Afghanis/<insert-your-Middle-Eastern-stereotype-here> for firing their weapons into the air at weddings and other celebrations, yet every city I've ever lived in in the U.S. has had at least a few dozen whackos firing rounds into the night on New Year's. Every New Year's Day we get to read about how many people were inadvertently hit. Low probability x large number of incidents = decent probability of this happening SOMEWHERE in the U.S.
Heck, when I lived in the hills in the San Francisco Bay Area (not exactly a hotbed of redneck rubism), there was a guy up the street from us who would fire off his revolver towards the bay at midnight every New Year's. Unfortunately, the water was roughly 2 miles away, with nothing but low-income housing below. I doubt any of his bullets ever reached the water. We'd call the cops on him every year, but he was quite sneaky; in and out of the house in under 60 seconds, with nothing but 6 evenly-spaced "bangs" to let us know he was at it again.