Feeds

Web swoons as Jackson dies

Shock death trips up news sites, concert venue

Security for virtualized datacentres

The death of Michael Jackson yesterday brought US websites low as fans old and instant sought to confirm they were indeed experiencing their own JFK moment.

Gossip site TMZ is credited with being the first to report that the 50 year old Jackson had been found unconscious at his LA home and had been taken to hospital after paramedics failed to revive him. Jackson reportedly never regained consciousness, and his brother Jermaine announced Michael's death at 2.26pm LA time.

The report was quickly picked up by the mainstream press and the blogosphere, both of which promptly began to buckle under the strain as page load times stretched even as headline writers trotted out "The Day the Music Died" headlines.

Meanwhile, Wikipedians apparently worked themselves up into a frenzy as editors sought to fight off other editors who repeatedly added updates on Jackson's condition. No doubt they are currently trawling Jackson-related entries to locate any Ronnie Hazelhurst-style pranksters. (Was Jackson's best friend in the 70s really a rat? What was the thing with the glove? etc.)

Twitter search crumpled too as fans old and new attempted to make sense of it all.

Further evidence that the web does not move at the speed of thought quickly mounted this morning, as Europeans who'd gone to bed at a sensible time on Thursday woke up to (analogue) radio reports of Jackson's death.

As of 8am this morning, the website for the O2 Arena was still advertising tickets for Jackson's massive 40 gig comeback engagement at the venue. By 10am, the site had a note saying ticketing information would be released "in due course".

Meanwhile, in the early hours, NME's website carried news of the singer's demise, alongside adverts for secondary ticket sales for the O2 gigs.

And Amazon demonstrated that there were plenty of Jackson fans who didn't actually own any of his records, with its Top Ten bestselling CDs now exclusively made up of Jackson albums.

Still, while the web demonstrated that it is not always the best medium for finding out the news that really matters, we can probably rely on it for all the inevitable follow-on.

We can expect floods of tributes, detailing how Jackson changed the face of pop music (a reasonable claim) was the biggest record seller in history (probably) and invented the moonwalk (absolutely not).

This will be quickly followed by floods of revelations about the singer's murky private life, now that libel restrictions no longer reply - at least in the UK.

Closer to home, we can expect hordes of people asking for advice on whether they can get their money back on tickets to a large empty arena in South East London.

But first of all, we can expect a flood of malware spam, likely promising post-mortem pictures of the star's body. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.