On New Year’s Eve, Linux Today published a spurious news story
alleging in part:
The Linux Today servers failed for five minutes
precisely at 00:00 UTC on the new year, depriving Linux news
readers worldwide of their accustomed headlines.
Investigation of the problem revealed a dirty little secret:
dependence upon Microsoft non-Y2K-compliant software.
A surprising number of readers took the report as fact despite such
obvious clues as absurd claims like:
… The outage has been blamed for thousands of
panic-induced incidents that have been reported worldwide. Mass
hysteria, chaos on the World Wide Web, uncontrollable E-bay auction
price reductions, email server overloads, failure of important beer
delivery systems and several system administrator asylum
commitments have all been blamed on the incident.
Here are the facts:
There was no five minute outage, not even a five microsecond
outage at 00:00 UTC on January 1, 2000. The Linux Today servers
have been up and working flawlessly for 150 days to date and were
last down for a hardware upgrade in early August.
The Linux Today servers run entirely on open-source software:
Red Hat 5.2 Linux, Apache, MySQL, mod Perl and PHP. The Linux Today
banner server runs entirely on Perl and MySQL. There is no 386
computer running Windows 3.1 and Excel or any dependence on any
Microsoft products whatsoever — there is no “dirty little
Paul Ferris does not drink Budweiser; he drinks Fosters.
There was almost no real Y2K news to report, so Linux Today
published the completely fictional tale just for the fun of it!