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Slashdot parent company experiences overnight outage

SourceForge Inc., parent company of several geek site staples, appeared earlier Wednesday to be in the midst of a server outage.

UPDATE (6:04 a.m. PT): SourceForge's sites are back up.
UPDATE (1:27 p.m. PT): Comment from SourceForge was added.

On Wednesday morning, there appeared to be some sort of outage at SourceForge Inc., parent company of iconic geek news forum Slashdot and retailer ThinkGeek (among others). Neither SourceForge nor the sites it operates were accessible at 5:30 a.m. PT. According to SourceForge, it was an emergency maintenance window that "caused an unanticipated network outage."

As they might have said at Slashdot rival Fark, "Everybody panic!"

Performance monitoring firm Pingdom reported that Slashdot was down from 3:38 a.m. ET (12:38 am. PT) until about 8:48 a.m. (5:48 a.m. PT), slightly more than five hours.

CNET received an e-mail early Wednesday morning from a reader saying "Slashdot is down and has been since late (Tuesday) night." A run through Google Blog Search yielded few results, but the Belgium-based BosIT blog had a post dated Wednesday afternoon (in that time zone) saying "Slashdot down...So is this what the end of the world looks like? It certainly is a first to my knowledge. Good luck guys!"

Another blogger said simply, "SourceForge is down." And the site for a Scotland-based software start-up called MonAmi that hosts its downloads on SourceForge's servers said, "With some unfortunate timing, it looks like the 'Axis of Openness' Web pages (SourceForge, Slashdot, Freshmeat) have gone for a burton. There seems to be some networking problems with these sites, with Web traffic timing out...This is a pain because we've just done the v0.10 release of MonAmi, and both the Web site and the file download locations are hosted by SourceForge."

Slashdot has been owned by the publicly traded SourceForge (LNUX) since 2000, when the company--then known as VA Software--acquired Slashdot operator

SourceForge vice president of operations Jay Seirmarco responded with an e-mail statement on Wednesday afternoon: "The datacenter serving, Slashdot, and ThinkGeek had an emergency maintenance window today, starting at 1:00am PT. While datacenter maintenance windows do not usually cause service outages for these sites, this specific maintenance window caused an unanticipated network outage that lasted until about 5:45am PT, at which time service was restored," he explained.

"We are currently working with our datacenter team to determine the root cause of this outage. All sites are now operating normally and we do not anticipate any other outages related to this issue."