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Daily Debrief: What's behind the worst Web glitches of 2008?It's only August and already the list of Web outages is long. Charles Cooper and Webware Editor in Chief Rafe Needleman examine the flip side of the cloud computing success story--as well as Rafe's picks for the 10 worst Web glitches of the year.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> A little more than half way through 2008 there were web glitches popping up all over the place, why? Welcome to the CNET News daily debrief, I'm Charlie Cooper here with my colleague web ware editor and chief Rafe Needleman. And as my peeps I want to say on a different occasion, I'm power phrasing that but. Why is this year different from all the other years? >> Well, this year, son, there are more people putting more of their data in the cloud as I say on the web, which opens them up to be miserably disappointed when it breaks. >> Cloud, cloud computing. >> Yeah in web services, cloud computing, whatever you call it, people putting all of their stuff up there, the sites go down. What do they do? >> Now, perception sometimes masks the reality. Are things really as bad as they sometimes seem? Or it's just that it's now in the public's eye and we're just reporting more about these sporadic outages. >> Yeah, you're right, I mean it is more. The outages are sporadic. They're, the worst of them are not more than a day or two. What's happening is the public is, the expectations are so high now. People don't expect Amazon to ever be down. They think GOOGLE will never crash. But these sites do have their issues and they take people off line for a couple of hours at a time. >> And they expect. >> And that's the guilt. >> The government, the government will never lie to you. >> Like I said high expectations. >> Looking at your list of course there's Twitter, everybody's punching bag. Based on the amount of noise in the blogosphere which accompany the outages you think this was something comically significant, your take. >> On all the outages or on Twitter? >> Twitter in particular. >> Oh Twitter is, is a new service of great and crushing import to a very, very small number of people. >> But, people began, what's interesting is that some people, and I'm one of them, began to rely on Twitter as part of our daily work flow as part of our community. And then when it started becoming unreliable it was a real let down. >> You also mentioned NetFlix yesterday, Thursday NetFlix fessed up to some undisclosed troubles. 55 of their shipping centers went offline. >> Yeah. >> Okay so you don't get your movie delivery go read a book watch the Olympics. >> Exactly it was, it ended up being big news because a lot of people were waiting for their movies to come in and were expecting to be the experience that they've had so far, which was I put an order in for NetFlix a couple days later boom it shows up. And weekend plans rent a movie or whatever, but. >> What NetFlix did is they got out ahead of the thing and they said guys we got a problem, we're going to make it right, just sit tight. And I think they did the right thing. >> Amazon says three, more of a big deal because, as you wrote, when big sites go down that's big money. >> Right, I think the Amazon has three outage, they have one or two, is the most important of the ten outages here. The general public doesn't know about it too much except they would go to a site and they would see that it was offline. And that was because that site had decided to architect itself around using Amazon's web services. When those went offline these sites went offline. And a lot of these sites were commerce sites. So, when they went offline they started to lose money that they could measure in dollars per second. >> And when Amazon.com went down it meant that three quarters of the working public had to go back to work. >> They did. But Amazon went down they went down for a good part of the work day earlier this year. We calculated them as losing 16,000 dollars a minute. >> Most embarrassing outage, MobileMe. >> MobileMe because it was, because Apple maintained, that's Apple's synchronization service a replacement for .Mac when they released the iPhone 3G. Very embarrassing because Apple has this high standard of usability and fit and finish and this thing just didn't work, didn't work right from the start. Another very embarrassing outage was Hasbro's Scrabble on FaceBook because Hasbro if they're githering or whether or not they were going to kill Scrabulous the upstart competitor finally did. Scrabulous went off line. Hasbro said hey you know what Scrabble, the official Scrabble blessed version and then it crashed as well. That upset a lot of Scrabble users. >> That was memorable. But to put this all in perspective the fact that so many data is being shoved down these pipes. And for the most part it works. The infrastructure is fairly robust. >> It is and people think that their computers are reliable and cloud computers are not. and the fact is that even with these outages putting your data on a server hosted by a major company like, you know, GOOGLE or Amazon is probably going to give you a lot more uptime than you're going to get with your own local machine even though you have the illusion of control when you have the machine sitting on the desk next to you. Sure, it may crash three times a day but you know what it's doing. It's like driving versus flying in an airplane. You're safer in the airplane but you feel more in control when you're driving your car. >> You got the last words. On behalf of my colleague Rafe Needleman I'm Charlie Cooper have a great weekend. ^M00:05:08 [ Music ]