This Is A "Code Taco" Slashdot Effect Emergency!

Fake News written by James Baughn on Monday, November 4, 2002

from the oh-the-humanity! dept.

HUMORIX WORLD HEADQUARTERS -- Two Humorix unpaid interns were injured earlier today as the result of mass panic induced by an unexpected attack of the dreaded Slashdot Effect. The sudden Distributed Denial of Service Attack brought our servers to their knees and caused one poor machine to overheat and catch on fire, setting two rooms ablaze and destroying the pool table and pinball machines we purchased back in the good ole days when we couldn't stop Venture Capitalists from giving us money.

The two injured interns are actually specially bred chickens trained to peck the reboot button on our two Windows PCs when the screen turns blue. We keep these machines around just in case somebody delivers a crucial Word document that we can't open on our own Linux boxes, or just in case somebody suffers uncontrollable Solitaire withdrawl symptoms. Rest assured, these tainted Windows machines are kept in an isolated part of the building with a seperate ventilation and power system to protect the rest of our Linux computers.

When the Slashdot Effect struck at 5:35:01 PM CST today, these two chickens were munching on some seed corn in the employee lounge during one of their break periods. They were trampled by the horde of Humorix employees frantically running for the exits to escape from the attack. Thankfully, both will survive and are currently in stable condition at the Podunk Valley Animal Hospital.

It seems clear the our emergency response plan let us down. While we were able to initiate a "Code Taco" alert within 3 minutes of the attack, the alarm klaxxons that sounded throughout the building sent everybody into a state of panic. Humorix has held "Slashdot Drills" in the past in which our employees proceeded calmly to their assigned emergency stations and performed their duties to prevent the attack from causing damage. That didn't happen this time.

"I lost my head," explained Jon Splatz, Humorix Official Pundit, Social Commentator, and Easily Frightened Coward. "When the alarm went off and the loudspeaker said 'Code Taco! Code Taco! This is not a drill,' I simply forgot all of my training. I'm supposed to proceed to the second floor, grab a fire extinguisher, and put out any fires in Server Room #2A. Instead, I freaked out and ran for the exit, bowling over two other employees..."

Fortunately, the building's sprinkler system finally activated and put out the flames before they spread to any additional rooms. Unfortunately, the hard drives on the computers that house the company's official stash of pornography -- which took several thousand precious man-hours to collect -- were damaged by the sprinkler water.

Preliminary calculations show that the damage caused by the Great Slashdot Effect Attack of November 2002 will likely total several dozen dollars. "The destruction was really much higher," explained Mr. G. E. Trich, Humorix's Executive Book Cooker, "but I can cook the books in such a way that most of the losses can be written off through tax breaks. We should be thankful that this attack was merely a 6.3 on the Baughn-Splatz DDOS intensity scale. It could have been much worse."

In the wake of this disaster, Humorix will spearhead a public-education campaign to warn other website publishers of the dangers of the Slashdot Effect. Prevention methods -- including configuring Apache to deny access to any visitor from an IP in the Andover/VA Linux/OSDN/Whatever Network -- should be deployed as quickly as possible. At one time Humorix had sophisticated anti-Slashdot software running, but we became complacent in the years since the last attack, much to our detriment. Other Internet denizens cannot afford to make the same mistake.

It will take a concerted effort by webmasters everywhere to prevent the tremendous power of the Slashdot Effect from tearing apart the very fabric of the Internet. Only you can prevent Slashdot-induced server fires.

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