adBlockCheck

48-Hour Internet Outage Plunges Nation Into Productivity

Top Headlines

Recent News

Details Of Dream House Getting Much Less Specific With Each New Place Found In Price Range

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—With her initially stated desire for restored wide-plank floors and a walk-in pantry having already been broadened to any hardwood or laminate flooring and decent kitchen storage space, sources confirmed Friday that aspiring homeowner Chelsea Lange has supplied a progressively vaguer description of her dream home with each new place she reviews in her price range.

Viewers Impressed By How Male Trump Looked During Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying the Republican nominee exhibited just the qualities they were looking for in the country’s next leader, viewers throughout the nation reported Monday night that they were impressed by how male Donald Trump appeared throughout the first debate.

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.

New Study Finds Solving Every Single Personal Problem Reduces Anxiety

SEATTLE—Explaining that participants left the clinical trial feeling calmer and more positive, a study published Monday by psychologists at the University of Washington has determined that people can significantly reduce their anxiety by solving every single one of their personal problems.

Trump Planning To Throw Lie About Immigrant Crime Rate Out There Early In Debate To Gauge How Much He Can Get Away With

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying he would probably introduce the falsehood in his opening statement or perhaps during his response to the night’s first question, Republican nominee Donald Trump reported Monday he was planning to throw out a blatant lie about the level of crime committed by immigrants early in the first presidential debate to gauge how much he’d be allowed to get away with.

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?

Obesity: Myth Vs. Fact

With as many as one in three people in the U.S. qualifying as obese, misconceptions are often formed about what it means to be significantly overweight. The Onion separates obesity myths from facts
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

48-Hour Internet Outage Plunges Nation Into Productivity

BOSTON—An Internet worm that disabled networks across the U.S. Monday and Tuesday temporarily thrust the nation into its most severe maelstrom of productivity since 1992.

48-Hour Internet Outage Plunges Nation Into Productivity

"In all my years, I've never seen anything like this," said Price Stern Sloan system administrator Andrew Walton, whose effort to restore web service to his company's network was repeatedly hampered by employees busily working at their computers. "The local-access network is functioning, so people can transfer work projects to one another, but there's no e-mail, no eBay, no flaminglips.com. It's pretty much every office worker's worst nightmare."

According to Samuel Kessler, senior director at Symantec, which makes the popular Norton Antivirus software, the Internet "basically collapsed" Monday at 8:34 a.m. EST.

The Gibe-F worm, an e-mail-transmittable virus, initiated cascading server failures. Within an hour, Internet service to more than 90 percent of the U.S. was disabled, either by the worm or by network firewalls that initiated security protocols.

"Unlike SoBig or Blaster, this worm didn't harm individual computers; it just used them as a gate to attack the Internet at the ISP level," Kessler said. "Computer technicians at most offices couldn't do anything but sit by helplessly as people worked through stacks of filing, wrote business-related letters they'd put off for months, and sold record amounts of goods and services over the phone."

Shortly after office workers found their web, e-mail, and instant-messaging capabilities disabled, reports of torrential productivity began to reach corporate offices nationwide.

"My first thought was 'My God, this has to be some kind of mistake,'" said Prudential Insurance executive vice-president Shane Mullins of San Francisco. "My e-mail wasn't working. Nerve.com wasn't working. I eventually found out that the company web site wasn't working, either. But by that time, my inbox was filling up like you wouldn't believe."

The Internet outage forced a Minneapolis couple to tackle a task they'd put off for months.

"My actual physical inbox," Mullins added. "It's this gray plastic thing on my desktop—the top of the desk I sit at."

With workers denied access to ESPN.com, Salon, Fark.com, and Friendster, employers struggled to keep up with the sudden increase in efficiency.

"Our office was working at roughly 95 percent efficiency," said Steven Glover, an advertising executive and creative team leader at Rae Jaynes Houser. "It's problematic to have the rate jump like that—it sets a precedent that will be impossible to maintain once the Internet comes back."

Glover said his department failed to reach 100 percent productivity only because employees stopped work every few minutes throughout the outage to see if Internet service had been restored.

"This is terrible," said Miami resident Ron Lewison, an employee at Gladstone Finance and an Amazon.com Top 500 Reviewer. "For two days, I've been denied access to the vital information I need to go about my workday. In the absence of that information, I've been forced to go about my job."

According to Labor Department statistics, companies affected by the Internet outage generated an estimated $4 to $6 billion in extra revenue.

"Losses to online retail companies will be considerable, " said Jae Miles, senior financial economist at Banc One Capital Markets in Chicago. "Nevertheless, the outage's overall impact on the national economy will be a positive one. The losses should be easily offset by the gains to companies that depend primarily on people finishing actual work."

As of press time, many administrators had begun to apply a patch that combats the Gibe-F worm.

"Thank God, Earthlink service is back, and with it, online shopping and entertainment news," office worker Emily Jaynes said at 7 p.m. Tuesday. "I'm ready to head home now. I couldn't bear to spend another evening repainting furniture and using my pool."

Financial experts say they hope to have detailed data on the economic impact of the outage within the next 24 hours.

"When American office workers are denied access to vast, complex streams of ever-fluctuating and evolving information, they tend to get a lot done," said Nicole Dansby, a business-information analyst employed by the New York Stock Exchange. "The extended Internet outage may or may not have had something to do with the Dow's 278-point jump Tuesday. I'll have to, you know, check the web for a few hours and get back to you."

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close