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Facebook Unveils Details of Downtime

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the you-like-this dept.

Bug 103

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook officially gave out more technical details on the endless loop in a database control mechanism that forced a 2.5-hour shutdown of the social site, and the resulting combination of a productivity burst, increased fertility (check back on June 25, 2011) and mass hysteria all around the world."

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first piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33696980)

on YOU

not very technical (5, Interesting)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 4 years ago | (#33696984)

The technical details are that I have an incompatible browser? Really Slashdot? Did you even check the links? of course not...

Re:not very technical (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33696994)

Correct link to technical details:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=431441338919&id=9445547199&ref=mf [facebook.com]

(anon because I'm not a karma whore)

Re:not very technical (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 years ago | (#33697012)

Correct link to technical details:

Sounds like someone didn't do any testing or that their testing is in adequate.

Re:not very technical (4, Funny)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | about 4 years ago | (#33697044)

You've got to read some of the comments posted in that thread, it's hilarious.

Anoesj Sadraee It's great to hear and see that big companies like Facebook are so open with what they do. That's rare, very rare. Thanks!

Anne Uriarte ~facebook is stiLL sooo sLow for uz irr! >;'((

Phil McBride this site is becoming less secure lately... hackers are becoming more and more intelligent, i would know, cuz im a white hat lol

Re:not very technical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697644)

Ha, nothing like waking up, turning on Slashdot (after being kicked out of the room for being on the computer "so early in the morning") and laughing at retards commenting online >.> "I would know, cuz im a white hat lol"

Re:not very technical (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 4 years ago | (#33698714)

If you think that is funny, trying reading the article summary this way:

Slashdot officially gave out more technical details on the endless loop in a database control mechanism that forced a 2.5-hour shutdown of the geek news site, and the resulting combination of a productivity burst, increased fertility (check back on June 25, 2011) and mass hysteria all around the world."

Re:not very technical (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | about 4 years ago | (#33701198)

Hilarious? I feel sick. Names not changed to implicate the stupid:

Paul Diaz: Will What i Say is get a front page they say facebook down due to server's and we are working hard to fix it get free cash ?:)

Mouhssine Freedom Elmezyani It's very easy to rape facebook !! i know some friends can hack your compt through your electronic adress !& they hacked my compt several time in the pretext of kidding !!

Mauro Guberti I'd like to know what's the necessary qualifications to work like moderator.

And the one that prompted me to close the tab:

Joanne Bozik The following link is the problem.........these people have been sending my name and pic to many stating that I purchased this product and I also in return am receiving the following link in my friends names......Please get after these people

http://www.facebook.com/facebook?v=wall#!/note.php?note_id=431441338919&id=9445547199&ref=mf [facebook.com]

(note, the link is the link to the explanation for the outage)

Re:not very technical (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about 4 years ago | (#33697260)

Well that's daft because I can't see much difference in real value whether you have 5000 karma points or 5,000,000 'points' unless you know of a way to convert that to cash.

Re:not very technical (5, Funny)

elewton (1743958) | about 4 years ago | (#33697622)

You could spend it on Karma whores or play Karma poker.

Re:not very technical (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#33699704)

But all the Karma whores offer their services for free anyway.

Re:not very technical (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 years ago | (#33699406)

I can't see much difference in real value whether you have 5000 karma points or 5,000,000 'points'

The difference is if you have 5,000 karma points...well, you have 5,000 virtual points on a site only geeks care about or even know exist.

If you have 5,000,000 points, on the other hand, THAT'S OVER NINE THOUSAAAND!!!

Re:not very technical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33701324)

If you have 5,000,000 points, on the other hand, THAT'S OVER NINE THOUSAAAND!!!

omg, this made me laugh so hard. I needed that today, so thanks. Anonymous Coward because my keyboard is fucked and it's too difficult to log in at the moment.

Re:not very technical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697374)

Few years ago I worked on a system with a website frontend. One dev went in and caught every single error the web pages were throwing. Who got blamed for the errors? He did. As his code 'caused it to crash'. *NO ONE* would listen to the fact that the code was in error and needed fixing. 'It worked before now it doesnt'. The thing was it was not working before the errors were just being hidden.

This incident sounds similar. Both sides had a point. Errors should be caught and dealt with. However, if the errors do not really mean anything should you bother to do anything with it?

But for 5 lines of code (that he put everywhere) that dev sure caught hell. He got blamed for 3 other devs mistakes. If his 5 lines had been in there from the beginning everyone would have been happy and the errors would have been dealt with up front. Testing came to a standstill as 'nothing worked and he had broken it'.

Re:not very technical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697962)

What was he trying to do? The only reason I could think of would be to demonstrate how broken the code is, to prove some point to the project management presumably.
But breaking a production system for that is either stupid or malicious.

I'd guess he had a nerd rage fit, targeted at management most likely, something I think most of the people here can somewhat relate to, but really, what he did is way over the top.

OH NOES (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33697004)

Meh, it happens...just like a power company, no one says a word when the thing works fine for weeks or months at a time...but when it goes down for a couple hours, people act like it never works.

Re:OH NOES (3, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 4 years ago | (#33697264)

But it's a helluva a lot more important for a power company to stay up than FB, no power can cause serious problems. But FB down for two hours, man, the gods forbid you actually are productive or something . . .

Re:OH NOES (0)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 4 years ago | (#33697740)

But it's a helluva a lot more important for a power company to stay up than FB, no power can cause serious problems. But FB down for two hours, man, the gods forbid you actually are productive or something . . .

This. FB needs perspective [bit.ly] .

Paywall (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33697870)

FB needs perspective [New York Post].

That'd be a bit more convincing if it were more than just an ad for a $3.95 article.

Re:OH NOES (1)

SudoGhost (1779150) | about 4 years ago | (#33699130)

I actually think Facebook being down would make them LESS productive...because instead of working, they're constantly checking to see if Facebook is back up. Those farms won't...whatever they do with those things...themselves.

Official Technical Details (3, Funny)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | about 4 years ago | (#33697006)

You are using an incompatible web browser. Sorry, we're not cool enough to support your browser. Please keep it real with one of the following browsers:

Obviously, the error was caused by too many people not keeping it real.

Re:Official Technical Details (3, Insightful)

jdong (1378773) | about 4 years ago | (#33697162)

I've got a great idea! Why don't we have every slashdot reader go in and try to fix the broken link? Then the problem will correct itself in no time!

Re:Official Technical Details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697862)

"Obviously, the error was caused by too many people not keeping it real."

sit and spin

h.t.h. h.a.n.d.

they had me do it twice before it got to f.b. .

Link to Facebook Blog Post (5, Informative)

ryanleary (805532) | about 4 years ago | (#33697014)

Since the link in the summary is broken, this is the facebook blog post [facebook.com] .

Post contents:
Early today Facebook was down or unreachable for many of you for approximately 2.5 hours. This is the worst outage we’ve had in over four years, and we wanted to first of all apologize for it. We also wanted to provide much more technical detail on what happened and share one big lesson learned.

The key flaw that caused this outage to be so severe was an unfortunate handling of an error condition. An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed.

The intent of the automated system is to check for configuration values that are invalid in the cache and replace them with updated values from the persistent store. This works well for a transient problem with the cache, but it doesn’t work when the persistent store is invalid.

Today we made a change to the persistent copy of a configuration value that was interpreted as invalid. This meant that every single client saw the invalid value and attempted to fix it. Because the fix involves making a query to a cluster of databases, that cluster was quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of queries a second.

To make matters worse, every time a client got an error attempting to query one of the databases it interpreted it as an invalid value, and deleted the corresponding cache key. This meant that even after the original problem had been fixed, the stream of queries continued. As long as the databases failed to service some of the requests, they were causing even more requests to themselves. We had entered a feedback loop that didn’t allow the databases to recover.

The way to stop the feedback cycle was quite painful - we had to stop all traffic to this database cluster, which meant turning off the site. Once the databases had recovered and the root cause had been fixed, we slowly allowed more people back onto the site.

This got the site back up and running today, and for now we’ve turned off the system that attempts to correct configuration values. We’re exploring new designs for this configuration system following design patterns of other systems at Facebook that deal more gracefully with feedback loops and transient spikes.

We apologize again for the site outage, and we want you to know that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously.

Re:Link to Facebook Blog Post (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 years ago | (#33697746)

Wow, I'm impressed by the detail they provided. More companies should handle outages like this. Makes them look like they know what they're doing, they figured it out, and it wont happen again. Instead of the typical stance of pretending it never happened.

Re:Link to Facebook Blog Post (0)

inKubus (199753) | about 4 years ago | (#33701704)

This shows the beginning of the end for Facebook. Reading the summary they provided provides many details such as the fact they don't have a QA environment or regional segments or anything. It's pretty dangerous to run a site that big like that. And I've read much more they've released that basically says they just hacked mysql replication to update their caches to get it real time across regions. What they should have done to horizontally scale is to implement regional shards and then some type of interregional messaging like how IRC works between servers. It's a huge hack job at this point and it's obvious they are way over their heads and this type of thing proves it. Some post mentioned that "it's not the it's the power company or something" and that's the real harm. Facebook's page views are driven by this national vanity addiction and even being away for 2 or 3 hours means you're not getting that reinforcement and maybe you start reevaluating your use of time. I wouldn't be surprised if they lost 1-2% of their users because of this. But it's going to happen again. Somewhere in that management code there's another one of these. And they just haven't spent the time to have a clean room environment to test updates so they're going to be running scared for the next 3-6 months because of this and they'll probably avoid most updates, which will cause the site to stagnate and (hopefully) die. Zuck gave away that 100M a few days too soon ;) Bwahwhahahahah. No, seriously, they've done a lot for the world. I hope they make it. I really do..

Actually, hHopefully that new open source p2p one will come out soon, where you can host your own data in a decentralized fashion, like we're supposed to do. Is there nothing in the computer world cryptographically secure hashes and fast networks can't solve? ;) Just virally copy your stuff to your friends (you already know them, ask for their IP and enter it in to your p2p social network client) and hope for the best. Crap, you could probably just use existing IM networks as a transmission protocol to seed the friends database. It's almost too easy. And it will be so much better.

Look at it like this, you can either be centralized (Papist or Catholic tradition) or decentralized (Protestant). There are now more Protestants than Catholics, after many centuries of that not being the case. The Catholics were toppled due to the inability to control their network edge. You're social network is really a decentralized network concept, and they are trying to jam it into a centralized service model. It just won't work. It won't scale. It has to end and it will. SELL YOUR STOCK. (Sell apple too ;) Actually, they aren't public, so the IPO should be fairly soon, because their lawyers are telling them to cash out right now as we speak. And yes, I have been drinking.

Re:Link to Facebook Blog Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698208)

so basically they DDoS'd themselves?

Re:Link to Facebook Blog Post (1)

DiEx-15 (959602) | about 4 years ago | (#33703628)

We apologize again for the site outage, and we want you to know that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously.

Just like their commitment to security, I must ask this:

SINCE WHEN?

Wifey was gutted... I wasn't (5, Funny)

rabidjoe (1854904) | about 4 years ago | (#33697018)

In the downtime I tried to show the woman the virtues of an IRC channel she could share with family and friends and how much less bullshit she would find there..... "does it have farmville?". There is no hope for the sheeples, the planet is doomed

Re:Wifey was gutted... I wasn't (4, Insightful)

Allnighte (1794642) | about 4 years ago | (#33697042)

I was going to disagree with you until I read one of the Facebook comments on the blog post talking about the error:

"John Marshall: how do i get job workin with facebook i live in newcastle in uk can any one from facebook staff get or can some one give me a email address that i can use to contact facebook please"

:|
very doomed.

Re:Wifey was gutted... I wasn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697236)

:|

...how do you stretch your mouth that wide? Also, is the planet as doomed as in Doom 2, or even more doomed? Should I call the Doomguy?

Does the woman have a Wii? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33697166)

If the woman has a GameCube or Wii, and you want to get her off FarmVille, try buying her a copy of Harvest Moon: Magical Melody.

Re:Does the woman have a Wii? (1)

neumayr (819083) | about 4 years ago | (#33698052)

While Harvest Moon has always been a very girl-compatible game even before it had all those social features modern iterations of the game has, it cannot get her away from FarmVille unless her and everyone she's playing FarmVille with has as much access to a Wii as to a webbrowser.
Not going to happen.

Re:Does the woman have a Wii? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33701450)

Have you tried giving her The Sims? Don't ask me why but for some reason the sims and the old AoE of all things, really seem to be like catnip to the fairer sex. Hell at the last shop I worked with doug made me install AoE and The sims on every desktop we had in stock. I was like "WTF? Hell if you are gonna put old game why not Quake II?" and he told me to watch and learn. Sure enough with having the sims and AoE running in the window it wasn't 30 minutes before the females started showing up wanting to look at PCs. Damned stuff works just like catnip.

Me I've given up ever trying to understand women when it comes to games. my GF loves Farmville and that treasure hunting game they have on FB, and on the weekend she is up at 7AM on the dot playing her hour of Farmville and the treasure game like clockwork. I even gave her one of my spare PCs so if she has a problem before the weekend she can just fire it up until I can come up and fix the main one. You ain't seen unhappy until you see my girl not get her hour of gaming each day.

Re:Wifey was gutted... I wasn't (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 years ago | (#33697222)

so you, being of independent mind, married a sheeple? you're a sheeple-fucker! and your children will be sheeple!

conclusion: the sheeple aren't doomed....

Re:Wifey was gutted... I wasn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697684)

[When he was single] [someone] tried to show [him] the virtues of an [intelligent, independently minded woman] [he] could [marry] and how much less bullshit [he] would [have with her] ..... "does [she] have [nice tits]?".

Re:Wifey was gutted... I wasn't (1)

ibmjones (52133) | about 4 years ago | (#33697804)

In the downtime I tried to show the woman the virtues of an IRC channel she could share with family and friends and how much less bullshit she would find there

Right. . . . [bash.org]

"mass hysteria"? (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 4 years ago | (#33697036)

and mass hysteria all around the world.

[citation needed].

First I knew was when I read about it on another tech blog, hours after it'd happened...and I use Facebook. And I work with a ton of people who use it (grad students.)

There wasn't mass hysteria; there was mass ambivalence. I'm now reading all these blog/news postings about how "everyone" went crazy. Nobody was talking about it where I ate dinner. Nobody was talking about it where I had coffee that evening. It didn't make my city newspaper- no "Facebook down, residents in despair" stories to be found.

All this coverage claiming that everyone went nuts seems like a desperate attempt by Facebook PR to make something positive out of this...namely, trying to convince us that Facebook is so integral to the people who use it, it must, of course, be to us as well.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697212)

To me, Facebook is about as integral to my life as the toilet is. It's there, it's gonna be used every once in a while and it involves a bit of dirty business that you just can't avoid.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (3, Insightful)

microbee (682094) | about 4 years ago | (#33697450)

It's a toilet all right, but a very annoying one: you hear every flush coming from your friends' toilet as well.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697960)

Those of us with some intelligence know how to filter what we see...

Re:"mass hysteria"? (2)

IANAAC (692242) | about 4 years ago | (#33699964)

It's a toilet all right, but a very annoying one: you hear every flush coming from your friends' toilet as well.

Really?

The first time I see notice of anyone's flushes, I block the flush notices.

Seems to me, if you're complaining about it, you don't really know what you're doing (and that's considering all you have to do is hover your mouse over their post).

Re:"mass hysteria"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697544)

@Anonymous\ Coward i use a #toiletslave. met him on #facebook lol

Re:"mass hysteria"? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33697564)

You've never used a Bidet have you.

It makes the "dirty business" downright civilized.

That said, you do NOT have to use the toilet paper that is facebook. really.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (1)

Alien1024 (1742918) | about 4 years ago | (#33697744)

And if it becomes unavailable for 2 hours, I do the dirty business on the street.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (3, Insightful)

ForexCoder (1208982) | about 4 years ago | (#33697298)

[citation needed].

[citation] [wikipedia.org]

Re:"mass hysteria"? (2, Interesting)

kurokame (1764228) | about 4 years ago | (#33697362)

To be fair, most grad students use Facebook primarily to help remind them that they need to come up for air occasionally. If it goes down and temporarily stops vying for their attention, they're likely to continue being absorbed with analyzing the data from their last attempt to apply an epicycle-based model to the sociology of small town karaoke sessions given a behavioral-political tensor formulation of motivation in a multidimensional vector space representing cheese.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (1)

bsane (148894) | about 4 years ago | (#33697816)

They 'need to come up for air' every 2.5 hours? I don't know where to start.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697948)

I take it that English isn't your first language?

Re:"mass hysteria"? (1)

Klinky (636952) | about 4 years ago | (#33698366)

Haven't you seen Waterworld?

Re:"mass hysteria"? (1)

bsane (148894) | about 4 years ago | (#33699532)

OK- I guess I should have started...

I get the idiom- I think its sad that taking a break after 2.5 is worthy of the phrase... Is 2.5 hours of concentrating outside the realm of normal?

Re:"mass hysteria"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697408)

Can you hear the sound of whoosh coming at you?

Or maybe it's the oncoming worldwide mass hysteria.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697490)

I didn't know that Facebook was down last June till just now. On the other hand, I've seen other sites with people going like this:

slashdot is down.

shashdot is DOWN!

SLASHDOT IS DOWN!!!
 
...so I guess it all depends on what floats your boat. Facebook? Meh.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 years ago | (#33697596)

All this coverage claiming that everyone went nuts seems like a desperate attempt by Facebook PR to make something positive out of this...namely, trying to convince us that Facebook is so integral to the people who use it, it must, of course, be to us as well.

Actually, all the coverage I've seen has been slanted like the summary above - that is, an attempt to denigrate and marginalize those that use Facebook. See the comments in Slashdot's previous coverage for some pretty clear examples of this.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 4 years ago | (#33697764)

you are so on the right track there. the desire to spread news, especially bad news, is screwing with 'the system' there were places built to be safely ignorant... and some to just be quiet and relaxing... oh well.

Re:"mass hysteria"? (2, Insightful)

neumayr (819083) | about 4 years ago | (#33698168)

Uh. I took the summary as sarcasm of sorts. Which made your reaction seem like quite the overreaction. Then you got +5 Insightful...

No one is thinking about the big losses here... (5, Funny)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | about 4 years ago | (#33697198)

Let's look at the important thing here with this outage: How many cows, pigs, chickens, cats, goldfish, etc were made to suffer? I know my girlfriend couldn't take care of her virtual cats, and their litterbox ended up full. They were not at all happy. I'm sure the same thing played out across thousands of FarmVille, MyPets, etc accounts. Please, won't someone think of the animal?

Re:No one is thinking about the big losses here... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#33697670)

please, what are these animals and why when I hear about FB I hear about farms?

Re:No one is thinking about the big losses here... (1)

Grapplebeam (1892878) | about 4 years ago | (#33698450)

If they really wanted to make some money, they'd sell virtual shotguns so trolls could end the cows, pigs, chickens, goldfish, and your girlfriend's cats.

Re:No one is thinking about the big losses here... (1)

frizzantik (944615) | about 4 years ago | (#33700004)

your girlfriend can change my cat's litterbox if she wants

The metaphysical reason was karmic payback (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697208)

If you suck so bad on a global scale long enough, eventually the universe tries to step in.

Farrmville continued to run? (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 4 years ago | (#33697214)

Does the clock stop for Farmville if Facebook goes down?

Re:Farrmville continued to run? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33697780)

If you care, go to http://farmville.com/ [farmville.com]
Only if you care.

Re:Farrmville continued to run? (1)

daveime (1253762) | about 4 years ago | (#33697902)

The data for these games are hosted on Zynga servers, not Facebook servers. So, yes, the clock keeps running.

Re:Farrmville continued to run? (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 4 years ago | (#33697976)

nope farmville.com -- the fb net protocol didn't go down just part of it's db so farmville was still playable.

Re:Farrmville continued to run? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33700382)

"wither/puppy hunger was disabled during the downtime!"
http://twitter.com/zfarmville/status/25342866355

Twitter... (4, Interesting)

PmanAce (1679902) | about 4 years ago | (#33697288)

I wonder if Twitter had a noticable increase in usage during the Facebook outage, or other social portals?

Re:Twitter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697458)

It seemed to. Honestly the first thing I did was go there and searched "facebook" to see that I wasn't the only one having problems.

Re:Twitter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698422)

Yes it did, but unfortunately I had to split my pointless hourly paragraph-length Facebook updates into half a dozen pointless 10-minutely sentence-length Tweets. Not very convenient for me, but then again if I don't keep posting, how can people keep ignoring what I have to say?

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33701150)

Yes. There was a surge of idiots posting that Facebook was down.

Re:Twitter... (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about 4 years ago | (#33701896)

Let's just say that #failbook was rather high in the Twitter trends during the outage ;-)

less productivity actually (3, Funny)

Valpis (6866) | about 4 years ago | (#33697316)

instead of people checking facebook every 5 minutes for the latest, very important, updates as they always do they now constantly was hitting reload for 2.5 hour

Endless loop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697332)

What happened? Someone friended themselves?

You know that will make you go blind.

Facebook is passe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697334)

The drones just have a slow uptake speed. Not to worry, it will be replaced soon enough with a different, equally less real, relationship framework. Sad, yes. But the followers will be calmed and I won't have to look at any more images of their freakish Imperial Leader who doesn't seem to be able to relate easily to others.

Posting anonymously because I care about slashdot even less than do the moderators.

Facebook?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697392)

I spend more time on DubLi. Facebook is just a waste of time. If I want to know what's going on with my friends, I'll talk to them. Simpl

Re:Facebook?! (0, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33697432)

Facebook is just a waste of time.

... said the Slashdot commentor on a Saturday.

Worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697480)

2.5 hours of my life. I was so out of touch, so isolated, so alone. When it finally came backup it was such a relief, I could function again, i knew what was going on, I was back in touch. I never want to feel like that again.

Huh? (1)

trasgu (603018) | about 4 years ago | (#33697498)

What is this Facebook thing? Isn't that something kids do on computers?

Fertility was not affected (3, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 4 years ago | (#33697528)

Unless the particular arrangement of pixels on a Facebook webpage caused a powerful alignment of EM radiation, fertility was not affected. Perhaps fecundity was, but not fertility.

Re:Fertility was not affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697618)

I believe they were referring to an increase in fertility during the window when nobody had facebook to waste their time. Similar to seeing a small spike in birth rates 9 months after a bad blizzard when people are stuck indoors all day with nothing better to do...

Re:Fertility was not affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697636)

Man, there was only six words left... why did you have to stop reading before you were done?

Re:Fertility was not affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697718)

Did you understand his point at all? Fertility is the probability that a fuck will lead to a birth. This doesn't change during a blizzard or a facebook outage. The fuck rate is what changed.

Re:Fertility was not affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33705762)

Well the future candidate pool for the Darwin awards has surely increased

My Favorite Downtime (5, Funny)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about 4 years ago | (#33697594)

My favorite server downtime story occurred back in early 2000 when I was working for Disney's Internet Group. All the message boards for the film and television websites ended up crashing. No one knew the cause and as the web-ops team investigated, we learned that the messageboard server wasn't even housed in any of Disney' server farms. After a lot of hair pulling, we found the server was located in a satellite office in Sunnyvale. Evidently, the server was just on an engineers desk. When that engineer left the company he neglected to tell anyone about the box so when the new engineer took his spot, she found she didn't like the noise from the machine. So one day, she pulled the plug, and put it in some out of the way spot in the office. There wasn't a lot of traffic on it, but it still makes me laugh to think of all the Tim Allen fans in distress over a misplaced box.

Summary FTW!! (1)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | about 4 years ago | (#33697642)

best summary on /. ever!

Eerie sight (5, Funny)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 4 years ago | (#33697726)

As Facebook went off-line, I witnessed the unthinkable at an Internet cafe. Young men and women, innocently engaging in social networking intercourse, were suddenly thrown out of their Facebook world and into the reality of the real world, as though all had taken the red pill. Images distorted into 3D with a startling range of colors, sounds beyond stereo, and smells -- odors for the new fifth sense. Everyone looked around to witness "super high def" of each other, and some actually stood to experience a new perspective. Then, as if in concert, the unplugged Facebookers began to touch each other. Immediately untapped hormones raged as ancient primal urges emerged for the first time. Just as it was about to become an orgy of primal lust, the Cafe manager flipped on a You Tube video of Elmo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZHSDjtD-dg [youtube.com] , and a disaster was avoided.

it's only facebook (5, Funny)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33697738)

Who cares if it's down even for a day. Just talk about your pointless activities twice as long the next day.

Re:it's only facebook (1)

glwtta (532858) | about 4 years ago | (#33698540)

Who cares if it's down even for a day. Just talk about your pointless activities twice as long the next day.

Well, we care because as one of the largest sites, they are expected to have their shit together. So when they don't, it's interesting to see what happened.

It's professional interest, it's not that I'm worried that people couldn't plant their snow peas for two hours, or whatever.

Re:it's only facebook (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33699304)

Everyone including NASA makes mistakes. Facebook is not going to be perfect and quite frankly I can live without finding out for 2.5 hours that my friend bought a new shirt. I'd be more concerned about someone like NASA reaching perfection long before I would ever care about Facebook reaching perfection.

Re:it's only facebook (1)

glwtta (532858) | about 4 years ago | (#33699354)

Facebook is not going to be perfect ...

No one said it is, actually I don't think I said anything about perfection. Facebook is one of the largest apps in the world, you don't think the problems they face can be informative to some of Slashdot's readership?

Re:it's only facebook (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33699678)

Yes I do think it can be informative and I wouldn't have wanted the topic to be removed from Slashdot. My original point is that it's not that big of a deal despite the amount of attention this has received across the internet. Being interesting doesn't make it important.

Is NoSQL a factor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33700058)

Any chance that this problem is based on the choice of database? Does the error handling for NoSQL-style databases, probably an entirely proprietary idea per implementation, lend to the problem? I would like to hear the thoughts on this from people in-the-know (i.e. people who actually use NoSQL).

Re:Is NoSQL a factor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33700550)

Pathetic, isn't it...on Slashdot, of all places, you'd think people would be all over the technical details, lessons learned, debating pros and cons of this or that backend and architecture...

Instead, this is the first comment I've seen which is anything other than puerile childish sniping about how silly and useless Facebook is, and how much of a waste of time it is.

You'd think people would have better things to do with their free time on a Saturday.

(Need the "whoosh" follow-up on that last paragraph? Yes, I'm making biting commentary.)

Re:Is NoSQL a factor? (1)

davecason (598777) | about 4 years ago | (#33700650)

Thanks. I, too, am waiting for something less-than-useless to show up.

Re:Is NoSQL a factor? (1)

davecason (598777) | about 4 years ago | (#33700664)

or is that more-than-useless... i'm still in a new-baby fog.

Re:Is NoSQL a factor? (1)

davecason (598777) | about 4 years ago | (#33700660)

Thanks. I, too, am waiting for someone to chime in who knows the caveats of their horizontal data structure.

Re:Is NoSQL a factor? (1)

Phroggy (441) | about 4 years ago | (#33701408)

No.

Somebody made a configuration change, and Facebook's error checking code thought the new configuration was invalid. This code was designed to automatically correct for cache errors by querying the database to get the correct configuration - which it thought was invalid, so it would check again.

It doesn't matter what kind of database you have when you've got a system like this in place.

Obviously, their implementation of this error checking system is fatally flawed. That's why they've turned it off, until they can figure out how to do it right.

Re:Is NoSQL a factor? (1)

davecason (598777) | about 4 years ago | (#33701444)

I was thinking more along the lines of writing integrity checking from scratch for NoSQL vs. using what a major relational database comes with and has been polished by Oracle or Microsoft

Mass Hysteria? (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | about 4 years ago | (#33704212)

It's just Facebook... If people really massively get hysterical over the unavailability of Facebook, that should count as yet another thing horribly, horribly wrong with the world...

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