Well today and this week is turning out to be quite the day for web-tech related news. Perhaps calling it the web apocalypse is a bit much, but it certainly seems the past month or two has been filled with crisis, huge news stories, and other signs the web is growing ever more powerful and also struggling to maintain stability (oh, wait, the web will never be stable, it’s constantly evolving).
Twitter is Down: Denial of Service
Twitter joins 4chan, reddit, and the Gawker Media sites as the latest to fall victim to a Denial of Service attacks. What is going on lately with these DDoS attacks? A few weeks back, a large number of internet users experienced a web-wide slowdown due to a DDoS attack against some of the biggest U.S. sites, and since then it seems there’s been a new attack every few days against a huge site. With Twitter going down today, web geeks panicked as they had little recourse to send out messages about ___ being down.
As of 1 PM, Twitter is back up and functioning normally, but will they be attacked again? Who will be the next target? Is one group responsible for all these recent attacks or is there a copycat effect going on?
Facebook Struggles as Twitter Falls
Of course, the first place the majority of Twitter users would flock to would be Facebook. Unfortuanetly for them, Facebook too was having network issues today. As of 1 PM, I’m receiving errors at Facebook.
Die IE6, Die IE6, Die
CNN reports that the movement to kill off Internet Explorer 6 has been renewed with vigor. They’re not the first to break the story but are the biggest mainstream media outlet to report on it. Back in July a few major web companies begin announcing they are dropping full support for Internet Explorer 6. Mashable reported on the trend as well as listing a plethora of reasons why IE6 should be killed off and forgotten. Since then, the kill IE6 movement has been snowballing, reaching new heights today with the CNN article.
But, at the end of the day, most IE6 users are stuck in the antiquated browser because the corporation they work for has too many applications developed in-house that break outside of IE6. I don’t think anyone out there is willfully using IE6 because they think it rocks. Rather, they’re stuck using it.
Still, going back to my corporate days I remember that it wasn’t exactly difficult to get Firefox running alongside IE6. Even Microsoft wants users to upgrade from IE6, but since it’s not easy to get fully working, fully supported versions of IE6 and IE8 running on the same desktop (I have such a setup for testing purposes, but it isn’t bug-free) we’ll likely continue to see corporate IT departments holding back the web by keeping IE6 on the corporate desktop.
I’m all for this movement, but it’ll take more than Youtube, Digg or Facebook not working properly to kill off IE6. It’ll take a truly huge site that corporate users must have access to, something like Google. Until then, web developers have three choices, ignore IE6 users, create a skeleton version of the site for IE6, or handicap their overall site by ensuring it works in all browsers by default.
Paying for Online News
Last but not least, Rupert Murdoch announced that he’ll be switching all News Corp. web-sites over to a paid format. The key quote from the announcement:
“Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting,”
Does that mean the Fox News web-site will remain free?
Seriously, paying for news isn’t a terrible thing. It’s unlikely to work, but if the quality is truly there, meaning news is reported pro-actively instead of re-actively, and has investigation behind it and doesn’t simply regurgitate press releases, then people will pay. How many is the real question.
Thanks to the Rich Man for the photo of the four horses.