Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Web Survives the Stock Market Crash

Well, that was an exciting few minutes, right? In case you missed it: The markets just tanked–the Dow dropped a thousand points–and then came back. Blame Greece and/or a trader who is very bad at his or her job. (Really?)

But while a stock market plunge is a big deal, it didn’t seem to be a wipe-out-the-Web-sized deal. Not even a Michael Jackson-sized deal.

I’ve seen reports of wobbles at some financial sites, but the Internet in general seems to have held up okay. Which makes sense–the swoon was fast and scary, but only if you were the kind of person who pays attention to breaking news.

Akamai (AKAM), which moves bits around the Web and claims to handle 20 percent of the world’s traffic, says today’s surges have been relatively minor. You can see for yourself, at this real-time traffic monitor.

If you click in, you’ll notice that Web traffic is up significantly in the U.K. But no reason to panic over that one–there’s a pretty big election going on.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work