Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Obama: I Want YOU to Crash John Boehner’s Web Server

Last night, with the clock ticking toward a default on the national debt and talks over raising the debt ceiling at an apparent standstill, the president of the United States urged Americans to do something: Call their representatives in Congress. Boy, did they ever.

President Obama made the appeal in a prime time address to the nation from the White House last night, and it appears that the American people listened. The Washington Post reports that the telephone switchboard at the Capitol is being flooded with calls. And there are reports that the Web servers for certain members of Congress have crashed under a surge in traffic.

Among the sites that went down: That of Speaker of the House John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who addressed the nation after the president. Others down as of 8:30 am Pacific time were those of Elliot Engel, Democratic representative from New York; Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican senator from South Carolina; and Rep. Michelle Bachmann, the Republican from Minnesota now running for president. (Bachmann’s appears to be variously up and down, but slow to respond.) The Wall Street Journal has more.

Meanwhile, the president’s Web site is operating normally.

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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