Did the New York Times Website Actually Go Down? Yes

It was a rare outage for the august publication.
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The New York Times website went down about an hour ago, and stayed offline until a few minutes ago. It was very exciting on Twitter. The Wire tracked the outage and reaction in excruciating detail. For a time, here's what the Times looked like:

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Times down! Times down! (Joan Solsman/CNET)

As of this writing, the site is still down for my parents in Washington State, but it's back for me here in Oakland. I'm guessing that's because the Times, like most major websites, probably stores copies of its website at servers located closer to users in different regions of the country. (Probably through a content delivery network like Akamai.)

Some technical people outside the Times think the outage was caused by a DNS error. DNS is the system that routes your request for nytimes.com to a specific content server.

The Times mobile apps also went offline.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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