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:
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.