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USA Power outages
any sites go down?

 8:35 pm on Aug 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

CNN is reporting lots of power outages throughout northeast USA. I wonder if any sites have gone down as well...



 10:19 pm on Aug 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

That link I posted on #50 will give you the history of all the phreaking. Names, handles, the Woz Jobs connection....


 1:13 am on Aug 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

juniperwasting wrote:
That link I posted on #50 will give you the history of all the phreaking. Names, handles, the Woz Jobs connection....

that is a good essay... unfortunately it doesn't cover everything about phreaking... it does answer the original three or four questions i posted, though...

now about that last question ;)

what was the second whistle that was used for phreaking? :)


 9:59 am on Aug 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was interested to follow the US outages, as in this country we have outagbes more or less regularly, as stupid construction workers hack through major distribution lines, and A/C units overload the grid at intervals.

In fact last morning, when hte NYC outages hit, we had another outage jsut a few hours later. But heree nobody thinks a second thought about it.

I keep telling locals that we're I come from (germany) a power outage of a few hours in a major city would be in the news for weeks, and never forgotten, and they can't even imagine what the heck I'm talking about.

After hte NYC incident my girlfriend mentioned that now she has a bit of an idea of what the heck I keep talking about ;)

I'm still hoping that this might wake up the local "authorities" to the fact taht powercuts 1-3 times per week are NOT normal and AVOIDABLE and ADMAGING to the economy. If I count the lost hours of work and the downtime of sites I host locally I get sick.

And of course when the telcoms routing stations have no power then my websites or offline too...

NYC puts it back into perspective, and shows that in a modern society there is no need for a powercut, and saeguards should be in place to prevent it.



 2:17 pm on Aug 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Other cities were hit harder than NYC. Detroit and a few other cities lost water because pumps weren't working. Most cities' water flows with gravity.

But NYC was special. Huge numbers of workers rely on electric subways and trains. Masses of tourists in tall hotels (like me last week). Windows don't open in many. Most American's live in homes with hot water heaters that hold many gallons of water. But NYC hotels and offices wouldn't have those except in the dark basement.

A city-wide power outage of a few hours is very rare in the U.S. too. During storms it is common to lose power for brief periods. Happens once or twice a year to me. We have flashlights, candles. Water still flows, toilets work. Can still drive anywhere.

A good question is whether gasoline can be gotten out of in-ground tanks if outage lasts for a few days.

Any Iraqis here?


 7:31 pm on Aug 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

No need for terrorists here ... we've managed to do to ourselves what they've been planning for a decade.

and, what's even worse - you may have pushed back the schedule of global warming for about a month or so. <snip>

Besides - remember how birth rates shot up after the last west coast outage? Did you go out and buy a couple of shares of toys'r'us?

[edited by: lawman at 5:28 pm (utc) on Aug. 18, 2003]
[edit reason] TOS 16; Foo Charter Violations [/edit]


 8:56 pm on Aug 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Did the outages cost anyone revenue?

Cost me an estimated $2000 .. O well, Im sure it cost others more..

You can't get the power companies can you?


 2:50 am on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

They say that NYC lost an estimated $750M!

I think a lot of people realized that they should keep non-perishables in their houses.


 11:30 am on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

A few of my sites were down, I could have ended up losing much more though if I didn't transfer my "mission critical" web sites to another host only days before.


 1:24 pm on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I did think about how nice it would be if everyone said hey, I don't need so much electricity.
I don't have an air conditioner and there have been about four days this year (a lot more than usual) that I wished I did. What did I do? I got in my hybrid-electric car and spent about .01 gallons driving to the mall to go cool off by sitting in the movie theater for a little while. Came home, it was cooler, put on the fan, went to bed. There's no need for every single person to have a constantly climate-controlled kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, dining room, etc. Really.
I do have excessive computers, but at least I use power-saving sleep modes on them.
I don't leave my computer at work on overnight or over weekends. I turn it off when I'm not there. I also switched off all the computers in my area on Friday when I left, which I don't usually, with the excuse that the power outage might happen again, or a power surge. Nobody's used the computer two desks over from mine in a week. I wish people would just turn off unused machines, but they don't.

So, our power use is excessive. We should all know that. I wish the blackout had taught us not to use so much of it. But the blackout wasn't caused by overload, we don't think. (Funny how nobody can or will pinpoint the cause or accept even possible responsibility for the outage... Too afraid of being sued, most likely.)
Instead of trying to become more energy-efficient, we are going to update the grid so that we can use still more energy. Yes. Fabulous idea. Let's consume *more* power. But close the Indian Point nuclear reactor because it pushes down property values and besides, it threatens NYC-- put them upstate where the local yokels don't have enough clout to sue us. rant, rant, rant.

Oh, and here's another little tidbit. When the Erie Loop went down, Buffalo (a couple miles from Niagara Falls) still had power. Why? Buffalo doesn't use Niagara Falls hydroelectric power-- that's export only. Buffalo is powered by... Coal.

Oh well. In another 50 years we'll all be either underwater or under glaciers. Should we start taking bets on which?


 5:30 pm on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

When the east coast lost power, my sites (hosted in New Jersey) stayed up. The host facility has a backup generator. When the power goes out here in Fairbanks, the grocery stores don't have to pitch every last bit of perishable food on the shelves. They have backup power systems. The Anchorage post office is powered entirely by a hydrogen fuel cell power system (which, I think, runs on natural gas or propane...). My local electric co-op is in the process of installing the world's biggest battery backup installation, to prevent blackouts.

I can't figure out why so many people/companies in the northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada haven't taken even the simplest step of installing backup power systems in the event of electrical failures.

OK... I'm sure power demands there are a bit excessive for a battery backup at the electric company, and an individual in a high-rise apartment isn't going to be too excited by the idea of a diesel generator chugging away in the closet... But there's no reason grocery stores and large companies shouldn't have fuel cells, battery banks or generators in the back room.

A lot of the lost revenue from this outage -- especially in the internet community -- could have been prevented with a little planning and some backup equipment.

cyril kearney

 5:54 pm on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

We are located in New Jersey. Our sites are co-located at a site in New Jersey about 10 miles away that has backup generators.

Our corporate lan lost power and gracefully shut down between 4:15 pm and about 10:00 pm. Our backup plan was for us to switch to the co-location site where we have reserve servers at 6:00 am the following morning if power was not restored. That was unnecessay.

Before 9/11 we had a fairly active consultancy practice helping people prepare for disasters. Most of those plans were still in place and the operations people were able to recover.

The downturn in business has just about wiped out all consulting to small and medium size companies in the NY/NJ area. Some businesses that we know of worked through the weekend to recover.


 6:02 pm on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

When the power goes out here in Fairbanks, the grocery stores don't have to pitch every last bit of perishable food on the shelves. They have backup power systems.

>>>backup power
Like opening the doors?


 8:19 pm on Aug 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given that it was in the 70's when the power went out last time, I don't think opening the doors would have been wise. ;)

During the winter though, you need the backup power to keep the heat on.


 12:06 am on Aug 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I live in Southern Ontario. I was without power for almost 18 hours when I left home. Man, did that suck!

No air, no fan, no clock, no tv...... worst of all.... no internet.

Luckily I was flying out of Buffalo (Buffalo was open) to a trade show in Chicago, which is where I am posting from now.

My site was down for several hours. It is hosted with MCI/WorldCom/UUNET in Toronto.

The bright side..... sales picked right up where they left off. So from a sales point of view we had very little damage.

Flying back home in another day, from what I am reading online we are supposed to use reduced power in Ontario. That with the oncoming heatwave will be a real pain.

I am not looking forward to seeing the mess that is my fridge and freezer.


 1:04 am on Aug 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

You know those newfangled electric-eye toilets that flush when your butt wiggles?

The northeast learned last week that they don't work without electricity! (actually every toilet works once)


 1:11 am on Aug 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

ROFL! Oh goodness... :) That's absolutely hilarious. That's what people get for being too lazy to flush their own toilets, I guess... hehehehe

I think the electric eye system would be a fine "back up" system for people who don't have the manners to pull the handle themselves, but building a toilet without a manual flush is kinda like building a car without a gas pedal, assuming the electronic cruise control buttons are all you need... You're just ASKING for trouble.

LOL... Thanks. I needed a good laugh!


 2:17 am on Aug 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>actually every toilet works once

Not in Cleveland. Ask the passengers that were stranded at Cleveland's Hopkins International airport. The airport barricaded the bathrooms because there was no water for the flush. Stranded passengers were just told 'sorry, our bathrooms are out of order'.

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