Entire Internet Lost

What began as a curious blackout during the annual South by Southwest geekfest in Austin has exploded into a major on-line crisis today.

The Internet has disappeared. Shockingly, the backup copy of everything on the interwebs has gone missing.

“It was just here last night!” exclaimed Shannon Whitley, applications programmer and Chief Global Internet
Curator. “I had the whole web continuously backed up on this 8-track tape. Someone must have thought it still had Waylon Jennings music on it, and removed it for a 70’s party or something!”

The loss was detected when SxSW presenter Biz Stone tried to access an old copy of Twitter using the Wayback Machine. A strange 404 page appeared displaying only the song lyric, “Stop the world and let me off, I’m tired of going round and round.” Except for a few locally-cached copies of Amazon.com and the SxSW session chooser, all other Internet sites vanished.

A frantic search of all local DJs with 8-track tape equipment did not turn up the archive, and a mimeographed copy of the Internet was also lost the same day due to a warehouse fire covering most of the state of Nevada, fueling speculation by conspiracy theorists around the globe. However, the geek class had to share their concerns by FAX and registered mail.

New social geolocation services due to be launched during SxSW have now been replaced by nametags and business cards. AT&T wireless executives were spotted yelling “It’s not our fault! Not us this year!!!!”

Outside the Austin conference center, a chuckling Jason Falls took it all in stride while munching a funnel cake, saying only, “They should have used Backupify. Heh.”


Prior StickyFigure spoofs

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Backing up to the Cloud

Like most people who do a lot of work on computer, I’m not ENTIRELY smart or consistent about doing backups. Fortunately, I haven’t had any hard-core disk crashes of late, but the idea of cloud-based backup (with something like Mozy or Carbonite) appeals to me because the process is automated, and the data is somewhere else in case the house burns down. I’ll probably pull the trigger on one of those services this month.

But what about all the on-line stuff – blogs, pictures, twitter, etc.? I was excited to see that a group including Jason Falls is launching a service called Backupify (formerly Lifestream Backup – yes, the name change was a positive step!), which will provide continuous backup of your on-line assets via an Amazon cloud-based service. They support a whole bunch of on-line content repositories (see the home page) – wouldn’t mind if they added Yahoo Mail, actually (any way to grab LinkedIn data also?)

In fact, they have a nice offer going, which I’m taking advantage of right here and now – a free year of premium service for blogging about Backupify (more here). Yeah, I like freebies like everyone else. But this is no tchotchke – I have countless hours invested in my on-line content. I’d like to make sure it doesn’t evaporate at some point.

As more and more of our “stuff” migrates to on-line platforms, this type of service will be invaluable. And it will be nice to mute that faint but distinct voice in the back of my head that I’m playing Russian Roulette with my data…


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