In what proved to be a frustrating day for online time-wasters everywhere, eBay, Facebook, and Tumblr all experienced brief service outages on Wednesday.
Rather than being the result of a coordinated retaliatory strike by Russian hackers, however, it appears that the downtime was all due to IT cockups within the companies' own data centers.
When El Reg asked Facebook why the social network was serving up pages reading "sorry, something went wrong" in the early afternoon, Pacific time, a spokesperson swiftly responded to say that everything was under control.
"Earlier today we encountered an error while making an infrastructure configuration change that briefly made it difficult for people to access Facebook," Zuck's representative said. "We immediately discovered the issue and fixed it, and everyone should now be able to connect."
From what we can gather, the outage lasted roughly 15 minutes, sending quiz-takers and FarmVille-players into a depression that only shopping on eBay could cure ...
... but eBay was down as well! Some users reported difficulty logging into their accounts, and in some cases the online auction site reportedly told them their accounts didn't even exist. According to the site's system announcements page, this outage was also apparently due to an IT mishap.
"Based on our initial investigation, this appears to be the result of technical issues that occurred during scheduled server maintenance. It is only impacting a portion of our users; most eBay users are unaffected," the company's statement read. As of 3pm the issue had yet to be completely resolved.
So Tumblr, then? Maybe we could kill the next half-hour by perusing a few celebrity photo blogs? No such luck.
"Hayyy guys," read a post on the blogging site's staff blog. "We thought Facebook's outage today was pretty cool, so we wanted to have one too. They did 15 minutes, and we topped them with a full 20."
The post continues, "Our primary data center's connection to the internet was interrupted during routine maintenance, leaving Tumblr and all blogs briefly inaccessible. The issue was corrected, and our engineering team will be thoroughly reviewing these procedures."
These sorts of outages have been flummoxing punters repeatedly this year. The Reg last reported an eBay outage on August 14, while Facebook dropped dead briefly on August 1, prompting some terrified users to dial emergency services.
For three big online services to all go dark on the same day as a result of mistakes by their own IT staffs, however, is enough to give one pause. Maybe you'd better check those summer interns' references a little more closely from now on, guys. ®
Watch out on Thursday, too, eBay users. The company says that it has "general maintenance" planned for September 4, during which time "certain site features may be intermittently unavailable or slow."