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01/17/2005 Archived Entry: "DNS overload"

A tip of the hat to Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (M-LAW) for their Wacky Warning Label contest. This year's winner is "[a] flushable toilet brush that warns users, 'Do not use for personal hygiene'".

Lately we've been noticing long delays, and occasional timeouts, when our web browsers are looking up domain names. It's extremely disconcerting when your web browser times out while trying to visit your own domain! When using Opera I'm able to see that the timeout is in the DNS lookup, and not due to our server being down; also, I can usually access our server through a different name. This makes me suspect that I'm seeing, firsthand, the reported effect that spammers are overloading the Domain Name System. (There's more technical detail at eWeek, including the suggestion that this may be an unintended consequence of the CAN-SPAM Act.)      —brad

Edited to add: Some knowledgeable people have challenged this theory of spammers' behavior and the effect on the DNS. See, for instance, this comment at eWeek. So I'm left wondering, what the heck is going on?

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