In The News Internet

Criminal Refresh of the F5 Degree

This article (another) made me chuckle. How the heck that’s criminal, rather than just juvenile is beyond me.

For those wondering F5 makes a browser reload a webpage. Presumably the intent is to overload the school website. Anyone who knows enough about computers to turn one on would find this quote exceptionally funny.

“It’s a crime and it is important we take this seriously … especially for school officials … it could have done a tremendous amount of damage,” said Canton City Prosecutor Frank Fronchione.

Somebody should have told him the worst realistic case was a crash due to high load (which is fixed by a reboot as any site that’s been slashdotted or diggdotted knows). A hard drive crash isn’t really any more likely under such circumstances since F5 would reload the same page, and done by many users, hence in the disk cache for performance purposes. And even if, a hard drive crash would be worst case, though not truly realistic. Overheating? If that were the case I’d kill a computer a week for high load. Odds are the site would have just slowed and stopped responding for a few minutes.

If that was really as damaging as he wants people to think, sites like Slashdot and Digg would be criminal to operate, as they are both known for crashing sites due to load (and the butt of many jokes as a result).

Sounds like a school trying to take attention off of other problems, by focusing on this. Though it would be comical to try and prove this being able to cause a “tremendous amount of damage” in court. Sounds like something you say in hopes of getting your name in the paper for doing something. I’d bet someone did warn him that the “damage” potential is trivial, if applicable. But newspapers don’t find “trivial damage” to be a buzz word. So if you want a mention in the press, you need to spice things up.

I wonder how many real crimes were committed at that school while the cops were busy arresting the student slashdotter.

Seems like slashdot not only picked up the story, but slashdotted the site! Brilliant. Now we get to see the prosecutor indite slashdot!

Will the stupidity ever end?