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Being the geekish sort, I noticed with a smile that Slashdot — the venerable tech-focused chat forum/social network that currently plays grouchy old grey-haired guy to young whippersnappers like Digg — broke down yesterday after someone posted the 16,777,216th comment (which in itself should raise an eyebrow or two).

Why? Well, obviously it’s because Slashdot’s MySQL database is structured in such a way that a table can only hold 2^24 data points, which is known as “an unsigned mediumint” (but you probably knew that). While the site changed the way it stores some of the comments — to allow as many as 4.1 billion — it didn’t change all of them and the 16,777,216th pushed the database over and broke it. “We shall flog ourselves appropriately,” said Commander Taco.

blame canada.jpg

But here’s the best part, as pointed out by my friend and uber-geek Paul Kedrosky: the final comment came from a Canadian — a fiddle player, no less, with a band called Siobhan (his comment was something related to the Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. election). His nom de plume is Da Ghostface Fiddlah. Once again, Canadians rule. Pwned.

About the author

Mathew 2420 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

2 Responses to “Warning: this is off the geek-o-meter”
  1. We will burn down your White House and crash your Slashdot. Fear us.

  2. :-)

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