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IT Confidential: Politics, Web Traffic, And A New Paradigm

'Which is better,' says Gupta, 'Being down or paying the money?'
Have you seen the Bush-Kerry cartoon that's sung to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land"? Chances are you have, because last week the political parody created a stampede on the Internet. The cartoon, created by JibJab Media and hosted on the site of AtomFilms, caused such a sensation that it "literally crushed the AtomFilms servers," says Ajit Gupta, CEO of Speedera Networks, a Web-hosting company that AtomFilms turned to for help when it couldn't handle the tremendous traffic generated by the popular political jab. Gupta says Speedera began measuring traffic in gigabits per second, rather than the usual megabits, and for several days last week the parody was generating 2.5 million hits a day, probably ending up at more than 10 million total hits--a record for AtomFilms. So how much is an emergency job like that going to cost AtomFilms, already a Speedera customer? Says Gupta: "It's not going to come cheap."

A Florida man was indicted last week on charges that he stole more than 8 Gbytes of personal, financial, and company data. Scott Levine, 45, is accused of hacking into the systems of Acxiom, a Little Rock, Ark., database-marketing company. Levine, of Boca Raton, Fla., was charged in a 144-count indictment with conspiracy, unauthorized access of a protected computer, access-device fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. According to the indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Levine and others at his firm, Snipermail.com, stole the data over a 16-month period during 2002 and 2003 and caused about $7 million in damages to Acxiom.

The CIO of the city of Jacksonville, Fla., Dave Lauer, along with the Jacksonville sheriff's office, the Jacksonville Electric Authority, and Spectator Management Group, the company that manages AllTel Stadium in Jacksonville, awarded a contract last week for an end-to-end security system for Super Bowl XXXIX, to be played Feb. 6. GTSI won the contract and will function as a "systems aggregator for products, services, and complex integrated system solutions," according to a statement, for areas such as physical security, video surveillance, identity management, biometrics, smart cards, cybersecurity, and "weapons-of-mass-destruction detection."

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Time Warner's Time Inc. magazine-publishing division is investigating how to use radio-frequency identification technology to track magazine readership and distribution. No details, but Jane Bailey, the division's VP of corporate marketing information, is quoted as saying that RFID "changes the whole paradigm."

What paradigm? There's a paradigm in magazine publishing? Darn, I must have missed the memo. But I won't miss an industry tip, so send it to [email protected] or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about Web traffic, data integrity, or the Super Bowl, meet me at InformationWeek.com's Listening Post: informationweek.com/forum/johnsoat.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing