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BBC websites down tools and head outside into the sun for a while

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We were told it would be back up in "15 minutes or so" around 15 minutes before publishing this, a remarkably accurate prediction.

Speculation: Maybe they have a rehearsed DR plan and know exactly how long it takes to switch over to the backup systems.

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Alien

"a rehearsed DR plan"

Isn't that an oxymoron, or at least sacrilegious???

I think "it was aliens" is a more plausible explanation than a working DR plan.

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Anonymous Coward

They probably opened too many "have your says" on brexit articles and the servers just gave up with the influx of daily fail readers.

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I thought all HYS comments sections were about Brexit, regardless of the content of the related article.

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I blame brexit for this.

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No comment?

"Three years ago the BBC's web presences did more or less the same thing. The corporation declined to say what caused it beyond an "internal system failure"."

Actually there was a rather long and in depth blog post about it

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/a37b0470-47d4-3991-82bb-a7d5b8803771

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Re: No comment?

There are some refreshingly open and cheery tech articles on that blog, it is a hidden gem.

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Re: No comment?

Well done for reminding me of it; I used to read it and indeed it's pretty insightful.

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Re: No comment?

The analysis of the outage is insightful. And well written. I wish some of the customer comms I have written under stress had read that well :-(

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Trollface

As Reg readers will know, HTTP 500 is the code for an internal server error.

Well, even less well informed readers might have been able to read the banner at the top of the Beeb's panel which said "Error 500 - Internal Server Error"

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It's the end of the world as we know it

and I feel fine.

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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it

and I feel fine.

That's because after thousands of years of being various old farts, you've regenerated as a rather foxy bird.

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CBeebies on Sky too

This morning CBeebies on Sky went down too.

Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth of a nations toddlers as they don't get their morning Hey Duggee, and their parents trying to get an indoor freeview aerial to get a signal.

Maybe related, maybe not. The beeb isn't having a good day.

Though when I tried to login to the news and got an HTTP 500 I genuinely feared that the site had become overwhelmed because some large (and catastrophic) newsworthy Event had occurred.

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Re: CBeebies on Sky too

GCSE Bite Size also gone. I had dived in to read up on 1834 poor law amendment.

Luckily it's school holiday time.

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Alien

Re: CBeebies on Sky too

"Though when I tried to login to the news and got an HTTP 500 I genuinely feared that the site had become overwhelmed because some large (and catastrophic) newsworthy Event had occurred."

My immediate thought - because I noticed the flames on the test card image - was that they were pranking us, perhaps in order to add something real that people would remember when (say) an upcoming Doctor Who is broadcast, with a story set at the time the website supposedly went down due to whatever disaster/invasion/whatever the Doctor averts.

Also: it says in the article that iPlayer wasn't affected - but it was if you scratched the surface: Click on the iPlayer link and the site appeared to be up, but following through to anything therein (at least for me) resulted in the same error.

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FAIL

Re: CBeebies on Sky too

We had this too, pressed a few buttons and had Peppa pig on for a bit, plus a shed load of adverts.

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Re: CBeebies on Sky too

I had dived in to read up on 1834 poor law amendment.

Good preparation for the 2020 GCSE (last one ever) on the 2019 Poor Law introduced by Prime Minister Rees-Mogg…

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Scary

Was it just me or did other people find that rag doll test card image scary?

I miss the selection of test cards - used to see them all the time so you could set the tv up correctly. Now you have to set reds by David Dikinson's face which varies depending on the last coat of Cuprinol ..., blues by the colour of the Brexiteers' rosettes which brighten and fade depending on the state of the Pound, and greens by the grass at Wimbledon but that's currently brown so doesn't help much. Be great if there was a regular 5 minute test card window at some point for all channels - be more interesting to watch than "Rental Properties Under the Sledgehammer" - but then again it may show just how terrible the current SD broadcast quality is on static images ... I doubt if you could even use the contrast bars on some multiplexes ...

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Re: Scary

We had to explain to a friend what the test card was, and when it used to be on the telly last week. He found the whole idea quite baffling ( hegrew up in Hong Kong, so missed out on some cultural touchstones).

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Re: Scary

Talking about the test card made me think. It's interesting to consider that not all that long ago the sum total of available TV was...

BBC1 - not sure what time it started, but certainly not all that early prior to breakfast TV...ran through til around midnight when it shut down for the night

BBC2 - bulk of daytime was the test card. Late afternoon and evening programming, and shutdown around same time as BBC1. Maybe some Open University programming (very) early morning or late at night

ITV - Similar to BBC1 as I recall

Later, Channel 4 launched but it didn't come on until late afternoon, and also shut down at night.

Makes you realise why breakfast TV and the launch of Channel 4 were such huge events. Especially in the case of the latter they represented a significant increase in the overall amount of programming available..

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Re: Test cards

It's a God-awful small affair.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

"[...] ran through til around midnight when it shut down for the night"

BBC schedules in July 1953 usually opened with children's programmes at 17:00 - although sometimes in mid-afternoon with a film or live sport.

There was a break between the end of the children's programmes at 17:35 or 18:00 - restarting again about 19:30 to 20:00. Apparently so it didn't provide the temptation for people to miss going to Evensong at their church.

It closed down about 22:40 with an audio only news update. On Sunday the final programme was "The Epilogue" - usually a cleric droning on in the style of Radio 4's "Thought For The Day".

There were no other TV channels.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

"It closed down about 22:40 with an audio only news update."

You could of course watch the random noise on the screen. Finally when you switched the TV off - the picture collapsed to a white dot that gradually disappeared.

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Re: Scary

"It's a sign, that little white dot. It means something really heavy. It means there's no more telly, it's time to go to bed."

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Trollface

Re: Scary

I keep meaning to doctor the test card image i've saved for teleconference meetings. Something maybe something with the boss and the company mascot/figurehead/parlor game.

That and hook 'the art gallery' theme song in to the big displays whilst we wait for the obligatory 'can everyone hear me?'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

" It means something really heavy."

There is a blocked YouTube video of the "The Young Ones" that might be relevant? My mind verbalised it with the voice of Neil.

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Re: Scary

We had to explain to a friend what the test card was

See: http://www.meldrum.co.uk/mhp/testcard/

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Re: Scary

There was a break between the end of the children's programmes at 17:35 or 18:00 - restarting again about 19:30 to 20:00

Known as the "Toddler's Truce", IIRC, so you had time to put the kids to bed.

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Re: Scary (kids today!)

BBC2 was the reason my dad bought a new TV. The one we had wasn't able to get it when it launched.

I guess the old TV was 405 line VHF and we needed the new TV to get the new fangled 625 line UHF that BBC2 was broadcast on. It was years later before we got a colour TV.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary (kids today!)

" It was years later before we got a colour TV."

Even after BBC2 went colour - a lot of the programmes were in black & white. Can't remember when "Pot Black" snooker was finally shown in colour. We used to gather at a friend's house (his dad was a bank manager) for Saturday's midnight movie. They seemed to choose films that would show well in colour - like "Operation Petticoat" (aka "The Pink Submarine").

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

"We had to explain to a friend what the test card was"

Ha! I see your test card and raise you a potters wheel!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary (kids today!)

I remember as a child visting a distant relative in Bournemouth who had colour TV (we lived in the penines in northern England and BBC2 and colour took a few years to get to us) and looking forward to seeing Jackanory in colour .... only to find that that week's story was only filmed in black and white!

I think Pot Black was always in colour as the whole point of the program was that it was designed to showcase colour TV.

Meanwhile we were left with B&W and 405-line BBC1 ... I remember watching the 1970 FA Cup Final replay thinking that every Leeds player (white kit) was being shadowed by a Chelsea paluer (blue kit looking dark grey in B&W). Also, 5-nations rugby was a challenge as Scotland/Wales/Ireland all seemed to have chose the same mid-grey shirts!

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Re: Scary

I'm sorry to break it to you, but your "not all that long ago" was half a lifetime.

BBC's Breakfast TV schedule launched in 1983, which is fully half of threescore and ten years ago now. Channel 4 launched a year before that.

Ob. XKCD.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

I grew up thinking my older brother looked like the girl on the test card except he had shorter hair. It was weird for 10 years.

Just thought everyone needsed to know that.

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Re: Scary

There was more than just the test card.

During the rollout of coulor TV in the UK in 1967 or so, BBC2 carried a number of test programs, which I believe were called "Trade Test Transmissions". They were basically colourfull short documentaries, broadcast at fixed times of the day, so that TV installers has something predictable to set the colour up on the TV they were installing (Colour TVs were still mainly valve driven, and were fiddly to set up, took ages to warm up from cold, and generated large amounts of heat).

I happened to be ill for a while that year, and off school for a week or two, and I remember three of them. One was called "Ride the White Horses", and was about power boat racing, another was called "Skyhook", and was about helicopter cranes, and one was called "Birth of a Rainbow", about rainbow trout farming.

There were more, but I can't remember them. Wikipedia has a list.

Looking a YouTube, they have the one about rainbow trout, and some of the others, but not the other two I remember.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

"During the rollout of coulor TV in the UK in 1967 or so [...]"

I might still have the handouts from the Mullard colour TV road-show that toured the UK to educate the technical community before colour broadcasting started. A technical explanation of why PAL was better than NTSC - and how the "banana tube" semi-mechanical system had done colour TV.

IIRC they showed some very colourful test programmes on the TVs dotted round the room.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

"I see your test card and raise you a potters wheel!"

Raise you a fish tank and (IIRC) a windmill.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

"[...] so that TV installers has something predictable to set the colour up on the TV they were installing [...]"

The general public then usually twiddled to knobs to give highly saturated reds and greens. The soap actors looked like they were about to suffer a heart attack,

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

"Colour TVs were still mainly valve driven, and were fiddly to set up, took ages to warm up from cold, and generated large amounts of heat"

One by-product was that the final stage video valves could also be used in HF SSB amateur radio transmitters. Usually overdriven - so they needed replacing regularly. IIRC Drake transmitters used them.

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Re: Scary (kids today!)

"and for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green."[

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Coat

Re: Scary

"Muffin the Mule with Annette Mills (who writes the songs) and Ann Hogarth (who pulls the strings)."

For free, I would have paid good money to see that.

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Trollface

Re: Scary (kids today!)

"Scotland/Wales/Ireland all seemed to have chose the same mid-grey shirts!"

Maybe it has something to do with 'damp' being a color in those places...

Oh, excuse me, that should have been 'colour'.

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Re: Scary

I think it should go back to these schedule times now (along with all the other crap that passes for programming on the 10 million other channels)

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Coat

60 Million people...

60 million people searching bbc weather for "do I need a coat today?"

I know, it rarely does not rain here. No, I don't want my coat... I just noticed the smoke from my phone as it hit critical temp!

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Re: 60 Million people...

I know, it rarely does not rain here.

I worked on-site at a client in the West End (of London) for 18 months, a few years ago. Getting there involved a mixture of walking and public transport (or just a long walk), and I "wisely" carried a raincoat every day.

What surprised me was how seldom I actually needed it. Maybe five times in 18 months, which might have been a couple more times had I not once or twice taken shelter in the pub at the end of the day until the wet stuff had spent its fury.

We tend to forget that London has a lower annual rainfall than (say) Paris (France, not Texas).

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Thumb Up

Re: 60 Million people...

Yeah. I'm no longer anywhere near London. But even around here, it's still some times of year or day that we get the rain. Not constantly. :P

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Re: 60 Million people...

We tend to forget that London has a lower annual rainfall than (say) Paris (France, not Texas).

Supposing for a moment that Wikipedia is a reliable source of information, London and Paris, France have very similar amounts of rainfall. Paris, Texas has nearly twice as much as either! Paris, Texas is almost as rainy as Glasgow, if you can believe that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 60 Million people...

" Texas has nearly twice as much as either! "

...but in Texas it all arrives in one day!

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Re: 60 Million people...

We tend to forget that London has a lower annual rainfall than (say) Paris (France, not Texas).

Which is one of the reasons why it has such bad air.

Anyway: rain coats who needs them?

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