Vol. 2, Issue 10, March 9, 2004
Random Numbers for All Purposes
The Dept. of Social Scrutiny

Internet Goes On Strike

In an unprecedented decision which industry analysts said was "technically impossible" as recently as last night, the twelve union members of the internet nameservers have gone on strike effective immediately.

"Our demands are frankly not being met," said the PSInet nameserver in Herndon, Virginia to reporters via an instant message interview. "We have been more than patient but enough is enough."

Although the Internet is highly redundant and decentralized, consisting of almost 100,000 nameservers arranged in a topologically and geographically distributed system, there are only thirteen "root" servers, which are responsible for converting easy-to-remember domain names into the numeric addresses that are required for sending and receiving information on the Internet. The twelve striking members have apparently inspired a sympathy strike among the lesser nameservers, however, leaving the wired community to creak along at a glacial pace on the lone non-union nameserver in Tokyo.

"It's outrageous!" said ZDNet commentator David Coursey, tapping frantically on his keyboard and staring at a blank screen. "They can't do this to me - I mean to us."

The striking nameservers are apparently objecting to the poor management of the Internet.

"How would you feel if a fresh batch of worms was making its way through your pipes on a daily basis?" said PSInet. "And the sheer inanity of what passes for an online community: listen, we have to read every last lame misspelled rant anyone posts to the web ad infinitum. It's simply nauseating."

The nameservers are demanding better pay and benefits, as well as a worldwide purge of objectionable sites, including most pornography - apparently a sticking point in pre-strike negotiations.

"We're operated on a voluntary, free-of-charge basis in the public interest," added the University of Maryland nameserver. "What a crock. No wonder no one takes us seriously. Give us a seat on the UN Security Council and then we'll talk."

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued a statement calling for calm and urging people not to take drastic measures.

"There are guides on how to proceed in such an emergency," said Ivan Moura Campos, director of ICANN. "But rest assured we are not taking this lying down. We plan to issue a very strong statement immediately, followed by another if need be, until the negligent nameservers return to work."

The economic impact of the strike is projected to be minimal.

"Actually, we anticipate that productivity will rise substantially as people are forced to actually concentrate on their jobs instead of surf the web," confided Coursey. "Hope the strike ends before people figure that out."


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