Mistakes That Live On

from the for-at-least-some-time dept

The story of the miners who died in West Virginia, after a “miscommunication” had everyone saying they had survived has resulted in an interesting situation. A News.com reporter has noticed that if you do a search on Google News, you still can see a ton of stories saying the miners survived. This shows one of the limitations of a scanning and scraping model for aggregation, rather than a ping-based model that would let sites update an aggregator when the news had changed (dramatically, in this case). Of course, pinging has its own problems (mostly with overloading servers). So, is the lag associated with scanning acceptable or is there a better solution? Update: Of course, the situation is worse in print, where many newspapers had already printed the survival story before the truth came out. Update: And some interesting stories about newspapers who trashed copies with the wrong story to print up corrected papers.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Mistakes That Live On”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

my vote would be for a combination of the two; make it a function of DNS servers so individuals ping them with page updates. The DNS servers can then propogate changes up the DNS tree resulting in one central cache. Then allow anyone to receive/mirror the central cache. This would effectively open up the page index so anyone could startup a search engine without having to index themselves.

Michael Armstrong (user link) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Unfotunately, DNS is ill suited to do this. DNS is only good at handing out IP addresses when queried for names. Think of it as a phone book — Internet style. DNS propogation does not work such that it can handle this at all.
Thankfully, Web servers and the HTTP protocol have this kind of facility built in. It’s just that nobody tends to use it. You can query just the header of an HTML page and get back information about the size of the page itself (not including images), last modified date, and other salient info. This is the stuff your browser uses in combination with your cache settings to determine whether it should load the entire page all over again or not.

Paul M says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Unfortunately, DNS is ill suited to do this. DNS is only good at handing out IP addresses when queried for names. Think of it as a phone book — Internet style. DNS propogation does not work such that it can handle this at all.

What about reverse DNS – “PTR” records? CNAMEs, NX, TXT etc?

Please, leave your ignorance at home.
DNS has been used for many things, it’s far more than name to IP lookup.

kingmanor says:

It was really bad on TV

I had the tv on in the background late last night, and on FoxNews the 2 reporters, the anchor, and Geraldo were all waxing ecstatic for over an hour about what happened. Then they spend the morning show talking about how it wasn’t their fault. Every channel was like this.
After the debacle in Florida in 2000, we knew the media would never jump the gun on Election night. Now they’d rather wait until absolutely sure to call a state. This time it wasn’t a terribly important news story in the grand scheme of things, but it was one the entire media had been milking for days straight. And they F’ed it up big time at the end. Its nobody’s fault but their own.
Add this to the growing list of times the media runs with a story that is not sourced or fact-checked. Way to go.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wishful Thinking

The story I heard was that miner’s families had overheard cell phone conversations about “checking vital signs on the bodies”, which they interpreted to mean that the miners were still alive, so they spread the rumor.

Isn’t everyone guilty of wishful thinking, though? The IT industry is full of absurd theories that free markets will somehow solve all the world’s problems, or that technology is somehow going to make all our problems go away. It’s an industry full of adult Star Trek and LOR fans, who have never gotten over their 12-year-old boy fantasy phase.

Ron says:


It was a mistake. Give me a break.

People make mistakes. It’s people like you and me who run the Command Center. They make mistakes just like you do. Time to move on from this.

This is yet another of thousands of stories that get blown out of proportion, when what we should really be discussing are issues that actually matter to society, such as global warming, poverty, the homeless and the war on terror.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...