is down … really down

As if the recent YouTube siesta wasn't enough of a nightmare for some, we see at the moment that mighty is kaput -- and can't you just see the millions of dollars worth of lost sales floating down the river.

(June 9 update: More trouble?)

Actually, all I'm seeing is an empty page with this stark message: Http/1.1 Service Unavailable.

Other bloggers are already taking note.

Not sure exactly when it started, but seems to have been down for going on a half-hour now, which makes it an extremely unusual event, according to statistics from Pingdom, a Web uptime monitoring company. How unusual? Amazon hasn't had more than 15 minutes of downtime in a single month -- never mind an afternoon -- since August 2006, when it suffered an hour and 44 minutes in the dark.

Will be interesting to see what caused the problem.

(Update: Call in to Amazon PR. No word yet.)

(Update 2: In addition to its retail site, Amazon's S3 site, where it markets data storage space to developers, and its EC2 cloud platform, which is a hosting service for applications, are also down.)

(Update 3: Showing signs of life. I had the homepage for a moment, then lost again. Colleague based in New York reports the same experience.)

(Update 4: Amazon calls it an "unplanned event." ... "We are currently investigating an issue that has impacted the availability of the website. Engineers are actively engaged in resolving this issue and we will provide an update once the issue is resolved. We appreciate your patience during this time.")

(Update 5: Someone at CNet did some noodling on a napkin and figures Amazon is losing $31,000 for every minute this continues.)

(Update 6: Just got out of a meeting and at 4:15 Eastern they appear to be back in business, although I didn't actually try to buy anything.)

(Update 7: Just received this email from Craig Berman, Amazon's director of strategic communications: "The Amazon retail site was down for approximately 2 hours earlier today -- beginning around 10:25 -- and we're bringing the site back up. Amazon's systems are very complex and on rare occasions, despite our best efforts, they may experience problems. We work to minimize any disruption and to get the site back as quickly as possible. Amazon's Web services were not affected nor were our international sites.")

Welcome regulars and passersby. Here are a few more recent Buzzblog items. And, if you'd like to receive Buzzblog via e-mail newsletter, here's where to sign up.

Can early tornado warnings create Darwin Award winners?

The REAL sticking point between Microsoft and Yahoo!

Google News, McCain and The Mystery Blonde.

Worst of the lot for two years running: PCMall and PCConnection.

Times breaks out xkcd-to-English translator.

This Year's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries.

Top 10 Buzzblog posts for '07: Verizon's there, of course, along with Gates, Wikipedia and the guy who lost a girlfriend to Blackberry's blackout.

8 can't-miss tech predictions ... for 1998

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.