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View Poll Results: What caused the power outage?
Lightning (sounds like "Pockets of swamp gas" or "A weather balloon" to me..)
Just a freakish overload on the grid, that's all... there's no other reason really. It will go unanswered as they should redo the whole grid outline for the USA anyways.. Make it so each state has their own grid or something.. hell, Texas does..
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Okay, here's the evil side of me. The power outage was caused by lazy, obese people that can't stand to NOT have their AC at 68 deg f or risk pass out from heat stroke. It started in the midwest (I'm in Michigan, and trust me, this place is going to sink before California), and new jersey (ever been to a casino?). Just like holding a set of blocks, when you let go of the end ones, the middle justs fall away.
What stopped the crash? One, it's too damn cold further up the NE, no matter what time of year. Second, most people south of ohio don't have AC in their chiminey'd school bus homes. As for further west, lake michigan prevents some natural grid tie-ins, and indiana isn't exactly a hotbed of power usage.
It is always human error, We had our internet go down at work for 5 hours once because some guy in clevelend was working and tripped over a wire and took out internet to about 3 states, he didn't know where the wire went so he just went home and didn't worry about it!
Or We now have our internet in one town we service go down about 4-5 times a day for like one minute, at the same time all the phones and cell phones go down, and they tell us its our upstream provider. Its all human error, if they would just take five minutes to relize they shouldn't have the micawave plugged into the same outlet as the equipment for the oc23 line :-)
Speaking of micawave, at the last place I worked, the head IT guy couldn't figure out why every now and then all the servers would just reboot, they were on battery backup and the battery backup was working fine, he ended up tracing it to someone had plugged a micawave into the battery backup, I guess I can understand, I mean you need to make sure your popcorn can finish even if the power goes out, needless to say he went about 3 feet off the ground when he found that and the best part was my manager was the one that plugged the micawave into the UPS :-)
Its all Human Error, we just like to blame it on the machines, One last thought (or quote as it may be)
Computers always do what you tell them to do but rarely what you want them to do :-)
Location: a tiny place caled hendrik ido ambacht in the netherlands
Distribution: SuSE, debian, slackware, lfs
you forgot one option. A burst of charged gas comming from the sun. I'm seriouse. That's what caused an power outage in Canada a few years ago.
Most of the time the sun is pretty quite. But once in 11 years, it bursts a huge amount solar gas into space.