network testing

A New Low for CNN

In my social circles there is a widespread superstition; that is to say, it’s widespread because, well, I helped spread it. We call it the CNN Test, and it’s based on the principle that for the last fifteen years at least, the CNN website will load as long as one has an internet connection. This was important during the days of deliberate DNS bottlenecks, a problem Comcast found it could resolve not by running more DNS servers, but through rolling brownouts and blackouts of service.

Yes, Comcast really is that low. Then again, we already knew that.

CNN, on the other hand, has had a terrible reputation for years, but nothing quite like that. However, the oft-shameful Cable News Network has achieved a new low of its own.'s perpetual TV; website visitors are not allowed to pause the broadcast.We promised we weren’t singling out BET for thinking website readers actually wanted to watch television; our disdain is a personal thing, since publishers might as well start putting videos in e-books; why read a novel when you can watch actors portray it, or perhaps you might skip the whole literary pretense and watch Real Husbands of Hollywood, instead, right?

The broadcast in the corner of the web page is perpetual; the user cannot pause it.

A note to CNN: The “CNN Test” is now the only reason anybody I know ever goes to That is to say, they get their news from better sources, and you’ve reduced yourself to a network testing protocol.