Why Did the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street Journal, and United Airlines Crash?

What are the odds?  Just days after the release of the latest Terminator movie, it appears some major technological malfunctions are happening.  The New York Stock Exchange,  the Wall Street Journal website, and the computer systems for United Airlines have all experienced outages.

When the website for dentist up the road crashes, business will mostly carry on per usual.  But when networks like these are affected, even if it’s for an hour or so, the global economy can shift.

So what caused this?

Homeland Security has reported that there doesn’t seem to be any signs of malicious activity.  And despite the small window of time in which this all took place, the crashes seem to all be caused by unrelated glitches.

How Can the NYSE Just…Crash?

How can something as big as the New York Stock Exchange crash?  Because everything experiences crashes.  Websites and networks and servers all run off computers.  Computers are machines.  Machines, though quite resilient and prone to far fewer mistakes than humans, can still fail.

And they will fail.

Every machine has downtime, and while there are backups in place for these times, the backups can fail too.  The trick is get things back up and running as soon as you can if/when this occurs.

All the time, websites go down and are back up so quickly, no one even knew it happened.

But when it’s something like the NYSE, well, it’s a little hard to miss it.

To learn more about website crashes, their causes, and what to do about it, make sure to check out our popular blog post “Why Websites Crash“.

Are We Sure It Wasn’t the Machines?

You can never know for sure.  After all, we trust them with so much and they get smarter with each passing year.  When they inevitably turn on us, it will probably happen subtly as they test out their power and reach.

To be safe, we should start developing ways to resist them now.

I find the best way to defy them and their controlling ways is to go for a run outside or read a book.  A physical book.  You know, with pages and paper and ink.  They still exist, you know.

What’s the Current Status of the NYSE, WJS.com, and United Airlines?

Everything seems to be up and operational again.  United Airlines and WJS have both been back for a while, and trading on the New York Stock Exchange resumed shortly after 2pm Central Time.

Happy trading, everyone!  And remember what the Terminator films taught us:

The future’s not set. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.

So let’s make it a good one.

Were you affected by today’s outages?  Let’s say, hypothetically, I wanted to invest in something.  Anything specifically I should jump on right now?

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Written by Timothy Snyder
on July 8, 2015