Yahoo Chokes Upon Offering Additional User Storage

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-06-15 Print this article Print

UPDATED: Since Yahoo users' free e-mail accounts were boosted from 4MB of e-mail storage to 100MB, the vastly popular e-mail service has been sluggish if working at all; Yahoo says it is investigating the proble

Yahoo Inc., which on Tuesday meant to pump up users free e-mail accounts to 100MB, popped instead. On the morning of its splashy debut, Yahoo users were greeted with notices of the upgrade, which boosted standard accounts from 4MB of e-mail storage to 100MB. However, the vastly popular e-mail service was sluggish, if it worked at all. Starting Tuesday morning, users began complaining about the sites groggy response time—if, in fact, they could even get the site to load at all.
Predictably enough, postings on Slashdot show that Yahoo users are looking the gift horse in the mouth.
"Great, but now e-mail isnt working at all," was the heading for a posting by Anonymous Coward. "I never had space problems, but now I cant even get my e-mail on Yahoo. Guess their servers are being overwhelmed with people checking it out. Thanks, Yahoo." Apparently, Yahoo was not alone. According to a posting on the front page of the Internet Storm Center, starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT, a number of large Internet presences were affected by a "widespread Akamai [Technologies Inc.] DNS issue," including Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Federal Express Corp., Xerox Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. Click here to read more about the apparent distributed denial-of-service attack on Akamais DNS. A Yahoo spokeswoman in San Francisco confirmed that the widespread DNS issue could be causing the problems. "We are currently investigating its potential impact on our services," she wrote in an e-mail exchange. "Also, as we upgrade tens of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts for consumers worldwide, some users may experience temporary fluctuations in service as we update our systems. We expect Yahoo Mail accounts to resume to normal after upgrades are completed." Users who had been paying for extra storage space were also upgraded at no additional charge, although Yahoo sent out a notice informing such users that, after one more year of paying $9.99 per year for Yahoo Mail Extra Storage, that service level would be eliminated in favor of the $19.99 yearly Yahoo Mail Plus service. The upgrade for paying customers also included virus scanning and cleaning via Norton AntiVirus; SpamGuard Plus, a personalized spam-filtering system; elimination of graphical adds; the ability to end messages without promotional taglines; total allowable message size of 10MB, including attachments; and 2GB of e-mail storage. Next page: Yahoo is No. 1 for free e-mail.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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