What’s It Take to Break a Website? “Gangnam Style” [UPDATE: Don’t Worry, YouTube Was Kidding]

Psy Gangnam styleThink way back to just before Y2K, when the possibility of a tech glitch got everyone worried about massive crashes (except, of course, for you savvy BC professionals who got proactive). Now fast-forward to today, where we’ve learned of an even greater threat to websites than Y2K: “Gangnam Style.”

Yes, the video for Korean pop star Psy’s musical earworm has been viewed on YouTube so often that it actually broke the website’s counter! The magic number? 2,147,483,647 (and counting).

So as not to get caught unawares again, YouTube has upgraded its view limit to…deep breath…9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (or “nine quintillion and change,” if anyone ever asks you to say it out loud).

Presumably, “Gangnam Style” will shatter that counter in a year or two.

It turns out YouTube was just making a very, very dry math joke when they claimed they were upgrading to a “64-bit integer” counter — an easter egg referencing the fact that they had actually made the upgrade months ago. OK, good one, YouTube. And thanks for getting that song stuck in our heads again…

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