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Our network administrator yesterday blocked orkut, facebook and Stack Overflow. He is absolutely unaware of Server Fault. We got it restored by our boss. But why should SO be blocked in the first place?

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Slightly related: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/40431/… –  Benjol Feb 10 '11 at 5:44
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I'd call him someone who's faithfully doing his job. ...oh, wait. You said Stack Overflow, not Meta. –  Pops Feb 10 '11 at 13:59
    
I prefer "killjoy" :) –  Nick Craver Feb 11 '11 at 2:54
    
Damn! It's all your fault, Server Fault! –  LeakyCode Feb 11 '11 at 6:16
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I would call him Wise; he discovered that you were spending too much time answering bleeding edge technologies and cool languages questions while in your company you usually work with Cobol and VB6. (cough that's my situation cough) –  systempuntoout Feb 11 '11 at 8:26
    
I think the right term would be [ BOFH ](theregister.co.uk/odds/bofh) –  Richard Feb 11 '11 at 13:23

7 Answers 7

I will call them shortsighted. But that's just me.

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getting funnier answers. so unanswering for now. –  naveen Feb 11 '11 at 6:16

SO is a great website, but it's easy to misuse it and and get sucked in. That is bad for productivity. Just ask the folks over at chat.

As for calling a Server Admin names - I advise you not to. It will just upset them and get you in trouble. I can assure you that it won't accomplish what you want.

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Well, there's BOFH, but that's usually considered a compliment. –  Greg Hewgill Feb 10 '11 at 4:16
    
@Greg True but it still wont accomplish anything. –  Moshe Feb 10 '11 at 4:18
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Moshe: sensible advice. but do you know that chat.stackoverflow was not blocked? –  naveen Feb 10 '11 at 4:59
    
@Greg: BOFH is too harsh :) –  naveen Feb 10 '11 at 4:59
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@naveen I don't know that it wasn't blocked. I was saying that the people at the Tavern on chat.meta know about how SO can be counterproductive. –  Moshe Feb 10 '11 at 5:17
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"calling a Server Admin names" - and what should I do, call him by his IP address? ;o) –  Piskvor Feb 11 '11 at 7:16

SO would likely be blocked in the first place because the network admin sees a large amount of SO traffic along with a large amount of facebook traffic, etc and upon quick glance the nature of SO might not be immediately evident.

Remember it looks like this:

* from about page

If you weren't an avid user how might you categorize it on your network, as a potential time- or bandwidth-wasting threat, or not?

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good point but its blocked at whole office –  naveen Feb 10 '11 at 7:03

Most likely Stack Overflow was not singled out here. Most network admins have neither the time nor the inclination to go picking out individual sites to block (at least at first). No, they think bigger. They go to a service like websense or cyberpatrol to do the job for them, and thus block huge swaths of the web with one fell swoop. Now they may troll their logs for suspicious traffic later, but given that several of these were all suddenly blocked on the same day, this is more likely the result of an error on the part of the service provider; believe me, that happens all the time.

Be nice to your admin — he normally doesn't set the policy for this kind of thing and merely procures, monitors, and maintains the tools at the bequest of the management. It's a hassle for him, too.

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thanks joel. the site now up and running in our proxy. –  naveen Feb 11 '11 at 2:51

Personally I would call them a Big Blue Meanie.

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Quite a few sysadmins view themselves and their aggressive blocks as the last, best hope for productivity and data security. As such, they block all sorts of things that are not as big a problem as they might think. But be kind to them; it's also quite possible that the policy is actually originating further up the hierarchy than them and they're just the poor guys stuck with implementing it. (e.g., CEO says “I'm giving these little people more than 10¢ per day, so they'd better not be bunking off on my time!! Block everything that there isn't a business case for having open! Let them be thankful for that!”)

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Bah! My cynicism is showing through… –  Donal Fellows Feb 10 '11 at 11:26
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I think the business case for giving programmers access to SO is pretty freaking strong. I've lost count of the number of hours SO has saved me and I'm a relatively light user. –  Mark Booth Feb 10 '11 at 16:42
    
@Mark: Personally I'd agree. It's a great place to get a question answered. Sysadfascists don't think that way. –  Donal Fellows Feb 10 '11 at 22:36

But why should SO be blocked in the first place?

Good network admins will analyze the logs to find out where the larger portions of network traffic go to. It's unlikely, but possible, that they found stackoverflow to be using a lot of employee or network resources, and blocked it on that basis.

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This happened (somehow) at my high school and my personal website. I felt honored really for my website to mean enough that it was blocked lol –  Earlz Feb 11 '11 at 6:45

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