Sure, the Department of Defense designed it to be military-grade rugged, but no one really knew if the internet could handle a memorial service webcast of a pop megastar. Oh, it was brutal. From a network engineering perspective.
Michael Jackson's service drew, at its peak, about 2.8 million video and audio streams through the network of content middleman Akamai, versus around 350,000 on a normal day. It was almost entirely Americans watching; apparently the rest of the world was more interested in nuclear disarmament or mass ethnic uprising or whatever.
Back in the U.S., Facebook reported it was handling 6,000 status updates per minute, fueled by more than 300,000 viewers on a joint CNN/Facebook video console. Jackson chatter dominated and slowed Twitter.
In unrelated news, underemployment just pushed the average U.S. workweek to a record low of 33 hours while the jobless rate reached 9.5 percent.