Do you Yahoo!? No, can’t say that I do …

Jun 14, 2007 | 2 minutes read

… and here’s a good reason why:

Every time I attempt to search, I get the error “Sorry, Unable to process request at this time – error 999.” This has been occurring for at least the past 30 minutes. However, I pinged a friend of mine, Brad Younge, and he can search just fine. Quite strange!

A quick search via Google (and no, I’ve never received an “unable to process request at this time” error from Google) shows that a LOT of people have this problem.

So, I can safely say that no, I don’t Yahoo!.

Anyone know why this happens?


I found an excellent description of this error on Murray’s Binary Bit Bucket. It appears that the most common reason for this error is some sort of bandwidth limiting that Yahoo! put in place on their servers. The idea is to prevent both DoS (Denial of Service) attacks and automated processes that would pummel their servers with requests.

Wonder why it targeted me?

[Update 2]

About an hour after posting I can now search again. We’ll see if I can purposely cause this to occur again!!

[Update 3]

Yep, I was able to purposely cause Yahoo! to prevent my from issuing searches. I wrote a little application that does the following:

string url = "";  

for (int i = 0; i < 1000; i++)  
    HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(url);  
    request.Method = "GET";  
    request.AllowAutoRedirect = false;  
    request.Proxy = WebProxy.GetDefaultProxy();  
    request.Proxy.Credentials = System.Net.CredentialCache.DefaultCredentials;  
    WebResponse response = request.GetResponse();   

So, evidently Yahoo! doesn’t appreciate it if you make 1000 calls in a short period of time. Interesting!

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