My Evil Short URL Loop

September 2, 2009 - By

As I recently documented in my DEBUT article; I have my own short URL service called RLE. I works by adding small strings that redirect. It starts with one character strings like 1-0 and a-z, before presumably moving to two characters and so forth.

Right now I’m still in the one-character zone, and I’m being a bit miserly about where I’m using these decadently short URLs. I recently needed one for a text message I had to send. Shortly after showing that link, I had to take it down; thus leaving “” as a useless short URL. This was a bit heartbreaking; until I decided to do something funny (yet somehow even more useless) with it!

My original broken short URL is points at RLE points at Bitly points at Owly points at Tiny URL points at I can Haz points at IS GD points to Doiop
then after a visit to PHPMyAdmin… points to Dwarf URL to complete the circle…

Now when I go to any one of these links it ridiculously goes through all of the links. Why, you ask? Why not! … this will probably last until one of the companies sees what I’ve done and kills that link.

It’s fun, since Owly adds a bar everytime through. I love watching the status bar. Man.

Short URL

I need to pay more attention in massive conference calls.


A friend tells me that this is basically a microcosm of how a DDOS works. I didn’t realize it was that evil.

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This post was written by ArleyM