The postscript to the article caught my eye:
"Update: A Slashdotting is about 6000 hits these days, if you were wondering."
Is slashdot's glory fading, or was 6,000 hits an hour a catastrophic event years ago? I remember "slashdotting" being a regular phenomenon. CoralCache and Google's cached pages were the only way around it.
I think Slashdot lost a lot of the gadget, platform, and some programming discussions to tech blogs, reddit, and sites like HN. Back in the day, /. was a major destination site for people who wanted to talk about Apple, Microsoft, hardware, etc. I remember long threads during MacWorld in which people would dissect Jobs' latest announcement.
It takes surprisingly few hits to knock a fragile web site down, although I'm sure that's way lower than from peak too. Most common is poorly configured WordPress installations which will fall over in the slightest breeze. For a minor comparison, a Daring Fireball link was worth about 20,000 hits/day or 50,000 hits over a weekend last time I got one, and DF knocks down sites with some regularity.
The site lives on a cruddy VM belonging to a friend at a cost of $0 and worth every penny. But WP-SuperCache is holding up okay in the onslaught of hits from HN - which I'm actually noticing unlike the Slashdot numbers. I'll look at the numbers tomorrow and let you know what an HN-dotting is like :-)
It's a day later. Total hits with HN as referrer: about 3300, which is much less than Slashdot, but they mostly came in the first hour or two. This was enough to make the server whimper slightly. Zero hits with Techdirt as referrer, which makes me wonder if my stats (awstats working directly on the Apache logs) aren't utterly bogus.
After experiencing the full whipping-with-a-wet-feather of this slashdotting, I edited http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slashdot_effect to put much of the talk of Slashdot itself in the past tense. (See article talk page to argue the point - Wikipedia-quality sources needed.)
The general level of performance in programming and sysadmin has gotten steadily worse over the past several years through the use of self-deployment type hosting that tends to be expensive at the levels required to withstand decent traffic. The downside of Heroku is that you might be successful.
IB does not appear to be suing over the forking itself. They acknowledge in the complaint that the content is under CC-by-SA and that this allows people to copy it.
They complaint is basically about the name Wikitravel. They claim trademark on the name and are upset that the forkers are using the name to promote the fork in a way IB feels misuses their trademark. They also throw in unfair competition and a couple other things.
At no time did we even consider using the name "Wikitravel" for the fork. On the forking email list, a recurrent problem has been participants suggesting a new name. The plan was do deal with names last. Now that we are moving to Wikivoyage first, a cleanup pass is being performed to remove "Wikitravel" from all text and maps.
IB is just throwing stuff at the wall to see what might stick.