Orca - The 'Fail Whale' That wrecked Team Romney

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Orca - The 'Fail Whale' That wrecked Team Romney

Postby toucana on November 10th, 2012, 6:21 am 

Arstechnica has published a fascinating account of the flawed software that helped wreck the Republican GOP's attempts to get their vote out to the polls for Mitt Romney on 6 November 2012.


The Democratic party had a formidable and widely admired 'Ground Team' of volunteers that made extensive use of a poll watching and voter database software suite code named 'Narwhal'. Mitt Romney's team decided to go one better with a custom web application called 'Orca' (Orcas are apex predators of Narwhals.)

Shortage of time for Romney's development team led to Orca being delivered very late and without adequate testing. The results were catastrophic. The software failed so badly that at one point their ISP Comcast disconnected the entire system from the Internet under the impression that it was a DOS attack. As Republican volunteers in many states struggled with wrong PINs and https issues, GOP pollsters back at party HQ in Boston were left flying blind with no real idea of what was happening on the ground as election night unfolded.
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