shuts down google
THE world’s biggest internet search engine temporarily shut down today, leaving hundreds of millions of surfers stranded in cyberspace.
Google broke down for forty minutes this afternoon, paralysing everything from internet-dating to people checking out the latest news.
Anyone searching for a site using Google was blocked with the warning: “This site may harm your computer.” The problem started at 3.30pm.
As fear spread across the internet that hackers would bring the mighty search engine down and cause millions of pounds in damage, it emerged that the entire search engine was crashed by a rogue “/”.
Marissa Mayer, the vice-president of Google, explained the search engine has a list of harmful websites that it warns users not to visit. This afternoon a Google employee, whose job is to input the websites into the company’s system, accidentally typed “/” for the whole URL of a bad website. This caused Google to flag up every site with “/” in its URL as harmful, and blocked access.
“Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file,” said Mayer.
Within minutes of the problem occuring, the internet blogosphere, from California to New Zealand, went into a frenzy of panic and speculation about what caused the problem.
The new social newtworking site Twitter was also jammed with news feeds and screen-shots of Google pages under the heading “Googmayhem” or “Googmayharm”.
Some blogs said that Google had been infected with a malicious virus by hackers, while others said the glitch was caused by a mighty failure in Google’s infrastructure.
One blogger said the glitch showed the dangers of having most people in the world relying on the Google “monoculture” for internet searches.
This is not the first time that Google has come down. In May 2005, the search engine collapsed completely for 15 minutes due to an internal server problem.
Also, last February, YouTube, the popular video-sharing website owned by Google, went down for several hours after Pakistan banned the site and “sent the traffic to an internet blackhole”.
Although Google never discloses how many people use its serach engine, it is estimated that it has hundreds of millions of users across the world. The company has its headquarters in California and employs about 2,668 people. ['Human error' shuts down Google
Times Online ]
Internet chaos as Google goes gaga