Saturday, January 31, 2009

A world without Google?

Watch out. You too could be infected if you surfed across the World Wide Web and happened onto the malicious Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Web page. Bad news, folks. Malware. Spyware. Maybe even soiled underwear.

And those looking to access the Saratoga Springs public portal via the Internet could be at risk too, according to Rumor is your computer will turn into a ticking time bomb, which will detonate with the force of a 10-megaton warhead if you don’t heed the warning offered by Google.

Droves of Saturday morning Web crawlers were greeted with warnings when they happened to use the Internet’s largest and most prolifically used search engine. Millions of trusted sites were arbitrarily listed as harmful by Google’s interface, spurring unmitigated panic among millions of information seekers prone to using their service.

“This site may harm your computer,” the brief warning stated.

Clicking on the site kicked you to another warning page, which informs the user they can continue to the malicious site, but only if they really want too. With the address effectively blocked by Google’s protection software, the only way to access any given site was to manually punch the address in the old fashion way.

In mere moments, sites like lit up with questions from confused surfers wondering whether they should nail a cross through their hard drive, or perhaps shoot the curious screen with a silver bullet. Some said it was hackers. Others blamed it on a suspected plot by Google to finally take over the world, big brother-style. One page on the site amassed nearly 100 posts from Google refugees in a matter of 15 minutes or so.

Google was quick to correct the problem. Within about an hour, their search engine was up and running. But the sheer terror caused by the brief outage shows how dependent many are on Google’s various tools. Even a good number iSaratoga’s devoted readers rely on Google to guide them to the blog, even though the Web address is pretty darn easy to remember.

In fact, 10 out of the past 60 readers that logged onto this site were directed there by Google’s trusted search engine. Several of these searchers are those persistent ones overly excited by an image of marijuana posted here three years ago. Others are still coming for a picture of Kristina Krawchuk displayed back in 2007. And some are just flat-out too lazy to type out the full URL or link to the site.

Nevertheless, it’s amazing how dependent the world is on Google. Perhaps we should all should have been alerted to this when the mere term ‘Google’ was added to the vernacular in most spoken languages, and even Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. Imagine for a moment the utter chaos that would befall the Web –the world even –if suddenly Google vanished.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taken from NYT article today:
"The company is not known for glitches. But Saturday’s is not the first in the last 10 days. Recently, Google Maps had a software glitch that sent drivers trying to get to different points within Staten Island, specifically zip codes 10302 and 10308, on a 176-mile detour to Schenectady instead. The Staten Island Advance ran a story on the road trip directions as “Strudel in Google’s noodle.”"

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The McTygue Boys are behind this.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Andrew J. Bernstein said...

Watch out Horatio: Google runs the platform as well...

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey while you were filming from behind the bushes, did you see the campiagn signs tommy threw back there.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey while you were filming from behind the bushes, did you see the campiagn signs tommy threw back there.

1:12 PM  

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