back to article Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic

You can all relax now. The near-unprecedented outage that seemingly affected all of Google's services for a brief time on Friday is over. The event began at approximately 4:37pm Pacific Time and lasted between one and five minutes, according to the Google Apps Dashboard. All of the Google Apps services reported being back …

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  1. Captain DaFt

    Ah...

    So *That's* what the big red button labled 'DO NOT TOUCH-EVER!' does!

    My bad.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Ah...

      No matter where you are in the world there is always someone with a vacuum cleaner than needs plugging in ;-)

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Alien

        Or in Russia

        The floor that needs washing (it does not matter if there is IT kit on the floor)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah...

        The entire googleplex runs from a single domestic power socket? Must be using ARM chips.

        ;-)

      3. itzman

        Re: Ah...

        The best one was the cleaner cleaning the console keyboards on the PDP11. One of the keys IIRC put the whole think into 'pause ' mode.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Ah...

          Since switching to duck duck go (as of last week) this one actually passed me by totally.

          It's a bit weird not having predictive search results appearing anymore, but I'm sure I'll get used to that (Again).

          1. SFSecurity
            Pint

            Re: Ah...

            "Since switching to duck duck go (as of last week) this one actually passed me by totally.

            It's a bit weird not having predictive search results appearing anymore, but I'm sure I'll get used to that (Again)."

            Don't forget Startpage/Ixquick, the only search engine with a European Privacy Seal.

            I use DuckDuckGo and Startpage regularlly. Startpage for over 5 years and DuckDuckGo ever since I saw their only (?) billboard in SF about a year ago.

            Before those I used Scroogle, a back door into Google using an old API that didn't include the more sophisticated tracking.

        2. Ron Christian

          Re: Ah...

          In one place I worked, our machines would have most of their problems on Thursdays. Different machines, different architectures, different models of storage devices... we couldn't figure it out. This was a raised floor, halon protected computer room with a combination lock on the door.

          So, with nothing else to try, one Wednesday I prepared to spend the night in the computer room. Sure enough, about 2:00 AM the cleaning crew came in with a big buffer machine, preparing to run it over the raised tiles.

          I chased them out and next day confronted the facilities manager about (a) giving the cleaning crew the combination to a secure room, and (b) letting them bang a floor buffing machine against our disk arrays.

          He looked at me like a guy who'd seen his first kangaroo. He couldn't fathom why I wouldn't want the floors polished in the computer room. I finally gave up, got some tools, took the lock apart, and changed the combination.

          As I write this, I now realize that I did not pass on the combination when I left the company. Oops.

      4. dan1980

        Re: Ah...

        What gets me is they never seem to plug the cord back in when they're done.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Ah...

          Arcane instructions..

          pull the green tag, press the yellow button, unzip the toggle pocket, unscrew the air valve anticlockwise and yell “inflate you stupid bastard”

          1. dajames Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Ah...

            pull the green tag, press the yellow button, unzip the toggle pocket, unscrew the air valve anticlockwise and yell “inflate you stupid bastard”

            You've used BA life-jackets before, then?

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Ah...

          "What gets me is they never seem to plug the cord back in when they're done."

          They do, that's why they're always sitting at an 'ok' prompt and your disks are fsck'd

      5. Selden
        Unhappy

        Re: Ah...

        If you have electricity. In a typical month, my house suffers a Georgia Power failure at least once, sometimes for seconds, more often minutes, occasionally for hours. Can't use Google then either.

    2. andreas koch
      Alien

      @ Captain DaFT - Re: Ah...

      I would think that it was a warning from Google; along the lines: A nice internet you have there, shame if something like *click* THIS *click* would happen to it . . .

      Still want to buy a non-Andrioid device?<coughcough>

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: @ Captain DaFT - Ah...

        Ahh so you don't like the idea of anyone reading your gmail? Let's just fix it so no one can read your gmail then <click>.

      2. aaronj2906_01
        FAIL

        Re: @ Captain DaFT - Ah...

        Oh, Apple fanboi alert!

        Compared to Apple? I presume? Absolutely.

        Imagine an Apple search engine, where content is filtered beyond your control/knowledge and you can only experience the Internet as Apple thinks you should experience it. Total information freedom nightmare. No thanks!

        You Apple sheeple can keep your "think different". Go buy another overpriced "ooh, shiny" iCrap tablet that Samsung will out perform in every possible way for a whole lot less.

        Moron.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Captain DaFT - Ah...

          Apple motto is "think different"? And I thought it was "think as we tell you to" ;)

    3. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: Ah...

      Blame it on that cheap own brand Tescos kettle.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah...

      No... its a little black button, labelled in black on a black background that if you press it lights up, in black, and says "do not press this button again" ;-)

      Alternatively, the NSA we're testing their "Kill Switch" ...

      ... gets coat, heads for door ...

      G

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coat

        @ AC 07:35 Re: Ah...

        More likely... It took that long to install the new, improved, back-door high-volume pipe direct to the NSA Utah "data collection center". Can't hook that stuff up while the system is live, you know...

    5. william 10

      Re: Ah...

      Or for one betting company let me put the clean mop away - was that the master trip the mop hit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah...

        Either that or it was a threat to the EU.

        "Oh you want us to hamstring ourselves so our terrible competition has a chance? How about we just remove ourselves altogether. That's right, either do it our way, or we cripple you. Your move europe.

    6. Tim Parker

      More magic

      Someone flipped the switch to 'Magic', see the Jargon file entry.

    7. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Ah...

      "So *That's* what the big red button labled 'DO NOT TOUCH-EVER!' does!

      My bad."

      That's just not acceptable.

      Now go to "The Naughty Step" until further notice.

    8. Annihilator
      Happy

      Re: Ah...

      "Dougal, here’s a mad guess, just out of the blue, em, did you press the button?"

      "Ah now, Ted, come on!"

      "Did you, Dougal?"

      "I did, yeah"

    9. John Savard Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Ah...

      I thought you had to pull on the round red thing, not push it, to shut the computer off in a hurry.

      But then you have to wait for the manufacturer to send in a tech before you can use the computer again, and that would take more than two minutes.

      1. keith_w
        FAIL

        Re: Ah...

        Not necessarily. I worked at a place with a Push big red button that was not protected, was right beside the exit, and more importantly, right beside some equipment that I occasionally had to lean over to work on. The second time I tripped the power off, my boss warned me that 1 more time and I would be fired. The third time it went off, I was at my desk, jumped up and screamed "NOT MY FAULT". The big red button was shortly thereafter covered by a flip up plastic case.

      2. keith_w

        Re: Ah...

        Sorry. thought you were talking about the ones on the wall, not the ones on IBM 360s.

  2. Rufo

    Graph seems wrong

    The graph shows disruption at 23:55ish

    Even if it means 23:55 BST, it's still about 10 minutes later than Google reported (and I noticed)

    Strange

    1. Antonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Graph seems wrong

      Methinks more likely a failure of our heroic churnalism soviet. According to the attributed source: "Google.com was down for a few minutes between 23:52 and 23:57 BST on 16th August 2013." which fits perfectly with the lifted graph.

      I suppose there's scope for some disparity as the fault propagated across Google's infrastructure but some reference to the obvious contradiction in the article is surely warranted.

      In lieu of the Reg headstone icon which seems to have been removed for our protection -->

      1. Bob Merkin
        Boffin

        Obvious explanation

        The artificial singularity that powers the Googleplex creates a non-negligible effect on spacetime around Mountain View. The graph shows the time that their servers perceive. Since the singularity slows down time, it took an extra 15 minutes after the event began in the outside world before Google's servers registered it. The stalwart team of boffins at Vulture Central merely corrected Google Coordinated Universal Time to regular Pacific Daylight Time.

  3. Queeg
    Trollface

    See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

    Don't use the cheap imported hamsters, it's a false economy.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

      The NSA might use hamsters but GCHQ uses gerbils

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1415469.stm

    2. Fink-Nottle

      Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

      Ahh, but Google uses pigeons.

      1. Sureo

        Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

        "Ahh, but Google uses pigeons."

        I understand the pigeons went on strike, until Google offered them a better deal.

        1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

          The US Army and Air Force use ferrets for cable runs at Site R and Cheyenne Mountain. Some Airman at Cheyenne Mountain AFS came up with idea after watching his pet ferret drag a loose CAT5 cable through a cardboard tube while trying to think up a way to do cable runs easier than how they'd been doing them previously.

          I believe FEMA uses them at Mount Weather too, I'm not 100% sure on that facility but it would make sense. Tearing out walls in bunkers under mountains isn't cheap or easy. And the Military as well as DHS tend to prefer cheap and easy, especially in places like Raven Rock and Mount Weather where by their nature have to be up and ready 99.9% of the time just in case.

          So anyway NSA using hamsters may be closer to something "fo' reals" than you might think.

          No hamster icon, but Paris is about as intelligent as a small rodent, and much less intelligent than the Musteladae (ferrets, weasels, etc).

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

            Did someone mention Paris and Ferrets?

            http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_happens_if_a_female_ferret_is_not_mated_during_breeding_season

            http://www.omg-facts.com/Animals/Female-Ferrets-Can-Die-If-They-Dont-Mate/19677

          2. LazyLazyman

            Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

            The US Army and Air Force are far from the first to use ferrets for cable installation. Allot of early installation of electricity cables in stately homes in the UK was done by ferrets.

            1. mmeier

              Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

              What's the problem with tearing out walls in underground bunkers? That's what "Karl" is for! We borrowed the Amis one back in 45, don't tell me they have lost it!

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: See, you keep telling them but they don't listen

      "Don't use the cheap imported hamsters, it's a false economy."

      True, but they are dirt cheap, complain less than the interns and look so good on the Carbon report at the end of the year.

      What's not to love?

  4. Cliff

    Holy undergarments

    40% of the world traffic? I suppose once you count all the services they have and their price point and general reliability... I mean I use their DNS, so if that was affected (and I think it was) then that would be a bit of a kick in the nuts for other site access too.

    1. Antonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Holy undergarments

      Excellent point about DNS... you "think" it was affected... did you experience any DNS disruption directly? Or have you seen any data supporting this?

      Just out of curiosity, why choose Google for DNS rather than OpenDNS, Cisco or whatever? Doesn't the Googleplex know enough of your business?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Holy undergarments

        @AC 03:57

        > Just out of curiosity, why choose Google for DNS rather than OpenDNS, Cisco or whatever?

        Are you saying that Cisco offer a DNS service? If so, could you please post the IP address, as searching -unsurprisingly - brings up lots of links on how to configure a router to be a DNS server?

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Holy undergarments

          I offer a DNS service by mail. Send me a domain and I will write back an IP address to you (which may or may not correspond to the domain, take it or leave it)

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Holy undergarments

            if you use google as one of your dns forwarders (on your dns server) then simply add a sensible timeout and add another (level3?).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Holy undergarments

            "I offer a DNS service by mail. Send me a domain and I will write back an IP address to you "

            Is that email or snailmail?

            Either way I reckon you should patent that before the RFC is issued.

        2. Antonymous Coward

          Re: Holy undergarments

          @AC 5:42

          171.70.168.183

          171.69.2.133

          128.107.241.185

          64.102.255.44

          Perhaps ironically under the circumstances I had to Google it too. I've settled on OpenDNS myself, not least because they were the only service I saw competently and promptly address that phishing/poisoning débâcle a few years ago. The redirection for unresolvable queries is a bit naff though. Still, gifthorses...

          Found a pretty comprehensive list here: http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Alternative_DNS

          Anyone any idea what might have prompted the downvote?

      2. Zipturtle

        Re: Holy undergarments

        OpenDNS is not really a good thing to use for a server that needs to know if a hostname is valid or not. OpenDNS will reply with a fake address that points to them for invalid hostnames. This is cool if you want some special notice web page that the hostname doesn't exist page etc... but for a mail server, not knowing the hostname is not valid is a waste of system resources... NXDOMAIN is the better response.

        Google DNS is fast, though using resolver.qwest.net is faster at the moment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Holy undergarments

          You can enable NXDOMAIN for OpenDNS for your specified ranges in their control panel.

      3. ecofeco Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Holy undergarments

        > did you experience any DNS disruption directly?

        I did. Across a wide range of website. El Reg being one.

        And strange things as well. El Reg loaded, but only the bare bones HTML. Looked like 1996.

        I was getting 301 Permanently moved messages on about half the websites I visited this morning or automatic "Moved to Here" on-the-fly links.

        But it was completely inconsistent.

        Whatever happened, and I think it was something external to Google, was very significant.

        Everything seems back to normal, but something major sure as hell happened.

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