back to article Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb

Google's entire Home infrastructure has suffered a serious outage, with millions of customers on Wednesday morning complaining that their smart devices have stopped working. At the time of writing, the cloud-connected gadgets are still hosed, the service is still down, and the system appears to have been knackered for at least …

  1. Joe Werner

    Hahahaha

    Ahahaha!

    Sorry. Anyway. Many fellow commentards predicted this would happen, single point of failure etc. Now it has.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Hahahaha

      I wholeheartedly agree with the previous speaker.

    2. rob 47

      Re: Hahahaha

      What incredible foresight you have - clever you.

      Want to predict that internet services won't always be reliable, malware will spread and politicians will philander?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hahahaha

        The problem with everything becoming an Internet hosted something or other is that the cost of an outage becomes more significant. If an entire economy is using, say, Google Docs, and Google take a day off then your entire economy has lost a day's output. That is unbelievably expensive.

        Plus it risks circular dependencies. Google break something. They can't order up a replacement, because the suppliers system is hosted on Google. The delivery firm can't deliver it because their systems are also hosted on Google, and their drivers can't find their way anywhere anyway because their Google Maps satnav isn't working. And you can't phone them because their network provider has also gone and based their systems on Google too.

        This is the logical conclusion of the Cloud Wars; the winner wins big, until they crap out and literally everything in the world breaks.

        IoT simply means that you might not even be able to lock your front door on the way out to work in the morning.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hahahaha

          "IoT simply means that you might not even be able to lock your front door on the way out to work in the morning."

          Or unlock it.

          1. Mattmattic

            Re: Hahahaha

            That would be a safety issue, surely?

            If you lose power due to a house fire, your remote device would not work, and you could be unable to escape from the fire?

            Unless there is a safety feature to override the lock?

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Re: Hahahaha

              If you lose power due to a house fire, your remote device would not work,

              Local devices might not, too.

              and you could be unable to escape from the fire?

              Doors are not the only way to exit a building, and not necessarily the fastest either.

            2. Scroticus Canis
              Holmes

              Re: "Unless there is a safety feature to override the lock?"

              It's called a key.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Hahahaha

            Or unlock it.

            Never underestimate the utility of a large brick. It's your choice whether to wrap it in a slice of lemon.

            1. Red Ted
              Go

              Re: Hahahaha

              You are Zaphod Beeblebrox and I collect my five altairian dollars.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Hahahaha

        Want to predict that internet services won't always be reliable,

        So you build your home automation system to be autonomous, and not rely on the predictably unreliable Internet and its clod services.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Hahahaha

      IoT = Isn't on Today?

  2. HellDeskJockey

    Local control. Not everything belongs on the internet.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Exactly. I'm just puzzled by those who want their homes being controlled from someone else's computers. Why we would want to trust something we have no control over is beyond me.

      1. solv

        There's a very simple answer, just to unpuzzle you; Those people don't have the skills to do it themselves - but they want the service/convenience.

        1. Denarius Silver badge

          solv

          You mean there are people without handlers and guardians who cant handle door locks so they trust some total strangers and worse, their computers ? For once the Oz NBN has an upside. IoT stuff will never work here. For much of the time anyway

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "they want the service/convenience."

          That's allegedly how banks started - a safe place to keep cash, a service/convenience for small traders etc.

          Somewhere along the way, a century or four later, the banks redefined "service" and "convenience" (in the UK retail market anyway).

          The cloud/Interweb of Tat suppliers are also redefining service and convenience, except it's happening much more quickly than it did with the banks.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    any IoT device that has to phone home

    in order to work should be disconnected and sent to the recycling centre right now.

    If this episode is not a warning to each and everyone who has bought this shit or is even remotely thinking of wasting their money to stop and think again.

    Go ahead and use it and when the supplier cuts the 'phone home' response system dead in a few months(ok, 1-2 years) don't come crying here. We told you so.

    Oh, and this sort of outage will happen again. I hope that it does not happen to you and your oven on Christmas Day when the whole family is due for lunch.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    Repeat

    They would not listen,

    They're not listening still.

    Perhaps the never will.

    1. Joe Werner

      Re: Repeat

      They are not listening still

      Not without the remote server, no.

    2. well meaning but ultimately self defeating

      Re: Repeat

      That's because the connnection is down. Once it comes up they will start listening again. Those daemons.....

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Repeat

      Maybe they are listening... just not responding. Big brother is in control, just not the way 1984 lead us to believe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Repeat

        Don't worry, Trump'll bring the jackboots if he's able.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Repeat

          "Trump'll bring the jackboots if he's able."

          His choice of the replacement Supreme Court member will be an indicator. The retiring judge has been a pivotal liberal conservative.

          It is expected Trump will push for confirmation before the mid-term elections might give the Democrats a majority in the hearings process.

          It always seemed a travesty of democracy that the last appointment by Obama was blocked by the GOP just out of political spite.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Repeat

            It always seemed a travesty of democracy that the last appointment by Obama was blocked by the GOP just out of political spite.

            Since Nixon's downfall the GOP has trampled over every democratic process that it was able to find.

        2. Mattmattic

          Re: Repeat

          The above response was a perfect example of TDS, Trump Derangement Syndrome.

          No matter what these poor folk are thinking or talking about, Trump keps on cropping up in their heads.

          Google outage: Mention Trump.

          What shall I eat for lunch: Mention Trump.

          What time is it? Mention Trump.

          It's tedious.

          1. Kobus Botes
            Coat

            Re: Repeat

            @Mattmattic

            Upvoted you - they just find that coming to terms with the mindless tedium of it all presents an interesting challenge.

            (Sorry Douglas! Ducks)

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @Mattmattic -- Re: Repeat

            Spot on. The cause is the man himself. His publicity using Twitter and the press is sucking it up. This is something very new and people (and the press) just aren't used to it. So because he's in our faces (so to speak), he pops up in all sorts of unexpected places.

            Take away his Twitter account, make him follow the former President's use of press conferences and the like only, and this syndrome will dissipate.

          3. Aseries

            Re: Repeat

            Trump Derangement Syndrome?

            How soon we forget the treatment of Pres. Obama for 8 years and who engineered the primary assaults.

            What? Trump again? How could that be?

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Repeat

        Big brother is in control, just not the way 1984 lead us to believe.

        George might have wanted to have a chat with Isaac Asimov, to expand on the technological possibilities for, essentially, mind control. But maybe readers would have considered such a 1984++ too far-fetched, dismissing it even more strongly than most of them already did (if they weren't using it as an instruction manual instead).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Repeat

          "George might have wanted to have a chat with Isaac Asimov, [...]

          Possibly a better Asimov story is the one where a "global history viewing machine" has been invented by tracking back disturbances of particles.

          Very large and one of a kind - with a long waiting list of academics wanting to see what actually happened at a place and point in history. Priority is given to law enforcement agencies for shorter term reviewing - as the technology is not affected by the target being in darkness.

          One professor gets tired of waiting - and a young student does produces a disruptive technology machine that is cheap and small. He immediately publishes his design without any official approval.

          It transpires that you can only see back a few years before picture noise becomes insurmountable. Which is why the historians were never allowed access.

          As the government agent points out to the designer - with its ability for anyone to watch anyone's activities, anywhere, day or night in the recent past - "Welcome to the goldfish bowl".

    4. PerlyKing
      Thumb Up

      Re: Perhaps they never will

      @Will Godfrey: Upvote for Don McLean "Vincent" reference!

  5. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Hmmmm

    So far, though, the most likely cause is a software update that Google published around the same time as the first complaints of downtime came in, an update that added the Spanish language to its devices.

    Siesta Time.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm

      an update that added the Spanish language to its devices.

      It added the concept of Manana.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Hmmmm

        It added the concept of Manana.

        A Spanish tourist in Ireland once asked a local what the Irish translation of "Manana" was. After some thought the man replied "Ye know, I don't think we have anything with the same sense of urgency".

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Hmmmm

          After some thought the man replied "Ye know, I don't think we have anything with the same sense of urgency".

          That is blatantly plagiarized from the Greek original.

          Q: What is "Avrio"?

          A: Manana without the sense of urgency.

          I was told this joke by a Greek who shared the desk area with me at the time. The guy across the open space partition grew up in Latin America. He looked at us and said: "You are referring to a Spanish Manana. That is indeed fairly urgent. You guys have not seen Latin American Manana..."

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Hmmmm

        It added the concept of Manana.

        Apparently, Cornish has no word to express the same sense of urgency as 'manana'..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmmm

          "Apparently, Cornish has no word to express the same sense of urgency as 'manana'.."

          many years ago a project team were posted to India for a year to support a mainframe gifted to an educational establishment. The new computer room was almost finished - just waiting for the air conditioning to be fitted "in three weeks".

          A year later the team returned home - leaving behind the mainframe boxes still waiting for the air conditioning to be fitted as continually promised "in three weeks".

          They said that eventually they had lowered their sights to just trying to teach the meaning of the word "efficiency".

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm

      Who'd have known that writing Spanish software would automatically include 'Mañana syndrome'.

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Hmmmm

        Mañana translates into English as "not today". Google already have that down. When I read the bit about "We’ve identified a fix for the issue ... and it will be automatically rolled out over the next 6 hours," my first thought was how they had identified the fix to an issue that made Pixel 2 XL phones unusable as phones and waited about 6 months before pushing it out (look up Pixel 2 proximity sensor for background). How do you translate "6 hours" into Spanish for similar impact?

    3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm

      Made me think of the maid from Family Guy: "Nooooooo....."

  6. Frenchie Lad

    Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

    They're all at it, humble IoT devices need the internet to function! This is only done to gleen even more marketing data for flogging you more stuff. Just waiting for the day my local chemist will contact me because my sleep monitor tells him (for a price of course) that my sleep pattern indicates I need something more effective than a cup of Ovaltine.

    Of course with such a huge single point of failure the rewards for a bit of holding to ransom a few million punters is really tempting. Anyone know how to open a bitcoin account?

    1. Sureo

      Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

      If you talk in your sleep .... is Google listening?

      1. Frenchie Lad

        Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

        Currently claims that I'm snoring but who knows.

      2. Daggerchild Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

        That, is a terrifying thought.

        "Your honor, I didn't *mean* to order a lifetime's supply of badgers! Or the pressure cookers, fertiliser, whoopee cushions.."

        It'd be even worse for lucid sleepwalkers - they'd casually pass any test a bot would throw up.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

          It'd be even worse for lucid sleepwalkers

          I once had a whole conversation with my missus while she was asleep and she didn't remember any of it. And for months afterwards I could get away with stuff on the basis that "we discussed this last night and you agreed"..

      3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: If you talk in your sleep

        Last time I got my hair cut the lady doing it was chattering away about an "OK Google" type device and that it was in her bedroom. I pondered on what it might have heard (as she had just mentioned her boyfriend) and she went a very deep shade of red.

        Apparently she never thought of it listening!

      4. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

        "If you talk in your sleep .... is Google listening?"

        I would normally have said, "of course, this is Google, they're always listening"...

        ... except this event proves otherwise. Maybe 99.99999% of the time, they're listening, as per their SLA?

      5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

        If you talk in your sleep .... is Google listening?

        Not in my house it's not.. Nor Apple. Nor Amazon.

        A pox on all their (ioT) houses..

        (It's bad enough that 7 cats and one dog are all waiting with bated breath for anything that might hint at the possibility of food..)

        1. Scroticus Canis
          Happy

          Re: "... 7 cats and one dog are all waiting ..."

          With reference to your handle. Nominative determinism or consequence?

    2. Chemist

      Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

      "day my local chemist will contact me"

      I think you mean pharmacist - otherwise I agree .

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

        In the UK, a pharmacy is more commonly known as a chemists.

        Comes from the fact that traditionally they sold more than just medicines; if you wanted a chemical substance, the chemists is where you went to get it.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

          And don't Americans have " drug stores " that apparently aren't great for their supply of narcotic substances.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

            "And don't Americans have " drug stores " that apparently aren't great for their supply of narcotic substances."

            They don't put cocaine in their Coca Cola these days.

        2. Chemist

          Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

          in the UK, a pharmacy is more commonly known as a chemists."

          Indeed it is, nevertheless it's the pharmacist that dispenses drugs.

          Suggest you look at :

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Pharmaceutical_Society_of_Great_Britain

      2. Mattmattic

        Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

        In the UK, we mean Chemist. My Chemist also calls me up to check on my medication.

        1. onefang Silver badge

          Re: Fundamentally Flawed Architecture

          "In the UK, we mean Chemist. My Chemist also calls me up to check on my medication."

          In Australia we use both names, pharmacy or chemist.

  7. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Flame

    On the eighth day machine just got upset

    So does this explain why it's so damned hot round here, dogs are dying in cars, and the Pennines are on fire?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: On the eighth day machine just got upset

      Uptick for the Hazel O'Connor quote.

  8. Craig 2

    Users in Google's home state of California started complaining that their lack of foresight came to bite them on their ass...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Users in Google's home state of California started complaining that their lack of foresight came to bite them on their ass..."

      I must admit I thought this sort of IoT stuff might have been a driver for IPv6 adoption so peoples apps could talk directly to their home LANs since few homes have fixed IPv4 address. But noooooo, the "stop-gap" of using a central server for the remote app and the home LAN to communicate via has become the norm thanks to greedy companies wanting every last bit or data they can slurp under the guise of users can't be expected to pay more for fixed IPv4 addresses and can't be trusted/bothered to set up some form of DynDNS type service.

  9. HolySchmoley

    "So far, though, the most likely cause is a software update that Google published around"

    Nice, if unexpected, to see a software update that increases users' security globally.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Nice, if unexpected, to see a software update that increases users' security globally

      And next we can hope for a Windows 10 update that bricks all the devices using it and a Facebook update that crashes the app/browser immediately?

  10. Mayday Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb"

    You have to be utterly dumb to install this shit (telescreens) in your home to begin with.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: "Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb"

      The Guardian have stolen the headline.

    2. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: "Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb"

      What's the market penetration of mobile phones again? 96%? 98%?

      It's not dumbness; it's ignorance. Very few people have the experience we commentards have of spending our working lives trying to, broadly speaking, keep stuff online and working -- and of how much fun it is when you're unable to do so and everyone suddenly knows your first name and phone number.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mobile Hand Network

    So.. What is this finger technology and is it secure?

  12. stussybear

    It's not clear from the article exactly what's gone wrong. If it's just the Google Home, then the "IoT" devices like bulbs, locks, thermostats (the vast majority of which do not require internet connectivity unless you are trying to control them away from your home network) should still work locally, just without voice control.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: stussybear

      "It's not clear from the article exactly what's gone wrong"

      They've stopped working. You can't use them. You can't ask them to control stuff in your house.

      "should still work locally, just without voice control."

      Yes, see the sentence at the end of the article about having to use your fingers.

      C.

    2. Mike 125

      Not reading articles again... and not thinking...

      @stussybear

      >>should still work locally, just without voice control.

      Here we see the difficulty: people just refuse to accept the insanity- so they just vaguely sit, quietly talking to themselves, and gently rocking to and fro... "no, it can't do that... dribble dribble... no...that's not possible...".

      If you're willing to accept a home life as unreliable, unpredictable and insecure as Windows 95, then continue using these devices.

      1. stussybear

        Re: Not reading articles again... and not thinking...

        I'm perfectly willing to accept that an outage at Google could cause the Google Home to stop working, and therefore voice control of the devices it can operate. What I'm contesting is that this makes the smart devices necessarily "dumb". The devices do not require Google Home to operate. You do not need to manually adjust your smart thermostat on the wall if you have an app on your phone or some other way of accessing the devices' API and your local network is running (MOST of the time, I will also agree that there are some awful devices that actually require control to be done remotely via the internet). Google Home is just a way of interfacing with the devices (please also note I do not own nor want one)

      2. handle bars

        Re: Not reading articles again... and not thinking...

        and like people who bought w95, expect in 3 years time a new w98 then xp then.... to come out which will likely no longer work with the "old" equipment... so like people who found their laser printers died with windows 8/10 will find where a radiator valve would last 20 years or more the smart version is good for as long as a smart watch.... about 4 years before all smart function is lost.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It's not clear from the article exactly what's gone wrong

      Google has not deigned to explain what's gone wrong or what the fix is. As a purchaser of their hardware, you do not need to know or have any way to get in contact with them. You may, however, continue to have your data slurped.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        All YouTube comments also went down two days or so ago, for a while. No idea if it's related, there are threads marking the exact moment on the YouTube Reddit if anyone wants to try correlating...

  13. Just A Quick Comment

    A simple solution

    A simple mantra to be recited when dealing with this stuff:- "Avoid, avoid, avoid."

  14. gerdesj Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    IoT

    Look, if you are going to do IoT you need: A network technician, a sysadmin, multiple sites, the mind set of a proper engineer and a lot of time to experiment and test. You'll need a safety first mentality and a few other skills.

    I have most of the above, including a lot of tape. I am starting with ESP8266s and simple circuits, Mosquitto and Home Assistant. My VMs live on a proper SAN and VMware cluster. I start with multiple segregated VLANs and firewalls (including hosts). All comms including MQTT are TLS 1.2 or similar. Web apps live behind HA Proxy etc etc. If anything fails, it is designed to fail to manual operation rather than fucked.

    Oh and the wife is the customer.

    1. Modius

      Re: IoT

      Or you could decide, like me, that just because we "can" do a particular thing does not imply that we "must" do that thing. I'll continue to fumble for excessive amounts of time for my house keys in my pockets and finger the light switches manually more than is considered necessary...or polite, thank you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IoT

      "the mind set of a proper engineer"

      For home use someone who can create bridges, build engines and generally create things seems like a bit of overkill.

    3. onefang Silver badge

      Re: IoT

      "I have most of the above, including a lot of tape. I am starting with ESP8266s and simple circuits, Mosquitto and Home Assistant. My VMs live on a proper SAN and VMware cluster. I start with multiple segregated VLANs and firewalls (including hosts). All comms including MQTT are TLS 1.2 or similar. Web apps live behind HA Proxy etc etc. If anything fails, it is designed to fail to manual operation rather than fucked."

      I have a finger, and a light switch in each room, much simpler. If it helps, I can give you the finger.

  15. JWLong

    To those of you.............

    .........who have purchased and installed this equipment.

    I offer you......... "Sympathy".

    You may find it in the dictionary...........

    Some where between the words......."Shit" and "Syphilis".

    1. shedied

      Re: To those of you.............

      And syphilis left town, isn't that what you were trying to say?

  16. sinsi

    Nobody Expects

    The Spanish Update

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Nobody Expects

      They add Spanish, so the devices now know about siesta's and decided to try one out in all this hot weather?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IoT Hell - Is this better or worse than....

    IoT Device:

    A. Acts as a bug / spills your secrets to a random phone contact....

    B. Sends private security video to a random user of same service....

    ------------

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/24/alexa_recording_couple/

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44628399

  18. Kev99 Bronze badge

    yup. Let's put everything on the web, that glorious, impervious, solid as a rock web. The web that is a bunch of holes held together by string. The net that is even more holes held together with string. Real genius. People who put everything on the web used to be called idiots, fools, lazy-bones, or lay-abouts. Now they're tech leaders.

  19. Trilkhai

    This is a bit disturbing — the closest thing that I have to an IoT device is my networked printer and I've only used Google Assistant briefly once out of curiosity, yet my Moto E4 spent the past day or so periodically displaying the useless "sorry, something went wrong" message at the bottom of the screen.

  20. handle bars

    well when your system goes down, you fire up slack to talk to the team and.... oh wait, it's down. still it is not as bad as when you are in London and your IT are in Singapore and they can't just send someone to your desk to actually work on it in front of you...

  21. sandman

    Total Luddite

    That's me on the domestic IOT idea. Sorry, can't see the use case for most of the toys (although some may be of assistance to people with a variety of disabilities). "Turn on the lights, well known brand of speaky thing". Get up and do it yourself you lazy git. Fridge "I'm running out of hummus, I'll order some more". Yes, I can see that and I don't want any hummus this week. "Goolexapod, order a 24" deep pan pizza". Cook something yourself you idle toe-rag. IOT - just another way to get obese and have your data harvested. OK, rant over, back to helping the commercial world put all its eggs in the net basket. ;-)

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Total Luddite

      A friend in a wheelchair makes good use of one of these types of device. And for her it's a good thing though I'm not convinced she'd manage less well with a simpler system, like having the door locks lowered.

  22. 0laf Silver badge

    If you need the internet to boil a kettle, turn on a light or switch on the heating, you are in a very bad place.

    99% up time means you will lose that ability for 3-4 days a year. 4 days with no heating because Google fucks up an update!

    No thanks, dumb devices have their place too.

  23. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    But, guys!!

    Think of the poor marketing wonks at the other end!

    No data stream...no PI...

  24. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Trollface

    Possibly deliberate?

    Tomorrow's article - "Google: yeah, we were trying to make the kit work with GDPR, but it's just not going to happen..."

    1. handle bars

      Re: Possibly deliberate?

      more likely "due to GDPR we can only tell you X & y resulted in z" and whether z is important we can't confirm

  25. GIRZiM Bronze badge
    Alert

    Synchronicity?

    Slack yesterday.

    Google's Internet of Tat today.

    My email service is down as well, as it has been under a sustained DDoS attack for days that is, apparently, of a type and severity never before seen. Russian origin is suspected, although (once again) the idea that genuine state actors should be insufficiently competent to hide their traces strikes me as unlikely and I imagine that it's some other nation state taking advantage of the fact that nobody trusts Russia not to do it - which isn't unreasonable of them, I don't think (name a nation state that doesn't do that kind of thing and I'll sell you a bridge over the Thames) and it might well be Russia for all I know, but I'm sceptical.

    Is there a single origin for all three events in two days, or is it just coincidence?

  26. Mattmattic

    The same thing happened several years ago with another Google product. An update failed to work, so they reverted to the previous version, only to find that there had been a corruption issue and the entire Google Blogger system failed.

    Every blog on the entire system vanished for several days as they had to rebuild the Blogger system.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back in my day, we twiddled our own knobs, thank you very much

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ..and your accompanying utterances weren't timestamped and passed to the cloud to be logged.

  28. Alterhase
    Mushroom

    Space Wars

    I am surprised that no-one has commented about the American Commander-in-Chief's idea for a new branch of the military to wage war in space.

    Far beyond Google locking people out of their homes, disrupting the Internet from space by whatever means would quickly take us back to the 18th century.....

  29. DrM
    FAIL

    Life Imitates Art

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075931/

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misrepresentation.

    So much for Google cloud services.

  31. Aseries

    Home Automation

    My house is saturated with WiFi connectivity and high speed internet routing. The extent of my automation is a bunch of dumb motion sensing lighting so I can walk up to my doors and in and out of my windowless garage with little fear of mishaps in the darkness. I have no plans for the near future to automate with anything internet connected and subject to arbitrary code updates. I took me a year to clean up my 4 laptops and 2 desktops to get Windows 10 under control. I don't care to be under surveillance by my own home devices just for some marginal convenience. Someday, perhaps.

    We rented a home in Arizona for two months this winter. The environment was controlled by a NEST system that had never been configured properly. I had to attach via WiFi, create a user and do a complete configuration. Operation with the manual control interface is possible but annoying in the extreme. I never removed my user from the NEST, unsure of what would happen if I did. I look at it once in a while so I am sure no one there has a clue.

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