What does the Google outage tell us about the Internet giant?
If you trying to do an internet search earier today or have G-mail, you may have noticed some trouble with access to Google. The internet giant is reporting that some users couldn't access those e-mail accounts, or even the search engine for sometime this morning.
Jon Gordon hosts Future Tense for Minnesota Public Radio News, and he joined Tom Crann to talk about what exactly happened at Google. An edited transcript is below.
What happened this morning?
Google says it accidentally routed a bunch of traffic through Asia, and that essentially caused a traffic jam, slowing or completely blocking traffic for some of its users.
How widespread was it?
Google says about 14% of its users experienced slow service or service interruptions. You could be affected in one city and not affected in another city. It was all over the world, but it was spotty.
How long did it last?
About an hour and 15 minutes, approximately. Certainly enough to get lots of people worried and chatting away on social networks.
What was the reaction today?
Something like that becomes a topic very quickly, and if you were to search twitter on the word #googlefail, ten seconds later you'd get 40 more results. It's obviously this huge topic on Twitter and in other places. The question is, did it really add anything ... or did it amplify a minor thing and make it seem bigger than it was?
What does this say about the role Google plays in our lives?
For some people, it was a very scary moment, because so many of their personal activities and business activities completely rely on Google now. It really shows that Google has moved beyond just search. It does show that Google is not just Google, it's the internet in some ways. It's important to point out though that systems break, computers fail, humans make mistakes, and Google's up-time is remarkable.
- All Things Considered, 05/14/2009, 4:15 p.m.