For about 40 minutes on Saturday morning, Google was telling millions of users that their search results "may be harmful" to their computers. In what is an obvious bug, the leading search engine was blocking access to every search result of every random search term we had tried.
I saw Larry and other googlers at a party here last night and they mentioned no plot to block the internet :)
The error is now fixed. Apparently as a feed of "bad sites" to be branded as harmful was uploaded as per the usual routine a web address of "/" came through which picked up every web address on the internet. Did Google not write a QA script which checks for that? Surprisingsly not.
What would happen if Google went offline for a day, a week? What would the effect be on world browswing and commerce? Would users turn to Yahoo and MSN or would they freeze in their chairs, paralyzed without their routine tools?