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Quick Hits: Even Google Makes Mistakes


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Another illusion shattered: Google (GOOG) isn't infallible after all.

Anyone making a Google search between about 6:27 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday got this message: "This site may harm your computer."

Another helpful hint from Mother Hen at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California - except that the message popped up for all search results made early Saturday morning.

The Internet wasn't under attack by aliens or hackers - Google goofed. The company flags websites known to surreptitiously install malicious software and warns users who are about to enter such dangerous territory.

On its official blog, Google explained:

"We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here's the human error), the URL of '/' was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and '/' expands to all URLs. Fortunately, our on-call site reliability found the problem quickly and reverted the file."

The updates are pushed out at staggered times so the errors began appearing between 6:27 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. and disappearing between 7:10 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. Pacific time.

Google even pulled out the sack cloth and ashes: "And again, our apologies to any of you who were inconvenienced this morning, and to site owners whose pages were incorrectly labeled. We will carefully investigate this incident and put more robust file checks to prevent it from happening again."


What's next - Starbucks closing stores?

It's a good thing the banking system is safe and led by stalwarts such as Citigroup, eh?
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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