Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Google Slashes the Internet

Open a web browsing program on a typical computer, and a short word comes up on the screen, along with a bar. The short word is “Google,” and the bar under it allows us to write anything we want. Once we click enter, we can get hundreds, thousands, or even millions of results, all pertaining to our query, the words we’ve typed into that bar. Sure, there are other searches, such as Yahoo, Ask, etc, but when it comes to market share and popularity, people just can’t seem to get away from Google. In the past few years, anyone can see this proven by simply looking at the difference in stock growth of Google, and its biggest rival, Yahoo. While Yahoo has simply become less and less profitable, Google has flourished, soaring to become one of the largest companies this world knows. They are just not even in the same ball-park. What happens when something becomes too powerful, though? Recently, on the morning of January 31st, for 40 minutes, Google stopped working, and it seemed that the internet “stopped.” This was all caused by a very small problem, due to human error, when a worker placed the string ‘/’ in the list of websites which could harm your computer. What resulted was chaos, any website which contained ‘/’, became as Google would warn, harmful to your computer, it said just about every website contained malware.


So have we placed too much power in the hands of Google? If a simple human error which probably took about a second to occur, could cause the internet to basically shut down for forty minutes, what would happen if such a website was ever hacked? Sure, it seems impossible, but why? Why do we have so much trust in Google? It has already proven itself as accident-prone. What would happen if an employee actually wanted to cause some damage? Everyone clicking on Google whenever they want to use a search engine simply means that we put it all on one thing, if this one mega power were to ever collapse on us, we truly could be in for a world of pain. Not only could it destroy the stock market further than we could have ever imagined, due to people losing faith in what they believed to be perfect, but we very well would be left without the internet for quite some time. Would we make it? I really don’t think so. 



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